(( Every Saturday I try to post one of the books from my collection in the Norrathian Museum I have on the Antonia Bayle server. If you’re interested in donating a book to my library please feel free to mail Ellithia in game (I’ll even send you a blank book if you’re creating from another server) and if you’d like to visit the museum yourself, please feel free. It’s located in North Freeport, at the magical housing in the mage tower. There are over 100 player written books in my collection so far, and I plan on adding as many as I can. ))
The Path To Decay Part 1 – By Kikiriki
Meeka never knew what hit her.
The young mother screeched as claws shredded her flesh, and the flesh of her children. The band of Kerran Brigands was ruthless, laughing and snarling the entire time as they tore a limb off here, ate some flesh there. The screams were horrendous, and most likely enough to keep even the bravest souls within their hovels.
With the last of the mother Ratonga’s strength she threw the tiny golden-furred pup she had been clutching, the runt of her large litter, under a merchant’s stall. The small ratling just barely rolled under it before the Kerra fixed their gaze upon Meeka.
“Lives!” she just managed to cry before another Kerra took her head from her shoulders.
When the cat men had finished their grisly meal they quickly made their escape, leaving the tiny child to fend for herself.
The next morning the Militia found the bloody scene. Partially eaten Ratonga bits, both mother and child, scattered as far as the eye could see in bloody smears of gore. A Tier’Dal guard poked Meeka’s remains with a steel boot.
“Mother and her offspring. Attacked by Kerra, judging by the footprints. I suppose we’ll be the ones to clean it up,” he snarled to his ogre companion with barely veiled disgust.
“I think we should report it.” grumbled the looming ogre, scratching is head.
The elf scoffed, “As though anyone would come forward with information about this! Are you mad? I certainly have no desire to complete worthless paperwork over this. Just…get a bucket of seawater and wash it away.”
From the ground by the guards’ feet, the little golden-furred Ratonga sneezed in high pitch. The Dark Elf immediately noticed the noise, his long ears perked, and bent low under the stall to investigate.
“Well. What do you know? They missed one…” he grinned wickedly as he roughly grabbed the little female by the scruff of her neck. She squealed, but made no move to fight back. The Ratonga was so light that even the Dark Elf could hold her up in front of his face. His crimson eyes studied her with avarice. “A new thrall… my children could use a new plaything I think. Last I heard, the old one died horribly. This one will be a suitable replacement.”
The ogre grunted.
“Ya ain’t s’posed to take slaves on duty, Dartar. Cap’n said. Ya know what happened last time.”
Narrowing his eyes to slits, the Teir’Dal glared at the little pup. After some hesitation, he shoved the tiny creature under an arm.
“Fine. I’ll look for any surviving relatives… Uguut, get that bucket of seawater and see to this mess.” The elf paused as he glanced to the bloody mess ecompassing the street and walls before him, “…Better yet, use a barrel of seawater instead.”
“You got it.”
With that business attended to, Dartar walked through Temple Street with the golden-furred child under an arm. He searched about through the bustling rats, seeing if any of them were female. He stopped several Ratonga, held the child by the scruff, and asked if they knew her name or her mothers. For a while it seemed Dartar would end up with a thrall for his children at the end of the day. Surely the Lieutenant would allow him to keep the unclaimed rat. However, that end was not to be, as one elderly female Ratonga with a gray muzzle and patchy coat recognized the little pup.
“Meeka’s pup… Hers name is Kikiriki, dear… How dids you comes to have her in yours care?” the elder asked with a mostly toothless smile. She only remembered Kikiriki’s name because of how truly small the child was.
“What is left of her family is smeared by the merchants stalls by the gate.”
The elderly female’s warm expression shattered into horror.
“….she is the onlys one lefts?”
The guard was quite amused at the old Ratonga’s reaction.
“Thrown under a stall as it were. But enough of that. Has she any other benefactors?” Dartar grumbled.
“Nones… the poors dear is all alones in the worlds.”
The elf grinned darkly.
“Then I shall take her.”
The old woman’s horror replaced itself with anger, “Now justs a minutes, sirs… You can’ts just claims a child likes that!”
“Tell me, old one, who would care? No one can lay claim to her as you’ve just said.”
“Oh, I sures can. Give her heres!” she replied to the elf, and without permission grabbed the pup from him and cuddled her protectively, “I’lls care for hers.”
Dartar grumbled as the elder kept her gaze on him while turning her body, and therefore the child, away from him. Now he’d have to find another thrall for his children to play with. Slaves weren’t terribly cheap, either. Thinking further, the guard realized that this would give him a perfect excuse to raid Antonica again. The little pup soon left his mind.
“See that you do, Citizen.”
With that, Dartar nodded once, and walked off to find his ogre companion. Tonight, there would be a hunt.
The elder Ratonga, Shursha, quickly shuffled off to her meager hovel, Kikiriki bundled protectively in her arms. Once inside, she lay the child on her tattered bed and covered her with a mended blanket. Soon after, she began patting her back now and then, humming a soft and relaxing tune. In her spry days, the elder had been a bard.
“Supposes the works of a mothers is never dones, is its love? …My poors child,” soothed Shursha.
For small Kikiriki, the following years would be tumultuous indeed.