It's short, but important.
The otters were, indeed, friendly. “Aye, mate, we’re from the resistance. The branch up north,” the first one said.
“What do you want me for?” Icefurr asked.
“We want you to join us!” another one said. On his back was strapped a shield of different colors than the ones that the Rogue Captain had seen in South Region. Instead of silver with a green design, it was blue with the same design in white. Arctic colors, Icefurr realized. North was the coldest out of all the regions, with the exception of the Mountainous Lands.
“Join you? I have nothing to do with North or South Regions. I won’t join you against Gulrag. No matter if I’m a prince, or ruler of Clandoran, or anything. I’m done fighting with this issue. I’ve made up my mind. If anything, I’m fine with being the Rogue Captain,” the arctic fox said. He felt exactly as he spoke. He just wanted time to himself.
“Mate, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” the leader said. “At least come wid’ us.” He nodded in an easterly direction. “We’ve got a roaring campfire and food.” Icefurr thought for a moment.
Finally, he came to a conclusion. “I’ll come. If I’m not helping you, then I won’t ask what you want me for, but I’m starving,” he chuckled. He slung his pack over his shoulder, picked up his Rogue Captain shield and sword, and followed the pack of otters in the direction pointed out earlier.
After about half an hour of trekking, they’d arrived at a small camp, near the border. Another group of otters sat around a bonfire and roasted some fish wrapped in pine bark. Icefurr sniffed the air in appreciation.
The leader of the otters, who Icefurr now knew to be named Whiplash, yelled. “Alright, otters, off your tails! Rogue Captain’s ‘ere!”
All of the sea otters stood by the fire and spun around. “Aye, so ‘e is!” one cheered. “Clandoran and the Rogue Captain!”
The rest of the rebel fighters replied heartily. “Clandoran and the Rogue Captain!” Each raised a battle axe and blue shield.
Icefurr just laughed. These were jolly otters. He wouldn’t mind being at least friends with them for a while. He sat down at the invitation of Whiplash, and also accepted a stick with a bark-wrapped fish. A perch. “Where’d you get these fish? This is West Region. Lakes and ponds are in Eastern Region,” he commented.
Whiplash just winked. “We’re otters. What’d you expect?” He bit into his fish and ripped the bark off with a chunk of soft white meat. “Aye, that’s good!”
Icefurr followed suit. The perch was delicious! He quickly devoured his.
For two more days, Icefurr stayed at the camp, making friends with the otters but still refusing to join the resistance. “I don’t want more problems,” he’d say gently. Or rather, as gently as he could.
Finally, on the second morning, Whiplash took him aside. “Mate, we need to talk.”
Icefurr was hesitant. “Er . . . yes?”
The otter took him aside, away from the others. “You can’t abandon your people, or your heritage. It isn’t done that way.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying, Swiftblade, that we need you, and you can’t run from that. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want problems. Problems will come to you. If you don’t come, then we’ll be without a head and will never conquer Warlord Northwind,” Whiplash said firmly. “Come with us. Please.”
Icefurr’s mind was in turmoil. They needed him . . . but he didn’t want to need them. He wasn’t even okay with being the Rogue Captain anymore. Maybe he could just disappear in the Mountainous Lands, or the Plainsterritories. But then he would still be running.
“Okay . . . I’ll come.” He turned to the otters. “Clandoran!”
“Clandoran and the Rogue Captain!” they chorused, and cheered, waving their axes.
I love fiction, fantasy, roleplaying, and reading. Nice to meet you too. All of my tales are little kid-friendly, except perhaps a few stories in the Rogue Captain universe. Those are more geared towards teens. Check with your parents, just in case.