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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chaos

Greystorm and Coldstar sat beneath the holly tree as they looked at each other.  “Forgive me Coldstar for not remembering you.  It was only after returning to Bright Star and Farthen Moor when I got my memories back and then talking to Shingetsu that I discovered that the mate I had as ‘Fiver’ wasn’t my true mate.  I knew nothing of you because I hadn’t gained my memories back and wasn’t a true seer for most of my life on Earth.”
“I don’t blame you Greystorm.  It isn’t your fault that Inazuma blocked your memories and stole me from our warren.  Will we be going back there?”
“Yes. In fact I already have some rabbits that I just need to get Hitsuki to free for me.  I totally forgot about Thanatos’s control over them when I decided to get them away.”
Ember spoke up at this. “Master Greystorm you can also remove the collars and bracelets of enslavement from those rabbits.”
“I thought that was only Hitsuki?”
“It was,” Blaze said.  “But you have spared us and our master from death therefore that power is also yours.”
“However there is a catch.  Whereas Hitsuki removes the collars and bracelets and the rabbits retain their markings and powers from Thanatos’s transformation of them if you remove the collars and bracelets then they will lose their powers and revert back to whatever color they were before being captured by Thanatos.”
“Speak to them and see what they want. If they choose to keep their powers then Hitsuki must free them.”
“Tell me can I take Coldstar from here?”
“Yes however it would be wise to take her after Thanatos is dead so she isn’t put in danger.”
“Has the battle started yet?”
“It has.  The screams of those fools are tearing the Shadow Lands.  We can hear them in Ether.”
“How?”
“If you will follow us Greystorm then we will show you.”
Ember and Blaze began leading the warrior seer and his mate back to Taiyo when they suddenly screamed and fell to the ground.  Greystorm and Coldstar stared in horror as they noticed that they suddenly weren’t as bright as they were after the death of Inazuma.  “What’s wrong?!”
“Frith is angry and is determined to kill us,” Ember gasped out between screams of pain.  They watched as Ember and Blaze’s coats slowly lost a bit more brightness.
“How is this possible?! I thought Frith couldn’t come here?”
“He can’t.  Neither can Lady Kuu. But at the same Lady Kuu can do nothing to save us or father,” Blaze said. 
“Even though Frith and Kuu can’t enter Frith can send out his light warriors to harm us which is what he is doing.  Greystorm you were not supposed to be awakened or get your memories and powers back.  You weren’t supposed to rescue Coldstar,” Ember said.
Coldstar let out a cry of pain as she fell to the ground.  A slash appeared across her right hind leg. “Coldstar!”
Greystorm turned and stared in shock as the barrier between Ether and Inle Warren opened and the screams of Shingetsu’s servants was heard.  Nuzzling his mate he ran back up to Taiyo and stopped as the fire servants and living rabbits lay on the ground as slashes appeared across their bodies.  Looking for the first time he saw light rabbits attacking the fire rabbits and twenty of them surrounded Taiyo and forced him to the ground.  “Father!” Greystorm shouted and the light rabbits turned to them blood dripping from their claws.  How did I not see them enter Ether!
“Warrior seer you should not have awoken. You should have stayed dead and not been reborn,” a light rabbit spoke.  “You killed Lord Frith’s mate.”
“Mate?!”
Taiyo screamed and they moved aside so Greystorm could see his father chained to the ground with cuts of varying degrees glistening his fur.  The shine in his fur was slowly leaving him and blood dripped around him.  “Leave him!”
“You can’t stop us!  Our master demands the deaths of the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren and we will do as we’re told.”
MASTER!
Take the star from the warrior.  Take the living from the dead. Throw them in darkness and bind their souls.  The one of light and born of stars shall set them free when he comes to the land of dreams.
Father what does that mean?
Most of it has already been fulfilled by Frith.  The land of dreams is where Lady Kuu lives and her rabbits of darkness and moonlight survive.   You must go to the land of dreams in order to free the rabbits of Ether and Inle Warren. Frith is destroying both places.  If you don’t stop him we will all die.  I, my fire servants, these living rabbits in Ether and the rabbits of Inle Warren Greystorm.  You must also return to the earth and find Hitsuki to free your warren from Thanatos attacking it before anything else.  Take Moonblossom and her kittens back to Moneywort in Moonfell. Go!
Greystorm threw the darkness in him towards the light rabbits who screamed in pain.  “You can’t kill us Greystorm,” they sneered.  “We’re protected by Lord Frith!  We are the sons and daughters of Inazuma and Frith!”
Greystorm turned and hurried through Ether and into Inle Warren.  He searched with his mind to Moonblossom and connected.  Moonblossom!  It’s Fiver!  We need to get out of here now!
Fiver what’s going on?!
I can’t explain but we must get you out of here along with the kittens. Where are you?!
In my burrow!
Stay there!  Ochiba!
Master?
Get to Moonblossom and take them to Moneywort in Moonfell!
Yes master but what about you?
DO AS I SAY OCHIBA!
Ochiba jerked as he heard the fear in his master’s voice and broke the mind contact before he sprinted through the warren to Moonblossom.  “Moonblossom my master says you’re to come with me.”
He ushered the kittens to their feet and took them back to Moonfell. Moneywort looked up and ran to his mate and kittens.  “What’s wrong Moonblossom?!”
“Something is happening in Shingetsu’s warren!  Fiver ordered this rabbit to take me and the kittens here.  They’re being tortured Moneywort!”
“What in the name of Kuu can possibly torture dead rabbits?!”
Pumpkin and Shizun who had come to spend time with Moneywort and Pumpkin stared in horror at Ochiba’s revelation.  “Who is this?”
“My name is Ochiba. I am the servant of Fiver,” Ochiba said. 
“Where is Fiver?”
“I think still in the Shadow Land.”
“What in the world is he doing there?!”
“Master!” Greystorm shouted as he ran into Shingetsu and Kosetsu’s burrow.  “Master get up! I can take you to Bright Star or Farthen Moor! Please master!” Greystorm shouted as his voice choked in fear and sobs wracked his throat.
“Greystorm you must return and get Hitsuki to Bright Star in order to save them. We cannot leave.  Frith has bound us here. With my rabbits in pain my power is being drained.”
“Father says he didn’t mean to harm you. It was mother,” Greystorm said.
“I’m sorry to hear that Taiyo has been bound to Ether.  I wouldn’t have thought Frith would do that.”
“How…?”
“I’m the servant of Lady Kuu and the first seer Greystorm.  Control your thoughts and emotions for Frith will use them against you! NOW GO!”
Greystorm nodded and disappeared from the Shadow Land and back to Earth.  “HITSUKI!”
Hitsuki appeared in front of Greystorm. “Master warrior seer what is it you wish of me?”
“Come with me to my warren.  We must give the rabbits I saved a choice.”
“Yes master Greystorm,” Hitsuki said.  The two rabbits disappeared and Greystorm summoned his warren. 
“Greystorm-rah! What is it?”
“This is Hitsuki.”
“The seer that was kidnapped? We are sorry you had to be enslaved young one.”
“No harm done,” Hitsuki said to the rabbits in front of him.
“I can remove your collars and bracelets as can Hitsuki.  If Hitsuki removes them you will retain your coloring and powers from Thanatos’s transformation.  However if I remove them then you will lose those powers and go back to being normal rabbits. It is your choice but decide quickly.  Time is of the essence here!”
The rabbits quickly conversed.  “The does want to go back to being normal but we bucks want our powers intact so we can better protect Bright Star and our chief,” the lead buck said.
“Fine,” Greystorm said.  Together released the does and Hitsuki released the bucks from their enslavement.  A snap of twigs sounded and twenty more rabbits shifted nervously before them.  Hitsuki growled and snapped his power out at them.  “What is it you want?!”
“Please Hitsuki free us!  We escaped before all this trouble.”
“Greystorm what should I do?”
Greystorm latched onto their minds and shifted through them looking for any signs of a trap or deceit.  “They’re pure rabbits who are just scared.  Whether you free them is up to you Hitsuki-rah.”
Hitsuki raised his paws and light shot from them and surrounded all the rabbits as the bracelets and collars disappeared in a cloud of smoke. “Where should they go?”
“You can leave them here where they’ll be safe though I can’t figure out how the hell they got here so quickly. Hitsuki you know your destiny is to destroy Thanatos don’t you?”
“Yes.”
“Then go to the alliance and kill him.  Those rabbits don’t deserve to be saved but at least end the evil that plagues us all.”
“Of course Greystorm and what of you?”
“I have to free our master.  Good luck Hitsuki,” Greystorm called as he disappeared.
“Good luck Greystorm.  Please free our master,” Hitsuki said to the silence.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ether

Greystorm left Ochiba in his burrow and walked into Ether.  Taiyo and Inazuma looked at Greystorm as he approached them.  “Hello Greystorm,” Inazuma said looking at him.  Taiyo just looked at the intruding buck in silence.  For an instant Greystorm thought he saw a flash of sadness in Taiyo’s eyes but then shook his head. 
“I didn’t come here for pleasure,” Greystorm said activating the elemental twist that swirled around his body. 
“You come to kill us don’t you?” Taiyo asked with sadness in his voice.  “Of course it is the only way after what we have done.”
“Be quiet Taiyo!’
“Inazuma the child needs to know the truth even though he seems determined to kill us anyway.”
“Greystorm you know that from us all rabbits are created and that Frith changed our children after the idiot El-ahrairah nearly got them all killed so they would better be protected against elil,” Taiyo began looking at Greystorm. “Though I suppose that was our fault for our children breeding so quickly but El-ahrairah should have kept his mates in check.  If that had been done then elil wouldn’t have been created but then the earth would be barren with the voracious appetites of rabbits.”
“Taiyo be quiet!” Inazuma hissed.  With a quick lash of his own power Taiyo sent Inazuma into the wall and the chains shot up from the ground wrapping themselves around Inazuma.  “Let me out!” Inazuma shouted.  Suddenly the shadow rabbits from Farthen Moor appeared and rushed to their mistress’s aid but were blocked by a line of fire rabbits. 
“Our respective servants,” Taiyo explained to Greystorm noticing the look on his face.  “I know why you are here.  To get back Coldstar and to kill us.  Ember,” he called and one of the rabbits turned and bowed.  “Please release Coldstar and bring her back here.  Release the others as well.”
“Others?”
“If you agree not to outright kill me though you can kill Inazuma for all I care I’ll explain why you were awakened.  As you know you come from Bright Star which was a warren of warrior seers.  In fact your entire family from your father and before him were warriors and your mother’s line were seers.  You inherited the warrior from your father naturally for the rabbits of Bright Star were warriors.  Well he fell in love with your mother who was a seer and they had you and three other kittens.  Your sister and yourself were the only ones to survive whereas your brothers did not.
“Inazuma there insisted on taking your mate and bringing her to Ether knowing it would drive you to go kill yourself.  I’ve tried to be the voice of reason all these centuries but when you’re the only two rabbits in a land with no children and nothing to do as the centuries fly by you begin to go a bit insane.  Somehow Inazuma left Ether and the Shadow Land fifty years ago, that’s how long we have waited for you to be reborn you see, and met Frith.  Frith told her that she could have any rabbit of any line that displeased her so she sent her shadow rabbits to destroy Bright Star and Farthen Moor.  We were already planning on punishing Farthen Moor anyway because like her servants said that warren had been created with the knowledge that they would worship us and they didn’t.”
“Why would you want rabbits to worship you?”
“Protection.  They worship us and we protect them from elil.  However over the years they forgot how their warren was made and forgot the pact they struck with us so they had to be punished.  Frith you see didn’t like your warren.  Do you know why?”
“No father,” Greystorm said surprising himself and Taiyo smiled a sad smile.
“Though I am the father of our race I don’t deserve to be called that after what I have been forced to do.  It was my intention to never wake you but Frith… well I’m sure you know how Frith is when he is angry.”
“Why did you restrain my master?”
“He pissed me off to be honest.  Shingetsu doesn’t understand why you were awakened even though we tried explaining it to him.  You were awakened to kill us and rescue your mate from here.  In fact I suggest you kill Inazuma before she tries something else to harm you.”
“How?”
Your powers Greystorm. If you combine them all into one which you have the power to do as Shingetsu’s most powerful servant you can easily kill her and the shadow rabbits at the same time. But it will be exhausting and if you intend to kill me you’ll need to rest. 
Greystorm concentrated all his energy and power into the center of his paws and it erupted from his body straight towards the chained mother and the shadow rabbits.  The shadow rabbits screamed in pain as the ball hit them and Inazuma looked on in fear as it hit her causing her body to burst into flames leaving nothing but ashes on the ground.  Greystorm then collapsed on the ground as his energy left his body.
A week later he woke.  Taiyo was watching him and the fire rabbits were carefully tending to Greystorm.  “You’re awake.  Good.  Ember has brought your mate to you.  She’s sleeping right now though under the holly tree.”
Greystorm looked up and he could see other rabbits, live rabbits running around. They appeared happy now that Inazuma was dead.  “Ember and Blaze escort Greystorm to his mate,” Taiyo said. The two flame rabbits who had been called nodded and helped Greystorm to his feet.  Greystorm flinched as they pressed their bodies against him. 
“We won’t harm you,” Ember said.  “You haven’t killed our master yet.”
“How did you get like this?”
“We were created just as Inazuma’s shadow rabbits were created.  Taiyo created us and the shadow rabbits were forged in some dark ritual by Inazuma.  We suspect that is why they were so willing to follow their master,” Ember said.
“The fire servants have never been on friendly terms with the shadow servants since Inazuma tried killing Taiyo three hundred years ago,” Blaze said.
“You’re three hundred years old?”
“Yes.  You see our lives are tied to our master.  If he dies we die.  We have been protecting our master from Inazuma ever since we were created.  It was not Taiyo’s intention for Shingetsu to be hurt.  Unfortunately he could do nothing to stop Inazuma as his powers were bound.”
“Bound by who?”
“Frith,” the two fire servants answered. 
“What of the rabbits I saw? The living ones?”
“Inazuma’s work.  Frith’s orders.”
“Take the star from the warrior.  Take the living from the dead. Throw them in darkness and bind their souls.  The one of light and born of stars shall set them free when he comes to the land of dreams,” Blaze said.
“Why was Taiyo bound?”
“Taiyo is loyal to Lady Kuu.  He has always loved the night. Whereas Inazuma was a manipulative rabbit who was loyal to Frith.”
“We follow our master and thus are loyal to Lady Kuu. She doesn’t try to control us like Frith and takes pity on us being here.”
“Then why don’t you escape?”
“We can’t.  Our master is stuck here and we won’t leave our master even if we could escape.”
“Taiyo may seem cruel but if you stay here you’ll see he’s kind to his friends and servants.”
“I have a warren I want to go back to.  Is there any way I can… get you all out of here?”
“We don’t know and I don’t think Taiyo knows either.”
“Perhaps if you return to the living world you can ask Lady Kuu.”
“Perhaps you can free our master and us from this eternal bond.”
They fell silent as they reached the single holly tree.  “Your mate lies in front of you Greystorm.  We’ll wait here while you have your little reunion,” Ember said smiling sadly. 
“Thank you both. And tell Taiyo thank you as well and that I will do everything in my power to help him and his servants escape here.”
The two fire servants looked shocked but bowed respectfully to Greystorm as he went over to his mate.  Their ears drooped at the sight and they watched as their bodies slowly began to weaken.  The warrior seer had spared their master and themselves from death but would he be able to save them from Ether before they vanished forever?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Haven

What do you mean he is attacking tomorrow?
Thanatos-rah is going to slaughter the alliance!
Well that isn’t our problem. I offered them the help of Dusk Moon but they refused. No rabbit will help them.  As for the rest of you my old warren needs to come back to life.  I’ll take you there myself and with me you’ll all be safe.
Thank you!
Greystorm slipped past the sentries easily, went into the forest and stood in front of the crowd of rabbits. “I’m amazed the Owsla and sentries of Moonfell didn’t catch you out here. They’re wary of strange rabbits entering their warren and borders.”
Greystorm ordered the rabbits into a group with the kittens surrounded by the does and bucks and then they disappeared from Moonfell.  “My warren is far from the alliance and far from Zorn so you have no reason to worry about being attacked,” Greystorm said to the rabbit beside him. “So how did you meet my master and discover my true name?”
“Shingetsu saw us escaping Zorn and told us to go to Moonfell where his most powerful servant, a rabbit named Greystorm, would help us get to safety in a new warren far from Thanatos’s clutches.  So we followed a strange light and came here.”
Greystorm nodded and they continued on towards Bright Star.  After a month they made it to Greystorm’s home.  “I’m the chief of Bright Star.  I was born here long ago and from a long line of warrior seers.  My powers and memories were locked until I came here a few weeks ago.  I have to rescue my mate from a place in the Shadow Lands but will return once that is finished. You’ll be protected here.”
“Thank you Greystorm-rah,” the rabbits chorused. 
Shingetsu was waiting for Greystorm outside.  “I see your rabbits made it here safely.”
“Master I’m surprised they would readily accept me as their chief.”
“They should considering how you saved them from being killed by the rabbits of Dusk Moon.  As to your request earlier about bringing Farthen Moor back to life I can grant that.”
“Thank you Shingetsu.  How are the kittens taken from Thanatos?”
“They are doing well and getting stronger by the day.  Soon Moonblossom and her kittens will be able to join Moneywort and Pumpkin at Moonfell.”
Greystorm went back to Moonfell and informed Blackstone-rah that Thanatos was going to be attacking the alliance.  Blackstone said nothing about that and sent a messenger to Nightdusk.  After all we tried offering our help but they refuse it so it’s their own graves that they are digging. 
“Moneywort!”
“Fiver!  What’s up?”
“Shingetsu says that Moonblossom and the kittens will be able to come to Moonfell soon.”
“That’s wonderful!”
“Yes it is.  I’m leaving now with Ochiba.  I have my own battle to take on.”
Moneywort nodded and wished Fiver good luck.  As Fiver made his way back to the Shadow Land he stopped by Watership Down.  Every buck from the alliance was on the hill watching as Thanatos arrived with his enslaved rabbits.  Screams of horror rent the sky as the battle began.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Night Warning

“Fiver is that really you?” Blackstone asked.
“It is Blackstone.  This is my servant Ochiba.”
“Welcome to Moonfell Ochiba,” Blackstone said.
Ochiba just nodded keeping an eye on his master.  “I thought you should know Shingetsu sent me to Watership Down to inform them of Thanatos being alive and request to join Dusk Moon.”
“How did it go?”
“They’ve sealed their own fates.”
“Then they will be on their own and we will fight Thanatos together.  My decision is final. They will get no help from Moonfell.  Now I figure you must be tired.  Pecan will show you to a burrow and then later you can go see the rabbits that came here from Watership Down.”
“Thank you Blackstone-rah.  How many are here?”
“Pipkin, Sunset, Burdock, Kori, Vine, and Zeus.  Only six rabbits from Watership Down.”
“I see. Nobody else decided to come?”
“Blackavar, Mist, and their remaining kittens as well as some of Kori’s friends died at the paws of Thanatos’s rabbits after they took the seer Hitsuki and ran from Watership Down.”
“Hitsuki is the rabbit Shingetsu told me would kill Thanatos. Ochiba! We’re leaving.”
“Yes master.”
“Wait! Pipkin misses you Fiver.”
Fiver paused in thought.  “Very well.  I’ll stay a few days but after that I’m leaving.”
Pecan was called and led the two rabbits to a burrow near the Watership rabbits that had gotten burrows together so they could stay in contact with each other easily.  They had all gotten used to being in Moonfell and now being part of this warren.  Pipkin had realized here that he had no place in the Owsla due to being a runt and was content with his lot in life.
Fiver went to Pipkin’s burrow and stamped his foot to get the sleeping rabbits attention. “FIVER!” Pipkin shouted running to his old friend and tackling him to the ground.
“Hello Pipkin.  You look well.”
“I’m so glad you’re back!  I missed having you around to talk to.”
Fiver smiled at his old friend.  “Who are these rabbits with you?”
“Sunset, Zeus and Burdock,” Pipkin said as each rabbit nodded to Fiver.  “We left Watership Down shortly after Oakleaf became chief.”
“Why?”
“One of the rabbits said I was useless to the warren and I didn’t deserve to be in the Owsla.”
The smile on Fiver’s face dropped at that.  “That’s stupid.  It isn’t your fault you were born the runt of your litter.  You’re better than those fools Pipkin.”
“Thanks!  Where have you been?”
“In the Shadow Land.  Bigwig, Hawkbit and Dandelion say hello.  Bigwig also expects you to remember your training from when he was Captain of Owsla or he’ll cuff your ears off when you get to the Shadow Land.”
Pipkin laughed.  “That’s Bigwig for you.  Strict and no fun.”
“Well I must be getting to sleep Pipkin.  I’m exhausted.  Oh and this is Ochiba,” he said pointing at his servant.
“Hello Ochiba.”
At a quick look to Fiver who gave a nod Ochiba nodded to Pipkin.  “Hello Pipkin.”
Fiver and Ochiba fell asleep and woke several hours later. The warren was silent.  Fiver guessed it was nightfall and the majority of rabbits were sleeping. 
Master.
What is it Greystorm?
The alliance refuses to believe that Thanatos is alive and refuses to form an alliance with Dusk Moon.  They have sealed their own fates. Blackstone says they will not help the alliance.
I figured they would refuse but it was worth a shot.  Have you made a decision?
Yes master. I will return to Bright Star with my true mate and bring that warren back to life and close Ether upon defeating the mother and father.  Master?
Yes?
Is it possible to bring back Farthen Moor as well?
Haven’t thought of that but I suppose it would be possible.  Why do you ask?
I was wondering if that warren could be brought back to life as well and together they form an alliance with Dusk Moon so that we will be protected from the alliance.
An interesting suggestion Greystorm.  I will think on it and see but will give you no decision until the current dangers have been eradicated.
Thank you master.
Do you plan on coming back to Inle Warren after having your little reunion with the Moonfell Watershipers?
Yes. That is the best place for me right now until I can kill the mother and father and rescue Coldstar.
Very well.  I’ll leave you to sleep.  I have kittens that demand my attention.  Who would have thought raising kittens would be hard work?
Fiver laughed at his master’s predicament.  “I suppose I’ll also face that problem when Coldstar is reunited with me.”  Fiver got up and left Ochiba in his burrow and went above ground to silflay.  He noticed an Owsla patrolling the warren and quickly turned his eyes yellow which allowed him to see in the dark while also activating his moonbeam. 
Reaching out with his mind he caught the stranger’s mind and twisted the link causing a scream in his head.  What are you doing here child of Zorn?
Please you must help me!
Why? 
Please let us into your warren.
I am not the chief of Moonfell child.  These rabbits are likely to kill you on sight.
Please!  We  don’t want to be a part of Thanatos anymore! 
You have no wish to fight for Thanatos? Are there others with you?
Twenty of us comprising of bucks, some does and a few kittens.  Please you must help us seer!
How do you know I’m a seer?
Please Greystorm the Black Rabbit told us to come here and that you would help us! 
What do you have to offer me that will cause me to help you?
Thanatos’s heir!  We escaped with his kitten who has been beaten by Thanatos for not turning evil like him!
Where are you?
Forest.  Please!  We also have a warning for the rabbits of this warren.
What is it?
Thanatos-rah plans on attacking tomorrow!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Return to the Alliance

Greystorm shifted on his paws as he dodged Shingetsu’s fireball.  They had been at this for the past week.  Shingetsu was trying to get Greystorm’s speed and powers back under control so he could face the mother and father.  “Good Greystorm.  Remember your training and another month of this and you should be back to your former self.”
“Thank you Shingetsu-rah.”
“Not a problem Greystorm.  How did it feel to be back in your old warren?”
“I was surprised I could remember where I was born and grew up.”
Shingetsu chuckled at that.  “You have the option of returning there you know.”
“What?”
“Exactly what I just said Greystorm.  When you defeat the mother and father you have two options.  Return to Bright Star and bring the warren back to life with your mate or stay in Ether and rule there.  In addition to that you’ll also be granted immortality along with your mate.  Now you need to go back to the alliance Greystorm and inform them that Thanatos is still alive.  See if they will join Dusk Moon.  Dusk Moon is the second alliance between the warrens of Moonfell and Night Dusk.  Moneywort, Pumpkin and some other rabbits from Watership Down are now living at Moonfell. If they don’t then Dusk Moon will be on their own.”
“Do I tell them my real name?”
“No.  Trust me when I say you do not want to do that.”
Greystorm nodded.  “Congrats on your five kittens master.  I bet you and Kosetsu are proud.”
“We are and thank you Greystorm.”
Greystorm went and collected Ochiba before they left for Watership Down.  “Been a while since I’ve been back here,” Greystorm said to Ochiba as they sat at the bottom of the hill.  They climbed the hill and were surrounded by rabbits that Greystorm didn’t know. 
“What are you doing here?”
“We’ve come to speak to the chiefs of the alliance,” Fiver said.
“What’s your names?”
“Lightning and this is Ochiba,” Greystorm said.
Ochiba watched the rabbits warily.  “About what?”
“That is for your chiefs to know.”
A rabbit went down to get Oakleaf-rah and brought him back above ground.  “What are you doing here?”
“If you get the other three chiefs of the alliance then we’ll tell you,” Greystorm said.
“Kehaar!”
Kehaar flew down. Scree was perched in the beech tree overhead.  “Fly to Vleflain, Efrafa, and Sunstone and get Campion, Groundsel and Lightstone and bring them here.”
Kehaar and Scree took off, Kehaar making his way to Efrafa and Vleflain while Scree went to Sunstone.  “What’s wrong Kehaar?” Groundsel asked when he was summoned above ground by Stonecrop.
“Oakleaf wants bunnies come to Watership Down.”
“Okay I’ll be there shortly.”
Kehaar turned south for Efrafa and passed the message onto Campion who set off at once.  Meanwhile Scree had reached Sunstone and passed the message onto Lightstone who also set off for Watership Down.  Kehaar and Scree went back home to Watership Down and watched the two bunnies for the three days it took the other chiefs to arrive at Watership Down.  Campion, Groundsel, Lightstone, Oakleaf, Fiver and Ochiba went down to the Honeycomb. 
“What do you have to tell us?”
“First that you were fools for getting rid of Hitsuki.  You were also fools for getting rid of your seers.  They were a gift from the Black Rabbit.  All seers are descended from the Black Rabbit for he is also a seer in addition to being the chief of Inle Warren and the one who takes your souls away to the Shadow Land when you die.
“Secondly Hazel realizes he made a mistake by banishing his brother and the other seers from the alliance.  It was a trick of Frith to make the warrens suffer and you fools bought it.  He realized this just before he died at the battle of Brimstone.  While Blizzard is dead his son, Thanatos, lives and is planning on killing you all. He is more powerful than before. You must align yourselves with the alliance called Dusk Moon in order to stand a chance of defeating him.”
“How can Thanatos be alive?” Groundsel asked.  “Fiver killed him.”
“He didn’t die. Apparently Frith kept him alive.”
“Nonsense. He died and you’re just trying to scare us. Get out before we kill you.”
“The Black Rabbit figured you’d say that.  Pity that now you won’t get any help.  All well you have sealed your own fate.”
A yellow flame consumed Fiver and Ochiba and when the rabbits opened their eyes they saw the two strangers were gone.  “Those rabbits are stupid master,” Ochiba said when they had appeared near Moonfell. 
“Indeed.  Apparently they’ve forgotten how the seers saved them before with Blizzard.”
They walked to Moonfell.  Zen and Fern were on sentry duty at the north point of the warren and appeared in front of them.  “Hello rabbits of Moonfell.  We mean you no harm.  Take us to Blackstone please,” Fiver said.
Zen and Fern looked at each other but did as the rabbits asked.  The four rabbits were silent as they made their way to the warren and stopped outside Blackstone’s burrow.  “Blackstone-rah there’s a couple of strange rabbits here,” Zen called.
Blackstone came out and stared in surprise. “FIVER!”

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Arrival

Moneywort and Pumpkin watched the fire around them disappear as they appeared at the warren they presumed was Moonfell.  Birch saw them and ran towards them. 
“Moneywort! Pumpkin! You’re finally here!  Where are Fiver and Moonblossom?”
“Moonblossom and I got together and she’s back in Inle Warren with my kittens until they get stronger and then will be joining us here.  Fiver apparently has some training to do with our master so we’re not sure when he will be coming,” Moneywort said.
“Congratulations on you and Moonblossom becoming mates!  How many kittens do you have?”
“Five.”
“And you Pumpkin? Have you not found a mate yet?”
“No I’m afraid I haven’t Captain Birch. Though I don’t want a mate until this war is over for good.”
“That makes sense. Wait how do you know that I’m a Captain?”
Moneywort and Pumpkin smiled.  “Our master’s Owsla have been watching you and reporting news back to him which is relayed to us.  It gives us great pleasure that you are all well and have aligned yourselves with a friendly warren.”
Birch nodded.  He should have figured the Black Rabbit would send his rabbits to watch over them.  “Blackstone-rah is below ground.  Why did you come here anyway? Were you not happy in the Shadow Land.”
“Blackstone-rah gave Fiver and the three of us the option of living here and we figured he would be worried. Our master also told us to train a little seer that was born on the outskirts of Watership Down.”
“You must mean Hitsuki.  He was a prisoner of Thanatos before he escaped with his guards and there are two more escaped rabbits from Zorn. That’s Thanatos’s new warren.”
“And the alliance?”
“They tried to kill Hitsuki and killed the other rabbits who escaped with him except for a young buck named Vine and a doe named Kori.”
“Our master says little Hitsuki is the one to kill Thanatos. We will follow our master’s orders and assist his fellow servant in achieving this goal.”
Birch nodded and led them underground to Blackstone’s burrow.  “Blackstone-rah there are a couple of rabbits to see you.”
Blackstone came out of his burrow and smiled.  “Welcome Moneywort and Pumpkin to Moonfell! About time you arrived here!  Where are Fiver and Moonblossom?”
“Fiver has training to do in Inle Warren and we aren’t sure when he will be here.  Moonblossom is still in Inle Warren to nurse my five kittens and when the kittens are strong enough they will be coming here as well.  I am not sure about Fiver coming back though.”
“We know nothing of Shingetsu’s reasons for Fiver staying in Inle Warren but trust our master.”
“Congratulations on the kittens Moneywort.  I’m glad to have at least two seers here.”
“We also came to help Hitsuki on Shingetsu’s orders.”
“Good. He’s a powerful little seer and could use all the help he can get. You have some friends from Watership Down who have now become Moonfell rabbits.  Birch will show you where they are.”
Moneywort and Pumpkin nodded to Blackstone and followed Birch back into the run and to where Pipkin, Vine, Kori, Sunset, Zeus and Burdock were.  They were looking forward to seeing some familiar faces even if those rabbits hadn’t been part of their old warrens.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Heir

Renmay was close to giving birth.  Thanatos wasn’t sure how many kittens his doe was having but he hoped she’d be having a strong buck to take over Zorn in the event of his death.  Thorn was pleased that Renmay had gotten pregnant when he mated with her. Of course his magic had also helped.  Blizzard hadn’t thought of that.
A few days later Renmay cried out in pain as she began to enter the stages of labor.  Thanatos watched her for the entire labor which lasted an hour.  There were two bucks and one doe.  Thanatos padded over to the bucks.  He could tell the second one would never amount to much but the first one appeared strong.  “Well there’s no need for the second buck and doe,” Thanatos said as he bared his fangs and brought his mouth down to the second buck intending to kill it.  “Your job is to feed my heir. There’s no reason for you to have any more kittens.”
A white light filled the warren and Thanatos was thrown back across the burrow as dirt from the ceiling came down.  Moneywort and Pumpkin appeared and gently picked up the second buck and doe before looking at Thanatos’s heir. 
What should we do with the heir?
Leave it to Fiver.  I have a feeling that this heir isn’t going to be what Thanatos hopes it will be.
Renmay you are a fool for becoming Thanatos’s mate after you saw how he treats the rabbits.  What possessed you to become this evil rabbit’s mate?
“Who are you?”
None of your concern.  Only know that these two kittens we carry will be protected from Thanatos and Zorn.  Treat the heir with kindness and love.
Moneywort and Pumpkin vanished and the white light faded.  They were back in the Shadow Land where they had been living since they had defeated Blizzard. They brought the two newborn kittens into Moonblossom’s burrow. Shingetsu and Kosetsu arrived upon learning that two of the exiled seers had returned.  “Those are Thanatos’s kittens?”
“Yes master,” Moneywort said once he had laid the buck he was holding down near Moonblossom who had given birth to Moneywort’s three kittens.  Pumpkin laid the doe next to her brother by Moonblossom who nudged the kittens towards her teats so they could suckle and get fed. 
“And the heir?”
“Still in Zorn Shingetsu,” Pumpkin said.  “We figured it would be best for Fiver to take care of the heir.”
“You’ve been in the Shadow Land for a while.  Your friend Blackstone is getting worried as are his rabbits.”
“Really?” Pumpkin asked.  “We’ve forgotten about Blackstone’s offer for us to live in their new warren since we’ve been back.”
“If you go back only you and Moneywort can go.  Those kittens you rescued will need to stay here with Moonblossom and Fiver has to stay here longer.”
“Why?” Moneywort asked.
“Training.  Fiver’s found out something important about himself which is why he hasn’t been around much.”
Moneywort and Pumpkin nodded.  “If Fiver needs to stay here master then we won’t object.”
“Master will I and the kittens be able to go back to the mortal plane?”
“Eventually yes. Those kittens need to get strong though and you need your rest.  Now I’ve taken up enough of your time.  Oh and Moneywort and Pumpkin,” Shingetsu said as he paused at the entrance to the run with Kosetsu by his side, “there’s a young seer named Hitsuki that will need all your help in training. He is the one destined to kill Thanatos.”
His seers nodded and Shingetsu and Kosetsu walked back to their burrow.  “Well I think we should get going then Pumpkin,” Moneywort said. He nuzzled Moonblossom and gazed at his kittens fondly before the two seers vanished in a swirl of yellow flames.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Discussion with Survivors

Elrond, Kaolin, Blackstone and the members of Blackstone’s Owsla that had come with him to Nightdusk went to the cave where the four freed rabbits of Zorn and the seer were living.  “Joyner! It’s Elrond and I’ve brought my chief as well as the chief of Nightdusk.  Can we come in?”
There was a silence in the cave and then the whisper of voices hurriedly talking with each other.  Joyner squeezed out of the gap between the rock and the cave wall and sat up looking at the rabbits gathered there before them.  “Elrond why did you bring these rabbits here?” Joyner asked his friend.
“We’re here to talk and see the seer,” Blackstone said. 
Joyner turned and bolted back inside the entrance.  Quickly the four freed rabbits squeezed back out of the burrow and stood in front of Elrond and the others.  “What do you want with our master?” Shadowfax asked. The four rabbits got into a fighting stance. They wouldn’t let their master be taken away by these rabbits and were furious at Elrond for outing them.
“What do you mean he is your master?” Blackstone asked. 
“We serve him since he freed us. It’s of our own will and choice.  You’re not going to harm our master,” Shadowfax said and the other three rabbits nodded in agreement.
“We just want to talk is all.  How did you escape Thanatos? Is it true he is alive?”
“Yes he is alive and he’s furious at the alliance and at you rabbits for escaping.  He means to capture you all and enslave you again.  Thanatos is busy building up his warren so you should be thankful he hasn’t found you yet.  We aren’t sure how we escaped but we suspect the Black Rabbit helped us.”
“Can we see the seer?” Kaolin asked.
Joyner slipped back into the cave and spoke quietly with Hitsuki who followed Joyner out.  “What is it you want with me?” Hitsuki asked the rabbits in front of him.  His former guards pressed against his sides as he was still weak from their escape from Zorn.
The rabbits of Moonfell and Kaolin stared at the rabbit before them.  They had never seen a rabbit with a lavender stripe along its back before.  “Who are you?” Birch asked the rabbit before them.
“My name is Hitsuki.  I was born near Watership Down and my marli died a week after my birth.  I was taken in by Captain Blackavar and his mate Mist and raised for two months until our chief found out I was a seer.  The alliance has said that they will kill all seers born in the warren so Blackavar, Mist, their kittens, some other rabbits and I escaped from there but Thanatos found us and killed my friends and captured me.  I was held in Zorn for a while until my two guards took me to safety.  As repayment for their kindness I saved them along with Joyner and Shadowfax from Thanatos’s control.  You will regret killing me. Only I can stop Thanatos for good.”
“How do we know you speak the truth?”
“Blackstone has made friends with my master.”
“Who is your master?”
“The father of all seers.”
“The Black Rabbit is the father of all seers?” Blackstone asked.
“Yes he is.  Seers are only loyal to and only obey the Black Rabbit.  He is our father and our master.  However many warrens choose to ignore the gift of seers that the Black Rabbit gives to the world and instead kill them, don’t pay attention to their warnings or drive them out.”
“Is it true that you are friends with the Black Rabbit Blackstone?” Kaolin asked looking at the Moonfell chief.
“It is true.  Though we are not close friends of course.  I trust the seer.”
“What of these four rabbits with the seer? What should we do with them?”
“If you want my help in defeating Thanatos then you will not lay a paw on them,” Hitsuki growled.
The rabbits shifted nervously looking at the seer.  “He is our best hope of stopping the darkness that plagues rabbits,” Blackstone said.
“What of this alliance that says they will kill the rabbits of Moonfell and the seer?” Kaolin asked. “We’re not enough to stand against two enemies.”
“Then we’ll just have to hope that the alliance sides with us,” Blackstone said.  “Hitsuki do you want to come with us? I believe there are two rabbits at my warren that have been worried about you.”
“Who?  They all died.”
“No they didn’t. There’s a little buck named Vine and a doe named Kori. They arrived at Moonfell a couple weeks ago.”
Hitsuki brightened at the thought of his adopted nest mate being alive as well as one of his friends.  “Yes I’d like that a lot.  Thank you.”
“No problem. Elrond come on.  We’ll see you later Kaolin.”
“I look forward to our alliance and helping each other Blackstone.”
“And I look forward to the same with Nightdusk.”
Blackstone turned and led his rabbits back to Moonfell.  He smiled as he knew how happy Vine and Kori would be at finding Hitsuki alive and well.  And there were also the four other rabbits that had left Watership Down that would look forward to being among a friend.
They made their way back to Moonfell and Blackstone informed his rabbits that the alliance of Dusk Moon was made and forged.  His rabbits breathed a sigh of relief but then Blackstone broke the news to them that Thanatos was alive and they were understandably afraid.  “How will we survive against Thanatos and the alliance? Thanatos has sworn to enslave us again for leaving and the alliance has sworn to kill us,” Blueberry said.
“With the Black Rabbit’s and Lady Kuu’s help we’ll find a way to stop the destruction of Dusk Moon.  And if the alliance refuses to help us then we’ll just have to stay far away from them.  I have found the seer who says he can defeat Thanatos.  Say hello to Hitsuki everyone,” Blackstone said motioning to Hitsuki who was looking at the rabbits before him.  The rabbits muttered a polite hello. 
“We’ll need to stay on the alert for enemy rabbits.  Hitsuki how far is it from Zorn to Moonfell?”
“I don’t know Blackstone.  I was too weak and exhausted from knocking Thanatos out and then strangling the rabbits with tree roots when we made our escape from Zorn.  My guards might know.”
Glen stepped forward.  “Three moons distance from here to Zorn.”
“Then we should be safe if Thanatos keeps to himself for now. He has no way of tracking us does he?”
“No.  Not that we know of anyway.”
Blackstone sighed.  “Go underground and visit your friends Hitsuki.  Take any empty burrow the five of you want. Elrond you show them the way.”
“Yes Blackstone-rah,” Elrond said before turning to the seer and his friends.  “Follow me.”
The rabbits made their way underground and they came across the burrow Kori and Vine were in. “Vine there’s someone to see you,” Elrond called.
“Who?” Vine asked coming out and then stopping in shock as he stared at the rabbit before him. “Hitsuki! You’re okay!”
“I’m fine Vine. Weak but fine.  These are some friends and servants of mine.”
The rabbits nodded to Vine and left their master to play with his friend before following Elrond and taking up a couple of burrows further down the run.  Hopefully now they would be safe from harm.  Hopefully Thanatos was defeated for good.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Night Dusk

Pipkin, Sunset, Burdock and Zeus had traveled months to get away from the alliance.  They had traveled for months until they arrived at a warren called Moonfell.  At first they had been scared that the rabbits they saw would kill them since they were some of the rabbits from Brimstone but the chief, Blackstone, had assured them that they were good rabbits and they were welcome to live in Moonfell.  It had taken a week for them to settle in and get used to the new warren they were in.  Pipkin still wished that he could talk to Fiver. 
Blackstone had to admit that he was worried.  He hadn’t heard or seen any of the exiled seers in a while.  He trusted Shingetsu and imagined they were still in the Shadow Land recovering from their ordeal of having saved his rabbits and saving the alliance even if they didn’t deserve to be saved after how the seers had been exiled by the chiefs.
Meanwhile Greystorm woke up to find himself still in the chamber under the stone table.  Ochiba was next to him looking at him with worry in his eyes.  “What happened?” Greystorm asked slowly getting up. 
“Master when you received your powers and the rest of your memories you collapsed. You’ve been asleep for three days.  I know I deserve punishment for not obeying you but I came down here and haven’t left your side for the entire three days you’ve been asleep.”
“Thank you Ochiba though you shouldn’t have disobeyed my orders.”
“I know that master. The collar ti… never mind.  I was already punished for my disobedience.”
Greystorm led the way back up the run with Ochiba following and made his way out to the field in front of the warren where the master and servant set to eating the grass.  Neither of them had eaten anything for three days-Greystorm because he had been asleep and Ochiba because he refused to leave his master’s side.
After filling themselves with grass Greystorm and Ochiba walked through the veil into the Shadow Land where they met Shingetsu.  “Was your journey a success?”
“Yes master,” Greystorm said.  “I have my powers and am ready to face the mother and father.”
“No you aren’t.  You may have your powers and memories back but you aren’t ready to face them until you have regained control of your powers.”
“But master I made an elemental twist and sent it up through the roof of Bright Star.”
“That was just your body reacting to the power surge in you.  It wasn’t done by your own will.  Sorry Greystorm but you must trust me on this when I tell you aren’t ready.”
“Of course master.”
“Why weren’t you here after gaining your powers? You and Ochiba have been on earth for three days.”
“I passed out after gaining my powers and remaining memories.”
“I see. Yes I can see how that would cause any rabbit to pass out, especially a warrior seer. I should have seen that coming. I’m sorry.”
“It isn’t your fault master.”
Shingetsu nodded and then led the way back to Inle Warren.  He disappeared through the runs to his burrow and lay down next to a pregnant Kosetsu.  “Kosetsu how are you feeling?”
“Tired Shingetsu but other than that I am well.  How is it possible that we were able to have kittens?”
“Lady Kuu granted me that gift when I rescued you. I just didn’t act on it until now as I wanted to give you time to rest and recover from being in the ice pillar for so long and with Greystorm being awoken I needed to focus on him.  Also we are not phantoms unlike the rabbits in my warren.”
“Shingetsu could we not plead with Lady Kuu to give your dead servants their bodies back?”
“I don’t know.  I’m not sure if they would even want to resume their solid forms. I haven’t ever thought to ask.  I may have to when this entire mess gets fixed.”
Elrond had informed Kaolin-rah of why he was at Nightdusk and that his warren was willing to make an alliance with Nightdusk.  Blacksone-rah had been sent for so the alliance could be formed.  Elrond knew that two warrens against four wouldn’t be evenly matched but with some of the changed rabbits against normal rabbits there shouldn’t be a problem if it came to a fight.  Though with Thorn alive and well according to Joyner and Shadowfax Elrond feared for their future if Thanatos wasn’t destroyed for good. 
Blackstone arrived with a few members of his Owsla.  Elrond happily went over to his chief.  “I see you’re well Elrond,” Blackstone said looking at the buck.
“I’ve been taken good care of here Blackstone-rah.”
“Was Kaolin mad about you being a spy?”
“No sir.  He realized that it was smart with the dangers both warrens had faced at the hands of mad leaders.”
“Good. I wouldn’t want to have to go to war with another warren on top of the alliance.”
Blackstone, Elrond and his Owsla continued walking through the warren until they came to a dark gray buck.  “Greetings Blackstone, chief of Moonfell.  I’m glad you could make it to Nightdusk and hope your journey was well?”
“It was uneventful thank Kuu.  I hope Elrond here hasn’t been any trouble.”
“None at all.  None at all.  Now I understand from Elrond that you wish to make an alliance with Nightdusk?”
“That’s correct. Has Elrond informed you of our past and that we made enemies of four warrens?”
“Yes he did.  I can understand why you didn’t come to me sooner about forming an alliance. In these dangerous times it’s best to learn about potential allies first before making alliances with them.”
Blackstone nodded and looked around. “Your rabbits appear healthy and happy Kaolin.”
“Yes we’re better off now that Cowslip and Silverweed are dead. They can no longer manipulate our minds and control us.  I assume your rabbits are happy to be out of Brimstone?”
“Indeed we are.  That place was horrible.”
Kaolin nodded in agreement.  “It took us a while to get over the mind control. We were lost once Silverweed was killed and the spell over us was broken. I was one of the few affected by Silverweed. He found that he couldn’t easily control me.”
Blackstone nodded to himself not saying anything.  He figured it was impolite to admit that Shingetsu had shown them memories of Shining Wire Warren. 
“Blackstone-rah there’s something I must say to you and Kaolin-rah.”
“What is it Elrond?”
“I found a couple of rabbits from Thanatos.  Apparently he’s alive.”
“ALIVE!” Kaolin and Blackstone shouted together. 
“What do you mean he is alive?” Blackstone asked.
“Sir it is just as I said. I found a couple of escaped rabbits from a warren called Zorn, that’s the new warren Thanatos and his rabbits created after the destruction of Brimstone, and they said they wanted to be free. When I went there a couple of days ago I found two other rabbits and a seer.  The funny thing was the two rabbits I made friends with had their collars removed and so did the other two rabbits with the seer. I gather that the two new rabbits were guards of the seer in Zorn and somehow the seer freed all four rabbits from Thanatos’s control and power because the collars and bracelets on their bodies disappeared.”
“Collars and bracelets?” Blackstone asked.
“Yes sir. Thanatos appears to have gotten the idea to put every rabbit from kitten to buck under the power of bracelets and collars that will strangle them to death if they disobey Thanatos, try to kill him or betray him.  Joyner and Shadowfax, the two rabbits I befriended are really nice.  I’m not sure about the two guards as I haven’t talked to them much.”
“Where are they?” Kaolin asked Elrond.
“In a cave not far from here Kaolin.  Shizun has given me leave to take flayrah from his burrow to them so they have something to eat.  They couldn’t come into the warrens without altering Thanatos to us so they’ve been living in the cave. They followed me from Moonfell.”
“Elrond you should have told Kaolin or me about this as soon as you discovered them.  Now we have Thanatos to deal with on top of the alliance that wants us dead.”
“I’m sorry Blackstone-rah.  I was afraid you would kill them so I didn’t say anything and I… I didn’t want to believe that Thanatos was still alive.”
“Well now it’s important that we form an alliance though with two warrens I don’t know if we’ll stand a chance against Thanatos and Zorn,” Blackstone said worriedly.
Kaolin was silent during the conversation between the Moonfell rabbit and his chief.  “I agree with Blackstone that you should have told us about this as soon as you heard and not kept it from us.  Blackstone is right the alliance must be formed.”  He looked at his rabbits that were above ground and watching the meeting between the two chiefs.  “The alliance of Dusk Moon is hereby formed. If one warren is attacked then the other must come to their aid. No rabbit in either warren is to be harmed in either warren.  Is this agreeable Blackstone?”
“It is Kaolin.”
The bond was sealed and then the chiefs turned to Elrond. “Now Elrond let’s meet these rabbits and seer.”