Somewhere in Northern Scotland. Later 1800's
A Pine Marten with black fur and grey markings sits in a bar while enjoying a mug of hard cider and is watching the waves roll into the port town he was in for the time being.
" I hate to say goodbye to this town. I rather like it." he mumbled to himself in a thick Scottish accent. " But duty calls elsewhere. Why do I of all people have to be sent to the bloody colonies and take part in this pointless war? Just let them go off on their own and when they fall apart, they will come crawling back to the crown." He growled as he downed the last of his drink and got up from the table. He adjusted the simple yet unique sabre that hung from his belt that helped hold his kilt up and payed his tab before walking out into the cold to head for the ship that would take him to the Colonies. His sailor jacket was odd for a British Naval officer of the day but he had earned the distinction in service so the leadership left him alone. It was a light brown wool jacket with black patches where there would usually be white if it was a normal jacket. The secret with this jacket was that it also served as armor with thick leather between the layers of fabric over vital areas. He was a duelist of sorts but usually fought a bit out of what was considered proper dueling tactics. His reasoning for this was that to him any situation was like full combat and in true sword combat, no one follows the rules. Kill or be killed. he had the scars to show for the times when at first he was foolish enough to believe that his opponent would follow the rules. While only a captain, he was respected by those above him for his swordsmanship and loved by those under him for his tough but fair way of leading when put in leadership positions. his view was that as long as the job was done in a timely manner and didn't deviate too much from basic military order then he didn't care how it was done. This agitated some of the hardline admirals and other captains but his crews records usually kept them quiet. He knew this would be a boring trip over the pond but he supposed it would be ok in the long run. Even though guns were the new thing in combat in this day and age, he detested using them for combat. He felt they were best used for putting food on the table. To be completely honest, he hated land combat even though he had extraordinary luck in land combat but he far preferred naval combat in that it was more complex and rested more on skill than sheer numbers. A well commanded small naval force had been shown to be able to take out a much larger force do to skillful maneuvering where in land combat if you threw enough men at a problem then most likely it would go your way if you had a commander with half a brain. Or at least that was his take on it. He boarded the ship and saluted her captain before heading below to stow his personal effects and clothes. He then returned to the upper deck since he loved to be out in the open air while leaving or entering a port. Little did he know that he was on a collision course with a twist of fate that would cause him to cross paths with both what would be his primary foe in the Americas and a mysterious figure with powers beyond his understanding.
New York Harbor
Cyrus stood on the weather deck once again as the ship pulled into New York harbor. He disliked the sight of the city since for the most part he hated bigger cities." I'll be glad to get out of here as soon as possible and get out to the front lines so I can get this tour over and get back to the sea where I belong. Not really sure why they had to drag me all the way out here so it better be a bloody good reason."
After the ship docked, he reported to the main command post in the city for the crown.
" Captain Cyrus Tel reporting as ordered sir."
The British commander returned the salute." Good to see you finally made it my good man. We have run into a spot of trouble out in the wilderness while dealing with the rebel forces. A particular commander on their side is giving our forces a hell of a time and hampering their progress towards taking Philadelphia. He is particularly in your area of business due to your similar circumstances " Looks Cyrus up and down while Cyrus flicked his tail back and forth under his kilt a few times.
" What you are trying to say sir is that he is an animal like me. You just don't want to say it that way for fear of insulting me. I understand but why can't you just shoot him like some other wild animal? That's how you Army boys tend to handle things any way." Cyrus said with a bit of temper in his voice bringing out his accent even more than usual.
The commander was taken aback by Cyrus's brash statement but sighed and kept his cool.
" Despite your blatant disrespect of a superior officer just now, you are right. I generally don't like your kind but you come highly recommended by the Navy and the Crown so I will have to put my personal feelings aside. I'll get straight to the point. The reason why we haven't been able to deal with him on our own is due to the fact that we cannot find him. He eludes our grasp every time we think we have him cornered. The patrols we send looking for him come back mangled or almost completely taken out save for one or two men sent back to report their fellow soldiers fates. Quite gruesome if I do say so myself and quite uncivilized by the rules of war. Even takes out the officers first."
Cyrus chuckled." Well he is an 'animal' we tend to not play nice. And as for his targeting of officers first. I say that is bloody brilliant. You want to disrupt troops, you take out their leaders and leave them without someone to get them ordered together. I applaud him for that much. What do we know about this man? What type of animal is he?"
Again the commander spluttered but got back on topic" We know little about him other than he seems to be some form of Squirrel. I think the local natives call it a Flying squirrel or something like that. Not very versed in the savages language so I have to go on what our translators say they are saying."
Cyrus growled softly at the commanders comments but not loud enough to be heard." I see. Any idea of how he fights?"
" None other than that arrows are used and then some are stabbed with a knife. I have a feeling he is a savage as well like the other natives."
" where was he last seen?"
" Just north of here near the supply lines for the push on Philadelphia."
" I see. I'll get on it right away then. Good day sir." Cyrus saluted and quickly left the building before his temper boiled over. He absolutely despised the attitude most people took towards his kind but most of all, he hated the assumption that just because a people didn't live the way that the British or other Europeans lived then they were savage and uncivilized. He wished his home country was free from the British Crown but knew that was a fools hope. Had his senses been tuned to his surroundings then he most likely would have noticed a cloaked figure watching him from a nearby rooftop. The figure was another animal as the humans would call the anthro's of this time but it had a muzzle that was greyed with age and wore armor on his chest and arms that looked like large scales. These details were only barely visible under the cloak. As Cyrus moved through the city heading for the outskirts of town where he would find the commander he would be working with that he hoped was far more pleasant to be around than the one he had just left, the figure followed but only for a short while before vanishing into the cities dark alleyways. The figure leaned up against a wall and held out an odd looking necklace that had a mirrored surface." Second target located. Will continue to observe only unless the need arises to make my presence known. I'd rather not tangle with either of these two though. They have an air about them that they are more than they appear. Particularly the one known as Horatio. I have a bad feeling about his arrows." The figure said with a chuckle into the necklace before letting it drop back down to it's normal hanging place around his neck.
Several days later Cyrus had arrived out in the seemingly endless forests of this part of the Colonies. " How do they expect me to find this foe in this terrain? This is his home turf."
" You aren't expected to find him. You are here to deal with him should he attack us."
The commanding officer said calmly. " You stand the best chance of catching him should he get the jump on us."
" I barely know anything about this man. I don't know his attack habits or what to look for to alert us that he is about to strike. If he targets me first then what will you do. It's obvious that I am an officer of importance here and with his habit of attacking officers first it makes sense to hit me first."
As if to punctuate he point, an arrow zipped from the right and buried itself deeply into the ground at Cyrus's feet." Bloody hell! Ambush!" He yelled out as he dove drew his Shamshir style blade and took off into the woods towards where the arrow came from. " Get out of here commander! I'll deal with this guy and meet you in the next town. Don't wait up for me though. I'll catch up eventually!" He called out before leaping into the neatest tree and running along the branches following the assumed path of the arrow. There always seemed to be a branch right where he needed it to be as he went. He spotted movement in front of him and smiled." Found you" He mumbled to himself as he jumped off the next branch and into a power swing using his own forward momentum. The figure before him fired another arrow from what looked like a crossbow but was very odd looking but the shot went wide due to the lack of aiming time he had. The squirrel dove from the tree and glided to the next tree allowing him to sling his cross bow to his back and draw his knife since he figured he couldn't get away in a running match at this point. Cyrus landed hard against the tree his foe had been in but jumped down and faced his opponent while getting into his standard fighting stance that was a combo of standard fencing when it came to his feet but when it came to his blade, it was closer to a b*****d sword style. " Alright you little devil. Time to find out what you're made of." Cryus lunged forward and to his surprise, his foe move to meet his charge with no weapon to defend himself but his dagger. Before they could meet, a cloaked figure charged in and held his arms out and much to the surprise of the two combatants, they were blown back with bitterly cold blasts of wind.
" Well now what do we have here? A magic user? " The squirrel asked in a distinctly Colonial accent
" Why you uncouth jackass. how dare you interrupt this duel of men!"
Both the Squirrel and Pine Marten forgot their own fight and lunged at the figured aiming to take him out so they could get back to their own fight.
The figure smiled and caught Horatio's attack with a shield that appeared out of nowhere made of ice and caught Cyrus's attack with a sliver b*****d sword but was slightly pushed to the ground by the combined weight of the attacks but then once again the pair were pushed back by another blast of cold air. The figure stood back up and threw his cloak away revealing himself to be and aged looking Tanuki with twin tails clad in a light grey scale like armor and a half grin on his face.
" What is with this guy?" Horratio asked himself as he unlimbered his cross bow and fixed his dagger to the end of the weapon like a bayonet, and fired another shot.
In a blur of motion, The old tanuki deflected the arrow with his shield and swung his blade towards the squirrel and an arc of fire and as he swung around an arc of ice came off the shield and shot towards Cyrus. Both combatants ducked under the attacks but were in awe of what they had just seen. In this world such magic was rare and they had no idea someone like this even existed. Horatio bristled at the sight of such a high level mage. He hated mages with a passion and made it his mission to hunt them down. Cyrus knew little of magic but disliked mages because he felt they were cowardly and hid behind their magic in combat rather than actually fight. However it felt different with this guy. he felt as if this creature was trying to keep he and his foe from fighting and was merely using his magic to keep them apart and away from himself. " Let's see if he is actually competent with that blade or if it is only a channel for his magic." Cyrus stood up and pointed his blade at the Tanuki. " I challenge you to a one on one match sir. I don't know who you are or why you are here but you are in the way of my mission and it seems like you are intent on stopping me so I must go through you to continue." he looked at his other foe. " Do you mind if I settle this and then we can resume?"
Horatio slightly nodded in approval. " I don't care. Frankly I have no reason to stick around other than to deal with this mage once he finishes you off." Horatio jumped back into a nearby tree that was charred from the fire attack and reloaded his crossbow by racking the pump action that he had built into it to speed reloading.
The tanuki shattered his ice shield and turned to face Cyrus." I would much rather not fight either of you since that is not my job but if you insist on fighting then I suppose I have no choice. " His b*****d sword morphed into the strangest looking pistol like gun Cyrus had ever seen but the tanuki merely put it in a holster on his hip and drew a black metal b*****d sword off his back. Cyrus also noticed a bladeless hilt on his foes hip that slightly worried him as he had never seen anything like it before. the Black blade had a set of runes running down half the length of the middle of the blade but he had no idea what they said." Why do you not use your other blade from before?"
" Because that's not the type of weapon for this fight. I don't want to kill you." the Tanuki said quietly as he got into his own stance. " Shall we begin?"
Cyrus nodded and both jumped forward and swung at the same time resulting in a clash of blades sending sparks off of both weapons. The ensuing sword fight was a flurry of blade hits meeting each and every time with neither able to gain the upper hand. After locking blades again both pushed back away from each other and Cyrus chuckled." Well I see you are quite skilled with that blade of yours sir. Might I ask your name?"
" It is of no consequence here. And you aren't so bad yourself. Fantastic blade you have there. I haven't had an opponent quite like you in some time.It seems as if we will end in a draw unless one of us figures something out shortly. " Sinku said with a smirk. " I suppose I'll have to start actually fighting now. I've had my fun but I need you two to leave each other be for now." Sinku didn't wait for a response from the Marten before charging forward. Ducked under the wild swing in a shock response and drove his armored shoulder into Cyrus's gut knocking him back and off balance. Sinku spun into a kick that landed squarely on Cyrus's temple sending him crumpling to the ground after flying a few feet. Cyrus tried to get back up but couldn't and passed out. Sinku turned and faced Horatio." Would you like to take a swing or would you rather go off and continue taking out British soldiers?" Sinku asked calmly.
Horatio chuckled." I think I've seen enough for now. I'll leave but don't think I won't be on the hunt for you when I'm not hunting brits you damned mage" Horatio unclipped the dagger from the end of his weapon and put it back in it's sheath and slung the cross bow across his back before gliding to the next tree and disappearing into the forest. Sinku sighed and sheathed his sword while turning to look at the downed pine marten. " You have promise young Cyrus. but I couldn't let you take down your foe just yet. He has a purpose to serve that will be critical in both of your lives. You most likely will not ever see me again but if you do I would advise you not attempt to challenge me again because I will not be so nice next time." Sinku said softly even though he figured Cyrus could not hear him. Sinku walked over and grabbed his cloak and put it back before disappearing into the trees just like Horatio had done.
Several minutes later Cyrus was shaken awake by a young soldier
" Captain. Are you alright sir?"
Cyrus groaned in pain but sat up." Yes I'm fine. Thank you for finding me."
The soldier helped Cyrus to his feet and both headed back towards the British column.
" Sir what happened to you?"
" I found the man I was looking for but we were interrupted by the strangest individual. Now I will have to wait for my original foe to strike again so maybe this time I can catch him. I'll also have to keep an eye out for the other man as well. He will prove troubling I feel"
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