The Mainland War – Chapter 36 (Battle of Broken Wing Mountain! Part 2)
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Beastmen Plains, Beaver’s Fort


When someone is reaching the end of their life, they begin to think about just how they have lived it and whether it was worth it. A beaverman only lives half the life of a human, and the old chief was nearing the end of his life. This led to a question of just what he had contributed to the beavermen over his long life and what he could do with the rest of it. Then something incredible was sent to him by another beaverman who lived on the island that the succubi were from.


The world is round, and the ocean goes all over it!


The most destructive force in the world to a beaver was water that was allowed to flow without control. When the beaverman chief saw the ocean for the first time in his life it nearly drove him mad to see so much water that was able to flow out of control. He couldn’t imagine the suffering that a beaver living on an island must have endured after being surrounded by the ocean for so long. Then he had spent time with Lunas, Greko, and the succubi. 


Then he had seen a sphere divided into two halves by a mighty structure as if it was meant to tell the water to fuck off to its own side of the world. When he first saw it and put together what this other beaver was suggesting, he laughed and discarded it as rubbish. Then he found himself pondering it and he realized that maybe this other beaver was onto something. He went back and forth in his mind, he couldn’t decide what he should do.


Then he realized that only seeing the ocean one time in his long life was enough for him to have this internal monologue. Then he began to wonder if a project like this was inevitable to the beavermen race. When he began thinking of just what he had contributed to his race, he realized that this might be what he was looking for. If he was the one who started the great work of the beavers then wouldn’t he go down in beaverman history?


Thus he emerged from his den and began organizing every beaver in the entire dam. They then began learning casting from the succubi, but they discovered that for the beavers, wood was easier to work with than clay. Using their mighty teeth they could carve wood apart like it was butter, that was how they made the outer cavity for the cannons, then they just pounded a log into the clay to force everything to mold perfectly. This was how Flattail created a clay cannon, then he used pure iron to make a casting of it, then it was cut in half using saws that the succubi brought along.


“Work faster! If we can’t even repel these birds how will we ever start the great dam!” Chief Flattail admonished the beavermen as his tail slapped the ground like a paddle. 


In another corner, lead was being melted down and poured into molds to make them the size of golf balls. Much of the beautiful floor had been chewed into sawdust to make room for the forges and furnaces to cast more weapons. In two short days, the beavers were able to put the succubi to shame with their work ethic. Even the walls and windows had been given a thick coating of clay to prevent a fire and a large smokestack had been made of clay by the beavermen.


Through holes that led right into the room through the floor, mousemen carrying cloth bags could be seen running into the room. Inside of them were precious nitrates to make black powder for the cannons. Gophermen carrying ore that had been sorted from the yard also came in and deposited it in piles on the floor. This was then carried away by an army of beavers to be used in various locations and things like nails and various metal pieces were being made by a giant crucible. It was made from iron using a hole in the ground to pour and a large plug made of clay, this meant it had many imperfections.


“Chief Flattail! The birdmen are losing too many people in the tunnels, they are giving up their assault on the tunnels!” One of the beavermen called when he came out of the tunnels.


“Of course they are, but now it is the beaver's turn! Let us show them what we are capable of!” The beaverman chief yelled to all of the beaverman workers.




Beastmen Plains, The tunnels under the canyon


“I smell them, it was a fox!” A birdman yelled from the mouth of a tunnel to the birdmen above him.


“No, it was a mouse!” A voice called from inside of the tunnel.


“Get out here!” The angry birdman yelled into the tunnel.


The tunnel in question was carved into the dirt wall by a gopherman, and the birdman was perched on the edge of it yelling into the hole. It was a large blue bird with bright blue feathers mixed in, it also breathed out a frosty breath. 


“Get in here!” The mouse yelled back in the same tone.


This blatant insult caused the birdman's feathers to begin flaring upon his body and he took a deep breath. He dug his talons into the dry dirt of the mound and unleashed a frozen breath into the dark tunnel. It caused the moist soil that was kept out of the sun to begin freezing rapidly as frost formed on the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. It also reached deeper into the tunnels and he could hear it freezing the ground deeper in the tunnel.


It lasted almost a full minute before his frozen breath finally abated, and the sound of the cracking of ice forming stopped echoing from inside of the tunnel. The large bird could also hear the voice in the tunnel grunting and groaning in pain, could imagine it being partially frozen, dragging its wounded body.




A loud farting noise was heard from the tunnel that seemed to echo around better with the ice giving the tunnel better acoustics. This was followed by a slow and drawn-out sigh of relief from the voice inside of the tunnel. 


“It is your turn again.” It called.


The large birdman was left stunned by this blatant insult to both his pride and his honor, but the mouse in the hole wasn’t done yet.


“Crawling around in tunnels and killing birdmen is quite sweaty work, I really appreciate this chance to cool down a bit.” The mouse said in relief. “Why don’t we put this place behind us and you can stay in my den and keep it cool during the summer?”


This sentence caused the birdman to pause, as he was stunned by what the mouseman had just suggested to him. He was a proud member of the snowbird race far in the north and was sent to guard one of the daughters of the matriarch of the snowbirds who mated with the Falcon King. Several fighters from the snowbird race had joined this advanced assault on the beavermen who seemed to be rebelling against the Falcon King. The anger that had been slowly growing from the mouse’s insults finally erupted and he found himself being forced to crouch and walk awkwardly into the tunnel.


“Very good, come to Bernie.” The voice echoed through the tunnel.


After some crawling down the tunnel the birdman realized why the voice was not silenced by his frozen breath. He could see where his breath had gone down a tunnel and hit a curve at the end of it but was unable to move further. There were many different tunnels connected to the passage he was in and the ice was making the sound echo around. In the dark, he could hear the sound of the mouse moving around. 


“Did you find the creature in the tunnel?” This was yelled out by a birdman who was struggling to crawl into the tunnel. 


Even in their human form, a birdman’s arms were much clumsier than the extremely dexterous claws on their feet. They were not able to walk on four legs like other beastmen were, this made it more inconvenient for them in the tunnels. Since the entrance was on the side of a canyon, they could only enter one at a time. The extra voices did not go unnoticed by the occupant of the tunnels, they could hear the sound of it sniffing the air.


“2.. 3… 4… Wonderful! Wonderful!” They could hear the mouse exclaim in the tunnel. “You sent just enough birdmen that I will be able to finish filling up my new pillow.”


They could hear the sound of squeaky laughter bouncing around in the tunnels as the group of birdmen began pilling in one by one. Soon there was a group of over ten of them, and they began to slowly look around in the dark tunnels. Most birdmen possessed a sense of smell that was much weaker than many other beastmen, so they couldn’t smell the mouse in the tunnels that were filled with the smell of gophers. Most birdmen relied on their eyes, their ears also weren’t as strong as other beastmen’s.


“Shit! The tunnel is collapsing!” One of the birdmen screamed as he tried to get out before the tunnel ceiling came down. 


The birdman in the front only had time to turn behind him before he saw a puff of dirt come pouring out from the tunnel. This caused them to start panicking as some of the birdmen who entered pushed forward, shoving the group one way while the ones near the entrance tried to flee. Two were caught in the collapse of the entrance and buried under wet soil, their light bones were unable to withstand the pressure and the sound of crunching was heard with their tragic screams.


“Damnit! You fools! Look at what you have done now, one of you must have pulled the roots near the entrance and collapsed the tunnel!” The mouse's voices echoed inside the sealed tunnels. 


“Where is he!” One of the birdmen called. 


They were all huddled together defensively in the dark tunnel, they were now trapped inside with the mouse. They would normally laugh if they had ever heard of a beastman who feared a mouseman, but now they were experiencing it firsthand. Something about its blatant confidence made them think that the mouseman might have one of the same weapons that were killing them in the sky. The fact that they could hear it moving around but couldn’t see it made it eerier.


“I am right here,” Bernie said from a tunnel.




A gunshot sounded from a tunnel sending a roar echoing down the tunnel from the sound of a shotgun going off. The sound was so loud that it caused most of the birdmen to be left holding their aching ears and the bright flash caused many to be stuck blind. The snowbird was able to see a white mouse in a gray coat briefly from the tunnel he had appeared from. The panic didn’t start until they saw the mangled corpse of the birdman.


What once was an osprey birdman with a wicked beak and large golden eyes, now had a look of misery on his dead face. His chest was ripped open by the shot and his organs had been torn apart, he died without being able to scream. Several of the birdmen standing at the sides of this individual realized their feathers were covered in blood and pieces of their comrade. The thick smell of blood also engulfed everyone in the tunnel.


“It's those weapons again!” One of the birdmen started to panic.


“Where did that mouse go, which tunnel did that flash come from?!” One of the birdmen called.


Most of them were blind and waiting for their night sight to return to them, the snowbird who was the first one inside of the tunnel was shaking in fear. He wasn’t sure if he should open his beak and make an effort to say something or remain shaking in fear where he was. He had seen the flash of the weapon and what it had done to the birdman in the tunnel, that was because he had better vision in the dark. This same metal barrel was currently being pointed at his back and it was still warm from its last victim.


Due to the angle, he was standing with his broad back to the mouse, and the way he has crouched the rest of the birdmen couldn’t see his predicament. 


“I think I can dig us out of here!” The birdman in the rear called out as he used his talons to pull the dirt out and toss it on the floors of the tunnel.


“Stop that! You will make it collapse further!” Another yelled.


“We need to find another way out of here!” One of the others called.


They had forgotten about the mouse in their fear of the situation, they were only focused on escaping from the tunnel. He wanted to say something but the gun barrel continued tracing lines intimately on the birdman's back. It felt like it was slowly tracing out the position of his heart and lungs. The entire sensation made him feel terrified in a way that he never had before.


“There isn't one.” The mouse said from behind his back.


This was followed by the dreaded sound of the gunshot ringing through the tunnel. A sense of coldness spread from the chest of the snowbird and he found himself looking down to see that there was a hole in his once broad chest. The crater was large and cone-shaped, and on the other side, he could see a white mouse with red eyes and a stoic expression. The mouse turned and scurried quickly down the tunnel in its grey coat, the weapon sliding over its back as it ran.


The member of the snowbird race could only run its recent decisions through his mind as he began to feel his thoughts slipping away. The rest of the birdmen who were exposed to the bright flash and loud sound again started squawking in outrage before blood and viscera rained onto them. The smell of blood in the tunnel got even stronger with the addition of another fighter being ripped apart.


“Shit! It got him!” A birdman yelled.


“Why didn’t he say anything?” Another said.


“We need to get out of here!” One of them said again.


“You can’t.” The mouse replied, firing another shot into the dark tunnels.


Every shot ended a life, and he could hear gunshots coming from other parts of the canyon that were echoing around in the caves. Bernie, Arno, and Greko were all hunting in the tunnels currently to kill any of the birdmen who entered them. This was so that the snipers could continue to exert pressure over the birdmen who were high in the air. They wanted the birdmen to focus on fighting at the fortress.


It didn’t take long before the group of birdmen was reduced to corpses from the blasts of the shotgun that silenced them. With the stronger snowbird being dead the rest of the birdmen were weaker and easier to kill with the large pellets.


“Bernie, are you done here?” Arno called from deeper in the tunnels.


“This section is clear, they also sealed it by accident,” Bernie responded.


“I think they are using this advanced force to get a better idea of how we fight,” Arno said.


“I agree, these are all their youngest and weakest of fighters, the only thing they have going for them is their hotheads,” Bernie explained. “It looks like they mixed in some of the old fighters with calmer heads to try to make this seem more official, but we wiped out everyone in that first group. I must say that our enemy is quite cold-blooded for a race that likes to hole up in their nests.”


Several gophermen appeared to start cleaning up the tunnels in case they were needed later, they would also start excavating the collapse. All of the rodent species in the area were contributing to defeat their hated enemy who treated them as food. 


“By the way, I must learn from you!” Arno said with a chuckle. “I think that birdman’s head almost exploded from the words you told him!”


Bernie looked over at Arno with what would be considered a deadpan expression on his face. “I just told him the truth.”


This caused Arno to stop laughing and look at the white mouse with a puzzled look on his face.


“The best insults you can use are the ones that are true,” Bernie explained. “I don’t know why telling people who are arrogant the truth always makes them upset.”


Bernie sighed and looked down at the dead birdman he had shot in the back.


“I would have been pleased if he took me up on my offer, it gets hot in the summer,” Bernie told Arno seriously.




Beastmen Plains, On the edge of the canyon


The falcon king continued to watch the battle going in a negative direction for the birdmen who went out to attack the enemies first. He was sitting far back in a tree watching his people dying one after another with a look of apathy. In one hand was a clay bowl filled with wine he had received from the gorilla king when he took over as the falcon king. He took a deep drink from the glass in his hand as he could hear someone else getting knocked out of the air.


“Why did we delay sending the main forces?” A female snowbird woman asked him from below the tree he was standing on.


“These are most of the youth who have both pride and ambition.” The Falcon King said calmly. “I was looking for a method to dispose of them when this opportunity presented itself to me. Who could have known that the rodents were able to get their hands on such fearsome weapons.”


The falcon king stopped to take a drink from the glass in his hands and swirled the red liquor around in the clay glass. The only thing he was watching was how the birdmen were dying, he didn’t care how many of them did. The birdmen acted much differently than most other beastmen. Just like the beastmen who lived in the water, they considered themselves a different species from the ones on the land.


“For now I want to see what else the rodents have planned, the remaining birdmen have decided to attack the main keep.” The Falcon King said calmly.




Beastmen Plains, Above the canyon


“We can’t stay here, we need to either take the keep or retreat!” The female owl was trying to convince the old vulture in the back to let them retreat. 


They had already seen half their number fall since this raid began, but they weren’t even able to see their enemy. From the dark tunnels, they could occasionally catch a glimpse of the flash of scope before death came for some of the flying targets. They could see a thick column of smoke rising from the center of the Braverman's fort that had gotten thicker the longer the battle had gone on. This was followed by what the birdmen had associated as drumming from within the beavermen’s fort. 


The old vulture glanced over his shoulder at a tree in the distance and seemed to get the signal he wanted to see. His glance was so subtle that the owl woman had almost missed it. She then peered in the direction she saw him peek and she could see the Falcon King hiding on a tree branch, watching the battle. Suddenly she felt much better knowing he was waiting for the best moment to enter the battle and she wasn’t as worried about their losses.


“Everyone spread out and attack the beaver’s fort, we can use it to protect us from the boomsticks.” The old vulture called out loudly to the split groups in the valley. 


The owl woman also changed her flight path to head towards the direction of the old vulture, her flight was cut short when she suddenly felt a burning pain in her arm and suddenly found herself falling from the sky. Blood and feathers flew out from her arm that was currently acting as a wing. Losing the ability to move it she turned to look at it and saw a deep gash that was carved through the bicep, it had been caused by being grazed by the bullet. She could only open her small beak and scream for a few moments before she hit the surface of the river that ran through the canyon.


She had tears streaming from her eyes that mixed with the dirty river water as she struggled out of the water. Feeling something brush against her in the water, she reached forward and found a log and grabbed onto it, and pulled her head out of the muddy water. What she could see was the large group of birdmen forming together above the beaver fort’s large round dome. Looking over and focusing on the round structure, she was close enough to see there were beavermen crawling around the surface busily chewing large holes into their thick wooden ceiling.


At the center of this large wooden mound, they could see an old beaver wearing a brown robe with graying fur and milky eyes. His large teeth looked stained orange like the rest of his species, this was due to the high iron content in his teeth. She recognized him as the chief of the beaver’s named Flattail, he was a placid old man.


“Show them what happens when you get in the way of the great work of the beavers!” He roared in fury from the roof of the giant wooden mound.


Like a porcupine revealing its barbs, shiny bronze barrels began to push out from the inside of the large round building. They reflected the daylight as they shone intimidatingly towards the sky. The beaverman chief stood tall and proud if slightly shaking due to his old age.  His large paddle tail began slapping at the wood of the roof threateningly, as he bore his teeth towards the birdmen in the sky.


“Is that really the same chief!?!” She began to wonder if she was becoming delirious due to the blood flowing from the wound in her shoulder. 


The birdmen finally got together into a group and began to rush towards the mound in a large group. She figured they must have still had close to 600 people left, and she felt confident about them being able to reach the fort. This confidence lasted until the sound of thunder came from within the wooden fort and large pillars of flame were shot out of the various barrels sticking out of the mounds.  What she saw nearly caused her to lose consciousness from fright.


BOOOOM! Boom! Boom! Boom!


Through her shock, she felt like time was slowing down from when she first saw the front of the large group of birdmen begin to vaporize before her eyes. Blood, feathers, and pieces of meat and bones began were all that was left of the front of the formation. She then began to hear the sound of miserable wailing as many other birdmen who were further back beginning to fall from the sky with blood coming from various wounds all over their bodies.


She figured at least half of the birdmen who were a part of the charge were either killed or knocked out of the sky as bodies began to rain from the sky. The lucky ones landed in the water as she did. The unlucky ones hit the ground and made loud crunching noises, never to rise again. The rest of the birdmen were left deafened and blinded, flapping in the air as they waited for their senses to return, a dense cloud of smoke filled with chemicals engulfed many of the birdmen and covered them with thick black soot. 




Beastmen Plains, Inside of the fort


“Hurry up, get those cannons cleaned and reloaded!” An older beaver woman yelled out to the various workers. 


She walked with a limp due to an accident where her leg was injured by a log inside of the river, and her large teeth bore several chips on it. She was the wife of the beaverman chief, her name was Feltspar. Her name was about the smooth coat of fur she had been born with, but now she was graying and mangy. However, her work ethic was like a raging bonfire that had been stoked up due to the recent changes in him.


She remembered when Flattail was a young beaver with the ambition to build something great in the world and lately he seemed to rekindle that spirit he had when she mated with him. Beavers were monogamous and mated for life, they had spent almost 20 years together now and had seen this large fortress built from nothing. Many of the beavers in the fort were their children and descendants, the others were those who drifted here along the river.


The cannons were held by metal rods that were held by teams of 6 beavers that moved the large barrel using their powerful muscles. Pulling the large cannons from the holes in the ceiling they lowered them to the ground and a beaver woman ran forward with a long pole. On the end was a young beaver with the pole tied to his paddle tail, his fur was covered in water and he had wet clothes on his hands and feet. The beaverwoman positioned this young beaver to the mouth of the barrel and he used his small body to slide into the dinner plate-sized opening.


If Rex were present he would recall the days when they used small children in coal mines and immediately stop this practice, but he wasn’t. Instead, the young and eager beavers were happy to act as cleaning tools for the large cannons, after moving them around inside a few times the beaverwoman removed the child by the stick and looked at the happy beaver covered in soot.


 “It’s my turn! It’s my turn!” Another little beaver said walking carefully with the pole in the air that was being held by his small tail.


“Yes, yes, it is your turn.” The beaver woman said as she placed the blackened young beaver in a pool of water then reached over for the other beaver’s wooden pole.


After she picked this dry beaver up, she also helped push him into the cannon and he began the process of drying the barrel. After a few moments, she removed the young beaver and placed him in the pool next to his brother to wash the gunpowder off. She then proceeded to pour a bucket of gunpowder down the barrel and used a wooden rod to force down a cloth, this was followed by a clay jar that was filled with the lead balls. This process was finished by packing the clay jar in place with the ramrod.


“Ready to fire!” She called out.


The male beavers maneuvered this large cannon back towards the ceiling, then they all used the bar and climbed into the wooden tunnel made through the roof. Their strong legs provided resistance as they all braced against the large weapons. Suddenly a slapping noise was heard as their paddle tails pressed onto the ground and acted as a firm wedge,


“Ready!” They called as they aimed the cannon towards the group of birds.


Another female ran forward with a rod that was sparking at the end of it. She reached up to a hole in the back of the cannon and pushed the sparkling stick into the small opening that led to the gunpowder. 




The beavers and the cannon slid almost a full foot(~30.5CM) down the tunnel as the large weapon issued a thunderous roar. Their large tails were acting as shock absorbers allowing them to take the recoil as a team. The beavers crawling around on top of the wooden mound were carrying buckets of mud they were pouting onto the roof to stop fires from starting on the giant mound. Meanwhile, supplies continued to pour in from the ground from the mousemen and the gophermen.


Through the various rooms in the upper layer of the mound where the beavers normally slept, cannons were dragged into these rooms, and holes were made to accommodate them. Loud thumping could be heard from some of the bodies who managed to die on the mound as they fell onto the ceiling.


“Keep firing until they fuck off!” Feltspar yelled through the halls as she continued to limp through the mound.




Beastmen Plains, In the canyon


The owlwoman could only watch with despair as her people continued to rain from the sky as corpses. The roars from the cannons were deafening to the birdmen; many had lost their nerve and some were trying to turn tail and run away. Normally this kind of behavior would be punished with death, but the old vulture was nowhere to be seen. Looking off in the distance she could see him flying towards the mountain with the Falcon King next to him.


“Why?” She muttered.


All around the ground she could see feathers and remains from the group that had been with her just a few hours ago. Many of them had been promising youths who were supposed to help lead future generations. Even she was one of the best hunters who was praised since she was a child. The sounds of groaning could be heard from many of the survivors.


“Do you surrender?” A flat voice asked.


At first, she thought it was her who was asked and was about to ask a question when she heard a male voice.


“You damn giant rat! I will never surrender to you!” The birdman on the ground yelled out.


He was covered in blood from a wound he took to the stomach and he had carefully crawled from the water where this beaver was collecting prisoners. The weeds they were in were tall cattails the beavers cultivated to make food, and there were many sticks along the river bank. The log she was holding had drifted onto shore next to this area of the beaver's farm. 


The beaver ignored his yelling as he walked up and turned his back to the birdman who was crawling on the ground. His large flat tail raised into the air menacingly before swinging down with great force.




The birdman’s head exploded into mush that was flattened into a pancake by the large tail. The beaver had no change in expression after completing this grim execution. Some of the birdman’s gray feathers were still stuck to his tail with some blood. He walked up to the log with the owl woman on it and stared down at the owl with the same flat expression and his funny voice due to his elongated teeth.


“Do you surrender?” He asked.


“YES!” She screamed with tears in her eyes.