EMBER RISING ARE AHEAD; CAUTION IS ADVISED.
Picket Longtreader is a golden-colored buck of the Longtreader family and a hero of The Cause. He is known mainly for being the savior of Smalden Joveson at Jupiter's Crossing, where he slew Redeye Garlackson and two lords of prey, earning him the names Picket Packslayer and Bane of Birds.
Picket was born in Nick Hollow, just after the happenings of the Afterterrors. His mother and father raised him and his sister without any knowledge of his uncle Garten Longtreader's betrayal of King Jupiter or of anything of the world outside Nick Hollow, so as to allow him to live a happy, ignorant existence in the peace of their home. As he grew up, he loved to play the game of Starseek with his older sister, Heather, who had made the game up.
Once, as they were playing the game, their "star" was blown by the wind into the clutches of a tall, scrawny maple tree nearby the frightening overhanging eaves of the East Wood. Since the "star" was made of costly and hard-to-come-by ribbon and they wanted to continue to play their game in the future, his sister gave him a boost in order for him to reach the star; unfortunately, he was afraid of heights, and when a lightning bolt hit the tree he was so scared that he fell to the ground and immediately fainted, without getting the star.
When Heather and Picket's father told them of the tale of the Rise of King Jupiter, they were both amazed, and Picket was specially affected. For he was a fearful rabbit, who had many things to be scared of, and the tale of King Jupiter's exploits made him brave.
Attack on Nick Hollow
One morning, Heather and Picket awoke in their upstairs bedroom in their bedroom in the Longtreader home, coming down the stairs to find that they had a visitor. She was a solemn, dark-furred rabbit, who introduced herself as Lady Glen. She and their parents were apparently having some sort of conversation that they didn't want Heather and Picket to hear, as they sent them out right after breakfast to pick blackberries at Gladeberry.
Picket was rather disappointed that they wouldn't be able to get to hear what they were saying or find out more of their mysterious visitor. Nevertheless, according to their parents' orders, they raced through West Wood toward Gladeberry.
On their way there, however, they heard a scream coming from the direction of their neighbor's home. Frightened, they hurried back towards their home to get help; however, by the time they came under the eaves of West Wood, they gaped in horror at the sight before their eyes. It was their home burning down with wolves surrounding it, their family nowhere to be seen.
Picket couldn't keep the sadness that welled up from deep within, and it manifested itself rather loudly in the form of a loud sob. This drew the attention of the wolves, five of which started running toward them.
Heather dragged Picket through the forest, and they both started running for the refuge of the Seventh Mound, which they knew to have a hole in which they could hide. Picket had been in it before, so they knew he could fit.
As they ran, Heather told Picket to keep on running towards their destination, and to never stop. He ran through the rest of West Wood, through Evergreen Row, past the first six of the Seven Mounds, and finally reached the Seventh. He quickly popped into the hole, which was a small chamber within the mound. It was rather small, but had room enough for several rabbits, with another hole in the back leading into darkness.
Picket looked out, and realized that Heather hadn't arrived yet, and had probably been delayed on the way. He was greatly afraid that the wolves might have gotten her, and wondered whether he should go back for her.
As he wrestled with himself on this subject, he suddenly saw her running toward him with wolves on her heels. He ducked his head back in the passage, desperately hoping and hoping that she would be able to make it. She did, and she jumped into the hole feet-first. But she couldn't fit. She was stuck, and he was helpless; he couldn't help her. Desperately, he pulled on her feet, but it didn't help any.
Just when he thought it was hopeless, she suddenly popped through, unhurt besides being unconscious. He looked through the hole to see two rabbits fighting the wolves that had been chasing Heather only moments before. They had swords, and Picket was sure he had never seen them before. They must have pushed Heather through the hole, and thus saved her from a quick death.
Suddenly, one of the rabbits Picket had seen popped through the hole himself. In what he could make of him in the dim light, Picket judged that he was little taller than himself. However, for his small size, he seemed rather strong and had a sword strapped to his side.
He picked up Heather, and told Picket that they needed to get out, but couldn't get out via the first entrance due to the battle between his companion and the wolves. They agreed to go through the hole in the back of the cave to find whether there was an entrance that led to the outside.
Picket quickly decided he didn't like the rabbit, for he was so confident, strong, and able—in other words, everything he felt he wasn't. And the strange rabbit didn't even look any older than he was.
As they made their way through the passage which the back hole had led them to, their eyes adjusted to the dimness, and Picket found that he could see many other passages branching to the left and right of the main passage in which they walked. Littered around the ground was a lot of different things—old goblets, tapestries, and weapons that looked like they had been abandoned long ago. Picket had never been in there before, so he couldn't help but wonder what the place was, or once had been.
They went down the main passage for a long while when the strange rabbit finally let Heather down and they rested. Picket could see that the strange rabbit was tired.
Journey to Cloud Mountain
Attack on Halfwind
Politicking in Halfwind
Trip to Cloud Mountain
Battle of Cloud Mountain
Personality and traits
Initially, Picket was a young rabbit scared of many things, who wanted very badly to act bravely for his older sister and his younger brother. Whenever he felt especially helpless, he would be resentful, and snap out at all around him; he positively hated it when he perceived that a person felt sorry for him, and wanted with all his heart to be able to do something for justice and goodness, which is why he was persistent in asking Helmer to train him in swordsmanship.
When Picket grew older, he matured both mentally and emotionally; he became much better at controlling his temper and recognizing the feelings of those around him.
Skills and abilities
Picket is very good at math, and it is easy for him to recognize patterns and do estimations. He has a keen eye and is agile on the ground.
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