|“||Picket Longtreader: See them come, the last of our enemies! You are Fowlers now, and you must fight as our founder fought-fall, if necessary, as our founder fell. Say it with me: My arm for the cause and crown!...My all for the cause and crown!
Picket Longtreader is a buck of the Longtreader family and a hero of The Cause. He is the son of Whittle and Sween Longtreader, the younger brother of Heather, the older brother of Jacket, and the nephew of Wilfred and Garten. Picket was also the apprentice of Helmer the Black, whose niece, Louise, he later marries and has several children with.
Picket is known mainly for being the savior of Smalden Joveson at Jupiter's Crossing, where he slew Redeye Garlackson and defeated two lords of prey, earning him the titles of Picket Packslayer and Bane of Birds.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 The Green Ember / The Last Archer
- 1.2 Potter's War
- 1.3 Ember Falls / The First Fowler
- 1.4 Ember Rising / The Archer's Cup
- 1.5 Ember's End
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Skills and abilities
- 5 Family trees
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Quotes
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
Picket grows up in Nick Hollow, the second of his father and mother's children after his older sister Heather. As a young child, capable of talking but not yet walking, he is introduced to Starseek, a game invented by his sister. As Picket grows, Heather instructs him in the game, which becomes a source of fierce but friendly competition and fun between them. Some years later, they are joined by a baby brother, Jacks, with whom Picket develops a strong bond.
Six months after Jacks' birth, during a game of Starseek, their "star" is blown by the wind into the clutches of a tall, scrawny maple tree near the frightening overhanging eaves of the East Wood. Since the "star" is using hard-to find ribbon, Heather encourages Picket to helper her retrieve it, despite Picket having a fear of heights. While she is trying to convince him, they are caught in a sudden storm and the tree is struck by lightning. Picket faints, but Heather is able to rouse him and bring him back to their home.
While drying off with their family, Picket feels frustrated by his weakness, and promises to be strong for the sake of his baby brother. Their father, having previously shared tales of heroes like Whitson Mariner and Fleck Blackstar, begins sharing with them a new tale: The Rise and Fall of King Jupiter the Great. The next morning, Heather awakes Picket, and they go downstairs to meet an unexpected visitor named Lady Glen. However, as the pair predict, they are soon sent to Gladeberry to pick berries, and turn the trip into a race.
At Gladeberry Crossroads, however, the two hear a scream coming from the direction of Elric's farm. Frightened, they hurry back towards their home, only to find it ablaze and surrounded by wolves. A sob of Picket's draws their attention, and Heather orders Picket to run for Seven Mounds, a nearby landmark. Picket enters a cave entrance they had previously discovered and realizes that Heather has put herself at risk to buy him time to escape, and finds himself both grateful and ashamed.
Heather eventually arrives at the cave, closely pursued by wolves, only to get stuck while attempting to enter the cave. As Picket desperately tries to draw her inside, a gray rabbit comes flying in and forces Heather inside with a kick before confronting her pursuers. He is joined in this by a white rabbit, and the lead wolf-Redeye Garlackson-is forced to retreat. The gray rabbit then introduces himself to Picket as his uncle Wilfred.
The white rabbit is able to enter the cave, and insists upon moving the unconscious Heather despite Picket's objections. As Wilfred leaves to find another exit from the mounds where he can reunite with them, the white rabbit gets Picket moving deeper into the underground maze. With surprising strength, the white rabbit-who later introduces himself as Smalls-carries Heather, while Picket uses his analytical abilities to try and figure out the maze. They eventually come to a set of passages that Picket can't pick between, and Smalls leads the way into one.
The trio find themselves siding down a water-filled drain, and end up in a subterranean lake where Heather revives but Smalls is knocked unconscious. As minions of the wolves close in, Picket rushes to a sealed-up entrance, which Wilfred attempts to help him open from the outside. Thinking quickly, Picket uses Smalls' sword to separate an anchor and chain from a boat in the underground lake. He then passes the chain through to Wilfred, who after a couple of attempts is able to use the anchor to smash through the blockage.
Wilfred joins Picket, Heather, and the unconscious Smalls in the boat, and they sail away from their enemies. Picket and Heather soon fall asleep, and awake the next morning to find themselves on the Whitmer River, heading for Decker's Landing. As they converse with Wilfred and Smalls, they are told that there is little to be done for their family, and Picket is left sick at the thought. Having developed a dislike for Smalls, Picket soon becomes angry at his comments regarding the capture of their parents and Jacks.
The group arrive at Decker's Landing to find it ablaze, with wolves prowling in the area. Smalls goes to scout out the situation, further irking Picket, and at his signal they rush into the nearby woods. However, Picket trips and fractures his foot in the process, and has to be carried to safety by Smalls. Scorning help, he insists on continuing to move with his injury until Wilfred finally examines it and gives his nephew a stern but loving correction.
The four soon arrive at the base of Cloud Mountain, where they are welcomed-with some suspicion-by the Forest Guard. They are then introduced to Lord Rake and Emma, the latter of whom examines Picket's injured foot. The travelers are then brought into the Savory Den, where Picket observes a powerful-looking, brooding black rabbit eating alone. The newcomers then encounter Kyle, a charming rogue, before being taken to rooms for the night.
The following day, Emma comes to Heather and Picket's room to deliver a set of crutches for Picket, before leading him and Heather on a tour of the mountain community. Following breakfast in the Savory Den, Emma leads the pair to King Whitson's Garden, a marvelous indoor garden space. Picket is particularly moved by the sight of a statue of Captain Blackstar, before following Emma onto the Village Green. There they encounter Heyward, a rather eccentric young buck, before spotting the black buck from the night before, whom Emma identifies as Helmer the Black.
Helmer soon engages in a life-threatening training exercise, and only survives due to the timely intervention of Lord Rake, Wilfred, and Smalls. The following day, Picket is led to Great Hall by Emma, where he and Heather witness a calling ceremony and Picket expresses the desire to become a soldier. After an amusing encounter with Eefaw Potter, Picket trips upon entering Hallway Round, and is accosted by a guard keeping watch on a barrel of blastpowder. Infuriated, Picket attempts to make his way back to his room, only to break one of his crutches and end up being confronted by the same guard when he is unable to pass through the door leading back to the dormitories.
Picket is rescued by Lord Rake and Smalls, and the latter accompanies him back to his room and gives him a stern lecture about his bitter mood. Picket subsequently seeks out Helmer, and asks to become his apprentice. Helmer initially refuses, and quickly subdues Picket's angry attack. After Lord Rake, Emma, and Heather arrive on the scene, Picket claims that Helmer was giving him a lesson.
To the surprise and shock of all present, Helmer then initiates a calling ceremony, with Picket completing the ritual to become Helmer's apprentice. At Lord Rake's insistence, Picket's training with Helmer is accompanied by visits to Maggie Weaver and Initiation with his sister. After a grueling first lesson with Helmer, which Picket shocks Heather by enjoying tremendously, Picket and Heather join Emma and Heyward in the Savory Den. The pair later visit Lighthall, a location Picket previously complained about being off limits, for their first Initiation meeting with Lord Rake and Uncle Wilfred.
Citadel Congress and Battle for Cloud Mountain
In the process, they learn more of King Jupiter's history, and that their other uncle-Garten Longtreader-betrayed the king to his death. Learning that this is the reason for the hostile attitudes of several Cloud Mountain rabbits, Picket nevertheless vows to retain the name of Longtreader. Picket continues training with Helmer during the Cloud Mountain Citadel Congress, and progresses rapidly as a student, much to Helmer's surprise. Much to his frustration, his fear of heights comes out after he is instructed to climb Helmer's tree.
Helmer assures him that they will overcome this difficulty, and the pair engage in training with wooden swords. Unbeknownst to them, they are observed by arriving soldiers from Halfwind Citadel and by Heather, who watch as Helmer soundly thrashes his young pupil. Afterwards, Helmer compliments Picket's progress, but shatters his apprentice's newfound positivity by expressing his own hopeless views of the coming war. Some time later, Heather and Picket are accosted by Halfwind's Captain Frye, who accuses Picket of passing information to the enemy.
Fortunately, Lord Victor Blackstar of Kingston prevents Picket from attacking the older buck. Emma escorts the pair to Lord Rake's rooms, where they overhear a conversation between him, Lord Ramnor of Halfwind, and Helmer. The trio discuss the tension over the Longtreader family, and Helmer expresses his admiration of Picket's natural abilities and progress before repeating his defeatist assertions. Later, the pair attend an assembly in the Master Hall in company with Wilfred and Smalls.
Afterwards, Picket and Wilfred discuss Randalgam's History of War and engage in a sparring session. Shortly after Heather returns, having seen Smalls before his departure, Cloud Mountain is invaded by a force of wolves. Wilfred orders Picket to remain behind with Heather, but at Heather's urging Picket escorts her through the battle to Smalls' room. There they find Kyle, who admits to sending Smalls-now revealed as the heir of King Jupiter and bearer of the Green Ember-into an ambush.
Picket briefly considers killing the traitorous rabbit, but ultimately spares him to accompany Heather to the outside of the mountain. Finding the rabbits in disarray, the pair are confronted by Captain Frye, who holds them responsible for the attack. Picket swiftly disables him, but heeds Heather's pleas not to strike a fatal blow, realizing that Frye is loyal to the Cause despite his hostility. Desperate to rescue Smalls, Picket urges Heather to gather all the help she can find.
He then makes his own way to Jupiter's Crossing, the site of the intended ambush and of King Jupiter's death. Picket arrives at the spot to find Smalls at the mercy of Redeye Garlackson and Garten Longtreader, with two birds in attendance as well. Calling upon his natural talents, his recent training, and his newfound devotion, Picket charges into the clearing. In a stunning display of acrobatics, he stuns both raptors before plummeting down upon Redeye and slaying him with a single sword thrust.
Picket then releases Smalls and pledges himself to the prince, just as a force of wolves emerges from the nearby woods. Just as the pair are bracing for their deaths, Heather arrives with a host of reinforcements, and the wolves are driven off. Smalls, now revealed to all, expresses his gratitude to Picket for saving his life and to Wilfred for keeping watch over him for so many years. Picket and Heather subsequently rest at a campfire with the now genial Captain Frye, Lord Victor, and Helmer.
As the lords and captains are summoned, Picket's master is revealed to be Lord Captain of the King's Army. Through Heather's story, word of Picket's heroics soon spreads across Natalia, stirring new hope among rabbitkind. Emma enthusiastically shares the account with Jo Shanks, an injured archer from Halfwind who observed Picket's earlier training session with Helmer. Following another such session-the latest of many daily sessions with his master-Picket receives word that his parents may have been located.
Note: Because Potter's War has yet to be publicly released, Picket's role in the story shall not be disclosed on this wiki. Should S. D. Smith ever choose to publish Potter's War, a complete summary shall be added. Thank you.
Birth of the Fowlers
Picket accompanies the mission to the slave mining camp where his father is thought to be a prisoner. He and Smalls act as advance scouts, but find the site empty of rabbits. A trio of raptors then set upon the pair, and one manages to slash Picket before he and Smalls bring an empty building down on top of them. One of the raptors survives, but is killed by the arriving reinforcements under Helmer and Lord Victor.
Picket, disappointed and despondent over the prospect of the war to come, returns to Cloud Mountain. He is later present at a meeting in which plans are laid for Smalls to travel to Halfwind Citadel, a stopping point on the way to another Citadel Congress at Kingston. Picket is among those who make up the prince's entourage, who are saved from the raptor Solus by Helmer's smaller advance party. Afterwards, Picket is introduced to Jo Shanks, the Halfwind archer who fired the killing shot, whom Helmer invites to join his and Picket's training sessions.
With the addition of Heyward and Perkinson, son of the storied Perkin One-Eye, the bucks form a new elite unit: the Fowlers. Unfortunately, a failed training session results in Heyward's public dismissal, much to the displeasure of Heather, who has been assigned as the unit's medic. Some time later, Picket and Heather are invited to a council meeting, where they learn that an army of strange rabbits is marching towards them. Despite the surprise threat, Picket joins the other council members in urging Smalls to proceed to Kingston as planned.
During the meeting, Smalls informs the Longtreader siblings that Emma is secretly his sister and chosen heir. After the meeting breaks up, Smalls informs Picket that intelligence has pinpointed his father at another mine site in the Shade Hills. Picket pleads with Smalls to act against the counsel he has received not to make a rescue attempt, claiming that he would break Heather's heart if he did not do so. Smalls then entrusts the Green Ember to Picket for safekeeping, placing it in a hidden compartment in Picket's new sword created for that very purpose.
Unbeknownst to Picket, word of his heroics has spread as far as Akolan, the city of rabbit slaves in the High Bleaks. There it has reached a number of ears, including those his mother Sween Longtreader, a slave in Morbin's lair. The next morning, Picket heads to the Fowlers' training course, weighed down by both the departure of various forces and a heavy conversation between himself and Heather the previous night. He runs into Perkinson, and they briefly discuss newcomer Coleden Blackstar and Perk's own father.
The pair then head for the Mess Hall, racing along the way, only to trip to a stop and be reprimanded by Helmer. Shortly thereafter, the Fowlers' first training session with new member Cole is disrupted by a wolf attack. In the ensuing battle, Picket rushes back into Halfwind with Perk, whom he sends to find Lord Ramnor. Picket himself rushes to Halfwind Hospital, where he joins a wounded Jo and Heather in saving Emma from several wolves.
Picket returns to the battle outside, where he anticipates death for all the citadel forces. However, the rabbits are saved when the strange rabbit army appears and joins the battle, fighting against the wolves rather than alongside them as expected. Picket later rushes back inside to see to Emma, who is saved from another wolf attack by the newcomers. To the shock of the Longtreader siblings and Emma, the rescue squad is led by none other than Kyle.
The trio's traitorous former friend is revealed to be Prince Kylen of Terralain, a fabled land ruled over by Bleston, the estranged older brother of King Jupiter. Bleston soon summons the Longtreader siblings to a meeting in the chambers of Lord Ramnor, who was killed while the battle raged. After a rude reception from Valter, captain in the Terralain royal guard, the pair encounter Kylen again. Kylen seeks to reconcile with his old friends, though both Heather and Picket are cold after his attempt to send Smalls to his death.
Having seen Bleston in action on the field, Picket finds him just as awe-inspiring in conversation, having already begun to question what he has previously learned about the prince and King Jupiter. He is forced to fight to resist Bleston's powerful aura of charisma, and he and Heather are eventually dismissed by Bleston. Determined to resist Bleston's unsanctioned takeover, Picket displays loyalty to an arriving Captain Frye, who whispers a warning against provoking the Terralains. Kylen adds a warning of his own against defying Bleston, and urges the Longtreaders to wait and see what comes.
During lunch with the Fowlers some time later, Picket discusses their failure in receiving word through secret messengers sent to Kingston and Cloud Mountain. Just after revealing his intent to leave on his own, he is summoned to another meeting with Bleston. Escorted by Kylen, Valter, and Bleston's advisor Tameth Seer, Picket is once again pitted against Bleston's considerable personality. Aware of Picket's resentment over not being allowed to make another attempt to rescue his family, Bleston encourages Picket to lead the Fowlers-minus an injured Helmer-on just such a mission.
Picket approaches Frye to inform him of his intended course, only to be rebuked by his superior for creating division within the Cause. Frye then reminds Picket that the Fowlers haven't been fully trained, and warns against the foolhardy course. Realizing that he has urged Smalls to embark on just such a venture, Picket seeks outs Heyward, now a votary, and seeks his counsel. Despite Heyward's comforting words, Picket feels like he has betrayed the Cause as badly as Kylen, who that same day acted heroically to protect Heather from a lone wolf.
Picket later attends an assembly in Leapers Hall with Heather and Emma, and the trio are invited on stage by Bleston. After a tense moment in which they believe Bleston is about to reveal Emma's true identity, they are further disturbed by some of Bleston's remarks. However, when Bleston asserts his intention to support Smalls' claim to the throne, the inhabitants of Halfwind rejoice. Picket makes peace with Captain Frye, and nurses the hope that Smalls rejected his pleas.
The next day, the Fowlers are gathered for another training session when Frye and Helmer arrive with dire news: Morbin Blackhawk's forces are preparing to attack Cloud Mountain. As the forces of Halfwind and Terralain prepare to march, Picket takes temporary command of the Fowlers. After urging the group to relax as much as possible at Heather's suggestion, he is called up to a meeting of the various officers. On the way, he is greeted by a younger soldier named Lallo, and promises the buck that they will see each other in the coming battle.
Following the briefing, an alert signal is heard in the distance, and Picket volunteers to lead the Fowlers in investigating. The group stumbles upon a badly wounded Wilfred, who informs them that Smalls is dead. While Heather and Perk head to Cloud Mountain to safeguard Emma, Picket leads the others in taking Wilfred to the hospital. When he learns that Smalls attacked the camp, he confesses to Wilfred his part in persuading the prince in his rash act.
Though heartbroken, Wilfred prevents Picket from leaving, and urges him to carry the wounds of his mistake into the coming battle. His words inspire Picket to a new determination, and the three Fowlers leave Halfwind to rejoin the Halfwind army. Picket delivers the news of Smalls' death to Helmer and Frye, and after a brief night's rest rises in the morning to prepare for battle. He briefly examines the Green Ember, determined to deliver it to Emma, before marching with his comrades to Jupiter's Crossing.
Picket, a lieutenant, leads part of the Halfwind force in the clash at Jupiter's Crossing, before retreating with them to join reinforcements at Rockback Valley. When the sheer numbers of wolves and birds, led by General Flox and Morbin's lieutenant Gern, terrifies the fresh troops, Picket leads the forces from the first engagement ahead. His actions inspire the outnumbered rabbits, deserted by their supposed Terralain allies, to new valor. Picket leads a surprise charge, and successfully slays Flox before retreating to help with the Halfwind catapults.
With destruction imminent, Heyward pulls Picket away from the battle and dresses him in his new glider cape invention. After explaining the workings, Heyward uses a catapult to launch Picket into the air, where he engages an attacking eagle. Despite his unfamiliarity with air combat, he succeeds in killing the bird, only to drop his sword in the process. Both bird and sword fall to the plateau of Cloud Mountain below, where a force led by Bleston, Perkinson, and Garten Longtreader have taken Heather and Emma prisoner and are preventing the Cloud Mountain rabbits from joining the battle.
Picket swoops down on the plateau, tackling Bleston to prevent him from killing Emma, and is then charged by the older rabbit. Picket evades Bleston's attack, only to be carried off the edge of the plateau by his rush. After grappling with him in midair, Picket manages to grab Bleston's sword and break away, using the glider to fly back up. He then confronts the last of Bleston's minions, Perkinson, and after a brief contest sends him to the same fate as his master.
Picket soon turns his attention to his traitorous uncle, but Garten persuades Emma to hold a private conference with him. Remembering his beleaguered comrades in the valley, Picket begins mustering the Cloud Mountain reinforcements. To his shock, Emma allows Garten to depart in peace, due to a second massive attack force being poised to join in attacking Cloud Mountain. She then promotes Picket to the rank of captain, ordering him to continue marshaling Cloud Mountain's forces after Lord Rake's death at the hands of Bleston's force.
Through Picket's efforts, much of the Halfwind force survives the battle, though a reunited Picket and Helmer are both uneasy about Emma's discussion with Garten. Joined by Frye, they lead the soldiers that are able in pledging their service to Emma as part of the bestowal of the Green Ember. Unfortunately, Emma's deal with Garten involved surrendering herself to the Preylords, which is only prevented by Heather's swift action. Picket arrives at Cloud Mountain's Seven Standing Stones just in time to find Emma weeping as a bird carries Heather away to the High Bleaks.
Cloud Mountain to Harbone
As Cloud Mountain is evacuated, taking advantage of Emma's negotiations with Garten, Picket and Helmer lead a force of bucks to Jupiter's Crossing. Picket and his master discuss the uncertain matter of the Terralain army, and Picket's role in Bleston's death. Upon reaching the crossing, the pair attempt to leave their force in the charge of Lieutenant Drand, only to be confronted by a force of Terralains under Tameth Seer and Captain Vulm. Despite their attempts to reason with the other rabbits, battle ensues, and is only halted when Cause reinforcements arrive led by Jo Shanks and Cole Blackstar.
Picket spares a Terralain soldier he has defeated, and Helmer persuades Vulm to lead his bucks away peacefully for the time being. Jo and Cole then inform Picket that Lord Victor has joined Emma, confirming the report of Smalls' death. The pair then deliver Smalls' scarf to Picket at Emma's instructions, and comfort him in his fresh grief. Picket then bids farewell to his friends, asking them to watch over Emma before departing with Helmer.
As the two make their way through the Great Wood towards Harbone Citadel, Picket questions whether he will be welcomed. Helmer assures him that his heroics have done much to redeem the name of Longtreader, and further notes that Helmer is on Picket's side. Picket learns something of Helmer's history with Harbone's Lord Hewson, and is surprised to be told that Helmer has a twin sister, Airen. The two warriors share grief over being separated from their sisters, but soon sense something amiss nearby.
Helmer is shot while attempting to cross a clearing, but the shots are fired by Harbone archers trying to warn them back. The source of the danger soon becomes evident, as a Wild Wolf Pack charges through the woods. Helmer and Picket race to Harbone, hoping to reach it safely, but are forced to engage several wolves in the process. They eventually reach the gate and are admitted by Dev Meeker, an old comrade of Helmer's who welcomes them to the citadel.
Picket and Helmer soon appear before Harbone's council, and are welcomed by Hewson and the other leaders. In spite of the council's assertions that entering the occupied capital of First Warren is impossible, Helmer announces his and Picket's intent to do so on Emma's orders. Picket joins Helmer in proposing various strategies by which they might enter the city, only to learn that they have all been attempted in the past with disastrous results. However, Emerson, an engineer whose father was among those killed in these efforts, proposes a new strategy based on reports from the Battle of Rockback Valley.
Picket soon strikes up a friendship with Emerson, who has lost both his parents to the war, and is later introduced to Hame Smith. The two discuss, with Lord Hewson, the history of smithing among rabbits and the fate of Flint's starsword. Picket later joins Harmon and Dalla, young residents of Harbone, in a game of hoopvolley. However, the gameis interrupted as he is summoned to join Helmer in preparing for their entry to First Warren.
Fitted with glider capes, Picket and Helmer manage to enter First Warren by catapult launch while Lord Hewson's forces provide a distraction. Once inside, they see the inhabitants being summoned to the governor's palace, where Jupiter's oldest son Winslow rules as Morbin's figurehead. To their horror, several of the city's younglings are set upon by raptors as punishment upon the city's inhabitants, the Preylords having mistaken Hewson's distraction for the acts of resident insurgents. Picket attempts to rush to their aid but is held back by Helmer, who regretfully informs Picket that they cannot act yet.
The pair begin making their way towards Helmer's Farm, his family's ancestral home, and stop in a cave with several other rabbits. In the process, they learn that Heather's story has made it inside, through the efforts of the Herald and the Teller. Picket has also become the subject of a folk song, "Picket Packslayer", depicting him as a larger-than-life hero. After speaking with the Teller, the two proceed to the farm, where they are confronted by Helmer's niece Louise.
After convincing Weezie, as she is affectionately known, of his identity, Helmer enters the farmhouse only to find his sister a broken shadow. As Weezie explains to Picket, both her father Snoden and twin sister Layra have perished since First Warren fell under the Preylords' sway. While Helmer attends to Airen, Picket and Weezie go for a walk, and Picket finds himself nostalgic for his simple life in the countryside of Nick Hollow. He also informs Weezie of their intent to bring the fight to First Warren, seeing in her the same resilience Helmer has displayed despite her many years living under oppression.
Picket and Weezie are then attacked by black-clad rabbits, whom they mistake for Winslow's villainous Black Band. After being captured, Picket manages to escape and free Weezie as well, only for the pair of them to be recaptured. They are then led down into the old remnants of the original First Warren, and discover that their captors are actually a resistance force based in the Citadel of Dreams. Despite initially mistrusting Captain Moonlight, the group's leader, Picket initially tells him the truth about his mission after learning that Helmer and Airen are in danger.
Joining Moonlight's extraction team, Picket and Weezie succeed in rescuing Airen and freeing Helmer. However, Picket and Helmer are left alone to face the rest of the Black Band and their captain, a disgraced former comrade of Helmer's named Daggler. Helmer manages to subdue Daggler, and holds him hostage to enable Picket's escape, only to be shot as Picket flees. Picket, seeing no hope of escape, prepares to launch a final attack against Daggler only to be brought back into the Citadel of Dreams by Moonlight via a secret entrance.
To Picket's relief Weezie, Airen, and Helmer are all alive and well, and he and Weezie spend the evening celebrating with their newfound comrades. The new morning, Picket enjoys a happy reunion with his master and deepens his friendship with Weezie. The forces of the Citadel of Dreams, including Smalls' brother Whitbie, then join in preparing for Victory Day, which is to occur the next day.
Led by Whit, Picket and Helmer enter the governor's palace and confront Winslow and Daggler. Helmer delivers a proclamation from Emma, warning Winslow of her intent to reclaim the city from him, before the three leave. After briefly meetingn up with the rest of the resistance forces in the city, Whit leads them to the roof of the palace. Picket dons his glider cape once again, and takes flight after the raptor sentinels under Falcowit of the Six leave to investigate the destruction of the Citadel of Dreams.
Aided by Weezie and others, Picket sets off several blastpowder barrels to topple a statue of Morbin Blackhawk from atop one of the city's Seven Standing Stones. He then helps Helmer and Whit to secure Winslow on a balcony as Moonlight's forces engage the Black Band, only for the sentinels and wolves also garrisoned in the city to close in. Fortunately, as planned, the army of the Cause arrives, breaching the wall of First Warren to invade the city in force. Picket makes his way to the wall to help secure it for the Cause's archers, before swooping down and carrying the banner of the Cause to the top of the standing stone statue of Falcowit.
Threatened by a raptor sentinel, Picket uses the flag's pole to impale the attacking bird and falls to the ground, slowing his fall with his cape. He is reunited with Cole, who brings him up to date on the Cause's plans and forces. The pair then seen Daggler and the Black Band about to finish off Moonlight's rabbits, and rush to their aid. Picket is forced into desperate combat with several rabbits and suffers grievous injuries to one leg.
As a result of his beleaguered state, Picket is unable to go to Cole's aid against Daggler; however, Helmer intervenes and puts an end to the villainous rabbit. Emma then arrives and, having seen Picket's injuries, orders Lord Morgan of Vandalia Citadel and Captain Parn of Harbone to carry him up to Winslow's balcony. As they observe the ongoing battle, Picket sees Jo atop the city wall facing one of the last raptor sentinels. With Helmer's help, he launches himself to fly to Jo's aid, and manages to catch the archer as he tumbles from the crumbling wall after killing the raptor.
With the battle all but won, Picket watches as Emerson dispatches Falcowit, the last surviving raptor, using one of the bowstrikers he helped to invent. Picket subsequently falls unconscious, but awakens and is greeted by Doctor Zeiger, who informs him that his injuries will now leave him unable to walk. After updates on Jo and Cole and reunions with Emma, Mrs. Weaver, and Helmer's family, Picket-walking with a crutch-walks to observe Emma's first speech to the city. He politely refuses her invitation to join her on the balcony, choosing instead to climb to the top of one of the standing stones with Weezie.
As Picket watches, Emma addresses the inhabitants of the city, and pardons Winslow and others who are willing to join the Cause. Looking out across the city, Picket sees Forbidden Island and feels a sense of foreboding. He expresses his longing for Heather to Weezie, and the pair then join in singing the Song of the Resistance.
Return to duty
In order to recover from his injuries, Picket is sent to Helmer's Farm to rest, over his own strong objections, by Emma. Ultimately, he proves grateful for the chance to spend time with Weezie and Airen, but also feels his will to keep fighting ebbing. Just as Weezie arrives to inform him that he had been summoned back to duty, Picket completes a starstick using wood gathered from the farm and some of Weezie's ribbon. Casting the stick away, Picket resolves to retrieve it after he finds Heather; he then walks back to the house with Weezie to bid Airen farewell. During the parting, Airen shares some of her and Helmer's history, and is surprised when Picket expresses his belief that Helmer had been with King Jupiter's army when the king had fallen.
Accompanied by Weezie, Picket makes his way to a council meeting at the old palace, his frustration growing as he sees signs of the work he had been kept out of. Weezie bids him goodbye at the doors to the meeting, and Picket enters to find the rest of the council assembled. While many of the council members regard him with awe, Helmer is his customary self, for which Picket is grateful. The meeting then begins, with the attendees discussing the massing of the Preylord forces near Grey Grove.
Unexpectedly, Uncle Wilfred then arrives, accompanied by Jo Shanks, Cole and Heyna Blackstar returning from a mission to the Terralain camp. As the newcomers reveal, the Terralains have been joined by additional soldiers under Kylen's brother Naylen, and that they intend to attack the city at dawn. Emma insists on leaving immediately using new glider packs, and Picket and the rest of the Fowlers accompany her, with Weezie saying goodbye to Picket and her uncle. On her first attempted flight, Emma faints in midair, and is only saved by Picket and Cole's timely actions.
After doing their best to console Emma over the incident, the Fowlers accompany her to a nearby set of catapults so that they could return to the air. They soon arrive at the Terralain camp and were confronted by soldiers under Captain Granger. Despite the hostility of the Terralains in general towards Picket and Emma, Granger leads them into camp. There Naylen, seeing Picket, rushes him, but Picket wins their brief duel. To Naylen's surprise, Picket then helps him to his feet and offers up his own sword, assuring Naylen that he was not guilty of the crimes that he had been charged with.
Tameth Seer then appeared and ordered Picket and his comrades slain, but his order was countermanded by an ill Kylen. The prince had Emma and Picket brought into his tent, and insisted on hearing their pleas for peace from Picket. However, Kylen refuses to hear any words against Tameth Seer, and only allows Picket and his friends to depart because of his affection for Heather and for Picket's mercy towards his brother. Just then, Lallo arrives from First Warren with word of the Attack on Harbone Citadel; Kylen is surprised, as Tameth Seer had informed him that Morbin wouldn't yet attack.
Picket flies into a rage at Kylen's apparent collaboration with the Preylords, and is only stopped from striking him by his friends. As Lallo leaves to escort Emma back to First Warren, the Fowlers prepare to leave for Harbone. Naylen returns Picket's sword to him, and informs the First Warren rabbits that the Terralains will attack in three days' time. With a biting response fueled by his growing sense of despair at the thought of facing Morbin's forces and the Terralains, Picket leaves with the Fowlers.
From one battle to another
The Fowlers spot several Preylords departing Harbone as they approach, and continue on to find the secret citadel in ruins. After a grim battle against the last remnants of the Wild Wolf Pack, Picket and his friends do what they can to rally the surviving rabbits. They are then attacked by a party from Longtreader Command who took part in the assault, slaying all but one rabbit whom they take as a prisoners. He reveals that the attack was a preliminary to Morbin's full assault on First Warren, and after learning Picket's name delivers crushing news: Heather has been murdered by their uncle, Garten Longtreader.
Devastated, Picket flies back to First Warren ahead of the others, and is greeted upon arrival by a frail Captain Moonlight. The two exchange news, and Moonlight has Ray Carter carry Picket to the palace, with Weezie-one of Moonlight's new helpers as quartermaster-riding along. After sharing his woes with Weezie and being comforted by her, Picket lays down to sleep. He is awakened the next morning by Cole and Jo, with the grim news that the coming battle will see Morbin's forces joined by the hordes of the wolf king Farlock.
After witnessing Mrs. Weaver interrogating their prisoner, Picket and his friends speak with her, Emma, and Helmer. In their discussion of Helmer's fallen fellow Lord Captains, they learn that several of them disappeared while searching for True Blue. Emma recognizes the name from her time at Halfwind, and begins to suspect that the plant has healing properties. While searching for leads on the matter, she and Picket-with the aid of Captain Frye-stage an argument in front of the prisoner. Frye then takes him out of the city and allows him to escape, in order to carry a false report of their unpreparedness to the Preylords.
The search locates Missy Dreft, an old apothecary, and from her Picket and the others learn the history of True Blue, Flint, and Fay before she dies. They then meet up with Wilfred, who is accompanied by Jone Wissel of Halfwind, from whom Emma first heard of True Blue. Wilfred and Helmer also discuss a bet they made concerning Picket on Cloud Mountain, and a scar on Helmer's arm that Picket has only recently learned of. Unfortunately, Jone reports that all the True Blue she had left was used to heal Wilfred's grievous injuries.
Afterwards, Picket trains with the new Royal Fowlers Auxiliary, and after a session Lallo asks for some one-on-one training. Picket, with some prodding, passes on some of Helmer's teachings, before being reported to by Lieutenant Bannon. With the Terralain army approaching, Picket leaves for the West Gate, where he is greeted once again by Moonlight. Picket asks Moonlight to watch over Weezie, before moving to join Helmer and assume command of half of the Royal Warrenguard.
As the Terralain army marches into view, the defenders receives more dire news: Farlock and Morbin's armies are also advancing on the city. Emma, having brought news of the latter, refuses to retreat, and instead addresses her soldiers and encourages them to give their all. Picket than has a sword brought for her, before turning to address the arriving forces of Terralain. However, in a surprise turn of events, Naylen and Kylen turn against their traitorous adviser, Tameth Seer, who is slain while his guards are defeated by the Terralain royal guard and Jo.
Just as the Terralain dispute is settled, the forces of King Farlock arrive at First Warren, wreaking havoc upon the defenders who meet them. Unable to make use of assets needed for use against the Preylords, the rabbits battle on, with Captain Frye perishing in a vain attempt to bring down Farlock. Picket, recognizing the wisdom of this strategy, glides into battle and cuts down the wolf king. He is left stranded in the face of Farlock's enraged horde, but is saved as the Terralains charge into battle on the side of the Cause.
After paying his respects to the fallen Frye, Picket leads Emma back into the city as others of their force join the Terralins in battle. After reuniting with Wilfred and Helmer, the pair leave to return to the palace, though Picket allows Emma a private moment to come to terms with the weight of their losses. Shortly after they arrive at the palace, Kylen comes in company with Jo, and acknowledges Emma as rightful heir by surrendering to her the Whitson Stone. The first wave of Preylords then arrives, led by Falcowitson, and begin to devastate the defenders.
Even as the enemy raptors attack, a second wolf army arrives from the east; despite this, Helmer chooses not to deploy the Royal Fowlers Auxiliary. Emma suggests that they must continue targeting the enemy leaders, and Picket offers to face Falcowitson. Helmer refuses to allow it, and it is decided that the Blackhawk Option, a strategy meant for Morbin himself, must be employed early. With their signal network disrupted, Picket and Jo fly to the battle burrow concealing their weapon: a bowstriker that fires off a blastarrow.
With Falcowitson sent off in identical fashion to his father, the two Fowlers return to the palace and report the status of the city to Emma and Helmer. Lady Glen then arrives in company with Lord Blackstar and the Pilgrim, whom Jo introduces Picket and Helmer to. As Jo leaves with Kylen and the Pilgrim's band to rejoin the battle, Picket remains behind as Emma, her mother, Mrs. Weaver, Lord Blackstar, and Helmer counsel together. Picket is soon greeted by Lady Glen, who apologizes for her visit to Nick Hollow and its affect on his family.
Picket, in turn, affirms his determination to fight for the Cause, and Lady Glen encourages him before speaking with Helmer in private. After she finishes, she and Mrs. Weaver share the story of Helmer's scar and his long-simmering anger and guilt with Picket. Before the fall of King Jupiter, Helmer had come to suspect Garten Longtreader's duplicity, and was sent on a ghost mission with his elite King's Arm unit. Sensing the trick, Helmer led his bucks to stop Garten, only to have them all be slaughtered. Garten then chained Helmer by one arm to a tree in sight of Jupiter's Crossing, and Helmer was forced to choose between escaping with his life and his arm or charging to die in defense of the king.
Grieved by the tale, Picket realizes what it truly meant for Helmer to accept him as his apprentice; when Lady Glen informs Picket of Helmer's love for him, Picket affirms his own regard for the older buck. Picket then joins his master and other defenders on the palace roof, fighting off a party of attacking Preylords. The wave is eventually repulsed, due in no small part to two of the Six falling to one of Jo's arrow shots. Despite heavy losses, Picket urges the arriving Harmon and Lallo to keep the R.F.A. from deploying, knowing that greater needs await them.
The last struggles
Picket, Helmer, and Lallo leap from the palace rooftop and glide to Wilfred's aid, entering a brutal melee with the wolves his bucks have been trying to repulse. They succeed in forcing back the attackers, only for two more members of the Six to arrive with another wave of Preylords. The defenders quickly fall back to a planned rendezvous point, intending to lure in the wolves and destroy First Warren's dam with a blastpowder explosion. However, when the trigger mechanism fails to set off the explosion, Helmer orders Picket to remain where he is.
As Picket looks on in growing horror, Helmer runs to the alcove in the dam where the blastpowder is packed and lights a torch. He meets his apprentice's eyes a final time, raises a fist to his chest in salute, and drops the torch to set off the blastpowder. The resulting explosion not only destroys the dam but kills numerous Preylords, including the two recently arrived members of the Six. Picket and the rabbits who acted as bait for the trap glide to safety as the flood sweeps away many of the wolves and helps douse the fires consuming the city. Despite this, Picket is devastated by Helmer's sacrifice.
Encouraged by Emma, Picket rises to join the remnants of her council, knowing that a final wolf attack and the remaining Preylords, led by Morbin himself, are on their way. With their assets depleted and strategies exhausted, Picket assumes command of the army in Helmer's place. He leads the R.F.A. into the air, rallying them with the oath of the King's Arm. They meet the final wave of Preylords aloft, and Picket saves Lallo's life before turning to face Morbin.
To Picket's astonishment, Smalls appears on the Seven Standing Stones, leaping from one to another as he goes to face Morbin while wielding the starsword. Picket flies in while Morbin is distracted by the prince, and manages to blind the terrible hawk in one eye. However, as he makes an attempt on the other eye, Morbin evades him and cuts off Picket's right arm. Despite the terrible injury, Picket makes a desperate leap at Morbin and is struck by his talons. As he falls, however, he sees the payoff to his gambit: Smalls is able to slay Morbin using the starsword, which breaks after piercing the monster's heart.
Picket falls into the water below, but is rescued by an arriving Heather, who with Emma attends to his grievous injuries. Picket falls into a coma, but eventually awakens after several weeks to find himself surrounded by his family, whom he had thought lost. Weeping with joy, he is embraced by his loved ones as Smalls looks on. For the Longtreader family, this marks the true beginning of the Mending.
The Mended Wood
Picket marries Weezie, and the pair are expecting their first child a year after the end of the War for All Natalia. They take up residence on Helmer's Farm, which is given to them as a wedding present. Picket is the guest of honor at the first Feast of the Mending, and is seated at a table with his family and closest friends. He invites Smalls to join them, but his soon-to-be king and brother-in-law declines, taking it upon himself to join the servers. Emma and Heather later discuss Picket, noting that he seems to have settled in to his new life in First Warren.
Picket becomes a farmer, employing Lallo and several other fellow veterans, content to have left behind the life of a warrior. He pays regular visits to the Weavers, who live nearby, and on one occasion thanks Mrs. Weaver for loving him even when he didn't love himself. Picket is also a regular at the newly rebuilt Citadel of Dreams, though he has no interest in discussing his past heroics. However, he is encouraged by Captain Moonlight, who offers to talk about anything Picket wants to.
On the night of a family gathering at the farm, Picket stops by a large mural of his beloved master before continuing on his way. As he nears home, he looks up at the warrior's cluster, which appears to depict a farmer as the crescent moon intersects with the stars. During the gathering, Picket and Heather, now queen, go off by themselves, and discuss his farming and Heather's writing. The discussion turns to parenting, and the pair soon observe Heather's daughter Hanna leading Picket's son Jo away from the others. After considering the wonders of Firstflower, which seems to thwart even death, Heather shares with Picket the ending of The Fall and Rise of King Smalden Joveson.
Hanna and Jo break in on the two, having found the starstick Picket made before the final battle. Picket instructs his niece and son in the playing of the game, and he and Heather look on as the young rabbits frolic. Afterwards, they join their families in dining beneath the Helmer tree, and happily answer Hanna's questions about the origins of starseek.
As a young buck, Picket is short and slender with thick golden-gray fur and bright, dark eyes. As he ages, he starts to appear taller, fuller, and more muscular, and his formerly pure dark eyes gain paler irises. Come the Siege of First Warren and the Mending, Picket's fur has become somewhat patchy and scraggly, and he bears numerous scars and a missing arm as well as a permanent limp.
His attire varies throughout his life, beginning with the simple attire of a civilian as a youngling and working up to the complex military garb of a captain. He carried a sword from when he began training with Helmer through his partaking in the War for All Natalia, after which he hung his weapon up and became a farmer.
Personality and traits
Initially, Picket was a young rabbit who found himself suddenly confronted with horror and death, and was terrified of it. He wanted desperately to act bravely, especially for Heather's sake, but found himself painstakingly unable to do so. 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. He became an able warrior with a fierce devotion to Smalls, and later Emma, being more than willing to lay down his life for either of Jupiter's heirs. Though he brooded sometimes and raged on several occasions, this was always when confronted with another's evil deeds or beliefs, when his loyalty to the Cause and sense of justice would become too much for him to contain. Like Helmer, Picket never shied away from doing the right thing, no matter how perilous.
Skills and abilities
Picket is very good at math, and it is easy for him to recognize patterns and do estimations. He had a keen eye and great physical and mental prowess as a soldier, being both agile on the ground and in the air.
|Unnamed father||Unnamed mother|
|Brindle Cove||Unnamed wife|
(including Helmer's great-grandfather and father)
|Helmer||Wilfred Longtreader||Airen||Snoden (deceased)|
|15 unnamed adopted children||Jo Longtreader||Unnamed children|
Whittle and Sween are Picket's parents, and he has a deep love for them both. He was thoroughly repulsed by the idea that his father might have betrayed King Jupiter. Picket's desire to rescue them both after they were captured by Morbin's forces was a great motivation for him, though at times it became an obsession.
|“||Picket Longtreader: Were we ever so young?
Heather is Picket's older sister and best friend since childhood, though they would occasionally squabble. The pair enjoyed competing with each other or as a team in various games, and each often tried to help the other overcome their fears. Due to their greatly differing roles in supporting the Cause, Picket and Heather gradually spent less and less time together, but their love for one another did not dwindle. After the War for All Natalia, Picket and Heather fondly reminisce over the simplicity of their childhood while their respective children play nearby.
|“||We have a brotherly bond based on mutual promises of protection. I will always be there for Jacks, and he will always be there for me. Right, Jacks?||”|
— Picket Longtreader to Jacket Longtreader, The Green Ember, pg. 24
Jacket and Picket were very close as younglings. Jacks enjoyed being held by Picket, and Picket felt a strong protective instinct towards him. Jacks' abduction by Redeye Garlackson's wolves caused feelings of failure in Picket, despite the fact that there was little, if anything, he could have done to prevent it.
Garten and Wilfred Longtreader are Picket's paternal uncles, though his relationships with them could not be more different. Garten's betrayal of King Jupiter had a great effect on Picket's life, resulting in his being raised in Nick Hollow and having no knowledge of his family name. When Picket learned the truth about his uncle's actions, he swore that he would always go by the name of Longtreader in hopes of restoring it to its former honored status. Picket also felt a sense of responsibility for Garten's actions; while not believing himself guilty of Garten's crimes, he felt that dealing with Garten was a family obligation.
Picket only met Garten on one occasion, during the Battle of Rockback Valley, though he had previously observed him from a distance during the Battle for Cloud Mountain. He was eager to see justice done upon his uncle, but was prevented from doing so by Emma; at her insistence, Picket also allowed Garten to leave Cloud Mountain. Picket was later disgusted to see a statue of his uncle, in kneeling position, atop one of the Seven Standing Stones in First Warren. Garten earned further disdain from Picket when word reached him that Garten had apparently taken Heather's life.
Among the results of Garten's actions was that Wilfred, Picket's other uncle, did not meet Picket until Picket was near adulthood. Despite this, the two bonded quickly, though Wilfred soon had cause to be dismayed by Picket's bitterness and pride after the abduction of his parents and younger brother. Wilfred did his best to encourage the younger buck and help him overcome his faults. He was kind and ready with compliments, unlike Picket's master and his old comrade Helmer the Black. Interestingly, however, Helmer actually had greater confidence in Picket's potential than did Wilfred, and thus won a bet that the two made at Cloud Mountain.
Wilfred was later horrified to learn that Picket had urged Smalls to undertake a foolhardy rescue attempt. However, he helped Picket to see that, while he had played a role in Smalls' decision, he had neither made the choice nor been the one to apparently take Smalls' life. Charging Picket with carrying on the fight in his stead, he warned him that it would be difficult but possible. The two were later happily reunited some days prior to the Siege of First Warren.
After the end of the War for All Natalia, Wilfred married Airen, the mother of Picket's wife Louise; he thus became not only Picket's uncle but his stepfather-in-law.
When they first met, Picket was immediately put off by almost everything about Smalls, particularly his supposedly arrogant attitude, his attraction to Picket's sister Heather, Heather's own budding friendship with him, and the demeaning way he spoke to Picket. Picket's dislike for Smalls increased steadily, until he finally exploded at the older buck while they, Wilfred Longtreader, and the unconscious Heather were escaping from Seven Mounds to Decker's Landing. He lashed out at Smalls for referring to him as "lad," and condemned him for not knowing how Picket could possibly be feeling, having just lost his family. Smalls responded passively, which altered Picket's attitude towards him somewhat, though he still harbored distaste for the small prince. As Picket matured, however, his view on Smalls began to change, especially once he learned that Smalls was Jupiter's heir; even going so far as to set out on his own to rescue Smalls from an ambush at Jupiter's Crossing.
Picket became devoted to Smalls' service, but suffered from a desperate longing to be reunited with his family. This led him to insist on pressing on to the deserted camp, and later to beg Smalls to attack the camp in the Shade Hills. Picket came to regret this latter action, particularly as he took advantage of Smalls' feelings towards Heather to prompt his actions. He soon came to view himself as a traitor, a feeling reinforced when Wilfred returned with news of Smalls' apparent death. However, Wilfred helped Picket turn his guilt towards a renewed dedication to the Cause, and Picket became determined to honor Smalls' memory.
Picket's feelings of loss at Smalls' death were deep, so much that he broke down when he received Smalls' scarf as a gift from Emma. However, the garment became a treasured possession, acting as a sort of emotional bandage to help Picket recover from the loss. Prior to the final battle for Natalia, Picket entrusted it to Airen, apparently not wishing to risk its being lost or damaged. When Smalls appeared during the final conflict, Picket was overjoyed, and willingly risked his own life in order to save that of the prince and give him the chance to strike down their foe. Afterwards, Smalls and Heather's marriage made the pair brothers-in-law.
Emma and Picket developed a fast and easy friendship shortly after meeting, with Emma playfully teasing Picket in an effort to bring him out of his sour moods. This actually seemed to benefit Picket, though it didn't entirely dissipate his sarcasm and despondency over the loss of his family. Emma was eager to help Picket by introducing him to Mrs. Weaver, and was noticeably upset when he was taken on by Helmer as an apprentice. However, his obvious enjoyment of his training and improving attitude seems to have calmed her, and perhaps even softened her attitude towards Helmer.
Picket, like Heather, became one of Emma's closest friends, and was soon entrusted with a secret that Emma herself didn't know: her identity as the daughter of King Jupiter. Picket struggled with keeping this information from her, particularly as he recognized that Emma's ignorance made her willing to risk her life on behalf of others. The two grew particularly close, with Picket determined to protect her and Emma obviously being concerned for his safety. Picket soon saved her life after she was revealed as the heir, and joined the surviving soldiers from the Battle of Rockback Valley in pledging themselves to her.
Picket accepted a mission to infiltrate First Warren with Helmer from Emma, and she expressed the utmost confidence in their ability to succeed. When Emma saw Picket injured during the Battle for First Warren, she insisted that some of her companions carry the injured rabbit. She later presented him with a crutch following the battle, and invited Picket to join her as she addressed the city from the palace balcony. Picket declined, however, choosing to observe from outside with Weezie; Emma seems to have been surprised by his decision but accepted it.
Despite his loyalty to Emma, Picket was not above disagreeing with her, particularly when she ordered him to take a leave of absence to recover from battle injuries. After his return to service, Emma asked his opinion on certain matters, including her interest in Firstflower. She resisted his efforts to convince her to leave the city or the front lines during the Siege of First Warren, but was later persuaded to fall back to the palace after the Terralain army joined the Cause. Emma was also astonished by Picket's defeat of Farlock; he later allowed her time to herself to address the feelings of loss associated with the battle.
Emma helped treated Picket's terrible injuries after the final battle; however, she later expressed the view that Weezie could help him recover in ways that she could not.
|“||Lady Glen: I suppose you know that he loves you.
Picket was greatly impressed by Helmer upon first seeing him, impressed by the older buck's ability to drive away others. After observing him in combat training, Picket became determined to learn from the experienced warrior. Helmer was initially uninterested, and seemed to regard Picket as an annoyance and a whiny child. After Picket claimed that Helmer had been giving him pointers on combat training when Lord Rake, Heather, and Emma walked in on their altercation, Helmer surprised them all by accepting Picket as his apprentice. Though Helmer's training left Picket bruised and battered, the young rabbit found himself enjoying it immensely.
The two surly rabbits had a surprisingly positive effect on each other, with the training helping Picket come out of his self pitying stupor and Helmer to behave more sociably. A sorer spot between the two was Picket's belief in-and insistence on-victory in the coming war, something Helmer had long since given up hope for.
Picket served as Helmer's second-in-command, and agreed with him on most decisions, including the dismissal of Heyward. However, when Heather objected to Helmer's handling of the incident, Picket defended his sister, only to be caught-with his comrades-by surprise as Helmer launched one of his trademark surprise attacks. On his own side, Picket enjoyed the rare instances when his actions caught Helmer off guard.
Following the Battle of Rockback Valley, Picket and Helmer discussed Emma's negotiations with Garten Longtreader, whom they both mistrusted, but both acted in support of their newly revealed princess. Later, the pair were tasked with leading a force of evacuating soldiers from Cloud Mountain.
As the two continued on the next phase of their mission, heading for Harbone Citadel, Helmer unexpectedly opened up to Picket about his history. He also noted that, with the fates of his relatives in First Warren uncertain, he considered Picket his only family. This both surprised and delighted Picket, who by now had fallen into a rhythm of easy banter with his once foreboding master. Picket was later touched to see Helmer's reunion with Lord Hewson of Harbone, remembering his own absent friends as he did so. When the pair met Louise, Picket was gratified to see his master reunited with family, though the experience was somewhat spoiled when they learned of the tragedies that had befallen Helmer's sister and family in his absence.
As he got to know Louise, Picket confessed that he loved Helmer, who had been like a second father to him since he had been separated from Whittle. Picket was adamant about rescuing him after learning he had been abducted by the Black Band, and outraged when Daggler threatened his unarmed master. Picket was devastated when Helmer was brought down by an arrow shot, but greatly relieved to learn that Helmer had survived, the pair exchanging gazes of mutual affection and relief.
Picket joined in friendly teasing of his master on Victory Eve, but the two soon turned their attention to more serious matters. Picket was concerned for his master's injuries, but Helmer refused to be left out of their audience with Winslow. Picket later came to his master's defense in battle with Daggler and his guards, while Helmer later helped Picket glide to the aid of Jo Shanks. When Picket returned from his brief sabbatical at Helmer's farm, Helmer greeted him with typical sarcasm, which Picket both appreciated and reciprocated, to Helmer's amusement.
When Picket overheard Helmer and Wilfred discussing a bet made on Cloud Mountain, Helmer chose to keep the details private. He also didn't say much when Picket asked about his old scar. It would fall to Lady Glen and Mrs. Weaver to relate the truth, which brought Picket to tears and made him love his master all the more.
In the end, Helmer prevented Picket from making the sacrifice necessary to destroy the dam. Picket, though devastated, recognized that Helmer would gladly have chosen such an end in any circumstances to protect him and the other young soldiers under his command, and gathered his wits about him enough to launch an attack on Morbin Blackhawk, an act that allowed Smalls to slay the Preylord once and for all. Picket later married Louise, becoming Helmer's nephew-in-law, and tenderly mourned his old master for years after his death.
The Fowlers were Picket's elite combat unit, formed after he relocated from Cloud Mountain to Halfwind Citadel. The group's original membership consisted of Heyward, Jo Shanks, and Perkinson, with Heyward eventually being dismissed and replaced with Coleden Blackstar. Picket enjoyed a close comradery with his fellow Fowlers, though his relationship with each was different.
Picket first met Heyward on Cloud Mountain, and was initially amused and annoyed by turns with the eccentric buck. However, Heyward proved a faithful friend of Picket and his sister Heather, remaining in their company despite the prejudice against members of their family. Sadly, Picket became annoyed with Heyward's clumsy performance in Fowler training, and made no effort to speak up against his dismissal from the unit. Despite this, the two remained firm friends afterward, and Picket later praised Heyward as the true hero of the Battle of Rockback Valley due to his glider cape invention. Their friendship continued throughout the remainder of the War for All Natalia, with Picket silently encouraging the somewhat reluctant Heyward when they both attended a council meeting.
Jo Shanks made Picket's acquaintance after killing the Preylord Solus, and made a joking comment about Picket's fame. The two developed a strong bond of friendship, though Picket wasn't above teasing Jo over receiving medical care for an injured arm or arriving last to a training session. As part of the Fowlers, the two fought in several battles together, and saved each other's lives more than once. After the war, Picket would name one of his children after Jo.
Picket and Perkinson enjoyed a competitive friendship, both of them skilled combatants who enjoyed pushing themselves to their limits. Picket was initially in awe of Perkinson as the son of Perkin One-Eye, but came to be easy around the other buck. The two would also discuss somewhat weighty topics, and Picket trusted Perkinson as a sort of second-in-command. Sadly, Perkinson later proved to be an agent of Bleston and a traitor to the Cause, and it fell to Picket to put a permanent end to his former comrade.
Cole Blackstar was introduced to Picket by their mutual friend, Prince Smalls, shortly before joining the Fowlers. Cole was the most soft-spoken of the Fowlers, though he got along well with the other bucks, Picket included. He, Picket, and Jo Shanks at times addressed each other as honorary brothers, and Cole and Jo were entrusted with delivering a message and gift from Emma to Picket after the Battle of Rockback Valley. Cole and Picket fought together on several occasions, and even embraced upon being reunited during the Battle for First Warren.
|“||Picket Longtreader: I can walk without help, Weezie.
Louise is Helmer's niece, the daughter of his twin sister Airen, whom Picket met after arriving in First Warren. Mistaking Picket and Helmer for members of the Black Band, Weezie-as she is often called-attempted to shoot Picket in the head, though fortunately her arrow narrowly missed. The two young rabbits soon struck up a friendship, with Picket coming to see and admire in Weezie the resilience for which her family was known. He was deeply moved by her story of loss, and shared with her his own hopes of a peaceful future life.
Picket and Weezie went through a number of harrowing experiences together, from being captured by Captain Moonlight's forces to facing the real Black Band to save Helmer and Airen. Through it all, Picket was inspired by Weezie's ability to make him laugh and her determination to join the Cause. The pair later celebrated Helmer and Airen's rescue at the Citadel of Dreams, and enjoyed a pleasant breakfast among friends the following day. Both then actively participated in preparations for Victory Day, before actively joining the first stages of the Battle for First Warren.
After being injured in the battle, Picket chose to watch Emma's first address to the city from one of the Seven Standing Stones, which he ascended with help from Weezie. During the climb and atop the stone, Weezie expressed her admiration of Picket, and they shared their sorrow over the absence of their respective sisters. Picket was subsequently ordered to take a leave of absence at Helmer's farm, which he spent in company with Weezie. Their connection grew, through Weezie expressed playful annoyance at Picket's taking some of her ribbon, and teased him over the ballad "Picket Packslayer" that his deeds had inspired.
Weezie accompanied Picket back to the old palace, but willingly accepted her exclusion from Emma's council meeting. She later bid farewell to him and Helmer as they left on a mission with Emma. When Picket returned after the disastrous Attack on Harbone Citadel, Weezie rushed to him upon seeing him. Seeing his distress and exhaustion, she sat with him as he rode back to the palace in a cart. Picket expressed his determination to finish the fight, and included her with those he was fighting for.
Shortly before the Siege of First Warren began, Moonlight commented on Picket arriving near the West Gate by glider pack, amusing him by claiming Weezie had been impressed. Picket asked Moonlight to watch over Weezie, feeling that he couldn't stand to lose her on top of the apparent death of Heather. After the War for All Natalia concluded and Picket awoke from his coma, he and Weezie were married. Weezie was pregnant with their first child as they attended the first Feast of the Mending, and the two went on to have other children, including a son named Jo Longtreader.
|“||Listen to me. I'm sick of being told what to do. I'm tired of being the helpless crybaby who needs his diaper changed. I want to do something about what'd been done to me and mine. And the way I see it, being the best soldier in this army is my only way of ever doing something about that. The way I see it, you're the rabbit to train me. If you won't, I'll never leave you in peace.||”|
- Picket's character was inspired by S. D. Smith's oldest son, Josiah.
- S. D. Smith labeled Picket's attitude in The Green Ember as being "annoying".
Take a look at our gallery for Picket Longtreader by clicking here.