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The following is a work of fanfiction: there is no intent of this author to violate, transgress, profit from or infringe upon the Copyright and Intellectual Property (IP) rights of the parent Copyright or IP holders of characters, events or locations belonging to the same which may be contained within this work. To reiterate; this is a Derivative Work meant to be used under Fair Use as described in 17 U.S.C. § 101 and § 107.

All language is either through Google Translate, or the site 'Bits'n'Bob-stones'

The Sons of Efrafa

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The wedding ceremony for Katarin Yasmin Rautha and Ilkin Kadir Demirci, who was now Rautha had been magnificent. There had been some haggling between the Rauthas and Lily Winters over the wedding dress; Reynard had wanted to make the dress as a gift simply for the chance to make it, despite never having met the Rautha matriarch. Katarin had wanted to pay for the dress, but eventually the Rauthas agreed to pay for the cost of materials, if Katarin agreed to pose in the dress for a fashion magazine to help promote Reynard. This would also double as the wedding photo shoot. Katarin and Kadir both agreed to have Jacob serve as Koumbaros. He almost broke down crying when he saw how happy his mother was, taking her first steps around the altar with Kadir as a married couple; this was a far cry from what his grandfather described of Katarin's civil marriage ceremony to Nathan Raibert.

While the rite itself was for family and close friends, everyone who knew Jacob had wanted to come to the reception. This resulted in the FCDC holding a pot luck affair in Abram Square proper to try and support the crowd, rather than trying to find a caterer or a space. It looked as if the entire population of Foxburough Parish had come to wish the new couple well. Naz Aksoy, still half-heartedly fending off the attentions of Giuseppe Alagona, was once again playing chaperone to the growing crowd of small children, though now she was being helped by a small team of mammals including Viviane Wilde. Rumor had it that Naz and Viviane were looking to open a daycare center, and were in negotiations with the Adame's to lease one of the smaller buildings on Upper Canal St.

Half of the First and Seventh precincts were also in attendance, as well as several of Jacob's acquaintances through Nick and Judy. Catherine Montaigne was in fine form and flirting up a storm with a thoroughly flustered Ben Clawhauser, while the Fangmeyers prowled the crowd in search of love for the afternoon. Even Percy Dovetail, the effete makeup artist of the First Precinct was there, though most people were shocked to meet his wife who was one of Reynard's most prominent models. Jean-Pierre and Jeannette were there as well, though Jeannette could only make a brief appearance due to ongoing work on the ever-growing RICO case against the Thule Society members in custody. Likewise, Horace was not in attendance, as he was at the first round of electoral debates. He assured Jacob and Val that it would not be a drunken political debate, much to their dismay.

Nick, Zib, Judy and Dickie joined up with Jacob and Valerie at a Gazebo on the green outside St. Augustin's. Nick plopped down onto the bench with an arm and tail lovingly draped over Zib who returned the gesture. "Mom has been exhausting with her, 'hints' about grandchildren. I really hope this daycare thing works out for her. It'll hopefully distract her from pestering me and Zib." Said vixen gently jabbed him in the ribs. He responded by nuzzling her. "I didn't say I disagree with the sentiment, it's just exhausting trying to fend off her questions."

Judy chuckled and shook her head. "Take it from the rabbit, Slick; being surrounded by little ones will only make it worse. You two best get to work appeasing her."

Zib blew a raspberry at the rabbit couple. "You two just want us to act as a distraction for your own parents."

Judy nodded imperiously. "You're damn skippy we do!"

Jacob waved a finger at the saucy doe. "Language, Hopps; you're on Holy Ground. I will go inside and get a Thurible with which to bludgeon you back to purity."

Nick shook his head in mock dismay. "What is it with you long-ears and the hitting. Do you just intend to punch your way through life, Jacob?"

"Well, sure." Jacob shrugged. "It's worked on Thules, fools, thugs, NAZI's and Nasiri. I don't see any reason to stop now."

"You'll need to taper off a little at least." Val stroked on of Jacob's ears. "My sister Esmeralda sent me a text this morning; Mare Coneja is arranging a visit in about a month. She was going to try for next week, but I convinced her to wait until after your mother's honeymoon."

Nick smirked at Jacob's flustered expression. "Better break out the good armor for the old Battle-axe." As soon as the words left his muzzle, he gaped with everyone else for a moment, aghast at what he had just said.

Val looked sternly at the todd. "My mother is not a battle-axe." Nick hung his head in shame. "She's far too blunt an instrument to be called that. She wields guilt like a great stone cudgel."

Everyone snorted a chuckle at that, though Nick still looked sheepish. "Still, I shouldn't have said that. I am sorry. What can I do to make it up?"

Val thought for a moment. "Contacts; I'm looking to do a piece on the dispossessed in the city, focusing on the vulnerability of that population. I have my own sources that say a number of the Thule Blooding victims were homeless mammals that were simply scooped off the street. I want to bring attention to them, force the city to acknowledge its own no matter what strata in society."

Nick nodded. "I can do that, but you're going to have to go to them, and they're not in the best parts of the Polis."

Val smirked triumphantly and pulled a folding knife from her purse. "Well since I finally got my Navaja back from the cops, I should do fine." She glanced at Jacob to see his slightly drawn expression. "I will be, and I'll be careful."

Jacob squeezed her. "I know; you wouldn't be the mammal I love if you let fear stop you from going after your dreams, and I absolutely won't have that."

While most of the mammals were 'aww'ing at the schmaltzy moment, Dickie looked thoughtfully at the blade. "You Efrafans sure are big on your blades."

Val looked at the buck. "What this? This is just a knife I bought when I was 13. My sister inherited Avellaner's Killij."

Judy looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, I always wondered about the whole sword thing, Jacob. You have two, Val's family has one, and the news on Rabbi Loewe's funeral showed like, 30 armed hares. What is all that?"

Jacob settled into his seat. "Well, that's sort of the story of Efrafa itself, if you're willing to sit through it.".

Dickie smiled knowingly while pulling out his phone to record the story; his mother would have his ears if he failed to get her a copy of this story. "You're going to need the practice for when you two start telling your own children."

Jacob glanced around and saw his friend's rapt attention. "Alright. The story of Efrafa starts where the story of the line of Ephraim ends, during the campaign of Alexander the Great against the Achaemenid King Darius of the line of Nemean Kings. Once, so they say, Campion, first son of Ruth who was called Rautha, sat astride his ostrich. His shortbow, sword and lance were by his side, ready to be drawn at a moment's notice. His general, Ephraim of the line of Ephraim who was called Stihrath-rah, or 'General Woundwort' sat astride his own mount next to him and looked down onto the encampment in the Plain of Issus. From far below they could faintly hear a booming sound, as of a vast host of lions."

The Beginning