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Hickory Nutchel

(Hick-or-ee Nutch-el)
Race: Squirrel   Element: Wood   Weapon: Rifle
Age: 17 (Born November 13th, 296 DE)   Height: 8.7"   Weight: 180g


Hickory is a merchant that deals in various goods, the most notable being fertilizer, or "Hickory's Infamously Spectacular Snail Dung Plant Growth Enhancement Formula”. He travels with his snail Oozer, both the source of locomotion for his caravan and his primary stock. Hickory is a somewhat simple but good-hearted person, glad to help those in need and usually easygoing and chipper. As a lone traveler he can to look after himself and face down trouble, should it come his way, if all else fails willing to fall back on tradition and grab his gun. He does well enough to stay in business, but is constantly outdone by his rival Nikki.

Story Summary (Spoilers Beyond This Point)

Hickory is on a trip to Crosond, the capital city of Haron, when he meets two hamsters that have gotten lost, Samuel Boyd and J'Aime Beck. Hickory shares his food with the starving rodents while they tell him their situation. After making sure the hamsters won't have any racial tensions with his other hitchhiker, the young mouse Hiaté Noumou, he offers them a ride if they help out, since they're trying to get to Crosond as well. J'Aime and Sam accept his offer, just before discovering the caravan is surrounded by bandits, their leader Jamal after Hiaté. J'Aime is taken hostage at knifepoint, and Jamal demands Hiaté give up her possession, the Rod of Ulzis.

Hiaté and Sam team up to battle the bandits, who turn out to be possessed by strange demonic creatures called Urakait. Hickory mostly stays out of the way, unable to do much himself since Hiaté is hard-pressed despite using magic to aid her. Hiaté and Sam rescue J'Aime but are beaten by Jamal, who curiously spares their lives and then leaves. Hickory and J'Aime bring them back to the caravan to recover, and the group continues on towards Crosond while talking about what happened. Hiaté explains what the Urakait are, what the Rod of Ulzis is and why they're so determined to take it.

Upon reaching Crosond, the group bears witness to some poor treatment of two mouse slaves, Sarai Kerice and her mother Kamilia Kerice. Sam intervenes, and ends up spending their concert ticket money to free the mice from the abuse. He and Hiaté help Hickory to set up his stand, while J'Aime goes to find a way to get them into the concert. They run into Hickory's old business rival Nikki who sneers at him for "copying" her by hiring interracial help. The squirrel and hamster exchange taunts and boasts as the others head to the concert. That night J'Aime drags him into a makeover alongside Sam and Hiaté, Hickory being the only one not frightened by the prospects. He ends up just getting his face trimmed a bit cleaner.

Hiaté, Sam and J'Aime check on Hickory the next day, who isn't having much luck with business, although Nikki is making a killing. Later that day, the city is besieged by an army of spider robots, and while the others resist and finally thwart the attack, Hickory and Oozer hold their own in the conflict and make it out alive. That evening Hickory barges into the group's room and finds the other three in a compromising position. After being filled in on their plans to enter the stadium, he warns them just how bad a place it's rumored to be. The others are determined though, and set off on their way.

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