Many Dibbuns raced into the courtyard, assembling themselves in a semi-circle facing the gates. As the gates swung completely open, a tall squirrel, with the Sword of Martin in a scabbard across his back, halted in mock surprise, as if the Dibbuns hadn't greeted him this way every time he returned. "Well, well, what is this? Would you be wanting a story, by any chance?"
The Dibbuns began to cheer, signaling the affirmative, and the tall squirrel, Sapwilt the warrior of Redwall, nodded, smiling widely. The Dibbuns immediately plopped down where they stood, as Sapwilt adopted a thinking pose. "Hmmm, did I ever tell you the one about how I became the Warrior?" When there were shakes of the head all around, he nodded again, to himself. "Well, you see, it was many seasons ago, in the Winter of the Evergreens, when the trees forgot to lose their leaves..."
Deep in the confines of a cavern, a curious beast with a long, striped tail that slunk along behind him was hunched over some old chests and desks, poring over papers. He was focused particularly on one, and looked up only when he heard heavy footsteps approaching through the tunnels. He bowed respectfully as a large shadow entered the room, only the outline of a massive creature visible by the candlelight. It spoke in a deep, gravelly voice. "You said that you had found some matters of... interest?" it said ponderously, and in a very serious tone.
"Yes-t, Lord Abbot-t." The creature with the striped tail's voice was nervous and odd, with sharp clacking sounds indented into its speech, and a soft nervous cackle every now and then. "You see here-t, it says..." The voice trailed off as the dark shape grabbed the paper from the desk and began pouring over it.
"Most interesting." The deep, sonorous voice said. "Another abbey like we once were, but as of this letter, they are still unconverted. You were most wise for bringing this to my attention."
"Oh, thank you-t, Lord Abbot," the smaller creature said, obviously relieved to be praised rather than punished. "I-"
"Yes," the deeper voice continued, regardless of the interruption, "had you kept this from me, your death would have been far more painful." Reaching to its back, it removed a curved scythe-like weapon, and decapitated the simpering figure, whose expression was caught midway from relief to horror. Replacing the weapon in its place, the dark shape turned to leave the room, still clutching the paper. "I shall have to make plans to convert this... Redwall."
At Redwall Abbey, Dibbuns ran past the gatehouse, chasing each other in a game of tag, except everyone seemed to be it. One of them stopped in the entrance, poked his head in and said, "Sap, come'n ploy wit' us!"
Looking up from the papers he was sorting, a young Sapwilt shook his head ruefully. "Sorry, Urburt, but I need to finish sorting these records out for Brother Tynanthy before supper, or I won't get any supper." The mole Dibbun opened his mouth to respond, but saw his sister running up to tag him, and dashed away.
Brother Tynanthy was the old Recorder of Redwall, though not so old as many of his predecessors, and required that all work for him be done efficiently. Sapwilt was sorting out the records for him, and had not been exaggerating; he had to finish quickly. However, that was not the only reason for his refusal to play with the Dibbuns. In his hands he held an old paper, one of the records from several generations past. On it was written information regarding a strange visitor that had entered the Abbey at that time, a Brother from a separate Abbey, it would seem. He had given some cryptic information and then passed away, and the matter had apparently been forgotten.
Intrigued, Sapwilt looked at the paper for a few more seconds, then rushed to get Brother Tynanthy. The old Recorder came out of his room as sprite as a mouse many seasons younger than himself, and had a look at the paper. When he was finished reading, he looked up at Sapwilt. "Well, young Sap, you've found a treasure here. I'm going to call a meeting to take a look at this. I think the Abbess will find this especially interesting.