No one can remember.
No one can remember the days when Redwall was a nice place to be, when goodbeasts could stop and stay a while, or even forever.
No one can remember when the name of Martin the Warrior was spoken without fear.
It happened many, many seasons ago. It started in a cold and chilling winter, one youngbeast was found at the gates of Redwall and was taken in, sick. He was cared for, fed, and clothed, as they would have done for any other beast.
He was just an ordinary mouse, except in one way.
It was a terrible fever, with no known cure. Once you caught it, you were going to die.
It raged for three days, then he died. They buried him, and went on with their lives, not knowing that the sickness was in them too.
After two days, the first Redwaller fell ill, and then it kept getting worse. Only the babes didn't get sick, they actully seemed to get stronger.
'It can't get any worse.' They said, then it did.
Then came the horde.
Their was nobeast able to resist, Redwall was taken without a struggle, the babes taken captive, the others killed by the fever or the swords of the enemy.
That was the beginning of Bloodbane Castle.
It was a pretty ordinary day, the masters were doing what they usually did. The soldiers were doing their drills, and the rulers were discussing this and that.
The young slave, called Lese by all, was on a suicide mission.
"We must fight!" he told the other slaves. "Has being slaves for countless seasons weaked our will?"
The others muttered amoung themselves, not discussing how he was right, but asking each other how this one would be killed.
It happened often, a youngbeast would one day be doing their duties, then the next talking like this. Some of the braver ones that knew the stories from the Days Before, as they were known, would whisper, after looking about closely to see if any of the masters were about, that the Spirit of Martin the Warrior had spoken to them.
It was true in all cases.
But, it was suicide and was proven once again.
A group of soldiers marched in, surrounding the Castle executioner. Lese broke off, and turned a little pale, before strutting up and saying. "Vermin! Fight me fair and we'll see who wins."
The executioner drew its sword, and tossed it too the young mouse. Lese caught it, looking surprised. The executioner held out its paw to one of the soldiers, he handed his sword over, fearfully.
The executioner stood, waiting. Not for long, quickly Lese charged and swung his sword. The executioner didn’t even lift the blade, it simply stepped to the side and tripped Lese, he landed on the blade and died instantly.
The executioner nudged Lese over with its paw, and took his sword, dropping the one borrowed from the soldier heedlessly on the ground. Getting up, the executioner walked out, followed by the soldiers, the one whose sword it had borrowed hurrying to get back into position after picking up his sword.
They went their separate ways after that, the soldiers going back to their training and the executioner to the summons that King Berend had sent.
The executioner entered the stoat’s private quarters -according to the tales, it had been the Badger Mother's in the Before Days- and kneeled in front of him.
“Do you have to appear before me in that outfit? Take off the hood at least!” he ordered.
“As ye wish m’lord.”
Said the executioner, as she took off her hood, to reveal a rather pretty rat. Her fur was well brushed and glossy, a nice tan-sandy color that went well with her light blue eyes. The only thing that seemed off was the glint in those eyes. One nobeast had ever been able to describe. It was one of the reasons she was so feared by everybeast but the king.
“What reason does his royal highness have for sending for us?” she asked, showing the other reason. She was insane.
King Berend chuckled at her referring to herself in the plural form before saying. “I want you to take over the training of the soldiers, just for a few weeks. You’re my best fighter, I want those skills to remain in Bloodbane Castle even after all three of us are gone. Do you agree with me Tasa-Luha?”
Tasa-Luha snickered, “O’ course I do Berend me pal! We wants the castle to stand long, very long.” She smirked, and winked at King Berend, before twirling round and marching out. And the sound of an argument reached Berend’s ears.
“Tasa! Your are supposed to treat Berend with respect! If it was any other beast, he’d have their life!”
“Oh shut up Luha, Berend lets me so why not take advantage?”
“Because he’s king! Don’t you understand you just don’t do that to kings?!”
King Berend leaned back in his throne, smiling to himself. Tasa-Luha, so called for her two personalities. Tasa, the free-spirited disrespectful one that was a cold-blooded killer, and Luha, the one that always was respectful and serious, and just as much a murderer as Tasa.
Tasa-Luha marched out into the courtyard, looking for the Captain of the Gaurd, Leed. Leed was training a few of the younger beasts on some basic spear techniques. The 'spears' were actully just staves with a stone on the end. Tasa-Luha, shook her head, and sighed, then the other personality surfaced, and with a smile on her face, she softly snuck up behind Leed.
"That's not how you do it."
She stated, causing Leed to drop his 'spear' and gasp in fright. Leed turned, and looking a little pale said
"Well, your not the one training them."
"Oh, but I am. The King just told me so."
Leed gulped, before picking up his 'spear' and holding it out to her. Nobeast wanted to anger either Tasa or Luha.