Dreadrock Monastery is a large hidden monastery in the borderlands of the Southern Desert, inhabited not only by vermin, but "converted" members of other species, which have been allied to Dreadrock through conquering and strict tutelage by the abbots and adherents of the monastery.
The Monolith Caverns are a series of extremely small tunnels, which lead to five comparatively larger halls, in a large rock formation known as the Monolith, in the Southern Desert. It is inhabited by a military force of extremely small bats and rodents, such as pygmy shrews, jerboas and lemmings, and has several "iceholes" in the deeper parts of the halls, where the lemmings typically reside. Each hall has a crack in the rock which leads to a hidden sixth hall, leading still deeper into the Monolith, which opens into the vast ravine that is Dreadrock Monastery. Beneath the bottom of the monastery is a separate cavern where water wells up from a spring, used by the inhabitants as a valuable resource.
The Dreadrock Monastery is lead by the Abbot Primate, who is referred to by the title "Superior". This position is currently occupied by Hvelfang the Dread, and is directly above five other abbots, who are all on equal standing, and function similarly to the Brothers of Redwall Abbey. Underneath these are a large number of other members and inhabitants of the monastery, including its military force.
Dreadrock Monastery was originally named by its founders as Dryspring Abbey, after the spring of water that welled up at the bottom of the ravine, and was one of the original abbeys. However, a great drought caused most of the inhabitants to leave, and the only ones who remained were the devoted abbot and a handful of his most devoted followers. Several seasons later, some of the surviving deserters, most of whom had been killed by various causes, returned at the end of the drought to find that the remaining brothers had been saved from death by the return of the spring, but had been driven irreconcilably insane before the drought's end, turning them into entirely different, more savage creatures. Many of the returning brothers were captured and forcibly "converted", their minds broken, but three managed to escape, but two died on the road, and the final one died shortly after they reached Redwall, having caught the plague from a visit to Loamhedge en route. The remaining brother, before dying, managed to tell the Redwallers of "a third abbey" besides Loamhedge and Redwall, but gave a riddle for its location. Rediscovering the record several generations later, Redwall creatures mistakenly believed that the third abbey was still whole, and solved the riddle, seeking out Dreadrock. During the intermittent generations, the monastery's leadership transferred to vermin, and it became significantly more military in structure.
The Monastery is inhabited by a myriad of creatures, with many generic vermin such as stoats and ferrets, as well as mice and shrews, and has some less common animals, typically in its guardian force or horde.The horde of Dreadrock is composed mostly of ringtails and genets.