This fic will likely be much more graphic than my previous work. If you do not enjoy reading the details of extreme violence, then I suggest you either skip over those parts or not read this.
Peace has once again settled upon Mossflower Woods. Cregga Rose Eyes is dead, but the creatures of Redwall have continued in their lives, in harmony and calm. But one will come to disturb that peace, but he does not wear the face of evil. One that is the descendant of a forgotten warrior, who saved Mossflower while burning it at the same time. And he is not on a path of vengeance, he simply demands justice, no matter who stands in his way. What will ensue will be not a battle of large armies or open war, but a test of wit and skill, for Fen is not the only one being hunted. He will stretch the patience of the woodlanders to the limits, and endanger Redwall itself if he has to.
And he is hunting Ruggan Bor!
List of CharactersEdit
- Nimbalo the Slayer
- Abbess Mhera
- Russano the Wise
- Sister Rosabel
- Ruggan Bor
From the Writings of Sister RosabelEdit
Spring has come to Mossflower Woods, and the flowers have begun to bloom once more.
Abbess Mhera is out larking with the dibbuns, and I am trapped here, writing about another new day. But my young paws do sorely love to write!
I had a strange dream last night, that of three mice. One was Martin, our Abbey warrior, and another was obviously Matthias, the one who defeated Cluny and hunted Slagar. But I did not recognize the third one. He looked similar to Matthias and Martin, as if they were all related somehow, but he wore a golden bracelet around his wrist. I could not see the design, but it was ingeniously carved. Martin spoke first:
On Springs second day,
look to the west,
a spirit returns to Redwall,
one who will fight for all.
Then Matthias spoke:
My brother, my blood,
My family, my heart,
We are all connected,
By what we choose most dear.
And then the third mouse, whom I now noted was lean and looked very agile, spoke:
He comes not to help you
But to help all.
Do not turn aside his help
if you wish to see Redwall free.
Look for me.
And here the mouse held his golden bracelet up next to his face, his eyes boring in to me. Then they all faded away.
I cannot remember more than that, but I know that the dream went on for a while longer. Perhaps, in time, it will come to me.
Now, it is still early on this second Spring's day! I am going outside now. Good travels to you!
Sister Rosabel, Recorder and Gatekeeper of Redwall Abbey
Sister Rosabel set aside her quill and stood to leave the gatehouse. The squirrel was still very young, but was very knowledgeable in terms of Redwall's history. She could remember nothing pertaining to any kind of golden bracelet.
Abbess Mhera and several other otters, including her brother, Deyna, were swimming out in the pond with some dibbuns. It was always heartening to see the Abbess playing with the little ones.
Deyna appeared to be sunning himself on the shore. Rosabel went and sat next to him. The Taggerung had just reached his middle ages, but was still as strong and lithe as ever. The young squirrel doubted there was anybeast like him in the land. His ears perked up as she sat down, and he opened his eyes to glance at her.
"Ah, hello Miss Rosabel." He said. "Nice to see you out of that gatehouse."
Rosabel examined her paws. The back of her paws were dusty, and her claws were ink-stained. Wielding a quill was most definitely not the cleanest job in the world.
"It's good to be out. Had a strange dream last night, felt I had to write about it before I forgot."
The otter stood. "Always a good idea, methinks. Dreams are very helpful things." Without any further ado he ran and dove in to the pond, barely sending up a ripple as his body glided smoothly in to the water.
Yes. The young recorder thought to herself as she stood to go and wash her paws off in the pond. Dreams are very helpful.
"Awww, no fair, Terry." Shino whined as Teran's blade twirled, skillfully disarming the lithe hedgehog. "Disarmament's not allowed!"
"'Tis if'n it's a finishin' move." Teran the mouse said. "And tha' wa' most assur'dly a finishin' move."
A knife sailed out from the foliage and struck the hilt of Teran's sword. The Northern mouse cursed and dropped the weapon as vibrations sent shockwaves up his paw and arm. Next thing he knew, another mouse had a similar knife to his throat.
"Already got Derick." He said, his voice free of a northern accent. "I win."
"Ach, sah." Teran said, grinning despite the deadly blade pressed to his neck. "So ye do."
There was a rustle, and Derick the squirrel dropped out from the tree. "While you three were finishing up the game, I went and scouted around."
The small group's leader, the mouse with the knives, tucked his weapons back in to one of two criss-crossing bandoliers on his chest. "Find anything interesting?"
Derick's tail swished. "No vermin, that's for sure. Definitely no fox. Did hear bells o'er thataway." He said rapidly, pointing. "East an' a touch south."
"Bells. We must be getting close." The knife fighter said.
"D' yeh really think th' fox i' still thar, Fen?" Teran queried.
A red gleam flashed through Fen's eyes. "If he isn't by some miracle, then he can't have gone too far. Let's not waste any time. We march through the night!"
The four warriors set out at a brisk pace, two mice, a squirrel, and a hedgehog. All four were masters of woodland craft, and made nary a sound as they traveled.
The next day was overcast and humid, but with no rain. This made it uncomfortably warm for some creatures, who chose to stay in the cool indoors.
Deyna, however, was taking his morning jog around the walltops. The warrior otter refused to allow himself to go soft, and so exercised every day. On his third circuit he bumped in to Nimbalo, who was coming up the wallsteps carrying a tray with two bowls on it.
Nimbalo tottered and began to fall, so Deyna snatched the tray from the fieldmouse's paws, saving the soup.
"Can't let good soup like that go to waste, eh, matey?" The otter said casually, sitting down and helping himself to one of the bowls. Hotroot soup, good.
His best friend and near constant companion sat up from where he lay and grabbed the other bowl. "Not very polite, lettin' your best matey fall down like that." Nimbalo muttered.
"You're not hurt. The soup would have been." Deyna replied, swallowing another spoonful.
"Ahoy, we've got visitors." The mouse said.
He and the otter went to stand at the battlements facing west. Sure enough, four figures stood out on the path, each armed with an array of weaponry. There was one stoat, a weasel, a fox, and an ermine. The weasel grinned and waved at the two friends on the battlements.
"Hello thar. May we come inside?"
"Why would we let you do that?" Nimbalo called back, wishing he had his battle axe.
The fox, female by the look if her, took out a strange weapon. It seemed to be a hefty rod with a small, unstrung bow on one end of it. The vixen walked to the gate and dropped it before returning to her old position. "We'd leave all our weapons with you. All we want is a place to stay."
Deyna's mind was racing. Having been brought up with vermin, he knew that they had feelings, and could be nice on occasion. However, it was odd that these ones seemed to know exactly what to do to get in.
"Very well." The otter called out. "I will go unlock the gates for you." He made sure that the knife of Sawney Rath was still in the back of his belt. To Nimbalo he said: "Go get the Abbess, Rosabel, and your axe. These creatures looked like trained killers."
Nimbalo nodded and ran off as Deyna strode down the wallsteps and unbarred the gates.
The four travelers stepped inside as Nimbalo returned with his axe, Abbess Mhera, and Sister Rosabel.
"Greetings, Mother Abbess." The vixen said, holding up her paws and bowing. ""My name is Trepenzia, with me are Karaka," She gestured to the stoat. "Dakini," The smiling weasel nodded. "And Ascro." Trepenzia said, pointing to the ermine, who merely shifted her feet and glanced about.
Mhera was taken aback by the politeness of these creatures, and she held out a paw to the red fox, who shook it. "You are welcome in our Abbey, Miss Trepenzia. I am Abbess Mhera. Deyna and Nimbalo will take care of your weapons." The otter and fieldmouse nodded, assured but not entirely at ease that their Abbess was safe.
"Thank ye, Miss Mhera." Trepenzia said. "We are most-" She was cut off by a shout.
"Trepenzia, you bush-tailed swashbuckler!"
The vixen turned, and a smile spread across her face. Before anybeast could stop her, she took off racing. She yelled: "Fen, you little slinger! Have at you!"
It was then that the Redwallers and other three newcomers noticed yet four more creatures racing headlong for the gate. One was several paces out in front, a gray mouse with two bandoliers across his tunic. Knives adorned both of them heavily. Another mouse, her fur a darker gray than the firsts', had two swords and a sling at her side. A red squirrel was just behind and to the left of the second mouse, a longbow and a quiver full of arrows over his back, a dagger thrust in to the side of his belt. Bringing up the rear was a lithe but powerfully built hedgehog, a greatsword strapped carefully across his back and a sling matching the second mouse's stuck in his belt. All four wore hooded cloaks and long sleeved, but thin, tunics. Everything they wore was threadbare, similar to the first four visitors.
Trepenzia and Fen threw themselves at each other and wrestled in the dirt path. Trepenzia won and put one knee on the mouse's chest. "Gotcha again. You need to work on your paw to paw fighting."
Blowing some dust off the tip of his snout, Fen grinned up at the vixen. "Okay, you won. May I get up, now?"
Outtakes from conversationsEdit
"So tell me, have you heard of the golden fox, Ruggan Bor?" -Fen
"We should have, he attempted to take the abbey a few seasons ago." - Abbess Mhera
"So why didn't you kill him?" -Teran
"He left unharmed with his crew, after a run-in with Russano the Wise and a thousand hares. Ran off, tails between their legs. Or heads, I can't tell the difference." -Nimbalo
"Should've killed him, because now I'm afraid that a lot more creatures are going to die as a result." -Fen
"What is it with you creatures and personal vendettas?" -Abbess Mhera
"Name one time where I said it was personal." -Fen
"I like rainbows, buttercups, and-" -Dakini
"Dakini, if you don't shut your yap and stop singing that stupid song we'll be seeing how well you sing with a dagger in your gullet" -Trepenzia
"Awww, you never let me have any fun." -Dakini
"Fine, here's a fun idea: Go jump off a cliff." -Trepenzia
"Will you set some blueberry pie out at the bottom to catch me?" -Dakini
Single quotes (taken from random conversations)Edit
"We do seem to be in trouble, Mother Abbess. Apparently these creatures always tend to know more than they let on." -Sister Rosabel to Mhera
"Are there hares at Redwall right now?" -Ruggan Bor
"Fight through strength, fight through agility, fight through intellect. Try fighting your way through us." -Karaka
"What do you want me to say? 'I'm sorry I put my axe through you, but a new friend of ours was having a bad day and felt like killing something?' That'd go over well." -Nimbalo
"Evil cannot be allowed to survive. If you let but one grain of evil slip through your clutches, it sprouts and becomes another weed that must be plucked. Unfortunately, your moral high ground may have cost more lives than it should have. I fear we will all pay a price for that." -Fen