Hisk unsheathed his blade from his back and held it ready in front of him protectively. Trok and Hisk faced each other stone-faced, with their blades held out in front of them and circled around each other slowly, searching for an entry past the other’s defenses. Each beast knew the other’s weaknesses and strong points. Each knew the other’s tricks and follies. They were a pair of warriors of great skill and strength. The twin swords were held steady and low, both ready for what the other might be prepared to do. They continued to circle. The dance of fates continued, seemingly never to end.
Suddenly Hisk feinted a left cut and watched as Trok jumped over the blade and blocked as it came back. Then he pushed it away hard and leaped forward to attack, but Hisk used the momentum Trok had given him to swing his sword around and block it. Then they locked blades for a moment again and then pushed away.
Aldywn watched as his two best friends continued their mock swordfight. He waited while hey circled, attacked, and feinted, watching to see who would win. Aldwyn and Hisk had been friends for as long as they could remember. Trok had come along a long while back when he was in need of food and treatment for a long cut on his arm. Trok had stayed with them since. He also shared their fondness for swordplay. But they were better than he was at it.
Eventually Hisk tripped Trok, put a paw on his blade and pointed his sword tip at Trok’s heart. Aldwyn clapped and stepped forward.
“Good thing that you weren’t real enemies or you would be dead ten times over, Trok.” He said with a chuckle. But Trok just shrugged. “Would a mouse have a chance against a rat?” He asked.
The mouse grinned. “I guess we’re about to find out. Hey Hisk, are ready for one more or do you want a break.” The rat merely grinned in answer. Aldwyn shrugged, “your choice.” He approached the rat and drew his sword. The two new combatants began to circle.
- * *
Trok looked up at the evening sky picking out a star that had pierced through the sunset’s fading rays of light. The stars had begun to come out. It was time to go back to camp or they wouldn’t make it back before dark, and it wasn’t smart to wander through Southward at night. He glanced at his companions as they came back sweating from their latest duel, Hisk had won again. Hisk always won.
Trok nodded at them in turn acknowledging them, “Its time to go back to the camp if we want to get back while there’s still light.” He started to turn and leave when the mouse, Aldwyn, said, “Who says you’re in charge?” Trok turned back and raised an eyebrow. “I’m oldest.” He stated simply.
Hisk grinned, “Well who says you’re the best swordsman? If you ask me the best should lead. You’re just a pine martin.”
Trok laughed and drew his sword, “You’ll regret that challenge. I’ll win this time.” They began their combat anew. This time Trok beat his rat friend.
They sheathed their swords and congratulated each other, then they began back to camp. By now the moon was shining silver and the stars gleamed brightly in the sky. Nighttime had come.
They crept quietly through the dark being careful not to make noises that would announce their presence. Crickets chirped and night birds hooted or sang, cutting the chilled night air.
They continued onward through the woods back toward their new camp site they had established the morning before. It was in a clearing about a quarter-mile away, but Hisk couldn’t remember the way back. They wandered aimlessly for hours in the dead of night trying to find the path that they had lost in the dark. Eventually they started to get worried.
Trok growled angrily as Hisk sat heavily on the ground, “What were you thinking this morning when you were supposed to mark the trail? It was your turn to do it! Now we’re stuck out here without a way home!” Hisk jumped up again and threw his pack to the ground.
“I did mark the trail! You know I did, but I can’t see it anymore because its night time! Do you think I want to be stuck out here?”
Aldwyn stepped between them, whispering, “Its fine that you’re mad, it’s wrong that you’re blaming each other. And your yelling is only going to get us in more trouble anyway unless you want us to get killed by rouge vermin, so be quiet and let’s just set up camp here.” Without waiting for an answer, he dropped his pack, opened it, and pulled out his blanket and pad. Trok and Hisk glared at each other one last time and then did the same thing.
But as Hisk reached down for his pack he found that it was gone. He glanced around for it. Trok and Aldwyn were preoccupied with their food and blankets and didn’t notice the confusion on his face.
“Hey,” He said, getting their attention, “where’s my pack?” neither got to answer.
“Looking for thisssss?”
The members of the company looked up suddenly at the voice. An adder lay coiled in a nearby bush with its tailed wrapped tightly around Hisk’s pack. All three of the company’s blades shot out of their sheaths the moment they spotted the snake. But this only seemed to amuse it.
“Swordssss can’t fight piosssionssss.” Suddenly the huge snake rolled backward out of view, pulling the pack with it.
Hisk sheathed his blade, confused, “What did he mean by that? He seemed pretty smug, but how could a single snake bite any of us if we have swords?” He was uncomfortable.
Aldwyn glanced around into the brush. “I don’t know what he’s intending, but I figure we’ll find out very soon.” Satisfied that the snake was gone for the time being, he lay down on his pad and grabbed his blanket. Hisk went to sleep to after a few minutes of waiting, “I think that he’s probably not coming back. He got what he wanted.”
Trok wasn’t at all convinced; he scanned the brush over and over not willing to take chances. An adder isn’t something to mess with or forget. Hisk had been bitten by them twice; the first time he was in bed for almost two months with salves and healing potions constantly being applied to his ruined arm. The second time he got bit he was sick for a while, but he completely recovered after only a week. His arm even seemed slightly stronger afterwards, but it still hurt all this time afterwards. That was why he rarely used his right arm for anything. But the affect it would have on Trok or Aldwyn were was less likely to be survived. Hisk got lucky, but maybe they wouldn’t be.
Trok sat and continued to wait. His eyes began to get heavy as the night began to wane and his thoughts drifted off slightly. He saw when the trio had first met on the seashore all those years ago. They still didn’t know exactly who he was, but they didn’t mind his secrets. They didn’t entirely trust him and hadn’t yet fully admitted him to be their friend. Whenever they met someone knew they just said that he was traveling with them. Trok didn’t mind this though because he had never fully been admitted by anyone,
-Especially not my parents- he though glumly.
Then he came awake suddenly, something catching him unexpectedly. Sharp fangs sank into his wrist suddenly causing him to cry out. Hisk and Aldwyn were suddenly awake. Two daggers cut the air and the adder fell dead to the ground.
“Are you okay Trok?” Hisk ran to inspect the bite. Aldwyn reached into the pack for bandages.
“I don’t know, it stung for a moment and then it just went numb. I guess I must’ve fallen asleep.” Hisk nodded distractedly. He took a bandage from the Aldwyn and wrapped it around Trok’s arm.
“You’ll probably be all right, it was barely more than a dry-bite and you’re a big creature so…” Aldwyn cut him off hissing angrily.
“What do you mean he’ll be all right?! Look behind you!” A twinge of fear tainted his voice. They looked behind themselves preparing for the only thing it could be.
Hundreds of angry adders suddenly sent up a barrage of hissing and thrashing sounds as they sped through underbrush to get at the three companions. They must have gotten to near to a nest and upset the creatures. The snakes kept coming even after the first few were killed within three feet of they’re goal with knives protruding from their bodies. Eventually the knives ran out and the adders renewed their efforts. Three swords jumped from their sheaths as the snakes neared. The friends began to panic as the number of venomous reptiles became apparent.
“What do we do?!” Aldwyn asked in a panicked voice. He didn’t want to die here. Trok responded simply, “How fast can you run?”
All three turned tail and charged away from their enemies as fast as they could. Every ounce of energy they had going into their escape effort. The snakes came on quickly, almost without effort their slick bodies wound through the woods after them. Moonlight began to dissipate under the sun’s weight of day. Stars disappeared and morning reigned glorious for everyone but the trio of trespassers.
Nothing seemed to work when they tried to lose the creatures, they found them every time that they hid or covered their tracks. The three began to get scared that they wouldn’t ever get away.
Hisk was beginning to tire and lag. “Hey guys, we can’t run like this forever. We have to do something other than….” suddenly he screamed and vanished into the wave of oncoming adders. Trok and Aldwyn turned around went back to help him, but stopped shot as the adders began to sink their fangs into his flesh. They stared at Hisk in horror as he screamed one last time before disappearing completely beneath the mound of snakes.
Aldwyn screamed in response and ran after Hisk, yanking out his sword once more. He charged into the midst of writhing monsters and began to massacre the evil things, trying to free Hisk. All of his years as Hisk’s friend flashed past his eyes and replayed over and over again the moment of his death. Pain brought tears to his eyes as he fought to rescue the closest creature he’d ever had to a brother. In his ears he heard Trok fighting behind him trying to tell Aldwyn to stop. But Aldwyn didn’t care. He was already dead.
Trok watched with grief as Aldwyn tried to get at Hisk. Finally, after Aldwyn got bitten, the brave mouse fell into the writhing sea. Trok blew up with rage and he charged into the mass of chaos with his own sword flying out of its sheath and snakes fleeing before his furry. He grabbed Aldwyn and charged back out of the death zone carrying his mouse friend over his shoulder, running seemingly without stop as his mind raced with fever as the poison of hate pumped into his grieved mind.
- * *
The pine martin opened his eyes hours later in the middle of the woods, his body a mass of bruises and cuts. His left paw stung with pain from the bite he had received from the adder and it felt like jelly. He turned over on his side letting a groan of pain escape his lips. Eventually, he sat up, rubbed his eyes and looked around.
Aldwyn lay unconscious an arm’s length away, shivering. Trok bent over and felt his forehead and then pulled it away after moment. The mouse was very sick, his fore head was covered in sweat and blood and it burned to the touch. Poison swam in his blood stream from a dozen fatal wounds. Aldwyn was dying.
Trok continued to stare at the poor creature as he lay drenched in sweat and bleeding to death, feeling helpless, knowing there was nothing to do but wait.
Eventually, as night neared once more, He fell asleep.
- * *
Trok shook his head slightly to clear his head of sleep and pain.
“Hello? Are you awake?”
The martin gave an only barely perceptible nod, and whispered, “Yes I’m awake.” Then he tried to open his eyes. Streams of sun ray poured onto his face making his head throb in pain. Groaning, he turned his head over and closed his eyes again, wishing he hadn’t opened them in the first place.
“Who are you?” The voice asked again. This time Trok identified it as a female voice that was speaking. The pine martin shielded his eyes and opened them, letting them focus. He was sitting in a bed with clean sheets and a soft pillow, his arm was wrapped in a bandage where he had been bitten as well. A young squirrel slowly appeared in his field of vision, she was young and pretty but barely into her teenage years most likely. She also looked very concerned for Trok’s welfare, and if she cared this much about a total stranger and a martin no less, than he could probably trust her.
“Who are you?”
Trok took a moment to let his memory sharpen and let last night’s memories return.
“My name is Trok,” He started, “I was in the woods last night with my friends, but we got lost and Aldwyn and Hisk tried to…” Suddenly he stopped. His body went straight upright in bed, his headache and wounds forgotten.
“Where’s Aldwyn? He was with me last night.”
His new friend pushed him back down into the bed gently, “He is in the other room resting, he’s being treated by a vixen named Valhama, He has an adder bite on his forearm like you do, but your bite didn’t do any more than make you a little sick, your mouse companion is another matter. He might live, but will never have use of that arm again. We found a rat nearby in the woods too. He was bitten everywhere, but somehow he has managed to live so we put him three rooms down and treated him there. Do you perhaps know who he is?” But Trok was already in the other room, bolting past her without answering.
He left the room and made his way down the hallway of what he figured was the upstairs rooms of a tavern somewhere in the village that he had passed with Hisk and Aldwyn a few days back. At the time it was unimportant to them, but if it hadn’t existed they most likely wouldn’t be alive right now.
Trok stepped between the various creatures that crowded the hallway and made his way toward the fourth room over. All of the other inhabitants of the inn just stood and talked in the rooms and outside of them, not bothering to move aside for him so that he could get by, even throwing rude statements once in a while. He was used to this treatment due to his ragged appearance and rough nature. Some people disdained him for his looks, some people disdained him for what he was, and some people disdained him for something much worse…Who he was.
Finally he got past the disgusted looks and dirty comments and reached the door to the room where he believed Hisk was. Taking a deep breath, he turned the knob and entered.
Hisk was lying on an operation table in the centre of the room, which appeared to be the home of a healer of some sort. Salves, potions and plants sat on shelves and tables, ready for use. Surgery equipment sat on a trolley next to the low table.
Trok quietly walked by all of this, barely seeing it. His eyes fixed on Hisk as he came closer to the ruined body. The rat was covered with bites and wounds, dried blood covered him head to toe and he lay motionless with his eyes closed and unmoving. Trok continued forward even when he felt his numb shock spread across his body and still his heart with sorrow. When he was close enough, he touched Hisk’s paw, checking for a pulse. Relief beat back the shock only for a moment and then it was gone. Hisk was alive, but might as well be dead.
“What are you doing in here?” A sharp voice barked loudly. Trok turned around. It was Valhama; she was entering the room with a potion and a bulky needle of some sort. The martin froze.
“What are you doing to him?” He asked briskly.
The vixen was taken slightly aback for a moment, surprised by the question. Then she realized what she was holding and laughed. “This is just bourbon; it will numb his body while I work. Who are you?” She seemed friendlier all of the sudden. Trok realized it was because she knew now that he cared about Hisk and had come to visit him.
“I’m a friend of his, I thought he was dead.” He stopped and looked at the companion again, “Do you know if will live?”
Valhama shook her head, “I don’t think he will, but I’m trying my best. He was bitten over twenty times and the only creature I ever heard of living even three bites was a large Badger Lord named “Sunflash the Mace”, but your friend is very unusual, he doesn’t seem heavily affected by adders, he’s almost immune to them. Even so, if your rat friend lives then I’ll go down in the history books, no doubt about it.” Then she turned to Hisk, walked to him and began her work. She knelt by the body, closing and binding wounds, numbing pain and extracting poison. She sat for hours doing something or another to help Hisk.
The squirrel came into the room later on during the surgery. Trok was helping Valhama, but staying very quiet to ensure that he wouldn’t bother the healer. The maid stepped quietly into the room and gently shut the door behind her. Trok took a closer look at her this second time and found that she was several seasons younger than him, barely reaching her teenage years. He found that he enjoyed her gentle and quiet nature and liked her comforting presence.
They continued to sit, watch and sometimes help as they healer did her best. Trok did his best to keep quiet, but even so he asked Valhama questions every once in a while.
“Will he live?” The pine martin asked finally. The possibility of Hisk living was now apparent to the Healer.
“Probably not, but I’ll keep trying.”
The work kept on forever it seemed. Once, the healer asked for Trok to get her some water and a bag full of white powder. Hours passed. Eventually the healer stopped and put down her tools. She stood up and sighed. Trok could tell by the look of the healer that there was something terribly wrong with Hisk; he didn’t appear to be breathing anymore either. Valhama reached down to check his pulse, reached up and touched his forehead for a few seconds and then, to everyone’s sorrow, pulled the white covers over Hisk’s head. He was dead.
* * *
Aldwyn sat up in his bed to eat the porridge that Trok handed him, feeling his back ache as he did so. He knew about Hisk now, but didnt dwell on it. Instead, they talked about their hikes, fights and adventures with the squirrel that, as they now knew, had been wandering in the woods and found them on the ground. Her name was Rosen Squirrelking, shed run away from Castle Floret again as she did so often (so she said). She said that one day she wanted to go to Redwall Abbey to explore and find out what had happened to her uncle only a few months before, it was said that a beast in the woodlands near the abbey had killed him for some reason. She wanted to know for herself. The trio began to learn new things about each other that none of them had known before.
Aldwyn turned out to be an orphan from Mossflower, he had seen the great Abbey once before when he was very young, and he was even related to Matthias, an old Abbey warrior. Rosen was the princess of Castle Floret, the one that gave her brother all the trouble that everyone joked about. Trok said that he was from the northlands, but didnt go any farther and no one nudged him for details. They talked almost daily about their lives and the past and what they wanted to be and do in the future. Trok talked as much as everyone else, but didnt divulge anything about himself. No one noticed anyway.
All three stopped talking when a shout sounded outside.
It was a moment before anyone moved. More shouts followed. Trok walked to the window to see what the problem was and he froze when he saw. He charged toward the door, grabbing Rosen and Aldwyn as he went. Swinging his mouse friend over his shoulder he held the squirrels paw to make sure she didnt le go. Then he charged toward the door, kicking it down to save time. Heat blasted into their faces as he did so and smoke blinded them. Trok didnt have free hands to cover his mouth with so he did his best to ignore it. Then he stepped from the room into the hallway of the burning building.
The building was empty save the flames that gutted the inside, burning the rooms bare of furniture. Trok ran down the hall and vaulted the hall balcony landing on a burning couch below. Bits of burning cotton and cloth flew in all directions; Rosen protected her eyes with a free paw. Immediately Trok jumped off and continued running until he reached the front door, seemingly unaffected by the flame. They reached the front of the building, but something blocked their way to the door. A huge burning tree appeared to have fallen on the building. Trok kicked a blowing branch in frustration. Heat scorched the companys eyes and fur. They knew they needed to get out soon. Then the pine martin turned and ran for the back door. Rosen was shouting something that he couldnt hear, but he wasnt listening anyway. They had to concentrate on getting out alive. Then in a few seconds they had reached the back entry, but it wasnt a tree that blocked their way this time. Rosen gasped.
The nightmare wasnt over.
Trok put Aldwyn down let go of Rosen. The building was mostly intact here, but it wouldnt be for long. The pine martin slid a hidden halberd from behind his cloak and faced his enemy.
It was an Entrok, Troks fathers namesake for whom Trok was named. Thick, Ugly, silver armor encased the massive creatures disfigured body making it almost invincible. A fake steel skull gleamed in the fire light; it protected the monsters body from blades and bolts. And even though this evil thing was disfigured it still managed to somehow hold itself upright in a confident and experienced fencing stance. It held its own blade steady before itself, ready for Trok to make his move.
Trok felt fear rush trough him. He couldnt kill this thing, and even if he could he couldnt kill it fast enough to escape the fire. He took firm hold of his halberd and swung with all of his strength toppling a support beam over the Entrok and collapsing the ceiling on it. It looked up one last time before the weight trapped it. In seconds, the trio of companions climbed over the mound and escaped into the cool, open air beyond. They didnt stop until they were far away.
* * *
Hisk opened his eyes and glanced around himself. He was the floor in a dungeon somewhere far away from the tavern and his friends. His last memory after being drugged for the surgery was that he saw the cloaked figure of a fox sitting in the drivers seat of a wagon, driving him through the woods. Then he had lost consciousness again.
He sat upright, startled and afraid for himself. The vixen had drugged and kidnapped him. Why? His body was covered in ugly scars and disproportionate limbs. The poison had dissolved his muscle and reformed it wrong making him something beyond hideous; his muscles were huge and knotted by the constant reforming of tissue. But there was no pain. Why?
I hope youre feeling better. A voice said from a corner of the cell. Id hate you to be uncomfortable seeing as well be doing business together. Hisk tried to get a look at the speaker, but didnt succeed. All of the corners appeared to be empty and dark.
The voice sounded closer, Have you discovered my secret yet? It chuckled from just outside his left ear. The voice reminded him of Trok.
Hisk was baffled. Youre invisible? He couldnt find anyone.
No, it whispered. Try again.
Hisk looked around this time he saw something odd. The shape of the cell was dome-like and the walls were angled strangely so that if they were mirrors you could probably send a shaft of light to any portion of the room to any portion of the room. But they werent playing with light
they were playing with sound.
Youre a ventriloquist! Hisk shouted excitedly.
Yes my friend, I am. Hisk could almost hear the speaker smile. I am indeed. He continued. You are sitting in the middle of what we would call a torture chamber of sorts, but what it is for in this particular case is not to scare or to harm you, but to show you. We are an advanced organization of outcasts, masterminds, warlords, and the most skilled craftsmen we could bribe with our vast amount of money. Im interested in you however because of your unique ability. You are not only talented with a blade, but you had immunity to adder poison. Your strange affinity also makes you stronger as you can see with yourself already. You wouldnt live a normal life out in the world of Mossflower or Southward or any other country of any type
but with us. With us you can gain power, a great reputation, fear, and respect. The voice continued to make an offer for what seemed to Hisk as his only chance left to live happily.
* * *
Rosen stepped in front of Trok, blocking his way. Aldwyn stood a few feet away with his arms folded. Trok let out a frustrated sigh. Im sorry, He said, but I told you; I dont what it was doing there. He turned away.
Rosen frowned deeply. She wasnt impressed. You know what that thing was and you know who you are, but why wont you tell us? You havent told us anything about you or your past, youve lied all this time havent you? You arent from the northlands at all.
Trok didnt answer. He turned and kept walking. She was right of course, he wasnt from the northlands and he was lying. They all knew it now. Aldwyn was angry too.
What about the Halberd and the cloak? You never mentioned them. Sure, we saw the cloak, but you didnt say it was fireproof, waterproof, and cut resistant. You also didnt saw you had a lightweight, concealable sword hidden in it. Rosens right. I think that its about time that you told us; who are you?
Trok turned around with a heavy sigh, facing them for the first time since the encounter with the Entrok.
If I told you than you wouldnt believe me, if you believed me youd think that I was crazy, if you believed me and didnt think that was crazy than youd disdain me for life.
He turned around again and headed through woods once more. You dont need to know anyhow.
Why not? growled Aldwyn and Rosen in unison.
Trok growled back, Because it will only hurt you to know. All its done to me so far is hurt me.
He was about to turn away again when some one shouted. The three animals looked at each for a moment and then ran toward the sound.
They stopped when they reached a clearing about a hundred yards from where they had heard the shout. In the centre of the clearing a small cloaked person was trying to fight off a band of about five rats. They looked hungry and haggard; they obviously wanted his knapsack full of rations. He was attempting to fight them off with a large branch. One rat was on the ground with a bleeding foot paw, but the others were still coming for him. They desperately wanted food. And they would kill to get it.
Trok suddenly charged forward, pulling out both of his swords as he did. He slammed the pommel of the halberd into the skull of a rat that was in his way, and then he stood in front of the stranger and protecting him. The rats had no weapons and werent a real threat. They screamed and ran for cover away from Trok, not prepared to get too close to him.
Are you all right? Trok asked as he turned toward the creature he had just saved, sheathing the swords as he did so.
I think so. Said a confident voice reassuringly. The stranger reached up and pulled down his hood.
Trok never forgot the shock of what he saw.
-ooc-Sorry, this is only an abridged version of the first fourth of the story. It was only a 5000 limit so I had to do with 4999. I'll finish it and post the full thing in the fan-fic area.
Tell me what you think. btw; both posts put together are the whole of the story.
edit- Wow! I had to post this thing in two separate posts because it was so huge.
Laughs That's perfectly all right. But actually they had surgery back before they had the alphabet, no joke. Furniture is even older than that.
About the cliff hanger and the questions I left you, namely;
-Who is Trok?
-Who is the stranger?
-What is the offer that the voice made Hisk?
-Why did Valhama drug Hisk?
-What is an Entrok?
-What is impotant about the shipwreck site?
-Who is Rosen's uncle?
-Where did Trok get the cloak?
-Where did Trok get the halberd?
-And about another hundred other questions.
The reason for these was to spur curiosity. If I don't win than I don't have a real reason to continue the story. Hint, Hint
Just kidding, I'll keep writing whether I win or not, but it will probobly incourage me to do it faster if I win.
It was the summer of the cold spring. The horde of Urthan nahtru was tired and weary. They had been under constant attack of sea rats. They themselves had used to be pirates but they had given that up long ago. They became farmers until the last winter. Their farms had been under constant raids by sea rats and pirates. It was then that they became nomads. They were looking for the mountain of Salamandastron where they could find safety from their enemies. Urthan called up his tracker who had just come back. Urthan asked his tracker in his rough voice, “How much further to the mountain of Salamandastron?” His tracker answered, “About one days march sir.” Urthan was delighted. Until.
Meanwhile at the mountain stronghold of Salamandastron the Badger Lord Orlando the Axe was having a nightmare of the days that he was captured. Him and his daughter Mara had been picking berries. Suddenly a sea rat named Urthan Nahtru and his horde took him captive. Since then he had come to the mountain and became the Badger Lord of this legendary mountain. The captains were noticing that he was acting very strange lately. Lately all he could think about was if his daughter was ok and how much he hated his enemy. He wasn’t even playing with the baby hares that he loved so much.
Urthan looked out to sea and saw a massive pirate ship. He and his tracker said the same thing, “Redship.” Indeed it was the fearful ship that he had deserted with more than half the crew. Urthan yelled at the top of his voice, “Runnnnn. Leeave everything. Go to the mountain.” As fast as everyone could they ran. Urthan knew that if anyone could help protect them it would be the badger lord of Salamandastron. Little did he now that it was the badger that he had taken captive so many years ago. In little under five hours they saw the mountain of Salamandastron.
Orlando saw them coming. He had seen the pirate who he hated so much. He noticed that they were running from something. He couldn’t see what it was. He wouldn’t care if he did. He had the bloodwrath. He came running down from his secret chamber, through the kitchen and before anyone could say anything to stop him he grabbed his axe and came running out the main door. The captains gathered the Long Patrol and came charging out after him.
Urthan saw them coming. Then he remembered the badger he had taken captive in his pirating days. He took the white flag he had made, because he was a pirate and people in Salamandastron killed pirates at the first chance they got, and waved it around. Orlando saw it just in time. His bloodwrath left him and he slowed down. He yelled, “What do you and your horde want, rat.” Urthan answered, “Shelter from the pirates that are chasing us.” Orlando answered back, “How do I know you won’t take me captive and kill the young ones in my mountain like you did before?” “I didn’t kill your little one. I let her go to the place she called home. I think she called it Redwall. As for taking you captive I am no longer a pirate. That is the ship I ran away from after I let you go. He’ll kill me if he gets one chance. I have no skill with a weapon.” answered Urthan. Orlando answered back, “I’ll let you come in my mountain until the danger is gone. I will help you learn how to use a weapon and we will both kill the vermin that are chasing you. Let us go now.
The pirate Neitsmar was a fox. He carried an axe. He was the most dreaded pirate captain in all the oceans. Killing was a game to him. He didn’t care if people had weapons or not. He didn’t care if they were babies or women. All that he cared about was that they could get killed. He had seen the sea rats go into the mountain with the badger lord. He knew that sometime they would make a mistake. He also knew that the former sea rats were now farmers and hated to see anyone killed and if they did it would change something. He must find some one that the former pirate knew. He would kill his friend and then he knew Urthan would make a mistake. He thought it was foolproof. He gathered his captains and said to them, “Do any of you know where a friend of Urthan is? The first one to find one will become rich on my word as a captain.” One of the captains answered, “I know where one is but he is in prison.” Neitsmar was very happy. He said to the captain who had spoken, “Bring him into my cabin and feed him. Go. Quickly. I have to go steer my ship in.
Meanwhile in the mountain Orlando was teaching Urthan how to use weapons. He learned very fast since he used to be one of the most dreaded pirates next to his captain. Orlando found that Urthan wielded a long sword the best of all of the weapons at Salamandastron. Orlando told Urthan that he himself would forge a long sword at his mountain forge. Urthan was happy. Not only for that but for that the long patrol was teaching his crew how to use weapons. They also learned fast but not as fast as Urthan .He still didn’t like the feeling of being about to use a weapon to kill a living beast. It was then that he looked out the window to see if the ship was leaving. He saw it in port. The next thing he saw made his heart sink. His friend was about to get killed. He wanted to go out and sacrifice his own life but he knew if he did then both of them would die and he also knew that that was exactly what Neitsmar wanted. All that would do was kill two people instead of one. He knew that he mustn’t let anyone in his crew see him weeping. He went into his room. He was in there for over an hour until he heard someone knock on the door. It was Orlando. He said that Neitsmar wanted to talk with him
They met on an open field. Orlando went with Urthan and Neitsmar came with his second in command. It was than that they declared war. Something told Orlando that something was wrong. It was than that he noticed the horde of Neitsmar marching double speed towards the open doors of Salamandastron. Orlando yelled at the top of his voice to Neitsmar, “Cheater.” Neitsmar answered back calmly, “Pirate.” Orlando came charging to the gates of his mountain. He was almost there when he saw that Urthan was already there. Urthan slammed the gates shut on Orlando. Urthan yelled to Orlando, “I’m sorry about this but I saw the treasure and the dead badger.” Orlando yelled, “Which treasure and which dead badger. I’ve never seen it.” Urthan yelled back, “It is the biggest treasure I’ve ever seen and it’s in your mountain. How can you not have seen it? Your long patrol is dead. My soldiers killed them. Either you can surrender yourself or you can get killed. It is your choice.” Orlando answered back, “You forgot one.” Before Urthan could say anything Orlando was running. He was running as nobody except a fully-grown male badger could.
Neitsmar and Urthan were in a fight. Neitsmar was wondering how it was possible to let one badger go if Urthan had that big of a horde. Urthan replied, “Lets stop fighting and get chasing that badger. We have to bring spears.” They chased him but they had no idea where he was going. They were running to where no one but Orlando knew. He was going to Redwall abbey.
The abbey (One week later)
All the abbey beasts were having a fun day. There were no jobs for anyone except Friar Hugo. He was cooking in his kitchen. Even outside where the games were all abbey beasts could smell the fish that Mara had caught. Mara could only think about if her dad was ok. Today she had had a weird feeling and she thought he would come back. She was walking through the great hall to check how Friar Hugo was. It was then that Martin the warrior spoke to her. The guardian mouse said, “Open the gate. Go quickly.” As fast as she could she opened the door. She couldn’t believe who was there. It was her dad. He was about to knock on the door when he saw his daughter that he loved so much open it. They gave each other a hug and went to see Father Mordalfus. The abbot’s worst fears were here. There were sea rats coming to his beloved abbey of Redwall. Immediately he called of the games and got every body to find anything that they could use as a weapon. Mathias and his son Mattimeo called together the army. They both took their wives and all the other women inside. He told his son Mattimeo to get his sword. He told his son that it was greatly needed. Mathias was thinking of how much Mattimeo looked like the warrior from the tapestry in Great Hall, Martin. He was remembering when he had saved him from becoming a slave in Malakriss. Now Mattimeo was the abbey warrior. His thoughts were interrupted by a voice of friend. Basil Stag Hare. He talked in his comical voice, “I say you Mathias what are you thinking about, wot wot?” Mathias answered, “Just thinking about how much my son has grown up. Do you remember when he was the abbey rascal? Now he’s the abbey warrior. Quite a change eh.” Basil answered, “Quite. I think I’ll go get some food for me old tum wot wot.” Basil noticed that Matthias wasn’t listening. It was then that he saw his old friend Orlando. He and Mathias walked over to him. They started talking about how much their young ones had grown up. Even Basil joined in the conversation since he had adopted Cheek the otter. Then they heard the footprints of many people. Orlando said to Mathias, “About this problem I brought with me.” Mathias answered him, “I’m not an abbey warrior. You want my son.” Together they walked inside of the abbey to Mattimeo and his wife Tess.
Meanwhile Urthan and Neitsmar were in wonder of the abbey of Redwall. Then they saw a mouse appear on the walls. He said, “Who goes there and what do you want.” Neitsmar answered, “I am the great commander Neitsmar of a mighty horde. Surrender your abbey or die” Mattimeo answered back, “Neither we chose your death.” Neitsmar was outraged. He admired the mouse. He was so small but so courageous. “Then war it is.” Answered Neitsmar.
Mattimeo was as happy as he had ever been. He had a chance to use his sword. He was still worried though. The whole abbey was depending on him. He knew that his army had a better chance. They had walls and of course The Warrior Guardian Martin. Even with these advantages he was still scared. He had only practiced using his sword with vegetables and for special occasions. He walked into the great hall and talked to Martin. He was interrupted by his wife Tess. She said to him calmly, “Hello. Talking to Martin I see. Don’t ever be ashamed of that. I was looking for you. Martin talked to me in my sleep last night. Mattimeo answered, “What did he say to you?” He said ‘Trust in your husband I am giving him the strength to fight off the enemy.’ That is all he said. I’m just letting you know that I do trust in you.” Answered Tess. Mattimeo replied, “Thank you for telling me that. I was feeling scared but I’m starting to feel better.”
Neitsmar had a plan. He was going to get a battering ram. It would need to be a great big piece of wood. Well him and the abbey beasts were talking he had sent someone from his horde to check out the gate. That person said they were very thick. He would need a lot of his horde holding the ram. He had had some good luck. He found some metal and some nails. He could put handles on the ram! Even with all his luck he couldn’t sleep at all. The mouse that he had seen on the wall was in his dreams. In the dream he fought the talented mouse. For the first time he felt scared. Then the mouse killed him. It was then that he would wake up. It was after he had the dream a second time that he remembered an old story. Apparently everybody that tried to take over Redwall abbey would die. He had even heard a story that Cluny the Scourge had died trying to take over Redwall. Neitsmar wasn’t scared. He was happy. He was going to be the first person to take over Redwall Abbey. People would fear his name more than Cluny the Scourge.
At the Abbey Mathias was training the soldiers. All the people that had been trained were on the wall top keeping watch. Mattimeo was up on the wall top. His father had trained him since he was old enough to carry his father’s legendary blade. He knew that there was no one better than his father to teach the abbey beasts in the way of war. The abbey beasts were learning fast. In case there was ever an open charge Basil Stag Hare was teaching the people how to bob and weave. The new Skipper was teaching people how to use slingshots. The field mice were teaching the rest of the animals how to use bows and arrows. Everybody was busy. Even father abbot had learned how to defend himself with a stick. Everywhere that he went the stick went also. He also made something somewhat like a first aid kit. There were many of these kits on the wall. If there were a very bad injury the Father himself would try to heal that unlucky beast.
Neitsmar was in a great mood. He had found a perfect tree to make a battering ram out of. They had even shot down a couple of sparrows. Sparrows were his favorite type of meat.
At the abbey Mathis was talking to the new queen of the sparrows, Dunwing. Dunwing told Matthias about the battering ram that the “bad ratworms” were making. Mathias thought of a plan. He asked Foremole to dig trenches outside of the gate. Foremole said that he could. Right away he and his crew went to work knowing that if they didn’t do it fast everybody in the abbey could die. After he finished he talked to Mathias. He told Mathias that they had dug trenches and lined them with grease so that when the people came charging at the gate they would run into the trenches slip and then hopefully the log would fall on the rats.
Neitsmar was watching his horde. People in his horde had put handles on the battering ram. They were about to attack the abbey. His horde looked fearsome. 15 score of evil looking beasts all armed to fang. Neitsmar was no fool. He knew that using swords would be useless until they got inside the walls. He told his beasts to put their swords in their scabbards and wield their javelins, spears, bows and arrows, and slings. He yelled at the top of his voice, “CHARGEEEEE.” The yell was heard at Redwall. It was followed by the sound that sounded like a stampede of bulls. The people at Redwall had never seen anything like it. A whole horde of vermin with a battering ram and they were armed with everything that they could find. They were scared. They would be fools not to be. They also knew that they could still fight even though they were scared.
Neitsmar was one of the ones carrying the battering ram since he was the strongest beast in the horde. He had selected the strongest of his horde to lift ram with him. He had left the rest of the fighting to his captains. He had told them his plan. While he was ramming the gate with the battering ram with about 25-30 other beasts the rest of his horde would split up. One-quarter would try to open the wicket gate and the rest were armed with javelins, spears, bows and arrows, and slings would try to kill the animals on the ramparts. He thought that this was the greatest plan that he had ever made until he heard the screams of his horde. Auma, Orlando, and Mattimeo had seen part of the horde go to the wicket gate. Mathias opened the gate for them and they all charged into the enemy like a hurricane. No one had time to retreat. If they tried they would be killed under Mattimeo’s blade, Orlando’s axe, or Auma’s treelike arms. Everybody died there except for the three Redwallers. Although neither of the three knew, it wasn’t just them who fought of the enemy. Feildmice archers were firing arrows down off the ramparts and Winifred the otter used her deadly aim with a sling. This was followed by the yell of Neitsmar, “Stop running.” It was too late. They had run in to the trench that had oil in it. Luckily to Neitsmar he had let go of the ram. It annoyed him how the simple plans of the Redwallers were beating his plans. He had lost the first two battles and now he knew that they were not peaceful creatures. He must get a hostage. There were a few problems though. The aim of the field mice, the two badgers, the two mice, and of course the wall.
Mattimeo, Auma, and Orlando were congratulated for their bravery. Foremole and his crew were thanked for their bravery. Mattimeo, Auma, and Orlando thanked the otters and the field mice that had helped them to win the battle. After that they went back on guard.
In the abbey baby Dwurf was trying to find a way out of the abbey. He was going to fight of the enemy. He had told all of his friends. He knew that he must go quickly before his friends tell the elders. He found a door! He slowly opened it. After that he went to the wicket gate and opened it. Then he went outside of the abbey. Before he could get anywhere he was taken by a rat from Neitmar’s horde. That rat took him to Neitsmar. Neitsmar’s plan was working out.
Father Abbott and the rest of the people at the abbey were wondering where baby Dwurf was. One of the brothers suggested that they should talk to Dwurf’s friends. They did and what they heard scared them. Dwurf had gone out of the abbey in a time of war. Mathias had an idea. He would ask Basil to go out and try and find the baby had gone. Basil agreed to that. He left right away. After a few hours Basil saw him. He saw him attached to a stake at the camp of the vermin. He ran back as fast as he could. He knew what would happen. There would be a one on one fight. If the abbey warrior won than the horde would go away and the abbey would get the baby back. If the abbey warrior lost than everyone in the abbey would surrender the abbey to the vermin. He told this to the animals at the abbey. Everybody at the Abbey was horrified. They told Mattimeo that tomorrow he would be in a fight with the fox Neitsmar. The abbot told the mouse to get a good sleep.
The next morning Neitsmar came at the head of his horde carrying the dibbun Dwurf. Basil was right. There was going to be a one on one fight. Mattimeo was ready for the fight. He went with his father, Orlando, Auma, and Winifred the otter. Neitsmar brought his four captains. The fight started at noon. Neitsmar was staring at the young mouse's blade. After he killed this mouse he would take this blade. When the battle started Neitsmar felt scared. He didn’t think that this mouse had so much skill with a blade. Neitsmar knew that he had about the same amount of skill but with an ax. The only problem was that the axe was hard to use in battle against such a small animal. It was also hard to block. He knew that he must cheat sometime. He would wait for a little bit. The mouse was winning. He was about to get one of his archers to shoot the mouse but it was too late. The mouse won. He killed the fox. He cut the fox’s head off with one swipe of his legendary battle blade. The horde was amazed. Their mighty leader was no long a leader but two pieces of flesh and bones. Immediately they surrendered. The war was over. The abbot breathed a sigh of relief. Tess came running up to her husband and said, “I knew you would win. Martin told me in the middle of the battle.” All the animals that were on the ramparts came running into the field to help unarm the vermin that had attacked their beloved abbey of Redwall. The animals that were in the horde of the once mighty Neitsmar dropped all their weapons at the sight of all the able bodied beast coming toward them. Mattimeo separated the horde into a bunch of different groups and sent each group off in different directions. Not only was the war over but there were no more vermin in Mosslfower Wood.
Written by Tim church mouse Recorder of Redwall Abbey
It has been 6 seasons since the horde of vermin under command of Neitsmar the fox attacked our Abbey. Mattimeo and his wife Tess had a baby boy. They called him Martin in remembrance of our first warrior. Orlando has left our abbey to go back to his mountain. We have heard news that he has found some hares that will serve under him since his old Long Patrol was killed. We have also heard that Orlando has killed his enemy, Urthan Nahtru. Apparently he ran away during the war so many seasons ago. He has also found a treasure in his mountain and has given some of it to us for safe keeping. We have hidden it in the tomb of Martin the Warrior. Mattimeo has said that once his son is old enough he will hand his sword down to him. The abbot has handed his position down to Ambrose Spike our Cellerhog. Two nights ago we had a feast in honor of him. Also Basil Stag Hare has found a wife. It is a hare that came wounded to our abbey. They were married about two weeks ago.
~ Tim Churchmouse
(Just in time)
If I'm too late, just don't look at it.