OOC:  …For lack of a better name.  But here 'tis!  🙂  Feel free to join in.  There's more than enough for everybeast.  After all, the Nature has blessed us uncommonly with her bounty this season.

BIC:  A stiff breeze blew over Redwall Abbey, as the sun set majestically amidst purple clouds that seemed to hint at chilly autumn rains.

Braid whistled cheerily to himself as he hauled a basket full of frost-nipped late russets towards the abbey.

Somewhat shriveled, but good for pies and turnovers, Brother Brundell had said.

Mounting the steps, the husky young sea-otter nudged the slightly-ajar main door open with his footpaw and slipped inside.  Nodding to the churchmouse who was lighting lamps in the front hall, he stumped to the kitchen and dropped his load in the doorway of the warm and bustling room.  Sidling in, he hailed the plump red squirrel who was dashing to and fro between hearth and oven, busily instructing his helpers in the preparation of a multitude of good foods.

"E're ye are, Brother Brundell, matey!  I got the apples yew wanted me to fetch!"

Chortling happily, the jolly squirrel hastened over to the otter and picked an apple out of the basket, testing its firmness with his claws.

"Excellent, Braid!  Like I said, they're a tiny bit shriveled, but not so much that they won't be simply delightful in pastries with nuts and spices."

Sniffing the air, the squirrel closed one eye and gazed at the otter.

"Smell like fresh air, you do!  It must be chilly out, eh eh?"

Braid grinned widely, took a bite out of one of the russets, and did a small jig.

"Yessir!  Chilly, 'tis!  But it's my favorite season.  Err'beast is so content and happy, it's as if nothing bad could ever happen.  Any landlubbers from outside the abbey joining us for the feast tonight, shipmate?"

A lone beast stood on the path outside the abbey gate, shivering in the cold autumn breeze. She drew her light clothing tighter about her in a futile attempt to ward off the growling chill. The beast, a young female weasel, looked up at the gates of the giant abbey for the first time in her life. Ania remembered the description of the place that had been given to her by the woodland beasts. They had said that the abbey was a place of cheer, peace, and acceptance. But it person, it seemed so imposing.

"Hello! Is anybeast there?" Ania called out in a voice barely louder than a ordinary creature's speaking tone. Luckily for her, there happened to a beast with relatively good hearing on the wall tops above the gate who caught her faint inquiry.

"Why of course there are beasts here!" a cheery vole called out over the wall, "Today is the day of the Fall Feast! Surely you have heard!"

"Well no, sir," Ania replied in a shaky voice, "does that mean I can't come in?"

"Can't come in?" the vole asked in shock, "whatever gave you that idea? Of course you can come in!" His head disappeared from the ramparts as he hurried to open the wall gates for their visitor. As Ania was admitted she looked around the abbey grounds with a interested expression. The red stone, simple gardens, and warm style of the abbey stood out in stark contrast to the palaces of her homeland. The beautiful but grim buildings the nobles of Syrea called homes were not nearly as homely. The vole, an elderly fellow, looked at Ania just as closely. She guessed that it was rare to meet a beast with white fur and red tinted eyes like her.

"Who is this that you have brought into our abbey?" came a sharp question. Ania stopped looking around the grounds and turned to the speaker. He was a young mouse with a rather aggressive expression.

"Amal, she is a guest," the older vole answer the mouse, "treat her with respect."

"Medwin, she is a weasel," Amal said in a threatening tone, "why do you let her into the abbey without question?"

"She is a maid," Medwin explained, "she carries no weapons."

"At least let me check," Amal snapped, taking a step towards Ania.

"Amal!" Medwin began.

"No, it's fine. I mean, I can see why you don't trust me," Ania said quietly, "you can check me if you want." Amal's expression softened slightly, but he still ran his paws along Ania's waistline to feel for any hidden weaponry.

"She's fine," the mouse said when he had finished. He then left them and walked away across the grounds rather hastily.

"Well, you can see the main gates of the abbey over there," Medwin pointed, "but I best be returning to my post." He too walked off, leaving Ania with herself. She was not keen on staying outside in the cold, so she headed straight for the main abbey gates. The albino weasel pushed the open door to the side slightly and looked inside. Not many beasts were about in the front hall, as all were about their separate preparations. Aside from the churchmouse, only the occasional passerby was present. Ania slipped inside, glad to be out of the cold breeze.

Ania gave the main abbey hall another quick glance over as she began to rub her paws together. This was quite as much nervous habit as it was to warm them. Now that the weasel was inside the abbey building, her attention was instantly attracted to the place where the most noise and heat came from, the kitchens. After a moment of thought, Ania made her way somewhat slowly to the open kitchen door. As she stood in the doorway she surveyed the busy scene. It was then that she noticed quite a few beasts had paused in their work to look at her inquisitively. "Um, hello," Ania said shyly, folding her paws on her chest, "I'm a… a guest here."

A sharp breeze whipped up the carpet of fallen leaves on the path, making them swirl and dart about around the only raccoon on the path, walking south in a madly one sided race to escape winter in the north. Nay, not the only raccoon on the path; the only raccoon in all of Mossflower and probably the whole continent. Jen Ko placed a paw on his conical hat to keep it from blowing away as he made his steady way south, wondering if any other raccoon had ever seen a sight like Mossflower in Autumn.

Every so often Jen Ko would raise his head from the protective warmth of his chest-fur to admire both the vast variety of trees in the forest, and the wide range of colors as well. Reds, golds, violets, browns, and oranges, all mixed together with the deep green of the pines. It was like walking through a painting. Soon enough though the cold would reassert itself and send him ducking his head again to escape the breeze at his back.

He continued with this routine for several leagues, and though his surroundings were beautiful, they never changed, so when he looked up to see a wall of redstone on the side of the path, he jumped with surprise. He grabbed his hat to keep it on his head and halted in the middle of the path, staring at the huge structure in front of him with shock, and embarrassment. If he was so out of practice with his skills that an entire building could sneak up on him… his cheeks took on a darker shade as he blushed slightly.

When he was over his surprise, Jen looked the building over, trying to imagine what it was. What he came up with as his eyes roved over the imposing gates, massive walls, solid battlements, and smoke plumes rising from within sent his paw easing slowly toward his katana. He took a slow step back, planning on just continuing on his way, and turned around to see a beast stepping out of the forest.

His paw gripped the katana's handle apprehensively.

As Medwin trotted passed the gate house on his way to the wall steps a tired, and somewhat lazy at the time, creature rose from his chair and swung the door open letting the cool fall breeze into the small building. The beast looked at the elderly vole and grinned slightly from under the hood of his habit “Any activity out there? Ed be expecting some locals lookin forward to the feast about now.”
The vole stopped and looked at the old gatekeeper with a smile spread across his face “Yes indeed, actually I just let a kind weasel maid enter. She didn’t even seem to mind Amal searching her.”
The gatekeeper grabbed his pitchfork and used it like a walking stick as he stepped out of the gatehouse, he welcomed the cool fall air as it was a large step closer to his climate than the summer “Ahhh good, glad it sounds like we’ll have all types of beasts dropping by. You go ahead inside I’ll take the watch, it’s nice and… cool out.”
Belarus dropped the hood of his habit letting the wind wash across the white fur on his face “Mmmm, this is more like it.”
The old white fox hobbled up the stairs as Medwin the vole turned happily towards the abbey building. When Belarus reached the wall tops it was only the work of a moment, even with his eyes, to spot the unusual striped beast down on the path below. The raccoon had its back to the abbey as if on watch for something sneaking up behind him leaving the old fox to grin not totally wanting to surprise the beast while also amused by the beasts manner “Hello, looking for a place to get out of the wind and a bite to eat? You’d be lucky, the Fall Feast is happenin tonight wouldn’t chya know!”

Pure vitriol wasn't Riversong's usual way of dealing with good beasts but after a night over in the abbey she was edging dangerously close to it. She understood that she was the abnormal one in an abstract way but knowing that in the mind did not make the other parties behavior more sensible to her by any measure. Helping in anticipation of attending the feast wasn't manners on her part but fair exchange. The most basic of bargain that could be struck between any beast and safeguarded her against any obligation to the host later on. She didn't want others to encourage her to come around more often or pry into why she didn't or share any other bit of personal information they'd tried to pull out of her. She wasn't apposed to sharing in particular so much as the haphazard way they asked. It was one thing to be asked something out of genuine interest or for a purpose but she didn't take casual attention well.

Fortunately though her share of work was done with the last of the fizz bottles brought up from the cellar. Not one for cooking or a number of other things heavyish lifting had been the simplest thing to assign her. Skulking off she figured it was best for all involved if she simply found a quiet spot to keep out of the way. Calm was a potent medicine for her frayed nerves after a long and mentally taxing morning of socialization. She'd be in better spirits soon if she rested.

Jen's eyes glinted sharply as he watched the beast with squinting eyes, paw gripping the handle of his sword in preparation to use it. Only when the wind stirred the leaves again did he realize the beast he thought he'd seen in the shadows was nothing more than just that, shadows in the leaves. Feeling rather foolish, Jen eased up his grip on the sword handle.

'Hello!"

Jen whirled around, knuckles going white with the force of his grip. The fur of his tail fluffed up slightly with surprise, his eyes darted up to the battlements above the gate. The apprehension in his startled face turned to suspicious confusion as he saw… an elderly white fox?

The fox smiled down at him, "Looking for a place to get out of the wind and a bite to eat? You’d be lucky, the Fall Feast is happenin' tonight wouldn’t chya know!”

Jen tilted his head to the side curiously, "Feast?" He muttered to himself, then to the fox he called up, "Well met honored elder. I plead you tell me, what manner of palace is it that tells dust caked travelers of its dinner plans?"

Dusk was working in a room of Redwall abbey. He was waiting for the harvest feast to start. He had actually been helping before with setting up. He had been asked to get some cheese for the chef. About twenty minutes later when a few abbey beasts had went looking for him; they found him half way through a giant wheel of cheddar cheese. So they had politely shoed him off with a broom. Dusk had decided that he shouldn’t try helping anymore. Instead he started working on some of his tests. He spent a lot of time at the abbey when he visited from his home. He had spent so much time at the abbey that he had just set up a second laboratory. He had chosen a ground floor room. It had one large window opposite the door. It had once been a store room so there were plenty of shelf’s as well. Dusk had dusted it, cleaned up the window, moved in a few tables, and then brought in some of his instruments. He had all sorts of tools for his alchemy. He didn’t just do alchemy though; he studied poisons and chemicals too. Dusk prided himself for having a lot of knowledge regarding his work. Thanks to his work, the room was a mess of glass beakers and files, small fires, tubes, spiraling glass tubes, mortar and pedestals, jars of dusts and liquids, glass containers holding various organs such as hearts, brains, livers, kidneys, and above all of that came the smell of chemicals and fire. Dusk had had a little trouble bringing the organs into the abbey with the abbot. Dusk had assured him that all of the organs came from dead vermin and that Dusk wasn’t doing anything wrong. Still he had to sneak in a few of them. Dusk was currently working on an idea he’d had. He was sitting down in front of a vase of roses and some of his distilling tools. He was trying to get the pure smell of roses.

OOC: Just a short post to keep things moving.

BIC:
However, Ania's moment of attention was to be short lived. "Excuse me there miss," a hedgehog said as he came up behind the weaselmaid in the the kitchen doorway, "I want to see ol' Brundle."

"Oh, I'm sorry sir," Ania replied quietly. She stepped back out of the kitchen into the main hall. The hedgehog passed through the opening to greet one of the other kitchen workers, presumably a friend of his. Ania was actually quite happy to be out spotlight. But even the main hall was starting to fill with merry woodlanders.

Ania shrunk back into a corner, apart from the other beasts. She felt alone here, so far from her native land. There were no familiar faces among the crowd that slowly started to fill the hall. As much as her family members were cruel, she still missed them.

Grimacing in mock sternness, Brother Brundell pointed a imperious paw at Braid.

"Stow your dancing instincts for later, young Kemphelm!  Right now, I want you to go and see what you can do to help down in Cavern Hole.  And if I hear that you've been prematurely sampling food, by seasons I'll know what to do about it!"

Winking at the otter, the fat squirrel spun on his heel and bustled back into his kitchen.  Aye aye, cap'n!  Chuckling heartily, Braid snatched an apple and headed towards the door to Cavern Hole, where the feast was to be held.  As he strolled, he noticed the female weasel by herself in a far corner.  Diverting course, he headed over to where she stood.  As he reached her, he grinned and held out a paw in greeting.

"Heya, matey!  I never seen yew before, ya look lonely and lost!  …My name's Braid, by the way, and very pleased to meet yer!"

Braid nodded his head in the direction of Cavern Hole.

"I've been told by the Brother Brundell to go and make myself useful in Cavern Hole.  If yew wanted, yew could come and help me find something to do, eh?  Come on!"

Ania took the paw Braid held out to her gingerly with one of her own. "Er… hi, my name is uh, Ania," the weasel said in a squeak of voice. She was feeling rather nervous after being singled out by the larger and tough looking otter. But, he seemed to be friendly enough.

"Um, I'm not quite sure what they do at the abbey," Ania said quietly, "but, I would uh, be happy to help you in any way I can." The weaselmaid used her free left paw to straighten out the edge of her tunic like outfit. It was more of a nervous habit than anything else. But, Ania always wanted to look her best in front of her peers and elders.

("Well met honored elder. I plead you tell me, what manner of palace is it that tells dust caked travelers of its dinner plans?")

The old fox grinned towards the raccoon’s sudden movement and took a moment before answering the curious creature “Heh, Redwall of course… Palace, hah tis an abbey! The abbeybeasts welcome all peaceful travellers to be guests, especially during feasts.”
Belarus’s grin grew to a smile and he had to consciously try not to let his fangs show too much not wanting to be more intimidating than welcoming “I’ll be down in a moment to open the gates, just need to take those blades from you. Don’t need them in here.”
The white beast disappeared from the wall tops and hobbled down the steps to make his way to the main gates. Belarus opened the gate enough for anybeast to enter one at a time and poked his head around the massive doors to get a view of the raccoon “Judging by your speech I don’t think I need to ask friend or foe. Please come in good traveller!”

Jen blinked at the friendly fox as he opened the gate just enough for him to slip inside. With such a friendly, and not to mention old, beast guarding the walls, the samurai was inclined to believe his claim that this formidable structure was nothing more than an abbey. And as Jen stepped through the gates he was greeted by a sight that almost reminded him of what used to be his home. Not his family's estates, but rather the sword academy.

There was a pond with fish flitting around in the deep, clear water. A grove of several types of trees dominated a corner of the walled area. There was a large expanse of grass just like the training field. And then there was the abbey itself. Like a granite cliff it stood in the center of it all, rising above everything. The entire place was quite impressive.

Jen spent an entire minute just looking around, only a few feet inside the gate, then he realized the elderly fox was still standing there. He quickly folded his paws over his stomach and bowed to the old beast, "Thank you for allowing me inside this place sir. Here is my blade as you requested." Slipping sword and sheath out of his sash, Jen handed them to the fox, "You would not… harm it, would you? Or sell it?" Jen's persistent suspicion made him ask, hinting at his past experiences.

OOC: Somebody needs to post in The Fall Feast, pronto! It's going to be dead in a bit.

OOC: Yeah! I want to get in out of the chill! My tail is growing icicles as we speak!

OOC:  This is the map which I use when I reference Redwall, if y'all'd be interested.

http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs12/i/2006/309/9/1/Redwall_Abbey_by_JadeMatrix.jpg

BIC:

"Um, I'm not quite sure what they do at the abbey, but, I would uh, be happy to help you in any way I can."

"Right, if yew'd step this way, me lass, we'll see what we can do."

Leading the weaselmaid by the paw, the burly young otter made his way the entrance of Cavern Hole and descended the shallow steps which led inside.  Sniffing the warm oaky smell of the low ceilinged room appreciatively, he glanced around until he caught sight of a fat hedgehog.

"Ahoy, Cellerhog Oaktun!  C'mere matey, I got someone fer yew to meet!"

The hedgehog trundled over to where to two creatures stood, and Braid began introducing Ania.

"This 'ere's Ania.  She's new here, and it beat's me where she's come from.  …But she's a nice type, and both of us need a job.  What ken we do?"

Oaktun grinned, bowed slightly, and extended his paw to the weasel.

"Pleased ta meetcha, missy, and welcome to Redwall Abbey!  Now look here, Braid: we've got some oak heads of October ale that I put away some five seasons ago.  I'd like to broach and serve them tonight, and I need you and Ania to come with me and grab a few other beasts, so that we can get them from the cellar to here.  Savvy?"

Braid nodded happily and glanced at Ania.

"...Sounds like a good job ter me, shipmate!  I reckon we better find us some moles, though.  They're right hardy little keg-rollers, to be sure!"

OCC: Nice map, it would be nice to have a constant reference.

BIC:

Ania willingly let Braid guide her along by the paw. She was a bit surprised by how far the young otter went out of his way for her, and how eager he seemed to be to have her along. But it was a pleasant surprise compared to the rough reception given to her by most of the beasts she had met in Mossflower.

Ania looked around the expanse of Cavern Hole as they passed through the entrance. It looked like a homely place, being far less formal than the great hall above. However, she has little time to take in her surroundings before being introduced to Oaktun.

"Pleased ta meetcha, missy, and welcome to Redwall Abbey!"

Despite the Cellerhog being a large and robust beast, Ania shook his paw just as gently as if he had been a tiny child. "Thank you, Mr. Oaktun," Ania replied softly. "How heavy are the kegs?" Ania asked Braid meekly, "how many beast does it take to roll each one?"

(OOC: Please excuse any mistakes in dialogue or with anything for that matter, its been three months since I RP'd here, I'm rusty as heck. xD)

Three cloaked figures walked through the gates, the gatekeeper already knowing who they were from their many previous encounters of entering and exiting the Abbey walls. Oh what a long summer it was; adventure, battles, allies, enemies, twas such a great journey for the warriors. One was short and stocky, a mouse built like a fine fighter, who was carrying a peculiar sword, one that was highly recognizable along with his larger blade; a broad sword. The second figure was a bit taller and much leaner, but thick with muscle and a large bushy tail that curled at the top. A squirrel that carried a wooden staff and was equipped with wooden knuckle dusters that had small metal plates between the ridges. The third figure was very tall, thicker and wider than both the other two; an Otter with a tough face, a scarred barreling chest, his tail and arms were large, and his legs were very thick. He carried a middle sized sword in a jeweled scabbard.

"Suppose they be doin' a feast today mates? I can tell that th' whole place be busy." The Otter said, grinning happily with a big beast stride. "Haha! Yeah, I already can see that Redwall is busy; look at 'em! All workin' without notice an' runnin' 'round with different things." The squirrel stated to his larger friend. The third beast spoke up. "Well guys, it seems that we were just on time for the party then. I have a feeling they will put us to work as well as soon as they spot us!" All three behemoths for creatures continued their stride down the path to the building, missing what cavern hole had to offer them since their two and a half month departure. Their clothes tattered, bodies bandaged randomly in spots where slight blood marks were showing, bodies battered, beaten, and bruised with paws aching, they were ready to just take time off to relax.

Belarus raised an eyebrow to the raccoon’s question “No? Seen a little too much to do that kind of thing, especially considering who made parts of my own swords.”
The old fox shook his head and grinned as he shut the gates “Ahhh where are my manners, name’s Belarus good sir.”

Jen eyed the old fox blankly as he took Jen's sword, but allowed it to be taken nonetheless. He made the decision to trust these folks until they gave him reason not to, something he rarely did, but this "Redwall" felt different from most places.
  The old fox shook his head and grinned as he shut the gates, "Ahhh where are my manners, name’s Belarus good sir.”
  Jen inclined his head respectfully and folded his hand over his chest, "It is an honor to meet you, elder Belarus," The raccoon flinched as his stomach growled forcefully and twisted in his gut, "Um, you said there was a, uh, feast, occuring?" Jen couldn't resist sniffing the air and smelling faint whiffs of the food, but even that was amazing.

As the hedgehog made his way towards the cellars, Braid headed outside, beckoning Ania to follow him.

"I reckon there's a few moles in the gardens, digging potatoes fer their Deeper'n'Ever pie.  We'll get some of 'em tew help us."

As he strode across the brown grass on the Abbey lawn, he caught sight of four figures who had just come through the gate.  Three were hooded, and were talking animatedly as they drew near to the abbey.  The fourth, a raccoon, was handing his sword over to Belarus, the gatekeeper.  Not recognizing the raccoon, the otter moved his gaze to the three strangers.  There was something familiar about them, but he couldn't quite figure out what.  Holding up a paw, he spoke.

"Wait a minute, weasel.  Hold short cullies!  Do I know yew three?"

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