Story Arc 2013: Vermin Planning Seige

Hey ho guys, here is your post. So you are gonna start when you guys retreat to cope will loses etc. If you need a reminder: http://www.redwallslegacy.com/forum/index.php?topic=2119.80

YEs I want to get this going. So in SIMW we ended with a battle, well I"m jsut gonna do a quick run through of it, Vermin attack Redwall after Fabians group makes it in with the Stone. The vermin give up attacking a retreat to cope with losses, find new leaders, etc.

Plot Review:

The all make it to Redwall asap (largely so that we can move on with the story) and Saula is given a room. Saula is fed and clothed and taught to be a proper Redwaller. His intelligence grows quickly (the stone doesn't allow him to forget instructions) and he begins to learn at a very rapid pace.    In a well-designed attempt to steal the stone, he makes a mistake. He flees Redwall without the Fated Stone.He begins to amass an army using the vermin outside Redwall, be builds weapons and war machines, then lays siege to the Abbey. One of the walls collapses and Vermin invade, and all Redwallers flee into the ruins of Kotir that part of Redwall. (read Mossflower)__._

So you are working up to building machines, weapons, battle plans. So Saula will end up being somewhere near the end. 🙂

MAKE IT GOOD GUYS! Remember: Your character needs to have a purpose in the plot line. 🙂

Everything had gone wrong for Chief Wildgrass the night Naklin died. The chief's mate had complained of odd feelings and sudden tiredness, but the seer and the best healing paws of the Juskaverde were not enough. She had died quietly in her sleep that night, beside her mate. They had held the traditional Juska funeral rites, overseen by the tribe's seer. They performed the dance of the skeletons; weasels cavorting and thrashing in white paint, appeasing the guardians of the afterlife as Naklin's body lay on her colourful, roughly woven cloak. The garment that had kept her warm and dry in life would serve the same purpose in death. Her most precious belongings and weapons were laid with her. She held her best spear in her right paw in case she needed it on her journey to the afterlife. In her left paw were the betrothal necklaces she and Wildgrass had made for each other, so that she would not forget him. She would carry them until Wildgrass came to the afterlife too; there she would give him back the one she made for him, and the two would be reunited forever. Her blue stone on the silver chain was laid with her too; it was said to be a powerful magic artifact that could command beast's minds.

Naklin's cloak was stitched up around her body and possessions, and then the limp parcel was carefully lifted into her grave. They had filled in the hole in the ground and placed their tribal marks, green and ochre-orange stripes on the heavy stone they rolled over the burial site. This was a Juska mausoleum; any intruder would be killed, and their worthless hides cast into the quarry for the snakes to drain of blood and flesh. When Wildgrass Verde finally left the burial site that day, he thought that his pain would slowly ease. But burying Naklin was only the beginning of their troubles. It would not be long before the Juska scouts that kept the tribe safe would come running into camp a few days later, shouting for the chief.

"Chief Wildgrass! Foebeasts at the grave!" One of the scouts had called. Wildgrass had grabbed his sharpest spear and belted for his mate's grave, which was situated well away from their camp. The Juska did not like camping too close to burial grounds; it made them uneasy and jumpy at sudden noises. The weasel chief and twenty other Juska warriors hurried through the forest, leaping over boulders and bushes, their manic energy exacerbated by their bellowing war cries. When they finally caught up to Wildgrass at the grave site, the damage was already done. The stone had been pushed aside, the fresh earth had been dug out, Naklin's cloak was ripped open and her blue gem taken from her. Wildgrass was shaking with rage, tears streaming down his tattooed face. Desecration of a grave was heart-wrenching enough; The Juska believed a spirit could not make it to the afterlife if the grave was robbed. Without the necklace, Naklin would be trapped in the mysterious dark forests with no light to guide her journey. For Wildgrass, this was personal. Their grubby paws had dared even touch his mate's body, and now they were denying her an afterlife. The Juska chief resolved to hunt them down over field and forest, over mountain and river. They would find the thieves and slay them. Then, Wildgrass would return the blue gem to the grave and set everything right.

Except things did not go right. Wildgrass and his warriors tracked the grave robbers far from their home, but by the time they had caught up with the thieves, the stone had changed paws. The Juska chief had interrogated the surviving vermin, a heavyset fox called Racket and his two accomplices. The fox told him they too had been after the stone; it had been stolen from the gang by a mousemaid. Wildgrass was infuriated. Were the woods these days inhabited solely by thieves and pickpockets? The Juska chief and his trackers tailed after the thief, but the Juska lost their opportunity to get the stone back when the mousemaid and her friends disappeared into the red stone fortress.

Wildgrass immediately sent a fleet-footed weasel messenger back to camp, to tell the tribe of this calamity, and for his warriors to join him by his side. The thieves could not cower behind their walls forever! He would give them a chance to give the stone back. Perhaps they mistook it for a simple trinket, and had no idea what significance it really had. If so, Wildgrass was willing to be magnanimous, and pardon the mousethief for her error. After all, it was the original grave robbers that he was obliged to make suffer. Yet if she did not give it back, then Wildgrass would make the entire abbey and every beast unfortunate enough to be near it pay dearly for her tragic lack of judgment. Already he was consulting the wisest of his tribe, recalling the old Juska stories and sayings that would help them make war on their enemies.

Today, merely a few days after the tragic grave robbing incident, Wildgrass was calling a meeting of the tribe. Every beast that served him or was allied to him was expected to show their loyalty here. The possibility of negotiation would be discussed first, then plans of war would be made, in case the mousethief did not give the stone back to them. Wildgrass had freshly painted himself today. The weasel's chestnut-brown fur was decorated with green and ochre-orange wavy lines running vertically down his arms, legs and back, a symbol of wild grass. He had similar tattoos on his face. The Juska did not have many stories or names revolving around mighty warriors or legendary weapons. Instead, they respected most those who were cunning and agile, and as flexible and unbreakable as the grass. Chief Wildgrass wore little besides a loincloth and rough cloak, painted with the tribe's colours. His tribe was gathered in a wide circle around him in a forest clearing. His spear was standing upright in the centre of the circle, where he had pushed the butt of the weapon into the soft earth. This symbolised his warlike intentions. He was personally armed with a heavy blade, almost like a machete. The Juska liked these short, stout blades; they were strong and reliable, and could be used to cut through difficult areas, make rough marks and carvings for navigation, and chop fish or birds for meals. They were also very good at splitting the skulls of their foes.

"Hear me, Juskaverde! Our scouts watch the redstone fortress from all sides; yet for three days there has been no sign of the thief," Wildgrass announced. There was some muttering amongst the gathered beasts, and a few dark looks given between them. The whole tribe felt insulted by this, and many were eager to begin their attacks immediately. Yet Wildgrass Verde knew that without preparing properly for victory, they would merely be preparing for defeat. This was no ordinary tribal feud; their enemy had walls and weapons and untold numbers. His scouts would count whoever they saw walking along the redstone battlements, but they were sure many unseen beasts lived within. "When our plans are done, I will demand the return of the stone to us. If there be any honest beasts among them, they shall return my mate's stone to me. If there be none, we shall make such a war, that their tears will mingle with their blood!"

There was some cheering, and a few warriors beat their small, round shields with their spears. The Juskaverde were used to war, their tribe had stories of old battles passed from generation to generation. The young ones were eager for the thrill of a fight, but they were tempered by their wiser elders, who knew the virtues of patience, stealth and deceit. Wildgrass was not a hotheaded youth anymore, but he certainly had his strength and speed. Perhaps most importantly, he was no fool either. Wildgrass called forth his most trusted advisors, and brought them into his yurt. The yurt was a temporary hut of cloth and wood, hastily constructed as their main planning area. The rest of the tribe went about their business of preparing for war. Weapons were sharped, arrows and hurling javelins made, wood was cut and young warriors were busy practicing their skills.

Back in the yurt, Chief Wildgrass first turned to the tribe's seer. The Juskaverde were fortunate enough to have nothing less than a Marlfox on their side, a being of magical power and great intelligence. He respected her opinion, and gave a slight nod as he addressed her. "Rheda, what say you about the redstone fortress? Will they give back the stone?"

Jirri Korr crouched atop a tree, watching the redstone fortress like a bird of prey. Dressed in a loincloth, padded cloth pauldrons, and reed sandals, the weasel had the characteristic tattoos of his tribe, the Juskaverde. Barely an adult, he was a scout in the Juskaverde tribe and had been assigned to watch the fortress, as most of the youngest warriors were. Scouts in the Juska were invariably the untested young warriors; those who are just on the cusp of adulthood often have the keenest eyes and the swiftest footpaws, after all.

Like the rest of his tribe, the weasel felt personally insulted by the stain on the Juska?s honour by the graverobbers. He had always been told in the legends passed down the Juska tribes that these ?Redwallers?, the beasts who dwelled within the red-stone fortress, were beasts of a gentle nature, yet honourable to a degree. He had no idea why these beasts wouldn?t see reason to the chief?s pleads; after all, the amulet belonged to the gentle weaselwife it belonged to, and should be resting alongside her to guide the chief?s mate past the Dark Forest. And yet? Jirri could not understand why he had a tingling sensation in the back of his spine. He had been getting these feelings of unease for several months now, ever since he had first heard about the legend of the ?Taggerung?. According to the legends, the last great Taggerung had been an otter, adopted by the Juska, who later abandoned his tribe. Apparently, this had cursed the Juska; no Taggerung had been born or foretold of since. While worrisome to the elders, the younger members of the tribe took this to heart. Maybe, just maybe, one of them might just be the next Taggerung, and lead their own tribes to glory.

Jirri Kor wasn?t so sure being a Taggerung was a good thing. Sounded like something that would change a beast?s life forever. In any case, his place wasn?t to try and decipher an elder?s stories: it was to try and become a strong warrior for his tribe. His father and mother were part of the Chief?s warhost, and expected the young weasel to live up to the Kor family name in every way possible. This meant that he was to become a mighty killer of beasts in the name of the Juskaverde, and never stray from a battle. Of course, that meant that young Jirri was expected to become a ?Berseravar?, or a ?Blood-beast?. The Kor family of weasels had the trait of whipping themselves into a frenzy, thirsting for the blood of their foes in an almost supernatural lust. ?Shieldbiters? was what they were called by the beasts who were not Juska.

However, Jirri had never showed the inclination for this trait that his brothers and sisters had. Instead, he had shown a remarkable affinity for the more dextrous forms of combat. Knife throwing and fighting, acrobatics, archery, and ?dirty tricks? (such as throwing sand, kicking groins, and disarming foebeasts) all came naturally to the weasel. This had been noticed by the veteran scouts, and Jirri had been swept into their ranks as soon as he came of age less than a season ago. This conflict was to be his first, if all-out war came forth. Jirri hadn?t even killed a foebeast yet; he was still an unblooded Juskaverde.

Still ruminating about his ?rookie? status, the scout ironically failed to notice a tribesmate creep beside him.

?Boo!? an equally young male beast whispered in Jirri?s ear. With a surprised expression, the weasel fell out of his tree with a clatter and a ?thump?, his hindquarters taking the brunt of the fall. Jirri shook his head and looked up with an annoyed expression.

?Ancestors blast you, Fangin. You know I?m on duty!? Brushing himself off, the young scout grunted as he got back on his footpaws and gave the young ferret in the tree a withering glance. ?What are you doing here? I thought for sure you would be practicing with your father, preparing for the battle ahead.? Obviously irritated, the weasel crossed his tattooed arms and gave the ferret a raised eyebrow.

?Weeeeell, seeing as father is currently listening to the Chief, I figured I should probably fetch some of the scouts too. And I thought, ?Well, I think Jirri?s probably bored watching that damp old fortress, so I think in a moment of compassion, I'll pay the bastard a visit.' So, here I am." The ferret gave a cocky wink and dropped down to the ground, ruffling the top of Jirri's head good-naturedly. Fangin Ro was the son of a notable warrior in the Juskaverde, just like Jirri; the exception was, Fangin was a carbon copy of his dear old dad. A stocky beast, Fangin was several seasons Jirri's senior. The ferret had also seen several skirmishes with other Juska tribes, and was considered a fully-fledged warrior of the tribe. With a large machete-like blade at his hip, (just as the Chief himself liked to use), and a combination padded-cloth and-chain hauberk about his frame, the ferret was an imposing sight. However, his joviality was disarming, and Jirri couldn't stay mad at his best friend.

"Well Fangin, I'm happy you came to get me. Shall we get going?" Jirri said, his voice retaining its normal, even tone.

The ferret nodded. "Sure thing, lets go and listen to Chief." Fangin gave another of his trademark winks and led the way to the camp. Jirri, shaking his head in exasperation, followed, his weapons sheathed and unstrung.

Reaching the clearing, Jirri started to overhear Chief Wildgrass Verde.. Judging by the raised voices, the Chief had said something, something that got the Juskaverde riled up. Crossing his arms, the young weasel listened carefully to his leader. Feeling his own blood rising up as Chief Wildgrass Verse spoke, Jirri understood why the rest of the tribe was upset. He had never felt so… indignant. How dare these beasts keep the stolen amulet! As the Chief finished up his speech, the young scout raised his clenched paw and yelled the name of the tribe.

"JUSKAVERDE! JUSKAVERDE!"

The younger members of the tribe began joining Jirri, and soon, the entire tribe began chanting, cheering on their leader as he retired to his yurt. Caught up in the fervour, Jirri gave a whoop and punched Fangin on the shoulder. The two best friends gave a grin, and sat down to sharpen their weapons for the possibility of war.

(Ok. Lets get this ball rolling. Sneering Imperialist Perk from Fallout New Vegas! Goooooo!!!!!! xD  )

"Rheda, what say you about the redstone fortress? Will they give back the stone?"

The marlfox vixen in question, although calm on the outside, was mentally screaming and raging at the creature that dared ask such a foolish question.

'What the Hellgates do you think, you stone chucking idiot!? You're not confronting an immense fortress or a castle full of the most bloodthirsty warriors in the world, you're taking on an abbey! What the Hellgates could an abbey full of idiot pacifists possibly do to you and your mighty tribe? Preach you to death by boredom? Tie flowers to your savages' spears? What could they possibly do to you and this tribe that warrants you having to come to me for advice? A child could figure out how to do this on its own! Just go up to those gates and knock, with your force in full view. Demand the stupid stone back, and they'll do it. You know why? Because they are PACIFISTS! War isn't their strong suit!'

Her mood had been especially foul the moment she saw the so-called "Bloodstone Fortress," which she would quickly discover was actually an abbey. Something nobeast in the tribe bothered to tell her at all. They all called it the same thing, a fortress, which was incorrect. Abbeys were typically known as places where weak minded pacifists gather together under one roof to live in harmony. Where she came from, it wasn't uncommon for brigands that serve organizations like her family's to trick their way into the more remote abbeys, and then do whatever they want without any resistance. They raped, they robbed, they drank their wines, and they got away with it too. What are a bunch of pacifists going to do about it? Nothing. She couldn't believe this was the building that so many of these woodland beasts were scared of. If this abbey was really what caused the deaths of armies under beasts such as Cluny the Scourge, then either they were the most poorly equipped armies in the world, or they were unbelievably incompetent and stupid…

Fortunately for Chief Wildgrass, she was surely no incompetent fool. She would have that rock for him without shedding a single drop of blood, it would be a flawless 'victory.'

The vixen's reply, despite the boiling inside her body, was as cool and charismatic towards the chief as ever. "Of course they will Chief, when they see the might of your tribe, they will quickly cast forth the stone and we will be on our merry way. Their kind are typically beasts who simply want peace and solitude inside their home. They would not dare want war with you..."

It had been what? Two? Four months? Since she had been stranded in this strange land, this 'undiscovered' frontier? And she had not liked a single day of it. Originally, she came here on what was supposed to be a simple mission. Enslave any of the primitive beasts such as these Juska that inhabit Mossflower Woods, force them to build a coastal base of operations in the form of a wooden fort, and then use them for slave work, especially in the form of mining and forest cutting. Wood and stone would be very useful for repairing old abandoned fortresses and castles. Crime lord families like her own would have made a good profit and kept up the maintenance of their home. More precious materials such as gold and jewels would have also been added to their large wealth. However, a combination of a sea storm and shark attacks left her with only eighty of her brigands left, and absolutely no building materials to make her base of operations. It was an instant failure. Eventually, she would discover the Juskaverde, who responded to her band with violence that came in the form of many traps and ambush tactics. Rheda and her band of vicious criminals were quick learners and were able to pull off some surprise victories of their own. A rather sudden end to the war came in the form of a truce with the battered and hungry band. The Chief, called "Wildgrass" came before the vixen and asked her to join his tribe, in return for healing her wounded, feeding the band and being under the tribe's protective eye. It was a truce Rheda begrudgingly accepted, knowing in the end that Wildgrass' tribe's sheer numbers would win over in the end.

Eventually, several rather amusing events happened; her promotion in the tribe as a seer, (a talent she didn't even possess) making Fiasco, the chief's adopted son Taggerung, the death of the chief's wife and eventually the wild goose chase to the dreaded Blood-Stone Abbey. Now here she was, helping the tribe get back a rock from a bunch of pacifists. Exciting... the more these events kept unfolding themselves, the farther away from the coasts they got, and the chances of even escaping Mossflower were ever slimmer.

(Also one more thing, I'm gonna be honest and say this wasn't a very fun post to do, I actually had many grammar errors with it that Gerns helped me with and i'm far from impressed by the backstory I tried to put in for her so you can get a bit of her history. Sorry guys, it was the best I could think of. I had a lot of her perfected and I love how I made her look, but obviously I flopped when it came to a good history about her, I hope you all still enjoy this character, strengths and faults and everything else. I tried to make her a unique and interesting character and also, like my other character Ryker, have her own unique brand of humor involving her. Hopefully my next post with her will be a whole lot better, anyway. Sorry guys. = P )

There was one beast that had not been stirred by the commotion. He lay curled in his yurt, unable to stretch out to his full size. The feral cat was asleep, making a low purring noise and twitching his thick fluffy tail as he dreamed. His fur was light brown, but marked with stripes of black, except around his chin and the front of his neck, which were white. He was quite thick-furred, with a dense mane around his neck and chest, and pointed tufts on his eartips. This gave him the appearance of being bigger than he was, though by Juska standards he was already a giant. In fact, nobeast stood over the feral cat save yet more intimidating creatures like badgers, wildcats or the almost legendary size of the wolverines. Though he was heavy and muscled, with paws that could crush skulls and a ravenous maw of sharp teeth, he was also quite young, perhaps just leaving his teenage years. His adoptive father, Chief Wildgrass, had chosen a suitable name to fit the feline's fearsome appearance and the ease at which he wrought havoc and destruction. The feral cat was named Fiasco.

Fiasco had always been difficult to control, ever since the Juska chief had accepted him into the tribe. As a child he had been the equal size of a Juska warrior, but far more prone to tantrums, getting into fights and wandering off to get into trouble. To keep a constant watch on Fiasco's violent outbursts, a bulky ferret named Tiho was appointed as a kind of companion. Tiho was Fiasco's combat trainer, his mentor, his nurse whenever the cat got himself hurt, and Fiasco's closest friend. Tiho was quite used to dealing with Fiasco's mood swings, and his strength. The ferret knew when to be firm with the big cat, and when to just keep out of arm's reach. Fiasco would not really want to hurt Tiho, but he sometimes forgot his own strength. Playing with the young feral cat often meant playing very rough indeed. Since Fiasco was Wildgrass' son, it meant he could often get away with sleeping late. However, today he could not miss his father's meeting. As the newly declared Taggerung of the Juska, he had to be present at the war council.

"Fiasco! Fiasco, time to get up," Tiho prodded the feral cat gently. The purring took on a more predatory tone, as Fiasco drifted back to consciousness. The ferret tried prodding him again, and in return he got the cat's heavy paw shoving him nearly out of the yurt. Tiho muttered curses under his breath as he stormed back up to Fiasco's hulking form and gave his shoulder a good shove. "Fiasco! There's a war council on!"

Luminous green eyes snapped open, eyeballing the ferret with an intense, piercing stare. The feral cat rose, the fur on one side of his body all mussed and tangled. Tiho did his best to smooth down his young companion's unkempt fur, to make him look presentable. Fiasco yawned, lazily flicking his tail as Tiho attended to him. The feral cat had taken his title of Taggerung with little surprise; after all, who was better qualified as the Juska's most powerful warrior? Fiasco had enjoyed the celebrations that had taken place, where he had been honoured by the whole tribe. Now the tribe was going to war, and the Taggerung had to attend the war council, even though he was so young. Fiasco's stomach growled, and he gave Tiho another one of his searching stares.

"Food?" Fiasco growled hopefully. Tiho grinned and held the flap of the yurt open. The yurt itself was nowhere near big enough to let the cat stand up, so he had to crawl out all fours, straightening up as he came out into the sunshine, and stretching his cramped body. Fiasco licked his dry lips and padded over to the cooking fires, where some fish for the Taggerung had been prepared. He scarfed down his meal messily, licking bits of fish off his chin as Tiho fussed around him, trying to apply the tribe's green and ochre-orange war paint to his arms and back. They both already had the wavy, grasslike tattoos on their faces, applied to the bridges of their noses. Fiasco waited impatiently as Tiho fetched his favourite weapon. The Juska made spears, machetes, bows and arrows themselves, but sometimes scavenged weapons from their enemies. Fiasco had taken for himself a morning star; a club with a long, thick handle and a wicked looking spiked head. Fiasco could already kill and maim with his bare paws; with the morning star his destructive tendencies were made into a form of art.

"Come on now, Fiasco!" Tiho urged him, shoving the heavy weapon into Fiasco's paws. The feral cat wielded it with ease, and a playful smile crossed his face as he gave it a casual swing. It hissed as the deadly spiked head moved through the air. Tiho's exasperated prodding eventually got Fiasco moving, his steady lumbering gait drawing him to the meeting area where Wildgrass and Rheda were speaking. Tiho followed him to the war council, he was a warrior with some seniority himself, and had trained many other beasts besides Fiasco. The cat swaggered a bit as he passed by some of the younger warriors. Some of them looked up to him as a kind of role model, and the feral cat loved being the popular one.

"Fiasco Juskaverde Taggerung, my Chief!" Tiho announced as the two warriors entered the yurt of Chief Wildgrass. The both bowed their heads before the weasel, who seemed quite unamused by his son's late appearance. Fiasco, however, straightened his back and looked rather proud to hear his new title being announced.

"So, our Taggerung decides to join us," Wildgrass said. Tiho winced, hoping the chief was not too displeased, since it was the ferret that was supposed to keep Fiasco on time. Every beast knew if Tiho didn't keep Fiasco on the right track, the cat wouldn't turn up to anything the tribe did. He would probably miss his own betrothal, if they ever found a suitable cat to be his mate. Wildgrass sighed, but did not press the issue any further. "As we were saying, the beasts will likely accept my demand. I shall take a few warriors to their gates and speak with them. Rheda, I wish for you to come with me too. I do not wish to let them know the strength of our numbers, though. Fiasco, you will lead an ambush group and keep hidden near the road. If the thieves refuse to give up the stone, you will kill any beasts trying to get in or out of the fortress."

"Why can't I come with you, Dad?" Fiasco demanded, looking disappointed. He did not want to sit in the bushes just watching from a distance. He wanted to be standing by his father, intimidating the thieves with his menacing glare.

Wildgrass frowned at the interruption. "I don't want them to see you just yet, Fiasco. In war, it is best to appear weak when we are strong. If they do not know we have a Taggerung, they will underestimate us to their peril."

Fiasco opened his mouth to answer back, but Tiho subtly put his footpaw on the feral cat's tail. Fiasco shut his mouth, getting the hint. It would not do to start an argument with Wildgrass at a time like this. Fiasco knew the ways of the Juska; deceive the enemy, blind him with his tears and frustration, and be elusive when the enemy is stronger. But the feral cat preferred his own way; he wanted a head-to-head confrontation. That was how he would live up to his name. With that matter settled, there seemed little else to discuss. Wildgrass gave Fiasco permission to choose the beasts he wanted in his ambush group. Tiho would be going of course, but Fiasco had a few ideas of his own. The feral cat left the yurt and approached the group of young warriors nearby.

"Your blades are not bloody enough," Fiasco said, hefting his morning star. "I need some real killers by my side to lay an ambush on the road. Fangin, I want you on my team."

Fangin Ro stood up and grinned. "You'll want a scout too, Fiasco. Let's take Jirri, he's got sharp eyes, and he's eager for his first kill."

Fangin gestured to Jirri, and winked at the weasel conspiratorially. Fiasco looked over Jirri and considered him for a moment. The Kors were a good warrior family, but this young scout had not yet killed. Still, if Fangin trusted Jirri to be a proper warrior by their side, Fiasco would let him prove himself. Fiasco nodded, and beckoned to Jirri. "Alright, you can come too. But you better be ready to kill something! The Chief wants anybeast coming along the road dead."

As Fiasco sorted out his ambush group, Wildgrass assembled a few warriors to go with him and Rheda to the fortress. He watched as his son and his friends sauntered confidently out of the camp, on their way to set up the ambush. He sighed, and looked at Rheda. "If there's one thing I know my Fiasco can do, it's make trouble. So, this job should be perfect for him. Now, let us go see how reasonable these beasts are."

The warriors and their chief moved out towards the fortress. The camp was some way off, hidden from the view of prying eyes. The rest of the Juska watched and waited, preparing their weapons. The meeting with the inhabitants of the fortress today would decide their fate. Peace, or war. As Fiasco led his band of warriors through the forest, he hoped above all else for war. A cruel smile played about his muzzle as he marched onward.

Jirri watched the wildcat pass with a broad smile. Fiasco was known among the young members of the Juska as something of a hero. He had even been named a Taggerung by that… vixen, Rheda. The weasel's mood darkened when he thought of that gray-furred fox. Ever since she had joined the tribe, she had skyrocketed in station and power. Although Jirri was not a full warrior of the Juskaverde, and did not know all the "old ways", he knew enough to know that Rheda had not done any of the ceremonies, and had not even bothered to test the hero, Fiasco. She had dismissively told the Chief that his adopted son was the Taggerung... although Fiasco was a legend, and very likely was the Taggerung, Rheda was no true seer in Jirri's eyes.

The young weasel was not the only one with this opinion. Many of the older, larger families in the Juskaverde disliked the vixen, and even went so far as to openly distrust her. He had often heard his father voice his misgivings at their evening meal, and even Fangin, loyal to the Chief beyond question, didn't trust the seer's judgements. Yet, the Chief listened to her without question... something was amiss, in Jirri's eyes.

Nonetheless, when Fangin suggested he join Fiasco's raiding party, Jirri could not hide his joy. "I will not fail you, my Taggerung!" Jumping up, he tightened his special bracers, which held his throwing knives. Making sure his weapons were in order with a quick look-around, the weasel stood straight and listened for any orders the wildcat saw fit to give.

Rheda saw the cat Fiasco slip through the entrance of the yurt and let one of her rare smiles slip, she rarely did so towards any Juska. Except rather strangely, Fiasco. The reason came in the fact she had been watching at how Chief Wildgrass interacted with him throughout her time in the tribe and had noticed some rather interesting faults in their complicated relationship. Poor Fiasco wanted the acknowledgement that all sons want from their fathers adoptive or not, but of course. Wildgrass is not paying out like he should the majority of the time and understandably, the killer cat is feeling a bit ignored and unappreciated. Though of course, that was no issue to her. All that meant is that she can fill in for the chief, indeed. She was the main reason he was even Taggerung to begin with. That's likely already more than his father has ever given him, though she found good reason to continue playing on his good side. She has shared conversations with the cat and even shared the cooking she and her brigands typically fixed for themselves with him. Fiasco was a big cat who could crush any beast in this tribe with a swing of that morning star he carried around. It was power and it was power she believed she could bring to her side. Someday, she would like to nudge this tribe back towards the coast to potential freedom. What better beast to make that nudge than the mighty Taggerung? The most powerful warrior of this tribe's rather 'amusing' culture?

"So, our Taggerung decides to join us," the marlfox heard the chief say rather disappointingly and with a sigh, her smile disappeared and turned into a more normal expression. She thought about verbally jumping to Fiasco's defense, but thought better of it. The cat wasn't in too much trouble and Chief Wildgrass wasn't pushing into it. Far more important matters were at hand.

"As we were saying, the beasts will likely accept my demand. I shall take a few warriors to their gates and speak with them. Rheda, I wish for you to come with me too. I do not wish to let them know the strength of our numbers, though. Fiasco, you will lead an ambush group and keep hidden near the road. If the thieves refuse to give up the stone, you will kill any beasts trying to get in or out of the fortress."

Although she didn't look in his direction, her face was painted with disapproval. She hated it when he ignored her suggestions, what's the point in being a seer if the ignorant fool wouldn't listen to her? It kind of defeated the purpose in having a seer to begin with. Than again, it didn't really matter much, like she had said before. These abbey beasts wouldn't be a threat, so there won't be a battle. Let the fool do what he wants, they'll get the rock anyway.

Windgrass was in the middle of saying what he had to say next when Fiasco's voice suddenly interrupted him.

"Why can't I come with you, Dad?"

She turned just in time to see Chief Wildgrass frown at the cat for asking a smart question. The next words that came out of the weasel's mouth in response made her want to leap up to her foot paws and behead him right there on the spot….

"I don't want them to see you just yet, Fiasco. In war, it is best to appear weak when we are strong. If they do not know we have a Taggerung, they will underestimate us to their peril."

Again, she found herself silently and mentally screaming at him. 'WHY!? Why in Hell's fangs do you want to appear weak to a bunch of pacifists!? Please Chief Windbag, explain how that makes any sense in the slightest! It's like you WANT to make this as convoluted and pointless as possible!…... Although....' she started to mentally force her annoyance and anger down and really began  to think about it. 'Abbeys do tend to have nice loot, maybe there could be something for her to gain from Chief Windbag here trying to force the defeat of a bunch of harmless abbey beasts...... Yes.... Indeed....'

Conversations went on until the Chief finally dismissed Fiasco and sent the cat on his way out of the yurt. Soon, everybeast the weasel had chosen to come with him including herself was getting ready to make their walk to Redwall Abbey. Although at first she didn't think much of the need to wear it, her sixth sense. The 'I got a bad feeling about this' sense, kept prodding her to wear her helmet to this meeting with the Redwallers, eventually. She relented to it's paranoid wisdom and put on her rather alien looking (to Mossflower Woods standards) morion helmet. This fine example was her... Seventh one? She believed? On many occasion such same examples like this one had saved her life in the past, they were nicely shaped and reliable helmets to covered the head well without the annoying presence and lack of viability a helmet with a visor would have. Morion helmets were easily her most favorite form of cranial defense she has ever worn. When she wore her first one, she never stopped wearing them from then on....

When they all got together, she stood by and watched Fiasco's party leave first. Rather softly, a sigh reached her ears and than the chief's voice. "If there's one thing I know my Fiasco can do, it's make trouble. So, this job should be perfect for him. Now, let us go see how reasonable these beasts are." Whether it was intentional or not, the marlfox swore there are a hint of sarcasm in his voice, a jab at her for saying they would not fight them and surrender his wife's stupid stone peacefully to him, but this time Rheda didn't have any mental smart remarks about it. They would see who was right and even if she was somehow wrong, as unbelievable as those chances are. She would find an explanation and excuse on why that chance went the way it did. She always had a counter argument….

She did not bother to dignify the weasel's prod at her with a response of her own, she just waited quietly until they all were ready to go and walked along side the weasel chief at the same pace, she was tempted to tell the chief that she would do all the talking, but decided mentally that there was no point in it. The fool would just ignore her anyway.

Instead, she absorbed and even somewhat admired the redstone abbey they were approaching. It was pretty much the only thing that remotely resembled a form of civilization that she had seen in this wild frontier so far. She had to give the pacifists credit, they had a lot of gall to make a building of peace in such a savage frontier...

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