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posted in The Abbey Proper read more

"You are doing well, Dominic," said Skarlath. "Better than I had hoped. But now, think. How is two one? Or what can make it one?

One can defeat the lone one,
But what about two?
Can they resist?
And a threefold cord,
Cannot break apart,
Can you take this to heart?

Skarlath looked like he was laughing, but maybe he was. Setting riddles were fun.


Fernleaf lay on his back looking up at the sky.
"No, never again, never again," he mumbled.

Tokal came up and looked down at him. "Are you all right, my son?" he said.

Fernleaf sat up and spat out some straw.  "It would take something horrible, a choice between...that...and the destruction of Redwall and those precious Dibbuns. I'm glad I didn't know that when I was Zagreb." He was gasping for breath, his eyes wide with horror.

"I'm glad you didn't know it then either," said Tokal. Fernleaf got up and shook himself off. "It's just the Sword or nothing." He saw the dummies were back as they were as if nothing had happened. "I didn't know you could do that, Dane. It appears that those of us in Dark Forest can do similar things. I've never tried." said Tokal.

posted in The Abbey Proper read more

Skarlath shook his head. "I'm sorry, Dominic, there are laws in the Dark Forest every much as in mortal lands. It is forbidden for us to speak too plainly about the future, so we have to speak in riddles and hope you are able to decipher them.

But you are right. We did have a blast when we were living and still do in Dark Forest."


Fernleaf took the book from Jared's paws. "Thank you, brother," he said. "I will read and study this book and hope I am able to learn much from it. Of course, the Sword teaches me a lot to its use as well."

He flipped through the book, looking at parts that he would have to read in depth.

He paused when he saw something near the end that read: Wuxi Finger Hold: ONLY TO BE USED IN DIRE NEED. He saw the diagrams and the description: fingers locked on the enemy finger, pinky raised. To implement, flex the pinky and look out! Chi explodes in every direction.

"Hmmm…let's see." He went to a straw dummy used for training. He locked it in the finger hold and raised his pinky. The instructions said the hardest part was cleaning up afterward. He then flexed his pinky. KA-BOOOM! Straw exploded everywhere and a wave of Chi erupted out. He was knocked back on his tail.

posted in The Abbey Proper read more

"You're close, but not warm enough," said Skarlath. _"A troupe is a band of minstrels or players. These are deceptive and will try to steal the Sword. As you know, any thieves who steal Martin's sword come to a bad end.

The Commander of Blood, the one so despised, is the same one, the vermin chieftain. Neither is Jared Sandeye. There is no honor among vermin, they are always trying to kill each other when they aren't trying to kill us.

Does that make it clearer?"_ He grinned.

posted in Non-Traditional read more

Barzon, the Tasmanian Devil, got up and picked up his special. "Water is fine," he said. He got a couple of spoons and sat down with the sundae and his water. As Tinarandel started playing "Southern Nights," Barzon started tapping his foot and using the spoons as drumsticks on the table. He dug into the sundae. "You did great on this," he said. "And before you ask, I spend most of my time when I'm not doing my thing as a biker as a drummer on a rock band." He watched as more came on about the shooting. He ground his teeth. "Where I hail from, I am a descendant of Tazmar-Lords who defend the innocent against vermin like this shooter."

When the song finished, he selected another, "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash.  He followed the drum sequence like a pro when he wasn't eating the sundae. Being a drummer was a release for him.

posted in Non-Traditional read more

A Tasmanian Devil from Aukstralia dressed in what looked like a Crocodile Dundee outfit, but it was his usual clothes had been sitting trying to decide what to get. He saw what the special sundae looked like and said "I'll have the special too. It's the bees knees, it is!" Just then, the announcement of the Senator being shot came over the telly. He hit the table. "That bloke had better not come anywhere near here if he knows what is good for him." he said.

posted in Path toward Redwall read more

Cockleburr was elated to be away from the Inn. It was a nice place to visit, but he was getting bored and stir-crazy there. It was time to go and seek adventure. He didn't need Grundlink's encouragement.

He whistled a tune as he shouldered his mace Spiketail and hefted his pack. Soon, they were at the house. "Starly it is," he said, bowing. "Pleased to make your acquaintance."

He followed Starlight down the hall.

posted in The Abbey Proper read more

He saw Dominic's astonishment and burst out laughing.

"I wondered how long you would get it, Dominic. Yes, you are the Greybeast! You will be needed just as much as the Champion."

He paced back and forth on the table. "I missed doing this after my passing. And now you know the answer to all the riddles."

posted in Path toward Redwall read more

Cockleburr had finished his breakfast and stood up. "I understand what you mean. I should know. Bloodwrath is both a blessing and a curse, a curse I would rather do without. But what is is what must be if we are to defeat a foe who would destroy all."

He looked to all. "Are we ready to go, or do we have more talking to do?"

posted in The Abbey Proper read more

"True, great is the mind of the small," said Skarlath. "But it does not yet reveal the Greybeast."

He gave another rhyme, not in the earlier riddle.

_"Words can be a double-edged sword,
Bound together by a twisted cord.
A Greybeast who would rather stay behind
But has the ability to bring sight to the blind.

It takes a wise one to unravel the knot,
A matter that takes depth, depth of thought.
But who shall awaken the sleeper of time?
Figure that out, and you've solved the rhyme!"_

posted in The Abbey Proper read more

Fernleaf laughed with them. "I was hoping you weren't going to make me memorize all that. My head would explode," he said. But that book will be a great help if you would lend it to me, Jared."


Longears, feather, and greybeast. repeated Skarlath. "That is actually one of the easiest lines, but I am always thinking of the answer. Longears: It can only be a hare, and that hare already knows. Feather: A bird, specifically a falcon, who is out there hesitating to come. Greybeast: One who is old, but who?" A mischievous twinkle came to his eyes. "Do you really want to know the answer to that? You may not like it.

And what should you know?

'Now downwards, now upwards,
The dance of the bee;
So what is the answer?
Go ask of the tree!'

Ponder that for a while, and it will come to you. As for what you have deciphered so far, you're doing a great job.