"But the dreams… Oh, the dreams of amazing things--they are lonely beyond reason."
Harack -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/SMF/index.php?topic=356.msg7940#msg7940
Grumm, Abbot of Redwall -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/SMF/index.php?topic=492.0
Fehrin, horde leader -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/SMF/index.php?topic=359.0
Lily -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/SMF/index.php?topic=465.0
Thad -- http://www.redwallslegacy.com/SMF/index.php?topic=464.0
I'm writing a full-length Redwall fan-fiction novel. (Current word count: 132,000…. I'm not messing around.) Want to read it?
Then I need your help! I need to see what sort of prophecies Salamandastron Badgerlords received, so I can figure out what sort of information a Badgerlord is likely to receive and how it gets presented. I have a situation in my story where a Badgerlord bumps shoulders with a dangerous character in disguise, and I'm not sure how much warning to give the Badgerlord.
Could you look at your bookcase, grab whatever Redwall books you have, and skim for the parts where a badgerlord gets a prophecy? Then post a general description of what the badgerlord was told, and how the information was presented. PLEASE cite the book and page number too, so I can look them up if I need to.
PS - So you don't waste your time, Salamandastron is NOT mentioned at all in the following books:
Martin the Warrior
The Legend of Luke
Someone grabbed Wakka's ears roughly and kicked him in the back of the knees. He knelt with a cry of pain.
Cheeky stood at the front of the crowd. Her pose, her facial expression… Ice cold wrath dripped from her entire being. She came forward and grabbed his face in her paws, intentionally careless with her claws.
"Idjit baby," she hissed. "plague scuma da foulest swamp. Knowwhatcha done?"
Wakka felt very small. He shook his head.
"Ya killma mate. Gyybe gone alltime fu'eva now. Alla slaves 'scaped an ya stoopid wiggle pets got two uv'us. Toldja ta leave'm lone, butcha too baby ta unnastand. We play ya games longanuff, bow'n thanks ya and washa paws. Ya wanna us talk likem ground worms too?""
Wakka swallowed hard.
Cheeky bristled and hissed again, overcome with fury and grief. She released his face but kicked him hard in the stomach as she turned away. She paused for a moment, then turned back. Breath knocked out of him, Wakka wallowed in agony with his face in the dirt.
Cheeky drew Wakka's wooden sword from his own belt. She broke it over her knee and threw the fragments on the ground, right in front of his face. Then she grabbed his tail and–-holding it high for all the Gawtrybe to see---she began to strip him of his feathers.
"Ya norra warrior. Yurra baby. Killa owl otha gawtrybe trap for you 'cause Old Wakka dad said we had ta letcha. Otha owl old'n sick? Now ya kill gawtrybes 'cause ya too idjit ta unnastand howa playa games right."
Stinging as bits of fur got ripped out, Wakka began to struggle. The Gaw holding him tightened their grip and began to tie him up.
"Thinkya betta n' alla us?" Cheeky spat in his face. "Ya lower'n Meekee. You norra Gawtrybe anymore. Yurra ground worm, traitor."
Cheeky put her footpaw on Wakka's head, the symbol of domination and defeat. The crowd roared excitedly, clapping and whistling. She lifted her voice to carry across the orchard so everyone would hear.
"Old Wakka's brat norra be Wakka chief any more! Norra Gawtrybe neither. Calla name Keega, lik him mudda made him, cause he's stilla baby coward, juss like him was born."
The oldest squirrel stepped forward. Grinning, he grabbed Cheeky's wrist and held it high. He took a deep breath and roared at the top of his lungs.
The crowd picked up the chant, both approving of the choice and swearing fealty to their new chief.
"WAKKA! WAKKA! WAKKA!"
Cheeky giggled suddenly. It was terrifying to hear the easy sound bubbling from an angry warrior whose lover just died.
"Weeeeee!!! Less playa game! Who wantsa stringim traitor inna tree, letta owl gettim?"
All occupants of the pit had been rained out of their emergency burrow by rising floodwaters. The torrential downpour washing down the mountain side drained directly into their crevice.
By early afternoon when the storm slowed to a drizzle, the water was past their knees. The incredibly helpful food and poultices Lilliana had brought, what little was left over, was spoiled now.
Ceder (who had stayed behind in the pit) went with Malik (who had been there for two days after failing to win his son's freedom) to check out the tree.
"I dunno," hesitated Malik. "I think it's too high for us to reach."
Ceder tried jumping but his sodden tail weighed him down.
"It's not… I know I can jump that high. We're just hungry and sleep deprived and wet." He kicked viciously at the water in discouragement. "You give it a go, see if you can make it."
Malik took a running start. His feet were sluggish in the mud. He barely cleared the water, let alone the two body lengths needed to reach supporting branches.
Joey, who had been swimming cheerfully in circles, called out.
"Hey Cede, why don't you try climbing on my dad's shoulders and jumping from there?"
"Ah! That's a great idea. Do you mind?"
"Go for it."
Ceder took a minute to wring out his tail. Malik watched his son for a moment, then looked away, feeling a keen sense of shame… Not for failing at an impossible game. But he'd spent four days watching villagers earn other beast's freedom---the wounded were highest priority---before he found the will to even try.
Ceder clambered up Malik and balanced carefully on his shoulders. Then he flung himself upwards. First try, he grabbed onto some thinner branches. He scrambled a little as his paws slipped, but managed to get a firm hold and pull himself up the rest of the way. A gasp and some excited whispers floated up from below.
Resisting the urge to cheer, Ceder quickly climbed up to the trunk and wove between the branches. He paused before stepping out of the branches to make sure the coast was clear. Seeing no guards posted, he grabbed the nearby rope and brought it to the edge.
Soon all the villagers were safely out of the pit. They were laughing and hugging when Ceder hushed them.
"Hsst! I think somebeast's coming!"
"Oh no, we're on their side of the ledge!"
"Quick, hide in the bushes!"
They replaced the rope and scrambled out of sight just in time. Two beefy Gawtrybe squirrels stumbled around the bend hauling an enormous basket between them, hanging from two poles they hoisted on their shoulders. The woven vine basket sagged and dragged on the ground, looking ready to burst. They stopped and the edge and looked in. Craning his ears, Ceder could just make out their nonsense chatter.
"Oh! Lookie tree afall onna pit!"
"Wherra slaves go? Maybee climba tree go home?"
"Nah, juss dugga hole inna wall lassnight ova der. Muss be sleeping."
One of the Gawtribe threw a rock down. It splashed. "Heya slaves! Wakey, wakey! Masta Wakka wanna play new game, needs you outta der. Gerrup!"
After a long silence, the shorter squirrel looked at the other, then burst into giggles. "Dis boring. Less playa new game now."
They untied the basket lid and together pushed the entire basket over the edge. It tumbled open as it fell, revealing a flash of something wet and shiny that hissed. The two Gawtrybe peered over the edge, giggling.
Guessing at the contents of the basket, Malik felt his heart skip a beat. If they had been five minutes later...
Out of the corner of his right eye, he noticed a sudden movement. As he recognized the familiar running figure of his son, he moved to scream, but felt his mouth go dry. All his limbs locked in a half second of paralyzing horror.
Joey felt a fury rushing through his veins. He recognized that squirrel. The one with two feathers had been cruel to Jonathan. No one was allowed to mess with his friend. He'd make him pay.
He bowled into the behind of the two-feathered squirrel. The squirrel went overboard screaming. Joey retained just enough momentum to stay up top, but the surprised squirrel at his side quickly grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
Malik barreled out of the undergrowth, but it was too late. The young otter was tossed into the pit like a rag, flailing.
Other villagers rushed to the rescue. In a matter of moments, the second gawtrybe squirrel was also pushed in with a splash.
The three creatures below whimpered and screamed. A nestful of cottonmouth babies thrashed in the water around them, biting blindly. Their enormous mother circled patiently, waiting for their prey to die.
Ceder ran for the rope while Malik, wild with panic, clawed at the villagers who held him back.
"Let go! Get off of me, my son! Save Joey! Joey! Joseph you bloody idiot, not today. Let go." The village blacksmith gave a muffled grunt as Malik bit his arm.
Ceder stepped back from the pit, looking nauseous. "Don't let go! Hold Malik back. Don't let him see this."
Another gawtrybe squirrel came around the corner, checking to see what all the fuss was about. Taking one look, his eyes got big and he ran the other direction.
"Time's up, Malik. We have to move."
The villagers tried to pick Malik away, but his screams intensified and he nearly wriggled out of their grasp. All of the fight he had never felt in his entire life soared to the surface. He wasn't going to let his only son die.
"Gerizius, put him out." Ceder instructed. "Now."
The blacksmith delivered a well-placed blow, and Malik went limp. Then he shouldered his friend. All the gentlebeasts paused for a moment. Catching each other's eyes, an unspoken grief passed between them. The death of an innocent meant the days of their innocence were over.
They turned and crossed the tree to the other side of the ledge, and raced home with leaden footpaws.
Cheeky was a fearsome warrior and dangerously close to outgrowing all the males, even if one of her feathers technically came from an owlet.
Cheeky had five long feathers and a dozen shorter ones. Everyone listened to her–especially Wakka, because she listened to him. And right now she was uneasy.
Tisking at the young chieftain, she brushed her tail casually around her feet and began preening herself--a symbol of extreme disrespect, considering her relative rank. Some of the watching trybe members tittered and elbowed each other, hoping for a fight.
"Canna ignore it, stupid. Groundworm havva hot hot in their eye. Like fire at home. Might ruin us. Gotsta find a betta way to keepum slaves. Pit game getting old. Need new fear."
The Gawtribe were getting antsy.
"Wona more time! We play stoopid game for whole village. If'n we win, we own allaya! If'n we lose, we choppa you all up."
Roor was typically a tentative pushover, so when the burly mole shouldered through through crowd of panicked bickering villagers, face set in determination, everyone quieted down.
"Whur be the rope? Oi can't quoit see et." He asked, tugging his snout.
"Don't do it, Roor, it's just a stupid game."
"No et baint. Thur acting loike children but thur waging war. They hurv prisoners. This hurr be our only dufense. Oi ken win thurs. One et a toime. Help oi wid ee rope."
The sentry glanced at the other villagers. A mousemaid carrying a broom battle-ax style gave him an awkward shrug and no one else spoke up. So Peter wandered over to the edge.
"Ahoy! Can you throw the rope end up?"
After a few tries, he caught the rope end. He helped Roor lash the rope securely to his chest so Roor could fight with all paws free. As he took his place, a mad chittering erupted from the Gawtrybe. The hyper noises on the other side were unintelligible, but the squirrels were clearly excited about this new contestant. The tallest, strongest squirrel yet took up the rope on the other side. He wrapped it behind his back and then around his wrist several times.
With a heave and a quiet grunt, Roor threw all his paws into the earth. Stepping forward one solid footpaw at a time, he began to make progress.
Confusion, then surprise, then panic cross the face of the rabid-looking Gawtrybe contestant. His stance was caving to Roor's steady fortitude, he began to slide.
Roor gave a sudden heave, trying to throw the squirrel off balance. As he tottered within a couple feet of the edge, several other Gawtrybe squirrels suddenly jumped in and grabbed the rope.
"Hey! That's cheating!" yelled Peter. He ran forward to help Roor, who was sliding back at an alarming rate.
Several villagers jumped in too. Unfortunately, for every villager that grabbed hold, there were three Gawtrybe to match them. The tittering squirrels who couldn't reach the rope grabbed hold of each other.
Even so, the villagers were holding their ground. They had halted just shy of the cliff edge. The rope was taunt for the first time.
Suddenly, the ground shifted underneath the villagers. A large section of soil broke loose and tumbled down, taking Roor and five others with it.
Roor hit the ground first, landing on his side. Two other beasts, also of considerable size, landed on top of him, with most of the force going to his head and shoulder. He roared in pain.
They quickly scrambled off of him. Peter felt the shoulder.
"Oh, cursed seasons… I think it's broken."
The squirrels celebrate their victory. Yay! They own the orchard.
They challenge the villagers again. Next round is for the waterfall.
The villagers put heads together. "what? We don't own the waterfall. that's silly."
"Well, if they want to think they own it, fine. Let's get our friends back."
"Fine, but if we're playing this, we're not sending any more weaklings. Go grab the blacksmith. We'll put him again them."
Jonathan quickly untied the rope from his waist.
In a flash, Peter's brother ran toward the dangling rope and shimmied up after the gawtrybe squirrel. He limped slightly as he belayed up the ragged rock walls.
The villagers cheered.
"That's it, Cede! Haha! Go, go, go!"
From the bottom, Jonathan objected half-heartedly.
"Come back! You don't know what you're getting into…"
Ceder's heart soared as he neared the top of the cliff. He saw the tail of the squirrel ahead of him disappear at top.
Ceder reached and touched grass. The villagers' shouts of excitement intensified.