(IC) Settlers of Starlight Valley
–---An exerct from the Journals of Flavius Clay------
We have entered day one of our journey from Snake Tail River. True, our family has been traveling for some weeks to get here but we did so alone. Snake Tail River is a trading town and decidedly vermin, but also a place where other beasts gather before making the long trip northward.
We have joined a group of settlers, an equal mix of vermin and non vermin blood, looking for a new life away from Mossflower. As of this journal entry there are about 38 souls and less than a half dozen wagons. There is no shortage of beasts willing to go to Starlight Valley.
The reasons they travel are many. Some leave to escape the strife of Mossflower, the bitterness of the famine and the constant warefare between horde leaders and sometimes their woodlander counter parts.
I have seen the hallowed halls of Redwall and while pretty, I fail to see why so many horde beasts have thrown away their lives to take its battlements. I suppose not being vermin myself I wont ever be able to see the appeal.
Others still come for less complicated reasons. There is no shortage of beasts lured by their own greed northward to the fabled gold filled valley. Others have found other ways to strike it rich though with out ever striking a shovel to earth.
Like the guards. We hired a few beasts to help ward the bandits away. They are each independant fighters and generally look at us settlers with disdain, prehaps none so much as Jack, our guide. I've never met a hare that made my blood run so cold. I swear he has more vermin in him than any fox or ferret I have seen.
But as for me, I seek something else beside fame or fortune. I seek adventure. And I have a feeling this really will be a great one...
The wimd howled across the open plains giving no relief to the beasts who gathered just out side of camp.
The carts and sometimes wagons were encircled about a large fire pit. It had been dug 3 days ago when the snow storm first hit. While the storm was savage it didn't last too long. The waist deep snow that blanketed the plains however made it nearly impossible to travel safely.
And so they sat, for three days, a week out of Snake Tail River. They had left the road long ago, following the make shift trail of ruts left in the ground by their predicessors, those who went before them on this long, and saddly deadly journey.
The beasts finished burying the body and hammering in the grave marker. A few words were said and the group of those kind enough to visit the final resting place of Flavius Clay, squirrel recorder, turned and went back to their wagons and tents.
Standing away from the funeral and and warming their tails by the fire were a few of the carivans guards. "Dysesntary." One of the guards spat. The fox just shook his head and crossed his arms afterward. "How does someone get Dysentary in THIS weather?"
Not many in Mossflower had ever seen a wolverine and the ones that have would never expect one to help out a band of woodland creatures making such a long harsh journey. In fact, those who have seen wolverines would expect them to take advantage of such a thing, and fill their belly with such easy prey. Bola was not one of these wolverines. He had over heard the news of this journey to his native northern lands. Knowing the perils, Bola offered his services.
Understandably, they were unsure of his intentions. Thanks to locals vouching for him, they agreed to let the brute protect them. He always enjoyed using his strength for the benefit of others. Others being the smaller, frailer, and weaker woodlanders. Those traits being them compared to him.
Bola took a deep breath of the cold wind. It was quite refreshing for hulking mass of fur. Most of the year, the Woodlands of Mossflower is quite stuffy for him. It was a nostalgic pleasure for him to experience regular body temperature once again.
Somberly, Bola watched them bury who he called "scrib", on account recorder was a mouthful for him, and his odd speaking patterns. He always warned the group of drinking from unknown sources of water, maybe this unfortunate incident will be a stern reminder.
Bola made a loud, deep sigh as he waited for the wagons to get moving.
Sitting in one of the wagons a young weasel sat and watched the funeral from a distance. Teai sat there just looking on at the solemn faces of the settlers as they buried the scribe. He knew that this incident would serve as a cruel, cruel reminder for the convoy but, luckily for him that he barely knew the squirrel anyways. Sighing, the weasel went back to his mandolin. He tuned the stringed instrument until he reached the sound he preferred. He looked back to the mourners and back at his instrument. 'Nows not the time.' he thought as he placed the instrument back in the wagon. Teai leaned his head back as he stared at the cloth roof of the wagon and began to wander how long it is going to take before the convoy finally starts to get moving again.
(ooc: i guess ill be that guy with the short post…)
ooc: Hope you guys don't mind if I join? Im quite board actually and looking to keep myself occupied. Let me know if its ok if I can post or not. Cheers! :)
A older fox was crouched on the ground. He braced himself against the wind, hugging his tattered cloak around his scrawny body. His white underbelly fur was dirty and matted, his once gleaming orange coat, now dull and straggly, why Kyler went on this trip, he did not know, maybe it was since he was seek the gold in the fabled valley, or what the truth was, running away from his hoard. Yes Kyler the fox was a deserter. Many years he served under his leader til the strain was to much, rebelling against his leader, Kyler fled Mossflower and found a band traveling to the Fabled Starlight Valley. So he joined, under the pretense of seeking goal and making a fortune for himself.
Kyler looked at the brutes, or in this case, the so called guards, the wolverine stood out to him, he didn't want to cross paths with that guy, he looked around at the others, a fox, like him, the wolverine, a few others and then a hare. Kyler didn't like that hare, they way Jack spoke and acted made Kyler be wary at him. Yes they may be all travling together, but it didn't mean that they had a pack to each other.
He was distracted by the hammering of posts, and saw where the scribe was buried, "Poor fella…" Kyler muttered and shook his head. Getting up from his spot, he shook the snow off himself and shuffled over to the wolverine and guards, "Im afaid we haven't met." he muttered to Bola, "I"m Kyler, I joined the band a few days ago." as he introduced himself to the wolverine and the others.
Fenrath watched from atop one of the wagons as the old scribes grave was knocked into place. He closed his eyes and muttered a silent prayer for his spirit to find the land of his ancestors. When Fen opened his eyes he saw and old, faded fox heading over to the "guards". They were little more than brutes, really, ready to leave the entire caravan at a moments notice.
The otter scurried along the top of the wagon and jumped off, landing lightly in the snow next to the fox. "My name is Fenrath," he said, bowing low to the beasts in front of him, "I would much appreciate the honor of knowing your names as well."
OOC: Now I'm that other guy with the short post!
(OoC: T.J gald to see your joining up in the rp and Fenrath, thanks for the company. Being that one guy can be lonely xD)
"I joined the band a few days ago." Teai look up towards and saw the fox talking to the guards. "Wow poor guy must 'ave went through hell." Teai said to himself as he looked at the fox's straggly appearance in contrast to his. He continued to look on as the fox tried to speak with the guards. Shrugging Teai looked back at the funeral and saw the mourner's finally finishing up. Smiling, he went and retrieved his instrument. Teai began to play the instrument. He watched the funeral as he played. Teai noticed that it seemed that the mourner's seemed to appreciate the music. Teai decided to continue to play when he looked back over to the guards and saw another figure talking to the guards. 'Wow, I haven't seen him either, this might be interesting' He thought as he played. Teai looked over and saw several children watching him play. Smiling, he decided to play more for the young ones instead of his own entertainment. He watched as the kids looked on with great interest. Moments like this made him happy that he could play this instrument, he loved to see people's faces light up when he played. Eventually to Teai's surprise, he was actually teaching the children how to play and showing them some of his favorite melodies and tricks to playing. 'at least somebeasts are now happy Teai thought as he continue to entertain the young ones.
(OoC: i kinda feel that the term "Dibbun" was more of a Redwall Abbey term for the kids so thats why i didn't call em that. Just lettin you all know)
The wolverine looked at the two and nodded. "Bola." He said with voice so bassy, it could substitute as thunder. "My name is Bola. Good to meet you both." He started walking away from the two, and headed over to his pull-cart of belongings. He reached into it, pulled out a decrotive flask, then walked back over to the creatures he was speaking with. Bola started unscrewing the container.
"Just another unlucky soul taken by this harsh land." He mused, lifting the opened flask to his lips. The large creature to a healty sip of it, and heavily exhaled after finishing. "Unforgiving, and remorseless. I've seen many lives stolen by this place I once called home." He continued, screwing the lid back on his silver flask and placing it in his satchel. "And hasn't started snowing yet either, heh." Bola chuckled grimly. "And that scrib won't be the last one of this group to be buried." Bola pointed at both. "Got reasons for testing your luck here?" He asked them.
The fox and stoat stared at the otter. Appearently startled by his sudden appearence they remained silent for a long while. Like most guards they were burly savages using the hides of fallen creatures to keep the cold at bay, even turning hides into their armor.
They were also not the most social beasts, which they proved by promptly turning away from the otter, the old fox, and especially the big wolverine with out saying a word to them.
"You'll have to forgive them. They are paid to fight, not make friends." Came another voice as a forth party approached the small group by the fire.
The fox simply named Bandit certainly dressed like one. A dark brown leather trench coat covered him, concealing most of the long sword at his hip. He wore a belt across one shoulder that wrapped under the other.
Unlike the previous guard fox this vulpine had light brown fur with a yellow underbelly. The tips of his tail and ears were black.
Also unlike the other guards this fox was heavily insulated against the cold without the use of heavy clothing. One could only imagine the level of glut or inactivity required to make a beast so…corpulant, especially one who hardly looked older than his mid twenties. Not a single part of Bandit's body, from his tail to his second chin was free from flesh, even after the long walk from Snake Tail River.
Bandit greeted them with a half wave as he chewed on an apple. "If you're lookin to make friends I wouldn't start with that sour lot. I wouldn't go off alone with them either." The fox took a deep bite of the apple and spoke while he chewed, "I would rather not try to bury any more beasts on this road." The fox paused to look at the tail coverings of this particular otter and raised an eyebrow. So that's how woodlanders feel when they see their kin used as clothing, he thought and chuckled to himself.
The brown furred sell-sword watched as beasts around the camp turned their heads to watch a solum figure approach from the wilderness.
Jack Aurther McTally was not really that old of a hare. A life in the wilderness added ten years to his appearence in the form of scars and a withered, grizzled look. He wore a wide brimmed otter felt hat with holes in the sides to accomidate his long grey furred ears. His body was wiry and covered by a dark yellow trench coat that was just as worn and tattered as he was.
The rapier he carried at his side had never been seen out of its sheath but was said to be serrated with four notches etched on the inside of the blade.
"A'right!" The hare shouted in a loud booming voice as he walked through the camp. "Git yor gear reddy to be movin out! We leave in the hour!"
One of the settlers he passed, a fellow hare with brown fur asked allowed, "Really sir? Maybe we should wait a while. Give the snow a chance to melt and..." he looked about the camp and said in a hushed whisper, "Time for those who need it to greive?"
The guide leaned back, crossing his arms as he seemed to ponder this. The hare had a certain look about him, filled with energy and the body language that suggested he was not in the habit of arguing simply because he knew what was right often despite evidence to the contrary.
"Is da scribe goin to pay me after we reach ta valley?" He asked in a calm voice.
"Er, no. He's dead. And we already devided up his possesions but..."
"Den why should his opinion matter to me? If he wanted to be mourned then he should have picked ah more con-vien-ient time ta die."
Not to far away Bandit flinched. It was this very attitude that put the beasts in the carvivan on edge.
"That sir, is a little cruel." The hare said flatly but politely.
"No, de snow storm that will follow dis one will be cruel. And I have no vish to be trapped here for weeks until we run out of de vitals and de vermin get to hungray." The hare patted his kin on the shoulder and said with a big smile, "Who do ya think dey will eat furst? Od'er vermin or us?"
The settler cast his glance almost instictivly towards the wolverine, the old fox, the fat fox, and the otter. Bandit smiled to him pleasently, showing off his teeth.
Kyler looked at the otter that appered next to him. Kyler gave a stiff bow, his muscles and joints weren't used to the cold. "Me name is Kyler. Kyler the Fox. Pleasure to meet you Fenrath."
'Bola. Good to meet you both." Came the Wolverines deep voice. Kyler couldn't help his jaw drop and then shut it quickly. He was more intimidating than his leader back in Mossflower.
'Got reasons for testing your luck out here?' Bola asked, Kyler nodded and wrapped his cloak tighter around himself, but it didn't make a difference. "Hoping to strike it rich out there. Settle down and live out my life peacefully. You?"
He was interupted when the ominous figure of Jack came out of the trees. Kyler still was in awe with the big hare. Giving a low whisle he said, "Don't wanna cross paths with him." Kyler sighed Ashe heard the order to move out in an hour. "Pardon me while I go see if I can get the clothes off the dead scribe." The fox stole off to where the dead scribes belongings were. Now Kyler was just wanting to keep warm before the incoming storm. He found out where the scribe used to live and dug through is belongings. He pulled out a thick robe, quickly the fox donned it on and wrapped a rope around the middle, it was a bit big but would do. He found a ragged Scarf and put it on. Looking around he made sure no one was watching and took off with his new purchases.
He headed back to the group he was talking to. "Ready to move out lads?" Kyler said, feeling way warmer.
Ooc: no worries I have short posts also
Teai looked up as he saw Jack. He gave Jack a swift nod and told the kids to head back to their parents. 'Finally' He thought. He was sick of waiting here. Even still he thought Jacks orders were a bit harsh. The weasel shrugged and and placed his instrument down for a moment, he reached backed into the wagon he was riding in and pulled out a long object wrapped in cloth and and a small box. The weasel unwrapped the object and within the cloth was a new kind of weapon that is know as a musket. Grinning as he inspected his weapon over. It had was rather long and was bulkier than some bows, this weapon had a longer and was far more accurate. Teai's only gripe over the weapon was how long it can take to reload after a single shot. After making sure that everything on the weapon was in order, the weasel wrapped it back up in it's cloth and placed it back. Teai then opens the small box and in it was about 20 small bags. "Better not waste these" He mumbled to himself as he closed the box and placed it back. Teai then reaches for his mandolin and goes back to playing a rather unique melody as he waited for the order to move on out.
(ooc: time to introduce Teai "little freind". if you get the reference you get a cookie)
Fenrath bowed to the wolverine, "My reasons are my own, if you do not mind," he said in response to the beasts question. He watched carefully as their guide came up and spoke. He looked to be far more dangerous than anyone else here.
"I'm afraid I must take my leave of you for now," Fen said, bowing to the beasts near him, "there are some things I must attend to now." And with that, he loped off towards one of the wagons on the far side of the camp. Inside was a lot of chests, boxes, and barrels, most of it other beasts property. In the far corner, however, was a small black chest that contained all of Fenraths personal belongings. Pulling a key out of one of the inner pockets of his cloak, he unlocked the chest. Only a few things were pulled out at this time, the rest were too valuable to remove just yet. What Fenrath did take out was a large black scarf that was promptly wound around his head, a long redwood walking staff, and his sabers.
When he came out, the entire camp was full of activity. He expertly weaved around the beasts getting ready to move until he was in front of the weasel with a mandolin. He listened to the strange tune for a moment before interjecting, "You play well," he said "where did you learn to play like that?" Fenrath put down the hood of his cloak for a moment, "I am Fenrath, by the way."
Teai looks up and stopped playing seeing the beast in front of him. "I am Fenrath, by the way." The otter and gave him a nod. "My mother taught me. The song is actually a lullaby she used to play when I younger." Teai said giving the otter a friendly smile. The young weasel went back to his instrument. "Heh, the young ones love listening whenever I play." Teai started to play again. "Hey if ya want maybe I can teach you the melody later." Teai said as he began to play a different tune. This tune seemed to be very different to what he was originally playing. In fact the song seemed to go against everything around them. While the weather was cold,hash and unforgiving the song seemed to be warm and happy. Teai enjoyed this song. It almost always would put a smile on somebeast's face.
(OoC: So here is a example of what the song he is playing would sound like here–---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6exNzIfcUM)
"Oh yes, that's right leave the big fat fox alone with the beast eating wolverine," Bandit said with a chuckle as the others went about their business. Finishing his apple he tossed the core to the side and wiped off his paws.
"Gold." The fox said again, "In answer to your question. There is money to be had in Starlight for a sell sword and not just in digging it up from the earth."
Slowly but surely the camp came together around the makeshift party. There really were beasts from all walks of life. Carts pulled by families of settlers road next to a family of bird catchers. A group of mole miners followed the trail with them and even a lizard or two as well were willing to brave the snowy north.
Jack twitched an ear to the sound of the melody being played. He had to admit it was quite the song. The hare was glad they had a minstral of some sort with them. It helped lighten the mood, especially after their first fatality.
As the group moved onward the scenery became pleasent only to look at. As the train of wagons and carts moved forward into the day the sun began to melt down the snow, if only a little bit and turn it to slush and mud.
Watching the beasts labor and toil to pull their carts made Bandit glad he had signed on as a guard.
Ahead and to their right a large forrest loomed before them. To the far north and north west were the mountains of Silver Valley, barely distant and painted blue. The mountains were sharp and tall and snow covered.
(Feel free to continue any conversations you started :3 they can be talking while they walk. Now that the setting is set I'll spoof us our first challenge my next post unless someone beats me to the punch ^^.
As aoways feel free to make up npcs as needed. This is a pretty open story.)
Bola hummed as he marched along, keeping a close eye on the convoy. "Many here do not belong on such a trek. I can only hope they can quickly accommodate the cold." He thought to himself. The wolverine thought of many other things as well. The leader, the fat one, and his alcohol, just to name a few things.
"Ay' rabbit!" Bola boomed. "There things we must speak about." The wolverine quickly moved to the front. "I need to about the route we're taking. You might want to know when we hit wolverine territory." Bola said. "You don't want to be surprised by something so vicious." He warned.
"I need to about the route we're taking. You might want to know when we hit wolverine territory."Teai ears perk once he heard this.'Wolverines?' He thought. The weasel glanced at the one named Bola from his seat in his wagon. He looked at the wolverine's immense size in awe. He has heard the stories of the damage just one of these beasts could do and he could only imagine what could happen if they we attacked. Teai placed his mandolin down and once again went to retrieve the small box filled with his musket rounds and opened it. "Only about 20 shots ready…" he muttered to himself. Teai knew that he had supplies to make more and is now regretting that he didn't make extra pouches when he had the chance. The weasel then closes the box and puts in back next to his musket which is hidden in cloth wrappings and sighed. "This could get interesting rather quickly if things go wrong." Teai muttered before picking up his mandolin and resumed to play.
Jack paused in step to turn to the big beast behind him. By then the carivan was starting to enter the woods, nearing what most guides affectionetly refured to as the Abyss.
The trees grew thicker save for a makeshift trail left by those who had to cut their way through the forrest. Eventually it led to Forgotten Road, a thin path way made of dirt and the remains of a cobblestone road. Not one beast could say who laid out this road or why. Just that occasionally a traveler would find some markers left in the earth, over grown with moss, and covered in the faded writings of a language long dead.
Even rarer finds were the broken walls or left over foundations of a house along side the road with a tree growing out of it that was so old the roots overtook it.
The Forgotten Road led north and south. If one were to follow it to its end southward the road eventually just stopped, eaten away by nature to the point it was lost forever.
To follow the winding road northward brought them to the Abyss.
It wasn't really a gorge worthy of such a name but it was still deep enough to pose a serious danger.
The gorge was wide as it was tall, with sheer rock cliff faces and a mostly dry river bed below. The forrest became thick across both sides of the Abyss save for the side the party was present on, the south side, where the Forgotten Road curved around the sides of the deep ravine, and partly into it, before attatching with an ancient moss covered bridge.
The bridge was wide enough to accomidate the wagons one at a time and was made out of stone.
It was visible from where the wagons were now, even with the myst rolling in on the northern side of the bridge, obscuring the trees and the hillside beyond.
"Don't cha worry yer pretty little head." The hare said, patting the wolverine on the shoulder, or at least the side of his arm. The brute of a beast towered over Jack, well, any beast really.
"I got's it all covered, so why don' you leave de guidin to mai, and de fightin to you, yah?" Feeling that this should cover any and on concerns the wolverine had, by not addressing them at all, the hare then turned abruptly back to task at hand.
"Be care-fule on that thar ridge, ye hear?" The hare shouted loud enough to let his voice echo across the gorge. "Ifin you fall only de birds will come down dar to burie you!"
Kyler gave a nervous swallow. He really didnt like heights and prefered to avoid them. He saw the abyss ahead and his heartbeat quickened, he started to feel light headed as the wagon band came to a stop. He was towards the back of the line, but it didnt do anything to lessen the butterflies in his stomach.
Slowly the line went forward, as one by one thr wagons passed over, Kyler looked around at the woods, the hairs on the back of his neck stood uo and he looked around, he had the feeling that they were being watched. He scampered to the head of the train, "Bola. Jack, i think ee are being watched!" He said, his voice shaking.
"Bola. Jack, i think ee are being watched! Teai's ears perked up the second he heard this as he sat in the wagon he rode. Teai quickly closed the curtian of the wagon.'Don't want to draw attention' He thought as he reached back where he kept his musket and pulled it out of its cloth wrappings. Teai then places the musket right next to him and he grabs the small box. The weasel looked at the 20 already prepared rounds and then looked back at barrel and box that carried the items he needed to make more rounds when he gets the chance. After deciding that the the 20 rounds would do, Teai loads up his musket with one of the premade rounds and places it down next to him before reopening the curtain and resumed playing his mandolin while looking at his surroundings with a watchful eye.
(OoC: I think we are gonna have some action coming up soon :D )
Fenrath was squatting on top of the wagon Teai was riding in when Kyler ran up to the massive wolverine and their guide. "Bola. Jack, i think ee are being watched!" Watched, Fenrath did not like the sound of that, "I'll check it out," he called down to Jack and Kyler.
He jumped off the wagon, rolled, and started to lope off towards the back of the line, and the forest. When he reached the edge of the woods, Fen climbed a sturdy looking tree and tried to be as still and quiet as possible. For a while he heard and saw nothing, then, just as he was about to go back, he caught the sound of something off in the woods. He wasn't sure what it was because it was very faint, but it couldn't be anything good. He took out his bow and readied an arrow, hoping to catch whatever it was unawares.
(Ooc i will post after danker the merchant ^^ i think thats all players? Did i miss anyone?)