Official SA: Dissolution
The Beginning of the End.
The thought rang through his mind, a battle full of destruction, that no creature would ever forget. The downfall of good beasts. It didn't sit well with the mouse warrior. It made him remember a time back at his original home in the Canyons almost losing their prospering village due to war mongering creatures. Even if he wasn't Redwall's Champion anymore, he still had that instinct and duty to protect and serve. Something that was bestowed upon him when Martin spoke to him in his thoughts. "Bradley the Mouse Warrior! Beware.. For what's to come." The familiar voice ran in his head. "Martin, is that you?" He said trying to hear his predecessors voice one more time. It fell silent.
It was a gloomy and gray morning. The rainfall kept flowing ever so rapidly into the Abbey grounds causing puddling and the affected areas to become muddy. Thunder clapped, and lightning rippled through the overcast skies. It was almost too depressing for any beast that found joy in those recent sunlit days. For others, it was a nice change of pace from the day to day heat. This did not stop the other beast lurking in the training grounds.
Oliver Swiftstream, the large squirrel warrior, and trainer of Redwall's Army, finding time to keep up with his own training. His creamy head fur was sopping wet, and his tunic completely soaked through the fabric to his body fur. None of this mattered to him, as he kept looking for ways to improve his fighting techniques. He paused for a brief moment, noticing Bradley through the window. Something felt off to Oliver, but he couldn't put a paw to it. Instinct was a crazy thing for these creatures, but it usually warned them when something wasn't right.
The tides of change were coming. No one would know for sure what to expect, but it wasn't going to be good. One thing was for certain; The lives of these creatures are going to change. With Martin speaking out again it only could mean something big was coming to Redwall.
tessa last edited by tessa
Tessa was in the Cavern Hole next to the blazing fire, book in hand. The rain pounded against the window with the occasional clap of thunder and lightening. Glancing up, she expected the windows to shatter any moment. Somehow she couldn’t shake the feeling that the rain storm was a sign of something bigger coming to Redwall. She jumped at the sound of Bradley’s voice and glanced at the warrior, “Is all ok friend?” She said warily.
Jessie was under the eves outside, in addition to watching Oliver train, she had a slew of herbs and plants in front of her, she managed to collect them before the rain fell, for the most part. She was working on replenishing the infirmary stock and her own personal stock. Ointments and painkillers for a start, noticeable of the empty or almost empty bottles around her. Humming to herself softly as she worked along. She was bored being inside and decided to move everything outside, fresh air, rain or shine, was good for the soul. Halting her work she took out a leather flask of hot water and dumped the herbs into it, and then poured a yellow sticky liquid inside. Shaking the canister vigorously and tested it, “honey, lemon, ginger tea complete.” She said, checking it off her list.
From the writings of Gatehouse Keeper and Abbey Recorder, Aodhán Ó Maoilriain:
It is nearing the middle of this year's spring (we have yet to come up with a name for this season, of course) and the Blooming Rose Feast is quickly approaching. It is the time when the early roses around our Abbey's Laterose blossom, anticipating the blooming of their older predecessor.
I'm currently sitting at my desk, looking out the gatehouse's window. It's a rather dreary day, but a welcome break from the recent wave of heat we've been having. Most creatures are holed up inside, in the Great Hall, enjoying a cozy dinner prepared by our wonderful cooks. In the nearby orchard, our very own Oliver Swiftstream is practicing his (rather incredible) combative skills, while I can only assume that his ever-present companion, the ex-Champion Bradley Steelwall, is somewhere inside, avoiding the pouring rain.
Did I mention already? The two of them only just recently returned from a long campaign. It's good to have warriors back in the Abbey, ever since almost our whole Eastern population left seeking their homelands. It makes the Brotherhood feel safer, not to mention the general population of woodlanders around the woods of Mossflower. Also, I believe that Tessa has taken up the mantle of Champion of Redwall. She doesn't often carry the sword of Martin with her, however, which makes me wonder sometimes.
Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to attempt to make it to the Abbey commons in this mess of mud and water.
Dan put down his pen and sighed, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. "Martin help us," he murmured. The rains could only be an omen of bad things to come, and that wasn't helped by the dreams he'd been having recently. Ever since he had had the vision that sent the Senshaan and Islanders away from Mossflower, he'd been having restless nights, filled with old revisitings of long-past battles.
More than once, however, he'd had dreams of a particular creature -- a pine marten, dressed in black armor, with piercing grey eyes and a seemingly permanent scowl on his face.
Aodhán shook his head and put the thoughts from his mind. Whatever would happen would happen, and no amount of worrying on his part would stop it. He pushed himself away from the desk, wheeled his way to the door, reached up for his cloak from a hook on the wall, and opened the door. A spray of water instantly hit him in the face and he whipped his cloak around his upper body. "Damned weather," he muttered.
Asa shook the water from his fur and shivered. "I hate this rain," he muttered and looked about. One of the brothers had sent him to fetch Mr. Ó Maoilriain from the Gatehouse, but the chubby little otter was lingering around the doors of the Abbey commons.
He spotted a figure, low to the ground, slowly making its way through the orchard. He squinted and wiped rain from his glasses.
"Mr. Dan!" he called suddenly, waddling towards the hare, who was trying to get out of a little muddy rut he'd caught his wheel caught in. He also saw Oliver training nearby, and called out to him. "Mr. Swiftstream! Can you help me here?"
"Oh, I didn't see you there, Tessa." He said with a slightly surprised tone of voice. "I've just been thinking... Have you been hearing our Martin speak at all?" He continued, "He's been speaking with ominous tones, and it's been bugging me. Since you're the Champion, I figured he would have spoke to you as well." The thunder clapped and lightning flashed behind it. "When will this rain let up?" He thought; it was just a distraction to him.
Oliver continued with his training. He had a heavy sack that he would toss around with his signature hip tosses and over arm throws. He'd kick his hind leg back and grab the top part of the bag while simultaneously throwing his body horizontally, before tossing the bag over his head and onto the ground with a hard thud. He'd then wrap both paws around it, gripping his wrists with his claws, before squeezing it tightly, wrenching the bag vertically before throwing it over head and back down onto the ground. Again with a louder thud. These different throwing techniques were good for incapacitating and knocking other creatures out quickly. There were plenty of kicking and punching techniques he'd practice, simple ground and pound techniques which involved climbing on top of the bag, mounting it, then throwing a flurry of hard punches, simulating a knock out combination.
The squirrel warrior stood up, half covered in mud, and noticed Jessie looking at him for a brief moment before she went back to her own duties. He smiled before giving her a wave, not wanting to distract her too much. He was very fond of the squirrel maiden.
"Mr. Swiftstream! Can you help me here?"
Oliver whipped his head around, hearing a voice calling out to him. "Asa mate, 'ow are ya doin'?" Oliver said as he saw the Abbey Recorder, Aodhán, with the wheel of his wheelchair stuck in part of the muddy grass. Oliver wiped off his paws with one of the wet cloths he had used to wipe mud off of him from before. "Mr. Dan, I can't believe yore out 'ere in this weather! 'Ere, I got yore wheel fore ya." Oliver gripped a hold of the one side and lifted it up out of the mud. He gestured for Asa to hold the other side steady so it wouldn't get caught in the mud while he was lifting it. "There ya go mate, you should be able t' get t' where ya need t' be!"
Tessa didn’t respond right away, she closed the book she was reading and stood up. “Actually, I...I haven’t heard from him at all.” She said quietly glancing up at the tapestry of Martin and the sword hanging above it. She went over and took down the sword, “But I have a gut feeling that Redwall will soon be in trouble... and the feeling won’t go away.” She belted the sword to her back feeling the familiar weight of it. “What has he been saying? Has he given you a warning?” she said looking at Bradley with a hint of anguish on her face.
Jessie gave a small wave before glancing back at her work, a smile on her face. Today was a good day. A few moments later she heard a shout and looked up, Oliver and Asa helping Mr. Dan out of the mud. As the trio came near she took off her cape and draped it over Mr Dan. “Here Mister, some ginger lemon tea.” She said offering the record keeper the fresh tea she mad, stepping aside and letting the trio go inside the great hall. She followed them inside. “What brings you out in the rain Mr. Dan?” She said curiously.
Asa lifted with Oliver and set Dan down safely on semi-dry ground. "Arakayo, Swiftstream-saa," he said, bowing slightly and assuming a place behind Dan's chair.
Dan pulled his hood a bit back to see the creatures nearby more clearly. "Let's get out o' this bloomin' rain first, wot? Then we'll talk, the lot of you. Asa, give us a paw here, wot!" He pointed forward towards the Abbey commons, at which Asa set his stubby paws into the earth firmly and pushed, sending the chair rolling rapidly through the rain.
"Yessir!" he called, tensing his fat little body with every bound.
The doors flew open as they crashed through, barreling into the Great Hall and barely screeching to a stop in front of one of the large, warm hearths, right near Tessa and Bradley. Asa leaned against a table, panting and wiping water from his eyes. "Woo!"
Rather frazzled, Dan adjusted his cloak and blanket, pushing the hood down. "That's one way to jolly well get where you want to go," he chuckled. He ruffled the young otter's headfur from where he sat and nodded towards the kitchens. "Go an' get yourself something nice, laddie buck," he added. "Ye deserve it."
"Yes sir, Danny sir!" Asa bolted towards Cavern Hole as if the devil were on his tail.
Aodhán sighed and sat back. "It gets blinkin' lonely out there in the gatehouse," he bemoaned, making an exaggerated show of self-pity, which soon turned into a serious look. "Actually, I came out here to speak with young Tessa, and Bradley as well. Yes, you, sah!" He pointed straight at the mouse. "Off ye're rumpus and set yourself down beside me, wot!"
Bradley was perplexed at the thought that Tessa wasn't getting any of Martin's messages. He knew she wasn't wrong in her feeling. It made for a gloomy atmosphere, knowing that something could happen soon. It's been so many seasons since the last time they were present for any dangerous situations in or near Redwall. Usually two high ranking warriors in any fortress would normally be prepared for what could be, but this time it could mean anything, and they weren't prepared in the slightest.
Bradley then spoke up to answer her question. "It was simple message, no riddles or questions, just a warning for whats to come. Even his tone sounded beyond serious. It frightens me a little." Before Bradley could say anything else, he saw the doors bust open. It was Oliver, Asa, Jessie, and Aodhán.
The large squirrel warrior shook out his fur and wiped away more of the mud and dirt from himself with his cloth from the training grounds. "Apologies fore th' mess! I've been tryin' to keep up with the trainin'." Bradley looked toward his friend and chuckled. "It's quite alright, my friend. Tessa and I have actually been here talking." Bradley then looked to Aodhán. "Dan, sir, what brings you here? You're usually off in your writings. What kind of words do you have for us?" He looked to his elder inquisitively.
Oliver looked to Jessie and smiled brightly, "May I try some of yore tea? It looks great!"
Tessa nodded at his statement, “Glad I’m not the only one feeling that way.” She glanced at as the doors opened and a whole slew of friends came in. “Are you guys trying to take a bath outside?” Tessa said with the slightest grin on her face all traces of anguish gone. “Have to say, I don’t think its working out.” She said pointedly at Oliver. She respectfully went over to Dan. “What’s going on sir?” She said in a half hearted tone.
Jessie smiled, “Of course. Made fresh.” She said handing him the flask. “You look like you needed it.” And punched him lightly on the arm, “Save some for me.”
A tall figure wearing a hooded green cloak jogged up the path toward the Abbey, a pair of twin curved swords resting easily between the traveler's shoulders as though they belonged there. Pausing under a large oak tree she reached up and pulled back the hood to reveal her identity, a sea otter. "I like the water, but this is ridiculous," she chuckled to herself. She gazed intently at the magnificent red stone building. The otter could hear the same voice she'd heard for the past two nights reciting the same words.
Warrior wave who's heeded my call, I give you the greatest adventure of all. My Abbey needs your strength, your aid, come wielder of the dual blade.
Drawing one sword and holding it flat in her paws, the otter let her eyes run over the name engraved in the metal: Finnbarr. A sudden burst of lightning caused the warrior to jump almost a foot in the air, almost dropping the blade.
"Oh, that was brilliant, Vanora, in the middle of a storm you draw a sword and stop under a tree," she berated herself, resheathing the blade mid-stride and running until she was clear of the tree before dropping flat to the ground. The otter counted aloud.
"One one thousand, two one thou--" Thunder roared out before she could finish. Carefully, Vanora drew both swords and laid them on the ground, quickly backing away from them, eyes wide with fear.
"That was close. . . too close. This is the worst place to be caught in a storm. . . " Taking a deep breath, the otter yelled her battlecry over the thunder at the tops of her lungs. "GALEDEEEEEEEEEEEP!"
Dan folded his paws in his lap and took a deep breath. "I had a feeling that I should speak to the lot of you, wot!" he said, unusually quietly for the old hare, keeping his voice low to ward off any unwelcome ears. "Bad, bad times are headed for our Abbey, and we're missing a good deal of warriors. Bradley!" He fixed the mouse warrior with a piercing stare. "I've had my own dreams, but what have you heard from our Martin?" he demanded.
In the same breath, he spun his chair to look at Tessa, who (he noted with satisfaction) was bearing the Warrior's sword. "You as well, young'un, wot! Dreams, visions, any blinkin' words of wisdom?" He wheeled to look into the fire. "There's a creature heading towards our Abbey, and I fear what he brings with him," the hare Recorder muttered, his eyes wide as he stared into the flames.
Asa looked down at his wrist suddenly. "Oh, no!" he muttered, and spun to go back out into the rain. "I must have left my watch in the rain!" He charged back out into the storm, just a a crack of thunder pealed overhead. He started with fright, but kept running until he reached the rut that Dan's chair had gotten stuck in. "Must be around here somewhere . . ." He scrounged around on the ground, until a glimmer of gold caught his eye. "There!"
Asa leapt back in fright, looking at the Abbey Gate. Gathering his wits, the chubby Kyuna otter scrambled to his feet, snatching his wet watch and shoving it in a pocket of his tunic, and hurried over to the entrance. "Who's there?" he cried, trying to make his voice heard over the storm. "Come to the gate!"
Hearing the voice, Vanora picked up her blades and sprinted to the gate, yelling through it. "I'm a friend, I come in peace! My na--" The sea otter jumped, cutting herself off mid-word as lightning flashed; almost at the same time thunder cracked again. Eyes wild and heart racing, she huddled half in-half out of the doorframe, keeping her gaze on the sky and her back pressed firmly against the gate. She felt herself slump and terror shot through her. Vanora tried to move a footpaw, but it was as if she had no feeling below her knees. Her paws tightened on her sword hilts.
"Harr harr, very funny Tessa!" He grinned at her. Bradley looked at Oliver after her comments and laughed.
Oliver chuckled as he felt her fist connect with his thick arm. "Yore as strong as ever Jessie!" He took a big gulp from the flask, making sure to leave a good amount.
After a while, they listened as the old Recorder spoke of his visions from Martin. Bradley's face went from it's relaxed state to a serious stare. Oliver had his arms folded, taking in the words that Dan spoke.
"Well, from what I gathered, this could be the end of times here, if we aren't prepared. He told me that I need to beware of what's coming to the Abbey." Bradley continued. "I just don't know what it is that is coming." Oliver coughed, eyes closed as he thought of his own deduction. "Well, if you think 'bout it, the Abbey 'as been in peace, before we left on our journey seasons ago t' when we just showed back up. I wager a real bad beast could be plotting somethin'. I just can't put my paw on it though."
"There's a creature heading towards our Abbey, and I fear what he brings with him,"
Bradley sighed as he wasn't hoping that was not the case. "So that's what your visions told you. Much like Oliver's thinking, your words confirm it. "Oliver's been training daily, I've been practicing with my broadsword whenever I could, but much like you said, Dan, we just don't have enough warriors." Bradley seemed defeated at the thought.
Both looked over to Asa as he quickly left the group.
tessa last edited by tessa
Jessie gave a sly smile, “Been practicing with my new long bow, 70# draw weight and Ive managed to best Tessa twice in unarmed combat.” She was very pleased with that fact and that it got noticed. She and Tessa have been practicing morning. She focused her attention back the Dan.
Tessa leaned back against the table, listening to what they were saying, “It’s true, I”ve had a bad feeling for awhile now that something bad is coming, we have been at peace for years, right when Bradley and Oliver went on a campaign, it could be fate and the visions of Martin that brought them back here.” She shrugged, “Besides, one thing we know, if there is danger, we don’t have enough warriors to fend of attack, food and shelter yes, but majority here in Redwall are not fighters.” Tessa and Jessie have been practicing everyday to hone in their skills, but even with the day to day practice, they both knew that it wasn’t enough. They needed more creatures.
“But...” Tessa said slowly, “We can start getting volunteers together and form a fighting group, we do have the bows from festivals and plenty of wood to make spears and staffs to defend those who want to fight.” Her mind was thinking overtime how to gather a force together to defend Redwall, “Ring the bells signaling for woodland creatures to come to Redwalll and I’m sure we can find more. Most attacks on Redwall in history have been them scaling the walls with ladders and trees. So its all a matter of fact of the basic fighting skills to repel them off the wall. Of course we can also saw off the branches of trees that hang over Redwall...” She drifted off thinking and scheming. Her beloved Redwall will be in danger and she needs to protect it, defending is what she was good at. Glancing back at the others she continued, “If need be, and the force that is coming is out of our league, we can send for help from the Long Patrol and GUOSIM. So not all hope is lost.” She quickly added at the end.
Quickly she turned her head and saw Asa dragging in a soaking wet otter, "Who is she Asa?" Tessa asked confused looking at the clearly shocked and petrified otter. Jessie sprung into action, and returned with a woolen blanket, she put over the otters shoulders.
Momentarily distracted, Dan looked at the newcomer as well. "Aye, laddie buck, explain yourself and this newcomer, wot!" he demanded. His nose twitched.
Asa shrugged and stripped off his wet cloak. "Found her," he managed through the shivers.
My Abbey needs your strength, your aid, come wielder of the dual blade. The message kept echoing in Vanora's head, as though she'd been standing in a belltower when a beast rang the bells. "G-Galedeep. Vanora Galedeep. Th-th-thanks," the sea otter managed. "Last ligh-lightning flash out there. . . " She shuddered violently. "Almo-almost hit me." The swords fell from suddenly- nerveless paws to land on the floor on either side of her.
Oliver folded his arms and smiled at Jessie. "You bested th' cap'n? Yore really somethin' you've made a lot o' progress." He spoke proudly of her accomplishment.
Bradley looked to the group and wondered what was taking Asa so long. "Maybe we need to go and make sure he's okay."
Before he knew it, Asa walked in with a newcomer. Much like the others, both Bradley and Oliver asked for her name as well.
The large squirrel inspected her equipment, impressed with her weaponry. "Dual blade wielder, don't see many of those 'round 'ere! Welcome t' th' Abbey, Vanora." Bradley chimed in as well. "You're in good paws now, relax yourself, Warrior. We have some hot soup leftover if you'd like a bite to eat."
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"Thank you all. I just. . . " Vanora thought aloud. "I heard a voice, it sounded like a beast I knew well though I'd never met him before. I don't know who it was, but I felt I could trust him as soon as I heard him speak. It said and I quote, 'Warrior wave who's heeded my call, I give you the greatest adventure of all. My Abbey needs your strength, your aid, come wielder of the dual blade.' I didn't need a map to find this place, I felt like an internal compass was guiding me. " She blushed. "I'm sorry if I'm rambling, I don't know how to explain it myself."
Tessa's curiously turned into shock and her jaw dropped, did Vanora just say Martin visited and gave her a message? Tessa struggled to wrap her mind around that statement as frustration and anger welled up inside her. Snapping her jaw shut she looked away before anyone could see her expression. She didn't trust herself to say anything.
Jessie cocked her head slightly while giving Asa a woolen blanket, "Our Martin the warrior visited you? and gave you the message, 'warrior wave who's heeded my call, I give you the greatest adventure of all. My Abbey needs your strength, your aid, come wielder of the dual blade..." she paused thinking, "Interesting, but not unheard of." she said softly then added, "Guess that its settled then, Redwall is in grave danger, Martin is warning us." she glanced up at the tapestry and looked at Tessa who was quiet and still. "Thank you Vanora Galedeep, and on behalf of everyone, welcome to Redwall."
Dan, momentarily distracted by the newcomer's swords, wheeled himself over for a closer look at them, before shaking his head and beckoning to the other creatures. "Oi, young bucks!" He motioned rapidly. "Cold, shivering creature, wot! Somebeast get her down to the kitchens and set up with a dorm!" he ordered, before wheeling back to the fire. A few mice who'd been sitting at a nearby table leapt up and escorted Vanora to the nearby Cavern Hole, presumably to get food from the cooks.
He stared into the fire for a good few minutes, before sitting back up and turning to Bradley and Oliver. His eyes rested on Tessa for a moment, however, and he made a mental note to speak with the seemingly frustrated squirrelmaid at a later date. The old hare placed a paw on his chin as he spoke. "I'd recommend, lads, that the two of ye start preparin' for trouble." He paused. "Don't make too much ado about it, see, but quietly gather whichever beasts you deem trustworthy and begin making plans. When Martin speaks, he bloomin' well means somethin' by it!" He chuckled. "Jessie, Tessa, you as well -- make sure to keep everybeast calm for the feast, though," he added.