There is a road leaving Redwall that bends precisely west, and peters out after about a day into the vast woodlands of Mossflower. From there, you can keep traveling west to the ocean, to Salamandastron, the great mountain with a forge that is seldom quiet, where the badger lords rule. If you travel south, you find Castle Floriet. To the East lies the forboding woods. Those who return from travels there say it is barren and abandoned, but many don't return.
The road to Redwall lies a hundred directions. Some come from famine or war, some bringing it. Some roads, curiously enough, that lead out from Redwall, curve and curve until they find themselves without intention back at the large abbey gates. This was the road occupied tonight.
Wiggling the kinks out of his tail, the larger otter winked at his companion. Rain poured down in torrents, making rivlets down his face.
"You know, I love te' travel Love, and I prefer to travel swimming, but I prefer the kind of swimming where I don't have to walk too!"
Lily laughed. A gust of autumn wind cut through her scanty cloak and her teeth chattered as she retorted,
"You great bunk, we'll be there soon."
Thad peeled his own sopping cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders. He hunched over against the pelts of liquid ice, paws tucked under his arms, without slowing down. Lily didn't say anything, knowing her stubborn friend would resist if she did.
"Tell me more about Redwall," Thad asked finally.
"You could walk it with your eyes closed."
"Oh, I know, but I meant about it. Like, why is it there? Who built it?"
The question caught Lily off guard. She racked her memories for the answer.
"I dunno exactly. It's just kind of… always been there, I guess. In the hallway right before the Great Hall, there is a tapestry with a warrior on it named Martin. He's fierce but peaceful, and yet sad."
Thad raised an eyebrow at her. Lily threw up her paws and laughed again.
"Oh, I don't know how to describe him. He's just Martin. Anyways, he is like the guardian of Redwall, but I'm not really sure why. Maybe he was the one who built it. You'll have to ask the Abbot... or Abbotess. But basically, Redwall is there as a refuge. Many beasts, when they get old, like to live there because it's peaceful and they don't have to keep up with very much, which is probably why so often more than half of the beasts living at Rewall are elderly. A few people live there their whole lives, but most people come and go, staying only a few seasons at a time. It's so peaceful and steady that it is easy to get itchy for adventure. When I was there, there was a hedgehog family that used to only stay during the winter, and at the first signs of green, they kissed everyone farewell and went back to their home in the forest. And lots of weary travelers stay there on their way somewhere else."
Thad grinned. "Well that describes us pretty jolly well."
Lily bopped him on the head. "You're starting to sound like your hare friends again."
It had been raining steadily for a few hours, and was almost entirely dark outside when there was a loud pummeling at the gates.
"I say, you're bally cruel beasts to leave us to go soggy in the freezing cold rain, doncha know? Will you let us blinkin in if we promise not to eat too much scoff and hog the fire?"