The Deep and Secret Past Revealed! (Closed for Jared and my characters, or ask)

A cool breeze shot through the skies of Mossflower which sent a chilling reminder of the autumn weather. It was only a couple of days ago that the weather was still warm and summer like, but the season change came by quick. "Where is he? We were supposed to meet back here an hour ago." A deep voice called to his companion, who was snoozing happily under his favorite tree. "Oliver!! Wake up!" The large squirrel, dressed with his old outfit that consisted of a hooded long sleeved shirt under a short sleeved tunic jumped with surprise. "Ah, don't do that matey, you know I can't 'elp but take a snooze under 'ere." Oliver rubbed his whiskers with frustration before slowly rising. The shorter, but thicker creature; the warrior-mouse Bradley, chuckled heartily at his taller companion.

"It's only been six months since the spring feast an' Jared still 'as to tell us what 'appened." A cool breeze blew by again. "Burrr~" Oliver blew air into his paws. "I'm still not used to this colder weather yet.." Bradley looked over to him, giving him a jovial smile. "The change in the seasons is to blame my friend, things aren't meant to stay the same forever."

They both looked about, still looking for signs of their friend Jared.

King Jared Sandeye was discouraged. His past was haunting him: the visions of his family’s remorseless murders found their way into his dreams again, turning them into real nightmares. Over the six months since the Spring Feast, Jared had been suffering from these nightmares both emotionally and physically. This had worried his Queen Rina, who feared for her husband’s life.

The Sandeyes had returned to Maraul after the Spring Feast, but it just wasn’t safe enough. So, the royal family headed again to Mossflower; all the Sandeyes were staying in a friendly otter holt while Jared was taking a stroll along north Mossflower, his paws in his pockets. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn’t notice the tree in front of him until it was too late. The King hit his head hard against the trunk, fell to the ground, and cried out loud in pain. “OW!” He hoped nobeast had heard him.

Brad jumped from the sound while Oliver laughted at his surprising. "Hahahah, yer lookin' like a frightened little dibbun just now!" Brad glared to Oliver and kicked him in the shin. "Bah, dibbun yourself, go see what the noise is all about." Oliver hobbled about from being kicked. "Yowch! Fine, Mr. Grumpy.."

The large squirrel started to climb quickly up a vine on the back wall of the Abbey. He sat and peered out then looked downwards. "Ohoho! Oi matey! Its Jared!" Oliver said, shouting to Bradley. "Jarreedd!  Up 'ere!" The muscled beast of a squirrel waved his arms to the smaller, younger squirrel who was downed by looks of it from hitting his head.

Jared cleared his forehead-which was now bleeding-and looked up at the familiar voice. “Oliver Swiftstream, is that you?” Drat, Jared swore in his head. I bang my head on a hard tree trunk and I run into an old friend whom I owe the truth. But Jared dismissed the thoughts and stood up, still holding his forehead. He climbed a tree next to him with his free paw and jumped onto the wall. Then he hugged Oliver and ruffled his fur. “You haven’t changed much over the last six months, old friend. I guess the Spring Feast is nothing but a memory now.” Then Jared’s smile faded, and he suddenly became concerned and serious. “I owe you something, don’t I?

Oliver smiled as Jared jumped to the wall. "You young rip, look at the mess on yer 'ead." Oliver chuckled and gave a hug back of his own, a strong grip from the large squirrel. "Ah, yes, but I think you owe it to my matey, Bradley. 'E would relate much better than I could." Oliver spoke softly to Jared before looking down to the large warrior mouse.

"Ahoy Jared~!" Bradley called up from the orchards. "It's been long my friend!"

Jared slowly climbed down from the wall to the ground and embraced another old friend. “Bradley Steelwall, you’ve gotten stronger! My gosh, I suddenly feel so weak standing next to both of you.” Jared looked around at Brad, Oliver, and the Abbey grounds. The King felt good to be back at Redwall Abbey. He sighed at the beauty of it all, then turned back to his friends. “My family and I are staying with an otter holt in northwest Mossflower. I was just out taking a walk when I bumped into the tree. Um…could you help me fix up my head before we talk?”

Brad chuckled as he gave a strong hug back to his friend. "Yeah, we've been training hard these last six months, winter seasons coming soon, it'll be too cold to train like we have been." Oliver slid down a vine and landed next to the two. "Ah, I see. Well you guys can always come back to Redwall if needed" Oliver said, pulling lightly on his own whiskers.

Bradley looked to Jared as he spoke about his head. "Don't worry matey, I'll fix that right up." With that said, brad tore off a thick piece of cloth from a pouch strapped to his belt and wrapped Jared's forehead with it. "There good as new!" Oliver looked to the both of them and smiled. "We 'ave yer back friend."

OOC: Well, that just saved us  a lot of time. 😛

BIC: Jared felt the cloth round his head and relaxed. "Oh, thank you, Bradley. I feel better now. " Then he sat down on the ground and covered his face with his paws. Tears were filling his eyes, and he sighed and took his paws away.

"Oliver, Brad…..I think it's time I told you the truth. Oliver, you come from Little Redwall and you can visit your family any time you want to. Brad, you only lost your brother, but your parents are probably still alive. Well, guess what?" Instead of fire filling his eyes, sadness crept up in them. "Both my parents and brother are dead. They were killed by a corsair searat named Nagrig Deathblade five seasons ago in cold blood. And I was there to witness it all in my homeland and here in Mossflower, where my brother died. I......can...." Jared gulped. "I can never see them again." The Squirrel-King covered his face again and silently wept.

Oliver sighed as he listened carefully to the story, it pained him to hear Jareds sad tale. "Wow.. I never thought of it being that rough.." Oliver patted the smaller squirrels back.

Brad listened carefully, he felt a deep anger grow inside. "Nagrig.. " He looked back up and clenched his paws into tight fists. "Theres nothing worse than seeing your loved ones killed in front of your eyes.." He had a flashback from being held back by vermin during that battle. Brad remembered seeing his brother brutally slaughtered right in front of him. "Deathclaw, you destroyed what I loved.. I will have my vengeance..!" Brad slammed a fist into the tree, knuckles popping from the impact, his paw started to bleed.

Oliver looked in shock, then sighed from the glooming darkness that fell over the orchards. A sad day indeed. "Jared.." Bradley put his good paw on his shoulder. "Is this Nagrig still alive?.. If so.. let me join you in defeating this evil."

Jared shook his head, wiped the tears from his eyes and stood up. Now fire was clear in his eyes. "No, Oliver. Deathblade is gone because a friend of mine whose mother was killed by him took vengeance. I just hope he's burning in Hellgates for what he's done to my family." It was true: Deathblade was gone. And yet….the memories still returned to haunt him.

Jared stopped Brad's arm before he could punch any more and examined his knuckles. "Hmm, that doesn't look so bad. It looks like you're the one who needs to fixed up now, Brad." Suddenly, his ear tweaked as a voice reached it. "Redwall Abbey, it's so good to be back here!" Jared turned, and the fire faded as a smile broke out on his face. Rina appeared from the gateway and ran into her husband's arms.

Brad sighed, "Ah darn.. I wanted to help fight against him too.. an enemy who does this to a poor creature is an enemy of mine.." Brad relaxed and looked back to Jared. "Ah I'm fine Jared.. nothing some cold water and wrappings can't fix." Oliver looked over as he heard the voice as well. "Oh it's Rina!" Oliver was excited to see more friends appear; the sudden feeling of darkness that clouded the area went away quickly.

Brad still pondered to himself wondering how he could seek his vengeance on Deathclaw. "I will find you.. old friend.. We will fight to the death.." Oliver snapped two claws to break Brad from his thought. "C'mon Brad! Lets go say 'ello to Rina." Oliver lead him over to Jared and Rina.

Rina and Jared held each other close. Rina felt up Jared’s clothed back and around his head. “Jared, you’re wounded!” She released herself and held Jared by the shoulders. “What happened to you?” she asked.

“I hit a tree, Rina, while I was out walking. I’m being honest!” Jared added quickly as Rina furrowed her brow. “I really did hit a tree; take it from Brad and Oliver.” “Brad and Oliver?” Rina repeated. She turned away from her mate and when she saw her old friends, she cried: “Oh, my goodness! It is them!” Rina ran to Oliver and Brad, and hugged and kissed them both on the cheek. “Six long months! How are you two? I swear you’re growing and getting stronger, but really, how are you?” Jared had to bite his lip to avoid telling Rina to stop talking and catch her breath. Sometimes, she never stopped talking.

Both smiled from her greetings and chuckled happily. Oliver spoke out, "Oh marm, you flatter us. All is well. Me an' brad 'ave been trainin' the last six months." Oliver smiled and looked over to Brad. "Yes Rina, everything is going well! We're taking good care of Redwall. You guys missed some nice feasts."

Oliver spoke up again, "Yup, an' we're learnin' new things everyday, its terrific! We 'ope to journey and venture out some time after a couple more seasons 'ere."

Rina smiled at both of them. “Well, if you ever get the chance to travel, please come by Maraul and visit us. Don’t worry, we’ll give you directions.” She returned to Jared and put her arms around him. “So, now that we’re back at Redwall Abbey, I guess we’d better go find the family and bring them here as well.” Rina kissed Jared once, then left the Abbey to return to the otter holt.

Jared stared after her, then turned to his friends, fire and sadness no longer in his eyes. Instead, there was happiness and love. Jared sighed in regret. “I think I have missed a lot of things here at Redwall Abbey, and not just the feasts. Did any of you ever…er….have feelings for a maid that you knew? What was it like for you in your home?” Jared felt under the bandage around his head and removed it. His wound had healed.

Oliver spoke out and smiled, "Will do marm, you can count on us." Both Brad and Oliver watched as she walked away. "Hmm, I used to 'ave feelins' fer this one mouse maid.. but she doesn't live in Redwall." Oliver said, smiling to Jared. Oliver looked over to Bradley. "Well, can't say I have, Jared. I traveled too much alone and with mostly males, so I never had the chance to meet a female that I would like." Brad pondered as he answered Jared.

Jared laughed and sat down on the grass. “Well, it’s a bit of a long story of how Rina and I met, but I’ll  try to shorten it for you.  Some seasons ago, before I came to Redwall, Madeline and I were kidnapped by vermin. We were taken to their den beneath Mossflower and left to die. Then guess what? I find out that Nagrig Deathblade is leading a separate vermin faction, but hanging around the same den. He finds me, then has two of his rats rip off my shirt and whip me 14 times. That’s how old I was at the time.”

Jared took a breath then continued. “Then they left me there. Night came, so I started to explore the den. I learned that Deathblade has taken prisoner a squirrelmaid and an otter, and he will soon execute them. But I followed his rats back to the camp, then rescued the prisoners and got the heck out of the den. When we escaped, we all made introductions, and let me tell you: standing shirtless in front of a stranger squirrelmaid is embarrassing. And it was Rina, too. But she's the reason why I'm here, because she led Madeline and I to this place.” Jared ended his tale there and stopped to catch his breath.

At this moment, the Gate opened again and Jared’s family entered Redwall Abbey, marveling at the sight. Jared stood to greet them all. Madeline, Lucas, Pearl, and Alan (who was in Rina’s arms nursing) had all returned to Redwall.

Oliver's ears twitched as he listened to the story. "Ah, I don't mind bein' shirtless at all matey, but I was born in Mossflower, I used to never own upper body clothing when I was younger." He chuckled while Brad opened his mouth to speak.

"What a lovely story Jared, I'm glad you shared it with us!" Brad smiled then looked over as the gate opened, spotting the rest of the Sandeye family. "Oh, what a surprise! Look how much your family has grown!" Brad said with excitement, the day was turning out for the better as time went on.

Jared let go of Pearl and let his family greet Oliver and Brad. Jared and Rina shared another kiss, then the King bent down and ruffled Alan’s fur. The squirrelbabe looked up at his father, cooed then continued nursing. Jared smiled at his youngest son, then led his family inside the Abbey. As he watched them all enter the Great Hall, Jared turned to his friends. “Are you coming inside? I think it’s time for lunch, don’t you think?”

Rina turned to face Jared. The look on her face seemed as if she wanted to talk with her husband rather than go get something to eat.

Both creatures smiled as they greeted the rest of Jared's family, it was a wonderful little reunion. As they followed Jared into the Abbey building they stopped behind him as he ask his question. "Oh yes matey, I'm starvin' fer some food!" Oliver said, his stomach growling with anguish. Brad aslo replied back to Jared with the same answer.

Rina gave Alan to Madeline and put an arm around Jared’s shoulders. “Jared, can I talk to you for a moment?” Jared stared at her, but the recognition in his eyes was evidence enough that he knew what she wanted to talk about. Jared glanced at Oliver and Brad. “What about them?” “They’ll be fine, Jared, let’s just go.” She led him through the Abbey inside their old bedroom and closed the door. “Jared, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about the nightmares you’ve been having. You know what I’m talking about: the ones you’ve been having for the last month.”

The Sandeyes all settled into the Abbey and made their way to the Kitchens. The Friar greeted them all one by one and made them food. Madeline sat down at a table and offered some food to her friends.

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