House Dread (Open)
I don't know what I was thinking. I still don't know what I'm thinking.
I should have gotten rid of them while I had the chance. Or my father.
Or his father before him. But none of us ever did. We let them stay and
never thought anything of it. Now I'm trapped in the library, with them
all around me, watching me. I sealed the doors and windows but I can
still feel them getting through.
I can smell them now. So this is how it ends? I never would have
guessed they would be this dangerous.
Getting dizzy. Starting to hear voices. Who's there? Why is it so dark?
Why is it so loud?
Why is it so sharp?
Why is it so_____________
~Found written on a rotting piece of parchment in the library of House Dread
Jen stared at the seven tally marks he'd drawn on the flat space of wall right next to his bed in the belltower. He'd made the first three seven nights before, when he'd decided he should keep count of the dibbuns going missing. The fourth he'd made three nights ago, when another had vanished, plucked silently right from her bed. The three most recent marks he'd just made at that moment. He still held the chalk in his paw in fact. Three dibbuns in one night; that hadn't happened before. Maybe whatever was taking them was getting bolder. Whatever the motivation, it had the entire abbey frightened.
He slipped the chalk into his pocket and pulled on his kimono, tying it together before buckling on his sword belt and scabbard. The abbeyfolk weren't just sitting around and letting this happen of course. Guards had been posted, doors and windows had been barred, and the dibbuns had even been moved deeper inside the abbey. None of it dissuaded the kidnappers though. Bars were broken, guards were knocked out, and dibbuns continued to disappear. The abbot had called together all the adults of the abbey to figure out what they should do and try to find where the dibbuns were being taken. Jen, stoic and emotionless, would not have admitted it as he slid his long curved sword into its scabbard, paw gripping the handle tight, but he very much wanted to meet whatever it was that stole children from their beds with such abandon.
He had just rung the bell, calling all the beasts in the abbey to the Great Hall where the abbot was waiting. With his sword in place, paw still gripping the hilt, Jen turned away from the seven grim chalk marks and began to descend the spiraling stairs to the abbey below.
(OOC: Haven't started an RP in a long time. Let's see if I've still got it.)
How many shouting matches did Raffi intend to lose? The squirrel had stubbornly argued and growled out rebuttals every meeting the adult Redwallers had attended since the first dibbun, Tabitha, had gone missing a week ago. The dibbuns deserved to play during the daytime, he had said over and over. For the love of Martin, it seemed unlikely anybeast would dare take their eyes off the dibbuns after the events of this week. Let them out to play, they can't be kept inside forever. Insults had been thrown at him, and he'd even stormed out of the Abbey gates in a fruitless search of the area in the dark, weeping and calling out the names of the missing dibbuns in a hoarse voice wracked by guilt. It hurt Raffi when the older Redwallers called him irresponsible, even thoughtless. They didn't seem to realise just how bad Raffi was hurting, as if each loss of a dibbun was his personal fault. When he had volunteered to watch over them, he had been knocked out cold the next night. The day after, he had hidden from the rest of the Abbey in shame, mindlessly searching for any clue at all as to who, or what was taking his little friends.
Another point of contention between Raffi and the others was the installation of bars across the windows. He had loudly complained that the Abbey was turning into a prison, and not a very secure one at that. Raffi hated the bars, they were just a constant reminder not only of the missing dibbuns, but also of his failure to have saved any of them. He had taken to staying outside the Abbey's buildings as much as possible during the day. He would catch up on sleep in the orchard, so he would be fit and alert to stay awake the whole night, trying to catch the kidnappers in the act. Yet despite his efforts to catch up on sleep, Raffi's eyes had grown steadily more red over the past week, and he occasionally fell asleep during mealtimes, his head falling forward into his food and making the remaining dibbuns giggle. Raffi didn't mind them laughing at his expense, he often laughed with them. It was a welcome distraction from the constant fear that any night now, those laughing dibbuns might be the next to disappear.
Today was a black day. Three in one night, and Raffi had another tender lump on his fuzzy head where he had been struck unconscious again. He tried to contain his anger and his tears, but it was obvious to every beast that Raffi was on the verge of breaking down. He paced the Great Hall as the other beasts began to assemble. He saw Jen arrive and nodded as cordially as he could. True he did not know Jen as well as he might, but the current crisis seemed to be bringing the Redwallers closer together. At any rate, the fact that Jen had arrived from the belltower meant that everybeast was now in attendance. Raffi could not help but notice he was getting a few looks, though whether hostile or sympathetic he could not tell. His eyes searched out the parents of the missing ones. They had been informed first, of course, whilst Sister Thyme had been inspecting the head wounds of the volunteer guards. He could see their eyes were as red as his from tears. Their worst fears confirmed, and three fewer laughing faces amongst the Abbey's young.
"Nancy, Reed, and Tamus have been taken," Raffi said bluntly. There were a few gaps from those not in the loop. Far fewer gasps than when Tabitha had first gone missing. It seemed the surprise was wearing off, with such a terrible week behind them. Raffi clenched his paws and tried to keep his voice steady. "I started using the hourglass after sundown to mark the time of our night watch. I turned that hourglass five times, and my last memory is patrolling the dormitory halls. The kidnapper struck some time after midnight. We're still investigating damaged windows and door locks to try and determine where they came in and where they searched. If anybeast sees anything unusual, no matter how trivial it may seem, please tell us."
Raffi bowed his head awkwardly, and a few Redwallers muttered their approval. Raffi's head was starting to ache again, and the squirrel slumped into a chair and put his head in his paws, his normally perked fluffy tail drooping to the floor. No matter how many times he appealed for information, nobeast seemed to see anything. Raffi even had blueprints of the Abbey copied from the originals, and he had taken to marking which windows were broken each night, which door locks had been picked open, and where each disappearance had occured. He tried plotting possible routes, deciphering patterns in the kidnapper's movements, and hoping to predict where the mysterious evil might strike next. It had been no good this time, though. Raffi was out of ideas, and very near out of hope for the remaining dibbuns.
Dusk watched Raffi from the back of the assembly, standing straight with his paws clasped behind his back. He had only been at the abbey a short time, about an hour, and this was his first time hearing about these missing dibbuns. He had gotten through the gates ad had been about to introduce himself to the gatekeeper when the bells had suddenly started to tole, causing the gatekeeper to usher Dusk through the gates, which he then closed. Before he could say anything, the gatekeeper had run off towards the large building in the center of the abbey grounds, heading through a large pair of doors along with many other beasts. Dusk had simply stood there for a few minutes, looking blandly from the left to right, trying to decide what he should do. Finally he made up his mind and started for the large doors he had seen all of the other beasts walk through, entering into a rather large hall, which was packed with beasts that seemed to be fairly anxious. He had wondered what was going on up to the point when the squirrel had started speaking, explaining to dusk what was going on, a little bit, at least.
Once the squirrel had finished speaking, a low murmur of fear, pain, and even anger started amongst the crowd. Dusk watched the squirrel take a seat, sinking his head into his paws. with a shrug he adjusted his traveling pack and then started towards the squirrel, easily slipping by the abbey beasts unnoticed. He made his way around the crowd, ignoring the angered murmurs and the crying parents, until he was standing next to the seated squirrel.
"Hail," he said to the squirrel in an unconcerned tone, giving him a small bow," Dusk, at your service." as he straightened he gave the abbey beasts a small glance, and then turned back to the squirrel. "If you don't mind my asking, what is going on here?"
OOC: hope this works. Also, you can't trust the old profile for Dusk, I using the new one for him and I don't have it up yet. New Dusk is supposed to have a sorta proper and cold way of speaking, and a fairly… monotone expression, sorta always a frown.
Raffi raised his head off his paws and looked up, his tired eyes blinking in confusion. Who could be ignorant of their terrible situation? Before him stood an unfamiliar grey-furred mouse, clothed in the colours of the forest. Raffi's eyes were drawn to the black daggers on the mouse's belt. It was not unheard of to have armed beasts in the Abbey's walls, but it was usually otters with javelins, or a squirrel's bow and arrow. Raffi knew every Redwaller by name, yet he did not know this beast, whom introduced himself as Dusk. He must be a visitor, only just arrived. Raffi stood up to greet him, bowing in return.
"I'm sorry, you've arrived at a rather dark hour for our Abbey," Raffi explained. "Three more of our dibbuns have been kidnapped. Four others have also been taken from their beds this week."
The squirrel broke eye contact with Dusk, his face etched with worry and sadness. Raffi wondered if the mouse knew what he meant by dibbuns, the abbey's term for young kits. Dusk's face did not betray any emotion, even his voice seemed aloof and calm. Raffi was tired, but the newcomer had certainly perked his curiosity. The mouse looked strong, and his cloak was worn from travel. Perhaps Dusk was a warrior of some kind? Raffi's tail perked up at that thought. Having a warrior in the Abbey might be the answer to their prayers to Martin. Raffi looked back into Dusk's eyes hopefully.
"You must have just arrived, are you hungry, master Dusk? Our Abbey's hospitality is open to all goodbeasts," he chattered, working his courage up to ask the big question. "I see you're armed, are you… are you a warrior, by any chance?"
The beasts of Redwall had begun to whisper and murmur amongst themselves, grouping together here and there, and giving Duska few odd looks. With nobody able to volunteer any new information, or ideas on how to catch the kidnappers, it seemed the meeting was breaking apart. Raffi noticed, and beckoned to the mouse. "Perhaps I should introduce you to our Father Abbot. I'm afraid a few beasts might be suspicious of newcomers arriving in the middle of our crisis."
Dusk listened to the squirrel's narrative with, admittedly, little interest. He wasn't quite sure what a "dibbun" was, but from what he had observed of the state of the abbey beasts, and from this squirrel in particular, he was fairly certain they were something very important to the abbey. This concerned him little though, these missing dibbuns were a matter for the Redwallers, not him. What was his concern was himself, and recuperating from his journey.
He waited as the squirrel continued to speak, asking him about food and his potential at being a warrior. dusk maintained his mask of indifference, waiting until the squirrel had suggested he see the abbot to finally speak. "Yes, I am hungry. And also, I suppose you could say I'm a warrior, but not a traditional one. In fact, I'd rather say I'm a mason than a warrior," He told the squirrel," And I will meet with this 'Father Abbot" of yours, so long as i may get some food on the way to him." As he finished speaking he stepped to the side, giving the squirrel room to lead the way. He turned his head slightly and looked out over the crowd of abbey beasts, several of whom were staring at him and whispering to each other. He turned back to the squirrel, his face still fairly uncaring, and asked "Would it be possible to speak with him on the wall?"
Abbot Marillac sat in his chair at the head of the Great Hall, his head resting wearily in his paws. Beasts filed into the halls, some somber, others hysterical. The Abbot looked up, trying to keep a brave face before them. If his courage failed, who would remain to support them? But, he knew they could all see it on his face. He was worn and tired, no one had slept well the past week. A few beasts gave Marillac a greeting, which he responded to with a nod and what he could muster of a smile.
The Abbot listened grimly to Raffi's report, having already been informed of the missing. As the squirrel sat down, the gathered began talking and whispering among each other. Some scared, some crying, others angry. Taking a deep breath, Marillac rose to his feet, raising his paw for silence. The voices slowly hushed, then stopped as they looked to the Abbot. "My friends, we have come together yet again to discuss the matter which is fresh on all our minds, the disappearance of our young ones," he began, his voice low with exhaustion and sorrow, "our Abbey is a stronghold of peace, and yet this nightmare still inflicts such terror on our home. Our attempts to stop this thing have yet been unsuccessful."
"For the sake of our children, I insist you do not lose heart. Despair, no matter how hopeless the situation, will solve nothing," the Abbot continued, "we shall not stop until we have halted the intruder, and moreover, have recovered the lost. Please, they need your help. Any ideas are welcome, I just ask that they come in an orderly fashion, one at a time."
Gonff Quickshadow last edited by
Herbert slouched under an apple tree in the orchard. He had heard the bell summoning them all to Great Hall but he knew all there was to hear. Besides he thought better when he was alone. Lately, adults had been grouped in little clusters everywhere and he had not been able to find a single solitary place to rest. Here under the apple tree in the early dawn, he was finally able to think.
One bright ray dance over the glossy surface of an apple by his footpaws and he reached down, lifting the apple from its grassy bed in his strong digging claws. "Oi be a Stoutfurrer," he thought, "and Stoutfurrers be ee best tunnlers round'". His mind raced over the plans already in place to protect the dibbuns. Bars, guards, and other defenses, they were all good but they hadn't been able to do anything. Then his mind led him to what he did best, digging.
"Oi do be a thinken' that ee diggin' moight jes do ee trick.". He smiled to himself. Maybe there was a way to protect the dibbuns after all. Swiftly, he trundled off toward Great Hall to see what the other moles thought. How could his plan not work? It was pure ingenious.
"You can ask him if you like," Raffi replied, a little confused as to why Dusk sought such a private location for a meeting. There was something strange about the mouse, his stone-like face and his emotionless voice. The squirrel wondered if he was talking to a living statue, rather than a beast of flesh and bone. "And please, the food on the table is for all to enjoy."
Raffi led Dusk along the tables, which were indeed laid with food, though not the usual exuberant fair that Redwall was famous for. The friar was stressed, and half his assistants had been assaulted by the unknown kidnappers in the past week. As such, the food was rather plain and hurriedly served. Raffi led the visitor up to the head of the Great Hall, where the Abbot sat. Alaric was younger even than Raffi, but the squirrel had great respect for him. Whilst Raffi had been running away from Redwall and living in the outside world, Alaric had been patiently studying and preparing for a life in the order of Redwall. If they shared one thing in common though, it was sticking up for the young and the vulnerable, the Abbey's orphans in particular. Raffi usually called every beast by their first name, but on this occasion he would have to introduce the mouse by his proper title. The squirrel waited and listened to Alaric's speech, before stepping forward to the Abbot's chair.
"Father Abbot, a guest has just arrived during the meeting. He's warrior of sorts called Dusk," Raffi said, gesturing at the black mouse. "Master Dusk, this is Abbot Marillac, he's the head of the order. Alaric-… er, I mean, Father, I should like to hold a meeting with you and our volunteers about sending out a search party. I know we've found little trace of the kidnappers before, but we can try again."
The squirrel's eyes were wide and hopeful. With Alaric's approval, he could round up a few Redwallers to go searching through the nearby forests again. He'd gone out searching for tracks before, but had never so much as found a broken twig. Their attackers were like ghosts. Each time a dibbun went missing, the group of volunteers for a search party dwindled in numbers, as more and more beasts lost hope. Not Raffi though. He was determined not to lose hope.
Uncle Robert is home! We can see him through the looking glass on the ridge!
His cart is coming up the Path right now! Mother and father are very excited, and
I am too. I missed Uncle Robert. He's been gone for almost twelve seasons now.
Daddy never said it but he was afraid Uncle Robert was dead, but he's not! I can
see him from here!
We're going to go meet him on the Path! I hope he brought home presents!
~Found in a small room on the third floor of House Dread, possibly a child's room
Jen sat among the abbeybeasts as the grim news was relayed. It was taken much as he had expected: not well. No one felt safe anymore, as well they shouldn't. Redwall was supposed to be the great fortress of Mossflower. Impregnable, impenetrable, and absolutely secure. Every beast in the abbey had believed that until a week ago. Now some were making a habit of chaining themselves to the bed or floor, lest they too vanish in the night.
The raccoon stood and stretched his legs along with everyone else as the meeting dissolved. It hadn't been much of a meeting, mostly just an announcement to inform the other abbey beasts of last night's vanishings. Of course Jen had known there wouldn't be much else to talk about. They'd already discussed every plan they could think of in detail after the first kidnapping and that hadn't done any good.
Jen slipped through the throng toward the abbot. Yes, he'd already known everything that would be announced today, but that wasn't why he'd come. He'd been thinking recently, alone up in his looming belltower, and had come up with an idea. It was a simple idea, but it might help narrow their search.
He approached the abbot as a mouse and squirrel arrived and began talking. Well, the squirrel started talking. His name was Raphael… or maybe Raffi, if Jen remembered. He'd been one of the more vocal beasts in the effort to find the dibbuns and Jen respected him for that. The raccoon waited patiently to speak, listening to Dusk's introduction, as if he were some foreign lord, and the squirrel's pleas to go out on a search party. Jen thought now the best time to step forward, so he did, "Excuse me, brother, father, master Dusk. I overheard your talk of traces and I think I may have an idea that would at least give us a direction to search in."
Raffi brought Dusk's attention to the tables that were placed in the center of the hall, which he was soon led to. The food was simple, rolls, porridge, milk and the like. Dusk had heard that the abbey had some of the best food around, and while the food before him was rather plain, it was certainly much better than scrounging together a meal from the woods. Taking a plate and placing several rolls and a bowl of oatmeal upon it, which did smell rather good to him, he turned and continued to follow the squirrel, holding his food carefully in both paws. He led Dusk down to the end of the hall, where a mouse was sitting, looking rater haggard, but still maintaining a small level of control on his appearance. The mouse looked up at the squirrel as he and Dusk drew closer, finally stopping with the squirrel standing right next to the mouse and Dusk standing back and to the side.
As the squirrel introduced Dusk to Abbot Marillac, and the Abbot Marillac to Dusk, dusk gave the mouse a bow, holding his food level as he leaned his body towards the Abbot. ?Hail, Father Abbot Marillac? he said to the mouse, in his most polite and official voice. Once the introduction was over, the squirrel started to propose something to the Abbot. With the attention brought off of Dusk, he decided to take the chance and start correcting his hunger. Balancing the plate on one paw, he used the other to take a roll and start eating it, listening to the two beasts before him as he chewed his meal. After the squirrel had finished pleading for the ability to go out on a search, another beast interrupted him, stepping forward in the short lull of the conversation. This newest beast was a raccoon, at least, Dusk thought he was, he had never actually seen one, only heard stories of them. The raccoon started speaking, revealing that he too had an idea for how to catch these dibbun snatchers.
Deciding it was time for himself to talk, Dusk placed his half eaten roll on his plate and swallowed, then stepped forward, taking his plate in both paws again. ?Excuse me,? he said to the small group, turning his head about so as to look at each beast,? But I wish to speak. First off, please stop calling me ?master?, I am just Dusk,? he told them, giving them a small frown, a little bit of annoyance entering into his voice. After about a three second frown, he returned his face to its normal mask and continued speaking,? If we may, I would like it if we could go somewhere more private. Someplace quiet, and less crowded,? as he spoke he gave the crowd a small look of distaste,? so we may discuss things. Is this possible?? he ended with his question, looking first at the squirrel, then at the Abbot, hoping for approval. Then, as an afterthought, he said," In fact, what will we discuss? I only know that three 'dibbuns' were taken from here, and that is about all I know. Would you mind explaining to me what is going on here?" he asked the small group before him.
(I'm lookin' at you. No, not you; YOU. Yes, you.)
(OOC: I am so sorry people, I don't know what is wrong with my perception of time. It hardly feels like it has been that long.)
"It would seem wise to have a separate gathering," the Abbot agreed, "everyone is scared and frightened, and most of them are helpless to do anything. Raffi, if you can collect the other volunteers, send them to Cavern Hole." He motioned for Jen and Dusk to follow him as he set of down the steps for the smaller room. As he walked, he tried to explain to Dusk what a dubbun was, and what had been occurring. "Now Jen, what tracking method was it that you wanted to suggest?" he asked.
Cavern Hole's warmth and cosy atmosphere was helping put Raffi at ease. He had gathered what few volunteers were left standing, though many were being kept in by Sister Thyme in the Infirmary. Cavern Hole was less echoey than the Great Hall, and there wasn't that slight draught through the doors. Raffi wanted to sit beside the fire and drift off to catch up on his sleep, but that would have to wait. He gave his crooked smile to his friends, trying to reassure them. His stomach growled though, and he realised it had been a while since he'd properly eaten. He found some small nutbread rolls and bit into one gratefully, trying not to let his nervous, fidgety paws tear it to scraps as his mind wandered back to the situation at hand. The bread was warm and soft, the Friar would not have settled for anything less. Raffi wondered if he was going soft too, from living in Redwall instead of with squirrel clans in Mossflower. Perhaps if he practiced his martial skills more often, he wouldn't be such a pushover when the kidnappers came calling.
The squirrel stayed by the fire, which was burning low and casting a coppery, orange light across the room. His eyes were drawn to the red, glowing cracks in the firewood, which sat upon a small pile of white ashes. Raffi took another, smaller log from the pile beside the fire and put it on, giving the fire a stir with the iron poker. The glowing red tip of the poker scratched at the dust and ash, leaving trails where it had passed. If only if was as easy to track their enemy, Raffi thought. The flames licked against the underside of the new log, and in a few minutes, the fire crackled with new life and brighter light.
"We can't keep the Dibbuns boxed up in here," Raffi murmured to himself. How far would they go in their fruitless attempts to keep the young ones safe? Chaining them to their beds? Locking them in the belltower? No, they needed a pro-active solution to return the missing dibbuns and end this latest, and perhaps darkest threat that the abbey had seen in long time. The squirrel's ears perked and flicked intently. Jen seemed to have a new idea in mind to solve their dilemma, and Raffi was eager to hear it.
A mouse named Robert came home today, but I fear my brother
is never coming home. Robert has changed. He used to be so happy
and adventurous. When Lucinda was just a babe he used to play
with her for hours at a time. He always loved to play. Now he seems…
driven; focused like I've never seen him before. Lucinda tried to give
him a hug when we met him on the path and he yelled at her. He said
she would upset the cart and "ruin it all."
Robert is up to something, but I don't know what. He refuses to stay
in his own room at the cottage, and after we kept it ready for three
whole years! From what I've pieced together it seems he wants to
move out and make his own cottage in the forest. I tried telling him
that was a bad idea but he just gave me a distracted glare and walked
Oh Robert... what happened to you out there?
~Found in a journal, in a bookcase, in the main hallway of House Dread
Jen followed the abbot and Dusk into Cavern Hole. He didn't dislike Cavern Hole to be sure, but he did feel uncomfortable being underground. He liked being able to see the sky; part of the reason why he'd taken the bell tower as his home. Cavern Hole didn't so much close in around him, as it did close out everything else.
The small group stopped near the fireplace where Raffi was stirring the flames into renewed life. It seemed it was his turn to speak, and suddenly his idea seemed childish, even insulting. The elders of the abbey had been agonizing over how to keep the dibbuns safe and he presumed to solve the problem just like that? Well… no... not just like that. Still... The raccoon took a breath as a voice from a very long time ago swirled in his mind. Be bold.
He leaned back against the table, paws resting on the hilt of his sword as he relaxed, calming himself, "It is quite a simple plan, and I stress that it will not solve our problem entirely, but it may give us a valuable clue. We simply cover the floor of the dibbuns' sleeping quarters with flour. Flour is so fine that even the slightest touch will leave an imprint. Not even the lightest thief could sneak across a field of flour unnoticed. When they come for another child," He looked into the abbot's eyes, "and they will, they will leave a trail of flour for at least a few dozen feet when they leave. It won't be enough to track them for long, but it will tell us what direction to look in." Jen looked at the floor then, "There is still one problem I haven't been able to work around though." He took another deep breath and his paws idly fiddled with the handle of his sword until he looked up again and said, quite bluntly-
Gonff Quickshadow last edited by
Herbert came up to the small group right when Jen started outlining his plan. As Jen finished he spoke up. "Oi do burlieve Oi moight be able to help ee with that problem." He chuckled, "Ee haven't thought 'bout not needing bait have ee? If ee molers were to dig a cellar in ee h'abbey grounders, ee moight could 'ide ee likkle dibbuns there and leave ee floured flour for the scoundrels."
Dusk stood and listened as the abbot explained to him what a ?Dibbun? was. After the quick definition, along with a short run down of what was going on at the Abbey, Dusk had to admit, it did sound like the Redwaller?s were in quite the pickle. He thought on the situation as he followed the small group, wondering what they planned to do, and what his involvement might be in it. That was, of course, if he even decided to help them, or if they even thought his skills might be useful. The abbot lead them to an entrance and into another section of the Abbey, a place that looked like a hall, but on a smaller scale then the one they had entered from.
They walked across the smaller hall towards a large fireplace, which had a small fire licking at the logs in it, giving minimal light and warmth to the area around it. Dusk took a small liberty by stepping aside from the group, staying close enough to hear what was said, but not so close that he might become involved in the conversation. With himself separated from the others, he started to finish his breakfast, thinking on what he should say and do when potentially asked to help. As he thought, he watched the squirrel he had met from earlier bring in a small group of other beasts, most of which looked rather bedraggled, and then walk to the fireplace. Dusk observed the squirrel, who stocked up the fire and stood poking at it with an iron poker. Dusk could easily see that this beast was taking the loss of the dibbuns far harder than many of the others. He could feel a slight amount of sympathy for the squirrel.
Dusk's attention was returned to the group when one beast started speaking. He saw that it was the raccoon who said he might have an idea. As he began speaking, dusk stepped forward, returning to his previous position amongst the others of the group. As he listened to the plan that the raccoon outlined, he had to admit that it was a fairly simple plan. The problem of bait seemed like a fairly simple solution to Dusk, but he withheld his input for fear of insulting these abbey beasts. Luckily, it seemed like he wouldn't need to say anything as a mole stepped up to the group and offered his own idea. The idea the mole presented to the group naturally involved digging, and Dusk agreed that it might be a good idea, however?
?I must interrupt,? Dusk said, taking a small step forward. "What exactly do you intend to ask me to do??
OOC: wasn't exactly sure what else I could do. If there are any problems, please inform me of them.
"Bait," Raffi repeated with a shudder. Jen meant the dibbuns, of course. The intruders had not yet kidnapped any of the adults, though there had been plenty of opportunities to do so. Whilst instinctively the squirrel felt sick at the idea of the dibbuns being used to trick the intruders, he had no better ideas himself. Raffi had to admit, the flour idea had a lot going for it. As stealthy and mysterious as the intruders were, they were mortal beasts nonetheless. As it had proven impossible to stop the kidnappings, it seemed the dibbuns were already bait for a fish they couldn't catch. Raffi pondered the plan as the mole named Herbert chipped in his idea, and Dusk asked what he should do. Raffi's ears perked. He had an idea himself, a way to test whether Jen's idea would be reliable.
"See if you can track me, first," Raffi piped up. "We can test it before tonight. I'll get some flour on my footpaws, and go for a walk. If you can follow it far enough to know where I am, then we'll know it can work for a little while. The problem is, we could very easily lose them after that. But, I think this is the best plan we have so far."
Raffi's tail did not droop so sadly on the floor now, as he turned to stoke the fire again. He noticed the marks he'd made in the ashes with the poker, and smiled. So, they could get the intruders to leave a short trail behind them with flour, just like he'd been doing with the poker only moments before. The only trouble was, no matter where they put the dibbuns, it was almost guaranteed that another family would lose their child in this bait plan of theirs. "We shall have to make sure the flour coating is not noticable in the dark. If the intruders suspect any foul play, they'll probably lead us on a false trail."
Abbot Marillac listened intently as each beast said their part, elbows rested on the table, paws folded and supporting his chin. Jen's plan was the closest thing so far they had to a lead, though it was still a complicated situation. Beasts would have to be almost immediately ready to follow the trail, because it was likely to get cold fast. There was also the matter of hiding the Dibbuns.
"Thank you Jen, thank you Herbert, your ideas are sound ones," Marillac said, rising from his chair, "however, it does raise questions. Can we hide the dibbuns elsewhere, and expect the intruders to come back to their dormitory rooms? Or will the seek out the young ones in their new location? We have no idea what we are against." He paced back and forth across the room as he spoke, letting the room's natural echo project his voice. "Whatever the case may be, we need a team of able bodied beasts to pursue the vermin. Many of ours are injured, so your help, Dusk, would be appreciated if you are able."
Dusk turned to look at the abbot as he asked Dusk to aid them. Before responding, Dusk walked over to the long table nearby and placed his empty plate on top of it. He placed his travel pack on the table as well, covering it with his travel cloak. Now he only had his pickax, his sledge hammer, and several daggers on his belt on him. Once he had shed these things, he turned back to the group, grasping his paws behind his back and staring at each of them. He then focused on the Abbot and spoke directly to him.
"I am no warrior. The closest thing you could call me is an assassin, just so you know." He then stopped speaking and walked closer to the group, his paws still behind his back, his face still impassive. He stopped once he was in the center of the beasts before him, but he still kept his eyes on the Abbot. "Now, I must ask you something that you may not enjoy hearing. Incentive, what is my incentive to help you?" He said it as coolly as he could manage, which was fairly coolly. "I mean you no offense, I simply wish to gain something from risking myself for strangers I don't know."