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Chapter 1:A dangerous time
Umrag the Destroyer grinned.It wasn't often that he got a few thousand recruits.First of all there was the Southern Rat Union and the northern weasels.Then there was the band of wolverines and a corsair army.Finally there was the mercenary fox tribes from the north.The rat's thoughts were interupted by a voice,"Uh,Boss,um,er,that is-"Spit it out,will you!Umrag cried.The stoat whined,"It wasn't my fault,I swear it wasn't!""What wasn't your fault?"asked Umrag impatiently.The stoat whimpered,"Um,the prisoners escaped."Umrag gritted his teeth furiosly."Not again!" he shouted."It wasn't my fault,it wasn't my-"the luckless stoat gaped at the scimitar which seemed to be growing out of his chest.The next second he crumpled in a lifeless heap.The black rat called out,"Usim!"Very quickly a red-orange ferret with a battleaxe strapped to his back appeared."You needed me,Umrag?"asked the ferret."Yes Usim.I want you to tell the troops we're marching east." The ferret promptly disappeared.
Down below in the soldiers' barracks five characters were plotting.A shifty-looking fox said,"Everything is ready.We could mutiny right now if we wanted."A hulking wolverine answered him,"Not now,but at night.I will get more plunder then any one else,got that?"No one spoke a word.It was clear who the leader of the gang was.All stood up and left except for a weasel.Suddenly he crumpled senceless to the ground. Usim stood up and grinned.
At night the five mutineers stood outside a door."Everyone ready?"whispered the fox,They all nodded.They all came in,one after another.A rat stabbed the body laying on the bed."Is he dead?"hissed a corsair."Yes he's dead all right.No need to stab him again."The voice was definetly Umrag's.Umrag took off the weasel disguise and slew the rat in the same movement.Then he quickly stabbed the corsair and turned around, beheading the fox. While he was doing this his back was exposed to the wolverine. The wolverine raised his mace...and fell to the ground, headless. In his place stood Usim. "Never liked backstabbers myself, Umrag." There was only one mutineer who survived. He survived because he only organized the mutiny, not participated in it. He was a white fox with the name Rard. His eyes were pure gold and he fought with a sword. It was his businesses to help warlords rise to the peak of power, then assassinate them. Therefore he was extremely shocked when he saw Umrag and Usim walk out of the fortress to address their horde. In the next few seconds the horde stopped talking to listen to their commander. “Friends! Last night I, Umrag the Destroyer was going to be murdered. However, I fought of the assassins single-handedly last night. I will now show you their bodies to prove it.” With a smile he took off a curtain which was covering something. There were the bodies of the treacherous vermin, hanging on a big pole! “So, my fellow warriors you have seen the traitors. Will you or will you not follow your commander?” The horde answered as one, ”We will!” “Then pack up. We’re leaving in one day, to march east. We’ll take all before us, stopping at nothing. We will make woodlanders fear the name Umrag!" Far, far off to the east there was a village of Guosim shrews. There were not many that were fit, in fact there was only five. Many years earlier it was not so. They were a thriving community with hundreds of healthy shrews. Then he came. He came with a great big horde, wiping out almost all the shrews. At the present the five healthy shrews sat at a campfire, talking. One said, “Oh how I wish I could lay my paws on Umrag. If he hadn’t come with his horde I would still have five brothers.” Another shrew answered him, “No, you wouldn’t want to attack Umrag. Our last Log-a-Log did, and look where he is now? Dead, that’s where.” At this comment the other three shrews came into the conversation, shouting and arguing. Suddenly one shrew sighed and fell down, as if tired. Within seconds the arguing stopped and the shrews pulled out their rapiers. A second shrew flopped down next to the first. This time the whistle of a knife flying was unmistakable. Suddenly knifes started whizzing all around. Very soon there was only one shrew left standing. He shouted into the gloom, “Come out you cowards, stand and fight! I’m not afraid of you lousy-“suddenly something hit the back of his head, and everything turned black. The shrew woke up with a massive headache. He was bound tightly, and gagged also. There was a tall weasel sitting next to him. “Ah, it looks like the prisoner has awoken. I better take you to the master now.” The weasel stood up, dragging the shrew behind him. They were soon up in a tall tower. The weasel dropped the shrew and bowed. In front of him stood a black fox with red eyes. Into his belt were tucked in dozens of daggers. “What have you brought me today, Scurvy?” asked the fox. The weasel, Scurvy, answered him, “We raided a village full of shrews. There weren’t many who were fighting fit, and we took them by surprise. This is the only one who survived with fighting ability.” The shrew, who was named Rinzo, was scared of the fox in front of him. The fox said,” Come with me. I want to show you something…enjoyable.” When they got there they saw the Dibbuns, the shrew babies, tied to individual poles. Without a word the fox pulled out one of his daggers and threw it a Dibbun. Rinzo groaned. The fox kept throwing his knifes, and the babies kept dying. The shrew sobbed with helpless rage. At last there was only one shrewbabe left, Rinzo’s own son. “No, please don’t kill him! I’ll give you anything, just don’t kill him!” The fox said, ”I need information. Where is a place that I can settle down nicely?” “West of here there lays a great place, called Redwall Abbey. Now please, just let my son go.” The fox didn’t answer. Then, he threw his dagger. Rinzo screamed in rage and fury, and then passed out.
Chapter 2: Preparing for war In between the two hordes, there did indeed exist a place called Redwall Abbey. It was known for its delicious food and for its kindness to visitors. This place was surrounded by Mossflower Woods. A squirrel was hopping from tree to tree, heading back to his beloved abbey. He landed on the walltop, right next to the Skipper of otters. ”Skipper, there’s a mad shrew down there, shouting and screaming like crazy!” “Alright I’ll be right there, Benjo.” When Skipper got to the location he saw the shrew. The shrew was waving his rapier all over the place, and he was screaming. ”Die you fox, you evil murderer! Take this and this and-“he was stopped short as a slingshot hit his head. ”Come on squirrel, help me carry this poor shrew to Redwall!” Sister Meg, the infirmary keeper, looked at the shrew seriously. “I guess he had a severe head wound a few weeks ago. He also must of suffered something mental, from the look on his face.” Suddenly the shrew leaned up and rasped, every word an effort, “Fox…warlord…coming…here!” Then he collapsed on the bed, dead. Skipper of otters stood up and left the scene without a word. He was soon back with an old hare that was covered in scars. “Well Colonel Corn, do you know this shrew?” The hare looked down at the shrew and immediately nodded. ”Aye, I know him alright. His name is Rinzo; he’s from a Guosim village about four weeks from here. And you say he told you of a fox warlord? I better go round up some resident hares.” He quickly left. Skipper nodded and said, ”I’m going to get my otter crews. Benjo, will you get the squirrel archers?” “Of course.” answered the squirrel. Within a week Skipper had rounded up threescore otters, Benjo rounded up five score squirrels and Colonel Corn…Colonel came back with over two hundred hares. All the hares started dashing around, collecting fruits and vegetables. The otters went to the Abbey pond to fish and the squirrels stood sentry on the walltop. As much as the outside was busy it was nothing compared to Redwall’s kitchens. Friar “Delicious”, as he was known, was busy baking and cooking. All around him dozens of helpers were doing the same thing. All the food that was ready was brought to the food stocks down below near the abbey pond. In cavern hole were the leaders; Colonel Corn, Skipper, and Benjo. They were in there for most of the day, but they still didn’t come up with anything. As the trio was making their way to the Great Hall, Skipper suddenly grinned broadly and said, ”Wait up mates. I’ve got a plan!”
In the great sea there was a fleet of corsair ships, anchored to a nearby mountain. The leader of this fleet, Captain Scarface, was pacing the deck of his ship impatiently. Suddenly the lookout shouted, ”The Waveseeker is approaching fast, Cap’n!” Scarface looked, and indeed, there was a ship coming closer and closer. The captain of the ship cried out, “Ahoy there, Cap’n! Umrag says you have to sail south to the mountain of Salamandastron!” The tall fox gnashed his teeth in fury. “What?!” I don’t get to slay helpless woodlanders and have to fight high-skilled hares and berserk badgers!” A especially slow-witted member of the crew said, ”Well, orders is orders, Cap’n.” That turned out to be the last thing he ever said. The crew stared in shock as the headless body fell into the ocean. ”Well, what are you staring at? Don’t you have any duties?” the captain demanded. The crew went to attend to their duties muttering. That night the captain went to sleep worried. He did not know that he was right to worry. The fox suddenly felt something at his throat. He tried to leap up, but it was too late. Captain Scarface, Rouge of the high Seas, Lord of all waters, died with hardly a sound. The next day the captain of the Waveseeker stood up to address the armada, “My fellow crewmembers! Last night some thug had slain our favorite captain, Scarface! Now I am forced to be commander instead!” A tall, gaunt, and imposing weasel shouted, “Why should you be captain? Why not me, for example?” The captain of the Waveseeker answered with a feral smile. “Because you are not a skilled enough fighter, my dead friend.” And with that he stabbed the weasel through the neck, slaying him instantly. “Now we set sail for Salamandastron! Anyone with objections deals with me!” No one spoke up. With a triumphant smile the captain shouted, ”Set sail all ships! Set sail for plunder!” In the pine groves about five minutes away from Salamandastron something evil stirred. Something so evil that even the resident crows abandoned the groves, and they had lived there for centuries. Every type of animal had fled the groves. Even the plants seemed to wilt and die, since they could not flee. Yes, something evil had stirred!
Chapter 3:The Spy and The Problem Umrag the Destroyer sat down to rest his tired legs. Even he had been exhausted by the long march they had. His horde had been marching for two days and two nights without stopping. Suddenly his best mate, Usim, ran up to him, panting. “I was taking ten scouts with me to patrol when we saw someone’s dwelling. When we rushed inside we saw a very pretty squirrel standing there. She smiled and fluttered her eyelashes at us. My men, all ten of them, were dumbstruck. The squirrel pulled out a dagger and stabbed one of my rats, killing him instantly. The others just stood there not doing anything!” Umrag jumped to his feet and ran after Usim. When they got to the location they discovered that all but one of the scouts were dead. The squirrel looked at Umrag and gave him a look that would charm a shark. Umrag just snarled and pulled out his scimitar. Behind him Usim took out his battleaxe. As they ran towards the squirrel she killed the last scout. Usim lifted his battleaxe to slay her when…Umrag’s scimitar blocked the blow! “Oh no,” groaned Usim, “not you too.” Umrag smiled and whispered,” I’ve got plans for her.” As he was saying that he suddenly turned around and punched the squirrel, knocking her out cold. “Tie her up and take her back to the horde. “She’ll be useful at Redwall Abbey, oh yes she will!” The squirrel opened her eyes to find out that she was bound tightly. She looked to around to see a large black rat with a bone handled scimitar tucked into his belt. The squirrel gave him one of her most flattering looks and said, “Could you please untie me? This is way too tight.” Umrag smiled viciously and slapped her on the face, hard. ”Shut up and listen to me, squirrel. Have you heard of Redwall Abbey?” The squirrel quickly answered, “Yes. It sounds like a wonderful place.” The warlord chuckled and said, ”Well it’s good that you know of Redwall Abbey, because I’m going to capture it. I’ll need your help, however, to find out what Redwall’s defenses are. In short, I need a spy.” The squirrel frowned and answered, “What am I going to get out of it? I don’t offer my services for free, you know.” Umrag grinned wickedly and laughed. “I knew you would ask me that. You can persuade beasts to leave Redwall and do whatever you want with them. How does that sound?” The squirrel smiled delightedly and said, “That would be truly amazing.” Suddenly a scout sprinted to them and breathlessly croaked, “There’s only two weeks left till we reach Redwall Abbey!” Umrag stood up and shouted, “Get your gear ready! We’re leaving in one hour!” The squirrel asked, “What about me? How could I march like this?” The black rat smiled and said, ”You’ll be in the cart.” As he said this a dirty, mucky, filthy cart pulled by an old goat rolled up. The squirrel gave a soft moan of distress as she was put in the cart, still tied up. Umrag looked to the east, where he knew Redwall Abbey was. ”Here I come, ready or not.” whispered the rat. Umrag was delighted. They were already in Mossflower Woods, only two days away from Redwall Abbey. “Make camp here, horde!” shouted out Umrag. The vermin flopped down with a grateful sigh. “You lot get one hour rest before you’ll get working!” After one hour had passed the Mossflower Woods had been alive with the sound of chopping, hammering, and most of all, arguing. Umrag opened the cart and untied the squirrel. “Okay squirrel, you know what to do. She nodded and went off into the woods.
Tuffnut was worried. If he didn’t get the River Tribe to join with the union his life was not worth anything. Tuffnut sighed. There was nothing for it. He went down through the fortress until he came to the Assassin Stoat Tribe rooms. He went up to their leader, a powerfully built stoat. “Hey you! Leader of the Assassins! Get over here!” The stoat yawned and remained seated, shouting back,”Wat do ya want? I’m comfy here widout yor help, weasel! “Tuffnut gnashed his teeth and said, “Get over here! It’s a job!” The stoat still remained seated and shouted back,” I’m comfy here! Tell me wat the job is, weasel!” The weasel tried to keep his temper in check as he yelled, “It’s about the River Tribe! The master wanted you to persuade them to join, you lazy bag of potatoes!” Before Tuffnut even realized what was going on the stoat was right next to him and there was a dagger tickling his throat. “I don’t want ya calling me lazy ever, ever again. If ya do ya’ll find out that my dagger will have no trouble cutting ya. Remember that, weasel.” Tuffnut snarled in rage as the assassin and his followers left the room. The warlord of the horde, Ralist the Mighty, was a strange warlord. He never went into fits of rage. In fact, his mood was always the same. Calm, cool, and commanding. Suddenly a weasel ran up saying, “They’re here Master, they’re here!” The fox went down to the grounds, and yes, there he was, the bold assassin. ”Killed them all, suffered no casualties!” called the stoat. The fox remained expressionless as he said these words; “Killed? I thought the directions were to take captive, not to kill.” The stoat swallowed nervously and said,”Ah yes, well, about that, I-“his words where cut short as a dagger thudded into his head. Ralid’s expression was still the same as he remarked,”Fools who disobey me will die; I thought I told him that. Alright Tuffnut listen up; gather the horde. We’re marching west to Redwall Abbey.” Tuffnut leaped up and shouted, “Yes Master; at once Master! The weasel hurried away. In a very short time the horde was marching, tribe after tribe after tribe. Ralist strode at the back of his horde with Tuffnut. “Listen up Tuffnut; when we capture the abbey you can have it. I like this place a lot.” Tuffnut practically leapt for joy at this thought. “Thank you Master, thank you so much! I promise I won’t fail you, Master!” Ralist watched the weasel run away to tell his comrade, Scurvy the news. The warlord then spat out a word. Just one word. “Fool!”
Chapter 4:War! Redwall Abbey was having a feast to honor its warriors. There were pies and puddings, cakes and flans for the dessert. For the main course, however there was: hotroot soup, an otter delicacy: skilly and duff, a favorite of shrews: deeper’n’ever pie from the moles and every type of salad you could think of. The feast lasted a whole four hours before everyone was full. Even so, there was still food left aplenty. Suddenly a squirrel jumped in shouting, “There’s a very pretty squirrel outside crying!” The squirrels jumped out to see. They came looking for a very pretty squirrel. They came back with a stunningly beautiful squirrel. The squirrel was, in fact, Umrag’s spy. She saw the looks of amazement that woodlanders threw at her. She smiled and waved to the crowd of Redwallers looking at her. She went up to a young hare and asked him,”How many creatures do you have here that can fight?” The hare answered in a dazed voice. “There are eighteen score warriors here, Miss.” The squirrel sat down at the dinner t able and showed flawless good manners when she was eating. She then decided to choose her victim. The squirrel was about to pick the hare when she saw Benjo. He was sitting looking at her as if in a trance. The squirrel smiled. A perfect victim. Late that night, when everyone was asleep, Benjo went to find the squirrel. She was staring sadly at the moon. Benjo walked up to her and said, “Why were you crying when we found you?” The squirrel gave him an adoring look and said, “It’s a long story. I’ll tell you it outside the Abbey.” “Outside the Abbey? But wha-“Shhh.” said the squirrel, placing a finger on his lips. “Come on, why not? It’s a calm night. What could go wrong? asked the squirrel, a pleading tone in her voice. Benjo looked at her hazel eyes, her soft shoulders, her long, soft, tail and said, ”Fine.” As they walked outside the squirrel put an arm on his shoulders, a soft, frail, delicate arm. She said in an enchanting voice, “My name is Rose. What’s yours?” Completely under a trance the poor squirrel managed to stutter,”B-b-benjo.” Rose smiled and said, “Benjo. What a lovely name.” Before Benjo understood what was going on someone pushed him. Then he felt a dagger at his throat. “Don’t move or you’re dead. Now get up and go where I tell you to.” Rose used the same voice but with a hint of menace and contempt in it. Benjo got up silently and did as he was told. While Benjo was walking he was racked with silent sobs. How could she do this to him? How could she? When Skipper woke up he looked at his fellow commanders. There was Colonel Corn, snoring like a thunderstorm, and there was…Skipper frowned. Where was Benjo? Suddenly the Colonel woke up and said, “Ahoy there, Skipper. Hey, where’s Benjo?” Skipper shrugged. “Then we better send out search parties out to find him.” Within an hour there were thirteen score woodlanders searching Mossflower Woods. A friend of Skipper’s, Rab, suddenly heard something. He turned around and saw the squirrel covered in cuts and bruises, and she was being chased by a large black rat with a scimitar. “Don’t worry!” shouted Rab. “I’ll stop him!” The rat expertly swung his scimitar, so fast that Rab barely managed to block it. The rat suddenly kicked Rab in the legs. Rab dropped his dagger, and was immediately slain by the scimitar. Umrag spat on the corpse, and then ran on. When he got to Redwall he saw hundreds of beasts standing on the wall. He shouted, “This is war, you scum! I just slew one of your precious otters, and my horde is going to slay a lot more!” And with that, he ran into the woods.
Captain Killer, as he was known, was lying on his hammock drinking the finest blackberry wine there ever was. Then a scout ran up and shouted, “We’re at Salamandastron, Cap’n!” The captain stood up and said, “Bring the other captains to me.” Within a few minutes Killer was explaining his plan to the other captains. “We’re going to hit them in a pincer movement. I’m going to take threescore and hit them from the front. Hookfin, you and Stoater are going to take fourscore each and come from the back. Orgeye and Rebber, you’re going to take one hundred archers each, and protect my flanks. Falketer, take two hundred archers and charge through the back. Hawk, you get the other five hundred sea rats. You are going to attack from the land side.” At Salamandastron preparations were also being made. Major Mullist Muckworthy had the full might of the Long Patrol at his command, or a thousand hares. He listened with narrow eyes as a scout reported the situation. “They’re attempting some kind of triple pincer. I counted them vermin with my own eyes. There are one thousand one hundred and twenty of them, precisely.” The Major nodded and said, “Excused.” Then turning around, he smiled. So they were doing a pincer movement! It would be easy to stop them. Captain Killer looked over his troops. Then he nodded and shouted, “Charge!” The vermin were running like mad when they saw an opening in the mountain. Suddenly the ground seemed to give away beneath their feet, revealing a large pit with stakes in it. The front row fell into the pit with screams and shrieks. As the disorganized horde stumbled and fell arrows suddenly started striking the horde. Captain Orgeye shouted over the din. “Fire back, cullies fire back!” His archers regrouped and fired off a salvo which slew ten hares and wounded five. The vermin began jumping over the pit. Killer smiled. The battle had only just begun!
Chapter 5: Siege engines Umrag called over Gggrkg, his wolverine leader. “Hey Gggrkg, get over here! I want some of your wolverines to fell about five trees for siege towers. Then smash down another tree for a battering ram. Also get a lot of branches that we can use as arrows.” The wolverine nodded and said, “Yes, my Lord.” Next the rat summoned a rat, a weasel, and a fox. “Listen up you three. I want you foxes to make a battering ram that will be fireproof and can hold a dozen soldiers. Rats, I want you to make arrows about the length of that branch over there. You weasels are the lucky lot. You’ll get to make five siege towers that can hold a hundred soldiers each.” The three leaders nodded and went about to tell their followers what to do. Umrag looked around. The horde had split into small groups, each doing a specific function. Before long there were at least one hundred arrows on the ground and the battering ram was complete. In six hours the jobs were done. Umrag smiled. It was time. He set off with all but four hundred of his soldiers. Skipper was dozing off near the wall when a huge crash sounded next to him. He ran up to see a cart with a battering ram in it. Skipper fired an arrow at it. The arrow simply thudded into the wood, not doing any serious damage. The battering ram thudded into the gate again, and cracks started to appear in it. “Hey, mates, over here! I need help!” shouted Skipper. Twenty squirrels and five otters came rushing out of the Abbey. With a final hit the gate crashed open and twelve vermin ran in. Half were killed by squirrel arrows and half by the otters. During the process only one otter was killed. Suddenly five huge towers appeared, all from different directions. The towers smashed against the wall and a drawbridge was opened. Rats, stoats, and weasels poured out of the towers, yelling war cries. “We need help and we need it bad!” yelled Skipper and twelve squirrels. This time the entire Redwall army came out. Otters, squirrels, and hares ran out to meet the oncoming foes. The woodlanders were outnumbered at least ten to one, but they managed to hold of Umrag’s hordes. Then hundreds of vermin, lead by Umrag himself, came thundering through the gates. There were wolverines, ferrets, and foxes. Umrag was fighting like a devil. He would rush the oncoming Redwallers without any trace of fear. No matter how many enemies he faced, he emerged victorious. All seemed lost when…A piercing war cry was heard. “Logalogalogalooooog!” Colonel Corn grinned and shouted, “It’s the Gousim shrew war cry!” And indeed it was. Hundreds of shrews attacked the gigantic horde. Split up as they were, the horde didn’t stand a chance. Umrag bellowed, “Retreat! Fall back! Retreat!” The horde ran as fast as they could, away from the woodlanders.
Tuffnut grinned. ‘This is the life’ he thought. Marching forward, stopping at nothing, and taking all before them. He wasn’t the only one who was delighted. Most of the horde was happy with the conditions they had. Good food, decent sleep, and a steady marching rate, not too slow and not fast. The only one who wasn’t delighted was Ralist himself. He wanted Redwall Abbey. He needed Redwall Abbey. Suddenly a scout ran up and shouted, ”The Abbey is only two hours away from here!” Ralist stood up and said, ”I want to scout myself! Scurvy, I want you to take eighty weasels and follow me at a distance.” Scurvy nodded and gathered his weasels. When Ralist was scouting he suddenly came across a large black rat with a bone-handled scimitar! The fox acted on instinct then. He whipped out a knife and threw it at the rat. Umrag barely blocked the blow. Then he roared and charged the fox. Fortunately for Ralist, he had pulled out a dagger and deflected the blow. Both of them went at it, hammer and tongs. Suddenly Umrag dropped his scimitar and charged Ralist. At the exact same moment the fox chose to do the same. As they crashed together and fell back everyone seemed to arrive to the scene. From the east came Scurvy and his eighty weasels, and from the west came Gggrkg and sixty foxes. Umrag stood up and said, “What is this all about?” Ralist sat up and said, “Well, I, Ralist the Mighty, came here to seek out Redwall Abbey and capture it.” Umrag’s jaw dropped. “I, Umrag the Destroyer, came here to do the exact same thing!” Scurvy walked up and said, “Perhaps we should work together then.” “Aye, it is a good idea.” said Gggrkg. Ralist said, “Come look at my horde.” When they got there Gggrkg’s eyes nearly popped out of his head and Umrag whistled appreciatively. There was at the very least twenty thousand vermin encamped there! The fox pointed and explained who was who. “That over there is the Ironhead fox tribe, good at making siege engines. Then we have the Crookback rats, excellent ambushers. Over there is the Assassin Stoat Tribe, you can guess what they do. We also have all of the northern fox tribes, who are all savage warriors. Finally my larger part of the horde consists of weasels. I like weasels, consider them good fighters and sly creatures. Well, now show me your horde.
Chapter 6: The traitor and the monster A hare ran up to Colonel Corn and said, “We lost two score in the battle, at least ten killed by Umrag. We counted the dead vermin to discover that there was two hundred dead, ten of them being wolverines.” Colonel Corn nodded and said, “Dismissed.” Then he turned to a fierce-looking shrew with a rapier tucked in his belt and a black headband on his forehead. “Well, Log-a-Log Rapier, you sure did save our necks then.” The shrew nodded and said, “It was nothing. I know you would do the same for me.” Skipper walked up and asked Log-a-Log,” Have you seen a squirrel wandering around lately?” The shrew shook his head and answered,” No, we haven’t met anyone. Why? Is it important?” “Yes. That squirrel commands our Redwall squirrels.” That night Skipper could not sleep properly. He woke up and went outside. Then he climbed up the wall. He looked…and he saw Umrag’s spy pinning a shrew down to the ground. Skipper threw his javelin. It hit Rose right on the leg. Rose slew the shrew, and then hobbled away. She did not get far. Before she knew it Skipper was on top of her. “Die, you spy!” Suddenly an arrow grazed his cheek. He looked and saw two score weasels charging at him. The otter quickly ran inside. When he got to the walltop he saw the squirrel lying on the ground, two arrows sticking out of her chest. The otter smiled. The following day the otters and squirrels were sent out to scout the enemy. The otters returned first. “Even with the two hundred dead the vermin had still a large horde, about two thousand five hundred. Their boss isn’t a fox, he’s a black rat. We also found Rab’s dead body, slain by a scimitar thrust if I’m not mistaken. The horde was encamped on the west side of the abbey for some reason.” Then the squirrels returned, pale-faced and trembling. “We found a horde of at least twenty thousand beasts! Their leader was the black fox with red eyes.”
Hookfin grinned as he dispatched another hare. His forces were climbing up the mountain, and they were almost at an opening. Suddenly the hares got out of the way of the opening. Then a loud rumble sounded as boulders rolled out of the tunnel. The boulders slew sixty vermin, the first one being Hookfin. At the opposite side things were not going well for Stoater. A hare had come out of an opening with at least two hundred soldiers. These hares were decimating his much smaller force. Suddenly a hare stepped up in front of him. Stoater merely ducked as an arrow sped past, killing the hare. Stoater then ran up and stabbed a hare in the back, killing him instantly. He turned around to see a scarred veteran standing in front of him. This veteran was known as Colonel Apple, a boxing champion. Suddenly he ducked and the arrow that was meant for him hit Stoater instead. As the dead captain fell Apple said, “He was born a coward, lived like a coward, and died like a coward.” Field Marshal Carrot picked up his bow and fired an arrow. Then he turned around and told his other seventy archers to do the same. He listened with satisfaction as the arrows made holes in Falketer’s ranks. Suddenly a hare ran up saying, “I know who their captain is! See down there, the one with a cutlass and an eye patch!” Carrot stood up and shot the captain, slaying him immediately. The twenty vermin that were left ran to the south and were never seen again. Captain Hawk grinned. He was fighting an experienced hare, a sergeant. He suddenly faked to the left and then leapt forward, thrusting with his saber. Hawk was known for his excellent swordplay and speed. He looked back. His fighters were making good progress, despite the fierce resistance of the hares. His archers fired a volley of arrows, wounding a hare near him. Hawk ran up to the hare, and then began torturing her. “Hahaha! Come on hare; scream louder, so that everyone can hear you! I want you to scream louder, or I’ll kill your loved one!” She screamed even louder from the pain of the cruel torture. Hawk saw a flash in the corner of his eye. He was barely able to deflect the blow of the furious Major. Mullist shouted angrily at Hawk, “How dare you attack a wounded creature? Why don’t you actually fight someone who can, you filthy scumbag!” Then the hare thrust forward, catching Hawk on the stomach, then on his arm, and finally on his head. The wounded captain fell on the ground, shouting. Thus had Captain Hawk died. He had found his match. Two hundred of the sea rats that were left saw their captain perish. These vermin ran off screaming into the pine groves. Suddenly a ferocious roar sounded out of the groves and a giant paw slew thirty vermin. Following this a black tiger jumped out of the woods, squashing eighty rats. Then the tiger dispatched of the remaining vermin and ran off. Killer was fighting for his life, as were his remaining warriors. Orgeye and Rebber were both killed, along with two hundred and twenty warriors. Killer only had forty warriors left, and was fighting at least a hundred hares. Suddenly an angry shout sounded from the opening of Salamandastron and a huge Badger Lord strode out. He swung a large sword, chopping off ten vermin’s heads. Then he started swinging and hacking at the other thirty enemies. In a few swings the job was done. Killer looked right. He looked left. He looked forward…and was instantly slain by a jab of the great battle blade. The badger lord, Roolag the Titanic, put his battle blade in its sheath. Then the Major ran up and said, “We saw a tiger running off north east after slaying two hundred vermin. Roolag began walking back to Salamandastron as he explained. “Tigers always go where there is a lot of death. The only place the tiger could go to. That must be Redwall Abbey. We must follow it. Rally the Long Patrol!”
Chapter 7: For Plunder! Umrag sent his siege towers forward to the fringe of the woodlands. Then he took a squadron of sixty men with bows and dry arrows and went to the north side. Meanwhile, on the western and eastern side, Ralist would mount a diversionary assault. Umrag told his archers, “Light your arrows and fire.” The arrows hissed and then flew of to hit the Abbey. Most harmlessly bounced off the wall but a few hit the small gate and set it on fire. Within seconds the gate burned up into nothing. Then screams and yells came from the eastern and western sides. Umrag smiled and walked in followed by his archers. Then a net sprang up, upending the archers in the air. A bunch of squirrels with arrows fired at the archers. Only Umrag managed to dodge the missiles, the rest of his archers got killed. He cut through the net and fell, straight into the arms of two waiting otters. A shrew quickly disarmed Umrag and put a rapier at Umrag’s throat. Then Skipper walked up and said, “Let’s see what your vermin do once they find out their leader has been captured.” Umrag scowled and tried to struggle but the rapier cut his throat, making a thin trickle of blood fall down. The otters lifted up the warlord and carried him to the walltop. Skipper shouted out over the din, “Whoever wants their warlord to live must drop their weapons now.” The horde continued to attack anyway. Skipper shrugged. A young hare walked up and stabbed Umrag. His body slackened and fell to the ground. The otters and shrew stood back. Suddenly two things happened at once. Umrag sprang up, he lifted his arm, and the blade fell to the ground. The other thing was that wolverines and foxes started to stream in the broken gate. Umrag picked up his scimitar and slew first one otter, then the other. As he did that he gave a shout, “Charge for plunder!” The siege towers unrolled from the woodlands, packed tight with stoats and rats. One such tower hit right next to Umrag, reinforcing him by a hundred men. Skipper, the shrew, and the hare tried to fight but where soon overwhelmed. First fell the shrew, then the hare. Skipper ran down to the lawn and shouted for help. Two hours later the horde had captured Redwall Abbey. Everywhere there could be seen tied up shrews, otters, squirrels, and hares. Suddenly a fierce cry ran out. “Eulaliaaaa!” As the war cry ran out hares popped up everywhere, stabbing and hacking at the vermin. Even with the help the vermin still outnumbered the woodlanders twenty to one, and the battle did not last long. Umrag laughed and said, “What are you going to do know, powerful warriors?” As he said this something miraculous happened. Five different war cries ran out, so loud that they could be heard in Salamandastron. “For plunder!” “There’s nothing ‘otter than an otter!” “Logalogalogalooooog!” ”For the voles that died!” “At them, me buckoes, at them!” Then there appeared hundreds, no, thousands, no, tens of thousands of woodlanders! There were squirrels and otters, shrews and voles, even mountain hares! Umrag shouted out, “Run!!!” He and his horde fled, back to their safe fortress.
Ralist the Mighty shouted, “To me, rally to me, to me!” His horde gathered around him. Suddenly there was a fierce roar and the tiger jumped out, angry and very, very, hungry. He ripped and tore the horde. Five thousand vermin ran north, closely followed by the tiger. The others were defeated by the woodlanders. Ralist the Mighty was literally squashed by Roolag the Titanic. Two warlords defeated in the same day. Wow!
Epilogue: Recorded by Redwall Abbey recorder, Benjo Everything is back to normal now. The victorious woodlander army has made an army known as the Mossflower Patrol. All of these woodlanders have been harmed by Umrag earlier in their lives. Roolag said that Umrag tried to attack Salamandastron when he was young. “The jolly rotter miserably failed, wot wot!” as Major Mullist puts it. Oh well, I get rather bored of recording sometimes. I want to go outside and talk to Skipper about the old days.