- Book I: The Callous One
- Book II:
- Book III:
Book I: The Callous One
Thirteen large, sinewy figures trudged stealthily through the heather and gorse studded plain as the sun shown new rays of light upon the blossoming, new spring morn'. Most of this was lost upon the captive hedgehog, who's pitiful, yet regal form stumbled stolidly on, remonstrating on his captivity by the merciless group of spiked savages. He thought back bitterly to his days of youthful pleasure, when his father, chief of the SpikeDen and its tibes, had lectured and scolded him for his foolish pranks and such late-night escapades. It was on one venture, that he, Andro Gildin, found himself in the cruel clutches of Vagger Deathspyke, the Callous! Nobeast knew, with any amount of certainty, where Vagger came from, though most creatures believed he must have had a hard upbringing, to become; the most largest, evilest, and most cunning hedgehog alive! Vagger Deathspyke lived up to his name, the Callous one!
It was the second day of spring and deep in the heart of Mossflower, two, young, male squirrels named Firlow Treetye and Flizin Pinesparr were hustling north.
"When do ya think we'll get there?", the taller of the two asked. He was slightly wider, and half a head taller then his companion, Flizin, who was two seasons elder. They both toted hefty javalin's with razor-keen, diamond-shaped, metal heads.
"Well, it's about midmorn right now, so I'd say sometime late afternoon. Wha'd ya say we stop for feed soon, eh Firly?", Flizin asked.
Firlow sighed and said,"Sorry matey, that old vole, what was his name?..Ethrag wasn't it? Well, anyway, he said we should be able to catch up with skipper by midday. That means if we put on some speed, we can have a late breakfast with him."
They troted gamely onward as the sun rose higher into the sky.
_/\_ (_**_) \/
The sun was approaching its zenith, and Firlow and Flizin were still going dogedly onward.
"Skipper must be in an awful hurry",Firlow said, as he paused for a breath, leaning his weight against the large, lowhanging bough of an oak tree.
"I hope we catch up with him soon" he said, leaving the tree and continuing on his previous tract. Before he could go much further, Flizin stopped him, jesturing toward a small clearing up ahead.
As they moved stealthily forward, Firlow noticed what his companion had already seen, in the center of the clearing, partily hidden from view by trees, brush, and foliage, were the remains of a recently ransacked hut. It was small in size and showed signs of a previous cheerfulness. On the west side of the hut, lay the wrecked remains of a garden, now trampled into the ground by the paws of many creatures, some pawprints still showing over the mix of debris. After circling the dilapidated dwelling, Firlow and Flizin entered boldly, though keeping a weather eye out for possible danger. Amongst the wreckage of torn draparies, broken funiture, smashed dishware, and food remains, lay the still forms of two, middle-age hares, one was a male and the other was a maid. Although Firlow and Flizin rushed to their sides, it was plain to see that they were dead by the numerous stab marks, evident on the hare's bodies. A mixture of rage and hatred showed on the face of Firlow as he lifted the head of the male hare.
"Who could have done such cruel murder!", he said in anguish. "The're still young, and look only two seasons wedded", he finished, turning his gaze, a mixture of sorrow and hatred, upon his companion, Flizin. The young squirrel was crouched over the other hare, sharing in Firlow's grief.
"I recognize these two, don't you?", Flizin asked.
"Wait, weren't they building this same hut three seasons back, aye, that was it. We were passing this way from Redwall, I guess we shoule'av stopped to say som'at to them", Firlow replied regretfuly.
Leaving the two forms, Flizin and Firlow proceeded toward the back of the hut. Flizin sighed,"we might as well it ali.."
"Hist!", Firlow interrupted, raising his paw for silence. "I heard something, just then", he said at last.
After waiting a moment they heard it again. It was something like a snuffling sob that came from behind a large azelia bush, situated right beside the garden and next to the hut. Firlow immediately ran to the white-flowered bush and crouched down to see underneath it with Flizin right behind him. To his suprise, there was a very young, male harebabe underneath the bush partily wraped in a tan barkcloth shawl. He was covered in dirt and wimpering fitfuly. Firlow's heart went out to the poor mite who was now clutched in his arms and calling for his mother.
"The poor little wretch", Firlow said, blinking away a tear for the young one, who would grow up never knowing his father or mother.
Flizin turned away, sniffing and wiping at his eyes. "The heartless vermin", he gritted, clenching his fist in anger. "I'll set the hut alight ", he remarked a few moments later, "you see to th' babe".
Firlow didn't reply , he was too busy cleaning the dirt from the harebabe. He stopped as he noticed a small, sharp object slightly larger than a pin, lodged in the infant's fore-arm. He carefuly levered it out using his claws, and then held it out for a closer inspection.
"Hey Fliz, come take a glim at this!", he said, holding it out for his companion to see.
Flizin took it and examined it giving his verdict,"it look like a quill wot comes off a hedgehog".
Firlow's face displayed his puzzlement,"but I thought hedgehogs were friendly".
"Aye, they are, but who knows for certain how the little tike got it", Flizin replied as he loped back into the hut reappearing with a torn window curtain. "Here, I can make a sling wid' this curtain and carry 'im on my back", Flizin said, reaching out a paw for the babe.
"Hmmf! T'was me wot found 'im, so I gets to carry 'im. Besides you have that long dirk o' yours strapped across your back", Firlow said, holding the babe out of Flizins reach.
Looking thouroghly dissatisfied, Flizin handed over the make-shift sling, muttering,"somebeasts have all the luck. Oh well, I might as well set alight to the hut. Nobeast 'll want to live in it now".
Rumaging through a small pocket on the outside of his haversack, he came up with a small piece of crystal which he used as a burning glass, fucusing the sun's rays through it and onto a broken pine limb, driping with resin. This he tossed into the hut, fastened the door from out side, and proceeded to cut away any immedient vegitation next to the hut.
"Good thing there aint much wind", he said as the flames lapped over the small hut,"I wouldn't like to have the damage of a forest-fire on my head".
As the hut crumbled and the flames lapsed into non-existence, Firlow and Flizin took there leave; Flizin setting the haversack back on his shoulders, and Firlow, with the babe in a sling, hanging from his shoulders. Firlow was delighted at having an infant for company, coming from such a large family as he did. As they continued their tract north, Firlow began singing a little ditty, he was unaware of how he had learned it, but figured it as good as any other one.
"Swifter than the breeze like smoke through the trees
the squirrel is hard to ca-a-atch!
While vermin they fight for what is right
they'll take them by the ba-a-atch!
From branch to bough the the squirrel may plow
without a thought to fa-a-all!
Though climbing a tree he may be
if it be short or ta-a-all!"
Ahh! That was it! He thought. He and Flizin had invented it on their first travel, from their home on the eastern shores to the famous abbey of Redwall. It didn't really matter now, he thought again and he realized that they were actualy two days behind, becaues if Skipper Ralden had seen the hut, in its state of distruction, he would have stopped to help. He sighed and gave the harebabe a piece of preserved fruit, silently vowing to avenge the death of this poor hare's kin.
Abritha Paddlepaw was a female ferret. Probaly the largest female of her species ever to live in Mossflower. Although she was known for her size, she was also known for her motherly attitude as the leader in her band of assorted vermin. Together they would wander around Mossflower, searching for the most prosperous piece of land they could find. Beyond this, they had no real intent, just roving around wither so ever they pleased. Unlike most vermin bands, Abritha's band was not overly violent. This was due mostly to their leader, Abritha; who, as a unique leader, did not permit bullying or excess cruelty. She would deal out swift, but not ultimately fatal, judgement with her large paws from which she got her title, Abritha Paddlepaw. At the moment, thy were by the river Mos, were they would catch fish, and pick fruit from the surrounding trees and berry bushes.
"Hey, youz! Gimme dat fish!", a thin, wicked looking stoat named Sniggle said, reaching out for a small trout clutched in the claws of a short, chubby rat named Flity.
He squealed copiously as Sniggle's outstretched paw came into contact with his snout, forcefuly.
"Ay, did youz ere me!", said Sniggle as he started throttling Flity, demanding that he give him the fish.
The young rat squealed again, trying to hold outo his fish while defending himself from Sniggle's swinging paw,"Eeeeeeee! Abriiiiii! Help meeeee!", he yelped.
There was a flurry of movement as Abritha ran to the scene of conflict. Bowling Sniggle over, she bent him over her knee spanking his rump unmercifuly with her over-large paws.
"Ooowwww! Ahhhwwwahah!", Sniggle yelped, under the barrage of light blows, showered upon his nether-end by Abritha.
As suddenly as she had started, she stopped. Placing him on the ground, she sat down next to the sobbing stoat, murmuring softly to him, "I warned you afore, Sniggle. Ya can't go about bullyin' an demandin' what ya want. It just 'aint right."
Drawn by the comotion, a group of 12 otters approached the vermin band. All of the otters weilded wooden javelin's, except the lead otter who was know to all as, Skipper Ralden. In appearance, he resembled his crew, wearing a tunic or jerkin of varying color, the only difference being, that he was a full head shorter that the shortest member of his crew, and he toted a large bow that was one and a half times his size. He stood, arrow notched to bow string, a look of interested cautiousness his young face. As far most otters knew, he was the youngest otter ever to be made Skipper, inheriting his posission much earlyer than he normaly woould have. Due to the sad occurance of his fathers death. Ralden made up for his youthful leadership, with his natural silent, disposition. He was not overly-fond of talk, and he had great skills of observation. Even now, he studied the sceen before him, noting the large female rat, standing in front of her band defencively.
I'm sorry to say that I won't be editing this fanfic very much for a while because I am writing a book that I plan on publishing before the year is out. Thank you and please stay in contact so you can see what little edits I do make. Treetyyyye!! (F.F)Mossflower!!