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Slitbane

So after Meeka made the Klitchette thingy on the Redwall Wars Wikia, I found my Klitchette's story so intruiging that I decided to make a fanfic out of it.  It's sort of like a companion to The Bellmaker and Salamandastron, and I'm letting other users in this, so sign on my user page if you want to be in it.  Thanks, and I hope you like!

Also...

DO NOT ASK FOR MORE.

Prologue

Chaos.  Screams.  Clashing of weapons.  My dear friend, Klitch, vanishing in the fray.  His father, the Assassin, crushed by that great badger lord, supposedly killed.  Vermin charging into the fire mountain, to take it by force, being fought back by hares; perilous mountain hares screaming...you-lay-lee, or something.  The horde...they're all falling down around me.  There is searing pain...all over my body... it's all going dark...or is it just me...

Chest heaving and blood dripping from the wounds she had attained, the female ermine soldier grunted and pushed aside the vermin carcasses that were weighing her down.  Gasping for breath, she stood up and glanced around at the mass of dead bodies and weapons strewn across the floor.  The scent of blood was heavy on the air, silence after the battle prevailed.  This was what was left of the once-great vermin horde, the Corpsemakers of Ferahgo.  

She picked her way through the scene of carnage, searching for an exit.  A lance of pain caused her to lurch and clutch at her side, where a gash extended from her collarbone to her hip.  She knelt down and tried to make sense of what had just happened.  One minute they were charging into the fortress, the next they had fallen into a trap, hares closing in from all sides. 

Twitching, she saw an exit, an opening in the back, and summoned her last reserves of strength to stand up and make her way towards it. 

Once she was out in the open air, she continued to walk woozily down to the shore, weapon swinging loosely in paw.  She had barely made ten steps when she collapsed on the sand, splashing facedown in the shallows.

***

She came to her senses, slowly, slowly, like a babe opening his eyes to the world for the first time.  She was lying down on something, and when she opened her eyes, she was in a comfortably dim place and the air smelt of herbs and incense.

A hooded figure loomed over her, and the scent of herbs wafted even stronger now.  The figure lit a candle, illuminating its features.  It was an old vixen, a seer, she presumed.  The vixen placed the candle in a cup and set it down beside her, then put her paw in a bowl then scooped some herbs out, which she slathered on her patient's forehead.

"Those will cool your head." she explained in a soft, gritty voice.  "You survived a fatal wound, my dear."

The ermine shook.  Trembling, she managed to speak. "W-Who are you?"

The vixen smiled a crooked, almost motherly smile and put down the bowl.  "I, my child, am Lilac the vixen, healer, seer, storyteller all in one.  I found you, almost being dragged away by the waves of the sea.  You were unconscious, but you might as well have been dead, your lifeblood was staining the sands and billowing out into the waters.  I must say, you are strong, and very lucky to be alive."

The patient straightened up.  She felt renewed, like she could take on the world once more.  "Thank you for saving my life, Lilac.  My name's..."

Lilac cut her off.  "Althyana Slitbane, the third.  I have heard of you, and your namesakes.  You're from a very powerful family, don't you know.  You are a soldier in that weasel's horde, yes?"

Althyana was shocked.  "Um, yes...well, I was...cause they're all slain now, I think only I am left."

Lilac nodded.  "Indeed, the Slitbanes are a strong race, it is  hard to kill one.  Would you like to hear of your ancestors, child?  How they shaped your character?"

Althyana was intruiged now.  She faced the vixen.  "Why, of course, mis Lilac."

Lilac stood up and sat on the cot beside Althyana, and began the story.

Book One: On to Southsward

Chapter the First

Across the perpetually turbulent depths of the Great Northern Sea, screaming gales and icy waters thrashed and pummeled the only three vessels to ever cross the violent expanse of water.  Heading south from the Land of Ice and Snow the ships, commandeered by a foxwolf and his mate, along with a crew of around five hundred rats, were aiming for warmer regions than the frozen land they had known all their lives.  Some of the crew were ill and disenheartened by the perilous voyage, but knowing the ruthlessness of their leader no one had dared raise a dispute about it.

Below the decks of the head vessel, on piles of sodden straw, a small group of ermine stowaways lay groaning every time the ship lurched or was hit by a wave.  One of them, a sturdy male, picked himself up and staggered groggily to his mate, who sat nursing their newborn babe.  The mate turned her tired blue eyes upon him, then spoke in a hoarse whisper.

"I doubt we'll last through this trip, Skye.  We've dealt with enough hardships on that wasteland, we didn't need to face a greater peril like this wretched sea."

Skye sighed and ruffled his mate's headfur.  "Don't say that, Althyana.  Think about it; warmer climes, abundant greens, clear skies...it would be a wonderful place to grow out our seasons, far away from ole Urgan and his mate, that vixen Silver something or other.  Wouldn't ye think so?"

Althyana didn't reply, she looked down at her suckling babe then back up at Skye.   She closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder.  "I'm too tired to go further." she moaned.

Skye wouldn't give in to this.  "Nonsense, Althyana.  Think of the babe, growing up in a better place than where we came from."

Althyana slowly opened her eyes, then gazed at the bundle in her arms.  "Little Storm, would I go on for you?" she thought.  "Will this voyage be worth it all?"

Not waiting for an answer from her inner voices, she yawned and rested her head on Skye's lap.  Within minutes she was asleep.

And the eternal storm continued to rage outside, pushing the ships onward towards seemingly warmer climes.

***

Althyana barely seemed to regain her strength after the birth of her child.  All day (or was it night?  One could never tell, with the wrath of the eternal storms.) she would lie in the pile of straw, nursing Storm and taking light naps.  Skye was risking the safety of the stowaways, sneaking onto deck and stealing foodstuffs from the kitchens to feed his mate and the other ermine.

Urgan Nagru, the Foxwolf, stood silenty at the bridge of the head ship, eyes slitted against the harsh icy winds which whipped his wolfskin clothing about violently.  He fixated his gaze on the turbulent waters ahead, into the grayed horizon which showed no signs of land.  They had been ploughing the seas for seasons, and apparently they would be for more seasons to come.

His thoughts were interrupted by one of the crewbeasts, a gray rat, stepping onto the bridge beside his master.

Urgan averted his eyes from the sea to his crewrat.  "What?"

The rat bowed shakily and said, "Sir, we are missing provisions.  I just spoke to the cook, and she reported theft.  Theft onboard the ship, sir!"

Urgan spun around, incredulous, eyes blazing. "Theft? On my ship?!" he bellowed. "This is preposterous! Nobeast steals from the Foxwolf and gets away with it." To the rat, he commanded, "Assign guards in every possible place on this vessel, all day and all night. Catch that thief, bring him to me. Understood?"

The rat bobbed his head in a nod and scurried off to spread the word on the ship. Afterwards, scores of rats combed the ship endlessly, tirelessly, searching for the culprit.

Silvamord, the Foxwolf's mate, lounged leisurely in her cabin, pondering over Urgan's


A/N:Yeah...pardon me if anything on Urgan's personality is wrong(which is probably is), I haven't read The Bellmaker in a while...

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