Disclaimer: I do not own the Redwall series. All familiar characters you see are owned by Brian Jacques; some characters may share a name from one of Mr. Jacques' characters.
All characters unrecognizable are owned by yours truly.
I never thought that I would spend my day lying about the dormitories, thinking of ways to say this. Though I have never planned this until now, it all became quite easy to jot down onto this parchment, that you were so lucky to find on this summer day.
I was born in the infirmary to my caring mother and father, who raised me to be the mousemaid of Redwall Abbey, who helped to care for our Abbot. And who also aided Mother Turin in any manner. Becoming the official Bellringer became an important role in my daily habits, but to be honest-- I would never care to live like that again.
Listening to the stories of our past Redwall Warriors just prove that vermin arrive from all corners of Mossflower. And, you may say that I am too young to be saying things such as this; but, I pay attention to warriors such as Dandin, or even Martin. He soon realized his own destiny, and so have I.
Vermin haven't shown their pierced and scarred faces for so many years, but even the oldest of Abbot's can realize that something is going to happen. May we hold back until it happens, or take down the smallest of forces before they can reach us at our Abbey's walls. Mossflower may be drooling with vermin, but would we know it by spending our time with Namesday and endless celebrations?
In this letter, I leave no apologies, for I have stolen Mr. Roglerm's finest kitchen knives; a few bars of Mother Turin's mint-root soap; and perhaps three loaves of bread from the kitchens.
Don't worry though, the bread was turning stale; it would have broken the dibbun's teeth out.
Out of everybeast there, I suggest that Logus take my place as Bellringer. He's taller than me anyways.
Dearest hope for the future. ~Tolly Undermeen
Part 1: Hear Of His Reign...
There had been this constant pecking noise just above Tolly's head; a noise she might have heard in the black void that was unconsciousness, or hopefully the noise wasn't actually real.
The aching pain in her rear-end, however, was very real.
With a moan of discomfort and fatigue, the mouse finally forced her crusted eyes to open just a inch, before opening them fully to adjust to the dim light. Much brighter sun rays were hidden behind a thick forest canopy of leaves, vines, and branches, shielding the mouse of whatever sunburn she could have gotten in this position.
Tolly craned her head to the left, and nearly had a prickly tree branch poke her in the eye. Twisting her head and neck to the right, Tolly took notice of the old tree that stood no more than six feet away from her.
Now, I could climb it, she wondered to herself, It could help me get my barrings-
Tolly gave a small gasp, wiggled her arms and began kicking her legs; the mouse finally had full notice of the actual position she was in, just by looking up.
Or what she had thought was up.
She was high up in a tree, just like the one that stood beside her, hanging upside down; only with her tail keeping her from a deadly fall below. The delicate knot was tight and secure, and the weight of her body had caused the ache in her bottom, and perhaps the same reason why she could no longer feel her tail.
Tolly grunted as she hoisted herself up, pawing at the knot keeping her to the branch. "Oh, of all the bloody things that could have happened-- this." Having hooked a leg across the branch, the mouse began to untie herself, not noticing the dark shadows to past over head.
"Oi, t' deadweight is awake, crwak!'
The branch shuddered dangerously as a raven, as black as the night, perched its self on it. Tolly screamed when her leg unhooked from its safe place, and she flailed her arms to grab another hold on the branch.
The raven leaned in towards the mouse with interest, and clocked its head sideways when Tolly ferociously swung at his beak with a growl.
Long talons hesitatingly got closer to her side of the branch, but they stopped when the mouse pounded a fist against the tree limb. "'top that, or you're goin' to 'ake the entir' tree fall, deadweight!"
"Don' call her deadweight, she isn't'a dead!" a second bird arrived, this one nearly socking the other with its wing. This one had landed on the other side of Tolly, and the branch dangled lower than it had before under the added weight. "Loo' at the mad look on this un'! Senslock has it's works!"
Senslock! Of course! That's what they had given her. A leaf as green as a fresh apple during harvesting, but the poison douses the senses, leaving you asleep for hours; giving it its name, senslock. But... birds? How did a couple of lunatic ravens manage to feed her senslock, and tie her in a tree by her own tail?
And there was that blasted pecking noise again!
Tolly glanced up the tree beside her, only to find yet another raven pecking away at a rope bound to the tree. At the end of that rope hung a brown sack, looking positively beaten and ready to rip open.
"My things!" Tolly growled, just angered at the fact that a raven was trying to get into her belongings, "Don't you mess with my stuff, you feathered vermin!"
The raven stopped its attempt to break through the rope, and opened his cracked beak. "Well, some beast got to get it down. Don't you wann'um back?"
Wait... was this bird actually offering to help her?"
Tolly was unnerved by her own question, but still pointed an accusing finger at the feathered creature. "You serve me senslock and tie me and my things up a tree! Why should I even consider your help, as if I would accept it?!"
"Crawk! Deadweight 'hinks we tie' her up, that's a good'un!" the first of the birds then turned to the other, "Mezlak, wh' don't you get her down a'ready befo' the Goloons show up?"
And with that, Mezlak began to peck at the knot in Tolly's tail, ignoring her shouts of protest and her swinging fists.
The raven pecking away at her belongings gave a final tug at the strings, and Tolly heard her sword clattering against other items as it fell past her head. The bag's fall was intercepted by Clozks, who left Tolly dangling on her branch, with Mezlak at her tail.
"Squawk! Yes yes, an' w'en you fell from the tree, wailin'n'kickin' as if we wer' to 'et ya die, it twas myself 'ho caugh' ya." Mezlak opened his wings to their full width in front of Tolly, who sat across from her on the forest floor. He held his beak up high in front of the maiden, expecting his glory to be recognized with praise and applause.
But to his dismay and shock, Tolly merely stood, turned on heel in the other direction, and sat back down.
She had been bandaging up her tail, which was cut and scraped, due to it being tied to the bark. Her clothing was in no better condition, because of Mezlak's sharp talons when he saved her from a fatal fall. Tolly felt no graduated towards the raven, and apologies were never in her category.
Tolly heard the flutter of wings behind her back, and the creaking of a tree branch. Mezlak had left her on the ground, and took refuge in the tree near her.
"I never did like birds," she whispered, rummaging through her sack for whatever was left. It had been ransacked, her most important supplies taken by whomever the Goloons were. The only things left were her bandages, her bolas, and a kitchen knife.
Tolly always kept track of who owned her, and now these Goloons were on her list: They owned her food, a skin of lake water, and her gifts she gained front her travels; and she wanted them back.
"Clozks! Or one of you birds--get down here!"
The raven with the cracked beak appeared at her side, the one who had been freed her sack of belongings from it's high perch in the tree. Tolly noted how bigger he was compared to Clozks or Mezlak, and his battle scar across his beak served proof that he is older than the other two.
Also, she had yet to learn his name.
As if the bird could read minds, he held his beak up high and spoke in heavy voice. "Gorbill, lady-mouse." He tipped the upper portion of his body briefly, almost appearing to bow before Tolly in respect.
She ignored it. "Who are these Goloons your leader keeps talking about?"
He breathed inward, and when he released his breathe, it sounded like a hiss. "Clozks is no leader to me, lady-mouse. Young'uns may be able to undergo more battles than their elders, but we all know who are the wiser 'uns."
"Yet, that didn't answer any of my questions."
He gave another hissing sigh. "Come. We 'ill speak elsewher'a." More genitally than Mezlak had grabbed Tolly during her fall, Gorbill lifted Tolly by her shoulders. The pair were soon above the forest canopy, and Tolly swung her head this way and that.
She knew this place.
She knew it before she even saw the sandy-red structure behind them as they flew.
And that castle-like structure could only be Redwall Abbey.
Tolly's kitchen knife couldn't handle anymore of the ruthless beatings. The wooden handle snapped and the blade was left quivering in the bark of a tree, only a hair's length of where she had aimed. Gorbill watched her from above, his eyes solemn in this understanding way Tolly couldn't bare to look at.
That brainless-daggerpicked-cracked beak moron! she screamed in her head, It's not true! The nerve of him!
Gorbill had spent the night with Tolly, and watched her as she paced back and forth in this uncontrollable rage. He pronounced it as bloodwrath, but Gorbill also considered the fact that she couldn't face the truth of the situation.
"It'sa the truth lady-mouse." the bird murmured, turning his head to where the great Abbey stood. "Ever'thin 've said to ye 's -".
Tolly turned on him, eyes blazing with fury. "Redwall Abbey could never fall to the paws of a- a.." the young warrior struggled to find the words. "To a paws of a vermin! Such as you! You and your fake Goloons!"
Gorbill huffed and stood up straighter, his wings flapping wildly to equal Tolly's anger. "Don' eva compare I t' that'a of a Goloon!" The bird spoke with a loud voice and his beak was held up high in defense for himself.
"Why so? They aren't even real! Enough with the jokes already!" the mouse screamed. It was a wonder Mezlak and Clozks never appeared to wonder what the issue was.
Either that, or they were already there, watching the darkness that surrounded Tolly and Gorbill.
"Wha jokes, lady-mouse?! Redwall Abbey has'a fallen t' th' claws of Horrendous Hizfial!" Gorbill declared this with a strong stance and a solid beat of his wings. "Scourge 'f Mossflowe-"
Tolly held her ears to the side of her head, "Enough! 't's not real!"
(SO sorry. Have to leave the computer. I'll continue the update soon.)