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Cormean the Murdress strode through the long, dry grass that they had pitched camp upon. Fixing her snoring sentry with a baleful eye, she focused her thoughts until they became a beam, into the heart of the vermin's mind. Pushing all her energy into this, she suddenly threw her head to one side, and the unfortunate sentry fell off the spear he had lent on. Ignoring the waking sentry, she strode regally on, on the outside, calm yet cunning, on the inside, her mind churned with desire. Desire for the Abbey they called Redwall. Desire for the unbeatable blade. Desire for a group of vermin that were not as lazy as the trees on a sunny day.
The white stoat strode onwards, kicking awake her crew. They were a motley gang, ferrets, weasels, rats, and even a fox. This particular fox, however, stood half as tall again as a normal fox, and was the Murdress's bodyguard. With fur as red as the legendary tail of Plugg Firetail, and a mind as sharp as his battleaxe, he was the most valuble asset to the crew, and the only vermin ever to suffer from Bloodwrath. Wielding a battleaxe taller than his ruler, he had never been bested in battle. This, however, could not be said for the rest of her crew. They had all been defeated in battle sometime or other, the only one who had not being the aged fox Mackriss, the magician, but he had never fought, so he did not count.
Kicking awake the rest of her crew, Cormean strode down the slight incline to where her old ratcook, Metha, was cooking breakfast.
"Hehehe, yore crew doesn't seem to like the new day. Mayhap they think tha' yore blade's rusty." Suddenly, Metha found the blade she had mentioned under her chin. Cormean smiled.
"Well, friend. Is it?" Metha gurgled, as the gleaming bladepoint pricked her under the chin. Smiling, Cormean leant forward, then released the cook. Setting forth, she found another stoat leaving the woods. She made as if to attack the newcomer, but he smiled disarmingly, whilst slowly drawing his cutlass. Suddenly, with a yell, he bounded forth, and a great swordfight began. They parried and thrust, blocked and slashed. Just as it became obvious to Cormean that the newcomer was getting the better of her, the great axehaft of Morcress came thudding down, knocking the new stoat unconsious.
As they sat down to eat, Cormean was assailed by feelings of doubt. Was this new vermin a true warrior? He certainly was. She was the best sword in the land, but he was something else. If Morcress had not intervened, she could have died. This newcomer was certainly a force to be reckoned with!
Kamon strode onwards. With his pike over his shoulder, and his foodbag packed, the young stoat felt ready to fight an army. His mother's small force had moved northenly, as an army calling themselves the Corpsemakers, led by a young weasel named Ferahgo, had begun pillaging and murdering. So they had been driven north. Captain Fleapaw had sent him off to scout. Him, the Murdress's son! The only heir to Cormean and Larmanon! He almost burst with the indignity of it all. Suddenly, he deflated, seeing tracks leading away to the northwest. Giggling silently, Kamon began to track.
Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle Kamon tracked, keeping his pike low and preparing himself to stab. He could see his targets. Just as he was about to stab, he tumbled into a ditch. Picking himself up from among the ditchmud, he suddenly saw a great building, made of red stone. This must be the fabled Redwall Abbey! With his pike kept low, and a cruel smile plastered upon his face, Kamon crept quietly back to the camp. There was a new horde leader!
"A redstone Abbey? With lots of liddle animals in it? Ha! I think ye've been sleeping of the grog agin, Kamon! Wait 'til your Mum gets 'erUUUUURRRGH!" Cormean's blade was pricking his chin! With a deft motion, she flicked it out and up. The sergeant, thinking he had gained a reprive, tried to explain, but was cut short by the hilt of Cormean's rapidly falling sword.
"Well, Kamon, I take it that all the grog is in his" he poked the gently snoring sergeant none too lightly in the belly "is in that warthog of an oaf." Larmanon, Kamon's father, stood there with a blade in one hand, a foot on the sergeant, and a trembling mouse in the other. Tossing the mouse to Kamon, Larmanon strode off, towards the unfortunate guards that should have been under the fat sergeant's gaze. Kamon, who could not have known that this was in recognition of his excellent scouting, drew his blade and began questioning the unfortunate mouse.
"So, Kamon. What's new?"