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The Tale of Joseph the Weasel

Chatper one

This entry was written in the ships log as follows; Now I'm aboard The Barranca, our ship. Captain Olaf the weasel is a fine captain, the spice traders did not resist, now that we have acquired such a fine vessel, we have set sail to pursuit other lands and to find a better life, but I however have other plans, I wish to conquer Redwall, it was their warriors who marooned us on the island in the first place, a friend of mine, Timsought, the rat, wishes to join me on my conquest. Olaf wishes to drop us off where we wish to be, except for the mountain of Salamandastron, he thinks the residents there will mistake us for searats, and weasels wouldn't be allowed there either, and I respect Olaf's decision, he is somewhat of a mentor for me, he says when he's done helping us, that he would make a ferry service, I hope he succeeds with that dream. As for me, I shall make the warlord who lives at Redwall suffer, along with his people. -Joseph

Joseph stood right next to Captain Olaf. Olaf was steering the ship, he had got used to the feel of it. Back at the island Olaf was a tavern keeper, he had made friends was many of the farmers. When the spice trader woodlanders came, he convinced them to surrender the ship peace fully. During the first days of the voyage, creatures not skilled in this field were panicking about the bilge water, one young fox evened cried, "the ships takin' water, we're all going to drown!" then more beasts started to join in the chaos, Olaf then led them through by educating them on what he did know about ships. soon thanks to his leader ship, they started to calm down. Olaf spoke to Joseph, "right matey, we're nearin' Mossflower country, so get yer friend, Timgummy, or something to get yerselves ready to go, we'll be there in about two days, one if the wind allows it,"

The young weasel smiled at Olaf, "thank you captain, I'll get ready,"

Joseph went trotting down to his cabin in the ship, that he shared with Timsought. Joseph entered his cabin laughing. But Timsought was asleep on the top bunk of the bed,

"Timsought!" Joseph cheered in glee, happy to tell his friend of the good news, "wake up!"

Timsought, startled by this sudden loud noise, tumbled out of the bed and into the hard wood floor. "Ouch!!" the young rat cried, rubbing his forehead, "what did you have to wake me up for, it better be something important, and I was having the most wonderful dream, I was eating an entire mountain of scones, pasties, and crystallized fruits."

the mention of food made Joseph's mouth water, all they had on the ship to eat and drink was, seaweed grog, mush, and gruel. Joseph quickly changed the subject, "no I woke you up to tell you that we are nearing Mossflower territory, we'll be there in about two days."

Timsought's eyes widened, "really, I can't wait until we get to land, Joseph is anyone else joining us?"

Joseph nodded his head, "no, everyone who wants to land in Mossflower wants to see if the land is more fertile to cultivate there."

Timsought got up, brushing his fur from the dust he had gotten from the fall, "oh well we'll make our horde, you'll see."

Joseph smiled, "I wonder, what we'll call it, maybe the Woodlander Slayers."

Timsought disagreed, "naw we should call it something vile like the Slayers from Dark Forest."

Joseph liked that idea so they stuck with it. They went outside of their cabin to see an other friend of theirs named Leon.

Leon was a young fox, he loved to read any tomes he could find, but there were very few in Sampetra, so he had decided to go to Mossflower, he had met Joseph on the ship. Leon was a very skinny and weak creature he could not wield a sword or throw a javelin, but it did not matter to him, because he hated fighting, but Joseph kept on trying to convince him into joining him to attack Redwall, but he always refused as politely as possible.

Leon stood in his cabin, wearing multiple heavy layers of robes, he often got cold, even in the summer, which was the current season. Joseph came into the room, as quietly as possible, as not to startle Leon. Leon eyed them, somewhat confused as why they were now in his room.

"ummm," Joseph began to clear his throat, "hi Leon, would you like to reconsider joining us in our battle for conquest of Redwall, you may not be a good fighter, but you would make an excellent tactician, so what do you say!"

Leon answered politely , "no thank you, I do not wish to harm a creature directly, or indirectly by giving orders to other beasts to harm any creature, you must understand me."

Timsought, face turned a little red with anger, but he remained calm.

Joseph spoke, "I respect what you are doing, good day."

Joseph left the cabin, with Timsought following him,.

Timsought spoke to Joseph while walking to their own cabin, "can you believe that little snot, he thinks that the whole fight that marooned us was nothing, bah, let him read those stupid parchments of his, I don't care, when he's old I'll bet his brains will be so big that his head will explode!"

Joseph smiled at the picture in his head, but he kept a stern face, "now, now Timsought, we have to respect his choice,"

Timsought frowned, "sorry, I just got up set, c'mon maybe we can drink some seaweed grog if we go into the kitchen now."

Joseph thought that this was a good idea so they headed straight for the kitchen. Olaf was now in the kitchen, some appointed some other beast to steer for now, he saw Joseph and Timsought running into the room, "whoa there mateys what are you doin' 'ere so early, brekkist isn't here for one more hour, but I'm just getting a quick drink, after all the captain needs to have a drink every once in a while."

Timsought smiled, " cap'n can we please drink with you right now, just this once."

Olaf's mouth creaked into a small, kind smile, "sure you two rascals can drink with me, one little drink won't hurt," Olaf ordered two more drinks. when the drinks did come, Timsought and Joseph drank it, while listening to Olaf telling them about the tales his grandfather, a corsair, told him while he was young. after the drinks were finished and Olaf's tale ended, Joseph and Timsought felt sleepy, the grog had that effect on many beasts especially young ones, they groggily dragged them selves too bed, and fell asleep for a considerable amount of time.

the next morning when the light of dawn creaked thoughout the bright blue summer sky, and the silent breath of wind was faintly exhaling, Timsought and Joseph woke up,

captain Olaf was giving orders, "Hurry laddies, we're here in Mossflower, if anybeast wants to go there they should right now!"

Joseph and Timsought quickly got out of bed and went out of the ship and into their first steps into Mossflower. Timsought had packed provisions for the trip into Mossflower woods, they said their farewells to Olaf and his crew, and went into the woods.

after navigating for hours in the woods they found the red sandstone abbey.

"ah, there it is," Joseph said, puffing out his chest, "Redwall, beatiful, isn't it, soon it will be ours."

"let's go inside," Timsought said "surely they won't think that us two travelers, can't take over the abbey, while inside, we can make note of there weak spots in their defenses."

"good idea" Joseph said.

they soon headed towards the abbey, when they were in view the Skipper of Otters, called to them from the top of the battlements, "oi, who goes there?"

Joseph answered, "only us two lonely travelers, who only wish to have some food and shelter."

the Skipper held a spear, "begone vermin, we don't tolorate your kind here, make one step further, and you'll find this spear in your neck."

then a mouse, old and gray came to the top of the battlements, "Skipper," he said to the otter, "do be kind, this is a place for peace, not war, and there very young, please open the gates and let them in."

Skipper groaned, and signilad the gate keeper to open the gate. the gate creaked open wit a loud groan from the old hinges. Joseph and Timsought went inside, all the beasts in the abbey looked at them stangely as if they had never seen a weasel and a rat before.

The Skipper had a glare in his eyes whe he approached them and said, "hello welcome to Redwall" obviously, the Skipper did not like them.

"hi " said a young frindly otter ,"my names Danbuck what's yours?"

"Joseph," Joseph said quietly

"Timsought," Timsought said without much emotion

"would you like me to give you a tour around the abbey?" Danbuck asked

"Sure," Joseph said with false enthuseasem, "I would love to"

"me too" Timsought pitched in.

Danbuck showed them all of the abbey, the infarmary, Great Hall, and Martin the Warrior's tapeststry, Joseph liked the look of the mouse warrior, kind yet fierce eyes were on his face, but chills ran up Joseph's spine when he saw all of the weasels, stoats, ferrets, rats, and foxes fleeing him, then Danbuck showed them the beekeepers area, Joseph loved honey, he had only had it once when he was an infant, he was begining to actaully like this place, and Danbuck seemed very nice, not like they had expected. but Timsought was too busy noting the deffenses, and his attack plan to notice this....

Chapter two

The next morning, Joseph and Timsought awoke, they had rested on the warm feather beds in the infirmary last night. They both dressed and went outside of the infirmary, when they opened the door they saw the angry face of Skipper,

Skipper spoke to them in low, mean sounding voice, "I don't know what you two are doing here, but I warn ye, if you do anythin' suspicious then, You'll find yourselves on an end of a sharpened pike, do you understand, vermin?"

Joseph nodded his head, "yes sir, I understand, but I don't know why you would think we would attack the abbey."

Skipper's face turned even angrier, "bah get out of my sight, before I end up skewering you now!"

Joseph and Timsought quickly got out of the angry otter's sight . they ran to the orchard in the abbey. There they saw Danbuck, with some friends of his,

"hi there," Danbuck said, "my friends and I were planning on having a picnic outside of the abbey, would you two like to join us?"

just when Joseph and Timsought were about to answer an adult female mouse came, "Danbuck, I think that would is a wonderful thing to do, by inviting them to our picnic, thank you by being so kind to them, so would you two like to go with us,"

"yes!" Joseph said, jumping up and down in joy, "I would love to!"

Timsought looked at Joseph and whispered, "Joseph what are you doing, did you already forget about our plans?"

Joseph whispered back to Timsought, "I'm sorry, I just, thought, "

Timsought interrupted him, "no, you were not thinking, well not about our plan anyway, just about you having fun with these woodlanders, oh well maybe we can use this to our advantage, it will make the Redwallers trust us more, maybe even that angry otter,"

The mouse asked again, "so do you both want to join or not?" Timsought spoke for Joseph this time, "yes, we both wish to join you, just tell me, is anyone else coming?" The mouse answered, "just me, Danbuck, and a few dibbuns, that's all,"

"sister Mary," Danbuck said to the mouse, "you can go round up the dibbuns, Joseph, Timsought and I will stay here with the food,"

Sister Mary left to gather up the dibbuns, which could take a while depending on how well they were behaving.

Danbuck tried to begin a conversation with Joseph and Timsought, "so are you two friends?"

"yes " Joseph answered, ,"we're friends, we've know each other for a long time, do you have any friends Danbuck?"

Danbuck answered, laughing, "everyone in the abbey is a friend of mine mate, soon they'll begin to make friends with you, some of them are just a bit nervous, most of them haven't seen a weasel or a rat, except when they try to attack the abbey, then we see plenty of them, but after a while we win and they flee, but usually the fights are very bloody, especially for the enemy, have any of you heard about when corsairs, from the island Sampetra came with these huge cannibal lizards, and kidnapped the abbot, some say that a ferret named Romsca rescued him from the lizards when they were on a ship, then when Martin, not THE Martin, but almost just as good, attacked the island and stranded the corsairs there, ah yes, many said it was a fine fight, and it's very good that we will never see them again,"

Timsought and Joseph felt a sudden surge of anger, but they did not show it, then sister Mary arrived with a small pack of abbey babes behind her,

"all right," she said "let's go,"

the dibbuns cheered loudly, "YAAAY!!!!!"

The gates opened , and the small group went outside, Danbuck held the basket of food and Joseph and Timsought, walked next to him. the dibbuns were loud and noisy , but sister Mary managed to get them to behave when they got to the area where they put the picnic blanket on. When sister Mary looked in the basked she was shocked to see that she had forgotten to put berries in it for the dibbuns, "Danbuck, Joseph, will you two look around for some fruits and berries, I'm sure there is a bush around nearrby ." Joseph and Danbuck went and searched for the bush, after a few minutes of fruitless searching , Danbuck spoke to Joseph, "Joseph, we should split up, I'll look around this area, you can look in the woods, a little bit, maybe we can find it there." Joseph thought this was a good idea, and agreed with him. Joseph went in Mossflower woods, it was a little dark in there, but fine with him, some bushes nearby, rattled,

"w-who's there?" he asked ,startled.

no answer.

the bushes rattled again. This time Joseph crept closly to the bushes, he moved the bushes uncovering an adult weasel, wearing primitive dyes on his fur,

"what are you doing here," Joseph said to the weasel

"ssshhhhhh" the weasel shushed, pulling him closer, "keep down, I think I saw an otter, I wonder if it's him."

"what?" Joseph asked, confused, "who?"

"the Skipper," the weasel said with hatred in his voice, then he spoke again with a diffrent topic, "hello, my names Khemsyt, I'm a balled writer, but no one cares to listen to them, only one week ago, my wife, Natasha , a seer , were traveling here, there we met an otter, Skipper was his name, my wife offered to palm read him, he accepted, Natasha then predicted, something tragic would happen to him in the next season, the Skipper did not take this very well, he stabbed my wife in the heart with a spear, but after she fell to the ground, she got up, she then charged at the otter, clawing him visouly, in a few minutes though she just fell, maybe it was the loss of blood, or something, and the Skipper was at her mercy when she did, the Skipper, then kicked her corpse, he had some terrible wounds. I ran off, hoping he would not kill me too, then I vowed that I would kill him, if the time comes, but I'm not young, but you are, here tale this knife, it was Natasha's, but she would be glad if someone were to use it to avenge her."

Khemsyt gave him a golden, evil looking knife.

"please do this for me, do this for her, please us weasels need to fight together, to win, "

Joseph tokk the knife, and hid it in his tunic,

"good," Khemsyt said, "now go, maybe we shall meet again." Khemsyt ran off, deeper in the woods

Joseph heard Danbuck calling him, "Joseph, I found it come here!"

Joseph followed his voice and when he saw Danbuck they began to pick berries, soon when they had picked enough they went to give it to the others, when the picnic was finished every one went back into the abbey, Joseph and Timsought went back into their room, Joseph told every thing he heard from Khemsyt, and handed Timsought the knife,

Timsought smiled, "it looks like we have a knew ally on our side, maybe even our first horde member, good work, but I think your going soft, please let me keep the knife, I'll use it properly, but even if you are going soft, don't join in with the woodlanders, know who you're real ally is, me."

they planned their assault until it becoame dark and went to sleep.

Chapter three

Timsought and Joseph had been planning all, night, Joseph just wanted to sleep. But Timsought said that they should raid the kitchens of knives, or any weapon like objects, and leave, to build their own massive horde.

Sleepily Joseph accepted the plan.

Silently the two young vermin entered the kitchens, no one was awake. Timsought opened the drawers and took out a nasty looking cleaver, he handed it to Joseph. Joseph took the cleaver. Timsought fould a razor sharp potatoe peeler, thinking it would be a good throwing weapon he kept it for himself. They both stuffed some sacks full of provisions from the cuboards. Joseph accidently knocked a bag of grains and oats, off the selves, it loudly slumped to the floor

"Shhhh" Timsought hissed.

"I'm sorry," Joseph said frowning.

The young rat accidently elbowed a glass jar off the counter, the sound of the crash could be heard all throughout the Abbey.

They heard someone approaching the kitchen door. As it slowly slid opened Timsought readied his throwing "knife".

"Who's there?" asked a sleepy sounding voice, "Come on out dibbuns, Father Abbot is going to be very cross."

The door, now opened, reavealed Sister Mary wearing a nightgown, she gasped at the sight of the two vermin.

Timsought hurled his weapon at the unsuspecting mouse with deadly accuracy, the potatoe peeler dug it self in her throat, she fell over dead.

"You killed her!" Joseph exclaimed, "She was just an innocent mouse, not a soldier and you killed her!"

"It was either her or us." Timsought sneered, "preferably her, now hurry, before the gatekeeper awakes, we need to get out of here!"

Joseph, saddened by the innocent bloodshed did not move, "I- I don't know," he said crying, "These beasts were kind to us, they didn't even know who we were, and just because of something that happened countless seasons ago, we murdered an innocent beast, I don't think I can go on, I just-"

"Look here!" Timsought said angrily, "They killed our people, they marooned us on that island, and they burned our ships, they are our enemy! Who would you rather be with, me, or the people who we just killed one of?"

Joseph saw Timsought's logic and followed him out of the kichens and into the gate area, no one was around and they lifted the gates. Then left into Mossflower Woods,

Joseph stopped and said, "I'm leaving, I'm not going to make a horde."

Timsought turned around, "What, you can't just leave! You idiot, you are going to join them aren't you, well fine, try to, they'll just kill you after they see the mouse's corpse, and if you escape them, you will be my enemy, bah get out of my sight before I decide to kill you for treason!"

Joseph ran, not to Redwall but into an other direction of Mossflower Woods. He had messed up his only chance of becoming an abbey dweller, or becoming a warlord with his best friend Timsought, but, he did not care for conquest anymore, no he just wanted a new life. Like what captain Olaf was going to do. No more murdering, no more innocents dying, no Redwall, just himself, making his own life.

But Timsought went on, to become the great warlord he imagined himself, to conquer Redwall abbey, and no one, not even Joseph could stop him, Joseph couldn't even hold an oar, for rowing, much less a weapon. Joseph was weak, and he was strong.

In the abbey Skipper saw the dead corpse of Mary, he cursed out, "I swear to Hellgates that you two vermin, will die before my sword, slowly and painfully!"

Danbuck spoke to Skipper, "And I will be at your side, to avenge my friend."

Skipper patted the young otter's head ,"Yes my son, a can almost see them screaming out usless cries for mercy, bleeding on the ground, finally slain by our hands, vermin are evil, and we need to rid this evil, once, and for all."

"Yes father," Danbuck smiled.

Mean while Joseph ran and ran throughout the dark, unforgiving woods, he tripped and stumbled over and over. Thin tree branches sliced his arms and legs, but he thought he deserved it.

Running, endlessly running, until he could not run anymore, he fell, exhuasted, he looked up at the sky, he saw dawn break, he had been running for so long. He colasped, and slept.

His dreams were invaded by the faces of woodlanders screaming, the noise of blood spilling on the ground, the laughing of a triumphent warlord.

He awoke, sweating, but, he noticed that he was not in the same spot of where he slept. A hare, wearing a uniform, with many medals on it was in the room.

"Wakened? Eh laddie, fine morning 'tis it is, I'm Forbal, Woulddropple, Copperworth, but you can just call me Forbal, so young laddie, who are you?"

Joseph told his name, and of his horrific tale, the hare nodded,

"I beleive you laddie buck, you are not a cruel vermin, nay I know of others who are like you, tis would be a wise choice if you joined our group of mercinaries, we've rescued plenty of innocencents and we even helped Salamandastron fight off corsairs before, twould will be an honourable deed if you joined us, wot wot!"

Joseph now realised he had been given a second chance, a new life, a better life, he gladly accepted .

The hare smiled, "Good, now you may call me captain from now on, because I'm the leader of this group, now, you don't seem like a good fighter, I know some one who can train you. Zimul, come here!"

A tall, weaselwearing a beret, entered the tent, his eyes shined a bright blue, much like Joseph's.

"What is it?" the weasel asked.

Captain Forbal answered, "This young laddie has just joined our group, I want you to train him to be a honourable fighter, I believe he will be more comfortable training with you."

"Yes captain," the weasel answered, "Come on young pup, we have a lot of work to do."

"Yes sir," Joseph saluted, folling the weasel out of the tent, to embark on training.

The Tale of Joseph the Weasel chapter four, redemption

Eight long seasons had passed, Joseph was trained to be an expert fencer by the weasel mercenary Jean De les Fenceria, but Joseph was also trained to be a farmer, a helper of the weak, a scholar, and a sailor. His training was now complete. But still, Joseph felt that something was not right, he believed that he was not yet redeemed. Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth, urged him to forgive himself for his misdeeds, but inside of Joseph his evils, slowly ate him away, he did not feel right, he was never truly happy. Some days this was hardly noticeable, but others, it was terrible how sad he was, and no one could cheer him up.

There he was, Joseph all alone in his tent, the grim hearted mercenary silently watched the ceiling of his tent bend with the winds of night. Then someone entered the tent, Joseph recognized him instantly it was Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth his commander.

"I welcome ze commander," he said, with his new accent he had picked up from Jean De Les Fenceria, "how are you? I've been just silently waiting here, as sleep is so fortunate to avoid me."

"Joseph," Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth, said, "I have some bad news for ya sah, your trainer, has suddenly taken an illness, I'm sorry but, I doubt he will recover."

"What!?" Joseph shouted, "he can't get zick, its impossible, he's the strongest mercenary to ever live, he can't it just isn't possible!"

"I'm sorry," Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth said with sadness in his voice, "He's getting old, very old, it was bound to happen some day, but there is good news, he want to see you, right away."

Joseph followed his commander to Jean De Les Fenceria's tent, inside was the weasel mercenary, old, wrinkled and covered with blankets to keep him warm,

"Hello zere young pup," he said with a weak smile, seeing his pupil ,"don't wear such a zad face, my time has come, and a new must rise up in my place, and that beast shall be you,"

Joseph crouched over the laying mercenary, "Me? but why, I am very unworthy of such a promotion, please give it to someone else who is not tainted like I"

"Look at me," the old fencer raised an old wrinkled hand, "You are a kind beast, not of evil, I cannot imagine a better zuccsessor zen you, I am no zaint either, I have committed many foul crimes, just as you have, but just like you, I found some one who cared about me here, although she is long gone, I still remember her face, she was not a weasel like you or me, no, she was not a 'vermin' she was a woodlander, she was a squirrel, a very kind one, she taught me how to use a sword for good, not evil, Joseph, although many beasts will zcorn you for your zpecies, but you will know in your heart zat you are good," he coughed and hacked for a bit then resumed talking, "I'm sorry, but my time has come, please remember what I have told you, when I am gone, you may go now,"

Joseph bowed to his master and left, tears rolled down his cheeks and onto his tunic

"You okay sah?" Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth asked him

"Yes," Joseph said sternly "I'm fine, just-"

"I know how ya feel sah," Forbal said reassuring him by putting an arm on his shoulder, "come now, we have to get ready for tomorrow...."

The Tale of Joseph the Weasel, chapter 5 Salamandston

Joseph, wakened from his sleep in his tent, he had sleeped hardly at all, he put his tunic, and beret on, and put his rapier at his belt, and exited the small tent. There he saw Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth, conversing with a Long Patrol hare, the hare, had some injuries, a cut foot paw, a broken arm, which was now wrapped in a sling, Joseph approached Forbal.

“Is zomething wrong zir?”

Forbal turned around, “Sorry, I didn’t see you there laddie, its seems this poor fellow’s troop were massacared by a horde of vermin, we just buried the bodies.”

The Long Patrol hare eyed Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth, “You trust this weasel?”

“Of course I bally do!” Forbal exclaimed, “then why would I be talking to the lad, he’s a master fencer, taught by one of our best mercinaries, now, how many vermin were in the horde you say?”

“Two score,” The hare answered, “but I believe it was just a scouting party, they killed all ten of my troop, but we fought bravly, slaying half of the rotten blighters, they retreated, then, I found that I was the only person in my party left alive.”

“Our group now consists of five score, I believe you should be save hear.” Forbal said, “you may rest here, when needed, we shall give you a tent of your own, but, if you believe you and all of Salamadastron requires our help, we shall assist you when needed,”

the hare turned to Joseph, eyed him, then turned back to Forbal, “Is their anymore like him, me I personally don’t trust vermin, and I don’t want a group of vermin protecting OUR mountain, but if their is just one or two in your group, I think our lord shall accept your help.”

“You talk out of fear,” Forbal said, “for you fear those unlike you woodlanders, I am a hare, and I accept them, but be as it may, I shall tell you, that we only have three ‘vermin’ with us right now, Joseph, as you have seen, his mentor, and our ship maker, a rat named Vespal, he is friendly, and not part of our military, he is just the ship maker and cook, thats all, oh and I forgot to ask you name.”

“I’m top marshel Balgurret Von Brigtier, second in command,” the hare answered,

“We shall go to Salamandastron, it won’t take long, probaly a day’s march, nothing more,” Forbal said

“Zo zis will be my first mission, zir?” Joseph asked his commander,

“Yes,” Forbal said, “and please eat, you are getting so skinny, you need to eat more, and a little sleep would help too.”

“Nay zir,” Joseph said, “a chivarous beast always allows others to eat first, and zat is what I shall do, I sure for Honour, Chivarly, Duty, Truth, and Justice, zat is why I fight, never shall ze wretched enemy lay a hand on ze innocent, I shall be zeir protector, and I’ll shall protect zem with my life, and with my rapier I shall cut down ze foul enemy, ridding zem from Mossflower.”

The Tale of Joseph the Weasel chapter 6 the Plan for the First Battle of Salamandastron,

Later that day, Forbal, Balgurret, and Joseph, themselves went to the very mountain of Salamandastron, Joseph, saw some vermin tents off in the distance, but they were quite far away, the tents numbered in the thousands. Two Long Patrol hare guards allowed the three of them in, but they eyed Joseph suspiciously. The mountain, of course was very large, but the inside, for some reason seemed even larger. The group were quickly escorted to the Badger Lord's dinning hall.

The Badger Lord, was a beast of much size, even for a badger, he like many of his species had some what of a dark mask of fur, he was clad in armour so heavy that Joseph and Forbal together, probably could not carry even if they tried lifting it together. The Badger Lord's name was Blackstripe the Berserk, because, he like many lords before him, had a severe case of Bloodlust.

Blackstripe was frightened to see a weasel entering his dinning room, he was just about to strike Joseph, with his giant spear, while Joseph was just entering the room, but then he saw Balgurret with him, and stopped before he could do the deed, luckily, no one saw what he was about to do.

"Why do you dare bring a vermin to my dinning hall, Bulgurret, you know they are not to be trusted,"

"I do say, you Badgers always stereotype things," Forbal said entering the room, "yes most weasels are bad, I can see that, but Joseph is the opposite, and I would like you to treat him as such,"

The Badger Lord grumbled to himself, and sat on a huge dinning chair. "So what brings you here, your not a Long Patrol hare, that's to be certain, so who are you?"

"I am Forbal Woulddropple Copperworth, a mercenary leader sire," The hare introduced himself, "now I see you are having trouble with some 'vermin' and the horde seems quite large, much larger then your force, I might add, and I have come to help you sir, no pay, just hospitality is in order."

"and who is the weasel?" the badger asked with a harsh tone when he said the word 'weasel' like it was a curse.

"I am Joseph," Joseph bowed politely, taking off his berret, "at your service."

"Fine, well, I guess, we can trust him, a little," The Badger Lord sighed, "he seems kind enough, not like those terrible imitators, like that one, Ferahgo's son, aye, he was a rascal, enough talk about this, what battle plan do you suggest Sir Forbal?"

"I believe, you should leave half of your troops as a defense force for the mountain, while the rest can join with our army, and attack the main body of there horde, they probably won't put up much a fight, numbers can be easily put aside with our skill, and Joseph here can infiltrate their camp and kill any high ranking captains, soon they will be forced to surrender."

"Hmmm." Blackstripe began to speak, "That is a good plan, but do you think, that such a young, vermin should be trusted with such a dangerous mission, plus, he would probably would just show that he truly is a vermin, and tell them our plan."

"Good sir," Joseph said, "I have no intention of betraying you, and if I were too, you would soon kill me no doubt, and why would I join such rabble as they?"

Blackstripe grumbled, "Okay, fine, I trust you, but be aware, if you do anything, ANYTHING that I dub suspicious, I will have you taken away and let my troops use you for target practice."

"As you wish," Joseph bowed, and left the room.

Joseph's heart was filled with sadness, every time he wished to help some one, they would treat him as an evil beast, a rotten 'vermin', once, quite a bit ago, during his first mission, when he was 18 seasons old, he had to rescue, this vole mother and her child, from a local bandit rat, chivalrously, he wounded the rat, and stood upon the stretched out brigand, with both feet, the vole mother seemed horrified, and had a hidden knife, she scratched her daring rescuer on his belly, Joseph fled quickly, the mother, fled, with her child, and the rat did nothing, he had blacked out, Joseph returned to the scene, the rat after a few minutes got up, much to his dismay, he saw Joseph's elegant figure, right in front of him.

"Please don't kill me!" the rat had cried, "I swear, I won't do it again, I promise sir!"

"I have no thought of slaying you, but, of course, if I see you again, doing such a barbaric act, I'll slay you on the spot, you remember that now."

"I will sir." the rat said, beginning to run off, "I will!"

Joseph almost never killed beasts, he had, in some missions, but not often, in fact, some vermin that he spared, even stopped attacking others, but very, very, very few did that.

Now, Joseph was in Salamadastron, he wanted to help Blackstripe, but he was resistant, even when a Long Patrol soldier passed by, the eyed him with hate, he was now in a mountain, surrounded with those who hated him.

Now, back at Redwall, Skipper had finished training his son, to kill the weasel whom killed his friend, Danbuck was now a burly otter, so powerful, that even his father could not beat him while they sparred. Danbuck decided, it was time, to go, to leave Redwall, and slay the vermin, who had caused such an evil murder. The Abbot, tried to stop him, but Danbuck left any way, there was nothing that could stop him, nothing, if a thousand vermin were following the orders of that foul weasel, and were ordered to kill him, Danbuck would slay them all.

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