Salamandastron – Born Anew
Book One: A Fallen Badger
Abbot Walter had never been one for games, but this was a special occasion, it was the end of the Four Seasons War. For the past four seasons a cruel horde of ferrets, weasels, and stoats headed by the despicable war lord, Hugo Spikefur had been attacking the abbey. He is, or rather was, a greedy, selfish, yet very cunning ferret. He had made his first appearance last summer when he marched his entire horde of 10 score up the path coming from the southern lands. He had them lined up in front of the abbey armed to the teeth with spears and bow and arrows. He then ordered the abbey’s immediate surrender of he would murder all of the creatures inside. There was a silence when a thwang! Immerged from his horde, one of his beasts accidently fired an arrow over the wall tops and it slayed our foremole, Zinkly. After that a full out war broke out and it went on non stop for three straight nights. Eventually he retreated but that was not the end of him. For the next four seasons he continually attacked the abbey until one of our young otters, Pitsy (Skipper Radon’s daughter) was visited by Martin in a dream and she was chosen to be the next hero of the abbey! One summer’s eve she went out to meet Spikefur in battle and they raged against each other until one lucky swipe with Martin’s sword took off his head. Immediately a cheer broke out from the abbey and a scream of terror was emitted from Hugo’s remaining horde. (3 score died over the winter and we managed to kill 4 score). The otter crew along with badger mum Melody went down to the path and slew the remaining vermin. The feast was remarkable. With every kind of pasty imaginable, plus a pot of hot root soup so large ¼ of it could have filled the abbey pond! Though, the rejoicing did not last very long at all. 1 week after the death of Hugo Spikefur a runner from Salamandastron told us that Lord Glennonpaw was ill and dying and that the Redwall champion, along with the Badger mum and skipper of otters was to go back to the mountain with him. And so they departed but they knew little of what they were going to discover.
Skipper was feeling restless and very much wanted to break camp “How much father to the mountain is it, Sarge?” Sarge was not by any means in a good mood today. “Well I suppose that’s depends on how fast you bloomin’ duffers march now doesen’t it, wot wot?” At this point Melody intervened. “Now, Sarge there is no need for that kind of talk. What has gotton into you lately you seem a little tense?” A harsh wind blew and the campfire flickered for just a moment. Sarge straightened out and his ears went stiff. “We have to march. Now!” Within a minute the fire was put out, the supplies were packed up and the four travelers were on their way again. This time it was Pitsy who, besides Sarge, was the fastest runner, said something to the tense hare. “Really, Sarge I don’t understand what you are so scared of. I have the sword of Martin, you’re the best boxing hare to ever inhabit Salamandastron since Mad Maudie, we have a Badger Lady three times the size of anybeast, and a skipper of otters whom no one would fancy meeting in a dark forest. So really what is the matter?” “Okay gang here’s the truth. A long time ago when I was just a new recruit to the jolly old Long Patrol me and old Col. Sanders were out to keep an eye on a gang of sand lizards that were said to vanish with the sands. No one who had ever seen them could give us any other description besides that one. Well Lord Glennonpaw wanted to find out exactly what was happening so we were sent to investigate. So were sittin’ there by the dunes havin our supper, the Col. and me, and a wind blew as the fire flickered just as it did then. Within a moment we were surrounded by the beasts. They said all they wanted was our supplies and we would be just blinkin’ fine. But ya see the problem with that was have ye ever heard of a beast robbing the Long Patrol? Ha, I think not. So the Col. takes his stand and they draw blades and we’re forced to fight. The Col. took down 10 of them in the first minute but then a huge gust came blowing sand from the dunes all over the place I was blinded momentarily and when my sight was functioning again all that was left around me was a pile of sand where every lizard was standing and then I saw the Col., dead with a spear through his middle. Ever since then them dunes just make me totally jumpy and a tad bit, sour. So I apologize friends for snappin atcha like I did.” There was a momentary silence then Melody broke the tension. “Not at all, we had no idea of your friend’s death and it is us who should apologize to you… Now shall we go one I can see the mountain in the distance?” “Jolly good idea, wot! Very well spoken, marm. On with the jolly march then. Lord Glennonpaw will be expecting us before long.” By mid-afternoon the four travelers were at Salamandastron.