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Dewlen stared hard into the eagle's eyes, his sabre raised. The huge golden eyes stared back, unblinking.
"I've told ye befor, I chave not seen nor cheard of thiz place! Kaawwwwwrr!" Harque exclaimed. The Wildcat's sabre prodded one of the golden eagle's wings. The fresh green grass below seemed to shiver with fright along with the rest of its neighbours. The trees swayed calmly from side to side, their old and ancient trunks planted firmly in the moist earth below. They had witnessed many wild battles and terrible murders in their long lifetime.
"Then how come you, who have sqawked with seagulls and albatrosses, not heard of a giant slab of rock where hedgehogs dwel?!"
The wildcat's plan was to lay seige on Balius Island, and use it to fulfill many of his dreams. The Mossflower woods around them were far much of a give-away, not to mention to be protected by Redwall! He knew of other such islands, none of which were to his liking. He prodded the eagle's wing again, harder.
"Okee, okee, I'll try and remember...err...why yez! There waz thiz one time whe-" "Oh never mind! Stop beatin' round the bush! Well?" for a second, Harque looked rather taken aback by the wildcat's interuption, then reality soon came into play. "It'z a seazon away from Salamandaztrom!"
Dewlen stiffened. An army of hares and a bloodwrath-possesed badger was the last thing he needed! Rather carelessly, he cut the ropes binding the eagle with a a few slashes of his sabre.
"Hawkclaw! Get over here!" A guilty looking fox emerged from behind one of the trees, in full knowledge of what his leader could do under such a mood.
"Y..yes, Dewlen?" he stamered. The wildcat spread a dangerous smile across his face and sat down, fiddling with his sharp sabre.
"Oh, you know, just bring the rest of the group here, I have a few announcements to make." he said without looking from his favourite toy. Hawkclaw nodded and then bolted to get the rest.
"Ahhoy, mateys, group meeting!" The fifteen warriors muttered darkly and cursed under their breath as they approached Dewlen who was by now, standing on a rotting log. All fell silent but the natural woodland tune humming through the still air.
"Now, friends, I have been informed by this eagle" he pointed to Harque "That our destination is near Salamandastrom! This means that I am merging you all together to become one. That means trackers and Bowbeats, bowbeasts and Swordbeast, and all the rest. Hawkclaw, you are to chose a companion and guard the campsite, we don't need another attack of those tree-scum!"
There were worried glances as well as challenging ones, most seemed upset at their leader's decision to merge them together. All were skilled and learned beasts, trained in the art of slaying, but none were as such as Dewlen, the Fearless.
He left his "helpers" alone to discuss the issue. During the time of their stay, they had been sleeping in a mole's borrow. The mole wasn't easy to slay, had a warlike spirit unlike most of his kind. Dewlen regretted killing the old beast, but his father's words soon stepped in: to show compassion or sympathy is to show surrender and mercy. What a fool his father had been! Dewlen entered the borrow and sat himself down on a comfortable arm-chair, starring into the ashes of the dead fire. He lay his light sabre on his lap, paws still on the hilt. A season's wade into the ocean from Salamandastrom?! Even the Abbey of Redwall was a safer route to take! The wildcat soon fell into a deep slumber, unaware of a molemaiden in the room.
Jaylein lay shivering under the bed, but not because of the cold; in fact, she didn't even notice the freezeing level of air, she was shivering under the presence of the one who had slain her strong husband. Their two children had escaped, but only narrowly, she was grateful for the young vermins' stupidity and inexperience that had been guarding and searching. She would make her move when she was sure the beast they called Dewlen was asleep, then she'd escape through their emergancy tunnel which led closer to their grandparents' house, therefore, Redwall. Suddenly, one of the vermin came into the cold room, she was carrying wood and blanckets and...a white badger cub! No, it was like a cat, only with black rosettes and a long, bushy striped tail. It's ears were round and small, it's paws large. She could see it's eyes, instantly, she knew it was born for battle; but was it vermin? She pricked her ears for more.
"Grrr! Why did you wake me...where did you find this, Lamirria?"
"Oh, Dewlen, we found it in other vermin paws!" shuddered Lamirria, clearly surprised to find her leader a light sleeper. Dewlen suddenly got up and strolled toward the big cub, returning to Lamirria with a confused expression.
"Where are these vermin? I need to see them, NOW!" he stuck his sabre into the wooden table beside him, leaving it vibrating from side to side on with the point stuck into the oak wood. He lashed his tail from side to side and twitched his whiskers.
"Oh, and Lamirria, pick a bowbeast and a swordbeast, go track these vermin!"
"Errr...Dewlen, my master...we already have them here, Gravstoot and another are guarding them. There are three of them. All with maces. Arrr...they request t-" her nervous speech was broken by a loud screach from outside. Dewlen rushed out of the mole-house. The old golden eagle was flapping his wings like mad, trying to brake the chain to his feet and talons. The beak was skimming swiftly through the air, Dewlen noticed Gravstoot and his companions were shuffling and not looking at him. He also noticed that the prisoners were gone! He turned accusingly at the ferret, Gravstoot and reached for his belt. He realised his sabre was still in the mole-house.
"Get the trackers and search! I want those vermin found and brought back alive!" he spat. The poor ferret ran around and picked out certain vermin, amid the screeching Harque, although he had stopped flapping. The end result were two rats and a fox, all well prepared. Dewlen nodded his approval.
"Good, you have your trackers, now set off!" The chosen ducked down and sniffed, nodding at eachother as if they caught something already. Dewlen reached forward and grabbed the fox and thrust him to the ground.
"The tracks go that way, fool!" he pointed with his claws to their right. The group scrambled over to the direction their leader had pointed out. Dewlen growled under his breath, longing to sink his claws into flesh once more. He would sometimes get the sensation, and he suddenly thought of a bright idea. If he could teach the cub the ways of vermin, he would be unstoppable. He entered the mole-house but found the cub gone, along with his sabre. There was a hole in the wall behind the cuboard door which was slightly ajar. Something had been here.
Jaylein crawled as fast as she could with the baby in one of her huge digging paws. She was surprised at the length of the journey so far, she remembered making a short and quick escape tunnel. Maybe it was just her motherly instincts again. The plump molewife would stop every few paces to send out her keen senses to the underground world around them. Meanwhile, the large cub was playing with Dewlen's sabre, staring at his reflection from the ice cold steel. Despite all this, it felt quite comfortable with the new toy. Jaylein had not noticed some peculiar tings about this cub: it seemed perfectly at home in the cold conditions, if not slightly hot, it also had a great liking for cold rocks. Jaylein also didn't notice a peice of old paper attached to the ceiling.
Lord Fawny Rawk looked into the gentle pool of water. Bloodwrath had taken its toll over the great Badgerlord, Joolia, a tribe of vermin, had attacked Salamdastrom, with no luck that is. Fawny's hares knew well to keep away from him in such a state, only that stoat and her tribe didn't. Fawny sighed, he knew a good essence of ancestry would brighten him up. Heaving himself out of the refreshing pool, he grabbed a large towel and dried himself. He thought of his well known ancestors, Brocktree, Barkstripe, Bluestripe, Stonepaw, Cregga, Sunstripe; all related to himself. Even though some were orphans and not of royal blood, they were all Badgers, kin in other words. Yes, a good old dip of ancestory would help him of course.
Lord Fawny Rawk let his giant paw scour the carving. His eyes were on the tapestry of past Badgerlords, all had their name planted on it. Fawny could not help but be facinated by Lady Cregga Rose eyes, one of the only female badgers to have ruled Salamandastrom. She had suffered a mighty case of Bloodwrath also but it had left her when she was blinded. All badgerlords knew of her tale, both as ruler and as badgermother of Redwall. Rawk could not help but feel proud of sharing certain issues and appearances as his favourite hero, bloddwrath included.
(To be continued)
May Streamdog 18:58, April 29, 2011 (UTC)