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On behalf of Svarlth the Ruthless, the infamous order Black Robes arrives at Mossflower woods on their main mission, to kill the evil champion of Redwall but the leader, Jango de Lay, becomes suspicious when the description does not match what Svarlth had told them. When it's against their rules to kill a good beast and discovers that Svarlth is the bad beast, the Black Robes declare peace with the redwallers to jointly defeat Svarlth and destroy his castle in the mountains to the north.


It was night and the forest was silent. A squirrel sat on a branch and hummed a tune while he studied the path below.

come on, take your bow and shoot.

It's the feeling, when your victim fall.

Going fourth, Black Robes.

Send the vermin to the hellgates and beyond.

Take the time, have a life.

Go to the limit. Time to strike, Black Robes.

The blood will flow, in the heat of battle.

Feel their fear, my brave comrades.

The Black Robes stabs you now.

He fell silent when the sound of chains being dragged to the ground, reached his ears. "Just in time," he said to himself quietly, and with the right paw, he took up the dagger that was in the waist belt.

With one motion he put the dagger in his sleeve so only the blade was visible. The squirrel took a deep breath. The sound became more stronger and the squirrel looked down on the trail. There they came. The slave traders going in a straight line. Three ferrets went in front with the leader in the middle followed by six exhausted and scared beasts in chains. Eight weasels, stoats and rats came in last in two stages with pikes that reached almost the highest tree branches.

The squirrel took one last breath and flung himself away from the branch. The last the slave-leader saw was a squirrel, dressed in a black robe, came crashing towards him. Then everything happened fast. Just when the ferret and the squirrel collided with each other, the air was filled with arrows and the twelve remaining slave-drivers was immediately slain. The slaves threw themselves to the ground and thought the worst. Slave-traders thought about the worse. They never understod what happened.

One more to successful mission. The Black Robes, the Assassin's Order were really ruler of the night.

Chapter 1

The ten members of the order, the Black Robes, had walked a long time and many were exhausted. They had failed in an assassination. An assassination that nearly killed them. When the victim escaped and the guards attacked, they ran for all they were worth. But later they received a mysterious letter. A new assassination that would make them rich.

Glimpse of the first trees caused them to accelerate. The group consisted only of squirrels, all had brown fur and innumerable many scars. Two of them were very young and were apprentices, Trinfy and Garton were siblings. All wore the same clothes, a full black robe with a hood, bow and arrow and a dagger stuck in the belt around the waist. "Finally, trees! Last one there is a fat toad," Garton shouted and started to run.

"Oh, no" his sister said and began to chase him. They were halfway there when an arrow came flying past close their ears and dug into the ground in front of them. Garton and Trinfy stopped immediately and both turned quickly.

The largest and most powerful squirrel approached the siblings. He had a large scar that crossed his face and eyes harder than rock. "How will you ever be good assassins if you just keep on playing? This is a serious and difficult life. You can not just storm a strange place just like that. Looks what happend back at Crush Break Castle. We had him for a minute and one second later, we were running for our lives. Behave yourself now, will ye," he said and grabbed them hard and pushed them back to the others who were waiting at a large stone right in the open.

"We're sorry, Jango. It was just that we were bored and tired of this constant march. And do you see any of Lord Marcroch's soldiers?" Trinfy said as she sat down exhausted in the shadow of the stone. The other members sat around the stone and grinned at the siblings who tried in vain to defend themselves against Jango.

Jango looked sternly at them and shook his head. "What should I do with you two?" Barton and Trinfy looked at the ground and remained silent. Jango patted them lightly on their shoulders and walked away.

"Now then, Jango?" another squirrel asked, sitting on the top of the stone. He was smaller than the others in the group and was the only one with more red than brown fur.

"First, we rest a while, then we continue to the forest where we can stop for the night. How much supplies have we left?" The squirrel, whose name was Dave Orange (because his fur was more orange than red and more red than brown), shook his shoulders and leaned back on the stone. A pebble hit him on his stomach and he got up yawning to see who it was. "Stop sunbathing, we continue now and the next time, answer my question, eh," Jango said standing beneath the stone with a large pebble in his right paw, and raised it as a gesture to throw it.

Dave came immediately on the move and would just jump down when he caught a glimpse of something at the forest edge.

"Jango, we've got company!" he shouted as he began to climb down the stone. Jango turned quickly with a bow at the ready, and put an arrow on the string. The others in the group did the same.

"Turn around if you want to live" Jango said threatingly. From the forest another group had emerged, but this group was much larger and consisted of weasels, stoats and ferrets. They were full of tattoos and was carrying several kinds of terrible weapons, from daggers to chains. They also smelled horrible, and the clothes were more like hanging pieces of cloth. "Think what a squirrel can be cocky, eh. Our Lord still wants yeer heads!" the largest in the group said with a wide, evil locking smile. He was a weasel and was swinging a long rope with interwoven nails.

Jango and his squirrels took a step forward. "You're talking more than fighting, weasel!" Jango said as he pulled the arrow back more to the string. "Can't we just forget this?" Barton asked and his eyes were full of fear. The weasel laughed and the others laughed too. "Our Lord have waited a long time to kill you lot. We want the bounty on ya heads," he said and suddenly attacked Jango. The others laughed and followed into battle.

Chapter 2

Svarlth the ruthless was in good spirit. Not only he had tricked the Black Robes, but also was his castle finished. "What does it matter if a few dozen slaves died," Svarlth thought. He was a considerably large weasel with a black coat and gray patches around the eyes. His favorite weapon was a large hallberd. Seated on his throne, his eyes followed a few slaves who cleaned at a corner of the room. "You there," he spoke to one of the slaves. "Come over here."

The slave was a young ottermaid who was very nervous in her movements. Svarlth leaned back on the throne and drummed his claws on the armrests while he watched the otter. "What is your name?" He asked her. She looked very surprised because the Lord never talked to the slaves. "Fieno, sir," she replied. Svarlth laughed. "And you value life?"

Fieno began more and more scared when Svarlth's black eyes bore into her and panic began to rise inside her.

"Yes, sir," she answered dutifully. Svarlth laughed again and waved mid right paw to the guards at the door. "Get out of my sight" The guards left the room at top speed because they knew what is about to happen. This was always Svarlth in the evenings. More cruel than usual. "Are you afraid of death?" he asked Feion. "N-n-no, sir," she replied stammered. Svarlth laughed again.

"Wrong answer my dear," he said and pulled a concealed lever at the side of the throne. Beneath where Feion was standing the ground opened and she disappeared with a shriek.

Svarlth closed the trapdoor and pointed to another slave. "You there," he said in a stern voice. The slave was a mouse and he approached slowly. "Tell me... are you afraid of death?"

Chapter 3

"Retreat, retreat. Run to the trees!" Jango shouted across the battlefield as he blocked a sword that tried to rip him apart. With a single movement Jango swung his own weapon and beated out the opponent's sword and pierced the beast.

"Jango, Louie is down," Dave shouted in the middle of the pack of enemies. Jango took a quick look around and saw even more weasels approach.

"There is nothing we can do. We must pray for him, come on now. Run!" The Black Robes took to escape and ran as fast as possible towards the forest's edge. "We can make a stand among the trees," Jango called when he ducked a flying spear that pierced into the first tree. "Damn weasels!" Daveb swore. He had taken his position among the lower branches and beated back any enemy who stupid enough, tried to climb up. Arrows came from one direction while the spear came from the opposite direction.

"Trinfy! Whatch out!" Jango shouted. In the middle of the heat of battle, a weasel was approaching Trinfy from behind and prepare himself to pierce the squirrelmaid who was to occupied with charging foes.

Jango voice reached Trinfy and she turned around and looked horrified at the incoming blow. Just as the sword blade was just inches away from her, Dave came out of nowhere and pushed her aside. She watched as the sword went through Dave's stomach and she screamed in horror. The weasel looked pleased and stepped over Dave's limp body and approached Trinfy with a big grin on his face. An arrow through the head stopped his movement and he fell at once of the tree.

Jango ran up to her. "Are you okay?" he asked anxiously. Trinfy threw herself into Jango arms and tears running down her cheeks. "I'm okay but not poor Dave," Jango looked at the limp body of Dave. He sighed deeply.

"There, there. Wipe away the tears now. You're a Black Robe and those aren't crying, just mourning." Trinfy wiped away tears and nodded. Another squirrel came up to them and waving his paws.

"They're pulling back, we have won." Jango looked at him and you could see the sadness in his eyes.

"Yes, but what price Larkwen. We lost two close friends today, Louie and Dave." The squirrel named Larkwen stopped waving his paws and sat down heavily. The other members jumped down. No one was in a good mood. "Wait" Granton cried. "He lives!" He sat crouched next to Dave and had one paw at Dave's left breast. Jango and Trinfy ran over there and both had the hope in their eyes.

"We must get him down on solid ground so that Simi, our healer, can help him," Jango commanded and all three helped to lift Dave down to the ground.

"Will he survive?" Trinfy asked anxiously. Simi, the healer, laughed.

"The damn sword missed every major organ, look" she said and showed. Trinfy saw only blood and she quickly turned his gaze in another direction and cleared her throat.

"It isn't necessary," she said with a low voice. Jango and Simi laughed. "It was not that difficult, right?" her brother asked teasingly.

"Oh, shut up," she replied and shoved him so that he lost his balance and toppled over. Trinfy laughed and ran up to him to help him up.

"How could they know we were here, cousin?" Calrik asked. He was Jango's nearest squirrel and also his cousin. Calrik was always serious and he often looked angry, but deep inside he was more amusing than you could imagine. Jango looked at him in the corner of his eye while he stroked Simi lightly on the shoulder.

"Continue Simi. I want to see him on the legs before the day is over, is that clear?" he said before he went to Calrik.

"Well, it isn't much you desire," she muttered to herself, and laid full of weird leaves and other medical stuff on Dave's stomach and she sighed deeply. "This will really take all day," she thought.

"I know cousin, it is strange. It was as if they knew exactly where we were. We're getting lazy at erase our tracks. But how could we miss that lot?" Jango asked his cousin. Calrik shook his head.

"Not likely. We Black Robes are known to be quiet and difficult to detect, even during the day but it was a mistake to rest on the open field and something gave us away." "You mean... a traitor?" "possible." Jango nodded and stretched one arm while he was thinking. "Yes, you're right but most likely it is that we are becoming too comfy. Don't ya think?"

"Well, probably," Calrik answered short and walked away. Jango shook his shoulders. So did always Calrik. Although it was in the middle of a conversation, he could just walk away.

It was late evening and the members had made a camp among the branches while Jango, Simi and Dave, who was still unconscious, was on the ground

"Yet another scar to my collection, he, he. Oaaihoaiaiaiai!" Dave had woken up and felt the pain. Simi ran up to him as he lay there with a big tree root for a pillow. She spoke rudely as she forced Dave to open his mouth and swallow some disgusting, revolting medicine.

"Oh, take it as a male, your pampered, overfed, humorless toad,"

Dave coughed and cleared his throat. "Help me, she is both poisoning me and insulting me. What should a poor wounded creature do? Ai" Simi was ear-file him between the ears and threw a glance at him that could kill. She looked accusingly against Jango who smiled broadly.

"The next time you give me an beast that needs care, otherwise it is you who will get all the medicine, neither if you're is sick or not." Jango smile was reduced substantially until it became a serious face again. Even the leader knew that arguing with Simi was the same as fighting, without weapons, against adders.

"So, my friends and Simi. How did the battle end, eh? Probably we lost if Simi is still here... uh, I think it is great to see that you survived ... uh, yes" Simi snorted and climbed the tree until she disappeared among the leaves, still cursing the brazen orange squirrel on the ground.

"Isn't she just absolutely won'erful" Dave whispered to Jango with a dreamy look. Jango nodded and leaned down to fall asleep quickly. To listen to Dave on a evening is something you would rather not do.

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