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Book 1: A Quest Begins
Book 2: Crystalizing Ice
Book 3: Call of the Mountain
There is a thing that seems to be a cruel taskmaster over all of us, a thing that no one can fight and defeat. It's name is one we all know. Destiny. Some say your destiny controls you. Does it really? Or do we control it? Or is it some of both?
Now, once, not so long ago, there lived two foxes, two squirrels, a hare, a badger, and a horse. What did all these creatures have in common? They all would fight a battle with destiny. The question is, who would prevail?
There will be one,
seventh son of a seventh son,
With the brand of fire upon him.
And there will be one,
First child of an only son,
With the whiles of ice in her whim.
The soft light of evening was falling over the North Mountains as a young fox maid sat in a chair outside her home. Her breath froze a frosty cloud in the air as she stared at the majesty around her.
"Winta!" She turned to see her tiny brother behind her.
Winter chuckled. "What is it you young scamp?"
The little fox tugged on his sister's dress. "Me wanna a story Winta!"
Winter scooped him up. "A story eh Ronny? What kind?"
Ronny, whose full name was Ronska, snuggled into his sisters shoulder. "A long, long one!"
Winter looked thoughtful. "A long story? I think I know just such a tale."
She sat back down, with Ronny in her lap.
"It wasn't so long ago, that there was much unrest. The far north where we live, it was untouched, although it might not have stayed that way. For far away in the southwest, there was an evil warlord. His name was Ferahgo the Assassin, and he was determined to rule the entire world."
"All of it?" Ronny broke in.
Winter smiled. "Yes Ronny, all of it. But there were two things that opposed his terrible plan. The good abbey of Redwall, and the mighty fortress of Salamandastron. Ferahgo decided to make war against the mountain stronghold, for if Salamandastron fell, Redwall would have no help."
Ronny's eyes were wide. "Then he was bad?"
Winter nodded. "Yes, he was very, very bad. So bad you could barely imagine it. But you see, there was still hope. For there were many beasts who hated and feared Ferahgo. Including beasts in his own horde ..."
Chapter 1 Knives of an Assassin
The wind was cold as it blew around three young foxes seated around the dying embers a small campfire. One was red furred, like a normal fox, but his two companions were blue gray.
The youngest one, a female of about six seasons snuggled under the older blue gray fox's tattered cloak. "Azul, when will daddy get back?"
Azul, who might have been as old as fifteen seasons, wrapped her cloak around her sister. "I don't know Blue. I don't know."
The red fox, who was around seventeen, put his old hat on Blue's head. "Indigo'll get back Blue. Your fathers a smart one."
Azul smiled at him. "Thanks Ronza."
Ronza squeezed her paw. "Hey, don't get worried Azul. I'll watch out for you two til your dad get's back."
Azul laughed softly. "I'm not helpless myself, oh great hero."
The three creatures brightened up a bit, until Blue asked. "Azul, what if daddy gets caught?"
Azul sighed. "I don't know sweetie, but whatever happens, I'll never let anything happen to you."
Blue closed her eyes, tired. Azul and Ronza shared a worried glance over her head, for they both knew the punishment for what her father was doing.
Ferahgo was a lean, brown weasel with sparkling blue eyes. He stood in his tent, his back to a kneeling blue fox whose paws were bound.
"So you thought you could defy me Indigo?"
Indigo snapped. "I may have failed, but the spirit that possessed me will posses others. You are a tyrant, and beasts will always oppose your tyranny!"
Ferahgo whirled around, a smile in his blue eyes. "Not after they see what happens to you and your loved ones. Fear will make them submit."
The weasel sneered. "You should never have tried to revolt, Indigo. And now you will see your daughters die before your eyes."
Indigo choked down his horror as Ferahgo licked a skinning knife. "After they see this, my horde will never oppose me again."
He turned to a young weasel behind him. "Go bring me Indigo's daughters Klitch."
The assassin smiled wickedly. "We have work to do."
Ronza stared blankly out into the woods, staunching the trickle of blood from a wound on his shoulder.
He shuddered, thinking of the horror his two friends must be going through. Klitch and three of his cohorts had taken Azul and Blue, and given Ronza the gash that constantly reminded him of the terror in Azul's eyes as she had been dragged away.
Ronza blinked back tears. Poor Azul. Azul was his best friend. His only friend. And now ..
The young fox sobbed. Now she was as good as dead.
Ronza sat by the embers of the fire, his eyes red from crying and lack of sleep. All of a sudden, two of Ferahgo's soldiers approached, dragging something in between them. They threw Azul next to Ronza, and one snarled,
"Remember what you've seen fox. So it is with all who defy Ferahgo."
Azul did not move, she sat perfectly still were she had fallen, her long head fur hiding her eyes.
Ronza put a comforting paw around her shoulders, whispering. "How .. I thought .."
Azul looked up, her blue eyes dull. "They .. He .. killed Blue. That wicked, heartless excuse for a creature. They made me watch .. and then father too .." She burst into tears, unable to hold them in.
Ronza could think of nothing to say.
"I'm sorry Azul." he whispered.
"I'm so sorry."
Chapter 2 Ice of Hate
In the season following her father and sister's deaths, Azul changed. She had been happy, thriving despite the hardships of Ferahgo's horde. But this was true no longer. Now she was reclusive and short tempered. She ate little, slept less, and barely talked at all.
Despite her obvious seclusion, Ronza knew his friend was planning something. He constantly worried about her, although he said nothing.
Azul was indeed planning something. At this moment, she sat in the shadow of a large tree, conversing quietly with a young pine marten.
"When will we be ready Martes?"
Martes, the pine marten stated, "Bout the time winter sets in. Crystals been finding out where the horde stands, and it's promising. We might get a hundred or so."
Azul nodded. "And you're sure you know a place we can hide?"
Martes pulled out a battered map, pointing toward a northern mountain range. "Right here. Ferahgo won't follow us up the North Mountains, he'd be a fool to try."
Azul ground her teeth. Her hatred for Ferahgo grew everyday, and she knew she could no longer stay in his horde. She stroked her chin.
"Martes, why would Ferahgo not go up the North Mountains?"
Martes looked rather grim. "They are the coldest mountains I have ever heard of. With a horde this size, Ferahgo would loose many to the sheer temperatures."
Azul nodded slowly. "I see. Well all our followers shall know the danger, and I think a lot would rather freeze then serve our master."
Martes sighed. "You're right. I know I would."
He shook his head. "We're fools to even try this."
Azul clenched her paws and teeth together at the same time.
"Then call us fools"
TBC~ Sayna High Queen of Mossflower 02:53, November 6, 2014 (UTC)