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'The First Days of War' - 1530

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I find that now that it is summer, the Starcraft 2 icon is attracting me more than the Microsoft Word 2007 icon is. I hope that I can can find some time and motivation to work on Chapter 5 and working with this new language takes a while for a single sentence. first I have to check my congegation, research words and fit these words together with my own translation. Sorry.

Redwall Abbey has gone through a troubled past since 1493 when Luddy Jackson 'Tod- Wutter' lay siege on the Abbey and much has changed since the past. Darius van Strauvenn got quite angry at vermin activity and decided to establish the Shoktt system and now hundreds of unreformed vermin are locked up there today. Throughout this time of recovery, the different species had begun separating among themselves into much more distinct groups in what seemed to be the uniting of each race. And now from the north came a group of mice with its own native tongue and distinctive accent. They established a base north-east of Redwall Abbey and were continually sending messages to and from their parent colony in the far north-east. As a sudden uniting between the vermin groups become imminent, the Redwallers seek extra protection and support of the Corphans as warfare begins to emerge between the woodlanders and vermin. Such warfare continues on as an early arms race comes into place until peace is restored through time...

Somehow, since I didn't plan out my story as well as i could have. I have intentions on rewriting the first chapters and taking more time to space out the ideas and make the story have a more gradual effect since I find that I would run out of ideas and skip to another idea. Thus instead I should plan each chapter and character and keep a a better schedule on when I should write. Thus each night I will take some more time to think about the different event of each chapter, plan the order of event and then write it down and revise each chapter. Thus I will be adding a few more characters and I will be revising each chapter and adding some more so that each idea will be introduced gradually.

Prologue

Now 'tis spring in Redwall Abbey, our beloved home where we welcome all honest-hearted being to abide in. Our past has been filled with so many great events of triumph and sorrow yet we have always been happy in this great home. The beings of this land have been learning new things about this world we live in and never has their curiosity been so great. Trading systems are more common, much larger civilized communities have been erected and new values have been placed. At once we called all good vermin dead, but now comes a good vermin that doesn't have to be destroyed and punished for what he has done. The Early Courtesy had eventually taken place for all vermin who 'weren't' like the others but wanted to no longer be judged by their ancestors but by who they are now; changed. Many beings who had once been part of those old vermin bands that would ravage the land with no mercy against those who could not protect themselves have now learned better of themselves and have joined the E.C. to gain a better reputation and be able to be trusted by those which their ancestors murdered. Somehow I have a feeling that this land will all come to its own peace, where there is no prejudice to the other species where everyone is equal, ...a place without hate, a land where war is but the forgotten past, where nobody thinks bad of the other, where doing wrong is thought through before it is done, where justice is 'just' and where the descendant of your fathers slayer is now your friend; changed. Our Abbot is preparing a feast and our new clock at the South Gable has been ticking away for 27 years now letting us know what time it is and when bed-time will be coming. Here we are all happy and are at peace with each other and our environment. Also, the invention of the printing press has brought us much good; now we have had all of our documents copied down and have been put into new hard-bound books. So now may you excuse me as I go and close those windows. Ah, now that's nice and that will keep my papers from flyin' away, now let me present to you my story, the story of the fine ol' days and the changes that took place in the known places in Mossflower. Now here I begin...

Brother Matthew, Recorder of Redwall, 1557

~ 'Twas a windy night that day and the a northern breeze had been making its way past the walls into his study in the gatehouse and had been blowing around most of his papers. He didn't only want to close the windows to avoid losing his documents, but he couldn't stand the raging sound of cannon fire. He went back to work on his record; his composition of his past age and the many events that had taken place in and around Redwall Abbey.


Book One: In the name of the Vaulkstag we rise!

Chapter 1

A soft spring breeze came from the west and blew at the newborn plants as the last signs of winter disappeared. Redwall Abbey stood proud in the sky-line of the flatlands, seen by all that abided around the place. Inside the red stone walls of the abbey stirred the many Redwallers that were preparing for the arrival of a seemingly important beast. Squirrels and other able-bodied beast carried 3 yard long wooden poles to a location at South Gable and began binding these poles into a tall scaffold. Abbot Marven trundled off to the construction site donned in his favoured habit and greeted Brother Matthew who greeted him with a happy tone, "Good afternoon Father Abbot, how's the work on the crane goin'?" "Aye, those squirrels have erected that crane quite fast and should be ready to pick up some of those heavy components that Tokkus will be bringing in. Now we better more work done since we promised Tokkus and his crew that we would have the scaffold ready for him." "Well, the otter are goin' fast at cutting those poles and those squirrels have never worked with such sincerity in their excitement for the new clock. All we'll have to do is fasten the platforms and prepare some ladders." "Alright, as long as we break any promises to some good-beasts." Abbot Marven continued his way to the construction site and consulted with the engineers that were conducting the work on the scaffold.

The scaffold consisted of many wooden poles that were bound together into a structure that stretched over the roof of Great Hall and allow them to bring up all of the equipment and components to the front of the South Gable. The cranes were erected with large shaved logs and stone anchors which held it in place. The bases of the cranes were also attached to the main scaffold and were attached to the sides of the Abbey walls and its connection to the scaffolding was essential to travel around the construction site. Other procedures in the installation of the clock included the creation of a hole inside the Tower and the mounting of the large gears and components that would function in the clock. Tokkus would bring with him on large trolleys the large brass and iron parts and even a new bell for the hammer and gong. About a week ago, Tokkus had come to overview his plans with the elders of the Abbey and how he was going to have the clock installed. He had also surveyed the area under the roof which was supporting the gable and came to a conclusion that the supports there would be strong enough to take the added weight of the clock.

Marven stepped onto a pulley elevator and gestured to Henry to release the weight. A gear ratio mechanism moved into action as the rising platform slowly rose up until the Abbot gestured him to lock the weight in place. Marven stepped off of the rising platform and continued his way on the plank-covered scaffolding to talk with Brother Barry who was hammering some anchor-lines to the scaffolding. Brother Barry noticed the presence of his Abbot and abandoned his work to give him his report. "Well, Father Abbot, the scaffolding has nearly been completed and Herald says that all we 'narceine heartwood/have to do is get it anchored and finish the scaffold's platforms. We're expecting Tokkus to arrive here by tomorrow and he'll be bringing his wife over to stay while he is conducting the construction." "Ok, so how's Samuel with the south crane?" "Oh, he's doing well. Soon the cranes will be ready for operation and should be able to handle the large gears he'll be bringing. Tokkus will be happy to begin installation right when he gets here. Ok, goodbye to you. I just got to get these anchor-lines fastened." Marven dismissed himself from the area and proceeded to Herald, a reformed ferret of the Early Courtesy who was leading a group of Redwallers who were working on the scaffolding around the gable. Ever since 1497, the Early Courtesy had been trying to prove that not all beings of the vermin species are bad. All of the members of this group were simply beings of the vermin race which lived their lives as goodbeasts and no longer wished to be judged by the ancestors. Tokkus was also a member of the E.C. which mostly occupied Northern Township. He and (James) Tokkus had been working together as clockmakers and came to be working on the clock that was to be installed in South Gable.

Marven climbed a series of stairs and ladders to the high location on the South Gable scaffolding where Herald was over-viewing the current work on the scaffolding. The truss-shaped framework was now completely planked with wood and was nearly structurally strong enough to hold the weight of the pieces. He wiped sweat from his brow and greeted the Abbot who was standing and over-looking the view of the whole structure. "Hallo there, how do you like our work, eh?" "Why 'tis quite magnificent for just a framework. So you say that the rest of the scaffold should be finished tomorrow when Tokkus will be coming, right?" "Aye, just a bit more work on the scaffold bindings and the platform. Plus I'll need to explain how to operate these cranes that Tokkus designed for such construction." "Alright then, 'tis good were nearly finished."

~

By the end of that day, the scaffold was nearly finished. The night sky was trickled with bright stars which were dominated by the April full moon and all the Redwaller were gathered in Cavern Hole for supper. Abbot Marven sat himself on his chair in front of the main table and waited for the Redwallers to calm down. Eventually, the Redwallers quit their chattering and looked attentively and waited for their Abbot to say the grace. Marven finally stood up and recited a bunch of words which he put together in subject to the current day's events:

Here we gather beings of Redwall,

Toilers of work and construction;

In great preparation for our new clock,

We in our excitement shall feast.

Thank you beings of Redwall for your dedicated work;

And let us then give thanks for our food that our cooks have cooked for us with their loving hands.

Here we are, united woodlanders;

Beings of peace and welfare.

Now that our day is ended, let us dine happily,

Here in the Abbey of Redwall.

Abbot Marven finished his speech and sat down to give the evening announcement. "Today has been a good day and we have accomplished much work with the help of our conductors, Herald, Samuel and Derron. The cranes have been erected, the scaffold has nearly been finished and it will be ready by tomorrow when Tokkus arrives with his clock components. I know that we are all excited about the new clock but yet we still have much more work to do before the clock will be fully operational. Anyways, let us bring in food so that we may sup."

Friar Maige, Brother Berly and four Abbeybeast came in from the kitchen with trolleys full of the Abbey's most famous recipes. The trolleys were loaded with fresh-baked scones, fruit trifles, barley cakes, mushroom pastries, Skipper's hotroot soup, and platters of vegetables and fruit with a variety of tasty dips. Friar Maige was a friendly hare who had retired from Salamansastron and made his residence in Redwall Abbey. First Abbot Marven had once feared the hare's crazy appetite but once he got to the kitchen and cooked up a fare meal, the Abbeybeasts couldn't resist appointing him as the assistant cook of old Friar Tegrun who passed away three years later. Since he had taken the place of old Friar Tegrun, he had been cooking some of the best meals that Redwall has ever tasted. Maige and his team heartily placed the assortment of dishes on the tables and helped each Redwaller to a "chef's recommendation" as they picked some of their favourites from the platters. The atmosphere in Cavern Hole was jolly and everybeast was happy and ready for the following day's work. After every table had been served, Maige seated himself on his own table and position in front of him the reserved meal which he had specially made for himself. Every once and a while, he would pretend to be a food critic and recite little critiques of his food and complimented himself for his great skill as Salamandastron's 'old' cook.

The elders ate their supper at the Abbot's table and spoke 'easily detected' compliments of Maige's cooking. Abbot Marven picked out a woodland trifle and slowly ate it up savouring every bit of sweetness within the little dessert. The Dibbuns were seated on their table carefully monitored by Sister Sandra and some of their parents. Sandra chuckled as a little mouse squished his little face into a iced muffin who emerged with a regretful face as he wiped his stinging eyes from icing. After the little mouse recovered himself, he went back to eating up his dessert. While the Redwallers were enjoying their meal, a mouse who was taking guard on the wall tops came in with his musket in his paws and asked for attention to give his news. "Father Abbot, vermin spotted north of the path, and they aren't Tokkus' group". The Abbeybeasts went silent and waited for their Abbot to speak. "Oh, how many were there, and what were they doing?" "About three beasts, a ferret, a stoat, and a weasel. They were walking armed with their own muskets and stared at the Abbey then walked back to the place they came from. I also believe that the stoat was carrying a matchlock pistol." "What do you believe was their business?" "I don't know, all they were doing was staring." The mouse brought the Abbot with him to the wall tops to look at the path. Abbot Marven scanned the pathway for any sign of the three vermin but it seemed that they had gone away. He thought longer about the matter then spoke to the wall guard. "Well, I don't believe that they meant any harm at that time but we still should keep the wall guards on watch. I'll have Friar Maige bring you and your men some supper. Goodbye." Marven walked down the wall steps and made his way back to Cavern Hole...

~

The ferret, the stoat and the weasel quietly crept into their camp and reported to their leaders tent. Bonfires were lit throughout the camp with rats, stoats, foxes, and ferrets warming themselves and napping around them. The stoat with the matchlock pistol tapped the tent entry's hem and waited for their leader to let them in. From behind the entry's hem peeked a lower ranked weasel's head who bid them in. The tent was roomy and had a single bed for the vermin group's leader, a desk, a ward, a table, a drawer and a few barrels of wine. Their leader, a stoat, was sitting by the desk reading through documents and gestured to his scouts to keep silent until he had finished his reading. "Alright, what news have ye got here for me." "It seemed like the Abbey has perked up their defenses ever since good ol' Luddy Jack came. It won't be as easy to take the pla..." "Who said anything about taking the place, you were only sent out to see if the Abbey was even there. So simply we know that their defenses have been perked up. Now go back to your hearth! Just leave me!" The three vermin made their way back to their fire which was also occupied by another ferret and a fox. The stoat sat down as his fellow scout commented to him: "Well you should've listened. You know our cap'n doesn't like it when you don't listen to him." "It's not a matter of listening, all he said was scan the walltops of Redwall Abbey and report back and tell him what you see. And I just thought that his plans were to take the Abbey if it was still peaceful." "Again, you should listen..."


Chapter 2

The next morning, the sun slowly made its way up from the east horizon and cast a long shadow upon the woodland floor. Friar Maige was up early in the Abbey kitchen, not eating, but only cooking. Carefully he placed a fresh batch of scones into the oven and began work some more batter. As he poured ingredients into a bowl, Berly, the assistant mole cook, crept into the Abbey kitchen. "Boi, yoo'm bees oop 'urly today. May oi help ye with yurr cooking?" "Yes, if you may, Berly. Just roll up this dough, place on the tray and put them onto the lower level of the oven." "Olroight, oi'll be arrt it." The mole rinsed his hands with water and began rolling up small patches of batter into small balls and placed them onto another tray. He put some oven mittens that could fit onto his large mole claws and placed the new batch into the oven. "Now, I guess this batch of dough is ready for rolling up. Here, take this batter then place it into the oven after you've finished rolling them. Now I've got to begin work on these butter tarts." Berly went to work on the next batch of scones as Friar Maige prepared some new batter for the tarts.

Some time after the first batch of scones were finished, Berly could hear the Abbeybeasts at work on the scaffold and saw a band of squirrels carrying carved, wooden poles and rope to the scaffolding. Work was to be done at a greater pace to be finished by the time Tokkus was to come. By then, the sun gone about 20% of its trip across the sky and most of the Abbeybeasts were awake and doing their morning chores. Down in the cellars, Cellarhog Krieg was carrying some of his best brew upstairs to Cavern Hole in preparation for the breakfast meal. Abbot Marven took a morning stroll on the walltops and admired the beauty of Mossflower forest as birds sang their melodies and bugs crept through the woodland floor. A great cheer from the South Gable caught his attention as the Redwallers completed fastening the last pole to the scaffolding. Abbot Marven came running down the wall steps to congratulate them for their accomplishment. The workers on the scaffolding waved to their friends who stood watching below them, savouring the moment to the best extent. Surely Tokkus would be glad to see that the scaffold had been finished by then. The Abbeybeasts made their way indoors to Cavern Hole to enjoy their breakfast and honor the devout Redwallers for their hard work on the scaffolding.

After the Abbot said his grace, everyone gratefully ate up the food that Friar Maige had cooked for them. Some jovial beasts put up their instruments and began playing happy songs of joy and sang some pieces of happiness and great accomplishment.

"We toiled, day and night working and working,

Now 'tis the end of it, 'time to rejoice.

Dancing and singing our songs of accomplishment,

Thanking the seasons for all they have given.


All of these days we spend,

Working the land so,

It can give to us joy.


Sing now and dance with us, for we have finished,

A great strait of troubles at last.

Here we emerge from a project, all tired and weary,

Now let's relax for the work is now done.


All of these days we spend,

Working the land so,

It can give to us joy."

All of the Abbeybeasts joined in to the singing and cheered the Abbeybeasts who dedicated their days and work to finishing the scaffold. Everybeast ate heartily and enjoyed all of the singing and the happy atmosphere. The beings that had worked on the scaffolding were now satisfied with all of the toil that they had done. Cavern Hole went silent when Abbot Marven clapped for attention. "Now, because you Abbeybeasts who had worked on the scaffolding have worked very hard and have sacrificed your time to building this structure, Friar Maige would like to reward each of you with some of his best extra-sized meadow-cream and butterscotch butter tarts and some of Cellarhog Krieg's best October Ale brew of the season." Friar Maige and Cellarhog Krieg rolled a trolley of butter tarts and Krieg's October Ale and handed each worker a tart and a chalice of October Ale. Each tart had a nice pie crust filled with butter filling and was covered in meadow-cream and butterscotch with a candied strawberry on the top envied by all the Redwallers who didn't volunteer to help. But for the three helpers of Tokkus, Herald, Samuel, and Derron, Cellarhog Krieg gave each of them a mini-keg of October Ale for them to bring and enjoy at home. The three beasts thanked Krieg for his generous offer and enjoyed their butter tarts gratefully.

~

James Tokkus UhrMacher of Northern Township rotated a gear shaft which drove a 1:10 gear ratio wheel that propelled the trolley that carried all of the heavy clock parts. He had invented this trolley with a complicated gear mechanism that allowed one to use a lot of movement, but little strength to propel a wheel at an acceptable speed. Two beings would stand on the front of the trolley turning the gear as the others would guide the vehicle along the path. Far ahead of the path, James could see the point of South Gable which stood proudly above the Mossflower skyline. The Early Courtesy Reformed ferret gestured to his friends to pause for the while. "Alright mateys, were here. Ah, it looks like they've finished the great scaffold I asked for. Now let's get moving, were almost there!" The group of ferrets, stoats, weasels, reformed sables and martens resumed moving the great trolley to Redwall Abbey's Gate. Those who haven't gone there before gazed in awe at the magnificent size of the Abbey. James Tokkus called up to the Abbey wall guards: "Hello, 'tis me, James Tokkus! I've brought the parts here with me." "Alright, I'll contact the Abbot." The wall guard ran as fast as he could to contact the Abbeybeasts of Tokkus arrival and soon, all of the Abbeybeasts came rushing out of Great Hall to greet the group of beast. James' wife, Marla, held him tight to her as she gaze in awe at the greatness of the Abbey. "My, is this really it?" "Aye, this is it. The Great Abbey of Redwall..."


Chapter 3

Tokkus group consisting of about 27 beasts in all enjoyed lunch with the Redwallers. The lunch that Friar Maige had cooked was well complimented by Tokkus' workers. After lunch, more Redwallers volunteered to help with the actual construction of the clock. Since the hole in the South Gable to fit the clock parts in was completed, Tokkus and his group could begin lifting the parts. Tokkus and his group maneuvered the trolley to one of the cranes' lines and hooked the lines to the first component that they were going to lift. Each part was to be carefully lifted and put in place inside the South Gable. Once the parts have been lifted into the Gable's entrance, it would be hooked to the lines on the inner pulleys for further assembly. On the sides of the main crane were two hamster wheels that would turn another wheel pulling the rope line around the spindle. Two of the Abbey's fastest squirrels climbed into each wheel and waited until the part was ready for lifting. First, they started off slowly until the piece slowly began to take air. Next, the two squirrels increased their pace (the wheel transmission to the spindle is a 1:7 gear ratio in which fast movement is translated to smaller movement on the spindle; yet having more torque) then the piece slowly rose into the air. Another wheel was manned by another squirrel which would control the direction of the crane's moving turret. A long rope from the pulley was tightly lined up to the actual horizontal rotation gear mechanism's common contact. Soon, the component was high up in the air over the Abbey being carefully monitored by conductors that stood on the ground and on the scaffold. Eventually, one of the conductors, Tokkus himself, gestured to the squirrel who controlled the crane mobile turret to begin moving than the whole turret began moving right and the piece slowly reared over the Abbey's roof. Next, one of Tokkus' workers repositioned a gear to make transmission to turret's trolley. This time, one squirrel would control the trolley movement on the turret and the repositioning of the ballast while the other would run faster to continue controlling the rising of the piece. Finally, the large component reared in place nearby another crane that was positioned to allow parts to be transported to the inner-pulleys inside the Gable. Another worker slowly and carefully hooked up the centre crane's line to the component then disconnected the main cranes hooks. And of course, more squirrels operated the centre crane and maneuvered the piece into the hole's entrance. The worker who had hooked the centre crane's line walked to the hole's entrance then hooked the component to one of the specific lines in the pulley. Now it was time to continue these steps on the next component.


Simply how James Tokkus had planned to construct the clock would go into this account: Around the scaffold there is a total of three cranes: two main cranes for lifting the parts over the scaffolding, and 1 centre crane that will transport each component to the pulleys inside the Gable. After each piece has been placed inside the Gable and has been fastened to their pulley lines, each piece will be assemble in an exact order.

During the construction of the scaffolding, a lot of pre-assembly has also been done such as the cranes, the hole to fit the clock in, and the sockets in which the axles will be placed in. Also, above the hole in the Gable, a complex pulley system has been installed into the ceiling as extra hands so that we could easily assemble the striking clock's mechanism with all of the components there.

As each axle is fit into place, the gears that belong to that axle will be put into place on the axle. Also, ropes will be ties in place to make sure that some of the gears that require a certain positioning during installation will be secured.

Also in the pulley system, there is a mechanism with water weights that allows the workers to freely move around and carefully position the components in their place. A fair bit of wooden frame had been made to house the mechanism and the gears will be precisely fit into place so that the timekeeping mechanism will be accurate.

Once everything is in place, the securing ropes will be detached then the clock's weight will be installed into its place as the power source. After all of the parts are ready, the clock's face will be attached to the entrance of the hole in the Gable. If all the parts were put into their exact places properly, the clocks hand axles should easily fit through the centre of the clock's face. (Note that the outer components will be left outside to be installed into their places.)

Next, using the centre crane, the clocks hour, minute and second hands will be installed into their placement being set to exactly 12 o'clock so that it will be in synchrony with the striking mechanism. Then finally at exactly 12 o'clock noon, the weight will be released and the clock shall keep time as long as Redwall shall exist in Mossflower country.

Every day, the weight would have gone to its farthest extent then the second weight will continue working as the first weight is slowly winded back into place as a squirrel runs on a wheel. Eventually after the second weight is down, it will move onto the third weight which will later move back to first weight. These procedures will be continued every day to keep the clock working and a team of at least five beings must be sent to wind up the weights. Brother Anders, the infirmary keeper, had lead Marla to her own temporary room at Redwall as the other workers kept themselves in group dorms to conserve space. Marla went downstairs to accompany some of the Redwallers for Afternoon Tea. Marla sat by one of the table in Cavern Hole and dropped a small packet of herbs into a cup of hot water. Taking a little silver spoon, she slowly stirred the mixture then took small sips of the tea and took a small bite out a scone. As she enjoyed her tea, Sister Sandra came and sat by her on the table. "Hello Marla, how do you like it here in our Abbey?" "Well, it truly is a nice place to be in and the food is absolutely amazing." "Aye, it looks like your husband Tokkus has been doing well with keeping the construction in order." "Yes, he is quite a good clockmaker and conducted the installation of the clock tower in Town Square at Northern Township. Also, this tea is great. What herbs do you use for your tea?" "All we used for our mint tea was just some dried up mint leaves put into a little packet to be mixed with the warm water. So I guess you like it." "True, it is really nice, now let's see how old James is doing outside." The two maids ventured outside of Cavern Hole to the Abbey lawns and watched as the workers on the clock continued lifting the components to the South Gable. By now they had begun lifting the clock's snail (part of the timekeeping mechanism) up to the centre crane. Slowly, the piece rose slowly up into the air slightly swaying from left to right. James Tokkus carefully guided the movements of the squirrels as the snail slowly reared up to the centre crane taking extra precautions since the snail was a rather heavy piece. Soon, the worker up in the scaffolding began hooking the centre cranes lines to the snail component then continued the process of lifting the part into the hole entrance. After the piece was rigged into place, the two maids took a stroll on the wall tops and left the workers to do their work.

~

Night in Mossflower had finally arrived and the woods had become quiet despite the sound of crickets and the rustling of grass and plants. By then, the Redwaller's had lifted at least half of the parts into the Gable and were indoors to rest. Everyone was gathered in Cavern Hole to eat dinner with their new guests. Tokkus and his group had sat themselves on their own reserved seat and waited to be served by Friar Maige and the kitchen crew. Friar Maige brought in a trolley full of warm and wholesome honey scones, muffins, cakes, pastries, pudding, and soup, and distributed the dishes among the tables. Everybeast was happy that much work had been accomplished. James helped himself to one of the honey scone and enjoying the scone's sweetness. "Mmm, these are some nice scones you've made here Friar Maige. The icing truly complements the experience too." "Aye, I simply used more sugar than average and some of the best vanilla in the garden." "Tasty caramel puddin' we've got here, 'ken ye pass me another bowl?" "Hai, can ye fetch me another of those mushroom pastries." Clearly, Tokkus' group truly enjoyed Friar Maiges cooking but lacked a bit of manner being only reformed vermin. Friar Maige's mushroom pastries mainly consisted of a hollow pastry filled with tasty mushroom sauce, diced carrots, peas and broccolis sealed with another piece of pastry. When eating the combined, oily recipe, the sauce within the pastry would be released from its casing of fried dough and provide the taster a lasting experience as they dug into the pastry. For dessert, sweet cakes, caramel and arrowroot flavoured pudding and raisin filled sugar cookies were served table by table which everybeast tucked into and enjoyed. Abbot Marven clapped his paws to gain attention for the night's announcement. "Today we have finished the scaffold and our friend James Tokkus was able to arrive ready with the clock components. Today we have been able to carry up many of the parts to the Gable and we are almost ready to put all of these components together. Now also, let us give thanks to James Tokkus crew and our helpful volunteers for their sacrifice in helping us with lifting these parts. And let also give thanks to Friar Maige and his crew's wonderful cooking for this grate meal and all of the time and workmanship he had taken in preparing it. Now you may all resume to enjoying your supper." Abbot Marven sat down and the Redwallers resumed their eating.

~

After dinner, everybeast had retreated to their rooms. Tokkus' group went back to their dorms and the Dibbuns were lead back to their beds in the dormitories. James and Marla were left to their own room which contained a wardrobe, a drawer and a soft bed. Marla slept in a cool, comfortable silk sleeping gown while James slept in the pajamas that he had brought. James blew the candle light beside him then closed his eyes and slept, dreaming of his past. Memories of the times when he would help his father in the workshop came back to him. The ferret remembered how kind but disciplining his father had been to him, teaching him everything that he knew about clocks. He remembered some of those fond memories of his birthdays in which his father had given him his first clock and his first tool kit. Some time when he was around 16 seasons old, his father had given him that tool kit his father had been teaching him how to make his own clocks and how to forge his own components. Eventually he had inherited his father's workshop and tools and had begun running the shop; selling some of his clocks for his costumer's most acceptable prices. Soon he came upon the time that he had met that fine ferretmaid and brought back to thought the many events that had taken place during their life together. Then he remembered that one time before Marla's birthday when he twanged a brittle piece of metal making it produce noise. After a lot of experimenting he made a music box with a clock and gave the prototype to Marla for her birthday. All of those memories came to him including the time that he entered the Abbey doors with his crew. Slowly he slipped from the dream and fell asleep...


Chapter 4

During that night Mossflower Woods was dark lit only by the bright glow of the moon and the stars. The trees swayed from left to right as the wind blew through their branches. But yet the Mossflower atmosphere was disturbed by a new essence at the northeast fringe of the forest. They were mice, 500 of them, male and female, all dressed in a forest green uniform with an olive drab sash coming from their left shoulder to the right side of their waist. Most of them were fighters while the rest were mousewives with their children. The group marched on each at their own steady pace carefully keeping watched over their surroundings. Soon they came upon the woodland fringe and came to a halt. An official shouted in his native speech, "Da' hier 'alt'n. Hharg, der vald en suph't'zen. Kom'n zurk und geb' un birkht ohfen was' die seh'n; lied' eihrin'tzen." ("We stop here. Hharg, search the woods. Remember to come back and give a report on what you see.") "Aye Vaulk'strommen'!" ("Yes Colonel [Sir]") "Vaulkstromm Strauss, kon'tz di sprech'tz mit lied?" ("Officer Strauss, may I speak with you?") "Ja Vaulkstromm Voghen, die wur'd'tzen wie't?" ("Yes Colonel Vaughn, what would you like?") "Tu'n'tzen die den'k't dass da' ha'b'zen ankom't auv dur standort?" ("Do you think that we have arrived at the location?") "Ja, Lutches spra'ch't'nd dat dur standort bet't neben dur vald. Dat ha'b'ti bet'n dur ort'n." ("Yes, Lutches said that the location is beside the woods. This has to be the place.") The colonel agreed with officer Strauss' opinion and proceeded to his new tent at the site. A few low ranked mice were setting up a frame and began covering the frame with waterproof cloth. Next, the mice carried a table, a studying desk, a wardrobe, a chair and a cot into the tent then exited letting their leader enter in. Voghen sat himself by the desk and began looking through some documents. Now he was certain that this was the place where they were going to set up the habitation.

Starting tomorrow, the group was going to begin cutting down trees and gathering lumber. First they would start off with a palisade then begin building a stone wall if they could find a place for a quarry. While the palisade was under construction, the group would begin building barracks and a headquarters for their new colony.

Around the camp, their soldiers stood with vigilant eyes watching the woodland fringe for any hostiles or their scout. The main weapons that they carried with them were matchlock rifles, matchlock pistols, and daggers. Each soldier was trained well in their original homeland and each was driven to fight with a loyalty to their officers, they colonels, their generals, their Vaulken, Lutches II. These beasts came from a land that had once been peaceful and was later oppressed by surrounding nations. All of their tribes had been scattered upon the land and they were all peaceful with each other but when armies from the north, south, east and west came, they plunged into a war for survival. Their lord, Vaulken Lutches I guided them through warfare and made a great stand against their enemy. But yet he was unable to bring his colony to freedom leaving his son Heimen III to take command. They had continued warfare with the surrounding nations until their leader was downed with his grown up son fighting beside him to witness his death. And that was when Lutches II came to rise as a new ruler for the Corphans, the descendant of Corphius of the Muridae. Thus Lutches II fought with valour much greater than that of the previous rulers then he was the one to bring freedom to his people.

Some time after he completely united his people, he sent group down south to the unpopulated land to start colonies there. Thus, Colonel Heiser Voghen was sent to Mossflower to establish a habitation there. The Corphans didn't know much about Mossflower and who inhabited it but yet they decided to expand their empire down to the reaches of Eastern Cape.

Hharg the scout came running out of the woods in the direction of Voghen's tent. Hharg arrived at the tent panting then bid Voghen to let him in. Voghen opened up the tent's entrance and let the scout give his report. "Vaulkstrommen, es bet't'er un vermitscht'n lager 23 leagues von hier!" ("Colonel, there is a vermin camp 23 leagues from here!") "Huh, ha'b'tzen Vaulkur Enmre sen'd't'n en'd grup' auf 200 truppes aut der'n lager und intrhaw't'nei den. Da' wurd'n'icht'zen weid't vermitcht bei dur weise aus unsur arbeiten." ("Huh, have Vaulkur Henry send a group of 200 troops to their camp and ambush them. We wouldn't like any vermin in the way of our work.") "Ja Vaulkstrom'n!" ("Yes, Colonel")

~

200 well-trained Corphan mice marched through the night in the direction of the vermin camp. Once they had arrived at the location, they found that the campground was empty yet the burn marks of old hearths were visible where the vermin had once stayed. The group searched the grounds and found nothing but old twigs, food crumbs, and ash from the hearths. Enmre distinguished faint tracks at the northwest end of the encampment and gestured to the group to move on...

~

The vermin group had been marching north to deliver news to another vermin encampment. Somehow since the beginning of 1530, scattered vermin groups had been gathering information about the land and had been sharing this information with the other camps. A slight bit of unity had been imminent in their activity and they must have been planning some sort of maneuver that required certain specifications to proceed with their plan.

The vermin band cautiously walked through the forest keep eye on the every movement of the trees around them. If one were to step on a twig, the whole group would stop until they were sure that it was only one of their group that had caused the noise. By now it was quite early in the morning yet darkness still ruled the sky. A silent rustle from the surrounding bushes caught the vermin's' attention and each being quietly armed themselves.

Within the foliage cover, Enmre's troops were lined up aiming their muskets at the enemy. Enmre held up a hand and gestured for them to hold their fire. Right as the vermin band's leader gestured to shoot, a blinding flash with smoke screened the vermin's' vision followed by a hail of lead bearings. The lead bearing met their targets with dead accuracy inputting painful wounds into the vermin's' bulk. After the first batch of vermin were downed, the rest of them fired their rifles taking very few casualties out of the Corphan contingent. The vermin band's leader gestured a retreat and the survivors of the ambush began running north. Enmre didn't bother to follow them as he observed that their route wouldn't lead them to the habitation. Gesturing to his troops, the group left for home.

~

"VaulkStrommen, de nich't'tz denk't dat'n da' mu'ss't'zund send'n 200 tuppen fahr'n ihn weg. 90 auf 'ihn da wurd'n." ("Colonel, I don't think that we needed to send 200 troops to drive them away. There were only 90 of them.") "Huh, nun, dem wur'd'tneid noch konn't enkom'n." ("Huh, well, they were still able to escape.") Enmre understood his superior's disappointment in his inability to deplete the vermin band and stayed silent. Now the dark sky shown a hue of blue and dawn was on its way. Enmre made his way back his tent where his wife and his child slept quietly. Silently he placed himself into his bed and slept.

~

By now it was dawn in Mossflower and the sun lit the atmosphere with a hazy red that slowly turned into a light yellow in the horizon.The leader of the vermin camp , named Simon, entered the northern camp angry at the mice regiment's random attack. He constantly thought over why anybeast would send about 200 mice to take out a marching vermin band whose intention was to get to another camp unseen. Some of his beasts thought that they had seen a few mice around the camp prior to the ambush.

The two captains greeted each other and shook hands. Simon dismissed his troops and came into the other captain's study where they held a small conversation. Simon sat himself by the centre table and accepted the other's obliging for him to partake some wine with him. "Well, it's nice to see you again, Simon. It looks like the number of soldiers that you commanded has dwindled since the past two weeks." Yeah, Veiksan, you try facing about 200 mean mice in the middle of the night. They just surrounded us without us noticing them and opened fire killing half of my troops. Now if they had taken another shot at us, we'd all be dead by now. So now my troops are rather angry that they came and they want payback but we can't get that." "Huh, mean mice, two-hundred of them. Well, I do feel sorry for you. But here we don't want to waste time rallying up troops to get payback. We do what we do to obtain information about this forest and who inhabits it. If we know everything about this forest, then we can make our move. So now we know that we don't only have the Long Patrol, the Gousim, the woodlanders in and outside of Redwall, the E.C. and especially the Shoktts as a threat, we'll have to find another way to get to our objective; power over all Mossflower. Now that we have half of the vermin tribes on our side, we should soon have enough power to obtain that." "Alright... now let's discuss what we have now and see what else we need to do." Veiksan took out a sheet containing their latest update on information about the different warlords acts at the time and read it. "Hmm, we have about 472 Flitchaye on our side. They still use their herbs and stuff and still roam around the northern territories around here. We have Damen's tribe of ferrets, stoats, weasels, foxes and rats; 78 in all. They have some firearm equipment and a few melee weapons to the hand. We have your vermin band here, which now has 47 soldiers left. You also carry firearms. We have my band, containing stoats, weasels, ferrets, martens, foxes, and rats; 154 in all. Then we have Zald the Maw on our side with his band of rats, water-rats and searats; 235 in all. They also carry firearms. Then we have Nasker the Grey with his band of ferrets, stoats, foxes and sables; 123 in all. And lastly we have the Painted Ones, with about 348 treerats who leap the trees with miniature rifles on their backs; known for their marksmanship and experience in camouflage. And that's all. A total of 1457 beasts." "Well I would say that is about enough to get my payback. Yet I already have the concept of not wasting time." "So we are still in the step of gathering up more units. After we have gotten enough troops, we begin our movement and pick on the weaker woodland tribes. Possibly we could travel farther north and south and spread the influence and possibly gain power over the Eastern Cape. By then we declare war on all the goodbeasts of the land." "Well, like how far we have gotten here. 'Tis been nice meetin' ye."

Simon left the tent and returned to his troops leaving Veiksan alone in his tent. Veiksan was a stoat who's plans he kept to himself at times and shared to others when he had support. By now he wished to conquer Mossflower and establish and complete vermin power as strong and organized as the new nations and empires that lay north, east and west of them. With the support of the vermin tribes he could begin to conquer the largest groups one by one and establish new fortresses to conduct his warfare. In younger times, he had wished that his homeland in north-western Mossflower would soon unite and become one striving nation. But since the bias between good or bad and the refusal to being either kept the land from unity, there could only be one kind of rule upon the land: evil.


Chapter 5

The morning sun had arrived from the eastern horizon of Mossflower Woods shining its beauty upon the plant life and foliage. Within the Abbey walls, the redwallers continued the tedious process of lifting the giant components to the Gable. James Tokkus stayed at the top of the scaffold as the Abbeybeasts began lifting the last component. Slowly, this piece began to rise into the air and the Abbeybeast stood on the Abbey lawns excited that they were to soon begin putting the components together. Under the careful control and guidance of workers, the piece was finally hooked up to the pulley inside the Gable. Now the assembly could begin.

16 of Tokkus' workers, including him, made their way into the Gable and carefully hooked themselves to harnesses within the Gable. Tokkus examined the locations of each piece and made a reference to his plans that he had kept in his pocket. After looking over his plans, he decided what to do on the first step then called to his workers. "All right, let begin by fitting the main axle into place. Thamous, Henrich, and Derron, make your way to the axle using the cross-line and position the axle near its socket. Samuel, Herald, and Charles, get the striking train into position with the axle and slide it though. The rest of you, start bringing the gear train and the other components into position." Tokkus' workers hung on their harnesses and used the cross-lines to move around the interior of the Gable. Thamous, Henrich, and Derron took hold of the main axle and began moving it to the socket inside the front wall of the Gable. Before Samuel, Herald, and Charles could position the striking train onto the axle, a gear spacer was place onto the axle to provide a space between the gear and the wall and provide an extra support for the axle to rest on. After this step, the other workers began fastening wooden beams to each side of the spacer and fastened the other ends of each beam to the walls at the left and right side of the wall. This step took at least 3 hours and was completed by noon. After the spacer was secured, Thamous, Henrich, and Derron began positioning striking train onto the axle. Next, another axle was to be placed to the left of the striking train to hold the gear ratio mechanism. Once the gear ratio mechanism was in place, Tokkus made sure that each gear was in the right position and was facing the right way since this would be crucial to the proper functioning and timekeeping of the clock. Next a small pin that would fit onto the axle and was positioned so that an etching on the piece was facing upwards. This pin's function was to engage and disengage the rack gear while the clock was not striking. Once this part had been secured, they moved on and continued placing each gear and component one by one until the end of the day. By dusk, they had completed assembling one third of the mechanism and retreated indoors to eat dinner with the Abbeybeasts.

Abbot Marven sat himself in his chair in Cavern Hole after he had said the grace for that night's meal. Once the Abbeybeasts were settled, Marven stood up again and recited that evening's announcements, summarizing the day.

"Greetings Redwallers, today has been a long day of toil and work and we have accomplished much in the assembly of our new clock. Now that the clock's components have been lifted, James and his workers shall continue work on putting these components together. Also, Friar Maige has decided to cook us a special meal marking the start of the clock's assembly. So I would like to advise you to prepare yourselves for an old experience that Friar Maige has decided to bring back to the Abbey..." All of the redwallers turned their eyes to the entrance of the kitchen watching excitedly as the delightful silhouette of their famed cook emerged from a cloud of flour. There emerged Friar Maige driving a kitchen trolley loaded with cauldrons of steaming vegetable soup, soft biscuits with butter, a new recipe of shrimp filled pastries with a tasty sauce, a few mushroom pastries, a selection of fruits and vegetables, and the return of an old nearly forgotten recipe, the grayling. The grayling was a fine fish recipe of Redwall Abbey, only known to have been eaten by those who had lived during Matthias' age. And now Friar Maige had decided to bring it back to Redwall's tables.

The fish was placed in a large dinner platter, seasoned with spices and herbs increasing the enjoyment of its taster. The Redwallers and James's workers looked in awe at the cooked fish as Friar Maige and the other kitchen helpers began serving each table. Friar Maige cut up decent segments of the fish for each person and placed some of the other contents of the trolley for the Redwallers to help themselves with. The Abbeybeasts were eager to have a taste of the grayling and enjoyed the fish with much thanks to Friar Maiges choice of meal. James, Marla, Derron, Herald, Henrick and Thamous were seated with elders by the Abbot and had a taste of Friar Maige's cooking. Herald chewed on a piece of fish and swallowed savouring the fine and salty flavour of the delicious fish. Herald remember fishing in ponds back in Northern Township but none of those fish could compare to the superiority of Friar Maige's grayling. Once Friar Maige had served everyone, the kitchen crew began distributing the dessert to the tables. The kitchen crew served everyone with warm honey and honey nut cream scones, candied fruits and nuts, scones with meadowcream and strawberry toppings, and warm crumpets with a variety of spreads. That nights dinner continued on until they dismissed themselves and retreated to their dormitories to rest for the work that will continue the next day.

~

Earlier that day, the Corphan group of Vaulkerstaggeniers began to cut down trees and assemble temporary log houses within the location. Within the woods, a Corphan Sergeant named, Bohturm (Derrick), was cutting down tree trunks for his families log house. The mouse took swift swing at the log then gave it a strong shove bring the tree down in the opposite direction. Bohturm picked up the other end of the log and dragged it to an open space to remove the branches. He took out a small hatchet and began cutting off the branches from the white pine trunk. After he had removed all of the branches from the tree, he dragged the log to the pile and felt loath to begin removing the bark from all of the logs. Bohturm sat himself down and lay his back against the log pile and tried to relax himself before he had begun shaving the logs. In the distance he heard a gentle rustle and relaxed himself knowing it was none but his wife, Kleine. Bohturm smiled as his wife approached him. "Bohturm, di nicht'n denk't dat dei kon'tzen anspruk't dat arbeiten dei'hr eigne. Dei musst'tzen fra'g't auf hilft." ("Derrick, I don't think that you can finish this work on your own. You should ask for help.") "Na, di arbeit'tz an selbst. Di fra'g'ted dur anderenn wenn dem naid't'nei hilft; dem nicht'n naid't'nei alle hilft. Und keiner beit't hilf'n mich." ("Well, I work on my own (alone). I asked the others if they needed help; they didn't need any help. And no one offered to help me.") "Dann kon'tz di hilf't lied schal'n ab dur baumrinde aus deit'n baumstamms ("Then can I help you to peel off the bark from those logs?") "Na, alle recht." ("Well, all right.") Bohturm passed a hatchet to his wife and began cutting slits into the logs from which he could peel the bark off. With a chisel, he began to pry off small segments of bark off the log as his wife helped to shave some of the other logs.

Once dusk began arrive, Bohturm and Kleine began dragging the logs to the camp with the help of some other mice that had finished their chores for the day. The construction of the Corphan habitation had finally begun. Workers at the camp began cutting notches into the logs for piecing together their log houses. Each family was to construct their log houses to live in while the workers began building the palisade. Slowly, they would begin to expand their habitation and once they had found a good source for bricks, they could begin building stone walls. During the first explorations of Mossflower woods, it was reported that there was a large quarry west of the camp's designated placement and the Corphans didn't know who had first used it. Thus they were told to go to the quarry and use it as a source for their bricks. A group of five mice were suited up with equipment and were given ropes for abseiling down to the quarry floor. The five mice said goodbye to their wives and set off west to the quarry.

~

In the morning, the group had arrived near the edge of the quarry and looked at the huge open-pit mine imagining what the great structures that had used this source of material must have looked like. One of the mice put down his equipment and secured one of the iron hooks to a rock. "Kamerad'n, da bet'zen heir. Da' bereit't'ne abseil'n hinunter auf dur boden aus dur steinbruch. ("Comrades, we're here. Prepare to abseil down to the bottom of the quarry.")

Four of the mice went down with their leader while one of them stayed at the edge to guard the line. Slowly, the four mice abseiled down the quarry side bringing with them their equipment and weaponry. At the bottom, each mouse scouted the area and examined the sandstone content of the quarry. After walking along side the quarry wall, they came upon a cave entrance. "Dat schaue't'i' interessant. Da musst'zen eforsh't det." ("This looks interesting. We should explore it.") "Nein, di nicht'n denk'tz da musst'zen. Det schaue't wei eihnd'n addierglied kon't bet't bei 'et." ("No, I don't think we should. It looks like an adder could be in it.") "Neit, die nicht'n bet'tzen angst. Addierglied'en nicht'n leb't'nei bei steinburch'en und warum ware't'er jedermann bedie'n't'er dat steinburch wenn dort wurd un schlange bei 'et. ("Nah, don't be afraid. Adders don't live in quarries and why would anyone have used this quarry if there was a serpent in it.") "Na, di errat'tz die bet'tzen recht." ("Then, I guess you are right.") The leader of the group lit up a torch and gestured for his companions to follow him. Cautiously the four mice walked through the tunnel and looked around at the cave system. One of the mice shuddered in fear at the sight of the bones of dead creatures that must have venture there before them. As they walked through the winding passage, they soon entered an ancient chamber with a strange lake of water that glowed with an eerie bluish-green hue. At the other side of the cave was an entrance that lead to another cavern. While entering the cavern, the leader of the group bumped into a large, rough textured object. Next, he could one of the massive scaled coils of a large viper that had the pattern of an adder upon his back. Before he could react, the viper struck instantly slaying with the crushing for of its jaws. The other three immediately ran for their lives to get out of the cave. One of them stopped and took a shot, but missed and was also slain by the beast. Soon, the last two mice saw a glimpse of light coming from the cave's entry and ran out as fast as they could. By the time they exited the cave, one of them had been caught by the snake and the other screamed, "Schlange!!! (snake)", before the viper had gotten to him and had devoured him whole.

~

The mouse that had stayed by the line woke up from a short nap after hearing the bloodcurdling scream that had come from the quarry. Quickly he ran to the quarry edge and viewed the terrible sight of his poor friends being slain and eaten by the huge adder. The mouse quickly picked up his equipment and ran and fast as he could from the horrible murder scene. The mouse had just taken a glimpse of Veneno Mori; 'Venomous Death'...


Story will be updated chapter by chapter.

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