It is the Summer of the Warrioress, and it is aptly named. I spent nearly a full season researching in the ancient annals of the gatehouse and trying to reconstruct this story. When I finished my tale last winter, good Abbess Wendel requested that I read it to all Abbeygoers so that they would know of this story - which concerns the founder of our abbey and secrets of Redwall.
So I spent a full fortnight in Cavern Hole by the blazing fires in the large armchair, reading my tale to all the residents of Redwall. Enclosed is my original manuscript. It is a tale of sadness, memory, triumph and friendship. Good friend, I hope you will enjoy this story.
Renet, Recorder of Redwall Abbey in Mossflower County
Book 1: The Wrath of Hellgates
Letitia curled up in her soft bed in the dark, snuggling between the thick, fine sheets. The young mousemaid couldn't sleep, though it was late. Perhaps she could go down for a glass of warm tea; that would help. Letitia fitted her footpaws into slippers and wrapped a robe around her cotton gown and started down to hall to the kitchens, where a pot of chrysanthemum tea was always left on the counter.
On the hall there was a detailed painting some skilled artist had done countless generations back. It showed her ancestor Brome the Healer and the generations that had followed him. Every year, Letitia's father added on the most recent generations to continue the sprawling genealogy. Letitia knew exactly where her own name was written, on the left side near the bottom in swirling black letters. Letitia Aryah Voh. In the dim light of her candle, she touched the name with her paw.
When Letitia reached the kitchen, she poured herself a glassful of hot chrysanthemum tea and headed back to her bed. On her way through the hall, she peered out the window. The sky was wide, blue, and starry, and the good moon shone its warm light over Noonvale. Climbing into bed, she sipped her cooling tea and imagined that she was Laterose of Noonvale, sister of her ancestor Brome the Healer. Or perhaps Aubretia, her great-great-grandmother's grandmother. Aubretia had been a great healer like Brome.
The hot tea lulled her to sleep, and she slept peacefully. First she dreamed of a great haze of mist, and then the mist cleared to reveal... a young mousemaid not unlike Letitia herself. The mousemaid had fair features and clear eyes, and she spoke to Letitia in a low, dreamy voice. Letitia knew who it was instantly; it was amazing how much she looked like her brother Brome. She was Laterose of Noonvale, daughter of Urran and Aryah Voh.
"In the woods that the second healer did roam,
Lies a light to guide the woodlanders' fates.
Find that place the warrior called his last home,
Save the land from the rise of evil Hellgates.
Find the topmost layer of living,
Probe with your fingers, look at your eyes.
The warrior's keepsake to you I am giving,
Beware, do not let the soulless arise."
Letitia woke in the morning and felt that something was wrong, but she could not remember why.