Author Topic: They Thought Redwall was Safe! (Is Redwall as Safe as they Say it is? Part 3!)  (Read 1470 times)

Ashleg

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Roscoe laughed airily and pulled Terrin closer to him, ruffling his head fur.
"Would it? Wouldn't it?" He pushed his son away and leaned forward at Rayne with a condescending grin.
"Maybe. Hey, did you hear me playing that mandolin? I'm great, aren't I?"

Grant coughed into his sleeve.
"I wonder how many poor creatures died at his paws."

--

Well, how could he argue with that?
Rapshade chuckled quietly as he let himself be led by the squirrel.
"I'm grateful," the ferret commented. Bracklew was better than Duncan.
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

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Groddil

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Stumbly allowed herself to be pulled away from the group of otters, muttering under her breath. As soon as the mouse and her pal were out of sight, she wrenched her wrist free.
"Something's wrong. I've heard of otterclans being quite savage in certain parts of East Mossflower, but there's... something off about them. They don't look like a clan. And this Grenlik... Sound familiar to you? I'd swear I've heard that name mentioned before. May said something about him, or her, before. Or maybe it was the other vixen, the one who left? I can't remember."



At the head of the town guard, Charm trudged back into Riverblue, where Jerrick was waiting at the gate.
"It's done."
The mouse nodded.
"I knew it."
The otter noticed a logboat nearby.
"Is he...?"
"Gruddil's here, yes."
"Thank you."
The otter dismissed the rest of the guard with a wave as she approached the Log-a-log. An older hogmaid took the otter's paw and shook it warmly.
"Many thanks to ye, Charm. The 'orror's we witnessed in that 'Ellhole..."
"It had to be done Amaline."
"I knows that, Charm. Only wish ye'd done it sooner, I do."
"Thank you, Amaline."
The hedgehog disappeared into a shack as Charm hailed the shrew standing nearby.
"Sorry I'm late. Things to do, places to see... Hedgehogs to kill."

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Hickory

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Gruddil nodded understandingly. "You've been on top of things in that regard," he said. "Anything else happening I should know about? It's been a quiet few seasons lately."
You can be happy anywhere, if you have the right point of view.


Groddil

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The otter shook her head.
"Very quiet, yes. Ah... Hold on."
She ducked into the shack built near the docks, and returned holding a small notebook.
"All the reports from the last two seasons. Skip to after our last meeting, and there's only five things recorded. Increased number of Eyeless One sightings, not that that matters any more. Two small bands of vermin sighted in the area, both less than a score. One group wiped out completely when they tried to attack the town. Idiots. Other group caught harassing South-bound travellers and refugees. Town Guard met them at the crossroads, slew about half, and took six prisoners. Prisoners are locked up in the gaol over there, and we lost a couple of survivors, although they probably won't be trouble."
The otter flipped over a page.
"And, the most recent report is a good one for a change. Saul Sharkel's Otterclan has been heading north-east, away from Mossflower. Hellgates, how I've wished for the day I never have to shoo them from this town again. Rowdy bunch of vicious idiots, that clan. And that's our lot. Three threats eliminated, one leaving on their own. Still no more information about this 'Fury' all the refugees are talking about. Could be a myth, or he's got no interest in the South."
She shut the little book and tucked it into her tunic.
"We've had a good season."



At least one of Charm's predictions had been correct. The Otterclan of Saul Sharkel would never again threaten the citizens of Riverblue. At a makeshift camp just past the north-eastern treeline, the clan's fires had burnt down into ashes, and their tents flopped lazily in the wind. Otter corpse upon otter corpse had been tossed into a hasty mass-grave just outside the camp, which was being filled in by several creatures. Vermin and woodlander alike, the creatures attempted to cover their noses between each pile of soil they dumped over the corpses. One of the woodlanders, a squirrel, turned to the rat next to him.
"Hellgates, why'd 'ee order us to do this?"
"What're yew on about, bushtail? The diggin', or the slaughterin'?"
"Both."
"Why d'ya think, bushtail? If yew was a mighty king like 'is lordship, would yew jus' let a bunch o' 'eavily armed riverdogs sit around on yer new territory? They'd stab us in the back as soon as we conquers this place."
"I... I would actually."
"Yeah? An' why's that?"
"Because I wouldn't bother conquering this place. Nothin' good's ever come out a Mossflower. Sure, sure, there's the stories o' Redwall Abbey. The peaceful stone walls that some'ow kill every army within five miles to the last beast. The treasure, the food, the blood-soaked ground. But what happens when you leave that Abbey? Woods full of bandits, marauders, and savages, with only the occasional tiny hamlet to rest your paws. And the mountain. Don't get me started on that mountain, a stone's throw to the west. We're all gonna die, me filthy friend. Don't matter if Fury kills us, or if the woods do. But we're goin' ta 'Ellgates afore this season's done."
The rat spat into the grave and wiped blood from his nose.
"Aye. But what choice do you 'ave, bushtail? It was either join up willingly, or be conscripted like you."
"What did you do?"
"Joined up. I might be pilin' Earth on top o' these deadbeasts so 'is Lordship doesn't get a sore nose, but at least I gets a good weapon. At least I gets ta sleep under canvas. Look where being 'igh, mighty, an' good got  ye, bushtail."
The squirrel gave a small chuckle.
"What did I just say? We're all dead. The only Northerners still alive are the ones who fled down here as soon as they could. Sure, I was conscripted, and I'll die down 'ere. But so will you. An' if I'd refused the conscription, I'd be dead also. No other thing for it."
"So why're yew 'ere, bushtail? Why don't ye jump in the next river?"
"Because if I'm going to die, I'd rather die fighting."
"Fighting? Fighting for who? Bushtail, matey, it don't matter that yer a treejumper an' the inherent goodness o' this world shines out o' yer rear end, yer still fightin' fer a warlord. And when 'ee gets killed attacking that Abbey, which 'ee will like ye said, cause we all knows he'll go fer that place, then ye'll be buried like these poor riverdogs 'ere. In a mass grave. Unnamed. 'Ated by all."
"If you're so smart, rat, then what do we do? Why did you volunteer to join this marching line straight to the gates o' the Dark Forest? If you know as well as I do that we're both going ta die?"
The rat winked.
"Because I'm fast. An' I intend on runnin' and dodgin' everythin' those woodlanders throw at me, until they leave me alone an' kill 'is Lordship instead. An' when that 'appens, I only has ta run from one army. Not two."
"You're a coward."
"Nah, mate. Nah. I'm just faster than yew. Smarter too."
"SHUT UP BACK THERE! SHOVEL FASTER!"
"Yes, Cap'n, sir."

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LT Sandpaw

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 OOC: Is Terrin like, ten?

 IC:


 "I'm wondering that too." Rayne muttered under her breath. Folding her paws into her wide habit sleeves the little mouse wondered whether to humor the weasel or not. She wasn't sure how strong Roscoe's bond with Grant was, or how far she could push his patience; and when it came down to it being snide wouldn't help in any way.
 Deciding to play it safe she gave the weasel a grudging nod and a weak smile.
 "It was... Immaculately expressive of your talent. Now would you be so kind as to lead us back to the river? I'm sure Grant was thrilled to meet you again and catch up on the old times. But I've got herbs and supplies to collect and we really should be going."

~*~*~*~*~*~

 A snort was Rapshade's only answer.
 Reaching the kitchens Bracklew pushed through the door ushering Rapshade inside. The squirrel left the ferret by a stack of flour sacks and wandered off to collect a array of breakfast leftovers, heaping them onto a platter. This completed he returned, thrusting a bowl of porridge and some bread into the Rapshade's paws.
 "Eat quickly." Bracklew ordered, sitting down a little ways away on an upturned crate. "And once your done make sure to put those dishes with the others."


 "It comes down to the Triarii!" - A Roman Saying

 "Facts don't care about your feelings!" - Ben Shapiro

Ashleg

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OOC-
Thirteen exactly.
Glares at Roscoe.
IC-
"Not really..." Maxy scratched his head.
"But I never really listen in on what the adults are saying unless it concerns me."
Shrugging, the white squirrel hopped atop a tree trunk.
"Why worry about it? They aren't bothering us, we were just in their land."

--

Roscoe whimpered.
"You're sayin' bye so soon? But you haven't even met my son!"
The weasel caught the fleeting young one by the ear and yanked him back over.
"This's Grant an' Rayne. Say 'hi', Terrin."

"Hi, Terrin," the younger weasel sneered, and he stomped on Roscoe's footpaw and ran off before his father could do anything.
Roscoe shrieked as he hopped up and down, howling. "Oooohhhh, I hate him!"

--

Rapshade watched Bracklew fidgetingly and when it dawned on him that the squirrel wasn't going anywhere he spun on his paws and ate with his back to him.
Leaving the porridge half-finished, he fled to the sink and deposited the dish.
"Was I quick enough?" The ferret asked quietly, skidding to a halt in front of Bracklew like an attentive soldier...or a Dibbun trying too hard to please. It was surely up to debate.
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

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LT Sandpaw

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 "He's delightful." Rayne said, watching the younger weasel scamper off. "But like I said before, we have truly important things to be doing. Which we were doing, before Master Terrin decided it would be amusing to guide us here." She glanced towards Grant for support.
 "Isn't that right Father Abbot?"

~*~*~*~*~

 Surprised, Bracklew stood and gave himself a good shake. Something was up, but he couldn't quite put a claw on exactly what it was. It was almost like Rapshade was trying to please him.
 "Yeah," he stammered, suddenly unsure of himself. "That was real quick. Uh, did you taste it at all or did you just inhale it?"


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Ashleg

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"That's right," Grant said.
Roscoe's purple eyes widened sadly. He nudged the Abbot in the ribs and put on another grin a few seconds after. "Invite me fer dinner, then, eh?"

"Maybe," said Grant awkwardly.
He motioned to Rayne with a discreet tail flick.
"Now we really must be going. Good luck, Roscoe, but maybe try being a little less...disruptive?"
By that he meant to stop kidnapping creatures.
Before the vermin had a chance to keep them any longer, the Abbot grabbed Rayne's sleeve and broke into a run.

--

Rapshade flinched.
"Did y' w-want me t' taste it?" he asked meekly, rubbing his paws together. Still no eye contact. He rarely ever looked up nowadays.
"My error."
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

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LT Sandpaw

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 "Grant!" Rayne stumbled along behind the Abbot, jerking her sleeve from his grasp. "Grant we don't know where we're going." She insisted skidding to a halt. Their short sprint had left her out of breath, it'd been a while since she'd run at all. Huffing and puffing gave herself a moment to recover before pointing back to where Roscoe and his clan remained.

 "They'll have to show us back to the river, we'll get lost in wider Mossflower on our own."

~*~*~*~*~

 "What? No- I mean ye- I don't care Rappy!" Bracklew moaned in exasperation rubbing his forehead with his paw. "Look, don't worry about it alright. Let's just go outside."


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Ashleg

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"What?" the Abbot panted, glancing behind him with a groan.
He squeaked, "Aaagghhhh. Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
Now they would have to trudge back to the vermin group and ask for directions, and it would be uncomfortable because they had just supposedly fled in fear.
Grant ran a paw down his face, to the end of his snout.
"Well, then. I'm getting loony in my old age. Yes, directions will be helpful. Let's go back."

--

"Aa-y-yes, outside, thanks, that will be great." said Rapshade in a flustered jumble.
He inhaled and bit a claw. Calm down.
"I don't remember t' last time I was outside. So thank you, thanks, thank y'--you. Um, Bracklew."
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

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LT Sandpaw

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 For a moment Bracklew's gaze softened, Rapshade seemed almost genuine in his gratitude. But the moment passed as a twinge in his paw stump opened the memory floodgates to the last time he'd trusted the ferret. Grimacing Bracklew gave a short jerk of his head in acknowledgement as he walked.
 "Your fur'll fall out if you don't get outside enough. Least that's what the elders say. And you're ugly enough already so we can't have that."

 Bracklew stepped out into the Spring sunshine, shading his eyes so that they could adjust from the Abbey's natural gloom. "I was thinking I'd do some sword training," he said, more to himself than Rapshade. "I wonder where Duncan or Petu got to?"

~*~*~*~

 "You took off in such a rush." Rayne explained, freeing her habit from a clinging bramble. "There wasn't a chance to say anything. Hm, suppose Roscoe doesn't show us the way back? I wouldn't put any cruelty past that weasel. He might do it just to spite us for running off like that."


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Ashleg

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"Unless time has changed him, I don't think Roscoe would lead us anywhere dangerous," Grant said. Thoughts lingered in the back of his mind and he wondered what Rayne was feeling. "At most he might force us to take the long way. Roscoe is a troublemaker, but I don't think he's evil."
Right? the old mouse's mind echoed.
Last time they met, Roscoe didn't have a group, or a son, or a mandolin. And he was unable to successfully kidnap anybeast.
"We will just have to trust him."

--

Rapshade had frozen for a fleeting second as they walked and Bracklew began his lament about fur. The black ferret shivered and folded his paws against his chest.
Did the squirrel know something?
His fur had been falling out and not growing back since his young days. Only his long pirate overcoat, however ratty, kept him looking normal.

"I thought they were inside," Rapshade murmured, sniffing the air.
How odd it was that this place felt foreign to him. Wind felt especially odd. He missed it.
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

Avatar made by me, of my character, Anonymous.

Groddil

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Stumbly looked back towards where they had had their encounter with the otters nervously.
"Maybe you should listen, then. You keep saying how you're not a kid anymore, so start taking an interest in what's happening out there. I heard 'May talking to a couple o' the others about those refugees? That keep flowing past from up north? If you knew what they said, you'd care a lot more about what's going on around here. Your way of life depends on it."
She took a long swig of mead.
"Besides, how could it be their land? Did you SEE them? They looked like the kinds of beasts who are always on the move. And the way they talked didn't make it sound like they were just defending their property. Why would they need to keep a mouse and a squirrel away?"

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Ashleg

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Maxy frowned and rolled his eyes.
"That mead is getting to your head."

As they walked, he couldn't help but hear what Stumbly said over again in his mind. It bugged him and grated on his nerves. Why should somebeast whom is barely older than him be able to act like they knew everything in the world?
"Because," he said through gritted teeth, "They don't know who we are."
"Heed not the rebel who scream REVOLUTION, they have not your interest at heart..."
-Samuel Seabury

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Groddil

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Stumbly chuckled drily.
"Because we're such massive threats. D'ye have mud in yer ears, Max? They threatened to 'ave us killed if we stayed be'ind. Something's wrong here. And I'm going to find out what."
The mouse shrugged her bow from her shoulder and took off into the bushes.

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