The Badger and the Rose

By Lord Rose Thorn

Book One: A Champion in the Midst

Chapter 1:

It was a terrible storm sweeping across the Northlands. All manner of plant life and random discarded objects were being torn throughout the storm. There was barely any beast out in the open where the storm was raging. The kind Skipper of Otters, Tidal Wavecrester, was trying hard to get his tiny otter babe and his otter wife, Perla, out of the storm. Frantically he ran and searched until he finally found a cave gouged into the cliff side. Tidal started a fire with his knife and tinder he found in the cave. Pretty soon they had a warm fire going. Perla started making some good old Shrimp n’ Hotroot Soup to eat.

While the soup was cooking he checked on his little otter babe, Roughtide was the babe’s name. He was shivering very violently. Skipper Wavecrester carefully brought the little otter babe closer to the fire, making sure not to get him too close.

“Wavecrester, could you go find some more dry wood? The fire is burning out.”

Skipper Wavecrester nodded without a word, and he went deeper into the cave with a torch to light the way. As he went deeper into the cave he thought he heard a scratching noise, so he turned around to look for the source of the noise. As he turned around something hard hit him in the back of his skull and snuffed him out like a candle.

Some time passed by and Perla was getting worried about her husband. She got so worried that she decided to take a torch and look for him. When she finally found him in a deeper part of the cave, he was dazed and slightly confused as to what happened to him. He went with his wife back to the fire. To their shock they found an enormous serpent, an adder to be exact, close to their baby.

“No!” cried Perla as she thought everything was lost.

“GROOOOAAAUUUUURGHHH!” From deeper in the cave, a small-sized badger leapt out of nowhere and onto the adder. To their horror the small badger was wrestling with the adder as if it were professionally skilled at it.

“Oi, get at ‘im, mate! Ye got ‘im right where you want ‘im!” encouraged Skipper Wavecrester. After a little while, the adder slumped down to the floor with a terrifying thud. Skipper Wavecrester and his wife Perla hurried towards their babe. Luckily, he was unharmed by the adder.

“’Ey, friend, ye did us a great kindness getting that there adder away from our darlin’ lil’ babe.” said Skipper Wavecrester.

“Are ya hungry little guy?” asked Perla as she looked up from stirring the soup.

“I guess I am a little hungry.” said the small Badger, as he put a paw on his growling stomach.

“Is there anything else in the cave, Skip?” asked Perla.

“I don’t know Perla, maybe the thing that hit me is long gone.” said Skipper Wavecrester.

"Excuse me," said the little badger, "I'm sorry; ‘Twas me who hit you. I thought you were a sort of vermin, until I saw you were an otter. By then it was too late. Sorry."

“It's alright little guy. Don’t you have any family or guardians tae look after ye?” questioned Skipper Wavecrester.

“No I don’t have any family.” The badger sighs, “They were slaughtered by sea vermin a season ago.”

“Oh, you poor dear, you...” Perla sighs as she stirs the soup. Upon closer inspection of the little badger she noticed he had beautiful green eyes the color of the leaves and stem of a red rose.

“Is he okay?” asked the little Badger as he moved closer to Roughtide.

“Yes, he's all right. The adder didn't harm a single strand of fur on his lil head.”

“Do you think I could travel with you for a while?” The badger asked shyly.

“I guess so. Don't think it could hurt no one.”

“Thanks so much. Oh, may I ask your names please?”

“Sure ya can, mate, I’m Skipper Wavecrester, this is my wife Perla, and this lil’ bundle o’ joy is our son, Roughtide.”

“Pleased to meet you all.” said the badger. Perla looked at the badger.

“So, what’s your name little guy?”

“I don't know. I was too young to remember it.” The badger sighed as he poked the fire with a stick.

“Than I guess I will have to name you, How about Rosethorn?” asked Perla.

The badger looked up. "I guess it will do. In fact I like it, thank you." said Rosethorn.

"You better get some rest. We leave in the mornin’." said Skipper Wavecrester.

Chapter Two

"You stupid idiot, why did you let that badger go?" Grumblegut yelled, "He was an incredibly valuable prisoner to the great Gallette Gortus, You bumbling fool! He’ll probably have us killed for letting him go, or even worse!”

"What could be worser than death?" asked his none too bright partner in crime Sludgegob.

"You want to know?" replied Grumblegut.

"Yes, I do." said Sludgegob.

"He'll torture us slowly and painfully just to make himself feel good about himself and to make him look frightening, trust me I’ve seen it!" said Grumblegut.

"Then shurdn't we be lookin’ fer ‘im?" asked Sludgegob.

Before he could get an answer from Grumblegut he slumped on the ground dead. Killed by Grumblegut's sickle, his head still rolling on the deck of the ship, the ‘Creature Killer’, still on the prowl for more victims.

"Come on already, your going too slow!" said Roughtide.

“Hold on you little scamp! Don't go too far or you'll get lost!" said Rosethorn.

"Oh, okay, I guess we can go back to camp now."

It has been nearly three seasons since Skipper Wavecrester and his wife Perla accepted to take care of the once small badger. By this time the badger was almost fully grown, and the otters have decided to journey to Redwall Abbey then to the mountain fortress of Salamandastron.

"There you are! Where were you? Why didn't you stay near the campsite like I told you?” scolded Perla, “This is dangerous country where bandits and all manner of vermin lurk around every corner; you need to be careful and aware of your surroundings!”

“Alright, mom, I will.” said Rosethorn.

“What did you just call me?!” said Perla.

“Oh I’m sorry!”

"No, no, you don’t need to apologize, in fact I would really like it if you called me that!” said Perla.

“What about me?” asked Roughtide. “You can still call me that if you want, I don’t mind.” said Perla.

“Hey mom, where’s dad?” asked Rosethorn.

“He’s probably trying to catch some fish for supper.”

“Should I go check on him?”

“Oh would you do that for me? Well, okay, just be careful, Rosethorn.”

“I will, mom, I promise.”

"Okay, I hope you keep your word this time."

As he left he picked up a long thick branch just in case there were any vermin around. He walked through the woods of Mossflower towards a river where he thought Skipper Wavecrester might be catching fish.

“Hey dad, are you done yet?” called Rosethorn. As Rosethorn stepped out of the woods a horrible sight bestowed him. Skipper Wavecrester was staggering. He had been stabbed by a vile looking fox.

“Dad, no!” roared Rosethorn.

Angry and worried Rosethorn ran towards the fox consumed for the first time by none other than the Bloodwrath. The Bloodwrath turned Rosethorn’s beautiful green eyes into horrible pools of a bright rose like red. Roaring, Rosethorn brought the tree limb crashing down upon the vile foxes head killing him instantly. Quickly Rosethorn scooped up his surrogate father and sprinted into the woods. He arrived back at the camp and hurriedly scooped up his mother and little brother. He ran south out of the woods. No sooner as he ran out he was spotted by an enormous army of vermin. There were foxes, weasels, and ferrets, rats, and, of course, stoats, all in one place. As fast as he could he ran right into the midst of the vermin. Swinging from left to right he battered a path through the vermin and out into the field close to Redwall Abbey. As soon as he got to the gates Perla and Roughtide roared at the top of their lungs for someone to open the gates.

Chapter Three

“Come on you lily-livered blobs, get them! That’s me ol’ prisoner it looks like!” said Grumblegut.

Back at the entrance to Redwall Abbey Rosethorn and his family were frantically trying to get the attention of the Redwallers inside the abbey to open the gate.

“Come on! Open the gate quickly!” yelled Perla.

“Mom, Roughtide, hold on to my back tightly! Support dad between you two and don’t let go.” said Rosethorn, who was still inflicted with the Bloodwrath. Perla realized that Rosethorn had the Bloodwrath by looking at his eyes.

“Impossible! How can you speak soundly when you are still in the state of the Bloodwrath?” said Perla.

“Don’t have time to ask questions, now just hang on!”

Amazingly, Rosethorn bounded away from the Abbey, all the way to the ditch. As soon as he got there, Rosethorn turned around and ran faster back to the Abbey than he did going toward the ditch. Powerfully, he used the momentum he gathered to climb the immense gate of Redwall Abbey.

“Come on you lazy beasts, don’t let them get away!” said Grumblegut.

“They aren’t going anywhere. Besides, we can get into that Abbey, no problem.” Said a fox just like the one Rosethorn killed.

“What’s your name, fox?”

“My name is Veradon!”

“Well then, Veradon, why don’t you try to get that badger out of the Abbey? Then we can get going.” said Grumblegut sarcastically.

“Then I will do it just for fun. Bring out the other prisoner right out front.” said Veradon.

“Has anyone seen my brother anywhere?” asked Veradon.

“No one has seen him around since he went into the forest.” said a lesser vermin.

“Well then, go in and find him. This is a crucial moment. We’re going to need everyone at our disposal to pull it off.”

“Yes sir!” said the vermin.

“Hold on, we’re almost there.” announced Rosethorn.

“Believe us, we’re not even thinking of letting go.” said Perla, as Rosethorn was nearing the top of the huge gate.

Shortly afterwards, Rosethorn and his family were over the top of the Abbey and on the other side, resting on the battlements. Quickly Rosethorn ran towards the Great Hall of the Abbey.

“Please!” bellowed Rosethorn as he stood in the huge doorway of the Great Hall. “Please help my father!” said Rosethorn as he knelt down on the floor clutching his father close to him.

“Oh dear!” cried Abbot Corrlum. “What’s happened to him?” asked the Abbot.

“He was out catching fish I guess at some point he was stabbed from behind by a fox. I don’t know when exactly it happened. Can you please help us?” said Rosethorn.

“Yes we can, Sister Alleria, get him to the infirmary as quickly as you can.”

“You lead, I’ll follow quickly!” said Rosethorn.

“This way, come on.” said Sister Alleria, a badger, as she beckoned Rosethorn to follow her. “Set him down gently, I’ll get some bandages and compresses to stop the bleeding. Put pressure here please.” said Sister Alleria as she handed him a compress.

In a few moments the bleeding had stopped, and Skipper Wavecrester was slowly but surely breathing as best he could without wincing every time he took a breath.

“Come here, please.” asked Sister Alleria.

“Okay, just a second.” said Rosethorn, as he got up he patted his fathers head as gently as he could. “Yes?” asked Rosethorn.

“Would you like to get something to eat?”

“I guess I could eat something.”

“Alright, follow me back down to the Great Hall please.”

“I will, don’t worry.” No sooner did he say it that his eyes went back to their beautiful green color. Sister Alleria got so lost in them that she almost forgot to lead him back down to the Great Hall.

Chapter Four

Back outside the Abbey, Veradon was putting his plan to action. He had an awesomely evil plan.

“It is almost done. Once the badger sees the prisoner, he won’t be able to help himself. This is brilliant. Have the badger come out to us, and then we net him.”

“Sir, we found your brother!” said the vermin who was sent to look for Veradon’s brother.

“You did? Where is he then?” said Veradon.

“He’s dead sir.” said the vermin.

“What? What do you mean he’s dead? He can’t be dead. Him! It was the badger, he did it! That’s why he had an injured otter with him! When I get my hands on him I’ll… I’ll… I’ll torture him for what he did!”

Meanwhile, back inside the abbey, Rosethorn, Perla, Roughtide, and Skipper Wavecrester had all been fed and were snoozing soundly. In the Great Hall, the atmosphere suddenly changed. A shadowy wraith-like figure slowly walked to where Rosethorn lay. Whispering something, the strange figure disappeared into thin air, at the same time in Rosethorn’s dreams stood a figure, a figure of a mouse. Then more started appearing. There was not one but four mice all with a warrior like atmosphere around them. The first started to speak,

“Oh hero, named after a rose… you have a great destiny ahead of you, and it is just about to begin. An army waits to attack the Abbey, and you must protect those you love, you must use the Sword of Martin the Warrior. You must also journey to Salamandastron, but you have to keep this place safe for now.”

The next morning, Rosethorn told the Abbot about his dream. The Abbot understood every part of it. He gave Rosethorn the Sword of Martin temporarily.

“You’re sure about this, Abbot?” asked Rosethorn.

“Ha, of course, I’m the Abbot of Redwall Abbey aren’t I? Don’t worry so much if you’re nervous, just clear your mind and open your heart. Plus, you being a badger, I know you were affected by the Bloodwrath. Sister Alleria told me about your eyes. You are a very special badger; it seems we have been waiting for you to come to us.” He told Rosethorn, “A very long time ago, one of our residents had a vision from Martin the Warrior; he said you would come to us, and it seems you can control the Bloodwrath. This has never before been done. On top of that, you climbed the giant gate out front with your bare paws and three otters on your back, am I right?” asked the Abbot.

“Yes, it seems you are. I don’t know what happened when I saw the fox stab my dad. I guess I just lost control of myself for a second. Then I felt like I was stronger than I normally was, up until last night.” said Rosethorn.

“Well, you should be fine.” said the Abbot.

“Abbot Corrlum! The vermin have a prisoner out front. They have a badger!”

“What!” bellowed Rosethorn? Sure enough, there was a badger out front tied up against a wooden stake. “You!” roared Rosethorn. “You killed my family, you will pay the price!” said Rosethorn.

As soon as he saw the stoat known as Grumblegut his eyes turned red and his muscles grew larger than they were. He instantly ran down towards the gate and unbolted it. He ran the Sword of Martin the Warrior in his hand poised for the strike that would end the life of the one who ruthlessly killed his family. ‘CRASH’! The sound of metal hitting metal, and the screams of the ones who served the enemy of Rosethorn as they flew here and there. The enemies died on the ground when they landed. Within moments the army of vermin was destroyed.

“You killed my little brother! Hitheran didn’t deserve a death like the one you gave him, badger!” roared Veradon as he closed in on his enemy.

“My revenge doesn’t concern you fox!” roared Rosethorn.

“Oh doesn’t it? My brother stabbed that otter. Funny that.”

Little did Veradon know, those would be his last words he spoke alive. Rosethorn threw the Sword of Martin straight at him, ending in a gruesome sight, as Veradon lay dead on the battlefield killed by Rosethorn. Advancing toward the stoat he simply held his paw out as he walked, grabbed the sword and pulled. Standing over the evil vermin Rosethorn asked, “Any last words, stoat?”

“Please don’t kill me!”

“Sorry, but you don’t deserve to live.”

“What are you? You can’t be a badger, you’re not normal, you’re a monster!” cried the stoat.

“Maybe I am, but you made me this way.”

The day ended with the whole vermin army and its commanders dead. Rosethorn untied the badger and brought him in the Abbey.

“He isn’t hurt!” exclaimed Rosethorn.

“No, are you hurt?” asked Sister Alleria.

“No, I’m fine.” said Rosethorn. “Wake up!” said Rosethorn.

“Huh, Where am I?” said the badger.

“You’re in Redwall Abbey. Who are you?” asked Rosethorn.

“I’m Haybor. I’m a farmer. Who are you?” asked Haybor.

“I am Rosethorn. Nice to meet a fellow badger.” said Rosethorn.

“Wait! I think I know you. You?” as Haybor looked into the eyes of Rosethorn he suddenly remembered. “You’re alive! You really are! I missed you!” said Haybor, running towards Rosethorn crying, he held Rosethorn in his arms. “You’re my nephew!” sobbed Haybor.

“You’re my uncle? But how?” asked Rosethorn.

Chapter Five

“You’re my uncle? I thought I didn’t have any family left, I thought they were all killed.” said a very puzzled Rosethorn.

“I thought you were dead too! But it seems your not. I can’t believe you are alive. I’ve missed you very much, I can’t believe you were safe all this time.” said a very emotional Haybor.

“Wait, if you’re my uncle, then can you tell me what my name was?”

“You weren’t named when you were born. Your parents decided that when you were older you would choose your own name!”

“Then if that’s the case, I decide to keep the name I was given by my new mother Perla.”

“What exactly is your name then?” asked Haybor.

“My name is Rosethorn! And I decide to keep Redwall Abbey safe for now, until it’s time for me to leave.”

“Well then may I ask you a favor?” asked Haybor.

“Yes you may, just name it!”

“May I come with you when you leave?”

“I would be delighted if you came.”

“Don’t forget about us! Shame on you Rosethorn, forgetting about the ones who raised you when we found you!” said a not too happy Perla.

“I didn’t forget about you, Roughtide, or Dad! I just didn’t want you or anyone else to get hurt again. Dad is already injured, and Roughtide was almost killed by an adder!”

“What!?” blurted out Haybor. “You’re kidding right? That didn’t really happen, did it?”

“No I’m not. In fact I was the one that killed it with my own bare paws, I saved him!” said Rosethorn.

“Wow, sounds like we got a real champion in the midst!” exclaimed Haybor.

Later that evening the whole Abbey was buzzing with excitement. It was announced there would be a feast the following night. Everyone was excited about what kinds of food and drinks were going to be there. Abbot Corrlum even said Rosethorn was able to pick out what ever he wanted to have at the feast. The Foremole of the Abbey, Foremole Rockpaw, gave Rosethorn a very precious and valuable gift. It was a huge chunk of an unknown pure red colored metal ore. No-one knew what it was or where it came from. The Infirmary keeper, Sister Alleria, gave Rosethorn an incredible gift, fifty feet of an incredibly strong light rope. She said it was made for him by her and the Dibbuns, the babies that live in the Abbey. She also said it was made by weaving together rose stems and vines with a high elasticity.

In an unknown land far from the Abbey of Redwall, even farther than Salamandastron, the Great Gallette Gortus has received word about what has happened to his army and his prisoners. He is not pleased at all about what has happened. So he plots his revenge.

“You will not live to tell about the battles to come, badger, for I still have an unstoppable assassin at my disposal. Darkfang the Ghost of the Day shall end your life soon enough, badger, so be weary of your journey to come.” The evil master of the floating palace is awaiting his revenge, and he will stop at nothing to get it.

The following morning, the Abbey started to prepare for the celebration that very evening. The Abbot had requested for a few new garments to be made for Rosethorn and his family. Rosethorn’s was a kind of warriors tunic made from thick durable green velvet, with a red dyed belt of pure silk rope. They even made a cloak of two colors, green velvet on the outside with red velvet on the inside, and the clasp to hold it in place was a metal rose with the stem coiling like a snake around itself. Perla’s was a simple, pink dress with a crown made out of pink roses, and with the thorns removed, of course. Skipper Wavecrester’s was an incredibly handsome looking gentleman’s tunic with the scabbard of an incredibly popular type of knife used by otters when in the water, and on land. Roughtide’s was a simple play tunic, with a small bandanna colored like an eagles head feathers. Last but not least, Haybor’s was a farmer’s work tunic; made out of the lightest fabric they had colored pure white.

That evening, the celebrations have begun. Everyone was eating all sorts of food. Pastries, trifles, soups, salads, cheeses, breads, fizzes, cordials, even ales were served at the feast.

“Wow, I never saw so much food in one sitting!” exclaimed Haybor in amazement.

“Well, that’s what you get when you have your own farm inside the Abbey walls, with orchards and a pond with fish. Oh, we mustn’t forget about our own expert cook, Friar Bunbelt.”

“Okay, now I know you made that one up.” said Haybor.

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Why don’t you go ask for yourself?” said the Abbot playfully.

That whole night Rosethorn had eaten four Deeper n’ Ever Turnip n' Tater n' Beetroot Pies, eight steaming, hot bowls of Hotroot soup, and thirteen slices of bread and cheese combinations.

“Wow, I never knew he could eat that much food in one night!” exclaimed Skipper Wavecrester in amazement. He even ate three full trays of assorted deserts and treats piled about three feet high.

Chapter Six

A while after that night, there was another arrival to the abbey. He was a very curious sight. He was an old hare well on in his seasons with a weird looking sword. His name was Burrpaw, the Seer of Fates. He was quickly drawn to Rosethorn by a mysterious force.

“Excuse me, are you by any chance the one who goes by the name of Rosethorn?”

“Why, yes I am, might I ask who are you sir?”

“I am Burrpaw, the Seer of Fates. I can see you are a very important person for I have with me the Sword of the Rose, a dual sword whose metal is incredibly strong and durable. I have been guarding it for my whole life. It is said that eight badgers from the far northlands forged it in hope of the legendary warrior of the future would someday wield it in the greatest battle to come. After all, you are the badger who will one day become the Lord of the Rose and Salamandastron.” said the hare, ending the conversation for now.

The next day at Redwall Abbey everyone was excited. This was the day that Rosethorn would be taught how to use various weapons for the great battle to come. Out in the field in the front of the Abbey they had started.

“Okay, first up is the sword.” exclaimed the Abbey’s foremost and only forge-beast Ironsight.

“Hey, why do they call you Ironsight?”

“Because I can stare down any misbehaving beast and hold that gaze without ever giving a single blink.”

“Okay, I already know how to use a sword and I can definitely cope with that.” said Rosethorn quite enthusiastically.

“Oh really now? Then just try to fend of my blows.” said Ironsight as he lunged at Rosethorn.

Immediately Rosethorn’s eyes turned the color of a red rose and he easily grabbed the sword and tugged on it till Ironsight let it go.

“Wow, you sure weren’t doing anything with a sword except taking it from me.”

“I told you I can use a sword. Just you watch me.”

Rosethorn walked toward a tree with Martin’s sword in his right hand quickly and deftly he swiped at the tree with such skill that he carved a statue of the Abbot himself with such detail, which if it were painted it would be hard to tell the difference.

“Wow, amazing, such detail it’s remarkable.”

“What weapon is next?”

“The sling.”

“Already know it.”

“The whip?”

“Yep!” said Rosethorn.

“Is there any weapon you haven’t used yet?” asked Ironsight in frustration.

“I feel like I have used them all when the truth is, I really haven’t before.”

Rosethorn tried every weapon sling, bow and arrow, club, mace, javelin, whip, spear, staff, even the Sword of the Rose were used with great skill by Rosethorn. Rosethorn hit all the marks. He knocked acorns out of trees with the sling, brought tree limbs down with the whip, speared a bulls eye, got fruits from multiple trees with the javelin, he even made a perfect rose carving it out of a log, using the Sword of the Rose.

“I give up. There is no use teaching someone who already knows.” exclaimed Ironsight.

That afternoon Rosethorn asked the Abbot about why they had a beast who could teach how to use a variety of weapons, if they were so peaceful.

“Well, it’s all because of the massive amounts of vermin lately. We don’t know where they’re coming from.”

“Huh, that is odd where could they be coming from? Were there always so many?”

“No there weren’t, not always. This land was a very peaceful one. In the past this land was won by a very brave mouse named Martin. He won this land from Verdauga Greeneyes the Wildcat. His successor, Matthias, and his son Mattimeo, and his son Martin II, were all warriors after they were called by him.”

“Now he’s calling on me. To help keep these lands and more safe from evil vile vermin.”

“You know those words are different yet they’re still the same.” said Abbot Corrlum.

“What do you mean?” asked Rosethorn.

“He, he, he, you’ll find out soon.”

The next morning, the Redwallers woke up to joyous music drifting in from the Great Hall. Inside there was a huge feast, for Rosethorn was to leave once the seasons changed twice, he thought it a good idea to have fun as much as he wanted.

“Oh! Oof! Get of you little terrors!” said Rosethorn stunned as the Dibbuns bounced and giggled on his stomach.

“Come on, you warra sleepin to much.” said the smallest of them all. “Alright, I’m up, mmm… what is that smell? What is that delicious cooking?” asked Rosethorn. “It’s oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg.” said the Abbot. “I’ll take some please.” said Rosethorn.

“Sir Rosethorn, may I have a word with you?” asked Burrpaw.

“Sure, I was going to look for you after breakfast.”

“I was wondering if you would accept the Sword of the Rose for me. It is time for me to live on in the next life, for my mission is done and I must repay my debt.”

“I don’t think I have a choice, and I will honor your request and your memory as well.” said Rosethorn.

“Good, I trust you with it, please save us all.”

Those were the last words he spoke as he had died right next to Rosethorn. Later that day, Rosethorn buried him right next to the Great Hall. His memory will live on in them all.

Chapter Seven

It was a horrible time at Gallette Gortus’s floating palace as he plotted his revenge. He thought of another idea to get rid of the badger once and for all.

“I know how to do it. I’ll just kidnap his family and hold them hostage to get him to come to me. I’ll send my messenger bird to Darkfang and tell him to kidnap the otter family and bring them to me.”

This is not about to happen for little did the evil master of the floating palace know that there is a spy from Salamandastron around to stop his vile plans.

“Go! Come on, you can do it, Roughtide, go!” yelled Rosethorn as his little brother raced with the young Dibbuns. “Yes! You did it, you won, yeah! You’re fast for a little guy; now don’t forget to share that pie you won with all of them, okay?”

“No problem, I’ll have someone divide it between us okay?” said Roughtide.

“Alright, be good now.”

“Hey, Rosethorn, look at this.” said Perla.

“What is it? Whoa, is that me?”

“Yes, it is, they found this in the Great Hall right under the tapestry. It’s you, I know it is, because he has those twin swords and he’s wearing something that nobody knows what it is or where it is.”

“Let’s see, there’s a poem behind the drawing.” said Rosethorn as he examined the drawing.

“Beware the foe ye do not yet know,

For he shall soon have to show,

Remember those that have been gone

Yet don’t let go of those that run,

Retrieve the mask that soon will show

The evil one that you should know,

Remember places big and small

Look for those that seem too tall,

The sword ye wield shall choose your fate

Retrieve the items before it’s too late.”

“Wow, what does it mean though?” asked a puzzled Rosethorn.

“I think the Abbot might know.”

“I shall go ask him right away, mom!”

Rosethorn ran towards the Orchards where he saw the Abbot. “Abbot Corrlum, may I have a word?”

“Yes, you may have a word with me if you have the time.”

“Thank you, sir, do you know what this poem is talking about?”

“Lets see if it is, ah! It says you must find a mask that can show ones enemies. I know of one that was left here somewhere at the Abbey. I don’t know where it is though.”

That night, Rosethorn was visited by Martin the Warrior for the last time while he would be at the Abbey of Redwall.

“What should I do Martin? I don’t know what to do or how to get that mask. Please tell me what I should do.” pleaded Rosethorn.

“I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what you should do. Ask the Dibbuns of the mask and hope they tell you all they know.” Those were the words Martin the Warrior spoke before he disappeared.

“No, don’t go! I’ll need your help later on, please don’t go…” said Rosethorn as he drifted into a deep slumber. The next day Rosethorn awoke and remembered about his latest encounter with Martin the Warrior’s spirit. “I’ll do it, Martin; I’ll do it for you and everyone in this Abbey!” Rosethorn ran down to the Dormitories and looked everywhere for the Dibbuns.

“Aha, there you are. Please, tell me, do you have a mask that you might have found?” asked Rosethorn.

“Well sir, we do, but its up in the attics, we haven’t seen it for a few seasons.” said the oldest and most intellectual of the Dibbuns known solely as Fitchel the mouse.

“What is your name, little one?” asked Rosethorn.

“My name just happens to be Fitchel, F-I-T-C-H-E-L, Fitchel.” said the little, yet smart, Dibbun.

“Okay, thanks for letting me know, I’ll ask the Abbot if I can go up into the attics to look for the mask.” replied Rosethorn. As soon as Rosethorn saw the Abbot he told him everything about the mask, about his visit with Martin and the mask in the Attics.

“Well, I think I can let you up there to look for it, just be very careful. There are a lot of old, wooden boards that might crumble at any time.” said the Abbot.

Chapter Eight

The Attics creaked as Rosethorn carefully walked over them. In one hand he had a torch; in the other he had a rope. Carefully, he walked over the old wooden boards desperately, yet carefully searching for the mask in the poem. He walked over to some old trunks and chests. He looked behind them just in case the mask was there. He remembered what the Dibbun mouse, Fitchel, told him as he ascended into the Attics,

“Remember it is either in an old trunk or chest, or it’s behind them.”

“Let’s see, it’s not behind them so it must be inside them.” thought Rosethorn.

Sure enough, as he rummaged through a trunk that was filled with nothing except Dibbuns playthings, he found the mask. It was a green color with metal, red rose petals made into it. It was flat with gold rimming the eye slits, and a peculiar symbol on the top. It was truly a sight to behold. The seasons have passed, and Rosethorn is about ready to leave the Abbey for Salamandastron, and he is feeling reluctant to leave his family and friends behind.

“No, Rosethorn, I am going with you and that is final.” said a not too pleased Perla.

“I’m not going to let you go with me. You need to be here for Dad and Roughtide. It’s too dangerous for you and them Dad got severely injured already and I won’t allow any of you get hurt again.” yelled Rosethorn.

“Don’t yell at me with that tone. I can’t just let you go on your own.”

“Mom, it’s okay, I’m a fully grown badger now. I can take care of myself and you know it.” said Rosethorn.

Roughtide pitched in, “Mom, I think we should stay here, it’s safer here than it is out there. Just let him go, he needs to get to Salamandastron, we would only slow him down.”

“Alright, I’ll let you go, just promise you’ll be careful.”

“I will, don’t worry, I will be alright, I promise.” said Rosethorn.

The next day, Rosethorn departed with a heavy heart and a heavy satchel. He had everything packed that he got from his friends and the mask. He walked west for a while that same day until he found it, the ‘Creature Killer’ anchored in the river just waiting to be used. Almost immediately, Rosethorn drew his dual swords and hauled himself onto the ship, the Bloodwrath already taking a hold of him.

“This doesn’t seem to be inhabited by anything except a few broken branches, leaves and some rubbish.” thought Rosethorn. “Perhaps it would be a good idea to bring them along with me, then.” said Rosethorn.

With that in mind, he ran back to the Abbey and told his family to pack their things and come with him.

“What’s with the sudden change of heart?” asked Wavecrester.

“I found the ship the vile vermin used to get here ahead of us, if we could clean it up and change the name, we could take it out, and I could get to Salamandastron faster than I could by walking.”

So Rosethorn, Skipper Wavecrester, Perla, Roughtide, and Haybor left for the ship later that same day, loaded with food, tools, and supplies for the trip.

Quickly and carefully a beast runs through Mossflower Woods searching for his quarry, and desperately hoping to get away from the bird that has been following him since it arrived. He ducked into a hollow tree and drew his throwing knife ready to get rid of the pursuer that has not yet given up. When he spotted the bird, he let his guard down, for he knew it was the messenger bird of Gallette Gortus.

“It’s only you, for a second there I thought you were an enemy, but now I know you are an ally.” said the mysterious figure.

“You know what to do then, don’t you?” asked the messenger bird.

“Yes, I know it shall be done. Fortunately, I know you will stay true to your real master, won’t you?” asked the mysterious figure.

“Yes, and the villain shall fall along with his palace for what he has done.”

<---Last Chapter---Next Chapter --->

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