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Sweet_Wyvern

Redwall: A Time of Darkness

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Fern chuckled, "Abbot/Abbess forgets that Redwall has been the goal of many vermin over the years. War is may be rare, but it's never forgotten. Better secret prepared than caught unprepared." Fern said, nodding to her otters. They shouldered the weapons and made their way outside, sharpening the blades and such before passing them out amongst the Abby beast. She looked at Pralia, "Ye get that bow ready and then join post on the wall. Who knows how long we got."

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Triage spoke lightly, watching as Log-a-Log scuttled off to get his Gousim moving. "Now if it pleases ye. Plenty of boats and rafts for yer hares and ye."

One shrew handed Conya a canteen of water, snikering, "Told ye to stay clear o' the shrimp'n'hotroot. Otters like it hotter." Then the young shrew darted off again, preparing his boat with the others to occupy the hares comfortably.

Triage spoke again, "Ye and miss Conya are welcome on our long-boat."

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"Yes marm." Conya said relaxing and searching out some water to drink. She didn't have to search long as a Guosim brought her a canteen to share from, he enjoyed a little taunt at the hare's expense and Conya knew that it would be something discussed in her unit for days to come. Conya took a sizable swig from teh canteen greatful for the rerfreshing and cooling drink. "Thanks, I appreciate it wot wot." She said just before the shrew scurried off. When Conya heard the invitation to ride with the Skipper she was more than happy to accept. "A ride with the ol' skipper of otters. Who could say no to that wot." "Privet Stoutarm! Quit your lolligagging and break camp with the rest of your unit!" "Yes Sah! I'll be right back chaps so don't you leave without me." Conya dashed off to break camp but didn't get far before skidding to a stop and running back to claim her greatblade that currently rest on the grass. She slung the weapon across herr back before dashing off again. Conya broke camp with the other hares under the unending jests about the hotroot soup. When she had had enough she soundly couted one of her companions over the head. A few of the other hares laughed at him too since he was foolish enough to stay within striking range of Conya's notorious fists.

 

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((Alrighty then. happy.gif))

 

"Naturally, after all a plans greatest flaw is the people preforming it." Morgotha stood upright and made his way out of the tent. "It will be done." He said as he closed the flaps behind him. Morgotha turned to face the horde that was still eating and socializing. He gathered those beasts that were just below him in rank. "We have work to do, shift your beasts and let's get to it. Take two scores of beasts with you do the riverside, there you will cut down some of the yew trees. We are going to fashion tall shields to use in our attack they need to be tall and wide enough to conceal an entire rat, they must also have a small section cut out so that those using them can see where they are going." Morgotha said giving them a general rundown of what was to happen. Once all the needed beasts were gathered he marched off with them to the river.

Edited by En'K'Haral

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Pralia tugged on the bowstring and sighed. "I suppose you're right, I just wish it wasn't that way. Thanks for the weapons," she said, then bounded off through the front doors to take her place up on the wall. It would be good to have an archer up there, Fern was right.

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Krazka merely nodded as his captain made his exit. Morgotha was capable of getting things done, for now it was up to him to set the stage. Raising the charcoal, he drew a line along the perimeter of trees surrounding Redwall. On one side he was fairly certain there was a large ditch, however that would be predictable. Squinting at the map, he drew an X behind the Abbey a ways into the trees. For some reason, it seemed that no one ever tried to take over the Abbey from the back. Besides, there was a gate back there. Krazka rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

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The badger lord/lady nodded then rose to their full height. "Corporal, get the hares ready to move on the double," he/she ordered, then turned to the Log a log and Skipper. "We are ready when you are."

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Fern walked up the steps, looking out over wall and patting the younger otters who had yet to see battle on the back. "It'll be fine, young'uns, stick with stronger otters when the fighting starts and ye'll last." They nodded then she went back to Pralia. "Hey."

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Skipper nodded, jumping into the long-boat lightly. He looked back up after steading the thing with one paw on the back. "Down ye come ye lordship." He said, offering a paw down.

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Morgotha watched the vermin work their tails off to meet his demands. They were nearing completion. The shields that were already done were being tested by a small team of rats and ferrets by having arrows and spears hurled at them. After a few successes they would move onto the next shield. A smile played on the fox's face as he watched his plan starting to take form. A stoat caming running up to the captain and spoke in a hurried tone. "We're trying to make the aiming adjustments you specified but the machine can't aim that low." Morgotha shook his head in dismay at the Stoats dimness. "Then push it farther back you slackjawed pea brain. The shot will arc through the air. We have plenty of range to work with so work with it. Make sure there aren't any tree trunks in the way either. Also make sure to send a three beast scouting team every ten minutes. I want constant updates on their positioning tell the scouts to keep their voices down and their heads low! I don't want those Redrall mice finding out what we're up too just yet." The stoat bowed and ran off to do the captain's bidding uttering a yes sir as he left. One of the rats came up to Morgotha with a grin on his face. "We are ready sir. The shields are sturdy and will take a direct hit from a javalin or even a spear. Sling stones aren't even a worry." Morgotha was glad at the rat's revelation but he left out arrows and the fox wanted to know why. "What about arrows?" the rat figdited uneasily and morgotha let out a low growl. "What about the arrows." "Sir the eye slots are wide enough to let a well aimed arrow through. It's the ony thing thin and accurate enough to get through the eye slot though." Morgotha thought about what the rat had to say but was not mad, he had anticipated that this would be the problem with the shields. However, the sqauds assigned to shield duty were only a small number compared to the horde as a whole and Morgotha doubted that all the archers oof this peace loving abby were so accurate as to render the shields useless, besides getting an arrow in the eye didn't garuntee you would die, Morgotha knew that first hand. "They are fine let's get them to the horde and move out. I will report to Lord Krazka." Morgotha made his way back to the horde and in particular Lord Krazka's tent to make his report and inform the worlord that the horde would be ready to move at his command.

 

((You can just move on past teh actual report if you like. happy.gif))

 

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Conya had broken camp with the rest of her unit and started bounding off. "Hey! where are you going we've been assigned to raft ten, wot!" One of the hares of her unit called to Conya's back. "Nay! You have been assigned to raft ten I was invited to ride with Log-a-Log, Skip, and our badger lady! So what do you say to that, wot wot?" The other hares burst out laughing simultaniously including those from other units that happened to overhear the conversation. "I say, that makes sense! That way the lady and commandin officahs can keep an eye on you! In that case go right ahead!" Conya huffed and ran off to the long boat of Log-a-Log and Skip. She bounded into the boat and almost tipped the bloomin thing. "I'm here chaps, wot." She said full of energy. One of teh Shrew's handed the hare an oar. "Good, you can take this then, what ya didn't think we'd be givin ya a free ride did ya?" "Eheh, no of course not chap. It would be unsporting if I didn't do any work around here, wot wot." Conya said accepting the oar althoug internally her temper was flaring.

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"Marm' if ye tip this 'ere raft ye'll be swimmin' to Redwall." Log-a-Log said, looking at the hare sternly. Once he turned, Triage leaned forward.

"Don't ye mind 'im, marm, 'e's just a huff of fur."

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"Sorry Log-a-Log, I'll try tah be more careful sah." Conya said still full of enthusiasm. Triage whispered in Conya's decorated ear and the hare smirked and laughed a little before whispering back. "Indeed, although I wouldn't mind having a crack at that temper of his if ya know what I mean sah. Wouldn't mind buttin heads with his son either." Conya's troublemaking side was beginning to show a little bit in her words. "Oh and ya chaps can just call me Conya, wot. So enough with this marm stuff, I'm a young maiden hare after all." Conya joked striking a feminine pose to support the joke. Conya waited until everyone was on before stroking with the rest of the shrews.

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((Soccer has thrown me off sorry))

 

Pralia turned to the sound of chatter and found Fern standing there. "Oh hey," she replied, scooting over to make room. "Nothing yet, but then again I don't expect things to happen fast. If only they did."

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Krazka was rolling up his map when Morgotha returned to the tend once more. A glance at the sky behind the fox told him that dusk was rapidly passing and turning into late evening. Good, they could travel in the dark of night and never be spotted. "Make your report. I trust the shields will not fail us?" He asked, stowing the map where he could reach it easily. They would have to make haste if they were to reach Redwall before sunrise. That was if they could the balista through those acursed trees.

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The badger lady (I guess it's a lady now?) accepted his paw and stepped into the logboat with more grace than the hare had. "When do you estimate our arrival? I apologize for my urgency, but we've heard tell of this particular horde of vermin. I was actually planning on sending the Long Patrol that way, but your bird came in the middle of planning," she said, nodding towards Mikal.

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((No worries...errr I know this is very long so take your time with it. I can wait happy.gif))

 

Morgotha went straight into his report to Krazka. "The shields will not fail us. They have a weak spot where we had to cut out a slot for the rats to see but it would take a well aimed arrow to make use of that, I'm sure there may be one or two ace shots in the abbey but I doubt it's a skill that peace loving beasts would encourage. That aside the shields have been tested and passed superbly. I intend to use our archers to force the Abbey beasts to keep their heads down if any have been mounted on the walls. The battlements make it difficult for ground based archers to get a clear shot but they won't need one for this task. I am thinking they will fire a few volleys to at first to make the mice duck behind their battlements and then wait out the foolish ones and pick them off. I'll make sure that the archers understand which targets get priority before we begin the attack. The ballista team has managed to line up the shot after forcing it into the woods but we will need to cut down trees in an arc around the abbey if we want to move it around or even rotate it even just a few degrees right now. They will need to make a few shots in order to confirm that they have the door for sure but for now they think it's lined up properly. It is going to be firing at just about it's maximum range so if this plan doesn't work out our next objective should be to bring the ballista in closer and then give it an area to work within. The orders have been passed down and the horde is almost ready to mobilize. Four squads of rats have been assigned to the shields, and several others have been given grapples or ladders. The order of attack I have planned out is this: First the archers will fire a few volleys at the battlements to make the wall guards duck down, a few being however many they need. When they have confirmed that the abbey beasts are all hiding behind the battlements they will reduce their volley fire to every half minute or so excepting in cases were the abbey beasts get brave and poke their heads out between volleys, which I can guarantee they will try at least once. Once they are all behind the walls one of our archers will send up a fire arrow up as high as they can to signal the ballista to start it's attack. Hopefully it will only need to fire once but there is no telling until it's actually done. After the north door is broken down the shield rats will begin their assault, charging straight to the door. Five rats at the north gate have been assigned to run ahead of the shield rats. Their job is to make sure the ballista shaft is laying flat against the ground, if any survive I think they should be recognized. The shield rat's battlecry will signal the east gate shield rats to begin their own charge. On the east gate they will have to use spears and weapons to cut through the gate while the shield rats hold their tall shields overhead to guard those that are cutting down the door. Once they are through the archers will likely try picking them off from the wall. So after all the shield rats are in, the ladders and grapples will come into play. Once rats are on the ladders and walls then and only then will our archers stop firing volleys every half minute." Morgotha breathed deep. He was a bit excited about the plan and had almost forgotten to breath while he was explaining it in detail to Krazka. "The function is to keep them off balance by regularly escalating the attack. There will be guards posted to watch the hordes flanks and rear while the attack is in it's early stages. I doubt we will have anything to worry about but it is good practice. The horde is nearly ready to mobilize and awaits your presence." Morgotha said as he awaited Krazka at the tent entrance.

Edited by En'K'Haral

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"If'n we row all night, we'll make it in two days. Come up right behind the vermin, a flank attack." Log-a-Log said, sitting at the rear of the boat behind the badger lady.

Skipper nodded his agreement, "It'll be best that way, I believe. The distance the vermin were, even with a balista, they'll make it to Redwall a day ahead of us. A flank attack from the water...they'll never see it comin'." Mikal ruffled his feathers, looking at the badger lady as the shrew singled to cast off.

"Shotta my otter, th'y did. Shotta 'im good, see?" Mikal pointed his claw at the arrow wound in Skipper's shoulder. Though tightly bandaged, one could see the blood stain on the wrappings. "Time to pay 'em back says this bird."

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Fern nodded, looking not toward Mossflower but toward the river. She wanted her pa here. Yes, she could lead if she had to, she was more than ready, but she wasn't ready to say good-bye to her father. Until he returned, or didn't, she had no way of knowing if he was alive or not. "If'n I know vermin-and I do-they'll be here by mornin'. Most vermin push all night to get to Redwall on the last leg of the journey. An advantage for us, because their followers are weaker, but just means fighting starts a whole lot sooner."

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Krazka listened silently, making note of every detail. "I do not doubt that these creatures will be of the gentle type, and therefore shall have no weaponry skills. I am not fool enough to believe, however, that they will not have outside help. There always is," he said. The fox strode around his big chair to stand in front of the captain. "You've done well Morgotha. I trust that your plan shant fail. Now. I need you to take about a fourth of our crew and stay here about a days length. Undoubtedly the enemy will try to take us from behind. When a day has passed, I want you to bring your portion of the horde straight to the army. Chances are, our opponent will have allies speeding towards the Abbey to try and beat us there. They will not be expecting our troops behind them, since we are at least three days ahead." With a nod Deatheye stepped around his captain and exited the tent. While he waited for his eyes to adjust to the dark, he shouted, "Break camp! We move within the hour." En masse the vermin clustered around small fires leaped up and started kicking dirt over them, hastily grabbing weapons and gulping down last morsels of food. The team assigned to the balista manned it on the pushing arms and stood ready. Shield teams stood ready with their namesakes strapped to their backs. The warlord wordlessly knocked a sleeping weasel senseless with the butt of his sword, then stepped over him and moved among the horde.

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The badger lady nodded and picked up a spare paddle. "I don't know how to row, but I'm sure I'll learn quick enough," she said. "At your mark, good sirs."

((Won't post much with her since she's technically not my character))

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Pralia's paw clenched into a fist on the wall, then relaxed as the anger passed. "We'll be ready for them," she said grimly, not taking her eyes off the woodlands.

 

((Again short posts sorry. Pralia has unintentionally become bipolar. Ha ha whoops o_O trying to fix that))

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Skipper and Log-a-Log nodded, the shrew calling out, "Start time! One!" The shrew's dug their oars deep, the older hares matching them almost perfectly. This definatly wasn't their first time at least. The drumming pounding loud in Triage's ears, sending his mind back to his daughter's younger years while his paws stroked the oar in time with the rest despite the twinge in his shoulder. No. He wasn't ready to say goodbye to her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fern only nodded, looking out over the woodlands with patience. A patience only war could bring.

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((Instead of anger it could be anxious antici...pation xd.png she'll seem less bipolar then.))

 

Conya put forth her efforts to match the shrews with the oars. Although she had plenty of effort and strength her timing was occasionally off much to the frustration of those in front and behind her. "Heh heh, sorry chaps first time rower and all, wot. I'll try not tah get in your way." Fortunately for her neighbor's patience she did manage to figure out how to stay in time with the rest of the shrews. "You say two days? Well I say we aim for one and a half anyways. Wouldn't want to keep the blighters waiting now would we, no it would just be rude." Conya was clearly in good spirits as she rowed with the Guosim.

 

((Is it sad that I remember the long version of Guosim better than the actual acronym?))

 

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Swiftlade gave a bow to the warlord. "Gladly, I look forward to catching up with the main horde." Morgotha stepped out after Krazka and began sifting through the horde of beasts collecting the force that was to remain behind. A few of the beasts that were part of the force to stay back looked about ready to sit back down but when they met Swiftblade's one eyed glare they immediately reconsidered. Morgatha's concentrated on getting his force organized for the send off which would be immediately followed by some drills. Morgotha wanted to see if the hordes skills had rusted any with the easy targets they had been hitting. "Get yourselves standing you lazy rodents. I want those weapons checked, sharpened, and then checked again. You ain't going to kill anything if your weapon is too dull to cut the bread you been eating."

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Triage chuckled at the young hare, looking at Log-a-Log, "How bout a rowing song to keep time?"

"Good aye Skip, grand idea." Log-a-Log said, nodding and looking back at the drummer. "Pick up the pace, and let's hit the rowing tune." The young shrew nodded, tapping out the fast pace. "Raise yer voices, shrews!"

"Shrum a too rye hey, shrum a too rye hey,

Dig those paddle deep today,

Where the alders shade me overhead,

And trout swim on the broadstream bed.

I’m a Guosim, to the water wed,

Shrum a too rye hey, shrum a too rye hey,

I’ll see you one day to make,

O’er any stream or pond or lake,

A good ole logboat’s ripplin’ wake,

Shrum a too rye hey, shrum a too rye hey, shrum

shruuuuuuuuuuuum.” (Song taken from "The Outcast of Redwall.")

Skipper smiled, chuckling and adding his voice to the familiar tune. He knew this song well.

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Fern smiled, thinking back to the old marching days. War then was the same as now, but now they weren't moving. Maybe that was why her otters were on edge. They moved around so much, it wouldn't surprise her if that was the very reason for this. She started humming her father's favorite song, then started muttering the words. Then, she was singing, and her otters joined in gladly. This was a day for warriors, and as Fern smiled out over the walls, she felt like nothing would bring them down.

“Oh we chased ‘em off the highway,

They fled off to the west,

We sent ‘em every whichway,

Our warriors are the best.

They’ll never see ole Redwall,

‘Cos they were forced to flee,

Sent on their way be shaft ‘n’ stone

From every greenwood tree.

Bad luck attend the vermin beast

Who came out of the north and east,

We’ll give ‘em blood’n’steel’n’stone,

Until they leave our land alone!” (Song taken from "The Outcast of Redwall.")

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Although Conya ha never heard the song before she caught on to the tune's chorus pretty quick and happily belted out with the shrews when the chorus came up. The song really helped to keep her in time with the rest of the rowers of the log boats and seemed to relieve teh stress of those that were rowing next to her. With her efforts now properly focused on getting the logboat to it's destination as quickly as possible Conya seemed a little less talkative. She stroked with the shrews and furrowed her brow slightly. "Hey hey look look. She's concentrating." "Shut your traps I can be seriouse too!" Conya yelled at two chuckling hares from her unit in raft next to them. She went back to rowing and spoke to the skipper. "I say do you even have to suffer any of these jibes at the hands of any of your otters Skip?"

 

((Conya could talk all day long and then some. However it seems we are just about ready for a time skip to tomorrow. I'm more than happy to have her chatter then if you guys are ready to move on to the next day. happy.gif))

Edited by En'K'Haral

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"Can't say I do, Conya. But I did when I was a young otter." Triage said, chuckling. "It takes time, but ye'll earn their respect in time. One day they'll be lookin' to ye when ye least expect it and when ye least think yer ready for it." Like with me daughter. He shook his head but gave Conya a smirk. "Give it time, and ye'll see exactly what this ole otter means."

 

((I'm up for a time skip lol))

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((If you guys are up for it then sure. Time skip two days ahead?))

 

The badger lady had to row at half strength to keep from rowing them all in circles. She admired the shrew song in silence, however she did not join in. As much as it was tempting, she had to keep a certain level of dignity about her if she was to hold any respect with any beast.

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Pralia didn't know the song Fern was singing, but she tapped her footpaw in tune. After a few moments it had her chuckling. "Did your father teach you that?" She asked. It seemed as good a war song as any, to keep spirits high anyway.

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Krazka pointed his broadsword into the trees and shouted, "March!" The horde, unable to march in lines due to the closeness of the trees, marched forward at a steady pace into the trees. The balista gave a loud groan, followed by a creak as the vermin bearing it shoved it forward. The fox himself jumped on the base and grabbed one of the legs for balance, staring ahead of the army eagerly. Soon...

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((Two days sounds reasonable. Is Krazka opting to launch the attack on day two rather than the day of their arrival?))

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((Sounds good to me! lol))

 

"Yea, he did." Fern said, looking out over Mossflower with a sigh. "It's our marching song...the one we use when we're far from home."

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((Yes, the first day should be about surveillance I think. *Time skip* ))

 

Krazka crouched in the foliage, a small party surrounding him. The rest of the army was tucked away behind the abbey, however he and his crew were watching the front gates. They were open, with different creatures doing various tasks walking back and forth. Unable to resist, one of the rats in his party dashed forward whooping, "C'mon mates, dem idjits left the gate open!" The fox lunged forward to grab him but missed, having no other option but to slide back into the bushes. At the sight of the greedy rat, Abbey dwellers who'd been working outside rushed for the gates, some of the fainter hearted screaming. The gates slammed shut abruptly in the face of the rat, who turned and grinned at Krazka. "See? Dey ain't fighters, we kin kill em easy!"

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Pralia, hearing the commotion, leaned over the side of the wall and peered down at the fleeing beasts below. "Whats happening?" She called down, then saw the rat who had caused the commotion. "Fern, I think theyre here," she said, grabbing her bow from across her shoulder. Drawing back, she fired an arrow that went through the paw the rat had been waving to the fox with. "I was aiming for his head.." she sighed, watching him jump about crazily and waving his injured paw.

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"Pralia, I believe you're right." Fern said, a smirk slowly spreading over her face. She became a different creature the instant battle was upon them. The difference was noticable, as always, but she never noticed herself. "Otters! Weapons up, ready....Fire!" Slings whipped, spears hisses, and bows twanged as the weapons were let loose. The rat in the road fell dead from a well place sling-stone, and others screamed in the brush across the way. She dropped her voice, saying as she pulled Pralia down, "Otters, down!"

They'd only just finished the ditch that morning, and the gates were being shored up as the weapons flew. The side gates were already closed and shored up. If they wanted Redwall, they'd have to fight for Redwall.

She raised her voice, yelling at the vermin leader, whoever it was. "Ahoy ye vermin. Ye've barely tasted a fourth of our force; unless ye be wanting to taste us all, ye best be leavin'."

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Pralia dropped down as she was told, then chanced a peek over the wall. Apart from the slain rat, there was no one there. "I think we scared them off," she whispered, staring at the ditch. Was that it? It seemed a bit silly to make a fuss over a horde so small. There had to be more of them, right?

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Krazka made no reply to the otter who had yelled at him. Instead he pushed a dead stoat off of his tail and crept back into the trees. The remainder of his group stood ready, unsure of his temper for taking a hit. "Let's get back, I have what I need," he ordered, then lead them in a wide arc around the Abbey and back to the main army. As soon as they returned he strode towards the balista and it's operators, drawing them all close. "Lissen here...."

 

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Fern shook her head, looking around the wall. A a signal from her the otters once again spread out over the wall, the ones on the ground below joining them. "Pralia, listen here. There's more than what we just dealt with, many more. I can guaretee you that. I can also guarentee that the main force is not right there." She pointed over the wall toward where they'd just shot. "Most vermin aren't that smart, but I have a feeling this group has a fox among them, if not leading them. No, there're more, and their planning something more."

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Triage off-loaded with the rest, looking up at the trees. "They've been through...the birds are gone." He said, helping Log-a-Log out of the boat and the badger lady. He looked toward Redwall with a heavy sigh. Why must blood be shed so close to his home? Martin, take care over my daughter...she's young and needs support I can't give.

He looked at Mikal with a smirk. "Feel like flyin', bird?"

"Always fly always." Mikal said, ruffling his feathers and sticking out his chest.

"Good, then fly on to Redwall, get a cover of what is happenin', and tell my daughter her pa is comin' home. Then get yore feather'd tail back to me and give me an update."

Mikal cawed lightly, then took off, ducking through the trees expertly. He could fly, that was for certain.

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"I say jolly old redwall is just through these woods." Conya said helping with the boats before standing beside skip. "I look forward to sampling their legendary feasts. I suppose Mikal's gone off to asertain the situation?" Conya sounded a tad more serious than usual as she cracked her knukles and checked her long knives in both anticipation and anxiety. She had only been a a few actual combat situations the first of which earned her the mace scar on her cheek. Battle was less than a day on the horizan and the hares fur was bristling.

 

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Morgatha and his section of the horde walked along the edge of the river. If Krazka was flanked from the south than it wouldn't do any good for Morgotha to be north of his commander, and although east wasn't too much better it was better. Marching just behind the fox was a band of all manner of vermin he had worked with personally although for a short time they stood apart from teh rest of the horde. They had an assortment of weapons but were beginning to learn how to use them in conjunction with each other. Hordes were good especially for large scale invasions but he wanted an actual team nearby when it came down to fighting on the battlefield. "Sir when do we move in towards redwall?" asked a ferret that marched nearby Morgatha. "When we have confirmed that we control this part of the forest. Lord Krazka will have his hands full with just the abby if anything decides to strike from the rear or either of his flanks we need to be there to trip them up. Then and only then can we add our forces to the attack on redwall. Call an all stop and send out another scout. I don't want to be caught with my tail between my legs." His portion of the horde came to a stop, they had done this pretty regularly since catching up with Krazka. A scout headed out and after about five minutes the quarter horde moved again. Morgotha never waited for the scouts return, they were ordered to scout ahead before returning.

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Pralia didn't comment. Instead she shaded her eyes with a paw, leaning out of the battlements to stare at the forest. "I think I just saw something flash.. It may just be too hot and I'm seeing things," she said, climbing back down. Her eyes were probably playing tricks on her. She rubbed them carefully.

((She's referring to the shrews and their party, sorry if that's unrealistic))

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Krazka rubbed his paws together, watching the proceedings. The balista, now fully camouflaged, was hidden behind two large oak trees. It was angled perfectly for his next move. Meanwhile half of his force had disappeared back into the trees, so as to fool the little beasts that they were so few an army. What army that was with him had lined up in rows, each vermin sporting a nasty weapon. The fox himself was decked in full war regalia, from the silk cape around his shoulders to the chain breast plate he was wearing. With a final look around, he adorned a well-crafted silver helm and went to stand in front of his troops. Once in place, he led them out of the woods and up the Abbey wall until they were in view. At a nod from Krazka, a rat cupped his paws and shouted, "Oi! Youse Abbey beasts! Come an speak wiv the High Lord Krazka!" The fox glanced at the balista crew who were leaning on the oak trees. One nodded, then went back to looking nonchalant.

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The badger lady stepped out of the logboat and looked around. "Long Patrol, unload and be ready to march on the double," she called, setting the hares into a frenzy of packing and shouldering gear.

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