This is a Redwall Fan-Fiction story by Hollyfire53. Enjoy!


A beautiful female wildcat stood looking over the horizon, a portly badger warrior next to her. The wildcat thought for a moment before saying, "They are having a party."
"Aye, Queen Alrescha." replied the badger warrior.
"How long should they live, Menkar?" asked the wildcat queen.
"Maybe two days, Queen Alrescha." answered Menkar, knowing it would have to be soon for him to live.
"Maybe." said Queen Alrescha. Suddenly, anger boiled inside the wildcat queen.
"The stupid fools of Kitalpha have lived too long!" she shrieked.
"Aye, Queen Alrescha." said Menkar, sounding like a machine replaying it's message.
The queen calmed at this. Sighing, she said, "I know you think 'tis a tenderfoot business, destroying a whole town." she said.
"Aye, Queen Alrescha." repeated Menkar without thinking.
"Wrong answer, you idiot!" she screamed.
Finally, she asked in a dangerously calm voice, "How long does Father have?"
"About a month. Whoever attacked him knew what they were doing." replied Menkar.
Too long, thought Alrescha. I'll need to speed up the process. I can't wait that long to be queen. "Speed up the attack! We go this evening." ordered the queen.
"But..." began the badger warrior.
"Silence! I am now the Ruler of all Diadem! Never will King Aphrodite rule again! You will address me as Queen forevermore! I..." But Queen Alrescha trailed off. She was already thinking how she would distinguish Kitalpha's lights forever.

Chapter OneEdit

"Kuma, my love! What is wrong?" asked the squirrel chief, Rigel.
His mate, a beautiful squirrel named Kuma, was doubled up, wincing horribly. Kuma gulped. "Time."
Rigel felt a shudder race through his body. He and Kuma had waited for months for their daughter. Now, it was time for it to come.
"Arietis!" called Rigel into a hut behind him.
Arietis, the squirrel healer, bustled out, some plants in her arms. When she caught sight of the squirrel chief standing there, she dropped the plants onto a nearby pile. Throwing Rigel a hasty salute, she asked, "How may I have the honor of addressing our regal chief?"
Rigel did not even stop to laugh. "Kuma's time has come." Rigel answered, looking as serious as he could. "Help her. I beg..."
Arietis began to lead Kuma into her hut, completely ignoring Rigel.
Rigel followed a distance behind, and he surveyed the camp. I am lucky to lead such a nice camp. So peaceful... Rigel thought.
But suddenly, there was a cry of "Attack!", and squirrels began running everyways. Schedar, the sentry, came running down from Mellough Tower, the sentry's tower, and Rigel knew something was going on. Schedar never left his post. Rigel listened. He could hear cries of "Darkmoon!" and "Kitalpha~" coming from each side.
Looking down, he saw Queen Alrescha and Menkar the Warrior coming up to the door. But...wait...was that his name?
Turning around, he saw Arietis coming toward him, looking both grave and proud. "Rigel! The babe's here! What shall you name her?"
At that moment, Schedar came up to him. "The holly's caught fire!" he breathed. "And Alrescha's nearly here!"
Rigel, looking horrorstruck, turned back to Arietis. "Call her Hollyfire." He said. And Hollyfire is what she is called.

Chapter TwoEdit

"Twas bad luck you came, Alrescha." said Rigel, facing the angered wildcat queen. "We don't put up with murderers in Kitalpha."
Alrescha was temporarily stunned. How did Rigel know she had killed her father earlier that day? "Murderer? I beg your pardon, but I'm no murderer." Alrescha said, innocently, recovered.
Rigel let out a wheezy laugh. "Lies! Can you speak anything but lies, Alrescha?"
The wildcat stepped closer to the squirrel chief. "Always address me as Queen Alrescha." she growled.
Menkar the badger warrior came up next to his mistress. "Aye, Queen Alrescha." Menkar growled, snarling at Arietis and Kuma, standing behind Rigel, Hollyfire in the shadows with them.
Rigel, however, gave another wheezy laugh. "You killed your father, Alrescha. Did you not?"
Alrescha drew up on two legs, towering threatningly over Rigel. "You have too big a mouth, squirrel."
Queen Alrescha sprang at Rigel, but he side-stepped her. Drawing a bow and arrow, he aimed at the stunned wildcat. He shot and... missed. Alrescha jumped up, and sprang at Rigel again, just as Menkar lunged for Kuma, Hollyfire, and Arietis.
The battle of Kitalpha had begun.

Chapter ThreeEdit

Alone, in a dark cavern, Rigel had escaped the battle. Taking Hollyfire, he had left the fight where Kuma had been slain. He never wanted to return again.
A noise on his left made him turn. Alrescha and Menkar were standing there, Menkar nearly dead from bloodloss. "Leaving so soon, Rigel? If you give us Hollyfire, we'll let you go."
Alrescha mocked the squirrel chief. Rigel growled, baring his teeth. "You'll get my babe when I'm at the gates of the Dark Forest!"
Menkar swayed, dripping with his own blood. "Run, Rigel! Take Hollyfire and never return!" screamed Menkar.
Rigel grabbed Hollyfire, and asked Menkar, horrified, why he had turned from Alrescha.
"She killed my parents, and has nearly killed me, getting me to slay that Schedar person."
Schedar was dead?
"Traitor!" Alrescha screamed, jumping onto Menkar.
Voices from the fight were getting louder. Alrescha, satisfied that Menkar was dead, ran, fleeing the cavern.
Rigel ran to Menkar, and asked him how he felt.
Menkar, closing his eyes, said, "I died saving you and Hollyfire. Promise me you'll always remember me." Menkar sighed.
"I promise. I swear on my life!" promised Rigel.
"Thank you." Menkar gave a last shudder, and lay still.
Menkar, the great badger warrior, was dead.
The noises from the fight were getting ever louder.

Chapter FourEdit

Kuma was dead. Schedar was dead. Menkar was dead. And there was no sign of Arietis, so she must be dead too.
Rigel took Hollyfire deeper and deeper into the forest. Hollyfire was certainly growing.
And there was a heap on the path in front of them. Hollyfire went up to it.
"I know you!" she exclaimed. Rigel walked up to the figure.
There was something familar about the shape. It was... Arietis!

When she came to, she told Rigel that she was heading for Salamandastron.
"We're coming too." Rigel said firmly.
And so, the next day, Hollyfire, Rigel, and Arietis started for Salamandastron, the fire mountain.
It loomed in the distance, like a goal that would never be reached. But Rigel and Arietis were determined.
And Hollyfire was as Hollyfire is: playful, annoying, and adventurous. Which would later give her the name Hollyfire the Fearless.

Chapter FiveEdit

Alrecha the wildcat was in a terrible rage. "You let their leader escape!" she spat at one of her fighters, named Spica.
Spica, a thin weasel, knew it was pointless to argue with Alrescha when she was in a temper, pointless to tell the tyrant wildcat queen that it was Menkar's fault Kitalpha still had living inhabitants.
Coming back to Mellough Castle, Alrescha had said nothing, only kicked angrily at Jenlander, a stoat captain, after he complained at Snowbank, another guard, about having to always walk in full armor.

Back at Mellough, though, the Ruler of all Diadem was horribly angry.
Her rage became fear when she saw a dark shape coming over to Mellough. Fearing it was Sirius, the old thrasher who occupied Mellough before the wildcats, Alrescha ducked behind her bed, out of sight from the window, and planned revenge on Rigel.
The next day, thought Alrescha, I'll go see Sadalmelik. Sadalmelik was an old badger, the last of the great Shadow Badgers, who could easily blend into the shadows.
He was a weapon for Alrescha to use. He could spy, and find Rigel. Then Alrescha could launch an attack on where ever he was, take his daughter, capture any more remaining squirrels, and continue ruling Diadem, without the squirrels of Kitalpha in her way.
A perfect scheme, thought Alrescha, as she went to sleep that night. A perfect scheme.

Chapter SixEdit

Rigel was wrong. Not everything at the squirrel camp had been killed.
A squirrel named River had taken six other squirrels to the Highshores, the shore line. There were many rocks around the Highshores, so there were caves.
River was no chief, but she was pleased she had managed to save there six.
These squirrels were: [[Morning (Hollyfire's Tale)|Morning, a squirrelwife, her three squirrelbabes, Kaylie, Hope and Ivy, Moonshine, Morning's mate, and River's brother, Pine. River had talked with Morning and Pine- Moonshine was taking care of Kaylie, Hope, and Ivy- and they had decided- they would head for Salamandastron, with the hope that they could serve under the badger lord, who's name they did not know yet.
"Besides," said Pine. "If Rigel and Hollyfire survived, they might be at Salamandastron too!"
River thought that very unlikely, but she did not say so. The next day, they set off northward.

Rigel, Arietis, and Hollyfire had stopped. There was a long forest that stretched out in front of them. "Country Mossflower Woods." said Arietis without hesitation.
Rigel sighed. Walking forward, he began looking for a way into Mossflower. Hollyfire let out a squeal. Arietis ignored her. Hollyfire squealed again.
"Stop it, will you?" asked Arietis irritably.
"Burr aye, dis yurr miz have da roight oidea, hurr hurr." said a voice.
Letting out another sigh, Rigel turned cautiously. There, giving Hollyfire is huge hug, was a large mole, ginning from ear to ear!

Chapter SevenEdit

"Moi name's Digclaw. Whaut's yours?" the mole asked.
"I'm Rigel, this is Arietis, and your hugging my daughter, Hollyfire."
Hollyfire waved her tail at the mole. "Friend." she cooed.
Digclaw looked up at Rigel. "Your dauoighter is soo very koind." Digclaw cooed. "Where are yoi going?"
"Salamandastron. Can you help us?" asked Arietis.
"Of course oi can." replied Digclaw. "Follow oi."

River continued north until she saw the mountains. Then, she called a meeting. All the squirrels in her tribe were there this time. River told them, "We are near to Salamandastron. It is just over those mountains, about a month away. But I fear we cannot live another month."
At this, Moonshine jumped up. "Why not? It's the middle of Autumn!" the squirrels murmured agreement.
Pine sighed. "You are forgetting how northward we are. Up here, autumn ends sooner then it did back in Kitalpha."
"Finished, you two?" River asked, irritated.
They nodded.
"Good. Now, Pine, you can go ahead of us. Come back every week, and tell us what you find. When you first see Salamandastron, immediatly come back to us. By then, we should at least be halfway up the mountains. Any questions?"
Morning stood up. "Hope is sick. She has a fever, and calls out rhymes. Last night, she talked about a tree, going on a quest, and never returning!"
River thought, then said, "What exactly did she say?"
"She's saying it now!" Morning reported.
And Hope began saying,

Beware the scout, he is a tree
Goes on the path, goes to see
He won't return, but live to seek
Revenge upon he, the one who's sleek.

River stiffened. "Let's work it out. Obviously, she's talking about one of us. Right?"
The squirrels nodded.
"Now... "Beware the scout, he is a tree," well, what kind of scout does a tree make?" Morning inquired.
Pine stood up. "I know. River just told me to go ahead and see what the path holds. She told me to scout the path. I'm named after a tree, a pine tree."
"Hmm, "Goes on the path, goes to see," that means the same thing! Meaning that Pine is the one to be our scout!" River called out.
"Yesh, but da nesht part?" Ivy asked.
Pine recited, "'He won't return, but live to seek,' does that mean I go missing, or die?"
"Live to seek? That could mean die, but live on in someone else, or you could live..." River said, deep in thought.
"Next part: 'Revenge upon he, the one who's sleek', why would Pine want revenge unless someone dies? Nah, I think Pine dies." Morning said.
Pine stuck his tongue out at her.
"The one who's sleek, could that be Alrescha?" asked River, hoping to divert the situation away from Morning and Pine.
"Nah, Allresschhy a grrill." Ivy replied.
But Hope was speaking again:

Speak not his name,
Know not his fame,
Only death can bring,
Or make it ring.

"So it's not Alrescha." said Pine, relieved.
"But not someone good." River replied. "Now, get some sleep. Pine, can I talk to you?"
So River's camp went to sleep, Hope's rhymes in their minds.

Chapter EightEdit

Alrescha was once again very angry. Two of her Captains had been slain, and the culprit was Sirius, the old Thrasher. Sirius had escaped, leaving an inraged wildcat queen.
Suddenly, Alrescha had an idea. "Dankgurgle, get my remaining captains."

Digclaw led Rigel and Arietis into the woods, Hollyfire on his back. "Burr aye, you'm harve a vury noice daughter, aye!" Digclaw told Rigel.
Rigel puffed proudly. "Thoink yoi!" the squirrelchief had learned molespeak, which delighted their guide. He still needed some work, though.
Arietis had been to see the trail, and brought back good news to the hungry travelers- Redwall Abbey was just over the hills. But they had had a very hard question- stay at [http://Redwall Abbey, or push onto Salamandastron. They had decided to at least visit Redwall.

Alrescha addressed her Captains- Scuffoot, a weasel, Kkujukt, a stoat, and Aicnu, a fox.
"Okay, Captains. You see, I have reason to believe that not every squirrel in Kitalpha died!
Aicnu gave a choked sound of disbelief. "But my queen, you are unbeatable!"
"Thank you, Aicnu. Now, Kkujukt, if you had lost your whole world, where would you go?"
"Northward, my queen."
Purring, Alrescha nodded. "Very good, very good! And what's northward? Salamandastron, place of the Badger Lords! Protection!"

Early the next morning, Arietis called softly into the underbrush, “Rigel, look!”
The squirrelchief came out, carefully stepping over Digclaw and Hollyfire who were huddled up together, asleep, with Hollyfire's long, bushy tail covering Digclaw's thick front paws.
The two squirrels stood together, staring out into the morning.
Dew had settled in the night, and now, as the sun rose, the dew made the leaves appear dappled. Through the trees, there was a building rising high and proud. Redwall Abbey!

Chapter NineEdit

The fox has spoken
To the weasel Noakan
“They have the mountain!”
Watch out for the Soutain!
He knows no fear,
And will live over the year,
He fights the Badger Lord
While wielding the Giant Sword!

River's camp woke the following morning with Hope calling out her poem. Moonshine and Ivy began with breakfast, while Pine and River sat, figuring out their newest development.
“Hmm, “The fox has spoken”, that's really obvious! Hey... River... do ya think that this “fox” is the Sleek One?” Pine asked thoughtfully.
“Dunno, do I? Well, the next one is really obvious too... The fox spoke to a weasel named Noakan. Hmm, he could be the Sleek One, I mean, he has a follower, that's for sure.” River replied.
“They have the mountain... watch out for the Soutain. It said... THE mountain, not A mountain. Could it be Salamandastron?” Pine suggested.
“But then...” River's voice faltered.
The two squirrels looked at each other. They both were thinking the same thing: What was this Soutain?

Alrescha continued talking to her Captains-

“Kkujukt, take seven more of my horde and get to Salamandastron, as soon as possible. Aicnu, you go and find... oh, three more beasts. Track and kill Sirius. I want his beak. You, Scuffoot, promote Dankgurgle and two others to be Captains. We must remain stronggggggggggg!” She screeched the last word, sending the three beasts running for the door.

Chapter TenEdit

Rigel stood up, stretching. “Thanks for showing me the view, Arietis. We'll hit Redwall by mid-afternoon.” He looked fondly at Hollyfire. “Wake those sleepy-heads up, Arietis.”
Arietis picked up the breakfast pack. “Aww, look at them, Rigel. Let's just began with breakfast. That mole'll wake up when he smells food. I declare, he's a stomach with digging claws! I'll bet three scones to a Redwall cake that he can eat more food than you!”
Rigel flashed Arietis a hurt look. “Oh, and where's your loyalty to your chief?”
Arietis lowered her bushy tail. “Rigel, oh, I didn't mean that...”
She stopped. He was smiling. “Oooo, I'll get you...” Arietis threw herself at him, laughing. The two tussled for a moment, before Rigel stood over her, grinning triumphantly.
Rigel laughed openly, before remarking casually, “Hey, Arietis, I won!”
But it wasn't Rigel's voice that came out.
The voice spoke again. “Don't move, yore surrounded!”
Arietis pushed Rigel off her. Standing there, all around them, even guarding Hollyfire and Digclaw, were grim faced otters, all armed with sharp javelins!

River and Pine faced the small group of squirrels. “Mates, Pine has agreed to go, heedless of Hope's warnings. He will return and tell us how far to Salamandastron, or at least to the end of Mossflower. We've been in Mossflower Wood for a while. And Moonshine does have some good news...” River announced.
Moonshine clambered up towards the two squirrels. “Aye, Redwall Abbey lies two days away!”
River put on a puzzled look. “Well, um, that wasn't the news I thought you were going to announce... um... the other news, Moonshine?”
Moonshine thought for a moment before nodded. “Oh, yeah, and we caught the scent of otters. I followed them, and they've got Rigel, Arietis, Hollyfire and some mole surrounded. They probably aren't in any danger, but I suggest we at least go help. Skipper and Log-a-log really have them surrounded, I'm sure.”

Not far from Salamandastron, a wildcat paced up and down around her surroundings. She was young, and had dark fur. All she knew was that if she survived, she would join with Salamandastron. Corinea Gingertail was a good wildcat.
Alrescha, her mother, had gone and left her. Her father had been injured, and had gone off and left her too. Now, Corinea began plotting for revenge against her mother.

Chapter ElevenEdit

River sighted the clearing ahead. There was Skipper of Otters, with his javelin pointed straight at Rigel. River turned and beckoned to Pine. That was the signal.
Putting on an extra burst of speed, the squirrels were soon there. Unable to help herself, Ivy called, “Holly, it's you!”
Skipper acted like lightning. Thinking the intruders were vermin, he lunged and sunk the javelin straight into Arietis's chest!
Arietis let out an astonished sigh. “Oh, my!” Gazing at the javelin point buried in her chest, the squirrel's eyes fluttered shut for the last time.
Rigel threw himself next to her. “Arietis, Arietis, don't die, please! You almost made it...”
Arietis managed to open her eyes, though it was plain that the effort was hurting her. “Take me...”
River, Pine, and Skipper lifted the dying squirrel between them. Digclaw and Hollyfire, who had woken up when Ivy called, followed with Log-a-Log Frenn and his shrews and River's band.
Up ahead, Redwall Abbey stood tall and firm, like place of beauty, but Rigel didn't notice. When Skipper reached the main gate, he let out a warcry, “Redwalllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!
A dormouse opened the gate. Seeing Arietis in the otter's arms, he let out a cry of despair. “Pilithie!”
Upon hearing this cry, a fieldmouse came and lifted her into the Abbey, talking softly to her. “Now now, Arietis, you'll just go up to the Infirmary. Ole Pilithie'll take care of you, huh!”
In the Infirmary, Pilithie lay Arietis on a mattress.
For the next four days, Pilithie took care of Arietis. Rigel actually began to feel hopeful, until one fine, sunny day. Skipper and Rigel had become friends, and they were joking together in the Cavern Hole when Pilithie came back from the Infirmary.
“S...she d...died a...a... m...moment ago,”
Rigel began running for the dormitory stairs. Skipper made to follow him, but Pilithie touched his arm softly. <BR> Three days later, Rigel, Hollyfire and Digclaw were dressed by River and Pine. Ivy and Moonshine brought in a bushel of flowers. Grunting, Skipper and Log-a-Log brought in a huge stone slab.

Here lies Arietis Mistmint, step-wife to Rigel Squirrelking and step-mother to Hollyfire Squirrelqueen. Rest in peace, Arietis, you made it to Redwall from your destroyed home.

River wiped away a tear. “You made it wonderfully, Skipper. You too, Log-a-Log. We'll never be able to re-pay you.”
Log-a-Log Frenn blushed a deep red. “Your too kind, miz River.”
Skipper feigned indifference, though he looked pleased that the stone fitted Rigel and River's standards. “So... 'ow long'r you 'uns stayin' 'ere?”
Rigel dipped his head sadly. “Tonight. Not to hurt you, friend Skipper, but I cannot live at a place where my comrades were slain...”
Skipper dipped his head too. “So be 't.”

Chapter TwelveEdit

Corinea continued to pace until she saw a welcome sight. There was a crack in the rocks, which had trapped her! The wildcat put one paw on the right side and a paw on the left. Grunting, she pulled. There was a splitting sound. Corinea smiled in satisfaction. She pulled harder. The crack was now wide enough so as she could pull herself up. As she stood on top of the rocks, there came a rumbling sound. Avalanche! The wildcat scrambled off the rocks onto the sand, and watched as the rocks came crumbling down.
When she could look no more, Corinea turned towards Salamandastron. Behind it, the shimmering lights of Kitalpha shone no more. Smiling again at her freedom, the wildcat set off towards Salamandastron.

That night, Calrat the Cook handed eleven food packs. Rigel looked at them, startled. “What're these for?”
Calrat smiled. “Well, there's one for you, Hollyfire, Digclaw, River, Pine, Ivy, Hope, Kaylie, Moonshine and Morning.”
The squirrelking did some hasty figuring. “Thats ten packs! There're eleven that you made for us! Arietis isn't coming, you know.”
Calrat's smile grew. “You don't honestly think Skipper'd let you go that easily? Nah, you're taking his daughter, Reedwater Carlson, with you.”
Skipper and Reedwater came into the kitchen. Skipper sat down, but Reedwater politely kept standing.
Rigel handed the beautiful young ottermaid her pack. Skipper jumped up and took three others. Calrat carried three out too, and Rigel could only get three also, so Reedwater took another pack.
Rigel and Reedwater talked quietly together as they walked outside. “So, Reedwater, you have a nice name. How did you get it?”
The ottermaid smiled, her teeth flashing in the sunlight. “I was found by Skipper, he's my adopted father, half-in the reeds and half-in the water. Carlson is just what my brother was called before he disappeared.”
Rigel nodded. “I'm named Rigel because that means, “leader” in the ancient KItalphian speech. Guess I wasn't a good leader. Nearly four score squirrels of Kitalpha were slain, and Alrescha still lives!”
Reedwater Carlson nodded too, slowly and sadly. “Vermin are horrible. Do you know, Alrescha had a daughter named Corinea Gingertail? They say Corinea was abandoned inside a rock cavern, with no food or water. Alrescha wounded her husband and forced him to live on a piece of rock that would cause the cavern to avalanche, killing both her husband and her daughter. Isn't that cruel!”

Chapter ThirteenEdit

Alrescha set off early the next day. She took a long, fighting lance and a metal shield. Sadalmelik lived on the other side of Mossflower from Mellough Castle, which irritated Alrescha.
Mossflower Woods were quiet, with barely any sun coming through the trees. The cowardly queen picked up her pace. To keep her thoughts off the immediate danger she was in, Alrescha Gingertail hummed a small song to herself.

I'm a warlady, brave and bold,
I know no fear, oh, I know no fear!
Anything I capture I can hold,
You can't escape from here!
My dungeons cold,
My dungeons wet,
No beast escapes my stronghold!
Oh, I'm a warlaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddyyyyyy!

A stone thudded against a rack near Alrescha's foot. A mocking voice called, “Never got any 'etter at singin', did ye, Elreschy Gengatail?”
Horrified, the wildcat watched as a shape merged from the shadows. Alrescha reached out for her lance, but it wasn't there! The shape came closer, slowly and steadily. All the female wildcat knew was that this definitely wasn't Sadalmelik!

The shape smiled, revealing no teeth. Turning around, there were slash marks all around his back. His bushy tail was severed down to a stump and his fur was singed. “Do ye not remember me? I am, or wes, Schedar, a skerrial if Kitalfa. Ye 'ad yon Minker slain me!”
Schedar came closer. “Eginst moi jedgement, I harve yon mysage for ye! Leeson carfully naw! Yon Regil and yon 'Ollyfoire wiv yon Reedwat'r Crarlson're 'unting ye down! Ye must free!”
Alrescha laughed, fully recovered from her fright. “Go away, spirit! A Gingertail Queen never turns and runs just because some freaky, slain squirrel wants me to flee! Now be gone before I slay you again!”
Fading into the shadows, Schedar mocked her once again. “Stay end doi, scrum! See've oi car! Oi've warrned ye naw!”
Laughing harshly, Alrescha hurried off into the depths of Mossflower. Schedar watched her go, and sighed. “Whoiy don't no best evea lis'n t' moi?”

Chapter FourteenEdit

Skipper met the outgoing travelers at the edge of Mossflower. He had crowns of river lilies and the leaves of reeds which he placed on Reedwater and Hollyfire's heads. Waving goodbye, Skipper gave an audible sniff.
Grimacing at Moonshine, who was standing next to Morning and Ivy, Reedwater dug into the pocket of her green tunic and brought out a lilac tissue, and she gave it to her adopted father.
Skipper took one look at it, and gave it back to his daughter, disgusted. “I am a warrior.” Skipper informed Reedwater. “A warrior does not need the PURPLE cloth squares of humble maidens.”
Laughing, Reedwater Carlson took her tissue back. “Big tough warrior, crying!”

As the squirrels and the otter were preparing to leave, suddenly Skipper came running out of the Abbey. Sighing, Reedwater and Hollyfire, who had become firm friends, walked over.
In one of Skipper's arms, he held a beautiful sword and scabbard- the Sword of Martin the Warrior. In the other was a small whistle.
“Father?” asked Reedwater, puzzled.
But Skipper reached out and dragged his paw from the top of Hollyfire's head to the deep plume of her bushy tail. Then he grabbed a javelin from the shadow of a nearby tree, and raised it, far beyond Hollyfire's head.
Suddenly, the big otter brought the sharp point down, threateningly, pointing it at the young squirrel's head. But then, a fraction from her skull, he stopped. Hollyfire had not flinched once.
Smiling, Skipper tossed his weapon into a bush. He knelt down in front of her and handed her the sword. The big otter said only one word, but it burned into Hollyfire's mind. “Warrior!” Confused, Reedwater helped Hollyfire pull her up. Skipper smiled at his daughter. “You, my dear, are just as important. Martin the Warrior came to me last night in a dream. One day, you will get your heart's desire.” He handed Reedwater the reed flute in his hand.
The two otters looked deep into each other's eyes. “Reedwater, you are the daughter of a otter, and the sister of an otter.” Skipper lowered his voice so Hollyfire couldn't hear. “She is fated to do great things. But you must teach her the way. Always put yourself before her. You will live at your brother's Holt one day, but for now, though you will meet him, stay with the squirrels. They are all fated to die- all but three. You will live- this I know.”
Skipper wrapped his arms around the female otter. He placed one of his paws around Reedwater's paw with the flute. The otters hugged. Skipper whispered into her ear, “It'll all work out. It'll all work out, I promise.”

Chapter FifteenEdit

Kyo Firesly the Lord of Foxes sat in his throne. His palace lay in the mountains, and it was the only shelter there past Redwall Abbey until you reached Salamandastron.
Kyo was wiser than any beast could imagine! He was a Marlfox, but he was more magic than that. He had such a huge palace, and such great eyesight that if a fly came within seven miles of his stronghold, he could spot it.
You couldn't starve him out, either. He had over fifty-thousand tunnels and twenty four thousand lards, stocked full with the best food and drinks. The tunnels could get you anywhere, even under the sea, and Kyo had patrols watch the tunnels every day.
He had over three hundred thousand slaves, too. None were hares- the complained too much. But any other beast younger than twelve seasons were slaves, even vermin.
But despite his comforts, Kyo had dreams- in particular, a otter with a magic flute, a squirrel with an unbreakable sword, and another squirrel with a poisoned sling and rocks, bow and arrow, and a lot of other weapons.

Corinea saw the fortress before she entered it. Salamandastron- even the name sounded magical! As she approached the gates, she saw something inside it move. “It's a blinkin' wildcat, and it looks as'f she's 'ad a ruff ol' time, wot wot!”
Corinea batted the door lighty. The hare inside opened it. “Who's flippin' well there? Show y'selves!”
The wildcat paced in front of the door. “Hmm... if you can't see me, then I think your blind, Sergeant!”
The hare was taken aback. “Oh, well, uh... why don't you blinkin' well come and see our flippin' badgah lord, Lord Skyarrow?”
Corinea smiled. “Skyarrow, sounds magical as well.”
The hare, who's full name was Starbank Gurah Lorsar but was known as Starbank, was at a loss for a reply to this, so he opened the gates a little wider, and allowed the young wildcat to gain entrance to the fortress.
They found Lord Skyarrow in the dining hall. He was a huge, white badger with a long, thin stripe down his back which branched out into arrow-like shapes. The Lord was laughing and joking with the Hares of his Patrol, but stopped abuptly when he saw Corinea.
“Who are you to bring a WILDCAT into our mountain, Starbank?” asked an old hare named Brightlock, sniggering at the wildcat's ragged appearance.
“Silence, Brightlock! Allow the child to speak!” roared the badger, smiling at Corinea.
And so, the wildcat began her tale.