A Recent History of the Long Patrol
A Brief History of the Long Patrol following the Lord Bludstripe’s Passing
Written by Mjr. H.T. Barca (d. Seventh Season of Lord Sebastian Blackstripes’s Reign); being compiled further by various scribes of the Long Patrol as of the twenty-second season of Lord Ciocan’s Reign
The Reign of Lord Bludstripe
The Badger Lord Bludstripe was a legendary figure in the extensive history of the Long Patrol, due in part to the lack of surviving records from his time resulting in a reliance on word of mouth tales and stories. Such facets of his life, such as when he was born, when he came to the mountain of Salamandastron, or his death are unknown. Much of this period has been lost to the murkiness of time, with nearly all records destroyed by the Great Earthquake and the later vermin occupation of Salamandastron.
Notable hares such as Z.L. Francis begun their long and celebrated careers under his rulership.
Officers during this Period
According to the only surviving list of hares serving in the Long Patrol from this time, officers in the seasons during the Lord Bludstripe leading up to the Great Earthquake were as listed: Colonel Sundew, Colonel Zoe L. Francis, Major Artigo, Major Bobbie, Major Jarril Black Fleetpaw, Major Triss, Major Zacharias, and Lieutenant Farsight.
A Note on Ranks
It is presumably either during this time or the seasons following the Great Earthquake that the standard rank structure of Patrol fell out of fashion for the simpler system of Colonel, Major, Lieutenant, Enlisted Class (Fighter, Healer, Runner), and was not reinstated until the many reforms of the Lord Ciocan's Reign.
The Great Earthquake
Some seasons after Bludstripe’s death an earthquake ravaged the lands of Mossflower to the sea in the summer; most records of the time preceding this event were damaged or destroyed. From the earthquake to the arrival of Lord Sebastian a period of roughly forty-three seasons passed, during which time the chief commanding officer was one Colonel Zoe Lang Francis.
The Command of Colonel Zoe Lang Francis
Colonel Z. L. Francis is fondly remembered as the officer who held the Long Patrol together during its darkest period in recent memory, bringing the Patrol back from the brink of destruction countless times over a long and celebrated career. While the exact date of her commission to the rank of colonel is unknown, she proved herself a leader in the seasons following the earthquake and beyond.
Officers during this Period
Besides the chief officer Colonel Francis, officers of the Long Patrol in the seasons following the Earthquake were as listed: Colonel Sundew, Colonel Earblade, Major Jarril Black Fleetpaw, Major Artigo, Major Rahier, Lieutenant Oxeye, and Lieutenant Darklett Fletchpaw. Major Rahier would later be promoted to the rank of Colonel and Lieutenant Fletchpaw to the rank of Major.
During this time the future officers General Quinten T.M.T.A. Tof’Marole, Brigadier Paisely S. Tuftington VI, Colonel Rowland D.F. Locke, Major Varus T.V. Swiftbuck II, and Captain Gregorian F. Harthwill became recruits in the Long Patrol.
Vermin Occupation of Halyard Village
In the twelfth season following the Earthquake, a summer, a band of savage vermin called the Bloodthirsters were lead by a ferret named Daclon to terrorize the western shore, making their main camp in Halyard Village. They held the village until the beginning of the following autumn (the thirteenth season following the Earthquake), when they were driven out by the Long Patrol with their leader slain by Major J. B. Fleetpaw in one and one combat.
Capture and Release of a Patrol Major and Private
In the fourteenth season following the Earthquake, Major J. B. Fleetpaw and the future lieutenant Taye were returning from business in Halyard village when they were attacked by an unknown band of vermin, who would go to chain them up and interrogate the two hares for some time before letting them go free. Who these creatures were and what they were after is unclear. Through private speculation one may be tempted to believe these attackers and kidnappers connected to the later invasion of Salamandastron or vengeance for Daclon's death at the paws of Major Fleewpaw no evidence survives from this incident beyond the account of Taye to support either view.
Exchange Program of Cadets of the Long Patrol with Redwall Abbey of Mossflower Woods
In the fifteenth season following the Earthquake, a spring, an exchange program was conducted between the cadets of the Long Patrol and novices of Redwall Abbey of Mossflower, lasting until the summer following (the sixteenth season following the Earthquake).
Vermin Invasion of Salamandastron
In the seventeenth season following the Earthquake, a summer, the vast majority of the Long Patrol spent some time outside of Salamandastron for training exercise for new recruits and veteran privates all. In the dead of night while the troops were out a collection of vagabonds who claimed the name of "Peltreapers" led by one Toroth the pine martin attacked and overpowered the Mountain Home Guard and captured the mountain. The mountain was liberated the following autumn (the eighteenth season since the Earthquake) when the recruits and patrol hares left outside of the mountain made use of an ancient tunnel leading to an undisclosed location in the bowels of Salamandastron and came upon the vermin who held the mountain, casting them out after a hard and bitter fight. Colonel Z.L. Francis, who had opted remained behind from the training mission, was severely injured in initial vermin take over and subsequent imprisonment, resulting in the loss of her eye.
Pirates in Mossflower
In the twenty-sixth season since the Earthquake, an Autumn, while on a routine mission for the Long Patrol, a contingent of hares were visiting Redwall Abbey when the ferret Ripclaw, pirate Captain of the Ravenwing, appeared in the area with his crew (presumably having traveled up the River Moss). A combined force made up of the Long Patrol's main regimental battalion supplemented by hares of the 67th Fur and Foot Fighting Patrol Regiment, together with otters of Camp Willow and woodlanders of Redwall Abbey, the vermin were engaged upon the great dirt road and were soundly defeated.
In the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth since the Earthquake, Winter and Spring respectively, a great sickness came upon Redwall Abbey, particularly effecting those still recovering from wounds from the battle with Ripclaw's crew the season before.
The following is taken from a note made at the time by an unknown healer: It appears to be serious, spreading quickly. The illness appears to be extremely virulent, symptoms including fatigue and unpleasant feeling followed by aches, chills, mild fever, then much worse fever, deep hacking cough, and trouble breathing. So far it is spreading outward from the infirmary patients, to the healers, and to those who have contact with them. It has spread to the 67th, as well. Several have died.
A cure, made from a rare plant known as Goldenwort which is native to Southsward, was eventually discovered by one Private Brenden Thatcher in one of the many ancient tomes kept at Redwall Abbey, as recounted in Brother Harper Sutton of the Order of Redwall's record. A band of healthy beasts led by Major Darklett of the Long Patrol were dispatched by Colonel Z. L. Francis to retrieve the herb. By the end of the sickness the death count had reached at least nineteen beasts dead with further records hard to come by, in part due to Brother Harper himself becoming ill. Further noted in the writings of one Garth the Scholar, who had arrived at the Abbey during the outbreak, the healers of Redwall showed an extreme reluctance to count the dead.
According to Brother Harper Sutton, after he had recovered, within the month the mission to retrieve the herb Goldenwart had been a success and those creatures trapped in the Abbey Infirmary were released. Brother Harper later wrote in the following month that the Long Patrol had departed from the Abbey and returned to Salamandastron as soon as they were able with the speculation of that the Patrol's eagerness came from what he calls "bad luck" in Mossflower.
Changes in the Ranks
Major Artigo, who had served since the Lord Bludstripe's Reign, retired the summer following the Patrol's return to Salamandastron, the twenty-ninth season since the Great Earthquake. In the thirty-first season since the Great Earthquake, a winter, Major Rahier was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Fighter (equivalent to the modern rank of Private) Tyree was promoted to the rank of Major (skipping the rank of Lieutenant).
In the seasons following, Lieutenant Taye was promoted to the rank of Major and Fighter Sidney was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, in addition to the future General Quinten T.M.T.A. Tof’Marole officially became the recorder of the Long Patrol at Salamandastron.
The Reign of Lord Sebastian Blackstripes
The Lord Sebastian Blackstripe was the badger lord of Salamandastron for a period of nine seasons until the Lord Ciocan's arrival, whereupon he stepped down from his position.
Officers during this Period
Officers of the Long Patrol in the early seasons of Lord S. Blackstripe's Reign were as listed: Colonel Zoe L. Francis, Colonel Rahier, Major Darklett Fletchpaw, Major Jarril Black Fleetpaw, Major Rahier, and Lieutenant Sidney.
Of the Badger Lord Sebastian Blackstripes's Arrival
The Decline of Halyard Village
In the time around Lord Sebastian's arrival, a great storm struck the western shore and the village of Halyard suffered greatly; the exact date or season of the storm is unknown due to lack of records taken at the time and what recordings that where made being damaged or lost in the many seasons since.
Despite the time of the storm being unknown, this event is often used as the starting point for the eventual mass migration of hares from the village to Salamandastron in later seasons.
War in Mossflower
In the fifth season of Lord Sebastian's Reign called the Spring of Bells by beasts of Redwall, Mossflower was thrown into a state of chaos with the Abbey itself being captured and occupied by vermin under the leadership of a creature called Marek Redthorn. In the last days of that spring members of the Order of Redwall and other beasts of Mossflower Woods travelled to the mountain of Salamandastron to seek aid from the Long Patrol.
By the summer, the sixth season of Lord Sebastian's reign and later named the Summer of Remembrance by those of Mossflower, the Long Patrol had fully organized a detachment of hares led by Lord Blackstripe himself to aid in the coming war to liberate Redwall Abbey. Once arrived in Mossflower in the June of that season, nearly a month of further preparations and coordinating with the local forces took place ere the final effort to retake Redwall Abbey was made possible.
In the early weeks of July of that season the battle was begun, and by the end of the day the vermin horde was all but defeated and driven from the Abbey grounds, with the Patrol having suffered comparatively few losses.
Afterwards, the Patrol slowly made their return triumphantly to the Western Shores. This remains one of the great modern victories of the Long Patrol and marks the height of Lord Sebastian Blackstripe's reign.
The Reign of Lord Ciocan
In the ninth season of Lord Sebastian's Reign, the fifty-first season following the Great Earthquake, Ciocan, a badger from distant lands, arrived at Salamandastron to succeed the lord Sebastion. The Lord Ciocan is the current ruling Badger Lord of Salamandastron & the Long Patrol.
Officers during this Period
By this time Col. Zoe L. Francis had long ago retired, leaving Col. Rahier to fill her shoes. The hares Dagda, Darcy, and Gris acted as patrol Majors.
Of the coming of the Lord Ciocan & the departure of the Lord S. Blackstripe
Upon the very same day that Lord Ciocan arrived at the Mountain Lord, in the tenth season of Lord Sebastian's reign and Lord Ciocan's first, a summer called the Summer of Friends and Renewal in Mossflower, Blackstripe departed into the night, surrendering his power to his successor in favour of returning to his days of wandering. No tale of the Patrol tells of what became of the Lord Sebastian Blackstripe after this, and none know where he went.
Ambassadors from Redwall Abbey
The Redthorn War & the Decimation of the Patrol
During the the Thirteenth Season of Lord Ciocan, a summer, there came a beast to Mossflower Country called Redthorn, and with him was brought a significant force of vermin; the war which was sparked lasted until the following Autumn. It was during this war the Long Patrol suffered its worst and greatest defeat in its history: of the force of over three hundred less than thirty hares ever returned.
In late summer the Order of Redwall requested aid from the Long Patrol, and the lord Ciocan led over three hundred hares to the east in answer. The struggle against Redthorn was eventually won through great effort of the woodlanders of Mossfower and the valiant hares of the Long Patrol, but the damage was done.
Ciocan, having helped win the war despite the horrible blunder, returned to the Western Shore with what few hares survived. To this day the Patrol has yet to fully recover from the terrible loss.
Following the horrific losses the Long Patrol suffered in Mossflower Country many efforts have been made to recover, but the patrol has yet to regain its pre-war strength.
Officers during this Period
Active officers of the Long Patrol immediately following the war in Mossflower were as follows: General Quinten Tarn Marben Teno Aluioscious Tof’Marole, Brigadier Paisely Strongpaw Tuftington VI, Colonel Rowland De Formelo Locke, Major Jinora Shyluck Windbell-Tottheim, Major Varus Trinius Visurgis Swiftbuck II, and Sergeant Gregorian Formalis Harthwill.
Major J.S. Windbell-Tottheim was promoted two ranks from Lieutenant to the rank of Major at an unusually young age in response to the sudden lack of senior level officers; Major V.T.V. Swiftbuck & Sergeant G.F. Harthwill were pulled from their retirement to further fill the much needed role of leadership on a patrol level.
In addition to those listed above, several more retirees took on a more active role in the day to day business of the Long Patrol, helping the organization to keep afloat. Retired-Major Peter ("Ol' Major Pete"), Retired-Captain Lucia Barcid-Cadwallader, and Retired-Lieutenant Olivia Swiftbuck are the most notable of these hares.
In the weeks and months following the disastrous war in Mossflower during the Fourteenth Season of Lord Ciocan's reign, Brigadier Paisely S. Tuftington took charge of the Patrol at large to make sweeping (and at the time necessary) changes.
Decisions at the time included the complete withdrawal from the village of Halyard, the restructure of Patrol ranks, the deactivation of patrol regiments such as the 67th & the 23rd, and the general reorganization of the Long Patrol into only two patrols each led by a major - the first led by an officer pulled from retirement named Varus T. V. Swiftbuck, and the second by the newly promoted Jinora S. Windbell-Tottheim.
A third patrol, called the "Ghost Patrol", was maintained on paper though had little actual strength in reality.
In addition, two hares, Corporal Adrian Swiftbuck and Private Montgomery A.R.W.B. Fleetpaw, were sent out on a recruiting mission in attempt to help recuperate the losses suffered in Mossflower.
The 'Ghost' Incident
Slavers come to the Western Shore
The 'Erg' Incident
Beginning in the nineteenth season of Lord Ciocan's reign, called the Winter of the Deep Snow in Mossflower Country, efforts to reorganise the Long Patrol to better match the days before the Lord Bludstripe's time was begun.
Among the changes were the 67th being reactivated, the Mountain Home Guard and the main Mountain Patrol further being defined and consolidated, and efforts to codify and standardise equipment and training of hares were made.
Several hares received promotions during this time, with the most notable being the then Lt. Gregorian F. Harthwill's promotion first to Captain in the twenty-second season of Lord Ciocan's reign, making him the first hare to hold the rank within the Main Mountain Patrol since the days of Lord Bludstripe's reign. Other hares were made officers, including the then Pvt. Elbio H. Reed to the rank of Ensign then Lieutenant, the then Pvt. Velm to Lieutenant, and the then Ens. Walter S. Lossow to Sub-Lieutenant.
Among enlisted hares, the promotions made were: the then Sgt. Terrence W.H. Cadwallader to Master-Sergeant, the then Cpl. Felicity E. Rosinbloom to Sergeant, and the then Cpl. Zolomon T.G. Anderson to Sergeant.
A note has been added more recently: The former Sergeant Z. Anderson later deserted the Long Patrol and became a murderer; in the end he was brought to justice by his former comrades of the Long Patrol in the twenty-seventh season of Lord Ciocan's reign.
The Slavers Return & the Voyage to Terramort
The Anderson Incident
The Sieges of Halyard & Salamandastron