Bloodlines, connections, revelations...oh, and a few death threats and such on the side, of course. Also Entitled: Mad Vlad 2: Madder Vlad (Thorns of Steel TP)

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Lorimis walks over to the gates to check on how the guards are doing and some tea or water is passed out to thirsty guards as he glaces back and forth

Pike is sitting in his chair, he has debated all day if he should stay or go, upon see Lorimis he sits up better in the chair and nods "Afternoon ta ya abbot, looks like a..basilcy sunny day, couple clouds around looks like."

Lorimis waves to Pike, "I heard of your recent problem, so what is on your mind child?"

Pike sighs, "A lot, fer starers guessin' weather I stays or not, or go maybe...not sure whats ta live in de abbey or not"

Lorimis nods to Pike, "Well it will be up to you if you stay or not"

Now /here's/ a masked face that hasn't been seen in Mossflower for quite a while...A dark-cloaked being comes along the road from the north, scanning the treeline warily until he reaches the gates of Redwall.

Pike leans back in his chair, he looks at the dark cloaked beast and watches them, he tends to be slightly edgy of any cloaked beasts lately. A couple guards near by also watch the beast.

Lorimis smiles, he glaces at the approching beast "Hello there, may we help you with something?"

"i need to talk to you," comes a slightly muffled voice, completely devoid of accent or emotion. "I assume you'll let me in?" He removes his twin daggers and his quiver of arrows, holding the quiver by its strap and placing the daggers in it.

Pike decides to speak "The abbey is under pretty tight secuity right now, there is rather evil beasts somewhere"

Lorimis listens , "Talk to us of what?" He asks, a couple other guards , besides the other two there, stay close to the abbot.

"It is as you say, evil beasts somewhere. It seems I can't leave this land for a moment without another deranged conquest beginning behind my back." The creature removes his distinctive mask; under it is the visage of Darkwatcher.

Lorimis nods as he listens carefully, " What information have you brought us sir, and Nov..Pike is right, the abbey is under close watch, even extra guards around, one of out own has been missing for nearly 3 weeks now."

Pike frowns, he starts to say something and then sighs, he folds his arms over hs chest and listens quietly.

"First of all, I'd rather prefer it if you let me in..." The mercenary glances furtively over his shoulder. "Dangerous times, these,"

Lorimis speaks with the guards and then lets the guards make sure the fox has no weapons, even hidden ones before he gives the ok, but a couple guards are watching him just to be sure, "Yes the roads have been a danger lately, alright but know the guards are watching you closely, sorry for that just a safe guard."

Into the entry...

Although he's now unarmed, Darkwatcher retains his unhurried, measured stride, the gait of one who knows that few fighters have faced them and lived to tell the tale. His cloak flutters slightly as he passes into the entry.

Lorimis nods as they are inside, the guards keeping a close eye on the fox, "So, what is it you wish to tell us, what info do you maybe have on the troubles outside the abbey?"

Pike is still getting use to his annoying chair as he wheels backwars and forewards and finally finds an out of the way place,but still where he can hear what is being said.

Darkwatcher slowly begins to speak in his cold, analytical voice. "After wrapping up some unfinished.../business/ in the far North, I returned to Ferravale to find it half-demolished. Now, any beast can tell that's not a good sign...and I've seen even more worrying harbringers of turmoil...I found tracks, apparently of a hasty retreat, reptilian if I'm not mistaken, heading away from the village to the northeast. The trails split there, but there were signs of chaos and violence..."

Pike frowns"Monitors...I was there." He says nothing else and lets the fox speak more.."Sorry" he mutters.

Lorimis listens and a frown comes to his face, he glaces at Pike and back to Darkwatcher, "Why were they after Ferravale for?"

"There's only one explanation," Darkwatcher says grimly. "This looked like a carefully planned, long-term invasion. If /I/ were to invade Mossflower country, I would want to seize a strategic foothold, a base of operations...Which Ferravale would've been perfect for. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a first strike gone awry..."

Flicktail asks, "Um you all do know we ave an army o eagles now Don'tya?"

Pike stays leaned back in his chair and frowns, he starst to mention something and then shakes his head.

Madison ARRIVES. "We do!?" News to her it seems.

"Eagles can't solve all problems. They're highly visible, highly limited by vegetation, especially forest terrain, and /highly/ vulnerable to archers." Darkwatcher shakes his head. Then a caw sounds in the air, and a crow descends to land on his shoulder, whispering something to the black fox. After a moment, the mercenary nods and says, "My thanks, Dethwing. Go; I will find a way to call you if there is need." As the crow flies off, Darkwatcher heads up to the ramparts.

Lorimis hmms, he nods to Flicktail as he pays attention to Darkwatcher, "What else is known?"

Flicktail says, "thats why we ave Otters and Voles an hares...oh my"

Darkwatcher climbs up the stairs to the ramparts.

Pike stays in his chair, he frowns.

Western Wall...

Pike did get help up here, not that it was a good idea, he remembers he hates hights, "Ummm...forget this, get me down" The guard assures him he can keep a grip on the chair, Pike glares.

Flicktail says, "Ello Pike"

Lorimis looks over the wall and frowns towards Pike "Calm yourself Pike, all is ok, you can have someone help you to the infirm if like"

Suddenly a cacophony of caw-ing can be heard as dark shapes emerge from the trees in the distance, wheeling in a black vortex over a small white figure that is steadily nearing the abbey. Darkwatcher points to the spot, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the noise. "There. Someone comes..."

Flicktail asks, "should I go help im?"

", wait, they're not attacking him...They're.../following/ him," Darkwatcher answers his fellow fox. He glances over to the Champion, as if recalling something from eternities ago.

Lorimis looks the direction that is pointed and for now watches.

Pike gets brave and looks over the wall and glups, yeah high up, his eyes go wide, dark moving shapes..white color, he quickly moves back.."Flicky...don;t thnk tis a good..thing"

Meanwhile the white form becomes more detailed as it draws closer. The crow and ravens whirl faster and faster overhead as the being, now within hailing distance, raises one guanteted paw.

Madison smacks her lips a little. "I once had a group of ferrets follow me. The Hallmark of Harley, they were called. Though if they ever called me Harley, well..." Uh-oh. It's a rarer occurrance now, but still, Madison is a bit... under the influence.

Lorimis blinks as Pike moves backwards, he looks back as who ever it is gets closer, guards also become alot more alert and there is a good number of guards at the gates and on the wall.

Darkwatcher gives Madison a sidelong glance, as if to silently say, /Are you sure you should be on walltops right now?/ Meanwhile the white figure resolves into a grey-furred being, most likely a fox, garbed in white and very heavily armed. Wordlessly, he stands there, as if waiting for the Redwallers to speak first.

Flicktail groans "does it 'ave to be a Fox? I shoudl go down there meself e gives foxes a bad name

Madison simply gives Darkwatcher the same glance back, as if to say, 'Sure, there's a potential army at our gates, but I'm returning your gaze. Now am I stupid, insane, or just really, really angry?'.

Pike frowns, "Its a fox....oh, its him, he came here.." He frowns "No Flicky dont ya go down thar...he'll kill ya or worse"

Lorimis glaces down, "Him who?" He asks and adresses the fox "Who are you and what do you want?"

Pike stays where he is, he just shakes his head and closes his eye, yeah he is..afraid?

Flicktail says, "No one's gonna kill me"

"I am Vladmir Stormfeather. I was responsible for the scourging of Ferravale. I demand the complete, unconditional surrender of this Abbey, or I will visit similar destruction on this building." The voice sounds a bit like Darkwatcher's...yet...more /mocking/, more /cruel/...

Madison folds her paws. It should be said, with NO endorsement of the Abbey leaders. "I am Harley the Hellion, conqueror of Sunwood Glade, and I say take your birds and shove 'em." Erm.

Lorimis listens, the guards stand ready if needed, he stays clam but doesnt answer Vladmir.

Flicktail Calls down to im "Yer Mother's tail..just try it slobberchops....I'll be sending ya to th Dark Forrest

"/You,/ be quiet, squirrel," comes an irritated retort from below. "My business is with the rulers of this place and no others." Vladmir glares now at Flicktail. "You would mock your own kin?"

Pike moves his chair closer and looks down, yep its that cloaked fox with the bolas, he gulps.

Flicktail says, "Ya arn't m'kin I'm an OTTER, and you try anything and I'll make ure the whole world laugha at yer folly...stink tail"

Lorimis gives an answer "The abbey will not surrender to you, so kindly leave"

Pike frowns, "Flicky need ta be careful, he is not one ta mess with...look wot he did ta me!"

Flicktail snorts "ahh Pike, e don't scares me none....'s my job ta make im pay

Madison is, secretly, an ex-tyrant. She's had a lot of trouble lately, she's fallen off the wagon, and she is /sick/ of foxes mocking her. A paw is extended, pointing accusingly. "YOU dare mock me, vulpine scum!?" It would be funny, except for her sincerity. It's been a number of seasons, but the ease in which she's sinking into the role of, for lack of a better term, "bad" Madison is quite scary. "You start a fight with me, that's bad enough," she starts, then, "You start a fight with ME, AND my mouse mate," she points to Lorimis, "AND my otter mate," she points to Flicktail, "We've got problems. I took over nearly half of Mossflower while I slept. Problem?" She swigs from a hip flick.

Pike shakes his head and opens his eye "Flicky I seen wot he could do...he also hurt me friend!"

Flicktail says, "then we make im stop hurtin Pike...pure an simple"

"Would you say the same if you knew what else is at stake here?" Vladmir replies to the abuse and defiance heaped on him. "Surely you know that the missing badger is my captive, along with the daughter of the Ferravale Chieftain, whose remaining kin I slew myself?" He glares again at the squirrel. "You would be wise to depart from the ramparts if you like having all your limbs attached." Finally his gaze settles once more on the Champion, and his voice, softer now, says, "Oh, but we /are/ kin...for have you not guessed.../BROTHER?/"

Flicktail blinks "why you not good...Thats my no good put the spear thru m foot paw

Lorimis frowns at this news, he manages to stay calm, its not abbot like to get upset and yell at beasts.

Pike blinks, he on the other paw could care less of yelling, he wheels up closer to the wall and yells down at Vladmir "Ya be lucky ya..." (As the sea otter continues speaking, the ears of any nearby Dibbuns are covered by their elders as Pike gives vent to his hatred) "..I be in this chair or ya head be off now!"

Lorimis looks at Pike and frowns more, he will have to have a long chat with the otter later, he looks down to Vladmir again.

Madison completely, completely no-sells the alien fox's revelation. But is it because she doesn't care, or because she does know and she's trying to minimise the damage? "You could sever one particular limb and do me a favour." She yells. She loops a paw 'round Flick's shoulders, and swigs her booze with the other. She looks genuinely hurt like her spree of murder (that Redwall doesn't know about) is going without its proper respect. "What the wheelchair bound one said. I command(ed, but he doesn't need to know that) assassins with egos longer than your tail. So get out."

"Threats, insults, they're all dust in the wind to me," the fox replies airly, waving one paw nonchalantly. "Here for the blink of an eye, gone the next, unable to carry any weight."

Flicktail says, "Sorry Lorimis, e really IS my brother" he slips his arm aroudn Madison's waist and sneaks in a nizzle of her cheek"

Madison says, "Bit like you, really." Flick's brother probably thinks they're an item or something.

Pike glares down, "Ya need ta release ya captives vermin scum and pay for taking me abilty ta walk away from me!"

Flicktail says, "oh He'll pay alroight"

"And what will make me?" the fox inquires mockingly. Then he pretends to grow serious. "Don't answer; I know. If you surrender completely, and the Abbey falls under my rule ,as well as all of Mossflower.../then/ I may let them live."

Lorimis shakes his head as he speaks again "I repeat the abbey does not surrender to you, so kindly leave"

Flicktail says, "yea don't go away mad..jus go away"

Pike glares "I.." he sighs and rethinks that.."Others will! Like the Ferravale chieftain bet he LUV ta kill ya !"

Madison smirks, but only on one side of her face. She's speaking independently, so Lorimis is probably wishing she'd shut up, but hey. "You should be glad swords exist, 'cause if wars were decided with tongue and wit, I'd be adding you to the list."

Flicktail says, "Madsion, thats my Brother..e isn't too bright"

"Oh, swords exist all right...And mine will drink your blood if you maintain this foolishness," comes a /very/ irritated reply from below. "And answer me this, brother: If I'm the dumb one, why am I the one who remains free, unrestricted by loyalty or a conscience?"

Flicktail laughs and giggles "E doesn't even understand how dumb 'e sounds"

Lorimis frowns "Flicktail this is not the time to laugh"

Flicktail says, "Sorry Father"

Madison just smirk to Flick knowingly. Then to the fox outside (whom she seems to have enrolled as a personal enemy), "My CONSCIENCE IS BY CHOICE ONLY." She swigs again. Drunk Madison. "Harley Madison laughs at your four winds, at your so-called attempts at instilling fear."

Pike shakes his head and sighs as he leans back in his chair muttering to himself.

The ravens and crows, which had faded into the background, now return at full force, wheeling at dizzying speeds and angles and cawing almost deafeningly as their master shouts, "Enough of this idiocy! I will not stand for this; you will surrender or die! My birds will remain in the close fringes of the woods for seven days; if you approach them with a message of surrender you have my word that you will not be harmed. Seven days. When that time is up, I will unleash devastation on this land." Vladmir turns around and heads off, disappearing into the woods without a trace, the crows and ravens dispersing throughout the forest.

Flicktail says, "Wot a loser"

Pike says, "Flicky your brother is a very dangerous beast"

Lorimis nods "Pike is right, this appears a dangerous beast, Flicktail I want guards posted at all times, double the guard no one goes in or out of the abbey"

Flicktail says, "Already are Father, and Course e's dangerous but Oi am not gonna show im he gets at us"

Pike sighs, "Father..I be sorry I cants do much ta help, I am so sorry forgive me"

"/Brothers/," Darkwatcher, who had observed silently since Vlad's ultimanum, murmurs the word to himself, pondering. "Flicktail, I would speak with you alone."

Flicktail says, " 'Course DW"

Madison would NOT me admitting this if she were sober: "He's talking tail. What you do is, demand surrender and claim you'll harm none, then march in and do what you will anyway."

Darkwatcher silently moves from the ramparts towards the abbey building

Lorimis looks to Pike, "We can talk later Pike and you have no reason to be sorry for anything, your injured, we do not expect you to help in this as you did before"

Pike sighs and closes his good eye, "I cant do anything no more Father Abbot, look at me!"

Madison nearly slaps Pike. But doesn't. "I'm nearly bloody offended, damnit."

Lorimis nods "I am looking at you Pike, and you are not worthless if thats what you are thinking, and if you want the offer of brother is still there, you have been a novice for a while now, thin on it Pike I leave it up to you, you can still offer the abbey other things, other skills, and the dibbuns love you and the boat you made on the Think on it I must talk to the elders,excuse me" He heads down.

Meanwhile in the entry, as the mercenary and the Champion converse...

Flicktail asks, "Aye?"

Darkwatcher muses to himself aloud. "So the grey one is your brother...It seems that there are more connections than I first percieved."

Flicktail asks, "Connections? is yer Merks gonna elp us?"

"Unfortunately, it would take more than seven days to rally them all," Darkwatcher says, shaking his head. "Besides, this is a /family/ matter," he adds quieter.

Pike letys a guard help him down and nods his thanks

Flicktail says, "well then stay out o the way..I been secretly gathering the Long Patrrol...the GOUSIM, th Eagles, the camp Willa Otters, and the Southward's army"

Flicktail asks, "What did ya wantta say to me DW?"

Pike goes into the Great Hall.

Pike comes from the entry.

"Is there even /time/ for a force from the South to reach us," Darkwatcher says, arching an eyebrow skeptically. Then he finally gets to his point. "Flicktail, I've seen your face before. And not in my travels as a mercenary...And the grey one, Stormfeather...I saw the spear..."

Flicktail says, "I sent for them a whiel ago, they are already assemblin"

Flicktail asks, "Wot of th spear?"

Madison descends, and she is pouring some of her hip flask onto her head. Think about that. Madison is /wasting alcohol/. She uses it to shape her long hair into a haphazard mohawk.

"I was /there/ when he stabbed you," Darkwatcher whispers.

Flicktail nods "I do not remember ya.....course I were verra sick

"After...he stabbed...I ran," Darkwatcher continues. "Ran away...learned to fight proper..."

Flicktail asks, "you were a dibbun then?"

"Still...juvenile, yes. Not adult. Not a babe. killer runnin' amok." Darkwatcher gives a mirthless laugh. "Flicktail, we're brothers."

Flicktail says, "I did not know Mum had any other besides Me Thatthing outthere..and me sister....Don remember..but if yere hear in peace then I woudl be glad to call you m brother too"

Flicktail says, "course ya will ave to be an otter"

Madison, the be-mowhawked squirrel, eyerolls. "You've got a sister /too/!?"

Flicktail says, "I think she died..Starvation..Mum and dad made us fight for the food she was weaker"

Darkwatcher nods slowly at Flicktail's answer. "My thanks, although the otter bit might prove a bit difficult." He gives a short, somewhat warmer laugh. "Ironic, isn't dark, cold...And you've ended up a goodbeast, wielding that crazy old sword and being a hero...And we're brothers..." With that, Darkwatcher turns away, smiling a bit, most unlike him. "My heart longs to stay...but I was ever a beast of the road, and evil will not wait at our convenience. Brother, I go to search now...Farewell."

Darkwatcher leaves silently