Cloudy Ambitions

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Stubb, Anba Hor, Lier, Amos, Darkmane

Location: Vermin Encampment at St. Ninian's

The ruined stones of St. Ninian's, cold and blue-gray under an ominous sky scattered with ruffled cumulonimbus, look down upon a vermin encampment that now, against all odds, has taken its final form. Several tents dot the churchyard, glowing faintly from within in defiance of approaching night. A wind whips through the camp, drawing a swath of sparks in the air that leads to the cooking fire. Stubb sits on a log nearby, watching with detachment as the disorderly troops hasten to conclude their post-supper cleanup duties before the rain. He chews methodically, eyes dancing in the light of the flame, and stretches his skinny legs before him. Despite the frenetic scene around him, he seems quite far from here.

A shape appears through the thick veil that covers the area around the church - a tall, black fox. Originating from the tent which has been set up for him, the fox approaches Stubb, the gait is dignified and perfect; the fox is silent in approaching the weasel, not even a breath escaping the fox's scarred muzzle. Anba Hor looks down on the weasel as he's upon him, and finally smiles, "Thinking......" he gives the initial word some time to breathe, "...about something, friend?" The voice is deep, like the knell of some low-pitched reed instrument.

Recognition is slow to dawn across the weasel's visage, but once his eyes secure a solid hold on the dark shape before him, Stubb straightens. "'Evenin'," he says in his gravelly voice, unwilling or unable to say anymore. Distaste subtly, only subtly, colors his demeanor as he continues to stare up at the fox..

Shaking his head, the fox frowns from high upon his towering body - well above the weasel enough that his form is skewed by the extreme perspective. The black thing with glowing white eyes answers, "You don't seem happy to see me... I see you've all been hard at work, creating this loud unspoken sign of our intentions. We might as well march right up to the abbey and yell up at them. Don't you think?"

Stubb smiles sharply. "Can' say we've me', ma'e. 'Ow can oi be sorry t' mee' you?" He sits up and makes a point of going through the pack he's set down against the log beside him. "An' as fer dis," he says with an idle gesture at their surroundings, "weren' my plan, were i'? 'Soides, oi don' fink we've much ta worry bou'." He finishes rifling through the pack and looks back up toward Anba. He continues in a lower voice: "Even if dey know we's on our way--IF. No way dey can do much abou' ot now, eh?"

No footsteps announce the arrival of Lier, who almost seems to materialize a few feet away from Anba Hor and Stubb. The fox's posture is relaxed, but his arms are crossed and his face is expressionless. Without regard to interrupting the conversation between the two other creatures, he announces simply, "I have concerns, Stubb."

Stubb is visibly surprised by Lier's sudden approach, but he covers it with a show of anger. "Can' you see oi'm speaking ta somebeast! Don' be interruptin' me, fox, or oi'll... Oi'll..." He shakes his head. "Jes'... a moment, if you please. Lier."

Anba_Hor shhhhs, "You'll figure out about meeting me later, I guarantee you... and I'm not sure who's plan this is, but it isn't the one I've discussed with our friend Hactor. By the way, I'm his lieutenant. And soon, the army of Izmir will show this camp what it means to be a moving, marching, hell-raising machine. You couldn't take Redwall with twice this..." The fox is interrupted, and looks at Lier with amazement on his features.

Lier's eyes are trained on Stubb and he seemed to spare no interest or even awareness of the weasel's companion. Stubb's anger seems to slide off of Lier like water over finely tempered steel. The fox specifies his concerns, as Stubb had failed to address anything of interest to him in his previous statement. "You said we would be going after Nidlorf. Why are we here?"

Anba_Hor visibly cringes at the name.

Stubb winces at Anba's mention of Redwall, then laughs raucously. "Redwall? Redwall!! Wif dis lo'!" A nervous rumble of laughter passes through a smattering of nearby vermin. "Sure you ain' been sticking yourself wif dose famous poisons a yours?" He lowers his voice again and looks intensely between Lier and Anba Hor. "Oi fink i's best if we discuss dis elsewhere. Don' wanna stir up confusion 'mongst da troops jes' now, eh?"

Lier throws his eyes quickly skyward for an instant, as if seeking patience from the heavens, before retraining them upon Stubb. "Where?"

The fox narrows his eyes at Stubb, and shoots a concentrated dose of evil-eyes at Lier as well, "Well I can see I'll be requiring an update. Most likely one I'll not be happy about. I just so happen to use those famous poisons when I'm not happy about something... lead on, but I guarantee that your little militia won't like seeing the officers going elsewhere for a chat. They never do..."

As the encampment has grown so has the numbers of beast occupying it, filing it are more than just fighters and the usual rabble. The chattering and laughter spilling into the night, though somewhat muffled by the tents. In all this 'Amos becomes a bit more noticable as he leaves a tent in close proximity to the others with his arms around two females, "I think ya for a lovely evening, " He smiles, giving each of them coin while holding a bottle of whiskey in the other paw. He gives a slight grin and wave at the vixen and feline before turning as they retreat back into the tent, "Now ta find that bloody hare, " He mutters.

Darkmane wanders into view from the deeper parts of the encampment since it has more space for 'hide' away and rest in peace, his maw opening into a wide yawn before he surveys the encampment silently. A respectfull bow offered to Stubbs and those around him as is proper, while Amos is given a respectfull nod and salute as he slowly makes his way over to him.

Lightning splashes in sharp strokes among the roiling clouds above. The wind tears through the camp, threatening to abscond with the tents, which shudder in vociferous protestation. Stubb smirks at Anba, "An' oi s'pose dey'd fink beer of us if we stayed ou' in dis weavah?" He shoulders his pack and rises, revealing just how much smaller he is than either of the foxes beside him. "Amos!" he calls to the wildcat, fresh from his exploits. "Clean tha stink off ya an' come along," he points to an unoccupied tent not far from Hactor's. "Lucky fing our bird saw you comin'," he says, again addressing the fox, "else you'd be pissin' yourself to stay warm ou'soide in your skivvies."

Lier relaxes his posture and even further, slouching a little. He sticks his paws into the pockets of his waistcoat and hangs back to wait for the other beasts to begin walking toward the tent before following.

Aeysin saunters out of a tent. She pays the others a passing glance, before meandering off. Something jingles rather raucously from her pocket.

Looking up at the sky, Anba Hor shrugs, "The weather is just another tool to me, fool - I use it to my advantage; I don't skirt around it and wait for it to pass before going out to play ball or whatever nonsense you have for us. And they'd better think well of me or they'd die - that's always my rule. Nevertheless, I try not to force their own deaths upon them, by inciting mutiny..." The fox leans down, next to Stubb's shoulder, "Where to, sir?"

Stubb leads the way toward a tent, inside which a lantern has already been lit. He casts an impressed look over at the horse. Quite a lucky thing that the towering fellow seems to have conscripted himself. Reaching the tent, the weasel grins graciously up at the black fox and holds open the canvas flap for him to enter. It tugs eagerly against his grip, but he maintains a steady hold as he gestures for the others to proceed inside.

Anba_Hor gives the weasel a quick glance before entering inside, dipping down considerably and folding his cloak behind him with his paws.

Lier enters the tent with all possible aplomb.

Amos eyes the sky as his paws drop into his pockets, noticing the horse first as he steps forward looking somewhat unsure of his destination. Noticing the horse first and then at his name is called out into the night he turns his head and gives a wave to the weasel, "Sure sure, be right there!" He meets the horse half way and thumbs over in the direction of the others, "Ya can join us in the tent and ya can tell me where that impossible hare is." He turns, following in the direction of the others before entering the tent.

Darkmane dips his head slightly as he follows after Amos upon the request. "As you wish, and last I saw Dangeon she was sleeping in the deeper sections of the encampment" his gaze up at the sky for a second "Under cover luckily enough for her or she'd likely be awake now." His lips quirking upward slightly. "Anything else you wish to know?"

Amos shakes his head, still eyeing the sky, "Eh, I guess that'll do... come along then if ya want!" Shuffling into the tent.

They enter the tent.

As the group parades into the relatively spacious tent's interior, a slip of a ferret, having concluded the business of checking that the lantern is well lit, excuses himself with a nonverbal squeak. Stubb's wholly unnecessary glare, condescending and irritable, pursues him until he's departed. Then the weasel fastens the cloth door shut with a rather deft knot that hold fast against the earnest thrashings of the rising squall. "Now, then." He turns to face the assemblage, giving Darkmane's surprising presence only an instant's scrutiny. "Oi imagine we've go' some clearin' up ta do."

As the group parades into the relatively spacious tent's interior, a slip of a ferret, having concluded the business of checking that the lantern is well lit, excuses himself with a nonverbal squeak. Stubb's wholly unnecessary glare, condescending and irritable, pursues him until he's departed. Then the weasel fastens the cloth door shut with a rather deft knot that hold fast against the earnest thrashings of the rising squall. "Now, then." He turns to face the assemblage, giving Darkmane's surprising presence only an instant's scrutiny. "Oi imagine we've go' some clearin' up ta do."

Lier snorts and the shadow of an amused grin twitches the corner of his lips for a moment. "You had best make this conference as brief as possible. I imagine five beasts all heading inside your tent all at once would be a pretty obvious signal to any potential eavesdroppers you may be wary of."

Anba_Hor looks around while the group naturally radiates out to occupy the whole space of the tent, but stands his ground and watches the others pass awkwardly to vacant parts of the tent. The fox doesn't vocalize at all until something of substance is said; he stands, slightly bent over inside the tent's eaves, paws on his belt, waiting.

Stubb says dismissively. "Wif dis storm brewin', oi don' fink i' 'll draw too much no'ice."

Amos gives a yawn, arms crossed as he looks on alert. Taking the chance to pipe up, "Aye, Stubby has a point there, " He turns to the weasel, "Ya got sumthin' to say too?" He grins.

Darkmane silently moves to a suitable spot for him and turns so he can keep an eye on the majority of the group with his arms crossed, a wry smile on his lips as he simply waits for something or other to happen if anything.

A low rumble rolls through the heavens, causing the stuffy air within the tent to quiver perceptibly.

Anba_Hor finally grows impatient, "Somebeast speak! I have rendezvous to coordinate, messengers to send. I must know what to tell them, so naturally I don't have all evening." The fox's white eyes illuminate upon Stubb.

Stubb turns a Cheshire smile upon the group. His composure is complete, despite the pressure of the situation, despite the humidity. "Oi understan' dere's a bi' of confusion 'roun' our... particular mo'ives." He threads his fingers and lets his paws fall to his midriff. "Oi s'pose 'Actor an' oi 'aven' been entoirely... forfroigh'. Tha fac' is tha' dis army's purpose is to go after Redwall Abbey."

Amos holds his tongue, stiffling another yawn and turning to see the horse. He wanders over in his direction while keeping any eye on the weasel, "So how was Dangy last ya saw her?" Murmering this in as he listens to the weasel.

Stubb stares daggers at Amos. "You go' somefin' more importan', ma'e? Don' le' me trouble you!"

Amos breaks contact with the horse and stares back at the weasel cooly, "Why don't'cha say sumethin' that I don't know then yo Stubby."

Anba_Hor shouts, "Great! Wonderful news. And Hactor as abbot, then? Any objections?" The fox raises his paw.

Darkmane kneels slightly so he is more on size with Amos and the rest before speaking very softly in return to him"Less drunk then when I met her at the inn, up until now there have been a lack of proper alcohol to get a hold of since her whiskey bottle is empty, aside from that I'd say she is quite well." His lips quirking slightly as he looks over at Stubb with a furrowed brow "That redwall is the target seems to already be a rumor outside the encampment considering that intruder the other night." A slight shrug of his shoulders "I'd focus more on the explaining since I'm fairly sure both Amos and I are quite capable of hearing ya"

Stubb's face darkens bitterly. "Oy. Oi ain' finisht. 'Actor's plans are 'is own, can' say oi trouble moise'f wif tha details a wha' 'e's go' in da works. Wha' oi do know is da' you lo', most a ya... You ain' goin' wif 'im."

"Alright, now ya gots my attention, " The wildcat grins, "Where we's going then mista Stubbly, I reckon ya got plans yourself then if ya ain't going to commit ya self to this crazy plan."

(Anba Hor is taken by surprise, "Most? Well, /I'm/ certainly not going to leave his sight for one second, seeing as he'll be mostly in charge of... uh, Mossflower? I don't intend from this point forward to hear about his musings from a his little devoted weasel. Where is he now, is he in his tent? I shall have to speak with him.")

The weasel continues to wear the unnerving rictus. "Don' ge' yourse'f in a lather, master fox. Oi don' mean we won' be 'elpin' 'im. Fac', tomorrow oi'll be se'in' off to the Abbey ta to a bi' of, er, research." Stubb pauses. "Wha' oi mean is, we won' be 'avin' a par' of tha... inishul invayshun, if you catch me."

Anba_Hor asks, "We? No, I /don't/ catch you. You don't mean myself as a subset of 'we', do you? Because I do have this army on its way... it would be terrible if we weren't given a proper reception... and if we had to take the abbey a second time. That would be terrible... well, for Mr. Hactor, anyhow. How do you plan to get into the abbey without my contact inside?""

Listening to the weasel he almost forgets about ol' Darky for a moment, turning towards the horse, "Is that so, " Amos smirks, "Can't imagine she was too happy about that... " Turning back to face the weasel, "Scouting eh... yeah ya said something about that before that feller came in to be starting some rukus. Figure that's what me and Dagey will be doing?"

Darkmane smirks in return as he nods to Amos then turns his attention back to Stubb and Anba to watch their exchange in silence, seeing no need to speak unless he got something to say or unless he is adressed.

Stubb brushes off Anba. "Oi don' fink you're the only one in tha room, ma'e. So, nay, oi ain' talkin' 'bou' you. An' 'ow do oi plan to ge' insoide?" He points to Darkmane. "The 'orse 's well known a' the Abbey. Oi've go' a 'are wha's go' tha look of a swee' woodlander abou' 'er. An' oi'm told dey'll open their doors to any as breaves air, long as dey promise to be good!" With this remark, he presses his palms together, eyes wide, in mimicry of praying. The gesture is followed by a derisive snarl. "Tha's 'ow we'll ge' in."

Outside, a flash ignites the night sky, followed presently by a clap of thunder that penetrates the heated atmosphere of the tent.

Laughing erupts like a volcano from the huge fox, and he bends on his knees to try to catch his breath as hardly any of it is being put to use for breathing. "Hahahahahaaaaa oooooh h hahahhahaha, heeeehahahahahaa... you... haha. you can't.... can't be serious!!! Oh! Oh! Hahahaha!!! You think we can just waltz right in after any innocent looking haremaid?!! You practically said /just that/. I wasn't... oh, I wasn't expecting it to be /that/ perfect!! Please... oh... haha... give me something harder to laugh at next time, please do..." He wipes away a tear, "Well, I'll call back that army - you won't be needing them at all, it seems. Huhhahuhahaa... ahhhhhhh..."

Anba_Hor adds, "I suppose you'll hide all your forces behind a hare and a horse. Good luck to you... heheheee..." He sits down, fixing his cloak behind him and wiping another tear away, flicking it on the ground.

Amos eyes the large fox with raised eye browls, looking between him and the weasel, "Crazy feller that one, " He half whispers to the horse, gesturing towards Anba_Hor, "Speaking of hares... Dangy say anything besides her usual complaining about not having booze?"

Rain begins to patter, drumming at first softly and slowly against the canvas. Stubb's laughter joins with Anba's. "Hahahaha! Nuffin' more amusin' dan an 'advisor' wha' can' listen! Aheheh." He smirks, then turns back to Amos. "You know, dis is tha fellow oi to'd you abou'. Tha one wha' fough' 'e cou'd dress up as a vixen! Nevah seen such a fing in all moi loife! Oi don' fink anybeast bu' tha' dumb ol' squi'l falled for it'! Ahaha," he wipes his eye. "No, master fox, tha' ain' tha invasion plan. We're scou'in' ou' tha place, maybe ge'in' our paws on a few val'ables. 'S far as oi know, 'Actor's still stickin' to your plan."

Amos eyes the fox harder, trying to imagine him in a dress, "Can't say I knows why anyone would be fooled, " He mutters.

Darkmane smirks slightly "You'd be surprised at how good some can be at being somebody else." His eyes studying the fox thoughtfully "All it takes is the right tools and some skill at changing your voice, and while my first impression says he has the wrong build I could be wrong"

Amos takes another hard look at the fox, "Suppose so, I'd never be fooled of course... ain't know feller gonna convince me he's a lady."

Stubb winces at the black fox, who seems not to have recovered from his hysterics, despite what the weasel apparently thought were rather well-placed gibes. "Now then. Cat'y Boss. And, er... Oi don' s'pose you'd be int'rested in a spo' of Abbey food too... Er, Darkmane? Was tha' your name, or did oi mis'ear?"

Darkmane nods slightly "Its the name everybody around here knows me by yes" His head tilting slightly to the left as the first part of the question goes unanswered for now allowing the wildcat to answer first.

Amos looks to Darkmane and then back to Stubb, "I guess this feller is with me maybe, seems ta be following Dangy around at any rate, " He grins, "Didn't sign up for no' food no, but how far exactly ya expect to go in your scouting?"

Stubb winks, "Oi've 'eard tell of the Abbey vit'les. Maybe Darkmane can tell us abou' em. Er... la'er, of course. I' won' be long, oi fink. Jes' a quick sur-vey of tha groun's an' tha'."

Anba_Hor finally stops his laughing and completely deadpans. "Good. Because my plan is what will get us in - not a load of 'scouting' as you refer to it. I know the abbey inside and out, why would I need to scout? And... heh, you should have seen the look on Hactor's face when I ripped that vixen's head off of my own. Squirrel? No, I shouldn't think you're right about that. Remember /I/... was Flicktail, Champion of Redwall, and nobeast was all the wiser until at least a few of them had been stuck like pigs." The fox stands and picks his teeth with a splinter from one of the tent poles, "And you can be next..." He jabs at the weasel with it.

Stubb turns coolly to the haughty fox. "Oh, invayded the Abbey before, 'ave you? Tha' certainly makes me more comf'table wif followin' yaw plan, ma'e. Wha's tha' sayin'? Second times tha charm?"

Anba_Hor quickly retorts, "It was an in and out operation, weasel. I have no plans of /keeping/ the abbey this time - Hactor will fall... but I intend to go with whomever I see is next to power. He's lucky in this instance that that would be him."

Stubb frowns. "No' sure why you need us. Did you lose yow, wha's tha name? Yow 'Flicktail' disguise, eh?"

Amos mews, "Aye, the horse would certainly make us look less suspicious, " Amos hrms, thinking, "Maybe Dangy too, ain't sure about her... she ain't likely to be happy without her sword or a fare amount of drink, " He looks to the horse and grins. Then turning to watch the discussion between the weasel and fox. "

Anba_Hor grins, "A disguise is only good once, and I need you because you're here. Why not use you. I'm here, so why not use me. We're all using each other, aren't we? Let's drop the charade. The moment we're inside the abbey, there will be more tensions. We are not all friends as we pretend to be. So... let us put our energies into fooling the abbeybeasts rather than fooling ourselves."

"Besides, technically the Flicktail disguise wasn't my own. It was a decoy, pretending to be me pretending to be Flicktail. And Flicktail slew him, predictably. With that magic sword thing. But he won't pose us a problem this time, rest assured."

Darkmane snorts and shakes his head looking down at Amos "With two beasts knowing the abbey, I somewhat fail to see the need for scouting to be honest since together it wouldn't be hard at all making a map of the interior" a slight shrug of his shoulder as he then surveys the tent "Besides, while he might make a good Flicktail, I do think he would have had some trouble this time tricking his mate since he has found one."

The fox Anba Hor lost him at hello, but Stubb gamely nods. "Aye, well. Oi don' fink oi was doin' much pretendin', ma'e. Bu' oi'll do wha' oi must, an' you do wha' you must, an' we'll all ge' along." Hearing the horse, he produces an exaggerated cough. "Ahem. Orders is orders, Darkmane. 'Soides... there cou'd be... soide benefi's, eh?"

Stubb hastens to add, "Course, you do as you loike. Eivah way, 'Actor 'spects me to go, daybreak tomorrow."

Anba_Hor hmms.

Anba_Hor turns to walk back to his vacant corner of the tent, grinning all the way back.

Amos mews, "Eh, as long as we's be gettin paid I don't care either ways, " Amos shrugs looking at the weasel and then the horse, "Got's to get Dangy sumthing to do too." "

Stubb furtively itches the spot where he was jabbed, then nods to Amos. "'E's go' tha roigh' oidea. Did oi forge' to mention tha paymen'?"

Stubb pulls the, now rather deflated, coin purse from his pocket and swings it gently before him. He then enigmatically twists his paw around so the back faces outward, and when he turns it back, the bag is gone.

"Oh sure..." Anba Hor says, "Why shouldn't you pay them that pitiful little pocket change when you'll have the wealth of the abbey in your own grimy paws?" He jams the splinter into the ground and sets a foot paw upon the flat end, resting his arm on the knee and gesturing to the others, "You all should be asking for a better share, yes? Or will Stubb and Hactor be free to pay you this insignificant flat rate, only to tax you for living on their land later?"

Darkmane chuckles wryly "A good thing for me I guess that I don't need to worry about the aspect of orders" His lips quirking slightly as he looks down at Amos "I will happy to help Dangeon ofcourse, but I will be advising her against thinking about snatching any valuables...if she can find em." His gaze lifting to look at Stubb "You are ofcourse free to do whatever you will within the abbey, but if you get in trouble I would advice against even considering breaking dangeon's cover to aid yourself or you will have worse things to worry about then the champion and other abbeybeasts"

The rain has now accelerated to a loud, rapid patter.

Amos smirks, "Aye, should certainly be a chore to get her to act proper, " He turns to Stubb, "Assuming that's what we're gonna do? Is just scouting rights?"

"You don' listen well, do you, master fox? Oi a'ready said we cou'd ge' /our/ paws on val'ables." Stubb pauses to look over Anba's dark countenance. "'Course, anyfin' you know 'bou' wealf of da Abbey wou'd be most helpful."

"I know that what you say isn't always what you mean. I listen to actions, not boasts and promises. Their wealth is hidden all around, in places vermin such as we wouldn't expect - in their dishes and plates, in their larders, on the very walls... if you imagine piles of currency and chests of gold, well, they have no use for that. What they have use for they put the wealth of the abbey into making. And of course..." He chuckles, "The creatures themselves are excellent tradesbeasts, second to none in their crafts - they could be put to use /manufacturing/ wealth."

Darkmane sighs deeply as he gently rubs the sides of his head with his hands in silence

The wildcat listens to the discussion sleepily, eyeing the horse but keeping to himself as he looks about the tent. He eventually settles for a bed of something soft and falls asleep.

Stubb absorbs Anba's information with a sober expression. "Roigh'." He smiles. "Oi fank you, though tha'll prove more useful t' 'Actor, oi 'spect. Now den, oi'd best be off, 'fore moi tent blows away."

Anba_Hor nods, not really paying attention anymore. He just stares at the weasel with unsettling, unblinking eyes, analyzing what might be the best way to dissemble the parts of said weasel without completely killing it. There's no shame in this fox - he just lets imagination run rampant.

Stubb looks back at Anba, imagining the different ways to prepare fox meat salad.

Anba_Hor looks back at Stubb, feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Darkmane watches Amos head off and fall asleep, then turns his gaze to the leaving weasel "Be carefull that you don't blow away trying to get to it." His lips twisting into a wry grin before he furrows his brows thougthfully and goes silent.

"Oi've no' much of a taste for gold, Darkmane. 'Course, i' sui's a purpose, don' it?" Stubb scans the room. "Well, er. Oi wagah 'Actor'd wan' ta see you." He turns and unties the knot holding the door fast.

Anba_Hor sighs, "I expect he will, then. Enjoy your visit to beautiful Redwall tomorrow, weasel." The fox winks.

The door whips open, admitting a spray of rainwater into the tent. Stubb offers a final wave and a wink of his own before slipping outside and into the darkness.

Darkmane watches Stubb leave the tent before he shakes his head "Now then, this is going to end most interestingly I think" His gaze shifting over on Amos to make sure he is safely asleep before finally resting it on the fox.

Anba_Hor folds his paws, looking back at Darkmane. He grins, "What, you don't trust me with your sleeping friend? Can't say I blame you, haha..." He exits, bowing to Darkmane.

Darkmane gives his head a final shake as he mutters something about doomed before he steps outside the tent since his selfappointed duties require him elsewhere.