Quest for the Emerald of Ivaneye
The number of refugees in Redwall was appalling, considering that many felt this season a continuation of the long run of peace in Mossflower. The refugees didn't act like refugees, though, they acted like really naive Redwallers, peacefully going about their business.
It was considered odd or about time, then, depending on whom one talked to, that one summer day, in the heat of the sun, a rough voice called out from the path in front of Redwall.
Not many had actually been there in the beginning. It was a hot day and the pond had been a busy place. However, the rumors ran rampant. The timid gatekeeper had peeked out the door to the sight of a score - no, two score - vermin, all heavily armed. Some said there were siege weapons. Some said they were already making camp outside. The leader was a rat - he was just like Cluny. He was a decendant of Cluny, said some.
The speaker had demanded entrance, and the gatekeeper had fainted. No, the speaker had demanded the abbot, but the gatekeeper was too afraid to move. The speaker only wanted food and refreshment, said a very few. The speaker wanted them to surrender Redwall, others said.
No matter the speaker, all agreed on one thing: this was the group all the refugees were running from.
By afternoon, a large group had gathered on the wall tops, and speculation had turned to what the vermin were after, and many thought it was the Abbey its self. It was the abbot's arrival that quelled the murmurs.
"What do you wish, my son?" the abbot asked calmly, an inspiring picture, leaning proudly on his cane and addressing the vermin.
The speaker unrolled a message in front of him, all the while looking up to the battlements. Without ever looking at the scroll, he said, "The Royal Thok Hakari demands that the residents of the Abbey of Redwall turn over immediately to his care the Emerald of Ivaneye."
The speaker rolled again the scroll, and it was thrown up to the Abbot, landing near his paws. The scroll was again ignored, however, and the Abbot spoke back, "My Son, there is no Emerald of Ivaneye in this Abbey."
The speaker was stricken. His eyes widened, and he inched back until he was in a tent, which had been set up. Soon he was back out, though, and he yelled out, "The Royal Thok Hakari is angered at being lied to. You have a week to come up with the Emerald of Ivaneye, or all inside the Abbey will be killed."