Quest for the Emerald of Ivaneye
Narrator: The questors are gathered on the walltops of Redwall Abbey, with the Father Abbot. They look down at a messenger, who, moments ago, was challenged by Weston. All ears strain to catch his reply.
Messenger: "My conditions are the complete and utter surrender of this Abbey immediately."
Silvren: "Here's a better message for Hakari!" He lifts his crossbow and fires at the messenger.
Narrator: The messenger falls backward, stricken on the crossbow bolt.
Weston: "Ah, perhaps that was not exactly the wisest possible course of action."
Ari: "Careful he doesn't send us any…messages….in retaliation," the squirrelmaid mutters dryly.
Narrator: Gangs of vermin flood out of the trees and charge the abbey. An arrow from a vermin long-bow catches the abbot, still shocked at the messenger's death, in the throat. A second arrow forces Weston to drop flat, and many more arc towards the other questors.
Ari: Ari looks hopelessly at the broom. "Weston, I need a long-range weapon!"
Silvren: "It's almost a shame to waste these bolts." The fox crouches and returns fire at the vermin.
Weston: Weston sprints towards the gatehouse. "Rungo, weapons! Quickly!"
Rungo (Rudda): "They're right here, come and get 'em..."
Weston: Weston grabs a bow, a quiver, and a bag of miscellaneous weaponry, and returns to the walltop at a flat run.
Ari: Ari smiles nervously at Wes as she opens the bag. She pickes up a sling with one nervous paw.
Narrator: The bells of Redwall begin to toll an alarm. Bong, boom, boom, bong! Able-bodied Redwallers flood from all directions to take up positions on the walltop.
Silvren: "Do we have hot water? Or oil? Or oatmeal?"
Rungo: "Oil is too good to waste on the vermin..."
Silvren: "How is the abbot?"
Weston: "The abbot? Silvren, the abbot is dead."
Narrator: The Redwallers on the wall manage to mount a defense with their bows, holding the vermin forces at bay. However, there are about thirty who have made it to the walls, making the angle too steep for arrows. The gates begin to shudder under the impact of a battering ram.
Silvren: "We should drop flaming oil on the battering ram; that would burn it down!"
Ari: "That would just burn the gates!"
Silvren: Silvren stands in front of the gates, his sword drawn. "Ready, Weston?"
Weston: The squirrel stands beside him, poker in paw. "Ready."
Narrator: There's a final, splintering crash, and the gates of Redwall burst asunder. The gang of vermin floods into the abbey grounds.
Silvren: The fox charges into battle, slashing at the enemies with his sword.
Weston: Weston whirls into the fray, poker flying, giving no quarter and asking none.
Ari: "Weston!" Seeing her friends in trouble, the squirrel grabs her broom and charges down to help them.
Silvren: "Rally to me, Weston!" The fox leaps over to help the squirrel.
Narrator: The tide of battle sweeps back and forth across the abbey lawn. Weston finds himself shoved up against the building, Silvren next to him.
Ari: Ari dodges a sword-thrust from one attacker but gets a light gash in her side as another rushes her with a pike. Hissing her pain, the squirrel leaps on her attacker, berating him with the broom-handle.
Weston: "Ari!" the squirrel cries.
Narrator: The abbey gates have been pushed shut by those who cannot fight; all that remain are the score or so of vermin on the abbey grounds.
Weston: An enemy's sword hits Weston's poker at exactly the wrong angle. There's a clang, a crunch, and Weston's poker is flying through the air in four shards. Snarling viciously, the squirrel hurls himself bodily at his opponent.
Ari: Ari hears her name in the heat of combat and, ignoring the pain of her injury, fights towards the sound.
Silvren: Silvren slashes an opponent in the face with his sword, then attacks another.
Weston: Someone presses a sword-hilt into Weston's hand. The squirrel swings it up and around, catching his first opponent in the throat, his second in the chest, and the third in the stomach. He leaps through the fray to Ari's side, coming just in time to decapitate a second attacker.
Silvren: An enemy's spear catches the fox in the back. He turns around and kills the one who carried it, a weasel captain, with one swing of his sword, then rushes to help Weston. "Weston, your sword!"
Weston: The sword slices across a final enemy's throat.
Narrator: And then all is quiet save for the weeping of the wounded.
Silvren: "First time in combat, huh, Ari? What about you, Weston? And how many of our own are dead?"
Weston: "Too many; including the abbot."
Ari: "Yes, my first time, and hopefully my last. I just want to go inside."
Silvren: "Are you okay, Ari? What about you, Champion Weston?"
Weston: "Hast thou taken one too many blows to the head? I am no champion."
Ari: "I'm alright, I think. It's not…too deep."
Weston: "Let me see that, please, Lady Ari."
Silvren: The fox staggers from his wounds.
Weston: "I shall find a healer. Go ahead inside, Lady Ari."
Ari: Ari nods weakly and staggers off towards the abbey gates.
Narrator: A bush in Ari's path shakes. A bush with a tail. Then it sprouts a head, and finally, Thok Hakari is seen in all his barbaric splendor.
Weston: "Ari!" The squirrel sprints across the lawn and throws himself between the rat and the squirrel. Hakari swings his whip, there's a crack, and Weston falls limply to the ground with the skin torn to the bone along his cheek.
Ari: Ari gasps and manages to jump back despite her wounds.
Silvren: "You're mine, Hakari!" The fox charges at the rat, swinging his sword at the warlord's neck.
Narrator: Hakari's whip snaps out and pulls the sword out of line. He pulls it back and snaps it again, at the fox's face.
Silvren: Silvren cuts the whiplash off in midair with his dagger, then aims another slash at Hakari's neck.
Narrator: Hakari parries the slash, then snaps his whip again, this time upwards, so that it catches on a tree branch. He pulls himself into the tree, and leaps from there to a walltop.
Silvren: "Come back here!"
Narrator: The last the questors see of Hakari, he's jumped into a tree. He dissappears.
Weston: The wound on Weston's face is streaming blood.
Ari: The squirrel tears a strip off her tunic and presses it to Weston's face. Frowning, she notes that it's already soaked with blood. She tears another strip off the other side of her tunic.
Silvren: "So, Champion, are you all right?"
Weston: "Twice now, you have called me Champion. This I am not."
Silvren: "Look at your sword."
Weston: "'Tis the Sword of Martin? But how? Someone pressed it into my paw in the fighting...."
Ari: "Goodness!" the squirrel mutters, somehow unable to think of anything clever to say. "Well, it wasn't me. C'mon, let's go inside, Weston."
Silvren: "Kiss her, you idiot."
Weston: The squirrel closes his eyes. "Yes. Inside, to heal our wounds. Enough bloodshed for one day. Help me up."
Ari: Ari helps heave Weston to his feet, and they head for the abbey doors.
Silvren: Silvren shoves Ari towards Weston nonchalantly.
Narrator: And so the questors beat off the initial assault by the Warlord, Thok Hakari.