A band of warriors walked slowly through the beautiful woods of Mossflower, none of the five creatures making a sound as they trudged on their way. The leader, a wolf, had black fur, carried various weapons on his person, wore steel chain mail and a terrifying wolfish war mask, and possessed piercing red eyes. Just behind him walked a fox, his red coat covered in a black cloak, a longbow and arrows on his shoulder. Next to him was a rat, a longsword at his side and his steel plated armor glinting in the moonlight. Farther down were two weasel twins, both brothers, one with a scar over his right eye carried a scythe and was adorned with the trademark armor of a corsair. His brother carried a great axe and had chosen to don a complete set of steel plated armor that was decorated with war paints and battles scars, his helmet hiding the Glasgow smile that had crossed his mouth since he was a boy.
In Redwall abbey, abbot Hunsded, an old squirrel, had been warned by the long patrol hares that there had been an unconfirmed vermin sighting in the woods to the North. This had worried him greatly because he had so many dibbuns this season, and the otters had been gone to fight a vermin gang that had attacked their homes for weeks, but he had received word they were returning. Still he had posted old Alfred the mouse, the current bearer of the sword of Martin, on watch for days; the old mouse was getting to old for this.
In Salamandastron, the badger lord Clawmane the mighty mulled over the events of the past month, the vermin had been relatively inactive for most of his rule and the only major conflict he dealt with was when a searat warlord invaded, costing the long patrol hundreds of good soldiers. He wasn't sure whether to track down the supposed vermin troop and destroy them or further investigate. The group in question had been first been sighted when they passed through a shrew community and asked the chieftain to see his best warriors but were turned away, and after a slaughtered tree rat camp was discovered by a patrol a survivor said that it was only five warriors they made the mistake of trying to rob. No-one knew what was to come of this.