On a lonely and barren island, in the middle of the sea. A corsair king paced back and forth in his chamber, angrily. It had been ten seasons since his horde had been driven from Mossflower after his ill-fated attack; it had been all downhill since, raids were becoming less profitable: costal towns had become very-well defended and his former allies, the tree rat tribes, had severed ties and went back to their old ways.
"Great overlord, the Rotten Rose has returned" squeaked a small messenger rat.
"Any new developments?" growled the searat lord.
"A band of warriors from the north has entered, they are presumably very powerful."
The warlord turned, his notorious temper revealing itself in his impatient eyes.
"I don't care for a small war band, that's nothing! Any real news? Defenses, ships, anything! No, then get out of my sight, he shouted as he kicked the messenger out of his palace and down the stairs.
"Treating your subjects like that gets you nowhere" said a voice from the shadow, revealing itself to be the king's son.
"You would be wise to respect your father, child" spat the king.
"I never thought of you as a father" replied the silver-furred rat to his parent, all the while drawing his sword.
"Put your sword away, I command you!" replied the foul king as he slowly backed into a corner.
"No" answered the son as his sword cleaved the father's head from his shoulders.
The prince picked up his father's head and walked to the balcony that sat above the rest of the port, he raised the severed head into the air and proclaimed.
"I am king Yullven Bloodhand, son of now dead king Roric Bloodhand, I will do what my father could not: return this horde to its glory, and capture all of Mossflower." He cried to his new subjects.
A roar of approval rose from the vermin city.
"Well what a surprise, Moore has spoken on his own." Observed Taro after Moore's outburst of annoyance.
Private leaves was shocked by all accounts, and very offended. He was a young hare, and didn't like to be told to stop talking and usually felt offended if someone told him to stop.
"Just who do you think your talking too?" growled the private.
Moore said nothing but Captain Alburtis gave a good-natured but gruff laugh.
"Why don't you two have a little duel to sort this out?"
"Good idea, to first blood would be best." Agreed Voradoza.
"That means don't kill him" Victor whispered to his brother.
"Fine" huffed Leaves, he wanted payback for Moore knocking him out, he slowly drew his rapier.
The rapier, which was of badger design, had a white ornate handle with a sharp blade of silver. The private had inherited it from his father, who died in the searat invasion.
Moore pulled a long battle axe that he had made himself from his back; it had a lightened yew handle, with a grey, steel blade that curved into a spike at one end.
Leaves stepped forward in a fighting position, did a few saber twirls and taunted his opponent with an inappropriate finger gesture. Moore on the other hand twirled the axe around his head and behind his back at blinding speed and slowly dropped into a fighting position.
Leaves charged first, running head on for an attack, Moore simply sidestepped him, and dropkicked his shins. Leaves rolled out of the way of the weasel's boot and leaped to his feet, just in time to see Moore swing his axe, he froze thinking it was the end and received the wooden handle to the stomach. Keeling over from the blow, the small hare made a slash with his sword.
Feeling an impact, Leaves looked up, and to his horror, the sword was stuck in his foe's armor, not drawing blood, just as he began to pull. A gauntlet fist smashed his nose.
In the mighty fortress of Salamandastron, the rest of Captain Alburtis's unit had arrived, and told the Badger lord Clawmane of the lieutenant going missing, as they did not know of their captain's misadventure. The tall but calm badger paced back and forth in the forge, not knowing what to think, he decided to visit his good friend Abbot Hunsded of Redwall abbey, as the autumn feast would be in little over two weeks time. Gripping his cloak he walked along the path alone.
Author's note: been a while, but it's been exam after exam and school don't let out until the 7th. Hope you enjoyed, and to let you know there will be romance in later chapters. Please review.