This takes short story place near the end of The Long Patrol, if Damug Warfang had won the battle instead of lost.

Tammo stood wearily on the hill, his eyes straining in the failing light as he sought to see what was happening.

Suddenly, one of the last rays of light shone from the nearly vanquished Sun onto the entire valley, and what Tammo saw was a bloodbath of the dead and the dying, and it was all his fault.

The cave in which he had just occupied was full of vermin, who were cutting down anybeast they could find. From his position he could vaguely hear the muted cries of pain and terror, and if he closed his eyes he was right there with them; struggling to hold back the tide of death as their position was being overwhelmed.

Tammos fist clenched around his dagger so tightly that he could feel every single indent and scratch upon the pommel. This latest disaster was his fault, and there was nothing he could do to prevent what was happening.

Redwall was three or four days march eastward, and the mountainous peaks of Salamandastron further away still. From what he knew after the cataclysmic battle with Damug Warfang and his armies, every friendly creature not under Salamandastron's tenuous protection had hurried to Redwall... or at least the few that had survived the battle.

Tammo cursed inwardly as he heard a twig snap behind him. Throwing himself sideways, he felt a slight wind over his face as a knife slammed into the tree that had been behind him with a loud thud.

Coming out of his dive, he leapt to his footpaws and saw two vermin in front of him that had now drawn steel and stood only twenty metres in front of him, with malicious grins sewn onto both of their faces.

With a start, he realized that these two were from the battle, as their faces were both very distinctive. They all stood there for a moment while Tammo thought desperately of the words he wanted to say to both of them, and the questions he wanted answered. Just as Tammo opened his mouth, he received his answer.

"They died slowly," the vermin closest to him whispered, unable to keep himself from sniggering as he inched forward.

Screaming in anguish, Tammo drew his dagger and ran towards the rat. Once he was close enough he threw himself at the vermin, not caring about avoiding the rat's blade.

The rat's smirk broke at Tammo's unexpected charge and he swung his sword desperately to keep him back, with Tammo dismissively slamming his dagger into the blade and forcing it aside. A loud snap was heard as the dagger cracked visibly down its middle, but Tammo dismissed the concern as he grabbed the rat by the neck and forcibly turned the rat sideways so that he was covering his own body with the rat's.

The other vermin, who had been watching from the sidelines had shaken off his own startlement at Tammo's abrupt attack and had ran forward to assist his friend. He had swung his own sword at Tammo's unprotected back, who had then been seemingly occupied with the rat.

That was until Tammo had thrown the rat towards his own blade, and the result was a small cry of anguish from the vermin as the weasel had impaled his comrade straight through the belly, nearly impaling Tammo as well as the hare danced back from the blade, a feral grin on his face as he realized that his ploy was a success.

The weasel pulled back, his features frozen in shock as his mouth opened and closed silently, unable to believe what had just occurred.


Tammo laughed harshly, swinging the sword that he had stolen from the rat's dead grasp at the weasel's neck while he stood there dumbly, watching the sword sever his head from his own shoulders as Tammo replicated the vermin's disturbing smile from earlier.

"Only doing what must be done," Tammo whispered.

Tammo knelt to clean his newly captured blade in the blood soaked grass, but then all at once realized what was happening all around him, and why it had affected him. The noose had indeed been tightened.

Tammo began to laugh uncontrollably, wishing he could stop but finding himself unable to, as the smoke that was now streaming from the cave blackened. Tears rolled down his face but he still laughed, almost convulsing as he watched his hopes die with the last flickering embers from within the cave.

A simple ploy and a ingenious trick. One that only but the most clever could and would manage to realize...

Tammo stood, sobered as he saw that his enemy stood only a few dozen paw lengths away, his paw held over his head and a smirk playing with his features as he studied Tammo with narrowed eyes.

"You survived," Damug said softly and with some surprise, his eyes almost aglow in the dying twilight as he moved forward.

At this, Tammo pointed his still-bloodied blade at Damug Warfang, who considered the weapon and stopped five swordlengths away from the hare as Damug's smile widened.

"You tried to resist me, and you failed. Even when I offered you terms of surrender, you denied them. Here we stand, with you being the last of the organized resistance against me, and not a single shred of fear within your body. I admire you and your courage. Let's hope that Redwall has much of the same, as my troops are getting bored, and wish for some trifling amusement. 'Tis a shame that no one will be there to protect them, as you could have if you had heeded my counsel."

Something snapped deep within Tammo, and with a cry he lurched forward, seeking to kill the Warlord and to perhaps bring meaning to the final moments of his life.

Damug's paw dropped and arrows rained down from the treetops, most finding Tammo as the force of the arrows from close range forced the hare to his knees, sword falling from his numbed grip.

Damug walked to Tammo, kicking the blade away and forcing Tammo's head upwards, and Tammo saw the sneer that danced across Warfang's lips, and trembled in anger.

The Warlord laughed at the hare as he raised his blade over Tammo's head, his voice mocking as he said the last words that Tammo would ever hear.

"Any last words? A final plea for help or strength, or forgiveness from your ancestors before your impending failure and demise?"

With everything he had left within himself Tammo cried out, surprising even himself with his ferocity.


Tammo's shout was cut off by Damug's sword, which Damug had thrust through his neck and then subsequently impaled into the dry earth, which was now wet with his own blood.

"How utterly predictable."

Thanks for reading, and if any of you are wondering what happened to Dusktail... more is on the way soon. After a nasty cold that knocked me out a for a few days, I have come to the realization that through fate and laziness, I cannot follow a deadline to save my life. Rest assured, it will be finished, but no more promises on due dates. I hope you enjoyed this, and until next time...