Oz ended the story as he smiled "I have enjoyed living here, through the good and the bad times"
The abbey beasts smiled as the Friar mentioned the feast was soon and beasts quietly left the room to tend to last minute preparations.
Xander watched as they exited and sat next to Oz "I think they liked the story Uncle Oz, you ever miss the Northlands or Send?"
Oz nodded "I do, but no one I know lives there anymore, and your grandfather…my brother Zork, came to live here and was Blacksmith for a while."
Xander smiled "I never meet him, I know he never married, he adopted mom, and she later adopted me"
Oz smiles "I remember…your Mother Zinnia was a young cub, he saved her from slavers and later adopted her as his own. Your mother was very sad when he died" He frowns, he wasn't there when Zork died, he missed it by an hour. "She wanted to leave Redwall and she almost did during her ambassador trip to Salamandastron. Then she found you during that sea storm in a shipwreck by the shore, Lord Ciocan told her to care for you and to have you grow up here, that you were destined to do great things."
Xander nods "Yeah I am leader of the Mossflower Defenders, I even have grandfather's blade as my own now. The Mossflower Defenders have saved Mossflower and the abbey more than once, I am just glad it's been peaceful these past few seasons and hope it remains peaceful"
Oz nods "Yes as do I..but peace doesn't last forever, nothing truly does." He closes his eyes as some unseen pain goes threw him as he coughs a little going quiet.
Xander frowns "Uncle Oz? Are you ok…should I get Brother Leon?"
Oz disliked the healers always worrying about him, for the past 4 seasons they worried, he stood slowly. "I..am fine Xander…just need to…get to my…" Before he can say room he collapses onto the floor.
Xander screamed and went to shake him "Uncle Oz!"
The cry is heard by a squirrel whom had just gotten back, he frowned and rushed forwards along with Brother Leon and a tall otter with a gold earring. The squirrel took Xander aside and let Brother Leon and the otter, also known as Skipper, check on him.
Leon frowned as he check for a pulse and looked over at Xander and the squirrel "I am sorry for cutting your welcome back short Abbot Benar…me and Skipper need to get Oz to the infirm.
Xander had tears going down his face "Is my uncle dead?"
Benar looked worried as he patted Xander's arm" Brother Leon is here….please go help move some tables Xander thank you…" After the badger left he went to stand by Leon still worried.
Leon frowned" Oz isn't doing too well Abbot Benar…I…" He shakes his head"I…sorry he's dying and there isn't anything I can do for him." He directs whom helps get Oz to the infirm.
Benar lays a paw on Leon's shoulder, "Keep me updated Brother Leon…"
It was a couple hours later a very weak Oz had woken, he asked for one beast and only one, soon Krisha entered and sat beside the older badger and took his paw. "Papa Oz?"
Oz opened his eyes half way to view the badger maid at his bedside and weakly smiled, she had been at the abbey for a few seasons now, she had married Xander only recently."Krisha…thank you for…coming…"
Krisha speaks "You should rest Oz, your very weak."
"The dibbuns….." Oz says quietly.
Krisha answers " At the feast, it's about to start. They are fine Oz not to worry"
Oz had been training her, teaching her and having her help, the last 4 seasons a lot, with the dibbuns. He smiled again as his breathing slowed, "I..am not…not worried…" His eyes slowly closed as he took a couple deep struggling breaths, and got out two last words "Mother…Krisha" After the words were spoken his eyes closed and he took his last breath.
Krisha blinks at the words and then took his pulse and ran for the hall "Brother Leon! Abbot Benar!" She about crashed into Xander who looked at her with worried eyes as she sobbed into his tunic as he held her close as tears went down his face, he didn't have to ask the question on his heart and mind.
Leon and Benar both ran into the infirm.
The feast was delayed for a half hour as the abbot called for all beasts attention. "I will open the Feast soon, but first I bring sad news….Oz Winters or as most here known him as Papa Oz…has passed on to the dark forest. But before he died he named Krisha as badger Mother in his place, I know your do well Mother Krisha…I name this season The autumn of Family as we are all one big family, family doesn't have to be by blood, or even adoption..friends too can be a family…I declare the feast…open"
Oz winters was dead, he died peacefully and knew the dibbuns would be safe, and all well at the abbey. He walked a quiet path feeling young again, looking young again and he could see clearly.
The voice, he never once forgot in all his seasons made him turn and run, arms wrapping around her and the young badger in her arms "Northstar…Cole…."
Northstar smiled "We will never be apart again my love…come on Zork is here somewhere as well."
Oz smiled as he walked arm in arm with them, along the paths in the dark forest, he missed them and now after all these seasons was with them again…forever.