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Author Topic: Curious Dreams  (Read 8493 times)

Offline Tinarandel

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #120 on: January 26, 2018, 11:28:47 PM »
Inside the Gatehouse, Brother Dominic stood before the empty fireplace which had the previous night held logs to support a lively fire for the use of Jared Sandeye and Fernleaf. While the exact nature of their session together was no business of his, he respected their need for privacy, hence their choice of the Gatehouse.

Dominic also knew that they’d eaten post-dinner dessert here, and remembered to clean up after themselves. Good thing, too. Under normal circumstances, if that squirrel and ferret pair had made a mess in his most favorite space, he would’ve tracked them down effortlessly and “boxed their ears bad”, in Jared’s words. However, given the current state of affairs, the war being top of the list, the elder adult squirrel simply didn’t have that kind of time, and Father Michael might not approve of such an action anyway.

Brother Dominic proudly held the graceful and noble position as Abbey Recorder. This calling he’d gladly taken on at Michael’s request at least a half-dozen seasons before the outbreak of this pointless war against the wildcat Argrav Kelnris. Ever since, Dom considered the Gatehouse to be his own place, his homely hangout, and best writing hole. He felt the muses speaking to him here, and his mind often erupted with inspiration like fire sparking to life in his brain in the most mundane and lethargic of moments. As the squirrel settled into a squishy cushioned armchair at the table, facing a fresh clean roll of parchment, a full inkwell, and his favorite quill pen, Dominic already sensed a wave of enlightenment washing over him like the crashing tides of the ocean. Fernleaf may have first met Dominic trimming that overgrown ash tree creeping over the western walls; though the brown squirrel only put himself there because nobeast else was present around that area to do the trimming job. The damn tree wouldn’t cut itself, that’s for sure.

He reached into the pockets of his habit and removed a scrap of paper. This came from Madeline Sandeye, her copy (and the only actual written one, at that) of the riddle from the ghost kestrel Skarlath, given to Fernleaf during his vision of Martin the Warrior and Sunflash the Mace. First passed to Larina Skyleaf for her personal examination, then to Dominic at this morning’s breakfast before Madeline left for the greenhouses. Dom had wondered to himself repeatedly whether or not the Sandeye sister would allow him to keep and preserve it for the monastery’s historical records. Eventually, his ponderings arrived at the obvious and inarguable conclusion that such a provoking question could easily be saved for after the end of the war anyway.

If it ended at all, and the old Recorder survived to see the end of it.

Smiling in anticipation, Dom laid the paper on the table, picked up his pen and loaded it with ink, and set to work doing the one thing he loved best: deciphering and solving riddles. His gaze descended on the first stanza of Skarlath’s cryptic discourse. He’d seen numerous confounding poems over the years, those created by Martin the Warrior, or just silly stuff to break the boredom of the Dibbuns or his fellow Elders.

But damned he’d be if this was considered unbreakable. He recited out loud the first couple of stanzas, jotting down his best interpretations.

“Miner On Vore,
O Unlikely Warrior,
Miner On Vore,
So Happy and Free:

Rooter and Chopper
And Friend of the Dipper,
Miner On Vore,
Now listen to me!”

An unchangeable tradition of the ancient heroes of Redwall to speak in such a way. Dominic already knew that “Miner On Vore” was an anagram of “Vermin No More”. Fernleaf had indeed been “happy and free” in his simple life as an herbalist and healer in Mossflower. Balma the ottermaid, the Sandeyes siblings, and many more. Then Kelnris came, and the Long Patrol hatched the idea to shelter Fernleaf in Redwall for his own protection. None here expected the vision the ferret received. Such wonders!

Write now, marvel later. Dominic moved on.

“Keeping your vow,
You have for these seasons.
But your words
Taken backwards you have;

Peacebeast in plenty
Has no shame in taking
Weapon thrust on him
To defend weak in hand.”

Dominic scribbled down his thoughts on these verses. Long ago, Fernleaf swore a genuine oath, a vow to the late Lord Tokal of Salamandastron, to never again harm another living creature forever. He retired and gave up his ways of darkness, becoming the greatest specializer in the herbal healing of Mossflower Forest. But after that miraculous visit by the legends of Redwall, the ferret has not been the same.

For the better, Dominic thought to himself. Redwall needs a warrior and protector now more than ever.

Those stanzas pretty much spoke for themselves.

“Fear not to change,
The stripe understands.
You harmed not the goodbeast
And stood for the land.

An unlikely crew,
Stands with you, my son.
Stripe, Tail, and River,
Strikes out in the run.”

The ‘Stripe’…meaning Lord Tokal, the same new ghost who’d arrived the previous evening? Tokal understood Fernleaf’s internal emotional conflict of either keeping or breaking his vow of pacifism long before his spirit appeared in the Abbey. In the end, however, Fernleaf was in the right in choosing to become Martin’s Champion.  That same figure probably was the same standing beside the ‘Tail’, obviously Jared Sandeye and his squirrel family; and ‘River’, without a doubt referring to the aforementioned Balma. An unlikely crew, indeed.

“Find what’s in common,
In the three named above,
And you have your fellows,
To defend and to love.

Longears, Feather and Greybeast
Are going with you,
To be good companions,
In this quest so true.”

The utter confusion in Dominic’s mind now slowly began to fill his entire being. The one thing in common between the three…nobeast knew, perhaps not even the subjects themselves. ‘Longears, Feather and Greybeast’ –

- He just thought it best to skip these stanzas for now. The Recorder shuddered and shivered in his seat. Somewhere deep in his mind, it was as if he could faintly hear the spirit of Skarlath laughing off every single one of his feathers at him.


The rising sounds of clashing metal swords thrust him back into reality. Dominic sighed in stress and impatience, dropping his quill into his inkwell and going to the door. Pulling it open and poking his head out of the doorway, he called out in honest irritation and annoyance to the training warriors,

“If you don’t mind, you sword-crazy beasts, I am performing an essential task crucial to the survival of Redwall Abbey and possibly all of Mossflower in the Gatehouse. While I am indeed grateful for the meticulous care and safe preservation of my facility yesternight by Jared and Fernleaf, I must ask that you either relocate elsewhere in the Abbey to do your combat training and lessons or otherwise stop altogether. I do not mean to be rude in the slightest, being a Brother of Redwall. But I cannot solve the riddle of the kestrel Skarlath in such a noisy environment. So please figure out a course of action in the meantime. You don’t have to tell me, but living or dead, if you do plan to fight each other, kindly don’t do it here!”

Dominic slammed the door and hurried back to his chair.

Now, where was I?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 03:17:13 AM by Tinarandel »
"There is no Light without the Dark.
Through Passion, I gain Focus.
Through Knowledge, I gain Power.
Through Serenity, I gain Strength.
Through Victory, I gain Harmony.
There is only the Force."~Grey Jedi Code.

Offline Fernleaf

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #121 on: February 05, 2018, 12:35:07 AM »
Fernleaf was now in his new element as he learned the ways of wielding Martin's sword. He was looking forward to learning the other ways when Brother Dominic burst in and asked them to quiet down or take their training elsewhere. The Recorder then left and slammed the door.

The Ferret looked at the others. "We have been making a lot of noise," he said. "Where else can we continue the training? In the place where the Tapestry is? Or can you think of anywhere else?"

"Maybe the other side of the Abbey," said Tokal. "There you won't disturb anybody."

"That sounds good, if the rest here would agree. And how shall I continue my training now?"

"I would suggest they take you through a quick overview of the other six modes of combat. It will tide you over until others come." said Tokal.

"What do you think, Divan?" said Fernleaf.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Dominic's room, a light appeared which grew to blinding intensity then died down. A kestrel, glowing with glory, appeared to him. "I have heard your anxiety, Dominic. I am Skarlath, and am here to help you figure out the riddle." he said.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 06:27:22 PM by Tinarandel »

Offline Tinarandel

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2018, 02:18:38 PM »
"We oughta rule out the Tapestry," Divan suggested, twirling his sheath fancily between his fingers, catching it in his laws and retying it to his belt. "I doubt Martin will tolerate the noise, or anybeast for that matter, of clashing swords. So, yes, let's go on the other side of the Abbey, where we can disturb nobeast. Dominic needs as much peace and concentration as he can get."

Squirrels, badger, and ferret made their way to the south side of the Abbey, a more isolated space roughly the same size as the Front Lawn they'd just left behind. Divan redrew his sword and the others did the same. The space was oddly empty, but for the best, as the less mortal creatures present, the less harm the swordbeasts could bring to others.

"I think there is still far more that Fernleaf can learn concerning Shii-Cho," Divan noted, nodding at Fernleaf to prompt him to keep his mind and ears open. "That set of basic maneuvers aren't enough for real combat engagements, especially among dedicated Form One specialists. We can't just let him move on directly to Vaapad without a near-perfect technical proficiency. Sorry to say so, but I don't make the rules." The young Tonaka shrugged apologetically, and Tokal brushed it off, unoffended.

"So, you have your basics, the Sun Djem, and the Sarlaac Sweep. Now, we'll build upon those and expand further. From here, I wamt to teach you the Seven Marks of Contact."

Edoran volunteered himself to use as visual reference and stepped forward into Divan's blade range. He stood in a neutral stance, sword off to a low guard, blade pointing innocently downwards. The Knight of the Wind thanked the oldest Sandeye son for stepping in without even being asked. He pointed the tip of his sword at the handle of Edoran's. "First, I'll elaborate more on Sun Djem. It is more than imperative that you were taught this strike before all the others: it is directed at either disarming your opponent or destroying their weapon entirely. It's the core objective of Shii-Cho. Most likely, such a Mark ends combat if your opponent does not manage to retrieve his weapon - or, worst case scenario, find another one. As we discuss the second Form, Makashi, this will be essential for you to remember."

He moved it upwards along Edoran's arm, who too pointed with his non-dominant fingers as to where Fernleaf should follow. "Here is Cho Mai, or severing the sword paw, a much more extreme method of disarmament, and should never be used unless absolutely necessary; which of course, might be never, prayerfully. Next is Cho Sun, removing the arm. While a less precise technique, if properly executed, is an effective end to battle, usually non-lethal."

Dane joined in, hitting a fist painlessly on his chest. "Here is Shiak, stabbing the opponent, impaling the torso and back, though any other part of the body will also apply. If successful, using such to the head, chest, and back are irrevocably fatal. This is the dangerous signature move of Makashi. Thus, it is somewhat frowned upon in application. Now..." The elder Sandeye drove his sword blade through his non-dominant arm, then his waist in a horizontal slicing motion.

"Cho Mok aims at your enemy's limb to cut it off, and can be made towards either leg and the weaponless arm. Sai Tok slices the body completely into two halves, and ultimately kills whomever it is used on. Sai Cha disconnects the head...that is an attack of sheer ruthless brutality. Only the truly psychotic and bloodthirsty ever employ it. Let's say no more on it."

Jared stole the spotlight before anyone else could, indicating the palm of his spare and running the flat of his sword along where the hips met the legs "Now, there's Shiim, a more disciplined move. While an opponent won't lose a limb, the resultant pain is no less severe and excrutiatungly numbing. This is the most energy-conserving Mark, majorly associated as a counter move for Form III Soresu practitoners. You'll technically be convincing your enemy to surrender, which just might save both your lives. Lastly, and the Mark I strongly oppose to using, there is Mou Kei. In short, the more disciplined diplomatic warriors consider it all-out butchery, however again, the more savage vermin and twisted woodlanders might argue to the contrary. Its circular strikes cover all limbs at once, doing as much damage as possible, and reducing the body to utter helplessness. The ultimate extreme that results in irreversible death of an enemy."

"Notwithstanding what has been taught, Fernleaf," Tokal assured the ferret warrior. "You are more than welcome to practice applying these Marks, but only to any non-living creature. Restrict your studies to spirits who are invulnerable to harm by even Martin's fabled blade. To cut the life off from another unwitting mortal beast this way would universally be considered all-out murder, so whatever you wish to do in review of your lectures, let us know, and the Sandeyes and myself will be more than happy to assist you - with the exception of the mother, probably. I can't imagine how she'd react to such a violence against her."

"I can vouch for her," Jared snickered. "Scolding, respectfully loving disciplining, calming herself down through breathing exercises and meditation, then most definitely try to confiscate your sword, even if it does belong to Martin. Obviously, she'll return it to its place above the Tapestry, and that's about it. You'll usually get it back by tomorrow morning. So, yeah, don't ever anger my Mom, got that? In the event of actual physical threats made towards her friends family, she can take real action, physically and verbally. My Mom is a beast of action, and don't ever underestimate a descendant of Richings. You'll see in time."

Divan went to Fernleaf, pointing out each Mark of Contact around the ferret's body. "Sun Djem, Sai Cha, Shiim, Cho Sun, Cho Mok, Cho Mai, and Mou Kei. Understand all this? I mean, if it helps you to write it down, you'd be right to do so."

OOC: Sorry this is and took so long! It was entirely written on my sometimes-unreliable cell phone! I'll do Dominic next time around.


« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 05:57:09 PM by Tinarandel »
"There is no Light without the Dark.
Through Passion, I gain Focus.
Through Knowledge, I gain Power.
Through Serenity, I gain Strength.
Through Victory, I gain Harmony.
There is only the Force."~Grey Jedi Code.

Offline Fernleaf

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #123 on: April 11, 2018, 05:49:45 PM »
Fernleaf looked entirely confused by this time. "I'll have to write it all down," he said. "I didn't know the first step was so complicated. And don't worry, I have an oath that I will never harm any goodbeast. I intend to keep that to the end."

"And I will hold you to that oath," said Tokal. "You've done a good job so far, and I trust you." he turned to the others. "I didn't mean teach him the details of the other six forms, just a quick summary of them. It will do him good to know them before he does go to Form VII."
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 11:16:24 PM by Tinarandel »

Offline Tinarandel

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #124 on: April 15, 2018, 05:06:48 PM »
Divan and Jared held back their laughter at Fernleaf's honest confusion, the Knight of the Wind biting his lip, and the Dawn-Bringer stuffing his tail in his mouth. The Sandeyes on the other paw laughed anyway, not needing to hold their sides or breathe through their invisible lungs. Tokal shook his head disapprovingly at their antics but was displaying a clear amused smugness unfitting for a Badger Lord.

"Don't overthink this, Fernleaf," Divan advised the ferret Champion calmly, granting himself a genuine chuckle. "We'll draw up a diagram for you, right down to the tiniest detail. The Marks of Contact are not memorized overnight, and only the truest and humble of warriors pursue Shii-Cho to mastery, as I am doing. But with a visual reference, you'll never have any problems again."

"Now what?" Jared scratched his chin thoughtfully. "There are still the Basic Strikes to teach: Sai, Cho, and Shiim. Do we have time? We'd discuss Makashi, but we happen to have no practitioners of it here, need real professionals to tell it. Sorry we can't be of better help, Fernleaf."

Divan snapped his fingers in a sudden conjured idea in his brain. "Why don't we give him that book on the Seven Forms, something to educate hinself with for now? It'll be a fantastic reference for Fernleaf to draw knowledge from. Who's got it?"

"I have it," Jared raised his paw in confirmation. "It was written by Jarvis Richings, son of Phineas, and as such, it's been passed down through the generations of both my parents' sides of the family. While it's not exactly required reading for fledgling warriors, it makes for deep intellectual stimulation and enlightening reading nonetheless. It's in my room, and Fernleaf can have it later, or now, if you wish. What do you say, my ferret brother?"


The sudden startling appearance of the kestrel materializing on his desk, standing like a phantom with folded wings, talons pressing intangibly into his best parchment...nearly made Dominic fall out of his chair.

No. It totally made Dominic fall out of his chair.

Hurrying to his feet, smoothing out his robe to put on a humble and dignified display for the legendary bird, and clearing his throat politely, he shook his paws out of his sleeves and retook his seat.

"Must you ghosts always be so unpredictable? That said, I appreciate your appearance. Skarlath, as the Recorder of Redwall and personal Scribe of Abbot Michael...I need your help."

He reloaded his pen of ink and pointed a finger to the poem.

"I've seen many baffling verses such as these in my time, but never anything like this one. This stanza in particular is impeding my progress of deciphering and translation." Dominic seized a quick gulp of mint tea, cleared his throat again, and read aloud.

"Longears, feather, and greybeast
Are going with you.
To be good companions
In this quest so true.


I wish to know what this means. I won't jump to conclusions without your enlightening immortal truth, Skarlath. Also, could you please check my analyses on the previous stanzas, so to see if I've done so in the contexts of your original intentions?"

Dominic leaned back in his chair and folded his arms in slight disbelief, but he let his faith in the kestral show brilliantly.

"Not every day a writer is visited by the ghost of a bird. I am humbled in your presence, Skarlath, companion of Sunflash the Mace. I hope we will write miracles together."





« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 10:56:04 PM by Tinarandel »
"There is no Light without the Dark.
Through Passion, I gain Focus.
Through Knowledge, I gain Power.
Through Serenity, I gain Strength.
Through Victory, I gain Harmony.
There is only the Force."~Grey Jedi Code.

Offline Fernleaf

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Re: Curious Dreams
« Reply #125 on: April 20, 2018, 12:36:13 AM »
Fernleaf laughed with them. "I was hoping you weren't going to make me memorize all that. My head would explode," he said. But that book will be a great help if you would lend it to me, Jared."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longears, feather, and greybeast. repeated Skarlath. "That is actually one of the easiest lines, but I am always thinking of the answer. Longears: It can only be a hare, and that hare already knows. Feather: A bird, specifically a falcon, who is out there hesitating to come. Greybeast: One who is old, but who?" A mischievous twinkle came to his eyes. "Do you really want to know the answer to that? You may not like it.

And what should you know?

Now downwards, now upwards,
The dance of the bee;
So what is the answer?
Go ask of the tree!


Ponder that for a while, and it will come to you."