Martin the Warrior: A Tale from Redwall
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On the shore of the Eastern Sea, in a cold stone fortress, a stoat named Badrang holds dozens of innocent creatures as slaves, part of his scheme to build an empire where he will rule as unquestioned tyrant. Among those slaves is a mouse named Martin who has a warrior's heart and a burning desire for freedom-freedom not only for himself, but for all of Badrang's victims. There is no risk he will not take, no battle he will not fight, to end the stoat's evil reign and in the process regain the sword of his father, Luke the Warrior-the sword that Badrang stole from him when he was but a lad!
set flint to tinder and Rowanoak braced herself in the fire-blackened shafts. ‘Nearly curtain time, chaps,’ Ballaw whispered. ‘Here we go!’ Gruzzle was dreaming. In his dream he was back on board his old ship. Someone had lit a fire on the deck and creatures were dancing around it shouting. The searat felt drowsily happy. He wanted to join in with them and dance around the flickering flames. He moaned luxuriously and shifted. Slipping off his spear-handle, Gruzzle cracked his chin hard on the
rock beside the masons who would shape it into blocks that would enlarge Fort Marshank. A weasel Captain named Hisk swaggered up, cracking his long whip threateningly, looking for an excuse to cut loose on the slaves who toiled in the dusty heat around him. His eye settled on the young mouse. ‘You there, liven yourself up! Come on, stir yer stumps, Lord Badrang will be round for an inspection soon. Get movin’ or y’ll taste my whip!’ The mouse dropped the rock he was carrying and stood staring
three top. Hahah, that’s it, an old dead three-topped oak. Come on!’ They lay in a mossy hollow at the base of the long dead forest giant, eating supper and looking up at the night sky. Above the woody canopy countless stars bejewelled the dark velvet expanse, and a silent fiery-tailed comet flashed across the peaceful scene. Rose picked at a small carrot and turnip farl as she passed the canteen of mint and lavender cordial to Martin. ‘Well, we found the dead three top easy enough. Tomorrow
licked the blade of his cutlass and closed one eye. ‘An’ all the time I thought you was me mateys. It ain’t friendly like runnin’ off so soon. ’Ow’s about you doin’ one more bit o’ magic fer ole Tramun?’ Ballaw gave the stoat a large toothy grin and a wink. ‘Why certainly, me old wave walloper. One more piece of magic, just for you, comin’ up right away. How’d you like to see me vanish the entire troupe, cart an’ all, presto, just like that!’ ‘Vanish the ’ole crew of ye?’ ‘That’s what I said,
corsair without a ship!’ ‘Better’n bein’ a slave or gettin’ executed!’ Clogg shook his head sadly. ‘Harr, ’twas an evil day when I landed up on this coast. Boggs, Gruzzle, Crosstooth, was I ever a bad Cap’n to ye?’ ‘No, Cap’n, you was a good un. We had some rare ol’ times together.’ ‘You just made too many mistakes, Tramun Clogg.’ ‘Aye, when it’s sink or swim, a creature has to look after hisself, Cap’n. No ’ard feelin’s.’ Whilst the new horde members took the oath and signed articles