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Akkess of Empyrean
August 21st, 2004, 12:25 AM
This my first Redwall fanfic,and I'm not sure exactly where this is going to go, so yeah. Proceed :)

A pale sun slowly rose into an icy, star-strewn sky and cast a soft, pearly pink light that crept along the horizon. Shafts of sun rays stretched across the frozen landscape, silhoetting the dim and jagged mountains with a light purple. Ice crystals danced and shimmered like fairies in the bleak morning air, while an occasional breeze writhed it's way through the evergreen trees, their boughs drooping from a heavy snowfall.
A raven awoke, feeling the chill gust caress her ebony feathers. She blinked as the sun breasted a mountain peak, sending a brilliant flood of light through the wintery valley. She puffed her feathers and shuffled closer to the trunk of the fir tree she roosted in, trying to escape the cold. The bark crackled beneath her claws, and brittle lichen peeled off the branch she sat upon. She stretched her stiff and frozen wings and lazily flapped until she felt her claws lift off the branch. Perching herself once again, she watched as a shower of icicles and snow fell to the white forest floor beneath the tree.
Fully awake now, she gazed upon the small lake that her tree bordered. The waters that hadn't iced over were dark and stagnant, with perhaps a gentle ripple caused by the slight wind. It looked very much like a sheet of silvery steel. The lake's shores were icy too; covered by an untouched, pure white blanket of snow.
The raven flicked her head as a series of whistles and peeps reached her. A small flock of redpolls were flitting among some pines, while snowbuntings tittered as they hopped around the lake's edge, searching for seeds.
Suddenly, a brilliant flash along the shore caught her attention. Some of the snowbuntings wearily hopped around a silvery shape laying on the ice. Curious, she let out a harsh, rattling call and took to the air. Effortlessly, she glided down to the shore, slightly surprised as an icy wind blew down from the mountain. It was much colder out here.
She landed amidst a flurry of retreating snowbuntings, eager to get out of the large birds way. With the timid little birds gone, the raven was able to get a better look. She ruffled her feathers in excitement.
It was a fish. It must have died and washed ashore. What a lucky find!
She clacked her beak and was about to begin her feast, but she hesitated. She couldn't eat it in the open, or she would risk losing it to an eagle, or another raven. She grabbed the large fish by it's gill and struggled to pull it through the snow to the trees. Once there, she checked the skies and trees for intruders. Satisfied no one had seen her, she hungrily set her jet-black beak into the fish, pulling hard to tear the skin and scales away to expose the meat. With one lethal claw on the fish, she ripped at the meat. It was slightly frozen, but it was a rare treat not to have other hungry birds to contend with or flies buzzing annoyingly around the carcass.
She was so engrossed in her morning meal that she failed to notice a scraggly looking creature walking towards her along the lake. Heedless, she feasted away.
As she was attempting to pick a bone out of the fish meat, a timid, yet friendly voice broke the serene silence.
"Any chance o' sharin' a bite or two?"
Startled, the raven snapped her head up and straightened abruptly, her neck feathers raised in aggitation. Angry with herself for not paying attention, she stared suspiciously with obsidian eyes at the creature before her.


Okay, what d'ya think? I don't know what the creature will be, but it will be male. it will either be a wise squirrel, or a rather dimwitted vermin type beast. I can't decide, so what do you think?(<<<,Please answer this question.)
You'll learn the raven's name and such in the next part.

Akkess of Empyrean
August 24th, 2004, 01:23 AM
He cheerfully smiled back, seemingly oblivious to any dangers.
The raven continued to stare, puffing out her coal black feathers, trying to give the appearance of a much larger bird. She slightly spread her wings and clacked her beak menacingly.
She watched with satisfaction as the scruffy beast frowned and took a slight step back.
"Now that's no way to treat a lonely old squirrel such as me'self."
The raven stepped over the fish. Meals like this were rare in the north, and she wasn't going to miss the opportunity. She spanned her wings further, putting a formidable barrier between the squirrel and her breakfast. To her surprise, the squirrel chuckled.
"Alright alright, twas' only a question, no need to get angry," he rubbed his paws together and pulled a ragged brown cloak close to him, "cold, isn't it?"
The raven cocked her head at the friendly squirrel, unsure on what to do. She watched curiously as he walked beneath a lodgepole pine and set down a bundle of chopped wood that he carried on his back. He cleared the snow away with a footpaw and set a few pieces of wood on the ground. He rummaged around in a pouch that was tied to his belt and brought out a few small pieces of stone. The squirrel glanced at the raven and smiled as he struck the two stones together. The raven stepped closer, interested to see what the squirrel was doing.
On the fifth strike, sparks flew from the stones and fell on the wood. Grinning again, the squirrel quickly set a tangle of dead branches on the wood and blew softly. The twigs burst into flame.
The raven let out a small "quork" and stepped forward, gazing intently at the growing flame.
The squirrel smiled again and put his paws close to the fire.
"Ah, that's better." He stated happily, his breath clouding infront of him.
The raven was baffled now. What type of creature would ask a raven if it would share a meal, and then sit and start a fire? A very foolish one, no doubt. She folded her wings back to her body and finally spoke.
"Strange treeclimber, why do you sit so close to a raven? Do you not know who you are dealing with?"
He shrugged."Oh, I know yer type, I do indeed. You're a fierce lot, and a force to be reckoned with, but I've bin' romin' fer quite some time now, and you're the first soul I've seen. Tis' a welcome site fer me. 'sides, I'd expect it's too cold even for you to do any fightin'."
The raven blinked surprisedly at the squirrel's reply.
"You must be very lonely indeed."
He nodded and stirred the fire with a stick.
"The name's Fescue. What's yer's?"
The raven straightened again, even more confused. Why was he so friendly? She looked the squirrel over.
He was an aging creature, no doubt, for his reddish brown fur was slowly showing streaks of gray and his tail was not as bushy as a young squirrel's. His ears were tuffed, and his eyebrows were set in such a way that made him look wise beyond his years.
He now pulled out a haversack and placed a flan close to the fire. He drank from a water skin, letting the liquid flow down his whiskers and chin. Wiping his mouth with the back of his paw, he stood up and stretched. He was not a small beast, for there was a slight trace of muscles on his body. He glanced at the raven.
"Not gonna' answer, eh? Well, I don't blame ya. This is harsh territory, it is. Kill or be killed, I 'spose, eh?" He sat down again and took the flan in his paws.
"Yowch!" He juggled the pastry in his paws and blew hard. "Gonna burn me' fur off!" He eyed the raven." You can come closer, if ya' want to. Tis' alot warmer."
The raven hesitantly stepped closer, branches snapping as she walked. She began considering if she should take advantage of this situation and slay the squirrel. She dismissed the idea. It was too cold, and the warmth from the fire was a great blessing. Grabbing the fish, she strutted bravely up to the fire.
"There, ya' see? Isn't that better?"
"Yes, but it is dangerous. Other beasts might see the fire and smoke."
"That," he said, leaning over to stir the wood, "is a risk I'm willing to take. An' if somebeast 'appens to notice it and come explorin', than I plan to give em' what for." He patted a stout piece of pale driftwood that lay beside him.
"You could not fight an eagle with a stick."
"True enough. Than we'd best hope no beast sees us then, miss..."
"Duskwing." She immediately regretted giving her name. She didn't know if she could trust him.
"Well, Duskwing, pleased to meet yer." Fescue set his teeth into his steaming flan.
Duskwing did the same, the fish slightly unthawed by the fire.


Allright, that's part 2. You're probably wondering why Duskwing doesn't start off saying things like Rakaa! orwhatever. I'm speculating if I'm actually going to go through with that, so yeah. What do you think?

Akkess of Empyrean
August 24th, 2004, 11:32 PM
The two ate in silence beneath the pine trees. The only sounds were the crackling of the fire and the eerie whistle of the wind through the trees. Occasionally, the tall pines would sway gently and groan as the biting wind bent their boughs. Once or twice a snapping of an icicle or branch brought the odd couple to full alert.
Duskwing now stood peering into the forest. Fescue had his paw close to his staff. When nothing happened, he continued to munch on his flan. He shook his head.
"Must be losin' me 'ead. Mountains and trees do strange things to sounds."
Duskwing did not share Fescue's thoughts. Echos were decieving, but she had lived here long enough to know the difference between trick sounds and real dangers. Uneasy as she was, she said nothing.
Fescue pulled a wrinkly apple from his sack and hit it against a stone. He laughed.
"Would ya look at that! Rock hard, it is! Ha!" He pushed it closer to the fire." The cold is freezing my food! I'd think yer feathers would be doin' the same!"
"My kin are meant for the cold."
"Huh, well your kin must be a bunch o' madbeasts, livin' in a place like this." He paused and narrowed his eyebrows, chewing reflectively."Say, shouldn't you be with another flock o' raven's?"
Fescue raised his brow as he noted Duskwing's murderous glare.
"Tis' a fair question."
"You would not understand, treebeast."
"Try me."
Duskwing looked at him in surprise. She suddenly found herself answering his question.
"There is a pecking order amongst flocks."
Fescue nodded slowly.
"I see. Ya'd rather sit in peaceful silence an' watch a silvery sun crawl across a winter sky, spilling it's rays on an untouched and endless landscape cloaked in snow the colour of alabaster. Ya'd rather perch alone while watching the sun sink below majestic mountains as it gives itself to the night sky, ruled by the moon an' stars," Fescue once again nodded. "That's what I'd do."
Duskwing stared blindly at the frozen lake, completely taken aback at Fescue's accuracy. The squirrel must of noticed her state, for he smiled and continued.
"I'm right, aren't I?"
Still gazing thoughtfully at the lake, she replied.
"You see many unseen things, squirrel."
He waved a paw at her.
"Oh, I'm sure there's more to it than that."
Duskwing remained silent and ripped at the fish. She was about toss her head up to swallow a piece when she thought on what Fescue had said. How a could a squirrel whom she had just met understand more about her than her own family could? It was a question she intended to find an answer to.
Duskwing lightly tossed the piece of fish towards Fescue.
He turned his head as it landed beside him. He grinned and winked.
"Well, I 'spose I'll have to accept your offering. I'm quite partial to laketrout me'self." He hung it over a stick and put it over the fire.
He nearly threw the stick into the fire when a harsh, piercing screech sheared the morning air like a sword against stone.......

There ya have it folks, part 3! The "wise squirrel" part is slowly coming into play, and will make itself clear as the story progresses. :)

Akkess of Empyrean
September 4th, 2004, 07:48 PM
Instinct caused Duskwing to act swiftly. Knowing her life was more valuable than her breakfast, she kicked snow on top of the fish which would hopefully conceal it or give the impression that it had been there for some time.
Fescue hastily dusted snow over the fire and upon retrieving his staff and brushing the snow with his tail to hide his pawprints, retreated to the forest. Duskwing flapped after him.
Her keen eyes picked out a fir tree cloaked in shadows formed by the tall pines that grew beside it. She followed the shadows of the forest, careful not to disturb any snow-covered branches, and landed halfway up the darkened tree. Fescue must have seen her because he too darted between the shadows and skillfully picked his way among the trees.
Duskwing moved closer to the center of the tree where she hoped the branches would contort her figure and her black plumage would aid her in blending with the darkness. She sat motionless and alert, not bothering to look down as she heard the faint scratching of Fescue's paws upon the bark as he swiftly ascended the fir upon which Duskwing sat.
With surprising agility and stealth, Fescue hopped up on the limb and slipped soundlessly beside Duskwing. He crouched low and spoke with a soft, serious tone.
"Huh, don't see the bugger..."
Fescue couldn't, but Duskwing could. She easily picked out the faint silhouette soaring across the bleak sky. She quietly answered.
"It is flying lower now, there, just soaring across the mountain slope, see it?"
Fescue nodded grimly.
"Aye...d'ya reckon it saw us?"
"No doubt."
The squirrel squinted as the bird lazily descended, occasionally disappearing behind a tall tree.
"Can't tell what it is from here."
"It's a goshawk."
He glanced at her.
"How can ya tell?"
Duskwing eyed him scornfully, slightly annoyed.
"I have have lived here all my life, squirrel, and I have seen many things. It is a goshawk."
"I believe you, but I haven't lived here all my life, so do ya have any pointers on how to identify mystery creatures?" His voice seemed mocking.
Duskwing ignored the jibe.
"This is odd. Goshawks are not mountain birds, and they are usaully silent, except at certain times of the season."
"And what are those certain times?"
Duskwing gave the squirrel a measuring look. He clued in quickly.
"Ah," he said, nodding. Fescue crouched lower as the goshawk fluttered it's grey wings and fanned it's tail out to land.
Duskwing felt glad she had found this particular tree; a fair distance away but at an elevation high enough to easily gaze through a break in the trees to where the hastily abandoned camp was set.
She watched the goshawk with great concern as it moved it's head this way and that, peering with eyes the color of red amber at the silent scene around it.
She heard Fescue breathe in sharply. The goshawk was staring right at them.
It's fiery eyes seemed to blaze it's way right through Duskwing's very soul, making her feel vulnerable. It's flaming gaze was so cold it burned and seered the chill air.
Frozen in spot, Duskwing silently pleaded that the goshawk would look away, blind to what hid in the shadows.
Fescue sighed as the great bird's piercing glare passed on. It began to pick around the camp, moving the sticks and logs.
"Better keep your beak off my breakfast, featherbag," Fescue growled.
"It knows we are here."
Fescue looked at her, a look of doubt showing in his features.
"Than why hasn't it done anything?"
"It is as you said. It is too cold."
"Mayhaps it's thinks it can't fight us! Ha!"
Duskwing resisted the urge to peck him.
"Goshawks are the fiercest birds in this land. They will attack anything if they feel threatened. Even eagles."
"Well let's 'ope it doesn't feel threatened," Fescue paused and slightly turned his head towards Duskwing. "Just wondering, what exactly do goshawks prefer to eat?"
She knew he wouldn't like her reply.
"Squirrels."
He turned away and sagged his shoulders. He hoped she was joking.


Okee dokee, that's part 4! Fescue's "wiseness" isn't showing just yet, but it will. Next up, what will happen with the goshawk? And why is it in the mountains? Gotta read to find out! :)

Akkess of Empyrean
September 17th, 2004, 10:55 PM
Duskwing held her wings close as a great gust blasted through the mountain valley like a pale ghost roaming an unforgiving plane of existence. Snow swept across the lake shore as the goshawk retreated to the cover of the forest.
Fescue shivered and pulled his cloak closer around him as an even fiercer wind wound it's way unseen through the moaning forest. An eerie whistle misted through snow covered boughs and branches.
Despite the biting cold, Duskwing stayed alert, her eyes never straying from the goshawk. She tensed as it flapped to where her fish lay covered in a thin layer of powdered snow, tilting her head slightly as she heard Fescue murmur something to her.
"Probably gonna eat your fish."
"Goshawks are not fish eaters. They eat earthcrawlers."
"You said they eat squirrels."
"That is their prefered prey. But a mouse will do as well."
Fescue shifted uneasily.
"It had better leave soon. I wouldn't mind a fire right about now, though mayhaps that wouldn't be a good idea."
Duskwing nodded.
"You are learning your lessons now."
"Still want my breakfast though," he gritted, glaring loathingly at the goshawk.
"You may still get it. Of course, you may be breakfast instead."
Fescue eyed her scornfully.
"Aye, though I'd be naught but an appetizer. It would eat you if it could."
Duskwing shivered, though not because of the cold.

For what seemed like hours the two sat in silence, keeping as still as possible as not to attract the attention of the still rummaging goshawk.
Duskwing often felt herself drifting to sleep, but the realization of the situation kept her awake.
So now she watched, fear and the cold forever biting at her insides. Her thoughts began to drift.
Why would a forest bird come to the mountains? Was it just passing through while searching for new territories? Was it lost? That would seem most likely. Duskwing suddenly found herself wondering why she was so disturbed by the unlikely vagrant. It should be no concern of hers.
She shaken from her thoughts as Fescue nudged her gently.
"Look, the featherbag's fallin' asleep," he whispered, his voice urgent.
Duskwing saw it was true. The goshawk had settled in a low branch of the lodgepole pine they had shared breakfast under. It had puffed it's feathers out and tucked it's head under it's wing.
For a moment, the pair said nothing, as they were trying to size up the situation. Fescue finally spoke.
"Don't wanna try an' escape because we would risk the bird wakin' up, but I don't wanna be stuck in this tree all day and night." He shook his head. "Tis quite a predicament."
"We had best stay still and quiet until we're sure it's asleep."
"Aye, wouldn't want to climb down only to find the bugger was only restin' his achin' wi...."
Fescue suddenly cut off as his footpaw slipped out from underneath him and kicked an icicle as he tried to steady himself.
Duskwing watched in petrified horror as a piece of branch snapped beneath the weight of the large ice formation and fell to the ground in a shower of snow and shattered ice.
Fescue cursed under his breath and froze in spot.
The goshawk beheld the unfortunate two with blazing eyes.


Ooooooh, suspence. How ironic, and after all that waiting in silent patience.
Part 5! :)

pita
February 24th, 2005, 01:11 PM
i didn't read more then 3 sentences, and i'll edit this post tomorrow, but this is very well written.
May the power of the lock be with you when you write this book. specially if it dances!