|Reviews for The Crimson Badger, Book III: Journeys|
| JYT256 chapter 36 . 10/8/2015
I suspected Clewiston might meet Machus...
| JYT256 chapter 35 . 10/8/2015
I really think the name "Journeys" makes sense: Urthblood and Urthfist travelling between Salamandastron and Redwall, Machus and Clewiston travelling as well; this is chock-full of said journeys
| JYT256 chapter 5 . 9/30/2015
wolfy made an epic fail
| Auua Ytjoml chapter 34 . 4/1/2015
While I'm glad that he's been able to unite vermin and woodlanders together wot about all that new tech he's always after? To draw from our own history; WWII alone, at one estimate, resulted in 60-85 million deaths both directly through combat causalities and indirectly through civilian genocide, famine, and disease (this by the way does not include the Eastern Front of WWII which accounts for another 12 thousand deaths). This was over the course of 6 years. The conflict with the next greatest death toll, the Mongol Conquests, by the same source's estimate resulted in "only" 40 to 70 million deaths... and those over the course of 118 years. At much as I appreciate motor vehicles and the internet there is something also to be said for progress and it's ability to kill increasing numbers of people very quickly... and therefor something to be said for keeping war bloody, messy, and awful... to keep us from wanting to enter them so often.
| Auua Ytjoml chapter 25 . 4/1/2015
Urthfist reminds me of one of the villan leaders whose adviser does most of the decision making and Urthblood like one of the villan leaders whose cunning is all his own and everybeast watchout! I wouldn't want either in my home!
| Auua Ytjoml chapter 24 . 4/1/2015
If Abbess is kicking Urthblood's troops out to maintain neutrality then why is she now welcoming Urthfist's troops inside?
| Auua Ytjoml chapter 11 . 3/31/2015
| fatescanner chapter 37 . 12/6/2011
I am eagerly looking forward to reading the conclusion to this epic story, as it's sure to be filled with lots of awesome action scenes. :D
You certainly didn't lack for drama during this part, as well. The crisis with Cyrus and the takeover of Salamandastron by the otter forces I found especially riveting. Awesome work on those parts!
Once again, awesome story, man, and I can't wait to read it's conclusion. Until next time!
| Quaver Ava chapter 6 . 11/2/2011
Wow, I don't think I've ever read a surgery before, let alone such logical description. The research for this chapter must have been fun and very educational. Hopefully the little buggar will pull though, and everyone will love Mechus! If he doesn't, well I guess he'll be the first Redwalller to die to the hands of this story.
| Highwing chapter 1 . 8/1/2011
I'm sorry, Tireces, but I have in fact never read any of "A Song of Ice and Fire." So any similarities you see between that and my own work are sheerly coincidental.
Hope you still find it "awesome," though!
| Tireces chapter 3 . 7/31/2011
Oh man, I suspected, but I couldn't be entirely sure until you had Machus swear "what in SEVEN hells are you doing?"
Now I know or sure that you're basing this fanfic on A Song of Ice and Fire. This is going to be awesome.
| Samadhir chapter 37 . 5/26/2011
For the final part of Book III, we get a nice little interlude that simply describes Winokur's experience with the sea life off the shore of Salamandastron.
And it's brilliant! You give a truly amazing description of the underwater world that our young otter and his friends encounter on their fishing trip. His impression of the glow jellies and the sunlight shining down from the surface making them sparkle in all the colours of the rainbow is absolutely beautiful. All the various strange and wonderful creatures they come across, and the environs of the marine landscape, is portrayed and detailed in a way that makes the whole scene truly come alive before us. My head is still swimming trying to keep track of the different kinds of clams, oysters, fish and crustaceans they find. This is great work, Wing, truly great work!
Although it does make kinda sense, since they aren't natural swimmers or seafarers and can probably forage and cultivate what they need from the surrounding mountainside, the fact that no previous badgerlord or his hares have tried to harvest all the abundant food from the sea before really seems like a glaring oversight. Even if they aren’t good swimmers, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to fashion some small fishing boats and learn how to use them. Or why not hire or employ some otters to do the job? It seems strange that Salamandastron should be kept exclusively for use by badgers and hares. That’s one thing I really like about Urthblood: whatever faults he may have, the guy is at least progressive and have a vision, and is willing to try things no-one has thought of before. The lands truly are changing under his paws, and the use of otters as a new labour force for fishing is a good change.
You know, I actually felt a little sorry for the lobsters that are tied up and brought to the shore to await being thrown into a boiling pot. Although they’re probably aren’t sentient in the same way as the talking beasts are, and if the boiling water is hot enough they should die instantly when they’re dropped in the pot, it still seems to clash, along with other instances where they eat other animals, with the discussion in chapter 15 about how the abbeydwellers and Urthblood hope for a day when beasts can take their meals that doesn’t require “another living thing giving its life”.
All in all a great chapter. It’s a good way to end Book III and a fitting calm before the storm, before the two badgerlords come to face each other in Book IV. Journeys has been a great… well, journey for me. All the essence of the book’s conflicts comes into view, the plot moves forward in exciting ways, many subplots and intrigues, lots of drama and character development, and quite a bit of action sequences, which TCB doesn’t have that much of. It all sets the stage for the thrilling conclusion in the next part, where the two brother’s enmity come to their violent head, and the question of which badgerlord will decide the fate of the lands will be answered.
See you in Book IV: Fire on the Mountain!
| Samadhir chapter 36 . 5/26/2011
I really love this chapter, even though not much plot advancement truly happens. It's the character interactions, the descriptions of their situations and all the little emotional details that makes it so great.
It's great to see Machus, Alex, Mina and co. again after nearly ten chapters. Their standoff with the Long Patrol at the top of the mountain ravine is wonderfully done, and you're really on the edge of your seat as to what will happen. Fortunately, Machus is most diplomatic and well-spoken, and willing to make any concession to keep his troops alive. When he considers the possibility that he will be the first to fall over the edge if it comes to blows, he seems more concerned about his soldiers loosing their leader than him losing his life. That's very touching and courageous: respect, swordfox, respect!
Again, as understandable as their attitude is considering that they've just been turned out of their home and are desperate to get to Urthfist in time, Clewiston's stubborn refusal to make any concessions and general rudeness to Machus still comes across as rather unlikeable. Even though they do indeed need to get to Redwall quicker than the Northlanders need to get to Redwall, I still think it would have been better for everyone if they had moved further backwards to let the vermin pass rather than the other way around. Not to mention that their insistence on getting to Redwall as quickly as possible is all for naught, since Urthfist left several days ago. I actually feel kinda sorry for them making this trip, only to find out that their master is gone and they have to run all the way back to Salamandastron.
And after the hares march past, the Northlanders will have to spend a night up on the cold, windswept peaks of the mountains. You did a great job here describing the desperate situation they were in. I really felt sorry for the poor rats and shrews who risk having their furless little paws frozen off. I think it would have been better if Alex and Mina would have rested beside some of them, so they could cover their paws with their tails. And Machus and Andrus decide to sleep on the edges, despite that they will only get one beast on their side to keep them warm. This is also very touching behaviour from them; despite their troops sometimes grousing about their discipline and haughtiness, at times like these I bet they're very happy to have commanders like that.
Mina's grim prediction that some of the rats or shrews might lose toes or get frost-bitten feet and will have to be left on the mountain to most likely die is rather frightening. That she can make such a cold statement matter-of-factly is another indication of how grim she can be at times, despite her charming and sophisticated personality.
Fortunately it doesn't come to pass, though it would have been interesting to see how they would have handled the situation if some of their troops were unable to walk the following morning. After such an unpleasant night, it must feel great to get off the mountain and make for the warm confines of Salamandastron. But of course, that might only be a brief respite before Urthfist arrives...
Once again, superb chapter, Wing. I think it's one of my favorites from TCB, actually. It goes to show that a story doesn't always need pumping fight sequences or fast-paced action to be involving and fun to read. Another testament to your writing skills, it truly is!
| Guest chapter 35 . 5/25/2011
Well, no surprise in the Patrol's refusal to serve Urthblood, of course. I have to say though that Clewiston's comment about his soldiers, including the vermin, genuinely believing him to be a saviour and protector is quite interesting. It appears that he understands now that they serve him because they see it as the right and noble thing to do, rather than because they're evil and want to share in his power. It's good that he's willing to consider that his enemies are as dedicated and loyal to their master as he is to Urthfist.
Melanie's suggestion that they pretend to serve Urthblood while secretly remaining loyal to his brother seems to indicate that they don't know about his power to detect lies, despite that Urthfist seemed aware of it when he talked with Browder. Do they simply not believe that his power extends that far?
Ah, the classic "tie the bedsheets together"-technique, eh? I'm rather surprised that the otters didn't consider the oldest trick in the book. It seems so cliché that it should be obvious. Indeed, it's so cliché that Urthblood understood that they would probably try to escape that way. That badger really is a master of dramatic surprises! And man, he must be really self-confident to face twenty trained soldiers of the Long Patrol alone! Would they REALLY have no chance of slaying him, even if they're unarmed? Couldn't they just throw themselves at him all at once and try to bash his head in with rocks or try to open his throat with their teeth? Then again, considering how badass Urthblood is, it wouldn't surprise me if he really is that good.
And he just lets them go; bet they didn't expect that. It's nice that he still tries to persuade them to convince Urthfist to seek a peaceful solution with Urthfist (though some of his future actions makes me doubt just how sincere he is in this). He really isn't the kind of enemy Clewiston and his hares would have expected, and that's one of his major strengths; he always does the unexpected. Even the prospect of having another twenty hares added to his brother's forces doesn't faze him.
Then again, they might not join up with Urthfist at all, since they decide to head directly to the east over the mountains to meet him at Redwall, which he's already left several days ago for Salamandastron. Maybe they should have followed Gallatin's advice and just stayed on the coastlands waiting for them. Instead, their journey over the mountains will lead them face to face with another group of soldier's it's been too long since we last saw...
| Samadhir chapter 34 . 5/24/2011
And so the Crimson Badger returns to his old home. To be honest, when he orders his troops to remain outside so he can inspect the mountain undisturbed, it almost sounds like he wants them to wait out in the cold so he can feel more dramatic as he strides through the mountain halls by himself. But he's Lord Urthblood, and I guess he can do whatever the f**k he wants!
I really like the description of how he feels so familiar with his old fortress, particularly the "Lord Urthblood had come home." It adds a more human(!) touch to someone who's otherwise so distant and cold, and actually makes you pity him a little for being so removed from mortal concerns and sentiments.
I'm a little puzzled by some of the Long Patrol's impressions of the soldiers walking by the room they're held captive in. "Walking nightmares"? "Demon mice"? Are they joking, have they never seen rats or battle-capable mice before, or are Urthblood' soldiers really that frightening?
But the meat of the chapter is of course the dinner held between Urthblood and Clewiston. There's a lot to say about it, so I'll just go over it in the rough order it appears.
First we have that problem I mentioned back when Urthfist appeared at Redwall, how the Long Patrol hares are so willing to accept their masters interpretation of the prophecy without having seen it or heard it recited for themselves. I understand that they would trust him and accept his word since he's the one they're sworn to serve, and he's presumably more trustworthy and collected when he's not out chasing after his brother and his vermin. But to follow him in his unreasoning hatred to such a degree without being absolutely sure that's what the prophecy predicts, it really doesn't seem wise.
Urthblood's brushing off Clewiston's comments about his massacre of the shrew tribe as if it were some minor accident doesn't exactly convince me or him if he's really regretted the incident.
He also shows quite the audacity by using the "have I done this?"-tactic with his commanders, and when they agree that he hasn't, considers the whole thing settled. I actually wished Clewiston had followed up on that before being interrupted by Saybrook and Bremo's tirade against him.
It's rather strange how Urthblood makes a direct reference to "the devil", and Clewiston making a snide reference to his red armour because of it. I know that they have some legends about a "ruler of Hellgates" called Vulpuz, though wether he could adequately be called the devil, and whether he's red or not, is doubtful.
Although it is rather rude of him, seeing as Urthblood isn't THAT unreasonable, it's still rather cool of Clewiston to throw the jug of wine into the badger's face. I mean, Urthblood has just requested that they betray their beloved master and swear allegience to him after having conquered their home; how did he think he was going to react? I'm rather surprised that none of the other ones present seem to get very upset about the incident.
Urthblood's little speech about how destiny weighs upon him and how nobeast else has the right to judge him for his methods was quite powerful and well-done. It's another of those things that make us wonder about him, and makes him such a compelling and interesting character.
Well, their little meeting didn't go so well. It seems that Urthblood really has to kill them in order to treat them decently...