So. This is it. The last lesson.
Yes, I know that there is a great deal more that could be written. There are lots of various other strategies and devices that would help defending your beloved Redwall Abbey, as you readers have pointed out. However, this guide is just that: a guide. It is not meant to teach you how to counter each and every single possible attack you may encounter. As shown in lessons four and six, you are supposed to do that yourself. If you use your head, you should be relatively fine. Relatively, because there happens to be a being named "Brian Jacques" who likes to run you all through a gauntlet of various problems. Sometimes the problems are similar to ones before, but other times they are unique; so you will have to figure it out by yourselves. (By the way, I do not have any relations with "Brian Jacques" nor do I own what he owns.)
I could have continued this guide with such lessons as "Defense of Battlements" or "Rescue Techniques," but as in lesson six, if you use your head you will be fine. I cannot tell you how to do everything. You are not dibbuns anymore, thankfully.
With that, I bring the Redwall Defense Guide to close with one last bit of advice.
Lesson Seven: ATTACK!!!
There is a saying that "the best defense is a good offense." Very nice, somewhat true, and of high importance for you.
You Redwallers tend to think in the matters of defense and oftentimes dismiss offense. Yes, I know you are peaceful, I know you are merciful, but there is time for mercy and time for Judgement. Plus, attacking is a double bonus for revenge for particular grievances.
Sometimes, in order to defend Redwall Abbey, you must attack your enemy. For example, Matthias attacked Cluny the Scourge, the entire blinkin' Long Patrol attacked Damug Warfang, etc., and it was only after the attack that Redwall was saved. If there were prisoners afterwards, only then did you show mercy. You can defend all you like, but vermin tend to be persistent little things (or so stupid that they don't know when to stop) that only an attack will completely and totally convince them that you are indeed, defenders of Mossflower Country. (Why else would creatures all over Mossflower Country come to Redwall for protection?)
Therefore, with the careful application of Sharp Pointy Objects to affronting vermin, you will finally be able to make those nasty vermin run away with their tails between their legs.
I do know that you have able beasts that know how to wield a weapon effectively. I also know that you do have lessons in weaponswork from time to time. However, these tend to be few and far in between, and as Florian from the time of Abbey Warrior Dandin found out, you usually do not pay attention.
So, I have made simple, easy to follow instructions entitled of how to kill a vermin. These are meant to be followed by those who do not care to learn true weaponswork. If you do want to learn, by all means, do so.
How To Kill a Vermin
1. Take up a Sharp Pointy Object. Take care not to hold the sharp edge.
2. If vermin is far away, throw it at him. Or, if you are feeling particularly brave AND lucky AND do not care about possible bodily harm to yourself and/or have the spirit of Martin helping you, scream "Redwaaaalll!" and charge at vermin.
3. If vermin is close by you, hit him hard with the sharp and pointy end of the Sharp Pointy Object.
Vital Areas to Hit:
Anything not covered in armor
4. Continue hitting until vermin is dead. Scream continually to confuse him.
5. Move onto next vermin.
Variation: Instead of Sharp Pointy Object, use a Burning Object or a Sticky Object and aim it at the vermin's eyes.
Even dibbuns can help with these simple instructions. At the very least, they can throw their toys. Basically, throw anything. Don't stand in fear and scream, "AAAAHHHH! SOMEBEAST SAVE ME!!" Be productive and for once, destructive and throw something. Oh, and instead of screaming the above statement, try yelling, "You dirty nasty vermin no good druble-pawed beast of burden" or something else from your dibbun days. They're quite creative in that department.
If you do intend to learn weaponswork, I would advise archery. It is simple to learn and very intimating in groups. As for other long-distance weapons, such as the javelin or the sling, these should also be encouraged. It is much easier and safer to kill a vermin far away than up close.
For close combat, the club is particularly simple to learn, though those who wish to learn it should have ample upper-body strength. Likewise for the battle axe. The sword, although feared and famed, is difficult to learn, though it is the most effective close-combat weapon on your paws.
Now that you know how to kill a vermin, there is a bit of strategy involved in actually attacking the vermin. Do not be idiots and charge outright at the vermin, unless you want to leave Redwall Abbey defenseless and do not mind bodily harm to yourself. Or you're Martin.
The most favorable strategy of attacking is guerilla warfare: the safest and easiest way for a small number of abbeybeasts to demoralize and lessen a stronger vermin band.
This is where the virtue of your moles shines. By digging an underground tunnel, you can sneak your attackers right into the enemy camp. However, make sure to collapse the tunnel so they cannot follow you. Likewise, perhaps the otters of Redwall Abbey know of a waterway that would allow you to attack swiftly and quietly. Small bands of warriors can do a lot of damage quickly, and because this is your home ground, you know the best way to retreat.
You also have another option: instead of killing vermin (very direct), you may try to demoralize vermin (indirect).
Vermin are well, vermin, and they scare easily. Use booby traps: snares, pits covered with branches, tiny sharp pebbles to cripple their paws. Sneak into their camp and foul their stored food (intelligently, of course). Ruin their weapons: cut bowstrings and steal their Sharp Pointy Objects. At the very least, keep up a racket all night so none of them get any rest. Fake partying should do it, and you're experts at that. Remember the power of Cornflower's fake Martin ghost act -- scared the gizzards out of the crows in Redwall in the time of Mattimeo. Confuse the vermin to the point that they do not know which end of their sword is the sharp one. Play practical jokes on them and laugh as hard as possible to annoy them. If you really want to hike up the annoyance factor, let the dibbuns do all the annoying for you.
A typical vermin is already downtrodden and flogged by its leader. A vermin that's also tired, ill fed, and scared is a vermin half-beat. A vermin that is sufficiently annoyed will run away and yell for peace and sanity. Remember, Cluny the Scourge went mad, to your great advantage.
Defending Redwall Abbey on a purely defensive note will drag out the siege. If you attack at opportune times, you can shorten the waiting.
* * * * *
Now, for the last and final time, wot have we learned today?
That attacking is a flip side to defending. That the Art of Using Sharp Pointy Objects should be part of the Abbey School curriculum. That vermin are wimps if you scare them. Alrighty then, so that's the gist of it.
If you obey the concepts of this guide, Redwall Abbey shall become stalwart defender of Mossflower Country instead of a laughingstock of continuous "GAAH!! THEY GOT OVER THE ABBEY WALLS!! WE MUST RETREAT TO THE ABBEY!!!"
And that, my friends, is the last lesson of the Redwall Defense Guide. I thank you for reading, and will all Redwallers be blessed with such well-educated abbeybeasts. By no means will I put down my pen (or keyboard); I still have many ideas for the world you live in, all involving some sort of humor.
Now, you are all smart beasts; but if you screw up I shall come down and *WHACK* you.
LoneWolf16, Recorder of Redwall Defense in Mossflower Country