Prologue and Credits.
First of all, I'd like to give a HUGE bundle of thanks to Beboots, the original author. This story was written by Beboots and taken and modified by me with permission. I suffered writer's block for several months, then almost forgot about it, but I finally got round to writing something for it. I wanted to wait till I'd finished it before posting, but that's going to take forever and I couldn't wait. I have adjusted parts to make my take on the story work better, but most of the first few chapters and the basic idea are courtesy of Beboots. Redwall and its characters are copyright Brian Jacques and Welkin and its weasels are copyright Garry Kilworth. I am not making any money from this, so if the aforementioned authors are reading this, please don't sue.
Also, I'd like to thank my mother for proofreading for me. I'm pretty obsessive about good spelling, but I make mistakes too.
Now then, this is a Redwall (specifically, Taggerung)/ Welkin Weasels crossover. It takes place at the beginning of "Castle Storm" in Welkin and from the middle of chapter twenty-eight of "Taggerung". (I changed the time period a little from Beboot's original because my story made more sense that way. Sorry Beboots - don't worry, the character I missed out will show up later. Promise.) As many of my readers haven't read the Welkin Weasels series, I've decided to put a prologue, explaining some necessary background detail. I will add more in other chapters as needed. Any characters not introduced here will be described when we meet them. If you have already read one of the Welkin Weasels books, you can just skip this chapter. I have tried to avoid too much detail about the storyline of the books, but the story will contain at least some spoilers, so beware.
Glossary of words in alphabetical order:
Groats: Form of currency. (Really used in Middle Ages England around the time period of these books)
Hollyhockers: A gambling game. Basically the player throws a cupful of hollyhock seeds onto a table and wins or loses depending on what pattern the seeds fall into, but the rules are full of hideous complications.
Honey dew: An alcoholic drink made from honey (duh). Sort of Welkin's answer to seaweed grog, but it tastes better.
Jack: Term for "male", can mean "boy" or "man.
Jill: Term for "female", can mean "girl" or "woman.
Mountain Hiker Song, The: A counting-down song (like "Ten Green Bottles" - or "Ninety-Nine Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" if you're American) about twenty hikers who fall over cliffs one by one. Rather a gruesome little tune. Just shows what people did before Itchy and Scratchy.
Mustelid: Term referring to stoats, weasels, ferrets, pine martens, otters etc. Same idea as Redwall's "vermin" or "woodlanders". Yes, it's a real word. Look it up.
Welkin: The island inhabited by the mustelids.
Now then, a brief summary of exactly what Welkin is:
Long ago, humans inhabited the island of Welkin. There was a king and a queen, who split the island in half. They feuded, and eventually they decided, for the good of all the people, to leave and start life anew in another place. But the children didn't want to leave, so they left clues for anyone to follow, if they could, to bring them back.
This was many generations ago. No living mustelid could remember a time when there were humans, although there were many living statues (yes, the statues are alive; this may be a plot point later) of them, so they did not fade from memory.
The larger and more powerful stoats became the upper classes; the smaller weasels were only considered fit to be servants and near-slaves, often mistreated and ill-fed.
One group of weasels, an outlaw band led by the weasel Sylver, began to resist the stoat oppressors. The other band members are Icham, Sylver's best friend; Bryony, a sensitive vegetarian; Alysoun-the-fleet, the fastest runner in Welkin; Wodehed, the wizard and healer; Luke, the priest; Mawk-the-doubter; Scirf, an ex-dungwatcher with good brains but terrible personal hygiene; and Miniver, the finger-weasel (polite term for midget). They reside in Halfmoon Wood in County Elleswhere, and are aided by the kindly but forgetful old stoat Lord Haukin of Thistle Hall, and Lord Haukin's weasel servant Culver.
Their main nemesis is the stoat Prince Poynt, who is technically king of Welkin although he hasn't actually been crowned. He refuses to change into his brown fur from ermine in the summer, and so he is subconsciously convinced it's winter all the time. This makes him feel cold, even in summer.The court is really run by Poynt's more intelligent sister, Princess Sibiline, and his second-in-command, Sheriff Falshed.
The main mission of the weasel band is to bring back the humans, not only to save them from the stoats, but also to repair the dykes (sea walls) surrounding the island. If they aren't repaired, then the sea will rush in, flooding the entire island, resulting in everybeast drowning. They have been temporarily repaired, but the dykes need human hands to mend them and release them from the threat of springing rather large leaks. With the help of a little girl's coded diary found at Thistle Hall, the weasels are searching for clues as to where the humans might be.
Little notes on the "woodlanders" of Welkin: Things are a bit different on this island. Yes, there are hedgehogs, otters, hares, squirrels, moles (although they don't speak molespeech), and several types of shrew (some being intelligent, some being more guard-dog like.
Mice, voles and rabbits, however, are beasts of burden, and are no more intelligent than say a worm would be in Redwall, or a cow in our world. They are even eaten! Mouse steak and vole sausages are regular parts of the menu! It took some getting used to, let me tell you, while I was reading the books. The weasels and stoats happily eat things like worms and beetles as well.
Also, the beasts of Welkin click their teeth instead of laughing, and they don't use terms from Redwall like "everybeast".
And while I'm here, before I fade into the background as that shadowy figure "The Author" (sounds like a tarot card, doesn't it?) I would like to encourage other readers of Garry Kilworth's work to write their own Welkin Weasels fanfiction. People write fics on almost everything, but at the time of writing nobody has written any WW fanfic at all, except this one. Please - let's try to get Sylver and company their own section at the good old Pit!
Anyway, on with the story!