A/N: Here it is, the start of my new, and what is turning out to be quite long Redwall fic. I hope you enjoy. I own no part of Redwall. The characters, events, and locations are all the property of Brian Jacques. The plot though is of my own imagination.


The Masked One

Rassk the Mask hated seeing a beasts face. He knew all to well the secrets a wink or a look could mean between two beasts. Growing up in a tribe of foxes wandering the bleak northlands Rassk had been born without the ability to move his face muscles. In a world where every eye blink, nod, and smile meant something Rassk was unable to make a name for himself.

One day when he was still a young fox he left his tribe. To hide his expressionless face he made a crude bark mask that wore a perpetual evil grimace. Ranging far and wide he came on a silver fox one day, who offered him shelter. The old one was covered in silver fur that marked the vast number of seasons of his life. Still for one so old the silver fox moved with quick and nimble steps. He called out from his den at Rassk.

"Do come in young 'un. Make thyself at 'ome."

Rassk entered the den and looked around. In the hollow under an old beech tree was a simple living area. A few sacks of pine boughs and some old blankets served for a bed while a woodpigeon roasted on a spit over a small fireplace. On the other side of the den the old one had laid out a large assortment of practice dummies, training circles, and wooden swords. The old one was clearly a master swordsbeast.

As the old one served Rassk a generous portion of the woodpigeon he noticed the eyes of the young fox dancing about the den.

"I see ye have noticed me 'lil 'obby," said the silver furred fox.

Rassk only nodded in return.

"Would ye like me tae teach thee the way 'o the blade?"

Rassk nodded again.

"Do ye ever talk?"

Rassk only stared at the old fox.

"Ah well. None 'o mine ifin ye do or don. Mayhaps we'll start thee trainin' on the morrow."

Rassk only stared out from behind his mask at the old one.

The next day the silver fox was as good as his word. Waking Rassk early he delved the young fox into a world of violence. The lessons were hard, with Rassk receiving many beatings from the old fox as a result of a failed lesson. Slowly but surely Rassk began to master the art of the swordbeast.

His preferred weapon was a paw-and-a-half sword he learned to wield with either paw. Flashing the deadly blade in endless circles Rassk began to formulate a plan. Unable to move his face, save to open his jaw to eat Rassk's hatred of anybeast that could make a sound or express emotion intensified. Even his old mentor became the object of his spite for his cold and stern looks in the training circle. One day, Rassk promised himself, he would leave the old fool and silence the world, just as he had been silenced. No singing, no laughing, no talking. He would command an army of silent slaves who would construct him a fortress from which his silent world would grow.

As he had been taught, Rassk kept his sword close to him at all times. A large clear green crystal set the pommel beneath a brown leather bound hilt. A simple cross guard wrapped in bronze wire was set below a straight simple double edged blade. The old one had told Rassk that most who claimed to be blademasters carried heavily jeweled and gilded blades. According to the old one such a blade was slower for all its added finery. A simple unadorned weapon was the true sign of a true swordsbeast.

One day Rassk felt it was time to begin his plans. As he entered the training circle with the old one he drew his blade. Taking a ready position the two foxes met steel at the center of the ring. The two swords wove patterns of silver as both foxes sparred. Then with a sudden twist Rassk sent his mentor's blade flying deep point first into the side of the den. In the same fluid movement Rassk ran his blade into the old one's heart.

As the life left his body the old one heard the first and only words Rassk would ever utter. From a voice that didn't quite know how to form the words Rassk rasped into the old one's ear.


Leaving the lair of his former mentor Rassk set out into the rough countryside of the northlands.

More chapters coming as soon as I find time to type, edit, and proofread them.