Prologue

From the writings of Tim Churchmouse, recorder of Redwall Abbey.

It is the Spring of the Great Sadness.

It's been quite a depressing few seasons of recent. The string of old friends passing away has been too much for most to bear. Recently I came across the notes of my father about the time of the Autumn of the Warrior's Return, quite a happy time. Well, it's quite different nowadays.

Abbot Mordalfus lasted a full fifteen seasons after that saga until he passed away, that being sad enough, there were more deaths that season. First a rat came, we gave him sanctuary but he paid us back by running away and stealing the Warrior's sword, Mattimeo, Sam, Auma, Jube, and Cheek journeyed after him, unfortunately during the time that our warriors were gone our Abbey fell under the siege of a pack of wolves. Four of our friends, Basil, Jabez, Jess, and my mother died then. The wolves were finally defeated by Matthias and Orlando The Axe and peace had started come, when Mattimeo and company returned, with the sword, but without our dear friend Cheek. It wasn't long after that until a great sickness fell upon us, Abbess May and Sister Cicely were able to fight it off with some good herbs and we got rid of it, but it managed to take Lady Cornflower, Winifred, Stryk Redkite, and Abbess May herself.

However this Spring has been a most unfortunate one himself. Maybe it's a leftover from the great sickness but Mattimeo has fallen terribly sick. This has proved doubly sad because of the fact that his father, Matthias, is still alive, and is most likely miserable because of it.

Yes dark days have fallen on Redwall Abbey. The only thing that keeps us going is the knowledge that there isn't a better place on Earth to be, no matter how sad the situation is.