The Watership Down series belongs to Alltime and Decode Entertainment. The original characters and concepts behind Watership Down are the work of Richard Adams. Many of the additional characters in the series, however, belong to Alltime/Decode, though extra additional characters that have appeared only on my fanfiction belong to me such as Walnut, Honey,Brunnea,Swift,Iris,Rosa,Spring,Ash and Ivy, I am just borrowing the characters for this fansite, and I mean no-one any harm by this. I am in no way connected with any of the people mentioned above.
These episodes are continued on from the offical third series, a few notes for those who have never seen the third series, Campion is alive, Hazel and his warren go to revenge on Efrafa where it is destroyed and Woundwort goes to his home warren, Darkhaven and eventually leads war to Watership Down after finding out its location from Campion.
All characters are completely fictitious and any resemblance to any persons either living or dead is purely coincidental.
The rabbits stood around the piles of scattered soil and respectfully bowed their heads, closing their eyes in pain. A grey rabbit, with a distinctive fur collar nodded to the brown rabbit beside him. Campion and Bigwig dropped their shoulders slowly and the silver figure on their backs fell with a dull thud to the bottom of the deep pit. The two does, Blackberry and Primrose silently dug at the sides at the top of the grave, scattering fresh soil over the still dead body. Once a thin layer existed they returned to the circle that had formed all around.
The sun was setting, illuminating the state of the down. It was dull and trampled with cracks in the earth like it had been through a terrible drought. But the rabbits here didn't care, about this or how exhausted they were. One by one a few adults approached the grave and dropped in a branch of holly carried in their mouths. It was to symbolise Frith's promise to all rabbits and everlasting life in the world beyond. Hawkbit, Dandelion, Bigwig, Campion, Blackberry and Fiver gave their offering and waited for the last rabbit. Hazel gently gave the warren's last gift to the silver buck, and said quietly, "Dear Frith, my heart had joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today. Thank you for saving us, Silverweed."
The sun reflected off the leaves of the large beech tree, glittering and sparkling in the midst of the quiet morning. The air had a still feel to it and was heavy due to the storm of the magic the day before. Thin cracks ran here and there across the down and the warren below was littered with the fallen soil from the great tremor of the skies opening the day before and death itself descending.
Blackberry cautiously sniffed the air for predators then slid out of the warren entrance and hopped to the edge of the large hill. She was a just below average sized doe with rare silver grey fur and sapphire blue eyes. Looking down at the rolling fields she began to think. About yesterday, where the last battle took place here on the down and where Woundwort had been finally stopped. Where a rabbit, one of the loyalist and most compassionate she had met, gave his life for them all and this beautiful warren. Most important of all to her was the fact that a certain brown buck had finally come to live at Watership Down after seasons of waiting and pain.
Her thoughts were then interrupted by Campion himself, who had noticed her absence in the burrow and had been searching. Seeing her, the large sienna coloured buck sighed with relief and quietly joined her, following her gaze. He had always loved the view from up here.
"You're up early," Campion commented, sneaking a look at her expression. His intense dark green eyes looked intently to her.
"I had some thinking to do," Blackberry replied, turning to face him. Together they glanced at the top of the hill they were on and their ears sagged in despair, though it was still breathtaking in the morning rays.
At that moment the rest of the warren spread out to silflay. Hazel, who had spotted Campion and Blackberry, went over to speak to them. He was a chestnut fawn colour with a distinctive dark brown strip down from his ears to his nose on his face that himself and his younger brother, Fiver, shared. He was the kind leader of the warren and had won his way to the top by his quick wit and skilful thinking. He was respected and loved by all.
"Congratulations for finally making it here to live at Watership Down," Hazel said to Campion, smiling.
"Thanks, Hazel. I don't think I could be happier anywhere else. It's certainly a nice change," he replied joyfully. His mind had wondered back to the dark days of Efrafa and slavery and his fight for his soul at Darkhaven in the spring.
"By the way, there is a meeting today at Ni-Frith in the Honeycomb. It's nothing big. We're just holding some sort gathering to symbolise a new start."
"We'll be there, Hazel," Blackberry answered.
The rabbits bent down to enjoy the long, fresh grass that the semi-warm, wet season of autumn brought.
Blackberry soon departed to fulfil her duties as healer thanks to her wide knowledge of healing herbs.
Campion knew she would be gone for a while due to the many injuries of the day before. His own injuries still stung from the herbs that had been put on his wounds. After finishing silflay he went to join Hazel under the large beech tree that housed their warren to talk about the upcoming meeting.
The rabbits assembled in a large circle. Hazel looked around; it consisted of Hawkbit, Dandelion, Pipkin, Clover, Holly, Strawberry, Captain Broom, Campion, Blackberry, Fiver, Spartina then Bigwig to his right and Primrose to his left. The three youngest rabbits, not quite still kittens, were still below.
"First I need to appoint one more Owsla captain, so that there are two to lead the Owsla. As decided between me and Bigwig. It was decided that warren safety was priority. We want to keep this peace." Hazel's paw paused in mid air from explaining his point. He looked over directly to a buck to his left. "Campion, you are appointed as Captain of Owsla."
Blackberry looked pleasantly surprised and Campion was very proud. He had been secretly worried about fitting in here, especially after his role in Efrafa and had been concerned about how to act in this warren. With this he could just be himself. Spartina, a dark grey female from Darkhaven, looked very annoyed and shot Bigwig a 'what about me?' look.
"I am going to send out patrols into Darkhaven, the surrounding territory, Efrafa or what remains of it and other places. Strawberry, Hawkbit, Dandelion and Captain Broom you go into Efrafa and check the whole place for fresh tracks but be careful, it may collapse further. Clover and Pipkin, you are to go around the down and check for a possible sighs of life by any other rabbits. Myself, Primrose, Bigwig, Fiver, Holly and Spartina will go around the perimeter of Darkhaven and finally, Campion and Blackberry, go directly into Darkhaven since you know the warren best. Be sure to go the Redstone route. Remember, we are looking for survivors from the enemy. You have your orders. Go!"
The rabbits scurried off in opposite directions once grouped together. Campion turned his head so that his good eye was looking at Blackberry. "Ready?"
"Let's go," she replied, with an excited gleam in her eyes. It was just like old times in Darkhaven, her and Campion on a mission.
"Why was Campion made captain and I'm not even in the Owsla?" Spartina demanded to Bigwig, as soon as the down had cleared a bit.
"Am, well we had our reasons," Bigwig stammered. The truth was he had disagreed with Hazel to promote her into the Owsla because he was concerned about her safety. Not that he would ever tell her.
"Such as?" Spartina asked.
"Come on, Spartina. There is going to be nothing to do around here in the Owsla anyway."
"Hurry up, Spartina, Bigwig. We have work to do!" Hazel ordered.
Bigwig sighed with relief and hoped to put that discussion off to later.
The night was advancing quickly on the late autumn evening. The sun's last rays made the hills red shadows as Campion and Blackberry made their way across the canal on their way to Redstone warren.
"We should find a place to rest soon," said Campion, looking into the murky waters below. He made a face at the faint reflection of himself. He had never been content with his appearance since the cave-in that had physically and mentally scarred him forever. The whole left side of his face was scarred and he was half-blind. The top of the ear on the same side had been torn clean off though he still had his full hearing.
"It's the rabbit inside that counts, Campion," Blackberry said comfortingly.
Campion turned his back and sighed quietly. She might believe that, but she was his mate and would say anything to make him feel better. He tried to put out of his head the time when he had seen the warren's kittens for the first time and they had run away screaming. He closed his eyes so he wouldn't have to see the side reflection of himself anymore.
Just then rain thundered down, rippling the water so that it was no longer a shining mirror. The two rabbits turned and bolted for the forest to find a place to settle.
"These are strange tracks," Hazel remarked, then moved aside for Bigwig to have a look.
"There is a familiar feel about the scent as well," Bigwig mused. His expert nose twitched suspiciously.
"There are too few tracks for there to be a warren nearby, yet too many for a patrol," Hazel said.
"Maybe there're from Hickory and Marigold's new warren?" Primrose suggested. "Or the tracks they made when they left last night. I still feel terrible."
The Redstone warren had taken refuge at Watership Down after their own warren had been destroyed by man. They had valiantly helped them in the great fight, but they weren't trained in the military, unlike their allies and enemies and so faced the greatest loss. Unable to face it anymore, they upped and left last night with their dead, but still on good terms with the other rabbits.
"No, it's not their scent and there would be many more tracks for their remaining warren members. Let's follow it and see if we can catch up with our unknown friends," Bigwig decided for them.
"Maybe we should just go back home, hmm? It might be enemies," Fiver asked timidly. The runt of the older rabbits was a gifted visionary and could always tell if a situation was safe or potentially dangerous.
"Why? Did you have a vision?" Holly asked nervously. The middle aged cloud grey pierced Fiver with his black eyes in his concern.
"No, just a faint tingle like it's something from the past," Fiver said apprehensively.
"Let's watch ourselves then," Bigwig said, remembering the other times he didn't believe Fiver's visions before it was too late.
The six rabbits once again set off into the dark gloom, if not a little more carefully.
"Blackberry, wake up," Campion whispered urgently, placing his paw on her back to rouse her whilst staring urgently ahead. He ears were pinned forward and he was crouched ready to spring.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Blackberry asked sleepily. She sat up as quietly as possible and stared intently at him until he noticed.
"I thought I heard….yes, there it is again," Campion replied. He winced when he disturbed the leaves under him when he tried to rise. His owsla instincts reawakened along with his need to protect his mate.
"Wait here. I think I heard more rabbits nearby," Campion instructed. He never took his sight off where he thought the danger lay.
"Partners are equal," Blackberry said with a fierce gleam in her eyes. She rose as well to prove her point.
"Well, okay but stay close to me," said Campion reluctantly.
The two rabbits snuck stealthily through the night, following the path that their sharp ears set.
They looked through a gap in a hedge and saw a small group of adult rabbits standing in a clearing, looking closely at something on the ground. At that moment Blackberry gasped causing a dun coloured rabbit to jump at her and pin her roughly to the ground. She froze in her shock and her breath stopped. Campion growled fiercely and knocked the rabbit off Blackberry but was overpowered by the rest of the group. He struggled ferociously against the other bucks that had him held fast. He contorted his face in pain as they held him so fast against the ground he couldn't move an inch.
"Don't hurt him! He was only defending me," Blackberry said desperately. She struggled to meet the eyes of the main attacker.
"Blackberry, is that you?" asked the buck that had attacked her earlier.
"Yes, Walnut. It's me," Blackberry sighed reluctantly. She regretfully looked at the buck who had strived for her attentions so many times in Sandleford when they were just yearlings.
"But you left. You were believed to be dead!" Walnut replied. He sounded unsure and a little confused.
Campion stopped struggling and looked in confusion at Blackberry, trying to catch her eye without success.
"Obviously I'm not, but I'll talk to you after you let Campion go!"
Walnut looked at the scarred light brown rabbit and was instantly jealous of this stranger but ordered his Owsla to release him at Blackberry's orders.
"What is he to you?" Walnut asked.
"He's with me and don't be so shallow!" Blackberry snapped, annoyed. Guessing rightly that Walnut was judging Campion by his appearance.
"He doesn't seem to be too nice in the inside either," Walnut remarked, rubbing the shoulder that had been knocked by him.
"You did attack me you know, but never mind that. Sandleford warren was destroyed. How did you get out?" Blackberry asked quietly as Campion joined her with a subdued expression.
"It's a long story. Is there a warren nearby where we could discuss it comfortably?" asked one of the other bucks that attacked Campion.
"Yes. We're all tired and the weather isn't brilliant. Can we go to your warren?" another inquired, then introduced herself as Honey.
"We can't lead you there. Our chief sent us on a mission and a job begun is a job done," Campion said, repeating an owsla saying. In fact he really just didn't want to stop and chat to these rabbits anymore and was silently annoyed about being in the dark about this buck.
"Blackberry, can you lead us there?" Walnut turned to her, purposefully ignoring Campion.
"I just told you that she's with me," Campion said with growing frustration.
"I was talking to her, not her mate the 'brave captain of owsla'," Walnut growled, mocking Campion.
Campion jumped at Walnut, lightning quick, giving him a slash across the chest. Walnut reacted by biting down hard on Campion's injured ear, causing him to yelp sharply in red hot pain.
"Campion, Walnut, stop it! I can speak for myself." Blackberry hopped over and helped Campion stand. His left ear was bleeding since the old wound had been reopened. Blackberry stared at Walnut in hate and her eyes flashed.
"You didn't want to know me before so just go away and leave me in peace!"
"What? Leave you with this unworthy and ugly rabbit? What about us?"
"Come on, Campion, let's go!" Blackberry said, sensing another fight between the two bucks.
Campion seemed undecided and torn on decision and was still crouched ready to spring when there was a rustle as a band of familiar rabbits appeared round the edge of the trees. It was the other patrol.
"Blackberry, what's going on? Campion, why are you standing like that?" Hazel asked, confused and wary.
Then he saw the other rabbits. "By Frith, it can't be… Walnut and Honey?"
"It is Hazel. Isn't it? Walnut asked.
"It is, but no one else escaped and … you should be dead."
The orange, yellow doe called Honey repeated what her mate, Pebble, had already said. "It's a long story. Could we go back to your warren and discuss it there?"
"Of course, come this way. Blackberry, Campion, are you not coming to join us?"
"No, Hazel. We'll continue our journey," Blackberry replied with her back to them.
Hazel sensed the tension and followed the others across into the bushes.
"Campion, are you alright?" Bigwig asked, looking at his bleeding ear with concern.
"I'll be alright in a while, Bigwig," Campion said quietly. His pride hurt more than his ear.
Bigwig hesitated then hopped off. Blackberry turned round slowly to face Campion and started to clean his ear. He remained quiet and the darkness hid his expression. Blackberry stopped at gazed at him anxiously. "What is it? Is your wound hurting you terribly?"
"He's right Blackberry. I'm not right for you, and how could I ever think I was?" He raised his head to look at her, his eyes were dim and his other ear sacked. "I should just leave you to live at Watership Down and have a normal life."
"Campion, you saved my life four times. I think that makes us more than equal because I know what you are thinking. We have been over this hrair times, remember?" She went over and gave him an affectionate nuzzle. "Anyway, I love you…as you are."
Campion broke the gaze and looked away. He tried to believe all she had told him with all his heart but wasn't sure if he did. Her paw appeared on his arm so he smiled quickly and changed the subject.
"Blackberry, why were you so cold with him?"
"He attacked you didn't he?" Blackberry said unconvincingly, pretending to study the night sky. Her paw dropped and she hopped hesitantly forward as if to go back to their resting place.
"It's more than that," he pestered, looked her in the eye. "You can tell me anything, Blackberry."
"Before I left Sandleford because of Fiver's vision he was angry that I was leaving the warren with a group of bucks without his permission." Blackberry scoffed then paused before continuing, "He said I had disgraced him and he hoped the Black Rabbit would take us all."
"Blackberry, he didn't mean it. He was angry…" Campion said quietly. He was surprised to hear himself standing up for that insolent buck.
"It's all right, Campion. He meant it alright. I got over it." She sighed then straightened, put her nose to the air to follow a scent and followed the well known trail to Redstone.
Hazel led the five new rabbits into the Honeycomb and jumped up onto the large rock where the rabbits made their important announcements.
"So tell us your tale of survival and we'll tell you ours, Walnut." Hazel smiled.
Walnut told of the time when the men came with their fire and their thundersticks to clear out the warren. Himself and the rest had been on patrol and had just left when the men arrived, but unfortunately had returned in time to see the destruction of their home. They had been lucky. Hazel listened with increasing horror as the rabbits described in detail what had happened to his old friends. After, he told them the long story of their arrival to Watership Down and all their adventures, then about Efrafa and how Campion had risked his life for them all. The tale of the cave-in disturbed them all as the battle was told and how near to death they all were until Blackberry's clever idea was triggered and a large rock came falling down closing the entrance to the warren that Woundwort and his army had so desperately planned to use. Campion was thought to have died when he was crushed by the rock saving his old chief, Woundwort. Though he survived and once again was a spy for them against Woundwort at his newest warren, Darkhaven, along with Blackberry. He also told of how Campion was forced to lead Woundwort to Watership Down under the threat of Blackberry's death. The final battle was made magical under Hazel's descriptive words and the rabbits were entranced. He told of how Watership Down was saved by Silverweed's sacrifice when he called on the Black Rabbit of inle, the bringer of death, to stop the battle once and for all.
"And here we are," Hazel finished heavily.
"Wow, and you mean to say you haven't had a moment's peace during all that time?"
Before an answer was said Walnut interrupted, "You mean to say that that arrogant buck I met with Blackberry is the Campion of the story?"
"The same one. I got the impression that you two had already had had a nice chat when I arrived," Hazel said unhappily. "I don't encourage fighting in my warren and I advise you to leave Campion and Blackberry well alone if you plan to stay here. They've both been through a lot and they are happy together," Hazel ordered. "Now if you will excuse me, I have a patrol waiting. Feel free to make yourselves at home."
"Well, I don't know about you but I'm going to challenge the famous Campion so Blackberry can see who is the strongest," Walnut said confidently after Hazel had left. "'Legend'," he scoffed. "Please."
"But, Walnut, by the sound of it this Campion is a strong warrior! Can we please not cause trouble here?" Pebble begged him to see sense.
But Walnut had already departed the chamber, so the grey buck sighed and went to find Honey.