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Ciar Tynan
Matthias the Warrior

The sun was shining brightly. Out on the abbey lawn, a cluster of creatures stood around an old mouse lying on a blanket.

Matthias the Warrior was dying.

His blurred eyes peered around him, at all the faces. Auma, now full grown, with old Constance at her shoulder. Nobeast lived longer than a badger, his old friend would grace Redwall for many seasons to come. There was Cheek, no longer so aptly named, a big, burly otter. He was in charge of the abbey defenders. There was Cynthia, a beautiful young vole, paw on the shoulder of Rollo, now a novice.

There was Sam, and Elmtail, with their band. There was Jube, one paw cradling the big hammer he used in the cellars. There was Tim, the recorder all over, charcoal stick in one paw, parchment in the other, ready to record the last words of Redwall's dying champion.

And there was Mattimeo. Once the terror of the abbey, now a full-grown warrior. The great sword Ratdeath was sheathed over his shoulder. Standing beside him was Tess, both her paws on the shoulders of little Martin, the hope of the future. So many faces, so many memories. Such a good, long life, and now it drew to a close.

Matthias knew where he would be laid to rest. On the east side of the abbey was a bare patch of earth, on which grew many blue flowers. A year ago, his Cornflower had passed away. They would dig another hole beside her grave, and they would rest together- forever.

He gazed upward at the sky. There was not a cloud to be seen. Above him the Sparra circled- the tribe had grown big again, and the descendants of the four survivors filled the roofspaces. They had always loved him especially- Friend to the Queen, was what they called him. A faint smile crossed his face, thinking of Warbeak. He would see her again, soon.

"Hear me, Redwallers," he said, and his voice was not cracked with age, but young and strong. "Hear the words of a warrior. Let the sword be passed down through the ages. May it be wielded by the strong and brave, to protect our abbey for seasons to come. Let the legend live, but never forget me. Never forget- I am that is. Martin is Matthias is Mattimeo is Martin, and so it goes."

And with those words, Matthias the Warrior, Champion of Redwall, Questor for the Sword, died. His soul lingered for a moment, unwilling to leave the home he loved. But soon it sped for the gates of Dark Forest. Where Cornflower waited.

And the bells rang out across the woodlands.