Note: This story takes place after the Sable Quean, in which Vilaya and Zwilt take over Redwall, calling it Seftrors (an anagram of Fortress).
Vilaya the Sable Quean and her King, Zwilt the Shade, were now the proud rulers of Althier and Seftrors. After a long and bitter war, they had claimed it. Vilaya was now also a proud mother of a silver-furred sable, the exact image of her father, Armuk Rinn. He looked every bit the warrior his father Zwilt was, even through his small little body. She named him Idunn Jarl, which means "warrior chieftain" in honor of her father. She remembered her father's death, the endless grieving. He was unbeatable, at least she thought. He had lost his head, and how she tried to grab her father's battle-axe before she left, but it was far too heavy. So as she grew up, she concocted plans to someday get it back, and now those plans might just come true. It was true, she had never seen who killed her father, but she assumed and was almost definitely sure that it was the Badger Lord Brang Forgefire.
She walked out with her son into the Great Hall, where she found Zwilt looking at two swords: his own, a broadsword, and a sword that the dwellers of Seftors when it was called Redwall. It was very shiny, so shiny it could play tricks with the light, with black leather on the handle, and a ruby on the end of the handle. It also had the words "I am that is" enscripted on the blade. She supposed the letters could be rearranged to spell "Amithatis", so she called the sword that. After a few minutes, Zwilt took the other sword and hung it back up. "Mine is better, but that one did come close." he said. "Might be able to use it for decoration." he continued. Vilaya adjusted Idunn's smock and cleared her throat. "Well, we could save it for Idunn when he gets bigger." she suggested. Zwilt came forward and picked his son up out of her paws. "Good idea. He would make a great warrior, and we could both teach him. He would make an excellent ruler someday." Zwilt said while nuzzling his son. "Yes, and a great assassin. In fact, Zwilt, I've got a plan for when he does get bigger......"
Since the capture of Redwall Abbey, almost all the Abbey residents had become slaves. Abbess Marjoram was made to work, as was Sister Fumbril and all others. Ruark Boldstream was dead, killed in the capture of the Abbey. All slaves were now crammed in a large cell inside Brockhall, or Althier, as the Ravagers called it.
One such slave was Reno the otter. He was a former member of Ruark Boldstream's otter crew, along with his wife, Opal. She was killed trying to defend the Dibbuns. Prior to her death, she had given birth to their first child, a daughter named Brook. Reno and his sister Fumbril has been taking care of it, with her keeping the babe in a sling pouch during the day, and him holding her during the night. Only a season had passed since the seizing of the Abbey, and now word was out that Vilaya and Zwilt now had a son. A son! That was what everybeast needed, something to ensure them that their suffering would not end at Vilaya and Zwilt's deaths. Oh, no, Idunn will be just as cruel as his mother and father combined!
Reno dug his shovel into the ground. He pulled up a rock. This was good, as that was just what they were supposed to find. Vilaya wanted a grand statue of herself in the place of the garden, and it was the slave's job to sculpt it and build the foundation. Basically everything. All the Ravagers would do is going to the quarry and taking some marble from there. But even then, slaves would find it and drag it back to the Abbey. Just then, his friend Diggs came in and started digging too. The hare may have been fat at one time, but you certainly could not tell now. Because of all the hard work and lack of sufficient food, he had become quite muscular now.
"I say," the hare whispered into his friend's ear, "the flippin' beatins' we've been gettin' for this past season aren't gonna do us well. Some day or another, they'll have hit me with that ol' rod, an' I'll just fall over dead. Lost all me blinkin' will to live, wot! 'Course, The seasons never have been too kind to us since the capture. Ambrevina's dead, Bukler too, an' your Opal, but we've just had t' bally well keep on livin' like this! We just can't move on to the ol' green forest with th' quiet streams and golden fields! We just have ta stay here an' rot, jus' like those pore ol' oarslaves on them corsair ships. I wish we were still at the ol' mountain, Brang,'ll know wha t' do. Those Ravagers don't know much about that mountain. Why, Vilaya appears t' be afrad of the ole place! Hah!"
Jut then, the weasel Slopgut shouted at the two. "Hey, we ain't be tellin' ya to chat, we be tellin' ya to work! Nex' time, we'll beat ya to pulp!" Reno looked back. He tried to hide a scowl from the guard.