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Nightmare Fuel / Redwall

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Redwall is a children's book series about cute little woodland critters, how scary can it be? Well, given the ruthless villains and brutal violence to be found, very.

Spoilers Off applies to Nightmare Fuel pages.

  • Just for starters, try to imagine books aimed at ten-year-old children containing this amount of brutality but with human characters, particularly since most of the heroes are supposed to be the equivalent of about twelve years old.
  • "Asssssssmodeussssssssssss"
    • "I will show you... eternityyy..." *Sickening crunch*
    • "Look into my eyes... See? They are the twin pools of eternity. Sink into them, and you will find darkness and rest."
    • While Asmodeus himself is scary enough, there is the added fact that Baliss was said to be descended from him. This just raises the question, which is scarier? Asmodeus or the concept of him having produced offspring?
    • To add on to the offspring point, this logically means that Asmodeus had a mate, meaning Mossflower has had more than one such adder at a time in its long history.
  • Captain Fraul's death in Lord Brocktree. He's swarmed by a bunch of spider crabs and then suddenly disappears from the story. Later on, Dotti and Lord Brocktree stumble upon his corpse in a tunnel, which had been reduced to a skeleton. That's right. Crabs turned a fully-grown stoat into a fucking skeleton.
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  • Blodd Apis in Doomwyte. She was a hermit hedgehog who lived in harmony with the thousands of bees near her den. When a few Redwallers find her while looking for the final Doomwyte Eye, she gets them drunk enough to pass out, and tries to murder all of them with her bees. Only Foremole's slight sobriety saved them, and then Apis spilled her bees-kill-this juice, which she was about to apply to the Redwallers, on herself. Cue the screaming.
  • The most nightmarish death in the series by far is Ungatt Trunn's. First, his spine is broken by Lord Brocktree. Then his "carcass" is tossed out towards the sea. However, it is revealed later on that he's still alive, but can't move or speak, is enduring an unbearable amount of pain, and the tide is slowly coming in, ready to take his body into the sea. It isn't until one of his former comrades comes by and kicks him into the sea that he actually dies. Did we mention an entire (albeit short) chapter is dedicated to his death?
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  • Also from Doomwyte, Baliss the Slayer. Starts off as a highly effective silent killer. After getting a face full of hedgehog spikes, and said wounds become infected, the snake goes completely insane. For comparison, take Asmodeus, make him bigger, smarter, and generally more dangerous. Now make him batshit insane and blind. Not pretty.
  • Slagar and Riggu Felis' wounded faces.
  • The Freebeast's shipwreck. Martin and his friends are sailing in calm, foggy waters when out of nowhere, a massive iceberg shows up right in front of them. No one even had the time to react before the ship crashed; the iceberg was so huge that it mangled the boat and crushed Bladeribb to death.
  • Balefur's death in Outcast. He was a total jerk, but he didn't deserve such a horrible death.
    • There's also Swartt's horrific revenge on two dissenters. He forces one of them to feed the other a dead crow and has to eat all of it, including the bones, which he chokes to death on. Then, Swartt has the other one executed for "murdering" the former.
  • Mariel's flashback sequence is scary but not particularly nightmare-inducing until the reader (possibly specifically the female reader) hits about age twelve and the Fridge Horror implications kick in. May or may not actually have been meant that way, but it hits the right button and aargh.
  • You gotta feel sorry for all the hell Abbot Durral went through in The Pearls of Lutra. Getting captured by lizards, getting repeatedly threatened by Lask Frildur, and not a single beast was there to reassure him that everything might be okay (except Romsca). When the shit finally hits the fan and Romsca and Lask's crews get into a huge fight, Abbot Durral is sitting in Romsca's cabin, alone and utterly defenseless. He blocks the door with a bunch of junk and simply sits in the corner of the cabin for an entire day hoping all the noise will go away. The next morning, something happens that would make any regular abbot shit himself: someone starts banging on the door and hacking away at it. Once the door has a huge hole in it, the beast on the other side shoves his head through it. Surprise! It's Lask Frildur! Cue chapter's ending.
    • Things don't get better for the Abbot when we next see him, either. On the plus side, Lask Frildur turns out to be dead. On the downside, so is everyone else on the ship except Romsca, and she only lives long enough to repent before dying. Abbot Durral then spends the next several days at least alone and adrift on a ship full of corpses, which is a recipe for PTSD if there ever was one.
  • Buppler and Braggio's deaths in The Rogue Crew. The latter is decapitated, and his head is planted on the Greenshround's foremast. The former had his spine crushed by the ship's wheel, and Razzid leaves him lying on the ground to die while he's screaming for help.
  • Zwilt the Shade, the Marlfoxes and Malkariss. When they first appear they are mysterious to the point of being creepy as hell. You at first know nothing about them, they are feared by basically everyone for being "Magic", "Invincible", and "Deadly". All were revealed to be frauds, but the reader doesn't know that until later on. A good example of this is the Flitchaye. In most of their appearances, it was never revealed what they actually were aside from cannibalistic monsters.
  • Vilaya's plan in general. Kidnapping kids from all over the country, even murdering one. It gets even worse from there... after the kids escape they run into a hedgehog who enslaves them again this time trapping them on an island giving murderous threats and threatening to eat the younger ones if they don't be his slaves, many of these kids are just toddlers... could you imagine how traumatized they would be for life?
  • While the Marlfoxes are established as a pack of fratricidal backstabbers fairly early on, the last of the Marlfoxes gives himself that status by pushing his sister into a lake full of ravenous pike. Lantur was a bitch (no pun intended), but she did NOT deserve that.
    • Maybe so, but she did Mind Rape her own mother into insanity, and it's heavily implied she would have tossed Mokkan into the lake with no second thoughts if he didn't do it to her first.
  • Clogg's fate in Martin the Warrior, possibly. He's left all alone in Badrang's huge, deserted fortress after all the vermin who once occupied it are dead or fled. He's also left completely insane and reduced to laughing madly to himself and trying to drive off seabirds from his new domain...seabirds are carnivorous, and Clogg is stated to be fat and slow.
  • Tsarmina's hydrophobia episodes in Mossflower might also count. Especially at the end, when, in trying to get away from Martin, she somehow backs up all the way into the lake and is pulled under by her heavy clothes.
  • Lonna Bowstripe after Raga Bol gets killed. Picture this: you see a badger consumed with Bloodwrath, and then he proceeds to use a rat's carcass as a flail to kill other vermin. And when he's done slaughtering all these beasts and smashing their bodies apart, the badger looks you dead in the eyes and then throws Raga Bol's body against a tree. And then he smiles like absolutely nothing grotesque just happened. No wonder Toran and the other Redwallers were afraid to approach him.
    • Even scarier: according to the text, Lonna hunted down EVERY SINGLE VERMIN of Raga Bol's crew who managed to escape and killed them as part of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This implies that no matter how well those vermin hid or how far they got, Lonna tracked them and most likely killed them in a horrific manner.
  • Badgers are nightmarish for the vermin in general, especially when they're consumed with the Bloodwrath. Just knowing that a kind and gentle beast can easily turn into a psychotic, bloodthirsty maniac who slaughters anything and everything in his or her way just because their Berserk Button was pushed is very unsettling. There's nothing you can do except run, get on your knees and beg for your life before the badger kills you, or try to fight the badger, and die ten seconds later. Even kindbeasts who pose no threat to a badger are usually warned not to be anywhere near them when they're consumed with Bloodwrath. And at that point, you have to wonder if a badger has accidentally killed an innocent(s) simply for being around them when the Bloodwrath strikes...
  • In High Rhulain, Slothunog. Both in-universe and out. It's a giant prehistoric monster living in a vast, unfathomably deep lough in the middle of Green Isle. It also has a ravenous taste for flesh and is the main way that Riggu Felis punished otters for treason.
  • Speaking of snakes, there is a sibling trio of snakes in Triss. As if this weren't bad enough, they are literally chained together by their tails (which are rotting from lack of circulation beneath the chain) and attack as one unit. The only way to tell they're coming is by the horrible stench that precedes them everywhere. To make matters even worse, they inhabit Brockhall, which you may remember as the place where Martin the Warrior's army stayed before Redwall was built. Brockhall is little more than an abandoned house of horrors now, and to add icing to the terror cake, the mummified remains of the three snakes' mother are in there also, forever locked with the corpse of the vermin king that killed her. Oh, and these three snakes also manage to kill Shogg, Triss's best friend.
  • The very first death of the series occurs four very short chapters into the first book; Skullface the rat is run over by a cart, which would be gruesome enough were he human. Imagine what a full-sized horse and cart does to a rat-sized creature, and he lives long enough to hear Cluny yell back at him.
    Cluny: Tell the devil that Cluny sent you, Skullface!
  • And then there is the Abyss to the south that separates Loamhedge and Redwall. Loamhedge and Mattimeo both visit this place. In Mattimeo they drop a stone to see how deep it is. It apparently goes down far enough that the stone can't land.
  • A subtle part of Cluny's intro which, if you know a bit about wildlife, makes him a lot more threatening; it is mentioned that he lost his eye in a battle with a pike, while the fish in question lost its life. While the sizes seemed to fluctuate a lot in later books, throughout the first one the animals were regular-animal-sized. Rats usually weigh between two hundred and three hundred grams. Cluny is an unusually large rat; he might make as much as five hundred grams (picture a bag of sugar). An average pike weighs sixteen kilos or as much as a large toddler, and big ones can be up to twenty-eight kilos.
  • How Constance kills Fangburn in the animated series' final battle. While how it happened in the book was bad enough — with her picking him up and violently smashing his head repeatedly against the walls of the Abbey until he dies — it manages to be even more gruesome even without directly showing it. Constance grabs Fangburn, slowly raises him head-first to her mouth (from Fangburn's point of view), and the screen suddenly cuts to black with a loud Sickening "Crunch!". The implication being that Constance bit through Fangburn's skull.
    Constance: (in full Tranquil Fury mode) You're mine.
  • In Redwall, it's mentioned that prior to Cluny showing up, Redwallers didn't see rats and other "vermin" as evil. When Cluny showed up, he press-ganged roughly a hundred of them and had them attack the Abbey. What are the odds that maybe some of the local recruits were friends with the other woodlanders beforehand, or had been helped by them?
    • On a similar note, the regular rank-and-file hordebeasts in many vermin forces, aside from those who like to be cruel or like power, in many cases, would rather not actually be warring, and would rather be fishing, farming, and other, more or less, peaceful things. However, there's always that power-hungry Warlord who basically goes "Join me, or die!" As a result, a lot of "vermin", who might have no real reason to fight, end up getting killed.
    • This crops up more often than readers remember. In Marlfox the surviving Ratguards are quite happy to live peacefully on the island with no foxes shoving them around; in Salamandastron and Long Patrol we see some reluctant hordebeasts going Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and skipping out on the war. How many relatively innocent critters didn't survive long enough for that?
    • Oh, and what about their children? In Outcast of Redwall, there's mentions of families. In Taggerung, there's a baby Gruven - say what you want about him, but he grew up without a father, who had been killed. One of the biggest offenders is in High Rhulain, wherein it is mentioned that the feral cats had been living on Green Island for generations, meaning that, logically, there must have been kittens, yet after the final battle, no cat is left alive..... did the rebel otters and Long Patrol hares kill, relatively, defenseless and innocent children? And after the various wars, how many were orphans, with no one to turn to? Vetch might have been one such orphan.
  • The searat song "The Slaughter of the Crew of the Rusty Chain" is intensely gruesome, including the line "They're usin' the fat off an' ole searat to set alight the boat." This is what searats do to each other when they're not making lives miserable for everyone else.