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Author Topic: Hellgates and Dark Forest  (Read 745 times)

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Belffelyne Hare

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Hellgates and Dark Forest
« on: July 25, 2015, 09:06:26 PM »

A most peculiar thing has caught m'lapine eye: it occurs in the song "Wurpldown Dumm" in Outcast of Redwall, and is the method in which Dark Forest is portrayed.
In the song, the "Lord of Dark Forest" carries poor Wurpldown Dumm off to Dark Forest. When they arrive in Dark Forest, it is shown to be inhabited by vermin souls! Sounds like Hellgates, doesn't it?

Or is Hellgates just another, more unsavory name for Dark Forest? I'm inclined to flippin' well believe it is, because the next thing you know, woodlanders are mentioned as going to Hellgates!
Brigadier Buckworthy Crumshaw suggests that his hares (woodlanders!) are going "to Hellgates" if they fail/die in battle. Why would he say that? Don't woodlanders go to Dark Forest? Apparently the two places are one and the same. Hellgates and Dark Forest are just...bloomin' diff'rent names for th' place. Thoughts?

"[...]One day as ole Wurpldown Dumm lied asleep,
Ee Lord o' Dark Forest came wi' a gurt leap,
An' carried 'im off furrever to keep,
Ole Wurpldown in ee Dark Wuddland.
An' all ee dead vermints cried, 'Come an' see, mates,
O boggle us seasons, an' lackaday fates,
Yon fat mole ee's eatin' gurt Dark Forest gates,
O get 'im back up to ee wuddlands.'" - (part of "Wurlpdown Dumm")

"To Hellgates or to glory, away we march in style;
Each warrior hare, without a care, we'll see ye in awhile!" - (part of "Crumshaw's Song")
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 09:14:38 PM by Belffelyne Hare »
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Gonff the Mousethief

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 05:01:48 AM »

This is a really good find. I think that the song was more of a joke really making it seem as this humble mole gets swepted away to see Vermin. As for the Hares, it's seems like just a says big that they would do anything to win the war.
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Belffelyne Hare

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 08:07:40 PM »

That's def'nitely true on th' song being a joke. What gave the singer, Uncle Blunn, the idea that vermin live in Dark Forest, wot? Does seem a little odd.

Aye, I agree there. It always seemed so ambiguous in the books, y'know. One group'd say Vulpuz rules 'Ellgates, then another says that once a beast got to 'Ellgates, 'e'd tell "the Devil" who sent 'im. Others muttered about badgers standing guard and a "Lord o' Dark Forest". Then there's this:

"The drums began to beat. Gormad Tunn, Firstblade of all Rapscallions, was dying.
The drums beat louder, making the very air thrum to their deep, insistent throbbing. Damug Warfang watched the sea, pounding, hissing among the pebbles as it clawed its way up the shore. Soon, Gormad Tunn's spirit would be at the gates of Dark Forest.
Only a Greatrat could become Firstblade of all Rapscallions. Damug cast a sideways glance at Byral, standing further along the beach, and smiled thinly.
Gormad would have company at Dark Forest gates before the sun set." -- The Long Patrol, Page 10

"An old ferret who had been attending Gormad left the death tent. He threw up his paws and howled in a high keening tone:

Gormad has left us for Dark Forest's shade
And the wind cannot lead Rapscallions
Let the beast stand forth who would be Firstblade
To rule all these wild Battalions!" -- The Long Patrol, Page 11
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Lord_Ashenwyte

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 07:32:45 AM »

I'd have to imagine Dark Forest is full of those hordebeasts who were forefully recruited and killed by the masses.
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Izeroth

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2015, 01:50:39 AM »

 I imagine the Dark Forest as a sort of universal afterlife that doesn't discriminate based on good and evil. I think Hellgates is, essentially, one of many different names describing the same place.
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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 08:52:43 PM »

I'm in the middle of re-reading Mossflower right now, and when Lady Amber's archers came across Fortunata, Lady Amber distinctly said she was sending her to "the dark forest." In The Bellmaker, I vaguely remember Abbot Saxtus saying a few words for Mellus, and it was something along the lines of peaceful fields and easy rest. Has this "good" afterlife ever been named in the books?
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Lord_Ashenwyte

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 01:58:49 AM »

I'm in the middle of re-reading Mossflower right now, and when Lady Amber's archers came across Fortunata, Lady Amber distinctly said she was sending her to "the dark forest." In The Bellmaker, I vaguely remember Abbot Saxtus saying a few words for Mellus, and it was something along the lines of peaceful fields and easy rest. Has this "good" afterlife ever been named in the books?

The "good" afterlife is supposed to be Dark Forest. The "bad" one is supposed to be Hellgates.
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Hickory

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 04:29:32 PM »

It's distinctly possible that different organizations and areas had different ideas of the afterlife. Loamhedge, for example, uses the phrase "sunny fields and quiet streams" (or something along those lines) on the gravestones. Braggon and Sarobando, I believe, never use any terms for afterlife, vermin or otherwise, suggesting that, since they weren't properly brought up, they weren't taught to se certain phrases. Just a thought.
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Lord_Ashenwyte

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 03:42:39 AM »

It's distinctly possible that different organizations and areas had different ideas of the afterlife. Loamhedge, for example, uses the phrase "sunny fields and quiet streams" (or something along those lines) on the gravestones. Braggon and Sarobando, I believe, never use any terms for afterlife, vermin or otherwise, suggesting that, since they weren't properly brought up, they weren't taught to se certain phrases. Just a thought.

That seems more realistic.
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Maudie

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 11:32:43 PM »

Something that I think is interesting is how over time Dark Forest gets mentioned less and less throughout the series. I think that around Rakkety Tam or High Rhulain Dark Forest pretty much stopped being mentioned.
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Ashleg

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 12:30:28 AM »

But they still mention "Hellgates" a lot. Especially in Rogue Crew. The Rogue Crew's full of it.
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DelenatheWanderer

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 01:07:26 AM »

It is my opinion that everybeast who goes to Dark Forest has a different experience, and sees it differently. Say, vermin, or any evildoer really, would live in happiness and peace, yet have the eternal shame and regret of the horrible lives they led - hence "Hellgates". Goodbeasts, on the other hand, would live with an eternal happiness, knowing that their last moments had been spent doing good.
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a crumb

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 01:13:10 AM »

Hmm. Do we ever actually get any sense, real or imagined, that justice is involved in vermin/woodlanders' conception of the afterlife?

You have both goodies and baddies saying things like 'we're going to send this beast to Hellgates'. Which certainly sounds like a horrible place, while Dark Forest sounds peaceful, if really somber. The idea of killing someone and sending them there does invoke a degree of justice, or maybe that's more a vengeance thing, and even just rhetoric to psych beasts up before battle.

The closest we ever really get to see/understand the place is when Martin (?) wakes up and says he has been speaking to Boar in the Dark Forest, or someone near Martin/whoever-it-was suggests that's what the unconscious goodie is experiencing when near death. I forget the exact nature of the scene, and whether we can take it as real or a near-death experience/superstition...
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DelenatheWanderer

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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 01:22:13 AM »

Don't forget, in Outcast of Redwall, when Sunflash is being taken care of. Don't we see into his mind in that scene, where Boar the Fighter or someone refuses to let him enter?
I agree that we never really see the justice point involved in anything. I guess Brian left it more for his readers to imagine.
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Re: Hellgates and Dark Forest
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2017, 01:36:32 AM »

That last point, especially.

In my imagination, Hellsgates is. . . Hell. :P Whether it's eternal torment or whatever I haven't decided. The Dark Forest, however, is more a place of peace and timelessness, with no evil of any kind. Like a limbo, rather than the bliss I imagine Heaven to be like.
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