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Fanfic / The Urthblood Saga

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"He was called Urthblood, and his armor shone as red as his name..."
—Opening line of The Crimson Badger

During a great feastday, the beasts inhabiting Redwall Abbey are stirred from their reveries by the thunderous cry of Urthblood, a grim, emotionless badgerlord of Salamandastron dressed in blood-red armour, who possesses the gift of prophetic foresight. Invited into the abbey, he tells the gathered beasts of a dire prophecy he received in his youth; a prophecy foretelling a great crisis that will sweep over the lands of Mossflower, and cast them into war, conflict and calamity, but leaving it unclear as to whom or what will be causing it.

Ever since, he has strove tirelessly to gather a great army, fight against the evil beasts of the lands and to unite Mossflower and its surroundings into a strong, unified nation that will be able to withstand or even avert the coming darkness. Now he is offering the Redwallers to strengthen their defenses and help them prepare for the times ahead, for great changes are coming to the lands, and old certainties and beliefs will be challenged in extraordinary and unexpected ways...

Thus begins the Urthblood Saga, a Redwall fanfic written by Highwing, and one of the old classics of the Redwall Online Community. It was drafted between 1995 and 1997 and published on the Redwall Fanfiction Board in the early 2000's, which is now gone.

The saga develops and examines ideas never touched upon in the official Redwall novels, and ditches their strict Black-and-White Morality for a complex moral conflict that constantly forces the reader to reevaluate whose side he should be on and who is good or evil. It starts simple enough, but soon turns into a complex, multifaceted epic involving vermin being taken under Urthblood's arms and retrained into noble warriors, two badgerlords at war, a massive conflict with the searats, a shrew rebellion, escalating arms races, dozens of characters all getting their own time in the spotlight, unexpected plot twists and character development and all the action, drama, humour, horror and tragedy you could possibly hope for in a story.

The saga is so far composed of four completed novels. The novels in turn are composed of separate parts, or "books" of several chapters each, and they are published on the site in those parts.

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This work contains examples of:

    Tropes A-F 
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Urthblood has made himself pretty much immune to poisons, and it's hinted though not outright stated that he did it through this method. One of the captains recall an incident when a ferret in his army tried to poison him with a rigged knife in order to take it over for himself. The badger simply stood up, pulled out the knife, had the ferret dragged out in front of the other soldiers and forced him to eat the knife...
  • Action Girl: Mina, the Gawtrybe squirrel lady, who's a master of the bow and arrow to the point of Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: One of the main points of the series is averting this, and the novel goes to great lengths to discuss the concept and its consequences for the Redwall universe.
  • Ambadassador: At his own insistence, Winokur is sent by the abbey as a representative to try and get Urthblood and Urthfist to settle their conflict peacefully.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Perret the ferret captain gets his leg cut off by Urthfist in the final battle, but still manages to slay two Long Patrol hares before he dies.
    • Urthblood loses his swordpaw in the duel with Urthfist, but still manages to slay him.
  • Awesome Underwater World: Winokur, a river otter who at first feels a great deal of trepidation at the prospect, decides to take a swim in the sea by the side of Salamandastron. The chapter goes into a great deal of depth about all the wonders of the underwater world, with lavish descriptions of the countless varieties of ocean life.
  • Ax-Crazy: Wolfrum certainly comes across as this. So does Urthfist, to an extent.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Jans and Broggen, due to being chained together at the wrist, pretty much always have to fight back to back, and they're some of Urthblood's best soldiers.
  • Bat Deduction: From a quick look the sword that Snoga took of the corpse of a slain slaver fox, Urthblood deduces that it's a searat sword, that the foxes have traded it for their recently captured slaves, that they would have made the exchange with the rats at a nearby river, and how long ago this would've taken place.
  • Bed Sheet Ladder: The Long Patrol hares use one to escape from their room where they're held in captivity by Urthblood. It turns out that he's already waiting for them outside, but he lets them go anyway.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: It takes quite a while before we get to it in TCB - not until the final chapters - but when it does it's brutal.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: After the Battle of Salamandastron, Urthblood proclaims that he will charge Hanchett with treason for having attacked him during his duel with Urthfist and costing him his right paw, while implying that he'll probably spare him if the remaining Long Patrol join up with him. Subverted since the Long Patrol refuse to do so, and Urthblood later spares Hanchett's life anyway.
  • Bling of War / Bling-Bling-BANG!: Before their battle with Urthfist, Urthblood provides some of his soldiers with weapons from Salamandastron's Treasure Room, consisting of gold-plated, jewel-encrusted weapons and shields emblazoned with artworks. It's deconstructed however, when these weapons and shields turn out to be completely useless against Urthfist's berserker rampage. Of course, that might've been part of Urthblood's plan all along...
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Montybank is fearsome warrior, but fun-loving, brash and outgoing.
  • Butt-Monkey: Fitkin the ferry shrew constantly seems to have misfortunes happen to him. First Urthfist collapses his hovel around him, forcing him to dig his way out, then after Urthblood raises it for him Urthfist nearly kills the shrew on his return trip, and after the Battle of Salamandastron, Clewiston collapses the hovel again. Of course, most of those misfortunes are his own damn fault for his often unreasonable demands to people who need to use his barge, even in emergencies, his incessant greed and his insults to Urthfist's face (and to his memory, in front of the Long Patrol).
  • Cain and Abel: Urthfist, Urthblood's younger brother who've taken over as lord of Salamandastron while he's been away on his campaigns to unite the lands, considers his brother his mortal enemy. He has interpreted the prophecy to mean that it is Urthblood who's the true threat that will descend upon the world, and that the powers of fate have turned him wholly evil; he considers him taking vermin under arms as proof of this. The Crimson Badger largely revolves around their conflict.
  • Carnivore Confusion: The series inherits this from the official novels, and discusses it occasionally. In a scene where Urthblood's vermin captains are allowed into Redwall for the first time, it is admitted that the soldiers have been allowed to kill and eat birds on occasion, and Montybank makes a jab of vermin eating other furred beasts, though his comment is mostly just prejudice as they regard that as cannibalism as much as the Redwallers do. And of course, like in the official series, no-one has any problems with eating fish and shrimps.
  • Chained Heat: Jans and Broggen, a mouse and a stoat who are soldiers of Urthblood, are a rare willing example of this. Broggen's alcoholism caused trouble for him in his early campaigning days when he soured relations between the badger and the locals he was trying to impress during a drunken binge, and he punished him by throwing him into a bog. Jans felt pity for him and saved him against his master's orders, who then declared that he would be responsible for the stoats behaviour for the rest of his life. To better keep an eye on his charge, he had a length of chain forged around their wrists, which they've been carrying for years. Despite their situation, they've learned to work perfectly as a team, and are one of the most effective soldiers in Urthblood's army.
    • After Smallert's accidental killing of Speeg and wounding of Cyrus, this trope comes into play in more traditional fashion, as Machus decides to chain him together with Hanchett, whom Urthblood has asked the Redwallers to keep at the abbey for ten days, in order to prevent the hare from escaping. This turns out to save Smallert's life, as he's kept from being executed while chained to the hare for a couple of days, enough time for Cyrus to re-awaken and forgive the weasel, and the Redwallers to adopt him into the abbey
  • Combat Medic: The swordfoxes, in addition to being one of Urthblood's best troopers, double as healers for the army.
  • Commander Contrarian: Snoga, the shrew who insists that he should be in command of the Guosim, acts like this to everything that both Log-a-Log and Urthblood does or says.
  • Consummate Liar: Urthblood is not forthcoming either about the details of his prophecy or his true aims and methods, and is more than willing to bend the truth or outright lie to both enemies and allies in order to achieve his goals, and shows little to no remorse in doing so. The first obvious example in the story is his claim that he didn't know about his brother's hatred for him until he met with a Long Patrol hare who tried to kill him on sight after arriving at Redwall. This is despite that several chapters earlier, he is seen giving orders to Browder to travel to Salamandastron to lure Urthfist out with a story of him conquering Redwall, in order to take the mountain for himself.
    • Browder himself is very skilled at lying when he puts his mind to it, perfectly succeeding in getting Urthfist and most his Long Patrol out of Salamandastron. He doesn't seem to consider himself one however, maintaning that he is simply an actor telling a particular kind of story.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded. The fox Machus carries a sword that is an almost exact replica of the sword of Martin, which Urthblood forged for him in the Northlands despite never having seen the latter. Urthblood speculates that Boar the Fighter. the badgerlord who crafted the original sword, may have been present in spirit and guided him when he made it.
  • Cool Boat: The fish-shaped searat submarine, complete with a propeller and periscope.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Urthblood once invoked this by forcing his would-be assassin, a ferret named Kedrin, to eat his own poisoned knife. It gets stuck in his throat halfway down, causing him to cough up blood, and Kedrin dies from the poison.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Plenty of the soldiers in Urthblood's army has this as their background, having been recruited from various slaver gangs and pillaging hordes. Urthblood's own past also turns out to not have been squeaky clean either.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series as a whole is Darker and Edgier than the official novels, and The Shrew War is noticably Darker and Edgier than The Crimson Badger.
  • Death Ray: Discussed. Early in TCB, Urthblood speculates that it may be possible to build a device of giant lenses and mirrors that would focus sunlight to such a degree that it would be possible to incinerate an enemy army. He never comes around to doing it however, mostly because that wouldn't mesh with physics, even in the Redwall universe.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Most of Urthblood's vermin troops (see Heel–Race Turn below) come from former pillaging hordes and slaver bands that he defeated and whose leaders he killed, offering the survivors a chance to join his army instead.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During his early days in the army, Broggen and his close friend Brigger had an had an overactive fondess for spirits, and when finding a large cask of wine they drank themselves into a crazed stupor, wandering around terrifying the local beasts and destroying much of the trust that Urthblood had hoped to win in the region. While their actions were indeed damaging and stupid, Urthblood's punishment for them consists of throwing them into a bog for them to drown. Brigger died in the bog, while Broggen was just barely saved by the mouse Jans, leading to their unusual predicament. Curiously, despite Urthblood killing his best friend, Broggen apparently bears no real ill-will towards him.
    • After being accidentally and lightly pricked on the rump by the soft spikes of the young hedgehog Droge, Wolfrum is ready to draw blood from him with his sword, and when Balla interferes, he's comes close to lopping one of her ears of. Fortunately, Machus interferes before he has a chance to do so.
  • Double Standard: The hares consider Machus to be treacherous for stabbing Urthfist in his unofficial duel with Urthblood. They see absolutely nothing wrong with the hare Hanchett having stabbed Urthblood a few moments before.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Urthblood apparently receives some of his prophetic visions through dreams. Of course, his first instance of this in the story, where he claims he's found out about his brother's enmity for him, is a patent lie as he has already prepared for war with him for a long time.
  • Dude Magnet: Lady Mina, the squirrel archer who follows Urthblood's army to Redwall as an envoy, is immediately courted by most of the male squirrels of the abbey, including Alexander, it's chief archer.
  • Easy Logistics: Semi-averted. Urthblood's troops are mostly stated to forage for their food, as well as receiving supplies from farms and settlements in the Northlands that he controls. He also regularly holds councils with his captains to discuss the supply of weaponry, food, clothing etc.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Urthblood has no qualms about using these methods to gather the information he wants from captured enemies. In some cases, like when dealing with captured searats, it's implied that he's willing to go all the way into outright torture.
  • Evil Former Friend: It is revealed that in his early days of campaigning, Urthblood saved Tratton, his later nemesis, from a shipwreck, sailed with him for a number of months and even cleared the way for him to rise as the king of the searats. He hand waves this as being necessary because he foresaw him as a future enemy, but the exact nature of their early relationship is kept very diffuse...
  • Eye Scream: Major Safford takes an arrow through the eye, courtesy of Alexander, as he's about to slay Winokur at the Battle of Salamandastron.
  • Fantastic Racism: The series deals with and deconstructs this trope a lot. It takes a long time for the Redwallers, who are generally good and kind, to accept and treat the vermin in Urthblood's army as equals, and the other beasts of Mossflower have an even harder time of it. Considering that the vermin have done to them throughout the ages however, it's understandable.
  • Faux Action Girl: The number of female soldiers in the cast is tiny, and nearly all of them end up married, saddled with babies, and gently pushed out of the action as the story progresses. Not that they ever did much to start with...
  • Food Porn: Can compete with the original novels in places.
  • Food Slap: Clewiston throws a goblet of wine in Urthblood's face when the badger tells him that, as the Long Patrol, he and his hares are duty-bound to serve him.
  • Funny Animal: Naturally, considering the series it's based on.

    Tropes G-M 
  • Government in Exile: Urthfist and his Long Patrol hares briefly become this after Urthblood conquers Salamandastron while they're at Redwall. It becomes semi-permanent after Urthfist is killed and his remaining hares choose to settle at Redwall.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: In contrast to his brother, Urthfist occasionally (read: all the time) comes across as a walking time-bomb. His Long Patrol subordinates basically have to restrain him on several occasions to prevent him from going berserk on someone being rude/voicing an opinion contrary to his own/being a fox, weasel or rat.
  • Heel–Race Turn: One of the main themes of the saga. Early in The Crimson Badger, it's revealed that Urthblood has taken rats, foxes, ferrets and weasels and other traditional "vermin" from the Redwall universe, and put them under arms in order to transform them into decent, upstanding soldiers, hoping to end the ages-old conflict between them and the "goodbeasts" of the lands, and to be better prepared for the coming crisis his prophecy foretells of.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Smallert when he realized that he's mortally wounded Cyrus in his rageful attempt to get revenge on Wolfrum for lopping off his ear.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jans throwing himself in front of the spear meant for Broggen during the final battle. Later, during Urthfist's and Urthblood's duel, Machus stabs Urthfist just as he's about to slay his master, saving Urthblood's life but losing his head in the process.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Cyril, the young bellringer mouse, wants to be a warrior, and is spurred on by the appearance of Urthblood. The other inhabitants of the abbey are not impressed by this.
  • I Kiss Your Foot: Smallert to Vanessa, out of gratitude once he realizes the Redwallers have forgiven him for his wounding of Cyrus and are going to adopt him into Redwall, sparing him from execution at the hands of Machus.
  • In Vino Veritas: The Redwallers invite some of Urthblood's captains for a private gathering in order to hear their thoughts about their master when he's not around, during which they uncork a bottle of blackberry brandy and encourage them to help themselves, in order to loosen their tongues. It works quite well, but leaves Vanessa with a splitting headache the morning after.
  • Instant Sedation: Urthblood's forces employ a knockout gas called Flitchaye gas, after a savage weasel tribe they got it from, in the form of a clay cannisters containing two liquid extracts that mix together when they're shattered, producing a white vapor that almost instantly puts anyone breathing it in to sleep. This proves essential to him since it allows him to capture Salamandastron in a covert raid without losing a single one of his otters or killing any of the guarding Long Patrol hares.
  • Jumped at the Call: After learning that Urthblood's army is travelling to Salamandastron to confront Urthfist, Cyril decides to sneak out of Redwall, dress as a soldier and come with them, despite not having any combat experience or fighting skills. Subverted, quite fortunately, since he's immediately found out and told to go back to the abbey.
  • Kick the Dog: Tratton hits his wife in his first on-screen appearance, though considering that she'd angrily sank her fangs into his paw as he tried to caress her it might be considered payback. A better example would be that he has apparently had his own rats killed for standing too close to him in a bad mood.
  • Living Lie Detector: As a result of his prophetic powers, Urthblood is able to detect whether someone is telling the truth or not almost flawlessly, and is even able to engage in limited mind reading to gauge the general character and trustworthiness of his target.
  • Look Behind You: Balla does this twice with Wolfrum during her confrontation with him after he's been pricked by her nephew Droge. First she tells him that Machus is right behind him to distract him when she hits him in the stomach with her staff. During the resulting fight, when Wolfrum has gotten the upper paw over her and is about to extract a bloody vengeance, she does so again, prompting him to mock her for thinking that he'll fall for it twice. Only this time, Machus really is right behind him...
  • Lost in Translation: In-universe example. An old nursery rhyme that is popular with the abbey children was originally a poem describing the effects a seer has on the time he lives in.
  • Made of Iron: Due to a combination of medical and alchemical treatments, his status as being chosen by fate, and just general badassery, Urthblood is able to shrug off wounds that would kill most other beasts.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Urthfist is given one by his brother after the Battle of Salamandastron, by being placed on the throne in the room where Urthblood's prophecy was first written. Clewiston speculates that it may have reflected something Urthblood had said earlier: that he'd let Urthfist have the throne of Salamandastron when he was "worthy" of having it...
  • Motive Rant: While Urthblood is usually content to just do what he feels is necessary without others understanding him, he does give a few of these throughout the saga.

    Tropes N-S 
  • Never My Fault: Aside from his violent temper and general unpleasantness to those around him, this is the major flaw of Wolfrum, a rat in Urthblood's army. He's apparently utterly unable to understand that he's done anything wrong or take any responsibility for the bad things that happens to others because of him, even when he's thrown a fellow soldier to be killed by Smallert, and done the same to young Cyrus, who just barely survives the wound he receives.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: A heroic example (more or less): Urthblood invites Colonel Clewiston, the lead hare of the Long Patrol who've been taken captive after his takeover of Salamandastron, to dinner to try to persuade him to switch loyalties from Urthfist to him. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Noble Bigot: Many characters in the series could be classified like this, due to their general opinion of the vermin species; because of their history of conflict with them, they have a very hard time accepting and welcoming rats, foxes and stoats into their midst. Over the course of the series, most gradually learn to be more tolerant and even manage to count individual vermin as friends, but it takes quite some time, and some never truly get over their old prejudices.
    • The Long Patrol hares embody this especially, since their hatred of vermin is stronger than most, while still being good guys. With their master Urthfist, however, there's very little emphasis on "Noble" and very strong emphasis on "Bigot"
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Urthblood employs several of them, including an eagle, a kite and a falcon, as messengers, spies and occasionally as fighters. And they're armoured.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens to Machus during Urthfist's and Urthblood's final duel as he saves his master's life in the process. Urthblood later sews it back onto his body so he can be be buried in a dignified state.
  • Parental Neglect: A very mild example with Winokur the otter's father, Warnokur. When his mother died shortly after his birth, Warnokur left his son at the abbey and spends most of his days travelling, only visiting his son a couple of days each season. He's still a very warm and kind dad whenever they get together however, and is treated sympathetically, not to mention that the other characters often call him out on his irresponsibility. It's a shame that he doesn't survive the Battle of Salamandastron...
  • Playful Otter: Montybank.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Urthblood is apparently able to do this to the entire era he lives in. More specifically, Geoff the recorder finds an ancient version of an old nursery rhyme that turns out to have been a poem about how a seer living in a specific era prevents past seers from being able to make predictions and prophecies about that era.
  • Real Warriors Don't Cry: Cyril is of this opinion. At first...
  • Schizo Tech: The series introduces several unusually advanced devices as the series go on, mostly due to efforts by Urthblood and Tratton to keep a technological edge over each other. The first we see are an iron submarine built by the searats, and a knockout gas used by the badgerlord's forces.
  • Screw Destiny: Urthblood does what he does partly to avert the coming crisis, or at least to weather it.
  • Secret Path: It is revealed that there is one through the mountains that seperate the Western Plains, and Redwall, from Salamandastron. This becomes important for several events in The Crimson Badger.
  • Self-Made Orphan: There is a sympathetic example of this in Machus. After he and his clan was saved from being wiped out by searats by the interference of Urthblood, he killed his father, who was the leader of the clan, when he refused to allow him to join the badger's nascent army. However, he's deeply remorseful about it, it is established as a shameful sin of his past, and Urthblood brushes it off by saying that his father was an evil beast who would probably have killed his own son rather than lose him to the badger.
  • Shades of Conflict: The series examplifies several shades during its run.
    • White-and-Grey Morality: The general shade of the conflict between the Redwallers, who are for the most part truly good and striving to do what's right, and Urthfist and the Long Patrol (and to a lesser extent Urthblood and his forces) who are also convinced they're doing what's right, but are decidedly more willing to use more questionable means in their struggle.
    • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between Urthblood and Urthfist.
  • Shoot the Dog: Urthblood has no problem with this trope if he believes it's for the greater good. The earliest clear-cut example is when he chooses to execute the captured searats from the submarine, apparently after having applied some brutal "interogations" on them first. He justifies it to Winokur, by whose Redwall standards such acts would be appalling, by claiming that they would only have caused more trouble and misery if they were set free, that they would have slowed them down too much if they'd brought them with them to Salamandastron, that the Guosim they'd stolen their children from would have done the same if they were handed over to them, and that by gazing deeply into their eyes, he could see that their souls were completely beyond redemption. While his reasons in this case does appear to have merit, it's always left ambiguous whether he's telling the truth or doing these things out of simple convenience.
  • Shout-Out: The sandal that hangs by the tapestry along with the sword of Martin is a reference to "Highwing: A Sparra's Tale", an earlier story of the author that takes place within the same continuity.
    • The searats' fish-shaped submarine that Urthblood discovers is possibly a shout-out to the Nautilus.
    • The title of the fourth book of TCB comes from a song by The Grateful Dead.
    • In the Long Patrol there is a sergeant by the name of Peppertail.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Cyril and Cyrus have some of this, with Cyril being more headstrong and eager for adventure and resenting his place as a bellringer at Redwall, while his younger brother is more calm, gentle and accepting of his status. Despite their differences however, they deeply love and care for each other, and demonstrate it several times in the series.
  • Situational Hand Switch: Broggen is actually right-pawed, but since the manacle to his chain is bound around it, he's trained himself to fight with his left paw.
  • Slave Liberation: Type A. Urthblood's forces rescues Log-a-Log's son and a number of other beasts who are aboard the searat submarine, by throwing their Flitchaye gas down the hatch.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Wolfrum is so rude, aggressive and violent that it's a wonder he's allowed to serve in Urthblood's army at all.
  • Standing Between the Enemies: Winokur does this at the first meeting of Urthblood and the Guosim shrews, who are about to come to blows since Log-a-Log's son has just been kidnapped and they are determined not to let any vermin, including the ones in the badger's army, to leave their forest alive. His actions saves hundreds of lives.
  • Storming the Castle: Storming The Mountain / All Your Base Are Belong to Us All Your Mountain Are Belong To Us: Urthblood does this to Salamandastron via his otters sneaking up on the mountain and throwing in their canisters of Flitchaye gas to put the guarding hares, who are stationed there while Urthfist is trying to meet his brother in battle at Redwall, to sleep. Which trope you regard it as depends largely on which side in their conflict you're on.
    Tropes T-Z 
  • Tactical Withdrawal: At the end of The Crimson Badger, Tratton shows up at Salamandastron with a fleet of dreadnoughts to survey the place, but decides to turn back since he doesn't know its true capabilities yet, despite the advice of his captains and his own queen. This turns out to have been a monumental mistake since Urthblood's troops are decimated after the Battle of Salamandastron. If he'd chosen to attack then, he might've won.
  • Tears of Joy: Despite Cyril's earlier insistence that real warriors don't cry, he openly weeps with joy at seeing his younger brother recover from his grievous wounds. Smallert's eyes also brim over when he finds out that the Redwallers have convinced Machus to let him live, and will adopt him into the abbey.
  • The Mole : No, not the moles Urthblood employs as his Tunnel and Trencher Corps. Browder, a woodlands hare and travelling thespian that he employs as a spy and infiltrator, and uses to lure Urthfist out of Salamandastron by having him claim that he's put Redwall under siege. YMMV on which type of mole he is, depending on which badgerlord you view as the "bad" one, and in any event Browder himself is not a bad creature.
    • Halpryn and Klystra briefly become this when the Long Patrol unknowingly hire them to spy on Urthblood, their own master. Nothing comes of it though.
  • The Siege: Urthfist threatens to put Redwall under this in order to flush out the vermin troops inside, but is eventually talked out of it.
  • The Squad: Urthfist regularly sends out squads of three Long Patrol hares to scout out the regions around Salamandastron, both to be alerted of searats and his brother. There is a special squad consisting of only a single hare called Traveller, whose role is to go father afield to spy on Urthblood and his army.
  • The Stoic: Urthblood. The number of times he shows any strong emotion in the series can be counted almost literally on one paw.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Not exactly a straight example, since the Redwallers are already good fighters and knowledgable about how to defend their abbey. However, they have lived in peace for so long that their standards have become rather laxed, and Urthblood reminds them of this and introduces changes to their security that they wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
  • 24-Hour Armour: Urthblood is never seen without his namesake armour. He does not sleep in it though... because, apparently, he never sleeps.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: This trope was in effect with most of the vermin in the official series, and it's discussed here. It's mentioned a couple of times that ever since joining Urthblood's army, the vermin have to take regular baths and look after their hygiene, which many of them apparently didn't do before. Despite this, the woodlanders often make comments about them being more "dirty" than they are; whether this is just friendly jabs, prejudice or actually true is unclear.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The marriage between Tratton and Queen Regelline. As you might expect, they rarely show any obvious displays of love between each other, but the exact nature of their relationship has yet to be explored.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Mizagelle to Browder, she planned on killing him, but ended up proposing.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Urthblood receives plenty of these over the course of the series for his many questionable actions. Usually, he just ignores them.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: Phrased almost literally by Arlyn who wonders about who will watch Urthblood's swordfox brigade that serves, among other things, as the police force in the army to keep unsavory elements from rebelling. The answer from Tillamook, the hedgehog captain, is simply: "They watch themselves."
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": During a meeting between the Redwallers and the Long Patrol, it's revealed that shortly after Urthblood ran away from Salamandastron after receiving his prophecy, he was captured by a tribe of pygmy shrews who planned to use him as forced labour. Since he had much less control over his inner Bloodwrath in those days, and hated slavers above all other types of villainous creatures, he flew into a berserker rage, breaking free of his restraints and slaughtering most of the tribe, including several children.