Salamandastron is a large, extinct volcano on the western shore of Mossflower country, and a badger stronghold. The name is derived from a combination of "salamander", a lizard associated with fire in European folklore, and "astron", the ancient Greek word for star. It was described as a "mountain of the fire lizard" in legends, which is what "Salamandastron" literally means. The glow from the mountain's forge, when hot, can make it appear as if the volcano is active.
The mountain is inhabited by a force of hares who defend the western shores of Mossflower country. While sometimes the amount of hares is not great, they make up for smaller numbers by the quality of their military tactics. At its peak, the mountain has been host to more than a thousand hares.
The fortress is situated at the western coast as a defense to the more friendly country further east from corsairs, and has since been the bane of sea vermin's existence. The resident badger ruler and Long Patrol hares will defend against any threat in the area even unto death.
Many badgers go questing to Salamandastron, they are often led to it in dreams. Sooner or later, however, almost every male (and in some cases female) badger seems to feel the call to go to Salamandastron, though according to Tribes of Redwall Badgers, sons rarely take over after their father. Typically when Badger Lords have children, their offspring run away. A notable exception was Russano the Wise, who raised a family while at the mountain. It's said that two male badgers usually can never live together. Such cases are Lord Hightor and Sagax.
The mountain's original founder is unknown, though the legendary hero and founder of the Long Patrol was Lord Brocktree, who reclaimed the mountain after Ungatt Trunn and his Blue Hordes managed to capture it. Long before him, Salamandastron had been ruled by warlike Badger Lords who could seldom remain in harmony with one another. Brocktree's known immediate predecessor was his father, Lord Stonepaw.
This wondrous place of plenty and nature has also been the site of many, many battles. These legends, as well as the the hope for aid from Bella's father, Boar the Fighter, led Martin the Warrior on a quest there as told in the tale of Mossflower.
A stone carving of a fire lizard head was located inside the mountain during the times of Boar the Fighter. Boar sometimes lifted this carving to a window opening and lit a fire inside to simulate a dragon spewing fire from its mouth. This trick often frightened and chased away sea rats from the Western Coast.
Law of Salamandastron
As established by Lord Brocktree, the Law of Badger Lords and Salamandastron is as follows:
- Defend the weak, protect both young and old, never desert your friends.
- Give justice to all, be fearless in battle, and always ready to defend the right.
- The Badger Lord of Salamandastron must always show a welcome and good cheer to all of good heart who come to visit in peace.
The Law of Salamandastron only appears in Lord Brocktree.
At some point in the past, Salamandastron's core was excavated into a vast network of caverns and corridors and was henceforth made into a nearly impenetrable fortress.
One interesting part of Salamandastron is the forge where only badgers are permitted access except for some rare occasions. Badger Lords under the influence of Bloodwrath, in their subconscious state, carve the future into the walls of Salamandastron. These revelations usually consist of images, glyphs, and secret writing that can only be read by later badger rulers. As a result, an extensive history of the ancestral badger stronghold is carved into the walls of the mountains, as well as predictions of who will arrive in the future, adding yet a deeper fold in the mystery that is weaved about the mountain.
Near this part of the mountain is a chamber Boar the Fighter constructed as a tomb for his father, Lord Brocktree.
The complete interior of the mountain consists of the badger's living quarters, which are high up, the dining chamber, the cellars, bachelor hare barracks, sickbay, larders, dormitories, meeting chambers, nursery, armory, cells, lookout caves, the secret place of badger lords, and the grand forge room.
Badger Rulers of Salamandastron
In chronological order, the known badger lords of Salamandastron are as follows:
- Urthrun the Gripper, Spearlady Gorse, Bluestripe the Wild, Ceteruler the Just (exact chronological placement uncertain; mentioned in Mossflower, Salamandastron, Lord Brocktree)
- Stonepaw (appears in Lord Brocktree)
- Brocktree (appears in Lord Brocktree, Outcast of Redwall)
- Boar the Fighter (appears in Mossflower)
- Sunflash the Mace (appears in Mossflower, Outcast of Redwall)
- Rawnblade Widestripe (appears in Mariel of Redwall)
- Urthstripe the Strong (appears in Salamandastron)
- Urthwyte the Mighty (appears in Salamandastron)
- Orlando the Axe (appears in Mattimeo)
- Cregga Rose Eyes (appears in The Long Patrol, Marlfox, Taggerung)
- Russano the Wise (appears in The Long Patrol, Lord Brocktree, Taggerung)
- Snowstripe and Melanius (appear in Lord Brocktree; as Russano's children, their succession is assumed)
- Hightor (appears in Triss)
- Sagaxus (appears in Triss; as Hightor's son, his succession is assumed)
- Lonna Bowstripe (appears in Loamhedge)
- Melesme (appears in Rakkety Tam)
- Mandoral Highpeak (appears in High Rhulain)
- Asheye (appears in Eulalia!)
- Gorath the Flame (appears in Eulalia!)
- Brang Forgefire (appears in The Sable Quean)
- Ambrevina Rockflash (appears in The Sable Quean)
- Violet Wildstripe (appears in The Rogue Crew)
Enemies of Salamandastron
The following beasts have led some sort of attack against the mountain:
- Ungatt Trunn (appears in Lord Brocktree) - the only one to actually conquer Salamandastron
- Ripfang (appears in Mossflower)
- Swartt Sixclaw (appears in Outcast of Redwall)
- Ferahgo the Assassin (appears in Salamandastron)
- Gormad Tunn (appears in The Long Patrol)
- Windflin Wildbrush (mentioned in Eulalia!)
- Razzid Wearat (appears in The Rogue Crew)
Salamandastron appears or is mentioned in every Redwall book except: