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Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information
Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information

Swartt Sixclaw the Warlord, also known as The Pitiless One, was a tall, sinewy male ferret. He was the father of Veil Sixclaw, husband of Bluefen, and the son-in-law of Bowfleg the Warlord.

Swartt had a painted face and dyed his teeth red; his belt was made out of snake skin. He wore the teeth and claws of his dead enemies around his neck, and on his left paw there were six claws. Swartt started out as a member of Bowfleg's horde, then became leader of a band of vermin, numbering first 60 then 30.

Eventually, he captured the badger Sunflash the Mace, and taunted and humiliated him by riding on his back and calling him "Scumtripe". One winter night, the ferret's band had caught a kestrel named Skarlath. Swartt left Sunflash to guard him, but instead he freed Skarlath, who then returned the favor. Sunflash ran into the camp and attacked Swartt, paralyzing his six-clawed paw. Swartt wore a metal gauntlet over the useless paw from then on, to use as a battering weapon, but swore an oath of revenge that he would hunt down Sunflash and kill him for the injury.

Swartt's band pursued Sunflash for many seasons, but Sunflash and Skarlath constantly picked off random members of the gang by using guerrilla tactics. Realizing he would soon have no one left to command, Swartt retreated to find Bowfleg. He cunningly poisoned Bowfleg and his bodyguard Wurgg, killed Greenclaw when the stoat challenged his having killed them, had his seer Nightshade put on a show of seeing a vision regarding their deaths and his ascension to chieftain, and assumed the role of Warlord. Little did Swartt know that when he became the leader, he was expected to marry Bowfleg's daughter, Bluefen, as it was an unwritten tradition. Swartt did not contest the tradition, but ignored her for the most part, and continued to track Sunflash.

One time, Swartt's army ran out of food. That was when Wildag and Lardtail rebelled, sealing their fates with the merciless Swartt. Wildag died from being fed Krakulat's mother by Lardtail, under orders from Swartt. Lardtail was then executed by Scarback and Marbul for killing Wildag, again on Swartt's orders. It was then that Swartt earned his title, "The Pitiless One". Krakulat, angry at his mother's murder, organized the other crows to attack Swartt, forcing him to flee. Eventually Swartt came to a gorge. He then met Shang Damsontongue, who killed the still-pursuing crows for him, and was impressed by his metal weapons. He killed Shang when she demanded half of everything, but ran into Balefur, who also presented a challenge to his rule. Swartt requested Nightshade for help yet again, and she tricked Balefur into searching for treasure in a Quarry where poisonous snakes resided, eliminating yet another threat for him.

Eventually, his travels led him to Mossflower Woods. About this time, Bluefen had their son, Veil. Swartt took no interest in the child and entrusted him to the care of an old rat. Nor did he care for his wife, who died in childbirth. As his army marched onward, it started to stray closer and closer to Redwall Abbey, which caused the residents great alarm. Using a series of hit-and-run guerrilla attacks, a group of squirrel archers and otters from the Abbey managed to get Swartt to veer away from Redwall. During this attack, Swartt's son was lost (due to his caretaker rat's death), though Swartt couldn't have cared less.

Many seasons later, Swartt teamed up with a group of corsairs led by Zigu, adding to his numbers. More important, however, was the fact that Zigu knew where Sunflash was located, Salamandastron. Swartt waged war on the mountain stronghold, and actually captured his nemesis at one point. But the unforeseen aid sent by the Guosim, and the superior skills of the Long Patrol, destroyed his allies and his own army, causing Swartt, Nightshade, and 30 others to retreat.

After a very long run, during which his valuable seer Nightshade was killed by Sunflash, Swartt and his depleted forces arrived at Bat Mountpit. There he was reunited with Veil. Though Veil had originally wanted to meet his father, it soon became clear that the two couldn't stand each other - Swartt had no use for an unknown youth and Veil was angry that he was not accepted as family. As Swartt patrolled the top levels of the Mountpit, he encountered Sunflash, who had come to hunt him down, facing the other way. Seizing the opportunity, Swartt knocked out Sunflash, dragged him to his camp at the top of the Mountpit, and tied him between two poles. But before Swartt could exact his long awaited revenge, Bryony appeared and tried to free Sunflash. Swartt hurled a javelin at Bryony, but it was intercepted by Veil, who was killed. Before Swartt could react, Sunflash regained consciousness and freed himself from his bonds. He hurled Swartt from the top of the Mountpit, killing the Warlord.


  • Coincidentally, both Swartt Sixclaw and Slagar the Cruel share the title of "The Pitiless One".