|Cluny the Scourge|
Cluny the Scourge was an enormous black male bilge rat, allegedly from far away jungles, possibly in the south. It is believed that he once was involved with seafaring. In the Redwall TV Series, he is portrayed as having killed Matthias's family. Cluny had one eye, the other was lost in a battle with a pike (which ended up the worse off - dead) and covered by an eye patch. He wore a cloak made of batwings that was fastened at his throat with the skull of a mole. His war helmet was adorned with blackbird feathers and stag beetle horns. One of Cluny's most distinguishing features - as well as his primary weapon - was his own tail, which was long, powerful, and whip-like. In battle, he fastened a poison spike to its tip and used it to lash out at enemies.
The Scourge is well-known as being one of the most infamous villains Brian Jacques has created. He was extraordinarily strong, fast and agile, but was unusually intelligent and a master tactician as well. Cluny was very observant and ambitious, and remains as the villain who got the closest to taking and occupying Redwall Abbey. He commanded a vast horde of rats with a smattering of weasels, stoats and ferrets. The Scourge also employed Mossflower residents Sela and her son Chickenhound, both healer foxes, when he was injured in a fall from a tree.
After Cluny arrived in Mossflower Woods, he began collecting an army and made quite a name for himself as a warlord. He caused destruction and chaos as he moved southward across the land, disrupting towns and farmlands. During the Summer of the Late Rose, Cluny and his horde of over 500 vermin waged an intense war against the woodlanders of Redwall Abbey, now called the Late Rose Summer Wars. He suffered from deranged dreams of a mysterious warrior mouse and often lost control of his temper. Despite this, he was probably the most competent warlord Redwall has ever been up against.
Cluny's various tactics included a false attempt at parlaying, tunneling under the walls, a battering ram, boarding the ramparts from a tree, and building a massive siege tower to reach over the walls. All of these attempts failed, however, and his final successful plan involved forcing the dormouse Plumpen to open the gates for him after gaining access to the Abbey. The dormouse was threatened with the death of his family, which had been captured by Cluny. After gaining entrance to the Abbey, Cluny quickly subdued the Redwallers and would certainly have won if not for the timely return of Matthias, who had procured the missing sword of Martin the Warrior, bringing with him the Guosim and the deadly sparra warriors. Though Cluny far outmatched Matthias in strength, force, experience, and skill, the young mouse was able to kill the evil rat by slashing the rope that held the Joseph Bell in place, which began free-falling towards Cluny and then crushed him before he even knew what was happening.
Prior to his death, he used his poisoned tail barb to kill Abbot Mortimer. Later, Cluny was mentioned in Pearls of Lutra as one who resided in St. Ninian's prior to its burning. Cluny was also mentioned in Taggerung by Sawney Rath as one who tried (and failed) to enter Redwall. He was also mentioned in a poem about the Abbey bell that killed him. Cluny is also famous for being the only character to successfully overtake the Abbey, and he is one of the few villain leaders whose physical skill exceeds the hero, leading to his death by means of the Joseph Bell.
- Cluny is described as Portuguese, however Portugal does not exist in the world of Redwall.
- Cluny's name was meant to rhyme with the word "loony" as Brian Jacques describes him as a "mad type."
- A scourge is a whip-like weapon, and is how Cluny earned his title - by using his tail as a natural scourge.