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Sawney Rath was the ferret chieftain of the Juskarath tribe. He was old, and suffered from stomach pains, but threw knives quickly and accurately. Sawney was also very superstitious, as most Juska are, and relied on the clan's seer, Grissoul. He also feared Redwall Abbey for all the stories he had heard about the vermin who tried to mess with it and the sound of Redwall's bells. Previously, his father was a Taggerung. He made a mortal enemy after slaying Antigra's mate, Gruven. Rath was on the search for the new Taggerung, when Sawney's seer Grissoul predicted where he could find him. Sawney set off to find the Taggerung, and discovered him at a ford where an otter father was taking his Dibbun son Deyna for a swim.
Sawney had Deyna's father killed by Vallug Bowbeast. He adopted Deyna, and renamed him Tagg. Rath then treated him as a son, caring for and nurturing him until the day Tagg refused to obey him any further. He began to hunt down the wayward Tagg, but as he entered the trees he was slain by Antigra who slung a rock at him from where she was gathering food. Gruven, who was Antigra's son originally named Zann, succeeded Rath as clan leader.
It should be noted that Sawney was not as harsh to his clan as most of the other villain chiefs/leaders, and that he was loving towards Deyna, even if it was only because he was Taggerung.