Sawney Rath


Place of Origin:Juskarath clan
Weapon: Sapphire-studded knife and knives
Death: Killed by Antigra with a sling
Appears: Taggerung

Sawney Rath was the ferret chieftain of the Juskarath tribe. He was a cunning, ruthless and skilled killer, especially with his knives. Sawney was also very superstitious, as most Juska are, and relied heavily on the clan's seer, Grissoul for guidance. He also feared Redwall Abbey for all the stories he had heard about the vermin who had died trying to conquer it and the sound of Redwall's bells. His father was a Taggerung, and led their clan to power and glory in his time. He made a mortal enemy after slaying Antigra's mate, Gruven. Rath was on the hunt 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. Enraged, he went to hunt down the wayward Tagg, but as he entered the trees he was slain by Antigra who slung a rock at him from the tree 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 at first 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. He later grew sadistic and cruel in his old age, which caused Deyna to lose respect for his adopted father.


  • Sawney was an old derogatory term for the Scottish used by the English, which is now considered to mean "foolish." Ráth is the Gaelic term for a round, dugout fort. Taken together, this could mean his name translates to "Foolish Fort", or, more apposite to his character, "False Security".