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Gray Characters In Redwall

I have noticed while reading the Redwall books that there have been several "gray" characters whose status as "gray" is questionable.

WARNING! This contains spoilers from Doomwyte, Eulalia!, Triss, The Rogue Crew, and Outcast of Redwall. You have been warned!

Blodd Apis

The first character I would like to discuss is Blodd Apis from Doomwyte. At first, Blodd Apis seems to only be a grumpy little old hedgehog. Not so. When Perrit, Dwink, Skipper Rorgus, and Foremole Gullub Gurrpaw arrive in her land, she uses her blowpipe to blow darts at the four travelers. Later, she gives the four travelers a drink. They soon become drunk. Blodd Apis attempted to kill all four of them until Foremole, who was the least drunk, made her spill her ant juice on herself, causing her to get stung to death by the bees. I think that if you attempt to kill a goodbeast, you are classified as a villain. Either that or Blodd Apis was completely mad.

The Grumpy Watervole

The next character I would like to discuss is the Grumpy Watervole from Eulalia!. Early in the book, Orkwil Prink is wandering around in Mossflower Woods, near the River Moss, when he meets an old watervole. The watervole is mean to Orkwil at first and then asks Orkwil for help. Orkwil helps the watervole out and the watervole suddenly pulls out his bow and arrows and tells Orkwil to leave or he'll kill him. Orkwil leaves. Later, Orkwil returns and sees two river rats knock the watervole out and steal his soup. Orkwil knocks the two river rats out and puts a bandage on the watervole's wound. When Orkwil is going back to Redwall Abbey with Gorath the Flame, the watervole tells Orkwil that he tied the rats up, weighed them down with stones, and drowned them. When Vizka Longtooth and his Sea Raiders venture through Mossflower, they meet the Grumpy Watervole. They take him as a hostage and head towards Redwall. When they arrive at Redwall, they dress the Grumpy Watervole in some corsair clothes and give him a loaded sling. The Grumpy Watervole tries to talk to the Redwallers, but is knocked out by Benjo Tipps.The Redwallers bring the Grumpy Watervole to the infirmary.Later in the story, the Grumpy Watervole kills Sister Atrata and steals The Sword of Martin. While the Grumpy Watervole is hiding in Mossflower Woods, he is killed by a boulder thrown by Magger. I know that it seems evil when some gray characters attempt or threaten to kill another character is bad, but the Grumpy Watervole actually succeeded! Now with Blodd Apis, we had evidence which we can say that Blodd Apis is presumably mad. In the Grumpy Watervole's case, there are no cases which show that the Grumpy Watervole is completely mad. It is one thing if you are insane, but if you are in a right state of mind, there is no excuse for that.

Grubbage & Crumdum

I will discuss Grubbage from Triss and Crumdun from The Rogue Crew in one section because I believe that they are similar. Both are not the brightest of creatures and happen to be seabeasts, or were at one point in their lives. Grubbage and Crumdun were both obedient followers who did what they were told without thinking about it. Both were not evil, but merely mindlessly obedient. Crumdun left Razzid's crew shortly after the death of his friend, Braggio Ironhook. He was captured by the hares of the Long Patrol. Later, when they teamed up with the Rogue Crew, the sea otters took to interrogating him harshly, not being above injuring him. The interrogation ended when Nubbs Miggory stepped in and said that the sea otters could not treat the Long Patrol's hostage in such a manner. Shortly after this, Crumdun slipped away from the group. While he admitted that the hares had treated him kindly, he was frightened of the Rogue Crew and decided to live the rest of his life out peacefully by himself.

In Grubbage's case, it was somewhat similar. He was with the Freebooters until he was captured by Redwallers while the crew was in Mossflower Woods. They deemed him to be good for a vermin and let him stay at Redwall Abbey. In the case for both Crumdun and Grubbage, their actions were not considered evil, but they both served creatures who were (Razzid Wearat and Plugg Firetail).

Veil Sixclaw

Here I go... The most controversial character in the entire Redwall series... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Veil Sixclaw, the son of Swartt Sixclaw and Bluefen. Veil appears in "Outcast of Redwall." Bluefen died shortly after giving birth to her son, who was later left in the care of an old ratwife, His nursemaid was killed in battle when she was trampled by her comrades after trying to crawl away due to having a javelin in her side. After the battle, Skipperjo discovered the ferret babe in the ditch, who ended up there after his nursemaid put him there after having a javelin pierce her side. The otter took the anonymous babe back to Redwall Abbey, where Bella of Brockhall gave him his name. She said it was because there was a veil over his life before he came to Redwall. He was raised by a mousemaid named Bryony and her friend, a mole named Togget. Several seasons later, he was blamed for stealing Friar Bunfold's blue honeypot, which had been given to him by his mother. Veil denied having stolen it, but he had stolen it and was going to keep it hidden in the Abbey Pond because the friar twisted his ear. Later, Veil tried to poison Friar Bunfold, but accidentally poisoned Myrtle the hogwife instead using wolfsbane. The next morning, Abbess Meriam made an announcement and said that she had a herbal wash to clean one's paws from becoming red by supposedly touching wolfsbane without wearing gloves. Veil snuck to the infirmary to wash his paws, which he believed were turning red, but was met by Jodd, Redfarl, Skipperjo, and Abbess Meriam. Sister Withe announced that the solution did not make a creature's paws from turning red, but caused a creature's paws to become red. The creatures of the abbey kept him in The Cellar until they decided what to do with him. Their final decision was to cast the ferret from the abbey, causing Bryony to weep sorrowfully for the creature she had raised from infanthood. Veil set out to find his father. He met a dormouse named Ole Hoffy and stayed with the kindly old creature and his grandchildren, Young Hoffy and Brund, claiming to be called Bunfold. During the night, Veil attempted to kill Ole Hoffy, and stole the old dormouse's food, staff, knife, and blanket. That night, Veil was met by a pair of old foxes, whose names were Renn and Brool. Veil attempted to fight them, but was knocked out. The two foxes stole Veil's food, but were driven away when Bryony and Togget slung pinecones at them. They helped free Veil, who was ungrateful for them having saved him. He ran away and caught up with Renn and Brool, slaying them in revenge for what they had done to him. He eventually reached Bat Mountpit, where he met his father. He discovered that his father despised him. Veil soon grew to feel the same way towards his father. While at the mountain, Swartt captured his mortal enemy, Sunflash the Mace. Bryony, who had befriended the badger, tried to free him, but was seen by Swartt. Veil began to fight his father to buy Bryony some time. When Bryony had cut the badger's bonds, Swartt tossed his son aside and threw a javelin at the mouse. The javelin did not hit its intended target, but instead hit Veil, who had thrown himself in the way of the javelin to protect the creature who had raised him. Later, Bryony called Veil evil, in spite of his sacrifice for her.

Now I believe that Veil is one of the most interesting characters in the Redwall series, as well as the most misunderstood, despite what many fans may think about him. Veil was raised in an environment where he was the only vermin, and was often blamed when things went missing (even though it was him), and was shunned by many of the Abbey residents. I believe that this was what created a seed of resentment within him. In response for having been treated poorly by everybeast, he stole things, was hostile to the residents of Redwall, and even attempted to kill Friar Bunfold. As a result for his actions, Veil was exiled from Redwall Abbey. Since he was treated like a criminal, I think Veil tried to live the life of crime from that point, as seen when he attempted to kill Ole Hoffy. However, when he was saved from Renn and Brool by Bryony and Togget, I think he was embarrassed at having been captured and having to be saved. When he met his father, whom he had high hopes of meeting, his hopes were crushed when he found out that his dad hated him and regretted everything he had done up to that point. To atone for his wrongs, he tried to save Bryony by fighting Swartt and finally paid the greatest price with his life. Overall, I think Veil was bad due to the way he was treated, but tried his luck at being evil like his father, but then realized that his father hated him, causing him to instead become a better creature. He proved this to Bryony by sacrificing his life to save her.

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