Warning!!! MAJOR spoilers for Outcast of Redwall!!!!!
Ah, Veil Sixclaw, the most paradoxical character in the Redwall series. Long debate had been going on about whether he is good or evil. Well here is my opinion (and I've thought about it a lot).
Veil is a ferret, a vermin, and therefore naturally evil. But he was brought up in a place that taught good morals (Redwall Abbey), that little bit of goodness was put inside of him. Then he was outcast and that whole bit, and for most of the book he did very evil things. But then there was the climax.
Swartt Sixclaw meets his son Veil and has finally captured Sunflash the Mace. Bryony has followed Veil all throughout Mossflower and has now met up with him again after finding him twice before, and both times being rejected and almost killed by Veil. Swartt catches Bryony in the act of trying to free Sunflash, when Veil intervenes and tells Bryony to, "Get out of here! Run!" Swartt and Veil fight and Swartt pushes his son away and raises his javelin to kill Bryony when Veil jumps in the way and is slain in her place. Then Sunflash gets free, kills Swartt and yadayadayada......
Now, Veil's first (and last) good deed is what makes him an official 'gray character'. Some people argue (and it is suggested by Bryony in the book) that he didn't know that his father was going to throw the javelin and therefore didn't really sacrifice himself for Bryony's sake. But there are a few things that oppose that....
- Veil knew that Swartt was armed and that he wanted to kill Bryony.
- When you jump in front of someone who is being physically threatened, you usually get injured or killed in their place.
So even if Veil wasn't trying to jump in the way of the javelin, he was at least trying to push Bryony out of the way, and therefore would save her.
So here it is in a nutshell: Veil is evil, but was brought up good and had morals taught to him. Then when the time of reckoning came, he saw that Bryony loved him so much that she would risk her life for him. That's when he made the ultimate sacrifice and became a 'gray character'.
I know that this will bring up some discussion, so if you disagree, just give your reasons. Thank you.