Zwilt the Shade


Place of Origin:Unknown
Weapon: Broadsword
Death: Stabbed by Clarinna with the Sword of Martin
Appears: The Sable Quean

"They don't call 'im Zwilt the Shade for nothin' -some say 'e's magic!"

-Spoken by an anonymous rat

Zwilt the Shade was a tall, austere sable and the Commander of the Ravagers. By order of Vilaya the Sable Quean, he kidnapped woodlander young ones, which included Redwall Abbey Dibbuns in a plot to conquer the Abbey. Zwilt would effortlessly move about without being noticed, leading some to believe he was magic or invisible.

Zwilt was known for his dead, black eyes and his ruthlessness to foes. He enjoyed killing and took great fun in taunting his victims before he slew them. Zwilt would appear in vermin camps and challenge the leader of the band. After disarming the leader in a duel and forcing him to kneel, Zwilt would usually behead the vermin leader with their own weapon. The defeated vermin were then forced to join the Ravagers. Among the vermin leaders conquered by Zwilt were Gadra the Spear and Grullba Deathwind.

Zwilt and his Quean did not see eye-to-eye on the best way to conquer Redwall, as Zwilt wanted to set a full-on attack; Vilaya thought that a subtler approach would be more intelligent and successful. This disagreement always set a barrier between the two sables, who at first were allies, but later began to hate each other with a vengeance.

On one occasion, Zwilt and his vermin came across the farm of Clerun Kordyne. Zwilt slew Clerun, wounded his wife Clarinna, took their babes, Urfa and Calla to Althier, and stole Clerun's Badger Lord-made broadsword and Blademaster's Medal. When Buckler Kordyne, Clerun's brother, learned about the incident from Clarinna, he swore vengeance upon Zwilt.

After the young captives of Althier escaped through a tunnel, Zwilt and Vilaya led their hordebeasts through the tunnels after them. When they reached a fork, the two sables split up, and Vilaya sent her aide Dirva to spy on Zwilt. The Shade knew this and ordered two of his loyal vermin, Gliv and Lugg, to kill the old rat. This made Vilaya even more furious, and when she got out of the tunnel, she challenged Zwilt for horde leadership. The duel was brief though, as Zwilt easily ran through the Quean with his broadsword, wounding her, Zwilt thinking fatally. He was going to behead Vilaya, but Gliv asked if she could bury the body instead. Zwilt agreed and left; however, Gliv secretly nursed Vilaya back to health.

Zwilt and the Ravagers arrived at Redwall, and they camped to the east of the Abbey out on the flatlands. After a few unsuccessful skirmishes, Zwilt promoted a weasel named Fallug to be a temporary leader while he and a few vermin sneaked into the Abbey using grappling hooks.

Zwilt captured several Redwall mothers and held them hostage when Buckler Kordyne arrived. Zwilt challenged Buckler to a duel, and they fought all around the Abbey and into Great Hall. Zwilt grabbed Dubdub and threatened to kill the baby hedgehog if Buckler did not surrender and let the sable execute him. Buckler could not let him kill the Dibbun, so he laid down his weapon and lowered his head. Just as Zwilt was about to give Buckler a killing blow, he was run through from behind by Clarinna with the sword of Martin the Warrior, and slain.

Zwilt in Media

  • Audio VA: Greg Longridge


  • In the first paragraph of Chapter 5, Zwilt is mistakenly called a polecat.