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Shrew Tribes in Redwall

In the fictional Redwall series written by Brian Jacques, there are several groups of shrew characters present throughout the novel. These shrew tribes are led by a Log a Log, and come under several names. These names are composed of the initials of the tribes. These include: the Guosim (Guerilla Union of Shrews in Mossflower), the Guoraf (Guerilla Union of Roving and Fighting Shrews), and the Guossom (Guerilla Union of South Stream Shrews of Mossflower).

The shrew tribes are known for various traits. The most common weapon used by warrior shrews is a rapier, which groups of shrews will use in concert for deadly multi-bladed attacks such as the Guosim Windmill. This involves three concentric circles of shrews: one crouching very low, another bending over about half way, and a third standing up. As they all hold their rapiers out, they spin and effectively can eliminate many enemies. Shrews are also known as riverbeasts and travel on boats made out of logs. As a result of their chieftain's title, the shrew tribes' battle cry is "Logalogalogalogalog!!!!!"

Another trait of shrews is that they are highly traditional and argumentative. The Guossom Log a Log will only be unchallenged if he carries the Blackstone, a rock of sacred value to the tribe. Shrews are highly prone to arguments, though they insist that they are merely participating in "sensible and democratic debate". It takes a long time for shrews to agree on things, and they will often only proceed if a decision is unanimous. After one such debate, Rakkety Tam MacBurl, who was traveling with the Guosim, remarked that it was "so sensible and democratic that he thought they were going to knock each other flat".

Shrews also place much importance on avenging fallen friends, and especially on avenging a Log a Log who is defeated in battle. A shrew tribe that has previously only been seen to be adequate backup for other characters often becomes a formidable force if their Log a Log is slain.

Log-a-Logs

Log-a-Log is the title given to the shrew leaders of the Guosim, Guoraf, and Guossom.

Notable Shrews

Fatch

A young shrew who appeared in The Bellmaker. He became good friends with Rufe Brush and Durry Quill after Rufe saved his life on the ship Pearl Queen. Ultimately, he sacrificed himself to save Rufe from the vixen Silvamord. Afterward, Rufe received a sword that belonged to Finnbarr Galedeep and he named it after Fatch.

Alfoh

A fat old shrew who appeared in Salamandastron. He was the leader of a "colony" of Guossom shrews who teamed up with Samkim and Arula to find the sword of Martin the Warrior. Once that was accomplished, he and his shrews traveled to Salamandastron to help rid the mountain of Ferahgo the Assassin and his horde.

Nordo

A young shrew who appeared in Salamandastron. He was the son of the Log a Log of all the Guosim. When he was very young he managed to drift out to the island in the big lake. There he lost the Blackstone to the "ghost badger". He met Mara and Pikkle while as captives of the evil toads.

Guosim

A female shrew who appeared in Redwall. Guosim, named for the band of shrews she is enlisted in, aids Matthias and Log a Log in the hunt for Martin's Sword in Asmodeus' den. She was killed by the large adder.

Bargle

Bargle was a Guosim shrew in Marlfox. After Log a Log's death, Bargle took up being the interim leader of the shrews. He was killed when the Marlfoxes Ascrod, Predak, and Vannan entered the Abbey.

Jigger

Son of Guosim Log a Log Briggy, Jigger bore a startling resemblance to his father. He worked together with Bragoon and Saro to fight off a band of reptiles and took quite a fancy to one of their young female companions. Following their adventures, Jigger met Lonna Bowstripe when he came to Redwall to announce the return of the travelers.

Troublesome Shrews

Though most Shrews opt to help Redwallers, some (as Shrews are often rebellious and argumentative) have differing views, and even turn against Redwall.

Tubgutt

A large fat shrew who appeared in Salamandastron. He blamed all of the shrews' so-called bad luck on Mara and Pikkle Ffolger. He memorably challenged Pikkle to a pie-eating contest and lost. When the shrews were on the great lake and the Deepcoiler, Tubgutt almost started a mutiny by blaming Mara and Pikkle for their bad luck. Mara later saved his life from the Deepcoiler, and afterward he changed his attitude towards them.

Skan

A young rebellious shrew who appeared in the book Mattimeo. When Log a Log announced his plans to aid Matthias and friends in the rescue of their young ones, Skan and his friends broke off from the Guosim and decided to catch up with Slagar and warn him. Slagar, ever the double-dealer, repaid Skan for the update of the status of the Redwallers by forcing the shrews to join the slaves. Skan was killed by the Painted Ones.

Fenno

Fenno was a Guosim shrew in the book Marlfox. After Dippler was asleep on guard duty, resulting the loss of the shrews logboats, Fenno was the foremost shrew to criticize Dippler. After Log a Log came to Dippler's aid, Fenno and Log a log had a very tense relationship. Cregga and Skipper prevented Log a Log and Fenno from killing each other within Redwall; however, during the ambush on the Marlfoxes, Fenno tripped, saw Log a Log run ahead of him, and threw his rapier into Log a Log's back, killing him. After being captured by the Marlfox Mokkan, he steered the stolen logboat to the hidden inland lake and escaped while under attack by reptiles. He met his ultimate demise when Dippler killed him in a duel.

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