One of the most often cited reasons vermin hoards and villains use when justifying their attack on Redwall is due to the belief that the abbey holds great treasure within. Their minds become consumed with this desire to plunder the abbey and take all of its riches with them.

Yet the truth of the matter is, other than the Sword of Martin or Martin’s Tapestry, there is no treasure to be found inside, and even then, these items aren’t lavishly decorated. Even when Chickenhound ran away with his big sack of stolen goods, the items he pilfered were more knickknacks and decorative pottery than it did jewels and gold. The items Redwall treasures are items of personal significance and utility, with the sword for defense, and the Tapestry for motivation. Even in Marlfox, when the Marlfoxes desire the tapestry, the only reason the Redwallers will fight to hold onto it is purely for its symbolism, rather than for monetary reasons. If it had been a tapestry of anything else, they would’ve let it go.

When the Abbey does come into contact with items of great value, such as the Doomwyte jewels or the Pearls of Lutra, the abbeybeasts have no desire to hang onto them. These items hold no power over them like they do with the vermin, and the beasts try to get rid of the jewels as soon as possible. It’s because with these items comes trouble and death. No good comes from keeping the items in a storage room; it’s better to be rid of them than to hoard them. There might be some excitement with the quest it brings, but by the end, all participants decide to relinquish their prize; the camaraderie, experience, and knowledge gained being the true rewards.

Likewise, Salamandastron holds very little treasure in terms of gold, though some like Ferahgo thought they held great wealth. Instead, Salamandastron treasures weapons and armor for defense and practicality. Gold won’t defend the coast from invading vermin, or save you from a siege.

If either place has anything it truly values, it’s knowledge and preserving its past. Both Redwall and Salamandastron treasures its scrolls, badger etchings, and anything used to give them an understanding for future events. Many times, the abbey and fortress looks to its recordings for insight from the past on how to deal with current situations. To them, this is more precious than gold or silver.

The lesson we can take from Redwall is that the pursuit of wealth and treasure leads only to pain, grief, and destruction. The true treasures are the relationships we build with each other and doing good unto others without the remand of reward. It might not be the most mind blowing of messages, but it’s a good reminder to never forget what’s truly important.