- "No one had ever seen her smile."
- - Urchin
Tay is dark-whiskered she-otter. In Urchin and the Raven War, it's noted that she's starting to have graying fur around her muzzle.
Tay seems to always be somewhat grumpy and it is said that no one has ever seen her smile. She has been shown to have great care for the conduct of animals in the Tower, as she was seen looking on a scolding some of Sepia's choir, who were playing in the slippery halls. Tay dislikes Padra, but may not dislike Crispin as much, because when Gorsen is taked, she defended Crispin, by telling Gorsen that Crispin is the right king.
In her later years, she is prone to angry outbursts and spent a lot of time sitting in a wheelchair, yelling at everyone.
She led a mission in order to try to discover the Old place. When she sees Padra and a young otter mother, she follows them because she thought Padra knew about it after Fir told him and Crispin something. She tried to find it because she thoguht that Padra was doing something illegal there and just because of curiousity and wanting to get a title such as "captain" or "lady". She finds it with some moles but the children with their babysitters are already gone.
When she discovers on the spring part that the hidden youngsters are under a boat on the shore, she is kidnapped by the young animals, who would have been culled, and Mother Huggen. She is not able to give her speech at the Spring Feast to denounce Captain Crispin, and thus Captain Husk is exposed as a traitor.
During Scatter's captivity, she educates her in the law and lores of Mistmantle, as well as telling her stories about the famous, past heroes of the island. In this book and later ones, she is not Husk's follower.
Tay is called upon by Crispin along with her apprentice, Whittle to examine Lord Arcneck's story about the Raven attack and their claim to Swan Isle. Tay concludes that the Ravens might have a slight claim over the island, but not the islanders, and had no right to harm them. Her knowledge is shown to have impressed Lord Arcneck.
And after much prompting from the other animals, Tay resigned and retired from her post, leaving Whittle as Mistmantle's only historian and lawyer. It is noted that she is able to move around in her quarters on her own, but relies on a wheelchair for the remainder of her travel.