- "Urchin of the Riding Stars, be a guardian of this island. Be strong, be true, be noble. Be Captain Urchin."
- - King Crispin the Swan Rider
Captain Urchin of Riding Stars was the squirrel son of Almond and Brother Candle, but adopted and raised by Apple. He is the fiancé of Lady Sepia. He was page to King Crispin and Captain Padra and was a full-fledged member of The Circle. As a Captain of Mistmantle, he took on Corr the Voyager as his page.
HistoryEditCrispin, Apple and Brother Fir, having been dropped on the shore by a seagull after his mother Almond's death. Urchin is an unusual red squirrel because his fur is very pale, with only the tips of his ear tufts and the end of his tail coloured red. His mother was nowhere to be found, and later, a squirrel named Apple is walking on the beach, and asked to adopt Urchin as her own, to which Brother Fir agrees.
One day, before a night with Riding Stars, he was sitting with Needle, discussing his future career. Later, Gleaner and Crackle came there, together with small children, who Urchin started to play with. Suddenly, Captain Crispin came and wanted to talk to Urchin alone. He asked if Urchin wanted to join him and Padra in Fir's turret to look at the Riding Stars. When they arrived in the turret, Crispin asked Urchin to be his page and personal confidant. Urchin said yes, and Crispin told him to come to the tower the next day. The next day, when he arrived, Urchin knew something was wrong. He met Crispin, who met Padra again who told them that Prince Tumble was dead. He helped prepare the meeting at which it was told to all the island that the Prince was dead. When they were going to cast lots to find the murderer, he was nervous. When they said Crispin's name and the king attacked him, Urchin protected him. Together with Lugg, he smuggled his circlet and cape out to Arran. Arran, Lugg and Urchin prepared Crispin's boat. When Urchin went to get food for Crispin, he took very much, probably because he wanted to join him. He told Crispin that he wanted to join him, but he said no and Urchin promised to serve the island instead because that was where he belonged. He stood on the beach and watched Crispin leave in the boat.
At the end of the day, Padra asked if he wanted to be his page, and he said yes.Urchin then becomes Padra's page and learns his duties at the tower. Needle's brother, Scufflen, is going to be culled, and Urchin asked Lugg and Padra to try to save him. At Husk and Aspen's wedding, he danced with Apple, then went out with Padra to see Queen Spindle. Later, Urchin is running after Husk in his secret room. He's afraid when he hears Husk laugh evilly, and when he tries to escape, he jumps out of a window, landing on Apple in the snow. He is taken to the old palace, where he meets Scufflen and Mother Huggen.
Husk becomes suspicious of Urchin and gives an order to his spy to have him killed. Gleaner, who finds out while spying at the keyhole, tells her ex-best friend Crackle, who goes off and finds Captain Padra. Padra asks Urchin to leave Mistmantle so he can be safe. Padra goes to find Lugg because he doesn't want to send Urchin away from Mistmantle alone. When Padra goes to find Lugg, Urchin asks Fir to push him off the beach so he can go alone. Urchin is then caught in a storm and is found by two otters who push him to Swan Isle, where he finds Crispin. Urchin flies back to Mistmantle with Crispin on swans after Crispin's wife, Whisper, is killed by Gloss. He helps to free the island from Captain Husk, the true murderer, and becomes a companion to King Crispin alongside Needle while continuing to be Padra's page.Juniper, a young male squirrel who had been brought up in a secluded spot in secret due to the culling law as he has a bad paw. The two quickly become friends, despite Juniper being in awe of Urchin. They spot something in the mists and realize that it's a ship. Urchin sends word to Crispin and Padra via Hope.
He is captured by Lord Treeth, Scatter, Bronze and Trail, from the island of Whitewings, who were ordered to bring him to the Island by King Silverbirch, an insane hedgehog who wants Urchin to find him silver, then have him executed by the sorcerer Smokewreath at the first snowfall. Juniper, had followed him in the water and is later smuggled into his cell but passes out and is cared for by Urchin until Cedar comes and secretly nurses him back to health.
Cedar then manages to smuggle Urchin out of his cell, along with Juniper, for short periods of time so he can meet Queen Larch, Flame and the Larchlings. Cedar also tells Urchin about his parents, Almond and Candle. On Whitewings, Urchin is bullied by Granite who was made a Lord by King Silverbirch.
Urchin escapes with the help of Commander Cedar, Larch, Flame and Juniper but allows himself to be recaptured so that they can escape to Mistmantle, despite Juniper protesting that he shouldn't. Just as Smokewreath is about to kill Urchin, there is an earthquake which knocks down the fortress and kills Silverbirch and his army. Larch allows Cedar to go to Mistmantle with Juniper, Lugg and Urchin. They arrive back on Mistmantle on the night of the riding stars to the delight of the animals back home. Urchin later tells Crispin, Padra and Fir about his parents and the book ends with Crispin's coronation.
Cedar later marries Crispin and becomes Queen; Juniper and Urchin also become best friends, and "brothers"
Urchin and Needle are both due to be admitted to the Circle very soon after Princess Catkin's naming ceremony. He and Needle offer to take shifts in looking after Catkin so that some of the other nursery maids may have a chance to go down to the party following the princess's ceremony. Urchin decides to go up early to see how Linty, the squirrel maid who had the shift before them, was getting on, only to find that both Linty and Catkin have vanished.
At the disappearance of Catkin, he and Needle both decide to put off their admittance to the Circle. He, Docken, and Juniper are assigned to check The Chamber of Candles, once known as The Old Place. All Urchin's patrol find, however, is Hope, Docken's son, and are forced to report without finding a trace of Linty or the Princess.
Urchin helps stop a raging landslide with Captain Lugg and Juniper, helping to support the tunnels which are on the verge of collapse with animals inside them. After that, Urchin discovers the truth about Juniper's parentage.
He is also instrumental in finding the kidnapped princess, Catkin. He later helps Juniper to find Husk's body along with Needle and when she falls down an underground cliff, he runs to get help. When Lugg dies, he blames himself and is devastated by his death, but later comes to terms with it. At the end of the book, Urchin becomes a member of the Circle with Needle and the book ends with him looking out a window in the tower.Urchin and the Heartstone. Archneck states that Urchin is a "friend of all swans". Urchin is disappointed when he realizes he is unable to go with Crispin to fight against the ravens on Swan Isle, as he cannot leave Mistmantle again.
When the ravens attack, he is sent to defend Curlingshell bay from the ravens, but they take it over anyway and Urchin is captured. Catkin had managed to disguise herself as soldier and fought alongside Urchin, but is captured along with him and taken away. During this time, he manages to set the Silver Prince up against the Taloness, which helps to bring about the downfall of the ravens. He is about to be killed, but is rescued by Todd, Needle and Hope.
Urchin discovers that the Tower has been overrun by ravens, and so, with the help of Sepia, Needle, Myrtle, Corr and Hope, he helps to take it back. In the process he badly sprains his paw so that he is unable to use it. The group of survivors seek refuge in the cave under Mistmantle Tower and work on a plan to defeat the ravens by capturing them in nets.
He later asks Crispin if he can resign from the circle because he believes it was completly his fault Catkin almost died and Brindle was killed. Crispin points out to Urchin that it wasn't his fault and that everyone makes mistakes, then adds that he is not about to remove Urchin from the Circle as he needs him.In the final battle, Cedar and Urchin head to Tangletwigs to help defend it. Gleaner is there and kills the Silver Prince. Urchin rescues her but in the process badly wounds his wrist and passes out. Cedar helps to keep him alive until Juniper arrives with some mendingmoss to help stem the bleeding. He is in a coma for some time but is eventually awakened by Apple's apple and mint cordial.
Crispin then asks Urchin to take Corr the Voyager as his page at the very end of the book and Needle starts teaching him the Threadings code because he is going to become a Captain. He believes he is too young, but Needle states that he won't be by the time she gets the code between his ears.
Urchin becomes very fond of Sepia and is distraught when she is swept away by the Rage Tide. Urchin joins in the search for Furtle and Ouch, Myrtle's younger siblings, and assists in getting Mistmantle animals to safety. He corners Cherry along with Sepia and gets her to tell them what Mossberry is doing.
Urchin is made a captain around the end of the book with Spade the mole, and is given Crispin's old circlet and cape. Crispin gives Urchin permission to marry Sepia, provided she lives. One of the last things Urchin says to Crispin is to thank for what he does for Sepia, and for his own life.
Urchin stays by Sepia's side the whole time she is ill, and asks her to marry him when she is better, and she accepts.
Urchin and Sepia met after Urchin returned with Crispin, between Urchin of the Riding Stars and Urchin and the Heartstone. They become closer friends throughout The Heir of Mistmantle, and in Urchin and the Raven War, they fall in love with each other. In Urchin and the Rage Tide, they become engaged.
Urchin had always loved Crispin, and considered him his idol. When Urchin found out that Crispin saved his life in book 1, Urchin liked him even more.
When Crispin was exiled, Urchin was very sad and angry. He trained his hardest with Padra for Crispin, and even risked his own life to get evidence against Husk.
When Padra sent Urchin to look for Crispin, he was determined to find him. When he arrived on Swan Isle, he was very excited when he found Crispin.
Urchin continues to love and follow Crispin, and when Crispin dies in book 5, Urchin is devastated.
After Crispin is sends to exile, Padra took Urchin to his page. They got closer friends later, and they continued to be good friends in later books. In book one Urchin heard that Padra was talking bad about him to Granite, but it was only bacause Granite would have Urchin as a page. Padra also named his twins Tide and Swanfeather because that was what had brought Urchin and Crispin home.
Urchin is a honey colored squirrel with red tipped ears and tail tip. Since the second book he has worn a squirrel hair bracelet with fur from his mother, Almond. In Urchin and the Raven War, his red fur has deepened in colour and he is the same height as Crispin.
Urchin is described as a very kind and loyal squirrel. He has been known to take pity on those who were controlled by Lord Husk.
He's also been shown to be a bit proactive and impulsive, such as when he was sent to visit King Brushen by Padra to inquire about preparations for winter were coming, and ended up persuading the King to put Padra in charge of the stores.
He displayed a sense of secrecy and cleverness when he was imprisioned on Whitewings and he managed to keep Juniper hidden in his room for quite some time before the younger squirrel was rescued by Cedar and the Larchlings.