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You are right here in your story. Don't skip ahead.
Massie Burnson, The Wreck and Rise of Whitson Mariner, p. 32

We must live every day here as if it's our last . . . We must always be prepared to die, if duty calls for it.
— Sween Longtreader, to Heather, Ember Rising

Sween Longtreader is the wife of Whittle Longtreader and the mother of Heather, Picket, and Jacket Longtreader.


Early life

Hailing from the far-flung Nick Hollow, Sween developed a love for both music-nurtured by her grandmother-and painting as she matured. At some point she made the acquaintance of the Longtreader family, most notably the brothers Garten, Whittle, and Wilfred. Garten and Whittle both became romantically interested in Sween, but she ultimately married Whittle. This choice shattered Garten, and contributed to his decision to betray the Thirty Warrens to Morbin Blackhawk and the Lords of Prey. This brought a tragic end not only to the reign of King Jupiter, but to Whittle and Sween's happy life in First Warren with their infant daughter Heather.

As part of his wicked machinations, Garten laid a trap intended for Sween in particular, but she was clever enough to escape. After bidding farewell to Wilfred, Sween and her family made their way to Nick Hollow. No family of Sween's remained there by that time, and they were able to settle into a peaceful existence. Still, Sween and Whittle missed their old home, and Sween created a painting of it that hung in their Nick Hollow residence.

Sween later gave birth to two sons, Picket and Jacket, while she and Whittle agreed to not share the truth about their reasons for being in Nick Hollow with their children. On at least one occasion, Heather found her crying as she stared at her painting. Regaining some composure, Sween told Heather to look for her in their old home if they ever became separated. On another, Sween sang a song to herself while her husband and children were engaged in a game of Tower Wars.

The Green Ember

Sween and Whittle are in their elm tree home with Jacks when a storm blows in to Nick Hollow, catching Heather and Picket outside. They swiftly usher their older children inside, and Sween briefly scolds her husband for picking up Jacks while he's wet with rain. Sween silently gives her permission to Whittle to begin sharing The Rise and Fall of King Jupiter the Great, and hums to Jacks as her husband recites. Later, after Whittle breaks down, they bid Heather and Picket goodnight, though Heather hears them singing together downstairs.

The following morning, Heather comes downstairs to find Sween and Whittle conversing with Lady Glen, the latest in a series of mysterious visitors. Though worried, Sween puts on a cheerful face for her children before sending them off to Gladeberry. Sadly, when Heather and Picket rush back, the Longtreaders' home iss burning down, and Sween has been taken prisoner by Redeye Garlackson and his wolves, along with Jacks and Whittle. With the aid of an arriving Wilfred and Smalls, Picket and Heather manage to escape to Cloud Mountain.

Ember Falls

Sween, Whittle, and Jacks end up in the slave city of Akolan in the High Bleaks, where Sween ends up as a house slave in Morbin's lair. This puts her in close proximity to Morbin and the rest of the Six as well as Garten, whom she does her best to avoid. Sween is present when General Flox and Captain Blenk arrive for a council meeting with Morbin, and overhear them discussing the recent death of Redeye. Having heard whispers of this previously, Sween briefly lets her guard down and smiles, and is only saved from Flox's wrath by his being summoned.

Sween is later assigned by Gritch, the master slave, to assist an elderly buck named Stitcher. After being carried to the appropriate lair by Marbole and getting advice from both helpful and unhelpful rabbits, she finds him. To her surprise, Stitcher has asked for her not out of need for help, but to hear her sing. He also shares his belief that her placement in Morbin's lair is no coincidence, and Sween begins sharing reports of what she observes in Morbin's lair in Akolan.

Despite an increased sense of hopefulness, Sween remains despondent about her situation, and must constantly watch to insure that she doesn't begin singing aloud. During another of Morbin's councils, she is one of a number of rabbits assigned to serve refreshments, and ends up delivering wine to Garten, who forces her to look him in the eye before taking a glass. Sadly, Sween is present when a fellow slave, Melody, cries out in defiance only to be cruelly slain by Morbin. Some time later, Sween is present when a captured Heather is brought before Morbin, and after the Blackhawk's departure begins singing so that her daughter can hear her.

Ember Rising

Sween escapes her pursuers and returns to Akolan despite Garten recognizing her voice, as he has made a point of neither acting to harm or protect her. She and Heather are later reunited after Heather is taken to Longtreader Command, and joined shortly thereafter by Whittle. Sween and Whittle share what has happened since their separation, and are astonished at Heather's own account, emphasized by her possession of the Green Ember. Unfortunately, the pair must soon share grim news: that Jacks, indoctrinated by the Wrongtreaders, is now loyal to them.

When the Longtreaders learn that Jacks is one of several younglings selected to be fattened up and sacrificed to the Preylords, Sween hopelessly rejects Whittle's plan to appeal to Akolan's resistance, the Seventh District. She and Whittle inform Heather that Jacks is likely to betray them, a fear confirmed shortly thereafter when she and Heather are arrested by Captain Vitton. As they are being escorted to Longtreader Command, Vitton lashes out at Sween with a knife in response to Heather's defiance. Heather, having received medical training, attends to the wound as best she can once they are in a cell, and then lies down next to Sween at her mother's invitation.

The following day, the pair are dragged to the roof of Longtreader Command to witness preparations for Victory Day, which will include all the city's younglings being slaughtered by the Preylords. However, a lieutenant then arrives with news of the Seventh District, and Sween's calls for him to be silent lead to her own silencing by a cruel blow from a guard. Fortunately, the Seventh District-with Whittle now its leader-launches a massive rescue effort, and both Heather and Sween are saved from Vitton. Sadly, Heather is then carried away by a raptor ridden by an enraged Garten.

Ember's End

If you want to kill me, then do it. I chose your brother, yes, but I never hated you then. We were family then. We are family now. Won't you come home again?
— Sween Longtreader pleads with Garten Longtreader, Ember's End, pgs. 365-366

Recovering from her injuries, Sween joins in the Seventh District's final efforts to invite all the denizens of Akolan to join in their plan of escape. After visiting the various districts, she and Whittle-joined by Dote, Harmony, Jacks, and many others-approach the Sixth District. This is done despite some initial protests by Dote, who feels unable to forgive the Preylord collaborators. Sween sympathizes with and encourages him, and together the rabbits of the Seventh District enter the walled off portion of the city.

Sween is reunited with Heather again after the ship she and Whittle are traveling on stops at the crumbling Forbidden Island, where they rescue Heather and Smalls. The fleet then sails in to the midst of the Siege of First Warren, where both Sween and Whittle are shocked to see Picket aloft with the Royal Fowlers Auxiliary. In the course of the battle, their ship becomes damaged, and is boarded by Garten who angrily confronts Sween. Sween pleads with her brother-in-law, trying to persuade him to forsake his hatred and come back to their family.

Garten refuses, and Sween is only saved from his attack by Whittle's swift action, with Garten rejecting his mercy as well and falling to his death. Sween then watches as Picket and Smalls work together to kill Morbin, the last foe, though Picket is gravely wounded as a result. Fortunately, some weeks later Picket awakens from a coma, and Sween and the rest of his family are gathered at his bedside for a long-awaited reunion. All of them, joined by Wilfred, Picket's new wife Louise Longtreader, and other dear friends, later sit at a table of honor at the first Feast of the Mending.

Sween later begins work on a painting from the porch of Heather's home in Newcity, where her daughter lives as Smalls' wife and queen of the Mended Wood. Escorted by Heyna Blackstar, Sween pays Heather a visit at dawn one day, and finds Heather in the company of her sleeping daughter Maggie Joveson and Heather's close friend Emma. Later, Sween is present at a family gathering in First Warren on Helmer's Farm, where she sings one of her grandmother's songs to her own grandchildren. Contrary to her wishes for the evening, Heather's daughter Hanna leads Picket's son Jo off exploring, though they all gather together again under the Helmer tree.

Personality and traits

Sween was shown to be a loving, tender doe, especially to her children. She was devoted to her family and to The Cause, and hated Morbin's evil doings. She is also renowned as a talented painter and singer, and has some ability in sewing as well.

Family tree

- The Longtreader Family -
Unnamed ancestors (possibly including Forsythe Longtreader)
Unnamed grandmother
Garten Longtreader
Wilfred Longtreader
Whittle Longtreader
Sween Longtreader
15 unnamed adopted children
Smalden Joveson
Picket Longtreader
Jacket Longtreader
Unnamed children
Jo Longtreader
Unnamed children

Note: Broken lines indicate relation through affinity or adoption or distant relation; unbroken lines indicate relation by blood.


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