Russel was a violent, ill-tempered mouse who at some point before the events recorded in The Pearls of Lutra attempted to murder Martin II, son of Mattimeo, after capturing the younger mouse, who not only refused to tell him the location of Redwall Abbey, but also accidentally mentioned that he was the son of Mattimeo, whom Russel disliked intensely.
It was revealed that Russel had slaughtered the family of mice who had taken the young rat Tertia in in the belief that Tertia's adoptive family had betrayed mousekind by accepting a vermin in their midst.
After Tertia attempted to step in and stop Russel from killing Martin II, Russel lunged at her with his dagger. She raised her sword at the last possible second, driving it through the mouse's chest and slaying him.
Russel carried a dagger, and used a rope trap to subdue Martin II for questioning.