Kardag Svilatz was a ruthless wildcat corsair Emperor, originally known as Palpanio Savagelord by the creator of Thornclaw Braveheart. His vessel, Deadbeast, was the deadliest ship on the seas, and Kardag had command of a whole armada of vermin. His first great period of tyranny was when he invaded Southsward and forced a blockade on the coast, preventing the tribe of Pitusd, grandfather of Thornclaw, from going to the seas. (NOTE: Pitusd's love of sailing came from the fact that he was descended from Vilu Daskar) Kardag planned to invade the stoat tribe's swamplands many seasons later, although by now he was a very old wildcat. He had three sons, Gzora, Zalxar, and Borkat, though only Gzora had a descendant: Greddel Svilatz. Gzora, Zalxar, and Borkat were always arguing over command of a huge galleon they had captured together, and in the end of The Coming of a Stoat, Zalxar withdrew from the feud, knowing that as the weakest of the three, he had no chance in a duel. In the beginning of The Wildcats, Gzora and Borkat battled, with Gzora coming out as the winner. He named his vessel Deadcat because he hung the head of his brother Borkat upon the bowsprit. Zalxar took command of most of the land forces in Kardag's army, and they swept north from Southsward, overwhelming the tribe of Drehta, son of Pitusd. Drehta fled north, and shortly after the battle in the orchards of Redwall Abbey, Thornclaw ran into his father and the remnants of his tribe while seeking out Log-a-Log Mengo. Kardag and an ambush party attacked Thornclaw and the Guosim shortly after, but following a brief duel between Thorn and Svilatz (Thorn won), the Long Patrol arrived, forcing Kardag, who was now reminded of Thornclaw by a scar on his left arm, to retreat. Shortly after, Zalxar and a large group of vermin attacked Thornclaw and the Salamandastron army en route to the mountain, but the battle ended as a stalemate, with many casualties on both sides. Zalxar himself was wounded, but not enough. He and a small group of rat skirmishers and assassins tracked the Long Patrol down, but Zalxar found himself face-to-face with Lord Silverstripe, who brought his axe down on the cat. Zalxar's body was delivered back to the vermin horde of Kardag. Afterwards, Svilatz built a fortress in the Borderlands just north of Mossflower, and prepared a humongous invasion force. This ended The Wildcats, and in The Fate of Thornclaw, Kardag and a small group harassed Thornclaw as he travelled to gain aid from the Highland mercenaries, but Thornclaw overpowered Kardag in another short duel. Thorn managed to return to Salamandastron, and afterwards thousands of goodbeasts were at his side. Kardag realized now was the time to fight, and prepared to storm Redwall, using it as a base to capture Salamandastron. However, Thornclaw and his army reached the Svilatz Fortress shortly, and a great battle ensued. Thornclaw managed to sneak into the dungeon of the Fortress, but was met by many of the secret beasts that Kardag used, notably two Wearets, a Fisher (a type of large mammal related to the ferret), and a wolverine. All were killed by Thornclaw, as he descended lower and lower into the catacombs of Kardag's domain, until he was finally met by the wildcat in his secret "duel room", as he called it. There, Thornclaw's greatest duel took place, with both combatants being wounded many times. However, Kardag was disarmed, but he clawed on Thorn, knocking him to the ground. He put his footpaw on the stoat's right paw so that he could not grab his sword, but Thornclaw Braveheart drew his dagger in his left paw and stabbed Kardag's footpaw. For the first and last time, Kardag showed his "kitty" side, almost in tears as he hopped on one foot trying to get rid of the pain. However, he tripped over his fallen helmet and landed on his own scimitar, which had been discarded behind him. Thornclaw could have died from his injuries, but with the aid of Martin the Warrior, Thorn survived. His own fate had been fulfilled. Gzora Svilatz was killed in that final battle, and his son Greddel retreated, but fell to the ambushing Guosim, avenging the death of Log-a-Log Mengo, whom Greddel had killed.

Kardag was originally Palpanio Savagelord, who, instead of being a corsair, happened to be a horde ruler right from the start. In his new form, Kardag is truly villainous, wearing a chain-mail shirt, a purple robe, and a Persian-based helmet. He was armed with a long cutlass, a twisted dagger, and his barbed mace.

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