An Interview with Spike the War Rat

Spike had occasion to visit Wehnimer's to meet at Helden Hall with the illustrious Lord Hyoko. Here is his transcript:

I must admit, I faced this interview with some trepidation. How does one interview a war rat? What if I offended him? Three hundred pounds and ten feet of angry war rat is nothing to sneeze at. I wanted to live to do more interviews.

My fears were unfounded. Spike turned out to be a very pleasant individual. A very old rat, Spike is covered with soft, white fur except for his paws, which are coal black and sport razor-sharp claws. A long muscular tail completes his formidable physical armament. The bodily weaponry was counterbalanced by Spike's grey eyes, sparkling with intelligence that seemed to reflect great knowledge. What eventually laid all my fears to rest, though, was his wearing of a curled pink streamer, simple pink scarf, and sprig of Imaera's Lace.

And he giggled madly throughout the interview.

Joining me at the interview was Lady Seckara, a talented, intelligent cleric who is also known as the 'Defender of Rats.' Lady Seckara was invaluable in helping me develop the questions I posed to Spike.

The interview took place at a table in Helden Hall, with a rather-annoyed Lord Shallowgrave Ratcatcher outside the gate, conducting a one-spellcaster demonstration over the presence of Spike in the Hall.

Hyoko: How do war rats like yourself differ from our indigenous giant rats?

Spike: Well, to be honest, many folk talk of other war rats. One thing that I have never cleared up is just exactly how many there are like me. Long time ago in Breganda, I met Devestior. I was but a smaller rat, and spoke in my own language. Devestior took me in as, well, I'm not sure just what, and used magics on me of the likes I have never seen. There are not as many of us in Breganda as you would find of my other relatives here, but I am the only one that can do what I can do and the only one that has ever visited your towns.

Hyoko: Where did you come from and what is it like there? Do you have family?

Spike: Breganda is my homeland, a land which has been under constant war. It similar to the places you have here, but not much is left of our precious towns. Many barons fight to rule the lands there so most commonly you find only destruction. The people though, they are like yourselves. They have hearts of gold and magics of which most have not even seen.

Family? I'd like to think I do. I left those I knew long ago, and was not familiar with them. That is the last I have seen of them. When I do return to Breganda on occasion, I never find them, and others like myself shun me for what I am.

Hyoko: Are you therefore different from your family? There are no others just like you? How did this happen?

Spike: I am very different from those I left behind, yes, and to my knowledge, there are no more like me, but only Devestior could truly answer that question correctly, for he taught me what I do know today. In Breganda, magics are not like you know them here. It's a land of war, and those that use every bit of magic they can are the ones that survive. Devestior, from what I understand, used these magics on me. I can't really explain just what they were, but it opened my eyes, gave me a sense of wisdom. Soon I started to understand what he was saying. My body grew of enormous size, for all other war rats are about half my size. Devestior created this collar for me, and with it came the ability to understand and ration thoughts. I wish I knew more of how he did it, but, it's something I don't think I'll understand for a long time. Without the collar I still retain my abilities for awhile before I lose them.

(At this point Spike showed me a spiked collar with a tag that reads "Spike".)

Hyoko: Why did you originally come to Wehnimer's Landing?

Spike: It wasn't my intention, to be honest. I left Breganda when I could understand what was going on. I was able to sneak onto a boat, which came through a town north of here, a cold place. Icemule. Perhaps you know if it? I did not want to stay there. So I came here, a second time, for in my travels Devestior brought me here as Wehnimer's was being founded. This was only for a short time though. I think that sums that up in a nutshell. Have to think about the past, which was long ago.

Hyoko: You then became quite the hero here. Why did you fight?

Spike: One word. Survival. It's my nature to fight.

Hyoko: It has been rumored, stated, asserted that you died awhile back, and I saw the 'grave' south of Wehnimer's Landing. If you died, how did it occur, and what brought you back to life?

Spike: I never had a grave, set that straight. To give you a brief history, there are those that wish to see Devestior long gone. Wizards of power from Breganda who seek something he has. For a note, you will need to get with him on that info, something about some keys is all I know. Anyway, they thought they could get to him once they found out of me and what I was.

(Spike growled ferociously. You don't want to know what that is like.)

It was some plot to fake my death, so that Devestior would return to Breganda, to a place where I was raised. There, they had a trap set for him. Me.

In the wrath and fury of battle, I was able to break free from my bonds and cast a fire fury spell to engulf the area in flames, hoping to take the wizards with me. It didn't work, and it almost took me with it. I snuck away and rested for what seems like ages. My collar lost, I could not go on very long. The grave was erected at the beginning of this, and once Devestior saw it was not true, he had it pulled down. He found my collar and searched for me, almost throwing away his life to bring me back from where I lay in rest."

Hyoko: I remember seeing a ghostly war rat. Was that just Devestior's magic being used on you?

Spike: I did once fall to the ground in a ghostly form. My possessions scattered among the area. A Voln symbol, from what I hear, got me when I was not ready. It took my form, leaving my soul to walk the area. Thalior was there, and in the aftermath, and he saw what happened.

He had a way to call upon the greater beings, the gods of your lands. A large ball of fire filled the area! It rumbled, and flowed over the area, blinding all that looked at it. Scary! Thalior spoke, and it responded! Next thing I know, I lay helpless on the ground, drained of all energy, but alive. Someone told me once what that was. A goddess, name I do not know, granted me a favor. From what I hear, it was a real RARE favor to be granted of my kind.

Hyoko: Please tell me a bit about Devestior, if you would. He seems to be linked with much of what you do.

Spike: I don't like to talk to much about him, for I always seem to mess the story up somewhere in pieces, and he always gets mad at me.

Here is what I will tell you though. Devestior is a man, if you want to call him of that form, of which most have not seen. Fire lives in his eyes. His rage for war is, well, not like the likes I have ever known. I have seen many a baron run from him. He is among one of the better spell wielders in Breganda, surpassed only by Glatoph. He is a sinister, yet gentle being though. He made his way into these lands long before I knew even of myself. Stories of grandeur he has told me, of times when wyverns even roamed this area. Once he came to know the likes of me, though, his doings have been hard to tell. These keys possess him. He is but hard to understand in the days that go by.

Hyoko: Why do you remain in the Landing?

Spike: I am only really here about 5% of my time. The rest of it is spent in Breganda. Much is needed there of me. But, I do love the people here, the food, and I love the rum.

Try living in a place where implosions go on all around you, most of the day. The safest areas of Breganda are hidden in darkness.

Hyoko: There are those in the Landing that would eliminate all rats if they could. In what way does this affect your life here?

Spike: None.

Hyoko: Final question. You are the only war rat we have ever seen. If you stay here, would you consider marrying outside your species? And here we are not specifically thinking of a certain brown-haired, green-eyed cleric.

(At this point I glanced at Lady Seckara who gasped, stared at me, turned beet red and proceeded to duck under the table, much to Spike's and my amusement. After a bit of cajoling, Lady Seckara did emerge from under the table, her face still a brilliant red and her nose a bit dusty.)

Spike: I will never marry. I have been asked, to MY amazement, to do so. I am not like everyone else. I don't think someone of your natures will marry someone who licks their fur.

Hyoko: I thank thee for thy time.

Hyoko: It has been our honor to be granted an interview with you, Spike.

(Afterward, Lady Seckara presented Spike with a golden heart pin and a striped black toy rat, presents from the Defenders O' Rats.

We led Spike out to the Helden Hall gate, where he displayed the power in his tail by hitting Lord Shallowgrave directly in the chest, tossing him up in the air in the process and stunning Lord Shallowgrave for a considerable period of time.

And giggled madly.)

[Editor note: Shallowgrave was a proclaimed Rat Exterminator :)