Quillsh Notes: The Rat
Today we’d like to introduce a new series: Quillsh Notes. These are transcripts of lectures that Quillsh has given at various points in his career, educating young adventurers and scholars on the finer points of the various flora, fauna, friends and foes he has documented over the years.
“The rat is a mostly harmless creature that lives below and above our Kingdom grounds. While there are only two confirmed varieties of Rats, there are countless rumored varieties. I won’t bore you with the details of these rumors – for that you can read that dreadful Politica Weekly or some such garbage. Some of these stories I will share with you, just for their humor value alone. There’s one of a “red rat” – hah! I’ve heard a lot of crazy things in my life, but that one surely takes the cake! There are also even some crazies who think there are “blue rats”. Now I ask you, does that even sound remotely feasible?
Anyhow, that’s just a bit of humor to start things off. The truth is, there are only two known types of rats. Above ground, we mostly have the brown, bushy and well-intentioned rats, often affectionately called “Kissie Rats“. Their scientific name is – and you should be writing this down – Rattus Kissiforus. Early researchers found that while the rats are highly affectionate and prone to giving “kisses”, they are still difficult to study due to their high levels of shyness. We’ve tested this in the lab, and the part of the brain associated with being super shy has a ton of activity just after delivering the kiss.
We are currently unsure as to why these rats seem to want to kiss humans who enter the lair, but Rat Psychologist Tamand Bluttoed says – and please turn to page 17 of your text-books and follow along, here. Timmn – you don’t… Oh, that’s right. If some of you did not receive a text-book, then just follow along with the person next to you.
“All of our research has led us to hypothesize that the rats just really love us a lot. We’ve got several pieces of evidence pointing us to this conclusion. Obviously, the running at us and kissing us, with a little heart floating out, that’s a huge sign right there. But also we can’t help but notice the way they seem to light up whenever we walk into the room.”
Now, if you’re ever to venture a bit deeper underground, you might have heard of the other kind of Rat, which are usually simply referred to as “rat“, although their scientific name is – and again, you should be writing this down – Rattus Cominatus.
You’ll know these rats from the Kissie variety by their terrifying red eyes, their more slender and matty white coats, and their disgusting red tails. I suppose that Kissie Rats also have red tails, but somehow they make it look good.
These rats are very dangerous. Their bite is strong enough to even make a nasty chunk in one’s Magic Barrier, so you can imagine what it would do to your fingers! We’ve only had a few sightings of these creatures above ground, but if you do ever see one, make sure to report it to one of the faculty at once!
A quick primer in rat history: it is said that originally all rats were the lovable, furry brown rats until the War of 683. We don’t know exactly what happened with Lord Vargas and how exactly he was able to train a Troggle Army – but some suspect that he may have initially tried it on rats. For whatever reason – some say, because rats weren’t able to hold the powerful Mesmerite Spears – he abandoned the project, but not before creating a super-aggressive variety of rat, which soon took over the underworld. Now, white rats outnumber brown rats ten to one underground, and you can’t even step foot down there without either getting bitten or stepping on a sharp Mesmerite crystal shard!
That’s what happens when you have government officials who have private military contracts with the Big Spear industry! Vargas had a conflict of interest being a member of the Royal Guard and also being on the Mesmerco Spears Board! He should have been tried and beheaded like I suggested at the time, then we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now! And not only that, but he set the precedent that the Mesemerite Industrial Complex should have influence at the highest levels of the Monarchy, and so now they’re ALL on the take, so while we’re cutting back on text-books and other materials we need, the Royal Guard is stocking up on another round of wholly unneccessary Mesmerco products!!!
Ahem. I… I’m disappointed that we don’t have enough textbooks. My apologies on behalf of the Academy. Class is dismissed for today.”
~ Prof. Quillsh, Animals and Monsters of the Underworld 1 class, The Royal Academy