Ratcatchers' Guild

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A guild of serious men with grubby coats, hats with candle stubs on, and sacks in which things are struggling. Highest honor to guild members: the Golden Mallet. The Guild charges a high rate for pest termination, and Guild enforcers try to make sure that only Guild members are allowed to work on ratcatching. Wee Mad Arthur, a gnome and an independent ratcatcher, often has to fight with the enforcers (see Feet of Clay).

The Inner Circle of the Guild passes on secret lore, such as the possibility that rats have their own parliament. (Rats do indded have a parliament, albeit one locally shared with humans. This is established at the climax of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents where Rats and Humans agree to democratic co-rule in the aptly named Rathaus). It is also whispered that there is such an entity as the Death of Rats who may manifest Himself to His earthly helpers (ie, very good rat-catchers) in thanks for their labours on His behalf. The requirement for getting into the Inner Circle of the Guild is to make a Rat King, which is to say, take several live rats and tie their tails into a knot. This latter proposition is almost entirely correct and almost entirely misleading, for as Mr Pounder discovers, the Death of Rats does indeed manifest to ratcatchers in certain precisely defined circumstances: ie, to collect their souls when they are dead, and to usher them through the revolving door that says REINCARNATE AS RAT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

The nearest thing to a Guild House would appear to be the Long Bones pub on Marrowbone High Street, close to Ewer Place. Quite possibly members might feel the urge to attempt a Rat King after eight pints of bravado.

Notable member(s):