are very intelligent beasts, who are not only capable of running away with your
food and creating awful chaos in your kitchen, but also can avoid strategically
placed mouse-traps and fool any cute furry kitten, except, maybe, their
After a long time spent in the big human cities, Ximax Rats learned to conceal their true nature, knowing that people's interest in smart rats is for some strange reason bigger that in ordinary rats. Therefore, they are now hardly distinguished from their less gifted relatives, only their fur is generally cleaner.
Image description. A Ximax Rat "studying" a book on magic, in this case the complex patterns of a Xeuágram. Picture drawn by Quellion.
Appearance. Ximax Rats look very similar to the common rats. They are a bit smaller, usually about two palmspans including the tail, have same variety of fur colors (from dark-brown to white), same black eyes and pink tail. There’s one thing special about them however: Ximax Rats have a very high number of albinos among their population. This could mean that they all are descendants of one pack that originated long ago in the City of Magic, but noone knows for sure.
Though the behavior of Ximax Rats often isn’t in any way rational, their
intelligence is very high. A researcher, Yerun the Ereshian, even affirms that
it surpasses that of most animals known and is probably only rivaled by the
intelligence of the Ximax Cats. "As smart as a Ximax
Rat", - people who had to drive them away from the house often use to say.
Those Ximax Rats, who live together with folk, usually know the human language. They are not able to speak properly, only to squeak as any ordinary rat, but they are supposed to actually can understand every word a human says. This helps them much in not getting into trouble.
Territory. Ximax Rats are usually found in the cities. They live in the dark corners on the streets, in cellars, kitchens, underground catacombs and on the rooftops. Long ago the only place where they dwelt was Ximax, but after the first Ximax Cats came out of the walls of the Magical Academy the situation changed.
It is known that Ximax Cats live only in the City of Magic. No matter, where the cat is born, one day it will travel to the Academy there. Maybe they need to live in a place where the magic flows in the air, or maybe they just want a powerful mage to pet them before they go to sleep, who knows?
For the Ximax Rats this is not the same. The only thing that was important to them is that they had to share the streets with a bunch of highly-dangerous magical predators, for whom rats were a delicious meal. The situation has not improved with the time, on contrary, it has only gotten worse. Every week a new purple-eyed kitten appeared in the city. And then the rats decided to go away, journey to a land where the cats were just cats and no ingenious killing machines.
And so it is nowadays: Ximax Cats continue coming to Ximax, and Ximax Rats, even if they are born there, try to leave Ximax by any means.
Habitat/Behaviour. Ximax Rats usually live in small packs, no larger than six rats. In every pack there is a leader, who is big and strong, but not necessarily very bright. He tells the pack what to do. Often the leader has got a mating partner, who tells him what to do and what to tell the pack. That is probably a human tradition which Ximax Rats have adopted. The rest of the pack may vary in age and gender, but usually consist of two or three male rats and four or five females.
Unlike the ordinary rats, Ximax Rats aren’t always on the search for food. They value their free time and spend many hours playing with each other or exploring their surroundings. Once or twice a day the pack gathers together and makes a quick food-gathering raid on the closest house. Working together, they achieve their aim (that means a tasty meal) without any difficulties. "Better Ximax Cats than Ximax Rats!" - say the innkeepers in the City of Magic who have a lot of their supplies looted by them.
Diet. As any common rat, Ximax Rats could eat almost everything. However, there’s no need for them to do so, because they never really suffer from hunger. Ximax Rats generally prefer eating vegetables, fruits or grain (or cookies, pies, bread with honey) and dislike meat.
Mating. The mating rituals are extremely strange and highly uncommon among rodents. When a male rat reaches the age of about a year, he starts to look for a cute female. She then demands the male to prove his care and responsibility for her by sitting with her on the moonlit roofs and bringing her flower-like looking plants. Most likely another adopted human tradition.
After these two rats have become a couple, it usually takes five to six weeks before the offspring are born. The parents then watch for the youngsters and teach them the basics of the ratty life until the children reach the adult age. Mostly they stay together after that, but some couples do split up to search for their luck separately.
Myth/Lore. It is told that once in the early days of Ximax a powerful mage abandoned his studies in the Academy, failing to find the truth and the wisdom he sought. In despair he changed for seeking power and wealth instead, trying to enjoy the life to its fullest extent. But soon a day came when no books could still his thirst for more, and then he decided to risk his life by practicing the dark arts - and so he prepared to summon a high demon from the Netherworlds. In his high tower in the Magical Academy he drew many symbols on the floor to prevent the demon from escaping or hurting him. After all the symbols were in their places the mage began with the ritual and in a cloud of smoke a demon stood before him.
"Behold, you servant of chaos!" – he said: "You are caught here by these signs and I shall not release you before you vow to serve me!"
The demon growled and didn’t answer to the mage. For a long time both stood in silence until the mage felt tired and went to sleep. The demon waited and waited and finally he saw a pack of rats in the corner of the room. In the rat tongue he called them and asked to erase the symbols (because he could not). The rats obeyed and the demon was free.
Luckily for him, the mage woke up already, saw that and had a chance to flee. Noone knows what happened to him. And the rats were rewarded for their service: the demon bestowed them with a clever mind to hide from the cats and steal from the people.
Researchers. The only researcher who provided the world with detailed information about the Ximax Rats was Yerun the Ereshian, who is told to have befriended a pack of them in his youth.
Information provided by Randorn