|Lifetime||~4545 AR -|
Araithia Shokta, nicknamed "Rat", is a petite guildless girl from Ravnica who is torn between joining the Selesnyan, Gruul, and Rakdos guilds. However, she also has a second personality as the Dimir assassin Atkos Tarr.
Description[edit | edit source]
When introduced, she is sixteen years old. Rat is bronze-skinned and dark-haired, and her irises have a deep violet hue. Her garb is decorated with patches of fur and tusks, with ribbons and bells hanging from her shoulders. Her tunic is cinched with braided vines of leaves and berries. Rat is a thief and a chronic eavesdropper. She is very talkative and prone to rambling in conversations.
Rat has a unique, albeit involuntary, ability to remain unnoticed by most people and easily forgettable by them, unless much focus is intentionally drawn to her by someone who can see her already. She calls this her "Curse of Insignificance". The only people who seem to notice her are her best friend Hekara (before her death and resurrection), her Gruul mother Ari Shokta, her centaur godfather Boruvo, Dimir guildmaster Lazav, and recently Teyo, Kaya and Liliana Vess. This ability became very useful during the War of the Spark, as it gave her a chance at attacking unsuspecting enemies. She is a chronic eavesdropper, also has some slight psychic powers.
History[edit | edit source]
War of the Spark[edit | edit source]
Rat acted as Teyo Verada's guide to the city plane when the young planeswalker first arrived. As it was his first time planeswalking, she told him what she knew of planeswalking and the plane of Ravnica. She had acquired her knowledge of planeswalking by eavesdropping on Vraska and Ral Zarek. Rat played a big role in helping Kaya and Teyo navigate the city, along with recruiting some of the more resisting guilds in the war. She also developed a crush on Teyo.
Rat and Teyo accompanied Kaya on her mission to rally the Orzhov Syndicate against Bolas. They were present when Kaya met with the Syndicate's ruling triumvirate, consisting of the human pontiff Armin Morov, the vampire tithe-master Slavomir Zoltan, and the angel warrior-executioner Maladola. She faced resistance from them, but the Syndicate's chief enforcer – the giant Bilagru – convinced them that Bolas posed an existential threat to all of Ravnica and, by extension, to the Syndicate's economic interests. (Unbeknownst to Teyo, Bilagru had been persuaded to help Kaya by Orzhov representative Tomik Vrona.) Swayed by Bilagru's arguments, the triumvirate agreed to have the Orzhov Syndicate join the fight.
Later, the trapped planeswalkers got together with Ravnican leaders to strategize. At Jace's recommendation, they decided to split up into teams to focus on specific tasks. Kaya, Teyo and Rat were sent to persuade the guilds that still remained neutral (Selesnya, Gruul, Golgari and Rakdos) to join the fight against Bolas. After Rat sought help from her godfather Boruvo, they received an audience from Emmara Tandris, acting guildmaster of the Selesnya Conclave. Emmara initially refused their plea for help. However, her decision was overruled when Trostani awakened and ruled in favor of helping the Gatewatch. The group then went to speak with Borborygmos of the Gruul Clans, and Rat convinced the cyclops (who had a soft spot for her) to support their cause.
They were joined by Ral, who accompanied them to the Undercity. In Vraska's absence, the other leaders of the Golgari Swarm squabbled for control of her throne, but Vraska returned and united them. Despite Ral and Kaya's suspicion of the gorgon, but supported by Rat, Vraska pledged the Golgari to the fight against Bolas. With the help of Ajani and his team of planeswalkers, they were able to evacuate many civilians to the tunnels beneath the city, where they would be safe from the Dreadhorde.
After that, Vraska, Ral, Kaya, Teyo and Araithia journeyed to Rix Maadi to negotiate with Rakdos. The demon lord was initially hostile due to the death of his emissary Hekara, and the blood witch Exava ordered the group to leave. However, the Orzhov representative Tomik showed up with Hekara's corpse, and the Rakdos cultists resurrected Hekara as a blood witch. After defeating Exava in a fight, Hekara used her newfound authority as a blood witch to lead the Rakdos against Bolas.
Forsaken[edit | edit source]
After the War of the Spark, Rat realized that Teyo and Kaya would soon be departing Ravnica. Rat was heart-broken and left their company before saying goodbye, but Kaya sent Teyo to find her and bring her back. Teyo eventually found Rat on the Transguild Promenade where they had first met. Transported by Kaya using her necro-magic abilities, Rat traveled with Kaya and Teyo on their quest to find Liliana Vess. They first traveled to Gobakhan to help Teyo where Rat was invaluable in assisting the young planeswalker to realize his full potential. On Dominaria, Rat helped to find Liliana and defeat an imposter Liliana Vess. At one point, while holding the Spirit-Gem, Rat briefly spoke with Ugin before returning it to the real Liliana. From that point on and with a little focus, Liliana was also able to see Rat. After the djinn named Zahid was defeated, Rat helped convince Kaya to let Liliana live and that she belonged in their close-knit group. Rat later traveled with Kaya and Teyo to Fiora where they met with Liliana. There they began to help their new friend on her path to redemption.
Atkos Tarr[edit | edit source]
Thought to be guildless to all but one, Araithia “Rat” Shokta had secretly been recruited into the Dimir years earlier. Lazav had learned of Rat through his network of spies and quickly exploited an opportunity to collect a child who could only be seen by a small number of people. As time passed, Lazav periodically approached Rat in various forms as he slowly brainwashed the young girl into becoming his “perfect little secret assassin.” Lazav somehow sculpted an entirely new persona for Rat known as Atkos Tarr, though the mode of doing so is unknown. The name is a type of palindrome that served as her trigger word for becoming the Dimir's top assassin as a male vampire. Lazav had Atkos Tarr assassinate Dovin Baan in his secret safe house on Ravnica.
Planes visited[edit | edit source]
Though not a planeswalker, Rat has visited several planes as a companion to Kaya.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Despite being featured as a protagonist in the accompanying novel, Rat did not have a card in War of the Spark. The way the timetable works is that the set work is done mostly before a novel gets written, so if something originates from the book being written, it doesn't show up in the card set.
Story appearances[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Jay Annelli (March 18, 2019). "Storytelling in Magic: the Gathering Panel at ECCC 2019". Archive Trap Mini. Tumblr.
- Greg Weisman (November 2019). "War of the Spark: Forsaken". Del Rey.
- Greg Weisman (May 8, 2019). "War of the Spark — Old Friends and New". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (May 29, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Desperate Operatives". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
- Greg Weisman (May 15, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – The Path to Opulent". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (May 22, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Rallying the Reluctant". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (June 5, 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica – Operation Desperation". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Weisman, Greg. Twitter. "Is Lazav using shapeshifting magic to create Tarr? No." Accessed 29 Nov 19.
- Mark Rosewater (March 20, 2019). "Will the character "Rat" have card in War of the Spark?". Blogatog. Tumblr.