Salem Rews is a merchant in the Guild of Mercers, who find himself on the wrong side of the King's Inquisition. Condemned to penal servitude in Angland, he suffers horrible burns in a forge accident, and takes the name of Pike. He appears in the trilogy and again in the standalone Red Country.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Salem Rews begins the series as a great big fat man with a double chin, who is soft and folds easily under torture. During his time in Angland, he loses a lot of weight, becoming lean and sinewy. He is disfigured by hideous burns on one side of his face with a mass of livid, slightly melted-looking scars, and no eyebrow; even Glokta finds it disturbing. He's also far, far harder.
Salem Rews was once a member of the King's Own, and served as a quartermaster during the First Gurkish War, in Colonel Glokta's regiment with Collem West. He's remembered as a great teller of funny stories.
After the war, he left the army, and became quite a successful merchant in the Guild of Mercers, with a young and beautiful wife.
The Blade ItselfEdit
Rews is arrested by the Inquisition for evading the King’s taxes. Inquisitor Glokta and Practical Frost torture him until he confesses and names ten accomplices. However, when Glokta tries to arrest the accomplices, it only leads to a slew of dead bodies; the Mercers are ruthlessly cleaning house. An operation is concocted to use Salem Rews to trap the assassin. The assassin named Carpi leads Glokta to a high ranking Mercer called Hornlach, and finally the high treason of the Guild is laid bare.
Afterwards, Rews is shipped off to Angland where the Inquisition runs a number of prisons / penal labour camps.
Before They Are Hanged Edit
In his first week in Angland, there was an accident in a forge, and Salem Rews suffered horrible burns. Now calling himself Pike, he also befriended a young fellow prisoner called Cathil. He pretended to be her father to help protect her from the lascivious attention of the guards and other prisoners.
One day, Colonel West arrives at the prison, to demand that any prisoners with blacksmith skills, be put into his care to resolve a dire lack of smiths in the Union Army camp nearby, engaged in the First Northern War. The first to volunteer is Pike, who identifies other capable smiths. He also asks that his "daughter" Cathil be taken as well. Despite some reluctance, West agrees, because she reminds the him of his sister and the guilt he carries with him.
When Prince Ladisla's division do battle with the Bethod's forces, it quickly descends into a rout. As chaos ensues in the thick mist, West, Pike and Cathil find the Prince and escape into the trees, only to be found by Dogman. Pike joins Threetrees crew, who follow Bethod’s forces to the north, desperately pushing the pace to stay ahead of the fast moving army. Eventually, the crew make it safely to the main Union Army near Dunbrec. There Colonel West introduces him as “Sergeant Pike”, claiming him as a member of the Stariksa levies. Grateful, Pike swears himself to West.
During the battle near Dunbrec, Pike is in the command post, when Lord Marshal Burr falls ill. West insists on hiding the truth, fearing that General Kroy and Poulder will tear the army apart competing for command, if they knows Burr is incapacitated. Pike is placed outside his tent, where he glares menacingly at anyone who comes near.
Last Argument of Kings Edit
Pike remains Collem West's most trusted aid even as West is promoted to Lord Marshal, after Burr's death, thanks to his friendship with new King Jezal. Pike is one of the men who hold a shield for Logen Ninefingers during the duel with Fenris the Feared. Pike accompanies the Union Army back to Midderland in order to lift the Gurkish siege of Adua. He is at his side throughout the Battle of Adua.
After the Union "victory", Lord Marshall West begins to fall victim to the wasting desease that is sweeping the city. West does pay a visit to his old friend Arch Lector Glokta. After the meeting, Pike remains behind. The scarred man springs at Glokta, and holds a knife at his throat. Recognition slowly washes through Glokta that this is Salem Rews, and he begins to snigger. As Rews hesitates, Glokta gently coaxes him to release him, promising a far more suitable revenge. Glokta leads him down to the prison cells below the House of Questions. Inside a grubby white box they find Arch Lector Sult. As Practical Pike show the prisoner the instruments, and Glokta gets to work.
Red Country Edit
In the thirteen or so years between the book, Pike has risen to Superior of Starikland, and the most powerful man in the region. Superior Pike employs Nicomo Cosca and the Company of the Gracious Hand to track down the rebel leader known as Conthus. Conthus recent led the rebellion in Starikland, and has fled to the Near Country. Pike insists on no entanglements with the Old Empire; the Union not wanting any more wars at the moment. He also provides a gift of new cannons, that he’d like Cosca to test. Inquisitor Lorsen will accompany Cosca on the journey.