The silver spike was a thick metal nail specially forged and enchanted to serve as the prison for the soul of the Dominator. It was presumably created by The Lady and her Taken. After the Dominator was defeated, the spike was pounded through his still-living, severed head, and his soul was captured within. Although this rendered the Dominator powerless, the spike could be used by others to commit great evil, so it needed to be isolated. To do this, it was then nailed into the trunk of the Sapling, which was the offspring of the godlike Father Tree, in the Barrowland. The small supernatural tree was powerful enough to scare off even Toadkiller Dog.
However, the Sapling was inexperienced, and it was burned by Old Man Fish and his associates, who then stole the spike. They hid it in the city walls of Oar. The spike infected the hand of one of its thieves with a deadly disease, which is transmitted through contact. The evil artifact also caused violent riots throughout Oar. At the cost of many lives, it was ultimately retrieved by Darling and her associates, and finally disposed of by Father Tree "in the abyss between universes".