The City of Lives
Sewer-dwelling scavengers who make remarkable machines from the refuse of the City.
In any city, there exists a class of people who are unable to function in society. Whether from fiscal, physical, or mental problems, they fall into the cracks of the system—homeless, jobless, and generally ignored or avoided. In the City of Lives, the truly desperate and destitute literally go underground, into the labyrinthine sewer system that spiderwebs under the City. These so-called “Grate-Scratchers” live on the refuse that other citizens discard, as well as the vermin that crawl and swim in the sewers.
Over the centuries, Grate-Scratchers have developed distinct physical characteristics and their own full society, dominated by the simple fact that just as society threw them away, they throw away so many other useful things as well. Grate-Scratchers are known for being eminently resourceful, in light of how little they have to work with. They can make the most out of the smallest piece of food and turn random pieces of junk into useful tools and trade goods. Every few weeks, a group of Grate-Scratchers will rise from the sewers, laden with junk and vermin-meat, to join the marketplace.
Grate-Scratchers have pale skin and large eyes from living underground for generations, and their hair and irises are similarly pale, showing in whites and grays. Due to their poor diet, Grate-Scratchers tend to be short and slim near to the point of emaciation.
Culture & Personality
Grate-Scratcher society is based around scavenging. Living in the sewers, all their “natural” resources were someone else’s first. Hence, Grate-Scratchers are resourceful, able to do a tremendous amount with very little; they are individualistic, holding that each man or woman should support themselves; they are possessive, unwilling to part with the little they have.
Relations With Other Bloodlines
* Iversdotters: Always reliable as employers or trading partners, but those clannish bitches will never truly accept us.
* Kipmen: Good friends, as long as you don’t get them upset. They don’t look down on us—and they don’t even mind the way we smell.
* Leovites: The dark is not evil, and the Light’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Stay away from the preaching obsessives when you can.
* Pariahs: Fellow lovers of the dark. If only you could trust them not to stab you the next time the lights go out.
* Prometheans: The only upper-class folk you can sort-of trust. Keep them supplied with junk, and you’ll have a friend for life.
* Rurals: Those bumpkins are spoiled by their rich environments. Let them try growing their delicious vegetables in six inches of slime mold!
* Sky-Carvers: Those supercilious Crafting maniacs spend too much time up where the air’s too thin. They don’t want anything to do with us, and that’s fine with us.
* Crossbloods: The only ones in the City we can look down on. Maybe they’d earn more respect if they didn’t try to hide what they are.
* Outlanders: Ah, tourists. Tell them a rusted bath tap is a valuable antique, they’ll not only believe you—they’ll pay top coin for it.
The Grate-Scratchers make their home in the City’s sewer system.
Many Grate-Scratchers follow The Light, but most find the Church’s hatred of darkness antithetical to their very existence. Instead, Kivian Taoism is very popular, both for its relaxed nature and its veneration of individuality and self-sufficiency. Other religions are dotted around the theological landscape, as the individualistic Grate-Scratchers often hold faith on their own.
* Male: Bolan, Darko, Dragi, Lojan, Mica, Miloban, Miskarade, Ratan, Ravistan, Slanko, Sratko, Stijin, Strevodar, Vladoljan, Vlanad
* Female: Dina, Drila, Jolana, Mivica, Olgana, Rasonka, Sovkana, Svetana, Talena, Tanka, Velana, Zanica, Zlica, Zonavska
* Family: Dirkovic, Djordjenic, Micovic, Milevic, Stadormiric, Stevic, Vlatavanic, Zirkovic, Zodaranic
* Personal names are similar to Earth Serbo-Croatic names. Family names are patronymics with the suffix “ic” or “vic.”
Recommended Archetypes: Artist, Burglar, Philosopher, Street Crafter, Trader
Grate-Scratcher Bloodline Aspects include the following:
* Soiled Blood
# Over the centuries, Grate-Scratcher blood has taken on qualities of the refuse they live in.
# Invoke: The character can spread disease with their blood, as well as resist both disease and poison.
# Compel: The character’s disgusting habits cause them social problems.
* Underground Dwellers
# The Grate-Scratchers live underground in the sewer system, and so are very comfortable in subterranean environments.
# Invoke: The character can make their way in the darkness, scavenge fish and moss to eat, etc.
# Compel: The character is dazzled by sunlight, confused by surface-dwelling society, etc.
* Everything Has Value
# Grate-Scratchers live off the dregs of society, and know how to make the most of the most meager resources.
# Invoke: The character gains a bonus to scavenging, performing a task with insufficient materials, or trading.
# Compel: The character is unwilling to give up anything.
* Dark Is Not Evil
# Unlike the followers of the Light (and thus the majority of the City), Grate-Scratchers believe that darkness is capable of strong positive morality.
# Invoke: The character can find the goodness within the most despicable of villains.
# Compel: The character is mistrusted by most of the City populace.
Choose one stunt from the following as a free stunt (costs no Refresh). In addition to their free stunt, Grate-Scratchers may also select the following stunts for their usual Refresh cost:
* Scavenger (Specialization: +2 to Resources when purchasing, when able to scavenge materials or goods)
* Urban Forest (Specialization: +2 to Survival in urban settings)
* Born Improviser (Specialization: Ignore up to -2 in penalties for improper tools for one skill of choice [Artificing or Burglary being advised])
* Mechanical Genius (Specialization: +2 to Artificing when dealing with a favored mechanical discipline)
* Craft Training (Basic Mindsharing, Basic Relicshifting, or Basic Blightshifting)