The City of Lives
Their ancestors were thrown out of somewhere long forgotten, and they have never been trusted—or trusting—since.
Many generations ago, a group of tearful immigrants marched into the City from an unknown Realm, forcefully expelled from wherever they hailed. They brought with them a dark cloud, their despair taken physical form. Establishing a small settlement in what would later be known as the Clouded Ghetto, these pariahs kept out of the public eye for decades, dealing as little as possible with the City as a whole. Finally, they began hesitant trade, and slowly left the Ghetto, spreading across the city.
Most Pariahs still live in the Ghetto, but they are well-known across the City. They are untrusting by nature, only willing to believe in the goodwill of their own people. However, because of their paranoia, they tend to know everything about everybody—nearly every Pariah runs a second business as an information merchant. They never speak of their “Great Sadness,” the original reason that they came to the City, telling others they could never understand it.
Pariahs are dark of skin, hair, and eye, almost disappearing into the shadows. They tend to slim or medium build, and are quite short. Pariahs’ cheeks are permanently stained with tears—the precise arrangement of which is unique to each individual. These tears glow with a black light when they are upset or Crafting. Pariah blood causes a profound soporific effect, as their despair overwhelms the victim.
Culture & Personality
The Pariahs’ culture is based around information. They believe that knowing everything about everyone is the only way to avoid a repeat of their “Great Sadness,” and so discovering new secrets is highly prized in their society. Secrets are not to be revealed to outsiders (unless paid for with more secrets or cold hard cash), but there are no secrets within the Pariah community.
Pariahs tend to be dour, cynical people, given to pronouncements of gloom and doom.
Relations With Other Bloodlines
* Grate-Scratchers: They hold the City’s trash, and hence its secrets. Make friends, but don’t trust them with anything you value.
* Iversdotters: Far too rough and tumble, and way, way too honest. Avoid if at all possible.
* Kipmen: Pliable and easily manipulated. Rile them up and point them at your enemies.
* Leovites: Don’t trust those religious fanatics. They’ll shine a Light into all the secrets you hold dear.
* Prometheans: Nobody could really be that kind, smart, and self-possessed, and not look down on us. Avoid or expose their lies.
* Rurals: Naive, but not terribly useful. Leave them to their cornfields.
* Sky-Carvers: Arrogant bastards who’ve never suffered in their lives. Maybe they should.
* Crossbloods: Good scapegoats. People will believe anything about them. Make sure you know what’s true and what isn’t.
* Outlanders: Find out everything you can before you even meet them. Their motives could be anything.
The central locale for pariahs is within the Clouded Ghetto, a walled-off area within the Corhurst district. However, they have moved out into the City proper—living in other parts of Corhurst, and in Sylvennis as servants to the noble Houses.
Pariahs find themselves in the unique position in the City of being complete heretics and atheists, believing in nothing but the world outside their window. They long ago decided that gods were no more trustworthy than men, and that they should be avoided at all costs. However, they still follow a code of ethics known as the Code of Business. The Code is founded upon the following three precepts:
* Learn all you can, but only share it with your family.
* Family first, profit second, all else a distant third.
* Enter into a contract cautiously, for no contract should ever be broken.
* Male: Asztur, Benedykt, Czenacy, Jawel, Kored, Kryzek, Marcek, Wieslaw, Zorek
* Female: Borszena, Edwa, Elzbina, Eustyna, Ewacy, Lekuta, Magdykt, Minieta
* Family Names: Boslaw-per, Dorot-per, Minieta-per, Rystyna-per
* Names are similar to Earth Polish names. Family names are matronymics with the suffix -per.
Recommended Archetypes: Burglar, Courtier (information merchant), Court Crafter, Mountebank, Street Crafter, Trader
Pariah Bloodline Aspects include the following:
* Blood of Despair
# The Pariahs’ Great Sadness has left a stain of despair in their blood, which sometimes overwhelms them—or can overwhelm others.
# Invoke: The character can induce despair in others, inspire pity, or use their blood as a soporific.
# Compel: The character is overcome with sadness and finds it difficult to do anything.
* Trust No One Outside the Ghetto
# The Pariah culture is very insular, making it a point of pride to trust each other and nobody else.
# Invoke: The character gains a bonus to lying, stealth, or another action relating to outsiders; alternately, they know a useful Pariah from the Ghetto.
# Compel: The character cannot trust outsiders, lying to them or unwilling to rely on them in combat.
* Know Everything, Tell Nothing
# Pariahs keep secrets like nobody else—and make it their business to know everything possible.
# Invoke: The character knows a useful piece of information, or at least where to get it.
# Compel: The character keeps information to themselves, even if they should share it.
* A Necessary Evil
# Nobody trusts the Pariahs, but neither are they willing to run their business without the Pariahs’ help.
# Invoke: The character can find someone who owes them a favor, and knows everyone.
# Compel: The character is shunned by those who don’t want to get in bed with the Pariahs.
Choose one stunt from the following as a free stunt (costs no Refresh). In addition to their free stunt, Pariahs may also select the following stunts for their usual Refresh cost:
* Out For Myself (Concentration: +1 to Deceit when acting in one’s own interests)
* Despaircrafting (Specialization: +2 to Empathy when using Soulsharing to manipulate negative emotions, or when getting a read on negative emotional Aspects)
* Craft Training (Basic Shadowshaping, Basic Soulsharing or Basic Realmshifting)
* Criminal Underground (Specialization: +2 to Contacting when dealing with the unethical)
* Thrifty (Stress Track: Add 1 box to your Wealth stress track)