Most of those living in Stoneguard have no idea that there are sentient beings living in the caverns below the city. Sewers in the modern world are unheard of. Many consider it some form of magic that all of their waste can go down a hole never to be seen again. Indeed, the water flow of the city is indeed aided by magic, but the rest is due to the existence of these underground pathways. Before the restoration of the city, the Sewerfolk have inhabited these cavernous depths. Since the growth of the city, their numbers have swelled and they have benefited greatly from the leavings of society. They have helped to keep the rubbish from piling up, so their existence is of mutual benefit to both species. The symbiosis is also formalized through an agreement with Queen Xanri.
History (to be written)
Sometime after the fall of the ancient city of Achuu, the crumbling sewers became infested with natural wererats. Over time, they formed a society below the city, accepting the need to go above and hunt for food and supplies. Eventually, this was accepted as the norm and not thought of by them. They began calling themselves the Sewerfolk.
When Xanri and her companions arrived and began carefully exploring the crumbling ruins, they eventually had encounters with these Sewerfolk. Initial encounters resulted in conflict between the two groups, the Sewerfolk feeling their territory had been invaded, rightfully so. Eventually Xanri and the Sewerfolk came to a mutually beneficial agreement that has helped both species to prosper.
Today the Sewerfolk are heavily involved in the affairs of the city, mostly aiding the spy network that they helped establish. Few of them have ever bothered moving up in ranks, preferring to stay involved in a tertiary manner and keeping themselves at arm’s length regardless of current alliances.
Sewerfolk organize themselves into families. Originally, only one family existed in the sewers, but with the restoration of the city and the expansion of the formerly collapsed tunnels they have broken into four families. Three of these families never leave the sewers at all, while the fourth has a few of their number in the northeast corner of the city among it’s poor. These families identify themselves by scent markers rather than clannish titles, but outsiders will notice aspects among each group that set them apart. Those in the southwest corner of the sewers are the most feral and tend to go completely unclothed when in human form. They are suspicious and often have a nervous movement about them. The group in the northwest corner of the sewers are less xenophobic, but are often dressed in tatters and bits of hide. If they find better clothing, they generally trade them with another group for things they consider more important. Those in the southeast corner are actually the most civilized by above-worlder standards. They favor shiny things, fine clothing and the like. They often trade with the sewerfolk to their north to obtain trinkets from the world above. This is not a show that they wish to join the society of men, just that they enjoy the trappings and social structures. Lastly is the family in the northeast corner blend well into the poor of the city. One descending into the sewers in this area would simply believe that those without a lot of money had decided to make a home below the city to avoid rent. This group keeps contact with the Queen and secretly works with the city in various ways.
Living in the sewers, they carry a strong variety of filth fever. Immune to it themselves, many don’t even realize that their bite carries the disease. Cleaning wounds can lower the chance of contracting the disease, but if caught, there are limited options. A clerical healer can often cleanse the wound entirely. In the absence of a cleric, one can also try to tend to the wound and bleed the infection. This tends to leave scarring even if successful, but is somewhat effective. Lastly, there are herbal curatives that can be found which will improve the likelihood of recovery.
There is also the effect of their bite that has a chance to transform a humanoid into an unnatural version of were-rat. This is a slow process that largely follows the books. However, there are signs for those who recognize them prior to the first change. Clerical healing can restore the victim if done quickly enough, but also if untreated too long, the disease becomes permanently entrenched in the victim’s system. After those first three days, the curative method becomes far more difficult and is not guaranteed to be successful.
Modifiers: +2 Wis, –2 Cha in all forms; +2 Str, +2 Con in hybrid and animal forms.
AC: In hybrid or animal form the natural armor bonus of the base animal increased by +2.
Defensive Abilities: A natural Sewerfolk gains DR 10/silver in animal or hybrid form. An afflicted Sewerfolk gains DR 5/silver in animal or hybrid form.
Special Attacks: Sewerfolk retain all the special attacks, qualities, and abilities. In hybrid or animal form they gain the special attacks, qualities, and abilities of the base animal. They also gains low-light vision, scent, and the following:
Change Shape (Su) Sewerfolk have three forms—a humanoid form, an animal form, and a hybrid form. Equipment does not meld with the new form between humanoid and hybrid form, but does between those forms and animal form. They can shift to any of its three alternate forms as a move-equivalent action. An afflicted Sewerfolk can assume animal or hybrid form as a full-round action by making a DC 15 Constitution check, or humanoid form as a full-round action by making a DC 20 Constitution check. On nights when the full moon is visible, an afflicted Sewerfolk gains a +5 morale bonus to Constitution checks made to assume animal or hybrid form, but a –5 penalty to Constitution checks made to assume humanoid form. An afflicted Sewerfolk reverts to its humanoid form automatically with the next sunrise, or after 8 hours of rest, whichever comes first. If killed, all Sewerfolk revert to its humanoid form, although they remain dead.
Curse of Lycanthropy (Su) Born Sewerfolk using a bite attack in animal or hybrid form infects a humanoid target with lycanthropy (Fortitude DC 15 negates). If the victim’s size is not within one size category of the Sewerfolk, this ability has no effect.
Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex) In any form, natural Sewerfolk can communicate and empathize with animals related to their animal form. They can use Diplomacy to alter such an animal’s attitude, and when so doing gain a +4 racial bonus on the check. Afflicted Sewerfolk only gain this ability in animal or hybrid form.
Senses: They have enhanced senses but are not fully in control of their emotions and animalistic urges. In addition to these adjustments to the base stats, a Sewerfolk’s ability scores change when he assumes hybrid or animal form. In human form, the ability scores are unchanged. In animal and hybrid form, their ability scores are the same as the base creature’s or the base animal’s, whichever ability score is higher.
Disease (Ex) Filth fever: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 16; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Language: Common Achecian and <animal>