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The Big City (AC 1010)

by Ricardo Matheus

Location: Under Thyatis City, Thyatis, Known World

Population: 11150 (10000 wererats, 1000 greater wererats, 150 humans) plus thousands of giant rats.

Languages: Thyatian

Coinage: Thyatian coins are used but barter is predominant.

Government Type: Self styled king ruling by force in coalition with the clerics of Mrikitat.

Industries: None, they survive by stealing and salvaging.

Description: The Big City is vast network of miles of ancient sewer systems and caves, both natural and artificial, below Thyatis City. The wererats settled themselves in the most deep regions of the sewers coming up regularly to get food and valuables, which they trade amongst themselves. A few of them have established human identities on the surface (almost always thieves).
    The whole system is ruled by the "Big One" in a manner similar to the working of a thieves guild. This self styled leader rules by force with the support of his gang. The current leader has a solid position (as solid as a thieves-guildmaster can be, of course) due to his support to the clerics of Mrikitat, which have a great influence in the sewers.
    There are almost no laws, the Big One demands part of everything stolen but can't really enforce that everywhere. The only sacred rule, understood and respected by all, is that no uninfected human shall ever leave the Big City. Should this rule be broken the entire city would be at risk and all wererats know that.

Notable Sites:
   The All-Plenty Tunnels - This area is as luxurious as an sewer can get. It is located right below the Emperor's Hill and receives the refusal from the lavish parties thrown at the palace and  at the states at hightop and silverlight districts. This area is controlled by the family and closest fellows of the Big One. Right in the middle of this area is located the "All-Plenty Room" that is the house of the big one. The place is a huge confluence of sewers, that has been decorated with dirty pieces of silk, stolen furniture and tapestries in a wicked parody of a throne room. Also in this area is the quarters of the militia of the sewers (in fact a band of bullies that enforce the power of the Big One), a small protected cave were are kept almost all the weapons that can be collected from the surface. Some 500 wererats, known as Marauders of the Deep (the militia), live in the tunnels around the cave.
    Big Boss Rat Temple - Big Boss Rat is another name for Mrikitat. This big natural cave lies in one of the deepest regions of the big city. The entrance to it has a big crude tapestry showing an orange wedge of cheese. Right in the middle of the cave is a 9' tall statue of Mrikitat siting on a throne covered of rats. The priests live in small holes all around the cave and protect this cave at all times. Right in front of the statue there is a small pool of foul water where rituals of baptism are taken. The baptism is a ritual where a non-infected human or giant rat (most of the times the sons of greater/greater wererats or giant rat/ wererat ) is ritually infected by the priest. Other rituals are made using the laps of the statue of Mrikitat as an altar (like the weekly offering of specially made cheese). The cave is very active in the first night of full moon, when the priests chant and receive the first transforming cubs that will be future priests.
    Bareskins' Den - Humans hard enough to survive in the sewers without being infested are eventually herded to this place. This small set of tunnels hold a small group of humans surviving under the rule of the wererats. They are utterly forbidden to leave their deep tunnels and survive only of what they can get there. As most of these man are runaway slaves they don't show much desire to go out anyway.
    Luker's Pits - One of the most dreaded places of the big city these flooded caves lie in the deeps closest to the Mesonian river. Legends of a terrible monster living there haunt the minds of many wererats. The waters there are somewhat abundant in fish so some brave (or very hungry) wererats keep going there. There are not few wererats who know of some friend that disappeared there.
    Galius' House of Smell - The Galius family (all composed of lesser wererats)  established a small business in the surface using their human identities and a small cheese factory in the Big City. The factory lies exactly below their antique shop, in the Merchant's Row, and has a exclusive tunnel to the surface. The cheese factory is widely known at the Big City and the most fortunate wererats come to it to exchange valuables for their loved cheese. The Galius then sell these items in the surface and use the money to buy milk. The family is quite powerful because the Big One loves cheese and they produce the special cheese used only for the offerings to Mrikitat.

History: The city was established around 451 AC by Mrikitat, The Big Boss Rat, the first of the wererats, and ruled by him till 491 AC when he attained immortality. Since then the city has seen big periods of anarchy controlled somewhat by the clerics of Mrikitat, with the occasional rise of one strong or smart leader. Recently ( AC 996) a greater wererat named Arius Ninus, who demands to be called the Big One, rose to power throwing his ancestor in the Lurker's Pit.

Important Figures:
   The Big One- Arius Ninus a small orphan boy in the streets of Thyatis went into the sewers one night running away from some angry shop owners. As he entered some really deep regions he was attacked by some hungry wererats. His death would be certain if it was not for a big female wererat who had just lost her cub to some disease. Frightening his attackers she adopted him. As he had contracted lycanthropy he became a greater wererat and grown to be a very successful thief. In AC 996 he convinced a lot of strong wererats of his wits and threw down the previous ruler, adopting the tittle of Big One. He did that by smartly siding with the priests of Mrikitat in various occasions. He is a very cunning and treacherous being, but very cooperative if he thinks he can gain something with it. He rules the big city with hands of steel, promptly eliminating anyone he finds threatening to his power. His support to the cult of Mrikitat is based on profit, not faith, as he knows they hold to much influence amongst the wererats.  Born: AC 970. Hair: Brown with grey patches. Eyes: Brown. Height: 1,68 meters. Since he mastered the beast-man form he abandoned his human identity and lives only in this form. He uses a battered leather vest overhanging with every type of pigments, medals and other metal decorations. He uses a lot of rings, earrings and collars. Combat Notes: T21 / Greater Wererat 10; AC 1; hp 70 (beast-man); Mv 120'(40'); AT# 1 Sword; Save T21; AL C. S9 I15 W10 D18 Co12(13) Ch13(12).Weapon Mastery: Grand Master of the Sword. Magical Items: Normal Sword +2, Ring of Protection +3 and he always carry a bunch of stolen scrolls equivalent to the spell book of a 16th level magic-user.
    High priest of Mrikitat- Born from giant rats infected with lycanthropy Trikat was himself infected young in baptism and given to adoption to the priests on his first transformation. He aways lived amongst the priests becoming high priest when the last passed away. He is an uncommonly wise wererat an very prompt to help his followers. Recently a vision has led him to order a new cave to be opened inside the temple, in there he is supervising the construction of a strange archway, but he himself is not fully aware of its objective. Born: AC 951. Hair: Old grey with white patches. Eyes: light brown. Height:  6'. Almost aways found on his Man-Rat form assuming only his human identity when his clerical powers are needed. He wears plain clothes and one single earring. Combat Notes: C28 / Lesser Wererat 9; AC 8/6; hp 64/56; Mv 120'(40'); AT# 1 Bite; Save C28; AL N. S9 I10 W17 D14 Co13(14) Ch11(10). Weapon Mastery: Grand Master of the Staff. Magical Items: Rod of Health (known as the Stick of the Boss is passed from each high priest to his successor) 

Flora and Fauna: Obviously lots of rats and giant rats. One can also find some various forms of oozes, jellies and puddings, and the occasional giant crab and other amphibious lifeforms (in deep areas).

Mrikitat (Big Boss Rat).
As in PC4 pg 7, with the following increment:
        Special Clerical Powers: Clerics of Mrikitat can use the thief's Hide in Shadows and Hear Noise abilities as if they were thieves of the same experience level.

See also: Dawn of the Emperors, PC4 -  Night Howlers, PWA1011, MA1016.