Dark Days in Sion
Undercity of Masaeus
|Undercity of Masaeus|
Size: Small City
Racial Demographics: 50% Humans, 8% Demihumans, 12% Humanoids, 30% Lycanthropes
Class Demographics: 2.5% Military, 5% Clergy, 2.5% Upper Class, 20% Middle Class 50% Lower Class, 20% Slaves
Government: Monarchy ruled by King Kyser
Power Center Alignment: LE
Technology Base: Crusades
Wealth: 13,463,000 GP
Law Rank: -4
Transitions: 100+ Years of Order
Legal Code: Law of King Kyser
Law Enforcement: Strict
Corruption: 2/3rds of officials corrupt
Social Standing: Usually Matters
The Vul decided to build Masaeus atop these caverns 300 years ago because of their natural wealth. They’ve been explored and mined with slave labor for centuries. They’ve also been home to the criminal underworld and nests of wererats for nearly as long.
The thieves guild of Masaeus has long since had Lycanthropes (Primarily Wererats) in their leadership for most of its history. These alpha wererats formed clans of wererats as their own thugs. Even now, they control their own territories within the undercity as they see fit.
When King Kyser rose to power he united the wererats under his rule which gave him the power to push out the Baron from the mining operation altogether. For a while anyway until Baron Zomok recognized the undercity as Kysers domain. Now they split the mining profits and rule their separate levels in an uneasy truce. The Vul only tolerate that arrangement because it’s a well known fact they hate going underground and must rely on someone else to handle the mines.
A largely uneducated, desperate and impoverished population. The undercity is a wretched, dangerous place to live full of wretched, dangerous people.
Each area of the undercity belongs to an alpha wererat that usually has a seat at the table of the leaders of the thieves guild. This alpha may rule his territory as he see’s fit but is still beholden to King Kyser if he ever asks for his aid.
Slavery is permitted here as it is on the surface, but life in the caverns is generally far worse for slaves who labor everyday in the mines. King Kyser’s ‘Bosses’ are cruel taskmasters and many slaves don’t live long at their toils.
Contracting lycanthropy as a slave is not always a guarantee for earning your freedom, but it does create other opportunities from those who consider you too valuable to be a mere laborer. Various alpha’s and/or the Cult of Vermithrax might bid to buy a slave with promises for a chance to earn their freedom.
Cult of Vermithrax
Within the caverns the curse of lycanthropy can spread much easier from person to person. Some even seek it out as a desirable condition because it helps them carry out nefarious criminal activities and intimidate their fellows.
The Cult of Vermithrax encourages those sorts of scum to join their cult, offering dark secrets and tempting targets in Vermithrax’s name. It is some small blessing at least that King Kyser keeps them in check by forbidding the cult to start a war with the Vul.
King Kyser uses the cult whenever he wants to spread fear, assassinate an enemy or destroy a foe in the most heinous way.
Kyser, is an elder, greater alpha wererat. Quite possibly the strongest wererat ever heard of. His current mage-advisor is an Akhenaten wizard by the name of Moakh.
Kyser tied his government, the thieves guild and the cult of Vermithrax loosely together as one organization. Many don’t even realize this because Kyser prefers a loose hold on his strings as the undercity puppet-master. But it makes sense for him to organize things so his subjects aren’t working against each other even if they aren’t actively working together.
Kysers government’s primary role is that of law enforcement and tax collection. But he also operates the mines with cruel efficiency primarily using slave labor. He keeps engineers and merchants in his court to run trade and construction operations, employing many subterranean demihuman and humanoid specialists to keep things working smoothly.
|Orders and Establishments|
The thieves guild is the largest and most established branch of Kysers government. It serves primarily as his communication and information network but they also operate the blackmarket ensuring his citizens want for nothing.
The leaders table of the thieves guild also serves as an unofficial congress where new laws and ideas are discussed before they are decided on by King Kyser.
King Kysers laws only apply to his interests (such as the mines) and his subordinates. In other words, any crime done to anyone who serves him or is employed by him will be punished by Kyser. But any crime done to a citizen of the undercity by another is not his jurisdiction. Those crimes must be brought to the local alpha and punished as they see fit.
One of Kyser’s favorite punishments is forcing those who’ve wronged him to serve out a sentence working in the mines.
|Customs, Kinship, and Marriage|