Campaign of the Month: June 2012
The Vermani are rat-men who hail from a small region in the southernmost region of the North Western continent, a place called The Warrens.
These insidious and prolific rat-men live in The Warrens, a vast underground cavernous network of small tunnels and interlinked villages and cities. A clan-based feudal-like caste society, they follow the mysterious leader known only as The Rat King. Vermani are portrayed as sneaky, conniving, selfish, cowardly and backstabbing – traits associated with rats. They are also closely linked to plague and disease, to which they seem resistant or immune.
Vermani follow a caste system, with three distinct sub-races, and each caste class/sub-race is separated into professions.
The Nezumi are the elite clan caste of Vermani. They tend to be more sophisticated and cultured, as it were, than the other two castes. They serve as administrators of the civilization, (including the ruling royalty), the government, and other high positions. Nezumi tend to be more comely than the other castes, and have a wider taste for culture. The Nezumi live in underground palaces and strongholds within the cities of the Warrens.
The next lower caste, in order of prestige, are the Soukai. The Soukai are broken further into three sub-castes, and all three are, in theory, of equal status. Unfortunately, none of the Soukai castes fully accept the opposing castes as true equals, and many disputes, many mischiefs (clans), have gone to feuding or even warring over caste rights. When all three become involved, the Nezumi usually take action to quell all-out civil war.
Of the Soukai, the Gaku are scholars, teachers, and priests, the Meku are artisans and craftsmen, and the Akiu are merchants and food providers. This class tends to be physically smaller than the other two castes. Soukai reside throughout the warrens, either in cities, small communities, or in the endless vastness of the unending warren systems.
The final caste of the Vermani are the Muroids. They are typically large, ugly and brutish. They are inferior to all and usually know their place and obey their betters. The Muroids comprise the labor force of the Vermani race, as well as serving in the armies under the command of Nezumi warriors, called Sabui. The Murioids typically live in the poorest sections of the warrens, unless they are kept by Nezumi or Soukai as workers, slaves, servants and the like, in which case they typically reside in specially designed housing, set aside from their master’s quarters.
As a note, the Vermani are a very familial race, and have strong loyalties to their mischief, or clan. Mischief grudges run deep, and may last many generations. The Vermani are one of the shortest lived species, yet they are prodigious.
Some individual Vermani breed small, sometimes very small (Small Size catagory). These creatures are commonly referred to as Mus, or mice, and are treated akin to their human counterparts born with dwarfism. It is not unheard of for a mischief to abandon such creatures in isolated warren tunnels known to be inhabited by carnivorous creatures of the underdark.