Thursday, September 16, 2010

Exterminators

Exterminator in heavy enviromental gear

The exterminators of the City are a special breed, as hard-bitten and courageous as any adventurer. The ones deserving of that appellation are not the day-to-day workers in the private pest control business (though some of them are tough cases, too), but rather the highly trained and perhaps a little crazy men (and few women) working for the Municipal Department of Animal and Pest Control.

Escaped familiars or the occasional wandering monster from out of the wilderness are the sort of calls that will bring out the men of the MDAPC, but their work a day grind is the monitoring and clearing of the various subterranean areas beneath the City. The City was built on swampy land crisscrossed by creeks and streams. These swamps were drained, and many of the waters directed underground through tunnels. Add to these waterways the sewers, steam tunnels, and subway stations that support the modern city--to say nothing of the occasional underground structure built by the Ancients. All these subterranean environments support life.

In the upper levels, one mostly encounter creatures which may have wandered down from the surface, or vermin swarms, or larger than normal specimens of such. Dangerous fungi are not unknown. Here the exterminators must also be careful to respect the ghouls and give them wide berth.

In the mid-levels, or in wetter places, various slimes, oozes, and molds are found. These strange life forms are born of the effluvia of industrial alchemy, the sludge of botched thaumaturgy, or the strangest flourishes of Nature--or possibly all three. Control of these lifeforms requires special preparation and often protective garb.

The lowest levels present the strangest and most eclectic challenges. There are prehistoric holdouts evolved (or devolved) to hideous, blind forms in eternal darkness. There are chimerical creatures produced by the decadent sorceries of the Ancients. There are even extraplanar visitors trapped their for millennia, summoned by prehuman wizards, and held behind eroding wards.

In other words, the brave officers of the MDAPC face most of the challenges faced by your average professional adventurer. The only real difference is, they have a city pension to look forward to instead of a treasure haul. Is it any wonder many give up civil service in favor of putting their skills to use elsewhere?

8 comments:

Risus Monkey said...

I can already envision a great exterminator character in the mode of Vasily from Guillermo del Toro's "The Strain".

Matt said...

My favorite phrase: "... held behind eroding wards ..."

rainswept said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trey said...

@Risus - I haven't reade The Strain but I've heard good things.

@rainswept - Yeah, those guys have definitely "seen the elephant."

As always, thanks for the comments, guys. Glad you liked it.

NetherWerks said...

Excellent post. So who surveys the sewers and underground whatnot in The City? Things have got to change quite a bit down there...and mapping it would be a real bear of a job...

Trey said...

Hey NetherWerks. There isn't a single agency that does mapping--at least not officially. Water and sanitation would have the maps of those pertinent areas. The transit authority has subway system maps. Only the city archives mught have maps of historical structures like archeological sites, or even the abandoned pneumantic tunnel system.

So yeah, its "here be monsters" (both literally and figuratively) down there in a lot of places. ;)

Monk said...

I love this. I just copy/pasted that wholesale to read to my players. Somebody's gonna want to die just so they can come back as a Pest Control specialist. Thanks man!

Trey said...

You're welcome. :) Glad you liked it.