Fleischschild’s Institute provides minimal training in outfitting and provisioning of an expedition into the subterranean depths, a couple of lectures from burnout delvers with nervous conditions on typical hazards, and an exploitative short film masquerading as a cautionary docudrama; and the gullible and desperate are turned loose find work. They mill about the entrances of outfitting shops and loiter in adventurers’ saloons waiting for their big chance.
A few get it and rise up the ranks to lead their own delves and make headlines. Most die without anybody knowing more than their first name.
Here are some of the common types encountered:
- Cornfed farmboy: He’s got enthusiasm and muscles, but not a lot of smarts, and a misplaced chivalry that will get him killed by any monster with a feminine form.
- Specks: Not necessarily smart in the way you need underground, but guaranteed to have a head full of pulp magazine and comic book nonsense...Which can be useful at times, true.
- Rosie: It doesn’t matter what her name is, if she could beat you at arm-wrestling she’s Rosie. Good to have around, but always out to prove she can do as well as man does--which can cause problems.
- Choirboy: He keeps his rosary in hand and prays a lot--mostly to no noticeable effect. Divine intervention is great to have, but hard to come by.
- Crazy Jane: She might be plain or a real looker, but either way she’s got a crazy look in her eye and a matching berserker streak. Comes in two varieties: gun crazy and blade crazy. Good to have around until she inevitably decides to make for the gates of warrior heaven and take you with her in her blaze of glory.
- The Twitch: Twitches are always trouble. They’ve got some experience, but it only gave them bad case of shellshock. In the moment you need ‘em most they either start crying for mama or get the thousand yard stare.