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The People of London Below

Character creation rules can be found in the GeneSys rules system. The following groups will only have a list of specialties and skills each which characterizes the group and gives hints for character creation; all other values should be considered normal.


"He had long hair, a patchy brown beard, and his ragged clothes were trimmed with fur - orange-and-white-and-black fur, like the coat of a calico cat. [...] He walked with a pronounced stoop, his hands held up at his chest, fingers pressed together."

This description of Lord Rat-Speaker is typical for one od his people: the Rat-Speakers live in the Underground, using old and forgotten cellars and walkways where they eke out their meagre existence. They are closely allied with the rats and have taken on several of their typical traits and habits. They move and chitter like rats and scavenge just like they do. Their clothes do not only look as if they were made of cats' fur - they even eat the felines.

The Rat-Speakers accept the sovereignty of the rats and especially the Golden. They can talk to rats and understand them; and they take orders from the rodents. They know their way around the Underside very well - and if they don't, they can always ask a rat. On the other hand the Rat-Speakers are also allied with the Borderliners. This is probably due to the fact that many borderliners eventually end up within their ranks.

Rules: Rat-Speakers prefer the physical traits and Cunning. Knowledge is never very high and skills connected to it are rare. Most of these people speak Rat rather fluently, which may even be a native language if the character is born into this group and in this case does not have to be taken as a skill. Looks levels are usually low to average.

Sewer Folk

"They wore clothes - brown and green clothes, covered in a thick layer of something that might have been mold and might have been a petrochemical ooze, and might, conceivably, have been something much worse. They wore their hair long and matted. They smelled more or less as one would imagine."

The Sewer Folk live in or rather: near the deepest sewers and spend their waking periods (you don't know day from night down here) watching the sewage and fishing out anything found afloat in it. This flotsam they offer on the Floating Market - when it's under open air and they are permitted to attend. The Sewer Folk do not speak or hear; or at least they don't seem to understand what is said to them. All communication must be done by impromptu sign language.

Rules: Sewer Folk may not have positive Looks or Charisma. While their values may be high, their Looks and Charisma are strictly repulsive. Positive skills connected to Looks or Charisma such as Seduction may not be taken. Perception is not impaired for Sewer Folk. They choose not to hear and speak, but they could if they wanted to. However, any Sewer dweller would rather die than give any sign of listening comprehension to an outsider. Nobody knows why that might be.


"Five almost identically dressed, pale young women walked past him. They wore long dresses made of velvet, each dress as dark as night, one each of dark green, dark chocolate, royal blue, dark blood, and pure black. Each woman had black hair and wore silver jewellery; each was perfectly coiffed, perfectly made up. They moved silently."

The Velvets are a kind of vampire. They do not live on blood, however; rather they kiss their victims and draw their warmth out of them. The Velvets are cold to the touch if they have not fed recently. They may be able to go to London Above and find victims (who actually perceive them as beautiful goth ladies) in the night clubs there.

Rules: Velvets always have high Looks and Charisma and high levels of Seduction or comparable skills. They should also have high Agility and a Stealth skill for pursuing and sneaking up.

The warmth drinking works like this: each Velvet has a variable value called Warmth (based on Stability, as it is the Health of Soul) which is her maximum capacity for stolen warmth. Each day of her life or unlife a Velvet loses one point of that variable. Should she reach 0, she freezes to utter motionlessness and can be saved from that perpetual state only by a generous infusion of living warmth. When kissing a victim, a Velvet may draw warmth from him - with this warmth, the life force of the victim is reduced. Small icicles and frost begin to develop on the victim. For each point of warmth taken from the victim, the Physical Condition of the victim drops by one. Should it reach 0, the victim dies. Moreover, the victim -if he survives- will always feel cold from that moment on and will lose a year per point taken from his total lifespan.

The Velvets may be forced to transfer their warmth back to a victim. Of course they don't usually do so. If they do, all detrimental effects to the victim are cancelled, with the exception of death.

If the Velvets choose to make a new Velvet, they drain the warmth completely from a young woman fitting their template; then they immediately giver her back enough warmth to keep going (one point). The newly-born Velvet then has to take her first victim.

The Black Friars

"A figure, dressed in black, waited at the foot of the bridge. He wore the black robes of a Dominican monk. His skin was the dark brown of old mahogany. He was a tall man, and he held a wooden staff as tall as he was."

The Black Friars were the guardians of the key to Islington's door until Richard Mayhew passed their ordeal of self-confrontation and won it from them. This part of their duty may have ended, but they see dark times coming upon London, now that the Angel Islington is gone.

The Abbot is a blind, old man, while his younger brothers are nimble, fleet-footed and really good with a fighting staff. He cherishes a nice cup of tea.

Rules: The Black Friars have either high combat skill levels or high knowledge skill levels. They hoard and guard a lot of information which may be accessible to them but not to outsiders. They should also have high Stability.

The painters

This group of children, all pre-pubescent, paint images on the walls of the subterranean vaults and tunnels they freqent. Little beyond that is known. What happens to those who reach the age of maturity is anyone's guess.

Rules: As these are children, consider their average physical trait to be 7, not 10. Knowledge is also low. Creativity, on the other hand, tends to be high. Artistry may be expressed by other means than painting, but this is foremost.


The pigeons are proliferate everywhere in London but especially on and around Lord Nelson's statue on Trafalgar Square. While they are not, by definition, homing pigeons, they can take a letter anywhere and to anybody- if you ask them nicely and with some words in their own tongue.

Rules: If you must play a pigeon, remember that in GeneSys, the average pigeon will also have trait levels of 10; however, that is average for pigeons and usually not comparable to human levels. Perception may be an exception to this, as may Intuition, Stability and other traits at the GMs discretion. Physical traits other than Perception and all Mental skills will probably be negligible in comparison.


The rats are just that: rats. They are organized in clans and they have names like Master Longtail or Lady Whiskers. These names sound better in Rat. The rats are intelligent, and due to their numbers seem to know everything that is going on on the Underside. The are revered by the Rat-Speakers, whom they taught how to survive on the Underside. Some of them may act as messengers for people who speak Rat and ask nicely enough, but they are easily angered.

The rats owe fealty to a special kind of rats, the Golden.

Rules: See the rules on Pigeons. Rats may have good Cunning and Agility.

The Golden

"The Golden had made their lair in a pile of bones. This pile of bones had once belonged to a woolly mammoth, back in the cold times when the great hairy beasts walked across the snowy tundra of the south of England as if, in the opinion of the Golden, they owned the place. This particular mammoth, at least, had been disabused of that idea rather thorouhly and quite terminally by the Golden."

The Golden are rats with a fur the colour of which explains their name. They are the size of a large cat. If rats have royalty, the Golden are it. The normal, run-of-the-mill rats give them all due respect and report everything to them. Unlikely as it seems, the Golden are among the movers and shakers of the Underside.

Rules: The Golden may even have Physical and Mental stats comparable to humans. After all, they could kill a mammoth. Probably they have a kind of racial memory which may be a skill dependent on Memory which may be used to remember information which an ancestor of the Golden in question might have had.

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