Gutter Crawlers Profession in Kald | World Anvil

Gutter Crawlers

What it takes

The job is simple, filter a city's compost for any lost goods. Cities, such as Loth, with plants aplenty inevitably have areas that are under-kept or dedicated to the collection of dropped plant-matter (primarily leaves). One can find these under bridges, in dedicated pits, in abandoned buildings, and in gutters. These areas go uncleaned for sometimes years, and as such have several layers to them. The bottom layer is composted matter, or just dirt. The middle layer is on its way to becoming dirt, many insects and some small animals and mobile plants may find their home there. The top is the most recent dropped leaves, broken branches, and fallen items from trash to not-trash. It's the not-trash that people find a profession of selling.




A tasker is the most moral flavor of Gutter Crawler. They are someone who, upon either witnessing the loss or finding the lost item will return it in expectance of some kind of reward. Depending on the person, this may be a hope of generosity when they return the item, a coaxing if a reward is withheld, or the refusal to return without proper pay. Those in plant-cities know the pain of dropping something; It's generally accepted to pay a tasker when they return one's item, for it would otherwise be lost forever. Enough people hang out by gutters that one will often see their hero before a hero is needed.


A scavenger is typically an opportunist. If they happen upon an item, they might get a small sum for its sale. These people are often seen as the dirties, as they spend time just rummaging through a pile of plants to find what may or may not be there. These are the most common ones, seen as desperate scavengers that live off of others' misfortune. To them, it's just a way to get money, not any worse than one who has to clean the gutters; gutter cleaners may also be considered scavengers as, even though many cities have laws stating to submit any found items, they will keep the goods for themselves. Other scavengers by definition are kids who want something to do on an off day, lucky ones who see something shiny, and magnets.


The con has a general shape: solo or in a group of two, the con artist "accidentally" bumps into a warry gutter-traverser, one who passes over a gutter. The hapless someone parts with an item on their person, falling helplessly into the leaf-pile below, never to be seen again, by them at least. If this is a team of two, there is already one waiting and raring to retrieve the rarity; if it is a solo act, the thief must scrub through the bush to find the watch/purse/shoe. Then, once the item is procured, it's off to the local pawn shop.
Whether more conscionable or less willing to face consequences, some criminals return the goods. One might call them a tasker at this point, but they tend to still con the loser, one who has lost.

Wanted Qualities

It's not complicated, if you can find things more easily, you'll do well. Spells, metal detectors, dousing rods, good eyesight, good intuition, and/or heightened intuition will all help one find lost items. But, since a lost item can be anything, any specific tools or spells to find items would be less helpful than more general ones.
As well, It would be good to not have such pride, it would get in the way. If someone were to find out one crawled in a gutter, it would be best not to let that affect the crawler.  


Not much. One's payout is highly dependent on what's found and how the wares would be "sold". Generally, a tasker is paid the least, only a pittance of the item's worth when "selling" the item back to the owner. A scavenger and criminal likewise will never sell an item for its worth (exempting rare cases of true treasures) at the local pawn shop. And the frequency of low-worth items, with the exception of an emerald broach or the arrant, dropped all-purpose Murn, this is not a profession worth one's full time.


Dirty in its execution and with a view of desperation, one who is a Gutter Crawler is often seen in an ill light. Common insults for those found rummaging in compost are to call them discount delvers, trash-hunters, and well, gutter crawlers.


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Jun 3, 2022 06:07

So, are there a separate "path sweeper" or gutter clearer in general? Compost/ nightsoil collection? It is clearly a low job for the unclean, socially outcast, menial or foreigner with only a few words. Gleaning treasures from the detritus is a low pay and uncommon job!

Jun 7, 2022 01:01

Thank you! Yes there are "path sweepers" (name pending), also not the cleanest of jobs.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.