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Born from the foul and transmutative mix of alchemical runoff pouring out of Arcaniksburg's Upper City, the rattenvölkern are - as their name suggests - giant, humanoid rat-folk. The threat of violence from the humans above them have prevented them from safely leaving their hazardous birthplace, and though mining efforts have gotten them some small respite from the arcane pollution, they have never quite been able to get entirely free of the mutating effects.

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

Thanks to their polluted upbringing, ratten are genetically resistant to many common diseases. Interestingly, they also exhibit a minor magic-warping field that interferes with magic in motion. A unique aspect among the sapient species, this 'anti-magic field' does not drain enchantments, injure spirits or other magical beings, or otherwise affect 'resting' magic. However, spells cast within their immediate vicinity tend to either fizzle out or go haywire, with specific effects depending on both the caster and the ratten in question. This unfortunately makes all but the most dedicated ratten rather terrible magi, but it does give them a significant edge when dealing with encroaching humans with magical talent.


Reproduction among the ratten is handled in assigned 'shifts' of specifically matched pairs. These arranged mating sessions were originally meant to ensure the healthiest children possible were born from the union in order to bolster the continuation of the species. As non-polluted living space has gradually grown, they have steadily grown beyond the point where this practice is necessarily required in order to maintain a healthy population, but it has been kept up out of a combination of tradition and paranoia. Legitimate relationships developing from this practice are moderately rare, but they do occur from time to time.

Civilization and Culture

Gender Ideals

All genders are equal in die Zuflucht, as there is no room to discriminate when all lives are on the line. Female Ratten are generally slightly smaller than males, pushing the smallest of them towards less forceful roles such as scouting or mapping the surrounding tunnels, but there is nothing specific keeping women from taking "men's jobs" or vice versa based solely on their sex.

Average Technological Level

The ratten primarily use technology that has been scavenged from up top; a motley assortment of techmaturgical implements and various Industrial Revolution-era machines. Over time they've learned to reverse-engineer much of what has fallen into their hands, putting them only slightly behind the humans above.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Ratten speak the language of the Menschen, having learned it from the humans above via overheard conversations and stolen or discarded writings.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Everyone in ratten society who comes of age is examined for their suitability for military service, warding off invasive humans and setting up 'accidents' in the outer reaches of their territory. Should they pass inspection, service is mandatory except in the most special of circumstances. Anyone physically unable to assist will stay in the districts further back, where they can help raise the young or do other, less vital manual labor.

Common Taboos

Those who have not taken the requisite training courses are, under no circumstances, allowed to be in the furthest reaches of die Zuflucht, where they risk attracting attention. Young delinquents often cross into these regions anyway in order to gain status or rebel against their elders. More open-minded soldiers or scouts who catch these young folk will frequently keep an eye on them in the shadows, but otherwise not interfere. A surprising number of skilled future espionage agents have been discovered this way.

Historical Figures

  • Fiona Brisbane: A young ratten woman who sacrificed herself in order to gain aid from a supernatural source. What she had meant to be ritualistic suicide accidentally turned into infecting herself with vampirism and springing right back to un-life. She and the being she'd sought to hire now work together in an attempt to save her people.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

The species the Ratten have the most experience with is Humanity, particularly the residents of the Duwallish city of Arcaniksburg. Given most of the ruling class of that city want them dead, the ratfolk do not have the highest opinions of them.

40 - 75 years
Average Height
1.7 - 2.5 meters
Average Physique
Being fit is somewhat necessary for their way of life, but most Ratten are built more for endurance than sheer strength.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Varying earthen tones;
Browns and grays most common

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10 Sep, 2018 08:26

The last paragraph seems grammatically off, but other than that, really awesome idea! Especially the magic-dampening shield thingy, which gives them a super unique trade. It is a weakness and strength at the same time, awesome! 2 questions:

  1. Are the Ratten actually physically under the humans? Or is that just a way of saying it?
2. Did the Ratten evolve from Menschen or from rats? Or did these two species somehow fuse?

  Greetings from a German fellow, and keep it up. ^^

11 Sep, 2018 07:28

Glad you liked it! And thanks for pointing out that last paragraph. I'm not sure it's wrong, necessarily, but there's definitely something a bit awkward about it... I'll see about cleaning it up!   As to your questions, yes! The Ratten are physically underneath one of the larger human cities. And leading directly into the second question, it's because they evolved from rats (with a small amount of divine assistance) in the abandoned caverns and sewer system beneath the city's alchemical center. So basically, god-meddling + magically-toxic runoff + innocent animals creates a desperate city-state of supposed 'monsters' :P

11 Sep, 2018 08:50

Okay, follow-up question now that I know the Ratten evolved from - well - Ratten: How did they become so big? Are they swole with magic?

12 Sep, 2018 06:43

Hmmm... You know, I hadn't come up with a specific reason. Magic definitely played SOME part of it, but even with god involvement, that doesn't really cover it, does it? I'll have to think that one over. I'm sure there's an explanation to be had...