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Diggers

Appearance Humanoid, Naked Molerat-like
Average Height Differs according to the subspecies
Weight Differs according to individuals
Facial Appearance Featureless face. Often without eyes. Small ears and long, sharp teeth. Floppy,
Fur/Skin Colour Hairless, pink skin complexion
Bipedal/Feral Looks Bipedal, Plantigrade
Distribution Mostly widespread
Place of Origin Unknown
Behaviour Eusocial

Blind Naked Goblins

Ugly, Naked, Disgusting, Shrill, Creepy, Weak, Stupid.

Seductive, Shrouded, Elegant, Refined, Ancient, Wise.

Brutish, Unrelenting, Fearless, Undying, Monstrous, Indomitable.

All of these words are spoken of the ones known as diggers, and all of them could be considered true.

For the Diggers present many faces, and to those that meet them there are many impressions.

There are children's tales of short, wizened creatures with clever claws that toil in dark dirty hills.

There are stories of the carnival caravan troupes with bulky trollish thugs as beasts of burden. Diminutive little tinkerers and fair bodied masked maidens in sheer silken robes.

There are whispered rumors of endless tides of monsters crawling up from the deeps. Things which do not fall even under the most grievous wounds, and cities left burned, buried and lost. Their citizens entombed alive to slowly die in the dark. Suffering in the dark, but not alone.

But in many ways the real 'truth' of the Diggers is more horrific then any fictions and tall tales spoken of them.

Sightless Horrors

The Diggers are effectively blind, they have eyes but their hardly pinpricks in the skull and more often then not even grown over with skin. They can determine light, dark, movement and vague direction. But their sense of sight is otherwise useless.

They have profoundly incredible senses of touch. In particular they can learn more from the resonance of a material by rubbing or tapping it with their teeth then most experts can learn by breaking it apart. They enjoy wearing light airy clothing and/or having piercings with quills or feathers attached because it makes more open environments easier to anticipate for them.

Their sense of smell is highly acute as well and allows them to identify one another and family in general on scent. They also use this to identify the state of various food stuffs, cook, navigate their homes and draw attention to important objects.

Hearing is decent, but more so in how it helps improve sense of direction and vibration then a high range of audibility or extreme sensitivity.

Diggers experience nothing like pain. They are aware of injuries, damage and 'hurts' but they do not experience any inherent aversions to effect their judgement anymore then wear and tear on a tool. This makes horrific injuries mere inconveniences, mortal injuries or debilitating exhaustion is just annoying and physical torture of a digger is impossible.

Family Values

If you meet a group of diggers they will speak of one another as family and sisters, and they ARE. This is not a cultural or national camaraderie, it is not a religious belief. Even if you see a hundred such figures all amiably huddled together, laughing and wrestling while they give out shrill little giggles. They are ALL sisters.

You can be sure of this because Diggers almost NEVER associate with another of their species if they are not immediate family. Rarely cousins may meet and speak cordially but they are always tense and just a few wrong moves away from a bloody and vicious brawl. Diggers who have a more distant blood relation then a cousin or aunt generally cannot stay in the same room without trying to murder one another.

If asked why they will critique anything and everything about the hated individuals from the smell to the smallest mannerisms. These statements are often completely hypocritical.

In contrast they are cool or even friendly to other peoples and hold a devotion to their own sisters that makes the most rapturous obsessions of star crossed lovers and the most loyal pledge of warriors seem traitorous and unfaithful in contrast.

The Sisterhood found in Diggers is a bond that transcends millenniums and promises everything. For the welfare of their sisters they will do anything.

Compared to the bond they share with their family Diggers see other peoples of the world living in crippling isolation and rejection.

Castes

The Diggers are divided roughly into five castes. Their traits are accentuated through personal training, diet, socializing, hormones and in more extreme cases ritualistic body modification. One can technically be 'between' castes but this is generally considered an awkward state and sisters who find themselves 'between' are encouraged to settle more into one caste or another.

Two of the castes however are not mutable. Those of Mothers and Sons.

Workers

Workers

The vast majority of Diggers are workers, they are the smallest sisters, the most technically inclined and most clever with their hands. They have shorter legs and longer arms than their sisters, Their skin is loose but soft, and their fangs are prominent but not so that they are in the way. A worker is incredibly enduring and can dig at rock with her teeth for months without expiring from exhaustion as long as she is fed and watered by her sisters.

This however is generally considered wasteful, it is better to use a proper tool and just keep that sharpened with occasional nibbles of one's teeth. A group of workers digging is a furious churn of activity, three or more might all be swinging pickaxes against stone in close quarters with each other, while others scramble to shovel away debris.

When working they may seem blithely uncaring in their speed but their awareness of the position of their own sisters is actually as acute as awareness of their own bodies.

Warriors

Warriors

The second most common Digger is the warrior, at first glance easy to mistake for a large bulky worker, the distinctions are they are more lean, heavier muscled in the neck and their teeth are much larger and sharper, Also on average they are taller but this is not always a certainty and hard to determine.

A warrior is indomitable, she will fight, kill and die for her sisters. She does not know fear for her own flesh, she does not know pain, She will gladly take a spear through the chest in order to tie up her enemies and protect her sisters. Warriors are best at immediate tactics, they work well with each other and the workers when defending or attacking.

They Prefer to use larger strategies that maximize their ability to think on their feet and adapt to new situations. In warfare Warriors prefer to group up and operate in small packs and then organize their packs into larger formations. They are aware that their blindness is a liability and generally strive to deny their enemies the advantage of sight as soon as possible.

The lack of pain makes smoke and foul eye and nose stinging fumes a favorite tactic. They are technically less able to move as tirelessly as their worker sisters but they are much stronger.

Emissaries

Diplomat

The third major caste of Digger is generally the one that most outsiders have directly interacted with. Unlike their sisters emissaries have a posture and shape more 'pleasing' to most outsiders. Athletic but soft. Their teeth are the least prominent and their focused the most in verbal comnication and more theatrical and overt body language.

Emissaries are diligently adherent to being what their family needs them to be in the role of contact with outsiders. They suffer the traditions of outsiders, they partake in foreign customs, they learn difficult languages and humor barbaric practices. Emmisaries contort their bodies to suit a beautiful ideal of the cultures they interact with. They commonly bathe and wash themselves in the snout clogging flowery dreck of other peoples. They wear skillfully sculpted masks or veils to make themselves more desirable to interact with.

An emissary will undergo strenuous physical conditioning, forced diet, the consumption of strange concoctions to control their hormones and even string, stitch and lace their skin tauter to their frames with piercings and corsets in the endeavor of being the 'face' their sisters need them to be.

There is no tactic that is beneath an emissary to improve their position for negotiations with foreigners. They do not feel shame and only exercise an act of dignity or affront where it suits the needs of their family.

Mothers

Mother

Every Digger fears she will one day have to become a Mother. For the only time such would happen is if her own mother has been slain and thus her family broken. Mothers are the heart and heaving factory of any digger Family. They are what happens when any female Digger becomes pregnant. Their bodies swell, their appetites grow all consuming and ravenous and their mind collapses in a swell of hormones and endorphin flood. Mothers might be thousands of years old, but they live their lives in a an opiate haze cared for by their daughters. A Mother Digger is incapable of making decisions and she is ultimately reduced to a happy and well cared for piece of revered livestock.

It is up to her daughters to ensure that she is fed, cleaned, taken care of and as is almost always the case continuously and immensely pregnant. A mother may speak in her delirium and some strive to recall or impart something important but ultimately once a digger has become a mother her only contribution is that of fresh sisters for her offspring.

To the great relief of all diggers their ability to be fertile is suppressed while in the presence of their mother. This effect can persist for months or years after leaving her presence.

Sons

Male

The only 'immutable' caste of Digger and generally viewed less as a valuable contributor of the family and more as a necessary appendage of the process of keeping the Mother impregnated with the all important sisters.

Out of necessity families which are unable to reliably survive the cost of a war with one another will ritualistically send their sons to rival families as a loose sign of truce. Depending on the needs of the family receiving the son they may simply kill and eat the offering, otherwise they will, throw it into the birthing chamber with their mother (But only after a thorough washing, cleaning, sanitizing, cavity searching and general assurance he is not going to turn out to be some kind of weapon).

Theoretically a male Digger may be intelligent and self aware, but they are never taught anything and after the age of seven their hormones begin building out of control. Out of convenience they are generally left to suckle directly from the mother instead of from a sister so that there is less distance that needs to be covered once one 'matures'. It's just easier to keep them in the birthing chamber.

After reaching 'maturity' the son will generally not survive much longer. By age eleven or twelve they stop eating, drinking or sleeping and simply mate with whatever smells like a fertile digger female until they die from exhaustion.

Sometimes the corpses are eaten, other times they are composted.

Relationships with Societies

Outsiders find their preferred living conditions hellish and Diggers find time in the sun and open discomforting or even dangerous. However it is a very foolish family of diggers who does not recognize that they must work with outsiders to survive. Diggers as such at least attempt the appearance of integration with whatever society they can. Making use of their longevity, immunity to pain and enormous close knit family to succeed. In particular Digger Emissaries take the greatest lengths to integrate and communicate with whatever culture their family must deal with in their homeland.

Samhon

Where Diggers rule and command unchallenged.

Kingdom of Abun

Tolerated but with tension between their natural life style and the beliefs of the nation.

The Ge'Za Tribe

The Horsewomen Digger 'Tribe Wives' of the Ge'Za are the stuff of nightmares.

Architecture & Living Conditions

City entrance

Diggers do not see, they have little to no need for personal space or boundaries and they are extremely capable of sensing the flow of air. They prefer to live in buried or partially buried complexes whenever possible.

Their complexes are massive warrens of tunnels, rarely are passages wider than needed for three diggers to move past one another. They prefer to either polish the stone of a tunnel smooth or compact earth and coat it in clay which is finished with a controlled fire later during construction. Along the walls, Floor and ceiling of all of their passages are grooves and ridges that branch, twist, and weave together in order to produce Digger writing. This writing serves several purposes. It gives directions and information about place within the complex to help prevent becoming lost. The grooves act as catches to hold scents from other diggers (Digger warrens smell strongly of ammonia, honey, milk, and a pungent musky scent of their bodies), the protrusions make for a pleasant rubbing surface and a means of cleaning loose skin free. When tunnels are directly over one another particularly deep grooves may be used to add ventilation or drainage connections between tunnels.

Hallway

The warrens are to most none diggers a nightmare of claustrophobic tight quarters, but there is no where in the complex that is not accessible to a digger worker if she needs to get there for repairs. The only large passages are those that are meant to transit a Mother. Even storage chambers and water reservoirs are relatively narrow to maximize the structural integrity of the complex.

Diggers prefer to organize their complexes around a centralized main entrance plaza with several passages going down into the earth. They organize the passages in layers of tunnels linked by narrow stairwells.

City map

Ventilation is accomplished by the use of tall passages that reach from the deepest hottest tunnels to dozens of meters or more above the surface so as to catch the winds. These shafts are either dug to emerge from the sides of cliffs when available or constructed as great clay towers supported by wide earthwork bases.

These clay ventilation towers can be very prominent in otherwise flat terrain although when it is needed diggers are more then capable of camouflaging them. Usually they are disguised as rock formations, parts of hillsides or even integrated into structures of a settlement or 'abandoned' surface ruin, whichever is easier to accomplish.

The actual specifics of airflow and temperature in the warren is controlled and adjusted through the family's distribution through the complex. This adjusting of airflow in the home is something Diggers do as automatically and easily as most peoples adjust their balance on a moving surface. Keeping the temperature a cool and pleasant one in the entire complex, even when there are extreme sources of heat present, such as kilns or a section of new tunnel is being 'fired' to finalize the cladding.

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