(Sheet pending because druids have SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many options and I want to do something different, not the Urban Druid with the persuasion stuff or the Urban Druid who takes care of the city park, but instead (there's really no good support for this) an urban druid who treats the underbelly of the city as its own ecology (because it really is!).)
Triji couldn't remember a week that had gone so badly.
It had started out unpleasantly enough when about a sixth of the Dock-quarter veins had started to back up because a smallish jelly-cube had fetched up against one of the more recently installed barred gates and blocked all of the water flow through it, backing things up until they flooded into other outflows. The water would rise until the vein was completely full, at which point there was no current pushing the cube against the grill, and it would mindlessly move away from the metal (which some well-meaning idiot had enchanted with just enough of an electrical shock to discourage things leaning against it but not enough to damage or kill them)...And the water would start flowing and push it back against the grill again. It was a very unhappy cube in its mindless, oozy way.
Triji had gone around the other side and simply attacked the lock on the gate with a rock. It really didn't need locking, and it was just holding up progress in a system that depended on constant flow, anyway. Meanwhile, things were getting backed up and undoubtedly a bunch of animals (and probably some people, too) would end up catching various diseases who otherwise wouldn't have because some damned engineer (and not even a dwarf or a gnome, judging by the look of it) had the bright idea that a grill belonged in the middle of this pipe, and then decided that if there was a gate, it needed a lock.
Of course, when the lock broke, and the gate opened, she had to pretty much run for her life as a few thousand pounds of idiot acidic jelly came at her down the slippery tunnel, propelled rather quickly for the first hundred yards by the pressure of all the water behind it.
And, of course
, the first intersection she came to, running for her life with Bonesnap ahead of her, contained the Cellarer team that had figured out two hours too late (it was a tough lock, she had to admit, and she'd seriously considered finding some other tool than a rock) where the backup was. And not just any
team of Cellarers, no, they had Chief Inspector Hajek with them.
She didn't like Hajek. He'd tried to have her fined and jailed numerous times for everything from interfering with the Cellarers to vagrancy (she didn't live
in the sewers, she just cared for them, because they badly needed someone to do it). She didn't like him, but she didn't hate him enough to kill him, either.
And if she'd thought about it, she wouldn't have imagined he hated her enough to kill her. She hadn't believed he was hateful, just stupid. The Cellarers were constantly re-inventing things under the city, trying to control and direct things which others, hundreds of years before them, had had the wisdom to give up on. They repaired things which shouldn't have been built in the first place (although, she admitted, they also maintained the tunnels which needed it) and constantly tried to build things that ruined the turbulent and sometimes dangerous mess of tunnels and veins which functioned as the city's digestive system. She sometimes got the impression that they thought they could somehow stamp out all the things which lived down there (most of which actually made the sewers healthier and kept them from backing up...the cube would've been a great contributor if it hadn't been stuck against the stupid gate) and run this immense mess of pipes and conduits as if it were somehow pristine, clean, and not its own world with its own residents and its own sense of balance and harmony.
Hajek was one of the people she suspected most of having this outlook. She'd tried reasoning with him once, but he had no grasp whatsoever of the kinds of things living in the sewers as creatures with their own lives, he only saw them as problems that got his (badly trained) Cellarers killed.
Which related rather directly to how he reacted when she bolted into the tunnel intersection with Bonesnap beside her and the multi-ton jelly in apparent hot pursuit (ridiculous, they just went their own way...Gelatinous cubes weren't smart
enough to actually give chase once they couldn't smell you, but the backed-up flow of sewage was still pushing it...).
Triji's first reaction to his shrill "Get her!" was to just change course, caroming off his chest and down one of the other pipes. She knew what was down that tunnel, even the loose brick in the flooring ten yards in and the yellow mold growing on the left wall beyond that. The Cellarers would probably burn the mold out on their next monthly patrol, even though it wasn't doing anyone any harm if they just avoided walking into it. Monthly patrol! She went through the whole City's systems about once a week
. Even the little tunnels they couldn't get their oversized bodies into. Someone
had to keep things running down here.
She realized that the humans hadn't even seen
the cube yet; they were down there with their puny little sunrods, lighting things up with wasteful alchemy instead of taking the longer view (figuratively and literally) of finding magics to let them see in the dark. She even yelled "Run!" just in case.
And then Hajek tried to put his spear through Bonesnap's porcelain
-scaled hide and the fight was on.
At first, she was just trying to get herself and the albino crocodile away, but then the stupid jelly plowed right into the middle of it all and almost before she knew it, she'd killed Hajek. She didn't mean to. The idiot wasn't even wearing the pitiful leather armor the Cellarer's Guild usually wore down here, just high wading boots.
And, she admitted later to herself, she had panicked. There were people out there (even in the Cellarer's Guild, some of whom she was on very good terms with when their bosses weren't looking) who supported her, and backed her up when she decided to harangue various officials about what people were dumping down their pipes (The sewers under the Alchemysts and Artificers Guild and the pipes under the Magic quarter were just nasty. Once, she was almost eaten by Grues.) but nobody was going to help her out if she were charged with killing a City official.
And besides, the idiots had hurt Bonesnap, and he really didn't take that well. She could've restrained her crocodile, sure. People just didn't realize what a big, loveable ball of scales he really was. He didn't particularly like biting people. Fish, now...Fish he would go out of his way for.
But that was all beside the point once Hejik's head came off, and pushing all the witnesses into the cube where they'd end up dissolved and any crocodile bites wouldn't be noticed seemed like a much better idea than being sentenced to death because the big, dumb human was late and frightened and hurt her crocodile.
She did feel bad about it. She really did. She even had bad dreams about it for five nights. She was almost certain she'd talked to the shorter of the two junior Cellarers a few times before, and he was fairly smart for a human and curious about the things that lived in the sewers in a way that went beyond the usual 'how do I kill it?' mentality.
And she had a nagging, guilty feeling that Hajek had a family. And while they were probably rich, they probably weren't all stupid, and some of them probably loved Hajek, as unlikely as that seemed. Worse, some of them might be depending on him.
Did he have children? She didn't know, and now would be a terrible time to ask. And the other Cellarer's might have families, too, and she really hoped not, but she vaguely remembered having heard that Hajek did...
On the sixth day, there was a note from the Cellarer's Guild posted at one of the intersections where she'd told them they could leave her messages. They were 'requesting her presence' for some hearing or other. She considered not answering, but they did this a few times a year, usually when some noble was curious about rare creatures in the sewers, or someone with a head on their shoulders in the Guild itself wanted her to back them up on some new change to the pipes and systems.
She worried that with Hajek dead, if she didn't show up, someone might connect the dots. So she went.
And tried to act surprised when they arrested her. At least they'd brought a net to deal with Bonesnap, instead of trying to kill him like Hajek had. She almost sagged out of their arms with relief when it turned out to be the same old charges, a running list of damaged locks, damaged gates, damaged filters and screens, paving plugs knocked out, new digging filled in, vandalism, trespassing...She blinked a little as she realized it really was the same old charges, everything she'd been doing under the city for years, including things already dismissed. They were really serious about it this time.
But at least it wasn't about Hajek.
She spent the night pacing her cell, the classic prisoner's occupation. They'd left her a copy of the list of crimes and damages she was charged with. Were they going to fine her for all of that at once? She didn't have that kind of money. Who did have that kind of money? Kings? They were trying to blame her for everything that had gone wrong in the sewers for the last decade, and if they did that no doubt someone would get the bright idea of coming after her for the people who'd been killed by disease and the like, not to mention things that had come up out of the sewers because the Cellarers had stirred them up. Some of those things killed people and ate them. But none of that was her fault! It was their own fault for not leaving things alone and just working around them.
And the money. Gods, the money. Sure, she found things in the sewers sometimes, sure, and sold them, and she found more money than most people would expect, but money she didn't need for the rent of the tiny little storage cellar under the Docks-side warehouse or for the upkeep of her own gear, well, she tended to give that away. There actually was a pension for the orphans of the Cellarers Guild, and even if she thought most of the Guild were idiots it wasn't a child's fault that their parents were idiots. The possible amount of money, she realized, was staggering. What if they locked her up for years? What would happen to Bonesnap? What would happen to the sewers and all the things living in them?
What if they locked her up forever?
By dawn, she'd worked herself into a state of near panic.
Triji was trying very hard not to snivel when they unlocked her door in the morning. At first, she thought it was some kind of trick. Then they made her sign for her things, and shoved her out into the bright morning light with her arms full of gear and a pair of terrified but well-meaning idiots who had Bonesnap on a chain.
It wasn't until she was nearly home that she realized there was a sealed envelope in one of her pouches that wasn't hers. The wax had no stamp on it.
There was a ring folded in with the terse message, and her heart stopped when she recognized it.
It was the seal of the Chief Sewer Inspector; she'd last seen it on Hajek's finger, in the middle of a gelatinous cube.
Someone out there knew
I have not yet solidified on a druid build yet. I would like to ask about a couple of special things though, but I believe they are all straightforward.
First, uh, well. She's a sewer
druid. So I would really
appreciate it if you would make this available, it's a 3.5 variant 0-level cantrip/orison and I don't even mind if you disallow the save effect:
Level: 0 (Simple)
Casting Time: Standard action
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
You clean the subject creature, ridding it of dirt, sweat, contamination, foul odors, and so on. This spell not only makes the subject presentable for fine company, it promotes better health.
For 24 hours after the casting, the subject gains a +1 circumstance bonus on all saves against disease.
Used frequently, this spell can help stave off tooth decay and other such minor maladies, although this has no in-game effect.
Heightened Effects: You can affect one creature per caster level.
I'm pretty sure it's not too powerful for the game, unless the Big Bad Evil Guy is an intelligent smell.