- 1 History
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Hierarchy
- 4 Behavior
- 5 Linguistics
- 6 Tribal Subgroups
- 7 Weaknesses
- 8 Strengths
- 9 Redlines
No soul truly understands how these vermin came to be. Perhaps they are spawns of necromancy, or have always existed, only to surface for all to see during recent days. Many theorize that the Ratiki are daemon-spawn of Iblees, cursed eternally to filth and contempt; disguised in the emancipated form of rats. They have only one goal: to wreak pestilence and famine on the Descendant Races, though complications among Ratiki society prevent this from occurring. Whatever the case, there is no denying the overwhelming numbers of the Ratiki.
First Ratiki War
The Ratiki desire to wreak havoc upon the descendants do not keep at bay those from within who pursue greater power. During a dreadful period of the Ratiki history, one of the vermins, of the many from the flock, sought greater things than any of his comrades could dream. Kroth, at the start, but a warrior in the vast numbers of the ever-growing vermin wave that the Ratiki are, was a beast. Unlike his kin, Kroth was bigger and slightly bulkier, though he was still tormented by the weaknesses brought by famine upon his being. The Emperor, if he could be called such, of the Ratiki ‘Empire’ at the time was a malevolent and generally cruel Ratiki who went by the name of Vik. His reign marked the history of the Ratiki with blood and fire, bringing famine and near extinction of the Ratiki race. Kroth, in the prime of the Vikian reign, rallied a group of loyalists of the old emperor, Quishruchk, who was exiled and hunted by the now Emperor Vik. Under the lead of Kroth, the loyalists separated themselves from the Ratiki Empire and set fire to the first war in Ratiki history - The First Ratiki War. The price of this war was high, as well as the body count. It lasted two years and took the lives of many, though all seemed un-important to the warmongering Kroth. He sought the throne, and there it laid for him, after the Siege of Kragblight, the main Ratikian city and old capital of the Empire. Backed by the loyalists once more, Kroth took upon the reins of the Ratiki and with such began another era of the Ratiki history: The Krothian Era.
The Krothian Era was marked by two main sections; Revival and Empowerment.
After the First Ratiki War, Kroth knew the challenge lied ahead to rebuild his Empire, though he did not fret in the face of death and chaos. With an iron fist, at first, Kroth re-focused the warmongering, divided nation to be an united empire. Kroth managed what no Ratiki could. The Revival sect of the Krothian Era was the most important in Ratiki history, the growth in power during this time period would influence the times to come. Kroth, with the iron fist he rightfully conquered from Vik’s hand, started mass-producing the rather primitive weapons that the Ratiki donned in combat (Chiseled stone swords, imperfect iron swords, and such). With that, Kroth had numbers and he had the strength he needed. Thus, came the Era of Empowerment.
The Ratiki are a hidden Empire. In their own, secluded tunnels, lying deep beneath the surface, where no men dreams of life, Kroth built a war machine; a force of chaos, havoc and destruction to be reckoned with. The sheer power of the Ratiki Empire during the Krothian Era was capable of taking down global powers. Kroth did not allow any to stand in his way.
However, in the same way he rose, others would. A group of Ratiki, led by the deceiving Striknok started gaining strength in the Empire, dividing finally, after an year, the Empire. One side, the Self-Proclaimed Emperor Striknok and his supporters, and in the other, Kroth and the Ratikian Warmachine. What generated of this tension was the bloodiest war ever waged, though unknown to the eyes of history, to the eyes of Descendants. The war was denominated by Krothian loyalists as the ‘War of the False King’ and by Striknokian loyalists the ‘War of the Golden Throne’, since Striknok promised gold and riches to his followers.
War of the False King
Many battles were fought during this time period. A notable battle, which was a crushing Krothian victory, was the Battle of the Chanceless. Around the area of Covenmaul, the largest weapon’s factory in all of the Ratikian Empire, the Striknokian forces assaulted with a mass of 400,000, a wave of unending vermin, against the unprepared 20,000 Krothian soldiers. The Krothian loyalists, against all odds, defeated the Striknokian forces, losing only 1,567 of their 20,000 throughout the week-long battle. Striknokian forces were forced to retreat on the night of the sixth day, after losing three quarters of their main force.
However, such crushing victory was also won on the Striknokian side, during the Siege of Covenchest, a garrison city of the Krothian Empire. A force of 100,000 lightly geared and lowly trained Krothian loyalists marched upon the city, expecting the mining town to be undefended due to the recent defeat at Convenmaul. Upon the Krothian army’s arrival, they immediately realized they were fooled and were eventually defeated by a small force of 20,000 Striknokian loyalists
The war ended with crushing losses for both sides, with no clear victor coming out of it. However, an event that took part in the Crestgaze Palace, capital of the Krothian Empire, shook whatever could minimally think inside their society. Xetrialk, an apparent loyal man of the Krothian Empire, alongside his men, stabbed the back of both Kroth and Striknok, claiming the throne for himself. The last marking era of the Ratiki had began, the Xetrialkian Era.
The Xetrialkian Era, unlike the Krothian Era, was marked by a single time period. The Era of Pestilence.
Ironically, the name of this Era is not related to any pestilence the Ratiki caused to Descendants. Rather, the plaguebearers themselves suffered a taste of their own medicine. During the Xetrialkian Era, the now Emperor Xetrialk was careless about his people and he judged himself rightful for doing so. In Xetrialk’s view, a divided society somehow strengthened itself in the times of war and disgrace. Xetrialk proved himself ultimately wrong when his Empire, who was a fruit of the Krothian Era, was put to the ground by the division he sought.
The Great Plague
The Great Plague was an event during the Xetrialkian era - that marked the beginning of its end - composed of three wars and five Empires. The most turbulent time of the Ratiki, the end of this Plague would bring forth a more united Ratiki people. The five empires, the Xetrialk Empire, the Skicralk Empire, the Qhrol Empire and the United Vet-Chralk Empire - Vet and Chralk were blood-brothers - were fruit of Xetrialk’s Division. Those five empires would leave heritages to the years of Ratiki history ahead of it. Xetrialk with masterful tactics, Skicralk with the advanced weapons and warmachines, Qhrol with the system of writing the Ratiki use - of which is extremely primitive - and the Vet-Chralk, who brought forth the wonders of the ‘Upper-Ground’ as the Ratiki call. However, those heritages came at a stake. A stake of blood, iron and life. The Three Great Ratiki Wars.
First Great Ratiki War
Fought between the Qhrol Empire and its neighbor, the Skicralk Empire, it was a war over a single city, the famed Covenmaul, industrial city of the Krothian Era, who stored weapons, iron and warmachines that were ahead of their own time. The favoured side, the Qhrol Empire, had a cocky stance regarding it’s opponent. Since they had invented the writing system, sending vital communications and orders was much easier, through letters and numbers that only Qhrollian men could understand. However, Covenmaul was under Skicralkian domain, since Skicralk himself was an aged, old Ratiki from the Krothian Era. Taking advantage of that, and the time that the Qhrollian men took to invade, Skicralk produced a single, advanced, fire-bursting warmachine that would come to be known by Ratiki as the Blazingfang, named after its fang-like shape.. The Battle of Covenmaul, the single battle in that war, annihilated the Qhrollian Empire, without a single Skicralkian casualty in the numbers, or so they boasted. Without the Qhrollian Empire in the way, Skicralk came to be known as one of the strongest empires, matching Xetrialk’s might, the direct heir of Kroth himself.
Second Great Ratiki War
Fought between the Vet-Chralk Empire and the mighty Xetrialkian Empire. A crushing Xetrialkian victory, this war can be compared to the ‘Upper-Worldian’ war between Oren and the Azaghol Orcs. Vet and Chralk, who had already ventured into the Upper-World, thought that with the knowledge they gathered it was possible to beat the upper-handed Xetrialkian Empire. What Vet and Chralk forgot, was that Xetrialk, as direct heir of Krothian lands - though not hereditarily - had access to technologically advanced weapons - as in, minimally polished iron axes. The two battles fought in this war, Battle of the Red Vale and the Siege of Sternblight, were both crushing Xetrialkian victories. This war was unimportant to the outcomes of any of the remaining two Empires, Xetrialkian and Skicralkian.
Third Great Ratiki War
During the time of the Third Great Ratiki War, the Xetrialkian Empire, at its prime, thought it could take over the Skicralkian Empire using the same diseases, pestilence and havoc against their own. In the Battle of the Plague, where Xetrialk bombed Skicralkian forces with barrels of poison, the tactics he endorsed backfired. Skicralk, in a smart, bold move, had prepared hidden tunnels all around Lonegazer (Vale on which the battle was fought) so that when the barrels came, Skicralkian forces hid in those tunnels. In the aftermath, when the Xetrialkian forces came to conquer the Vale, with Xetrialk himself leading, an ambush attack, led by Skicralk, took the Xetrialkian Legions by surprise. In a one-on-one combat brought each other down. With no one to rule, the Ratiki people were left in despair, though unbroken. Several reigns broke out and thus remains the divided nations of the Ratiki. Though now, under a Combined Rule of the Emperor Qrul Skullthorn, the Ratiki began surfacing.
With the surfacing of the Ratmen, what they would come to find was a crumbling island, thorn by the havoc the devious pests caused in the underground. Desperate, Qrul ordered the construction of something Ratiki could never think of making: boats. The earth shattered under the feet of the hurried Ratiki engineers. The overseers cracked whips on the backs of the workers as they constructed makeshift boats from the few resources they could scavenge. Qrul, leading in a big warship, clad in spears, blades and the few warmachines they had left, commanded a fleet of fifteen small boats, filled with bloodthirsty vermin, craving for new land to burrow on. It took the horde a stone week to reach new lands, a world that the Descendants had discovered mere weeks before. It was a new host for the parasites to infest. Upon settling his feet on the rich lands of Atlas, Qrul, without a second thought, ordered the begin of the burrowing of what remained of the Ratmen. Henceforth, the Ratiki were settled in Atlas, and stood ready to spread chaos throughout her fertile lands.
Ratiki are humanoid creatures that appear remarkably similar to rats, hence their name. The average Ratiki has brown or black fur that is often matted and covered in filth and sport enormous fangs that lie upon their upper jaw, which are often chipped or dirtied due to their lack of hygiene. All ratikis have extraordinarily long tails, which can sometimes be longer than a ratiki itself. The vermin’s eyes are more often than not beady and conniving in character, with colors ranging from pitch black to a flushed crimson. Due to the amount of turmoil and strife prevalent within Ratiki society, they often do not live into their thirties. Ratikis also suffer from an extremely fast metabolism, which forces them to consume large amounts of food. This often leads to a constant shortage of food, which results in starvation or even cannibalism. The ratfolk are physically weaker than mostly every other race, as such, it is virtually unable for a ratiki to beat a human in single combat. To make up for this, they are very fast and agile, and will often flee if ever confronted by a human. Ratikis do have the capability to wear armor, though the Ratikis themselves do not have any specific armor or clothing design. They usually wear armor taken from other races, or they just find cloth on the surface that they bring down to make clothing.
The Ratiki society is composed of deceivers, murderers, brutes and generally malevolent people. It is composed on whose ego is bigger and who will backstab the other first. The prime example of this backstabbing society can be seen with Xetrialk and his reign. During Xetrialk’s reign, the harsh division he imposed on the otherwise united Krothian Empire sparkled more and more fights between Ratiki bosses, such as mine overseers, chieftains and such, and generated much more internal turmoil then he could ever wish.These days, the Ratiki are a devilish race, vermins that overview themselves as more than they are, and more than their own brothers are. The Ratiki society can be classified as a primal, rather, tribal government, not only for their internal division under a ‘chieftain’ but because of their position towards the females. In Ratiki society, females are generally not allowed in positions of power. Due to the limited number of them, females are never allowed outside of the confines of the ‘Ratiki Empire.’
The Emperor is chosen during a “free for all” style duel, where all the chieftains battle and the victor becomes the new Emperor and reigns until his death. If a majority of the Empire dislikes the current Emperor, then the chance of him being assassinated is very high, and whichever (un)lucky rat gets the kill, gets the throne. Otherwise, the Emperor is recognised as the Supreme Leader of the United Tribes. He handpicks all chieftains, who then handpicks all Warbosses, who then handpicks Warchiefs and Foremans. The Chieftains are the leaders of each divided tribe of the Ratiki Empire. Each tribe is named after the surname of the Ratiki that leads them. Normally, Ratiki surnames are combined words that say something, much like their cities (Covenmaul is Coven and Maul, since it was a coven to make weapons, sometimes mauls). For an example, the Duskrunner tribe, led by Shuxkuach Duskrunner. The Windwatcher tribe, led by Skach Windwatcher. However, this also changes with every chieftain change. The Ratiki Empire is not named after the surname of the Emperor, and is rather called the ‘Under-Empire’ as opposed to the ‘Upper-Empire,’ due to the wretched abyss that it resides in.
The current Emperor of the Ratiki Under-Empire is Qrul Skullthorn, and his chieftains are Chek Deathgrip, Ashal Pridejaw, Sroxrulk Verminchaser and Xit Pinedigger.
Interracial conflict is very common in Ratiki culture. Tribes constantly raid each other, and the Emperor simply lets them, knowing it is the culture of his ilk. Chieftains will gather a warband, and assign a Warboss to represent them upon the field of battle. After a successful raid, the Chieftain gets to take his spoils first, then the Warboss, and then the rest of the band.
The Ratiki rarely ever start conflicts with the newly-arrived Descendants, the constant backstabbing and general treachery in the Ratiki society makes them worry more about their own back than what disgraces they can cause upon the Descendants and how.
Ratiki rarely blame themselves for their failures. Due to their high ego, Ratiki always believe that the fault is on someone else. For example, if a Chieftain assigns a rather weak warboss to lead a raid and it ultimately fails, the Chieftain may put the blame on the Warboss, who then puts the blame on the man he commanded, and so on.
In Ratiki society, the concept of murder, theft and adultery is absent. Or, rather, the concept of crime itself is not present in the rafolk’s society. If a Ratiki murders the other, for whatever reason, that Ratiki is seen as strong, for taking on the other, regardless of which is stronger or if it was an actual combat. Any concept of good morals or value to life is completely vanished in the Under-Empire. Theft is seen as nothing but fight between two ratmen and is ignored by all. The only crime a Ratiki can commit in the Under-Empire is treason, which is the attempt to attack the Emperor while he still lives and reigns.
By some miracle, or perhaps a case of divine intervention, the Ratikis have managed to learn some form of Common. The dialect they speak consists of chittering and squeaks in between words. They are oblivious to the existence of pronouns, so they refer to themselves by name. Ratiki speak in hastened voices, speaking much faster than any of the Descendant races. The reason for this is unknown. Also, due to their belief of being superior than everyone else, they view all other ‘inferior’ races as objects that are nowhere near the perfection of a Ratiki, and refer to them as “things” or “filth.” The absence of pronouns and a general sense of grammar makes the Ratiki sound less intelligent than they can actually be. Their simple speech is direct and transmits what the ratmen wish to express.
Independent of the tribe’s name or leader, all tribes in the Ratiki Under-Empire have a different function. The Emperor assigns each function to the tribes. When a new Emperor and new Chieftains appear, the assignment happens once more. There are several primary functions which each tribe can perform.
Engineering Tribes are, as the name suggests, engineers. They are tasked to build the Ratikian Warmachines (excluding the Doomwheel) and are also responsible for operating them in wartime, as the others are far too inept to operate them with full understandment. The current leading tribe in Engineering is lead by Xit Pinedigger.
Warfare tribes are those that are built upon raiding and pillaging. They usually consist of the rank-and-file soldiers of the Ratiki Empire. They are supposed to be commanded by the Emperor, that rarely actually happens because Ratikis are more interested in themselves and their own ways to pillage and raid than the orders imposed by another of their ilk. The main Warfare tribe is the Pridejaw Tribe led by Ashal Pridejaw.
Plaguebearer tribes are tribes formed and composed of Ratiki that are masterful in creating, mixing and working with diseases, poison and pestilence in general. These Ratiki operate warmachines and machines in the Ratiki society that use poison and toxins in general. The current tribe in charge of plagues and pestilence is the Deathgrip Tribe led by Chek Deathgrip.
These tribes are tasked by the Emperor to roam the ‘Upper-World’ for resources. From food to armour of fallen descendants, these tribes are composed by far by the most deceiving and evil Ratiki who have seen the Upper-Ground and consider themselves superior to others. The main Scavenger tribe is the Verminchaser Tribe led by Sroxrulk Verminchaser.
- Physical strength is comparable to a Halfling's
- Poor eyesight in sunlight
- Weak immune system
- Extreme agility
- Superior eyesight in dark/dim atmospheres
- Abnormally powerful hearing
- Cannot use magic
- Cannot individually combat a descendant
- Cannot function properly in sunlight