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Tunnelgrub

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Tunnelgrub is one of the sub-types of the Darkling seeming - changeling who slide and slither through tunnels and sewers and chimneys, the better to do terrible things in the night. Theirs is the blessing of Slither and Squirm.

OverviewEdit

What lurks beneath our feet? What sort of creatures move silently through the earth, only revealing their pale selves if unearthed, or emerging at night to avoid the burning sun? Tunnelgrubs are the changelings who wriggled free from such subterranean monstrosities, or who were forced to go burrowing in the cold Arcadian earth for unwholesome roots and treasures. But although Tunnelgrubs were treated as vermin in Faerie, they also learned tricks that gave them the opportunity for escape. There are legends of a Tunnelgrub “underground railroad” that successfully evacuates changelings from Arcadia to this day. Many Tunnelgrubs know some form of “knocker’s code,” a combination of raps that can warn a listener of danger or send other primitive messages. A Tunnelgrub will often teach this to the rest of his motley as a precaution. The code is not universal, though, as different Arcadian mines and burrows may each have had their own code. This limitation hasn’t stopped some Tunnelgrubs from attempting to spread their code as far among allies as possible, sending a series of “taps” even via cell phone as a cryptic warning. Most Tunnelgrubs are quite slender, all the better to squeeze through painfully cramped tunnels. They may move with an almost boneless gait, and some seem almost more comfortable crouched or on all fours. A grub-like pallor is common, but some are black as coal with lamp-like eyes. Some have small claws (perhaps providing a Brawl Specialty); others have long and strong fingers perfect for sliding around cobblestones and chipping out mortar.

DuranceEdit

A Tunnelgrub’s durance was invariably spent underground. A catacomb, mine, winding tunnel or slimy burrow may have served as the Tunnelgrub’s domicile; some were even kept in the dungeons or sewers beneath brightly lit palaces, seeing little of the extravagant galas that sprawled through the halls each night. Some changelings became Tunnelgrubs by necessity, shut up in a jaded Keeper’s oubliette and gradually transforming as they dug their way to freedom.

FolkloreEdit

Tunnelgrubs are one potential extrapolation of the various subterranean faeries that populate legends. A Wizened might be a more appropriate fit for the diligent kobold miner that’s more interested in its job than anything else, but a Tunnelgrub may be the mine-sprite that plays ugly little tricks on miners or the creature they say slinks through the storm drains. Some subterranean fairies of legend are distinctly malevolent, such as the scuttling kallikantzaroi of Greece who emerge in dark Winter to cause mischief.

FrailtiesEdit

Cannot walk on bare earth without removing shoes, counting compulsions (particularly holes, such as in a colander), agoraphobia, cannot escape from ropes tied with a specific knot, vulnerable to falling rain

ReferencesEdit

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