An Ill Storm Gathers
Rat Catcher Extraordinaire
Appearance and Demeanor:
Due to a hard life, Fetter has several scars all over his body. The remnants of terrible burns when he was 12, and scars across his body from from his years in the street gangs. Atop all this, he usually has several scabs and wounds covering his hands and legs from his time in the sewers. On the best of days, he smells like the sewer gas you smell when you pass a sewer hatch. Most of the time he is unkempt and his hair is matted.
Despite all this, he has a generally cheerful demeanor and is easy to get along with. He has an upbeat attitude springing from the fact that his youth was much worse than his life today.
The story of Fetter Flin
Fetter was the product of the cursed union between a disease ridden prostitute well past her time and an ex-cleric of Morr. Not much is known about the cleric of Morr, other than that he had a sick fascination with death that had gotten him throw from his order. Most clerics of Morr are a little odd to begin with, but this cleric in particular apparently had done such sacrilege that he was thrown from the order and stricken from the cult’s annals. Since Fetter’s mother never bothered to ask his name, nothing else is known of him.
As for Fetter’s mother, she was a well-known prostitute in the city of Altdorf. In her younger days, she had many customers and even gained some political clout. Unfortunately she had the misfortune of catching the interest of Nurgle. Fetter’s mother was so promiscuous that she proved to be the perfect agent for the spread of a plague. In 2503 a plague ravaged the poor and middle class districts of Altdorf. Luckily or unluckily Fetter’s mother was immune to the plague, but was a perfect agent for its dispersion. Most of her regular customer’s died during this time and as a result she lowered herself to servicing more questionable and more heavily traveled customers. It didn’t take long for her to contract several diseases that would eventually lead to her death in 2512.
Try though fate might, Fetters was born in 2507, against all odds. His mother named him Fetters. Though Fetters never really knew her, people told him later she called him Fetters because of how he held her back. Prevented her from getting better customers and generally proved to be a nuisance in her life.
After his mother’s death, Fetter’s was left to the streets. He fell in with a gutter rat gang known as the “Black Lizards”. The gang mostly kept to small time larceny, and beggar rackets. When Fetter’s joined the gang, it was ran by a boy of 13 who was generally kind to his members, but it didn’t take long for him to fall ill, as was the fate of most of the children in these street gangs. A 14 year old bruiser, named “Fist”, stepped up to take the former leaders place and lead the gang through fear and violence for the next 7 years.
It was also during this time that Fetter became great friends a young girl in the gang. It’s even possible that he felt love for her. The girl at the time went by the name “Doll Face”, because of her cute face and strawberry blond hair. In the nights of fear and terror that were common place in the Black Lizards, the formed a deep friendship and Fetter even shared his meager portions of food with her. They planned together to save their extra coins and get out of the gang. They had dreams of living comfortably and even traveling. As most things in life, no good could last for Fetter.
When Fetter’s was 12 he had begun to stand out as a rival leader to Fist. Many in the gang sided with Fetter as a result of his kindness to others and willingness to share. Fist made several attempts on Fetter’s life, which he narrowly escaped, though not unscathed. During this time, Fist’s actions as leader grew more violent and more than one of the kids in the gang died as a result of his beatings.
Fist knew of Fetter and Doll Face’s relationship and resolved to hurt Fetter through Doll Face. He took a knife and maimed her face brutally. The maiming nearly resulted in her death, but quick action on Fetter’s part let her live on. For female children of the streets, what little looks they had were everything for them. If they couldn’t get a job as a waitress or maid, they would be forced to become a streetwalker. Any girl maimed in the way Doll Face was maimed was doomed.
Finally one night, Fetter’s lured the older boy to a dock house and tricked him into stepping into a looped rope. Throwing a heavy stone into the nearby water, the older boy was drowned, and Fetter’s became the new leader of the gang.
Fetter’s victory was short lived however as that very night, the New Revolutionary Party had chosen to raze parts of the city in protest of the government. Over half of the gang died, and those that survived fled to join other gangs. As Fetter was running back to the hovel that he had left Doll Face, he was knocked unconscious by a falling wooden beam.
Two days passed before the Fetter was rescued from the rubble. He had been badly burned and was extremely week. A cleric of Sigmar took him to a nearby temporary hospice and days later he finally regained consciousness.
Fetter immediately left the care of the hospital, and went to search for Doll Face. No matter where he searched he couldn’t find her. For years afterward he would search for her and find no leads to her whereabouts.
Fetter was now 12 years old. Without a gang and having lost Doll Face, he felt he was without direction. He wandered the streets for nearly a year begging for scraps of food and stealing what he could to get by, but often he would run afoul of the now more prominent gangs. He was too old to join any of those gangs and too young to join any of the adult gangs.
Becoming more and more lost in life, Fetter began to use the sewers for shelter and to travel around the city. He became more and more accustomed to the sewers and withdrew from society. He learned to avoid the rats and rat catchers that would travel the sewers. He knew when to steal up from the sewers and steal food or when the best time to beg for coins would be, but most of all, he found a sort of home, where, despite the dangers, he felt safe.
Approximately 3 years passed during this time, and when he was 16 he met the man who would change his life. One night while sleeping in his sewer hideaway, he was awakened by barking and several large furred bodies entering his home. Moving quickly he lit a lantern he had stolen and was scarred to the point of pissing his pants with what he saw. Before him, although he did not know it, stood 2 equally surprised Skaven staring at him. A moment later there was a flurry of action as Fetter made a dive for the exit of his hideaway and the Skaven tried to capture and kill him. He narrowly escaped only to find himself face to face with a small but vicious dog barreling toward him. The then dog leaped at him and he narrowly ducked low as the dog passed overhead. Leaping to his feet he ran down the sewer to get away. Just as he turned a corner he ran into a large man who was heading the opposite direction. Knocked senseless he fell into the muck of the sewer and hit his head, seconds later he was unconscious.
Fetter awoke later that night on a cot in a warm house with a blanket over him. Frightened and wondering where he was, he sat up quickly and looked around. Across the room near the fireplace lay a small dog sleeping next to a fireplace. Nearby a large man in a brown trench coat sat with his back to Fetter.
Fetter turned and sat with his feet on the floor, staring at the man and the dog. After a while he finally spoke saying, “Am I dead? Is this heaven?” Laughing the man turned around, and looked at Fetter.
After a moment he said, “Son, if this here’s heaven, I’m think’in you got the short end of a stick.”
Staring at the man dumbfounded, Fetter was without words.
The man continued, “My name is Ned Flin, an that there’s Gik. We found ya down in the sewer while we wer after a pack a rats. I dun no what yer do’in down ther, ba from teh looks o it, ya thought ya could live down ther.”
After waiting for Fetter to say something, he said, “Wel, be tha as it may. It seems ya got a knack fer the sewers. If yer up ta it, and will’in to lern. I’d teach ya the way a teh Rat Catcher. I’m gettin on in years an so is Gik, so I mighten just as well pass on some a what I know.”
And so started Fetter’s education as a Rat Catcher, not exactly middle class dream he had from his younger days with Doll Face, but it was a step up from living in the sewers and stealing food.
Ned was an accomplished Rat Catcher, perhaps even as knowledgeable Rat Guru, and passed on his knowledge to Fetter. Gik, though old for a dog of his age was not without his own prowess. He mated with a local stray, and Fetter was able to pick and train his own small but vicious dog which he named, “Gar”, due to an odd noise the dog made when growling.
Three years after taking Fetter in, Ned nearly died while clearing out a rat nest. The black crab in his lungs kicked in just as he was overwhelmed by a pocket of sewer gas. Gik was able to escape the gas and came and got Fetter. The younger ratcatcher rushed to his mentor’s side and pulled him out before the rats began to chew on him.
Fetter was able to learn from this experience: Even the greatest of men can be brought down by the smallest of occurrences.
Many wouldn’t call Ned a great man, and Ned told Fetter so on that day, saying: “Someday oi’ll be burried in a nunmark’d grave.” Fetter resolved to never forget what Ned had had said, and that he would one day prove the old man wrong by saving up enough money to get him a proper Grave Stone.
Fetter, at the age of 19, is a well-trained Rat Catching machine. After the rescue, Ned told Fetter that saving a fellow ratcatcher was one of the secret requirements to becoming a Master Ratcatcher. Now that he had achieved it, he could be informed that he had already fulfilled the rest, excepting only the Master Catch: Now Fetter had to catch a rat so big or so ferocious that none of the other Master Ratcatchers can deny has achieved that rank.
His trusty, small but vicious dog, Gar, at his side, Fetter makes a modest living catching rats and searching for the upright walking rats he had seen once in his youth, thinking one of their skulls might prove to be his Master Catch. In his free time, Fetter searches for signs of where Doll Face is and hopes to one day reunite with her, and perhaps one day, offer her their dream of a comfortable house to live in, with plenty of food to get by.
Fetter has a working relationship with a gang of dockworkers known as The Fish, who tattoo their bodies with scales. He keeps the docks they control free of vermin, and they show him where certain caches of pilfered goods can be found in the sewers. He is allowed to help himself (to a limited degree) in return for keeping the rats away from any perishable goods which might be found in these caches.
Then, one day, Ned tells him of rumors, rumors of a ratcatcher nearly killed in Ubersreik. Perhaps this could be the chance for a Master Catch…