|Oh what strange and wonderful lords and ladies. Art by - Quique Alcatena|
There are those who wander the streets of the city, armed with blade and charm. They are the city's children, perpetual pilgrims wandering her form. Urban lords and ladies, above law and reproach, made mad by their love for an endless place. Blessed beggars all, they flourish upon alms and the city's favor. They are her emissaries, traveling to lesser polises to whisper the city's regards into storm-drains and blind alleys. It is to them that the city gives the fullness of her love, and are favored more than any other citizen.
Mad Poets and Priests of the City
The Infinity City, like all cities, is filled with the dispossessed living on its fringes. What sets our city apart, dear reader, is that our city will embrace a select few into its inner mysteries. Orphaned children, destitute nobles, lost men and women, as well as so many others find themselves at the mercy of the city on one night or another. On nights charmed by the city herself, these poor folk are lead to hidden places of a city cell, some through drunken stupor others from the need to find warmth. These selected of the city are drawn by warm light streaming down alleys and the sounds of quiet revelry. If followed, the signs and sights lead these blessed castoffs to places of haven called Statios.
All city cells possess a Statio, though few citizens would know it, for the city keeps them close to her bosom and away from prying eyes. Statio are always hidden down secret ways, streets and alleys that the eye never notices despite being in plain view. Each Statio is attended to by two individuals called the Lord/Lady of Ways and the Lord/Lady of Gutters. If judged worthy by the two, an initiate is given extensive education and training to make them into the children of the city. Time in the Statio is elastic, with the perception of time's passage rarely matching its reality. In what might be weeks, months, or years these initiates are educated by the Lord/Lady of Ways in the arts, history, and philosophy; children and the uneducated needing more time than those whose already possess knowledge on such subjects. During their time at the Statio the Lord/Lady of Gutters teaches these hopefuls in the ways of survival, violence, and city-craft. Such time and education in these charmed places has a tendency toward quixotism and madness. By the end of their time at the Statio these individuals have become consummate poets, erudite scholars, and exceptional street fighters. In their last moments in the Statio they are given the title of Dominus/Don (m) or Domina/Dona de la Urbas (Lord/Lady of the City), though most often simply go by Don/Dona <insert name here>. Upon leaving the Statio these individuals spend the rest of their days wandering the city and upholding the Regula Urba (Rule of the City), behaving in a manner similar to Don Quixote. Those that live to an old enough age come back to the Statio and take up that mantle of Lord/Lady of Ways or Gutters. Those that die upon the city's blessed streets are given, by tradition, burials or cremations with the highest honors the neighborhood state can bestow. A neighborhood state that ignores this tradition risks the city's ire, in which it can cut it completely off from the rest of the city cells or from reality itself.
Dons and Donas are treat with a weary form of respect by the majority of the citizens who provide them with alms of money and goods. These crusaders of the city wander about, protecting citizens and upholding the honor of the city; though what exactly the 'honor of the city' is has differing definitions depending on the Don/Dona. Living charmed lives where the city provides for their needs, these individuals live their lives as if they were characters in chivalric romances. Neighborhood states allow them to go about their mad business out of fear of the city's ire and because they generally keep the street safe. Constables of various neighborhood states are allowed to place a Don/Dona in 'protective custody' for a period of no longer than two full days, which usually amounts to making them comfortable in a holding cell to keep the individual from making too much trouble. For the most part they are seen as insane, but well meaning, mascots of the city.
Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in... - Red Hot Chili Peppers
While this class is geared towards the Infinite City, it can be transplanted into most game worlds. The class functions largely like a combination of Thief, Bard, and Ranger.
OSR / AD&D
Hit-Dice: D8 (+2 HP per level at level 10+)
THAC0 / To-Hit Progression: As a Thief
Saves: As Rogues
Experience Levels: As Priest
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: As Rogues
Skill Proficiencies: As Rogues
City Blessings: These are a set of percentile skills that represents the city's favor for the Don/Dona. To keep the use of these abilities, the Don/Dona must obey a code of conduct. Those who break such a code must return to the Statio the trained them and ask the two attendants for a quest to regain the favor of the city. Such questions usually involve peril to the offending Don/Dona. The code is:
Thou shalt defend the City.
Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
Thou shalt make war against the wicked without cessation and without mercy.
Thou shalt live on the charity and mercy of the City, owning no residence, keeping only what thou can carry.
Thou shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.
Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.
Thou shalt have no other family, never taking a husband or wife, nor siring or carrying a child. Thou art married to the City, though she is merciful and gives her blessing in seeking “temporary company”.
A character begins with 30 points to place in the following abilities, putting no more than 20 in a single ability. At every level, the character gains 15 more points to place into these abilities.