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Ysoki, also known among others as ratfolk, are small people who resemble humanoid rats. They are found as both itinerant merchants and scavengers in the cities of other races.
Standing about four feet tall and weighing eighty pounds, ysoki have whiskered snouts and long, scaly tails just like common rats. When in cities, they wear heavy robes to conceal their rodentlike features, which unnerve other races. Contrary to a common stereotype of being dirty or diseased, ysoki are instinctively clean. Ratfolk are sometimes mistaken for wererats and treated with fear unless they have the chance to correct the misidentification.
Ratfolk might take up the adventuring life to explore and travel, to defend their family or community, or for any number of other reasons. Their natural wit and nimble fingers make ratfolk excellent alchemists and rogues, while some specialize in ranged weapons as fighters or rangers.
Habitat and society
Ratfolk are communal by nature, living in colonies of up to 100 adults and thriving on proximity and contact, even in tight spaces. They make their homes either on the road in traveling caravans, in the sewers and slums of large cities, or in subterranean caves. Their warrens are complex enough to easily hide their hoards or escape from enemies. Ratfolk merchants trawl markets for intriguing items, which they value over money.
Ratfolk have an affinity for all kinds of rodents, including rats and giant rats, and they excel at tinkering and alchemy, and often protect their lairs with creations like traps and bombs. They are also known to tame giant fleas for use as mounts.
Ysoki merchants regularly dispatch large caravans that travel widely for at least a year before returning home. During this time they make an effort to learn new things from other peoples and collect interesting goods to be brought home.
Ysoki excel at fighting in cramped spaces alongside their kin. Though physically weak, they are extremely loyal to their kin and are notorious for avenging fallen family members. Threatening one individual is a surefire way to rally the whole community.
Although not known for their trickery (they take great pride in their professionalism when dealing with other races), ysoki are not above using their size and numbers to outwit or outmaneuver an enemy when threatened.
The largest ysoki population on Golarion is found in the Darklands of Tian Xia, where they rule over the empire of Diguo-Dashu, in the caverns of Sekamina. These ratfolk declared war on Imperial Lung Wa in 4251 AR and seized a dozen cities before the Imperial Army drove them back into the deeps and sealed the entrances to the Darklands behind them. Other large numbers of ratfolk dwell in Deepmarket, a subterranean city located far beneath the city of Goka, and the City of Whistling Swords, a ruined tengu city in Kwanlai. Ular Kel in Casmaron also counts ratfolk among the many non-human inhabitants of its Khoretz district.
Inner Sea region
Ratfolk in the Inner Sea region are commonly found in the more arid and flat parts of human nations, including Druma and Katapesh. Tribes of primitive ratfolk live on the western edge of the Dirt Sea in the Hold of Belkzen. A ratfolk settlement called Chitterhome can also be found in the Sellen Hills region of Numeria, where they eagerly scavenge for technological wonders and weapons.
On distant worlds
Golarion is not the only world on which ratfolk make their homes. Akiton, the savage Red Planet, is home to a ysoki community who are physically almost identical to their relatives on Golarion, despite being worlds apart and having thousands of years of their own distinct history.
Small and timid, the ysoki are equally adapted to the open desert, the strange formian honeycomb caves sometimes found in the deepest trenches of the planet, and in major human cities (where they tend to gravitate towards the slums). Renowned as tinkerers, scavengers, hoarders, traders, and pickpockets, the ysoki are cunning and resourceful. They've shown particular talents for disassembling and re-purposing technology.
Thanks to the cross-planetary trade facilitated by the network of portals linking the two worlds, many ysoki have also spread to the Green Planet, Castrovel.
Paizo published a major section about ratfolk in Monster Codex, and an article on ratfolk in Blood of the Beast.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
- ↑ In Pathfinder First Edition, the term Ysoki is always written in uppercase and exclusively refers to the ratfolk population on Akiton.
- ↑ The singular and plural of ratfolk are the same.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jesse Benner et al. (2011). Bestiary 3 (First Edition), p. 231. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-378-1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mark Seifter, et al. (2019). Bestiary (Second Edition), p. 277. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-170-2
- ↑ Logan Bonner, Lyz Liddell, Mark Seifter et al. (2020). Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide, p. 23. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-257-0
- ↑ Andrew Mullen, Patrick Renie, David N. Ross, and Michael Sayre. (2020). "Adventure Toolbox". The Show Must Go On, p. 83. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-201-3
- ↑ James L. Sutter. (2012). Distant Worlds, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-403-0
- ↑ Alexander Augunas et al. (2015). Dirty Tactics Toolbox, p. 23. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-763-5
- ↑ James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 21. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
- ↑ James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 17. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
- ↑ James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
- ↑ James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
- ↑ James L. Sutter. (2015). Ular Kel, The Caravan City. Distant Shores, p. 59. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-787-1
- ↑ Alexander Augunas, John Compton, and Crystal Frasier. (2016). Blood of the Beast, p. 3. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-901-1
- ↑ Tyler Beck, Jason Garrett, Alex Greenshields, and David Schwartz. (2014). Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes, p. 15. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-710-9
- ↑ Jim Groves, James Jacobs, and Russ Taylor. (2014). Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-653-9
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Ethan Day-Jones, Jim Groves, Jonathan H. Keith, Andrew Romine, David N. Ross, and James L. Sutter. (2014). People of the Stars, p. 15. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-674-4
- ↑ James L. Sutter. (2012). Distant Worlds, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-403-0