Scavvies are a catch-all term for those dispossessed members of humanity that inhabit the polluted and toxic Hive Sumps of the planet Necromunda, and it is particularly likely that similar groups exist in the lowest reaches of other Hive Worlds.
Appearance & Nature
Scavvies are humans who exist in the lowest reaches of the hive cities, where the effluent of industry makes its way downward and pollutes the environment. This is also a region where the rule of the Imperium holds little influence and so there exists little rule of law and even less support or provision of food and water.
It is in this world that the Scavvies exist; their environment has twisted them into pathetic degenerates that have few moral qualms when faced with matters of their own survival. They live on a diet that more "normal" humans might find distasteful; sometimes even encroaching into cannibalism in order to stay alive.
A typical Scavvy appears how one would expect any human who lives in extreme poverty to appear. They have a very poor complexion of almost yellow skin, due to the build-up of pollutants, the lack of sunlight, and disease. They also often have wasted and/or deformed limbs, probably due to poor healthcare or birth defects.
Despite these outward defects, it is important to note that Scavvies are not necessarily Mutants, although mutants do appear among them as they do among other human populations. The majority of scavvies are of baseline human stock.
Due to the nature of their environment, Scavvies must group together in order to survive. Yet due to the isolation and their anti-social behaviours, these groups invariably consist of several families that are severely inbred, no doubt increasing their rate of degeneration.
Yet loyalty to their family is not a common trait held by scavvies, and thus the group is held together through a combination of brute force and underhandedness by the strongest male of the pack. Even then, the largest groups do not often last for long and its members will desert unless threatened or bribed to stay.
That said, there have been occurances of particularly successful "Beggar Kings" who have united several Scavvy packs into a single tribe, which no doubt will have dispersed once again upon their deaths.
Scavvies cannot organise themselves well enough to occupy or operate any territory that they might inhabit, which may or may not be a result of their lack of education. Thus any location that they move their base camp to will quickly accumulate garbage and filth, becoming highly contaminated due to their disgusting way of life.
Yet despite this lack of managerial organisation, they are cunning enough to plan raids and ambushes. Even the more successful leaders among them begin make-shift racketeering or "tax" operations through intimidation of the more well-to-do hive dwellers.
Also, most of the Scavvy leaders have the foresight to bring support with them whenever they go into battle and will round up even less fortunate hive dwellers and goad them into battle as fodder.
Wild animals inhabit the underhives, and just like humanity have not been untouched by their environment. Scavvy Dogs are like the Scavvies themselves in that they are twisted and degenerated from their natural state and also much like Scavvies they are ruthless survivors.
Packs of these dogs prowl the underhives in search of weak prey and can be a terror to unarmed communities though they can also provide the vital function of consuming the dead in an environment with no interest in funereal rites.
Occasionally a Scavvy leader will "befriend" a pack of these wild dogs and bring them into battle. Although this level of domestication is of the lowest sort and its loyalty is entirely up to the dog remaining fed.
Even Necromunda has not been untouched by the Zombie Plague although it is uncertain whether anyone realises that this is the touch of Chaos or not. Although the plague has long since passed it has not been purged entirely. Small handfuls of directionless zombies can still be found in the lowest reaches, feeding on animals or dead things.
Scavvies have learned to utilise these unthinking creatures by rounding them up and pushing them towards their enemies. This is a potent tactic as although the zombies are not the strongest of adversaries, they have no fear or sensation of pain and may yet pass on their plague to their unfortunate victims and bolster their numbers.
Ghouls are those who have fed on human flesh whether by necessity or malice and have been so tainted by the act that it has damaged their minds.
Ghouls may not originally have been Scavvies and may have come from further up the social ladder, but due to seclusion and insanity they invariably find their way to the bottom of the hive and share the same spaces as the Scavvies.
Particularly clever Scavvy groups can entice the ghouls into battle although they can be particularly unreliable when combat begins and they find themselves surrounded by blood and fresh meat.
In an environment that twists and degenerates its inhabitants, some mutations may stabilise within populations and create a new form of Abhuman. In the case of Necromunda this has formed the sub-species referred to as Scalies.
Scalies are so named due to their thick reptilian-like skin which acts like a form of armour. They are particularly massive, immensely strong and have the unique ability to regenerate from almost any debilitating injury and will re-grow lost limbs if given enough time.
However, Scalies are so obviously divergent from baseline humans that it is unlikely that they would be tolerated by any Imperial citizen. Furthermore, their voiceboxes have also mutated to the degree that they can no longer communicate in human languages and so their intentions and origins are almost impossible to determine. It is suspected that they live in hidden tribes in only the most polluted locations of the hive where no human can travel.
Why Scalies sometimes align themselves with Scavvies is a mystery, although a Scavvy leader knows it can only be good for him if he can entice the Scaly to remain longer.
- 1: Necromunda Resources - Scavvies - Jake Thornton, Specialist Games
- 2: Necromunda: Outlanders Rulebook, pg. 77