Consummate miners and diggers, the degg had carved paths beneath the world while the rest of us ignorantly walked above them. When they met with races closer to the surface and discovered their wondrous technologies, the deggs’ productivity increased tenfold. Now the stewards of a tunnel system that connect the largest cities in the world, the degg have become an industrious, if somewhat reclusive ally to many of the surface races.
Short and hardy, the degg stand on average around 3 to 4 feet. Their features are pointed, with conical noses with pink tips and whiskers, and stubby hands with elongated sharp claws that are capable of easily digging through soft dirt. Their backs are naturally hunched, and their legs are short and stocky, making them slow to move, but sturdy. They have beady black eyes that have excellent vision in the dark, but are extremely sensitive to sunlight. As a result, degg who travel to the surface often wear dark-tinted quartz spectacles to protect their delicate eyes.
Degg skin is a whitish, sometimes pink color, laced with fine pale hairs. Their skin appears soft and saggy, but when touched it is surprisingly leathery and hardy; some more barbaric underground races have been known to use degg skin as effective hide and leather armor. Despite its physical toughness, their skin – like their eyes – is extremely sensitive to sunlight, forcing most degg who travel to the surface to wear protective clothing to avoid being burnt; many people compare this clothing to the cool but protective rags desert nomads wear.
Degg society is a labor-oriented meritocracy that rewards those who contribute to the infrastructure, maintenance, and upkeep of their society, particularly their tunnel system. Positions of power are usually taken by overseers that gain promotions after years of proven experience and capability; leaders are expected to be involved in the planning process of their area of construction and not just what they see as ‘glorified clerks’ who have political agendas.
Particularly since meeting the surface races, the degg have expanded their once simple forge-and-masonry industries into technological powerhouses, experimenting with a variety of technologies from chemically-driven machinery to steam-generated electricity. Scientists – particularly innovators – have quickly become some of the most valued and respected members of degg society.
Because degg traditionally find great enjoyment in physical labour, many other races look down on them as working class. Degg that choose to live on the surface are often stigmatised as having been exiled for crimes in the Subterrane and so are treated with great distrust. Those that rise to prominence, however, are often treated with great respect, as though they are a separate class from their labourer kin.