Changeling: The Lost - IRC RPG

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 Elementals

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Join date : 2016-06-27

PostSubject: Elementals    Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:11 pm

Seeming Contracts: Elements

Concepts: Secretly incompetent firefighter, landscape gardener, logging saboteur, clockwork secretary, workaholic steelworker, tornado chaser, model with flawless skin, all-weather surfer, competitive mountaineer, deep-sea diver, extreme sports fanatic.

This is a story about a Rusalka: A girl was taken by a cruel faerie who lived in the river, who forced her to become his bride. She stayed for a while, for a few years, no more, and in that time, he enchanted her and changed her, and she became a Rusalka, who lured the innocent into the river and gave them to her husband to eat. One day, she escaped her cruel husband and returns to her hometown by the river, to see her family and her sweetheart. But oh, the Rusalka had changed so much. Her hair was green now, and her skin was cold, and the rushing of the river was in her voice. And oh, when her cruel husband took her, he was cunning, and he left behind a false girl, who sickened and died in her place, and so her family did not recognize her, for they thought that she was dead. And oh, her sweetheart had married someone else and had forgotten her for another's caresses. So the Rusalka walked through the streets of her hometown, and could see that there was nothing for her there. And so she returned to the river, telling herself that her cruel husband would take her back.

And a day later, the pieces of a girl's dismembered corpse were washed up on the river bank at the edge of the town, one by one, and because no one knew who she was, they buried her in an unmarked grave. And there was no one to mourn.

You can never go back. Not really. Sure, a changeling can fight his way out through the Hedge and return to Earth, but it's never the same. The stuff of Faerie has worked its way into the changeling's blood. The changelings whose time in the land of the Fae caused them to embody the material aspects of nature feel this all the more painfully, because they have changed the most. The Elementals, as other changelings call them, believe that their journey back through the Hedge was harder for them than it was for any of the changelings, because the Elementals had changed the most. They had less reason to escape. Their humanity had been more damaged by what they had endured in the Fae realm. Similar to the poor Rusalka, the Elementals find themselves in a world that doesn't know them anymore; of course, the moral of her story is that you can't go back to the Fae, either, for they do not forgive.

Other changelings find the Elementals the hardest to understand. They're alien. The other changelings have taken the faerie side of their nature from creatures who, at least on some level, represent human dreams: beauties, horrors, tricksters and even animals represent something of ourselves. But the Elemental psyche is influenced by the desires of objects and forces.

A Woodblood Green Man runs a hotel in southern England, built around a Tudor inn at the corner of a forest. There's a live gallows oak tree in the back garden, and in its higher branches is the entry to a powerful trod. If members of the local Court come to him with the right price and his mood swings the right way, he'll bring out the ladder and show them where to climb. An Airtouched Djinn lives in an Indian community as an imam. The power of the words he uses in the mosque matches the wind in his hair and the tornado in his soul. Several members of his congregation are enchanted, and do the work of the Summer Court as much as the work of Allah. A Fireheart with the reptilian skin of a Salamander does much the same with a Baptist congregation in the Southern United States. He preaches hellfire and brimstone, sowing fear on behalf of the Autumn Court, spicing up private conversations with a few, select parishioners with a miracle or two. Another Fireheart, a member of the Summer Court, takes the form of an Ifrit, brazen-skinned and vicious. He runs a protection racket; he's adept at burning places down without it looking like arson. Sometimes he does jobs for less orthodox clients. A Winter Court Fireheart, meanwhile, a full-blood Kwakiutl, works as an electrician. When he's needed, he calls down the power of Brother Lightning on the enemies of his people and his Court. A Manikin girl with a clockwork heart and a new identity dances in Paris. No one dances Coppelia like her; her timing is without compare, and once a month, she dances for the Court. A coldly beautiful Snowskin Princess teaches third grade. She scares the children with stories that they'll never forget, driving shards of ice into every little heart that passes through her class. She gains a certain pleasure from making children cry and giving children nightmares, even while she knows that the truths they learn from her dark, sad, terrible fairy stories might one day protect them from the same fate she once suffered. A Waterborn with an Hellenic beauty works as a male prostitute in a waterfront area, barely keeping body and soul together, but when his Court needs him, he gladly runs messages back and forth across the bay, faster than any boat. An Earthbones with the lumpen body of a Paracelsian Gnome works as a gravedigger. He buries more bodies than his job might demand.

Appearance
All Elementals have something of their element about them. Mostly, that connection shows itself through the texture and color of the skin, through something in the eyes. The Ifrit is huge and muscular. His skin is metallic, like brass, and hot to the touch. His eyes blaze so brightly, it's difficult to look directly at them. The preacher, on the other hand, although also a Fireheart, has white skin and hair that blazes like the blue flame of a gas burner, while the Lightning-Brother has skin as gray and cloudy as a gathering storm-cloud; electricity arcs and crackles across his skin and hair, and fills his eyes. The Snow Princess is beautiful but cold, with hair as white as the snow and bluish skin that glitters in the light with frost, her fingernails bright and sharp on cold, delicate fingers. Her eyes are colorless, like blank spheres of clouded ice. Her voice freezes the blood. The Djinn is vast and loud, like every bearded genie of legend. His beard is wild and full. His skin is the deep blue of the Uttar Pradesh sky in Summer. The Hellenic nymph looks like a slim, pale beautiful boy with the features of an ancient Greek boy. His slim, lithe frame is damp and cold to the touch; his hair is woven with sea shells and weed. His eyes are the deepest green. The gravedigger is broad and squat of frame, and his skin is made of hard, rough earth, speckled in places with patches of lichen and moss. His own eyes are so deeply set, they're lost in shadow. The Green Man has skin like Autumn and evergreen leaves for hair. The clockwork ballerina looks like an exquisite doll, made of porcelain and metal.

Some of this carries over into an Elemental's human appearance. The Snow Princess is a delicate, icily beautiful blonde with pale blues eyes and cold hands. The gravedigger is broad, rough-skinned and heavy-browed. The preacher is tall and thin and twitchy, like a flame that leaps from place to place, while the Ifrit is big and overpowering of manner. The Djinn imam is huge and bombastic. The Hellenic male prostitute has the look of a green-eyed, debauched Ganymede. The ballerina is precise and somewhat impassive. The Lightning-Brother's wild eyes and quick temper cause hair to stand on end.

Background
The Elementals were often those whom the Fae desired in some way, those whom they sought out and went to some effort to kidnap. Most Elementals were already exceptional in some way. Perhaps the changeling was beautiful enough to excite a Fae's desire. Perhaps they needed a guard or a servant of some kind. A musician or dancer could become the prize of a Fae who fancied himself a doyen of the arts. When Elementals come back, they still possess those talents that attracted the Fae to them in the first place, but now their element alters it in many ways, some subtle, some less so. Some, however, wandered into the Hedge on their own, in some ways bearing the marks of whatever thorny wasteland they wandered in before being taken to Faerie.

Durance
While most other Lost became the way they did through simply living in a Faerie's home and eating Faerie food and doing Faerie work, the Elementals were often deliberately changed, transformed into slaves of some kind or another, or features of the land until one day, they awoke to themselves and realized they had to escape. Their memories of Faerie are often difficult to understand. Some know that once, they understood what it was to be a tree, or a stone or a mound of earth. Some remember being lost to enchantment, becoming a clockwork doll or a lover made of ice. Others recall being lost in an environment now alien to them: perhaps the changeling served as a manservant in a flying city of glass or a blazing city made all of brass.

Character Creation
The variation between Elementals of even the same kith is vast, making it impossible to draw hard and fast rules. Elementals can focus on any Attributes or Skills, really, depending on what their element is and how it manifests itself. For example, the Fireheart preacher's fire manifests itself in the heat of his sermons -- he has an emphasis on Social Attributes and Skills. On the other hand, the Ifrit's fire is all too physical, and his Attributes and Skills are both primarily Physical. A Snowskin changeling could just as easily be a bruiser with shoulders like a glacier as a delicate but cruel lady with ice in her eyes and her heart. A Woodblood changeling could be as strong as an oak, or as delicate and graceful as a Victorian flower fairy.

Blessing
Elementals, touched as they are by the stuff of the world, are able to channel the forces and materials that define them into their bodies, giving them an uncanny ability to shrug off punishment. Once per day, the player can spend one point of Glamor to add the character's Wyrd rating to his Health dots for the rest of the scene. These follow the normal rules for temporary Health dots

Curse
The Elementals are further removed from humanity than other changelings, and find humans harder to understand and to influence. An Elemental doesn't get the benefit of the 10 again rule on any dice pools involving the Manipulation Attribute and the Skills Empathy, Expression, Persuasion or Socialize.

Kiths
Airtouched: The Elementals of wind, cloud, smoke and sky, who can be as healthy as a fresh breeze or as pestilent as the miasma that surrounds the dead. Their blessing is Velocity of the Zephyr: The player can spend one point of Glamor to add the character's Wyrd to her Speed or Initiative (player's choice) for the rest of the scene. This blessing can be invoked once for each Trait per scene.

Blightbent: Some of the most tragic of Elementals, the Blightbent are children of pollution. They were altered by choking smogs, toxic waters, blighted land, diseased forests and chemical fire. Upon their return to the mortal world, the Blightbent are the most comfortable in areas where humanity has tainted the elements in turn. Some Blighbent hate themselves for it. The Blightbent's blessing is the Caustic Caress. Once per day, the changeling may spend one Glamor to inflict a polluted touch on an opponent -- breathing a puff of toxic smog into his face, marking him with acidic fingertips or the like. The player rolls Dexterity + Wyrd - the target's Stamina; the victim takes one point of lethal damage per success. Defense and armor can affect this roll if the target is free to defend himself; otherwise, they do not apply. The Blightbent are also resistant to toxins and poisons of manmade origin, and gains +3 on rolls to resist their effects.

Earthbones: Changelings who have the mark of earth and stone: Lumpen Paracelsian Gnomes, sand spirits, dour men of peat and dwarfs made of mountain granite. Their blessing is Terrestrial Might: The Earthbones has shoulders that could bear the world. The player can spend Glamour to add to non-combat Strength-based dice pools, on a one for one basis (one point of Glamor adds one die to one dice pool, two points add two dice to the dice pool and so on).

Fireheart: Elementals marked with fire, heat or electricity. Their blessing is Flickering Acumen: Like a flame, the Fireheart's faculties are bright and constantly on the move. The player can spend points of Glamour to add to Wits-based dice pools, on a one for one basis.

Levinquick: Electricity has caught in the heart and blood of these changelings; their flesh is as a lightning rod that calls down the levin bolts into their bodies. Where some Firehearts have had their wits honed by the lightning, the Levinquick are more bodily affected. They are often violent Elementals, quick to strike out at anything that offends them. The Levinquick are gifted with the Fireflaught's Vigor. The player may spend one Glamour to add two points to both Speed and Initiative. The blessing lasts for one turn per dot of the character's Wyrd.

Manikin: Changelings who have the character of human-made objects, such as caryatids, mannequins and other, stranger things, such as enchanted beings powered by clockwork or steam or living bodies made of mercury or glass. The Manikins' talent is the Artificer's Enchantment: The Manikin can learn Contracts of Artifice for (new dots x5 experience points) rather than the usual cost. The Manikin also may make untrained Crafts rolls at a -1 die penalty rather than the standard -3 dice.

Metalflesh: Changelings who were remade in Arcadia's foundries, the Metalflesh are infused with bronze or copper, gold or silver or brass -- but never pure iron. They are obdurate of mind and body, resistant to any attempts to casually manipulate them. They were prized creations of the Gentry, as decorative as the Metalflesh were resilient. But for those who actually escaped, that same hardiness helped them force their way back through the Thorns to the world of chrome and iron. The Metalflesh may invoke the Forge's Endurance blessing. Once per day, the player may spend one Glamor to add one die to Stamina, Resolve and Composure rolls for the duration of the scene.

Sandharrowed: The howling deserts of Faerie produce their own children. The Sandharrowed are embodied with the merciless grace and power of the shifting sands. Those who escape the blasted wastes of Arcadia can make homes anywhere, though they seem happiest in warm cities surrounded by the desert. The Sandharrowed benefit from the blessing of the Enveloping Sands: They gain a +2 bonus to all rolls made to grapple an opponent, or to escape from a grapple.

Snowskin: The children of the cold, who can be as powerful as the Arctic ice or as delicate as a snowflake. The Snowmarked's blessing is The Voice of Ice: The changeling can imbue her voice with terrible cold, inspiring terror in those who hear. She is also a master at concealing her own emotions and goals under a cool veneer. The Elemental gains the benefit of the 9 again rule on Intimidation and Subterfuge rolls, and can spend a point of Glamor to re-roll a failed Intimidation roll.

Waterborn: Changelings who are imbued with the nature of the waters, soft and brutal, gentle and mighty: Undines and nymphs, man-eating river demons, water babies, ladies of the lake. Their blessing is The Gift of Water: The player can spend one point of Glamor to allow the changeling to breathe underwater and swim at a terrific rate (equal to twice the character's Speed rating) for the rest of the scene. The catch is that the changeling cannot leave the water or breathe air until the power wears off or until he spends another Glamor point to cancel the blessing. The changeling has to hold his breath if he sticks his head out of the water. If the changeling is made to leave the water completely before the scene is over, he begins to drown, automatically taking one point of lethal damage each turn until he is either returned to the water or he dies.

Woodblood: The children of plants: Green Men, flower fairies, spirits of mandrake, rose, thorns and all manner of medicinal herbs, fair and foul. The Woodbloods' blessing is the ability to Fade into the Foliage: In any outdoors area where there are plants growing from the earth (in a garden, for example, but not in a concrete yard with a couple of shrubs in pots), the character gains the benefit of the 9 again rule on dice pools involving Stealth and Survival. The player can also spend a point of Glamor to hide in a place where he couldn't normally hide, making a Stealth roll as usual. There has to be a reasonable amount of foliage there. The character couldn't hide using a small patch of moss or a single dandelion, but could use a flowerbed, a lawn or a sapling.
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