Clurichaun

"Always after me Lucky Charms!?" Gack! Somebody strangle that thing!

— Liam O'Keegan, well-known clurichaun bard

Popular myth speaks of leprechauns, those small, round-bellied shoemakers to the noble faeries, who hid their pots of gold rather than see a ha'penny of it spent or lost. Leprechauns are arguably the most well-known faeries in existence. Throughout the world they are recognized on sight as the bearded little men dressed all in green with buckled shoes, curved pipes in their mouths and a jug of whiskey close at hand. Along with shamrocks, they have become a symbol of all that is most touristy about Ireland and things Irish.

Clurichaun aren't actually like that at all, though they made the mistake of fostering that notion in mortal
heads, and it has clung to them ever since. Though they are considered Gallain, clurichaun feel that they are just one more type of commoner. They are really only present in large numbers in Ireland, but they do have a point when they claim that a few of them have made the transition to areas where the Irish immigrants are plentiful. If the Kithain of Boston or Chicago or Toronto or Melbourne don't realize they have clurichaun among them, well, they just aren't looking hard enough, are they?

Clurichaun arc endearing kith who both excel at revelry and can hold their own when given responsibilities. They love a good time and work hard to make sure everyone enjoys themselves. Pooka have nothing on clurichaun in the joke department, though clurichaun jokes tend to be
less bitter and manic. Clurichaun have a talent for fitting in and smoothing things over. They always seem to be aware of the changing currents in any social situation, and Seelie clurichaun use these insights to say and do the right thing at the right time. They are very responsive to the needs of the moment, and can be trusted to live up to any responsibilities or duties placed upon them.

Not that they don't annoy other Kithain sometimes. Those who are Unseelie use their talent to do exactly the opposite of what is indicated. If silence is called for, they delight in being loud and obnoxious; if a few stern words might serve to stop a party that's gotten out of hand, they pour oil on the fire, becoming more wild than the most outrageous partygoer.

All the above goes right out the window the minute they imbibe any alcoholic beverage. Once they start, they just can't quit, and they draw farther and farther into themselves, brooding on all the cares of the world. When drunk, Seelie clurichaun become maudlin, getting teary-eyed and sloppy. They can get passionately sentimental over what they had for breakfast that morning, holding it up as the never-to-be-found-again ideal of all Irish breakfasts that ever were. The Unseelie just get mean. They hate the whole world, and they don't care who knows it. Anyone who gets in their way when they're in this state had better move or be able to stomp them flat before the clurichaun tear them a new… well, you know. This is why many Kithain (especially those who know little else about clurichaun except for their reputations as sots) view them with suspicion and not a little aggravation. No doubt the clurichaun became so proficient at disappearing in "the twinkling of an eye" in response.

Though they like to think of themselves as jacks-of-all-trades, they are particularly adept musicians. They are widely acknowledged as preeminent bards, and even the least talented clurichaun can pick up an instrument and produce a few chords or pick out a simple tune. Clurichaun are insatiable when it comes to music, dance and tales, soaking them up like sponges and adding to their repertoires anything new, be it a dance step, turn of phrase, joke, amusing tale or musical passage. Harking back to their Celtic roots, clurichaun have prodigious memories and often act as traveling bards.

Beginning clurichaun characters cannot assign more than 3 dots to any one Ability except Performance (even using freebie points). This reflects their cclectic outlook on life. In general, clurichaun rarely improve one Ability without then becoming bored with the concentration and moving on to learn more about something else. This serves them well in their bardic capacities, as they always seem to know at least a little bit about everything.

They bring the same intensity to their other great love — collecting. Sometime between being a childling and becoming a wilder, clurichaun usually become fascinated by a particular thing, be it matchstick models, shiny rocks, handwritten poems of minor poets, recordings of every traditional group in Ireland, pictures of clouds, muffin pans or Hollywood scripts. Whatever attracts the clurichaun becomes a lifelong fascination and object for collecting. Pity the poor clurichaun who doesn't realize his faerie nature before he's a grump. All that collecting time lost! So much to make up for! While they won't go to suicidal lengths or betray their friends (well, most won't) to obtain marvelous examples of their chosen collectible, they will do almost anything else to get it. Legends of clurichaun hoarding pots of gold came from this curious practice, and probably account for their relative paranoia about letting just anyone view their precious collections.

Appearance: Clurichaun rarely grow above 5 feet 5" tall. Their bodies are compact and muscular, giving the impression that they are stocky and solid. Their features, while almost always good-natured, change greatly depending on their seeming. Their ears are pointed, but smaller and less noticeable than those of the sidhe. Clurichaun usually have red or tawny colored hair and green or blue eyes that slant slightly upward at the outer edges. In modern times, clurichaun who have emerged in black families tend to have reddish tints to their hair and hazel or light brown eyes.

Rather than wearing the green jackets, kneepants and hats popular a century ago, clurichaun tend to don more normal clothing. They do have a decided preference for green, gray and brown, however, earthy colors that allow them to disappear in natural surroundings. Clurichaun craftspeople wear sturdy workclothes and craft aprons, while musicians prefer jeans and T-shirts with leather jackets. When they go to court, they usually construct chimerical clothing that is vaguely medieval-looking so they'll blend in with the crowd. Regardless of whatever else they wear, they always have a little bit of green in their attire — a ribbon, a belt, a coat or cloak, a hat or a green stone set in a ring. Only the clurichaun know why, but others theorize that they accepted some sort of geas long ago that demands the "wearin' o' the green." Additionally, clurichaun prefer gold jewelry such as torques, heavy rings and Celtic-style cloak pins.

Lifestyle: Clurichaun can be found traveling about playing and singing, storytelling as members of repertory companies, making the craft show circuit or as tinkers (who call themselves the travelers, not tinkers, by the way). Some prefer a more settled life and own their own craft shops or pubs. A very few accept posts as court bards. Whether travelers or sedentary, all clurichaun have some place they call their own where they store their collections. Only their most trusted friends are invited to their homes since they have often spent their lives iccumulating just the right collectibles and have y a horror of seeing them gnawed by a hungry redcap or used as juggling balls by a pooka.

Seemings:

Childlings are always extremely cute, with chubby red cheeks and twinkling bright eyes. Their ready smiles win the hearts of , everyone they meet. Childlings usually show great interest in several crafts or creative skills (such as pottery making, sewing, singing, etc.). Their voices are bell-clear, and they always sing in tune.

Wilder are slightly older versions of the childlings except that their cheeks are not so rosy and chubby. Their faces, while still somewhat broad, have matured into rakishness. Their eyes are very bright. Many wilders start collections which they will add to throughout their lifetime. Most clurichaun have mastered at least one instrument by this time whether they were previously aware of their faerie nature or not.

Grumps are most like the popular conception of leprechauns. Clurichaun grumps have faces that look like dried apples—all wrinkles and creases, most of them laugh lines. Their bright eyes are lost in folds of skin as their eyebrows become bushy (yes, even the women's). The males often grow beards. As grumps settle into their roles as elders, they focus more fully on their collections, and their accumulated "treasures" (as they call them) are lovingly displayed in their homes. Grumps are honored among the clurichaun as repositories of ancient songs.

Affinity: Actor

Birthrights

Twinkling of an Eye — Clurichaun have a talent for disappearing from potentially troublesome situations. Should someone take his eye off a clurichaun (if only for a moment), the wily fae can disappear into the nearest cover so quickly that possible for anyone to find her. One minute she's there, the next she's gone! They can effect this trick even if being grasped by someone, but not if they themselves are blind-folded (or otherwise unable to see) or if bound with iron.

Insight — Whenever a clurichaun is in asocial situation (i.e., when not alone), she can roll on her Charisma + Empathy (difficulty 7) to assess what the most appropriate response to it is. She can then say the right thing or perform the correct actions (the player may need a judicious Storyteller hint or two) to smooth things or make the situation more pleasant. Unseelie may, of course, do or say the opposite of whatever is indicated if it suits them. (Note: This does not take the place of good roleplaying. If a player is misusing the Birthright by constant overuse, she's probably burned out the talent for awhile.)

Boggans — Wonderful Kithain who understand both the idea of crafting and of keeping a hand in during social situations. Steady.

Eshu — Fantastic storytellers if you can ever get one of them to stay in one place long enough to hear the whole thing.

Nockers — These sourpusses are what gave people the idea that clurichaun were all bad-tempered shoemakers. Well, if the shoe fits—

Pooka — When they're in the mood for a bit of fun, they can't be beat for companionship, but some of their pranks can be downright deadly.

Redcaps — Bullies and cutthroats, the lot of them. Best avoided.

Satyrs — The true scholars among the fae, all too often, they are dismissed as nothing more than randy hedonists.

Selkies — A group that has been ignored for far too long. And nice to look at.

Sidhe — Well, la-di-dah, the kings have come again. Let me dust off the throne for you there, Your Majesty. Oh, and mind you don't trip over the Lia Fail on your way. Seriously, though, they do bring a bit of needed nobility back on the scene.

Sluagh — It's hard to like these slithery folk, but they have some fabulous stories to tell, if you can get it out of them.

Trolls — Rock-hard and true-hearted, despite their Viking origin.

Frailties

Tippling — Clurichaun have a terrible time resisting alcohol, and whenever they tipple, they undergo a change. Those of the Seelie persuasion become maudlin and incapable of anything but singing sad songs and telling sad, often pointless, tales. To take action when in this state, a clurichaun must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8). Unseelie clurichauns evince extreme cruelty. Their jests are barbed, their stories and humor bitter and angry. Unseelie clurichaun must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) whenever they drink alcohol to avoid picking a fight with the nearest person (or group).

Quote: "Let me play you the tune, and see if you can chime in with the words. Um, by the way, you'll not be needing that (insert name of desired collectable), will you?"