Ghille Dhu

At one time the ghille dhu lived, thrived, sickened and died in pace with the seasons. In spring they awoke from their graves as babes of the glade and forest. With the warmth of summer they grew strong and their strength rivaled even that of the trolls. In autumn they became aged, but learned, and nurturing. As their bodies became frail and weak with the coming of winter, they grew wise, teaching other creatures about the promise of rebirth before they entered their barrows and said their good-byes. Each incarnation was different, but the ghille dhu seemed everlasting.

After the Sundering, their seasonal cycle of life and death began to slowly falter some ghille dhu began to live as babes until winter, others were often bom out of the grave as mature adults. Many of the ghille dhu went mad. Some sought out the final death of iron, convinced of their own corruption. With the Shattering, a desperate followed the example of many other commoners and rook on mortal coils, in a vain attempt to save themselves and reconnect with nature.

Few ghille dhu have survived; many are hopelessly insane and have forgotten their lesson of life, death and rebirth. Ghille dhu pay a much heavier price for incurring Banality than do other fae. Each descent into Banality sends one into a new, older seeming. They have very short lifetimes, harkening hack to their pre-Sundering existence. The ghille dhu are perhaps the most tragic of all changelings. They are a people who have become disconnected from that which they once were and still desperately seek to cling to what they have lost. Some ghille dhu have returned to protecting the sacred groves and magical place, but most are content to live out their brief lives by simply existing. Some few will occasionally be found in the company of other changelings, especially if the changelings are dedicated to goal similar to that of the ghille dhu's (like protecting a sacred grove).

Each change in seeming is dramatic, even for a fae. Their Birthrights and Affinities change along with their appearance.

Appearance: All ghille dhu are green skinned but as they age, the hue changes from an almost neon green in Spring, to medium green in the Summer of the lives. In Autumn their wrinkled flesh turns to the deep green of a pine needle. Their hair is of various colors, but is always gray to white in Autumn. Their fae seemings are always adorned with plants related to their seeming: Flowers in Spring, Vines and grasses in Summer, and Multicolored leaves and mosses in Autumn. Their bodies resemble cherubic babes in Spring, stunningly beautiful hardbodies in Summer and gnarled and wizened elders in Autumn.

Lifestyles: Most ghille dhu are connected to the land in some manner even in the mortal seeming. They are farmers, reclusive artisans, game wardens, hermits, and fishermen. They avoid cities, and professions which would take them there for long periods of time. Ghilie dhu who enter their Chrysalis in cities often bum out within a few short months or years. Their rapid shift of seemings as they fall to the Winter's Kiss, and the changes in character that this brings, often earn them a one-way ticket to a mental ward.

Seemings

Spring ghille dhu are playful and inquisitive; their pudgy bodies are bursting with life and energy. They rejoice in playing in wild places. They have horrible tendencies to climb into places they cannot get down from or stay out way past their bedtimes.

Summer ghille dhu combine the beauty of a thick field of corn with the looks of a centerfold satyr-bait. Luckily, they possess the strength to hang the goats from the trees when the ghille dhu have had their fill.

Autumn ghille dhu are wizened and thoughtful. Their brows bend with the thought of their upcoming winter and the need to get their tasks completed before their time is through.

Affinity: Nature

Birthrights:

All Seemings

Nature's Bounty — Ghilie dhu may harvest Glamour from nature just as Nunnehi (page 146, Players Guide).

Spring Only

Spin the Wheel — Young ghille dhu can reroll any one roll, without spending a Willpower point, once per Story.

Summer Only

Rose and Oak — The ghille dhu are not only beautiful but strong. They gain a dot of Appearance and Strength, even if this takes them above five. This Birthright is effective in both the character's mortal seeming and fae mien.

Autumn Only

Wisdom of the Ages — Old ghille dhu have a mystic contact with the Dreaming and its cycles. Once per Story, a ghille dhu may meditate upon a question concerning the fae. This must be done in a natural spot, such as a place they might be able to harvest Glamour. (Not in a potted plant in a mall!) A successful Willpower roll nets them an answer from the Dreaming. A simple yes/no question is difficulty 7, more difficult questions have higher difficulties. A botch means that no more answers will be given on that subject, no matter how cleverly worded. This ability can generally be used once per lunar cycle. The difficulty increases by one for each additional use. Using this ability to excess is said to be extremely dangerous and has resulted in the sudden disappearance of the ghille dhu who defy this tradition.

Boggans — Wiser than the other take them for, but too concerned with things.

Eshu — Wise, but unfocused.

Nockers — Simple, if loud. They suffer from the same malady as the boggans.

Pooka — Our spring, embodied.

Redcaps — The beast is part of life too.

Satyrs — Too concerned with the spring and summer of life.

Selkies — Imps of the sea, they have the bond with nature that we cannot remember.

Sidhe — The best often fall far.

Sluagh — In the darkness of their holes, do their secrets fulfill them?

Trolls — They are what the sidhe have forgotten.

Frailties

The Kiss of Winter — Ghille dhu who suffer a Chimerical Death automatically age to the next seeming. Additionally every time the character gains a permanent point of Banality the character must succeed in a Glamour roll (difficulty equal to his current Banality rating) or pass into the next seeming. This rapid aging only affects the character's fae mien, not his mortal seeming. If the changeling's seeming is already Autumn, the fae mien dies. There is no chance of recovery for the ghille dhu. The fae spirit is gone until reborn in another body.

Quote: "You talk of being caught on the wheel of life, like some dog's carcass caught on the wheel of your car. When will you understand? How many times must I show you with my death?We are the wheel. Look. Be. Learn!"