Piskies

Solitary and semi-nomadic, the piskies are a restless kith. They enjoy setting up residence for a few years, working and socializing with both mortals and Kithain, then moving on to new adventures. The piskies are especially fond of children, and they tend to befriend youngsters in need of a pal or a defender. Piskies get on well with humans, particularly nomads like themselves. Many prefer living near migrant workers, traveling with circuses or hopping trains with hoboes. The piskies bask in the Glamour of mortals soaking in new sights and sensations, and members of this kith never make judgments about tattered clothing or simple meals. Seelie piskies believe in the inherent goodness of most mortals and fae; they are trusting and perhaps a bit naive. Unseelie piskies are much more jaded and cynical, never afraid to use biting sarcasm.

They are useful messengers and guides, and don't shirk from hard work; often, they'll labor alongside their mortal friends in the fields, orchards or quarries, quick to climb a tree or crawl into a crevice if need be. Piskies may lack the eloquence of the eshu and the wisdom of the satyrs, but they are warmhearted and eager members of the commoner ranks.

lf these gentle-natured Kithain have a flaw, though, it's their too-nimble fingers. Piskies can't resist picking up a trinket from an open bag or a fresh baked loaf of bread from a windowsill. What's more annoying is how absent-minded they are about the whole affair; one will quickly forget that he's just devoured someone else's lunch and even feign innocence if caught red handed. Unseelie piskies tend to get quite touchy and hot tempered about this character flaw.

Appearance: Most piskies are easy to spot because of their beautiful silver hair; both males and females tend to wear it long, often in braids. Piskies also have olive-brown skin that gets more craggy, lined and weather beaten with age. Their eyes are huge and luminescent, usually gray or green, while the ears are large and pointed. Members of this kith range in height from four to five feet, usually with solid, muscular builds. Piskies tend to wear several layers of clothing, usually tattered, in earthy tones such as rust, gold or moss. Most carry a basic pack of tools, a supply of jerky and a random trinket or two.

Lifestyles: Piskies tend to frequent places where nomads like themselves can be found; these include migrant communities, train depots, airports, tinker caravans and circuses. Often, a piskey in her mortal form will join a group of migrant workers or a traveling carnival for a few years, settle in place she likes, then move on with a new cadre of wanderers when she gets bored. Piskies are friendly to everyone and especially kind to children. Many the penniless child has had a good meal in his belly thanks to the generosity of a piskey.

Seemings

Childlings are quite cute, with bright eyes and big smiles. Their skin is smooth and lighter in color than it will be later in their lives. They develop wanderlust early, often running away from home, much to the terror of their parents. Most have a good sense of direction and come back safe and sound when they're ready, usually before dinnertime. Unseelie childlings, however, feel little guilt at stealing money from rheir dad's wallet or staying out for days on end.

Wilders have darker skin with many laugh lines, dimples and the first creases of aging. This is the most joyous time of a piskey's life, when she wanders freely and without care; the world is her oyster. Wilders usually seek out groups of mortal nomads to befriend at this stage in their lives, and while they do settle in spots they like, the length of time tends to be shorter than that of grumps.

Grumps still travel a great deal, but their sojourns in one place tend to be much more extended than that of wilders. The piskey'sskin is now quite dark and craggy; ears are tufted with silver hair, males wear long beards and backs are slightly bent from age and labor. Grumps still have bright eyes, though, and a penchant for letting children or others in need pour out their troubles.

Affinity: Actor

Birthrights

Nimble — All piskies add one to their Dexterity, even if this raises the Trait above 5; this Birthright is in effect at all times.

Human Bonds — Piskies are especially sensitive to the emotions of humans, particularly children. The difficulty of any Empathy rolls when dealing with mortals is reduced by two for adults and three for children, to a minimum of difficulty 3. Piskies are also incredibly adaptable to their surroundings and cannot botch any Survival rolls.

Boggans — Nice folks, real helpful and all chat. Like us, they seem to enjoy the company of others a great deal. Their gossip can sometimes be a bore, though.

Eshu — These adventurous storytellers are delightful companions; they love the open road and never refuse a chance to see something new. But watch out for their daredevil streak.

Nockers — Maybe some of us have sharp tongues, but by gum, ours aren't barbed like the nockers! Do they ever dig for their own worms? Doubtful.

Pooka — Pooka are real fun to talk with, but just be ready to jump ship at a moment's notice when they pull out their pranks. The little ones are terribly cute and can provide hours of amusement.

Redcaps — I once saw a pack of mad dogs, and damn me if I wasn't reminded of the redcaps. They're vicious fools without a kind, generous bone in their bodies.

Satyrs — They're pretty things and frisky to boot; they sing some of the best traveling ballads I've ever heard. But many times they don't know when to calm down and take a break.

Sidhe — Physically, they are perfection, but many don't seem to realize there's a great big world beyond their castles and parties. That's even more sad when you consider they may have only one chance to live.

Sluagh — While rather selfish and melancholy, these folks are sometimes willing to share good tales. You never know when having a sluagh friend might really come in handy.

Trolls — Trolls are probably the most dependable people around. Don't let that stodgy exterior stop you from seeing their big hearts and rock-hard determination.

Frailties

Kleptomania — If piskies see something that strikes their fancy, they simply have to have it. Note that this doesn't have to be anything terribly valuable by human standards; a pretty rock paperweight could be just as interesting to a piskey as a gold watch. To resist this impulse, the player must make a successful Willpower roll, difficulty 8. Most Seelie piskies give back stolen property with no hard feelings; an Unseelie piskey may be a different matter entirely.

Quote: Did I ever tell you about the time I got hired by the greatest show on earth! No? Here, have a piece of jerky and let me regale you with the tale of Megan the Great, Mistress of the High Wire.