Selkies

Though the selkies take no active part in the politics of the Goldengate, they are very much a part of it. Both the sea and the bay are vital parts of ther cities economy, and seldom is a descision made reguarding either of them in which the seal folk are not somehow involved. Selkies are fae neither of the Overwater (boggans, redcaps, sidhe, etc.) nor the Undersea (merfolk, merrows, etc.) but of the continually shifting shoreline. They are also caught between two forms, seal and human, never precisely one or the other.

Selkies are creatures of contradiction, at once playful and practical, shy and outspoken. They are also highly sexual, but practice neither the lusty promiscuousness of the satyrs nor the courtly love of the sidhe. A selkie's appeal is both sensual and romantic, and once one chooses a mate, he will stay with her only until called away by his other love and other nature. A selkie is at once both seal and human, and if taken too far from the shoreline, he will pine away and his faerie portion will die.

Unlike pookas, or even shapechangers 1 ike werewc)lves, selkies are skinchangers. When one takes human shape, lie physically puts aside his sealskin. Selkie skins, like all fae things, have mortal Seemings, appearing as everything from sealskin belts or stoles to greatcoats or even wetsuits. A selkie's skin contains his Glamour, as well as his fae essence. If a selkie's skin is lost, stolen or taken by force, he can use no fae magics unt il he regains it. If someone destroys a selkie's skin, the selkie's fae self will die — and the mortal may as well (see below). Luckily selkie skins are resilient things and the life and Glamour within may only be destroyed by cold iron or fire. Cold iron does no damage to a se I k ie's fae aspect unless it damages his sealskin, though cold iron can still do considerable damage to his mortal form.

When a selkie dies, her Glamour — and her skin — are passed on to another human with selkie blood running in his veins. Selkies give favor to kinain and those with a love of the sea, who then become Kithain. The new selkie soon learns the trick of changing his skin, as well as how to pass on the Glamour to a skin c^f his own choosing. On rare occasions, one of a selk ie's seal descendants learns the trick of loosing her skin. These selkies are greeted with great joy, not only because of their rarity, but because their coming ashore creates another sealskin to keep the Glamour of the kith alive.

Appearance: In human form, selkies are sleek and attractive, their only telling marks their large liquid eyes and the slight webbing between their fingers and toes. To fae Kenning, these traits are somewhat more exaggerated, and selkies also tend to drip chimeric water wherever they go. The Seeming of their seal form appears as a normal harbor or harp seal, though those with Fae sight may see through this guise with a roll of Wits + Kenning (difficulty 6).

Lifestyles: Selkies are only found on the coastlines. In older days, they tended to take jobs as sailors or fishermen, but modern times have made surfing, sunbathing and beachcombing far more popular. This, of course, is when they're not spending their lives as seals.

Seemings

Childlings are happy and playful, sunning themselves on beaches and playing around the shoreline. Older selkies keep a watchful eye on these pups, and usually encourage them to stay at home, so long as home is appropriate (near the ocean with easy access to the beach).

Wilder selkies travel the coastlines, both with their seal and human kin. Romances of the "girl in every port" variety are also common, though these are generally extended relationships, not satyrish one-night-stands.

Grumps are very rare among the selkies. When a selkie finds himself growing too Banal, he will usually pass on his sealskin (and Glamour) to a younger, more vital heir.

Affinity: Nature

Birthrights

Seal's Beauty: All Selkies have a natural animal magnetism, increasing their Charisma by +2, but only with regards to the opposite sex (or those who are attracted to their sex) and only in those situations where animal magnetism applies. Seal's Beauty aids Seduction and Leadership, but has few uses for Intimidation or Subterfuge.

Ocean's Grace: A Selkie may lower the difficulty for all Dexterity rolls by two when in the water, and moreover can never botch a Swimming roll, even in human form. However, the difficulty for all Dexterity rolls is raised by one when on dry land.

Boggans — They love their work like we love the sea, but they gossip worse than mermaids and fishwives. The way to live lite is to live it, not talk about the way other people live.

Eshu — Wonderful storytellers and travellers, but few have seen the beauty of the Undersea.

Nockers — They're great for repairing your boat engine or mending a sail, but so what! There are dozens of human craftsmen just as clever.

Pooka — Listen, they're shapeshifters, we're skinchangers. There's a great deal of difference between the two. And there are better pastimes than trying to annoy the sidhe.

Redcaps — They're sharks that walk on two legs and wear little red hats.

Satyrs — Why don't they just buy themselves inflatable dolls? For all they know of lovemaking, it would make as much difference.

Sidhe — The only changelings more full of themselves are the merfolk, though the sidhe would die if they ever found out.

Sluagh — So they want to be mysterious. Let them.

Trolls — There's no reason they should fight for the sidhe, or even fight anybody. A few are even sensible enough to realize it.

Frailties

Longing of the Ocean Shore: Selkies are creatures of the shoreline. For every day a selkie remains away from the ocean shore, she gains an extra point of temporary Banality until her Banality exceeds her Glamour and she forgets her selkie nature. A selkie may erase this Banality (even permanent Banality) by spending a day in her altershape for each point gained, but selkies lost to their fae natures due to separation from the shoreline can only be reawakened by forcibly placing them in their skins and dropping them in the sea. This abrupt change runs the risk of Bedlam, though it i.s often the only therapy that works. Sadly, even this is often not enough….

Seal Coat: If a selkie's sealskin is destroyed, her fae self is destroyed forever. In addition, the mortal that remains must make a Stamina roll (difficulty 8). Failure means that the character enters a coma; a botch indicates that the character dies.

Peculiarities:

Selkies are skinchangers. A selkie will change from human Seeming to seal whenever he puts his skin on and immerses himself in sea water. This change is automatic and requires no roll or expenditure of Glamour. If a selkie wishes to regain human form, he must loose the corner of his skin (undo a button, unzip a wetsuit collar, etc.) and break the ocean's surface. Without his skin, a selkie cannot take his seal form or perform any other changeling magic apart from Kenning and his Birthrights. However, the connection between a selkie and his skin is so strong that he can sense its location with a Wits + Kenning roll (difficulty 7). As a selkies sealskin is his skin, he can also feel it any time it is touched or damaged.

Quote: "I'm sorry, my love. I must go. The sea calls me. But I'll return. I promise."