The Kith

 It is the dreams of all creatures, most extensively those of humankind, that tie all Changelings together. For example, dreams of hunger and starvation spawned the voraciously hungry Redcaps, while ideals of graceful nobility brought the Sidhe into being. Each one of these Kiths espouses different theories and opinions of their importance in the grand Skein, as well as having differences in how they view others who are not of their ilk. The inhabitants of the Dreaming and Autumn world are not limited to the Kithain, however. The Lorelai are mysterious, maddening creatures from the deep sea; the closest thing the Kithain have seen to merpeople in almost a century. The Thallain, once loyal children of the Fomorians, emerged at the same time as the Shadow Court and took advantage of their new liege lords’ prominence and power to play at some grotesque game no one, not even their masters, understand.


One of the most important concepts for humans is the hearth. It is a gathering place, a source of warmth, and a place to make food. It provides them with security, ensuring their good health through cold nights or lean times. Gathering together around the fire for stories, a meal, or simply for company, satisfies the human need for interaction. At night when they fall asleep near its embers, they dream of safety and comfort. The Boggans came from these dreams and are hosts and helpers for humankind.


Nothing loosens the tongue like a few drinks and a well told tale. Humans fascinate each other with finely crafted stories or promises of gold at the end of the rainbow, and while they spin their tales, there is often a Clurichaun listening. Master manipulators, Clurichaun adore it when a clue to a hidden treasure or bit of sensitive information slips past the tongue of an inebriated companion.


Humans, more than anything, are their stories. Long before written history humankind told stories by campfires, regaling their tribe with tales of their adventures, their fights against mythic beasts, and their survival against all odds. These narratives not only entertained their audience, but also provided cautionary and vital information. Deeds came alive before humans even had the words to describe their creations. As time passed, this need found its way into the written word, onto the stage, and into the cinema, constantly transforming how mortals filled the need to tell and listen to fiction, history, mythology, and fable. The Eshu were born of the desire to tell stories.

Ghillie Ohu

Humankind is preceded by nature and all its wonders. It rose up before the first human opened her eyes; a place of towering trees, blue-green mossy earth, and leafy plants. When nascent humans first crawled onto the land, nature welcomed them into its evergreen cradle. Ever since that time, the reclusive and enigmatic Ghillie Dhu keep vigilant watch over nature’s creations, dwelling in the deepest hollows beneath ancient trees.


Invention drives all of the great advances in humanity. Fire, the wheel, gunpower, steam power, the automobile: these all changed the face of the world and what humans could accomplish. It pulled them out of the dark, into electric light, and made them shine with the spark of imagination. Humans thought themselves capable of anything, as long as they could create the next big thing. This spark of creation, the very dream of invention, brought the Nockers into existence with them cursing the entire way.


The universe thrives on balance, and the fae are no exception. For Changelings, existence is a constant struggle between Banality and Bedlam, Seelie and Unseelie, Endless Winter and Hopeful Spring. Those Kithain who have maintained hope in the face of Winter truly believe the world will one day find its balance again, even if it means a bumpy road along the way. Of course, very few believe Piskies when they claim to be the great equalizers, and even fewer believe the young fae can have any tangible impact on the fight ahead.


Fortune is a fickle mistress. Every choice a person makes splinters the future, cracks the scrying glass, and sends spider webs of possibilities through space and time. Thus, a person is both lucky and unfortunate, heading toward disaster and glory, untested and hardened, destroyed and whole. Each person exists as a thousand undecided prospects, the pivot point on which the future hinges. They are everything and nothing. No creature knows this better than the Pooka.


The stars that shine brightest in the night sky live on borrowed time as they shimmer away and consume themselves. In time they implode, perhaps even creating a rift in the cosmos itself that not even light can escape. To Redcaps, such raw consumption is the ultimate metaphor for all sentient existence. They believe that hunger drives survival and that no one understands these compulsions better than they do.


What is life without passion? Humans crave the intensity of their emotions: the electrical highs that send them soaring and the melancholic lows that bring them to the ground. These heights, hungers, desires, fears, and depths inspire the greatest of art, poetry, music, stories, and plays. Everything beautiful comes from the passion of humankind and the Satyrs might the epitome of the beauty and excess humans can create.


Humanity has built and created a host of things in their civilizations. However, even with all they have created, they frequently carry a sense of dissatisfaction with their lives. This restlessness strikes those who have everything they could ever want just as easily as those whose lives are fraught with uncertainty and even danger. They look for new adventures, wishing they could simply run away and start again with a new life or a new partner. When their quest for change takes them near the sea, a Selkie might emerge from the waves to answer the call. But mortals beware; these ethereal Changelings have few qualms about leaving a situation that does not bring them joy, diving back into the sea from which they came.


Some dreams are ancient. Starvation and the need to roam to survive represent primordial fears of a world viciously and arbitrarily cruel. Some dreams, however, are born not from the earliest of immediate needs, but from creatures seeking cultivation: those who tasted refinement, found it sweet as honey, and desired more. The Sidhe formed themselves from these dreams, taking their shape from visions of absolute power, dreams of ethereal grace, and nightmares of dreadful tyranny to become the Kithain ruling class.


All creatures know fear from the day they are born; mewling creatures subject to the whims of a world vaster and crueler than they can acknowledge. The creeping dread that walks in hand with this awareness seeps into their souls and at every stage of their lives something new brings them horror. To the fearful the dark becomes a hiding place for demons, the tall heights of mountains become nightmares, and midnight terrors emerge from the unconscious. Fear is as natural as birth and new phobias are spawned every second. The Sluagh know this. The Sluagh thrive on it.


Duty before self. It’s a code almost as old as time, carried by those who rule and those who would rule, by brave knights as they marched into battle, and by every farmer who one day hoped they would rise to the level of king. Duty, honor, and loyalty are not nostalgic aspirations for Trolls—they are the very source of their legendary strength and fighting prowess.