I will howl a dirge at your death my friend. It is all I have left to give.
In the mists of time, the Bean-Sidhe once stood; the greatest of Fae voices, enchanting with song of aching quality that none could resist. These were the days before Courts, when Fae were equal, leading not by birth, but by quality. The Bean-Sidhe were proud of their talent, in great demand by all kith for the emotion they carried, but the Bean-Sidhe grew arrogant. Swollen with prode, they began to feel superior, engaging in petty tyrannies at first, charging for their talents, commanding others to obey with the power of their voice. Thus began their fall...
The other kith noted the growing power and arrogance of the Bean-Sidhe and became disturbed. The dreams of the medieval had not yet shaped their society; lordship and control such as the Bean-Sidhe were gathering were alien and immoral. The situation grew worse by the year. The final day of reckoning came when the Bean-Sidhe matriarch ordered the death of 20 kith for refusing to pander to her tastes. The rebellion was swift and harsh, the kith gathering the Bean-Sidhe in one mighty freehold. There they stood accused of crimes against their cousins. The decision was final and damning:
'In your arrogance you have tried to take the life from us. In the names of all kithain we curse you, damn you to eternal woe! You will no longer sing with power, and the life you saught to take will be forever beyond your view! Death you wished to give, now death is all you will see!' The curse has remained forever since.
Over time as the blood of the Irish has reached far off shores the Bean-Sidhe are with them. For many years they have assumed the mantle of Harbingers of Death, Oathbinding themselves to Fae and mortals, hoping to use their curse for benefit, trying to atone for the sins of the past. Tortured by their curse and fall, these Kith are wretched indeed, and their howl can sometimes be heard over the moor and glen.
They have an affinity for the Actor realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
The Bean-Sidhe are an unsettling sight, their long black hair hangs wild and tangled about their frame, drifting slightly in a chimerical breeze. Eyes full of sorrow, blood red from weeping, look out from a face filled with woe. As has always been their tradition, many wear clothing of dark grey, avoiding colour in their perpetual sadness save for one outer garment that is always green. A final reminder of home.
Childling Bean-Sidhe are shy and meek, often terrified by the decay they see around them. Quiet and withdrawn, eyes wide with fear and uncertainty, they often weep for the evil they see. Sadly, they are usually friendless, shunned by other kith and mortal children.
Wilder Bean-Sidhe are prone to angst and dark moods, wallowing in self-pity, and sometimes taking a perverse delight in their tortured existence. Unsurprisingly they fall easily into gothic culture, but even goths shun these Fae finding them too disturbing.
Grump Bean-Sidhe acheive a measure of peace, slowly coming to accept their curse. They become the Harbingers of legend, often Oathbinding themselves to a chosen family of individual, either mortal or fae. As a watch-guardian, the Bean-Sidhe will try to use their curse for benefit, alerting friends, relatives and Oathbound should their ward be injured or endangered.
Bean-Sidhe are withdrawn and reclusive at the best of times. Quiet, solitary oursuits such as poetry are their lifeblood, but on very rare occassions a Bean-Sidhe will perform a song, swaying the audience to tears with a heart-rending ballad. Although still gifted singers, the magic of their voice has gone, and singing is a painful reminder of how far they've fallen.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Bean-Sidhe have a few traits exclusive to them.
Howl of Torment: The howl of the Bean-Sidhe is a wretched and terrible thing, blending the howl of a wolf, the cry of wild geese, the groans of a woman in labour, and the screams of an abandoned child. No other sound can match the sorrow it bears, striking the stoutest heart with depression and terror.
The Bean-Sidhe spends 1 Glamour point to howl. All who hear the howl must roll Willpower (diff. 9 for strangers and enemies, diff. 6 for Oathbound and friends). Failure forces strangers and enemies to flee in terror for 1 turn for each success they failed by. Friends and oathbound who fail merely suffer a -1 Impairment penalty as the sound chills their heart. Even if a stranger or enemy passes the roll they suffer a -1 penalty for 1 turn. Friends and Oathbound who pass the roll suffer no ill effects. Anyone bound to the Bean-Sidhe by any Oath can hear their howl at any distance and in any realm.
The Sands of Life: A double-edged sword for the Bean-Sidhe, their curse has some minor benefit. As they see the presence of death and decay, they can recognise it's wax or wane, judging the health of any subject. They can tell exactly how many Health Levels a mortal subject has (including Kithain) and what her Sta attribute is. This abilty doesn't require a roll or expenditure of any kind.
The Sands of Life: They see the shadow of death and decay as it approaches all living things. To the eyes of the Bean-Sidhe Death has touched everything to some degree. All dreams are to perish and all truths to ultimately end. Not surprisingly the Bean-Sidhe fall easy prey to the crushing heel of Banality with almost welcome relief. Much like the Sidhe, each point of Banality they gain becomes two, and Banality affects them as if it were one point higher.
Touch of Decay: The touch of death can be felt by all on the souls of this kith. They are unsettling and chilling to others, an unwanted reminder of unwelcome ends. They suffer a +3 difficulty penalty in any social situation.
Views on Other Kith
Adh-Sidhe: our vengeful cousins understand death, but they also possess a life and vigour we cannot.
The punishment they suffer is harsh. Perhaps too harsh, but we must all pay the price for our sins.
Boggans: Small, kind folk. Full of life.
Well, I wouldn't go an' choose one for a nice conversation.
Eshu: They live a life of wonder.
They have seen much. From the look in their eyes I would say too much.
Nockers: Their creations outlive them. A long-standing monument and legacy.
They put me off me work!
Pooka: The tricksters are reckless and happy, living life to its full, blissfully unaware of mortality. I envy them.
They don't laugh, don't smile and are impossible to cheer up or prank. Scary and boring.
Redcaps: These vile fiends have no appreciation of life. They foolishly destroy it.
Do 'em a favour and out 'em out of their misery.
Satyrs: They live with gusto, often burning bright and burning out.
See them. Note them. Avoid them. They remind us of things best ignored.
Sidhe: They bind their flame in protocol, dimming its light.
We should all look to these Fae as a lesson in humility.
Sluagh: The dark crawlers should truly awaken to the light of life. Decay has touched them greatly.
It is truly uplifting to know there are those more accursed than we.
Trolls: Their hearts beat as steady and strong as a rock.
The fallen are to be pitied. Respect their solace and leave them alone.