"Silence! Now, all you cats of this country, small and large, gray, yellow, black, brown, mottled and white, attend to what I'm going to tell you in the name of your king and the master of all the cats. The sun is down, the moon is up, and no mortal hears us and I may tell you a secret..."
-"Owney and Owney-na-peak" by Gerald Griffin
This kith was born in the wilds of Ireland and the world where dreams of some noble feline fairies grew and were born. The cat fairies, known as Cait Sidhe, were known to naturally be in the form of cats. But some were even said to take the form of humans or Sidhe and walk the land. A hybrid of the dreams that birthed the Pooka and Sidhe, they came to serve both the prankster and the noble ones. Over time they became associated with witches and other supernatural powers, but most maintained their fey identity.
Grimalkin: came into use in the Middle Ages to refer to mystical cats and witches' familiars and was a popular name. It became the fae slang word for cait sidhe that preferred or could only take the cat form.
Grimalkin society is divided into two classes: the commoners and the nobles, only the nobles are able to shift into Sidhe form. Their society is fairly loose knit due to the independent nature of themselves. They gather once in a while to discuss their human, changeling and feline charges, as well as any others they may be watching.
Cait Sidhe have their courts hidden at the end of carefully concealed trods, and their cousins in the Dreaming may have a hard time competing with the opulence and or decadence of these courts. Cait sidhe have the same nobility structure as their changeling cousins. However, their ability to change to Sidhe form is dependent on the circlet of rank they wear about their head at all times. When in feline form, this circlet appears in the colouring about the head. If the circlet is lost or stolen, they may only appear in Sidhe form for half an hour, midnight of Samhain.
When away from human view, they have their own collection of arts and musical instruments and talk in regular voices, sometimes even in the tongue of the humans.
Information, tricks, games, music, and romance are the bread and butter of grimalkin society. They sometimes have been known to join with mortals or pooka in the pursuit of any of these. Those who are interested in taking a familiar are very lucky to get a grimalkin, for they are a source of wisdom and can lend power to those who fit their criteria for worthiness which varies from cat to cat. A noble will never become someone's familiar willingly.
Once they worked hand in hand with the Sidhe in a fairly loose alliance, gathering information, exchanging children for Changelings and acting as scouts. Their independent nature and pride did not let them make any oath bonds (there were very few) with their cousins. They also kept to themselves, meeting only once in a while with their Dreaming cousins and hardly ever with other courts of Grimalkin. This set the stage for their abandonment at the Shattering and, to their mind, their betrayal. They became alarmed at the disappearance of their old allies, and tracked them to their trods only to find the trods to Arcadia gone, as well as some of their own. There was a mad rush to save the remaining Grimalkin freeholds and several battles were fought for the rights. Only when they had secured their holds would they look elsewhere, always one step behind the Shattering of the trods to Arcadia. No one knows how many escaped or were lost to banality at this time.
They quickly discovered, since they were involved in this pre-shattering, the trick to becoming Changelings. All of the commoners took cats, some nobles took humans. They quickly chose to cloak themselves from Kithain society. With the return of the nobles, some have started talking revenge, others a reunion, the majority a laissez fare attitude; all agree to watch them closely this time. None have quite decided yet. Betrayal sits hard with grimalkin. They sit and watch, sometimes medding with cantrips in ways that reflect their view of the Sidhe. Sometimes this is a manipulation to serve their own ends.
They ally themselves with either court on a whim. Though they are not as bad as the Sidhe in switching courts. It reflects the needs of the moment. (i.e. Sometimes you need hard-nosed, evil, chaos to accomplish something more effectively) They are also creatures of their word. They will carefully evade or colour the truth, but rarely lie. They will be swift to avenge a wrong made or reward a good deed. They are gatherers of secrets.
They have an affinity with the Nature realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Grimalkin in their feline form appear to be noble specimens of the feline race, even the commoners.
Cait Sidhe are very much like the Sidhe in appearance.
Kittlings are rambunctious rapscallions, and are always up to tricks or play, but they grow out of this quickly... the epitome of callowfae. They work in packs.
Wildlings are still playful, up to tricks and looking for adventure and romance, these Grimalkin discover the arts, politics, and the value of secrets. They love gathering secrets. They sometimes work in packs and love traveling.
Gray whiskers enjoy play every so often, though the allure of secrets, mysteries, politics and amour becomes great. They also tend to favor quiet moments and send others out to gather their secrets for them as much as possible. They are like spiders in a web when it comes to information some of them can compete with the Sluagh. After all, who suspects the cats...Napping is one of their favourite pastimes.
They spend their times either on the street, in a house, in a freehold, or in a Gremalkin court. Human born Gremalkin go into music, police work, politics, gangs, or bookstores.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Grimalkin have a few traits exclusive to them.
Commoners and Nobles:
Speech: In either form they can speak human tongues.
Stealth of Cats: They can get into many locations without being noticed. They never can botch stealth rolls and gain an automatic success on these rolls. It is also hard for them to be labelled as gallain since they've become adept at hiding their fae nature. Diff of kenning rolls on them is increased by two.
Glean information: They can derive a great deal of information from the smallest slip. An intelligence+ investigation roll is required to see what sort of info is gleaned. Diff is reduced by one and reflects the size of the slip. Successes represent how much they are able to read into the slip or statement. They can never botch perception rolls.
Take the Fey Form: For those born of cats, this means transforming into a Sidhe (human to those blind to Glamour.) For those born of humans the reverse. They gain an extra dot in appearance.
Commoners and Nobles:
Curiosity: Just like House Eiluned, Grimalkin have an intense curiosity and are attracted to all things unexplained. The Grimalkin must spend a point of Willpower to avoid becoming embroiled in whatever mystery they may dig up. Like the Eiluned, some die-hards may even become Unseelie until they get what they're after. (This, like the Eiluned Flaw, may result in +1 difficulties to all Social rolls, but this is at the Storyteller's discretion.)
Circlet ties: If the circlet of title is lost or stolen, they can not Take the Fey form except for half an hour at the midnight of Samhain. The circlet can only be destroyed at the death of the noble.
Views on Other Kith
Boggans: Busybodies that have some use...They like giving us milk and gossiping.
Eshu: Lots o' fun to travel with, and they have great stories.
Nockers: Loud mouthed louts, they're best avoided, unless you can put up with verbal abuse.
Pooka: These guys can be fun, but watch out they can prank rough!
Redcaps: Simple: Stay Away! They ate a good friend of mine.
Satyrs: Wahoo, let's par-tay!
Sidhe: These "noble" bastards are best left to their games, traitorous scum they are.
Sluagh: These guys have secrets locked up tight. What I wouldn't give to rattle some loose!
Trolls: Great, dull louts, aching for a fight to prove their honour.