"Shining Arcadia is closer than you think; dip your fingers in the water and feel its glittering spires."
The Gwragedd Annwn are Welsh water faeries who live in towns and villages beneath lakes. Often using glamour to disguise these dwellings, the most famous example of which was the Lady of the Lake, whose palace was disguised with a magical lake. Gwragedd Annwn as kithain do not live in underwater communities like those of their faerie cousins; the relative lack of glamour makes this impractical, and the encroachment of humanity, and the pollution it brings with it, on lakes and bodies of water makes the construction of underwater cities impossible. Now the Gwragedd Annwn have to cling to what sparing freshwater they can safely haunt.
They have an innate aptitiude for all things medicinal. There are reports of secret gardens hidden on islands in the middle of lakes, which are impossible to find except by a special entrance which is only opened on New Year's Day. Everything in these gardens is sacred and removal of even the most trivial of items, such as a flower, leads to the permanent closure of the garden, except to the Gwragedd Annwn. Now, these precious few secret gardens serve as moderately powerful freeholds, but those which still exist are difficult in the extreme to enter, having long been left by their faerie denizens.
It is said of Gwragedd Annwn who take mortals for partners that if they should be struck three times causelessly, they must leave their partner, never to be seen by them again, and to Gwragedd Annwn, this is as strong as the most powerful oath. Gwragedd Annwn have contrary reactions to most collective emotions; they might cry and lament at a wedding, or laugh and sing at a funeral. These unusual feelings must be learned to be dealt with if the kithain is to get along in ordinary society.
They have an affinity for the Nature realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Gwragedd Annwn share the delicate beauty of the sidhe, without the noble bearing. Their skin is always pale, and in their fae seeming, Gwragedd Annwn may appear to be damp or wet, and their clothes will drip slightly as they move. Their dress echoes that of the Tudor style, though this is not always the case in the mortal seeming, at least when dealing with the public or mortals in general; the idea is not to stick out in a crowd, it is just a preferred convention.
Water Babies puns aside, Childlings are unusually partial to bathing, playing in the rain, and if baptised as babies, will giggle rather than cry, contrary to the expectations of most onlookers.
By the Wilder stage, Gwragedd Annwn are adept in all forms of watersports, from swimming to deep-sea diving to jet-skiing. Prodigies of the watersports world, wilders also show an impressive academic record, particularly in physical sciences.
Often favouring to settle down in a lakeside cottage, Grumps are serenely happy and good-natured, and do not wrinkle with age, never being short of moisture.
Gwragedd Annwn are generally friendly and good-natured, though will usually only accept a partner they have chosen themselves, rather than be picked by another. Most choose to live outside of towns and cities, favouring to be near natural freshwater sources. They are skilled physicians, even for the present time, though usually through ancient, often herbal, methods. Gwragedd Annwn are always at their happiest around water, and indeed, are naturally suited to all water-related activities, though are strongly set against fishing both as a sport and a commercial operation. They make life-long friends or partners, provided the danger of striking them three times is observed, because this will split the most strongly bonded of friends.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Gwragedd Annwn have a few traits exclusive to them.
Medicine: Gwragedd Annwn are infallible physicians; they gain two free dots in medicine, and can never botch a roll involving medicine or science.
Water Affinity: Gwragedd Annwn show an ability to survive underwater for long periods of time, without gills and without artificial breathing apparatus. They can "breathe" normally underwater, and their motions are not made sluggish by the water density, as affects almost everything underwater. This makes them disturbingly dextrous underwater, and should be masked in the prescence of mortals. In addition, they may not botch any athletics rolls whilst underwater.
Contrary Emotions: Gwragged Annwn demonstrate a perverse reaction to strong collective emotions. As a result, Gwragged Annwn suffer a -2 penalty to all rolls involving empathy, and in addition, this frailty should be roleplayed accordingly.
Possessive: Even the smallest personal belongings of a Gwragedd Annwn are closely guarded, and they are even reluctant to lend something as trivial as a comb to a friend, even if it was used and returned in plain sight of the owner. Special personal belongings, such as a family heirloom, if taken, even if not in theft, will usually result in the Gwragedd Annwn completely segregating herself from the person who took the item, for whatever reason. Only very rarely would a kithain turn to violence or direct abuse as a result of "theft", but it is possible it runs through the mind of the Unseelie. This is difficult to interpret mechanically, but also demands appropriate roleplaying, even if this means the abandon of the character as she vanishes from the life of the "offender", if he was part of the troupe.
Views on Other Kith
Boggans: Good, kind-hearted folk, a testament to good will.
Eshu: Decent people, but forever with their minds to wandering.
Nockers: Their fiery temper is but a mask for a heart they would never willingly acknowledge.
Pooka: Playful, but ultimately harmless.
Redcaps: Distressing sorts; better to avoid than anything else.
Satyrs: Promiscuous, but maybe not always for the wrong reasons.
Sidhe: Noble and beautiful, but too tangled in high-seated affairs to really appreciate the Dreaming.
Sluagh: I would like to believe they are gravely misunderstood.
Trolls: Good, honest people, but, I feel, too concerned with the worries of others.