"I'll wager this den of foxes, and flock of sparrows, that I can beat your hand."
Lords of the Slavic wilds (at least in their own eyes), the Leshiye are confusing, roguish and not a little pompous. Taking large areas of pristine forest as their territory, they brook no interference, and jealously keep away trespassers. Ruling their land with a somewhat capricious and unpredictable hand, they are suspicious-minded and wary of newcomers. Relying on cantrips and their Birthrights, they will attempt to scare off and mislead strangers, although they avoid physical confrontation if at all possible. For all their blustering and posturing they can be terribly craven. To their good fortune, few have tested their 'lordly might and bravery', having been thoroughly intimidated enough to fear them anyway.
The Leshiye are few, living since the Shattering as isolated woodsmen and hermits, but much to their chagrin they must retain close relations to each other, if only for the sake of their continued existence. Total isolation is no longer an option, and territorial stakes have had to be relaxed slightly. Of course, this doesn't mean they don't bicker incessantly over the slightest conceived 'invasion' of their territory by a rival.
Hopelessly addicted to alcohol and gambling, they maintain relations with the local Rusalki, and occasionally arrange small gatherings with other Leshiye for the sole purpose of indulging their vices. Any meetings degenerate into a drunken scene from a gambling den, followed by many angry accusations of cheating, heated threats, and a hasty departure by all. These threats and slights are soon forgotten however, when the chance arises for a few 'honest' games and a tipple or two of vodka. The Leshiye, Lords of the Wild Domain, sots, gamblers and cowards.
They have an affinity for the Nature realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
To mortal eyes the Leshiye appear as dirty and dishevelled Slavic woodsmen and women, with close-set eyes and rough clothing. Their fae mien however, is drastically different. Their skin takes on a grey-blue sheen, and their hair turns dark green. Their eyes merge, becoming a single cyclopean orb of emerald green. Short goats horns sprout from their foreheads, and they gain the goat-like legs and hooves of satyrs, albeit covered in green fur. The male Leshiye favour bushy beards, while the Lesunki (female Leshiye) wear their long hair in a thick braid.
Childling Leshiye, called Zuitbotschnick ('Cradle Babes') are the rarest of their kind. Tricksey, they craftily follow strangers, while remaining unseen.
Wilder Leshiye are uncommon, but soon fall into the cycle of vice that controls a Leshiye. They are the most likely to explore their boundaries, but soon settle down to jealously watch their borders.
Grump Leshiye are the most common of this rare kith, and fit their archetype in every way. Grumpy, and bad-tempered, they make easy targets for the pranks of the Zuitbotschnick.
The Leshiye follow isolated woodland-based lifestyles, acting as woodmen, trappers, hunters, or living as wild hermits.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Leshiye have a few traits exclusive to them.
Beast-Master: The Leshiye find it easy to use their Arts on their animals of their wild forest home, reducing any difficulties by 2. In addition, no wild forest animal will willingly attack a Leshiye. They can also talk to the animals without he need to cast a cantrip, or expend Glamour.
Dwarf and Giant: The Leshiye can shrink or grow, choosing to become half their original size, or half again their original size. Shrunk, they lose their Bruised Health Level, and subtract a dot of Strength, but reduce all their Stealth difficulties by 2, and can enter areas otherwise restricted to them. As Giants, they gain an extra Bruised Health Level and add a dot of Strength, but increase all their Stealth roll difficulties by 2. Unfortunately, it also restricts their passage in certain areas. They must call upon their Wyrd to use this ability in the presence of mortals.
Forest Fortress: Raised as they are in the forest domain, the Leshiye can never botch a Survival or Stealth roll in their habitat, and add an extra success to those they make.
Turning of the Wheel: The Leshiye are weaker in Autumn and Winter, increasing all their difficulties by 2 in these seasons.
Vodka and Vice: The Leshiye can't resist games of chance, or a few drinks of alcohol. They must make a Willpower roll (diff. 10) to overcome their urges, should the opportunity for a few games, wagers and drinks arise.
Views on Other Kith
Domovoi (Sluagh): The belly-crawlers slither across the ground like snakes, and their tongues can be just as venomous.
Maciew (Boggans): They aid the mortals who often intrude into our realms. Foolish do-gooders.
Polevik: Gah! The reapers take our land, and turn it to farming. One day I will smite them.
Rusalki: Boon companions, they knew the departed Vodyaniye as we did, and remain our friends.
Swan Maids: The White Ones are to be avoided. They respect our wishes, but their wrath is not worth enduring.
Vily: Upstarts! How dare they call themselves protectors of the forests!? I'd show them the error of their ways, had I the time.