"Many's the man who thought himself wise, but what he needed, he did not know..."
- Richard Wagner, The Ring of Nibelung
In antiquity, far before the Shattering, before even the reign of the Sidhe, the nibelung were the master crafters of the Dreaming. The nockers and boggans had not even come to be. Residing in their own hold in the far reaches of Arcadia, the sulphur-dwarves spent their time crafting items for their use, and for the occasional visitor to their far realm.
Then Alberich the Tyrant ascended to power. Alberich, spurned by volsung fae known as the Rhinemaidens, he stole their treasure, the Rhinegold. With the forswearing of love, the gold would give great power and wealth. Alberich did just this, and enslaved the nibelung. This lasted until the volsung Wotan tricked him, taking the ring from him to appease the troll Fafnir. Alberich was then driven from Nibelheim, and disappeared.
The Shattering not only separated Nibelheim from Earth, but also from the Dreaming. What few had ventured from Nibelheim before that prospered, and had long before become known as 'nocker' and 'boggan'. Eventually, trods reopened and the nibelung ventured forth. They came to know of a group of prodigals calling themselves Nibelung, but found them to be just twisted monstrosities bearing their name. They heard of the sect's leader, who had taken the name Alberich, but came to learn that this was not their former enslaver, but shared his goals.
Alberich the Tyrant still existed, however, tracking the ring he crafted from the Rhinegold as well, hoping that with it, he may bring all under his sway.
They have an affinity with the Prop realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Typically short, and their fae-forms are even more so. The sulphur-dwarves are of all racial stocks, although usually with darker skin due to work, and a glance at their hands shows the wear and effect of this work. Their taste in clothing is fairly plain and practical.
Childling nibelung often take an interest in tools at an early age.
Wilders tend to toy with any gadgets within reach. Fixing things, or even improving them, bring the nibelung great satisfaction.
Grumps are almost universally balding. Most are willing to help the wilders develop their abilities.
Their love of machinery would indicate some kind of relationship between the nibelung and nockers and boggans. They also enter medical fields.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Nibelungs have a few traits exclusive to them.
Fix-it-all: Similar to the Nocker birthright, but the nibelung can use this ability to improve existing machinery, and some can even use it to repair the "human machine." In the latter case, a Nibelung "doctor" can heal a number of health levels equal to the number of successes rolled. This will even heal broken bones and other such problems.
Craftwork: Their supposed origins in the primal flux of the ancient earth give the nibelung this ability, similar to that of the Boggans, specializing in metalwork and smithing.
Indigestion: Attributed to the above-noted mythic origins, the nibelung suffer from constant indigestion and heartburn, incurable and unpreventable by any known means. Eating any kind of spicy or stomach-upsetting food causes one health level of damage for each such meal, also incurable except by natural recovery. No exceptions.
Alberich ("The Tyrant")
Doom: Cursed One
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 3, Manipulation 5, Appearance 3, Perception 5, Intelligence 4, Wits 5.
Abilities: Brawl 2, Dodge 2, Intimidation 5, Kenning 4, Subterfuge 5, Crafts 5, Leadership 2, Melee 4, Stealth 3, Enigmas 2, Linguistics 5, Mythlore 6 (he was there), Occult 5, Science 3.
Agendas: Burnout 5, Stultify 2.
Arts: Chicanery 5, Soothsay 2, Sovereign 5.
Realms: Actor 5, Fae 3, Prop 3, Scene 5.
Stigmas: Numb, Iron Ward.
Backgrounds: Gremayre 4, Resources 4, Retinue 5,
Image: A short, hunched over man with a taste for fine suits. A ring of grey hair circles his balding head. Roleplaying Hints: Seem innocuous, but use any means you can to gain the upper hand. Having forsworn love to gain the Rhinegold, seeing it in others disturbs you, and part of what keeps you going is destroying this.
History: Ever since his exile from Nibelheim, Alberich has wandered the earth searching for the ring, which, contrary to the myth, was not, in fact, retaken by the Rhinemaidens. Its current location remains a mystery. Alberich maintains his existence by ravaging any strong lovers for Glamour -- he descended into existence as a Dauntain shortly after his exile. He maintains a cover as a German businessman named Hans Albrecht, and has gathered a group of supernatural allies to help him seek the ring. In addition, he is numbed to the effect of cold iron, and wields a sword make of the material.
Alberich recently uncovered the existence of the Sabbat subsect named for his kind. He has not yet done anything about them, although his common goal with the divergent Nosferatu that assumed his name will definitely lead to an eventual confrontation.
According to the stories, forswearing of love would allow the possessor of the Rhinegold to gain all sorts of power and wealth. However, when Wotan tricked Alberich and took the ring, Alberich cursed it so that it would bring an untimely death to anyone other than himself that tried to use it. According to other tales, a good enough person of the nearly extinct Volsung kith could break the curse of the ring and use it for good. Needless to say, this is a horribly powerful and dangerous item.