"Dark and light, hot and cold, we run the cycle."
The Rusalki of Slavic lands are intimately tied to the seasons, changing markedly as Spring and Summer give way to Autumn and Winter. Locked in their very essence and spirit with the differing faces of these cycles, they are at once whimsical and slightly predictable. While mischievous and mercurial at any time, they are ruled by their Seelie Legacy in Spring and Summer, and Unseelie Legacy in Autumn and Winter.
Self-centred in any case, the Rusalki are Sirens of water and wood, blending their blood with the rustic farmers, woodsmen and fishermen who call the great Russian wilderness home. On good terms with the Leshiye, they cheerfully manipulate them for amusement. In fact, they often stay with the Leshiye in Spring and Summer, indulging themselves in the parties of drunken gambling, inciting tempers with subtle suggestions of duplicity. Other beings -- mortal or otherwise -- are little more than interesting diversions for the Rusalki, there to be used as long as they prove entertaining, and discarded thereafter. One could be forgiven for branding the Rusalki wicked and immoral but in all candour they are simply selfish and amoral.
They have an affinity for the Actor realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Spring/Summer: In Spring and Summer the Rusalki are delectable nymphs, with skin like creamy-white ivory, long luxurious emerald green hair, and wild eyes of scintillating hue. They wear little, save for a few garlands of leaves and flowers.
Autumn/Winter: In the bitter seasons, the Rusalki resemble water-logged corpses, pallid of flesh, with lank, dark green hair, red-rimmed glassy eyes, and puffy features. They wear little (unfortunately) save a few trailing fronds of slick pondweed.
Spring/Summer: In the light seasons, the Childling Rusalki are attractive young children, with wide, merry eyes. They dance and frolic in the woods. The Wilder Rusalki are comely maidens, full and curvaceous of form, delighting in luring and seducing new 'playthings.' Grump Rusalki are stately, mature, and breathtakingly womanly in Spring and Summer, with deep-running passions.
Autumn/Winter: In the dark seasons, the Rusalki Childling resembles a wretched, drowned child, thin and dishevelled like a water rat. They lure other children and terrorise them. Sometimes the children are never seen again. The Wilders are also corpse-like and grotesque, thoroughly enjoying the revulsion they invoke in those they enchant and seduce. The Grumps resemble the drowned corpses of old crones, cackling maniacally as they drown the unfortunate.
The Rusalki live as farmers, woodsmen and fishermen. and are loathe to leave the rural areas, despite ever increasing pollution.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Rusalki have a few traits exclusive to them.
Bounty of the Sun (Spring/Summer Only): In the light seasons, the Rusalki are filled with the beauty and vigour of life. Add +1 dot of Appearance, even above 5, and +1 dot of Stamina (not above 5).
Cold Waters (Autumn/Winter Only): In the seasons of dying, the Rusalki find the deep waters welcoming them. They can swim at their full Movements rates, and can breathe and see underwater without difficulty. They also find themselves possessed of unholy strength, adding + 1 dot of Strength (but not above 5).
Siren Song (All): The singing voice of the Rusalki is enchanting. luring those who hear it near. They must spend a Glamour and roll Singing + Manipulation (diff. of the target's Banality. Each extra target increases the Difficulty by 1). Success enchants the targets causing them to come to the Rusalki. Enchanted targets may try to resist, but it requires a Willpower roll (diff. 10) with 3 successes!
Domovoi (Sluagh): We rarely meet these whisperers under hearth and cellar, though they can prove interesting.
Leshiye: The 'lords of the woods' are little clockwork men; just wind them up and watch them go.
Maciew (Boggans): The busy-bodies like us not, and we return the feeling in kind.
Polevik: The grain men do not look on us kindly and are difficult to approach.
Swan Maids: They often land on our ponds, though they are cautious in the dark seasons. As well they should be, but be warned, they are not easy targets.
Vily: They can be good companions while we are under the sway of the Sun and Flowers, but we have clashed during the cold seasons. They understand this is our nature, and do not hold it against when we return to the forest again.