Kinain Backgrounds

Chimerical Companion | Faerie Blood | Faerie Mentor | Feth Fiada | Kenning  

Chimerical Companion
(Enchanted, pp. 69-70)

You have the attention, interest and possibly loyalty of an intelligent chimerical creature of some kind.  This might be an ‘imaginary friend’ from childhood, some other character who has caught your imagination, or a chimera that finds you interesting for some reason.

Normally you are unable to see chimera or interact with them unless you are enchanted.  This means that even you can’t see your companion most of the time.  You can hear your companion speak to you sometimes (Perception, difficulty 5), and the companion can help you by protecting you from chimerical dangers and telling you what it sees and hears in the faerie world.  If you are enchanted, you can see and interact with your companion normally.

Characters are sometimes surprised to discover that the image they perceived from the voice does not match the chimera’s true appearance.  A deep and booming voice could belong to a chimerical bullfrog, or a soft, sultry tone might actually come from a chimera that is frightfully ugly.

Players should consult their Storyteller about what type of chimerical companion they can have and what its appearance and abilities are.  More powerful chimera may have their own goals or plans for the character. 

· Basic: A minor Chimera with the intelligence of a loyal house pet.  The chimera cannot speak to you, but it can communicate through various noises (growling, meowing, burbling and such).  The chimera and you may even come to understand a simple system of signals that pass on basic information.  (“What’s that, Lassie?  Timmy’s fallen down the well again?”)
·· Minor: A useful companion with human-level intelligence but no significant powers.  This companion is smart enough to talk (regardless of its appearance) and tellyou what it knows, but it is not powerful enough to use Arts or be a significant threat in chimerical combat.
··· Useful: A chimera with some real power (one dot in an Art or an equivalent magical power).  Keep in mind that the chimera may have trouble using its power on the real world or even on its companion if the companion is not enchanted and her Banality needs to be overcome.
···· Significant: A powerful companion with up to three dots in Arts.  This may be a mythical creature, a spirit, or even a weird alien or fictional character.
····· Incredible:  A legendary companion with up to five dots in Arts.  This could be a chimerical dragon, genie, ‘guardian angel,’ or other mystical figure.  The chimera is highly intelligent, and may be able to impart some of the information about the Dreaming to you, but it may also have its own agenda to follow and its own reasons for helping you.
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Faerie Blood
(Enchanted, pg. 71)

A kinain’s closeness to her fae side determines how close to the Dreaming and Glamour she is.  In game terms, being kinain is a background that all kinain have to some degree.  All kinain characters automatically have one dot of Faerie Blood, and may spend Background and/or freebie points to increase their rating.

The degree of the Background shows how close you are to being a changelings, rated in levels from 1 through 5.  The rating also affects your access to Fae Gifts.  Some people have only a trace of Faerie Blood in them, just enough to make them a little eccentric, while others are much closer to being changelings themselves and are pretty offbeat dreamers and visionaries.

A character with Kenning can determine if a person has Faerie Blood by looking at her.  The difficulty of the Kenning roll is 10, minus the character’s level of Faerie Blood.  Success tells the seer that the person is kinain or reveals that she has no Faerie Blood in her, if she were mortal.  A failure reveals nothing, and a botch gives the seer false information, telling him that a kinain is actually mortal.

· Basic: A faint trace of Faerie Blood, most likely from a distant ancestor that has skipped several generations to you.  You are slightly more creative and in touch with the Dreaming than a mortal, but not much more than that.  You may have one Fae Gift.
·· Minor: A stronger glimmer of Glamour from a faerie grandparent or great-grandparent.  You may have two Fae Gifts.
··· Useful: Enough Faerie Blood to draw the attention of changelings (Kenning, difficulty 7).  Most kinain who become involved in fae society for any length of time have at least this level of Faerie Blood. You may have up to three Fae Gifts.
···· Significant: Faerie Blood likely inherited from a changeling or kinain parent or a strong bloodline that has been born true for some time.  You may have up to four Fae Gifts.
····· Incredible: First-generation kinain, born of one or two changeling parents.  You are very clearly kinain to any changeling who takes the time to notice you (Kenning, difficulty 5), and have the potention to learn fairly substantial cantrips of your own.  You may have up to five Fae Gifts.
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Faerie Mentor
(Enchanted, pp. 71-72)

You have the good fortune to have been taken under the wing of a changeling mentor who has taught you something of changeling society and your heritage.  Your mentor can offer useful advice and aid to you from time to time, based on the value of this Background.  A faerie mentor can also teach you different Arts and Realms up to the level of your Faerie Blood Background, allowing you to cast cantrips.

A mentor can also serve as an introduction to Kithain society for you, providing you a protector and a sponsor to introduce you to the court.  Your mentor may prefer to keep his relationship with you discreet, or he may treat you as an equal and bring you into a freehold from time to time. 

A faerie mentor can be from any kith and either Court, and may have his own motivations for helping and teaching you.  The mentor may be related to you and feel some bond or debt to you, or he might want something from you with or without your knowledge.  Some changelings teach kithain useful tricks in order to make pawns of them, while others are fair and just teachers and friends.  Some of the Changeling Ties Merits and Flaws can help further define the nature of the mentor.

· Basic: The mentor is not of significant status or ability.  He can teach you one art of the Storyteller’s choice and offer you some basic information about changeling society, but he is not very involved with it.
·· Minor: The mentor has some valuable pieces of information to pass on to you, and may teach you two Arts.  The mentor has a fair involvement in changeling society.
··· Useful: The mentor is a good teacher and can tell you any basic information about changeling society.  The mentor also knows who all of the major kithain (nobles, etc.) are in the area, and can teach you up to three Arts.
···· Significant: Your mentor has a great knowledge of influence, and may be a noble or advisor to the court.  They may teach you up to four Arts.
····· Incredible: Your mentor is a person of great influence and knowledge, most certainly a noble or other kithain of importance.  He can teach you up to five different arts and has great wisdom to pass on, if you’re prepared to listen and learn.  Such significant mentors often have equally significant enemies.
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Feth Fiada
(Enchanted, pg. 72)

The Mists cloak your presence and actions to some degree, just as they do with changelings and other things of the fae.  You can use this to your advantage to conceal any of your more unusual qualities or activities.  It also makes you more elusive than most people; mailing lists and databases lose track of you eventually, and most people tend to forget about you once you have moved on.  Only close friends and family remember you as anything more than a vague impression; other people forget once they are no longer interacting with you, requiring a Perception roll against a difficulty of 5 + your level of Feth Fiada, to recall anything about you.

While not true ‘invisibility,’ the Feth Fiada does allow you to sneak around more effectively, as people forget about your presence as soon as you have passed by.  You can add your dice in this background to your Stealth rolls and subtract them from any Perception or Investigation attempts to find you.  This ability can frustrate faerie hunters to no end, but it can also isolate you from the rest of mortal society.

The ability does no effect changelings, enchanted mortals, or chimera, who are all perfectly able to notice and recall you.

· Basic: Yeah, he was here a minute ago, I think.  Didn’t really notice that much about him, though.
·· Minor: Huh?  Yeah, I guess so, but there’s a lot of people who come and go here, y’know.  Could have been here, but I couldn’t say one way or the other.
··· Useful:  I’m telling you, I don’t know who took it.  I don’t remember seeing anybody, and I can’t imagine how anyone could have gotten back here without me seeing them, there’s just no way.
···· Significant: Yeah, I know it’s on the sheet for the day, but I swear I don’t remember giving out a ticket then, and there’s nothing in the database about the for when I would have called it in, so it must be a mistake.  Don’t worry about it.
····· Incredible: No, officer, I don’t know who attacked me.  I just can’t remember anything about him, or maybe her.  Can I go home now?
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(Enchanted, pg. 72)

Although this is a Talent for changelings, some kinain gain the ability of kenning as a gift of their fae heritage.  This gives you the ability to detect things of Glamour even without being enchanted, allowing you to sense glamour and the presence of changelings, chimera, and other things of the Dreaming.  This background works exactly the same as the Kenning Talent.

Note: This Background does not allow you to see or interact with any chimera or anything other than the mortal seeming of a changeling.  You merely sense the presence of those things, and (at higher levels) can ken some information about their nature and power.
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