Writing a few faerie npcs for an Ars Magica game and thought I’d share the bits and pieces…as a story seedling. I’ve been wanting to share this post for a long while, but the story is almost done so no harm now.
The premise for the story is the friction between two separate groups of faeries who have been isolated within a regio for decades without human interaction. Recently the magi and covenfolk rediscovered the regio which revives both groups of fading faeries. Their skin becomes more colorful, their moods lighten, they rise from dormant states refreshed. Both groups are also overly keen to interact.
Fae of the Marketplace – the first group are playing out a marketplace setting, where the human interactors are given opportunities to trade, learn, and interact with fae as a common village market. Significant effects in the marketplace include:
- Vendors and participants in the market will fade and then reappear every hour or so, sometimes changing appearance. This means that very few of the vendors will be present day after day, however once the vendors learn the types of objects the characters are seeking to buy they will be more present.
- Three vendors will remain constant – a Toymaker, a Clothier, and a Trader. These three fae compete the most for human contact.
- If groomed properly “the Marketplace” will make a good source of covenant stories, perhaps covenant income.
Fae of the Host – “the host” are a group of vicious hunters who prey on children to gain vitality, known as the Pales Ones. Each member reflects an aspect of being wintery, cold, lost, or hungry in their powers and movements, and also be either partial animals or full animals in appearance. Their role is to play out animalistic hunting behaviour; members of the host sniff out prey, and then the host hunts together to feed and kill.
These two groups have become entwined in the regio because a toymaker from the marketplace periodically sends his animated wooden children into the forest to seek out customers and interested humans, and they are destroyed by the Host. The toy maker also wishes to return to a deeper regio layer where his old home and workshop is, but is blocked by the Host.
The Host are frustrated with the true lack of prey.
The characters entered the scenario as visitors to the marketplace, potentially buying and trading for trinkets and gear.
Ghori, Lady of the Moon, Mistress of the winter wind. A Pale One.
Lady Ghori is an ultra thin grey skinned woman with mostly human features, notable is an overall feline taint to her eyes, ears, and teeth, and very long white hair, often braided in three thick strands. She dresses in long robes and coats of grey, white, and charcoal, decorated with teeth, bone and trimmed with animal hides.
Lady Ghori will often ride an unnaturally large wolf when she has to travel long distances or quickly, her mount of choice for the fear and distrust it incites in mortals. The wolf is not combative though, more smoke and glamour than a beast.
She is called “mistress” or “Lady Ghori” by her host of lesser faeries, as she hunts and feeds with them on children and lost travellers at nighttime. Lady Ghori has grown more powerful than the other members of the host, unknowingly changing her story to be the leader of the Host. She now thinks that she a distant cousin to a noble cast of fae known as the Pale Ones, and the Host are her followers.
Story Guides should tweak Lady Ghori’s Might score to use her as a combative challenge. She is intended to be very difficult for grogs alone to defeat, and with a handful of her host she might make a reasonable challenge to a Magus.
Goals: To risk her life hunting humans with her host (see below), provoking violent responses. To invoke fear.
Method: Lady Ghori stays in hiding, using the host to scavenge for lost travellers. When a potential target is she joins the host in playing cat and mouse games with the prey, eventually leading to a physical confrontation. As she drawn her energy from the reactions of fear she prefers to draw out fights and induce anger. Best played as a bully, with her weaknesses being greed for energy and her own fear of being ridiculed.
Faerie Might: 15
Characteristics: Int 0, Per +2, Pre 0, Com 0, Str +0, Stm +1, Dex +1, Qik +2, Size: -1
Virtues: Faerie Speech, Humanoid Faerie, Cognizant within Role, Flaws: Cyclic Potency (weaker in daytime) -1, (balance to buy powers)
Personality Traits: Careful+1, Cruel +3, cat +1
Combat: Longspear Init +5, Atk +8, Dfn +9, Dmg +6
Soak: +3 (layered leather armor) , Fatigue: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious; Wounds: -1 (1-4)
Pretenses: Good Combative skills, a few negotiation skills, and hunting skills.
- Sidestep 0 points, Init -5, Can teleport 5 or so paces at will.
- Confusion: 2 points, Init +2, Mentem: as the level 15 ReMe Confusion of the Numbed Will. When used a cold wind will be felt in the area.
- Chilling Wind: 1 point, (CrAu/IgPe) creates a wind that chills all within for a fatigue level.
- Winter Snow 0 points (CrAq) makes snow fall over a wide area.
Equipment: Full leather armour, longspear, shortsword, trinkets and jewelry,
Vis: 3x pawns of Corpus vis in hands.
The Host – a collection of small part-animal part-humanoid faeries who hunt through the forests and trails looking for lonely travellers to kill and eat. Individually the host are not powerful, but as a group they can threaten travellers. They are not typically powerful enough to threaten a combative Magus.
Meadow, Sprite of the Bloody Feud
A sample member of the host, Meadow is named ironically as her “red fox”-like form would be unassuming and attractive except for disformations of small humanoid hands and a coat of fur that is always dripping with blood. Meadow is not very brave but an effective and savvy scout. She fills a scout role.
- Sidestep 0 points, (Rego Animal) Init +10, Can teleport 5 or so paces at will.
- Incite Violence: 1 point, (Rego Mentem) uses a mentem power to incite humanoids to make targets far more willing to resort to physical violence.
- Camouflage: 0 points (Muto Animal) turns her fur to match the surroundings, adding +5 to hide and sneak checks.
- Personality: Coward 2, quick witted 3
- Bite stats: Init +2, Atk +4, Dfn +3, Dmg +3, Soak +1
- Stats otherwise as a small size -2 humanoid.
- Fae Might: 5 (a pawn in her tail)
Ghardouri, Sprite of the Fallen Leaves
Ghardouri appears a bipedal brown rabbit walking on it’s hind legs carrying a set of spears. Like an ugly haggard Usagi Yojimbo, he is hungry and mean spirited, seeking food and talking very little. He fills a combatant role.
- Viper’s Gaze: 2 points, Init +8, (Rego Animal, Corpus): as the level 15 ReAn Viper’s Gaze, but affects humans as well as animals.
- Haggard Wood: 1 point (Pedro Herbam) age a wooden crafted item to disrepair, and atrophy trees and plants.
- Piercing Throw: 0 point (Muto/Rego Terram) As per the crystal dart.
- Personality: watchful 2, coward 2
- Spear stats: Init +, Atk +, Dfn +, Dmg +, Soak +2
- Stats otherwise as a weak humanoid.
- Fae Might: 5 (a pawn in his left foot)
Beshmu, Sprite of the Sour Rain
Beshmu looks like a portly one foot high bipedal songbird wearing blueish breeches and cap matching its colouring. She can speak well however she loves incoherently screaming nonsense far more, doing so to alert his friends and upset prey. Her role is to coordinate the others and report to Mistress.
- Invisibility 0 points, Init +10, Imaginem: can turn invisible.
- Summon Rain: 1 point, (Auram) Summons a rain of cold soured water to an area, continuing as long as she desires.
- Fatiguing Whisper: (1 point) target suffer a fatigue level of damage.
- Pretenses: Leadership 3, Awareness 3, Brawl 3,
- Personality: Bully +3, Coward +2
- Stats as a small humanoid, Size -2, Soak +2
- Knife stats: Init -1, Atk +3, Dfn +6, Dmg +4
- Stats otherwise as a weak humanoid.
- Fae Might: 5 (1x pawn of Auram vis in her eyes)
Grunthel, Sprite of the Sullied Soil
Grunthel appears as a smallish dirty looking black bear with long wide white stripes through its fur. He is stoic, rude, and always covered in soil and soot. His role is a combatant, at which he is strongly suited.
- Recover Wounds: 2 points, (Animal) Can eat leftover earth, soil, soot, and coals to replenish his physical body; each diameter recovers a wound point. Must be undisturbed.
- Body of Earth: 0 points, (Animal) he is very difficult to hurt, as his body becomes amorphous soil with no vitals or areas to harm. Weapons inflict half damage rounded down.
- Pretenses: Ferocity, Athletics 3 (grappling), Awareness 3 (prey), Brawl 5 (claws), Hunt 4 (children), Survival 5 (foraging), Swim 3 (against the current)
- Personality: Aggressive +2, Stoic +3
- Stats as a weaker Bear, Size +1 (smaller than normal), Soak +9
- Claws: Init +0, Atk +12, Dfn +10, Dmg +9,
- Bite stats: Init +0, Atk +10, Dfn +8, Dmg +6,
- Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)
- Fae Might: 5 (1x pawn Animal vis in his front left paw)