The world is fraught with many perils to devour the body and soul of a Changeling caught unawares. Don’t be one of them!
Some mortals have no creativity at all. These deprived beings, known as Autumn People, actually suck the Glamour out of whatever they touch, leaving grayness and Banality in their wake. Autumn People are greatly feared by changelings (and intelligent chimera), for they are the antithesis of everything the Kithain hold dear. Persons with very high Banality, such as Autumn People or Dauntain (changelings who have rejected their faerie natures), can sometimes destroy chimera merely by being nearby. Chimera are fragile and ephemeral in the face of Banality, as they usually have only a small bit of Glamour to sustain them. This is another reason why sentient chimera often desert the mundane world in favor of the Dreaming.
In ancient times, any fae who chose to do so could focus some of his own Glamour into the formation of a chimera. Now, with the weight of Banality everywhere, chimera tend to be creatures of accidental creation rather than conscious decision.
Four basic types of chimera are known, though at times the interspecies lines blur.
Certainly one of the most unnerving varieties of chimera is the nervosa. Born of madness, nervosa are completely unpredictable. There are several different kinds:
- Plague — This nervosa is born from delirium caused by pain or fever. It fills its victim with feelings of sickness. A person in the grip of a plague nervosa will start to feel chills, aches, nausea and the like, but may not manifest physical symptoms. The symptoms become debilitating, and a person in full possession will start to show physical signs of illness. A typical plague nervosa appears as a person in the advanced throes of its “parent” illness.
- The Monster Under the Bed — Well, actually, there are a lot of monsters under the bed. There are things like giant purple snakes that wait for your hands or feet to stick out over the edge of the mattress so they can grab you, and there are small things that simply sit and stare back at you (with big, googly, yellow eyes) just outside the beam of the flashlight. Most changelings find they have one of the two kinds described below, and they are certainly the best known. The Snuffler: It’s big, it’s hairy, it smells like dirty laundry, and it has teeth the size of jumbo crayons. But the big ones are actually okay, befriending childlings and eating the crusts off sandwiches and getting left the last dribbles of milk in the glass. The Scritchers: These arc the ones you’ve gotta watch out for. If you hear one, you know you’ve got at least a dozen. They’re tricky. They plot and they plan, and they always know when you need to get up to go to the bathroom.
Nocnitsa are chimera born from the darkest of nightmares. They are perhaps the most feared chimera of all. They are the Creeping Fear, the Spider Chimera. Legends of giant spiders have been told for centuries, supposedly ancestral memories from times when the occasional giant arachnid scuttled from a forgotten cave or forest corner. Unfortunately for changelings, spiders have always haunted mortals’ imaginations. The film Arachnophobia produced some of the most vicious chimerical spiders in recent memory.
This is the name given to chimerical beasts that do not fit into any of the other categories. Examples include the Black Dog.
These chimera are born of fancy and delight. They are usually playful and at the worst mischievous. Examples include the Nevers (mischievous sprites with wings, a la Tinkerbell).
As mentioned on another wiki page (over in Types of Changelings) and above, the Dauntain are Changelings who have completely rejected their faerie natures and now spend their days hunting down Changelings to destroy them. They have powers of their own which often nullify the magical cantrips of the faeries, and drag them down into the cold, grey clutches of Banality. They are one of the greatest threats to faerie-kind.
Driven by an ancient evil, these creatures do not remember their faerie past. In older times, a group of Unseelie made a pact with a force of destruction, taint and oblivion, which they called the Dark. These corrupted Unseelie sought to infect the Dreaming with their power. A great war was waged against the Dark, and the pure fae won. Those who had collaborated with the Dark were deemed Prodigal, excommunicated from the Dreaming and named fomori, or outcasts. The fomori were banished to the lair of the Dark, never to bother the children of the Dreaming again.
Or so it was thought. The Dark always finds a way. Modern Kithain have begun to realize that this long-forgotten threat has blossomed anew. Unnatural changelings are being born, their souls those of the original Unseelie traitors.
Fomori possess frightening powers that easily defeat Banality, and fomori themselves appear to be unaffected by Banality. They have also been known to be completely immune to Glamour. Luckily, the fomori have not yet made a concerted effort to attack changelings; they appear to be busy attacking other Prodigals (mainly the Garou and Fera), and for this reason Kithain occasionally ally themselves with werewolves. All Kithain fear the day that these hideous creatures fully turn their attention toward the fae.
There is also a strong theory among many Kithain and Garou that the Dark is the same entity as the Wyrm.
The Hidden Ones
This is the Changeling term for the Technocrats, the enemies of magic and champions of Enlightened Science. Most Technocrats start with a Banality rating of 8, making even their newest recruits a danger to Changelings. Standing too long in the presence of one tends to make most faeries faint, dizzy, or sick. The Technocrats, meanwhile, would just love to get their hands on a Changeling, then destroy him or vivisect him to understand what makes him tick.
When the Kithain of Europe arrived in the New World, they discovered an entire species of changelings who were not at all like them. Born of the dreams and myths of the native people, these other changelings, or Nunnehi, became justifiably angry at the European Invasion. Just as European mortals came into conflict with the Native Americans, so the Kithain and the nunnehi clashed. Although many changelings sought to seal pacts of peace with the nunnehi (and in a few cases were successful), a constant state of unrest still exists between European changelings and Nunnehi.
In Annarbour Barony, the Nunnehi are not a very strong presence at all. They reside in the upper peninsula of Michigan, where they are in constant contention with the Duchy’s forces, trying to seize control of the land away from Duchess Colette ni Dougal.