The Bean Sidhe, or Banshees, are mournful creatures who were once Sidhe.
Most fae consider banshees to be tragic and, perhaps, even sympathetic creatures. This assessment is correct. They are also desperate.
Locked in a hellish nothingness between the Dreaming and the Shadowlands, the Bean Sidhe is a guttering spark of what was once Kithain. The blackness of the void devours them, but only slowly. The only way to stave off this hideous mutilation of mind and soul is by stealing the essences of others. Legend has it that banshees are often seen shortly before a misfortune, though it is vague as to whether the Bean Sidhe causes the happening or merely observes. In truth, they do both. By some cruel twist of fate, it is believed that only the good may become Bean Sidhe. Only those Kithain who live lives of justice, kindness and honor are "deserving" of this Dán. Banshees rail against their fate. They battle it with every ounce of will, but in the end (it is believed) all succumb to the madness of the void.
Banshees occasionally appear to wraiths as well. The Restless also have good reason to fear them. While banshees covet the energies of the living to salve their agonies, so too do they desire Oblivion. Each changeling encountered by the banshee delivers a moment's solace, while each wraith draws it closer to the peace that final dissolution offers. The agonies of the Bean Sidhe are less acute in areas of low Banality; thus they are highly attracted to freeholds and other faerie magics. They are especially drawn to the freeholds of the Lost Ones. All changelings know of banshees, though that hardly prepares them for the experience of meeting one. No matter how kindly a banshee may attempt to be in her approach, a wave of horror pours through her target. (The "banshee's wail") This Shroud of Nightmares, surrounding the Bean Sidhe, is not under her control, but a natural part of her condition. The Shroud further isolates the banshee from all possible kindness from others, for her very presence is anathema.
Some changelings have made attempts to communicate with the Bean Sidhe, but the distortion to reality caused by the Shroud makes meaningful communication impossible. (Some posit that a cooperative venture by fae and wraiths might render some fruit, but such an alliance is unlikely.) The cause for their condition is a mystery. Some advance the theory that they are fae who pined away from some great sorrow, while others insist that they are souls of Kithain ripped from their bodies by the Ganconer. Although nightmarish, an assault from a banshee is not necessarily fatal. Most banshees manage to maintain some semblance of morality, even after all their suffering. Most (though not all) seek only enough sustenance for their needs, without killing. This is a difficult task for the Bean Sidhe,however.
While draining the substances of others, the Shroud of Nightmares turns on the banshee, making it difficult for her to judge the reality of her actions. The Shroud of Nightmares is sentient (though alien) and tries everything it can to trick the banshee into draining her victim until dead. The banshee may resist this impulse by rolling her Willpower roll versus the Shroud's. Success means she may break off the attack after her first wail. Another roll may be made after each additional attack. The Shroud gains something during these exchanges, but nobody knows what.
A Bean Sidhe possesses no Physical Attributes except for Dexterity. All Social Attributes are distorted by the Shroud of Nightmares. It is assumed that all Attributes conform to the norm for a changeling.
Shroud of Nightmares (Banshee's Wail) Edit
The Shroud of Nightmares drains Glamour from Kithain and Pathos from wraiths. The banshee's wail causes a wave of sheer, vertiginous horror to engulf its victims. The banshee rolls her Glamour (difficulty 6) versus the victim's Willpower (difficulty 7). For each success over the amount of her opponent's roll, the banshee drains one point of Glamour (or Pathos). If the changeling loses more than half of their existing stock of that attribute, they may enter a state of Bedlam. (Willpower roll: difficulty 6, two successes needed to resist.) Wraiths go on Harrowings. If the Bean Sidhe continues her attack, she will continue to drain essence. Once the victim reaches zero Glamour or Pathos, the banshee begins to draw Willpower, then finally Health Levels (or Corpus). Each wail costs a point of Glamour (to affect wraiths), or Pathos (to affect changelings). The Bean Sidhe gains a point of essence for every two it steals. (The Shroud gets the rest.) In addition to all this, the wail steals one memory (Storyteller's choice) from its victim. The Shroud's Willpower is usually around 7 or 8.
- Note: Because the banshee needs Pathos to affect changelings and Glamour to affect wraiths, it becomes more dangerous when confronted by both.