Although biloko are fiercely traditional and tend to be born into tight-knit communities, often those socially or physically isolated from other cultures, they are actually a relatively young kith by the measure of the fae. Some changeling scholars argue that they were created in response to the fears of mortals who saw their communities devastated by war and disaster, and worried that the ways they knew would be lost to history, while others claim to track their origins to dread of assimilation and loss of cultural identity as colonization took hold across the continent.
Regardless of their origins, members of this kith take pride in keeping the ways of their people alive, and serve as living embodiments of the beliefs of their communities. They seek to keep old legends and traditions vital while guiding their people through the challenges of the modern age and into the future. Of course, with so many different cultures represented across the Land of Ancient Dreams , this makes the biloko an incredibly diverse kith, and more than a few changelings – not all of them foreign visitors! – have seen biloko drawn of different heritages and believed them to be members of entirely separate kiths. For their part, biloko view this diversity as a strength, the better to preserve the cultures they are born to embody.
Deeply attuned with nature as well as the communities who dreamt them into existence, biloko strive to preserve traditional bonds between communities and the world around them, whether that means honoring ancient hunting rites or ensuring that a sacred lake is not drained for the path of a new highway. Despite the fact that both kiths are relatively young – or perhaps because of it – biloko and kuino are notoriously at odds and tend to avoid each other when possible.
As most biloko belong in close-knit and often isolated populations, they follow the traditions and mores of their communities. They tend to be traditional and conservative by nature, preferring the ways of their ancestors, and enjoy learning local history and folktales. They are not averse to taking advantage of modern conveniences, however, especially in the digital age where their tribes have spread to distant corners of the world and so a cell phone can be a lifeline to a cousin living far away. However, everything else being equal, an eloko will choose a tested and time-honored practice or lifestyle over a newer one every time. It is not that they hate the present or fear the future, after all, so much as they don’t want to lose the past in the process.
Appearance & LifestyleEdit
Because many still live lifestyles dependent on their physical labor, biloko are generally shorter in height, slim, and muscular. They wear functional clothes and habitually adorn themselves symbols of their beliefs, and so depending on their culture may make use of masks, beaded necklaces, wooden amulets, feathery head-pieces, totems, or instruments. Depending on their origins, some also use facepaint, scarification, or body modification to obtain a desired traditional look. Seeing an eloko without some sort of tribal fashion or accessory is rare; they liken it to being caught naked.
Biloko gather Glamour from things that remind them of their home culture. Such practices vary widely, as suits the diverse array of their origins, but it must be directly linked to the culture of their people. This makes it fairly easy for them to obtain Glamour in their communities, but more difficult if they range farther afield. When biloko Unleash their magic, those around them may hear sounds made by ceremonial drums and stomping feet, followed by songs sung in ancient tongues. They may smell a subtle scent of dust and fragrant ceremonial oils. Those who belong to an eloko’s folk experience a sense of exaltation and wholeness, while outsiders and foreigners may sense – just for a moment – how cut off they have become from their own ancestral roots.
- Affinity - Nature
- Ancestral Virtues - Biloko are the living embodiment of the beliefs of their people. Given the diversity of their origins, this means many different things across the Land of Ancient Dreams, but all biloko excel at certain qualities and tasks beloved of their communities. Biloko add one to an Attribute especially valued by their culture, even if it takes it above five dots. Likewise, they must select one Ability their community is known for; they cannot botch rolls in that Ability. The Living Legend Merit cost is also reduced to 2 points for biloko.
- Natural Instinct - After living for so long off of the land, the biloko have developed quick reflexes. Biloko always roll twice for initiative and keep the best result, and always go first on ties regarding initiative, and they cannot botch Survival rolls. Biloko are deeply attached to what they know and their usual surroundings.
- Familiar Ground - Biloko feel uneasy in strange places, and rest fitfully. They must make a Willpower roll each night, difficulty 6, to recover Willpower points when resting in an unfamiliar place. A place does not count as familiar until an eloko has spent at least three lunar cycles there. This difficulty may be increased if the location is particularly strange or hostile, or reduced if a friendly community of fellow tribe members or language speakers exists there already.
- Guarded - Biloko tend to make poor first impressions, and their direct manners can make for some uncomfortable social misfires. The first social roll involving an unfamiliar person suffers a +2 difficulty. A failed Etiquette roll is treated as a botch unless the eloko spends 1 Willpower point.
- CTD. Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Player's Guide , pp. 84-85.