The Ghille dhu are the dreams of Wales, changelings who are intimately tied to the trees and to the seasons. They are rarely, if ever, seen outside their spiritual home, and perceive the world and the turning of the wheel differently to other kithain.
At one time the ghille dhu were born, burgeoned, sickened and died along with the seasons. In spring they awoke from their graves as babes of the forest. In summer they grew strong and their strength rivaled even the trolls. In autumn they grew old, but learned, and nurturing. As their bodies became frail and weak with the coming of winter, they grew wise, teaching other creatures about the promise of rebirth before they entered their barrows and said their good-byes. Each incarnation was different, but the ghille dhu seemed everlasting.
After the Sundering, their seasonal cycle of life and death began to falter. Some ghille dhu began to live as babes until winter, others were often bom out of the grave as mature adults. Many went mad. Some sought out the final death of cold iron, convinced they were corrupted. With the Shattering, a desperate few followed the example of other commoners and took on mortal coils in an attempt to save themselves and reconnect with nature.
Few ghille dhu have survived; many are hopelessly insane and have forgotten their lesson of life, death and rebirth. They pay a much heavier price for incurring Banality than other fae. Each descent into Banality sends one into a new, older seeming. They have very short lifetimes, harkening hack to their pre-Sundering existence.
The ghille dhu are perhaps the most tragic of all changelings. They are a people who have become disconnected from what they once were and still desperately seek to cling to what they have lost. Some have returned to protecting the sacred groves and magical places, but most are content to live out their brief lives by simply existing. A few will occasionally be found in the company of other changelings, especially if the changelings are dedicated to similar goals (like protecting a sacred grove).
All ghille dhu are green skinned but as they age, the hue changes from an almost neon green in Spring, to medium green in the Summer, to the deep green of pine needles in Autumn. Their hair is of various colors, but is always gray to white in Autumn. Their fae seemings are always adorned with plants related to their seeming: Flowers in Spring, Vines and grasses in Summer, and Multicolored leaves and mosses in Autumn. Their bodies resemble cherubic babes in Spring, stunningly beautiful hardbodies in Summer and gnarled and wizened elders in Autumn.
- Spring: The Childlings of the ghille dhu are playful and inquisitive. Their pudgy bodies are bursting with life and energy. They take delight in playing in wild places and have a horrible tendency to climb into places they can't get down from or to stay out way past bedtime.
- Summer: The Wilders of the ghille dhu combine the beauty of a thick field of corn with the looks of centerfold satyr-bait. Luckily they also have the strength to hang the goats from the trees when the ghille dhu have had their fill.
- Autumn: The Grumps of the ghille dhu are wizened and thoughtful. Their brows furrow with thought of their upcoming winter and the need to finish their tasks before their time is through.
Most ghille dhu are connected to the land in some way even in the mortal seeming. They are farmers, reclusive artisans, game wardens, hermits, and fishermen. They avoid cities, and professions which would take them there for long periods of time. Ghilie dhu who enter their Chrysalis in cities often burn out within a few short months or years. Their rapid shift of seemings as they fall to the Winter's Kiss, and the changes in character that this brings, often earn them a one-way ticket to a mental ward.
Unlike the other Kithain, the Ghille dhu have different birthrights depending on their Seeming.
- Nature's Bounty: All seemings receive this Birthright. The Ghille Dhu may harvest Glamour from nature just like the Nunnehi on top of other Musing or Ravaging.
- Spin the Wheel: Spring Seeming Only! Young Ghille dhu can re-roll any one roll without spending Willpower once per Story.
- Rose and Oak: Summer Seeming Only! The Ghille dhu are not only beautiful but strong. They gain a dot of Appearance and Strength, even if it takes them above 5. This birthright is effective in both mortal seeming and fae mien.
- Wisdom of the Ages: Autumn Seeming Only! Old ghille dhu have a mystic contact with the Dreaming and its cycles. Once per Story, a ghille dhu may meditate upon a question concerning the fae. This must be done in a natural spot, such as a place they might be able to harvest Glamour. (Not in a potted plant in a mall!) A successful Willpower roll nets them an answer from the Dreaming. A simple yes/no question is difficulty 7, more difficult questions have higher difficulties. A botch means that no more answers will be given on that subject, no matter how cleverly worded. This ability can generally be used once per lunar cycle. The difficulty increases by one for each additional use. Using this ability to excess is said to be extremely dangerous and has resulted in the sudden disappearance of the ghille dhu who defy this tradition.
- The Kiss of Winter: Ghille dhu who suffer a Chimerical Death automatically age to the next seeming. Additionally every time the character gains a permanent point of Banality the character must succeed in a Glamour roll (difficulty equal to their current Banality rating) or pass into the next seeming. This rapid aging only affects the character's fae mien, not his mortal seeming. If the changeling's seeming is already Autumn, the fae mien dies. There is no chance of recovery for the ghille dhu. The fae spirit is gone until reborn in another body.
Illustrious Ghille dhu