Kelpies are most at home near lakes and rivers. Like their cousins the selkies, they can take on an animal form; instead of seals, kelpies prefer horses. Initially, these creatures seem kind and caring, and are quite capable of wooing others, but underneath this sweet exterior they are malicious and heartless beings.
Kelpies are drawn to bodies of water partly because of their proclivity for drowning their victims. They use their charm to trick victims into swimming with them, leading them out into deeper and deeper water before dragging them under. They can also use their equine forms to do this, charming the unwary passersby into riding them. Once mounted, they return to the water, dragging their victims with them as they dive below the surface.
Kelpies are solitary creatures, preferring to keep to themselves; too many in a small area is just asking for discovery. They coexist peaceably enough with other water-dwelling Thallain, but loathe the presence of changelings. They avoid selkies in particular, as their cousins can easily identify them as Thallain. If a kelpie has claimed a lake, selkies refuse to ever enter it. They can sense that it has somehow been tainted by a kelpie’s presence.
Always seeming to have stepped out of the shower or off the beach, kelpies carry the water with them. However, unlike their selkie cousins, they also carry a touch of the creatures of the deep ocean; their eyes are a bit too large, their lips thin, and they may bear some small amount of webbing between their fingers or toes. Their fae miens have fluttering gills and touches of bioluminescence. In their equine forms, they appear as normal horses on land, but once they step into water they develop fish-like tails instead of hind legs.
- Equine Form: By spending a point of Glamour, kelpies may shift into their natural shape. Any breed of horse or pony is possible, and the kelpie can maintain this form indefinitely. Changing back to mortal form has no Glamour cost.
- Otherworldly Allure: In either of their forms, kelpies are almost hypnotically alluring. To use this power, the Storyteller makes a Charisma + Empathy roll, resisted by the target’s Willpower. If the kelpie wins, the target mounts (or accompanies) the kelpie, and she can lead the target into the water and begin to drown him (see p. 293). After one turn underwater, the target recognizes the malicious attempt and can begin to fight back.
- Tack: If captured, kelpies can be bound in service to a master. The kelpie in question must be bridled, either in equine or human form, with enchanted equipment. Simple jewelry works for the mortal seeming, but only a full bridle suffices for the equine. The kelpie keeps the form she is bound in until she is released by her master.