The Algonquin tribes told stories about the may-may-gway-shi, "little people" that dwelled in caves behind waterfalls or in rock faces along the sea shore. Notorious for their fondness for fresh fish, the may-may-gway-shi would make daring raids on the nets of nearby tribes, escaping pursuit if spotted by disappearing, canoe and all, into nearby rock or cliff faces, where they could not be followed.
The may-may-gway-shi consider themselves spirit brothers and sisters of the tribes that once inhabited the northeastern coastal areas of America: the Abnaki, Maliseet, Penobscot, and other related peoples. In hard times, these Nunnehi used their power to fill the fishing nets of their mortal kin, in repayment for the fish they availed themselves of in more plentiful seasons.
Their reputation for possessing strong Medicine sometimes prompted mortal shamans to exert their own power to pass through the rocks that protected a may-may-gway-shi encampment. Those who were brave and determined enough to succeed, and those who brought gifts of tobacco or fresh fish, were rewarded for their courage with small stones imbued with Medicine.
While younglings and braves are prone to daring escapades such as raiding nets, painting their hands red and marking the rocks near mortal dwellings, and leading pursuers on fruitless chases, the elders of the Family prefer to practice their artistic skills, decorating the walls, and sometimes the exteriors, of their cave-dwellings with intricate petroglyphs and pictographic designs. They are also adept at sculpting and shaping rock (either with or without tools).
All may-may-gway-shi learn swimming, boating and fishing at an early age, and practice these skills all their lives. Their society is patrilineal, like that of their mortal kin, but they have adopted a less gender-oriented lifestyle in modern times than their ancestors. They can be found in the Middle World making a living as fishermen, artists (sculptors or painters), or raft and canoe guides.
Occasionally Dreamspeakers or shamans from tribes who recognize the may-may-gway-shi and remember the old tales will still attempt to win power from one of these native faeries, usually through proving themselves in some fashion that gains the approval of the individual.
Although the tribes of the Abnaki Confederation have largely left their native lands and now live on reservations in Maine or are disseminated throughout the general population, some few may-may-gway-shi can still be found in encampments in their ancestral lands. Others dwell near their mortal kin.
May-may-gway-shi are short and agile. Both sexes have long, flowing hair that they allow to fall into their faces, thus giving them the epithet "hairy-faced." A fine, otterlike pelt of water-resistant fur covers their arms and legs. They tend to dress in the styles of their Algonquin-speaking mortal tribes.
- Youngling may-may-gway-shi are extremely dexterous and mischievous, often straying from their camps or settlements to play pranks on nearby humans.
- Braves of the may-may-gway-shi delight in cultivating a "wild" appearance, allowing their long hair to grow in careless abandon. They are wiry and athletic and are the ones most often credited with the fish-stealing raids attributed to their Family.
- Elder may-may-gway-shi still wear their hair long, but in a more sedate style befitting their status. They rarely leave their homes, but occupy themselves with their arts, which include rock painting and sculpture.
The may-may-gway-shi prefer living near rocks and water, drawing inspiration from the ebb and flow of the sea tides or the constantly changing songs of stream and waterfall. They make their homes, when they can, in caves or rock crevices, either behind waterfalls, on the banks of rivers, or near rocky sea coasts.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Affinity: Scene
- Door in the Rock: May-may-gway-shi possess an understanding of the nature of stone; its apparent solidity is no barrier to them. A single success on a Stamina + Athletics (difficulty 7) allows them to penetrate the surface of a rock, either passing through it to the other side or, if the rock forms the outside of a cavern, remaining within its hollow interior. Alternatively, the may-may-gway-shi may extend a hand, arm, or leg through the rock, provided the stone isn't thicker than the extruded part. Three successes allows them to pilot a vehicle, such as a canoe or motorcycle, through solid rock. Anyone in or on such a vehicle goes through with the may-may-gway-shi, unharmed by the experience.
- Call the Swimmers: The may-may-gway-shi's fondness for fish gives them the ability to summon those creatures to a particular body of water. They often use this Birthright to augment the food supply of their mortal tribes as well as to indulge their own taste for seafood. Each success on a Manipulation + Animal Ken roll (difficulty 6) enables them to summon a netful of fish typical to the region.
- Weakness of Will: May-may-gway-shi are unable to resist indulging their appetite for fish and shellfish, and this weakness is often used by their enemies or by unscrupulous mortals wishing to steal their Medicine. Traps and ambushes, using apparently unguarded catches of fresh fish or seaside clam-bakes as lures, are too often successful in snaring a may-may-gway-shi who happens to wander by at the wrong time. Whenever one of these Nunnehi is confronted with an untended supply of fish or is invited to share a seafood feast, they must spend a point of Willpower to resist immediately casting aside any reservations they may have and placing themself at the mercy of potential captors.
Views on Others Edit
- Canotili: They are a part of their forests, just as we are part of rock and river, or stone and sea.
- Inuas: They have powerful Medicine and use it wisely. Anyone who can live where they do must be respected.
- Kachinas: They are as flighty as the clouds whose forms they imitate, but they mean well and are loyal to their mortal kin.
- Nanehi: They are great performers and honor the old traditions, but they are far too concerned with how they look. Flatter them, and they will do anything for you.
- Nümüzo'ho: Like us, they understand and revere the power of stone, but they are almost as dangerous as the rock giants to those around them.
- Pu'gwis: Despite their ugliness, they too are part of the Nunnehi Nations. They are distressing to be around, though.
- Rock Giants: They are dangerous and all too predictable in their rages. Walk gently when in their lands, or be prepared to fight.
- Surems: They are strong and silent. This sometimes makes them hard to understand.
- Tunghat: Their knowledge of animal ways rivals our ability to command the creatures of the sea. This much we have in common.
- Water Babies: They are useful as messengers to the spirit world, but their reputation for stealing children, true or not, reflects badly on all of us.
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: They are much like us in their love of water, but we would not want to bring our canoes too near to them when they are feeling playful.
- Yunwi Tsundsi: We have heard of their kindly deeds; if only they were not so hard to find....