Overview EditOndines are the faeries of lakes, streams, oceans, and other bodies of water. Gladeling Anchors often include waterfalls, icebergs, and natural springs. The Anchors of the Krofted are often reservoirs, dammed rivers and lochs, or fountains.
Of all the Phyla, the Heart Collectors are the best suited to spend time on the Heart Riddles and such matters pertaining to human souls. Some thoughtful sorts posit that this is the reason the kings and queens of the Deeps sent them out of the waves and onto the shores in the first place: that by pacing the earth like the meat they could understand their secret depths and bring a soul back to the Empire of Tears. Crueler sorts, or maybe just less poetic, doubt such depthless beings would care an ounce about human "souls" and argue that the Ondines were cast out; exiled as punishment for their weakness and lying ways. The truth, though, depends on who the listener is and who is talking. The Depthless cannot, after all, speak with earthy voices and the Nereids aren't inclined to share so much of themselves. They are here now and the 'here' is a daily, painful struggle.
One thing that can be said with certainty is that it was the Heart Collectors who, with their peaceful ways, forged the peace with the Solimonds at the end of the War of Making.
The Nereids are creatures of fluidity and imagination. Haunting and shy, they still manage to talk a great deal without telling you anything about themselves. Wistful, they are the children of secrets and mirrors, creators of depthless masks and ever-shifting webs of misdirection whose beauty is wild and anything but logical. They are awkward but touching in a way any fish out of water would be.
The only place an Ondine will never willingly live is in polluted water. Those who do so forsake their peaceful ways and attack anyone who draws too near to their secret places. While Gladlings of the Phyla accept their Krofted members openly, they shun the Tainted Ones. The Krofted, too, embrace their wilder siblings but are trying to reclaim their sick brethren. This causes no few heated arguments which anyone out of phylum would think was only gentle conversation.
The Husk of an Ondine will appear human to all but the closest of observers. Their distinguishing marks are ever-sad, haunted eyes and a difficulty walking that is hard to hide. Now, these traits are hardly exclusive to the Heart Collectors and they often will surround themselves with red-herrings to discourage unwelcome attention. Behind the façade, however, their Dreamform is made of delicately tinted water and so they tend to shimmer and blur like a watercolor painting. While the coloration can be anything imaginable, they prefer cool tones or pastels. They tend to be slim, even to the point of looking malnourished.
The Nereids are quite shy and prefer to spend most of their time together. They rarely seek out others and yet... they have a curiosity and fascination for the world that can break them out of that reclusiveness and into adventures.
As with other Phyla, the Jeu of an Ondine is not determined by age but rather by time out of Slumber and therefore affects outlook more than appearance.
- Childlings - Childlings are immensely shy and rarely leave the company of their own kind.
- Wilders - Wilders begin to let their curiosity overcome their shyness, especially their curiosity about humans, and begin to wonder out into the world. Questions about the meat overwhelm them as they try to answer the Heart Riddle.
- Grumps - Grumps usually figure there is no answer to the Heart Riddle and far too often they retreat to their Anchors where rousing them from Slumber is difficult at best.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Watery Form - The Heart Collectors can become fluid, allowing them to slip through cracks or under doors. The change is free, though cannot be done in front of un-enchanted mortals, and only lasts as long as the time it takes to slip through. They can still be damaged in this form.
- Song of the Siren - Most Ondines are incredible singers and can enrapture other beings with their songs. Those who hear the song may be affected. The Ondine rolls Manipulation + Performance, difficulty 7, and each success entrances entrances the hearer for one hour. Those effected must make a Willpower roll to escape and if they fail they are prone to accept the suggestions of the performer. Almost any suggestion will be followed, provided it isn't suicidal or in conflict with beliefs. This can be used anytime and in the presence of mortals.
- Wounds - The Nereids belong in the water, not walking on solid ground. Because of this they all possess some disability due to the pain of walking. This is often related to walking, such as a limp or feeling their walking on razors. Sometimes it can manifest as asthma, open wounds that don't heal, or massive scar tissue. Let your imagination run wild but the storyteller has the final word.
Views of the Others Edit
- Glomes - The Ondines find the Heavy People strong, powerful, and slow and consider them to be the wisest of the Inanimae.
- Kuberas - They are beautiful but self-absorbed.
- Parosemes - Perhaps the Heart Collectors envy the Sylphs their sky dances and would love to learn from them... if they would ever stand still.
- Solimonds - The Nereids fear the Solimonds will destroy everything as they live for destruction and nothing else.
- Mannikins - To a people who will not be known, even the Dolls are unknowable and strange.
- Kithain - Perhaps the Heart Collectors avoid them because they envy their meat bodies. They constantly remind the Water Folk that they do not belong on the shores.