Solitary and semi-nomadic, the Piskies are a restless kith. They like settling down for a couple years, working and socializing with both mortals and kithain, then moving on to new adventures. They are especially fond of children and tend to befriend youngsters in need of a pal or defender. They get along well with humans, particularly those who are nomads like themselves. Many like living near migrant workers, traveling with circuses, or hopping trains with hobos. They bask in the Glamour of humans soaking in new sites and sensations and never make judgements about tattered clothing or simple meals. Seelie piskies believe in the inane goodness of most mortals and fae to the point of being a bit too trusting and little naive. The Unseelie among them are more jaded and cynical with no fear of using biting sarcasm.
They are useful messengers and guides and don't shirk from hard work; often working right along side their migrant friends in the fields, orchards, or quarries, quick to climb a tree or scramble into a crevice as needed. They may lack the eloquence of the Eshu (who claim them as long lost kin) or the wisdom of the Satyrs, but they are warmhearted and eager members of the commoner ranks.
If they have a flaw, it's their too-nimble fingers. Piskies can't resist picking up a trinket from an open bag or a fresh-baked loaf of bread from a windowsill. Even more annoying is how absent minded they are about the whole thing. One might quickly forget he just devoured someone else's lunch and then even weigh innocence when caught red-handed. The Unseelie can be quite touchy and hot-tempered about this character flaw.
Most piskies are easy to spot because of their beautiful, silver hair. Both males and females tend to wear it long and often in braids. They have olive-brown skin that gets more craggy, lined, and weather-beaten with age. Their eyes are huge and luminous, usually grey or green, and their ears are large and pointed. They range in height from four to five feet with solid, muscular builds. They also tend to wear several layers of clothing, usually tattered, in earthy tones such as rust, gold, or moss. Most carry a basic pack of tools, a supply of jerky or granola bars, and a random trinket or two.
Piskies tend to frequent places where nomads like themselves can be found; these include migrant communities, train depots, airports, tinker caravans, and circuses. Often they will join a group of migrant workers or a traveling carnival for a few years, settle in a place they like, then move on with a new group of wanderers when they get bored. Friendly to everyone, they are particularly kind to children. Many a penniless child has had a good meal in their belly thanks to the generosity of a Piskey.
- Childlings - Childling piskies are quite cute, with bright eyes and big smiles. Their skin is smooth and lighter than it will be later in life. They develop wanderlust early in life, often running away from home, much to the terror of their parents. Seelie have the good sense to return safe and sound when they are ready, usually before dinner time. Unseelie, though, feel little guilt about stealing money from a parent or staying out for days at a time.
- Wilders - Wilders have darker skin and many laugh lines, dimples, and the first creases of age. This is the most joyous time in a piskey's life, when they wander free and careless; the world their oyster. They often seek out groups of mortal nomads to befriend and though they may settle for a spell in a place they like, the length of time is less than that of grumps.
- Grumps - Grumps still travel a great deal but their stays in a place tend to be more extended. Their skin is now quite dark and craggy; ears are tufted with silver hair, males wear long beards and backs are slightly bent from age and labor. They still have bright eyes, though, and a tendency to let children and others in need pour out their troubles.
Birthrights & Frailty
- Affinity - Actor
- Nimble - All Piskies add +1 to the Dexterity, even if that raises the trait above 5. This birthright is in effect at all times.
- Human Bonds - Piskies are especially sensitive to the emotions of humans and even more especially to children. The difficulty of any Empathy roll when dealing with mortals is at -2 for adults and -3 for children, to a minimum difficulty of 3. They are also incredibly adaptable to their surroundings and cannot botch a Survival roll.
- Kleptomania - If a piskey sees something the strikes their fancy, the simply have to have it. It doesn't have to be anything terribly valuable by human standards; a pretty rock paperweight could be just as interesting to them as a gold watch. To resist the impulse, the player must succeed at a Willpower roll, difficulty 8. Most Seelie piskies give back taken property, if they are caught, with no hard feelings. The Unseelie can be a different matter entirely.
Views on Others
- Boggans - Nice folks; real helpful and all that. Like the piskies, they seem to enjoy the company of other a great deal. Their gossip can be a bore at times, though.
- Eshu - These adventurous storytellers are delightful companions to the Piskies; they love the open road and never refuse a chance to see something new. Watch out for their daredevil streak.
- Nockers - While some piskies have sharp tongues, they can't compare to the barbs the nockers have. Do they ever dig for their own worms? Doubtful.
- Pooka - Pooka are real fun to talk with, but the piskies stay ready to jump ship when the pranks come out. The little ones are terribly cute and can give hours of amusement.
- Redcaps - The redcaps remind piskies of packs of mad dogs. They're vicious fools without a kind, generous bone in their bodies.
- Satyrs - Pretty things and frisky to boot, they sing some of the best traveling ballads the piskies have ever heard. Too bad they don't always know when to calm down and take a break.
- Sidhe - Physically perfect, but they don't seem to understand there's a big world beyond their castles and parties. That's even more sad when you realize they only have one chance to live.
- Sluagh - While the sluagh can be rather selfish and melancholy, they are occasionally willing to share a good tale. You never know when having one as a friend could come in real handy.
- Trolls - These guys and gals are probably the most dependable people around. Don't let the stodgy exterior stop you from seeing their big hearts and rock-hard determination.
Piskies to Ponder