- prodigal: adj. One who goes or went astray, esp. one who has returned, or is expected to return
According to changeling belief, vampires, werewolves, magi and ghosts are all races of fae who have forgotten their origins in the Dreaming. While the individual creation myths of each of these supernatural races certainly contradict this idea, the unlimited possibilities present in the Dreaming certainly mean that it could be true.
These are summaries of the Changeling creation myths for each of the Prodigal races:
Magi are mortals, but ones who have Awakened to an awareness of the Dreaming, and whose Dreaming talents and magics are far more powerful than those of the Kithain. Changeling myth says that they are the descendants of four children who fell from the sky and destroyed the mighty armies of the fae nobles who discovered them. Those children were Té the Mad (mother of change), Li the Shadow (mother of balance), Ihenn the Ironmaker (father of stasis) and Chla the Unbound (father of decay).
The first vampire was an Unseelie Redcap of long ago who swore a blood oath of friendship with his Seelie Sidhe rival after neither could best the other in combat. They became brothers, and performed mighty deeds; but, when they slew a dragon, the Sidhe took all the credit. Incensed, the Redcap bit off his former rival's head in front of the King of the realm, breaking his oath. "Blood was his crime, blood was his legacy, and so blood would be the root of his power," as the story goes, and he was cursed with vampirism, never to know the Dreaming again.
Werewolves and the other shapechangers are the descendants of fae who, not wishing to entirely give up the freedom of form possessed by the fae in days of old, chose to adopt animal forms as well as humanoid ones. These fae were closest to the Earth, and when a great and terrible Dark arose to engulf the land, they impatiently quit the ineffectual planning councils of the fae to throw themselves headlong into battle against the foe. While they succeeded in preventing the Dark's victory, they paid a great price - the loss of all their dreams, save the dream of battle.
Ghosts are dark chimera, but chimera that create themselves from the memories of those who die. Only the most creative, imaginative and passionate souls are reformed in the dark chimerical reality called the Shadowlands. (Apart from this slightly different perspective, Changelings - thanks to the Sluagh - have a fairly accurate understanding of wraiths.)