These hideous changelings labor under a curse which has plagued them for centuries: When seen in their fae mien, they are truly loathsome beings. It is said that, at one time, they were among the most lovely of all the Nunnehi, but that their boasting became so offensive that the spirits had to teach them humility. This they did by changing the Pu'gwis into horribly ugly beings and cursing them to appear that way to others whom they cared for or with whom they tried to mate.
Also called Bukwus, these changelings are deep woods spirits. They inhabit the forests of the Northwest and Far North, seeking always to find noble souls with whom they can share their lives. While their repulsive features have made them reclusive, their curse has also made them sensitive to the plight of those who have less than others. Sadly, their own tribesmen fear them, believing that they lure people away into the woods, where they kill and eat them. Pu'gwis do lure humans into the woods, but always in an attempt to seduce them or to win their love. When such activities are begun, the Pu'gwis always look completely human. As soon as they attempt to mate with or come to care for those they have lured to their glens, however, they undergo the change into their true forms. Because of the curse, the chosen mortals are always enchanted, seeing the horrid faces of the Pu'gwis as they truly appear. Many go mad and run screaming into the forest; others fall senseless and are taken to the edge of the woods and left by the Pu'gwis.
Pu'gwis are ironically gifted with the ability to sing so sweetly that their songs lure mortals to them and hold them enthralled for several minutes after the Pu'gwis have stopped singing. They often sing when they are lonely, and their haunting melodies float through the woods, beckoning all who hear them. Adding insult to injury, their songs can also cause forgetfulness among mortals, and when they can, Pu'gwis remove the memories of those they have failed to win over by singing them sad songs of loss and regret. Mortals who experience this often recall the tunes as if they were ghost songs heard long ago and far away, even when they retain no memories of actually meeting the Pu'gwis.
Those who come to know the Pu'gwis find them to be true and loyal friends. They are so often misunderstood and hated for their horrid faces that they hold tightly onto anyone who gives them the chance to prove themselves rather than assuming the worst. Pu'gwis act as caretakers of the woods, striving to maintain habitats for the animals of the forest (who don't care how the Pu'gwis look) and to preserve the forests from logging.
When able to move about among their human kin, the Pu'gwis watch over them and leave gifts for those who are most disadvantaged among them. They distance themselves from their tribespeople, however, so as to not appear to them as frightening corpse-faced spirits.
Pu'gwis look like humans but with the faces of corpses. The skin is stretched tight over their bones, their noses have decayed, showing gaping nasal passages, and their lips have pulled back from their teeth, making their mouths look both menacing and skull-like. Their eyes look yellowed and almost runny, as if decaying in their sockets.
- Younglings look like small children with the faces of corpses. Somehow, this makes them even more terrible than their elders. Pu'gwis younglings are the least playful of all Nunnehi, as though their souls are scarred already.
- Braves fight back against the curse of their kind. They spend much of their time trying to circumvent it and to find true love that is blind to their condition. Many Pu'gwis do in fact marry blind people, to whom they devote themselves with a love so fierce that no one could doubt their sincere joy at the union.
- Elders have either found someone to care for or have given up. Those who no longer even try to find a life-mate spend much of their time in watching over the forest and in performing ceremonies and rituals designed to lift the curse from their Family.
Pu'gwis live in isolated dwellings within glens in the deep woods. Many maintain homes among their human kin, but remain aloof from them so that the curse will not come into play.
Birthrights & FrailtyEdit
- Affinity: Actor
- Song of Beckoning: This potent song has a hypnotic affect on those who hear it, summoning them to find the singer. A Pu'gwis uses this ability to entrance a mortal and bring them to their hidden glen where they attempts to win the mortal's love. The Pu'gwis must roll their Charisma + Performance against their subject's Willpower to use this ability. Failure results in the subject resisting the Pu'gwis' call; a botch irritates the subject.
- Song of Dismissal: This power allows the Pu'gwis to sing a song that removes all memories of themself from the minds of those who hear it. It is usually employed when humans fail to appreciate the Pu'gwis and are returned to civilization. The Pu'gwis must roll their Charisma + Performance to bring the power into effect. The target is their subject's Willpower. If the subject was previously entranced by Song of Beckoning, the target is half the subject's Willpower.
- Decay: No Pu'gwis can have a Strength rating above 3. In addition all Pu'gwis have an Appearance rating of zero in their fae mien and 1 in their mortal seeming (this may never be raised).
Views of Others Edit
- Canotili: We would like to meet our woodland cousins. Perhaps they would overlook our appearance.
- Inuas: They understand what it is we endure and have helped us in the past.
- Kachinas: They are rumored to be wise and knowledgeable.
- May-may-gway-shi: These handsome cousins flee from contact with humans? How curious!
- Nanehi: We long to hear their songs and watch their dances. If they would visit with us, we would remember it forever.
- Nümüzo'ho: They are angry for what has been done to our world. We would do well to remember that their despair is for the world, not just for their own selfish desires.
- Rock Giants: They certainly know how to fight, but their cannibalistic ways have been ascribed to us. Another burden we do not need.
- Surems: Perhaps they could find a solution to our dilemma.
- Tunghat: We hope that these cousins can remain. Their care for their animals is commendable, and we can ill afford to lose one of our Families.
- Water Babies: We can certainly identify with their desire to steal children. After all, we try to steal adults.
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: We have heard many stories of their clever capers and tricks. We would laugh loudly if we could see them for ourselves.
- Yunwi Tsundsi: We know almost nothing of these kin, but we have heard that they are gifted with the crafter's touch.