Bittersweet Yesterdays Edit
As most satyrs live on the edge of tomorrow, they have little care for stories of how the world used to be. They'd rather seek out their own adventures than hear what someone else did "once upon a time." Nevertheless, they can't deny that they are a product of their own history like all other changelings. Born of the myths and legends of Greece, the have a unique heritage that colors their outlook on the world. The same civilization that brought the glory of the Olympic games, the magic of mythic gods, and the sexual freedom of Lesbos and Athens, also created the satyrs.
Foreplay EditLong, long ago, faeries and humans walked side by side, their realms coexisting in perfect balance. Mortals knew magic was a natural part of their world. They accepted faeries and monsters and mythical creatures as readily as they did trees, earth, and sky. Arcadia's political system hadn't developed feudal structure. The fae lived a more primal existence. The Tuatha de Danann ruled the fae as mortal chieftains of the British Isles oversaw their people. Strength and wisdom were revered.
Nothing restricted travel between Arcadia and Earth. The Mists had not developed; mortals still believed in the fantastic. Fae not only chose to visit the mortal realm but some even chose to live there. Mortals brought to Arcadia by loves or enemies lived there for a year and day. Wars and commerce happened frequently... fae with mortal, fae with fae, mortal with mortal. It wasn't unusual... just the way things were.
In that distant past, Simon Frost prepared to take the Arcadian throne for the Unseelie Winter but an Unseelie sidhe named Zeus, filled with jealousy, claimed the throne should be his instead. Deviously, he tricked Simon into murdering a Seelie sidhe. The following upheaval nearly cost Simon his life. Zeus' plans didn't follow through quite as he had hoped, though. His plot was discovered and as his punishment, the Tuatha de Danann banished him to the mortal world forever, along with those loyal to him. Simon Frost took the throne and Zeus was forbidden to ever return to Arcadia.
Zeus didn't mourn long, though. The loss wasn't as painful then as it would be in modern times. Earth held just as many opportunities as Arcadia and Zeus began to build his own kingdom in the lands of Hellas. He constructed a castle of sunshine on Mount Olympus and made no attempt to hide his golden keep from mortal eyes, though few humans could climb those steep cliffs.
In time, Zeus gathered his own Unseelie court around him and took a queen, Hera, from among his fellow sidhe. He spied on mortals by disguising his form, whether as human or animal, and revealed his true form only when it suited his purpose. Humans spread word of his magic and power. before long he had built a reputation for himself and his court. The mortals of Hellas bowed to him and called him "King of the Gods." Out of spite, Zeus named part of his new kingdom "Arcadia" so that he could say, without lying, that he ruled all of Arcadia and more, as had been his dream.
Zeus, along with his other Unseelie sidhe underlings: Hera, Hermes, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, became renowned for their ruthless politics and squabbles and plotting raged constantly. To the simple shepherds and farmers of Greece, the faeries were gods and the fae saw no reason to correct them. They rather reveled in the power they had over the mortals of the time; they lived on the dreams formed in temples dedicated to them and savored the ability to wreak havoc fueled by the strength of mortal belief.
Being exiled from Arcadia, this unseelie crew amused themselves with the lives and hearts of the mortals over whom they ruled. They played tug-of-war with whole armies and tried to outdo each other with treacherous ravaging. Many unwilling mortals became the victims of their cruel games.
- Greek Love
Few taboos marred their view of sex and love. They were, historically, the people to look upon homosexuality with no prejudice whatsoever. They didn't know they had embraced a revolutionary concept, they just accepted it completely because in their philosophy, nature made no distinction between homosexual and heterosexual love. They believed a person could find pleasure equally with the same or the opposite sex.
Their collective open mind permitted them to advance more quickly than any previous civilization; they accepted a different lifestyle more readily than they rejected one. Their mythology expressed their willingness to discuss all aspects of love, marriage, and sex openly. In their myths, accounts of divorce, remarriage, and adultery are recurring. Even incest appears, though it was generally viewed as a crime and ultimately punished through the workings of the Fates.
Dionysus EditAmong the Unseelie sidhe who lived on Mount Olympus, Dionysus had an irreverence born of the love for chaos and freedom. From the moment he arrived in the mortal realm, he caused havoc on Olympus. He spoke his mind and did as he pleased, no matter who got angry. With complete impudence, he refused to adhere to court etiquette. The other fae laugh with him until his sharp tongue turned on them. Even Zeus seemed to like Dionysus, seeking him out when he wanted to throw aside courtly manners and wallow in decadence. Dionysus was the bad boy of Olympus. Some appreciated his wit and naughtiness; others did not.
He almost immediately earned Hera's enmity and he made no secret that he cared little for her either. Most of his political scheming was geared towards undermining her schemes and authority. The two exchanged harsh insults regularly and the tension hung thick when they were both in the same room. She began to plot his death, tried, and failed. Everyone suspected Hera was behind the attempt on Dionysus' life but no one could prove it; her cunning and position protected her. Zeus, unable to either punish his oath mate or protect his friend, decided it might be best if Dionysus left Olympus for a while.
Hermes, who was quite fond of Dionysus, accompanied him to the mortal court of King Athamas of Orchomenus where Dionysus hid himself in the woman's quarters by disguising himself as a girl. He lived there some time and learned the secrets of mortal women. Hera discovered him, though, when she spotted him romping naked with a servant girl in the garden one day. Dionysus fled again and this time Zeus instructed Hermes to give him into the care of the Hyades nymphs: Macris, Nysa, Erato, Bromie, and Bacche.
Dionysus lived with the nymphs on Mount Nysa for many years in Hellan Arcadia where the tended him in a cave, pampered him, and fed him honey. While there he invented wine, one of his most acclaimed achievements. His resentment toward Zeus and Hera grew over the years. He tried repeatedly to contact Zeus but the King of the Gods dodged the missives, trying to blame his distance on Hera's lingering anger. Dionysus saw through the excuses, though, and realized his old friend was embarrassed by him. He realized the reason he was sent away was not for his own protection but to ease tensions in the court.
Feeling used and betrayed, he gave himself over to self-gratification, adopting a devil-may-care attitude, and immersing himself in physical pleasure. Everywhere he went, he hosted gatherings steeped in wine that ended in rousing orgies. Tales of the celebrations spread through the land. Often, in direct parody of Zeus, Dionysus visited his lovers or danced in the moonlight wearing goat pelts. The reference to Zeus' tendency to visit his lovers disguised as an animal to avoid Hera's wrath did not go unnoticed by the Olympian court and they whispered it behind Zeus' and Hera's backs, snickering and pointing.Many mortals joined Dionysus in his revelry, traveling with him, caught in the perpetual dance. Music and sex, laughter and wine filled their days and nights. This went on for years below Mount Nysa. Dionysus and his followers drew women from the surrounding farms into their celebrations with beautiful music and promises of divine ecstasy. Many of these women, called Maenads, left their families to join Dionysus and his growing cult. His popularity grew quickly in the rural areas. some farmers offered him their daughters in exchange for knowledge of vinting. Not many of these young women complained about their new life. The served Dionysus of their own free will and when they chose to leave, no one stopped them.
Pan, The First Satyr Edit
Men and women danced around bonfires, naked, arms raised to the stars. Eventually they wandered off with lovers into the darkness or joined writhing piles of bodies in the red-orange light of the fire. Dionysus reigned over it all in his goat-skin cape. He wore the skull of a male goat on his head, its horns sharply silhouetted against the flames, all in mockery of Zeus. He had little respect for the King of the Gods. This small bit of irreverence became a not-so-private joke among his followers and it gave him some satisfaction to nub his nose at Zeus and Hera.
Everything he did, he did big; throwing himself wholeheartedly into his endeavors, succeeding more often than not. Eccentric, pursuant of his desires, with little care for what others thought of him, as a leader, Dionysus was larger than life. His exaggeration and showmanship earned him many followers and his charisma was hard to resist. And so he built his legend.
Parents, simple and superstitious, whispered in the somber hours of the night about the horny god with goat's legs that might come for their daughters. The told of the wine cults, embellishing the tale as it spread across bonfires and mugs of honey mead. Young men and women fantasized about steamy visits from the goat-god. Before long, all that belief solidified. Their dreams danced to a debauched tone with images of feasts and drink and flushed nakedness. Erotic music encouraged a dream-dance with goat-legged men and women that beckoned the farmers and their wives from their normal dreams of harvest. In this way the legends of the goat-god and his vine cult affected the Dreaming and produced a new kith. The first satyr was born in Arcadia and he called himself Pan.
- From Greek Saturos
The term "satyr" eventually came to be the name of the kith born half-fae and half-goat. They never learned to shapeshifter like the pooka but remained caught somewhere in between one and the other. Several related kith fall into this category: the satyrs themselves (half-goat), minotaurs (half-bull), centaurs (half-horse), and hern (half-stag). Only the goat fae remain relatively common today. The others have virtually disappeared. Unsubstantiated reports of sightings keep the hope alive that they still exist, hidden away. Most fae scholars, though, claim they left the mortal world long ago and may be found in Arcadia when, and if, the gates reopen.
Earthly Pleasures EditEventually Pan made his way to Earth to seek more primal pleasures. Others followed his lead. Soon he heard stories about Dionysus and his vine cult. Out of curiosity, Pan and several of his fellow satyrs joined the sidhe. Dionysus was ecstatic to find others in philosophical agreement with him and welcomed them to his side. Although Pan remained reticent and unwilling to trust the sidhe for a while, the two became partners of a sort and, eventually, shared the Oath of Clasped Hands.
Dionysus later developed a wanderlust and left Hellan Arcadia, accompanied by a group of maenads and satyrs, and travelled across ancient Greece in search of new experiences, leaving his mark wherever he went. He helped those he encountered fight their enemies and taught mortals to make wine, mead, and beer. He took his philosophy of intoxication and freedom across the peninsula; spreading his seed, gaining followers, and building his legend. His "rites" became increasingly popular as his cult spread across Europe, North Africa, and Asia. He became the acknowledged hero of all satyrs and the closest thing to a leader they ever had.
When Dionysus finally returned to Olympus, the fae of Zeus' court honored his accomplishments and welcomed the satyrs into their midst. (Having seen the strength and numbers of Dionysus' followers, they couldn't do much else. ) He had left Mount Olympus in shame but returned a hero and a valued courtier among the Unseelie "gods."
Unseelie Pan Edit
The fae of Arcadia ridiculed Pan and the first satyrs when they appeared there, hating their base natures and not accepting them as anything more than animals. Pan's Unseelie legacy did little to help his cause. His laziness and less-than-sophisticated manners built him a reputation.
Pan like nothing more than to eat, drink, and screw. He lounged about the verdant forests of Arcadia and seduced other fae with his animal magnetism. The sidhe were simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by him. One sidhe in particular, Echo, returned time and again to his side, though she proclaimed loudly in court that she hated him and would rather rip her own heart out than feel his touch. Everyone learned the truth, though, when Pan left for the mortal realm and she mourned for years. She later followed him there but that's another story.
Pan's bitterness at his rejection by the faeries haunted him throughout his days. He developed a careless attitude that influenced future satyr philosophy. He felt honor meant little to the hypocritical fae who had turned against him and so adopted a posture of self-gratification and unhindered pursuit of his passions. He romped through the forests and hills of Greece, eating when he was hungry, sleeping when tired, and taking women when he felt the urge. Why not? He had no place, after all, in either fae or mortal society. Both called him monster and maybe they were right.
What few knew, though, was that he had a quick mind and many talents, including the ability to divine the future. He loved witty conversation almost as much as he loved sweaty sex, but few took the time to talk to him. When he got lonely, he taunted herdsman and farmers just for the mockery that they yelled at him. He often developed sentimental attachments to the more quick-witted among these mortals and returned often to share clever insults and sharp repartee with them.
When he arrived in Greece, he found a friend in Dionysus. The sidhe had been abused, though not as painfully as Pan had been. The sidhe still had hope that he would return to Olympus someday. Pan laughed at his idealism but stayed at his side just to see what would happen. Dionysus taught Pan that their passions had a place in the world. As maenads and other mortals flocked to join the vine cults to spread their philosophy through the world, Pan had to admit his friend's victory. Only when the fae of Olympus accepted Dionysus and the satyrs into their court, though, did Pan truly understand what his friend had accomplished.
Apollo EditOne of the few Olympians who was not exiled from Arcadia, Apollo joined Zeus and Hera several decades later. An adventurer at heart, He took great pleasure in exploring the mortal realm and messing with the lives of mortals. He enjoyed a challenge and engaged in contests of wit and skill with those brave enough to stand against him. When he lost, he graciously accepted the consequences, though known for skirting the edge of fairness and cheating to win, and when he won he showed no mercy.
He had known Pan for many years. The shared a love and respect for one another that Apollo had for few others. Despite the many times Pan lost in their challenges and games, the sidhe never caused him any direct harm. Pan never judged Apollo for his deeds and even accepted his near-cheating with a hearty laugh. Their challenges became a loved game and they sought each other with new ones all throughout their lives.
Apollo allegedly learned the art of prophesy from Pan, who later challenged him to regain satyr honor after Apollo bested Marsayas, a satyr, in a contest of music. With the Muses as judges, the two fae had agreed the winner could do whatever they wanted to the loser. The played their instruments and the Muses could not decide and declared a tie. Apollo, frustrated, bade Marsayas to play upside down and sing as he did. Apollo, with the lyre, had no problem with the challenge. Marsayas had the flute and failed. Apollo won and preserved his reputation as god of music, cheating the satyrs of the honor. Despite his feigned sweetness to his opponent, Unseelie Apollo claimed his winner's rights by flaying poor Marsayas and nailing his skin to a pine tree near the source of the river that bears his name.
Pan tried numerous times to reclaim the title of "god of music" but never managed to succeed. Some claim this is why the satyrs practice music so fervently; why they are obsessed with it. They seek perfection so they might challenge Apollo. Others claim they already reclaimed the title and continue to practice so Apollo can't return and steal it again.
The Beginning of the End Edit
Time passed. Alexander the Great conquered Greece and the lands to the east. Grecian philosophers and scientists asked questions and found answers that had nothing to do with magic or wonder. Zeus and his court had less and less sway with the people. The Mists swallowed the golden castle at the summit of Mount Olympus and spirited it away from the eyes of mortals; only those of faerie blood could find it. By 330 BCE, belief in the old gods had been superseded by a growing interest in philosophy and science. Then people didn't need "gods" to explain the world. Dionysus and the satyrs abandoned Zeus and migrated north into the lands of the druids.
The Celtic Conversion EditIt didn't take long for Dionysus and the satyrs to get a hoof-hold among the tribal peoples of Western Europe: Germany, France, and the British Isles. Stories of them chasing young women in the woods or leaping around Beltaine fires spread rapidly. Legends of the horned god were abundant and the satyrs felt at home. The land was still unpaved and the people still had no fear of the urges that drove them.
Raiders form the north raided the isles constantly. The satyrs had learned to fight beside Dionysus during his travels but they had never experienced the brutality of the northern tribes. Their love of physical competition, fostered among the greeks, became frenzied bloodlust when faced with opponents who took no prisoners and pulled no punches. Side by side with the Britons, the satyrs fought to preserve their new home. Tales of their heroism and fervor in battle reached Arcadia and they reacquired the the respect of the nobility and earned the boon of return to the land of the fae. A few chose to travel to Arcadia. Others remembered the ridicule, the stuffiness of the sidhe, and the boring hours of pompous discourse in the courts and chose to stay in the mortal realm.
Years passed. The Greek pantheon slipped into memory. Satyrs fed the dreams of the Celts. They persevered. Even Dionysus remained, though he changed and forgot his origins. Some deemed him Hern the Horned God. Early Christians called him Satan in trying to stamp out the old pagan religions. Eventually even Dionysus slipped away into the Mists and became legend, even among his satyrs.
The Sundering EditReason and Science took the upper hand in Greece. Rather than more centuries of fear over unpredictable and uncaring "gods," they chose to disbelieve and end the threat. Mythical creatures of Greek origin began to disappear, one by one. Not all faded away entirely but many of the ones that remained became fragile and rare. Minotaurs and mermaids and other relatives of satyrs removed themselves from faerie society and may have disappeared altogether, though rumors suggest they still exist somewhere.
With Christianity's rise, satyrs took a hard hit. Migrating to the British Isles saved them from the fate of their Olympian cousins but they could feel the ripples of disbelief rippling up from the south. Christ's miracles up-staged faerie magic. Christian soldiers carried their beliefs from Rome and France and spread the new religion to the Isles.
Celtic holidays became Christian holidays, allowing the two religions to meld into one. That marriage led people from their original beliefs into the new religion. Those who refused to convert were threatened with the Inquisition mid-13th century. The Sundering reached its height, the Church set its roots deep, and the fae of the British Isles watched their world crumble.
The Shattering Edit
Hidden in their groves and glades, the satyrs tried to ride the wave of the Sundering. The hoped someone would reverse it. They danced, played, sang, and made love in an attempt to continue as usual. The built bonfires and seduced peasants, cooked succulent meals and brewed the finest beverages. They inspired passion in the mortals around them and tried to forget the growing Mists as humans forgot them.
The events that made the Shattering scared the satyrs as much as any kith. Though they historically had more of a love for the mortal world than the others, they realized what that Shattering meant. They could feel their mortal lovers slipping away from them into the gray. They could hear the tinny tone slipping into music. They could feel Banality sitting on their shoulders and knew the golden days had passed away.
Prior to the Interregnum, the sidhe retreated to Arcadia, trampling the commoners to get there. Most satyrs watched with bitter amusement. The Shattering had planted a gray seed into their souls. The remembered how the mortal world had welcomed them when the Arcadian's had rejected them. Now the sidhe, rather than staying to fight, scrambled away like drowning rats, damning those they left behind. Most who stayed did so to spite the sidhe. They knew Arcadia wasn't safe from the dark cloud in the mortal world; they knew how intertwined the two worlds really were.
Despite the power vacuum left by the sidhe exodus, little changed for the goats. They had no interest in courts or kingdoms. They sought out their oak trees and faerie circles, visiting freeholds only when absolutely necessary for protection. They wanted to maintain their rituals, habits, glens, and groves, and saw no need to rely on the nobility, even the new commoner leaders, for sustenance. They had little interest in politics and little desire to become courtiers. Independence led them to hold on to the old ways a little while longer and they managed to hide from the fires, priests, and sheriffs; staying rural where they might find a grain of belief in the old ways. They fostered and survived on superstition left from earlier times. Grandmothers had heard the tales and still shared them with their children's children. Sparks of old belief still flickered in their breasts, sparking ever-important dreams.
The Industrial Revolution EditThen came the factories and mills. Loggers cut down forests and farmers cultivated meadows. The satyrs looked up from their dalliances into the face of Progress. They did the only thing they could think of: migrated to America.
Ellis Island in New York sparkled with effervescent dreams of prosperity, sending a glow of Glamour into the sky that cold be seen from anywhere in the city. People with their not-yet-shattered dreams of the future didn't mind the squalor of the camp or pallor of the soul lines. New York appeared as a place of future glory and they dreamed.
Getting to the mainland changed that. Mortals and satyrs felt the immediate claustrophobia of the smells and sounds of industrialization. Banality lurked at the edge of Manhattan like a dark creature waiting to pounce. In the city, sweatshops sucked the life from the people who had earlier stared with hopeful eyes. Poverty pulled the very breath from infant lips. Children left home to work seven days a week in the factories and mills. Wives and mothers sold their clothing, their hair, and their bodies to feed their families. Even here, though, hope refused to die. The new Americans clung to their dreams out of stubborn survival instinct and the wealthy climbed to the top upon their backs.
Not ones to be daunted, satyrs left the cities of the east and headed west with other adventure seekers. The Wild West hosted six-gun-toting satyrs with catchy one-liners for every occasion. the ran brothels and robbed banks for the fun of it. Unseelie satyrs built the biggest legends in the West where a reputation for being bad went a long way. In this untamed land, they stretched their legs and let their hair down. They fed on the dreams of gold and land, monsters and miracles. Cowboys still told tales of heroes that could ride tornadoes and a giant lumberjack with a blue ox named Babe, half-believing their own stories. Mystery abounded and provided fertile ground for satyrs to work their magic.
They first came into contact with the Nunnehi at this time. They trod carefully because they had learned about being the new kid on the block when they went to the British Isles. The gently made their presence known. Fortunately they were some of the first fae in the West and few others had come to give them a bad reputation. Later, new fae arrivals destroyed their burgeoning friendship with the Nunnehi. Trolls, redcaps, and nockers blew in and took over without so much as an "excuse me." Only by the hair of their tales could the goats salvage any amount of nunnehi respect. They took an open stance of neutrality in the growing tensions between invader and invaded.
As time passed, opportunities for adventure faded. The turn of the century carried with it a civilized sugar-coating that repulsed most of them, while World War I made everyone serious and reserved. The concept of sin had followed the the satyrs from Europe and moral judgments flew everywhere. The Wild West was loosing its wild side as more people settled the land and as steel tracks made the country smaller. As each new place became known and tarnished by more and more footprints, the wonder of the West slipped away. Civilization had again destroyed the magic. Satyrs sat by the railroad tracks and mourned.
A New Era Edit
Only the Roaring 20s could have brought the satyrs out of their slump. Jazz, flappers, and a more open outlook on sex and fun perked up satyr ears and tails and they slipped into the cities, just to take a peek, or so they said.
Prohibition offended their sensibilities, obviously, and many opened speakeasies and private clubs that served forbidden alcohol made in satyr-run stills in the rural areas. Al Capone reportedly had a satyr right-hand man as did many Mafia kingpins of the day. The 1920s were a dangerous time and many satyrs died defending their right to drink and be merry. But even the police raids and shoot-outs didn't bother them as much as the Christian picket-lines proclaiming the evils of liquor and sin. The echoes of this morality were heard in America for the next 30 years or so.
The stock market crash finished off the 20s and despair descended on the United States. Surprisingly, it was World War II that ended the Great Depression, lifting the dark cloud. Satyrs remained in the cities, fighting with mortals to improve conditions and return wonder to the world. They refused to give up hope as children had to grow up too quickly; as young men were fed into the ever-hungry war machine; as women worked day and night to build weapons. For the Unseelie, though, the horror if it all was a saving grace. Nightmares abounded. Evil roamed the streets of Europe. Propaganda showed the death camps and the Monster: Hitler. Satyrs eked out a living: Unseelie feeding on night horrors and Seelie on the dreams of mothers and lovers waiting their loved ones' returns.
In the 1950s, the threat of nuclear war again dampened the imagination. Families became clones of each other. The Great American Dream had reached fruition as the descendants of immigrants moved to the suburbs. Television made the world smaller and launched its insidious campaign against free thought and diversity. Satyrs began to disappear.
The Age of Aquarius EditThen something miraculous happened among the sons and daughters of those suburbanites. On college campuses across the country, the flower children emerged from their banal cocoons, rejected the dreams of their parents, and formed their own. The satyrs rejoiced and joined the dance. A new era dawned among the youth of the day. Living dreams splattered color over the gray past.
In equal opposition, Banality surged around the Vietnam War. It took young, free-thinkers and gave nothing back but anger and pain, darkening the edges of the new age, reminding people that the world was cruel and unforgiving.
The moon landing in 1969 released a wave of Glamour that gave the fae the boost they needed. Satyrs celebrated as the gates between Earth and Arcadia burst open. As the sidhe stumbled out of the trods, the satyrs, more than any other kith, came to their aid, putting aside their old grudges and welcoming them into their flock. They had learned that the chances for survival in the world worked best when the fae worked together and they would not abandon the fragile sidhe to face the overwhelming power of Banality
But before long, the sidhe regained their foothold and gathered themselves into courts in recaptured freeholds. Despite their original dependence on the commoner Kithain, they had no intention of treating them as equals. They figured the other fae were simply doing their duty to their betters. This re-triggered the deep resentment in the satyrs who felt betrayed. Politics between commoner and noble chafed.
Over time, the satyr love of freedom and independence caused a rift between them and the arrogant nobility. They spoke out against the sidhe's belief in their superiority. Their debates rang through the halls of freeholds. Some say the Night of Iron Knives came about because a satyr bested a noble in heated discourse over the outdated feudal system. Frustrated and furious, the sidhe plotted and carried out their massacre.
Bumping & Grinding Edit
The Accordance War Edit
Many satyrs fell in the Accordance War but many more earned the respect of their fellow commoner kith. They proved their talents extended beyond music, drinking, and screwing. Battle after battle, they stood by trolls and redcaps and wielded chimerical swords and iron blades. The bitterness of betrayal burned in their eyes and the sidhe learned that there was little more frightening than the sight of a satyr filled with righteous indignation, charging down on them with a glowing sword. They didn't have the tactical savvy of the sidhe, but what they lacked in organization, the made up for in passion.
The kith faced a serious dilemma, though, as a result of the war. To fight and kill another changeling contradicted their live-and-let-live philosophy. And so the war scarred satyrs more deeply than the more violent, war-like kith. If they hadn't lost loved ones to the Night of Iron Knives they might not have taken as firm a stance in the war.
The War saw the development of a battle-trained tragos for the first time in centuries. Satyrs banded together, learned weapon skills and fighting techniques, then fought side with the other commoner kith. Many a war-tragos still exists, focusing their talents on the enemies of the fae.
A Return to Life EditSatyrs can fight but most prefer peaceful times. When High King David called for a meeting of commoner and sidhe to discuss an end to the war, satyrs rejoiced. Their hunger for peace made it easer for them than any other commoner kith to trust the new High King. They sent Melizein the Singer to carry the olive branch for them and he took several of his fellow satyrs to meet with David and a council of commoner Kithain.
Melizein wasn't a fool, and though he wanted desperately to believe the king was sincere, he feared an ambush. No such thing happened. David spoke of a Parliament of Dreams instead and spoke words no one expected from a noble sidhe. He won the hearts of the satyrs with ease, inspiring feelings of peace, love, and loyalty in their hearts with his speech. Melizein stood first as the rest sat in quiet shock. He applauded David.
Before any fealty was promised, however, he went back to his fellow satyrs and called for a meeting in the town of Greece, New York. Satyrs came from around the world to hear his tale of the meeting. Afterward, they voted unanimously to support him. Memories of the subsequent celebration kept tails wagging for years.
Melizein became the first satyr lord, granted title by King David himself. He served David for many years as his personal advisor and confidant. The king joined the satyrs in mourning when Lord Melizein died; assassinated by cold iron at a mid-winter festival.
Modern Times Edit
Satyrs have changed little over the centuries. Though they recognize the danger of coming Winter, most tend to ignore it altogether. Many feel that only by living as if it weren't going to happen will it be possible to avoid it. And so the drink, and dance, and screw like they always did. The fatalistic attitudes and gloomy proclamations of other kith hold no validity with the satyrs who see that pessimism as detrimental to the cause and so they instinctively try to cheer up those sour fae.
Satyrs corrupt the innocent, lift spirits, and provide an outlet for frustration; all with enthusiasm. They live for today.
Passion EditThe word Passion means a great deal to all satyrs. They murmur it to themselves like a mantra when Banality weighs heavy on them. They shout it to the stars like a joyous Hallelujah when they managed to experience one of those brief, perfect moments that make it all worthwhile. They whisper it to each other like sweet proclamations of love.
Many Kithain misjudge the goats as rutting, carousing, pranking, ne'er-do-wells who live of the generous nature of the court or sleep their way into titles. They don't get that a satyr's sex life, drinking habits, and apparent irreverence for personal space and etiquette do not evince lack of integrity but are the measure of their dedication to the satyr philosophy of personal freedom, courage, and "passion."
Satyr Passions Edit
Satyrs have a reputation for excess, sensuality, and musing. They party like frat boys, pour their hearts into their music, and make love each time as if it were their last. Though one never entirely gives up any of these things, they begin to focus eventually on one specific interest. This focus develops naturally; it's not a conscious choice. As they mature, their interests parallel particular talents and they concentrate their pursuit of experience and passion in a particular direction. This focus is a satyr's "Passion." It could be music, romance, dance, ritual, winemaking, or any other number of hobbies. Each satyr has a different passion defined by their personality.
Satyrs believe in love at first sight and true love. "One moment of true love is worth a lifetime of pain," they say. Despite their callous and fickle image, the romantic satyr has one goal: find true love. Tragically, they believe they must make gigantic sacrifices and fight incredible odds to earn it so love easily won must not be true love. They are often attracted to a person who is unlikely to ever return their affection. No work: no challenge: not true love.
Pining and moping come easily to this satyr, especially since they'll spend the majority of their days chasing their love of the moment. They appear quite unhappy most of the time but this is misleading. Beneath the facade, they are rejoicing in the whirls and dips of the dance or romance. A glance, a wink, a word given by the object f affection sends them over the moon. When the beloved smiles elsewhere, they crash into the mire. It's all part of the dance.
During sex, mortals step closer to their uninhibited, free selves than at any other time. In a world where sots revere moderation and temperance, sexual intimacy grants exploration of their innermost feelings. Behind closed doors, one can let their guard down and change into something more comfortable... whatever turns them on.
Sexual satyrs approach it with open minds. Not all their escapades are fanciful tumblings in lace sheets or giggly ticklings on pine needles. They understand sex has many faces: rough, selfish, sadistic, and masochistic. Not even among Seelie does satyr sex remain light-hearted rompings like one might imagine. With this Passion, a satyr uses sex as a vehicle to the larger-than-life through the prismatic potential of physical intercourse.
As a general rule, the goats have few taboos, though experimentation quickly leads to learning what works best for them or doesn't. Unhesitatingly, they eliminate the methods and partners that don't satisfy. They expand exploration along avenues that trigger their curiosity instead. If they find a particularly likable situation, they could stay with it for some time. It's not uncommon, therefore, to stay with the same partner for longer periods. Monogamy doesn't come easily, though. Their curiosity and innate sense of adventure can get them into compromising situations. A satyr rarely takes an Oath of Truehearts without stating that the commitment is emotional and not sexual.
Some satyrs have learned to muse Glamour from humans by inspiring them to ever-greater plateaus of sexual prowess and fulfillment. The form of Reverie, though, is still not widely understood. It's unpredictable at best and often requires an even greater time and energy commitment than inspiring an artist or musician. Generations of moral education have taught mortals that to enjoy sex is a sin. Though this isn't as accepted as standard as in the past, the restraints on the subconscious of many humans still lingers. To end the moratorium on sexual enjoyment sanctioned by most religions, a satyr must chose their steps carefully; one false move and the mortal could slip into remorse, fear, or worse: guilt.
Music is a satyr's trump suit. Most can play an instrument but even those who don't have voices that inspire the deepest emotions when raised in song. For some, even speaking can reach into the souls of their listeners. These satyrs, usually, have a Passion for music.
Music burns in every satyr soul but for those with the Passion, it's a never-ending inferno. The notes of starting, the moon's lullaby, and the sun's trumpet call-to-run reverberate in their hearts. The ebb and flow of their blood sets the beat and emotion drives the harmony. They are nothing without music. It gives them a mode of self-expression that keeps them from exploding. They feel through it and others share those feelings. They use music to touch upon hidden human emotions.
Mortals and some faeries have learned to hide their emotions deep inside. The musical satyr brings those emotions out into the open and allows the listeners a chance for catharsis. This can occasionally produce dangerous situations. One never knows how someone will react to the emergence of hate, anger, fear, guilt, remorse, melancholy, sorrow, despair, love, joy, or any other emotion a satyr could summon. The musical satyr lives to find out, however.
Running is attractive to the goats for obvious reasons. They are already one step ahead of the game and athletic satyrs can push themselves to incredible speeds and distances. Those with the Passion often cross-train to become proficient in many sports and physical activities. Some pursue dance while others prefer more competitive endeavors, both on teams and individually. The need to uphold the Escheat keeps most satyrs from setting world records every week, but more than one Olympic medalist has been a satyr.
Some study martial arts, although finding a master willing to teach the physical without the moral can be difficult. No satyr can stand someone telling them how to live their life, and even the most satyr-friendly of the Eastern religions grate on their nerves from time to time. Nonetheless, the physical challenge of such practices appeals to some athletic goats.
Many such satyrs keep their personal aspirations to themselves and take up coaching professional teams, college track, high-school gym, little league, or Olympic hopefuls. They encourage physical education and the joy of sports in mortals, preaching the ethics of team-play and personal ambition including goal setting and achievement. The show losers how to be winners and foster the dreams of the young as Olympians.
Despite popular opinion, 99.9% of satyrs can read and write. As creatures of passion and emotion, the goats understand the importance of communication and many take pleasure in a well-turned phrase. They know a well-written love poem wins a heart and a stark depiction of death by cold iron terrifies.
The lyrics of a song create an image in the heart and mind. Words, so sterile one at a time, breathe and live when arranged artfully. The poetic satyr makes it their quest to write something of lasting energy to bridge the gap between people and draw emotion from where mortals keep them hidden. While they may read the works of others to learn, they prefer to write. Like any good goat they believe that life is about living so they don't hide away in some office with a computer. They write at the bar, on the bus, or by the lake. They write after making love, while drunk, before taking up arms. A satyr with a Passion for poetry always has a pen, pencil, or crayon and bits of paper, cocktail napkins, and matchbooks covered with lines of verse.
The satyr poet writes self-indulgently. They don't try to share wisdom... they write to express themselves. When sharing, they expect a reaction and get one. The depth of their sincerity is conveyed through their words and their emotions leap from the page into the reader's mind, calling to its counterpart there. For centuries, satyr poets have called readers to seek adventure, break free of their prisons, or fid true love, all through meticulously arranged words.
The rhetorical satyr sees all life mirrored in the push and pull of debate. They know position is a matter of perspective. They can therefore take any side of an issue and argue for or against it. Mental flexibility, eloquence, and open-mindedness impress them. They force others to defend or reconsider their position. They can often end up with black eyes or split lips when they push an argument too far. Those who debate such fae, though, come away having learned something important.
A satyr never holds a grudge against their opponent, even if they lose. They always offer a hand after a heated discussion with a smile. It's really all a game to them. Even if they get distraught in the moment, they step away calmly and free of reproach and will usually thank their opponent for the challenge and amusement. This thank you, of course, doesn't always sit well with an antagonist who doesn't understand their sincerity.
Satyrs have a natural affinity for wine, beer, and liquor. At any satyr gathering, a broad variety of each tempts the palate. Some will not drink commercial products and rudely insult even the most renowned international beverages. They chose a home-brew every time, if given the choice. They are acclaimed for their ability to make the most succulent wines and premium beers and those for whom it is a Passion quickly become legends.
The goats have a definite code of ethics governing their brewing and vinting: No artificial ingredients; No selling the product. That doesn't mean their isn't a cost for it. They take great pride in their skill and anyone who doesn't enjoy it and exaggerate their praise will draw a goat's ire. Praise goes a long way to appeasing a satyr brewer.
Tradition dictates the recipient of satyr-brew must toast the satyr who made it with the first drink from the bottle. If their identity is unknown, one should toast satyrs as a whole because, according to superstition, bad luck will befall anyone who forgets to do so. This sot of toast is habitual among changelings who don't want to risk the bad luck of a satyr's wrath. They even murmur it under their breaths when drinking mortal brews just in case: "Three cheers for satyr-brew." Sometimes's it's shortened in public and humans have picked it up as "Cheers!"
See also Ambrosia.
Unseelie Passions Edit
Unseelie Passions tend to be more deviant than those of their Seelie cousins. Some have delved into sadomasochism, fetishism, dark performance art, torture, assassination, cults, and violent crime. Their Passions vary as greatly as those of the Seelie goats. Unseelie satyrs have extremely fruitful and active imaginations. Sometimes sunshine satyrs find the dark, nightmarish aspect of Unseelie Passions distasteful but a moon satyr takes pride in their work and art and explores their passion with as much zeal and energy as their sunnier cousins. As much as the two sides may disagree, a satyr will rarely denounce another's Passion, especially in public. They toe the line between Seelie and Unseelie by choice so it behooves them to never criticize or judge their fellows' Passion. They understand the need for diversity and acceptance. Often a satyr slips from light to dark, or vice versa, because experimentation with their Passion has drawn them that direction
The Living Time Edit
Because satyrs thrust themselves entirely into their Passion, they risk going too far. Some experience intervals where the become so obsessed that they practice it night and day to the exclusion of all other activities. They call this "The Living Time," and watch one another carefully for signs of it. It's dangerous for obvious reasons. They may be too preoccupied to eat, drink, or bathe. After a time, they become more and more isolated from mortal society and risk Bedlam. If a satyr enters The Living Time and doesn't come out with a week or two, her tragos or friends may attempt to rescue them by coaxing them out into the world for a night on the town or an evening at court. Usually a couple of hours with other goats, away from their Passion, gives them enough of a jerk to get them out of their obsession. The tragos will usually keep an eye out anyway incase they need a second dose of outside stimuli.
Exposing Themselves Edit
Sunshine & Moon Edit
Satyrs have adopted a unique terminology among themselves for the Seelie and Unseelie among them. Seelie are related to sunshine, bright, and golden, while Unseelie associate with the moon, sharp, and mysterious. Sunshine satyrs follow the Seelie Code. Their bright personalities and fun-loving ways light the way for other fae and serve to remind people of the importance of a positive outlook, appreciating beauty, and remaining unstained by dishonor. The believe in true love and the possibility for perfection.
Moon satyrs follow the Unseelie Code. Their legacies tend to be more obscured and their Passions darker. They roam the night and take what they want. They lend twisted definitions to honor and beauty, preferring more chaotic approaches to life and living it. Love is as fickle as the inconstant moon and its light on the surface of a lake.
Satyrs believe in the ancient concept of cycles. Like the ancient Greeks, they philosophize that all life is a conglomeration of circles and that all things are connected in some way. Each person travels the circle of their life until they reach the beginning again and start anew. Other lives may intersect with theirs, like the rings of the Olympic symbol, but none mirror it exactly.
A Seelie faun bubbles over with enthusiasm and a contagious joy for life. Their mischief doesn't cause too much harm, most of the time, and when they aren't pouting because they have to go to bed early or can't go to court, they spread good will to all.
An Unseelie faun is a wild, untamed creature who runs with their whims and blows with the winter winds. Malicious and hurtful, they have little respect for their fellow changelings and few boundaries to keep them in line. They like dark games and often inspire older Unseelie satyrs with their ingenuity and twisted creativity. They carry frogs in pockets and situate themselves so they can look up under others' clothes. The take great pleasure in being the first to kiss the sidhe childling and make them cry.
This is a dangerous time for a goat, though, because their natural curiosity and daring haven't gathered wisdom to temper it. The get into trouble at every turn, leaving elders to rescue them. They don't like rules and sometimes, quite innocently, forget they were told not to do something. A faun's mentor will spend a great deal of time chasing them, corralling them, and bringing them back to the safety of the fold.
- Wild Ones
Satyrs insist they are the ones who put the "wild" in wilder. Their young adult years overflow with excess as they push themselves to live as fast and hard as possible. The wonder years of youth have passed; maturity comes with the need to sow a few wild oats. The deep, subconscious desire to attain passion and perfection drives them. Ever-questing, they are never satisfied with second-best.
Among the Seelie, this yearning manifests as light-hearted play, melancholy, and heart-felt romance. A sunshine satyr embraces life with all the hills and valleys. They hurt like any other being but never lose their hope entirely for the next moment of happiness. Jumping from one adventure to another, the don't look back or take the time for regret. They pursue their Passion with fervor and take every opportunity for fun.
Unseelie wilders live lives with the same libertine philosophy but delve into the realm of nightmares. Their inner-most urges have a more primal or deviant nature. They often hurt others, both physically and emotionally, without a second thought, as they explore their Passion and ride the rollercoaster of life. Very self-indulgent, they don't always benefit from the empathy and wisdom many Seelie wilders acquire. A moon satyr hates the pomposity of courtly life and the medium of politics for politics' sake, but can hold their own when it comes to manipulation.
These fae mentor the fauns and wilders of their kith and have the authority and wisdom to teach them how to survive. They advise changelings of all kith on many different topics, from matters of the heart to combat skills. They have as many anecdotes and sayings as a boggan or an eshu and shares these snippets of wisdom without restraint.
Sunshine and moon grumps differ in much the same way as the wilders do. Their lives have brought them a bit further, though, and have matured in their own ways. An Unseelie grump has had their razor-sharp edges dulled a little by time and Banality.
Every satyr grump wakes up one morning and realizes their glory days are over. They call this "getting clocked." it can occur late in the grump years or early. The phenomenon marks the beginning of the end and is usually accompanied by a period of manic-depressive behavior beyond the norm even for a satyr. Though some goats may find remission from this depression, none ever recovers entirely.
Trapped in a body saturated in Banality, they tend to resent their human shell for its inherent weakness and mortality. One "clocked" their understanding of the world changes: growing a little darker, a little less sweet. Each satyr deals with this disappointment in their own way. They may become bitter toward the human race in general and turn their frustrations on them. Or they may throw themselves completely into their Passion in once last attempt to get all the can from life, risking a slide into Bedlam. Another may become so depressed the renounce their Passion for a while, thus cutting themselves off from one of the things that keeps their Glamour strong.
No matter how they approach their grump years, a deep sadness hangs over them wherever they go, like a cloud gray-tinting every song, dance, or moment of love-making. It may not be always evident in their laughter or their kiss, but it's on the edge of all they do, waiting to overtake them and put an end to their Passion.
The Tragoidia: A Dance of Death Edit
For more on this final party of the Satyr, see the article Tragoidia.
- Loss, Pain, & Death
In the World of Darkness, tragedy touches everyone. All beings experience the pain of loss. Satyrs hurt, bleed, and mourn like everyone else. Positive and negative emotions course through them like mercury and, being creatures of extremes, the perceive everything intensely. Their moody natures come from depth of feeling, not superficial crankiness. To mistake a satyr's mood as inconsequential does them a disservice.
People often notice the transient nature of a satyr's mourning, love, or hate, and think their feelings have no substance; accusing the goats of callousness, falseness, and even dishonesty. These allegations hurt satyrs deeply. When love dies or hatred softens, these changelings see no point in continuing a facade, which makes some people think the emotion was never genuine to begin with, which is rarely the case.
The same applies to a goat's method of dealing with death and loss. Briefly, they mourn with real tears and anger. Instead of retreating into a cocoon of their own suffering, they act out; a rowdy party, drinking binge, one-night stands, or a marathon run... all these are methods they have uses as a catharsis for their pain and grief. They have a saying: "To truly honor the dead, one must celebrate life."
For more information on the basic social unit of the satyrs, see the article Tragos.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Affinity: Fae
- Gift of Pan: Dionysian revelry is high ritual to satyrs. Singing, music, and dance can be used to stir fae and mortals alike to the height of carnal passion. Anyone who fails a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) is swept away by hidden desires and the activities of the evening. After an hour or two, the Banality of those in the area slowly drops. Everyone involved, mortal or not, has their permanent Banality lowered by one for as long as the satyr performs and a tragos can combine their efforts to lower it even further. Each satyr fueling the music can lower the revelers' Banality by one more, to a minimum of 2. These effects last only for as long as the satyrs perform. Lost Banality returns at a rate of one point per hour.
- Physical Prowess: All goats add one to their Stamina, even if this increases the trait above 5. This bonus is in effect at all times. When the call upon the Wyrd and take faerie form, or when not in the presence of mortals or the unenchanted, their goat legs can carry them at shocking speeds. Each turn they can move 25 yards + 3 times their Dexterity. On top of that they can never botch Athletics rolls.
- Passion's Curse: Passion has its unpleasant moments as well. Satyrs are prone to wild mood swings, especially when drunk. With the slightest provocation, they may explode into a torrent of fury or a fit of weeping. Furthermore, on those rare occasions when they try to resist temptation, the difficulties of all Willpower rolls are increased by 2.
Social Graces Edit
Because of their very natures, most satyrs don't blend well in the stiff-necked faerie courts. Their gritty sense of humor and irreverent behavior offend noble sensibilities. Pinching the baron's butt and peering into the countess' cleavage doesn't customarily earn them brownie points either. Court politics bore satyrs and a bored satyr can always find something to liven things up, much to the chagrin of those who take courtly maneuvering seriously. Satyrs view noble gatherings as an opportunity to scope out potential lovers and to meddle in the romantic business of others.
The Seelie Court Edit
Defenders of the romantic, Seelie satyrs cling to the concepts of honor, love, and beauty, and they treat oathbreakers and cowards with the utmost contempt. Though they do not proclaim their honor as loudly as the sidhe or trolls, their philosophies parallel the Seelie Code. The preservation of Glamour is as important to the sunshine satyrs as their lives.
- Death Before Dishonor
Many other kith claim that satyrs are untrustworthy because the refuse to join oath circles regularly. Others don't understand the honor in the refusal and don't always appreciate the importance when the do swear. Satyrs themselves rarely request oaths from another either, be it the Oath of Clasped Hands, the Oath of Truehearts, or any other. A tragos is never bound together by such promises of loyalty. The goats feel that being oathbond to another is like having a part of their freedom taken away. Repudiation is the more honorable choice.
- Love Conquers All
Love is a motivating force for these fae. They believe in true love with utmost sincerity and spend their lives seeking it and fostering it in others. They may go through many lovers in a very brief time in their quest for the one. Any wrong can be forgiven when committed for true love. Where satyr love goes, sex follows close behind, though this correlation is not always the case. Despite what others may say about them, many Seelie satyrs prefer the surge of love to the rush of sex and often have the most passionate platonic relationships.
- Beauty is Life
Each kith has their own definition of beauty. Whereas the sidhe may find beauty in the curve of an ear or the crystalline structure of a freehold, and a nocker may gaze in wonder on a chimerical canon, a satyr tends to seek beauty in more earthy places. The glimmer of sweat on their lover's skin draws a sigh, the creamy head on a fresh glass of satyr-brew may make them smile. The skipping dance of musical notes as they flow from their flute may carry them away and the laughter of a faun may make the pause in a conversation. Satyrs revere these things. Though their ideas of beauty differ form the others', they are no less dedicated to their protection and appreciation.
- Never Forget a Debt
Long in memory and gratitude, the goats never forget a debt. They may interpret the Seelie Code a bit more liberally than some kith do, they always return a favor with a favor. They do not do this, though, out of a sense of responsibility, but out of the good-natured desire to return a kindness. They very seldom repay a debt with the same gift that was given. They do not feel obligated to speak an oath they did not request, though they will find some other way to acknowledge and reciprocate the act.
By the same token, they will return a slight with a slight. Their vengeance is immediate and poignant. They don't bother with grudges that last; life is too short. They instead enact their revenge and then their anger is put aside. Creative and without inhibition, satyr counter-strikes usually involve the humiliation of their target and hit close to home, especially when the object of their ire has fragile sensibilities.
Of course all satyrs are individuals and their personalities vary greatly. Knightly satyrs exist, as do those interested in politics. They may each express themselves in their own ways, but when it comes down to the bare bones, Seelie satyrs follow the same principles of respect, freedom, and honesty.
The Unseelie Court Edit
Moon satyrs have chosen a dark path in exploring their Passions. More deviant than their sunshine cousins, they don't subscribe to manners, tact, or restraint. They can be quite dangerous due to their primal natures. If they see something they want, they take it and to hell with anyone hurt in the process. Driven by urges deep within, the exercise little control over their impulses and let their Passions move them. They are selfish to the extreme; seeking only power and personal gratification. The Dreaming has turned their back on them and now it's every goat for themself. Glamour, to them, holds no special significance except as a means to an end, the goals being survival and power.
- Change is Good
Unseelie satyrs don't give a fig for the Unseelie Code, though they naturally follow its philosophies. Without claiming allegiance, the uphold and propagate it. They believe that the ability to adapt and change is crucial to their survival. They abhor weakness and cowardliness of any sort and often inject chaos where it doesn't normally exist. They gain pleasure from watching others fail to rise to the challenge. Though they would never put it into words, they feel it's their duty to test and teach their fellow faeries about adversity, danger, and loss. They know nothing lasts forever and enjoy making sure others find out as well.
- Glamour is Free
As long as their are mortals, there will be Glamour. Moon satyrs have developed an attitude of superiority in regard to humans. The goats view mortals the way mortals view cows: a source of sweet cream for their consumption. They tip them over in the fields when they get bored and steal their Glamour when they feel like it.
- Honor is a Lie
Unseelie contempt for the concept of honor is strong among the goats. They don't "need no" chivalric code telling them how to act. They scorn honor, which is just an attempt by the Seelie nobility to control them as they see it. They choose pure freedom over the false freedom embraced by the Seelie. Extremely independent, they only listen to their instincts and hold self-preservation at the top of their list of goals. They are even less likely to make an oath than a Seelie satyr. Though more than honor binds a changeling to their oath, these promises are founded on a principle of giving. Compromise is unacceptable. Because of this, few Unseelie stay with a Seelie tragos for long. An unseelie tragos forms out of the need for protection from Banality. Even the moon goats need the company of their fellows to hold back that dark tide.
- Passion Before Duty
Free spirits, these fae live via their passions. Therefore, they take each moment and follow their instincts no matter the consequences. Philosophically, they believe that to do otherwise is to deny their very being. To live by imposed rules is to betray themselves. They claim that the only true guide down the right path is their own primal instincts and everything else is a lie. Freedom comes with the release of inhibition, fear, and conscience. Death, so unpredictable, cuts life short no matter when it comes so Moon satyrs try to cram as much as possible into what little time they have and expect everyone else to do the same. Nothing else matters. They have no sympathy for those who don't play by the same rules.
The Shadow Court EditThose Unseelie satyrs who know the Shadow Court exists see it as just another group of nobles trying to tell them how to behave; another feeble attempt to take over the fae and rule them with regulations designed to suit the court's needs. They ignore the Shadow Court and go about their own self-gratification.
A few, though, have become involved with their political maneuvering. They participate only because it allows them to pursue their particularly dark Passions more easily, with a chaotic cause to sweeten the pot. Satyrs with a penchant for assassination, thievery, and intrigue join up for the opportunity it gives them to explore their Passions. Many are drawn to its secretive nature; enjoying being part of such a sinister, subversive group.
Contrary to what its critics say, the Shadow Court encourages its satyrs to push the limits of their Passions. Its satyrs follow their instincts with total abandon, often on the edge of living in a perpetual Living Time. They are among the most dangerous of all fae for they abide by no rules and do not know the meaning of mercy or restraint. Some of the more blatant breaches of the Escheat are often traced back to these wild creatures.
Social Mores Edit
- Beltaine Festivals
On May 2nd every year, changelings celebrate the arrival of Spring. The Beltaine festival has traditionally been a celebration of love and life, which makes it especially sentimental for satyrs, whose entire lives are dedicated to these ideals. On this night, satyrs put aside all animosity, jealousy, and vengeance.
Most goats prefer to hold their Beltaine gatherings in the open air, in a glen or field, although they will go wherever the party is. They rarely gather alone because they prefer the company of the fae; noble and commoner. They often bring along enchanted mortals for the fun of watching their wide-eyed wonder. Often satyrs host the event each year, which has become a tradition that works well, as they have great ability to entertain.
No Beltaine festival would be the same without a satyr band. Its music creates an atmosphere of love and amicability. As a result, rifts mend between enemies and new loves are born. Passions run high and many noble-commoner relationships develop. In an atmosphere where anything goes, the satyr who has pursued their love to no avail finds their chances of success rise. Many childlings are conceived on Beltaine as, near the end of the night, couples and threesomes drift away for more private settings. It's a magical night.
- The Satyr Gift of Prophesy
Satyrs preferred not to know. As their philosophies developed, prophesy became less appealing to them. They wanted to live for the moment, not the future. By the time they migrated to the British Isles, they had all but abandoned this Art. Some satyrs still practice it, but keep their abilities secret. They have heard how people crowded their ancestors and aren't interested in that.
- Front Line Muses
Respected grump troll, Forr'hek Oakrod, once remarked that the satyrs are "the Front-Line Muses." He had noticed their tendency to focus so much attention on mortals; inspiring them and coaxing them out of their shells. Even in ancient times, satyrs had a closer connection to mortals than any other kith. They have lived and loved mortals all along. They know mortal dreams and have never strayed far from mortal desires, perhaps because they adore the physical so much. They have had a direct hand in mortal Reverie more than any other kith. After all, they are right there: partying, picking fights, sending flowers, and making love. They don't lurk in the freeholds like sidhe, confine themselves to stoicism like trolls, or hide in the shadows like sluagh. SAtyrs rush the front line in the war against Banality.
- Satyr Code for Good Living
Satyrs have a code they say brings joy and harmony to the life of anyone who adheres to it. no one knows exactly who put the code together, but mentors have taught its basics to fledges since ancient times. Although sunshine satyrs embrace the code's dictates more completely than their darker cousins, even the moon satyrs seem to revere them in some form to another. It has much in common with the Code of Ananda of the Cult of Ecstasy and the two groups have ancient ties to each other.
- Live and let live.
- Be yourself.
- Listen to your instincts.
- Seize the day.
- Perfection is possible; go for it.
- Look for love in all things.
- Run free.
- Don't be afraid.
- Don't hesitate.
- Don't look back.
- Honesty is the Best Policy
"Honest to a fault"; that's what other faeries say about the goats. In truth, they can lie as well as anyone else and don't have any moral bans against it. They just usually see any reason to tell anything but the blatant truth. They tell it like it is. Often accused of callousness, they lack tact and rarely bother caring for another person's feelings. Childlings, especially, blurt out their thoughts without restraint. By the time the beards have greyed, though, they have learned to control their tongues more.
The goats don't insult people deliberately, though when they do, their target feels the sting. Rather, they say what they're thinking when they're thinking it, without inhibition, which means when they like something they let you know. When they don't like it, you know as well. They point out embarrassing truths and ask pertinent questions. Most have a terminal case of foot-in-mouth disease.
Many nobles tolerate the presence of at least one satyr for this reason. Could there be a more valuable asset than a court member who calls attention to others when they are lying or being manipulative? Plus, if they know the satyr's loyalty, they cherish their courtier even more.
Sadly for them, though this means few people other than the most trusted of friends will come to a satyr in confidence. It's an understatement to say they have a hard time keeping secrets; their spontaneity works against them. They are always the first to give away the surprise party or tell what's in the shiny, neatly wrapped present, so other kithain tend to keep them out of the loop. Not that the goats mind... they love being surprised as much as they love knowing secrets.
- Satyr Fashion
- Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Definitely the Cyranos of the fae, the goats lend their advice on matters of love as readily as they lift a draught of satyr-brew to their lips. They are consummate matchmakers and always on the lookout for love-lorn fae and mortals. With the intent of advancing the cause, they take on projects. Many young fae become indebted to satyrs who ghost-write love poetry for them or who cleverly arrange a coincidental meeting at the right place at the right time. A goat's plotting often resembles a Shakespearean comedy as they drop well-placed rumors and carefully manipulate affections.
Opinions. Take 'em or Leave 'em Edit
Satyrs freely offer their opinions about everything, being among the most opinionated of all the fae. The judge their fellow faeries by physical attractiveness, sense of humor, wit, and tolerance. Their live-and-let-live attitude leads them to ignore those kith that annoy them or fall short in their eyes. Why bother with throwbacks when there are so many more beautiful catches out there.
Industrious to a fault, these chubby little homebodies have little time for play and that disturbs the goats. When a boggan passes by, satyrs cross their fingers and whisper a tongue-in-cheek protection, "No cooties. I'm safe," against the contagion that makes them so. Nevertheless, they realize the utility of there gossip network, using it regularly to spread rumors to aid in their romantic maneuverings. Without realizing it, boggans often serve as tools to encourage lovers to unite. A well placed word always reaches its target eventually.
Unseelie satyrs have even less respect for these fae than their Seelie cousins do. They find no redeeming qualities in them other than as a source of amusement. Nothing satisfies them as much as disturbing their work with rude comments, gestures, and advances. Tormenting them is a joy and seducing one into bed is a major coup. Unseelie boggans don't offer much either; they deal in information and contraband but their loose tongues makes it barely worthwhile to negotiate with them.
Seelie goats and eshu make interesting bed-fellows. When they meet, sparks fly. The elegbara's love of travel, adventure, and excitement blends perfectly with the satyrs' love of fun. As traveling partners, these two kith inspire tales that resound for years. Goats are fascinated by eshu and will follow them around in search of excitement. Additionally, they love the storytelling though they can rarely sit still long enough to hear the whole thing. The two groups also share a common love: freedom, which the eshu call Uhuru. It draws the two together more effectively than any other personality traits. The eshu understand satyr philosophy better than any other kith, which endears them to the goats. Plus the eshu's faith in destiny and willingness to follow their instincts also bonds then two. They differ in many ways, but they also have a great deal in common.
Unseelie satyrs also find little fault with these exotic fae, though they claim the seelie eshu only claim to embrace freedom while coveting noble seats in court. They admire the Unseelie eshu for their complete abandonment of all conscience and pretense.
Satyrs find little redeeming value in machines and nocker fascination with technology is lost on them. They can appreciate good craftsmanship and realize there is passion in nocker creations but feel nockers waste their time with props when they should be focused on people. Sunshine satyrs have given up on them and don't bother trying to get them out of their anal-retentive shells. The flack they get when they try to distract a nocker with fun or romance makes them angry. Even a nocker's independent spirit doesn't raise satyr opinion of them because they try to be different merely for the sake of being different and not out of a desire for adventure or experience. What does redeem them, a little, in the eyes of satyrs is their ability to make magnificent and lasting musical instruments. To own a nocker-made lyre, drum, or pipe is thing of pride. Instruments created by nockers can take any punishment a satyr inflicts on it and still retain perfect tone and a satyr would do anything to posses such a treasure.
For Unseelie goats, nockers have a reputation as stodgy workaholics that make great target practice. They aren't turned off by nocker reactions to their torment but find encouragement in how easy it is to rile them. Seelie nockers seem particularly easy to anger with their pretentious pride and styling while Unseelie nockers occasionally enjoy the games satyrs play with them. Teasing an unseelie nocker can prove dangerous, but few moon goats pass up the chance.
Satyrs have an odd love-hate relationship with pooka. While they appreciate their carefree attitude and love of fun, they find pooka-eese confusing and annoying. They don't want to work too hard. With each passing moment, their patience dwindles. Pooka sense this irateness, and so tensions develop between the two. Most goats and pooka find it just best to avoid each other.
Though they would never admit it, satyrs have always been somewhat jealous of the pooka ability to shapechange. Caught between forms, satyrs have theorized that, in the most ancient days, they may have had the ability but lost it somewhere along the way. Some of the more rabid believers even claim the pooka stole the ability from them. Most satyrs think this is goat crap.
The Unseelie view pooka as toys brought into the world for their amusement, especially cute and cuddly Seelie ones. To pluck the whiskers from a rabbit pooka or introduce a cat pooka to the joys of tail swinging... that's fun. They don't even care for Unseelie pooka. These dark fae have a cruel sense of humor, yes, but they haven't mastered the art of violence for the sake of violence. The sorrow that lurks just under a pooka's skin disgusts Unseelie goats. They see it as a weakness that this kith never breaks free from their sadness in order to openly experience joy.
For the Unseelie, there is partying, and then there is partying with a redcap. Unlike their more sunny cousins, they appreciate their violent streak. Their interest in the kith often verges on obsession as they try to emulate their abandon. They wonder what it would be like to bite the top off of a bottle of beer and swallow the glass, though few dare attempt it.
The beauty of the sidhe calls to satyr hearts like pollen attracts a bee. Despite themselves, Seelie satyrs find it difficult to resist their nobility, grace, and physical perfection. The chemistry between the two kith could ignite a whole city. As different as they are, or perhaps because of it, they find themselves magnetically attracted to each other. Seelie satyrs don't understand sidhe anymore than the sidhe understand satyrs. Many goats spend their whole lives trying to sleep the sidhe a proverbial Mickey Finn, but to no avail; they cannot comprehend the noble responsibility that weighs so heavily on them; not that they want to. All they really want is to be allowed to look at them and maybe sleep in their beds occasionally.
For the Unseelie, sidhe are pretty annoyances whose affections are there to manipulate, but even they seldom take advantage of there mutual attraction to control courtly politics. Politics stand secondary to the satisfaction of making a sidhe cry those sparkling tears down perfect cheeks. In Unseelie sidhe, though, unseelie goats find their match. These fae can't be broken as easily as others; rather they can dish it out as well as their satyr lovers.
Unseelie goats revel in their extroversion while Unseelie sluagh revel in their isolation. This difference creates a basic conflict. The satyrs found the sluagh revolting, though their revulsion can have the effect of drawing satyr attention to the darklings. They watch these shadowy fae from a distance, not wanting to get too close, but fascinated with what the sluagh might pull out of their sleeves.
The unyielding nature of trolls offends satyr sensibilities. The selfie goats find them self-righteous. honor is one thing but when a changeling goes around with their nose in the air because their ideals are higher than everyone else's, there's a problem. The one saving grace is that trolls deserve the right to act mightier-than-thou, because they are. Despite their lack of emotion and superior attitude, trolls have earned satyr respect. They actually place trolls above all other kith, aside from their own. They know better than to press their luck teasing one and, out of respect, keep their fun at the expense of trolls at a minimum. They even try to emulate troll courage and follow them into battle without a second thought. If the big lugs would only loosen up and learn to have some fun, they could learn something form the goats as well.
Unseelie satyrs can't see past the stuffy exterior to the passion that boils inside Seelie trolls. They don't even appreciate their lack of fear because, they think, it's only another symptom of their emptiness and lack of emotion. To them a Seelie troll is nothing more than a lackey for whatever noble they serve. Unseelie trolls are the same.
Satyr opinions vary severely, not only between individuals but even depending what day of the week it is. The only constant is their willingness to express their opinion at every opportunity, often without being asked and certainly without filter. As a satyr enters their grump years, their feelings become tempered with knowledge and wisdom. The following opinions come from a grump as wilders and fauns usually judge more harshly, as do the Unseelie.
Preferring to live in groups also contributes. They don't take up much space. Though they have often moved in and squatted on Nunnehi territory, they rarely took more than one small grove, which went a long way toward smoothing ruffled feathers. They have always understood that they are interlopers. It was they same when they moved form Greece to the British Isles. In the west, they advanced slowly and carefully, slipping into the natural order of things as unobtrusively as possible.
Lastly and most importantly, the goats have chosen to remain neutral in the war with the Nunnehi. They fight only to protect themselves and even rose up to support the native changelings whenever they found evidence of oppression by European invaders. All creatures deserve to live freely as they please. This mindset has occasionally created tensions between them and the courts, but they have stuck to their guns. Still, they walk a fine line in their neutrality, hoping to offend neither side.
Satyrs are land-lubbers and have had little contact with the selkies. On occasion, though, one of the seal folk pulls a drenched and drowning satyr from the waves, indebting the goat to them. These incidents have instilled a deep respect in satyrs for these gallain. An unspoken agreement exists between them and most satyrs aid selkies whenever the chance arrises.
With little in common, the two kiths do share a love of nature. Most often they run into each other at the shore fighting an ecological disaster. Satyrs find them interesting in the way one finds a tiger engaging. They not only recognize the strength and wisdom of the seal-folk but also realize that those qualities that make them attractive also make the dangerous.
Satyrs have long histories with nymphs, dryads, and other Inanimae. For centuries, they have mingled with these beautiful creatures of nature, making friends and enemies, in Greece and the British Isles. They share a certain fondness for each other and always rise up to each other's defense. With this history, though, comes issues. Many stories tell of how a satyr rejected a nymph or dryad's advances and the Inanimae never forget a slight and never miss an opportunity for revenge. A goat who runs into one must be on guard for signs that the sessile one remembers something they themselves have forgotten, otherwise they may find themselves hanging from a giant oak or drawn into murky waters.
Satyrs have known of the Garou for a long time and have often worked in concert with them to protect the wild places. In particular the have a special connection with the Fianna, whom they learned about shortly after coming to the British Isles. The goats understand the primal nature of the Garou better than any other kith and so understand the dangers an angry one presents to anything in its path. They treat these prodigals with the utmost respect, unless they are partying together and then all bets are off. Some female goats have old ties to the Black Furies.
Aside from their millennia-old relationship with the Cult of Ecstasy, especially the Fellowship of Pan, the goats have connections with the Verbena who, like the Garou, they first met in the British Isles long ago. They did not, though, realize they were more than high priests and priestesses of the mortal tribes for a long time. Awakened magic means nothing to satyrs as they define it as cantrips mortals have learned to cast. It gives them hope that mortals have learned to use Glamour rather than denying its existence.
Some poor souls never move on to where they should go and find themselves wandering the mortal realm looking for the life they lost and now regret. Satyrs don't find it too terribly surprising such souls are attracted to them. It saddens the goats that some people passed on without finishing their life's goals but their own helplessness makes them put it out of mind and they move on. Besides, they don't mind an audience and if the ghosty gets off vicariously through a living audience, then who better to choose than a satyr?
Goats to Know Edit
- Angie Moccioli
- Asphalt Joey
- Clovis Carver
- Demetrios Maragos
- Dennis Peyton
- Dewey St. John Flanders
- Dianne Brazenhart
- Eneas Zoetope
- Eta Sunbeam
- Gamine Larouche
- Gladys Hazlitt
- Guile Gentry
- Hal and Toe
- Hamilton Hecht
- Henri Remillard
- Izzy Tot
- Jason Cameron
- Jean Losique
- Jerry Andros
- Jonathan Silvereye
- King Jasper the Wicked
- King Walter
- Lady Greenlance
- Lady Siva
- Lorelei Gutwald
- Lucien Montreaux
- Marcella Sourania
- Marina of Beacon Hills
- Maxim the Astounding
- Mikala Philopilodes
- Miss Wendy
- Nestor Evans
- Nikos of the North
- Oliver Kress
- Orson Monro
- Peter McAlpin
- Rabid Frank
- Red Charlotte
- Roland Tenara
- Sir Sathar
- Speedwell of Clann Lomond
- Standish Piraeus
- Stewart MacDonough
- The Crown
- Tom John
- Una Feeney
- Vittoria della Mira
- Willie Ems
Satyrs love toys as much as anybody and have a few treasures designed specifically for them. Although anyone could technically use them, only the goats fully understand theirs. Other changelings now that if they discover one of these items, a satyr can't be far away.
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Horn of Hermes
- The Halcyon Halter
- Minoan Mosaic
- The Sands of Time
- Syrinx, Pan's Pipe
- CTD: Kithbook: Satyrs
- CTD: Changeling: The Dreaming Second Edition, p. 98-99.
- CTD: Changeling Players Guide, p. 81-85.