Dealmaker, trickster, temptress, charlatan – these are the labels fixed to a Shaytan (pl. shayateen).
One would be hard pressed to find a shaytan who chose to join the Light court, as they tend to scoff at things like honor and duty. Shayateen are born from the anxious dreams of those who feel trapped by society, unable to live according to who they are inside without committing what their community sees as grievous sins. Most shayateen are happy to provide an outlet for these secret desires, then feed off of the resulting guilt and secrecy. They are considered descendants of Iblis, who according to Islamic tradition, tempts humans away from righteousness with their own selfishness.
Appearance & LifestyleEdit
Although the shayateen are overwhelmingly drawn to the Unseelie Court, most of them aren’t half the villains that popular stories make them out to be. (And they are not Thallain, though sometimes it doesn’t seem there’s much of a distinction.) Like all Jinn, the shayateen have free will to make their own way in the world, and while the dreams that gave them form may give them certain inclinations, it is up to them to decide how they will act on those feelings. That said, Seelie fae are almost unheard of in this kith, and suffer mistrust from all sides – their fellow Seelie are wary of a trick or a scam, the Unseelie see them as denying their true nature, and even their fellow kithmates tend to view them as holier-than-thou and avoid them.
Where their cousins, the afareet, are formed from the fire, the shayateen are born of smoke. In their fae seemings, shayateen have ashen skin in varying shades of grey. There is always some unsettling about their appearance in their human seemings, and their fae miens are strikingly fearsome, with horns sprouting from their brow, gnarled fangs lining their gums, and long spiked tails. Shayateen often inhabit seedy casinos and back-alleys, race tracks and sporting events – anywhere they are likely to find a mortal down on his luck and desperate for a break. Whether they’re there to help such poor souls or drag them down further depends, of course, on the shayateen in question.
|“||But my friend, we had a deal? You knew the risks, and you wanted the reward. Hush, don’t worry, I don’t mind if you have to back out. After all, one way or another, I always get what I’m due.||”|
Shayateen childlings are always poking their noses where they don’t belong – eavesdropping on conversations, rifling through closets and purses, and so on. Wilders are the quintessential bad influences parents warn their children about, while grumps tend to eschew fleeting pleasures in favor of long cons and complicated schemes. All shayateen feel the call of the forbidden – and the delight of sharing such pleasures with others – and seek out work that rewards such understanding, typically landing in professions that are at best morally grey and often outright criminal. However, some members of this kith channel their talents for reading and understanding forbidden desires into more socially acceptable careers, becoming anything from addiction counselors to romance novelists to undercover police officers.
Any time a shaytan successfully leads a mortal or another Jinn down a path towards self-destruction, they gain Glamour. Many forms of sin will do, but gambling, carousing, cheating, and lying are the shayateen’s bread and butter. It is the potential for regret or guilt that nourishes the shaytan. Nobler shayateen can get a similar fix from hearing stories of bad behavior, but privately admit it’s not quite the same. When shayateen cast cantrips, lights dim as noxious fumes and dark smoke surround them. The scent might be that of sulfur, burning hair, or cheap cigarettes, but it’s never pleasant.
Birthrights & FrailitiesEdit
- Realm Affinity: Actor.
- Trust Me: Add one dot to Manipulation, even if it brings it above 5. They also cannot botch Streetwise or Larceny rolls.
- Pick Your Poison: Everyone has a vice or two, and shayateen are masters at figuring out a person’s weak spot at a glance. By spending 1 Glamour and rolling Perception + Streetwise against a difficulty of the target’s Willpower, a shaytan can learn an individual’s preferred vice or dark desire. They do not learn other details about this behavior, such as where the target indulges in it or with whom (or even if they have ever actually acted on it), just what it is and that it exists. Even the noblest shayateen are still born of dark desires, and this ugly truth is written on their flesh.
- As Within, So Without: People are quick to believe the worst of them, even when they aren’t actually up to anything. Shayateen suffer a +2 difficulty on all rolls to convince others of their innocence, caring, or good intentions, and their unsettling looks make others deeply uneasy. Shayateen may not have an Appearance rating higher than 3, and treat any failures on rolls involving the Appearance Attribute or Empathy Ability as botches instead.
- Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Player's Guide, p. 122, 123.