The surems are small of stature, but have great strength. Despite this blessing, which might have made them violent, they are lovers of peace and quiet. Surems dislike noise so much that they have chosen to build their dwellings underground so that they will not be so often disturbed. Since they live in the hot, desert environment of the North American Southwest this also serves to keep their dwellings cool.
Surems listen quite attentively. Their acute hearing may in fact be responsible for their shunning of loud sounds. A typical surem admonition for more quiet is to "not think yourself as great as the Thunderbird, whose wings shake the skies."
Nor is noise their only dislike. A supremely calm and sedate folk, surems are very much opposed to any kind of violence. Whenever there is a solution to a problem that can be reached without resorting to violence, the surems are the first to find it. They are the peacemakers among the Nunnehi. Some Nunnehi see their actions as traitorous, since they do not actively oppose the European changelings and instead counsel peace talks with them. Many mistake this reticence as weakness, but it comes from their assurance of their spiritual health and the rightness of their vision. Surems are overwhelmingly Summer People. Those who fall into a Winter Camp are considered to be insane by their Family.
This is not to say that they have never fought in the past. Their history claims that they were the people who warned their tribes of the coming of the whites. Because they were helpers of the spirits, the surems were given the choice of leaving or staying in the world. Some departed, presumably into the Higher Hunting Grounds, but others stayed and helped fight against the invaders. This was their last fight, however, and cost both them and their tribes dearly. The surems would have to be pushed pretty far to again rise in war.
The surems are small, about five feet in height, and solidly built. They dress like and follow the customs of the Yaqui. They have broad, pleasant faces, and most seem aloof and serene.
- Younglings look like any other Yaqui child. Surems do not take their younglings out of the community, preferring instead to teach them what they need to know of their changeling heritage alongside that of their human kin. They believe that this socialization makes younglings more sympathetic to the needs of their kin and prevents them from abusing their gifts.
- Braves also live among their human kin. They look like normal members of the tribe, except that no surem grows taller than five feet. Braves go on vision quests and begin learning the Spirit Link skills they will need as elders.
- Elders are the workhorses of the surems. Much respected for their knowledge, these changelings are accounted among the wisest shamans and teachers. Their knowledge of the spirit world and mastery of the peyote rites is second to none. The elders, too, live among the community.
The surems are among the most socialized of the Nunnehi. They live and work alongside their human tribespeople and are fully integrated members of their communities.
Birthrights & Frailty
- Affinity: Actor
- Serenity: By making a successful roll on Charisma + Empathy (difficulty 7), the surems are able to project an air of serenity around themselves that has a calming influence on all within its range (about 15 feet). Those within the radius (including the surem) must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) to remain or become angry or agitated.
- Congeniality: Surems are so congenial that they receive an extra success on all Social rolls. They are unable to botch any Social roll.
- Plowshares: Because they are so committed to peaceful solutions, surems must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) whenever they want to resort to violence (including speaking harshly). When acting in a violent manner, surems add + 1 to the difficulty level of any tasks they undertake.
Views of Others
- Canotili: These forest hunters preserve the ways of their people and this is good.
- Inuas: We much desire to speak with our learned brethren.
- Kachinas: We hold our nearby kinfolk in high regard for their unselfish devotion to their tribes.
- May-may-gway-shi: We do not know much of these cousins, but admire their way with the creatures of the waters.
- Nanehi: We are always happy to commune with these wisdom-keepers.
- Nümüzo'ho: Regrettably, their anger (and noise) keeps us from knowing them better.
- Pu'gwis: Gentle souls locked behind hideous faces.
- Rock Giants: Our large cousins must someday tire of their endless fighting. Perhaps if they were less violent, their unacceptable appetites would also change.
- Tunghat: Sadly, their time may be over. We understand their pain and grieve for them.
- Water Babies: Much misunderstood, these water beings seek only to help the downtrodden and abused.
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: Clever and cute, our cousins must learn that not all pranks are harmless.
- Yunwi Tsundsi: We have heard that they are kind and hard-working. We would like to know more of these kin.