The yunwi tsundsi ("little people") figure largely in Cherokee mythlore. Seen as both invisible helpers and hidden pranksters, they are respected by the tribes of the Southeast as agents of the spirit world and watchers of mortal behavior.
The yunwi tsundsi are gregarious by nature, and, although they do not make their homes in large human settlements, they are frequent visitors to cities and towns, and are especially fond of people who have chosen a lifestyle of rural isolation. Often they attach themselves to a particular family, becoming self-appointed unseen helpers who leave loaves of fresh-baked bread, fine clay pots or delicate beadwork belts and pouches on the doorsteps of their adopted homes. They are notoriously quick to anger when slighted, however, and repay even unintentional unkindness or thoughtless behavior by playing mischievous or even malevolent pranks on their offenders.
The yunwi tsundsi have a genuine fondness for children, however, and usually forgive their slights because they realize that mortal children are not as well taught as their own younglings. Many of these faeries make themselves known to human children (although they hide from adults) and try to teach them proper manners and respect for their elders. (These children are often thought by their parents to have "invisible playmates.") They see themselves as protectors of children, and will avenge those who harm them.
These Nunnehi are industrious and excel at many crafts. Often braves will travel to local fairs and powwows to display the handiwork of their Family and learn new skills from other tribes. Thus they serve as disseminators of native culture as well as preservers of dying arts.
For the most part, the yunwi tsundsi can be found in the Southeastern United States and in Oklahoma, where many of their ancestral tribes were relocated in the 1830s. Some few have traveled to other parts of the country, however, where they are able to adapt to new environments.
The yunwi tsundsi rarely stand more than five feet tall, but in all other aspects appear as normal humans. In their fae mien, they are slender individuals, possessed of extreme beauty and physical grace. They have a generally mirthful temperament. As mortals, they are short, with somewhat coarser features. They dress in traditional clothing of the Southeastern tribes or else affect modern dress with a few "native" touches.
- Younglings are somewhat pudgy, with the promise of their physical beauty only hinted at in their ready smiles and helpful dispositions. They tend to stay close to the elders of their Family, helping them with chores and learning the crafts of their people.
- Braves of the yunwi tsundsi are fond of seeking out human company and seem to mix as freely with non-natives as with members of their mortal tribes. Occasionally, however, they will pester those humans who offend them or who demonstrate contempt for the old ways.
- Elders consider themselves responsible for bringing up the younglings so that they will continue to honor the traditions of their Family and their mortal tribes. They are the teachers of crafts and counselors of the braves. Occasionally they still enjoy contact with humans, but for the most part they remain within their encampments. Although they do not age as visibly as humans, their faces are often lined with wisdom.
The yunwi tsundsi dwell in townships carefully concealed from mortal eyes. They practice many traditional crafts, such as beadwork, weaving and pottery. They are industrious and helpful, though usually secretive about their business.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Affinity: Prop
- Out of Sight: The yunwi tsundsi are extremely good at making themselves inconspicuous. Although they do not actually become invisible, they gain an additional two dice to all Stealth-related rolls. By spending a point of Willpower they can induce mortals to look everywhere but where they are, thus remaining "out of sight" of the human eye.
- Clever Hands: Like boggans, yunwi tsundsi are adept crafters. All Crafts rolls are made at a -1 difficulty, and it is impossible for them to botch any roll involving making items for use or adornment.
- Flame of Anger: Because they are so ready to help other changelings and mortals, yunwi tsundsi are easily offended if their help is slighted or if they are insulted by those they have decided to aid. If rebuffed, these Nunnehi must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 9) to avoid making the offending individual the butt of a series of "accidents" meant to teach that person a lesson. Broken dishes, smashed windows, and punctured tires are part of the yunwi tsundsi's retaliatory repertoire. This grudge will last for an entire passage of the moon, or until the victim of the yunwi tsundsi's anger makes an offering of food or some other gift as an apology.
Views of Others Edit
- Canotili: They are wrong to avoid the society of others. Alone, they will soon disappear.
- Inuas: They are powerful beings; we admire their courage to dwell in such cold, inhospitable places.
- Kachinas: They understand that we must all live together in order to bring back the old ways and the road to the Higher Hunting Ground.
- May-may-gway-shi: Their paintings are wonderful to behold, and their skill in the water is as great as their appetite for fish.
- Nanehi: They are somewhat overly concerned with their own importance, but no one can deny that they are vital to preserving the old ways.
- Nümüzo'ho: Compared with them, our angry behavior is as nothing. It is better not to offend these enormous cousins in any way.
- Pu'gwis: It is too bad they are so unappealing. It must cause them pain to have such a frightening appearance.
- Rock Giants: These walking mountains are a danger to everyone, even themselves.
- Surems: They are our best hope for reaching an accord with mortals, but they spend too much time with those who think as they do. They need to take their message directly to those who need to hear it most.
- Tunghat: We must do something to keep our cousins from disappearing. But what?
- Water Babies: If we ever discover that they are causing harm to the children they steal, they will know our displeasure.
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: Our water cousins are far too concerned with mischief for mischiefs sake.