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Earthbones

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Earthbones are one of the sub-types of the Elemental seeming. These changeling have the mark of earth and stone: lumpen Paracelsian Gnomes, sands, spirits, dour men of peat and dwarfs made of mountain granite. Theirs is the blessing of the Terrestrial Might.

OverviewEdit

The Arcadian earth is alive. It may shift to bury a beautiful garden under a mudslide, or crack open to swallow an entire castle. The earth may even break off small hills to go floating through the sky. Yet even for these infrequent displays of mercurial anger, earth is still one of the most stable and reliable features in all of Faerie. Earth waits below the loftiest cloud castles, rests at the edge of violent seas. Earth has its purity, in a way. And despite Earthbones’ ties to the Arcadian soil, Earthbones are all the more deeply rooted to the ground of the mortal world. An Earthbones develops a stronger sense of home because she begins to understand the land itself. The smell of earth conjures the smell of her backyard, of a muddy lot. When she fights her way free, she stands all the stronger against anyone who would sever her from the mortal soil. Earthbones tend to be stockier and heavier than they were. This rarely manifests as simple fat; rather, they become denser, their flesh more like packed earth than soft meat. Their nails and teeth may become stonier, like black slate or glinting mica. Some have hair like lichen.

DuranceEdit

The hastily transformed Earthbones may have been designed to act as laborers of unflagging strength, or simply given an earthen nature so that they could better withstand the trials of their captivity. A Keeper scoops up handfuls of clay, molds them into the captive’s form, resculpts him into something a bit cruder of feature and elemental of nature. Another changeling becomes more and more stone-like each time her Keeper glares at her with a Gorgonian face or caresses her with cockatrice feathers. The rest simply develop an affinity for earth over prolonged exposure. Some toiled in great muddy fields, allowed to sleep only in the very furrows they dug. Others were shut in damp root-cellars for long periods of time, and by the time they’d tunneled their way free, the Faerie earth had seeped below their skin. For a few, all they had in Faerie that they could call their own was a small patch of bare earth to sleep on — and because that’s all they had, that’s what gave them strength.

FolkloreEdit

Earth-sprites take many features and forms. Some are squat and ugly, like the gnomes named by Paracelsus; others, like the Greek oreads, are as beautiful as a verdant mountainside. They may offer fertility and abundant harvests, but in their fae nature turn wrathful, such as in the tale of Yallery Brown. Some are associated with snakes, as well as with burrowing animals. Some are deeply associated with buried wealth, guarded by animated stone or simply hidden away, and not a few Earthbones take on this Plutonian greed.

FrailtiesEdit

Cannot wear shoes, must grant a favor to anyone who beats them at wrestling, attracted to gold, repelled by saltwater, cannot refuse a meal of tubers, frightened by robins.

ReferencesEdit

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