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Kith is a sub-category of a particular seeming, representing more specific affinities such as the various elements or animals.
Within each seeming there exists a variety of kiths, which are a way to more carefully define the Changeling's fae nature. Each seeming comes with a particular blessing and curse, and the kiths add an additional blessing to the mix.
Even within the same seeming, two changelings may develop very differently. These further specialized affinities, called kiths, exist within each seeming. Each of these kiths might have very different miens, reflecting physically different aspects while belonging to the same overarching seeming.
In the end, the different kinds of seemings and kiths that the Lost recognize are not so much social groupings as they are a vague, general descriptive shorthand for how different changelings have been changed by their experiences. The kiths that further subdivide the Lost who share a seeming are only slightly more specific sub-categories, and even they can’t truly categorize the endless diversity of the fae.
Beasts are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Broadback - beasts of burden. Blessing: Stoic Forbearance. (CtL 102, WM 62)
- Chimera - culture-themed kith with parts from many creatures. Blessing: Goblin's Tongue. (WM 106)
- Cleareyes - Beasts who retain an animal's heightened senses. Blessing: Primal Senses. (WM 67)
- Coldscales - kin to reptiles of all kinds. Blessing: Reptilian Blood. (WM 67)
- Coyote - culture-themed kith of coyote-headed tricksters. Blessing: The Trickster's Truth. (WM 107)
- Hunterheart - predators and hunters. Blessing: Tooth and Claw. (CtL 102, WM 63)
- Nix - culture-themed kith of river mermaids. Blessing: Consumptive Voice. (WM 107)
- Riddleseeker - Beasts of wisdom, cunning and curiosity. Blessing: Inquisitive Instinct. (NH:GF 102)
- Roteater - scavengers and eaters of the dead. Blessing: Scavenger's Nature. (WM 67)
- Runnerswift - beasts of great speed. Blessing: Runs Like the Wind. (CtL 102, WM 63)
- Skitterskulk - creepy-crawlies, spiders and insects. Blessing: Impossible Counterpoise. (CtL 102, WM 64)
- Steepscrambler - climbers and tree-dwellers. Blessing: Gifted Climber. (Ctl 102, WM 64)
- Swimmerskin - aquatic beasts of all kinds. Blessing: Natural Swimmer. (CtL 102, WM 65)
- Truefriend - faithful and loyal pets. Blessing: Companion's Boon. (WM 67)
- Venombite - poisonous creatures, from snakes to scorpions. Blessing: Poisonous Bite. (CtL 102, WM 65)
- Windwing - flying beasts. Blessing: Gift of the Sky. (CtL 103, WM 66)
Darklings are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Antiquarian - keepers of ancient lore and artefacts. Blessing: Keys to Knowledge. (CtL 106, WM 68)
- Gravewight - creatures who feel more at home among the dead than the living. Blessing: Charnel Sight. (CtL 106, WM 69)
- Illes - culture-themed kith of troll-like under-folk. Blessing: Shadow Beauty. (WM 107)
- Leechfinger - faeries who steal the life from mortal folk. Blessing: Sap the Vital Spark. (CtL 106, WM 69)
- Lurker - Victorian-era kith of master thieves and pickpockets. Blessing: Larcenous Fingers. (VL 22)
- Lurkglider - winged creatures of the night. Blessing: Gargoyle's Grace. (WM 71)
- Mirrorskin - masters of disguise whose real forms are malleable as clay. Blessing: The Mercurial Visage. (CtL 106, WM 70)
- Moonborn - deranged madmen touched by the moon. Blessing: Lunatic's Kiss. (WM 71)
- Nightsinger - dark musicians who conjure up hypnotic tunes. Blessing: Haunting Nocturne. (WM 72)
- Palewraith - near-transparent beings that lurk in the shadows. Blessing: Light's Aversion. (WM 72)
- Pishacha - culture-themed kith of demonic haunters. Blessing: Taste of Madness. (WM 107)
- Razorhand - shadowy stalkers and slashers with blades for hands. Blessing: Ripper's Gift. (WM 73)
- Skogsra - culture-themed kith of woodland trolls: Blessing: Keepers of the Feral Heart. (WM 107)
- Tunnelgrub - dwellers in the tight spaces and darkness underneath. Blessing: Slither and Squirm. (CtL 106, WM 71)
- Whisperwisp - secretive whisperers that gather information. Blessing: Turncoat's Tongue. (WM 73)
Elementals are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Airtouched - the Elementals of wind, cloud, smoke, and sky, who can be as healthy as a fresh breeze or as pestilent as the miasma that surrounds the dead. (CtL 109, WM 74)
- Apsaras - culture-themed kith of cloud and fog elementals. Blessing: Enthralling Mist. (WM 108)
- Ask-wee-da-eed - culture-themed kith of meteoric elementals. Blessing: Taste of Ill Luck. (WM 108)
- Blightbent - Elementals of pollution. (WM 78)
- Di-cang - culture-themed kith of jewel elementals. Blessing: Peace of Suffering. (WM 108)
- Earthbones - Changelings who have the mark of earth and stone: lumpen Paracelsian Gnomes, sand spirits, dour men of peat and dwarfs made of mountain granite. (CtL 109, WM 74)
- Fireheart - Elementals marked with fire, heat or electricity. (CtL 109, WM 75)
- Levenquick - Elementals of lightning and electricity. (WM 79)
- Manikin - Changelings who have the character of man-made objects, such as caryatids, mannequins, and other, stranger things, such as enchanted beings powered by clockwork or steam or living bodies made of mercury or glass. (CtL 109, WM 75)
- Metalflesh - Metal elementals. (WM 79)
- Sandharrowed - Changelings of sand. (WM 79)
- Snowskin - The Children of the cold, who can be as powerful as the Arctic ice or as delicate as a snowflake. (CtL 110, WM 76)
- Waterborn - Changelings who are imbued with the nature of the waters, soft and brutal, gentle and mighty: undines and nymphs, man-eating river demons, water babies, ladies of the lake. (CtL 110, WM 76)
- Woodblood - The children of the plants: Green Men, flower faeries, spirits of mandrake, rose, thorns and all manner of medicinal herbs fair and foul. (CtL 110, WM 77)
Fairest are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Bright One - the shining Changelings who embody the beauty of light in all its forms. Blessing: Goblin Illumination. (CtL 113, WM 80)
- Dancer - creatures possessed of unearthly grace, always moving. Blessing: Fae Grace. (CtL 114, WM 81)
- Draconic - inheritors of the blood of Faerie's "great beasts", from dragons to demons. Blessing: Dragon's Talon. (CtL 114, WM 81)
- Flamesiren - living incarnations of the allure of flame. Blessing: Burning Hypnotism. (WM 83)
- Flowering - the epitome of nature's beauty. Blessing: Seductive Fragrance. (CtL 114, WM 82)
- Gandharva - culture-themed kith of androgynous messengers. Blessing: Heavenly Articulation. (WM 108)
- Larcenist - graceful and elegant thieves. Blessing: Thievery's Grace. (NH:GF 63)
- Minstrel - entertainers and serenaders, with or without an instrument. Blessing: Perfect Pitch. (NH:GF 43)
- Muse - beauties who inspire great art by their presence alone. Blessing: The Tyranny of Ideas. (CtL 114, WM 83)
- Playmate - friend and companion. Blessing: The Circle of Friends. (NH:GF 122)
- Polychromatic - ever-shifting kaleidoscopes of color. Blessing: Prismatic Heart.(WM 84)
- Romancer - visions of the ideal nature, for anyone's eyes. Blessing: Narcissus' Blessing. (NH:GF 46)
- Shadowsoul - enthralling, terrifying creatures, shaped by darkness and the night. Blessing: Unnatural Chill. (WM 84)
- Succubus / Incubus - culture-themed kith of demonic seduction. Blessing: Vice to Vice. (WM 109)
- Telluric - those imbued with the nature and essence of the celestial bodies. Blessing: Music of the Spheres. (WM 84)
- Treasured - ornaments and adornments of the True Fae. Blessing: Alabaster Fortitude. (WM 85)
- Weisse Frau - culture-themed kith of weeping protectors. Blessing: Kiss of Life. (WM 109)
Ogres are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Bloodbrutes - brawlers and gladiators. Blessing: Improvised Mayhem. (WM 90)
- Corpsegrinders - fed on carrion. Blessing: Sepulchral Hunger. (WM 90)
- Cyclopeans - monstrous hunters and guardians. Blessing: Smell the Blood. (CtL 118, WM 86)
- Daitya - giants of Hindu myths. Blessing: Cutting Might. (WM 109)
- Farwalkers - hairy and stealthy wild men. Blessing: The Elusive Gift. (CtL 118, WM 86)
- Gargantuans - can grow to a gigantic size. Blessing: Spurious Stature. (CtL 118, WM 87)
- Gristlegrinders - possessed of voracious appetites. Blessing: Terrible Teeth. (CtL 118, WM 88)
- Oni - red-skinned ogres that feed on blood. Blessing: A Mouthful of Sin. (WM 110)
- Renders - used to break down objects. Blessing: Sundering Talons. (WM 91)
- Stonebones - rock-like troll folk. Blessing: Obdurate Skin. (CtL 118, WM 88)
- Troll - manipulative grotesqueries. Blessing: Unyielding Voice. (WM 110)
- Water-Dwellers - appear as water demons of folklore. Blessing: Lie Under the Waves. (CtL 119, WM 89)
- Witchtooth - hags and twisted witches. Blessing: Black Hex (WM 91)
Wizened are sub-divided in the following kiths:
- Artist - master craftsmen, artisans or artists; gnomes, elves and goblin-smiths. Blessing: Impeccable Craftsmanship. (CtL 121, WM 92)
- Author - writers, poets and archivists of superb skill. Blessing: Polyglot’s Riddle. (WM 96)
- Brewer - possessors of secret fairie recipes. Blessing: The Inebriating Elixir. (CtL 121, WM 92)
- Chatelaine - the perfect butlers, manservants without peer; in formal circumstances their social skills are second to none. Blessing: Perfect Protocol. (CtL 121, WM 93)
- Chirurgeon - Changelings able to work magic with blade and scalpel. Blessing: The Analeptic Charm. (CtL 122, WM 93)
- Drudge - fast menial workers who take after boggans and house-elves. Blessing: Unseen Labor. (WM 96)
- Fatemaker - shapers of fate's patterns. Blessing: Turn of the Tale. (SaD 64)
- Gameplayer - riddle-makers and gamblers who love puzzles and games. Blessing: Grandmaster’s Stratagem.
- Gremlin - culture-themed kith of malevolent tinkerers. Blessing: Gremlinizing Touch. (WM 110)
- Inventor - Victorian-era kith adept with gadgets and devices. Blessing: Inventive Genius. (VL 22)
- Miner - Kobolds and other tunneling sorts. Blessing: Tappingspeak. (WM 96)
- Oracle - Changelings with the ability to tell fortunes. Blessing: Panomancy. (CtL 122, WM 94)
- Pamarindo - culture-themed kith of pot-bellied butchers. Blessing: Gourmand's Grotesquerie. (WM 110)
- Smith - forgers of Faerie weapons and superb equipment. Blessing: Steel Mastery. (CtL 122, WM 94)
- Soldier - drafted into Faerie armies, these Wizened find battle is second nature to them. Blessing: Blade Lore. (CtL 122, WM 95)
- Thusser - culture-themed kith of compelling musicians. Blessing: Fiddler's Delight. (WM 110)
- Woodwalker - nature's allies and protectors. Blessing: Wildcraft. (CtL 123, WM 95)
It’s possible for a changeling to come back from Faerie changed enough to possess a seeming, but without the kind of specialized form or talent that manifests itself as a kith blessing. The path to develop a kith leads through the Hedge. There the laws of reality are bent just enough to unlock the fae potential in a character. The psychoactive nature of the Hedge is in fact a tremendous key. As the Hedge can reflect the changeling who enters it, following the right paths becomes akin to following the right aspects of one’s own essence.
The ordeals involved are difficult, testing the changeling’s skills to the utmost. Changelings may have to rely on untrained skills, or push their area of specialty to the limit. Unfortunately, the hunt can’t be performed with others. The assistance of a motley would color the Hedge too much, leading more toward the motley’s own goals rather than to those of the kithless.
Removing one’s kith works much like the system of the kithless undergoing ordeals to attain a kith, only in reverse. The changeling must find her way deep into the Hedge, to the heart of her kith’s psycho structure and then tear her way free in a way that rips off the specialization of the kith. This process requires the expenditure of a Willpower dot: it is anything but easy.
As a side effect of the ordeal, the changeling cannot learn any new Contracts, forge new pledges or spend experience to increase his Wyrd for a week and a day, in order to give his Wyrd time to heal. Once the healing process is complete, the character may resume using his fae powers as usual. He may then also go about the process of picking up a new kith, as detailed above, if so inclined.
Without any kith, Beasts are an indefinably wild and bestial sort. They possess clear animal features that are undeniable but not easily connected with specific creatures. They often have light fur, elongated and sharper teeth, ears or eyes just larger than humans’; these vary, since Beasts can have broader, flatter teeth as herbivores do, smaller eyes as some creatures do, the lightest feathers rather than fur. Whatever form of body covering Beasts possess is typically indistinct, so light and consistent that it’s impossible to tell between fur, feathers and very soft, flexible scales. Beasts’ teeth border just between an herbivore’s and a carnivore’s (similar to a human’s, but oddly… off) but are more pronounced in both regards. They are animal, but which?
Darklings are among the more abstracted seemings, notable for their bonds to the larger concepts of darkness, silence and night. Some of the Darkling kithless are hard to distinguish from Darklings who have a kith that manifests itself subtly. If anything, kithless Darklings are notable precisely for being even less notable, more subtle. They are fragments of the night or pale nocturnal things, creatures of a more general dread than a specific worry.
Elemental kithless are rare. Those without any particular kith may be of many elements, with no one gaining dominance; fire and water both run through her veins, her skin of sand and wind. Some seem to be shaped of some primal matter that is too soft to be earth or stone, yet too strange-feeling to be flesh. If such an Elemental later manifests a kith, it is often because some element in the mortal world calls to him more than any part of Faerie could. A single element in his nature finally comes to the fore, or his primal nature “shapes” itself into something reflective of what he loves best about the world of his birth.
The Fairest are among those seemings with a higher incidence of kithless. Not all Fairest develop sufficient affinity with one particular aspect of beauty or grace to develop a kith blessing. A few Wizened mutter that it’s because the Fairest may not have had to do anything, that they were just “prettied up” and left to decorate whatever impossible palace was their prison. The Wizened don’t say this to the Fairest, though, who are well aware of how a durance does not have to involve physical labor to be grueling.
Fairest without a kith are archetypes. They are beautiful in an otherworldly fashion, often taller than they were (and sometimes shorter), with many of their human blemishes sanded or melted away. Kithless Fairest tend toward flawless complexions and more vivid color than they once possessed. There’s a general trend toward being slender, which mirrors the unnaturally thin yet iron-strong limbs of so many True Fae. Some Fairest have pointed ears (but by no means all), others unnatural coloration or particularly long and agile fingers and toes.
Ogres are more akin to Darklings and Fairest than Beasts and Elementals, in that it’s not assumed that the average Ogre has a distinct sub-breed. Kithless Ogres are “classic” examples of the breed — large, intimidating, grotesque. Traits common to the kithless may include a dense build, overlong arms, jutting tusks, smallish horns, thick and jagged nails and rough skin. Kithless Ogres may take on particular aspects depending on the region; Asian Ogres are more likely to have reddish, bluish or dusky black skin, for instance, regardless of kith.
Wizened who never developed a kith are usually jacks and jills of all trades, set to drudgery and toil that never taught them a particular skill. They are surprisingly common by comparison to the kithless of other seemings. Although Wizened kithless lacked any blessing that might have aided in their escape, they also weren’t as obviously useful as some of their more specialized brethren. A talented Brewer will be watched more carefully than the unskilled drudge who isn’t meant to be seen carrying out her tasks in the first place. There’s no way to tell a kithless Wizened from her fellow Wizened with a glance. The best way to pick her out is simply to spend time around her. Most Wizened can’t help but relate to the world in the terms of their kith’s task sooner or later; the kithless are notable mainly for this absence of specialized perception.
- Changeling: The Lost Rulebook, p. 17, 26-27, 73, 77, 102-103