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Muse (CTL)

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Muse is a sub-type of the Fairest seeming. They are changelings whose beauty inspires the arts. Whether a Rubenesque beauty, a sedate and delicate daughter of the Heavenly Ministry, a grotesquely beautiful masquer garbed in yellow tatters, or a Dark Lady who drives her beloved to destruction, the Muse inspires the creation of things of beauty and horror and love and hate and fear. The growth of confidence can precipitate a headlong rush to doom, and the Muse knows how to make it happen. Theirs is the blessing of The Tyranny of Ideas.


Artistic inspiration is an unreliable thing, mercurial as a flash of lightning. Muses have been infused with this spark, a flickering illumination that powers their beauty. They are the embodiment of aesthetic beauty, an appeal that feeds the urge to create. Paintings, songs, sculptures — all are potential paeans to this kith. Many develop a talent for oneiromancy, where they can use their talents for inspiration to soothe a troubled sleeper’s dreams or to implant a truly terrifying nightmare into an enemy’s slumbering mind. Tragically, many Muses find out that while they are capable of inspiring great art, they cannot themselves create it — their gifts cannot provide them with inspiration, and they have difficulty acquiring any real talent. This only furthers Muses’ disconnection with the artists they inspire, which may account for many a story of an artist’s brief flash of brilliance that isn’t repeated again. A Muse would be difficult to distinguish from a kithless Fairest — at least, when viewed through a grainy camera or from a distance. Muses’ beauty is more than simple appearance, though: it’s a supernatural presence that stirs the viewer. The sensation in an onlooker’s gut, even if suppressed, is something other than sexual attraction — it’s a potent understanding of the Muse’s aesthetic. Muses may appear flawlessly human, or be more elaborately alien, representing their Keepers’ favored aesthetic. Some Muses are covered with tattoos of letters or glyphs, the very poems they inspired written on their flesh.


Muses were often, naturally enough, kept as inspiration for their Keepers, or for their fellow changeling slaves. A Muse might have acted as a form of vizier, her very presence rousing her Keeper from a fit of lassitude and giving him some idea of which whim to exercise next. Another Muse may have been taskmaster to a small platoon of Wizened artisans, inspiring them to craft works up to their mutual master’s exacting standards. Others developed their Muse nature by osmosis. Their Keepers spent an inordinate amount of time in the mortal world, dropping out of the Hedge to briefly grant a mortal visions of heaven or nightmare. The Muse might have ridden along on such an excursion.


The concept of the Muse is well established in common folklore, sometimes associated with angels and sometimes from mysterious persons that appear in dreams. The more gentle muses from folklore do well to represent a Muse who wants to have a more positive effect on the people around her. The True Fae derive more from the passions of art, good and ill. Tales of faerie patrons who offer their favor to mortals to create grand things, only to withdraw it capriciously are not uncommon. With a bit of a stretch, the fairy from Pinocchio (unnamed in the original book) could be considered a Muse, as might a guardian angel.


Repelled by the sound of breaking glass, cannot be told “I love you,” rhyming compulsions, cannot sleep in the same room as a lover, cannot contact mortals on Saturdays, fears white cats.


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