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Striplings, also called the Never-Lived, are a type of Spectre frequently seen in Wraith: The Oblivion. They are the spirits of those who passed into the Shadowlands as a child and were eventually overtaken by their Shadow. Like other Spectres, Striplings belong to one of the Spectral castes, determined by their proximity to Oblivion, but since they find established Spectral society unappealing, they form their own groups independent of it.
Although physically weaker than other Spectres, Striplings should not be underestimated by their opponents. They are as petty and vengeful as any living child can be, and have organized themselves into a powerful force. They frequently travel in groups, and are one of the few types of Spectres who are able to see into the Skinlands through the Shroud. The most common way for a Stripling to pass the time is to influence living children into dangerous activities so they can die and increase the numbers of the Never-Lived.
As many children lack the willpower of adults, the Hierarchy orders that child wraiths be forged as soon as they are reaped as a preventative measure. However, a few slip through the cracks here and there, and while some child wraiths have managed to find ways to effectively fight off their Shadow, those who don't are quickly pulled into Oblivion.
Striplings were fairly rare until the 19th century, when the brutal conditions of child labor took its toll on the Quick. Their numbers were only pumped up by the wars and atrocities of the 20th century. The children murdered during the Holocaust are one particularly strong and horrific example; Striplings are frequently seen coming out of and gathering around the massive Sheol Nihil at the Auschwitz Necropolis of the Dark Kingdom of Wire.