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Onyx Path: [Changeling: The Lost] Kith and Kin Preview

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Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition illustration by Ken Meyer, Jr

Greetings, changelings! Meghan here, with a preview of two of the many new kiths appearing in the upcoming Kith and Kin supplement for Changeling: The Lost. Please remember that the text is subject to change in final development. Enjoy!

Absinthial

“Drink it up. Drink it all up. What, you don’t like the taste of your own medicine?”

The brews of the True Fae are as strange and wondrous as those who consume them: Wines so dry they leave a mortal gasping for water, smoky whiskies that set the tongue aflame, and of course, absinthe, the green fairy. As with all things in Arcadia, the green fairy is both simpler and more complicated than it seems.

Absinthials brewed absinthe for the Gentry. They were taken specifically for their imagination and the places their dreams wandered. The Fae forced them to brew these dreams into the single most potent beverage on either side of the Hedge. Some Lost report seeing their Keepers in the throes of visions from the bright liquid.

Most Absinthials escape when the Gentry are in these fits of ecstasy. The dreams they brewed might be gone, but their memories are intact — as intact as any changeling’s, at least. Some continue to brew draughts in the mortal world; be it craft beer, bathtub gin, or draughts made of goblin fruit, these Absinthials constantly try to recreate the potent absinthe they could only brew in Arcadia. Others are content to render others paralyzed by their presence alone.

Fickle, perfectionistic, and creative, the Absinthials always want to do things their way. They know what is best, and criticism isn’t something they take lying down. The Absinthials may have brewed the green fairy, but they also are the green fairies, and those who forget that might wind up on the other end of an Absinthial’s wrath.

Fairest: She reminds you of nothing so much as a pixie from the Lang color fairy books, with blond hair, green eyes, and a mischievous smile. The bar she runs is always full of the best gossip — and when someone gets too far out of line, why, she just leaves them out back until they’re found passed out the next morning. No harm, no foul.

Wizened: Some say his brews force the speaker to tell the truth. Others say he’s just really good at getting people drunk. His favorite saying is “In vino veritas” and he never passes up a chance to prove it.

Kith Blessing: When brewing a drink with any fae ingredient with Crafts, an Absinthial achieves an exceptional success with three successes instead of five.

Green Fairy’s Curse: Once per scene, an Absinthial can spend a point of Glamour to inflict the visions of her imagination on a single target who can perceive her directly. Her player rolls Manipulation + Expression + Wyrd, contested by the target’s Composure + Wyrd. Upon success, the victim suffers the Insensate Tilt (Changeling, p. 330) during action scenes, which becomes the Ravaged Condition (Changeling, p. 344) in other scenes, as they are paralyzed by beautiful dreams or brain-freezing nightmares. Once Ravaged resolves, the victim immediately suffers the Confused (Changeling, p. 335) Condition as she slowly comes back to herself. The curse does not work on True Fae or Huntsmen.

Arcadian Absinthe

Brewed by changelings of the Absinthial kith, true Arcadian absinthe is a mix of wormwood, fennel, peaches from the groves of Faerie, and the dreams of the Absinthial in charge of the batch. It tastes much sweeter than most absinthe and glows a bright green. Gentry who consume it suffer either the Lethargic (Changeling, p. 342) or Wanton (p. 346) Condition. All others who consume it suffer both. Arcadian absinthe is extremely difficult to brew outside of Arcadia itself. Brewing it in the Hedge requires a Hedgespinning paradigm shift with five successes, and the specific peaches needed can’t be Hedgespun; they must come from Faerie. This absinthe is impossible to brew in the mortal world.

Spiegelbild

“I’m sick of this ‘fairest of them all’ crap! Go find an Artist and get them to paint your portrait if you’re that self-absorbed, don’t waste my time!”

Mirrors should be flawless, perfect reflections, but usually, they’re not. A mirror tells truths, often ones a viewer doesn’t want to see, showing you your swollen pimple, the poppyseed between your teeth that’s been there all day, the dark stain cheating on your wife left in your eyes. The mirror knows your secrets, and your reflection has no interest in hiding them from you — or from anybody else. Particularly not a Spiegelbild.

Spiegelbilder are not mirror people, but they’re close cousins. They’re not Mirrorskins either, but the two kiths are like refractions of each other. A Keeper may have trapped a Spiegelbild in a mirror to serve as an adviser. While she was there, she made friends: with the creatures peeking in, with others stuck in the liminal space between Arcadian mirrors, with light itself. A Spiegelbild’s new friends might help her escape — though in Arcadia, everything has a cost. For many Spiegelbilder, that cost is telling a truth that may make their new friends feel much less generous. Spiegelbilder are bound by the twin pillars of reflection and refraction: telling the truth doesn’t mean you can’t emphasize some things and minimize others. Still, even the chattiest knows that some truths are better left untold.

Before her durance, a Spiegelbild was likely in the business of truth and appearances, though this can range from investigative journalism to a nail technician gig. She was someone people spoke to in confidence, someone who had just the kind of face that made it seem okay to tell her anything — off-the-record, of course. But the kind of person who becomes a Spiegelbild doesn’t keep secrets forever. She never did, and she never will.

Darkling: She always seems to sneak up on you — even when you’re walking toward her, it’s impossible to make a good estimate of just how far away she is. And she stands too close, her grin too sunny as she leans down to your ear, sing-songing a lullaby of the violent secrets you’ve kept from everyone else.

Fairest: Their ebony hair glitters like light reflecting off the sea, and their lips gleam as red as the ripest apple, the freshest blood. You see yourself reflected in the flat, knowing obsidian of their eyes. Your reflection changes, and your goosebumps rise, and those red, red lips smile, as if they can smell your sweat.

Kith Blessing: When a Spiegelbild uses Persuasion to talk their way out of making a promise, achieving three successes counts as an exceptional success.

Mirror, Mirror: By spending a point of Glamour and making a successful Wits + Composure roll, the Spiegelbild may use a reflective surface to enter mirror space until the end of the scene. With an instant action, she can look through any mirror she knows the location of and use all of her senses (including magical ones) to perceive what’s on the other side as though she were there. Her face appears in the reflection when she does, and the Wyrd compels her to tell the truth to anyone who asks a question of her, though nothing automatically makes that obvious. She can prevent her face from appearing with Manipulation + Stealth contested by the opponent’s Wits + Composure, but even if she succeeds, anyone who asks a question of the mirror (not just in its presence) still compels a truthful response even if they have no way of knowing she’s there. Breaking the mirror doesn’t force her out, but does impose the temporary Blind Condition (Changeling: The Lost, p. 334) on the changeling, which resolves at the end of the scene — even if she ends this power early, returning from mirror space as another instant action. Any dramatic failure while using this power can, at the Storyteller’s discretion, cause the changeling to become lost in mirror space rather than returning when this power ends.

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