In the eaves of the Bright Forest, the free colonists have challenge enough without worrying about folklore and legends. Upon the shores of Lake Volgoma, or along the banks of the Malgomor and Eanor, families and adventurous ground-breakers fight a daily battle against nature. Out on the open ground to the south, new settlements often spring from the ruins of earlier civilisations, but in Davokar such places have a tendency to be too transient and dangerous to consider viable for setting a dwelling. A few embraces the challenge of eking out an existence in the ruins, but most choose just to visit, gathering whatever raw materials they can.
Sustenance comes from foraging, fishing, and limited farming. In Alberetor, over hundreds of years, farmers cleared swathes of woodland to better support the crops needed to feed an expanding population. Davokar would not tolerate such acts of violence, nor would The Iron Pact. The Free Colonists have to find a way to live in balance with the forest. In the greater balance, Davokar has the upper hand and most colonists know it. Rather than attempt large scale growth of crops, most colonists opt for small gardens close to their homes. The bold forage in the Bright forest, hunting for game or gathering wild fruits and roots. Those with more caution stick close to home and the water, fishing or harvesting edible plants from the shallows.
Alas, the water has hazards, too. Even in Bright Davokar, the fast-flowing channels can be dangerous for the unwary, the ground beneath the waters uneven and broken. As dungenesis splits and ravages the surface, so does it drive spines and holes into the waters – creating temporary sinkholes, whirlpools, and rapids. Worse yet, the fairy natives of the forest have their own contributions, much of it in mischievous spirits, but some darker and sinister. Scholars who have studied the fae of the Bright and the Dark have their own theories about the apparently playful and benign creatures, but all agree that none should approach without considerable caution.
However, some fae come to the free colonies in disguise or use their powers of glamor and misdirection to enter settlements and homes. Like children poking insects or torturing worms for fun, a few fae have intentions impenetrable to Ambrian sensibilities or understanding. Among them, the Korrigan stands out, for a few masters of lore who know of them theorize they play a key role in the snatching of babies and their replacement with Changeling.
Resistance Challenging / Strong (250)
Traits Alternative Damage − Resolute (III/60), Amphibian *, Enthrall (III/60), Long-lived, Shapeshifter (master/60)
Accurate 10 (0), Cunning 10 (0), Discreet 13 (−3), Persuasive 16 (−6), Quick 9 (+1), Resolute 11 (−1), Strong 5 (+5), Vigilant 7 (+3)
Abilities Acrobatics (novice/10), Exceptionally Persuasive (novice/10), Illusory Correction (adept/30), Unnoticeable (novice/10)
Advantages Con Artist*** (5), Mirage*** (5), Storyteller*** (5)
Disadvantages Mystical Mark*** (−5)
Weapons Dagger 3 (short), Alternative Damage/Soul Drain 5 (Resolute)
Toughness 10 Pain Threshold 3
Equipment Ethereal finery, herbal cure, pixie dust**
Shadow Luscious green flecked with lemon yellow (corruption: 0)
Tactics Korrigan keep their distance and rely on their natural talent to lure and deceive. As with their Summer kin, they use Acrobatics up-close to withdraw from melee – seeking the support of a lovelorn defender or luring the unsuspecting into a trap. If unable to exert their wiles upon a target naturally, they Enthrall powerful opponents into inactivity and use their power of prescience to avoid damage from their determined opposition.
Appearance Alluring and ethereally attractive to any onlooker, whatever their gender or race. The Korrigan wear free-flowing outfits of billowing, silken material, always tantalisingly see-through in appearance. Visually impractical as the outfit might be for combat, the Korrigan never trips or stumbles over their trailing skirts or voluminous cloaks. When swimming, the clothing seems to gather, mystically, around them; then steadily dry, with preternatural swiftness, when on land, though always keeping an attractive glisten about them.
While they have powerful abilities to blend in with other settlements and societies, all Korrigan have a clear and telltale Mystic Mark that they cannot hide with their abilities – though they will conceal with make-up, flowing hair and outfits (check out Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events for insight into villainous disguise techniques and their persistence in keeping in character despite the certainty specific onlookers will always see through them).
Environs Korrigan haunt wells, inland waters, and lakes, tempting the unsuspecting close with their haunting song. They can swim with a swift and alarming certainty of purpose, slipping through narrow channels with ease. They seem to use their foreknowledge of the future to plan for every eventuality, including the need for a rapid escape.
Predation and Treasure The Korrigan draw sustenance from the souls of those who fall in love with them. The fae seductor ‘attacks’ with a [Resolute<–Persuasive] and if successful uses it’s Alternative Damage. As adversaries, a GM should take a lot of time building them into the scenery as pillars of the community. A settlement might have set them up as a leader or advisor, respecting their sage advice or alluding to their powerful insight if treasure-seekers come calling. Given the opportunity, a Korrigan will use Persuasive words backed up with a strong piece of bluff or storytelling.
Korrigan has certain possessions they keep with them to support their disguise or cover their passing when the time comes to spirit away a chosen human baby. In the end, no matter what other plans or ploys they engage, the final outcomes always boils down to kidnap, leaving behind a Changeling replacement. Where the Korrigan conceals this replacement remains elusive to all scholars and loremasters.
* Note on Amphibian: Featured in Symbaroum – Adventure Pack I, the Monstrous trait allows a creature to function and fight in water without harm or impediment.
** Notes on Pixie Dust: Featured in Symbaroum – The Mark of the Beast, the Elixir is a glittering powder with the power to hide tracks. One dose is enough to make a trail impossible to follow with conventional techniques.
*** Notes on Boons and Burdens: Featured in the Advanced Player’s Guide, these normally apply to player characters, but in this instance they fit the Korrigan perfectly! Briefly, Con Artist offers +1 Persuasive when telling lies; Mirage allows the character to weave momentary phantasms to distract and deceive; Storyteller provides +1 on any attempt to convince when it involves weaving a credible and consistent tale; while the disadvantage Mystical Mark appears in the section of Appearance and singles the Korrigan out with an indelible stain of the fae.
Support the Patreon campaign for The Iron Pact to fund the time and space for more Symbaroum articles, encounters, monsters and more.