The Nunnehi

 

  Haida whale

 

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New Updates (02/17/2007)
I have made some recent updates to my website. I have added mention of two spirits to the Haida Gwaii page. I have also added a new character played for an historical storyline on the Characters page.

If you are looking for the Hsien information I had posted, please click here for my mirror Hsien Website, I have made it into a separate site.

Who are the Nunnehi?

In White Wolf's World of Darkness, Nunnehi are the fae spirits born out of the dreams, myths and legends of Native Americans. Nunnehi means "people who live anywhere."

Before the arrival of Changelings or European fae, Nunnehi lived in harmony with both their environment as well as the Native American tribes. Gradually, due to the rise of Banality, Nunnehi sought out highly spiritual individuals who agreed to host the native spirits within their bodies. When the host became a parent, the native spirit entered the child's body before birth. After birth, the child would be raised as human until he or she experienced their Chrysalis and became aware of the native spirit that dwelt within. Over the years, Nunnehi have often chosen to be 're-born' within the descendants of those individuals they originally inhabited. All Nunnehi are born into a Native American tribe.

SacagaweaRelations between Nunnehi and Changelings are shaky at best. When European fae first began to arrive in the New World, they referred to it as the "Summer Country" and were welcomed by the native fae. Treaties were made between the two; however, as the number of European fae increased, they began to settle anywhere and with little regard for the treaties. Relations thus became strained. Of course, current relations vary from one end of Concordia to the other.

Nunnehi differ from their European cousins in severals ways. Unlike Changelings, Nunnehi do not gather Glamour, they harvest Medicine. Nunnehi have also lost their connection to the Dreaming which they refer to as the Higher Hunting Grounds. Since Nunnehi can no longer enter the High Hunting Grounds, they harvest Medicine from nature, and may also enter the spirit realm (Upper World) under the right conditions. Nunnehi cannot enter the Lower World or realm of the dead, though they may use Spirit Link to contact ancestors. Native fae have a Summer and a Winter Camp which is the Changeling equivalent of Seelie and Unseelie. There is also a Midseason Camp. Nunnehi further lack the Kiths that exist among European fae, and instead, are divided into families.

There are fourteen Nunnehi families scattered across North America. All are detailed in Changeling: Players Guide with the exception of the Thought-Crafters who can be found in Kingdom of Willows. Descriptions of each family are listed below along with the native tribes to which they are associated.

The Northeast
The Southeast
The Midwest
The Southwest
The Far West
The Far North
         
         

The Northeast
(Iroquois and Abnaki Confederations, Micmac, Pequod, Susquehanna, Powhatan and Delware.)

May-may-gway-shi (Rock Fishers): The rock fishers are from the stories of the many tribes of the Abnaki Confederation. They were reputed to be able to vanish into rock to escape pursuers, and to be able to make fishing more plentiful. Indeed, the May-may-gway-shi are able to pass through solid rock, and may even pilot a vehicle through rock. They are also able to summon fish to any body of water. They fondness for fish makes them easily manipulated or trapped, though. In their fae miens, the May-may-gway-shi are short and agile, with a fine otterlike pelt of water resistant fur covering their arms and legs, and long flowing hair.

Rock Giants: Rumored to be the children of the Cannibal spirit among the Iroquois, rock giants are known for their strength, ferocity, and ravenous appetites. Rock Giants are as strong as trolls, and not nearly so morally encumbered with such an inconvenient sense of honor. Difficult to hurt under the best of circumstances, they are impervious to weapons of rock and stone. These Nunnehi are also avoided on account of their legendary tempers. If they are insulted, or their bravery or prowess is called into question, nothing will keep them from exacting revenge upon the one who offended them. Though their personalities usually make friends rare, those that do befriend a rock giant will usually find them to be extraordinarily loyal and steadfast companions. In their fae mien, a rock giant appears to be a gigantic (troll-sized) human encased in an outer shell of rock.


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The Southeast
(Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminoles.)

Nanehi ("People Who Live Anywhere"): The Nanehi are one of the more helpful faerie types of Cherokee legend. The Nanehi are traditionalists, historians, artists and musicians. They are able to physically alter their size and appearance, to enhance or lower their looks, and to make themselves look younger or older than their actual age. They excell in all forms of performance, especially if the performance involves traditional songs, dances and stories. Nanehi are vain to a fault, and have difficulty resisting flattery. Conversely, any insult to their appearance, or any adverse conditions on their appearance affects them badly. Nanehi, in their fae miens, appear as idealized versions of the tribes of their mortal kin, with lustrous dark hair and striking faces.

Yunwi Amai'yine'hi ("People of the water"): Shapechanging tricksters that protect bodies of water, the Yunwi Amai'yine'hi come from Cherokee legend. Many stories of fishermen being rescued by friendly water creatures come from encounters with these fae. Like Pooka, the Yunwi Amai'yine'hi may shapechange into animal form, their animal must be some sort of water creature though. They also possess an uncanny ability to control water, causing it to be still or otherwise. If they are in animal form and are caught by a trap, hunter or fisherman, they often tend to panic like an animal, and not be able to use their powers or intelligence to escape. In their fae mien, the yunwi amai'yine'hi tend to have traits of their animal affinity, much like Pooka. Their large eyes resemble pools of their chosen body of water.

Yunwi Tsundsi ("Little People"): Cherokee legend also tells of elusive but helpful little people. The Yunwi Tsundsi are able to make themselves inconspicuous, not invisible, but rather unseen. They are also very skilled crafters. Though they tend to be helpful to mortals, they have terrible tempers when their work is insulted, or their help is scorned. When this happens, they will usually prank the offender mercilessly until they have properly apologized, or until a phase of the moon has passed. In their fae miens, the yunwi tsundsi appear as normal humans, but rarely stand over five feet tall.

Thought-Crafters: The Thought-Crafters come from tales told by the Algonquin tribes, and they usually reside among the remnants of the Algonquin tribes scattered between Maine and Virginia. In addition to being skilled crafters and artisans, the Thought-Crafters are dedicated to opening the ways to the Higher Hunting Grounds to all Nunnehi again. The thought-crafters are especially dextrous, and quick witted, and they are skilled in physically manipulating objects, as well as solving riddles and puzzles. They are especially skilled at inspiring others and may restore lost Glamour to Changelings, and bring creativity back to mortals who have lost it. The fae mien of a Thought-Crafter resembles idealized versions of their mortal kin.


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The Midwest
(Forest tribes: Cree, Ojibwa, Winnebago and Blackfoot. Plains tribes: Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Comanche, Osage, Oto, Pawnee, Sauk, Fox and Illinois.)

Canotili ("Tree Dwellers"): The Indians of the Plains or Great Lakes told tales of diminutive warriors: strong, agile, and frightening despite their small stature. The Canotili were known as patrons of hunters and archers as well, and the best were said to have been blessed by them. The Canotili possess a chameleon-like ability to blend in with their surroundings, and have enhanced strength and dexterity. If a canotili is surprised, they exude a powerful pheromone that causes panic in all non-canotili present. The uncontrollability of this power makes it more of a disadvantage than a benefit. Canotili look much like smaller versions of the Plains or Great Lake Indians in their fae mien. Their fingers and toes are longer than normal, and they all have eyes that glow in the dark.

Tunghat ("Green Dwarves" or "Owners"): The stories of the tribes of the Plains, Plateau and Basin told of dwarvish masters of animals. The Tunghat were those that placed animals in the path of the most worthy hunters, and made sure that the animals that were unlikely to survive the next winter were the ones slain in the hunt. All Tunghat are bound to a certain animal type. They are able to cover themselves with an illusion that makes them appear as this animal type, and they are able to summon and communicate to some extent with the animals of their chosen kind. It is possible for a Tunghat's illusion to start fooling even them if they maintain it for long enough, until they start to believe that they actually are the animal in question. The Tunghat, in their fae miens, are small green people with darker green hair, teeth and nails.


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The Southwest
(Apache, Hopi, Navajo and Zuni.)

Kachinas: The Kachinas were said to come from the spirit world, teaching the rituals, songs and dances necessary for survival in harmony with nature to the Southwest tribes. The Kachinas value ritual above all else, believing that rituals create a link between the Earth world and the spirit world, and enough such links might allow access to the Higher Hunting Grounds someday. Kachinas are able to make rain, and to make plants grow if the proper rituals are performed by their mortal tribes. They are also able to transform themselves into clouds. The Kachinas have a tendency to specialize in one skill though, all other pursuits becoming secondary. The Kachinas tend to change their fae appearance as they grow older, looking more or less normal until their elder years, when they seem to shrink down to resemble living versions of the Kachina dolls fashioned by their mortal kin.

Surems (Yaqui "Little People"): Easily the most peaceful of the Nunnehi nations, the Surems are opposed to loud sounds and any sort of violence. Surems are able to project an air of serenity around them that will calm those in the area, it is difficult to become angry or agitated under this influence. They are known for their congeniality, and have advantages in social situations. However, surems are so commited to finding peaceful solutions to problems that they have great difficulty forcing themselves to resort to violence even in extreme circumstances, or even speaking harshly. In their fae miens, surems are usually about 5 feet tall and solidly built, with broad pleasant faces.


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The Far West
(Flatheads, Miwok, Modoc, Utes and Nez Percés.)

Water Babies: Seen as evil spirits that steal human children and pull mortals into lakes and rivers to drown them, in the legends that they figure in, the Water Babies have to deal with the mistrust and misinformation of others constantly. It's true enough that they steal away human children, but only those who have been abandoned, orphaned or abused. They also will sometimes drown certain mortals, but only those that have despoiled the waters that the Water Babies protect, or those who have commited crimes against children. Water Babies are able to breathe underwater, and allow those touching them to breathe there also. Also, when a water baby chooses to take vengeance on someone, their strength increases to help them pull the victim in the water and drown them. If the intended victim is actually innocent, their strength will not increase, and they will know that they are mistaken, and will release the victim. Water Babies are dependent on water, and if they are kept from immersing themselves in a water source for more than two days, they will begin to die. In their fae miens, Water Babies appear androgynous (legends indicated that all Water Babies were female because of this), have silvery eyes, webbed hands and feet, and gills.

Nümüzo’ho ("Crushers of People"): Among the angriest of the Nunnehi and among those most able to destroy whetever they happen to be angry at, the Nümüzo’ho supposedly had glimpses long ago of the devastation mortals would bring to the world, and they have been ruled by their righteous anger ever since. Nümüzo’ho are incredibly strong and durable. They are also able to call upon the more violent forces of nature to cause natural disasters in a five mile radius once per phase of the moon (no more than four times a month). When the Nümüzo’ho descends into their elder years, a limb will atrophy and fall off, or they will become blind in one eye. Nümüzo’ho are extremely tall in their fae miens, and their eyes glow with an unearthly light.


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The Far North
(Aleuts, Inuit, Chinook, Haida, Kwakiutl, Lumni, Tlingit and Tsimshian.)

Pu'gwis (also "Bukwus"): Horribly ugly, cursed beings who are among the most tragic of all of the Nunnehi. Pu'gwis long for love and friendship, but their hideous seemings make these goals nearly unreachable. Ironically, they are gifted singers, and are able to summon those who hear their songs to them. They also can also sing a song to cause those who they failed to win over to forget them. The Pu'gwis have the faces of rotting corpses, with yellowed eyes that almost seem to decay in their sockets. This decay extends to their physical form, making them physically weak, as well as mortifyingly ugly.

Inuas ("Spirit Helpers"): Born of the dreams of the northernmost tribes, the Inuit and the Aleuts, inuas were the helpers of the shamans, aiding these mortals in communing with the spirits and in enforcing the taboos. To aid them in this task, the Inuas have the ability to invest powers from their Arts into amulets to be used by the mortal shamans. Inuas are also able to change into animal forms native to their region. Though they are able to change into more than one type of animal, it is difficult and takes practice to learn to move in several different forms. Inuas look much like members of their tribes. Most wear "labrets", plugs of ivory, bone or other hard material inserted into the skin to make a chin decoration. When advising a shaman, they prefer to be in animal form; usually an animal important to the welfare of the tribe.


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