« on: July 19, 2014, 02:43:55 AM »
Immortality; a prize out of reach for all but the most determined individuals. Kept out of reach for those not born into it, and those unwilling to doom their mortal flesh to degradation and rot. But like fire being stolen from the Gods, sometimes all it takes is one man willing to dare the impossible. One man to seek the forbidden, to think thoughts mortals should not think, to challenge the divine right of birth and take it for their own.
Sometimes, it takes a gnome.
His name was Xtis Cee. A womanizing gnome of moderate sorcerous talent, specializing in illusions - and illusions that can kill. By any accounts, Xtis was a foolish sot, fond of drink and pleasurable company. A well-loved legend, even by his progeny, was that once, he won a million-gold reward for rescuing a princess from a dragon - and spent it all on creating the largest orgy the multiverse has ever seen, featuring prostitutes from all sentient species and alcohol from every possible locale. But the most-loved legend is the day he consumed the Sidhe.
Talented in illusions; but even being moderately talented is something that sets a fire in every illusionist's heart, a silent challenge issued - for there are no greater illusionists than the Sidhe, who live and breathe illusions with their glamour, mocking mortals' skills. At the height of his power, when Xtis could create illusions that could kill even the hardiest of individuals and fool even the most magically-assisted, he plane shifted into the Court Realm and issued a challenge, pitting his illusions against the whole of the realm's glamour, beginning a tournament that lasted, it's said, for ten days.
From the smallest of the Sidhe to the greatest, he cast them all down, battering aside their glamour and unleashing his killer illusions upon them, slaughtering his way through the realm of Fae. At long last, when he came upon the Lord of Light and Illusion, he was grievously wounded by the glamour, but struck a killing blow with a shadow-infused illusionary creature. with his dying breath, the Lord of Light and Illusion was made to surrender the secret of the glamour; the Glamour Stone.
Returning to his home plane, Xtis began a series of magical experiments upon his family, which was quite extensive when one included his bastards, in an attempt to parlay the Glamour Stone into immortality. Magic shaped and reshaped forms, distilled the essence of life, combined Part A with Body B utilizing Component C. Gradually, however, it came to take shape; not in Xtis himself, but in his descendents, as at long last, after almost a century of experimentation, it was done. The Glamour Stone had become, no longer a metaphysical object, but part of the extensive clan that had been formed around it; a part of their blood. And still the experimentation went on, having become part of the culture of the clan itself, warping flesh and bone and mind.
And Xtis did die, eventually; in bed, surrounded by his favored concubines, with a smile on his face at having completed his life's goal of creating immortality, a hard task to duplicate with the Glamour Stone gone. Since then, Sidhe Gnomes, as they have come to be known (and less favorably: "Freaks"), have joined the ranks of the White Gentry (Ed Note: trio of rulers, with the Black Gentry (undead), White Gentry (race/ritual immortals), and the Red Gentry (mortal nobles)), immortal and unnatural in shape. The immortality breeding true, if in unusual ways, and accompanied by a vicious wanderlust that drives them to chance their immortality on adventure and politics - those that aren't wholly consumed by the need to experiment, at least. As such, the Sidhe Gnomes' numbers are practically small, with a high number of its scions having been killed off seeking fame and glory.
It's difficult to mistake a Sidhe Gnome for anything else. Strange features, or body parts, all in the name of 'improving' are pushed upon the children of the clan - and the mania persists in many after they've first tasted the shaping magics. All too often, a Sidhe Gnome will spend years in experimentation, perfecting their body to what they want it to be, through cross-grafting traits and rituals and even entire rebirthing rituals. Perhaps it's their fae nature that ensures that none of those traits breed true, and that every new Sidhe Gnome is a perfectly ordinary member of their parent species; though that never stays true for very long.
A note: The name 'Sidhe Gnomes' is only truly in honor of the paragon of the clan, and the fact that members of the family tend to be on the shorter side. In truth, it's difficult to nail down any common race as a member of the Freaks, as they tend to come from all sorts of parentage.
EDIT: This is more or less to justify having a Spark White Dragonspawn Unseelie Strongheart Halfling.