"That sounds like quite an adventure, but I have a tale to top that one! Pass me some of that spiced wine, and I'll tell you..."
Born of dreams of exotic adventure, the ever-travelling Eshu originally hail from Africa, India, the Middle East, and the ancient state of Chaldea. Over the centuries, however, they spread and grew, and now come from all corners of the globe. Known for their tales of adventure and exotic lands, Eshu are charming and regal, having a special talent for weaving a good story. Wise and brave, Eshu are also known to occasionally walk with Prodigals, though with all their wandering, it's inevitable that they would meet some other members of the World of Darkness. They have an affinity to the Scene realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Given that they hail from far-away lands, Eshu typically sport dark skin and exotic-looking clothes. Turbans, saris, khalats, and burkahs are not unheard of. Tattoos, piercings, and jewelry (especially gold) are also common accessories to this well-traveled Kith. While every race has its anomalies, typically Eshu are on the tall side, somewhat muscular, with narrow features and a far-away look in their dark onyx or sapphire eyes. This is, of course, not true of all Eshus; with their passionate sense of wanderlust, all races of this Kith exist.
Tying down an Eshu is impossible. Sooner or later, the longing to travel overtakes them, leading them to jobs that accommodate this lifestyle. Reporters, Gamblers, Performers, and Nomads are all common professions among the Eshu.
From the Changeling: The Dreaming Corebook, Second Edition:
"Childlings make better followers than leaders. Always attentive and polite, they are full of questions and observations. They're primarily loners, though, and will never follow the same adult for long. Many prefer to live as runaways or stowaways.
"Wilders believe that the greatest adventures are yet to come. A young hero might style himself as anything from a modern-day African deity to a resourceful wanderer. Any legend of a great hero is a challenge for him to exceed.
"Grumps tend to prefer a few locations to which they return again and again. They learn to settle at each place longer and trade stories of deeds that have already been done; their bardic circles are legendary.
Birthrights, Frailties, Merits, and Flaws
As with any Kith, Eshu have a few traits exclusive to them.
Spirit Pathways - Eshu have an amazing sense of direction and exquisite timing; they always seem to arrive at their destination at the most opportune moments. The path an Eshu follows is always the most interesting route possible, filled with danger and challenge. Seelie triumph righteously over adversity; Unseelie leave bitterness and misfortune in their wake. Either way, the stories are always worth the trouble! No matter what she encounters along the way, an Eshu will always find her way to her destination...eventually.
Talecraft - Whenever an Eshu encounters a true adventure, he becomes wiser and his repertoire of stories grows. Eshu characters gain an additional experience point for any session in which they learn a fantastic new story or perform an incredible feat. (Tricking a chimerical dragon or outwitting a lofty noble are two examples of such feats.) Eshu can never botch rolls involving Performance or Empathy.
Recklessness - Confidence and curiosity are inborn traits. Eshu cannot resist a challenge, gamble, or quest if there's a way to come out of it alive. They're not stupid--they won't take on suicide missions--but they do believe their luck can carry them through any hardship.
Wayfarer's Feet (1pt Physical) - Your feet are especially durable and well suited to the long distances Eshu typically cover. You are comfortable going barefoot year-round, regardless of local temperature or weather conditions, and need not worry about such natural walking hazards such as splinters, city debris (including most broken glass), burning sands or jagged rock. For travel and traction purposes the character is considered to be wearing sturdy hiking boots at all times. This Merit does not protect from outright attacks or weapons of any kind, nor does it cover crossing extreme surfaces such as fire or lava. It also doesn't make the character's kicks do any more damage than normal.
Long-Winded (2pts Physical) - This Merit reflects a capacity, both instinctive and trained, for being able to run long distances without becoming tired. Many of the cultures of the Elegbara homelands have employed long-distance runners as messengers and mail carriers for hundreds or thousands of years. A character with this Merit may run or jog at a steady (not sprinting) pace for up to 6 hours without feeling the least bit tired. After that, he must make only the normal Stamina checks to resist exhaustion once every half-hour; he makes all such tests at a -2 difficulty. this allows the character to essentially walk at a normal pace almost indefinitely, provided he takes occasional breaks for food and water and a brief nap every 2 to 14 hours. He may do this for a number of days equal to his Stamina rating before he must begin checking for exahustion. Note that this Merit does not apply to sprinting or other short-term bursts of speed, nor in other situations besides trabelling. It does allow a character on foot to cover a surprising amount of territory in a relatively short period of time, particularly compared to those on foot who lack this merit.
Gift of Babel (2pts Aptitude) - One of Eshu's original duties was to serve as Olorun's linguist, and as such he knew every language that ever was. Your character retains some of this flair and can potentially master an astonishing number of languages. You may learn twice the number of languages that a character with the same level of the Linguistics ability would normally be able to learn, and all training times with this ability are cut in half. Obviously, you must purchase some level of the Linguistics ability for this Merit to be useful; however, this Merit can be a godsend to diplomats and other characters who depend on the command of a wide variety of languages. This Merit can also be combined with the Natural Linguist Merit to make for a true mastery of languages.
Living Legend (5pts Supernatural) - You are the living, breathing incarnation of some great hero or heroine; this does not have to be an actual historical figure, but can be a character from mythology or even (with Storyteller permission) a figure from more contemporary fiction. Note that you are an incarnation, not a reincarnation; you are not actually the reborn spirit of that individual, but the embodiment of the legend of that individual. Your mortal form must at least vaguely resemble your true "heritage", but your fae mien matches it perfectly. Any Kithian with even the slightest knowledge of the original tale will recognize you immediately, and you are likely to attract a great deal of attention in the cultures that gave birth to the legend. You must purchase at least 3 points of the Rememberance Background to take this Merit to reflect the tie you have to the original legend. All Rememberance rolls made while interaction with or remembering things from your legendary "past" are made at a -2 difficulty (minimum difficulty of 3). What's more, you gain an additional two dice to all Social rolls with those who recognize you, Kithian or otherwise; being in the presence of such a famous figure is impressive, to say the least! At the Storyteller's discretion, this Merit may also allow you to have knowledge of, if not access to, certain chimera or Treasures related to your legend. A character who is the incarnation of Roland cannow expect to be handed his famous horn, for example, but would be a storehouse of information about the itme and have vague ideas about where to look for it. Note that this Merit does not provide any further access to the capibilites of your legendary "ancestor" than this. Whether you are nothing more than a very convincing lookalike, or whether you can actually walk the walk, as they say, is a question of waht traits you choose during character creation and beyong. Your appearance and your "memories" may make it hard to get along unnoticed in ordinary society, and you may attract unhealthy attention from ogun and worse. It can also be very hard to live up to what is expected of you. Storytellers are encouraged to constantly remind players with this Merit just how exhausting and thankless it can be to live in the public eye.
Lost Horizon (3-5pts Supernatural) - It is the destiny of the Elegbara to wander, but your travels are severely limited. You are bound to remain within a particular set of borders, and crossing their threshold immediately triggers a wasting condition identical to the Oba Frailty, Native Soil. These boundaries need not be ones that are "officially" recognized, but they must be very clear and specifically detailed to character and player alike. The value of this Flaw stems from how limited your horizons are. A large or diverse territory such as a small country or a general region of a larger one (such as the Northeast in the United States) is worth 3 points. A smaller area, such as a single large state or several smaller ones, is worth 4 points. A ridiculously small area, such as a small state or a lone country within a larger one, is worth 5 points. Note that like the Oba Frailty, this has no effect on travelling in the Dreaming; indeed, your character is likely to do so as often as possible to escape the tedium of the same mundane surroundings. This Flaw stems from a curse or an ancient Geas and cannot be undone except by truly legendary means. All Elegbara pity those poor souls who suffer from this Flaw; it is true that the Oba have a similar vulnerability, but that is due to their natural duty to the land, while your condition is generally a mystery or, worse still, a punishment for some terrible past crime. Storytellers should feel free to adjust the point value of this Flaw depending on how likely it is to have an impact on play. If the setting is going to be fairly static, decrease the value of the Flaw, wheras if it will be likely to come up especially often, additional points might be warranted. Storytellers may also forbid this Flaw if having a player take it severly disrupts their plans for their Chronicles. Oba cannot purchase this Flaw.
Nemesis (5pts Supernatural) - Maybe you're the reincarnation of some ancient hero, or maybe you just have rotten luck, but whatever the reason, you've inherited a true nemesis, an opposite number determined to do you serious harm or even destroy you. This feud falls outside the scope of the regular Enemy or Hunted Flaws because it represents something more cosmic. Not only does this individual hate you and actively seek to do you harm, but the two of you seem to have been specifically designed to be enemies, and your confrontations bear testament to it. Your foe is nearly telepathic at anticipating your next move, and both of you always seem to have an answer for each other's best tricks or strongest powers, forcing a constant struggle to come up with some new way of surprising each other. Both of you know it will never end until one of you is put out of the picture permanently. The Storyteller is responsible for creating this character and is under no obligation to reveal her full powers and potencies. Optionally, you may begin the game not knowing of your nemesis, but rest assured, the Storyteller will have you make her acquaintance before long.
Views on Other Kith
From the Changeling: The Dreaming Corebook, Second Edition:
"Hear the tales of Hazim Rashad, a courier of the Kingdom of Apples.
On Boggans - I have never understood commoners who are content to live in one place and serve but one freehold. Their hospitality, though, is wondrous.
On Nockers - Cynical artisans who have no recourse but to get caught up in the world of their creations. Too bad. The real world is far more interesting.
On Pooka - A Pooka generally makes an outstanding travelling companion, even if he has an odd way of showing you respect.
On Redcaps - Hideous, brash and dangerous. Stay out of their way, and beware of their foul moods.
On Satyrs - Always ready for a saucy tale of romance or a wild party. Be careful of what they carry in their wineskins, though.
On Sidhe - Their dreams are made of glass. If they studied this world a little more closely, perhaps they would not live in so much pain.
On Sluagh - Whispered secrets make for interesting stories, and they are very good audiences. It's worth the effort to coax a tale or two from them.
On Trolls - Once you earn the respect of a Troll, you can trust him with your life.