All credit for this must go to Chris Campbell, not me.
This is my work. It is not done on behalf of, or sanctioned by, White Wolf. Ethan has been kind enough to look it over and offer suggestions (twice!), but that doesn't mean any of this is to be considered official material. It's just the Revised Bastet's writer's take on the tribe; take that with as much salt as you care to.
Second, the Ceilican got more in the way of revisions than most of the other Bastet tribes did, mainly because the original writeup was so...well, not Bastet. Parts of the original tribal writeup just couldn't be salvaged. I've tried hard to tapdance around the silliness in the original (i.e., keeping the blatant retcons to a minimum) and the recent events in A World of Rage, but the end result here falls somewhere between Ceilican Revised and Ceilican Rebooted. Be warned.
Finally, for Changeling fans: you won't like the way the Fae are portrayed here. This is because I refer to Fae from a Werewolf perspective, which is to say I treat them like the unholy bastards they are, not the sanitized versions written up in Changeling. As you'll see below I don't talk about the Fae in any great detail, but be warned that they aren't friendly sorts, and are viewed as such by the Ceilican.
Long ago, in an age before the time of Man, the children of Abuja fled their ancestral homes. They journeyed north, binding their fates to those of the barbarian tribes, and became the Mor Grian, mighty kings who ruled with the wisdom of men and the hearts of lions. However, as is always the case with the Lords of Sunlight, there were those who were jealous of the great kings’ power, and they sought to destroy the Mor Grian the only way they could - by destroying their feline Kin. And so it was that the lions of Europe were driven to extinction, and the Lords of Sunlight learned to revile Gaia’s chosen warriors. The Mor Grian’s dynasty was over, their very lifeblood crushed to dust.
|Or so the stories say. The survivors tell a different tale, one of secret
alliances with Sidhe lords and a shift in purpose that utterly transformed the
tribe. The Mor Grian were no more, torn to pieces by Garou claws. In their
places stood the Ceilican, beings of glamour and rage who tore at the throats of
Gaia’s foes even as they hid themselves from those who would destroy them. They
have died a thousand deaths and will live a thousand more, for that is the role
Gaia has chosen for them.
The Ceilican are dead. After centuries of suffering under the yoke of Fae treachery, the tribe’s death blow came when a horde of Black Spiral Dancers besieged their last great Den Realm in Scotland, an attack aided and abetted by Gaian hands. The few Ceilican who survived were spirited away, drawn into Spiral pits to suffer unimaginable torments. The tribe’s structure has been destroyed, and there is nothing left but ash.
The Role of the Ceilican
Officially, the Ceilican are dead to the world, and thus play no role whatsoever in the World of Darkness. But it doesn’t take much imagination to see that at least a handful of Ceilican might have escaped the Black Spiral Dancers’ wrath, and hence might even now seek to unravel the mysteries surrounding their tribe’s annihilation. These fae cats are mystics and saboteurs, fallen kings who battle the forces of the Wyrm using a unique blend of Fae and Gaian magic. They have a fondness for human society, and they have a gift for blending in with even the most outrageous folk without causing much in the way of suspicion. This leads their foes to underestimate them, and the Ceilican use this complacency to strike at the Wyrm with terrible ferocity.
The Fae Connection
When the Garou slaughtered the Mor Grian and their Kin oh so long ago, the survivors found themselves facing extinction. They were desperate, willing to take aid from just about anyone, and this prompted them to make some rather unfortunate decisions. Chief among these was an alliance with the Sidhe lords of the Fae. While it no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time, the werecats soon discovered that their so-called saviors were every bit as vicious and proud as their Garou neighbors. But where the werewolves were content to tear the exiled lions to pieces, the Fae instead chose to enslave them, holding their feline Kin hostage so as to press the Bastet into their service. The Ceilican thus got their wish - they were saved from the claws of the Garou, but had to make a deal with the devil for the privilege. Their lack of vision has cost them dearly, and they’re still paying for that mistake.
|But then, there are questions. Centuries ago, when the Ceilican first came to
Scotland, their Sidhe allies granted them access to a powerful Freehold secreted
away in the moors of Scotland. Fae magic was supposed to hide it from prying
eyes, and had in fact done so for well over a millennium. How, then, were the
Spirals able to ignore these safeguards, entering the Ceilican’s domain as
though it was their own? Were the werecats betrayed by their Fae allies? The
“Good Folk” are known for their treachery, but does their wickedness extend to
pacts with minions of the Wyrm? Only time will tell, and these are the mysteries
that haunt the memory of the tribe today.
Before the slaughter on the Scottish moors, the Ceilican tended to operate alone whenever possible. Such was not always the case, naturally; when the Mor Grian were at their height, they organized themselves into prides just as the modern Simba do. But once those lions became the Ceilican their role among Gaia’s guardians changed, and as a result their social organization reverted to the default mode for Bastet and their Kin. In modern times, the Ceilican operate largely independent of one another, only coming together in times of need or at the behest of their Fae “allies.”
The Ceilican once roamed all over Europe, but nowadays they stay close to their Sidhe allies and try to keep their travels to a minimum. Some have spread to the United States, exploring all the wonderful things that culture has to offer, but most find their way back home sooner or later. Some of the fae cats spend a great deal of time in the Faerie realms, a fact that disgusts their earthbound brethren. Their role in the order of things is to protect Gaia, after all, and one can hardly do that if he is gallivanting around with the Fae.
These days, the Ceilican’s homid Kin tend to be of European ancestry. This is due more to accident of geography than any real preferences on the parts of the Ceilican, as the fae cats aren’t terribly picky about their mates. Their feline Kin, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. These are none other than the descendents of the European lions of old, who have been living in Umbral protectorates for the last two millennia. This has changed the lions dramatically, giving them long, silky white fur, brilliantly colored eyes, and a leaner, more compact form. Gaining feline breeding rights is a matter of great import for the Ceilican, and one must have strong connections with the elders of the tribe to even be considered for the privilege.
The Ceilican are a tribe of fallen kings, and as such they exude an aura of tragic nobility in all of their forms. In Homid form they tend to be wiry and strong, and they wear their pride like a cloak of defiance. Their Feline forms are truly striking; they are smaller than normal Simba, but their pelts are covered with long white fur and their eyes are a brilliant shade of blue, green, or other even more unusual colors. Their Crinos forms trade strength for speed, and they are surprisingly resilient for their size.
Keeping Kin Safe
Shortly after the fall of the Mor Grian, the Ceilican elders created expansive Den Realms as a means of protecting their feline Kin. At the time, these Den Realms were scattered all over Europe, and each was large enough to accommodate several lions along with their prey. With the passage of time, however, most were either abandoned or lost as the Ceilican were destroyed and their lands fell under the control of others.
Of course, the Ceilican knew full well that their Kin could not survive in Umbral realms forever; they needed periodic contact with the physical world to maintain their identity and their viability as Kin, and as a result the Ceilican’s ties with the Fae became more and more important. With Faerie Freeholds at their disposal, the Ceilican found that they could keep their Kin alive and grounded in the reality of the physical world and at the same time hide them from the prying eyes of the world. Clever as this strategy is, the Ceilican have found that it has succeeded only in enslaving them to the Fae and forestalling the inevitable -- extended contact with the Umbral world has taken its toll on the few remaining European lions, ensuring that the Ceilican will be dead within a generation.
Today, nearly all of the fae cats’ feline Kin are secreted away in Fae Freeholds of one sort or another, and the only major Den Realm remaining in Europe can be found on the Scottish moors. The Gauntlet of the place is high enough that it likely survived the Black Spiral incursions into the area, but its time grows short - if the Ceilican don’t tend to the lions within soon, the Realm itself will become superfluous.
Ceilican Form Statistics
The Ceilican have changed dramatically over the centuries, and so two sets of form stats are presented here. The first is for the Mor Grian, the great werepanthers who migrated to Europe from Africa centuries ago. The second is for the Ceilican of today, the fae cats whose feline Kin have been dramatically transformed by extended exposure to the spirit world.
Beginning Rage: 3
Beginning Willpower: 3
Starting Gifts: Glamour, Glib Tongue, Sense Magic
• Glamour (Level One) - This minor Gift allows the Ceilican to make minor changes to his appearance. He cannot change his gender or gross physical characteristics (such as height or weight), but he can change things like hair and eye color, hair length, presence or absence of facial hair, clothing, and so on. In Feline form he can change the color, texture, and patterns within his fur, as well as eye color (which allows him to appear to be a mountain lion, leopard, or any other cat of similar size and build).
System: The character rolls Manipulation + Expression and spends a Gnosis point. The effects of the Gift last for one scene.
• Glib Tongue (Level One) - As the Level One Fianna Gift.
• Sense Magic (Level One) - As the Level One Uktena Gift.
• Faerie Kin (Level Two) - As the Level Three Fianna Gift, but easier for the Ceilican. Note that the Gift only calls Fae who know of the Ceilican’s ties with the Fae, and that overuse of the Gift will get the fae cat in trouble.
• Fire in the Belly (Level Two) - As the Level Two Fianna Gift.
• Sorcerer’s Blade (Level Two) - By means of this Gift a Ceilican can enchant a weapon such that it is damaging to supernatural beings. The weapons thus created inflict terrible wounds on the Bastet’s foes, all without the need for a valuable (and spiritually exhausting) fetish weapon.
System: The Ceilican spends a point of Gnosis and rolls Manipulation + Occult. Success indicates that the blade so enchanted inflicts aggravated damage until the next sunrise. Only melee weapons may be enchanted in this manner.
• Phantasm (Level Three) - As the Level Four Fianna Gift.
• Scrying (Level Three) - As the Level Three Uktena Gift.
• Monkey’s Uncle (Level Four) - As the Level Four Homid Gift.
• Shadow Pride (Level Five) - As the Level Five Shadow Lord Gift: Shadow Pack. Ceilican tend to use this Gift to create extra sets of eyes, either when spying or travelling through particularly dangerous areas. They also recognize its utility in combat, but since they try to avoid combat when they can the use of the Gift in such situations is rare.