The Orpheus Group
Banshees read the past, mediate and present and divine the future. They can use the emotions of others as a guide to the pains of yesterday, read them in the repetitive behavior, and foretell tomorrow – to an extent – by observing where these emotions will lead others around them. On their own, they’re missionaries, mystics, healers, crusaders and adventurers. In a crucible they’re mediators, conciliators, analysts and sometimes the person who points everyone in the same direction and then pushes.
A Banshee’s voice is a major factor in her existence; it allows her to vocalize her feelings to others and it gives her the ability to communicate and to share or relieve pain. Sometimes she uses her voice to console and to enlighten, finding the words to help others work past their pain and to resolve their problems. Sometimes they give vent to the agony and frustration around them, shrieking out a wail that would shatter the walls of Jericho.
In life, these characters are highly empathic (though not necessarily easy to get along with) and receptive to other people’s dilemmas. Everyone talks to them about their problem – whether they want to listen or not – or uses them as sounding-boards and advisors to resolve their quandaries. Banshees mediate conflicts, cut Interpersonal Gordian knots and manage to give solid advice in most cases, because they always see every side of a situation. They are frequently eloquent, their empathy helping them find the right words for any necessity. Some might call them level-headed or centered, but this isn’t necessarily the case; they may be as driven by their emotions, or as obsessive, as any other character. What they are is in tune with the human experience, recognizing the interplay of emotional currents in themselves and in those around them, and ultimately able to judge or voice those currents.
This is no guarantee of a peaceful life, or a happy one; a Banshee may find herself using her talents and abilities because she sees the need to do so (even when she would rather pursue her own interests). She may even feel her judgment is somehow voyeuristic or harsh when she comes to a conclusion about the emotions driving those around her, or when her perceptions give her more insight than she’d like into her next-door-neighbor’s motivations. Banshees may understand themselves, but they don’t necessarily like what they themselves are. They do understand what struggle and frustration that others feel, however, and have very probably felt it themselves. Eventually they emerged from that struggle, unbowed and unbeaten, and used their knowledge of it to their benefit. A banshee may be a crisis counselor, a marketing supervisor managing their team into working together smoothly, the “mother hen” of the office always giving advice near the photocopier, or an artist with an uncompromising but accurate tongue.
Clothed in gauze, a Banshee is left with her voice and her words as her strongest tools to affect the world around her, and with the same need to bring surcease to others that she may have, or had, in life. She can still perceive the emotions driving the dead – perhaps even more so than the living – and can assist drones caught in cycles of repetition, helping them through understanding, compassion or manipulation.
Banshees are far from perfect. They may grow bitter from judging others or prone to condemnation. Alternatively thy might become slow in making decisions, constantly feeling that every side of the question must earn consideration, and that any opinion will be unjust to someone. Equally, they can give the emotions of others a higher importance than is strictly necessary or feel that a past trauma or a future complication is more important than a current crisis. Their compassion can draw them into giving aid where it is unwise to do so, or frankly dangerous; they may even refuse to recognize that they cannot, or should not, help some people.
Beginning Horror Wail
Banned Horror Helter Skelter
Base Vitality Stamina + 3
Base Spite 7 – Integrity
Beginning Stains 1
Manifestation A Banshee can cause her voice to be heard in whispers that flutter and batter those in an area from all directions; otherwise, the Banshee has no physical impact on the world and remains unseen except to those who can see spirits and projectors. She may speak normally, though her voice seems to come from far away or echoes in whispers. Banshees with spite rating near, equal to or greater than their Vitality project their voices differently, their whispers giggly and high like those of children or dropping in octaves to reverberate unnaturally.
One Vitality The Banshee appears as an apparition, her gauze partially translucent and torn in almost stereotypical rendition of the floating ghost. The wisps of bright white gauze float and bob on ethereal winds, giving the Banshee an almost dream-like quality. If the Banshee has a high Spite rating (at least one dot under their vitality), her gauze is even further tattered, her hair long, and white, her eyes black like a shark’s and her teeth sharp. In either case all dice-pools are halved, round down.
Two Vitality The Banshee appears as human, with full stats, speaking and interacting with her surroundings as though alive, though qualities of the Banshee seem “floaty” and light as if the Banshee is somehow immersed in water.