Friday, September 4, 2009

Dirty Nellie, Street Faerie

For Ghosts of Albion I introduced a new race of fae call Street Faeries. They are fae that have choosen to live in the urban sprawl of large cities rather than their normal sylvan glades and woods. The most notorious of of all though was a little street fae name "Dirty Nel".

Dirty Nellie
She looked like child, one of those unfortunates forced to work the streets, though no child had such a licentious gleam in her eyes. Of course no human child had wings either. They were the same shape as other pixies, that of a butterfly, but these were more like that of a peppered moth. They were colorless, save for irregular patches of what appeared to be soot or grime. She smoked an American style cigarette, which of course was not only scandalous as a woman, but as a creature of the Fae. Her clothing was a motley assortment that revealed more flesh than even the most brazen dollymop would have been ashamed to show. I approached her to ascertain what sort of creature she was. She noticed me and said, "Oi! Piss off. Im trying to work ere!"
She disappeared in a shower, not of pixie-dust, but of soot and smoke.
- From the Journal of Tamara Swift

Dirty Nellie

One of the more notorious Street Fae is a pixie named Nel, also known as Dirty Nellie by human occult researchers. Nel is a Street Faerie prostitute often working in the theatre district of London. She got her start at the dawn of the Victorian age as a simple street walker. She would use her minor powers of Glamour to appear as whatever she felt her clients were looking for. A low level of empathic powers helped her to seek out those whose need was great (and thus able to pay more) and what they were looking for. Her most oft-used guise is that of a coster girl who has lost all her snells and needs to make back all her lost money or her cruel stepfather will beat her. She has also been known to appear as dusky beauty for the orient, or a young lad lost in the city after leaving his boarding school.

Through guile, deceit, and lots of hard work, Nel worked her way into the prominent occult societies of the time. As her clientele increased in wealth and status, so did her own. She gained not only monetary wealth but a wealth of information about such organizations as the Algernon Club, the Rosicrucians, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (where she was Crowley's lover for a time), and the Theosophical Society. By World War I no living being knew as many secrets (and it is amazing how many secrets a man is willing to share in the cloak of night in the lover's bed) of the occult underground as she did.

Note to Modern Directors: Dirty Nellie has not been seen since the Blitz of WWII. If she survived (and many suspect she did not) she must be using a new guise or has moved on to another city.

Roleplaying Dirty Nellie
Nel is the archetypical good-time girl. When not working she can be found in gambling houses, public houses, or even an opium den. Her looks in any form are striking. She is a bit vain and proud of her looks, so in any guise her midnight black hair (cut short), green eyes and many piercings remain. She is fond of soldiers and once traveled to India to be with an entire troup. She returned to London with a pierced nose and an addiction to the cigarettes smoked there. Her favorite trick is to produce one she has pre-rolled from nowhere and light it with the tip of her finger. As a Faerie, Nel is immune to the harmful effects of her addictions to smoking, alcohol and drugs. She is also immune to the diseases that plague her trade, but Directors may decide she is a carrier and say there is a chance that her paramours could contract syphilis themselves.
Nel in any part of the Victorian age is a wealth of information and can act as a Criminal or Supernatural Contact. In the time of Ghosts of Albion (early Victorian) she is worth up to 3 points of Criminal Contacts (she knows everyone and most owe her) or 2 points of Supernatural. As the 19th Century progresses she can be bought fo up to 3 points of Supernatural but only 2 of Criminal.

Nel is not a fighter. She not above threatening someone with her knife or even throwing a bit of fire at someone, but she will not engage in most forms of combat. Nel would rather seduce someone and then poison them in the bed chamber if she wants someone dead. Usually though trouble finds Nel and not the other way around. A possible introduction would be having her running for her life and smack right into the Cast.
Despite some of her addictions, arrogance and her rather rude habit of calling humans monkeys, Nel is actually a very sweet faerie girl. She is also just determined to do things her way. One thing is certain, it is never boring with her around.

Ghosts of Albion stats
Name: Nel, Dirty Nellie (various human guise names are Alice, Little Mary, Tommy Atkins)
Motivation: To make some money and have a good time while doing it
Creature Type: Faerie (street faerie)
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Constitution 4, Intelligence 4, Perception 5, Willpower 6
Life Points: 34
Drama Points: 15
Qualities and Drawbacks: Addictions (Hashish 1, Opium 1,Smoking 2, Sex 2), Adversaries (Police, various rivals, various demons she owes money to), Blink 2, Criminal (Prostitute), Contacts (Criminal 3, Supernatural 3), Elven Soul Flame, Emotional Problems (Covetous, Cruel, Faerie Arrogance), Faerie, Glamour, Minority (Woman), Resources (start at -6 works up to +2).

Name Score Damage Notes
Dodge 11 Defence action
Grapple 7 Resisted by Dodge
Punch 5 4 Bash
Knife 11 4 Slash/Stab* Plus Elven Soul Flame

Dirty Nellie in Rippers & Gaslight (Savage Worlds)

Dirty Nel. I am afraid no amount of Ripper Tech can prepare you for that tangle with the supernatural.
- Attributed to Jonathan Harker, circa 1890

You can't be truly initiated into the inner ranks of the occult until Nel initiates you herself.
- Alistair Crowley, 1899

By 1892 Dirty Nellie (now mostly known as just Dirty Nel) is still doing what she does best. While not uncommon (Faeries have all sorts of obsessions), keeping the same job for 60 plus years is quite a feat for a little Street Fae.

Since the dawn of the Victorian age when she gained certain infamy in occult circles she only become more notorious. Some time in the 1840s she caught the attentions of a few occult researchers and scholars. Originally she was the subject of much discussion in the inner circles of occult lodges, discussing her the same way they would the tomes of Agrippa or a new species of vampire. That is till one of them decided to just approach her. When the young research returned from his visit, he spoke of her charm, her wit and of course her skills. Soon Nel was being visited by most of the members of the lodge and of a few others. Each would share some secrets with her, as is common with paramours. She went from back alley toffs to receiving gentlemen in her apartment. Her fees increased, not that the erstwhile men of learning noticed, and she increased her own knowledge. By the time anyone had figured out what was happening it was too late. Nel knew all their secrets, all their enemies secrets and a few more besides. She bartered her knowledge and took over one of the clubs where the men had met, the Mayfair House, and converted it into a club catering to me with a taste for both forbidden knowledge and forbidden carnality. While it is money that is often paid with her real currency is information and secrets. The Mayfair Club becomes a central gathering place for members of the occult community. She hires several girls, many with faerie or other blood in them, but most are still just human. She provides the men with a place to talk and relax, like any other Victorian club, but she provides other services as well. By 1892 the Mayfair Club is the place to go to get answers or find someone in the occult community. To date she has not hired any demons, werwolves or vampires, but she is getting more requests a day for even more forbidden fruit.

She has a lavish flat in Highgate, paid for by her many paramours, both with occult and terrestrial power. She is also now often paid just to be seen with someone, rather than have sex with them; though she still does that as well.

Nel after Rippers

People have been excommunicated or executed for less.
- One occult scholar failing to describe the events of the Mayfair Club party on New Years Eve, 1899.

During The Great War Nel provided financial power to protect her own homeland against the threat of the Kaiser, but that was not her major concern. She was also dealing with worsening relations with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and ultimately the Shadow War between them. Nell like many Street Fae refused to choose sides and she was branded a traitor by the Seelie Court Queen. Hoping the further her own end the Unseelie Court Queen granted Nel Safe Passage for her services to the Unseelie Court (mostly by keeping Englands occult community in a sex-crazed haze to keep them out of the Courts business). This infuriated the Seelie Queen and she order Nels death.

During the Pulp Adventures ages (an age I think Savage Worlds is best at) Nel can be found at Mayfairs (the Club was dropped years ago) but her lust for life is mostly gone. Though adventurers search for some artifact will certainly find their trail leading to her door. She now employees a number of Unseelie Court faeries, but she even admits they are more likely to be spies for either Court.

The last reported sighting on Dirty Nellie was during the final Blitz of WWII. If she survived (and many suspect she did not) she must be using a new guise or has moved on to another city. Given the events of the Shadow War between the Fae, it is unlikely that the Seelie Court could have made good on their threats to kill her. But various stories suggest she was killed in the Blitz, or a jealous lover killed her or even more fantastic that the Devil claimed her as his own bride. Though it is also likely she has slipped away to live quietly. Though anyone that knew her cannot believe that.

Mayfairs remained closed till the 60s when it reopened as a center of the psychedelic drug culture. Since the middle 70s it has been owned and operated by a vampire couple who brought back to its roots of a contact place of the occult and the mundane.

Dirty Nellie (Savage Worlds)
Agility d8
Smarts d8
Spirit d8
Strength d6
Vigor d8

Charisma 4/2/0 (humans/other street fae/seelie court fae)
Pace 6
Parry 3
Toughness 6

Climbing d4
Fighting d4 (Nel is a lover, not a fighter)
Guts d10
Intimidation d4
Knowledge (Occult) d12+3 (if Nel does not know it, its probably not true)
Knowledge d10
Notice d10
Persuasion d8
Riding d4
Spellcasting d6
Stealth d8
Streetwise d8
Survival d10
Taunt d6

Compulsions (Smoking, Sex) (Used as Habit (Major)), Delusional (Faerie Arrogance, Minor), Illiterate, Outcast (unwelcome in the Seelie Court, treat as Outsider in respect to Seelie Court Fae), Weakness: Iron

Connections, Faerie Attractiveness (Adds +4 to Charisma for humans), Hard to Kill, Rich

Arcane Background (Magic Glamour)


Tim Knight said...

Oh, you're good! Excellent post.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I love little Nel here. She first appeared as an unamed stree fae in the included adventure "Almasti" and showed up again (with a name) in "Obsession".

Still trying to decide if she survived WWII.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Shouldn't she have... Whatever the reverse of outcast is in connection with the Unseelie court?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I'll have to think about that. Mostly the Unseelie ignore the Street Fae unless they tangle with them directly.