Spite (Spirit)

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Amphisbaena2.jpg This article is about the forest spirit;
for the Cold One mount of Malus Darkblade, consult Spite (Cold One).
An illustration of Spites[1d]
They’re the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. I leave saucers of milk out for them every night so they don’t play tricks on me, the little mischief-makers! They don’t mean any harm by their pranks, though.

Lady Garnsley, Imperial Noble[3a]

Spites are capricious, unpredictable spirits of nature found in forests, especially within Laurelon and Athel Loren.[1c][6b]


Stories abound of mischievous fairies, willful sprites, and troublesome pixies. Some such tales are simply fables oft-repeated, but many others involve the beings known collectively as Spites.[3a] A form of nature spirit, there are as many kinds as there are are varieties of tree.[1c] Natural shapeshifters whose truest selves present as a shining sphere of light or ghost-like aura, different kinds adopt favored shapes, abilities, and attitudes.[1c][3a][6a] If befriended or at peace they can be benevolent, if unpredictable, helpers, frequently accepting offerings of food or shiny baubles to adopt particular places, households, or individuals, mortal or otherwise, hiding within cloaks or the cracks and hollows of Treemen. Befriending regardless, they are want to steal coins, tie hair in knots, and play many practical jokes.[1c][4]

Should they be angered, however, they are quick to take on very different incarnations. Barbed, thorn-like limbs, talons sharp as razors, and miniature weapons can all be manifested.[1c] Some appear as tiny Elves riding beetles or skeletal horses, others preferring beautiful winged humanoids or woodland animals with slightly unnatural features, and still others manifest as other nature spirits like Dryads and Tree Kin.[2][3a] Both rider and mount are merely illusions, of course, all simply a costume for the spirit beneath it.[3b]

These capricious beings are just as likely to be murderous as friendly, and only wizards and Elves typically have any hope of treating with them somewhat reliably.[3b] Even knowing this, Wood Elf history is filled with stories of Spites abandoning overly-trusting companions in times of need, if not outright turning on them. Swarms of Spites have been seen to strip men’s flesh from their bones using nothing but their teeth.[3a] Little wonder, then, that groups of Spites are commonly called a “Murder”.[3b][6b]

Spites appear intangible but, unlike Daemons or other entities of the Realm of Chaos, they are living beings and can be slain.[5] Most are physically feeble, relying on their potent magical abilities to keep them safe.[2] They are particularly affected by enchanted black iron, are capable of being caught and trained for minor tasks, and can be delicious when eaten.[2][3a][10]

Folk Beliefs

The fickle nature of Spites has given rise to a great many myths about them. While acknowledged by some as distinct from Elementals and related manifestation, many in the Old World do not believe they exist at all, or if they do then they do as nothing more than a variant form of winged Snotling corrupted by Chaos.[3a] Elves, generally more likely to interact with them, still hold a variety of beliefs around these spirits, who are known to predate even that elder race, including that they are reborn spirits of departed loved ones.[5][7] Compounding the issue is that shortly after death Spites quickly dissolve away, leaving behind no evidence to support wild stories.[3b]

Undead Spites

Nature spirits, unlike Ghosts, are not Undead and cannot be controlled by normal necromantic means. Determined to seek revenge upon the Fey, however, the Bretonnian Necrarch Vampire Madame Kalfon captured a swarm of Spites from Athel Loren and subjected them to extensive experimentation. Through the use of proper preservative chemicals, limb replacements, and animal flesh grafts she was able to not only prevent their normally semi-solid bodies from dissipating upon death, but to reanimate the corpses as playthings.[10]

Notable Kinds

  • Despairs: Three inseparable sister-Spites who only appear to announce the death of an individual and so are greatly feared. They present themselves as either withered, empty-eyed old women with twisted twigs for hair, red-eyed ravens, or a crone, a beautiful woman, and a female child. A group is called a “Lamentation”.[1c]
  • Luminescents: When they flit from branch to bow to cloak these Spites leave behind magical spoor, and should they alight upon a weapon their presence bestows a minor enchantment helpful against magical beings. A group is called a “Resplendence”.[1c]
  • Malevolents: Aggressive defenders of the forest, Malevolents pepper foes with poisoned darts and needle-like arrows, which the Bretonnians call “Elf-shot”. It’s said that a wound suffered from such weapons leads to a nightmarish, centuries-long sleep or a long, painful death. A group is called a “Muster”.[1c]
  • Mischiefs: Often appearing as balls of light or as tiny glowing elves with tattered wings, they fly in patterns meant to send mortals into trances and befuddle their minds. These Spites are also named Marshlights and are infamous for luring travellers into bogs or off the edges of cliffs for their own amusement. A group is called a “Befuddlement”.[1c][3b]
  • Netlings: Spider-like in form they scurry over a host and snag enemy weapons with magical filaments. A group is called an “Annoyance”.[1c]
  • Radiants: Found only amongst senior Forest Spirits, Radiants are unusual glowing Spites that resemble shapes of pure light, absorb magical energy, and avoid mortal creatures. Despite this they are known to sometimes take on the appearance of small Elves. A group is called a “Cluster”.[1c]
  • Shrikes: Malicious, deadly Spites that fly upon the backs of insects or black birds, Shrikes can manifest as diminutive red-capped creatures, miniature knights, razor-winged pixies, or owls whose eyes glow with fey light. The fastest of the Spites, they serve as a kind of Spite warrior class, darting through the forest like quicksilver to slice at eyes and veins. Some say they are even able to reach into the body to directly strike vital organs or the mind. A group is called a “Pageant".[1c][3b]
  • Terrors: Cruel-hearted even for Spites, Terrors take delight in taking scaring travellers, finding it especially hilarious if their targets die of fright. As such they adopt frightening forms, lurk in dark places, and secret themselves upon a host to allow themselves to jump out at the most frightening moment, not caring whether the host or another is the victim. A group is called a “Blight”.[1c][3b]
  • Batspite: Created by Madame Kalfon from the remains of Spites and Bats, these ragged, reanimated creatures flit about her tower at night, squeaking to warn their mistress of trespassers' approach.[10]
  • Spiderspite: One of the earliest successful experiments of Madame Kalfon, Spiderspites feature the torso of a dead faerie mounted to the body of a furry black Spider, whose mandibles are moved to the Spite's face. Unable to fly, these horrors scuttle about the shadows of her tower, getting underfoot and generally being a nuisance. Their venomous bite can be quite dangerous.[10]



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