episode 53 – inanimae: the secret way

Changeling the Podcast
Changeling the Podcast
episode 53 – inanimae: the secret way

After teasing the nymphs in various shapes for nearly four years, Changeling’s 2nd edition finally got around to giving us a supplement dedicated to the fae of nature. In this book’s fullest presentation of who they are, Inanimae (and their Secret Way) are elemental dreams, the product of human imagination interacting with noteworthy hunks of rock, majestic trees, pools of water, etc. They sidestep a lot of the cultural issues and relativity of Banality that complicate the other kiths, providing another way to explore the world of Changeling. Flipping through these pages reveals much about their society, history, ecology, and magic, especially given the dearth of information that they get in C20. Read along with us as we learn who they are and what they’re about…

The book in question can be purchased at https://www.storytellersvault.com/product/62211?affiliate_id=3063731. (Pooka’s homebrew publications, Kithbook: Ghille Dhu and The Emperor’s New Coat, are also mentioned in the episode; they can be acquired at https://www.storytellersvault.com/product/381967?affiliate_id=3063731 and https://www.storytellersvault.com/product/375875?affiliate_id=3063731, respectively.)

some inspirations

Given how squicked the Inanimae are by the meatiness of humans (and changelings!), reading through this book gave some vibes of Terry Bisson’s short story “They’re Made Out of Meat.” Various fun adaptations are out there, of which Stephen O’Regan’s is maybe the best known? Embed below, link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6JFTmQCFHg

And then, when it comes to films, books, etc., the classic sources for Changeling stories don’t quite do justice to the Inanimae experience. Some possible alternatives:

  • Treebeard and his Entish kin from Lord of the Rings, in any version, are great inspiration for wizened kubera
  • Toy Story and Dr. Who provide examples of mannikins that range from cute to terrifying
  • It’s debatable whether the spirits of Hayao Miyazaki’s films are metaphysically more like Werewolf/Mage-aligned Naturae, or Changeling-aligned Inanimae, but either way, they make good fodder for whimsical and powerful characters
  • The systems don’t exactly line up, but the elemental magic of Avatar: the Last Airbender, directly controlling the elements of its framework but expanding out into more metaphorical uses, is helpful to think about the working of Slivers

If you have more to share, please consider doing so on our Discord! And where’s the link to our Discord? Why, it’s listed first here, with the rest of our social contact-points:

your hosts

Josh Hillerup (any pronoun) cautions anyone against crossing the Inanimae spawned from the Para-Elemental Planes.
Pooka G (any pronoun/they) has reached the third dot of Mirrorball, the Sliver that deals with the element of Disco.

Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy.
—Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass