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The Restless People

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The Restless People are spirits from the Ghostbusters RPG's Tobin's Spirit Guide (RPG).

Tobin's SummaryEdit

As with many types of spirits, these denizens of the otherworld are known by many epithets. The one we choose here, probably coined by Sir Walter Scott in the early nineteenth century, seems to typify the behavior and motivation of these most troublesome entities. Individually, these spirits are often referred to as elves, fairies, fawns, sprites, and other terms of that ilk. Minor differences seem to exist between the types, but it has become apparent that drawing such fine distinctions is not only pointless but frustratingly futile. Let the hair-splitters debate whether elves are more mischievous than sprites, whether fairies are more cheerful than fawns. As far as we can ascertain--and the body of information on this topic is extensive and deep--each one of the Restless People is capable of anything that any of the others can do. In this respect, they are similar to the species of man: while Orientals are different from Caucasians. Hispanics different from Negroes, we are all of us human beings, and the traits that make us men do not differ from race to race. Just as we have a civilization and a culture, so it has been theorized that the Restless People live in a world of their own, with rules and mores that we cannot comprehend, let alone appreciate. They get married and they procreate (though it has been suggested, not always in that order). They grow old, and they die, although death for them must be something entirely different from our earthly definition of it. Is it possible for a spirit to expire and thus give birth to the spirit of a spirit? A question beyond the scope of this work, and indeed beyond the ken of present-day research techniques-although logic tells us that we cannot dismiss the possibility. If the Restless People have a culture, a society with structure and meaning, it follows that they have professions and careers-things they do to take up their time, to give purpose to their existence. If this is true, then their professions must all involve being some kind of a nuisance to man and his world, because that is the only activity that any of the Restless People seem to indulge in. For no reason save its own unfathomable ones, an elf might decide to appear before a man, levitate him 1O feet in the air, spin him head over heels a few times, and leave him hanging upside down from a tree branch. A favorite trick of the fairies is to cause the milk of a cow to dry up-a frustration for the farmer, to say nothing of what the cow's reaction might be. One of the Restless People's meaner and more unsettling pranks is to cause an invisible wound in or on a victim's body, producing a sharp pain that can be quite a physical and psychological jolt to the unsuspecting person. Some researchers, seeking to attach a "logical" explanation to an illogical act, suggest that these wounds are precipitated by tiny,invisible elf arrows that (so the theory continues) can be fired across an infinite distance with unerring accuracy. Of course, no one has ever recovered one of these arrow-heads-but then again, lack of evidence has never been a hindrance to speculation. Perhaps the mystique about arrow-heads derives in part from the fact that most encounters with the Restless People take place in the out of doors, and particularly in or near woodlands-which is the sort of territory an archer, human or otherwise, is likely to frequent. Another fact fits neatly into this line of reasoning, that being that the fairy-folk favor dressing in the color green, which would afford them excellent camouflage in the forest. However, no one has satisfactorily addressed the question of why the spirits need to camouflage themselves against discovery by humans, since they can render themselves invisible to us whenever they want. By taking note of the day of the week on which victims have been assailed by the mischief of the Restless People, it has long been established that elves and their ilk are most active, and especially malicious, on a Friday. Those who seek to attach religious significance to this fact point out that this is the day on which the Crucifixion occurred, and thus the day on which "evil" spirits are liable to flourish, but there is no hard evidence that would warrant making this connection. And in any event, the Restless People are not "evil" in the extreme sense of the word. They are far from harmless, to be sure, and they are not without their cruel aspects, but there is nothing in all our knowledge of them that indicates they have ever deliberately caused the death or the mortal injury of a human being. Secondary effects are another matter, though; we have heard of several incidents wherein a poor man or woman died or was grievously injured as a consequence of events following an encounter with an elf.

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