As we are closing in on the live stream of our game of Changeling: the Lost, first half*, I thought I should add some more material for your pleasure. We’ve had our 10 merchants from the Goblin Market, which is fun and all, but what about the Freehold?
The Freehold is the Changelings’ community. I’ve always liked Changeling because of how it feels like everyone’s slightly mad, allowing me to present some truly odd characters. Even if they look regal and magnificent to the other Changelings, wearing a crown made from the rays of sun and a cloak made from the furs of a briar wolf, they look mad as hell to everyone else, wearing aluminum foil hat and a carpet from IKEA.
That’s how the Mask works. What everyone sees is the Mask, which makes you look mundane and possibly a little rubbish. The Changelings can see the Mien, the true you with a touch of the fantastic, and the Mask so they can see you both as regal and as piece of garbage.
In either way, here I present to you 10 Changelings to add to your game. They might seem odd or even rational to their fellow Changelings, but to the outside they might look absolutely mad as a hatter. Some of them also have some plot hooks for added enjoyment.
- Guy Pierre: Guy believes that before he was taken by the Others to Arcadia he was a Frenchman, possibly even an artist. That is why the True Fae took him and made others paint him into a different work of art every day. When he got back, he was magnificent but on the wrong continent. There are clues that suggest that he isn’t really French. Guy Pierre speaks with a heavy and definitely fake French accent, he can’t speak a word in French, and he doesn’t know how to correctly pronounce the name he adopted. Tell him at your own risk, because he doesn’t like being questioned.
- Mr Bunny: This guy is the old creep who keeps bunnies in his yard. Jokingly voted most likely to become part of the Gentry, Mr Bunny (or Carl Bunster, as he prefers) is rude and cruel and very protective of his bunnies. That one guy who killed one of his bunnies, broke his leg in a freak accident only two days later. No one could tie it to Mr Bunny, but we all saw his sly grin when he heard the news.
- Good Bertha: Bertha is big. And by “big” I really mean “huge”. She dwarfs the big guy at the door of that club. Her fists are like clubs, her jaw is like a brick. She can take a punch, and she is more than willing to return one. Before she was taken, she was a small little child, but upon her return she is the biggest thing you’ve seen. She hates technology though, or fears it. Never has a phone, never gets her picture taken, never sits in a bloody car. Her home is technologically barren, filled with candles and a fireplace, even the electric outlets are stuffed with tape. Working with her often requires a good deal of patience.
- Ivory: They say that Ivory is cold-hearted, it’s not really her fault. Frozen and thawed over and over, her skin is cold to the touch even on a hot summer’s day. She is constantly frustrated over the cold and anyone visiting her will notice all the radiators are cranked up to full, even during summer. Ivory is cold, all the time, and everyone’s a valid target of her frustration. People tend to avoid her, especially when she is shivering, as she tends to actively suck the warmth out of any party if she gets too annoyed.
- Bob: “Incredibly generic” is how most people describe Bob, the Housekeeper of the Seasons. Although he is proud of his title, which he adopted himself, what he really is is a glorified janitor. Bob works fast, quietly and unseen. After all, that is what he required himself to do when cleaning his Keeper’s ever-changing mansion. Bob tends to be forgotten. He sticks to himself, and out of the way. If Bob would ever go missing, everyone would notice because Bob does everything and everything would become a mess. Bob is the person behind the scene that keeps the Freehold running like a well-oiled machine.
- Grangran: The old lady is yet another one of those that many Changelings actively avoid. Unlike Carl Bunster (Mr Bunny), she is not a cranky old person with a thing for small animals. In fact, she is quite the opposite. Grangran is incredibly friendly and always has freshly baked cookies when someone’s at the door. She is actually way too friendly. And the way she always has freshly baked goods is perhaps a bit disturbing. She is sometimes seen walking down the street, talking to herself (or actually her shadow), or watching someone through the windows. Some say she is looking for someone, others use the word “hunting”.
- Hank Tunneler: Hank lived underground, in the tunnel realm of the Mole King. After his escape, Hank doesn’t really talk about anything other than his need to work in the tunnels. He claims the Mole King intends to invade the Freehold, because Hank knows something about the Mole King, something it doesn’t want revealed. Hank doesn’t remember what it was, except that he wrote it down on the walls in the tunnels (ie. the sewers). Hank now works in the sewers as maintainance. Constantly looking for clues that will expose and destroy the Mole King (which may or may not exist).
- Hawk / Hog: He believes he is the hero. He even has a sword made from thunder and armor forged from clouds. He is prepared and adopted the name Hawk, a cool name fitting a hero. But his speech impediment keeps getting in the way. When he first introduced himself, and every time since, everyone thought he said “Hog” because of his underbite and small tusks. He means well, believes he should be the hero, but keeps hearing everyone laughing behind his back. Suffering from depression and imposter syndrome, Hog keeps talking about how he will defend the Freehold from monsters but has never been there when it is needed. Secretly, he doesn’t believe he is capable.
- Mercy: She was a child when she was abducted and she is still only a child, Mercy may look like a teenager but she has been pampered almost her entire existance. She was kept as her Keeper’s doll, something to be taken care of, until she became too old and was discarded like the rest of them. Without direction, Mercy found herself returning through the Hedge and came into contact with the Freehold. She is not the monarch of any season, but she looks very highly of herself and expects others to take care of her. Some question her loyalty to the Freehold, since she is often found reminiscing about her time in her Keeper’s care. Most of the time though, she is just plain rude and demanding, with little or no regard for her fellow Changelings.
- Piglette: When the others ate, she starved. When the others slept, she was vigilant. When the others were eaten, she ran back through the Hedge. That is the story of Piglette before she came to the Freehold. Now she is constantly on guard. Small noises will cause her to panic. Small gestures will make her wary. And direct, unexpected contact could mean pepper spray to the eyes or a knuckle duster to the face. Piglette is constantly afraid, so she will strike once and then run as fast as she can. Others would describe her as a wallflower, and she is normally silent. If she talks, she is awkward and usually ends up talking about the Farm.
There you have it. 10 Changelings you can add to your Freehold. Or, in some cases, you might even adjust them a little and fit them into another game, especially if there is a community of weirdos somewhere in your setting.
(*Psst! If you’re interested in catching the live stream, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/c/EmeraldsamuraiRPG/live)