Through the Hedge

Although the recording of our first half of Emerald Lost was… well, lost, we excitingly played our second and final session last night! To keep up the excitement, I decided to present to you 10 of the True Fae. Each has their own thing and such, and some have even been exiled from Arcadia, but they should all be approached with caution.

If you’ve never played Changeling: the Lost, the premise of the game is that your character has been taken by the True Fae (also called the Gentry or the Others) into Arcadia, or Faerie. There, you suffer hardship and in time you adopt some of the Faery strangeness, transforming into a creature that is part human and part Arcadian.

Who your captor was has a lot to say about what sort of Changeling you become, and what their little (or epicly huge) fiefdom is like. Some might have you toil away in their kingdom of mines, while others might set you up as living statues to decorate their castle, or perform at their carnival. Here at least are 10 ideas to serve as inspirations for your own game of Changeling: the Lost.

A small note: True Fae are chaotic beings and without sense. Their minds are so absolutely alien that even with some manner of logical themes, they cannot be comprehended fully. True Fae might embody humanoid form, either male or female, but they are neither and both. They are monsters and absolutely not human, and for that reason they use the impartial pronoun “it”.

  1. Santa Claus: This terrible monster kidnaps people, often children, to whisk away and forces them to work in its toy factory. It cannot create the toys itself, so it makes the Changelings do it for it. Why is it making toys? Nobody really knows, but there are speculations. One dominant theory is that it is filling a void with material gain in an attempt to experience true happiness. There are also debates whether Santa Claus is inspired by the stories of a jolly man living at the North Pole, or if this True Fae is what inspired the stories. Most Changelings who escape Santa Claus’s factory are either Wizened (workers) or Manikin Elementals (toys and dolls).
  2. Pogo the Clown: Pogo runs one of the most terrifying carnival in Arcadia, which is saying much since all of Arcadia’s carnivals are terrifying. It lures in children and juviniles with candy and promises of an unforgettable shows. What Pogo does next is what most Changelings find both terrible and ingenious: Pogo lets the children go and tell others of the carnival. It is risky, but more often than not, the youth bring back more, which Pogo then grabs and puts into cages. Pogo also uses its Changelings to lure in youth, allowing anyone who brings back fresh meat to change places with them, being released in exchange for someone else being taken. Most of Pogo’s Changelings are Beasts or Fairest, but any kind of Changeling can thrive in Pogo’s carnival.
  3. The Mole King: Path to the Mole King’s lands is not through the Hedge that most Changelings know. It is through the Hedge is lies under the ground. To reach it, you need to enter the Hedge through some tunnel system (such as the sewers) and you need to keep going downward. Eventually, you might find yourself caught in the Mole King’s court. The Mole King’s cavernous castle is eternally dark but, on a more positive note, the Mole King does not trap Changelings. On a more negative note, the Mole King hunts them down in the caverns, for the Blind King of the Earth is the only one who sees clearly. Some Changelings are confronted by it and escape, but some never see the Mole King coming. But the sounds… Most Changelings who escape the Mole King are Darklings while some are Beasts, nearly always reflecting some creatures tied to the Earth, such as moles or worms.
  4. The Morrigan: The Morrigan is a creature of war, death and more war. Although it has taken its name from myth, there is little other association. The Morrigan appears as a large warrior queen, with ash-grey skin and covered in raven feathers. It carries archaic weapons of war, but wears little armor. It sends raiding parties to attack small towns and farms, and takes anyone strong enough back into Arcadia to be bred for war. Some say, is whispers so to not incite panic, that the Morrigan is planning to invade Earth with her army. So far, it is known that it has invaded and destroyed the lands of at least three other True Fae, including the Garden Queen’s lands. Most of the Morrigan’s Changelings are Wizened (soldiers) or any king of Ogres, although many are more like predatory Beasts.
  5. The Garden Queen: The Morrigan invaded and destroyed the Garden Queen’s land. Although the Great Garden was fed to the flames, the Garden Queen was not destroyed. The True Fae was banished to Earth however, where it continues its miserable existance. Greatly weakened, it is still feared by the Freehold who keeps a continuous watch over it. After all, there are still Changelings who remember being its prisoners. The Garden Queen views most of the Freehold as pests or at least being beneath its worth, except of the Changeling who helped it escape the destruction of its home. Before the Garden Queen was banished to Earth, most of its Changelings were among the Fairest, although any Changeling with ties to flora could have escaped its imprisonment.
  6. The Zookeeper: The Zookeeper has the greatest collection of animals and goblins that you’ll ever see, if you’ll ever be so unlucky to enter the Zoo in the first place. The Zookeeper imprisons Changelings and humans as much as it imprisons animals and goblins. More so than any other True Fae on this list, the Zookeeper employs privateers to capture other True Fae’s Changelings as well as mortals and other supernatural beings. Some who have escaped from the Zoo say that they were imprisoned with Vampires or weirder things, but so far there have never been any accounts of Werewolves at the Zoo. It doesn’t mean the Zookeeper isn’t in the market for one. Most Changelings who escape the Zoo turn out to be Beasts of some kind, if they haven’t been held captive by other True Fae before being captured by the Zookeeper.
  7. Mayor & Sheriff: An unusual combo are the two True Fae working together to run the City, the Mayor and the Sheriff. The City feels massive and huge, stretching as far as you can see. The streets are winding and the buildings are impossibly high. Without knowing how to get out of the City, it is doubtful that you’ll ever will. But the City is all fake. Factories produce nothing. Street lamps are lit but there is no electricity. There are shops and cars, but none of it works. It is all a facade, created with the use of Changelings. The smoke that rises from the factory? Changeling. That light from the street lamp? Changeling. That mirror in the clothing shop? Changeling. The Mayor is the architect, having been inspired by its view of our real cities. Nothing in the City is real, but it’s only supposed to look real. The Sheriff keeps all the Changelings in line, and makes sure to hunt for new ones when needed. Most Changelings in the City are Elementals, but there are plenty of Darklings and Wizened there too.
  8. Captain of the Crew: The Captain of the Flying Dutchman does not have many Changelings in its crew. In fact most of its imprisoned Changelings make up most of the facade that is its ship and its sea. Changelings swim in the water as fish, they are parts of the ship, they are the wind and the sea (literally), and they are the Captain’s crew. The Captain loves its ship and the sea, or feels attachment as if it was love, or pretends and acts like it cares. But when a Changeling needs a replacement, the Captain sends its crew out into the World to capture new ones. Some Changelings use the opportunity to escape, but not everyone in the crew is a Changeling and betrayal is not something the Captain easily forgives. Most of the Captain’s Changelings are Elementals, mostly associated with water or wind, or possibly the wood of the ship, but there are plenty of Wizened sailors and watery Beasts as well.
  9. Candy King: The Candy King is terribly sweet. Its land is a true candy land, with mountains made of marshmellows, trees made of candy canes, streets laid with chocolate bits, and lakes and rivers of soft drinks. For many of the Candy King’s captures, this isn’t so bad. There is no prison, and the Candy King does not force anyone into service. In fact, there is little service to be done. Goblins and Hobgoblins do everything there. All you need to do is to relax and eat the candy. Just eat it. Relax. And eat. Before you know it, you become part of Candy Land and you too will be eaten. That is how you contribute to the great cycle of the candy. The Candy King does not kidnap mortals, but it lays traps or makes sure that people who go missing find their way to its land. Once it tried setting up a hut in the woods, which lasted millennia until couple of kids came along and ruined that idea. Most of the Changelings who escape the Candy Land are Elementals with odd ties to some sort of candy as their element.
  10. The Tribunal: The Tribunal presents itself as three entities. Unlike the Mayor and the Sheriff who are working together, the Tribunal is a single True Fae that splits into three shadows of itself. It’s ultimate goal is to pass judgement upon all who enter its realm, and anyone it considers in need of judgement. The Tribunal’s realm in Arcadia is that of great prison, where its captives are stored until it is time for their judgement. Not all Changelings are prisoners in this prison, some accept the task of being their jailors. It matters not to the Tribunal, it passes judgement upon them all eventually. Most of the Tribunal’s Changelings are Darklings, but a fair number of those who serve as jailors tend to be Ogres.

And there you have it, 10 of the Gentry to fit into your game of Changeling: the Lost (or, technically 11). They can easily fit into almost any game, assuming they fit local themes (the Captain may not fit as well in a desert setting or in central asia). You should notice some inspirational sources, such as Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean films for the Captain, and IT is the inspiration for Pogo the Clown.

There are several ways to build the stats for True Fae, one presented in the CtL core, for example, while more detailed method is found in Autumn Nightmares and yet another in the Equinox Road. For this reason, I didn’t go into presenting any stats for these monsters. You can pretty much do that yourself, however you like.

I hope you enjoy and have fun!

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