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 Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie

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PostSubject: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:50 am

You remember your home.
You remember what it was like, before They took you.
The sound of your family's voices, the smell of your home, the colors of your neighborhood.
Even after the blinding glories and pitiless dark wastes of Faerie, you remember.
Your memories were a beacon.
Without them, you would never have found your way back through the twisting maze of the Thorns, to collapse torn and exhausted on the cool earth of the world you were born in once more --- to find that your home was no longer yours, that an imposter had taken over your life, that you had been changed.
Yours is beauty and grotesquerie, illusion and iron, insight and madness.
Where will you go now that you are Lost?
Who will you love, who will you war against, who will you make of yourself?
How will your tale end?

Not all fairy tales begin with "Once upon a time." The Others are still here, still visiting our world, and taking those of us they pick on a whim back through Faerie. They are the pagan gods, fairies, genies, demons, alien abductors, cryptozoological beasts, and far stranger things from all around the world. And they visit far more than "once". They are more powerful than anything you have ever heard of, more alien, more cruel... and more beautiful and hideous than anything we could possibly imagine. They are nightmares given life and power in a world of dreams, surviving and thriving by making fiendish contracts with embodiments of the world around them just to allow them the abilities and comforts humans take for granted. And they are dependent upon people for Glamour, the raw supernatural energy tied with strong emotions of the human heart, which feeds the fae. In order to get more Glamour, the True Fae still occasionally kidnap humans, bringing them back through a supernatural Hedge of thorns to Arcadia, where the captive humans are gradually transformed into fae creatures themselves. Those who find a way to escape from their Keepers and remember the way back through the Hedge call themselves changelings, or the Lost, for their durance in Faerie has worked upon them in some way, changing them. Though normal humans see only the Mask, an illusion that makes the changelings appear no different than they were before their captivity, the Lost can see the true Miens of each other and their reflection... hybrid human/animals, creatures one with the elements of the natural world, things that hide in the darkness, beings of unearthly beauty and grace, huge gruesome monsters, and diminutive people who excel at particular tasks. And that is not all. The changelings can learn and take advantage of their Keepers' supernatural contracts to cast spell-like effects, travel through the Hedge, bind others with unbreakable pledges, and manipulate the dreams and emotions of others. Sadly, many changelings have been mentally, emotionally, and spiritually tortured as well as physically mistreated by the Keepers, and their is no real respite once they return to the world, because the Keepers, in an effort to keep humanity from realizing they are anything other than gossamer-winged babies and godmothers in a Victorian children's book, almost always replace their captive changelings with a Fetch, a magical effect woven from scraps of thorns, trash, and tatters of the human's soul that get caught in the sharp edges of the Hedge, designed to mimic the changeling's human appearance, memories, quirks, and otherwise seamlessly replace the changelings, who return to their families, only to find that they've never been missed, and might even have been forgotten or replaced... and that, like Goldilocks, IT'S STILL THERE! And what is worse, almost nothing can keep the keepers from tracking down their runaway toys and drag them screaming back to Faerie... except for the fact that the Changelings aren't alone. They can find each other, and together they can stave off their own madness and defend against the True Fae. It occurred to the Lost that the Keepers had fantastic domains in Arcadia, and each was different... but they didn't relinquish power... ever. The Snow Queen's palace was eternally made of unmelting ice and daggerlike curtains of snowflakes, but it never became spring or summer or autumn. And so, the changelings set out to forge contracts of their own with forces that shared or rotated power in unquestionable cycles, such as the seasons, the directions of the far east, the amount of light and darkness, or even stranger systems. A changeling can declare allegiance with one of the Great Courts, and an aura that resembles that season appears in his Mien, granting him additional powers and protection from the True Fae, depending on his personal philosophy and decision of how best to combat the Keepers. True human feelings, or the sharing and relinquishing of power are ultimately incomprehensible to the True Fae, and they are thwarted in other ways as well. All Fae, especially the True Fae, but also, to a lesser extent, the Changelings, are vulnerable to the touch of iron, perhaps due to a broken contract with the metal, and as such, iron weapons can be used against the Keepers. Making alliances with the goblins (all fae creatures that are neither Changelings nor True Fae) for magical tokens, supernatural goblin fruit, or special contracts also helps, as does braving the dangers of the Hedge to find secrets lost within the dark shadows of the thorns. Individual changelings can receive high positions within the Courts, or gain entitlements, which are part noble title and part mystical brotherhood of changelings. Finally, a small group, or Motley, of changelings can form ties bound by friendship and alliance to work with one another to accomplish shared goals.

This rpg takes place in a darker version of our modern world. To play, you will need to post your character's NAME (In order to avoid being caught again, many changelings take on new names, which often are reminiscent - though not exactly the same as - names of characters from fairy tales... like Jack Tallow, Rose Thorne, Grandfather Thunder, Deathless Ivan, Naamah, Cerastes, Jeremiah Sleet, Brer Spider, etc), SEEMING (Beast, Darkling, Elemental, Fairest, Ogre, or Wizened), KITH (sub-groupings of Seemings, which will be described later), COURT (Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, unless you really want to be one of the Directional Courts - North, East, South, or West, or the courts of Day and Night from the Slavic lands), MASK (your changeling's human appearance... how she appears to humans. Note that though they look like humans, there is usually a hint of the mien in their actions, movements, voice, height, hairstyle, eyes, skin texture, and dress), MIEN (how the changeling REALLY looks after being transformed by her Durance in Arcadia... note that this is dependent on Seeming and Kith), CONTRACTS/TOKENS (more on these later), DURANCE (including the life before he was captured), RETURN (and life afterwards, including whether or not he has met/destroyed his fetch).
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PostSubject: The Great Courts   Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:36 am

The Great Courts are common social structures on a greater scale than motleys. Great Courts serve to protect from the Fae, but on a larger scale and with more organization. Each court has its own unique affiliations with one of the seasons and a dominant emotion, bound to the Court through oaths its founders exacted from the seasons many, many years ago. Changeling legend holds that the Western Great Courts wee first founded shortly before the Dark Ages, and while their presence has waxed and waned over the years, it has always been strong enough to survive. The names of the founders are often modernized, but it's commonly held that they lived at least at the time of the Roman Empire. Changelings bound their Courts to the seasons for the strength it would give them against their one-time captors. Any pact provides power in the form of Contracts, but the founders explicitly chose to align their Courts with an aspect of the world that the Gentry couldn't understand. Tying their resistance to the voluntary progression of the seasons gives the changelings a stronger connection to Earth and a basis for defense that the Others are --- so far --- unable to undermine. These pacts serve changelings around the world, but they are most common (near ubiquitous, really) in North America and Europe. Those places where the seasons are different (wet and dry seasons, for instance, or places that are too warm to noticeably have a natural winter, tend to come up with other, more meaningful forces to make pacts with. Joining a Court involves a pledge on the part of the changeling, and the Changeling's Wyrd supports that pledge. The Wyrd ties strongly to the seasons' interactions with time and the emotional affiliations that each Court assumes. In return for the pledge, the character's seeming gains the Court's Mantle, a supernatural addition to the changeling's mien that reflects the Court's season and dominant emotion.

----The Four Courts of the Seasons-----
SPRING (The Antler Crown, the Emerald Circle, the Court of Desire) - Bare branches will again bear fruit. This belief is the common element in members of the Spring Court. Just as all changelings, these Court members have had their lives ripped from them by their onetime Keepers. The Spring Court exists for changelings who refuse that loss, choosing to replace it with something new. They deny despair in preference of hope, and together they keep that hope alive where alone it would falter. Their lives are not over, and they intend to prove it --- to the Fae, and to themselves. Mother Susan is the alleged founder of the Antler Crown. After returning to Earth from Faerie, her dreams of motherhood were shattered by infertility. Contracts she forged with other entities enabled her to have a child again, but she would not keep it. Many believe that Mother Susan gave up her infant to Spring itself in order to seal the pact that founded the Court. They honor her as one who sacrificed her spring so that others might have theirs, though many question what could have driven her to such an extreme. Some say it was guilt, and they wonder what she might have done to first have her child. This is how the members of the Spring Court defend themselves against the Fae. These Court members will not be silent, pain-wracked victims of their tormentors. These Lost Choose to exult in the now and guiltlessly retie themselves to the human world around them. They surround themselves with the beauty their time in Arcadia showed them, proving that their joy is not trapped in that other place forever. Far from a denial of the situation, this is a deliberate attack on the Fae. Changelings of the Emerald Court fulfill their own desires, and do it with style, out of spite and pride, to diminish the power the Gentry hold over them. The changelings of this Court often ride on the spirits of crashed office parties and crazy evenings at nightclubs, losing themselves in their desire while cultivating beauty in speech, appearance, art, and every other aspects of their lives, camouflaging themselves amongst the countless other partygoers. When the True Fae grow close, the Court gathers. The monarch arranges soirees to delay or deflect the wrath of the Fae. There is a metaphysical power in unbridled joy that turns away captors seeking their slaves. There is such strength in being able to honestly laugh in the face of terror that it slows or stops the hunting Gentry, who wonder if these are their quarry after all. The Mantle of a Spring courtier reflects the growth of life and hope within her. At first, the character seems fresh and rejuvenated. Fragrant drafts of spring air are common, and images of slowly growing plants are far from unknown. More experienced and powerful courtiers affect their surroundings with the fecundity of spring, causing flowers to grow up where they step and things appear more lively. This mantle also has a noticeable effect on others, making the Spring Courtier more likable and desirable, helping them form allies and friendships and much more. Desire: Lust. Hunger. Greed. These and more fall under the broad blanket of "desire." A member of the Court of Desire luxuriates in her signature emotion any place she can find it: the child in the supermarket who can't have a cookie. The dog on the street, staring hungrily at its owner's pastrami. The older man walking with his grandchildren and longing for a rest. Some Lost relieve these desires, slipping the kid a snack or bumping the sandwich onto the ground. If doing so creates a greater story or meets more wants --- the mother is upset at the well-meaning stranger usurping her authority, so she forgets herself and allows her other child to have some bubblegum --- so much the better. Spring Courtiers are careful to recognize their own desires. To do otherwise would be a failure, because a pleasure unknown is a pleasure unfulfilled. Member also try to be aware of what others want, especially their comrades-in-arms. Allowing a fellow refugee to suffer despair is as much a failure as despairing yourself.

SUMMER (The Iron Spear, the Crimson Court, the Court of Wrath) - The buck has horns. This is what members of the Summer Court want the Fae to realize the next time they come a-hunting. Changelings break free of Faerie and escape to Earth, and they are going to fight tooth and claw not to be uprooted again. In Arcadia, they were alone and helpless. Back on Earth, they stand strong together. The Summer Court welcomes any changeling willing to fight to the last drop of blood for her --- and for others' --- safety. The Court's founder was Sam Noblood, whose mien always dripped with red during a fight. Legend has it that Sam topped an old branch with a bundle of autumn leaves to make a spear, and hunted down Summer. The pursuit was long, but Sam Noblood cornered Summer and extracted a promise: in exchange for peace, the season would support Sam's Court. That legend embodies the Crimson Court way to success in life: through strength. What is worth keeping is worth fighting to keep, and a fight only ends in your favor it you make it. To members of the Summer Court, everything is something they must learn to endure and overcome. But not alone. A changeling's family, friends, and kinship with humanity has been stolen from him, but the Court offers a new family. Enemies of the changelings are to be faced and defeated, together, doing what no refugee could do before he escaped and found companions. Otherwise, there was no point in fighting free of Faerie in the first place. Not all the members of the Court are physically strong, of course, but all pursue strength of some sort, and the Court supports its members' pursuits. The Summer Court's Mantle carries the sensation of its pure, unrelenting strength. New members demonstrate aspects of heat in their seemings. Heat distortions and the sensation of a dry, warm wind are common. Greater courtiers have even stronger mantles... people able to detect the seeming can feel a physical heat rising from it and sometimes feel dried out. This mantle provides a number of benefits, from an instinct to how best to use one's strengths at lower levels, to a sort of mystical armorlike protection in the middle levels and even what seems like an extra life, making these courtiers able to take more of a beating than others. Wrath: There is a righteous wrath in the heart of nearly every member of every Summer Court. Somewhere deep, they want their tormentors to feel as helpless as the changelings once did. It is something that they must deal with --- the sheer anger at how they have been abused, the rage at those who took what can never be returned. They try very hard to spend their wrath on something, anything, so that they do not lose their control. Strength without aim is too dangerous for the Court to favor it. In the pursuit of wrath, courtiers frequent sporting events. They let the competitive urges wash over them, flavored by the angers of clashing or disappointed fans. Changelings may become coaches or even influential teammates, working to fan the competitive rage that drives athletes. Humans are prone to anger, and the fae can usually create it with ease. One can pretend his car is broken in the middle of rush hour to anger hundreds, or one could order with infuriating sloth at the popular coffee shop to piss off a couple dozen. On a smaller scale, some changelings enjoy pretending to be telemarketers or evangelist and calling upon families at dinnertime. It's small scale, but more personal. Not every changeling is satisfied with petty anger, though, and some seek out more dangerous criminals, either organizations or those on death row, or seek out jobs in Hollywood or politics where wrath and dramatic betrayals boil closer to the surface.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:38 am

AUTUMN (The Leaden Mirror, the Ashen Court, the Court of Fear) - The curse is a gift. Not one member of the Autumn Court is glad of her abduction and enslavement. But since they were taken, they were changed and they can't go back, they can damn well take advantage of those changes. They know that the gramarye of the Fae doesn't have to be terrifyingly beautiful and gloriously torturous. It can be simply wondrous, too. Though all changelings use magic, the Leaden Mirror walks on the cutting edge of Wyrd. Clay Ariel founded the Court of Fear. She had natural hands before she was taken, but when she returned, they were artificial. Only soft clay, she had to be careful not to damage them. Ariel took this as a lesson, and her toys and weapons of clay were well-known. None living today know what influence Clay Ariel exerted on the season of Autumn, but legend states that she went off without any armament but a wry smile. She ruled as the first Autumn Queen for long years after forging her Court's pact. The Autumn Court survives by turning the weapons of the Fae against them. These weapons are the pacts and Contracts made between Faerie and the various aspects of Earth. Many Court members also justify their experiences as slaves by bringing magic to Earth. This is the opportunity to entich their world with breathtaking wonder, and they've already paid the monstrous cost. Autumn courtiers are the most likely to seek out trods through the Hedge and other places of power, because that is where there is more to learn. Every Contract is another sword to wild, another shield between her and the Fae and another rainbow cast by the otherwise lonely rain. The Mantle of the Autumn Court is more overtly sorcerous than the others. It has mystical overtones --- sparkles of light, occult characters, queer musical tones and other indicators --- in addition to the normal season nature. New members to the court have seemings that display the occasional dead leaf on the wind (moreso during the height of the season), lit candles or the vines of harvest-time plants. Higher level courtiers reveal such details with greater frequency and occasionally appear to kill nearby plants with frost, or at least make them wither. People nearby also feel the occasional chill not usually associated with temperature. The mantle grants them an affinity for magic, with greater chance of successfully using Contracts, skill for understanding and dealing with the True Fae, and eventually even gaining a sense for when and where and how magic is being used around them (and finding ways to avoid or control it if such effects are negative and targeted at them). Fear: Autumn Court members deal with fear on two basic levels. They evoke the emotion in others, and they explore their own fear. Cultivating fear in communities is easy, but not always desirable, moral, or safe. A changeling may spread rumors about themselves or others, but this has the obvious disadvantage of making others fear THEM. Likewise, one can lower the perceived safety of people who live in the area by staging muggings or calling the police with lies about drug deals and shootings, but this can also backfire, as such "prophecies" tend to be self-fulfilling. THe cold war was a good time for the Autumn Court, as the threat of nuclear war loomed large, and some skeptically note that fear will always be good business for human society as well as the Leaden Mirror. Children are a valuable source of fear for Autumn courtiers, as they are less skeptical than adults and emotionally more pure, so many members of the Court hone the skill of telling scary stories or arranging frightening performances. Spreading local legends about "that house" or "old man Withers" is common. Some actually CREATE the yard where kids never venture to get a lost ball. Creating truly frightening haunted houses during Halloween is a tradition few pass up. On the surface, members of the Court know why they're afraid. Their period of forced servitude in Faerie is still terrifying to them. What's important is how they relate to that fear. An Ashen courtier tries to be aware of her fears, whether a frightening moment (an imminent car crash) or an abiding terror (the Others, naturally, but also more mundane things like spiders or losing an honored position). Knowledge of the emotion and of the fae's self is key;, Court of Fear members put little stock on conquering their fears, which they consider an unhelpful goal, and more on learning how to USE those fears. They try to wisely excuse themselves from projects in which they will be nervous and unhelpful, and they examine when to work with their fright to surpass their normal limits. Members of this court are also known for their abilit yto understand other's fears, and their aptitude for wielding that knowledge with great efficacy.

WINTER (The Silent Arrow, the Onyx Court, the Court of Sorrow) - The hunt ends when the fox goes to ground. If the True Fae can't find you, the Winter Court reasons, they can't hunt you down and drag you back to Faerie. In the Winter, all the glory of the seasons fades to nothing, nowhere to be seen, and snow hides the ground. But there is life, waiting beneath the earth where it can't be disturbed. The Silent Arrow knows this. The founder of the Court was a changeling called Snowflake John. Per his moniker, he was nearly impossible to tell apart from any of the other people on the street at any time. In a crowd, he could blend in seamlessly. When the other Court founders were challenging their seasons, he did the same: by not showing up. Legend has it that John declared publicly his intent to earn a pact from Winter, but the challenge never materialized. After two years, when Winter had circled the globe fully twice, Snowflake John reappeared and asserted that Winter's inability to find him had earned him the right to make a pact. Many changelings claim there was something else to the bargain, but none agree on what it is. The fact remains that the Winter Court has its pact. When the Fae come, the Winter Court is gone. And when the cat is away, the mouse plays on. The Court itself takes up whatever unoccupied location is convenient and attractive, and abandons that place just as easily when danger or discovery threatens. Members all know the short list of those places, giving them a place to look, but even they are never sure where the Court will surface until someone finds it and passes the word. It's a security measure, ensuring that their enemies have a very hard time tracking them down and ambushing them. Winter Court members practice all sorts of intrigues, using codes, drop boxes, and special contracts to keep and pass along secrets. They try to appear as unremarkable as possible, going to day jobs and performing only passingly, never attracting attention either way. They try to fit in wherever they go, appearing as normal as possible and blending into the crowd, but not to the point of being ignored... that too would alert the Fae to their presence. The Winter Court's Mantle is more subtle than the other Courts', often to the point where a member may be confused with one of the Courtless changelings. The Mantle is evidenced by its absence... at early level, the changeling looks stark, as if he is clearer or easier to see than others. When using Contracts, an image of snowflakes might glide about, but at higher levels and when not using magic, the character simply looks more plain than ever. This mantle helps the courtier to blend in with his surroundings and become better at all forms of subterfuge. Sorrow: Members of the Court of Sorrow deal with their signature emotion much as they deal with the rest of their lives: they hide from it. They all know it's there, hovering on the edge of their consciousness, but they deal with it by avoiding it. In most cases, this is the healthiest thing to do. There's no way to face the sorrow of losing Faerie's wonders when one never intends to go back, and what good is sorrow at one's stolen human life when there's no WAY to go back? Bringing their emotion to others is rarely a matter of cruelty. Often, it is a kindness. It is a way of offering the release to others that the courtiers cannot --- or are afraid to --- experience. A changeling may attend a funeral and discuss the deceased with those who miss him, and some go so far as to become touching eulogists. They bring the sorrow of others' to mind so that others can deal with it. Natural disasters such as hurricanes and typhoons are seen as times of plenty for the Winter Court --- though, of course, it's best not to be visibly seen indulging. That would both be a bit crass and would defeat the Court's purpose of not being noticed. Guilt and regret are other high-yield sources of sorrow. Courtiers might become ordained as Catholic priests or at least spend time near the confessionals, listening to the repentant ask forgiveness, or they might visit prisons to discuss the cause or results of inmates' incarcerations, or they might participate in or run group therapy sessions. There are a few changelings who cause tragedies in order to benefit from the sorrow they cause, but these acts are usually discouraged, sometimes violently, by the Court.

++++Other Seasons++++
Dead Season/Long Winter - Of the Tundra, changelings of this court still follow sorrow and grief, but it is not the passionate, sweeping sorrow of broken romance, but the empty well of depression so deep one can barely muster emotions at all. Mantle appears as dry, dead skin, empty eyes, cold lips and a wide mouth as deep and dark as a bottomless pit.

Dry Season/Dry Summer/Foresummer - Rage is the emotion of these Summer Court changelings, a slight twist on the anger and wrath found in most Summer Courtiers, The rage comes fro mthe way that, during the long hot and dry season of the desert, the sun may suddenly ignite the brush or the trees --- suddenly, a conflagration sweeps across the brittle, cracked ground. It's like that for these changelings: they're dry, bitter, themselves a bit cracked. Then, one day, the temperature rises and a blaze consumes them... and all those around them. The mantle of Foresummer changelings features flesh as fractured as the dessicated earth --- a Mantle of clay, sandstone, desert sands and brittle brush.

Growing Season/Short Spring - The growing season may be long, as it is in parts of Europe, or short as it is in the savannas of Africa. The growing season is a time of swift and verdant growth, of greenery outpouring, of animals breeding, of fast rains. The changelings of such a Spring Court tend to be fickle and indecisive, and consumed with one particular shade of desire: Lust. This is the time of growth, and growth doesn't come without breeding. Animal desires pervade. For Growing Season changelings, the Mantle is a wild, unkempt thing --- eyes two different colors (often bright), greenery or new fur sprouting in strange places, a hungry perfume drifting from their pores like a potent, seductive pheromone.

Monsoon Season/Hurricane Season/Wet Season/Wet Summer - When the rains come in some places, they come hard and stay long. Buckets of rain batter the jungle and make the oceans roil. The wrath felt by these Summer Court changeling is not impersonal. It's not about being wronged in a business deal or made to hurt on the battlefield. It's personal. Sanguine. Revenge against old lovers and ex-friends. Vindication of broken hearts and betrayed pledges of service by close kings and closer servants. This is not a dish served cold, but piping hot, fresh and bloody. The changelings of Monsoon Season are stormy, featuring sodden Mantles --- hair wet and tangled, eyes sobbing tears that will not cease, voices like the dull roar of rain or the booming break of thunder.

Tornado Season/Whirlwind Spring - Tornado Season, predominantly found in America, is usually MArch through May --- or, in other parts of the world such as in New Zealand, during the approximate middle of the Spring season. Tornadoes are unpredictable, dropping down out of the sky and leaving a swath of destruction in their path --- and the changelings of such a Court are little different. Their desires are dark and mad, as destructive to themselves as they are to others. They might suffer from addictions, limitations, or bursts of gleeful violence. They are stormy and swift, true harbingers of chaos with little grip on Clarity. They may not be allowed a place in the seasonal rotation, instead acting outside as a maverick Court beholden to nobody. The Mantles of such changelings are tense and unpredictable --- at times eerily still, placid, and other times bearing flesh that ripples and whips away from them in gale-torn ribbons, with eyes gunmetal gray like the sky before a tornado strikes.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:39 am

*****The Directional Courts of Asia*****
While the directional courts lack the convenient shifting of the seasons to decide which ruler (in their case, Emperors and Empresses of the Directions, instead of Seasonal Kings or Queens), they do have other means of keeping the True Fae away. For one, the four directional Courts gather to discuss and debate courses of action, sharing power and forming and breaking alliances with one another... and sharing power or even acknowledging the importance or equality of someone else is alien to the Others. Also, Faerie, the bounded by the Hedge, doesn't follow laws of distance or place as we know them on Earth, and so the Fae themselves have difficulty identifying and understanding the different directions.

The Court of the North (The Armor Court, the Stupa, the Court of Constants). The Court of the North follows, to a point, the Buddhist "truth" that all life is suffering. Human beings are imperfect, and changelings are even more so. The Lost are made in the image of the Fair Folk, and this, too, is imperfect. All imperfection leads to suffering; it's simply the nature of things. This is what the Armor Court claims to see most often: a changeling escapes his Keeper, and flees the Hedge back to his home. Once home, he embraces life too easily. He seeks comfort away from the horrors of his durance. He exhibits great emotion, connects himself with the material world of money, the mental world of love and attachment, the physical world of pleasure. He shies away from the suffering he experienced. and in once again claiming a kind of happiness in this world, as wide or as meager as the changeling can manage it, he once again knows fear. The fear is of losing what he has regained. Life life. His money. His loves. His pleasures. The Fair Folk can come out of nowhere --- descending out of a bleak fog or crawling out through a broken mirror --- and take it all away again with but a snap of their spidery fingers. The Court of the North refuses to become that fearful thing. Therefore, they practice suffering, and in suffering, detachment. One's attachments lead to fear of losing those attachments, and so, by and large, they deny themselves such pleasures. Money? No. Love? Not in a romantic sense, at least. Physical pleasures? Denied. If they do not have these things, the Fair Folk cannot take them away. And since the True Fae seem to take some pleasure in plundering one's life and stealing all that the poor fool has, this makes the Lost of the Northern Court undesirable to the Fae. While some Fae may endeavor to bring these courtiers harm just to see if they might break, many Fae are lazy and indolent, and prefer to go after easier targets. Targets with more to pillage. The Court favors the Black Tortoise. In the old stories, the Black Tortoise became heavenly by purging himself of his humanity and by rejecting all the demons from his past. By denying the demons, he stole their power. Their Mantle is stark and simple, with an appearance of dust or ash, scars, or the appearance of tortoiseshell armor. These courtiers may ignore fatigue or deprivation through their Mantle. Suffering: They don't delight in suffering, especially that of others. They do appreciate the necessity of suffering.They try to help others overcome their suffering, or find a way to endure it. They are usually good at either alleviating suffering or causing it... rarely both.

The Court of the East (The Serpent Court, The Trident, the Court of Wealth). The changelings of the Serpent Court make no bones about it: yes, they are greedy. Why shouldn't they be? They come back from a harrowing imprisonment deep in the middle of some madman's nightmare and they return to this world as something unique and no longer human. They possess strange and fickle magic that, when harnessed properly, can grant them all the wishes in the world. And that is what this Court does. It's a twist on the Seasonal Spring Court, but with a different shade of desire. THe Court of the East ties power with Wealth. One cannot have the first if he does not have the latter. By possessing great wealth, the Court of the East believes that all becomes possible if the money is kept in savvy hands. Want to own the temple in which waits a forever-open door to the Hedge? Purchase it. Or secure the employ of someone who can clear it out, take it over. Or have it destroyed. With a sack of gold and a no-limit credit card, what cannot be achieved? The Court reveres the Azure Dragon, a great blue serpent coiled around his golden hoard. The Mantle of the Serpent Court is about power and money. New members to the Court might seem larger than they really are, or appear composed of sharp angles.Those greater members seem to always tower over and overshadow those around them, and they seem to be made of money (coins seen in the dark of the eyes, a rattling of gold when they walk, a glint of jewels on their teeth or fingernails). This mantle allows the courtier to become more sociable and better able to convince people of things, especially when money is on the line. Envy: One might suspect that greed is the dominant emotion within the Serpent Court, and for many individuals, greed is. However, what fuels the changelings' power is envy --- others want what their neighbors have, or worse, what they can never possess, and that gives the Court its power. A down-on-her-luck actress who wants the best part in the commercial so that she can buy all those pretty dresses? The child who sees that his friend has TWO scoops of ice cream instead of his paltry one? The rich man who can always point to someone richer? These are what give the courtiers there power. It also doesn't hurt to stir up envy from time to time, either, to casually remind someone that there's another out there who has it better and... don't they deserve more?

The Court of the South (The Vermilion Court, the Ink Brush, the Court of Song) Life is chaos and passion. Life is also art, and art needn't be comfortable. The Lost of the Vermilion Court do not try to connect with humanity, but instead exult in being changelings. They do not deny any emotion, whether it be love or hate, hope or despair. Instead, they endeavor to feel it so keenly that it might elevate one to the uttermost heights of bliss or the lowest pits of gloom. Anger is just as pure, and a changeling of the Vermilion Court might let his anger burn off swiftly in a sudden conflagration of violence, or he may instead let it simmer for years, even decades, nursing on his fury like a bottomless bottle of rice wine. The Lost are a part of that emotional world, hewing far closer to it than humans ever could --- changelings experience, feed from it, and the Court of the South rewards them for doing so. How does this help them thwart the Fae? Because emotion can give the Lost power. It is tied intimately to Glamour, and a changeling who knows how to emote and orchestrate the emotions of others can be quite powerful, indeed. Each changeling of this Court considers himself an artist. While many embrace various means to express that artist's desire (calligraphy, song, sculpture, theater), all believe that a changeling's innate abilities represent a true art. They all practice it, learning new Contracts, clauses and catches, finding new ways to bond humans with Byzantine pledges, seeking out the rarest and most delectable fruits from the Hedge. They revere the phoenix, whose plumage is bright, a spray of vermilion, a chaotic explosion of blood-red feathers. The Mantle of the Court of the South is one of passion and chaos, and those new to the Court give off a faint warmth radiating outward that excites a pulse. More experienced courtiers often possess faintly red eyes, and those in their wake often find themselves giving into their personal virtues and vices more often. Sometimes, those with the highest mantles leave behind the occasional birdlike footprint that smolders with smoke and steam. This Mantle makes the courtiers unusually empathetic and even better at expressing their emotions, especially creatively. Ecstasy: Unlike the Spring Court, the Vermilion Court isn't about desire --- at least, not exclusively. Desire is just one emotion among many, and the goal is to experience all emotions as profoundly as one can manage. This, to them, creates a kind of ecstasy, a nearly indescribable Zen-like satori. Every Vermilion courtier finds this ecstasy in different ways. One might endeavor to sit still for weeks amid a grove of cherry trees (and in the process honing in on a specific emotion to experience utterly). Another might fall in love every ten seconds, while one of his motley might engage in such supreme outbursts of gleeful violence that it must be seen to be believed. In grasping as emotions, the Court claims one will feel ecstasy, and through ecstasy, enlightenment. Of course, this helps ensure that members of the Court of the South are not necessarily the most productive members of society. Giving wholly into their emotions is curious at the least, and outright dangerous at the worst. Most of these courtiers are unable to hold jobs (though they see themselves above such human nonsense), often ending up as wanderers, transients, criminals, and rogues. Some make it as artists, but the rest are too unstable to find any kind of reasonable balance.

The Court of the West (The White Tiger Court, the Sword, the Court of War) The legend suggests that the White Tiger would appear when virtue reigned and the world was at peace. But the Lost of the White Tiger Court know this is a lie told to children, and that the truth is far less pleasing. The reality is that the world is at war. Humans fight with humans. Humans fight with the natural land and the beasts that walk within it. The changelings fight the encroachment of the Fair Folk, and worst of all, the Lost might often battle their own. The changelings of this Court believe themselves to be the true guardians of the freehold, warriors who know that permanent peace is impossible and that war must be managed and fought by the virtuous. They, of course, claim that they're the virtuous ones. The Lost that comprise the Court of the West obsess over martial prowess. Many carry assault rifles slung over their shoulders and knifes or swords sheathed in hip-hung scabbards. Some know how to fight with only their hands, learning close combat techniques both honorable and dirty. These changelings know that they are the first and last line of defense against the Others and the other Changelings.The Mantle is one of cold ferocity, of stone-cold martial ability. Newcomers to the court radiate an eerie coldness that isn't cold to the skin so much as it is cold to the marrow of one's bones. They also tend to have their eyes glint and flash like a polished blade turned into the sun. Those with advanced Mantles may find their skin developing the black stripes of the White Tiger, or even downy fur. One's breath often smells of a fresh kill, the heady scent of coppery blood even though no meat has passed across the changeling's lips. This Mantle provides supernatural skill with whichever weapon the changeling favors. Honor: Honor isn't an easy emotion to appreciate; some would suggest it is not an emotion at all, but a way of life. The Court of War disagrees. While honor is a code of behavior, it is also something one feels and can demonstrate in the world --- the way that a young boy takes a beating from his father without protest, the way a husband rushes to defend his wife from slander or danger or how a wife who has tainted herself with another man will walk off into a snowy night, never to be seen again. Honor, while rare, is a very real thing, say the courtier of the White Tiger. It is important to note that honor around the world is often linked to revenge, violence, and sex. When one's honor is impugned, he seeks the blood of he who sullied his or his family's name. Honor is also tied to monogamy, fidelity, and even virginity. These, too, a principles that the Court of War find desirous. To the Court of War, honor is everything. The changelings make many pledges and strive to keep them --- and if they don't, the honorable thing is to take one's punishment willingly and without complaint.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:39 am

<><><><><>The Slavic Courts of Day and Night<><><><><>
During the Daytime, the Court of Day rules, but this ends at Sundown, when the Court of Night takes control, and each must abide by the laws of the other at the appropriate time. Both sides actively oppose one another, and will fight and do terrible things to each other, stopping short only of killing, for that would only serve the True Fae, they realize. It is not about violence, but about undoing the work of your opponent. The True Fae come from a world where the sun never goes down or the moon is always in the sky. In their given domains and awful haunts, night is eternal and day is forever... the cycle of day and night just doesn't occur in Faerie. The True Fae are staid, unchanging creatures, who do not understand the constant give and take that defines these two Courts. It should be noted that these Courts are not about "good" or "evil"... though some claim that is the case. This is a lie, or a misunderstanding, for the court of Day can be just as or even more devastating as that of the Night, and the Night Court is actually more interested in its own goals than in opposing the Day.

The Sun Court (Court of the Day, the Found Path, the White Hill) - When the sun rises, the Court of the Day gladly resumes control of the freehold. And what does it do with its 12 hours in power? The Court seeks to undermine the efforts of the Moon Court in whatever way the Court of the Day can manage. Some say the best way to do this is not necessarily to undo the work of their adversaries, but merely to do moral, virtuous things and this righteousness helps to tip the scales. Such righteousness might be expressed in a number of ways: one changeling might work at a homeless shelter, while another motley will go into the Hedge and try to rescue lost travelers (that's one of the Sun Court's big ideals, helping others find their way --- hence the alternative name, "The Found Path"). Some endeavor to close rogue doorways into the Hedge, bring lost Clarity back to one's allies or provide healing for those who might've been hurt the night before. The King himself might go out with a pack of huntsmen to roust the wicked from their holes and put arrows, bullets, and blades into them. Others say that the only way to truly counteract the iniquitous ways of the Wayward Road is to be proactive and literally unmake their efforts, which means going out to find any pledges they've made and help the tricked humans into breaking those pledges (though the Sun Court changeling might not be so clear as to the true ramifications of breaking such a pledge) or it may involve tracking down the Moon Court's secret Hollows and closing them off or even burning them down. The allies of the Court of the Night make easy targets, but part of the deal is uncovering the Night Court's deeds, which they take great pains to obscure. The Mantle of the Sun Court is clearly represented by light and the sun, with light playing off of or even radiating from the courtier, seeming at lower levels as if the sun was shining off burnished metal, even if the character wasn't in the sunlight or wearing metal at all. More powerful courtiers pulse and shine with light, and plants seem to lean towards them. This mantle guides them by illuminating their path, dazzling or blinding their enemies in combat, and granting reserves of inner strength to resist corruption and loss of clarity. Shame: Shame and guilt are powerful tools, so say the members of the Sun Court. A son who disappoints his father and weeps has learned a lesson about failing his forebears. A wife who performs an illicit act in full view of others and is chastised for it, her spirit broken, has learned a similar lesson about duty. A knight who promises his king the satisfaction of a quest but comes back empty-handed knows that he is to be mocked in front of others. The sun sees all. One's sins are cast into the light during the day whether he wants them to be or not. The light illuminates all those dark corners, exposing the inequity and bringing guilt out of its hiding spot. Shame is a powerful social tool. A businessman who loses the money of his associates, a restauranteur who sells food that gets his patrons sick, an old man who has become too frail to get himself up the steps? All of this brings shame --- or, at least, it should --- and the Sun Court drinks it up. THe negative reinforcement of shame and guilt is potent, providing a shared space from which no man can truly stray.

The Moon Court (The Court of Night, the Wayward Road, the Black Rock) At night, the monsters howl and play. They hunt the innocent. They leap over fires. THey drink and smoke themselves into languid stupors. They invite peril, taunt the Gentry, and become masters of the Goblin Markets. Beneath the full moon, all manner of strangeness and depravity may bask in the bare light --- all the better to serve the darkness and to snub one's nose at the fools of the Sun Court. It's odd, in its way, that the Moon Court is ultimately less concerned about the Sun Court than vice-versa. Members of the Moon Court don't really seek to undo what the Court of Day does, instead doing their own thing with great glee and abandon, knowing full well that it invites the revulsion of those supposedly virtuous upstarts. So what do they do? Whatever they want, for one. The Moon Court doesn't care to give its members many boundaries. THey don't view this as a sin, but instead see it as a freedom. The Court only asks that you do as you desire... and the stranger and more grotesque the urge, the better it is. Simply put, the Moon Court is composed of changelings who know they are monsters and relish the fact. Does this make them evil? Perhaps some. Because they are allowed, even encouraged, to embrace their monstrousness, this leads some to be particularly horrendous. It's amazing, though, how few of them are truly malicious. Many are tricksters, yes. Con men, sure. Some flaunt their ugliness and deformity like a pretty pink dress, okay. But only few of them are evil in the strictest of senses. Most are just gleefully selfish, glad to give into whatever so-called wickedness demands their attention at any given moment. The Mantle of the Moon Court seems to absorb light and shadows move around them as if by their own accord. The most terrible members of this court appear to be completely shrouded in darkness, with only eyes and hands and grinning teeth appearing from the roiling shadows. This Mantle allows characters to practice minor thefts more easily by blurring their hands with shadow, become more intimidating by harshly accenting their features with shadow, and enabling a character to get greater willpower from indulging in their vices. Disgust: It's a subtle tweak on shame, an irony that the Moon Court favors an emotion similar to one given such importance by the Sun Court. Disgust is a beautiful thing to the seemingly monstrous courtiers of the Moon Court. It's in the way a beautiful woman stares down at a deformed cripple sitting on the curb or how a group of priggish socialites see a poor man (or worse, a poor man who is publicly and embarrassingly drunk). Disgust is the other side of shame; it's not what the actor of the sin feels, but what the witnesses to the sin feel. And to the members of the Moon Court, it's as good as a glass of sweet brandy. They luxuriate in how others see them --- especially those courtiers from the Found Path. The more awful a changeling's mien, the sweeter the experience when a Sun Court prick stares upon her with a sneer and a squint. While humans do not by and large see a changeling's mien, they can perceive his human deformities and sometimes sense the grotesquerie that lies behind the mask. When this isn't the case, a Moon Court member might instead do something to disgust an onlooker. And, while others feel disgust, the changeling of the Wayward Road feel no shame. Shame is simply not allowed. The Sun Court would have everyone believe that even the faintest indiscretion should come with a lifetime's worth of guilt, but the Moon Court offers that no action is worthy of guilt. Yes, some actions are punishable, but no action is deserving of shame. Disgust, yes. Disgust is sweet, shame is bitter.

Note that there are many other possibilities for Courts, including those based on Dawn, Noon, Dusk, and Night; those based on the four elements; those based on the four gospels (Lion, Eagle, Bull, and Man); those based on the months of the year, and even those based on certain political parties (the Court of the Elephant and the Court of the Donkey, for instance). If you have an idea for a Court (which must come with an appropriate emotion on which to feed and a plan of action against the True Fae) by all means suggest it here... I look forward to hearing from you all. I have, however, almost worn my fingers off with all this typing, so you'll have to wait for tomorrow for me to describe the Seemings and Kiths and Contracts.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:31 am

Beasts - A story tells of a man who, on the final leg of a long journey, sheltered from a storm in an empty palace. As he leaves, he takes a rose from a garden. The owner of the palace, a faerie in the shape of a terrible Beast appears and catches him, and tells him he must die. The man begs to live, for he has a daughter whom he loves, and the beast demands that the daughter must come and stay with him. The man agrees, although he has no intention of sending his daughter away. When he returns home, he finds that his daughter has died. In truth, the Beast has taken her away and left a fake to die in her place. The Beast treats the girl well, certainly, but she cannot leave. One day, having lost all hope of escape, she agrees to become the Beast's wife. There is no ceremony, only an agreement, a veil and a wedding night. And on that night, she lays with him and she becomes like him, a Beast, forever, her memory and thought washed away in the flood of sensation, the tyranny of the now. The fairy stories have it that love's first kiss redeems everything. The Beast becomes a man. The Frog becomes a handsome prince. It's a lie. The changelings who think of themselves as Beasts know it all too well. To kiss the Beast is to surrender yourself to sensuality and instinct. To love the Beast is to become like the Beast, lost to memory, self-control, and ultimately consciousness. It's a two-edged sword. The animal gives spontaneity, the simple oy of living that is lost to far too many humans. Colors are brighter, sounds are richer, smells and tastes are richer, more vivid. The Beasts consider themselves to have taken the most difficult road back through the Hedge, for they have had to claw back their minds as well as their souls. For a Beast to return, he has to turn his back on the lush sensory life of the animal, and burrow, chew and wriggle through the thorny barrier and come back to the human realm. Even then, the Beast exists in a state of paradox, a conscious, moral person infused with the unconscious, amoral power of the animal kingdom. Beasts always have some feature belonging to the animal she reflects. It's important to note that the Beasts reflect the IDEA of the animal rather than the animal itself (so, for example, a leonine Beast can be a mighty, regal hunter, rather than the indolent scavenger that a lion really is), though she might reflect an animal (like the Beast in the story) that doesn't really exist, or that is mythical. Beasts tended to be innocents before their captivity in Arcadia, but innocents with an interest in the wild, tempted by the excitement. A Beast would have spent her time in Faerie with the mind (and usually at least some of the form) of an animal, so their memories are particularly blurred. Beasts gain a supernatural affinity and rapport with animals, which is significantly higher with animals reflected in her seeming, and also grants them a sort of personal magnetism.
Broadback - Animals that are renowned for their stubbornness or endurance, camels, elephants, horses, mules, goats, and the like. Blessing is Stoic Forebearance: can use glamour to increase their stamina.
Hunterheart - Changelings who have something of the predator about them: wolves, bears, cats of a sizes, crocodiles, snakes, and birds of prey, but also those that embody the hunter in a more conceptual sense. Blessing is Tooth and Claw: the changeling does aggravated damage instead of bashing damage when fighting unarmed.
Runnerswift - Animals who move like the wind: hares, rabbits, cheetahs, greyhounds, unicorns, qilin, antelopes, and the like. Blessing is Runs Like the Wind: Moves at extra speed.
Skitterskulk - Flies, beetles, centipedes, rats, some reptiles, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies. Blessing is Impossible Counterpoise: Like an insect, her sense of timing and reactions are second to none.
Steepscrambler - At home in high places, like monkeys, raccoons, squirrels, some insects and lizards. Blessing is Gifted Climber: Finds climbing easy, no matter how sheer the ascent or how slick the surface as long as they can support the weight.
Swimmerskin - Aquatic and amphibious creatures: seals, otters, ducks, salmon, octopi, jellyfish, frogs, eels, and fish of all sorts (mermaids). Note that most all changelings have basically humanoid (two arms, two legs, head, torso, etc) shape, but that some might have legs that are really s split pair of tails. Natural Swimmer: Can hold breath for 30 minutes and swim as fast as he can run.
Venombite - Poisonous creatures: spiders and insects, or poisonous reptiles. Blessing is Poisonous Bite.
Windwing - Flying creatures: Birds, butterflies, other insects, bats, etc. Many have small wings on their back, seemingly too small to support them in full flight, or arms that unfold into wings of some sort. Blessing is Gift of the Sky: Changeling can spend glamour to glide through the air.
Cleareyes - Granted exemplary senses... eagle eyes, bat's ears, hound's nose, raccoon's sense of touch, and served as lookouts for the Keepers. Primal Senses: Have one sense that is tremendously powerful and can be used with glamour.
Coldscale - Reptiles both mundane and mythical, serpents, lizards, crocodiles, basilisks, wyverns, etc. Reptilian Blood: Can resist both emotional manipulation and biological venoms and toxins.
Roteater - Carrion-eaters, like vultures, hyena, crow and worm. Scavenger's Nature: Can resist both poison and disease, especially if it comes from something they ate or can find useful items in an area.
Truefriend - Not savage but loyal, hounds, cats, horses, parakeets, and other animals valued for the companionship they offer. Companion's Boon - Bring luck to one ally close to them.

Darklings - The story begins with a hill, somewhere not far away, and they say that the Invisible Throng congregate there, three times a year. The rules are simple. From sunset to sunrise of that night, they must not speak of the Invisible Throng or leave their homes. Consider the young man of courage and curiosity who would rather see the faeries for himself. He tells his sweetheart, the sweetest girl in 50 miles, that he wishes to see the faeries that morning, and she recoils in horror, and says that he must not speak of --- but it is too late, and she has spoken of them, too. She cries, and says that she will not go with him. And she retires that night with her rosary and prays. And the young man hides at sunset on the mound in a tree. And he sees them, as they swoop from the sky in their hundreds, without warning they descend upon the tree and sweep the young man away, and the tree with him. And one hour before dawn, the sweetest girl in 50 miles hears the voice of her sweetheart at the window, begging to be let in. She goes to the door and steps outside to embrace him, and she, too, is gone. One day the young man, still of great courage but no longer of great curiosity, will escape. His sweetheart never will. She is theirs forever. The Darklings believe that they found it hardest to escape from the lands of the Fae, because their way back was hidden from them in darkness and shadows, and to escape, they had to take the shadows into themselves, and become the things that thrive in the darkness with creeping things and dark things and dead things that move. They love the darkness, having made it their own. They love quiet, having come from a land of endless cries, cruel whispers, and madness. Darklings appear somehow less solid, less substantial than other changelings. They all take on some aspect of fear or darkness. All Darklings transgressed on the rules of the Fae, somehow, knowingly or unknowingly, and were imprisoned in the darkest and creepiest places as punishment. Their durances were awash with vast, shadowy fears. Darklings are especially blessed when it comes to wits, subterfuge, and stealth.
Antiquarian - Darklings who surround themselves with dusty tomes of lore and the artifacts of long-dead lands and peoples. Blessing is the Keys to Knowledge: know where to find lore ancient and modern, and have a near-flawless memory for facts, trivial and otherwise.
Gravewight - Cold-skinned darklings who draw comfort from consorting with the dead, both restless and in repose. Charnel Sight: Can see and speak with the unquiet dead by spending glamour.
Leechfinger - Steal life form humans, grain by grain, drop by drop, with just a touch. Sap the Vital Spark: with a touch, can steal the health of another to heal his own wounds.
Mirrorskin - Darklings who hide in plain sight from the eyes of humankind, their bones are malleable, their faces flow like quicksilver. Mercurial Visage: He can change the cast of his features to resemble (if not completely mimic) anyone he has met... this affects both the Mien and Mask.
Tunnelgrub - Darklings who slide and slither through tunnels and sewers and chimneys, the better to do terrible things at night. Slither and Squirm: Can slip and slide and wiggle through very tight spaces and out of handcuffs and other bonds by spending glamour.
Lurkglider - Raised in twisted treetops and high spires of Arcadia, they watch from the shadows above. Gargoyle's Grace: May dive from up to 100 yards without taking any damage at all with Glamour, and can keep balance and find footholds.
Moonborn - Lunatic children of the moon. Lunatic's Kiss: Once every 24 hours, a Moonborn can afflict both himself and another person with some sort of derangement (though the Moonborn gets a mild version and the victim gets a severe version, and supernatural creatures such as the moonborn and all changelings are cured by the next sunrise, though humans must suffer through it for a month).
Nightsinger - Mysterious musicians, who make orchestras of wolf howls and owl cries, sing banshee songs and play devilish tunes on fiddles of questionable construction. Haunting Nocturne: By playing an instrument or singing, they may lull listeners into a hypnotic state.
Palewraith - Kept so far from light, that they become immune to it, growing hazy, colorless, and translucent. Light's Aversion: When in shadow's, by spending glamour, the Palewraith is increasingly protected.
Razorhand The promise of nighttime violence, the sudden slash in the darkest alleys. etc. Ripper's Gift: By spending glamour, her hand become knife blades.
Whisperwisp - Faerie's spies, watching and listening and ferreting out information. Turncoat's Tongue: Understands emotions of others better than most or conceal their actions with subterfuge. May also spend glamour to hear anyone in earshot as if they were standing right next to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:12 am

Elementals - This is a story about a Rusalka: a girl was taken by a cruel faerie who lived in the river, who forced her to become his bride. She stayed for awhile, for a few years, no more, and in that time, he enchanted her and changed her, and she became a Rusalka, who lured the innocent into the river and gave them to her husband to eat. One day, she escaped her cruel husband and returned to her hometown by the river, to see her family and her sweetheart. But oh, the Rusalka has changed so much. Her hair was green now, and her skin was cold, and the rushing of the river was in her voice. And oh, when her cruel husband took her,, he was cunning, and he left behind a false girl, who sickened and died in her place, and so her family did not recognize her, for they thought that she was dead. And oh, her sweetheart had married someone else and had forgotten her for another's caresses. So the Rusalka walked through the streets of her hometown and could see that there was nothing for her there. And so she returned to the river, telling herself that her cruel husband would take her back. And a day later, the pieces of a girl's dismembered corpse were washed up on the river bank at the edge of the town, one by one, and because no one knew who she was, they buried her in an unmarked grave. And there was no one to mourn. You can never go back. Not really. The stuff of Faerie has worked its way into the changeling's blood. The changelings whose time in the land of the Fae caused them to embody the material aspects of nature feel this all the more painfully, because they have changed the most. The Elementals believe that their journey back through the Hedge was harder for them than it was for any of the other changelings, because the elementals had changed the most, had less reason to escape, and their humanity had been damaged by what they endured. Other changelings find the Elementals the hardest to understand. They're alien. The other changeling have taken the Faerie side of their nature from creatures who, at least on some level, represent human dreams: beauties, horrors, tricksters and even animals represent something of ourselves. But the Elemental psyche is influence by the desires of objects and forces. All Elementals have something of their element about them. Mostly, that connection shows itself through the texture and color of their skin, though eyes, hair, scent, atmosphere, and other aspects can be similarly affected. Some of this carries into an Elemental's Mask, at least as far as carriage, posture, movement, body shape and the like are concerned. The Elementals were often those whom the Fae desired in some way, whom they sought out and went to some effort to kidnap, as they were already exceptional in some way, with some beauty or talent that caught the Keeper's notice. In Faerie, Elementals were often deliberately changed, not slowly adapted over time by eating faerie food or doing faerie work, but being transformed to provide some sort of decoration, as a feature of the land or palace of the Fae, and their memories of Faerie are difficult to understand, because of the remarkably different perspective of a tree or river or candleflame or statue, or a clockwork toy or frosty lover of one of the Gentry. Elementals are blessed with the ability to flood their beings with the nature and qualities and energies of their "element," allowing them to shrug off damage as if it passed right through or couldn't penetrate them.
Airtouched - Wind, cloud, smoke, breeze, or sky. Velocity of the Zephyr: Can use glamour to increase their speed or agility or reactions for a short time, or glide on the breezes for short distances.
Earthbones - Earth, stone, clay, mud, soil, mountains, peat, granite, marble, etc. Terrestrial Might: Outside of combat, can spend glamour to slowly increase their strength, allowing them to "bear the world on their shoulders" or perform tasks that would take a number of men.
Fireheart - Fire, heat, electricity. Flickering Acumen: The character can spend glamour to gain a spark of inspiration, quickening his wits and providing him with mental illumination, insight, and fire.
Manikin - Changelings with the qualities of human-made objects, like varyatids, mannequins, dolls, statues, blades, and other stranger things, such as enchanted beings of clockwork or steam or living bodies of mercury or glass. Artificer's Enchantment: Have a knack for picking up contracts of Artifice and mastering craft skills related to their appearance (i.e. Making dolls or wooden marionettes or sculpting).
Snowskin - Cold's children, with the strength of arctic ice and the delicacy of a snowflake. The Voice of Ice: Can imbue her voice with terrible cold, inspiring terror in all who hear, and is the master of concealing her own emotions and goals under a cool veneer.
Waterborn - Waters, soft or brutal, gentle or mighty, salt or fresh, undines, nymphs, man-eating river demons, water babies, ladies of the lake, etc. The Gift of Water: The player can breathe underwater and swim twice as fast as he can run for about an hour after spending Glamour, but begins to "drown" and cannot breathe out of water until the time expires (or he spends some more Glamour).
Woodblood - Plants, Green Men, flower fairies, spirits of mandrake, roses, thorns, and all manner of medicinal herbs, fair and foul. Fade into the Foliage: In any outdoor area where there are plants growing into the Earth, the Woodblood may hide and survive as long as there are enough plants to logically conceal him (i.e. garden, flowerbed, lawn, or sapling, but not a small patch of moss or a single dandelion or a potted plant).
Blightbent - The children of pollution, altered by choking smogs, toxic waters, blighted land, diseased forests, and chemical fire. Caustic caress: once per day, the changeling may spend glamour to inflict a polluted touch on an opponent - breathing a puff of toxic smog into his face, marking him with acidic fingertips or the like. He is also resistant to toxins and poisons of man-made origin.
Levinquick - Electricity, lightning, magnetism, sparks, and other forms of electromagnetic energy. Fireflaught's Vigor: The changeling may charge herself with raw electricity, increasing her speed and reflexes.
Metalflesh - Remade in Arcadian Foundries, infused with Bronze, Copper, Gold, Silver, or Brass... but never pure iron. Forge's Endurance: Can use glamour to increase his stamina, resolve, and composure.
Sandharrowed - Deserts, sand, silt, dust. Enveloping Sands: Can use their sandlike bodies to help grapple with opponents.

Fairest - This story concerns a young man, who dreamed of the love of a beautiful girl in his village. One night, he made a special cake from a recipe he learned from his grandmother, and waited in the dark for a faerie to come and take it. The door opened; a dark, tall faerie came in. He said to the faerie, "Not for you," but he sinned in this, for he shouldn't have said anything to her. So he sat and waited a little longer, and the door opened; a loathly hag stepped in. The hag reached out her hand for the cake, but the young man tapped her on the wrist and said, "Not for you." He sinned in this... he shouldn't have touched her. So he sat and he waited a little longer, and the door opened; a lady of unearthly beauty and grace stepped in, and he could say nothing, so stunned was he, and the lady said "For me," and took the cake. She stayed with him after that, his lady. She granted his wishes, but somehow they were always twisted. He wished for money, and soon he married an ugly old woman in the hopes that she would die and leave him her wealth. The old woman proved healthier than he could ever have imagined, and was cruel and mean. The youth turned to his Fae lady again and wished the old woman dead. True to her word, the Fae lady brought plague to the town, and the old woman died, but so did the young man's sweetheart. He gained the mean old woman's riches, but his love was dead, and he wished himself dead, and he fell into a deep sleep. He awoke in his coffin, buried six feet under the ground, and, as he began to beat upon the wood, he heard a sweet, sweet voice say, "For me." And if anyone were to dig up his coffin, they would find nothing there but dried leaves and stones. This is the way of the Fae, and it's the way of the Fairest: they take what and whom they will take, and they will have their fun first. It is their prerogative to be loved and admired, and their right to treat that love any way they will. Sure, they'll try to rise above it, but there's always the fact that they really are the fairest of them all. They won their beauty fairly. They deserve to be beautiful. They consider their flight through the Hedge the hardest to have effected. The world they were part of --- or as much of it as they can remember --- was beautiful, a world of sweet pain and pleasant cruelty, a bittersweet paradise. Surrounded by beauty as they were, thralls to creatures a thousand times lovelier than anything on Earth, they had to focus all their thoughts on what it was to be plain and walk among the ordinary. Those who do leave, then, are those who had enough sense of self to be able to abandon ecstasy, and they know it... and they brought back both their beauty and their cruelty, for cruelty is something that is often amplified by the arrogance that comes from knowing that they were pure enough of heart and strong enough of will to escape. Wherever they find themselves, they're prominent, and they push themselves into everything they do with their powerful charisma, and they can overcome their casual cruelty and haughteur to work surprisingly well as part of a team, if only they'll let someone else get close enough to make a difference. Often tall, slim, and good-looking, they're rarely conventionally attractive, but instead are striking, memorable, and the changelings whose Masks look most like their Fae Miens (excepting obvious features like pointy ears, glowing auras, delicate wings, elegant horns, and the like). They were not always those whom the Fae thought to take for lovers, and although most were pleasing to the eye, all had some talent beyond simple good looks, like dancing, beautiful voices, artists, poets, etc. When they return, they find that this talent seems to have consumed them, almost completely defining them, and their arrogance comes from an insecurity... what if their looks and talents aren't enough to make them truly the most talented, the brightest, the most beautiful? After all, in the stories, if the mirror is to be believed, the Fae sorceress is very rarely the Fairest of them all. A Fairest can use glamour to increase their personal presence, manipulation, and persuasiveness, and they never look foolish in social situations, even if they are unskilled or unfamiliar with them.
Bright One - Changelings of light: will o'wisps, bright elves, White Ladies, and other beings of radiant light, glowing fire, or sparkling ice from all over the world. Goblin Illumination: The Bright One can fill a room with soft, pale light for a short time, though it remains there and doesn't follow him if he moves from the area. With the expenditure of Glamour, the light becomes painfully intense, and anyone attempting to target the Bright One is unable to get a good idea of exactly where he is to hit or fire at him.
Dancer - Fairest of particular beauty and grace, for whom motion itself is beauty and art. Fae Grace: She is supernaturally good at expressing herself or socializing when agility and has an almost impossible ability to dodge.
Draconic - Changelings who bear within them the blood of dragons and other great beasts of faerie, taking humanoid forms reminiscent of dragons, griffons, manticores, traditional demons, chimerae, basilisks, and the like. Dragon's Talon: The changeling is a good brawler, thanks to extra weapons provided by her body, such as chimera claws or manticore stings.
Flowering - Flowers bloom on bare earth where this changeling walks, though it takes months on Earth instead of moments as in Faerie, and their skin is soft like the petal of a rose or a chrysanthemum and bright with a bloom of health. Seductive Fragrance: Skin, hair, and breath carries the aroma of unknown blossoms from places unseen, and the promises of pleasures unknown. This scent seduces and lulls in equal measure, making all around her react favorably to her attempts to persuade, socialize, and use subterfuge.
Muse - Their beauty inspires the arts. Whether a Rubenesque beauty, a sedate and delicate daughter of the Heavenly Ministry, a grotesquely beautiful masquer garbed in yellow tatters, or a Dark Lady who drives her beloved to destruction, the Muse inspires the creation of things of beauty and horror and love and hate and fear. The growth of confidence can precipitate a headlong rush to doom, and the Muse knows how to make it happen. The Tyranny of Ideas: His presence can give a human the confidence and talent to do things that he otherwise would not be able to do if he uses Glamour.
Flamesiren - These burning Fairest represents the entrancement of flame - when people stare at a flickering candle or gaze into a crackling bonfire, the force that holds their attention is the essence of the Flamesiren's appeal. It's the beauty of danger and destruction, protection and warmth, together in one sinuous, lambent package. Burning Hypnotism: By spending Glamour, may surround oneself in a blazing flame-like aura which dazzles and distracts all who gaze upon her.
Polychromatic - Sons and daughters of the Rainbow, embodiments of color itself, with hair and eyes that flash all number of vibrant colors, sometimes shifting to match the Fairest's temper. In a world of leaden skies and rain-slick gray concrete, the Polychromatics are a form of beauty that can never be dimmed. Prismatic Heart: As her moods shift from color to color and she spends Glamour, she may resist emotional manipulation and prove hard to read, emotionally.
Shadowsoul - Antitheses of the Bright Ones, these are the most beautiful chosen of the night, and their beauty comes from the darkness they swathe themselves in and the dramatic shadows that accompany them like veils. Unnatural Chill: Becomes particularly intimidating and stealthy. May also use contracts of Darkness as if she had an affinity for them.
Telluric - Those who walk the sky-bridges of Faerie heavens, they stars in their hair and comets in their eyes, imbued by spirits of constellations, planets, nebulae and celestial bodies. Music of the Spheres: Have absolute knowledge of what time it is measured locally, even if they've spent the last day unconscious in a barren room and possess precise physical timing (which helps if they need to disarm a time bomb or drive across town while hitting all green lights), and they have a knack for skills involving astronomy, astrology, and the like.
Treasured - More than any other Fairest, the Treasured were treated as nothing more than prized objects for display. They are jeweled, gilded, alabaster, like Michelangelo's David given the faintest hint of color or a figure that has stepped away from Alma-Tadema's The Roses of Heliogabalus. Alabaster Fortitude: Can spend Glamour to maintain their stamina, resolve, composure, and physical strength, especially for tasks like modeling or remaining still.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:52 am

Ogres - The story goes that there was once a troll, a beast who dined on human flesh and carved knife-handles out of the bones. Business was good, and the troll decided that he needed assistance in his workshop. One night, he stole into a village and took away three sons of a shoemaker. The ogre worked the three boys in his workshop, on the drill and lathe and chisel and awl for long hours. Every day, at dawn, he beat them, and he fed them on scraps of raw flesh. One night, the eldest boy took one of the knives he had made for the troll and crept in upon him while he was sleeping. But the knife shrieked out loud and would not kill the troll, and the troll awoke and cooked the boy in a pie and forced each of his brothers to eat a slice, before he beat them so hard that they were all bruises. The second son made a pick so that he could open the lock on the door of the troll's workshop, and at night he crept to the door and picked the lock. But the troll was waiting behind the door, and he chopped the boy up and cooked him in a stew, and fed it to the youngest son before beating him so hard that his teeth were all broken and his mouth was all blood. The third boy worked so hard so well in the workshop that the monster could find fewer and fewer reasons to beat him, and the knives the boy made were beautifully carved, and the troll found that he could sell them for more gold than he ever had before. One day, the troll came into the workshop, and he leaned over the boy's shoulder as the boy carved the knife handle, and the boy pointed out a detail of the carving, and the troll craned closer to look, and quick as lightning the boy turned his hand and stabbed the troll in the eye. And that was the end of the troll. The boy wanted to run away, but he turned back and saw that the workshop was now empty. And he didn't leave. He ate the troll's food and slept in the troll's bed. And now he dines on human flesh, and carves knife handles from the bones. And business is good. One day soon, he will need assistance. The changelings who, for want of a better term, are called Ogres understand this story, for it explains who they are. They know that abuse sometimes creates abusers, that the victims of brutality can sometimes become brutal themselves. By definition, the Ogres are those Changelings who have been shaped by unthinking violence, and brutishness defines them. This is not to say that Ogres can't be gentle or honorable, or possessed of restraint. It's just harder for them. They believe that their journey through the Hedge was the hardest of all the changelings' because they had to escape from vicious, brutal captors, through locked doors, from chains and manacles, from regular beatings and the fear of beatings. To escape from that, every Ogre inevitably had to become hardened to the violence, and in Faerie, to become hardened to something is often to become that thing. Just as the shoemaker's youngest son, some changelings defeat their captors only to become them. Ogres are always brutish in some way. Some have bestial features, while many are tall and broad (though by no means all, as there are several short and skinny ogres). Ogres who return through the Hedge, more than any other changeling, are exceptional people, because they have to be to endure and overcome everything they suffered and still retain enough sense of self and self-control that they'd be able to make it back and avoid becoming truly monstrous. They tend to know their own minds, and most Ogres have an inborn streak of stubbornness that makes them faithful (if sometimes annoying) companions and terrible enemies. Ogres' memories of their time in Faerie are often clearer than those of other changelings. All were abused in some way, and Ogres sometimes have flashbacks of verbal and physical abuse. Ogres are mostly big, often ugly, and always capable of frightening displays of brute force, and they can spend glamour to improve their strength, fighting skills, and make themselves appear even more intimidating.
Cyclopean - Like the Cyclopes, the Oni, the Wendigo, the Rakshas, the Fachan, they are crippled in some way (one-eyed, one-legged, three-eyed, elephant-eared, footless, etc), but with profound senses to make up for it. Smell the Blood: He can perceive things about the world around him that others never notice, or things that don't have any noticeable smell (such as blood in a living, non-wounded Englishman) due to his excellent sense of smell.
Farwalker - Resemble the abominable men of mystery, the possibly savage hairy creatures of the wild... sasquatch, the yeti, the Russian Alma, the Australian yowie, and dozens of others. The Elusive Gift: The Farwalker can use glamour to help hide and survive over long periods of time.
Gargantuan - Captured by giants and forced to grow to immense stature, stretched on racks or made to drink noxious potions, they are the most human-looking of the Ogres, though many are large even in their normal height, not to mention their size-changing ability. Spurious Stature: Once a day, the changeling can grow to colossal size by spending glamour, though returning to normal size is painful.
Gristlegrinder - Man-eaters and gluttons with wicked teeth. Terrible Teeth: The ogre has wide jaws that can unhinge like a snakes, filled with razor-sharp teeth that can bite through almost anything.
Stonebones - Changelings who resemble the rocky giants of folklore, Nordic trolls, native american mountain spirits, and the like. Obdurate Skin: Once per day, the changeling can make her skin harden like rock, while remaining almost as nimble.
Water-Dweller - Changelings who resemble water-demons, like Grendel and his mother, bridge trolls, and merrow. Lie Under The Waves: The changeling can hold his breath for 30 minutes, and can see underwater, even in murk and darkness.
Bloodbrute - Gladiators and veterans of deadly fighting pits for the jaded Gentry, they were made to fight for their Keeper's enjoyment. Improvised Mayhem: With glamour, he can rip a sizable object free from its moorings and fashion it into a crude but effective weapon in but a moment.
Corpsegrinder - Living in charnel pits, fed only bones and carrion and the essence of death, they became the hulking guardians of burial grounds. Sepulchral Hunger: The Corpsegrinder gains strength when fighting an opponent who is worn out and closer to death, as well as those who are undead.
Render - Living engines of destruction, they might have been shock troops in a faerie army, woodsmen without axes, quarry-workers reliant on their talons instead of chisel and mattock. Sundering Talons: When tearing at an object with his bare hands, he can ignore most forms of armor, reinforcement, or protection.
Witchtooth - Embodiment of the cruel, man-eating hag and the spellcasting monster, this Kith is the wisest and most cunning of the Ogres, with a talent for dark magic and curses. Black Hex: May spend glamour to gain instincts about occult rituals and situations, and have a knack for contracts involving cursing someone.

Wizened - You know the story. It's night. A man drives along a lonely country road. He sees lights in the sky. They swoop down, engulf the car. He blacks out. When he comes to, he is driving along that same stretch of road. He's traveled maybe a quarter of a mile, but his watch says he's been gone five hours. It's nearly dawn. When he gets home, his wife notices that his body is covered with little scars that look like healed-up burns. He says he's sore and itchy all over. Over the coming months, the man will begin to recall being taken into a strange circular room, and being experimented on by small, pale, dark-eyed creatures. It's the classic abduction scenario... except the truth is, this man who comes back with all his memories and relationships, he isn't a man at all. He's a thing made of sticks and stones, and he doesn't even know who he isn't. The real man is still in the clutches of the beings that took him. They're still doing their experiments. They're swapping his eyes around. They're repositioning his internal organs. They're taking out his hair one strand at a time and slicing off his nose and sewing on a different one. They're draining his blood out. And all the time he's conscious. And all the time, each different procedure is turning him into one of them. And worst of all, they're doing it to him for no reason. They're not learning anything. They're not even doing it for fun. Whether gray-skinned abductors, child-seizing imps, vandal faeries or tin-mine knockers, many of the Fae marry practical talent and industry with undirected, pointless malice. Sometimes they are the sprites and goblins that bring people practical help and material wealth - if placated. But, if offended, even only once, even accidentally, these same givers of aid bestow upon their hapless human victims a lifetime of misery. The Lost who were kidnapped by such faeries have endured this strange malice. Trained by unreliable Faerie taskmasters, they have become nimble-fingered. They have become willing, tireless workers. But the spitefulness of their captors infects them. It twists them. It makes them somehow smaller. It diminishes them. That is why, no matter how they look, other changelings recognize them as the Wizened. The Wizened consider their escape from Faerie the hardest to effect. The cunning and viciousness of their captors was unmatched. Chained, ensorcelled, threatened, cajole, tricked, tortured, and mocked, the Wizened found their escape a labyrinthine problem that, for many of them, required multiple attempts before they could break free. Many of the Wizened make a point of trying to rise above the malice that made them so small. Many do. Among the changeling Courts, the Wizened are often the ones who get their hands dirty. They're the managers of households and the enforcers of etiquette. They are the "honest mechanicals" who toil to create things beautiful and useful. They are eloquent seers and healers.
Artist- Wizened who create startling works of art and craft: seamsters, sculptors, painters and builders. Impeccable Craftsmanship: by spending Glamour, a specific craft skill or form of art literally moves from the Wizened's mind down his hands and onto the canvas, stone, or what-have-you, without any flaws or errors.
Brewer - Spent their time in Faerie learning how to brew mind-bendingly potent drinks or peculiar alchemies. Resistant to poisons and intoxication, and know a recipe for an Inebriating Elixer: can instantly ferment any drink with glamour, turning it into a powerfully intoxicating brew that can make someone fall unconscious in a matter of moments.
Châtelaine - Preternaturally skilled menservants, organizers, and house-managers. Perfect Protocol: Never, ever botches social situations, especially due to perfect manners, etiquette and proper social practice.
Chirurgeon - Changelings who master surgery and pharmacy, sometimes from altruism, and sometimes simply because they can, ranging from scary back-street surgeons to strangely alien experimenters. The Analeptic Charm: able to perform medical miracles, the changeling can use the humblest tools well, and anyone who receives the Chirurgeon's attention heals as if they were in a hospital's intensive care unit.
Oracle - In a limited way, they can see the future. Panomancy: Using any method (tea leaves, cards, bones, crystal balls, etc) the changeling can tell accurate fortunes.
Smith - Forced to serve under faerie blacksmiths, tinkers, and toolmakers. Steel Mastery: Can use glamour to improve metal objects, even if that would normally be impossible.
Soldier - Members of the vast goblin hosts of the Fae, the soldiers fought strange, inconclusive battles and now find that fighting comes easier to them. Blade Lore: The changeling finds it easy to master any weapon with a blade.
Woodwalker - Lived within and protect the wilds, sometimes jealously, sometimes violently. Wildcraft: Has supernatural survival abilities, and can safely eat any plant, no matter how poisonous.
Author - Composed words for their masters, from poetry to plays to nonfiction. Polyglot's Riddle: He can express whatever he wishes to perfectly in any form of writing, from formal prose to legalese, and he can also deduce the meaning of written text in any mortal language.
Drudge - The lowest and most menial of Wizened, Drudges were given the most unpleasant tasks to perform, without even learning a faerie trade in return, becoming house-elves, brownies, domovoi, and the like. Unseen Labor: Can complete any relatively simple (no special training necessary) task in a fraction of the time it SHOULD take, while remaining stealthy and often overlooked.
Gameplayer - The True Fae adore games, even if they despise the possibility of losing. Some Wizened were kept precisely to empower the Gentry's love of games, either playing against the Keeper and other (often cheating) goblins and imps, or being one of the pieces or cards in endlessly repeated games. She learned endless games, though she can't remember them all, for some won't work with Earthly physics. Grandmaster's Strategies: By spending glamour, she can win any purely mental based game she plays (like chess or checkers), while also gaining luck with games that involve a mixture of mental acuity and random chance (poker and sports betting, for instance, but not craps).
Miner - Knockers and kobolds, coblynau, telchines, dwarves and gnomes, the Miners labored in deep mines to extract rare and precious metals, and perhaps other things, like veins of fossilized blood, the rotting gut of a mountain-sized beast, or tunneling for the root of all evil. Tappingspeak: By spending Glamour, the changeling may tap out a coded message on a nearby surface, which travels by vibrations to the intended recipient, who, thanks to the Glamour, automatically understands the message, though they must be touching the ground or a building somehow... if they're in a plane, the Miner's message can't reach them.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:41 am

For those who were confused by the above, Seemings (Beasts, Darklings, Elementals, Fairest, Ogres, and Wizened) are basic categories into which changelings are divided according to their backgrounds, why they were stolen, their durance in Faerie, generalizations about their appearance, and specific abilities they gained. Each Seeming comes with a number of Kiths, which are specific divisions of each seeming based on appearance, theme, and magical ability. You should be able to limit yourself to one kith, though it might be possible to double up if the kiths are related (a Cobra-scaled, fanged changeling might fall under both Venombite and Coldscale or Skitterskulk, for instance, and maybe even Hunterheart... but you still have to limit yourself to one kith, at least in name (though you can use some of the abilities of other kiths, if it helps your character idea). Here are some more examples of Kiths, but these are taken from specific world cultures and mythologies, and are rather more limited... for instance, there are dozens of mythical creatures who could fit into the general description of a swimmerskin or a muse or a Wizened miner. But the following do have some interesting powers and descriptions that you might want to check out.

CHIMERA - Homer's Iliad was pretty clear about the creature known as the Chimera: A thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle." The Chimera Kith does not necessarily have to be those constituent parts, but it DOES represent a changeling who bears parts and limbs from not just one beast but many (such as a humanoid changeling with lobster armor and claws for hands, a cat's legs and a tail, and a walrus' head and tusks). A Chimera might result from imprisonment by a chaotic Fae shapeshifter, whose many forms bled into its Lost captives. Goblin's Tongue: By spending Glamour, the Chimera can sway and impress various hedge and faerie monsters into working with him instead of treating him as prey. This blessing might be a good choice for some Ogres as well.
COYOTE - All bear a coyote's head on human shoulders, perhaps with a tail, or claws, but with human eyes. Native American folktales claim him as the predominant trickster figure, so his gift is the Trickster's Truth: The Coyote can use his powers of subterfuge and persuasion to manipulate others, and people just seem to want to believe him, even if they sense they shouldn't. This effect is even greater if the target of Coyote's manipulation is especially gluttonous, lustful, or greedy. This gift might work for other beast figures of folklore (Anansi the Spider, Hanuman the Monkey, Raven, Crow, Chameleon, Puss in Boots, Br'er Rabbit, etc).
NIX - The Nix, or Nixie, is a river mermaid from Germanic lore. One often possesses the features of a snake and a fish in some amalgamation (fish eyes, snake fangs, skin spotted with reptile scales and shark cartilage). Some legends posit that the nix are truly beautiful, while other tales suggest that the nix are actually quite hideous to behold, but possess golden voices. Consumptive Voice: Using Glamour, the Nix's voice will muddy the thoughts of any who listen to her speak. They don't notice that her voice has changed, but it causes a slowing, almost narcotic effect, and social concerns seem to fade away while they drink in the beauty of her voice. A number of Beast changelings might possess this ability... not only swimmerskin, but also Windwings (like the Grecian Sirens or Angelic changelings) or Fairest, or the Nightsinger Darklings.

ILLES - In Iceland, the Illes (prounounced "eels") are troll-like under-folk who linger beneath the surface of the earth and only come out at night. They're said to lure humans away from the surface and into the darkness below with the Illes either breed with the humans or suffocate them (depending on which legend you care to believe). These darklings are similar, though they need not be so malevolent. They tend to be tremendously ugly of mask and mien, but they gain the blessing of Shadow Beauty once per day, so that when they spend Glamour the Illes can appear beautiful and alluring for an hour. This power might be useful for a number of Darklings, Wizened, Beasts, or Ogres as well.
PISHACHA - In Hindu myth, the Pishacha are demons, gaunt and strange with bulging bloodshot eyes and skin as dark as midnight. Pishachas were said to speak in their own strange language, haunting graveyards and cremation grounds with all the other ghosts. Most possess some manner of odd tongue... often forked, sometimes barbed or simply over-long. The Pishacha, often associated with madness, can afflict victims with a Taste of Madness by spending glamour and licking the exposed flesh of an opponent. The opponent becomes mildly deranged (or, if they already have some minor derangement, it temporarily becomes a severe one) for the next week, though the Pishacha can only perform this attack as long as she hasn't affected anyone else that way currently (so it takes a week between each use).
SKOGSRA - This Darkling-of-the-Wood kith stems from old Swedish and Scandinavian folklore. In these fairy tales, the skogsra are vicious trolls protecting dark forests, leading travelers astray and either killing them or stealing their goods. The miens of skogsra are obviously darklings, but they are adorned with vines and leaves (sometimes growing beneath the surface of their flesh where their veins should be) or have eyes like black pools of water. Keepers of the Feral Heart: The changeling must look into the eyes of a single animal (bird or mammal), and by spending Glamour, enslaves the beast to be his "pet" until the next sunrise or sundown (whichever occurs first). The animal will do whatever it is that the changeling demands, even to its own detriment. The animal must, of course, be capable of doing the thing asked of it, as it is no use asking a rabbit to attack foes or fly, or ask a hummingbird to bake a cake. This ability might be useful for a number of beasts, as well as certain Ogres or those Fairest who are so beautiful that they could tame even wild beasts with their beauty.

APSARAS - These elementals of cloud and fog are spoken of in Hindu myth. These nymphs, ostensibly female (though the kith doesn't require it), were said to tempt ascetics with their beauty and seductive dances. Those within this kith tend to give off a kind of mist or fog --- sometimes warm, sometimes cool --- that drifts in languid wisps from their oft-unblemished flesh. Enthralling Mist: The tongues of water vapor (air and water) that drift from the skin can be made to target an individual by spending Glamour, making the victim more lustful than he or she would otherwise be for the next 24 hours. The victim also finds the Apsara PARTICULARLY attractive during this period.
ASK-WEE-DA-EED - The Abenaki people of the northeastern United States tell stories of a will-of-the-wisp-type creature formed of fickle fire. This creature, the Ask-wee-da-eed, is tied to meteors and comets and is said to bring bad luck and death by its presence. Those of this kith in some way embody the meteoric fire, but are also able to foretell the misfortune of others, in a way, with their blessing, a Taste of Ill Luck: once per day by spending Glamour, the Ask-wee-da-eed can force luck to magically re-attempt any chance-reliant action another takes, so that it seems as if something they did successfully magically transformed into a failure or a disaster (assuming fate favors the Ask-wee-da-eed). They also find that they have an affinity for the Contracts of the Hearth.
DI-CANG - In Buddhist lore, this name means "Womb of the Earth". As one of the bodhisattvas, he was said to calm the suffering of those poor souls lost in the many hells. Born of the earth, one might suggest that the Di-cang is some kind of "jewel elemental", form in his hand he usually holds a precious gem that salves the pain of others. The elementals of this kith tend to possess mostly human features, but have skin or extremities studded with various jewels (some might even have multi-faceted eyes such as rubies, sapphires, or emeralds). Peace of Suffering: By spending Glamour, those in the presence of the Di-cang feel no physical pain from any existing wounds for about an hour. They also tend to be expert locksmiths, since the original bodhisattva was able to unlock all the gates of the many hells to gain entrance.

GANDHARVA - In Hindu lore, these often androgynous messengers of the gods were beautiful and strange, sometimes having animal or plant parts as part of their heavenly flesh. The changelings of this kith are similar, often pale or golden-fleshed, and equally androgynous (leaning towards the feminine, even when male). They are said to be beautiful speakers and musicians. Heavenly Articulation: By spending Glamour, the Changeling finds that speaking and performing come naturally, seem more vivid and engaging, and are particularly inspired.
SUCCUBUS/INCUBUS - Whether the Jewish Lilitu or the Arab um al duwayce, the core idea of a succubus or incubus is the same: a demon or spirit possessed of beauty that is used for malevolent purposes. Their beauty is darkened inevitably by something that happened to them in Faerie, and this hangs upon them in some way that colors their splendor with hints of the diabolical (blood-red eyes, bat wings, black nails, teeth filed to points, prehensile, spade-like tails, etc). These changelings are temptors/resses, creatures who are imprisoned by lust but can also wield it like a weapon. Vice to Vice: If another character has the same dominant vice (any of the seven deadly sins) as the succubus/incubus, then they instantly feel a kinship, as if they believe that the changeling can understand exactly what they're going through. If the shared vice is lust, then the feelings inspired are even stronger.
WEISSE FRAU - The White Lady in German lore is a beautiful matron said to protect children. Wearing all white, she is thought to be benevolent and sad, though her kiss confers magical protection. Kiss of Life: When kissing another and spending Glamour, that person gains invisible, untouchable, weightless armor, which is even stronger when the kissed person is a child (under 13).

DAITYA - In Hindu myth, the Daityas are giants and ogres who opposed the gods and reviled those sacrifices given to the gods. THey went to war against the heavens and, for a cycle of history, remained victorious. The kith associated with this legend is said to be composed of those Hindu Ogres who went against their Keepers --- some stories even suggest that a great battle was fought in Faerie, with a passel of Daityas bringing down a pair of callous and mighty Fae. Many Daityas are large and reptilian in features, inheriting the serpent's flesh from their Keepers (who in turn plunder said flesh from the old legends of the dragon-serpent Vritra, the demon who was said to have spawned the Daityas in the first place). The Daityas were apparently potent warriors who could topple pillars and cut the gods' weapons in twain with a single blow. Cutting Might: By spending Glamour, the Daitya can ignore all armor and hardness of an object, slicing through it like butter. Daityas also gain the ability to specialize in particular weapons of choice.
ONI - Japanese legend speaks of the oni, vicious red-skinned ogres with hirsute bodies, horns upon their head and many eyes. The oni came to represent sin as demons, and in many stories were responsible for visiting the wicked upon their deathbeds and consuming their souls. Many of the kith which resembles this legend have skin colors other than red (blue, jaundiced, green, black, etc). A Mouthful of Sin: By spending Glamour and biting a person who is somehow possessed of sin, the Oni drinks their blood and heals his own body. Curiously, this power doesn't work on someone who is merely neutral or balanced in regards to their sin and virtue, or on someone who is more virtuous.
TROLL - In Nordic myths and fairy tales, trolls are certainly ogrish - tall, featuring exaggerated and grotesque features, sharp teeth and cruel hunting skills. But trolls are more than that. They're not hunters, instead choosing to wait and hide in places (barrow mounds, deep inside caverns, beneath bridges) and then trick victims with riddles and double-talk. While many trolls are strong, they're often savvy, capricious, consumed of a kind of subterranean cunning. Unyielding Voice: By spending Glamour, the Troll can cause foes to remain still, almost paralyzed until he stops speaking.

GREMLIN - Gremlins are born more of modern folktales than anything, with their first official entrance into the lore appearing during WWI. Malevolent little gremlins were said to tinker with planes, causing them to malfunction and potentially crash. Many such malfunctions were blamed on gremlins (as a joke and, for some, a very real fear), and they entered the modern canon as a kind of faerie-like creature said to disrupt the workings of machines. Gremlinizing Touch: By touching a device and spending glamour, the Gremlin can cause it to disrupt, malfunction, or simply not work for a day.
PAMARINDO - Italian folklore makes fearful mention of the Pamarindo, the shriveled pot-bellied faeries with salacious appetites. Legend has them covered in slick fats, guts, blood and greases associated with the butchering of prey. Their teeth are often sharp and serrated, as the Pamarindo are foul epicures. Gourmand's Grotesquerie: By spending Glamour and touching a piece of raw meat (which can be as little as a single pound of flesh), the Wizened can use the meat to safely feed up to ten individuals. The food nourishes for 24 hours, and no other food needs to be eaten during this time (and often can't be eaten for one feels so full on that meal). The Pamarindo also gains the ability to eat absolutely anything he can somehow swallow.
THUSSER - In Norway, they speak of the Thussers (known as Vardogls in Iceland) that come out of their faerie hills beneath the full moon and sing, dance, and fiddle away the night. Humans seem compelled to try and join in with the Thussers' carousing, though no mortal has ever been able to truly dance or sing with the diminutive strange-bodied creatures. Fiddler's Delight: By spending Glamour and either singing or playing some manner of instrument the Thusser can hypnotize one targeted individual, who cannot do anything but dance for as long as the Thusser is able to keep up his music. The spell is only broken if the Thusser stops or the target is forced to defend himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:40 am

Contracts - The enigmatic powers of the Changelings are curious --- just as the Fae themselves --- because these powers aren't innate abilities. Rather, supernatural changeling abilities, known as Contracts, come as a result of bargains struck between the Fae and the natural world. Indeed, they are literal contracts between the dream-folk and the realities they inhabit. The nature of the Contract defines its appearance: a changeling who seems "fireproof" actually has a Contract with fire itself to cause him no harm, while a changeling who can fly might have either a Contract with the air to buoy him or with a bird to grant him its aspects. Changelings invoke Contracts with a bit of their own supernatural essence (Glamour), and frequently require an application of will and focus with more complicated, higher-level Contracts, when the results are so far beyond the normal rules of the world that the supernatural forces are reluctant to indulge their side of the bargain. Contracts are split up according to their type, some of which are general, some of which are closely tied to the Courts, some of which are linked to the Seeming or Kiths, and some which are dangerous, have a one-time use, and require a further price. These latter ones are usually found in the Changeling black markets, or in the Goblin Market, which travels around and appears in seemingly random places, and where ANYTHING may be had, for a price. If your Court, Seeming, or Kith has an affinity for a certain type of Contract, you are more likely to accept some of the clauses in it. Just as in the stories, though, there is always a catch... and both Changelings and the True Fae utilize them to perform a contract without having to spend Glamour (though catches don't do anything for the prices of goblin contracts).
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:15 am

UNIVERSAL CONTRACTS (Completely accessible to all Changelings, because they are made with forces that are intimately tied with what it is to be one of the Lost).
Contracts of Dream:
*Pathfinder: Allows to divine the nature of the Hedge in certain areas, by finding Hollows to live in, trods to Earth and Faerie, what sort of goblin fruits grow there, and other similar information. Catch: Must have plucked a thorn from the local Hedge and shed a single drop of blood while doing so within the last day.
**Forging the Dream: Let's changeling utterly transform her subject's dream, reshaping it in any way imaginable, though it cannot show the subject's death (it may imply it, however). Catch: Must stand or sit beside the dreamer, touching her own temple to that of the subject.
***Phantasmal Bastion: Creates offensive "weapons" or defensive "armor" for the changeling, that exist in the dreamscape, to help her fight within it. Items created tend to follow patterns of Court and Seeming, or of the character's personal likings. Catch: Carry a token of favor, such as a garter belt or ring, freely given to her by a living enemy or one his loved ones or family members.
****Cobblethought: Allows changeling to reach into the subject's mind (which could be awake) and pluck out a scene or object that was in one of his or her dreams, making it exist in the real world, or wear a dream "costume" of a creature or person from the dreams... subject must have dreamt it at least once, and cannot actually make a person or thinking entity from the dreamstuff. Catch: Must possess at least a single fiber of the subject's bedclothes, such as a thread from her pillowcase or a full nightshirt.
*****Dreamsteps: Changeling steps into the mind of one dreamer and emerges in the proximity of another dreamer far away, though the travel through the dreamscapes takes place instantaneously. Catch: Must carry a physical object that he himself crafted on the journey, which he leaves behind in the dreams of both sleepers. They will remember the object, and will feel subconscious link to the Changeling if they meet him in the waking world.

Contracts of Hearth (Don't have catches... instead have bans that turn around the effects of the contract)
*Fickle Fate: The individual affected performs poorly at whatever task he sets himself to. Ban: Character using Fickle Fate may not use it to affect the same subject more than once in an hour... if he does, Fickle Fate visits him the next time he attempts to use it on someone else instead.
**Favored Fate: The next action the subject performs is just the right thing to say at just the right moment to say it, songs sound a little better, bullets find their mark and the like. Ban: If the clause is used to augment the same specific type of action - shooting at an enemy, climbing a balcony, chasing prey - before the sun has risen or set since the last attempt it affected, the powers that be frown on the abuse of their attentions, resulting in one future action (usually at the worst possible moment) to automatically fail.
***Beneficent Fate: By altering the attentions of fortune, the changeling guarantees success on the subject's next endeavor. Ban: Can only be cast on one character in a single day... if done more than once, the effect then becomes completely random, even if it wouldn't have been up to chance before the subject attempted it.
****Fortuna's Cornucopia: Mixes luck and competence of a favored individual, getting more out of their efforts than they put into them. Ban: If the clause is used on an individual more than once a day, it doesn't work, and repeated attempts result in negative results and dramatic failures.
*****Triumphal Fate: Any effort made under the auspices of this contract are bound for a glorious success. Ban: If the same subject receives the clause's effects within a year and a day, the intended action ends as a horrific failure instead of a tremendous success. Changelings who deliberately try to cause this on someone instead receive the tremendous failure at one of their own important actions, as Fate does not like being pushed around.

Contracts of Mirror
*Riddle-Kith: Changeling chooses a certain seeming or kith, and his mien transforms into something noticeably (and randomly) different in every respect. This cannot be used to emulate a specific changeling or to selectively alter her features, and it has no effect on the Mask. It does, however, keep a changeling from being recognized. Catch: Changeling must have dined with a member of the selected kith within the past week.
**Skinmask: Alters changeling's flesh to appear as another individual, though the change only affects a single limb or aspect of the character (hands, face, back, birthmarks, tattoos, etc). Affects both Mask and Mien. Must be modeled on a real feature of a human (or changeling) subject, and can be used multiple times to completely mimic another. Catch: Changeling appropriates an object that belongs to the individual whose features she plans to reproduce.
***Transfigure the Flesh: Causes the changeling to shrink or grow in size. Catch: Must steal a garment of clothing either too large or too small for her to wear... need not correspond with the appropriate change (i.e. could use an oversized shirt to shrink).
****Oddbody: Re-aligns body makeup so that one particular feature becomes something other than human (i.e. bestial claws, bark for skin, elongated legs, any natural weapon, natural armor, increased speed, or particular damage immunity). Catch: Consume the threads of a caterpillar's cocoon.
*****Chrysalis: Changeling becomes an object wholly other than herself, with moving parts, proper settings, etc. Catch: Changeling must commission the creation of the object she wishes to emulate.

Contracts of Smoke
*The Wrong Foot: Changes the nature of the marks he leaves behind when passing through a certain locale. Can be used for a person to leave hoofprints or splashes of water or flowers or singed grass or any other effect... note that the Contract always does the SAME result for each individual changeling, so they should think long and hard about what they want. Catch: Changeling licks his thumb and smudges it on a mirror, leaving another mark of his passing.
**Nevertread: All traces of the changeling's passing vanish, leaving no footprints in mud, sand, snow, or any other substance that would hold a mark, no crushed grass, scattered flour, or water from wet steps, either. Catch: Changeling must have spent at least an hour barefoot within the last day.
***Shadowpatch: Light seems to avoid the changeling, and darkness congeals around him when he invokes this contract. Catch: The changeling must have spent at least an hour away from natural light (windows, open doors, etc) within the last day.
****Murkblur: Changeling creates a smoky caul over the eyes of her subject, effectively blinding her. Catch: Changeling swallows the eye of an animal or insect while invoking this clause.
*****Light-Shy: Makes the changeling truly invisible: even mechanical observers such as security cameras won't detect him. Catch: Changeling must have told a meaningful lie to someone important to him in the past day, something that could hurt their relationship if the lie was discovered.

Contracts of Hours
*Restoration of Dawn Beauty: Allows the user to transform any old, dingy, or corroded object into a younger object in better condition. Wilted flowers appear newly picked, yellowed crackling paper becomes crisp and white, and corroded metal becomes shiny and smooth. Catch: The changeling or her family owned the object before she was abducted.
**Frozen Moment: Changeling can freeze an object in time, so that it cannot be moved or harmed from a few minutes to all the way to next sunrise/sunset. Catch: Changeling performs this clause at Sunrise or Sunset.
***Thief of Days: Causes an inanimate object to rapidly age and decay as if years had passed. Catch: The changeling knows the name of the former owner of the object, who is now dead.
****Flickering Hours: Changeling can make time pass either faster or slower in the outside world while she and her companions are in the Hedge. Catch: Changeling must smash a clock, watch, or other timekeeping instrument when she invokes this clause.
*****Leaping Towards Nightfall: Causes an object or person to leap forward in time, vanishing and reappearing at a predetermined time. Catch: Changeling uses this clause when the object or person is touching or moving through a Gateway into the Hedge.

Contracts of the Moon
*Lunatic's Knowing Glance: Changeling immediately knows whether or not someone she sees is suffering from a derangement, and what that derangement might be. Catch: The changeling is dressed as a medical professional and behaves like such a person.
**Maddening Eye: By staring intently at someone who already possesses one or more derangements, the changeling can cause those derangements to grow temporarily worse. Catch: The changeling is currently suffering from at least one derangement.
***Touch of Bedlam: With even the lightest of touches, the changeling can cause a target to temporarily suffer from a single severe derangement of his or her choice.
****The Madness of Crowds: Induces temporary mass hysteria, causing everyone around the invoker to suffer the same derangement. Catch: The Changeling is playing music, reciting poetry, telling stories, or otherwise performing for an audience that consists of most of the people around her.
*****Lurking Insanity: Changeling can look intently at a target and cause him to develop a latent form of insanity that manifests only when a specific event or type of event occurs. Catch: The target has betrayed a close blood relative such as a child, parent, aunt, or first cousin.

Contracts of Omen
*Vision of Strife: Changeling looks at someone and gains a vision of the most traumatic and emotionally charged event that the target has experienced. Catch: The target is currently speaking about her past.
**Glimpse of Fortune's Favor: The changeling examines the outcome of an action she is about to perform by glimpsing her own future, and determines the knowledge to improve her chances of success. Catch: The changeling is playing a game of skill.
***Reading the Portents: The Changeling looks at a target and sees the most significant upcoming event in his near future. Catch: The target is a child under the age of 18.
****Vision of Disaster: The Changeling has a brief vision about the immediate future, fully living out the events and then seeming almost to travel back to himself shortly before it happened to use the knowledge he gained. Catch: A trusted friend or ally suddenly betrays the changeling.
*****Tying the Knots of Fate: Performs a ritual to forge another person's fate, causing the target to be very likely to have a singular experience within the next month. Catch: The character is using this clause to bless a mortal child less than 18 years old with some form of good fortune.

COURT CONTRACTS (Dependant upon the character's mantle and its strength, and therefore, his or her connection to the season or emotion... note that many of the lesser-known courts do not have the power to provide their own contracts. Characters who have friends or allies or sympathies in the Court in question may enter into these Contracts as well, though they are not as easy to use as they are for those of the appropriate Court).
Contracts of Fleeting Spring
*Cupid's Eye: This clause reveals the greatest current desires of another. Catch: The changeling has kissed the subject within the past 24 hours, or the object of the subject's desires is the changeling.
**Growth of Ivy: Allows the changeling to direct the desires of humans in another direction of his or her choosing. Catch: Changeling is acting to make the character desire her, or to resolve a pledge in some way.
***Wyrd-Faced Stranger: The Changeling appears as whomever the subject most desires to see at that moment. Catch: The changeling has recently offered food to the target and the target has accepted, or vice versa.
****Pandora's Gift: The Changeling creates an object that another person truly desires out of nothing but emotion, dreamstuff, and random materials. Catch: The subject of the clause has given the changeling a gift within a weak of the invoking of this clause, without any strings attached, including expectation of this gift.
*****Waking the Inner Faerie: The changeling makes a target pursue his greatest desire, regardless of other considerations. Catch: The subject has voluntarily and without coercion (including magical or prodding) confided his desire(s) to the changeling.

Contracts of Eternal Spring
*Gift of Warm Breath: Rejuvenates a single living target, filling it with energy and vigorous life. Catch: The subject offered the changeling some form of sustenance since the last sunrise.
**New Lover's Kiss: Calls down rain from a cloudless sky. Catch: A mortal has commented, within the changeling's hearing and the past hour, that it looks like rain.
***Warmth of the Blood: Heals injuries by flooding the subject's body with the limitless potential for life of Spring. Catch: Target has honestly professed a heartfelt and deep love, romantic or familiar, for the changeling.
****Yesterday's Birth: A changeling endows a living object or creature with a season's worth of growth and maturity in an instant. Catch: Changeling spills two drops of blood on the target and cups it in his hands.
*****Mother of All Deaths: The character makes the region around her extraordinarily verdant and rouses it to fight on her behalf. Catch: A man bled to death on this soil within the past year.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:43 pm

Contracts of Fleeting Summer:
*Baleful Sense: Character senses the greatest source of wrath nearby, its direction/distance, the cause and how many people are intimately involved. Catch: The character is angry when he invokes this clause.
**Goblin's Malignance: The character redirects the subject's wrath onto a new target, most likely himself. Catch: The current victim of the subject's wrath owes the changeling a favor, or the subject has red hair.
***Friendless Tongue: The character incites a person to uncontrollable wrath through innocent-seeming conversation. Catch: The subject wears a ring on the left hand.
****Sundown Eyes: The character drains wrath from those near him, calming even the most furious combatants. Catch: The character is suffering from serious wounds.
*****The Flames of Summer: The character drives his anger into the realm of rage, making it impossible to disturb and lending extra strength to his wrath. Catch: The sun is within five minutes of its zenith, and the character has called out a formal challenge to an opponent.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:36 am

Contracts of Eternal Summer:
*Son of the Hearth: Changeling is comfortable in all temperatures and may heat a room or chamber with his power. Catch: The character spits on a fading ember or spark.
**Ulf's Heart: The character shines with the light of high Summer on his surroundings. Catch: It is within five minutes of midnight.
***Noonday Grasp: The character borrows some of Summer's immense strength for his own. Catch: The character eats a chunk of naturally formed ice.
****Solstice Revelation: Channeling the light of the sun at its most intense, the changeling reveals all that is hidden around him. Darkness and illusion flicker and fade away. Catch: The changeling is using this power within five minutes of noon.
*****The Lord's Dread Gaze: Channeling the destructive power of the relentless summer sun, the changeling sears his enemies with sunlight.

Contracts of Fleeting Autumn:
*Witches' Intuition: The character dredges knowledge of one fear from the subject's mind or subconscious. Catch: The Contract's subject does not know the character's name.
**Tale of the Baba Yaga: Through the course of conversation or oratory, the character makes a concept as supernaturally frightening as she can, instilling individuals or entire crowds with unnatural fear of that thing. Catch: The unnatural fear the character evokes is based upon a myth, urban legend, or actual threat with which all subjects of the Contract are familiar.
***Heart of the Antlion: Uses the contract with Autumn to steel self against all manner of fear, natural or supernatural. Catch: The character consumes a spider or other vermin that has literally been scared to death.
****Scent of the Harvest: The character reassures friends and allies, protecting them against fear just as she protects herself. Catch: Two of the subjects' greatest fears are each other.
*****Mien of the Baba Yaga: The character takes on the aspect of one of her subject's greatest fears. Catch: One of the subject's greatest fears is actually the changeling.

Contracts of Eternal Autumn:
*Last Breath Isaac: The changeling brings a plant to its ripest point of the year, ready for harvest, which can be used to gather food or to harvest poisons like mistletoe. Catch: The plant or tree is unclaimed, or the changeling has permission to harvest from it (to any degree).
**Withering Glare: The character can wither any plant to any degree with a simple glance. Her gaze will also sicken animals that cross her glare. Catch: The plant bears the changeling's name (or a common moniker) on it somewhere, carved into the bark or written on a tag.
***Brother to the Ague: The life of the world wanes with the advent of Autumn. This clause inflicts the same fate on a changeling's enemy. Catch: The changeling can name two diseases that the subject has suffered (or is suffering) and one that the subject fears.
****Riding the Falling Leaves: The changeling becomes a temporary avatar of Autumn, transforming into a colorful spray of dry Autumn leaves. This ability is typically invoked to move inconspicuously or evade harm. Catch: The character catches a naturally falling leaf at the moment of the clause's activation.
*****Tears of Autumn: The character calls a hailstorm from the sky, which can be light enough to just keep people off the streets or heavy enough to inflict major damage. Catch: The character holds a key encased in ice that finishes thawing at the start of the ritual.

Contracts of Fleeting Winter:
*The Dragon Knows: The character can tell why a person is sorrowful, guessing her regrets with but a glance. Catch: The character looks into the subject's eyes for a moment.
**Slipknot Dreams: The changeling forces a person to forget about her sorrows just long enough to deal with the matters at hand. Catch: The subject has accepted something from the character within the past 24 hours.
***Faces in the Water: The subject remembers a sad memory from her past and dwells on it, filling herself with sorrow. Catch: The subject is carrying a photograph (or other image) of an older relative or ancestor on her person.
****Fallow Fields, Empty Harvest: The character eliminates a person's ability to experience positive emotions for a significant period of time. Catch: The changeling has made the subject happy (or happier) in the last 10 minutes.
*****Every Sorrow a Jewel: The character magnifies the emotions of a person already feeling sorrowful to such extremes that the subject becomes incapable of doing anything but curl up and feel terrible. Catch: The subject has tasted one of the changeling's tears.

Contracts of Eternal Winter:
*Jack's Breath: The character cools a room, or an area roughly the size of a room, considerably. Catch: The character hears someone shiver or tastes someone's sweat.
**Touch of Winter: Liquid freezes with just a caress of the changeling's fingertips. Catch: The character first spells out a name or idea he hates with the liquid on a dry surface.
***Riding the Devil's Jawbone: The character surrounds himself with an aura so cold that it can disable enemies. Catch: There is a bell ringing within 20 feet of the character.
****Fallen from the Timbers: The character calls a great shaft of cold air and partially frozen particles to materialize above an enemy and fall upon her. Catch: The contract's target wears silver jewelry that has religious meaning for her.
*****Witch's Paradise: The changeling summons a lasting snowstorm over an extended area. Catch: The moon is in the sky and the character can hear a wolf howling.

Contracts of the Four Directions
*Mindfinder: The changeling is able to track down another individual without any tracking skills or other information. It doesn't provide the target's location, only the direction of that location. Catch: The changeling has a lock of hair from the target.
**Finding the Flow: The character finds that his movement is aided by a preternatural flow that he did not before possess... perhaps he feels in step with the southern wind or the harsh gales sweeping from the north. Perhaps he simply feels in tune with every element in his proximity. Catch: The character successfully meditated for one full uninterrupted hour within the last 24 hours.
***Inequity of the Center: In much of Asia, the "center" is as much a direction as north, south, east, or west. One's center is, to a point, one's current location, but it is also more than that --- it's the axis of that person's very being upon which all of space and time swings. This clause disrupts one's sense of self, staggering the flow of chi in the brain and body, or upsets the magnetic balance of a target's internal compass with a directional curse. Catch: The changeling succeeds in touching a magnet to the target's bare skin.
****The Hundred Steps: With this clause, a changeling protects his domicile --- up to a thousand square feet --- from intruders. The clause requires him to walk 100 steps away from his domicile in each of the four directions before the clause can take full effect. Catch: THe character has two working compasses somewhere on his body at the time of the clause's activation.
*****Harmony of Portals: A changeling using this clause can step through one door and walk out another miles away... in no more time than it takes to blink an eye.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:11 pm

For the Contract of Moon called "Touch of Bedlam", the catch is that the subject has broken an oath to the changeling.
For the Contract of Eternal Summer called "The Lord's Dread Gaze", the catch is that the changeling's target is wearing or touching gold.
For the Contact of the Four Directions called "Harmony of Portals", the catch is that the character possesses the key for each door.

Contracts of Artifice (Wizened):
*Brief Glamour of Repair: With neither tools nor spare parts available, the character can still repair any device. More than half of the device must be intact for the character to use this Contract. The repair is almost always temporary, and the changeling must perform or help perform the repairs to use this Contract. Catch: The Contract must fix an item owned and used by another, which the changeling has never used. For example, he could repair a friend's car he had ridden in but never driven.
**Touch of the Workman's Wrath: The character can disable or even seriously damage a device or vehicle with a single touch. Catch: The owner of the device either stole something of value or cheated or attempted to do either to the changeling.
***Blessing of Perfection: By briefly handling and adjusting a weapon, vehicle or other device, the changeling can bless an object, making it easier to use and more efficient. The changeling must tinker with the item for a few turns. The clause can also repair objects permanently, though it cannot do this and bless it at the same time. Catch: The changeling is blessing or repairing an object used and owned by someone the changeling does not know well, in return for some favor.
****Unmaker's Destructive Gaze: The character stares hard for a moment at a vehicle, weapon, or device, causing the object to cease working until the user unjams or restarts it. Catch: The changeling has an opportunity to touch and examine the object for at least a minute.
*****Tatterdemalion's Workshop: Although the powers of the fae do not create anything truly new, they excel at combining existing elements. This clause allows the character to create a complex and useful device out of unlikely parts, for instance, building a hovercraft from a motorcycle engine, an inflatable air mattress and some tubing and heavy gauge wire. THe character can create the item swiftly and with unlikely tools and equipment, but in all cases the item must be possible and the parts must physically be able to be used in this manner. Wands that shoot lightning or belts that lift the wearer by means of anti-gravity are impossible, as is building a car without anything that could be used as tires or an engine. If the character wants to build a bomb or a suitcase nuke, he must possess something explosive or a large supply of plutonium. Catch: The changeling creates the vehicle or device in her own workshop with her own tools. A changeling must use a workshop regularly for it to count as hers.

Contracts of Darkness (Darklings):
*Creeping Dread: This clause causes those affected to become less resistant to fear or intimidation. It increases over time, until the character eventually has the equivalent of a temporary phobia. Catch: The changeling is using this clause to frighten intruders into her dwelling.
**Night's Subtle Distractions: This clause allows the Lost to avoid notice by enhancing physical conditions that limit perception. A dark night seems darker, background noises obscure footsteps, distractions become more distracting and strong smells even block a bloodhound's ability to track the changeling. Catch: The clause is invoked outdoors at night.
***Balm of Unwakeable Slumber: This clause makes all sleeping targets the changeling can see or hear to be nearly impossible to wake, sleeping through loud noises, being shaken moderately, moved, or even tied up, handcuffed, and shoved into a car trunk. Subjects awaken if harmed. Catch: The subject is asleep at home in his own bed and the contract is performed between sunset and sunrise.
****Boon of the Scuttling Spider: Lets the Lost run along any solid surface, such as a wall or ceiling, like a spider. Catch: The changeling is climbing a wall made of stone or wood outdoors, at night.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:32 am

Contracts of Darkness (continued)
*****Touch of the Paralyzing Shudder: The Target's body is filled with involuntary shudders of fear and revulsion that cause her to move in a slow and clumsy fashion. Catch: The target is both alone and already afraid of the changeling.

Contracts of Elements (Elementals): (Each element is mastered separately, though it is usually easier to master the same clause for one element if you already know it in another. "Elements" can include water, ice, fire, earth, metal, smoke, mist, wood, air, electricity, shadow, glass, sand, clay, ooze, etc... the only limits here are that it have some direct physical manifestation and must be a base material rather a particular form of object. For instance, electronic data is not a possible element as is exempt from all elemental contracts, while ceramics might be a possibility, as in the case of a clay-based manikin, but "pottery" would not.)
*Cloak of the Elements: This clause protects the Elemental from natural manifestations of any single element. The changeling becomes comfortable in weather associated with this element and is protected against damage by its extreme manifestations (like a fire contract letting one walking through Death Valley at noon in the Summer, water letting one remain warm and dry in the worst thunderstorm, or wood would let a changeling walk through thorny underbrush unharmed and at a normal walking pace and so on) and would also protect you against direct damage (using air to protect yourself from damage caused by a tornado, or Earth to protect against thrown rocks or falling damage), though the latter power only applies to damage that was not caused by an object intentionally shaped into a weapon (i.e., a glass cloak would protect against falling on shards of glass, but not against a bottle broken and wielding against you by a thug, and a metal cloak could protect against a fireplace poker but not a sword or even a pipe that was detached to serve as a weapon). Catch: The changeling bears some symbolic representation of the element in question, such as a souvenir t-shirt depicting a mountain for earth or a small mirror for glass or a hand fan for air.
**Armor of the Elements' Fury: The character clothes himself in a frenzied and damaging manifestation of the chosen element, providing limited armor and damaging anyone who touches him. The character can control the extent of this manifestation, limiting it to her hands so she can attack others, start fires or cool drinks by touch, or she can completely cover herself with the element, which does not harm her or anything she is wearing. Catch: The character touches the element (which for ubiquitous elements like air, must be fairly vigorous, that is, a strong breeze or the wind from a large fan) when he invokes the clause.
***Control Elements: The changeling takes control of the element attuned to the Contract, causing it to move and act in a directed fashion. A breeze blows in a specific direction, electricity in power lines turn on, off, or surges to blow circuit breakers and wooden or metal chairs lurch slowly across floors. Catch: The area is completely dominated by the element... air on top of a narrow bridge, water on a lake or ocean, fire in the middle of a forest fire, electricity at a sub-station or generator and so on.
****Calling the Element: The changeling calls the associated element from a distant location, which he must either be able to see or knows the location of, causing the element to move in as natural a way as possible (fire leaping, water splashing from a basin or falling as rain, wind blows, rock erupts from the ground). If barriers block the progression of the element, then it comes as close as possible. The changeling may use Control Element once it has arrived. Catch: The character is calling the element solely to awe and impress viewers, perhaps as part of a performance.
*****Become the Primal Foundation: The changeling becomes a living manifestation of the Contract's associated element. The character's clothing and small objects close to his skin, such as phones or wallets, blend into this elemental form. Catch: The character must sit and contemplate a large amount of the specific element for at least half an hour immediately before transforming.

Contracts of Fang and Talon (Beasts): (Like the Contracts of Elements, the Contracts of Fang and Talon are divided further according to type of animal, including canines, felines, sea mammals, predatory birds, fish, sharks, bony fish, oxen, goats, lizards, snakes, bats, primates, bears, etc, and so you may take multiple specialties, especially if it fits your personal form... like a Chimera with contracts with felines, goats, and snakes).
*Tongues of Birds and Words of Wolves: The changeling can communicate with the general type of animal represented in the Contract. This is partially empathic, but the changeling must either whisper to the animal in her own language or attempt to imitate whatever sounds the animal uses to express itself. Animals tied to the changeling by Kith feel a kinship and are favorably inclined towards helping him. Intelligence factors in as well, with most mammals and birds being fairly easy to communicate with, while reptiles, invertebrates and most fish can only provide very simple information, such as whether or not any humans came near the general location of fresh water. Catch: The changeling gives the animal a new name.
**Beast's Keen Senses: The changeling gains the senses of a s specific type of animal, selected when the changeling learns this clause, and may either enhance existing senses or provide new ones like a viper's infrared pits or a bat's echolocation. Catch: The character sees or touches an animal of the type being imitated.
***Pipes of the Beastcaller: The changeling can command the animals specified in the Contract, and will follow directions for the next full day. The animals will not cooperate with anything obviously self-destructive, such as standing in front of an oncoming car. Large groups of small animals (such as rats or bees) act as one for the purposes of this Clause. Catch: The changeling asks the animal to guard or watch the changeling's dwelling.
****Tread of the Swift Hooves: The character gains the Contracted animal's mode of locomotion (with limits). Swift animals make him run faster, aquatic animals increase the swimming speed and grace and flying animals allow him to jump and glide at astounding distances. Note that animals with multiple methods of movement, like a monkey, which can both climb and jump exceedingly well, require the changeling to choose which method of movement to focus on (or use this Clause twice). Catch: The character is touching an animal of the correct type.
*****Cloak of the Bear's Massive Form: The changeling can physically transform into the animal bound to the Contract, with clothing and small objects close to his skin blending into the animal form. Catch: The changeling is in the natural habitat of his associated animal and touching or within touching distance of at least one of these animals.

Contracts of Stone (Ogres):
*Might of the Terrible Brute: The changeling's muscles bulge and ripple with added power as he uses his strength more effectively through a combination of leverage and brute determination. Catch: The character fights multiple opponents simultaneously with his bare hands, not using weapons or tools of any sort.
**Ogre's Rending Grasp: The character can focus his inhuman prowess against an inanimate object. Can rip down a wall with his bare hands or bash in the sturdies door with a lead pipe. Must be able to clearly see or touch an object to use this clause upon it. Catch: The changeling is attempting to remove a barrier, such as a door or a wall.
***Display Grandiose Might: The Ogre can boost his strength to a significant degree for tasks not involving combat, letting him run, climb, jump, and lift heavy objects far more effectively than normal. Catch: The character is using this clause for express purpose of showing off his physical or athletic prowess to others, perhaps to gain some prize or to win acclaim, but not for any more practical purpose.
****Gluttonous Feast of Health: Ogres are noted for their prodigious appetites. The character can heal damage through the consumption of prodigious amounts of food and drink. Catch: The character is offered large amounts of food by a stranger.
*****Red Rage of Terrible Revenge: Transforming rage into physical prowess, the changeling is filled with passion and fury and gains unparalleled strength and resistance from harm. Catch: The changeling is using this Contract to gain justice or revenge for a loved one being killed or badly hurt.

Contracts of Vainglory (Fairest): Several of these contracts allow the user to reveal his mien to mortals in a fashion that neither risks his mental Clarity nor lets them remember it clearly.
*Mask of Superiority: The changeling convinces a single subject that she is his professional superior or someone of superior social status. Catch: The changeling pretends to be a socialite or similar celebrity whose fame comes from high standing or good looks alone.
**Songs of Distant Arcadia: Some Gentry keep slaves to provide them with more refined forms of entertainment. This clause allows changelings to become consummate performers, preternaturally skilled storytellers or inhumanly eloquent speakers. Catch: The changeling is giving a performance in front of a wealthy and powerful audience.
***Splendor of the Envoy's Protection: The Gentry sometime send the finest on diplomatic missions where they must be both impressive and difficult to harm. The changeling temporarily abandons the Mask, revealing her fae mien to all mortals (and other beings) within sight, dazzling mortals with amazing glory rather than confusing or frightening them (as with most revelations of the true mien), making them incapable of attacking such a transcendent creature except in self-defense. Catch: This clause is invoked at a formal party containing at least a dozen people.
****Mantle of Terrible Beauty: The changeling appears in her fae mien to all onlookers in a fashion that makes her appear both frightening and terrible. Onlookers see the changeling as a great and terrible version of her normal seeming, but afterwards cannot remember the exact details of what she looked like, only that she filled them with utter terror. Catch: The character is fighting a duel or some other combat that has been agreed upon in advance by both sides.
*****Words of Memories Never Lived: The changeling gives a speech or performance, such as a song or play, which profoundly affects the minds of listeners within 50 yards of the changeling. Once the changeling succeeds in preparing the audience, she can begin weaving a speech or performance that warps their memories and supercharges their emotions. Catch: The changeling is attempting to convince the audience of something that she believes to be factually correct.

Contracts of the Den (Beasts):
*Trespasser's Spoor: The beast who learns this clause is much harder to surprise in his own territory. His knowledge of the local terrain sharpens intensely, allowing him to sense threats almost before they're visible. Catch: The changeling writes his name on one of the entrances to the territory in chalk mixed with blood.
**Trapdoor Spider's Trick: Covers a door, window, opening or other access point within five feet of the changeling with an illusion, making it appear either impassable or not there at all. A fire exit seems to be a stretch or graffiti-marked brick wall, an attic window appears to have been boarded up for years, a manhole cover looks just like a blank patch of worn asphalt. Catch: The changeling is holding a live spider in his mouth at the time.
***Cuckoo's Ruse: The changeling appears to be one of the home's residents to the home itself, bypassing all security systems and causing recording devices to show him as one of the residents, including hobgoblin guards in a hollow, if not mortal security guards or guard animals. Catch: The character has openly invited the owner of the location over to his house within the last three days.
****Blessing of the Burrow: Calls on the power of the Wyrd to excavate a burrow with astonishing speed in any substance. Catch: The character is nude at the time of invoking this clause.
*****Collapsing the Entrance: While standing within or on the threshold of a building, the changeling can collapse a section of the building or burrow. Catch: The building to be collapsed belongs to the changeling using the clause.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:33 am

Contracts of Shade and Spirit (Darklings):
*Ghostly Presence: This clause allows the changeling to see, hear, and speak to any ghosts in her area. Catch: The ghost is someone the changeling knew in life, or the changeling is a Gravewight Darkling.
**Dread Companion: A specific ghost is given the ability to affect one sense (sight, touch, hearing) of everyone taking part in the ritual. Catch: The changeling presses a drop of her own blood to the forehead of everyone participating in the clause.
***Haunting Intercession: Causes a ghost to fully materialize for a short time, as if they were living, allowing them to finish any unfinished business (embrace lovers, seek vengeance or forgiveness from enemies, let parents say goodbye to their children, etc). Catch: The changeling has set up a "dead supper": a complete meal served on never-used plates and silver, with a place for everyone who wishes to participate in the intercession, including the ghost.
****Waking the Dead: The dead tell no tales. Usually. This clause allows the changeling to call up a non-sentient echo (not a spirit, but their voice and memories) of the dead and communicate with it. Catch: The changeling "feeds" the shade by wounding herself and offering her blood.
*****Opening the Black Gate: This clause creates a doorway between the mortal world and the Underworld, which cannot be created in the Hedge or Arcadia, as it always draws the attention of the Gentry. People on either side of the doorway may visit and interact with either world during that time, though they must make it back before the door closes or be stranded. It usually lasts until the next sunrise, though truly exceptional invocations of this clause may cause it to last as long as a lunar month. Please note that the changeling has no mystical control over who uses this door. Catch: The clause is invoked at midnight in a mausoleum, and the changeling invokes the laws of hospitality while the clause is in effect.

Contracts of Communion (Elementals): As with the contracts of elements, the changeling must choose an "element" for each contract, though the contracts of communion are less about commanding and more about experiencing the world through the element.
*Sense Element: The changeling first learns to precisely sense her chosen element's closest location. Catch: The changeling sits and meditates for at least 10 minutes.
**Primordial Voice: The character can talk to the element and ask it about events in the recent past that it may have sensed in its area. Catch: The character makes a minor offering to the element --- polishing metal she is going to talk to, sweeping flagstones, singing for the air, adjusting the lights to make shadows larger, etc.
***Distant Connection: The changeling can share the senses and experiences of distant examples of her element. In addition, she can ask those distant examples to perform actions (usually by becoming more powerful or intense) for her. Catch: The character wishes to share the senses or ask a favor of an example of the element she is extremely familiar with, such as the wood of or air in her home or the metal in her car.
****Elemental Servitor: The changeling can call up the element to act as her willing ally. It is approximately as intelligent as a smart dog and follows simple commands and notices obvious threats. Catch: The changeling performs a single significant favor for the element, such as thoroughly cleaning a public fountain, spending an hour or more polishing a large stone statue, or hanging ribbons or bits of paper for a wind to blow immediately before using this clause.
*****Elemental Ally: Imbues an element with intelligence and animation for a short while. Catch: When first using this clause on the element, the changeling negotiates with the element, promising some service or other payment in return for having the element as a temporary ally. The favor asked is invariably, hazardous, arduous or expensive.

Contracts of Separation (Fairest):
*Tread Lightly: THe changeling can partially remove herself from gravity's influence. She cannot fly or jump further than normal, but she takes only slight damage from falling, regardless of the distance. In addition, she can walk or run over any solid surface even if it would not normally support her weight, such as tissue paper or thin panes of glass. She can also walk across mud and dry sand without getting her feet damp or dusty. Catch: The character is wearing fancy and delicate footwear that would be ruined if she did not use this clause.
**Evasion of Shackles: The character can automatically slip out of any handcuffs, straitjacket or other restraints. Catch: The changeling has been unjustly imprisoned for some crime or offense she did not actually commit.
***Breaching Barriers: The changeling can walk through any closed or locked door or window he could fit through if it were open. Catch: The character has been deliberately imprisoned by another changeling.
****Elegant Protection: Attacks swerve to avoid the changeling. While using this clause, the changeling always looks elegant and poised, even while dodging. Catch: The changeling is unarmed and not attempting to attack anyone.
*****Phantom Glory: The changeling temporarily becomes completely intangible. In this state, she is immune to all physical attacks and can pass through all solid barriers. She can attack ghosts and other insubstantial creatures, though. All objects and weapons held become intangible, but not other characters. She cannot walk on air, but can walk across water as if it were solid ground, and may be able to leap partly through a ceiling and pull herself up. Catch: The changeling carries no weapons and wears no armor.

Contracts of Oath and Punishment (Ogres):
*Pursuer's Seven-League Leap: A changeling who invokes this clause can leap truly prodigious distances, over ravines or building as well as open ground. Catch: The changeling is pursuing an oathbreaker.
**Sense Tainted Vows: The changeling can determine by touch if the subject has broken any oaths. The taint of a broken oath fades after a year and a day except for the most severe violations (such as a formal fae pledge) or a broken law of hospitality. This might also include breaking marriage vows or breaching Terms of Service for software. The Changeling instantly knows what the broken oath was. Catch: The subject is swearing, or has sworn a pledge with the changeling.
***Inexorable Pursuer: Invoking this clause allows the changeling to resist attacks on her clarity or any Court-derived emotional effects. Catch: The changeling has successfully resisted a Court-based emotional manipulation or attack within the past day.
****Relentless Pursuit: This clause gives the changeling a general idea (direction and rough distance) of where his subject is, so long as they are under the same sky. The clause lasts from sunrise to sunset or vice versa. The "same sky" is defined as the same realm (Arcadia or the mortal world, for instance) and the subject and caster are on the same dayside/nightside of the planet. Catch: The changeling never stops to rest for more than 15 minutes in his pursuit of the subject. The changeling can ride cars or planes but must be the one driving or otherwise controlling the vehicle.
*****Cruel Vengeance: Invoking this clause demands that the changeling publicly accuse her subject of oath-breaking. The changeling must also describe the oath or pledge the subject has broken for this clause to take effect. If the character really has broken this vow, the changeling gains a brutal ability to punish his foe. Catch: The subject of the clause is a member of the changeling's freehold.

Contracts of Animation (Wizened):
*Knowing Touch: The character talks to an object or device and learns of any damage it has suffered and the location and nature of all its weak points, hidden spaces or secret compartments. Catch: The owner of the device has asked the changeling to examine it. This catch does not function if the changeling owns the object in question.
**Instant Expertise: By touching a device and listening to its spirit, the changeling gains an instinctive knowledge of how to use it. This clause can be used on weapons, vehicles, scientific instruments, individual computer programs or any other device or tool. Catch: The character has at least 10 minutes to talk with the device to learn the secrets of its use.
***Inanimate Communion: The character directly senses and experiences events that happened to the object or device he is handling. The changeling experiences these events from the point of view of the object he is touching, and knows how it was used and by whom. Catch: The object has not been used or handled for at least a year.
****Animate Device: The character can cause any device to operate on its own. Cars drive themselves, guns fire while sitting on a table, doors open or close and locks unlock themselves. Catch: The character owns the device and has regularly used it for at least a month.
*****Command the Inanimate: The changeling commands an inanimate object and imbues it with temporary animation. This clause enables a table to hop across a restaurant floor, a broom to sweep a floor, a knife to hurl itself across a room or a gun to aim and fire itself. These objects can all move swiftly and, if desired, with lethal force. Catch: The object's owner is a stranger to or enemy of the changeling, and mistreats or does not take adequate care of the object.

Contracts of the Forge (Wizened):
*Rewriting the Image: The changeling can alter the details of any two-dimensional image, including paintings, photographs, and video clips. The basic form cannot be changed but all the details can be, allowing the changeling to transform an image of one person into someone else, though it cannot alter writing. Catch: The changeling is changing the image of someone else into the changeling's own image.
**Trivial Reworking: The changeling can temporarily shape a small object in relatively minor ways. Catch: The changeling is reshaping an item that she stole from someone so that the changeling can use it against this person.
***Discreet Conjuration: The changeling can remove a small object from a pocket, desk drawer, or other location where the object could be --- even though, before the clause's use, the object wasn't there at all. Catch:The changeling is paying an enemy for some information or service with a valuable object of some sort.
****Hidden Reality: The changeling can create or change some minor feature of her surroundings that was not previously obvious. Catch: The character is creating a way out of a place where she was combined against her will.
*****Paths of Desire: The character can open a gateway that leads to anyplace in the Hedge that the character has ever visited before. Catch: The character has buried a vial of his own blood in the soil of the desired location.

Contracts of the Wild (Beasts/Elementals):
*Wildwalker: The changeling places herself in harmony with the natural world, so that it does not impede her efforts. Rain and winds avoid her, and thin branches move out of her way. Catch: The character spent the last night sleeping outdoors.
**Nature's Curse: The character can persuade the local forces of nature to impede or harass a specific individual. Catch: The target is carrying a gun.
***Virdian Embrace: The changeling can cause natural forces to actively aid her efforts. Winds help speed her running or aid her balance, and plants shield her from observation. Catch: The changeling is attempting to come to the aid of a mortal.
****Calling Wind and Weather: The changeling can call or calm storms and otherwise control the local weather. This control is fairly general and is limited to conditions that would be reasonable given the season and location, and the character cannot create violent or seriously damaging weather conditions such as tornadoes, blizzards or hurricanes. Catch: A dozen or more mortals all ask the changeling to provide the desired weather or are at least hoping the changeling will do so.
*****Calling Nature's Wrath: The character unleashes the fury of the natural world over a large area. Branches whip with dangerous force, heavy winds blow debris, hail falls with damaging force and ice or water makes the ground slick. Catch: The Changeling is on land owned by her family.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:43 pm

CLARITY: Clarity often replace most Changelings' concerns of morality, because it is a measure of how sane and grounded on Earth they are, instead of being unhinged by the beauty and nightmares of the Hedge and Faerie. Higher Clarity changelings are able to maintain their lives and appearances as completely normal humans, which, in turn, helps them hide from the Keepers. As Clarity decreases, however, Changelings tend to begin seeing and hearing things (the faces of little imps that watch them from shadowy corners, or bell-like laughter that rings out whenever they use Contracts) that probably aren't there. They soon lose the ability to distinguish between reality and illusion and tend to start manifesting mental problems, including paranoia, delusions, and severe OCD... and it is feared that actually losing all Clarity would transform a changeling permanently into a hobgoblin or True Fae. Re-entering the Hedge, or staying there for a long period of time, using certain Contracts (like those of the Moon) frequently, avoiding contact with normal humans (non-changelings), and using certain tokens can be harmful to one's Clarity. There are ways of recovering Clarity, notably not using any supernatural powers or contracts.

NAME: Dasher Bae
KITH: Runnerswift - Reindeer (with Windwing gift as well)
COURT: Spring
MASK: Dasher appears as a 6'5" Caucasian man in his late twenties with short light brown hair and soulful brown eyes. His ears stick out ever so slightly, enough to draw attention to his face and frame it nicely without making him look foolish. His hair is usually gelled and mussed into a spiky mess that crowns his head in imitation of very short antler points. Most of his height comes from his legs, and he prefers to wear red, green, tan and white, and shows a fondness for turtlenecks and sweaters in the autumn and winter and form-fitting clothing in the spring and summer. He tends to have a graceful, controlled, and casual strut to his movements, which many attribute to his peculiar mixture of jobs (dancer, part-time model, busker, and teacher). He has a dusting of hair on his arms and body that seems to shift from brown to gold to red in certain lights, and he has to shave regularly to keep from growing noticeable stubble. His eyelashes are fairly long, and his eyebrows are thick, making his glare a terrible one.
MIEN: Dasher has soft fur over his body, including a white collar of longer fur on his neck and chest. His eyes remain the same, but his ears extend to the side as flexible deer ears, and he sprouts a crown of reindeer antlers. His face is tapered and his nose slightly brown and darker than the rest of his skin. He has a deer's tail extending from the tip of his spine, and his furry legs are bent back and end in reindeer hoof-pads. His normal hair is distinguishable, as are most of his facial features, and his musculature.
CONTRACTS/TOKENS: Fang and Talon***, Elements (Air), Smoke****, Wild
DURANCE: Shawn Rothley was a prep school kid from Vermont, whose distant but rich parents sent him away to a boarding school for most of the year while taking advantage of his prodigious talent for skiing. He was shy around people, but loved the rush of cold air and the whistle of snow whirling away from his skiis. Then, one evening, he decided to take one more run down the slopes... and when he returned, he seemed less interested in skiing and became exactly the perfect student his parents wanted him to be. But that was his fetch in his place, for Shawn had instead been taken into the world of the Starving Lady, a beautiful maiden of snow and ice whose billowing skirts floated over the ground, hiding the fact that she had only stumps for feet and could turn into a footless, floating werewolf-like spirit of cold and starvation, the Wendigo, if angered (which happened frequently). The claws/nails of the Starving Lady and her whip of razor-sharp snowflakes cut into Shawn's skin frequently, as he was forced to pull her sled... but instead of leaving scars, his skin parted, revealing fur and cervine muscle. When she would pretend to be gentle and caress his head, she'd take pleasure in digging her claws into his head, and the marks left by this repeated action grew into horns. He would run on all fours through bitter cold and howling blizzards for days on end, and his earlier love of the rush of skiing was horribly twisted and enslaved to inhuman whims and hungers. His senses grew sharp, expecting further pain and terror in every direction, and his memories faded in stark animal terror and the longing for warmth and comfort.
RETURN: One night, the icicle servants of the Starving Lady removed his reins while the lady slept in her bed of pine needles and frost, and he fled into the into the night... and into the Hedge, its needles coated with ice. He used his feral senses and grace, born of a thousand painful mistakes and harsh training as a beast of beauty and burden, to get himself thoroughly lost in the endless, shifting forest of thorns. And then, he was found by someone he thought even more of a myth than fairies and monsters... the Yule King. Dressed in brilliant red robes with soft white fur lining, his long white hair and beard curled like the winter wind, and his warm eyes glittered with starlight. With a wave of his hand, the scratches and wounds of the Changeling were healed, and the old man helped the young one to his feet.... er, hooves... for the first time since he'd been kidnapped. "Rejoice, young man, young Runnerswift! For though you have suffered much, and many have suffered worse, and will suffer more in the future, you are, and always have been, even in the depth of your captivity and your years of suffering alone before, well and truly free! Now, dash down that path, there, and return to your world. And may the rest of your days be merry!" With that, the mysterious figure handed the changeling a small box tied with a gold ribbon, and vanished in a flurry of snowflakes and the sound of bells. The desperate, but hopeful changeling wandered down the thorny path and stepped onto mortal Earth. And it was Christmas. However, he found himself staring into his own eyes when he returned to the school. That night, however, instead of being afraid or angry, he remembered the Yule King's words, and greeted the Fetch, Shawn, amicably, and the two of them spent their first true Christmas together. He befriended Shawn, and the two agreed to keep in touch as the changeling, who named himself Dasher Bae, after the Yule King's parting words, Santa's reindeer, and the reindeer who escaped the punishment of the Robber Girl in the Snow Queen, went out to find a new place in the world. He moved to San Francisco, went to college, modeled to make some extra cash, became a busker (playing the flute that was his gift from the Yule King with crystalline beauty reminiscent of the ice of Faerie), and became a teacher. He also became a member of the Spring Court, following the Yule King's message. He has, however, kept his meeting with the mysterious Yule King, secret from the other changelings, because he doesn't know if the being was a True Fae, or a hobgoblin, or something else. He also has not revealed that his fetch is still alive.
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:15 am

Dasher Bae's Contracts: Dream**, Smoke*****, Hours****, Fleeting Spring****, Elements (Air) **, Fang&Talon (Cervines)*****, Wild***
Yule Flute: Token*** A gleaming silvery flute that can let him summon a brief snowfall that lasts until he stops playing no matter the season for as long as he plays if he spends Glamour, making the music silent in all ears but his own, and allowing him to step gracefully onto each snowflake and climb up into the air.

Note: You have 30 points towards contracts and tokens, with any contracts that don't fit your court or seeming come at double cost. Tokens may have a cost of up to five, with each being either the equivalent of any contract clause or having a number of minor effects up to the number of asterisks (*).
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:05 am

Unlike Vampires or Werewolves, Changelings heal about as quickly as normal humans do. Their bodies are not supposed to be particularly resilient (ogres and certain beasts aside), instead having an innate fragility by compare, like a remembered dream clouding the mind of a waking sleeper. When they get scars from particularly pointed battles, ones that have certain emotional or honor-bound meaning to them, they occasionally (though rarely) develop "signature" scars, which frequently match their kith. A Stonebones' scar might be a hard, rocky keloid, while a Bright One's wound might issue a light that's mildly visible from even beneath her blouse. Cold Iron is the only thing that does special damage to any of the fae, though the Others are more affected by it than the changelings. It is said that long ago, a powerful Other made a Contract with iron itself, but that creature failed to honor the terms of the Contract. Thereafter, iron swore itself as an enemy to the prodigal people, cold and unyielding in its grudge against them. Therefore, an item made from pure iron (not steel) ignores all defenses and spells and Contracts contrived by the fae and their magics, even destroying fae armor. Iron pure enough to be called "cold iron" is used very rarely in the modern world, and most Lost who look for a weapon to use against their fellows must often hunt through antique stores to find items with the distinctive grain or forge it themselves. Iron weapons forged by hand (not by fire) have even more power. Mass-produced, machine-cut knives are not "cold iron," nor is metal that has been conjured, transmuted, or even shaped by magic. The most damaging iron has been hammered into its shape with nothing but muscle, a hammer and patience.
Time passes strangely in Faerie. A hapless traveler who stumbled through the Hedge into a midsummer's party and stayed a few hours might find that weeks or even years had passed upon his return. A changeling stolen on her second birthday might return through the Thorns 19 years later to find her fetch only seven years of age. So, too, does time occasionally pass oddly for those changelings who have made it back to our world. Particularly as a Changeling becomes a creature of greater and Greater Wyrd (and usually less Clarity) the forces of fate and time have less sway over her. An old man with rheumy eyes and a fluttering white beard might be 70 years old, or he might be over 100. As his Wyrd increases, disease, illness, and infirmity all affect the character less than they would otherwise.

The word-bond carries tremendous weight among the faeries, and even the renegade changelings understand the importance of one's pledge. An oath is never given lightly, a promise never casually made, for who knows when the Wyrd may entangle those words, tying them to the speaker's destiny? Those who uphold their word with honor and forthrightness shall reap rewards of the world; those who fail to do so are punished appropriately. Unlike Contracts, pledges are simple agreements made between two or more parties. The precise terms, tasks, and boons for adhering to the agreement and penalties for failing to do so are outlined when the pact is made, and the changeling invests a tiny bit of his Wyrd into the agreement. The terms of the pledge can be veiled in casual language, thus binding an unsuspecting participant if the changeling is sufficiently crafty. Pledges are often between members of a motley (group of changeling friends and allies who work and fight together), the oath of vassal to liege (like the kings/queens of the courts), pledges that ensorcell mortals or grants a changeling access to the dreams of another, pledges define the relationship not simply among the Lost, but between an individual changeling and the rest of the world. Skilled and artistic pledge-craft is well respected among the fae. To craft a pledge, one must first determine the tasks involved for each party of the pledge, then determine the boons involved for each party of the pledge, the sanctions for each party breaking the pledge, the duration involved for each party of the pledge, and all parties must agree. Tasks include establishing an alliance, allowing a changeling to enter the other party's dreams, completing some endeavor, ensorcelling a mortal to allow them to see through the Mask by infusing the her with Glamour and lacing her soul with the weaves of the Wyrd, claiming fealty to a lord or freehold, or forbidding someone from doing something. Boons include adroitness, a blessing of good fortune, ensorcellment (if a mortal is part of the party), an unnamed later favor, a gift of Glamour, or gaining vassalage from a lord or freehold - allowing them to gain access to the blessings and magic and benefits of the court/freehold. Sanctions include banishment from the lands and freehold, a curse of incompetence and terrible luck, death, some flaw of the Wyrd, or the ability to empower contracts to punish oathbreakers (the Pishogue), as well as having the effects of the previous boon reversed (wealth turned to poverty, adroitness turn to incompetence, ensorcellments showing only terrible things from nightmares instead of wonders, glamour loss, and the like), or alerting the other changelings that the oathbreaker is vulnerable to contracts or violence. Durations include one day, one week, one moon (28 days), one season (89 days), a Year and A Day, a Decade, Lifelong, Generational, or (rarely) an Eternity, with appropriately greater benefits for longer durations. Example Pledges: (include archaic language and modern)
The Reaper's Pledge:
"Let our prosperity be joined. The sweat of my brow shall be your riches; the depth of your gratitude shall be my power. For one week, this is our vow. May thy wealth dry up if you are untrue, may fortune rise against me if I am. This we swear."
"A favor for a favor. I'll get things done for you this week, you just give me a little something to indicate we're still friends. If you can't do that much, then you'll be all the poorer."

The Oath of Rose and Thorn:
"By your true name, I grant you sight for one moon. See the things of dream and wonder with eyes opened like the blossom of the rose. By your true name, you grant me the right to as a boon, within the cycle of that moon. Swear that you shall grant it to me, so long as it does not bring you harm. Swear that you will keep this knowledge beneath the rose. And let he who is forsworn in this wake to find the thorns of this oath in him. Madness and ill luck follow you if you are false; I shall grant thee a boon, and be followed by misfortune should I prove false. Do you agree?
"Are you sure you want to see what's on the other side? Be sure. Say yes, and I'll show you the way to the people who've hidden themselves from you all along. You'll get one moon, one month. But be sure. Swear it on your name that you won't tell anyone else, or you'll wish you'd never met me."

Pledge of Horn and Bone:
"By this token of my wayward self, I'll stand guard at the Gates of Dream. To my right, the Tower of Horn. To my left, the Tower of Bone. I shall grant you safe dreams, fine dreams, wonderful dreams. You shall grant me a sip of those dreams, to tide me well for the night. What say you?"
"Go ahead and sleep. I promise you'll rest easy. Even when you're dreaming, I'll watch over you. Your pleasant dreams are all the reward I need."

The Ancient Pact:
"Take this token, as a sign of our pact. Let our dreams mingle -- I in your sleeping dreams, you in my waking. Friends, then, and beyond friends. Let this token be our pledge in this ancient pact. Will you be bound?"
"You and me, against the world. Thicker than blood. No matter what, and damn the one who breaks the friendship."

Good Neighbors Pact:
"Peace, then, peace between us. On our true names, we unclench our fists and clasp empty, peaceful hands, until the turning of the season. Let he who betrays this oath suffer the powers of the betrayed --- enter into this pact truthfully, or not at all. So be it."
"No more bad blood between us. Let's call a cease-fire, on the basis of our own good names. A whole year and a day without hostilities, and let the guy who breaks this promise get what's coming to him at the other's hands.

The Motley Pledge:
"Hand to hand we stand, and side by side. Though my brother and I may quarrel, none may quarrel with my brother and not quarrel with me. This is my oath: friendship, assistance, and the blessings that come of both, until the year has spun anew. May our prosperity desert us, and our talents fail us, should we break this vow of brotherhood."
"We had our families taken from us, but now we're family, bound by more than blood. I swear to stand by each of you as you swear to stand by me, for a year and a day, and accepting all curses that may fall on me if I lie."

"I swear, by this token of my liege, that I shall be faithful to him, to cause him no harm unjustly and to give of my skills to the best of my ability for the good of the freehold. I shall render up to him the proper homage of Glamour in its proper time, and may I be banished forever from the warmth of his hearth should I be forsworn."
"I swear on this token that I'll be loyal to this freehold and its master while I benefit from its protection. I agree to render my fair share of Glamour and stand up in defense when needed."

The Knight's Oath:
"On bended knee, I swear to protect my liege and freehold, to serve the good of both, though it may cost me my life. I shall serve faithfully and with honor, for the span of ten years. I give my oath, by this symbol of my standing in the Court of ________, to hold this oath, lest death claim me. May my fellows shun me if I prove false."
"I swear my services as a soldier of the freehold, on this badge of my honor. I swear to be faithful, brave and strong, by sword or by bullet, in wilderness or street, in fire and in ice."

The Heart's Oath:
"These are my words to you. In Winter, let me warm you. In Spring, let me sate your passion. In Summer, let me defend you. In Autumn, let me soothe your fears. Let me be your beloved, and you mine, loving you and no other, til the end of my days. I will be true to you, and you to me, never betraying --- by word or deed --- our love. Let our hands and hearts be bound, in this, our pledge of love."
"There is not now, and there never will be, anyone for me but you. I swear my undying devotion to you not because it is expected of me, but because I can think of no truer way to express the power of my love. My heart is yours to cherish or to break. Take it, and take me with it, for all the rest of my life."
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PostSubject: Re: Changeling: The Lost - Runaways from Faerie   Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:53 am

For some mood, while playing this rpg, you might consider playing one of the following songs...

Most things by Evanescence... especially "Missing"
Pink - "Don't Let Me Get Me"
LeAnn Rimes - "Right Kind of Wrong"
Katy Rose - "Watching the Rain" and "What Dreamers Do"
Nelly Furtado - "Turn off the Light"
East Clubbers - "It's a Dream"
Flyleaf - "All Around Me"
Vanessa Mae - "The Devil's Trill"
Jem - "Come on Closer"
Eastmountainsouth - "Hard Times"
LP - "Faint"
Anastasia Soundtrack - "Once Upon A December"
Fantasia Soundtrack - "Night On Bald Mountain", "the Nutcracker Suite"
Aqua - "Butterfly"
Death Cab for Cutie - "Soul Meets Body"
Sum 41 - "Pieces", "The Hell Song"
Avril Lavigne - "My Happy Ending"
Sense Field - "Save Yourself"
M2M - "Mirror, Mirror"
AllSTARS - "Bump in the Night"
Tori Amos - "A Sorta Fairytale"
Twilight Ritual - "Bats"
Santana - "Black Magic Woman", "Into the Night"
The Charmed Theme Song
Tchaikovsky - "Sleeping Beauty Ballet"
and ESPECIALLY Rihanna - Disturbia
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