Characters: Changeling: The Lost
The SeemingsPlease note that the relation between Seeming and changeling is going to be inverted in Second Edition: Whereas in 1E it was the "model" that your Keeper made you, in 2E it's the new form the Wyrd gave you after you showed it you weren't just a bit player in your Keeper's story, but a free agent of your own. Hence, every Seeming will have two versions, one for each edition.
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In 1E: Those who were transformed into animals by their keepers. This Seeming includes those who are associated with real-life animals such as hounds, lions, and eagles, as well as those associated with fictional or mythical animals such as griffins, mermaids and sphinxes. Beasts gain supernatural composure and animal magnetism from their Seeming, but lose some of their mental ability as they have had trouble regaining their human faculties.In 2E: Those who escaped by embracing their id and defying the social conventions of Arcadia, gaining an animal aspect to their kith in the process, a la many a Trickster Archetype. They can regain Clarity by reenacting their initial rebellion despite the consequences, affirming their initial freedom from restrictive social roles, but have a hard time escaping from mundane bonds and being imprisoned is a Trauma Button for them.Kiths Include:
- Broadbacks: Changelings transformed into oxen, elephants, goats, and other stubborn, durable creatures
- Chimeras: Mix-and-match creatures who, because of their fantastical nature, get along with hobgoblins
- Cleareyes: Beasts renowned for their senses, such as hawks, bloodhounds, hares, or sharks
- Coldscales: Lizards, serpents, and other cold-blooded reptilian beasts
- Coyotes: Clever tricksters inspired by the Coyote myths of the American southwest
- Hunterhearts: Predators, dangerous herbivores, and other creatures with built-in weaponry of claw, fang, or horn
- Nixes: River-mermaids with intoxicating voices
- Riddleseekers: Cunning and wise Changelings inspired by sphynxes, raccoons, or the like
- Roteaters: Earthworms, vultures, flesh-eating insects, and other carrion-eating beasts
- Runnerswifts: Rabbits, gazelles, cheetahs, and other creatures of remarkable speed
- Skitterskulks: Creepy-crawlies or other creatures with jittering reflexes
- Steepscramblers: Spiders, monkeys, squirrels, and other climbing animals
- Swimmerskins: Aquatic and water-loving creatures such as fish, otters, whales, and crustaceans
- Truefriends: Pets, pack animals, or others emphasizing loyalty to others
- Venombites: Poisonous animals - snakes, spiders, fugu, and scorpions
- Windwings: Flying or gliding animals. Literal batmen, flying squirrels, birds, and flying insects
1E: Often taken for breaking some obscure or arcane law of the Fae, Darklings were taken to lands of nightmare to become nightmares themselves. Boogeymen, face-changers, gargoyles, succubi, and scholars of lore mankind ought not know make up the ranks of this Seeming. Darklings are witty and adept at lying and hiding, but find their magic less effective during daylight hours, due to their bond to the darkness.2E: Those who escaped through ways they are deeply ashamed of. Each one of them was driven to the point where they had to make a betrayal in order to escape, and the shame of what they did snuffed out their "light", leaving the quiet darkness of secrecy, hidden things, and the forgotten behind. They know better than anyone that darkness isn't a wicked thing, though; after all, the "right" and "just" way of doing things was to remain enslaved. Thus, they are the Lost's unofficial amoral friend, recognizing that the fact of the matter is, they began as the people who did bad things for the greater good already, and now they're the ones who regain Clarity when they fall into that role. Unfortunately, trust isn't something that comes naturally to them, to the point where blind trust, the simple faith that they don't need a Plan B because their friends have their back, is a breaking point.Kiths Include:
- Antiquarians: Keepers of ancient lore and forgotten knowledge
- Gravewights: Liches, zombies, voodoo barons, and others with ties to death and the undead
- Illes: Disgusting trolls who have the ability to project false beauty
- Leechfingers: Soul-suckers, breath-stealers and blood-drinkers - fae vampires and leanansidhe
- Lurkers: Master thieves and pickpockets of the Victorian age
- Lurkgliders: Gargoyles and flying terrors
- Mirrorskins: Shapeshifters and face-changers
- Moonborn: Children of the moon with infectious madness
- Nightsingers: Creepy players of "the music of the night"
- Palewraiths: Spectres, shadows, and spies who can lurk in any shadow
- Pishacha: Bizarre madness-inducing creatures who you do not want to french kiss
- Razorhands: Freddy-style knife-fingered nightmares
- Skogsra: Animal-controlling forest-dwellers
- Tunnelgrubs: Things that crawl and squirm below the ground
- Whisperwisps: Spies and rumor-whisperers
1E: Humans taken and transformed into inanimate 'things' - statues, snowdrifts, pools, streams, puffs of air, dolls, and other, more obscure items and substances. Connected as they are to the "bones of the earth," to the most primal, basic, and often durable of substances, Elementals have the ability to endure stunning amounts of punishment and damage, but they have trouble dealing with and understanding humans. How do you identify with standard-issue mortals when you've spent time as a tree, or a bonfire, or the sky itself?2E: Those who escaped by forgoing thought and sanity, however briefly, to truly understand the world around them, allowing them to simply will themselves out of Arcadia by willing it during that brief nirvana. When they reconstitute in the mortal realm, the element they understand and joined with now composes them, and it wants to change and bring chaos; they may regain Clarity by finding meaning and purpose to an act of pure whimsy, retroactively or not. Of course, chaos turns both ways; an Elemental who is confronted with the damage in their wake and sees an example of people still familiar with concepts such as "me" and "now", they risk Clarity, and exposure to Cold Iron causes Power Incontinence via a bizarre inversion of Personality Powers (so an Air elemental might grow jumpy, and an Ice one lethargic).Kiths Include:
- Airtouched (air)
- Apsaras (watery tarts who induce lust)
- Ask-wee-da-eed (will-o'-the-wisps who bring bad luck)
- Blightbent (pollution)
- Di-cang (jeweled Bodhisattvas who ease pain and...uh, break into things)
- Earthbones (earth and stone)
- Fireheart (fire)
- Levinquick (electricity)
- Manikin (man-made items)
- Metalflesh (metal)
- Sandharrowed (sand)
- Snowskin (cold)
- Waterborn (water)
- Woodblood (plants)
1E: The Fairest Of Them All. Mortals taken by the Fae and sculpted into images of beauty (or, at least, of intriguing attractiveness), then kept in torturous ecstasy by their keepers. The Fairest were often used as pleasure slaves or concubines by the Fae. Others were singers and dancers, or cast as statues to be viewed and enjoyed by the Gentry. A rare few (especially of the Draconic kith) were warrior-artists or magical monsters like dragons and chimeras. Due to their preternatural beauty and grace, Fairest wield advanced presence, persuasive skill, and social poise, but their separation from humanity (and, in some ways, from other Lost) tends to hasten their descent into madness.2E: The Royals Who Actually Do Something. Fairest escaped through leadership, and to a certain extent martyrdom, and so the Wyrd gave them the mien of the ideal leaders they desperately want to be. Fairest, one part All-Loving Hero and one part Control Freak, regain Clarity by appearing right and directing their fellows to glory (even if the Fairest has doubts about actually being right or not)...and risk losing it when they screw up.Kiths Include:
- Bright Ones (embodiments of light)
- Dancers (lithe, nearly disturbing, avatars of grace)
- Draconics (glorious beasts like dragons, chimerae, manticores and the like)
- Flamesirens (the entrancing beauty of fire)
- Flowering (blossoming beauties whose musk makes them very... persuasive)
- Gandharva (eloquent androgynes)
- Larcenists (thieves and dashing highwaymen)
- Minstrels (musical performers)
- Muses (those used to inspire others)
- Playmates ("best friends" of a childish True Fae)
- Polychromatics (living embodiments of the shifting rainbow)
- Romancers (idealized lovers who can look like whatever you find most appealing)
- Shadowsouls (seductive darkness)
- Succubi (or Incubi) (beautiful seducers)
- Telluric (stars and the celestial bodies)
- Treasured (living trophies)
- Weisse Frau (gentle protectors)
1E: Victims of monstrous brutality, Ogres had to become brutal monsters to survive. Often, but not always, big and imposing, Ogres can be cunning cyclopes, massive giants, nimble and bloodthirsty redcaps, or surly trolls. Their strength and fighting skill have been boosted by their Durances, and they can be terrifying when they wish, but the workings of the Others can leave them gullible and sometimes dull-witted, often with short tempers.2E: Often the same as 1E, but it's been subsumed into their overall theme of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds; to escape Arcadia, Ogres buried the part that could feel pain or restrict them from using violence, whether physical or metaphorical, even to the point where many of them lack an organic heart (they replaced it themselves). No matter how big an Ogre is or isn't (with more of them definitely being on the is side), they always have an air of imminent violence around them; largely because Ogres remain violent people; they regain Clarity when they violence or the threat of it to solve a problem. Of course, the problem with the whole heart removal was it doesn't really work. An Ogre is resistant to emotional pain, but there's chinks in that emotional armor; if someone makes an Ogre or their friends realize that something is causing them real pain, the Ogre risks Clarity (though It Only Works Once for each weakness).Kiths Include:
- Bloodbrutes are survivors of Arcadian gladiatorial arenas and wrestling rings.
- Corpsegrinders were fed on death.
- Cyclopeans are Ogres with preternaturally accurate senses, though they are often maimed or handicapped in some way.
- Daitya are giants who rend and tear with supernatural ease.
- Farwalkers are bestial Ogres of the wilderness.
- Gargantuans are giants even among Ogres.
- Gristlegrinders are gifted and cursed with gnashing maws (and often a matching hunger for flesh).
- Oni are Japanese demons who gain power from the blood of the sinful.
- Renders can destroy almost anything they touch, a legacy of their time as labourers with no tools save their hands, or as living siege weapons.
- Stonebones display the toughness of a mountain cliffside.
- Trolls are manipulative brutes.
- Water-Dwellers are amphibious Ogres.
- Witchteeth are Ogres who have proven more receptive to the mystical side of their Faerie nature, embodying the cruel man-eating witch and the magic-wielding giant of old lore.
1E: The Wizened endured endless tortures, then lives of undignified, often pointless drudgery, at the hands of their Keepers. They cleaned the houses, dens, or lairs of their Fae captors, crafted tools and machines, healed (or helped to alter) other Changeling captives, and sometimes served as butlers or cooks in the Fae households. Each Wizened has been 'reduced' in some way - height, weight, size, or sheer physical presence has been shrunk. Some are dwarfish, others unnaturally thin, and still others seem less 'real' than other people. Wizened are clever and nimble, often able to dodge attacks with unbelievable skill, but most are spiteful, shy, or otherwise have trouble dealing with people.2E: Escaping through art and the masterful application of a craft, Wizened are those changelings who imposed order on the chaos of Arcadia to escape, completely immersing themselves completely in their talents. Those same talents drive them; besides being a shield from the weak parts of what's left of their humanity, the pride in them affirm their internal right to exist, gaining Clarity when they perform them for free (and being darn good at them otherwise). Of course, when you have so much of your self-image wrapped up in what you're good at, failing at what you're good at, well, that doesn't lead to nice places.Kiths Include:
- Artists (obsessive craftsmen)
- Authors (master polyglots)
- Brewers (creators of heady and potent potables)
- Chatelaines (impeccably-mannered valets and diplomats)
- Chirurgeons (unrivaled doctors and surgeons)
- Drudges (swift but overlooked workers)
- Gameplayers (clever masters of trivial pursuits)
- Gremlins (tinkerers who render equipment useless)
- Inventors (makers of technological wonders)
- Miners (telegraphing without the telegraph)
- Oracles (fortunetellers)
- Pamarindo (greasy but sustaining epicures)
- Smiths (forgers of magical tools)
- Soldiers (battle-scarred swordsmen)
- Talespinners (Storytellers and Tropemasters)
- Thussers (mesmerizing musicians)
- Woodwalkers (survivors of alien wildernesses)
The Seasonal Courts
The default court structure in western Europe and most of North America, these courts share power, handing off control at the end of their given season in order to confuse the True Fae... or at least, that's the intention.
Spring CourtThe court of Desire, the Spring court believes in integrating into the mortal world and delving into their wants and needs wholeheartedly. The assumption is that the Fae will return expecting to see broken-down wretches, and finding happy (or at least well-entertained) party animals will throw them off. The court's powers involve finding and manipulating other peoples' desires as well as growth, healing, rain, and inspiration. If one overlays the Courts over the stages of grief, they represent Denial.
- Weather Manipulation: One of their Eternal Spring powers is to conjure a rainstorm - anything from a gentle drizzle to a hurricane, depending on how much power the Changeling puts into it and how long they focus on the effect.
Summer CourtMembers of the Court of Wrath know that the Others are always out there, and the courtiers plan to be ready to take the fight to their erstwhile masters when they come back. They train hard so that they can stay safe by fighting off the Others when they come, or at least make themselves less attractive targets. Their Contracts can detect, redirect, and quell anger, as well as manipulating heat and sunlight and generally improving combat capabilities. The court represents the Anger stage of grief.
- Light 'em Up: One of the powers of Eternal Summer is to create a beam of white-hot sunlight to sear the Changeling's enemies.
Autumn CourtThe Others took many things from their slaves, say the Courtiers of Fear, but they also gave things back - not least of which is power. Autumn studies that power, developing knowledge and magic and conquering (or reaching an arrangement with) their own fears so that if the Fair Folk come to call the Autumn courtiers can fight them back with their own magic. Their magic can sniff out others' greatest fears, immunize themselves and others against fear, inflict magical maladies, summon hailstorms, and improve the courtiers' mystical perceptions. The court embodies the Bargaining stage of grief.
- Weather Manipulation: One of the powers of Eternal Autumn is to conjure a dangerous hailstorm, potentially out of clear skies.
Winter CourtIf the Others *are* coming back, reason members of the Court of Sorrow, why worry about what they will find? Why not simply prevent them from finding you at all? Basing their lives on this philosophy, courtiers hide from their own sadness and regret just as they hide from their enemies. They seek to blend in and avoid notice whenever possible. They can use their magic to deaden all emotions but sorrow, to endure and manipulate the cold, and to evoke pragmatic numbness (physical and emotional). They represent Depression in the stages of Grief.
- An Ice Person: Some of the powers of Eternal Winter conjure blasts of cold to disable or injure their foes.
The Directional Courts
Common in China, Japan, and other areas of southeast Asia, these courts draw from elements of sacred geometry and Feng Shui, dividing the Freehold according to the cardinal directions.
North CourtThe Court of Suffering. The Turtle Court is made up of ascetics who systematically rid themselves of anything for the Others to take away, to make themselves unattractive for recapture (or to make it hurt less when they *are* taken again).
East CourtThe Court of Envy. The Dragon Court focus on gathering wealth and resources, so that even if *they* aren't great at hiding, fighting, or what have you, they can *hire* people who are to keep them safe.
South CourtThe Court of Ecstasy. The Phoenix Court of artists and madmen focus on feeling anything they feel to the utmost, drawing strength from the power of their emotions.
West CourtThe Court of Honor. The Tiger Court combine martial prowess with strict training to defend themselves and the rest of their freeholds when the True Fae attack.
The Diurnal Courts
Ancient Courts based out of Eastern Europe and based on Slavic traditions, these courts hand off power at dawn and dusk, each working to undo what the other has done in order to confuse the Gentry. While they're outwardly in conflict, older and wiser heads in each Court understand that they're two sides of the same coin and that neither could survive without the other.
Day CourtThe Court of Shame. The Court of the Sun focuses on righteous (or occasionally self-righteous) behavior and beauty. They're known to occasionally turn away potential members based on looks alone, forcing them to join the Night counterpart.
Night CourtThe Court of Disgust. The Court of the Moon commit acts of wantonness and wickedness (though more out of a sense of freedom than out of any true malice). They delight in tweaking the nose of their Sun Court opposites.
The Transitional Courts
Courts based on the vagaries of fate and luck: Sometimes things are good and safe and healthy. Other times, they... aren't.
Dusk CourtThe Court of Fatalism. Dusk Courtiers know - not just suspect, but know - that they and the world around them are doomed to failure, death, or recapture. Far from leaving them depressed, however, this knowledge galvanizes members of the Court. They fight, party, and work all the harder, knowing that each action may be their last and wishing to burn brightly before they're extinguished.
Dawn CourtThe Court of Hope. Dawn Courtiers realize that the world around them is terrible - how could they not? They maintain hope, however, that there is always a way to make things better. They are prepared to work hard and to sacrifice uncounted things (not all of them their own) in order to bring about this change.
The Entitlements and Eldritch Orders
- The Bishopric of Blackbirds is devoted to trying to help changelings maintain their grip on Clarity.
- The College of Worms is devoted to trying to mastering fate.
- The Duchy of the Icebound Heart, restricted to members of the Winter Court, is dedicated to protecting the changelings from having their hearts broken and their feelings abused... by crushing the hearts of others.
- Magistrates of the Wax Mask, officially, are charged with helping the Courts maintain their Contracts and Pledges, as well as assisting with the various festivals, games and other events the Courts throw.
- Members of the Margravate of the Brim don't trust the Court changelings one bit, but are dedicated to serving as the first (and, in their eyes, last) line of defense against True Fae attack.
- Changelings join the Sacred Band of the Golden Standard because they want to be legends amongst their own kind.
- The Spring Court's Satrapy of Pearls is devoted to being able to buy, sell, obtain and trade anything you can imagine.
- The Scarecrow Ministry of the Autumn Court deliberately instills fear in mortals, often by exploring and abusing urban legends, to try and keep them away from genuine supernatural dangers.
- The Tolltaker Knighthood are Summer Court changelings who act as brutal agents of justice-for-hire.
- The Phantom Tong, which sows discord and corruption to weaken the Courts "for their own good"
- The Bronze Beylik, an order of kingmakers and kingbreakers
- The Knighthood of the Dragonslayer, who are devoted to rooting out corruption in the Courts.
- The Bodhisattvas of the Broken Cage, Spring courtiers who encourage new ideas and attempt to break the stagnation of society
- The Summer Court's Hound Tribunal, who, during the "dog days" of summer, relentlessly hunt down, judge and punish those who dare cross the Summer Monarch
- The Magi of the Gilded Thorn, members of the Autumn Court who eagerly explore the Hedge in order to root out its secrets.
- The Knighthood of Utmost Silence, Winter courtiers who, if you need to disappear, are perfectly willing to give you a completely new life (whether you like it or not).
- The Ancient and Accepted Order of Bridgemasons, Elementals and Ogres of the Autumn Court who are capable of truly astounding feats of construction.
- The Barony of the Lesser Ones, who are devoted to dealing with the hobgoblins within the Hedge, whether through diplomacy, careful analysis, or (when necessary) violence.
- The Court of the Solstice, which isn't actually a Court yet but is so desperate to become one that they actually gain Glamour from the emotion of desperation.
- The Duchy of Truth and Loss, an organization of Winter Court members devoted to hunting down and dealing with fetches (by killing them or selling them to hobs).
- The Eternal Echoes, living chronicles of history with eidetic memories, which they can literally share with others.
- The Guild of Goldspinners, supernatural moneylenders who live up to their name.
- The Guild of the Sacred Journey, Fairest couriers and messengers.
- The Knights of the Knowledge of the Tongue, gourmet chefs with...exotic tastes.
- The Legacy of the Black Apple whose totally safe job involves negotiating directly with the True Fae.
- The Lord Sages of the Unknown Reaches are academics who immerse themselves in the cultures of all the other beasties of the hidden world in which they dwell.
- The Lost Pantheon, who believe themselves to be gods clothed in flesh and act accordingly.
- The Order of the Oneirophysics, healers who make house calls in your dreams.
The Eldritch Orders
- The Charmed Circle seek out true leaders amongst the changelings and gather them into a brotherhood of kings and queens.
- The Knights of the Widow's Walk are elite spies amongst the changelings.
- The Parliment of Victors are composed of the greatest, most successful champions of the changelings, much like the Sacred Band of the Golden Standard.
- The Office of Vizieral Counsel are changeling archmages that forsake political power to become sorcerer-advisors to the freeholds, in order to stave off their growing madness.