Legacy of the Black Apple

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MainLostChangeling: The Lost ● Legacy of the Black Apple
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Legates, Black Apples, Bad Apples
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Lords of Summer pps.142-146
Wyrd ●●●●●
Clarity ●●●●●●
●●●● in one of the following:
Empathy, Persuasion, Socialize, Subterfuge
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The apple token pinned to my lapel tells you all you need to know, but I'll reiterate nevertheless: I've come to negotiate with nightmares, to share diplomacy with demons. The Keepers always keep. But what they keep is up for some discussion. That is our task, and it has been since time immemorial.

Part-beggar and part-diplomat, they interface with the most frightening of enemies, the Gentry, and they negotiate terms. The True Fae can be bound by contracts and pledges just like the Lost. If a Legate can get a Keeper to agree to terms (which are unlikely pleasant but may be more favorable than what was originally “on the table”), then the job is done and the deal is sealed.


The shifts to a changeling's mien upon joining the Legacy of the Black Apple are not particularly overt. The first thing one usually notices about a Legate is the whiff of an apple scent hanging around them. A deeper pull of air into the nose, though, reveals a sour, pungent odor underneath the more pleasant smell. It's the aroma of fermentation, a scent of rot and organic breakdown. Also like the apple-made-black by the hands of the Keeper, those within this order suffer small striations of black skin -- almost as if the skin has lost its blood supply to that localized region and has begun to necrotize. These striations are blessedly easy to hide, for they seem to appear in small, strange places: Between the fingers, behind the ears, underneath the tongue, on the inner thighs. The skin puckers and darkens, and sometimes oozes faint rivulets of fermented apple-sap. Stories say that those who have been in the order for a very long time manifest an even stranger facet: Small green worms playing in the heady striations of rotted skin.

Beyond the mien, the Legates offer very little dress code: Some might dress as their nameless beggar founder, appearing in rags and showing off dirt-smudged cheeks. Others dress as ostentatiously as possible for the purposes of making an impression upon those mad Gentry with whom they meet. The only common element to a Legate's dress is the shiny black lacquer apple token ever-present somewhere prominent: Lapel, sleeve, dangling from a necklace. What's fascinating is that this particular token (See below) is literally part of the Legate's mien. If she removes a frock upon which the apple was pinned, she suddenly finds it pinned to the hem of her undergarments. If she removes those, suddenly the apple dangles from a thin silver thread around her neck. It cannot be removed. It cannot be destroyed.


The Keeper's Reprieve

Something in the relationship forged between the Black Apple's founding Legate (the beggar) and that gentleman of spiderleg arms and fog-feet formed on that troubled day and has been with the Legacy ever since. Perhaps it's the faint aroma of rotten apples? Or the apple token? Whatever it is, the Keepers will always give a Legate time to speak. They have some breathing room, so to speak, though precisely how much is up for debate. Once can always assume that the speaker has at least one minute of talk-time equal to her Wyrd. Beyond that? No telling when an Other might decide that he's had enough. Some negotiations are simple, just a few words or a quickly-uttered promise. But the Gentry can be patient. They can be exhaustive. A Hedge-bound arbitration may take nights to complete, and after those initial minutes a Legate is living on borrowed time and what may amount to temporary sanity.

Weighted Words

For whatever reason, a Legate's word seems to mean more to those who hear it spoken. On any non-supernatural Manipulation based dice rolls, the Legate gains an exceptional success on three successes instead of the normal five.

Black Apple Pendant ●●

One merely needs to concentrate on the apple pinned to sleeve, lapel, or skin (or hanging around the neck or dangling from an anklet). Upon activation, the smell of fermented apples fills the nose coupled with a moment of dizziness. The mind flashes with the Legate reclaiming the stolen child for his village. For the rest of the scene, the Legate can add her Composure score to her Defense provided she only defends herself and makes no attacks of her own. Upon making an attack, the benefit is lost. This can only be used once per day.

Action: Reflexive

Drawback: If the changeling makes an attack in the same scene she activates the token, the scent of apple becomes too potent to handle. She feels a wave of sickly drunkenness, subtracting two from Dexterity, Intelligence, Wits and Defense for the remainder of the scene. She gains no Social bonuses, though.

Catch: The apple bites the skin and leeches a goodly pint of blood into it, growing red and polished as it does so. This incurs one point of lethal damage.


The Legacy of the Black Apple does not seek out changelings of that ilk to join this order; actually, they never seek anyone out. The tasks put forth for the Legates to complete -- i.e. getting up close and personal with the frighteningly hollow Keepers -- is not something they would or could ask another to do. The order is renowned enough in most freeholds that the local changelings know just who the Legates are and just what they do. They've surely formed opinions about this -- some consider their efforts noble, others noble but misguided, and others still are utterly suspicious of anybody who marches up to those fiends and meets the Lords and Ladies nose-to-nose and walks away with all her fingers and toes intact.

The Legacy of the Black Apple therefore will not recruit. If a changeling wants to join, well, then she can petition a member and make the attempt. How do they test a changeling's qualifications? One would hope that at the level the Legacy operates, they're pretty familiar with most of the Lost in a given freehold, especially its more prominent members. If they don't know a changeling, they're unlikely to allow that Lost entry into the noble order. (The changeling who hasn't connected with his brethren in the freehold is one who clearly does not have the social skills to survive among the Black Apple Legates, anyhow.)

That's not to say they don't test a potential Legate. The true test remains secret, and is both sudden and punishing. A handful of Legates enter the Hedge with the stated goal of interfacing with a prominent hobgoblin, a powerful market maven, or a lesser Keeper (such as one exiled from Faerie). They tell the up-and-coming Legate that he is to remain hidden and observe at a distance. Of course, it's just a test. They don't allow the newcomer to remain hidden and silent. They orchestrate it so that he's face-to-face with the enemy. The Legates don't expect miracles, of course. The novitiate isn't to negotiate the return of all stolen children or move the Keeper in such a way so that the fae weeps with regret (besides, they only seem to manifest regret in a solipsistic, selfish manner -- kind of an exhalation of oh, woe is me.), but they do expect him to hold his own. He can't flee. He can't attack the True Fae. They don't demand results. They just demand that he show what he's made of.

Failure has consequences, of course. The Keeper may not harm him then and there, but sensing weakness, may mark that frightened changeling for later humiliations and manipulations. The most notable consequence, though, is that the changeling isn't accepted into the Legacy. He's told to go back home. He's told to "reevaluate" things. Only a rare few have been allowed a second attempt. And those lucky enough to be offered a second chance earned it, doing something truly phenomenal to prove their worth -- entering into the Hedge alone to convince a haunting Keeper to close up his mist-ensconced hollow and head back to Faerie, or communicating with a pack of lizard-faced goblins who have never before been persuaded to speak to the likes of lowly changelings.

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