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MainLostChangeling: The Lost ● Seemings
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To survive is to carry scars. Traumas, both physical and psychological, can heal. The pain they cause can go Seemings away, but they’ll always leave something behind. It’s true of physical wounds, and it’s true of psychological wounds, too. Sometimes the scars we carry disfigure us both literally and psychologically, but survival implies recovery. As someone once said, that which does not kill us makes us stranger as well as stronger, and the changes wrought upon us by the traumas we have suffered leave a mark that is both a reminder of pain and a badge of honor, the proof of survival, the ability to truly understand the sufferings of others.

  • Kiths: The Kith of a Changeling character can be seen as an extension of their Seeming: they describe the specific physical form that the Changeling has as their faerie nature, and each grants the Changeling a single additional power. Different combinations of Seeming and Kith can yield different results, allowing the player to tailor the character to her own specific vision. Players are not required to select a Kith for their characters, but they are useful for individualizing the character and for their added game mechanics.


Beasts believe that they 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 think, if only long enough to burrow, chew and wriggle through the thorny barrier and back to the human realm. No matter what animal he holds an affinity with, a Beast lives in a state of paradox, a conscious, moral person infused with the unconscious, amoral power of the animal kingdom. A Beast's behavior and the place she creates for herself in the world depends a great deal on the kind of animal she reflects. Some stand apart from human society. Some throw themselves into the human world, revealing the wildness and the world of sensation at the heart of human interaction. Some express their connection to the world of sensation in their own, uniquely primal ways. Of all the changelings, the Beasts are the most difficult to categorize. They're as varied in form and behavior as the animals whose essence they share. All of them, however, exist as interstitial figures, living on a threshold between human and animal, civilization and wilderness.


Changelings know that their deeds have consequences, but few feel those consequences so keenly as the changelings who are called Darklings. Many were stolen away as the consequence of attracting the attention of the Fae. Their obsessive clinging to the solace of the night is the consequence of having been imbued with shadows. Their love of quiet is the consequence of having lived in a world where all was whispering, all was rustling and snapping twigs and creeping fear. The Darklings believe that they found it hardest to escape from the lands of the Fae, because their way back was hidden from them. Of all the changelings, they were lost in an alien landscape, with no reference point to return to, with all paths shrouded in shadow. To escape, they had to be the ones who could survive in the shadows, to thrive there with creeping things and dark things and dead things that move. Having come back, they are the changelings who wait in the shadows. The Darklings' memories of their time in Faerie are awash with shadowy fears. Vague, hulking forces loomed from the corner of the room. Small skittering things crawled across faces or became momentarily tangled in hair before dissolving. Wet, slithering things moved around in the background. Trap doors and boarded windows with something behind them figure heavily in dreams of Faerie. Being sent on errands with no point, being forced to copy ancient codices of lore that made no sense while outside things shrieked and fluttered, being made to enter a cellar and being eaten, over and over again, being lost in mazes, all of these things feature heavily in Darkling dreams of faerie. The dark places of the human world don't remotely compare.


While other changelings reflect creatures who, at least on some level, represent human dreams (beauties, horrors, tricksters, animals), the Elemental psyche is influenced by the desires of objects and forces. The Elementals believe that their journey back through the Hedge was harder for them than it was for any of the changelings because they had less reason to escape. Their humanity had been more damaged by what they had endured in the Fae realm. Their memories of Faerie are often difficult to understand. Some know that once, they understood what it was to be a tree, or a stone, or a mound of earth. Some remember being lost to enchantment, becoming a clockwork doll or a lover made of ice. Others recall being lost in an environment now alien to them, perhaps serving as a manservant or maidservant in a flying city of glass or a blazing city made all of brass. Still others found their way into the Hedge on their own, and bear the marks of whatever thorny wasteland they wandered in before being taken to Faerie. Often seen as alien and inhuman, the Elementals are as much a mystery to the other changelings as they are to the humans around them.


The world the Fairest were part of — or as much of it as they remember — was beautiful, a world of sweet pain and exquisite 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 remembering what it was to be plain, to walk among the ordinary. The Fairest return from the Fae realm as striking, enchanting beings, but with that enchantment they bring back an inhuman cruelty -- a cruelty sometimes magnified by the arrogance that comes from knowing that they were pure enough of heart and strong enough of will to escape the thrall of ecstasy. The Fairest often believe that they should be far more influential and powerful in their Courts than they actually are, mistaking social prowess and ruthlessness for the qualities of leadership. Some manage, by sheer force of personality and charm alone, to rise to the top, but there are more Fairest in positions of authority than there are Fairest who know what they're doing. They push themselves into everything they do, and sometimes their overwhelming charisma is enough to carry an enterprise on its own. Of all the changelings, the Fairest are the least suited to solitude. Though proud and cruel, they are social beings, and when they rise above their shortcomings and let others in, the cruelty that made them can be redeemed.


Most folklore traditions have stories of trolls, hags, giants and flesh-eaters, and the changeling Ogres more often than not reflect those. Their tragedy is often that as they try to escape the violence that made them, they perpetrate it. Whatever place an Ogre finds in the world, she’ll find that the only way to rise above the brutality that made her what she is to accept it and use it. Of course, there’s a fine line between accepting something and embracing it, a line too many Ogres cross. The Ogres who make it back through the Hedge have to be, more than any other changeling, exceptional people. Not that the Fae are necessarily picky in who they choose to abuse and brutalize: rather, the Ogres are those who managed to survive without being eaten, crippled, or beaten to death and to avoid becoming so much like the monsters that took them that they wouldn’t want to leave. They don’t have to be particularly smart or cunning, but they are the kind of people who know their own mind. Most Ogres have an in-born streak of stubbornness that makes them faithful (if sometimes annoying) companions and terrible enemies.


The Wizened may well be the most unfortunate of changelings, for the Wizened could be anyone at all. Many were taken for no reason and through no fault of their own, simply finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unluckier still are those who came to the Others' attention because they encountered one who appeared to be in trouble – like the man who found a little person under a rock and set him free, only to be hounded to death for his presumption that the Fae might need his help. Despite their seeming haplessness, it takes someone as cunning and ingenious as the Fae themselves to escape from the Little People, and so Wizened changelings who return are most often those people who were already nimble of hand and quick of wit. The Wizened bring back disjointed memories of random cruelties, of being the butt of tricks and experiments that seemed hilarious to the Fae, even if they couldn't appeal to any human sense of humor. Many dimly recall trying to escape over and over again, each time being outwitted by their spiteful captors, perhaps at times being allowed to think they had escaped before the fact that they were still in Faerie all along was revealed.

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