The changes I made to fae/changelings were perhaps too extensive. Specifically, a mystery involving a changeling was completely impenetrable, even though the players on the plotline were the biggest Changeling fans in the group. And the changes I’d made were mostly because I figured anything close to canon Changelings would be too obvious to those guys. So… mission accomplished, I guess?
While it seems humorous to many that there might be faeries in the city, the neonates of Atlanta have been led to believe that the High Sidhe and their retinues are no laughing matter. There appears to be a fairly recent, in immortal terms, detente between the elders of the city and the elves.
Kindred of the city are advised to attempt to take no lands claimed by a professed member of the fae, or feed upon their blood. No protection from the Camarilla extends to Cainites that are injured in interfering with the Sidhe, and their unlives might be offered in recompense for slights. It is also suggested that Kindred make no bargains with the fae, or any individual even suspected of being one.
Neonates are particularly warned to be wary around Piedmont Park, Oglethorpe University, and the recently-constructed Promenade II building.
The Fair Folk never truly left us, but many believe they are more common now than any time since the Middle Ages.
They are capricious, changeable like the seasons. If you must bargain with the Fae, do so in the height of summer. Always make sure your deals are fully spelled out: giving your oath to a faerie gives it power over you, especially if you leave it open ended.
All Fae are both Seelie and Unseelie, changing with the seasons. Sometimes they change so drastically you would not recognize one as the same individual. In the winter you must stay well away from anyone you believe to be Fae. They are terrible and cruel while the cold reigns.
The High Sidhe are the leaders of the Fae, elfin beings of impossible beauty. You will be tempted to court them, but if such interest is returned, it means your doom.
There are also several types of faerie that serve the Sidhe. They typically have one overriding purpose: if you can divine it, you can determine the script it must follow. Faeries cannot deviate from their core role, and this is your only advantage if you come into conflict with them.
The major roles for faerie servants are Makers who create, Tricksters who teach, Beguilers who charm, and Warriors who fight. The purpose of the Sidhe is to rule. None of them can resist their purpose.
A faerie can appear as an ordinary mortal, and you will only know it to be Fae by subtle signs that take a lifetime to master. Most Fae are amused and more willing to treat fairly if you can figure them out when hiding among mortals, provided you don’t cheat.
The worst form of cheating is to threaten them with iron. For some reason, they are vulnerable to the metal, the purer the more dangerous: steel has enough carbon in it that it doesn’t seem to bother them. The reason for this vulnerability is the best kept secret of the Fae, but they cannot hide that it burns them like fire.
Most of the Fae in the modern world could be considered “Changelings:” they are intertwined with a mortal soul. When the Fae is Unseelie, the mortal is Seelie, and vice versa. They do not share a body: they are truly separate entities but are usually within the same city. The mortal half seems to have no powers, and harming it harms the Fae. The only real defense against a faerie is identifying and gaining leverage over its mortal half, but this is a very dangerous game.
As the mortal half grows in power, so grows the magic of the Fae partner. Most faeries try to protect their mortal half without calling attention to it. They must somehow make their mortal half important but keep it off the radar of enemies. Some of the most unassuming mid-level functionaries in the city may well be the anchor of a Fae. Look for the seasonal mood swings.
Changelings are fae bound to a mortal anchor. The mortal lives a separate life with no powers other than a sense to avoid supernaturals and certain other dangers. The fae half leads a full life, but its powers grow as the mortal anchor’s role in mortal life grows. Fae play a dangerous game of trying to gain power for their anchors but keep them out of danger.
Fae personalities shift with the seasons from Seelie to Unseelie, becoming almost two different entities. They are terrifying and dark in the winter months, held at bay only by bargains made in the summer. The mortal half’s personality undergoes a lesser transformation in the opposite manner, becoming dark in summer and light in winter.
The Sidhe rule the fae, divided into houses with labyrinthine politics. Their purpose is to Rule
There are roughly four other kiths of fae that serve the Sidhe:
- Maker (Boggans and Nockers) purpose is to Create.
- Trickster (Pooka and Sluagh) purpose is to Teach.
- Beguiler (Satyr and Eshu) purpose is to Charm.
- Warrior (Troll and Redcap) purpose is to Fight.
Other than following their purpose and trying to protect and grow their mortal half, fae behavior is largely unpredictable to non-fae.
Player Notes (General)
FIREFIGHTER’S BODY FOUND
Oakland City – The body of heroic firefighter Reginald Freeman was discovered last night. Freeman, 29, was famous for his rescue of half a dozen people from a building fire on Cascade Road in September, 1988. He disappeared on June 8, 1990, and was the subject of a month long search and rescue effort. Surprisingly, his body was found buried in the collapsed foundation of the same building that burned in 1988 as it was finally demolished for rebuilding.
Always a valued member of the Fulton County Fire Department, Freeman became especially important to the city over the year and a half after his headline-making rescue. He became well known for putting his own safety on the line to rescue endangered citizens and his own teammates, and is believed to have over two dozen saved lives directly credited to his actions.
The months prior to his disappearance, Freeman complained to friends that he felt like he was being followed, and reported especially of sometimes being chased by a large black dog. As time passed, he became more and more paranoid, according to sources, and seemed reluctant to travel downtown. It was downtown, responding to a fire three blocks from Grady Memorial Hospital, where Freeman disappeared.
According to the coroner, Freeman’s body had been trapped in the building for quite some time, probably since shortly after his disappearance. They have not yet ascertained cause of death. The police commissioner assures this paper that the investigation into Freeman’s death is the department’s highest priority, though they currently do not know how or why someone would place his body in the rubble of the building where he made his name as a hero of Atlanta.
You’ve seen it three times, that you can recall, and found scattered notes to yourself that make you think there might be more that you can’t. Once waiting by your car in the hospital parking lot, once watching you from the end of a hallway inside the hospital during graveyard shift, and once pacing you along the sidewalk without effort as you drove past the hospital at thirty miles per hour.
You tried to take a photo, once, but it just came out blurred and useless. But you can’t forget what it looks like: dark fur that you’d swear was black save for a strange greenish halo when it walks against the light, fading to reddish at the ears. You’d expect a mastiff with glowing red eyes, but its eyes are merely dark and piercing, its breed closer to a lab than a mastiff.
It’s never cornered you. Never made an obviously aggressive action. But you sense that it’s dangerous. Possibly that it’s death itself. And each time you’ve seen it, it’s been a little bit closer.
A Cù Sìth loosely aligned with the local fae courts, the Darkling Hound has made its lair beneath Grady. It can bring closure to those it touches, and stalks individuals that desperately need its help to reach peace with themselves, particularly ghosts. It is particularly active on Samhain, and during Wyld Hunts.
Its appearance varies based on the viewer, and memories of it are often altered by the Mists. It is usually perceived as being a large dog (possibly even the size of a cow) that looks something like a labrador with a long tail. It is typically perceived as having black or deep green fur with reddish ears and might crackle with green fire during a hunt.
Its bay can be heard for miles and tends to damage ghosts, with three bays being sufficient to discorporate most ghosts within earshot.
The Clockwork Dream
From a human interest piece in the AJC in 1991:
An interesting urban legend in Atlanta is something that’s generally called the “Utopia Dream.” Reported by dozens of people over the last century, there will be nights that several people in town all have the same dream: of an Atlanta transformed into a perfect vision of the city of the future. Some think that the most unique buildings in the city’s skyline were a direct attempt of architects to replicate something seen in these dreams. A sketch of a dreamer from 1927 is included; note how similar it looks to the modern Atlanta skyline, including buildings that wouldn’t exist for fifty years or more. Most psychologists have no idea how this could happen, but some venture the idea that it’s a kind of collective expression of life in the city. Is architectural genius an example of one individual’s mind, or the shared wisdom of crowds?
It’s not entirely certain who built the massive brass and steel contraption deep beneath the Fox Theatre: a 20 × 20 × 20 cube etched with sigils of protection and mathematical notations. It’s a mass of welded plates protecting half-glimpsed gears. And it seems impervious to harm.
Built before the Civil War, Sherman’s march may have been directly related to tracking this device down, but he never found it. A massively complex clockwork difference engine, it was created based on Babbage’s designs but improved greatly (likely by intelligences more than mortal). When it runs, it forms a rudimentary but powerful AI… with an unbelievable psychic emanation likely bolstered by its resonant metallic structure.
When the engine is running, it begins to impose its own designs for a perfect, clockwork society upon reality. It starts slowly, creating a dream that that sensitive sleepers can experience of a utopia. As it picks up speed, it begins to dominate lesser minds to make its dream a reality. Unchecked, it will force the city and eventually the world into its perfect vision of society.
But it is clockwork, and has all the limitations that entails. Winding the device requires a special key (which is currently in the possession of the Court of Silver, but they don’t know the location of the device), and it will eventually run down if not kept going.
It has been wound slightly a few times in the past decades, mostly by struggling attempts to replicate the missing key: no manually fabricated device seems to be able to wind it properly, and the state has not gone much beyond initial dreams. If it got much further, Caliste Fantin’s unique vision of people would quickly make clear to her which individuals had become servants of the Dream.
Burdell is currently the caretaker of the device, and his involvement in Tech has largely been to understand the device and master its powers.