Title: Characters Combination in Mon, Language used in this article: English and Burmese, Tag: Character Combination, Mon, Consonants Combination, Vowels Combination, Killers Combination, M…Full description
CREDITS Writers: Abigail Corfman & Matthew McFarland Developer: Matthew McFarland Editor: Carol Darnell
SPECIAL THANKS All the folks who backed the Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter. Thanks for dreaming with us!
Artists: Aaron Riley Art Director: Michael Chaney Creative Director: Richard Thomas
Sally Bobbin Brady Fish Luul Al-Baz Kaori Tsukamoto Kay Sparks Chuck Wood Steve Market Lily Porter Joshua Royce Lady Zhalana Dominic Lowell Lashaya “Prophecy” Ellis Julio Garces
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Social Justice Valkyries
Now Streaming: The Dreaming
Ms. Al-Baz’s Field Trip
Lady Zhalana’s Retinue
The Glorious Endeavor
In Defense of the Townhouse
Zoom Zoom Techno Party Extreme
A Day at the Museum
Hunting the Patriarchy Patriarchy
Table of Contents
SALLY BOBBIN “Okay. It’s eight o’clock now. The delegation from Gwydion will be here at noon. We have to clean the main hall, cook lunch, finish the unity tapestry, hang the unity tapestry, tapestry, sober up the Baroness, Baroness, rescue the Baron Baron from the dragon dragon in the basement, and get cake frosting. We can do this.” “I just need one hour, a romance novel, and a bubble bath. Then I’ll be right as rain.” “I haven’t heard you laugh in a week. Want to talk about it?”
Background: Sally is the seneschal of the Glorious Endeavor , a Fiona freehold situated inside a double-decker tour bus. An entire castle sits tucked inside the vehicle. You can watch the world speed by through the arrow loops, and the spiral staircases of the tallest towers lead up to the top of the bus.
Sally is responsible for maintaining both the castle and the vehicle. She also coordinates coordinates court functions, functions, plans social events, events, and makes sure the loving and close community doesn’t implode from drama. House Fiona tends to attract large personalities, and it takes a gentle hand and empathic awareness to ensure those personalities don’t crash into each other. Sally provides both. While the Baron technically technically rules the freehold, freehold, he mostly uses the bus-castle as a base of operations for his quests into the Dreaming to vanquish dangerous chimera. As a result, the balefire actually recognizes Sally as its master. Both Sally and the freehold are t actful enough not to make this information public. Sally cares deeply about the people around her and does her best to take care of both their physical and emotional well-being. When it comes to simple things like food and shelter, she’s a master of delegation, assigning responsibilities, and planning for contingencies to ensure everyone gets what they need to keep them fed and happy. She went through a phase where she tried to do ever ything herself, but being responsible for an entire freehold will quickly quickly disabuse even even a boggan of that Sisyphean Sisyphean task. She’s not above making an omelet on her own, but understands that’s not the most effective way to make breakfast for a household. Sally saves her individual attention for people with emotional issues. Her birthright gives her instincts that she has sharpened over time, and discontent glows like a baleful halo around anyone having difficulties fitting in or finding joy. If appropriate, Sally will sweep in with some hot chocolate and a willing ear, ea r, shoulder ready for tears. But she can also play the long game with people who aren’t ready to talk about their problems — sending non-verbal messages with gifts and touch to let them know they are cared for while talking about innocent things to provide companionship, occasionally giving them openings to discuss what she suspects troubles them.
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Description: Sally is short and comfortably fat. She is Sally is particularly empathic when it comes to issues of identity, since she only came out as a woman later in life. in her thirties and is a wilder on the cusp of grumphood. When she was was a young young wilder she she took a ride on the Glori- Worry Worry lines are just starting to crease her forehead, racing ous Endeavor. She met a Baron who used to be a Baroness, the laugh lines to definition and neither is much ahead. and who took the time to talk to her. She wears layered skirts and likes matching her earrings to The freehold has always supported Sally, through self- whatever occasion she finds herself in. Playing with makeup disgust, confusion, hesitant questions, deciding to become of many shades and styles is one of her particular delights, a her, working up the courage to announce her existence to and her boggan birthright means that she can finish an an only intermittently understanding world, figuring out extremely elaborate toilette as fast as most people brush the new logistics of makeup and clothing, and the day-to-day their teeth.
difficulties of becoming something new. Sally sometimes refers to the process as her “Second Chrysalis.” Sally’s well-oiled freehold gives her the freedom to go adventuring when she wants to. The Baron grumblingly agrees to actually do his job when Sally wants a vacation for a month. She is also, for the most part, completely in charge of where the freehold goes.
Roleplaying Hints: Sally is gentle in word and motion. She listens actively to people: nodding along, asking pertinent questions, and encouraging them to elaborate on things that are clearly important to them. People fascinate her. When getting things done, she is efficient but always friendly. She never lets the job get in the way of being a person.
BRADY FISH “Nah, I like the States all right. Hardest part was learning not to say the c-word all the time.” “You “Yo u gonna talk all day or are you gonna hit me? Get on with it, because you’re boring me to death right now.” “I know a lady might be able to help you with that.”
Background: Brady “Fish” Smith was born in Dublin, and grew up watching his father run one of the big cranes on Dublin Port. He got his nickname when he was eight years old; he picked a fight with another boy and got knocked in the water, and the bystanders (many of whom were friends of his father) said he splashed around in the water like a “huge feckin’ fish.” His father helped him out, and then showed him how to mind his surroundings in a fi ght so that even if he got hit, he didn’t get knocked into the water or out a window or something similar.
Brady’s father died on the job one day. All Brady was told was that he was unloading a ship late one night (and being paid under the table for it), there was an explosion from the docks, and the next thing anyone knew a dozen men were blown to pieces. Brady started looking into it, and he learned that the men had been torn to pieces, as if by something huge and strong. The ship had come from the United States, and Brady was going to find out what happened. He moved to the USA when he was 21 and started asking questions, but he quickly learned that the ship had been transporting something illegal, something no one wanted to talk about. Learning more required becoming more comfortable with criminal activities, but Brady seemed to have a knack for putting people together: one guy needed a hacker ha cker,, another needed someone who could crack a safe, a third needed someone who could run a con, and Brady had a great memor y for names and faces and proclivities. He quickly gained a reputation as a fixer, and as he gained some renown, it distracted him from his quest to learn about his father. And then one night he met a man who was missing an ear, a man with a Dublin accent. He carefully approached him, but a group of tough-looking folks got to the man first. That brawl completely destroyed destroyed a bar and left a bunch of people dead or without any memory of what happened, but right in the middle of it was Brady, equally confused, but fresh out of the Chrysalis. Brady now believes that whatever happened to his father, it involved the supernatural. He doesn’t know if the thing that killed his father was fae in nature, but he’s redoubled his efforts to find out. Description: Brady is a black man in his early 20s. He’s short, thick, and strong. His hair has become strangely tinged with red since his Chrysalis, but he keeps it cut short anyway. Fish is a bit funny-looking, no two ways about it; his eyes bug out a bit and his ears fold over just slightly. As a changeling, he also sports bright green eyes, which only adds to the effect. Brady favors a comfortable black suit, but refuses to wear a button-up shirt.
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Roleplaying Hints: Brady is as happy to throw a punch as any other clurichaun, but he also lives and moves in a world where people are more likely to shoot him, so he tries to be circumspect about who he fights. He remembers his father’s advice about fighting — don’t be so eager to win that you forget where you are — and tries to apply it to the rest of his life, as well. Brady talks to everyone, asks
people’s names, but pays careful attention to how they treat other people and how other people treat them. Someone can appear weak but be treated with deference, or present themselves as powerful but others treat them like a joke. Brady wants to know what people are really capable of, because he might need them someday. someday.
LUUL A L-BAZ “Thomas, would you like to pick our book for today?” “Time for recess! Line up!” “Phonics-based? No, I want them to like reading.”
Background: Luul Al-Baz was born in the United States to a pair of Somali refugees. From the time she was very small, she heard stories of horror and wonder. Her mother, who had been stuck in a refugee camp for more than a year, told her the tales of how she got out, and why she got out. Her father, on the other hand, told her marvelous stories of his childhood in Mogadishu, the adventures he had with hi s friends, and the things he saw on the long walk from that city to the port city of Kismayo. Luul grew up torn between fear of having her life ripped away, and slight envy for how much her father had experienced.
Her father died of cancer when Luul was 15. On his deathbed, he wept and, in fever dreams cried out for his father and brother. Luul asked her mother what this meant, since since her father had never mentioned mentioned these people in his stories, and her mother told her the truth. Her father had nightmares about his journey, but he chose to focus on what few scraps of joy he could, to share those with Luul, in hopes that she would would see the world as it could could be, rather than as what it had been to him. Her mother, for her part, felt that being honest with Luul was better, so that she would grow up “with her eyes open.” After her father’s death, Luul thought long and hard about the messages her parents had given her. Neither of them were wrong; the world was horrific and awe-inspiring in equal measure. In the end, Luul thanked her mother (and, in her prayers, her father) for what they had given her: Dreams and knowledge. Luul entered her Dream Dance a year to the day after her father died, and the explosion of Glamour was so intense that it swept her mother up in it as well. Enchanted, Luul’s mother saw her daughter reclaim her heritage as a n eshu, and wept as she saw her husband’s wonder in her daughter’s eyes. Luul’s wilder years took her through high school (including a year studying abroad in Europe), undergraduate studies, and a Master’s degree in education. When she got her job teaching kindergarten, she settled into her role as a grump. Dreams and knowledge: one cannot exist without the other, and she would give her students the benefit of both. Although teaching in the US public public education system system carries its share of Banality (progress reports, meetings, continuing education, and the endless standardized testing), Luul keeps her fae nature handily. At any given time, she has 25 little dreamers under her care, after all. Description: Now in her late 20s, Luul is a black bla ck woman of exceptional grace and joy. She is tall, but typically crouches or stoops to talk with her
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students on their own level. She wears a headscarf when out in public, and favors dresses to pants. Luul carries a satchel that holds her laptop, her paperwork, snacks, and at least three books (she compulsively buys children’s books to read to her class). She has a ready laugh and an easy smile, but b ut remembers her mother’s wisdom and always keeps an eye on the exits.
of class time to free play. She reserves her weekends (and, sometimes, evenings) to Kithain-related activities, honoring her father’s memory by continuing to have adventures. adventures. On some level, Luul is aware that despite her best efforts, her job might eventually be too demanding to allow her to continue those adventures, and she does not know what she comes. Luul confides in her mother Roleplaying Hints: Luul is kind and empathetic, but will do when that day comes. she’s still an eshu. She takes her class on field trips whenever (who has undergone the Ritual of Parted Mists) and asks possible, and she isn’t above enchanting them before going her advice. Her mother is practical and frank, and Luul is to a natural history museum or devoted extended periods much more her father’s daughter.
KAORI TSUKAMOTO “It’s quadcore, thirty-two gigabytes of RAM, with an Nvidia GeForce FAE 5040 graphics card, which I designed myself. Want Want to play a game?” “I ship the cyber cowboy and the archer assassin and I will fight anyone who disagrees. Yes, I can be ace and still ship people, god you’re so ignorant. ignorant. Log on to Fightnet Fightnet so I can kick your your ass.” “Kisama! Tofu Tofu no kado ni atama wo butsukete shine!”
two brothers. Background: Kaori was born in Japan but grew up in America. She was the middle child, bookended by two Kaori’s mother doted on her only daughter. Her father was proud of her intelligence. Her older brother was protective of her. Her childhood was loving, but somewhat stif ling. She treasured her time with her baby brother, Yuma, Yuma, who was the only member of her family who didn’t expect something from her. Kaori discovered gaming in middle school during a sleepover and immediately entered the Dream Dance, sending her and her five girlfriends spiraling into a region of the Dreaming full to the brim of shotguns, health packs, and monsters. They worked together, survived together, fought aliens, stole a spaceship, and rode it home. They tumbled out of the television in time for their parents to pick them up, all forever changed. Kaori explored the endless worlds of gaming. Her computer became a trod to that area of the Dreaming she’d discovered during her Chrysalis. The “driving a spaceship home” stunt attracted the attention of the local freeholds, and she started engaging with other changelings as a rambunctious, loud, foul-mouthed nocker. At the same time, she continued to live with her family, family, who adored her and expected certain things from her. The Unseelie gaming crew Kaori had become a part of encouraged her to rebel and take a stand — expressing her fae self and shocking her family with the truth of what was within their daughter. But as much as Kaori was coming to love trash talking over voice chat and cursing out newbs, she still cherished her role at home. Her mother’s love. Her father’s admiration. She knew such a dramatic change would hurt them, and didn’t want that. Lucky for her, changelings are well suited to living dual lives. Kaori’s Seelie and Unseelie selves split into two versions of one girl. Her Unseelie self is still dominant and she aligned herself with that court, but her Seelie Legacy is unusually strong to the point where her voile changes dramatically when she shifts attitude. Her Seelie Seelie self self was a diligent, polite daughter. Her Unseelie self was a ruthless, cantankerous punk who screamed at people online and build a gaming rig out of spare parts and magic with a Virtual Reality setup through which she could view the Deep Dreaming. True, it occasionally ejects her into the Deep Dreaming at inconvenient times, but she always manages to make her way home. She and the girls from the sleepover are still fast friends and sometimes she enchants them and they go exploring together. They call themselves the Skullcrushers <3. Kaori’s projects and explorations and transformations almost completely distracted her from puberty, but she eventually noticed that it didn’t seem to be hitting her in quite the same way as everyone else. She finds it difficult to take part i n Skullcrusher <3 conversations about what boys or
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girls in class are attractive because she doesn’t seem to f ind anyone attractive. Everyone else seems completely completely obsessed with this “sex” thing and she just can’t see the appeal. She’s planning to eventually have a talk with a satyr about why it’s so overwhelmingly distracting to everyone, but it’s not high on her list of priorities and at this point she’s pretty sure she’s asexual. Kaori is not sure that her double life is the best way to live, but at the moment, sees it as her best option. Her Unseelie friends criticize her for being untrue to herself. She retorts that both of her sides are true, in their own way. She’s not going to throw out her past just because she’s learned something new about herself, and she values the self-control she can exercise as her Seelie self. At the same time, she does worry worr y she’s deceiving her family, and wonders if they would accept all of the parts of her if she gave them a chance. Her kid brother Yuma recently became a pooka. She and her brother, who likes hanging from the walls as a gecko while they chat, have long talks about the nature of truth and what Kaori should do. Description: Now in high school, Unseelie Kaori is ten pounds of energy in a five-pound bag. She is usually moving, finger tapping, doodling, playing with a fidget cube. This state of perpetual motion ends when she is gaming, at which point she becomes utterly focused. She has always been frustrated with how small she is and tries to compensate by wearing platform boots and spiking her hair. This is the only aspect of her appearance she puts special
effort into. She dresses in jeans, sweatshirts, and tees with high-context gaming jokes on them. She chews bubblegum constantly. constantly. She has a special brand that she dyes red so that her bubbles match the scarlet dots on her cheeks. Seelie Kaori is as still as her other half is active. She is poised, quiet, and intense. She dresses conservatively in long skirts and white blouses. She wears her hair braided. She still chews her bubble gum. Roleplaying Hints: Kaori’s attitude depends on whether she is currently Seelie or Unseelie. Unseelie Kaori is cantankerous as is usual for her Kith, but also very friendly. She has a hobby of learning curse words in every language she encounters. She likes being loud and yells to celebrate victory and bemoan defeat. She relaxes into sloppiness sloppiness in things she doesn’t care about, like where her potato chips end up.
Seelie Kaori keeps her voice down, but speaks with intensity and focus. She thinks before she says anything. She tends to hiss curses rather than shout them. She takes care to be neat and keeps in mind how she looks to other people. This thoughtfulness often means that she will realize how cruel she was to someone while Unseelie, and she will sometimes seek out and apologize to them. In whatever mode, Kaori values skills and precision. She is extremely competitive and very self-confident. She loves a challenge and will pursue one unrelentingly, but tends to be a good loser. You have to lose a lot to get good. Kaori’s close friends maintain that there is really little difference between her two sides; it’s just a matter of volume.
KAY SPARKS “Um. ‘They’ and ‘their,’ please.” “Here, I should give this back. Sorry.” “Two letters make all the difference.”
Background: Kay entered their Dream Dance at the age of 13, three days after being kicked out of their parents’ house. Kay (who readily acknowledges that their name is self-chosen, but insists it’s “my real name”) was in seventh grade, and to all appearances, doing just fine. Kay was doing just fine, in fact: good friends, kind teachers, trusting parents, and a comfortable life. They played card games during lunch with their friends, they liked to read books about magic and aliens and sometimes (when they were feeling grouchy) dystopian futures. Kay was an enthusiastic fan of anime and got into lots of playful fights with their friends about who they shipped. Kay was a normal young teen.
And then Kay sat down with their parents one night and told them that Kay wasn’t really a girl, at least not all the time. Kay was genderfluid, and a nd preferred “they” as their personal pronoun. Kay often comments that “they” and “she” only have two letters of difference, but that difference seems to be really important. Their parents kicked them out, probably figuring that they’d return home the same night, having given up whatever this “genderf luid” thing was. Kay couldn’t, though. They wished that they could, could, that they could could be a girl all the time because because that’s what their parents wanted, wanted, but Kay was also determined determined to be who they really were. It was at the beginning of that adventure, with a belly full of terror and eyes full of tears, that the Chrysalis descended. Kay still misses their parents, but they’ve made new friends among the Kithain. In particular, Kay met a sidhe named Lelio, who’s been teaching them about changeling life and magic, but also practical stuff like how to drive and cook food and save money. Kay also has a tiny chimerical bird that jumped right off the design on her favorite hoodie. Kay calls it “Little Bird”; it seems presumptuous to give it another name. Of course, Kay had to leave town. Their parents are now frantically searching for them, but all the posters and so forth refer to Kay by their bir th name, so they’re in no hurr y to go back. Their parents have even recruited the services of the Bellerophon Foundation to help find Kay; apparently Kay’s “symptoms” “symptoms” are similar to some sufferers of PPFD. Lelio helped out with getting getting Kay set up in a new town, too, and while he doesn’t get to to see Kay as much anymore, they keep in touch and he’s also willing to drive out to see Kay if necessary. necessar y. Kay gets by on the hospitality of other fae, and watches out for kids in their situation (and, Kay laments, there do seem to be quite a lot of them). As a piskey, Kay blends into social groups easily, adopting slang, language, mannerisms, and attitude as necessary, and although some days Kay feels more masculine or more feminine, they never identify as a boy or a girl. If anyone asks, Kay’s a piskey, and that has to be good enough. Description: Kay is a 13-year-old 13-year-old child, and is usually slight of build, with pale skin, light brown hair, and frosty blue eyes. Of course, being a piskey, those details change pretty regularly. Kay wears a rainbow bracelet no matter what they look like (partially to help other changelings identify them), and wears a green hoodie
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with a sparrow design. Other changelings changelings see the sparrow (Little Bird) hop off and sit on Kay’s shoulder sometimes.
Like many piskies, Kay conforms to the expectations around them, but is still very firm in their pronoun expectations and gender fluidity. f luidity. So much of who Kay thought they were has changed or vanished in the past year, but ironically, that fluidity is a constant, a core part of who Kay is.
Roleplaying Hints: Kay is doing about as well as can be expected, but the truth is that they’re only 13 and they’re terrified at the prospect of never seeing their parents again. Their parents’ betrayal cut Kay to the quick, and although With other changelings, Kay is trusting and open. They they love being a piskey and being part of the Kithain world, haven’t really been exposed to the darker side of Kithain they long for the stability and love they were once shown. life yet, they don’t keep secrets well. Kay t alks to Little Bird Kay puts on a brave face and smiles easily, but hasn’t really when they need to work work through something, and explains processed the trauma of being kicked out of their home yet. things to the chimera in order to figure them out.
CHUCK WOOD “Don’t call me a groundhog! I’ve been here for years.” “Chuck Wood would chuck wood if Chuck would chuck wood. You heard me.” “Don’t ask.”
Background: Chuck Wood Wood was born Charles Pilotowski, and lived par ttime with his mother (who smoked, drank, gambled, and typically tossed a sandwich from the gas station at Charlie when she got home and called that “dinner”) and part-time with his father (who beat him with a garden hose when he missed missed homework homework assignments and sold his bed because because “you’re “you’re not even here that much, sleep on the couch”). Charlie bore it as well as he could, which wasn’t very well. He spent a lot of time in in-school suspension, and the only threat that his teachers could make that got any kind of result was that if he didn’t shape up, they’d send him home for suspension.
Charlie got out of high school with a C average and his life, and started couch surfing through his friends. He stayed on dorm f loors, he lived in an attic, a hallway, and even in the back of a friend’s van as it sat unused in a driveway. All along, he kept a series of journals. Always red, always spiral-bound, always written in blue ink. His “little red notebooks” were just a record, stretching back to when he was 12, of what he’d seen and done and experienced. He’d reread them at night and curl up his lip at the unfairness of it all, and then he’d pop a pill or smoke a bowl and tr y to sleep. And then one day, out of nowhere, the Chrysalis Chr ysalis wrapped him up and spat him out, and he wound up scampering through the yards and playgrounds of suburbia in woodchuck form with a motley of childlings at his heels, yelling for him to come back. He finally figured out how to become human again, went to court, got Sained, and so on. That night, the special guest of the local duke, he slept on a real bed for the first time in months, and read his journals again a gain (the court seneschal having helpfully retrieved them). Charlie — Chuck Wood Wood — realized something he’d never been able to see before. His life was funny as hell. It wasn’t funny in a family-friendly way, of course, but it was hilarious if told right. All of the pain and abuse and anger and horror he’d experienced was the same kind of thing that people laughed a t in movie theaters, it was just a matter of having the right soundtrack. Chuck Wood Wood went to an open mic that weekend and perform as a surrealist standup comic and performance artist, and he just killed (as he’ll be happy to tell you). He’s still couch surfing, still poor, still living in hallways, but now when he rereads his old journals, he laughs and laughs. Description: Chuck is a white man in his early 20s. He was rail thin before his Chrysalis, but since then he’s gotten a bi t of a pudge going (ever seen a skinny groundhog?). He has brown hair and brown eyes, nicotine-stained fingers, and
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beer on his breath. He typically wears blue jeans, work boots, and a f lannel shirt. Other changelings can see his rounded ears and whiskers, and note his prominent buck teeth. Roleplaying Hints: Chuck lies like any other pooka, but he actually has no real love of deception. Instead, almost everything he says is ei ther markedly, obviously untrue untrue or a complete non- sequitur. He mixes metaphors, throws in
lines from movies and plays and a nd novels and ‘90s rap songs, and spins elaborate stories about his youth that sound true (but, of course, he’s a pooka). The truth is that Chuck is unsure about how to be anything other than a performer; he can’t “turn off” because he hates and fears who and what he really i s. He tries to be funny because if he’s not funny, funny, he might be an asshole like his parents.
STEVE MARKET “That’s my last offer. After this, it gets bloody.” “Man, what a day! Let’s hit the Brazilian place, I need meat.” “When you make nine figures for the company in a day, you can decorate your office however however you want, Fred. Fred. Now hand me those those swords.”
Background: Some changelings figure that Steve should have been a sidhe, but they’re smart enough not to say that to his face. They’re not worried he’ll hit them or bite them or whatever; those are things that any old redcap might do. They’re worried he’ll buy their houses out from under them and then raze them to the ground while he chomps on a Reuben.
Steve Market grew up comfortable, but he wanted more. “Want more” could have been his first words, in fact. He gleefully embraced consumer culture, the idea that having and getting are are the highest good, and that anything that paves the way for more money is, therefore, a pathway to that goal. Steve graduated with an MBA and immediately dove into the world of cutthroat finance, taking down companies, breaking them up and selling the scraps. He made money quickly, and spent it on clothes, cars, drugs, and whatever else would be visible and impressive. Something was missing, though, and it came to him one night as he stumbled home, bourbon on his breath, cocaine in his nose. What he really loved was the taking . What he really loved was the consumption consumption of worlds, of something something that someone else had built up. In that moment, Steve Market realized that he was a monster, monster, a creature that existed to come unbidden and take away people’s hopes. Could he really live with that? Was the fulfillment of the American Dream really nothing more than endless fiscal gluttony? gluttony? The resounding yes to those questions began the Chrysalis. The Dream Dance, in comparison to the bacchanal that was his life, was quiet and subdued, but it woke people within a five-block radius. They shot bolt upright in bed, sweating, thinking they’re coming to take all I have. And Steve would happily do that, if it would make him some some money. money. Steve has trouble in the fae courts. He’s not just Unseelie, he’s aggressively, gleefully so. He works in a field that most fae think is crushingly Banal, but he thrives, and that’s terrifying. Some Kithain think he might even be Dauntain, but he’s not. Steve’s just a redcap who sups on livelihood rather than limbs. While some changelings feel that makes him less dangerous than a “standard” redcap, wiser Kithain f igure that Steve needs to be watched carefully. He’s a changeling who could, potentially, potentially, learn to to weaponize weaponize Banal human systems of finance and law and use them to utterly crush anyone he chooses. Depending on one’s politics, Steve is either an incredibly useful ally or a dangerous, unpredictable, wild card.
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Description: To the unenchanted, unenchante d, Steve is a handsome white man in his mid-30s. He’s muscular and stocky, stocky, and favors very expensive suits. He doesn’t like jewelry (metal makes him itch), so he accessorizes with ties and pocket squares and shoes. Changelings see all of that expensive clothing on a redcap: grey skin, sharp teeth, red eyes, and a propensity for taking your pen to sign the papers that t ake away your house, and then eating the pen. Roleplaying Hints: Steve has no conception of how much he hurts people, and it’s not fair to say he wouldn’t care if he knew. He’s a capitalist and he comes from a life
of comfort and privilege, but he’s also a changeling, and he feels the sting of Banality just as keenly as anyone. He is always in search of another acquisition, something else to take down and break up, because that’s that’ s how he fuels dreams. One thing he has never considered is how much is violating the Unseelie tenet “change is good” by keeping wealth in the hands of the wealthy. wealthy. Until he has ha s that revelation, though, he’s happy to finance the activities of other changelings (if they’re doing something at least partially Unseelie, of course). It’s not generosity so much as demonstration. He wants other fae to see how how much he can “eat.”
LILY PORTER “Abstinence-only classes, huh? Oh, honey.” “Take your time.” “Don’t be so high and mighty. We’re different than most people, but believe me, we’re not better.”
Background: Lily Porter was a sensualist from the time she was small. She liked things that tickled and she liked food with texture. She liked to swim in cold pools and take scalding hot showers. She discovered sexual sexual pleasure earlier than anyone was prepared for, least of all her parents, who weren’t opposed to sex, of course, but felt their daughter was just a little young.
Lily, though, had found her calling. Sex was wonderful and glorious and powerful, and she could share it just by virtue of being herself. Consent was power, power, but not in a domineering or controlling controlling kind of way. way. By sharing herself with others, she found Glamour, and it was in the midst of post-coital bliss, lying between her lovers, giggling, sweaty, smelling of sex, that the Chrysalis Chr ysalis found her. Following her Saining, Lily learned that Kithain society isn’t much more evolved than human society on the subject of sexuality. It took her some time to learn that, of course; Lily’s time as a wilder was a blur of supple bodies and sleepless nights. She took it as a mark of pride that she’s taken lovers from all of the most common kiths, as well as several families of Nunnehi and even one of the Hsien. The moment that marked the transition between wilder and grump, however, however, was went she went to bed with a selkie one night. As they kissed and fondled, exploring and undressing, Lily mentioned that she’d never been with a female selkie before. Her lover stopped, and asked her if keeping score like that was fulfilling to her. Lily took that question to heart, and the two of them agreed to meet in a year. Twelve Twelve months to the day later, they came back to the same place, to the same bed, and Lily apologized. Sex for its own sake, she felt, was fine, but it always needed to be for all involved participants, not for the glorification of just one. Lily doesn’t always get along with other satyrs. Many of her kith subscribe a little too heavily to the romantic notion that people should get swept away with passion, and while Lily isn’t a stranger to that idea, she’s of the opinion that the decision to become intimate with someone is an important one, much too important to make if one has reserva tions. Some people are free with their love (like Lily), some stay with single partners, some avoid sex entirely either by choice or inclination, and Lily makes it her business to educate people on the matter. She finds, though, that changelings aren’t any better at internalizing the notion of “enthusiastic consent” and “respecting decisions” than mortals are. In particular, the practices of Rhapsody and Ravaging horrify Lily, and she sees them as violations of the mind and soul. Following an altercation with a sidhe of House Leanhaun, she swore an oath never to allow either form of Glamour harvesting in her presence, which puts her squarely at odds with many Unseelie fae.
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In her mortal life, Lily works as a speaker and lecturer on sex-positivity and consent culture. She typically travels with Pat, her Kinain bodyguard; she’s made enemies in House Leanhaun and she has no shortage of human detractors. Through it all, though, Lily is usually trusting and positive. The world has given her so much pleasure, and she feels it her privilege to give some back. Description: Lily is a satyr in her late 20s. She’s small but sturdy, with wide hips and (to those who can see her true self) thick brown fur on her legs. Her hair is chestnut-
brown- and curly, barely concealing her horns. She favors sundresses (her legs itch if she wears pants). Roleplaying Hints: Lily is an incorrigible flirt, though if she feels someone is getting uncomfortable, she backs off and asks permission. She talks openly about sex and very much feels that normalizing it is the only way to combat, and ultimately end, rape culture. Lily is an extrovert, and gets uncomfortable and restless if she’s alone for very long. She tends to touch whatever or whoever is around her, though she always asks people (and sapient chimera) for permission first.
JOSHUA R R OYCE OYCE “Meet me by that pier at midnight. Don’t tell anyone.” “The sea is never giving up her dead. She never gives anything back.” “I told you you’d regret meeting me.”
Background: Joshua Royce grew up knowing that someday, he might be able to turn into a seal like his father. When he was five years old, his father, Alexander Royce, took him to the beach and showed him the truth — he was descended from the Dreaming — from the playful and beautiful selkies of legend. Someday, Alexander promised, he would bestow bestow his pelt upon Joshua. Joshua. Just not yet, yet, he said with a wink.
Joshua wanted nothing so much as to see what his father saw under the waves, and although sometimes Alexander used his magic to bring his son on short trips, it was never the same. By the time Joshua was 12, he would catch himself wishing that his father would finally give up his skin. He hated himself for wishing that, because he knew that for his father to give up the pelt would mean giving up his life as a changeling, but he wished it all the same. One night, a terrible storm rolled in from the ocean, and Joshua sat bolt upright in bed, cold sweat pouring down his body. He ran from his house out into the rain, and stood on the beach screaming for his father. He watched as a figure emerged from the waves… but it wasn’t Alexander. A beautiful woman beckoned him into the surf, and although the water was violent and treacherous, he followed. As he approached, he realized she was one of the merfolk that his father had told him about, and she was holding his father’s pelt. “I promised Alexander Royce that I would deliver his pelt to his son upon his death,” she shouted over the wind. “And so, I bring you this, and tidings of his passing.” Without another word, she tossed him the pelt and dove back into the water. Joshua took his father’s pelt — his pelt — back into the house. He told his mother what he’d seen, and she wept, but Joshua barely heard her. He wrapped himself in the pelt and wished, for all the world, that he could give it back. Since then, Joshua has taken to the ocean as eagerly as any selkie. He dives beneath the waves, he mar vels at the vistas and the secrets the ocean holds, and he searches (so far unsuccessfully) for the mer who brought him the pelt. He has no need to work (his father left him money as well as magic), and he spends his wealth visibly but carefully — he doesn’t work, and he never wants to. Above all, he never forgets the truth of the ocean: The ocean is greedy. The ocean is selfish. Someday, Someday, the ocean will take everything. Description: Joshua, now 18, 18, is slender, beautiful, and built like a swimmer. He has black hair down to his shoulders, high cheekbones, long fingers, and soulful blue eyes that make the mundane people he meets stare. Joshua does sometimes smile, but even then, bitterness and sadness show through. He keeps his seal pelt in a cheap backpack, and wears whatever secondhand clothes he can find in his size, as he tends to lose them on the beach.
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Roleplaying Hints: Joshua has a poetic poetic soul, soul, but since his father’s death his muse has granted him only morbid inspiration. His jokes are gallows humor, and his obser vations are constant reminders that any beauty in the natural world comes with an equal measure of danger. He never mentions his father and is openly dismissive of his human
mother (who, for her part, feels she lost Joshua the night her husband died). Joshua enjoys playing against the “playful selkie” stereotype: he swims alone, he sleeps alone, and upon recognizing the fascinated look on a potential new paramour’s face, he often tells them “you’re going to regret meeting me.” They never listen, but Joshua is always right.
LADY ZHALANA “Drink with me, and be welcome.” “You tried to pick the lock on the back door. This is your only on ly warning.” “Pick me up a pound of ghost pepper while you’re out.”
Background: Lady Zhalana doesn’t remember much of her human life. She knows that she lived in privilege and comfort for much of her early life, then lost it due to some socio-political upheaval among mundane humans, and now lives i n a city. The city is dirty and rusted r usted and beaten, but it has a life and a beauty that Zhalana can a ppreciate. And, most importantly, the people who live in the city look at her the way people should look at the sidhe — with reverence and awe.
Zhalana emerged from her Chrysalis at age 20 and acquired a house containing a small freehold shortly thereafter. She doesn’t like to talk about how she acquired it, but the truth is that her methods were shady at best and illegal at worst. The previous owner, a man named Floyd Lindsay, tried taking her to court, but found he couldn’t speak against her when a judge was present. Zhalana felt, as a sidhe and a noble, the freehold belonged to her more than a mortal anyway. anyway. As a lady of House Daireann, she welcomed changelings into the freehold, and relished the opportunity to show them that the rules of hospitality could be observed even in the heart of a city. Zhalana’s holding is a house in a historic neighborhood. Like most of the houses in the area, it’s beautiful and grand, but becoming run-down as the area deteriorates. Many of the other houses in the neighborhood have been divided up into apartments, but Zhalana owns the whole of hers outright, and maintains it with the help of Paul and Amon, a married couple who live on the top floor. Only one door leads to the basement, which contains the freehold’s wellspring of Glamour. Lady Zhalana, when she is at home, spends much of her time in the greenhouse growing herbs, roots, peppers, and other ingredients. House Daireann has a reputation for exacting revenge, and Lady Zhalana expects to have to live up to that reputation eventually. If nothing else, she expects the man she conned out of the house to come for her. Zhalana worries that Floyd Lindsay is going to make trouble for her, and some still-human part of her feels that she should have done better by him. But really, what would he, a mortal, do with a freehold anyway? anyway? Description: Zhalana boasts the surreal, almost dreamlike beauty of her kith. Her skin is olive-toned, her hair lustrous and black, and her figure full and strong. She is always immaculate, even after working in her garden, and she never lets guests see her sweaty or flushed. She wears a poison ring with the seal of her house at all times, just to remind others that when they deal with House Daireann, they need to mind their manners.
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Roleplaying Hints: Zhalana is less formal and stilted than some other sidhe; though she’s very much a fae noble, she lives in the city and has to blend in with the people there, and this has softened her vernacular somewhat. That said, she still insists on decorum in her house: music is kept to reasonable levels, profanity is frowned upon, and Heaven help the changeling or mortal who pulls out a cell phone while talking to Lady Zhalana.
Lady Zhalana is aware that the Mists don’t protect her (though she’s never really been curious as to why that’s the case), and so she prefers to work subtle magic rather than call on her full power as a sidhe. She doesn’t always manage to control her temper, though, and it’s not uncommon in her neighborhood to hear people refer to “Lady Zhalana” without knowing the full significance of the title.
DOMINIC LOWELL “I used to live there. Only for like a few months, though.” “Get your hands off him. Now.” “I know where the principal’s office is.”
Background: Dominic (“Dom” to everyone except his mother) was born to a military family. His parents still serve in the Army, and that means they get moved around a lot, which means Dom has lived in a bunch of various places. That means that when he gets to a new school, people tend to see him as exotic, but he was already getting a little tired of that when he entered his Chrysalis. Now he’s really tired of it, and he’s only 11.
Dom’s first experience with the Kithain was problematic. He entered the Dream Dance following a march in Mississippi, when a crowd protesting the acquittal of a cop who’d shot a black man at a traffic traffi c stop got out of control. Dom, for his part, saw the passion and the anger rise up out of the crowd like an inferno, and he saw a great winged beast, made of fire and screams, descend over the crowd. Fed by their rage and desperation, it followed them as they marched, and Dominic, only 10 years old felt himself drawn along. The Dreaming stirred him and he realized that the dreams of justice and righteous wrath could be directed, that hate and misery could be poetry and that the fire he saw could be a light. Dominic, of course, was only a child, and didn’t know quite how to put these realizations into practice. His parents, marching in that protest in uniform, were close enough to Dom to be enchanted, and they saw what he saw. saw. They don’t remember it, of course, but they know that Dom “woke up” that day. The local freehold, as it happened, was entrenched Arcadian sidhe, traditionalist, Seelie, and most of all, white. They treated Dom as a curiosity; he held a hereditary hereditar y title from House Scathach, but he was an Autumn sidhe. He was Seelie by inclination, but where the others focused on tradition and the concept of “nobility,” Dom was more interested in justice. When his parents were transferred again, Dom was happy to bid them goodbye. goodbye. Dom, as befitting his kith, ki th, makes friends easily and attracts followers, but he doesn’t tend to form deep relationships with anyone. He knows that eventually he’ll just have to move on. He’s also tired of others treating him like he’s something interesting just because of how he looks or what he is. Dom would love to join a motley, but he hasn’t found a group of changelings that he trusts. Description: Dom is 11 years old, and he was always a skinny kid, but he’s starting to fill out. He dresses in a school uniform when necessary, but switches to play clothes as soon as he gets the chance. Dom is biracial (his father is black, his mother is white), and has his mother’s blue eyes and his father’s light-brown skin. As a sidhe, he takes on an intense, intense, almost fierce fierce bearing, and wears wears chimerical armor bearing the Scathach crest, as well as a grey cloak. Roleplaying Hints: Among the Kithain, Dom is aloof and quiet. quiet. It’s not that he doesn’t like changelings, it’s just that he’s leery of their expectations of him (being a sidhe) and a nd he had some bad experiences when he was f irst
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at court. Dom is firmly Seelie himself, but tends to get along better with Unseelie childlings (provided they aren’t mean or violent).
being jerks. He’ll stand up to bullies, including adults, and dare them to push him or punish him. Somewhere in memories that he can’t quite access, Dominic knows he Around mortals, Dom is much more intense and was (is?) a military leader and deadly combatant, but for now, he’ll settle for kicking the asses of the jerks who mess ever domineering. He’s come to think of any social group now, as temporary, and that means he has no time for people with the smaller kids.
LASHAYA “P “PROPHECY” ELLIS “My monster doesn’t like you. I don’t like you either.” either.” “I’m not sleepy.” “Blood and tears will leak from stones when the bleached moon falls into the ocean.”
Background: Lashaya lives alone with her mother. Her mother wishes she had more time to spend with L ashaya, but needs to work days at a fast-food restaurant and nights unloading boxes to make rent every month. She doesn’t complain. It’s better than working days at a fastfood restaurant and nights filling out job applications instead of sleeping to avoid the eviction nightmares.
Lashaya also has nightmares. But she’s made fri ends with them. The nightmares started while she and her mother were still living with her mother’s family. Lashaya loathes her grandparents. They talk to her mother like she’s stupid. Like she’s nothing. They talk to Lashaya like she’s nothing. They diminish everything by speaking to it: like magic only it is the exact opposite of magic. They are small and shriveled and want to make everything small and shriveled like them. Lashaya’s mother protected Lashaya from most of her grandparents’ venom by taking it all into herself. Drawing all the attention away from the little girl. Lashaya wished that she could protect her mother, but she was nine, and you can’t do much when you’re nine. In her grandparents’ house, Lashaya dreamed of endless corridors lined with tacks. You had to walk because a monster followed you everywhere, and you bled out, bit-by-bit, from a thousand wounds. The nightmares changed when Lashaya’s mother saved enough money to escape the house. The night before they left, Lashaya dreamed of a window that led directly out onto the edge of a cliff. She had to creep along the narrow ledge while a cruel sea beat the rocks below her and threw stinging water up at her. The monster crawled out after her. Lashaya had many different dreams after that. She dreamed of starving cats eating their tails. That was when they had nothing but ketchup to eat for a week. She dreamed of a pale boy in a scarlet coat who screamed and screamed. That was the night before there was a shooting right outside her bedroom bedroom window. window. She dreamed of a building of cold iron whose entrance was a mouth that ate her slowly, toes first, masticating her flesh between door and frame. That was when her mother was terrified she was going to lose the apartment and they’d have to go to a shelter. shelter.
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But she always had to keep moving, even when she had no legs, because there was a monster following her. School was intermittent and painfully boring. Lashaya preferred to read. The teachers had trouble hearing her. She made the other students nervous, so they avoided her or yelled at her. It was irritating, irri tating, but nothing she couldn’t endure. They weren’t monsters. Sometimes she felt lonely. But she always had her mother and the sliver of time between fast-food and FedEx when her mother would hold her and she could almost forget about the monster. Eventually, Eventually, she got sick of running. While sleeping, sleeping, she she stood stood in a blasted plain, blood-red blood-red stars and moons whirling above her. Crows screamed as the monster loomed up, huge and dark. She hissed at to tell her what it wanted. Why was it following her? The monster looked nervously around the blasted plain and screaming crows. It said that these dreams were really scaring it, and it didn’t want to be alone. Lashaya said: Oh. After that, that, Lashaya Lashaya had a friend. friend. A very big friend with claws and teeth, who could, with a little coaching, frighten away the kids who yelled at her or the men who loitered intimidatingly outside her apartment. Since she wasn’t busy running away all the time in her dreams, she learned how to look around, and learned that
what she saw at night related directly to what would happen the next day, or week, or month. She is a self-taught soothsayer. Lashaya and her mother’s life has been getting better since Lashaya learned to predict the future and made friends with her monster. Lashaya’s mother is happy that her daughter is happier, and that she has finally made a friend, even if that friend is imaginary. imaginar y. Description: Lashaya is small and has terrible posture. She has skin so black it’s barely distinguishable from her hair. Her eyes are queerly proportioned, pupils huge with the white almost crowded out. She wears her hair in tight braids and likes working strange things into the braids, like bits of silk, small stones, and strangely wrought metal. Things she finds in her dreams. Her clothing is worn, secondhand, and much-repaired. She often seems to be followed by a tall, shadowy figure who she refers to as her monster. Roleplaying Hints: Lashaya spends most nights navigating a blighted hellscape of terrifying potential, and as a result is very hard to impress in the real world. She doesn’t talk much, but when she does, it is to communicate something significant, important, and usually difficult to understand. She is tough to befriend, but ruthlessly loyal to, and protective of, those she cares about. Kindness to her mother or her monster is a sure path to her good graces. Due to habit, she is uncomfortable staying still for too long and prefers to keep moving, or at least pace.
Lashaya "Prophecy" Ellis
JULIO GARCES “I’m gonna be late. Gotta check in with my PO.” “Death of dreams? Corporate world’s got nothing on prison.” “We need to talk about your choices, little childling. Let’s go get a burger.”
Background: Julio Garces was the middle child in a family of 10, and, like his big sisters, found himself pressed into service taking taki ng care of the younger ones as soon as he was old enough to be useful. While some of his siblings balked at the chores, Julio found them comforting. Doing what was expected of him made others — his parents, his teachers, his siblings — happy and comfortable, and though he couldn’t express it as a child, he felt that doing that kind of work was honorable.
Julio entered the Chrysalis three days after his 18 birthday, and almost at once fell in with a motley of Unseelie changelings. He became their muscle, the big, scary guy that they called on to get other fae out of their way. They called him “ese” like it was funny, and Julio let it slide, because he felt it was what was expected of him. He kicked down doors, flipped over cars, threw enemies through windows, and got tats on his shoulders. He was a monster, but a monster with friends. th
Those friends abandoned him pretty quick when the bust went down, though. The motley broke into the home of a Count of House Dougal, and the count did what all rich white people do: he called the police. Not his servants, not other changelings, the police. The whole motley got arrested, and the rest of them all lawyered up and testified. Julio couldn’t afford a lawyer, so he got stuck with the public defender, who devoted all of five minutes to Julio before shuffling him back into lockup. Julio took a plea, and a two-year sentence (he’d been carrying a small bag of weed on him, which he’d been holding for one of hi s friends, but of course that defense didn’t hold up well). Julio arrived in the prison population and felt the weight of Banality crushing him. His mortal self might sur vive, sure, in the grand scheme of things it was short time. There was no way he was walking out of that prison still a troll, though. Julio did the only thing he could think to do. He took an oath that he would do his time and do it honorably, that he would not break the law, and that he would work to help others in the prison keep their dreams dreams alive. That oath, oath, and his troll nature, saved him. When Julio was released, released, he was a grump. He was was a little more worn around the edges, and he bore the scars of the fights he’d endured inside, but he was still fae. He visited each of his former motley in turn and told them that he bore them no ill will, but that was for his sake, not theirs. He also told them that i f they ever betrayed a friend again, he’d hunt them down and hurt them. All of those changelings believed it. Julio doesn’t lie.
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Julio balances balances his mortal life and his fae life life fairly well. His human family doesn’t really see much difference in him (he’s always been patient and hard-working), though his youngest brother Emilio never quite forgave him for going to prison. Emilio, now 16, is starting to run with a crowd that Julio recognizes, and the troll agonizes over how to reach his brother before he does something he’ll regret. Description: Julio, as a troll, stands nearly seven feet tall. His skin is a deeper blue than many of his kith, but his horns are short and barely curl, unusual for a grump. He bears tattoos from his shoulders to his fingers (with several more on his back and chest), which depict women, crosses, hearts, and the usual fare to mortal witnesses. To those who can see chimera, however, the tattoos show chains running down his arms, ending in broken shackles on his wrists.
Julio favors jeans, work work boots, and loose t-shirts. Most of the work he could find since getting out has been in construction or food service (mainly dishwashing), so he doesn’t tend towards fancy clothes. Julio wears a thin goatee and mustache, but keeps his head shaved smooth. Roleplaying Hints: Julio Julio is kind, kind, patie patient, nt, and and atten attentiv tive. e. He was always Seelie by inclination, and has adopted the Seelie code even more firmly since his release. Changelings Changeling s who make the mistake of confusing his good nature for weakness tend to regret it, though. Julio ran with a rough group of fae before his incarceration, and he was a witness to (and participant in) more than his share of violence both with them and in prison. faux pas pas from more sheltered He is willing to forgive the odd faux fae, but he takes insults to his character and his honor very, very serious seriously ly.. The The last last guy who made made a “dropp “dropped ed soap” soap” joke joke wound wound up need needing ing an emer emergenc gencyy dent dentist ist..
MOTLEYS Characters are more interesting when bouncing off of each other, and putting them in motleys is a convenient way of tying them together for ongoing adventures. Here are some ways that all these characters might adventure, scheme, quest, or live together.
a few grades below Lily, but in the same building as the high school. This motley revolves around Kay, who is still recovering from the trauma of leaving their family and still figuring out what it means to be gender fluid. Fortunately for them, they’ve found two amazing mentors to help them through th rough it all.
SOCIAL JUSTICE VALKYRIES
Sally takes a great deal of time out from her freehold responsibilities to spend time with and personally take care of Kay. She knows it’s important for the child to have a sense of stability right now, and likes to be present as much as possible. Kay thinks this is the best and sometimes follows Sally around, moving from kitchen, to throne room, to battlements, to crowded bus, and adapting her behavior with the ease of a chameleon. Sometimes they have to retrace their steps to return the baubles K ay picked up along
Lily Porter, Kay Sparks, Sally Bobbin Optional Includes: Kaori Tsukamoto
Lily and Sally have adopted a dopted the runaway piskey Kay, who now lives in the freehold that Sally manages and attends school
WILL GROW UP BEAUTIFUL.
EXCITING MOM PROTECT & NURTURE
ILY Y P LIL PORTER PARTNER IN IN EDUCATION
K A SPARKS AY Y S RESPONSIBLE MOM
DEAR FRIEND DIFFERENT, BUT PASSIONATE
POOR, SWEET KID
SOURCE OF RELAXING PLAYTIME
WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT? ASPIRATIONAL STRONG GIRL
ALLY Y B S ALL BOBBIN 56
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K ARI TSUKAMATO
the way. Sally has chased more than one surprised mor tal down the street to return a bit of jewelry. One of Sally’s ulterior motives for keeping Kay company is monitoring the piskey’s emotional state, which has been tempestuous at best, hidden from most under the kith’s adaptive tendency to people-please. Sally is perceptive enough to see that Kay is still standing lightly in the freehold, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice if someone makes a move to trap or control them. While Sally handles damage-control and acts as a comforting parental stand-in, Lily educates and befriends. She and Kay have long talks about the meaning of gender and the difference between it and biological sex and sexual orientation. Kay was delighted to find a place they could talk openly about these things and is getting answers to questions they didn’t even know they had. The three have nightly get-togethers to talk and eat popcorn. Lily does most of the talking, but Sally contributes often when she can speak from personal experience.
Despite being Unseelie, Kaori is an easy addition to this motley as her playful attitude and strong connection to her Seelie side will help her understand and get along with everyone else. Her own struggle with identity and sexuality can be explored, and she adds balance to the group, with two members exploring themselves and two guides.
THE SEEKERS Brady Fish, Lashaya Ellis, Julio Garces Optional Includes: Joshua Royce
Brady is looking for his father and follows up on a lead about a young but extremely powerful Soothsayer who might be able to help him. Lashaya can see the path forward towards Brady’s goal, but it is dark and twisted and tells him calmly that he will need her with him to follow it, and that she will, in exchange for money she needs to help support her mother. Julio knows Lashaya from around the neighborhood and was the one who introduced the Kay instigated their activities activiti es as a motley one night while two. When he hears that Brady is tak ing the little girl on a they were talking about how the social system enforces the Chimerical cross-country road trip he is absolutely coming binary gender roles they live in, and how that hurts both along to make sure neither get into trouble. This motley is a very goal-oriented one. They are men and women. Kay suggested that they should just go into the Dreaming, find the Patriarchy, Patriarchy, and vanquish it. Or gathered around Brady’s quest for his father, each there dismantle it. Whatever. It’s a metaphorical concept, and for various reasons. Lashaya is being paid, and also sees you can actually get get your hands on those in the Dreaming. Dreaming. strange things at the edges of her visions that she wants a Sally and Lily thought that actually sounded like a better understanding of. Julio is there to protect the little pretty great idea. That started their regular forays into the girl from his neighborhood, because he is afraid she is Dreaming to hunt the Patriarchy. Patriarchy. It was an elusive quarry, quarr y, walking into dangers she is too young to understand and adept at camouflage. camouf lage. It lived by pretending it didn’t exist. mistrusts the clurichaun. Brady is there to a chieve the goal he came to America chasing. They experimented with diverse ways of tracking it. When Lily was catcalled on the street, street, she would catch the cats, take them into the Dreaming, and follow them back to brackish pools of toxic masculinity, which Sally purified with vials of honest tears, cried onto a shoulder that accepted them. They set traps baited with feminist literature. Mostly they caught fedoras, which Sally cut up and re-sewed into stylish patchwork skirts. Kay started developing a method of tracking the Patriarchy through the Dreaming, which involved closing their eyes, walking in various directions, and waiting to see when they started feeling bad about their body. They have yet to actually find the Patriarchy, but Kay sometimes feels it watching them. Kay knows that it wants to catch them and put them in a cage. They don’t know how they know that, but they’re sure with the certainty you feel only in dreams. Part of Kay wants to run away again. They are very afraid of being trapped. But they won’t. They’re going to find this monster and they’re going to take it apar t, even if it takes the rest of their life.
Brady and Lashaya are professional to each other. Brady does not see the creepy little black-eyed person who talks in riddles as a child, so he talks to her like an adult, which suits Lashaya very well indeed. This is one of the first times in her life when Lashaya has felt powerful and useful. She is even contributing to rent, though her mother would probably prefer that she be home instead. She left a note and calls her mother regularly to assure her that she’s all right. This does not completely reassure her mother. Julio is perpetually tr ying to persuade Lashaya La shaya to go home. He can’t just pick her up and take ta ke her back because Lashaya’s monster would stop him, but he probably would if he could. The closer they get to the mystery of Brady’s father, the stranger things get. They find reports of similar attacks and missing persons. Claw marks in strange places. Black symbols that make his head hurt when he looks at them too long. He wants to give up and go home, but can’t abandon a child. Lashaya, on the other hand, thinks Julio is being over-dramatic, stubbornly rebuffs his attempts to
SHE WILL SHOW ME
TRUSTS ME TO GUIDE HIM
NEEDS TO GO HOME
ASHAY YA E L ASHA ELLIS
BRADY F FISH
DOES NOT UNDERSTAND
GET OFF MY BACK IRRESPONSIBLE THUG
HE GETS IT
NOT SURE HE GETS WHAT BEING A CHILDLING MEANS WEIRD KID
JULIO G ARCES persuade, but it quietly grateful for his presence as he does make her feel safer.
JOSHUA R R OYCE OYCE
Julio and Brady argue a lot. They are perpetually at Lady Zhalana, Steve Market, Dominic Lowell odds about whether they should be doing this at all, and Optional Includes: Brady Fish it’s pointless to argue about that, so they argue about evSteve Market and Lady Zhalana have gotten their teeth erything else. Their opposing courts bump up against each and immaculately manicured fingernails into Dominic. It other constantly, and Julio is almost always against Brady’s wasn’t a hostile takeover, much as Steve is good at those. larcenous solutions to their many problems. Lashaya has a It was more of a seduction. House Scathach has only ever habit of being the one to resolve disputes by just going out been nominally Seelie, and Dominic is disillusioned with and doing whatever the thing is causing the disagreement his own Court from his initial experience with it. Steven while the adults are distracted distracted with each other. other. and Zhalana slid in to fill the gap with an advertisement Joshua can join this motley on the road. A traveler for their own side. by nature, he would not be averse to joining a group on a Lady Zhalana invited Dominic into her home, much more journey, and would feel for Brady’s loss deeply enough to welcoming welcoming and and respectf respectful ul than the Arcadian Arcadian traditionalis traditionalists ts want to help. Having grown up very young himself, he would he’d met after first emerging from Chrysalis. She seemed support Lashaya’s right to do what she wished, providing genuinely interested in him, and personally involved in the another counterpoint to Julio’s discouraging influence. city around her. She didn’t elevate herself on a pedestal of
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nobility. She lived among commoners, who were free to visit as guests as long as they were as considerate of her he r as she was of them. She invited Dominic to admire and embrace his own inherent nobility in a way that did not diminish those around him, and he finally understood that as a possibility. Steve Market invited Dominic to lunch. They had steak and got in a fight that Dominic was not skilled enough with words to win. Steve took Dominic’s beliefs about justice and put them through a wringer of harsh reality. The world’s unfair? unfair ? Yeah Yeah it is. It’s designed desig ned that way. You You want to change it? Learn to make it unfair in your favor. You know your enemies will. Defend the weak by getting powerful. Sure, once you have power you can help whoever you want, but until you’ve got it you’re nothing. That fiery monster you saw over the mob burned itself out by the end of the day. That’s how mobs work. You’ll gonna burn yourself out like that unless you listen to some reason, kid. Dominic didn’t like what Steve said, but it resonated.
Steve and Zhalana met through Dominic and immediately despised each other. Zhalana thought Steve was coarse and irresponsible. Steve thought Zhalana was a vapid bit of royalty floating on her own airs. But they had to play nice because Dominic respected them both and they wanted Dominic as an ally and tool for the future. Interactions in this motley depend entirely on who is present at the time. Zhalana is an elegant and wise mentor in the true ways of nobility when around Dominic. Steve plays a rough, but well-meaning source of tough love and hard truths. When Dominic is present they are friendly. Steven enjoys flirting with Zhalana because he knows she loathes it but has to play along for the sake of saving face. When Dominic is i s not present they slash each other to ribbons with all of the venom and eloquence they can muster. muster. Steve calls Zhalana useless, challenges her right to any of what she has, and mocks her ethereal beauty as a meaningless crutch. Zhalana Zha lana calls Steve out on his hypocrisy,
A LITTLE BOWING KEEPS HER HAPPY
L ADY Z ZHALANA
STEVE M ARKET USEFUL
PRINCELING IN WAITING
NOBLE, BUT SCARY
THAT KID IS GOING PLACES
NICE TO TALK TO
SCARED FOR HIM
BRADY F FISH Motleys
WE NEED YOU
SHE MAKES SENSE
GIVES ME HOPE
LILLY P PORTER GOOD MAN AMAZING
SAD, FIGURING THINGS OUT
GOOD TO ME SMILES AND MEANS IT
IT’LL BE OK
NOBODY HURTS KAY
JULIO G ARCES how he violates the Unseelie code with his behavior, an accusation that lands hard because of its truth, and she snips about everything from his dress sense to his table manners. Ironically, Dominic does a lot of the goal setting for the motley, though Zhalana and Steve influence him greatly. Much to both of their frustration, Zhalana and Steve have discovered that they actually make a very effective social team. Brady can be included as an errand boy for either or Zhalana or Steve or both. He can be a voice of reason and a valve that everyone can vent to, since he doesn’t have a dog in the fight and is wise enough not to spill beans to any of the other members.
BRIGHT MENTORSHIP Lily Porter, Julio Garces, Dominic Lowell Optional Includes: Kay Sparks
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AY Y S K A SPARKS Lily and Julio met Dominic when his family moved into the local base and he started attending the school where Lily taught sex education. Julio was the school janitor and he and Lily enjoyed an intimate relationship that was casual, but had managed to casually last a lot longer than either of them expected. They protected the students and watched the school for unawakened changelings, and were surprised to see a fully realized sidhe arrive as a transfer student. Dominic felt drawn to Julio, harboring a deep and instinctive respect for the man’s honest nature. He was even more interested when he learned that Julio and Lily visited the school almost every night to fight or reason with Chimera attracted to the outpouring of Glamour from the children. The Mists were unusually thin in this particular place, pl ace, and dangerous and wonderful beasts often slipped through. Dominic joined them, finding at least temporary purpose in protecting the Dreamers there. Dominic and Julio are close, but both poor communicators. Lily fills that gap, smoothing disagreements between the old troll
and the noble sidhe coming into his own. She and Julio have a Lily talks about sexuality and how it’s being represented in stable romance, girded by absolute honesty, and peppered with whatever they’re they’re playing. Kaori carries the team team whenever constant communication. Lily still engages in sex outside the they encounter a challenge that requires button mashing. relationship, relationship, but considers Julio her primary partner and makes They all like different kinds of games: Kaori loves classic sure he’s aware of and comfortable with everything she does. FPS, Chuck is into adventure games, and Lily adores visual Kay can be included as either a student going through novels. They mix it up a lot and Kaori and Lily get into the Dream Dance, or a childling on the run who is a dopted fights over whether visual novels are actually games. by Julio and Lily. The goal of protecting and educating her can bring the entire motley closer together.
NOW STREAMING: THE DREAMING Kaori Tsukamoto, Chuck Wood, Lily Porter Optional Includes: Joshua Royce R oyce
Chuck and Lily come over to Kaori’s house on weekends and they livestream video games. Chuck makes jokes.
The real appeal of their videos is when they get sucked into the games they’re playing. Their audience thinks it’s green screens and a surprisingly high special ef fects budget for a three-person streaming channel. It is actually Kaori’s gaming rig ejecting them into the Dreaming and Kaori recording it all with a head-mounted camera. Kaori and Lily are boisterous friends who adore each other and just have fun together. The sort of people who laugh while fighting. Lily is a little concerned about the double life that Kaori lives, and brings it up whenever Kaori has to reschedule to avoid her parents seeing them. She’s
NEEDS TO BE HERSELF BEST GRRLFRIEND, NOT GIRLFRIEND
AOR ORII TSUKAMOTO K A
LILLY P PORTER BEST BUD
STRAIGHTFORWARD NEEDS MORE GAMING
SMART AND NICE AND UM
ASKS A LOT OF QUESTIONS
OH ,SHUT UP
JOSHUA R R OYCE OYCE
CHUCK WOOD Motleys
NEEDS TIME TO HEAL
GOOD BOY BECOMING A MAN
A TEACHER WHO LISTENS
WHAT IS THAT THING WITH HER
WANTS TO BE TRUSTED
LUUL A L-B AZ CREEPY AND INTIMIDATING FLUID
K A SPARKS AY Y S
CREEPY BUT SHE GETS IT
CAN I HELP YOU?
L ASHA ELLIS ASHAY YA E
WHATEVER COULD LEARN A LOT FROM HER
BEST TEACHER EVER COLD
GREAT DESTINY UNNERVING
HE UNDERSTANDS PAIN
NICE BUT SAD
I T R U S T H E R
P L E H S D E E N
DON’T CARE WHAT’S WHAT’ S YOUR PROBL EM
JOSHUA R R OYCE OYCE
KINDNESS IS THE HIGHTEST VIRTUE
SHE’S NO MISS AL�BAZ
I TRUST HER NEEDS SPACE
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NICE FOR WHAT ITS WORTH
S ALL BOBBIN ALLY Y B
pushing Kaori towards having an upfront conversation conversation with her family about her new identity. Chuck has been nursing a crush on Lily for a while, but values game time so highly he’s afraid of talking about it and making things weird. The normally extremely perceptive Lily is unaware because of Chuck’s kith-enhanced ability to misdirect and play feelings off as jokes. He has confessed his feelings to Kaori, who cannot empathize, but is super-supportive of her friends getting together. She is his perpetual wing-woman, trying to psych the pooka up to make a move and googling dating tips for him. Joshua can be included as another teenage peer who comes over to game and forget his troubles. This group is an opportunity for hi m to make connections and overcome the emotional barriers that his loss has built between him and other people. Lily in particular will encourage him to talk about his feelings instead of bottling them up and swimming away, and Chuck will show him a different method of coping. Kaori will always be happy to have another player.
MS. A L-BAZ’S FIELD TRIP Luul Al-Baz, Kay Sparks, Lashaya Ellis, Joshua Royce Optional Includes: Dominic Lowell, Sally Bobbin
Luul is the glue of this motley, and its focus. An adult who is responsible, caring, and understanding. A precious commodity in the world of these children. She has the hardearned trust of each of these troubled childlings. Adjust Joshua’s age down to help him fit in; play him soon after he gained his pelt. Luul is also the driving force behind plot and quests, teaching the childlings about both the chimerical and real world with field trips to the Dreaming, local glades, noble courts, and common freeholds. She takes them to meet chimera and inspire Dreamers. Though Seelie, she does her best to be even-handed and honest when talking about the courts. Lashaya and Joshua have unique insight into the grim nature of the world. They both understood pain long before they should have and that connects them. Lashaya usually tells him her visions first, and Joshua feels no need to perform in front of her. He talks to her about his regrets because he knows she will understand the greed of the world. They They have an unfortunate unfortunate habit of entering vicious cycles of pessimism that they both feed into. Being around two distinctly Unseelie peers may sway the ever-adaptable Kay to shift Courts. Luul will cer tainly be aware of that possibility and won’t necessarily be op-
posed, but will try to make sure Kay understands what they’re doing, that they don’t just make a huge change to fit in out of reflex. If included, Dominic can be aged-down to a young child, or take the role of an assistant teacher. teacher. Sally Bobbin can be inserted as another source of stability and emotional support if the children are too much for just Luul to handle. She can also provide a magic school bus.
LADY ZHALANA ’S R ETINUE ETINUE Lady Zhalana, Brady Fish, Fi sh, Kaori Tsukamoto, Chuck Wood Optional Includes: Lashaya Ellis
Lady Zhalana has collected the local Unseelie talent together into a motley and regularly holds court in her elegant freehold, tucked into a townhouse in the city. She presides over them, holding sway with her supernatural social influence. They are a significant political block in the city, and an effective team which Zhalana regularly deploys to solve various problems that need a touch of Daireann vengeance. Brady Fish is Zhalana’s right hand man who handles day-to-day issues. He calls the shots when they get into illegal territory. Brady sometimes feels the drive to continue to search for his father, but that doesn’t interest Zhalana and the lady is hard to say no to. Currently, his main job is keeping an eye on Floyd Lindsay. Lindsay. Chuck Wood is the freehold’s jester. He amuses Lady Zhalana when she is feeling bored and often sits with her in the garden. Zhalana brings out a streak of self-deprecation in Chuck that ranges from sad to deeply unhealthy. It’s funny, funny, though. Can’t say no to that. Kaori is being groomed for nobility by Zhalana, who ironically prefers her quiet and composed Seelie side a nd pressures the Nocker into that mode by her very august presence. Kaori works with Brady on practical matters, managing anything that requires knowledge of technology. The relationship is giving her an exciting education educa tion in crime. Lashaya Ellis can be incorporated into this freehold as a court seer. Probably picked up by Brady who has an eye for skill even in the strangest places. Lashaya would be the one freehold member not cowed by Lady Zhalana’s presence. She would also the one most likely to stand up to the lady of the house, and Zhalana would be reluctant to exile the little girl because of the clear value of having a Soothsayer. The power struggle between the powerful sidhe and the small but self-possessed sluagh would greatly disrupt the previous stolid dynamics of the motley.
YOU ARE NOT MY MY MASTER
T C E F R E P D N A L U F I T U A E B
L ADY Z ZHALANA
M Y J E S T E R
L ASHA ELLIS ASHAY YA E
TWO SELVES. MORE TO LOSE JAPANESE JAPA NESE HORROR FL ICK SHE BELIEVES IN ME MY PROJECT NICE TO HAVE SOMEONE TO RELAX AROUND LAUGH THROUGH YOUR TEARS FRIENDLY FACE, BUT THIS PLACE IS WEARING HER DOWN
K AORI TSUKAMOTO
LOYALTY BOUGHT WITH SCRAPS
MY ERRAND BOY
GOOD FOR A LAUGH
THINK HE MAY BE A CRIMINAL
BRADY F FISH
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? U O Y H T I W P U S I T A H W
THE GLORIOUS ENDEAVOR Sally Bobbin, Luul Al-Baz, Julio Garces
cares for everyone. Luul Al-Baz is the lorekeeper. She tracks the story of the freehold and writes it down when she’s finished with lesson plans. Julio Garces drives the bus a nd is their first defense against attack. Sally has been trying to give him a knighthood for a year, but he is gently resistant.
Sally and Luul plan for the future over tea. They often use the bus to take Luul’s class on field trips, or travel to The Glorious Endeavor is a Fiona freehold tucked inside help changeling communities in need. They realized they of a double-decker tour bus. Most people pay their fare and were in love love one night while sitting together together watching the step on to a normal bus, but if you give the driver seven stars on top of the bus, and took a road trip to collect all of dimes and he honks the horn once you will instead turn their friends for a wedding in the mobile freehold. They have left into a great stone hall. An entire castle is tucked inside been married for quite a long time now, and their private the vehicle, you can watch the world speed by through the conversations are a patter of endearments and in-jokes. arrow loops, and the spiral staircases of the tallest towers Julio tends to leave the planning to them, content to lead up to the top of the bus. The bus perpetually tours the city where Luul teaches kindergarten and Julio’s family lives. just dwell in a place of Glamour and feel it ease the cold pressure on his old bones. Sally and Luul enjoy fussing Sally Bobbin is seneschal for a Baron who does not over him, making sure he doesn’t drive for too long, has spend much time in the freehold. She coordinates and Optional Includes: Dominic Lowell
FUTURE OF THE FREEHOLD
THIS IS HER PLACE
I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US
S ALL BOBBIN ALLY Y B WHAT IS HE THINKING OLD, DEAR MAN RUNS IT ALL WITH A SMILE MY BELOVED
DOMINIC LOWELL THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE
WILL SHE HELP ME
TAKE A REST MY FRIEND
LEARNED MORE THAN I’LL EVER FORGET
JULIO G ARCES
LUUL A L-B AZ Motleys
enough to eat, and comes inside every now and then to spend time with people. The three are comfortable friends who work well together. Dominic can be incorporated into this motley as a plot point. The old Baron has died. A week later, Dominic gets on the bus and pays his fare. The horn honks with a blare
of trumpets. The Balefire flares. The freehold recognizes its new master and immediately changes to a Scathach freehold. freeho ld. The three courtiers suprisedly welcome their completely shocked monarch into his new domain; the Dreaming has decided to give him a home and friends that will stay with him no matter where he goes.
PLOT SEEDS These stories can be self-contained adventures, or jumping off points for entire campaigns. They are intended as raw materials, and should be picked apart, changed, and used however feels right. Many of them are themed around specific motleys and will be a perfect first adventure for those characters.
FATHER ’S DAY
like the stargazer, angler fish, and colossal squid for ideas. A cult of dangerously Unseelie selkie are also possible, or a non-changeling villain such as a malevolent mage or a demon cult. Motivations for these villains killing Joshua and Brady’s fathers include: hunger, blood sacrifice, revenge, love expressed by devouring. Possible Possible clues for players to find: f ind: Waterlogged diaries. Claw marks in strange places. Threatening messages car ved into wood. Black symbols depicting waves that seem to flow and crash as you look at them. Mementos belonging to either father. Scraps of a shredded Selkie skin.
Many years ago, Brady Fish’s father died. It was not a peaceful death. He was on a ship, unloading boxes. Not a legal job, but a paying job. The mortals think something exploded. Brady knows better. He saw the bodies. They If you prefer happier endings, consider the possibility were torn apart, limb from limb, by something on that ship. The ship came from America. Brady is going to find that one or both fathers are still alive, but confined some where in the Dreaming. what killed his father. Many years ago, Joshua Royce lost his father to the sea. It was not a peaceful death. The sea has teeth of lightning and waves. She gulped down her prey and lef t only his skin. Joshua did not question the loss, only grieved. grieved. Perhaps Perhaps he should have, because now storms brew when he enters the water and he feels tugs like claws on his fins when he dives deep.
IN DEFENSE OF THE TOWNHOUSE Lady Zhalana’s Zhalana ’s sins have come back to haunt her. When she first arrived in this city she used her supernatural powers to steal a freehold from a mor tal named Floyd Lindsay. She justified her actions to herself easily: the mortal did not understand the value of the house, nor did he deserve it. Floyd is now helpless and homeless.
This plot revolves around the characters of Brady and Joshua, and their their different approaches approaches to to dealing with the mysterious force that took their fathers. It has themes of grieving, horror, and mystery. It is particularly good for Now Mister Lindsay has returned. He aims to take back groups who like puzzles and combat. In this story the entity what is his, and his supporters supporters are threateningly interested that killed their fathers is the same thing. Bra dy is invested in the many changelings who have begun to frequent Lady in hunting it and learning the truth. Joshua is invested Zhalana’s freehold. Mister Lindsay has returned with a bevy because it is now hunting him. of Autumn People People as his advisors, and Dauntain Dauntai n with the The main thrust of the plot is collecting clues about the Brand of the Iconoclast supporting him in his quest to deaths and following the trail of the entity down the coast of retake the freehold. America. It can involve involve anyone who cares cares about or is hired They bring significant signif icant legal power to bear, but also mystito help them. The Seekers motley and an aged-up version cally threaten the changelings. Autumn-tainted lawyers may of Ms. Al-Baz’s Field Trip are good choices for this quest. show up to negotiate. They will do chimerical damage to any The Storyteller has a lot of freedom in figuring out the changeling they shake hands with. Their presence brings nature of the entity. The only established facts are that it dire peril to the courtroom Lady Zhalana must stand in. is associated with the sea and has claws. Consider taking The Dauntain consciously seeks to manipulate these tools ideas from Lovecraft mythos to illuminate a chimera from of Banality to trap and destroy all changelings associated the dark side of the Dreaming. Research deep-sea creatures, with the freehold, and the freehold freehold itself.
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This plot centers on Lady Zhalana’s backstory, but can involve anyone who frequents her freehold. The Dark Mentorship motley or Lady Zhalana’s Retinue are good choices for this adventure. Steve Market, in particular, would be an interesting and effective character to play in this adventure, as his business acumen would be invaluable, and his likely tempestuous relationship with Lady Zhalana would make for interesting roleplaying. However, However, many different changelings would be moti vated to help in i n this, even Seelie ones. The Right of Safe Haven is a basic tenant of the Escheat and many Seelie characters would see it as their responsibility to defend a place of Glamour from the banal influence this mortal represents, even if Floyd is legally in the right in the eyes of mortal law. Luul Al-Baz and Sally Bobbin in particular are dutiful and empathetic enough to reach across the aisle and help their darker cousins. Sally would drive the The Glorious Endeavor into town to help them, and to give a safe place to retreat if their freehold falls. This plot will involve deep interaction with the mor tal world and much much risk of Banality as changelings maneuver legal bureaucracy. It is a heavy social plot, but depending on the nature of the enemy and the tactics of the players, can involve combat and larceny as well. It is well-suited as a long-term plot for a campaign.
This adventure is perfect for the Now Streaming: The Dreaming motley, but any of the younger characters, Seelie or Unseelie, might be invited, and though they might be awkward at first, dealing with surviving surviv ing the Dreaming would be a great bonding experience to bring them all together. together. When the characters land in i n the Dreaming they are on a huge game board. They are playing as a team against an AI opponent. If they win, they are transported back to Kaori’s living room. If they lose, they are lost in the Dreaming and have to wander back themselves. They win by ending the game with more points. They get points by completing mini-games. The game is played in turns. The players roll one ten-sided die as a group to determine how far they proceed on the board, and the square they land on determines what happens next. There are roll-again squares, backsliding squares, and minigame squares with themes like “PIRATES” or “ESCAPE THE ROOM.” If you want, you can draw out the game board on a piece of paper that the players can actually see, or just make things up as you go along. Don’t worry too much about precise rules; Zoom Zoom party games can be punishingly arbitrary and you can use that to guide plot and amp up drama.
This adventure can be customized with content to suit most any party, and you can in fact let players choose what An interesting interesting twist on this scenario: scenario: if no one is playplay- types of mini-games mini-game s they want to play. Physical primaries primar ies can ing Steve Market, he could be on the other side. His ability choose to blast aliens with plasma rifles or whack zombies to thrive in corporate America makes him resilient to this with crowbars. Social primaries can accrue points by flirting flir ting kind of Banality, and it’s possible he doesn’t know what their way through dating simulators. Mental primaries can cause he’s championing, or that he has just gone very, very enjoy any puzzle you’ve ever seen in a video game. dark. The influence inf luence of the Dauntain would be twisting Steve This is designed as a single adventure to bring charinto something awful and wrong, but he would not be so acters together, but can be extended into a series of trips far gone as the actual a ctual Dauntain, making him an interesting into “Zoom Zoom Techno Party Extreme!” if the characters figure that the changelings might yet reclaim for their side. decide they want to go again.
ZOOM ZOOM TECHNO PARTY EXTREME Kaori Tsukamoto hosts a gaming night. Her parents are out of town for the weekend and she invites over all her friends for an evening of potato chips, soda, and video games. One particular video game: “Zoom Zoom Techno Party Extreme!” The latest in the Zoom Zoom series that combines first person shooting, puzzle solving, tactical strategy, and dating simulators all into one amazing par ty game! Get ready for some quick time events and keep a controller handy, it’s going to be a ride! Obviously, Kaori and all her friends are sucked into the video game and have to win the game in the Dreaming in order to get home.
If your players enjoy competing, you could instead have them playing against each other. This is only recommended for a smaller par ty, two or three max, since it involves doing the turns separately and that can get boring i f there are too many people.
A DAY AT THE MUSEUM Luul Al-Baz is taking her class to visit the Natural History Museum. It will be a day of giant whales, mummies and geodes. They will learn. They will harvest Glamour from the other patrons. They will meet the chimera that live there. They will have lunch. They will possibly ride dinosaurs. All of the animals will come to life and talk. This adventure is intended for the Ms. Al-Baz’s Field Trip motley. However, you can also age down any of the
other characters to join it. Ruthless childling Steven Market and snooty brat Lady Zhalana might be particularly endearing choices. This adventure is ideal as a light-hearted exploration of curiosity and emphasizes how Glamour is a natural phenomenon, budding and overflowing in wonderful places like the Natural History Museum. It could be used as a sandbox where the characters can explore where they want without having to follow structured plot. The Storyteller can describe various wings wings of of the the mus museum eum that that the the char charact acters ers can can exp explor lore, e, or eve even n download a map of a museum and use that as a prop. It doesn’t have to take place in New York; many cities have such museums.
Lashaya has a dream about it, the first pleasant one she can remember in a long time. She dreams about people dancing in the streets and sharing food. She dreams about murals creeping up to cover the peeling paint. She dreams of something she can inspire. Hope. This is a social-based adventure that deals with real-world problems. Julio and Lashaya attempt to keep their home block from descending into a winter of banality and despair by rekindling a sense of community and bringing people together with with an eve event. nt. Bright Bright Mentors Mentorship hip is a good good motley motley for this, this, as Lily and Dominic would easily empathize and share their goals.
Julio and Lashaya Lashaya must balance balance personal personal responsibil responsibilities ities Here are a few ideas for things that can happen at the with trying to inspire inspire and organize organize their neighbors. neighbors. Part of the museum: difficulty people face in this situation is that living from daya nd energy ¶ A triceratops chimera wants to go out and explore to-day is exhausting and it’s hard to find the time and Manhattan. Characters must convince them why this to do extra things. Let the characters struggle with that. Let them struggle with naturally formed Banality pit-traps in their is a bad idea, or facilitate facilit ate it happening. apartment complexes. Introduce Storyteller characters with ¶ A mischievous chimerical monkey monkey has stolen a bunch various problems problems and difficulties difficulties and challenge challenge the Kithain of shiny gems from the geode room and they must be to connect with them and draw them into their planning. retrieved. Take care: the block party should not be presented as ¶ Go back in time to meet Einstein and Darwin and rescue a panacea to cure all the ills of this situation. That would them from being kidnapped by the Technocratic Union. minimize the long-standing issues or inequality and discrimination that are baked into our society and that caused ¶ An elephant and a woolly mammoth mammoth want to to get marthis environment to be devoid of hope and opportunity in ried. Arrange the ceremony without disturbing the the first place. Instead emphasize the value of grassroots efflow of traffic traff ic through the museum and recruit other forts to improve the world and bring people together, while exhibits to play parts in the wedding party. still acknowledging that there’s a lot of work to be done ¶ A child is lost and needs needs help finding their parents. after hope is reignited. Use magic, magi c, because changelings are More serious elements can be introduced by the troubles magical creatures, but accept that it cannot fix everything.
that the childling characters are struggling with. Lashaya is not accustomed to being safe and allowed to be a child. She may feel strange and awkward in this environment and have difficulty connecting with the others. Kay is struggling with issues of identity and may fear being misunderstood or subsumed by their classmates.
BLOCK PARTY Julio Garces Garces and Lashaya Lashaya Ellis live on a block block that is dying from despair. Lack of work leaves people festering in pools of depression in their houses. Paint peels from buildings and the hollow eyes of empty e mpty storefronts gaze mournfully at passing cars. There is a looming specter of violence. People walk with with their their eyes eyes down down and do not not speak speak to each each other other.. Lashaya can feel her mother falling into a cold depression as work and bills grind her down. Julio is struggling to keep his brother Emilio from seeking community in a gang. They cannot fix the structure of the world that has condemned them to poverty, but they have to do something before their home falls apart.
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Incorporating the Dark Mentorship motley into this story, as player-controlled characters or otherwise, opens up interesting roleplay and difficult dif ficult subjects. Steven Market and Lady Zhalana are part of the upper-class responsible for neglecting communities like this and focusing wealth and power elsewhere. Holding them accountable for this situation and having them deal with the damage it’s doing to the Dreaming is a chance to address another level of what caused autumn’s cold influence to creep into these people.
HUNTING THE PATRIARCHY Sally Bobbin, Kay Sparks, and Lily Porter hunt the Patriarchy Patriarchy through the Dreaming, seeking to fight misogyny and racism in metaphor, enacting change on the real world through the sympathetic link that the Dreaming’s chimerical manifestations have to our hopes and dreams and beliefs. They will confront things like the Gender Binar y, a Januslike being of black and white that will rip your heart out
and put a cage around it, little sexisms, slithering snake-like creatures with venomous bites that poison your faith in yourself, and innumerable other monsters. monsters. For Sally and Lily this is an old fight, one they’ve maneuvered through and struggled with all their life. For Kay it’s a journey of discovery. Confronting the minions of the Patriarchy directly and seeing plainly their corruptive influence inf luence helps Kay realize the effect these monsters have on them in daily life. Learning these things helps Kay distinguish who they are from what they’ve been conditioned to believe. This is intended as a deeply metaphorical adventurous romp through the Dreaming. Adding the Glorious Endeavor motley to this adventure gives them a convenient freehold to use as their base of operations.
their hearts. It straps the hearts into a small cage: strong steel for men and pretty gold for women. Then i t will put the heart back and those people will live inside of cages forever. forever. Little cages they carr y around inside of them This happens to most people when they are infants. The Misogyny Brothers: Two brothers. One is towering
and red-faced. He always yells or bellows and often breaks things. Women enrage him and he will scream at them, giving them orders and demanding things of them. As long as they endure his verbal abuse he’ll limit himself to that, but the moment he sees any sign of defia nce, he will attack them. Laughter sends him into a rage.
The second brother is slender, and well dressed. His face has a faint blue tint — the color of a drowned man. The Social Justice Valkyries are the core of this adven- He speaks in a calm dismissive tone that makes you feel ture, but can be joined by any of the other wilders and very small and foolish. As he talks to you he will slowly childlings who are up for adventure in the Dreaming and turn you invisible. would like to support support them. Even Steve Steve Market or Joshua Patriarchy, the Gaslit Gaslit Swamps: The domain of the Patriarchy, Royce, who on the surface seem like they’d be uninterested swamps will make you forget what is true. The hazy mist in the Valkyries’ mission, could realize they have reason to swirls with half-understood shapes and half-heard noises. hunt the Patriarchy. Read the section on Shame Gremlins, It always sounds a little like people are laughing at you. It and consider how Steve might respond to realizing that his is very easy to get lost, and the gas will eventually make you entire life has been structured around hosting a bloated believe that being here is normal, that you have never not parasite that is still latched around his neck. Consider how been here. The only way to navigate them safely is with the Joshua might respond if he learned that the choking choking panic help of friends. he feels when he wants to cry is a chimera that is literally The Patriarchy: The patriarchy is a pleasant looking old, choking him to keep him from properly mourning his hi s father. white man who doesn’t understand why you’re making such Here is a list of some monsters they can encounter in the Dreaming:
a fuss about things. Everything is perfectly fine. Sexism used to be a problem, but he fixed it. He is highly educated Fedorabirds and Microaggressions: Two nasty kinds of and knows how the world works. It works like he thinks Your perspective is clearly mistaken, particularly i f creatures who have a symbiotic relationship. Microaggres- it does. Your ar ticulate it in i n precisely the language he deems sions are squat, red goblins who tease and goad victims you can’t articulate to throw them off balance. Fedora birds look like normal appropriate. If you get angry at him he will tell you that emotional. fedoras. However, they can spread their brims and flap you are being overly emotional. rapidly through the air. They use the distractions that the Under this facade, he is a giant evil spider demon. microaggressions provide to swoop down, grope victims, and Take it apart. steal their Glamour. Fedorabirds usually target women, but Once they have dismantled the Patriarchy into wrigmicroaggressions chase anyone who seems weak. gling spider bits, the characters find traces of Banality in Shame Gremlins: Bony, batlike creatures that mostly at-
tack men. They will lash themselves around their victim’s neck and burrow a stinger into his spine. Once attached they will shock their victim whenever he feels deep emotions, and attempt to strangle him if he starts to cry. Gender Binary: The Gender Binary is a humanoid figure
with smooth, smooth, featureless skin, half of which which is paper white, half of which is coal black. It is always accompanied by a pretty woman in a dress and a ruggedly handsome man, who speak speak for for it. They gently tell tell Kay Kay that anything strange they feel about their bodies is wrong, and promise they can fix it. The Gender Binar y hunts people down and digs out
its corpse. They must follow these traces back out of the Dreaming and into the Autumn world, where they discover that the Patriarchy exists in both worlds. In the Dreaming, it is a vicious chimera, while in the Autumn world it is an iron-like web of Banality that holds people in place and crushes their dreams against its limitations. Now, without the focus of its chimerical form, the Patriarchy is unstable and vulnerable, and its inf luence over people is weakened. The characters will be able to effect dramatic change in the Autumn world. They may also be able to galvanize the entire changeling community into action: the spider cor pse is disturbing evidence that this corrupt entity managed to spread Banality into the very Dreaming.
Running a one-shot game of Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition? Starting up a chronicle with new players who aren't sure what to play? Looking for some examples of how the various kiths might look? Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers, these thirteen ready-made characters cover each of the Changeling kiths. Each character is provided with background, roleplaying roleplaying suggestions, art, and some potential motleys and story seeds — everything you need to immerse yourself in the Dreaming! Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition is needed to use these characters.