Changeling

Keep Austin Wyrd


The story of Austin’s Freehold should serve as a caution to Changelings: here the perils of too much paranoia wreaked havoc and ultimately led to the Wyrd withdrawing its support from those who most needed its protection.

2004-2005, Austin, Texas. The Freehold was under siege by constant Loyalist attacks. Disappearances and deaths were on the rise. Winter’s monarch saw fit to create an order of secret police meant to ferret out the Loyalists in their midst but the atmosphere was such that everyone came under suspicion. In Spring, the police force continued their operations with little oversight from Spring’s monarch, which meant that when Summer came, and the Wyrd crowned Morrigan, she found herself with more problems than even one of her strength could shoulder. With Loyalist activity occurring both within and without the Freehold, and the secret police dragging away anyone touched by the least amount of suspicion, whether it was true or not, things finally came to a head in an even that local Changelings now refer to as the Wipeout.

The result was that the Wyrd did not crown a monarch in Autumn, and the Freehold was no more.

By then, many of Austin’s Changelings had fled, as much to escape the predations of Winter’s secret police as to avoid being recaptured or killed by Loyalists. There have been Changelings in the city since 2005 but only a very few, and they maintained a scheme of strict avoidance of each other.

Now, as 2015 closes in on Summer, word has gone out on an anonymous grapevine: the last of the Loyalists who had so plagued the city a decade before are believed to be dead.

Austin is finally safe again — or so someone would like people to think.

  • Character Generation: Changeling is always open! Concepts do not have to be screened: you can make a character as soon as you start using the Character Generator in game.
  • Currently Encouraging? Characters with Strong Opinions about use of the Hedge, characters who may be interested in profiting off of an escort/guardianship for hedge travelers, characters familiar with Goblin Markets.
  • Approved Changeling Books: All of them. Eventually, we will have to decide between ruling out books, or making embarrassingly telling rules about the kind of players we have here.
  • Approved Kiths: All of them.
  • Approved Courts: All of them.
  • Approved Entitlements: All of them.
  • How do ___ work?
    • Entitlements - Entitlements are available and explained in depth on the House Rules page.
    • Hollows - Hollows are available to players who purchase points but can only be built on Trods.
    • Pledges - Players can create and approve pledges on their own accord using in-game code.
    • Freeholds - There is a staff-run freehold. Players are welcome to make their own if they have 8+ people.
    • Motleys - You need 3 or more characters to be a part of the grop and bam.

Character Types and Notes

Changelings

We want hedge-centric concepts (hedge escorts, harvesters, market merchants) because we ant the players to shape the Hedge grid (our Hedge is dynamic which grows and changes the more it is RPed in) alongside our plot about establishing order and organization in the Austin Freehold(s). Since Hollows can only grow on Trods and Trods in the hedge must be traveled on and maintained, RP in the Hedge lets players carve their own Freehold and their own trods and their own resources.

We also want characters whose concepts are actually anti hedge so we can provide necessary character conflict. Some could argue that there is such thing as too much focus on the hedge. The Hedge is inherently dangerous and each inroad one makes through it makes the community potentially visible to threats like the Gentry, after all.

Loyalists

We do allow Loyalists which are kept on a first-come-first-serve quota and on a schedule which you can find out more about on our Loyalists page which talks about how we handle this situation. We intend to use our players as vehicles for IC conflict handed down from NPCs; staff NPCs should not have all the spotlight, so if players are willing to take IC risks, then we'll let 'em.

Fae Touched and Fetches

We do allow players to recover their Mortal characters by letting them play Fae Touched and Fetches (and Changelings if they wait long enough). You can find out more on our page about Mortal Escapees.

The Freehold

  • Current Monarch: VACANT (Seasonal court system)
  • Territory: Downtown Austin is where one might want to go fishing for Changelings.
  • The Pledge: I understand and accept that the purpose of this Freehold is to uphold the physical safety and the security of its members. I promise that I will take no action to cause, partake in, or incite violence or harm against another individual in this Freehold outside of the bounds of their consent or within the tradition of a duel. I understand that if I were to fail to uphold my promise, then I would suffer the equal weight of my victim's pain and I would pay in blood, misfortune, and banishment from the trust and the company of those to whom I have sworn my allegiance. From the very moment I break my oath, those who I would hurt may defend themselves against me, and those who might aid me would be named traitor and share my curse. For my fealty to the leader of the Freehold and my promise to never harm another bound by the Wyrd to this pledge, may I become steadfast against that which would harm me. May the Wyrd grant me caution and shrewdness, so that I may become enlightened in the motives of others. This much I swear until the next season's solstice.
    • In plain English: I'm not going to hurt or get someone else to hurt anybody who is pledged unless that person consented to it or I am dueling with them in the formal sense. If I do hurt someone who is pledged, then I'm free game to chase down and I'll suffer an eye-for-an-eye regarding whatever I did to that person. Anybody who helps me is just as much of a traitor as I am and is also free game. I'll get some really swanky stat benefits and tokens so long as I behave, though, specifically to sniff out loyalists and keep me safe in dangerous situations. It'll be awesome until when Autumn rolls around in September, because then we gotta go do this whole Oathing tango again.
  • Benefits of Pledging to The Freehold:
    • Peace of Mind: The pledged find themselves better at-ease to handle that which plagues them, whether it be by finding sharper wit, tampered resolve, or firmer composure.
    • Piece of Mind: Specifically, items that help one stay safe from those that would deceive you to hurt you. The Pledged receive items to help them differentiate the truth from lies and grasp glimpses of the motives of others.
    • Communal Hollow Access: The snug, hedgeside headquarters of the freehold can be found by the particularly perceptive if they know to look for it in the first place, but the Wyrd shows just the right path to those who are Pledged. That stocked bunker-armory is not just a hidey-hole clubhouse, either.
    • Easy Driskill Real Estate: Hollows may only be built on trods. Nothing is stopping a non-pledged Lost from carving out a humble abode in Driskill's Trod, of course, but to be pledged certainly makes the place easier to settle when it comes to prying eyes paranoid about the stranger who moved in nearby.

The Freehold pledge is a Fealty (-3) + Lesser Forbiddance (-1) task. Basically it says, "Be loyal to the freehold and don't beat the crap out of each other or hire other people to do it." The duration is a Season (+2). Since the pledge is currently about finding out hedgeweasels and decepticons, the Boon is 2 shots of Adroitness (+1): you get 1 free dot in Empathy and 1 free dot in Subterfuge. The trinkets mentioned above that you get are complimentary!

The Hedge

Driskill's Trod

There are no stars, nor moons, nor suns in the Hedge. In this case, because the towering walls of limestone deny the existence of a sky at all. Twisted, winding paths cut their way through endless, underground caverns that compose Driskill's Trod, which cuts its way south through Austin, starting at the Driskill Hotel at 7th and Brazos.

It once wound southeast to Bastrop, Texas, but the Bastrop County Complex fire of 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, had a little more behind it than freak accident on a windy day over thirsty country. The Trod is truncated, now. Leave the path and the Thorns are twisted, fire-scorched things with leaves and blossoms of living flame that, yes, burns Lost flesh all too readily if you stand too close.

Splashes of emerald green can be seen through the hazy ruins that line the Trod's most navigable tunnels, growing up around odd mound crowned with triangular, stone idols, each side showing a painted, alien face with a half-dozen eyes. Who the hell it is is anyone's guess, but most don't want to think about it.

The ground is unstable, and it only takes one wrong step to fall through a sinkhole into a black hell of Thorns and endless tunnels. Many of the hobs in this region are subterranean hunters, using the sinkholes and the many tunnels to trap and store their prey.

Goblin Markets

The Centipede Shanty Train

Austin's visiting Goblin Market is a centipede-esque beast large enough to fit an entire town on her back; she tends to knock things over and down when she arrives. Lots of things. It's an event when she arrives because she is particularly capable of turning hollows into pancakes and she needs to be properly corralled. At the time that Austin's Freehold flourished, there was a division of Changelings whose only and sole job it was to wrangle the HMS Darlene into her massive harbor. Because she's a gigantic goddamn centipede shanty train and they don't come with parking brakes.

Darlene is worth the trouble because for all the destructive chaos her arrival can cause, safety comes in her wake. See, she can be good for clearing out the Thorns, even though it's only temporarily, because with her size and chitinous armor she galumphs through the scorching brambles like it ain't no thing and knocks shit down. In the weeks it takes for the Hedge to restore itself to its former horribleness, anagonists such as the Gentry are almost guaranteed to stay away from the area. The paranoid are convinced that some sort of dark and twisted agreement between the inhabitants of the HMS Darlene and the Keepers is what does it and you shouldn't be doing business with them. The more practical point out to the tinfoil hat-wearers that yo, maybe it's because when you come across the destruction left behind by some kind of monolithic creature, you conclude, "I shall not be fucking with that today."

Regardless, the variety of merchants on her back is unparalleled in Texas and with her arrival comes anything under the sun. Here you can have tokens made, rarities hedgespun, slaves sold, contracts drafted, checks cashed, teeth pulled out, souls mortgaged, revenge on your ex, a new car, desperate, experimental back-alley surgery, and so on.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License