Initial Setup

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Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Pitching the basic ideas to Monkey. +50 xp in addition to what is given for starting characters. Feel free to discuss things. Campaign info to come shortly.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:10 pm

Ok so, the idea is the chronicle starts post/calamity. The changeling community was a rather powerful one, with many members and resources. There was a major incursion by the true fae at one point, in which they made a direct assault on the summer bases of power. There was a fight that would live on in the dreams and nightmares of the survivors, but ultimately ended in defeat. The summer sovereign was captured and taken to arcadia and the general community shaken up by the staggering losses.
The idea here is to give you the freedom to state what your changeling did during all this, as well as provide an environment with upward mobility.
After the dust settles, autumn is the power in the community. Their sovereign is the most active and one of the two most powerful changelings in the court. The autumn queen wears her mantle well and is a generally feared figure in the community. The winter king is also very powerful, but after suffering injury in the fighting, he's pulled back to assess things and doesn't figure prominently in the politics. The King of Spring was the newest to the role. While leery at first of taking up the mantle of king, he's begun to warm up to the role. While not as supernaturally powerful as the other two monarchs, he's a highly seasoned changeling who others respect since he's actually the most personable. The new summer queen is the highest ranking of the forces that remain of summer, sadly she was only the commander of the reserves, and is struggling to piece her court together as the last days of summer wane away.

The basic of basic synopses. Putting it here before it is lost in the depths of skype.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:39 pm

So the whole attack was a carefully calculated one. It was designed to have the highest amount of impact on the ones who were left. The Fae announced their presence, gave ample time for defenders to assemble and arm, then sent waves of troops at the base. The attack escalated until the others swept in, casting down the remaining defenses and taking the summer king captive. The freehold reeled from this, both the losses and the defeat. More members were lost and the less valorous scattered to the four winds. Others established new freeholds where the current one used to have a monopoly in the area. Groups attempting to lure away even more changelings and ensorcelled mortals, as well as the assets of the devastated courts.
The other supernaturals will figure in the setting, to a greater or lesser degree. For the most part the freehold is only vaguely aware of the abilities of vampires and mages. Stories mostly, even though there is some contact with the groups. So now the freehold gets to try and stamp out the fires in the aftermath and rebuild while not appearing weak to their neighbors.
Hunters are a thing. They are the bogeymen that supernatural creatures talk about.
The summer holdings were based around a stable hedge gate that had a trod heading to a nearby goblin market. The autumn courtiers do much of their trading in the hedge here. Summer isn't really around anymore, so the hobgoblins have gotten more aggressive lately.
Lazy copy/paste description: But it's this fissure in the ground, a clocktower with many faces all up it's length rising from the center. The city above dwarfed by the mazelike city extending into the darkness below. A mindbendingly complex series of walkways, shops, and buildings of all shapes and sizes. Strange lighting illuminating the upper reaches, a near perpetual fog from the two creeks that fill the cleft with mist and fog.
You'll get the option of telling the story of how your changeling survived/contributed to the war. I'll be going over the god machine rules for setting up some supporting cast for your character.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:55 pm

Ok so the idea is to make all the courts here both viable and distinct as a choice. The plot threads aren't meant to be an exclusive thing, it's all one freehold after all. Making headway into certain court politics will be much easier for those of that court, or those with court goodwill of course.

I might add to, or change information as ideas come up or feedback comes my way.

So! Spring Court.
Sovereign: Marcus Stenton Kith: Hunterheart
A rising star in the corporate scene, Marcus is not above using his changeling arts to fight his way past the red tape and naysayers that might impede his business. He runs (not named yet corporation), a multimedia corp specializing in custom videos, commercials, music, all the way to even porn. At least in the public's eye. He runs a brisk trade in granting boons and favors among the wealthy elite securing beneficial contracts and pledges that make it possible to get more and more lucrative venues after that. He only somewhat recently became the sovereign of spring, but has come to like both the prestige and power that comes with it. Much of the spring court finds employ with him, as Marcus knows firsthand how useful even the most clarity-deficient changeling can be. He owns a modest skyscraper, that barely meets the criteria for that name. The lowest floors given over to a club (also not yet named) and private rooms for attracting and entertaining business. The middle floors are where much of the professional work for his business is run. The highest floors given over to luxurious suites to house the affluent guests undergoing the ministrations of his court. The top has his own penthouse.

The court is finding a lot of their time being more and more consumed with unusual tasks. A great deal of trifles and goblin fruits are needed to power the higher end of Marcus' business ventures. With any highly profitable business, the vultures and rats have come sniffing. These are both changeling, mortal, and others who have constantly tried to turn the profits to their end, or simply sabotage the spring courts sovereign for all manner of reasons. It wasn't a major issue until the recent disaster greatly weakened the court. Now the courtiers find their assets besieged on all sides and business has started to stagger. Marcus has had to begin showing that his court is not full of hedonistic fops, while he himself has begun to bare his fangs at his challengers.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:58 pm

Summer!
Sovereign: Annette Hastings Kith: Earthbones
The defeat of summer, no matter that other courts were involved, is on everyone's lips these days. Though none feel this fact as keenly as the newly appointed queen. Annette never dreamed that her low position would eventually net her the title. So on top of not being nearly ready for the burden of leadership, she also finds herself trying to keep the court together and functional in one of the most trying of times the freehold has ever faced. The fury that drew her to summer has begun to gutter under the weight of stress and grief. She has thus far attempted to get everything back up and running, no matter the vastly reduced personnel available to her. The old kings contacts, sensing weakness, have begun to pressure summer for more and more concessions and profit for less and less of what they were bound to provide. Given the mortal nature of most of these, they are unable or unwilling to accept the truth of the matter and only know there is money involved and their greed is making it's own rules. Annette is trying to work things out herself, since she doesn't want to start her rule by getting buried in uncharitable contracts to the other rulers of the freehold. For their part, most are watching to see how the new summer queen will handle herself.
The summer holdings are greatly reduced, the changelings maintaining the freehold hollow having perished resulted in the loss of a great deal of material to the voracious hedge. Much of the court business is being run out of a modest warehouse, while those few loyalists and holdfasts attempt to salvage what they can from the widespread ruin.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Autumn
Sovereign: Isabel Cadenas Kith: Leechfinger
For the court that deals in fear, business is booming these days. The autumn court has, as ever, delved widely into the dreams of mortals and the nature of fae magic. Isabel is no stranger to this habit, and in fact has pioneered some new techniques for use. A terrifyingly intense sovereign, she leads with an iron fist. Where she cannot directly force some into compliance she'll attempt to levy pledges that all but ensure her will is carried out. Even those who have risen in the ranks are possessed of even greater fear of the woman, as they become closer they attain greater scrutiny from one who is not inclined to mercy. The autumn court has it's fingers deep within the hedge, as well as the dreams of their mortal cohorts. They Bring forth treasures that are either fascinating or terrible, sometimes both. The holdings of the court are divided into a trade house they keep in the local goblin market, along with the aristocratic club run for members only in the mortal world. Most of the court handles providing a good deal of hedge resources and lore, while the inner circle is involved in the rarer and more powerful items.
Isabel has not been idle after the events that have transpired. It seems what happened was the final tipping point for some secret project she had been working on. Her and her inner circle have been cloistered away, working in secret and meeting with.....odd...individuals. While fraught with danger, a few of the inner circle have seen or done things they couldn't handle and ran screaming madly off, never to be seen again.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:24 am

Winter
Sovereign: Whisper Kith: Drudge
Whisper once had a name, much like everyone else. He even remembered it when he returned from arcadia. Initially he joined the winter court as a means of getting his life back on track. Despite the best of efforts on his part things slowly unraveled and he dejectedly abandoned any thought of being normal. He remained in winter and just kept his head down at first, but as he gained experience he found himself more and more drawn into a leadership position amongst the changelings of the freehold. Even when the crown of winter finally fell on his head he kept on doing the work he had been doing, he just wasn't taking orders from anyone but the other sovereigns during their time of rule. The winter court has flourished under his leadership, and while he would never be referred to as a saint, given his at times ruthless methods, most have found help when they really need it from him and his court. Whisper has run a very effective campaign of misinformation; the other supernaturals and mortal agencies in the area are still only guessing at the freeholds level of power. His base of operations runs out of a condemned warehouse that is part hostel/part trade post. The wares sold here are not limited to simply fae or hedge items, some truly bizarre things have found their way to the market stalls.
The recent catastrophe has put a lot of strain on the winter community. More and more information and skullduggery is becoming necessary. Having lost a good number of their best agents, they've begun to pressure the members of their court to higher levels of contribution. Some might think the level of activity is a bit unwarranted, others take note that maybe the winter king knows something they do not.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:40 am

Court Interactions

Spring/Summer: Spring and summer get along quite well traditionally. This was also the case in the freehold here, up till the recent events. Many in spring have had many friends and acquaintances lost in the altercation with arcadia. This in defiance of the fact that spring was profiting handsomely with summers activities. In reality there is just a need to lay the blame somewhere, with summer weakened so they make for an excellent scapegoat. Marcus has "generously" positioned his forces to pick up some of the slack with the old duties of summer. Annette and summer for their part are still struggling to get back on their feet. Annette is no fool however and smartly avoids any pledges or contracts that offer short term gains in exchange for pricey long term concessions. She is beginning to tire of Marcus' attitude which is like a rain of cinders on burnt skin. The court itself maintains it's wounded pride and strives to keep up as best it can, though resources are becoming increasingly stretched thin.

Spring/Autumn: Relations between these two courts is both tempestuous and cool. On the surface both sides are acting like business is going on as usual. Both sides on the surface trying to assuage the other of their losses. It's nothing more than a veneer covering both sides trying to take advantage in the upset and gain as much influence in the greater scheme of the freehold. Isabel herself seems to hold herself above the maneuvering, though the smarter and elder of both courts know she's not so inexperienced at this game to tip her hand so early. Marcus has opted not to antagonize a court he rightly believes to have weathered the incident with most of their power intact.

Spring/Winter: Marcus has found trying to deal with the King of Winter is as frustrating as his courtiers have told them it would be. Whisper gets away with much while promising very little, precisely because he promises nothing. Spring receives their intel, the freehold benefiting enough. Though Marcus can never be quite sure if he is either being played or just missing some hidden subtext in the things he gets. The ever escalating price always seeming....almost....worth it. Almost. Whisper for his part sees Spring attempting the levy itself to every higher positions. While he wishes not to alienate the other courts by currying too much favor with this court, he also does not want to offend the new king only to have his courtiers suffer overmuch down the road. So he plays the game, and watches for opportunities.

Summer/Autumn: Annette puts up with Marcus' antics precisely because she finds herself heavily beset by the demands of the autumn court. While Isabel herself seems properly consoling for the new queen, the higher ups in the autumn court are significantly less understanding about their pledges and agreements suddenly needing to be made anew due to a change in leadership. They keep pushing, both overtly and not, for Annette to take up the agreements that the old king of summer held with autumn, assuring her the entire time that they are simply trying to reestablish what they are owed. Annette unfortunately needs the expertise of the autumn court in finding some items of value that were lost in the fighting. Items devoured by the hedge after the summer holdfasts were lost. Her pleas that her and her court need time to grieve before jumping into lengthy and uncompromising pledges aren't doing much to mollify the unforgiving courtiers. Her court for their part only see the autumn courtiers as hyenas come calling on a wounded animal. Not standing idle, some of the more radical members have begun to gather together.

Summer/Winter: These two courts have been at odds with each other for quite some time. Annette seems content to focus on her troubles within the freehold with the other two courts instead of inciting more trouble with the winter courtiers. Whisper has found himself also willing to watch and see what the new summer queen is made of. The members of the winter court though, have been aiding the surviving summer courtiers as much as they can. Though many of these are only able to offer their condolences. Many in summer are secretly grateful not to be at odds with ALL the courts in the freehold. Though most are too proud to admit this even while they freely accept the charity.

Autumn/Winter: Isabel has always had an icy relationship with Whisper. They've known each other the longest and their plots have both matured in complexity, and waned from repetition. Isabel finds the resources of winter to be too valuable to let their relationship slide, but has chosen to focus instead on the less wily younger courtiers than trying to gain anything from the noncommittal and elusive sovereign. Whisper himself has counseled those under his care to be wary of the Dread Queen's promises, but winter is always a court more in flux. Ever more people are being lured away by the machinations of autumn.


Last edited by ST McDude on Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:53 am

These of course aren't the only things going on. This is just the non-spoilery court gossip.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sun May 14, 2017 1:01 pm

Bases of operation. Starting with autumn!

The primary court holdings for these changelings is the Rookridge Mental Health Institute. While this is an asylum, it's not the cliché broken down horror fuel you see all over. It's actually one you'd see in the real world, a high class one. Everything is shiny and run by the numbers with friendly staff who seem genuinely intent on helping. Despite all that the residents have difficulty recovering from their illnesses and frequently need to medicated for their own benefit. It's because the real terror occurs when they go to sleep. The changelings are abusing the dreams of those unable to leave and creating an environment of terror all the more horrific because those subjected to it keep being told it's all in their heads. This creates an almost permanent environment for the ashen court to harvest glamour. While a good number of the autumn courtiers object to this treatment, most are either too afraid or prevented by pledges to do anything about it, or simply wise enough to leave Isabel and her circle alone.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Wed May 17, 2017 1:29 pm

Bases of operation: Summer and Winter

Summer: (I came up with cooler stuff for this court. This takes precedence.) Summer holdings aren't what they were, but they still have claim to some of their best bases of operation. The primary holding most of summer operates out of these days is a storage unit. From the outside it seems like a normal structure of it's type. While it's technically open to the public for sake of appearances, there are never any vacancies to be had. Annette lives in the apartment above the office, the office itself run by whichever summer courtier is available or even some of the mortal confidants that remain in their employ. The inside of the facility is fairly large, but the layout is not what an outsider would expect on the inside. Several of the units have had internal walls removed to make a bigger space inside than even the larger units can provide. Some have partitioned interiors only accessible through secret doors, in addition to several sublevels underneath the facility that were added after the structure was built using contracts. There are even a few tunnels connecting these sublevels to neighboring structures, a house and a small warehouse also owned by summer.

Winter: As expected of winter, their favored base of operations is highly mobile and dispersed. Whisper started the habit of having his operation on the open waves. The winter court holdings thus change on a regular basis depending on which docks they decide to use. The court owns a few of them that they like to keep operational to interact with the other courts, though outside of winter's sovereignty finding the majority of the court is a task of great difficulty. The core members of the court maintain strong social ties with members of other seasons even when most of the court has vanished into the waves. With a word to the right ears one can gain transport or a hiding spot that even the most determined pursuer would be hard pressed to find. Winter offers other services that can be had by their unique setup. Though prices are significantly higher for all but the most beloved members of the other seasons.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Wed May 24, 2017 10:39 pm

A (much belated) Spring. (sorry!)
Marcus has most of his primary assets kept together within his main building. Imago corp, the business that ostensibly comprises the majority of his income, takes up only a small chunk of the Thrushman building it's based out of. Not to downsell it's scale, it is a fairly large area dedicated to the multimedia business and the amount of money it garners, it's just that some of his enterprises makes the money made there look like pocket change. The first thing people would see when approaching the building would be Club Borealis. The club opens up onto the main street and serves as the face for the building itself. The lighting work setup for the building gives it an ever-shifting luminous glow similar to it's namesake. Upon entering ones eyes are drawn to look at the lightwork inside that dwarfs the elegant work done on the outside. From a ballistic glass floor with with it's LCD lightshow setup underneath it, through the curtains of fiber optics and lights that naturally draw the eye upwards to the ceiling 3 stories above the main dance area. The first floor outside this initial spectacle is dedicated to the tables that are nestled quietly off to the side for those tired of dancing or just wanting to watch or enjoy drinks. To one side is the large bar, a nearly full circle affair filled to the brim with all manner and types of bottles and glasses. The bar itself is made of some kind of artificial substance that seems clear but also both catches and gently luminesces whatever lightshow is going on in the main dancefloor. The second floor is for those who seek more privacy or wish to distance themselves from the activity down below. While tables line the upper balcony, there are also many a booth to be had with varying degrees of privacy. In the back of this floor are the first of the private rooms which can be rented for all manner of activity, with partners one either came with or hooked up with during their stay. The top floor is for the more affluent guests, while there is access to the lower floors, it is under heavy guard. There are also other entrances and exits to private parking access elevators. For those keeping a low profile or wish to come and go unseen. There are the more spacious and impressive private rooms at this level.

What most of the public doesn't see is the business access in the back of the building, with elevators that go straight to the floors above the club where Imago does the brunt of it's work. The business itself varies wildly on almost a nearly day to day basis depending on what project or client the workers here are catering to.

The upper reaches of the building are seen only by the most exclusive clientele that have a greater or lesser understanding of what Marcus can provide to them. From either pleasure dens catering to impossibly exotic fetishes, to recovery rooms where clients get their affairs in order after major changes they've requested of the King of the Emerald Court.

The top of the building has Marcus' own residence, a penthouse of no small accomodation. His pool deck overlooks the sound and is one of the most hotly rumored spot in most of the freehold. Marcus keeps a firm control on those he allows up to this area, most aren't quite ready to witness some of the spectacles he hosts from his own backyard.

(sorry this took a while, I got stuck on names and distractions)
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:29 am

Ok so, after poking through Swords at Dawn I realize I was mistaken about a couple things. So I've made a few campaign specific tweaks to the timeline. The war was still a nightmarish incident, though this is less a signature trait of the hedge, and more something fuckery was going on. Both the freehold defenders and the Fae's forces were affected turning the incident into total chaos. The local terrain literally writhing underfoot as buildings were crushed or warped beyond recognition. The sky seeming to yawn wide into an empty abyss with whispers and hallucinatory flashes confusing even the most mundane details. Badly warped hedgebeasts running amongst the combatants some fighting in the middle of death throes incurred by horrific warping of their flesh.

Yet everyone remembers when the Summer King was taken. Everything seemed to still in that moment, all eyes turning to the center of the field as the fae stood tall in it's twisted armor of metal and wood over the bloodied king. Spined chains lashed out to bind him as he was then drug away thrashing and yelling in defiance. While attempts were made to stop this, there was little organization at this point. A few brave souls ran into the hedge in pursuit but have yet to return. The rest of those involved pulled back, letting the invaders run howling off into the night.

Most of those involved in the fighting that weren't discovered or spoken with later are assumed MIA. Very few corpses were found after the battle, despite many remembering those missing suffering fatal injury. Some hardliners still comb the hedge, convinced something more was afoot. Others just let them cope with their grief in their own way.
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Re: Initial Setup

Post by ST McDude on Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:01 am

The fae's true name that attacked the freehold was "The Herald of the Frozen Hart". Though keeping in mind that nobody is willing to use the true name of the fae. The name was known not because they named themselves, but from those who enjoyed the hospitality of this particular monster for the duration of their stay in Arcadia.

Most use some kind of rude moniker, sometimes to allay fears of this thing or in raw spite of them. Examples me and monkey came up with are "Harry Heart". Which would be the most common. H2, hairy heart (the rudest one), or 'ol Harry. Some kind of appellation is used instead of it's true name, because many are afraid that saying it will invite the fae back and give it access to the freehold. While there is a distinct lack of proof, many of those who scoff at the idea still find themselves talking of "'ol Harry".
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