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[OOC] Dark Eras Changeling - Vae Victis

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  • [OOC] Dark Eras Changeling - Vae Victis

    This is the Out of Character thread for a Play by Post Chronicle I'll run with Second Chances and White Oak Dragon . It's a Changeling game set in Imperial Rome. Posting it here so we can start discussing things and for people to have a look at it should they be interested to see our shenanigans. Ok, here's the pitch:

    It’s the year 107 AD. Emperor Traian’s armies have just returned in triumph from Dacia, defeating both a long-standing menace and bringing back riches and slaves. Traian is a good emperor. Not the wisest, nor the strongest, but he is a principled man with a strong sense of justice and both the willpower and charisma needed to guide the empire with a firm yet reasonable hand. He still keeps the beast that is Rome warm thanks to the fires of war and the blood of its enemies, but his subjects would not want it any different. Traian is the Optimus Princeps, the “most excellent prince”, and history will remember him as such.

    The city itself is at its apex: more than a million people inhabit it and thousands travel to it each day. By foot, horse or ship, either free or in chains, all those who travel towards Rome acknowledge it for what it is: the greatest city in the world. Civil wars, invasions and mad emperors are mere memories. Now more than ever, Rome is strong, magnificent and unstoppable. The closest to the platonic ideal of itself it will ever get.

    The Changeling Courts of Rome basked for almost a century in the glory of the empire. They stand as one, a bastion against the forces of Arcadia that never falters. Though they have to share occult dominance over Rome with other supernaturals, changelings have found their place in it and built a haven for all those who are Lost. The Gentry don’t represent a problem in Rome. Or at least, that’s what the changeling claim. In truth, more changeling escape from Arcadia each year and the number of those who disappear, dragged back into the Thorns screaming, is impossible to determine because of the simple fact people don’t want to talk about it. The Gentry never left, they just found it easier to slide in the background as the city grew. The Courts themselves are reaching a breaking point in total blissful denial. The traditions and rules that held the Lost community of Rome together for decades are becoming obsolete and decadent. Years of relative peace allowed changelings to shift their attention towards personal gain and the seek for political power, but the world is changing and the tides of the Wyrd are turning, a situation plenty will refuse to accept until it’s too late. Why change something if it always worked well? Why contest the very same institutions that kept everyone safe since before you were born? But the True Fae won’t stop just because the Lost are too busy bickering. Portals covered in thorns are opening. Heralds are being sent to announce the hunt is about to begin. More and more changeling whisper about the early days of Rome, when armies of Fae rose from the Tiber river at each flood or when several motleys would disappear from the world from sunset to dawn.

    Roman Courts are a bizarre combination of Rome’s various identities, combined with the beautiful madness which belongs to the Lost. The Seasonal Courts are still the formal structure of Rome Lost’s society. Its rulers call themselves king and queens, titles which would sound odd to any Roman citizens since the day the last king of Rome was exiled, but are an open and defiant proclamation of authority against the Gentry and a way to reclaim the heritage of the changeling who survived and struggled when Rome was young.

    The biggest difference when it comes to the Lost in Rome would be the existence of the Marble Court, an organization born during Republican times which quickly rose to prominence. The Marble Court embodies a simple truth: while changelings triumph and die, the Lost Courts of Rome endure eternal. The Marble Court is a reflection of the Roman ideal of conquest and stability. Its core belief is that the greatness of Rome is a blessing changeling should claim as their birthright, that by giving their trust to the traditions and structure which allowed Rome to prosper the Lost honor the incorruptible foundation that allows all of them to exist in safety. It is an ideal which found its natural evolution with the rise of imperial power and nowadays is pretty much the changeling’s response to the cult of the empire. Seasons might change, but the marble under the Lost’s feet stands untouched. Technically, the Marble Court has no right to rule, but the change of seasons cannot happen unless the Court formally allows it, with proper rituals and investitures. The Marble Court can keep the passage of crowns on hold and “dutifully govern Rome’s Lost until the situation returns to acceptable conditions”. Its is a huge social and political circumstance which does not happen often and rarely lasts more than some weeks, but makes it so the Marble Court remains just as an important player in Roman Lost’s politics as any other, perhaps even more so. The ancient oaths which empower the Marble Court seem to play an important part in Rome’s protection from the Gentry, as shown by what happened when seasonal monarchs tried to govern without the Marble Court’s blessing. The responsibility to decide whether or not to allow the passage of seasons lies within the hands of the most respected changelings of the Court, who behave as their position requires more often than not, but also means their criteria can be painfully mundane, ranging from old grudges to simple corruption. The Wyrd, as always, does not care for such banal, human details

    (I’ll write a proper Marble Court description, Seasonal Court-style, as soon as I can, so I won’t delve on it too much right now)

    Rome is huge. Its Courts are old and powerful, but people tend to get lost in the crowd. That’s a betrayal of the Courts’ reason to be many changelings disapprove, some of whom powerful individuals indeed, but most don’t know what to do about it. There’s too much to do, too many things to take care of. Sure, things can be solved on an individual basis, but the cosmopolitan chaos of Rome complicates everything. New Lost find it difficult to make themselves heard and are often frustrated by the official stance of complacence towards the Gentry Roman Lost seem to have. Potential allies are there, but it’s not easy to cut through the noise and get to them. Yet, just as cracks are starting to show in the pristine façade of Rome’s changeling traditions, voices that call for both a return to the true ideals of the Lost and changes to prepare them to what’s ahead are getting louder.

    The seasonal rulers of Rome are:

    • Druso Agrippa Aureo, Beast King of Spring. Druso smiles and laughs, but its teeth are sharp and people know it. The Beast fancies himself a poet and is not too bad, but its true strength are his political cunning, result of his aristocratic upbringing, and influence over important changelings of the Roman Courts. He never judges but makes sure to keep a list of secrets and favors. Not to mention he still remembers how to hunt, even if he prefers to distance himself from such bestial behaviors.

    • Khopesh, Elemental General of Summer. Khopesh does not wear a crown as easily as others do. Having said that, they are the one Rome’s Lost look for when there’s need to go to war. Khopesh had to learn just enough formal intricacies to survive in her position, but their passion and strength compensate what they lack in subtlety. People would die for Khopesh and they would die for each Lost of Rome, Summer Court of not. Some in their Court would like to replace them, but Khopesh is the one you want to have around when the Wild Hunt comes.

    • Lavinia Ennia Carmina, Fairest Queen of Autumn. Lavinia does not look the part. She seems to care more about hedonistic pleasures than anything, busy as she is to organize parties and celebrations for her to invite people to. Not to mention she probably is not Roman and her name is as fake as her claims of noble origins. Some changelings look at her and see a spoiled queen, almost embarrassing in her behavior. More experienced ones know well that the Queen of Autumn is more dangerous than they could possibly imagine and that, when it’s time for blood to run on the altars or when important omens need to get deciphered through the entrails of a sacrifice, it’s Lavinia who gets her hands dirty.

    • Gauda, Ogre King of Winter. Gauda is rarely seen. The Ogre spends his time taking care of his Hedge gardens while guiding is Court through emissaries. Just because he loves his privacy, though, it does not mean he does not care. Gauda is where he is because of popular demand, not because he thinks himself fit to rule. He figured he could try to do his job well, since he got there. The Winter King has several trusted allies he trusts to make good choices, but will always be there if needed. A slave even before getting to Arcadia, Gauda also established a secret organization to help human slaves, whether they need to defend themselves against cruel masters or want to escape. A similar organization goes against the laws and traditions of Rome as a whole, but Gauda refuses to stop. The Ogre is a kind soul, but a powerful opponent when provoked: don’t hurt those he swore to protect, Lost or not.

    • The Marble Court has no fixed ruler. Should it find itself in need of one, its members reunite an elect someone to wear the Amethyst Laurels for the time being. All members get a vote, though results are rarely a surprise: there are always two or three candidates who represent the most obvious outcome. Once elected, the Marble Tyrant is in full control and gets to decide when to relinquish the power. At the time the chronicle takes place, Flavia Lucilia, a wise and experienced Wizened, and Publio Sesto Chlorus, fierce and aggressive Elemental, are among the most powerful members of the Court.

    Comments are welcome.

    P.S. Should I make a post with a list of some of the True Fae I made up for a game?
    Last edited by Cinder; 08-26-2019, 05:26 PM.

    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

    I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

  • #2
    True Fae would be excellent, especially since I would very much like to play in this game if I could.

    My Homebrew Hub


    • #3
      I will be playing Volero, the Living Road. I’ll post the full sheet when I finish it.

      Jason Ross Inczauskis, Freelance Writer
      Projects: Dark Eras 2, Mummy: The Curse 2e, Book of Lasting Death, DtR The Clades Companion, Pirates of Pugmire, They Came From Beyond the Grave!, TC Aeon: Mission Statements, TC In Media Res, DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action, C20 Anthology of Dreams
      Masculine pronouns preferred.


      • #4
        Likewise! I will be playing Marcus Domitius Calvinus, the minotaur augur!

        Patreon | He/His Pronouns | Currently Writing: Daughters of Hera (Scion, SP Nexus) | Rome 2e (CofD, ST Vault, very not official)

        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf


        • #5
          These are some of the most sadly notorious Gentry Rome’s Lost know about:

          • The Beekeeper.The Beekeeper owns the perfect farm, with perfect fields, trees who bear all sorts of fruit, and the ideal country to live in. What he’s most proud of, though, are his numerous apiaries and the honey they produce. But such a magnificent farm needs workers, tools, seeds, and animals to function. The apiaries need bees. Something the Beekeeper dutifully provides, whether he can create them, find them in the Hedge or kidnap from the mortal world.

          • Faber. Faber is an architect. Not an artist: he seems unable to come up with an original design, which would frustrate him had he any time to care. The Keeper is too busy working. There are roads to build and decorate, aqueducts that needs to function, empty villas that must come into existence and much more, as long as that’s what happens when wild materials are tamed and shaped into something beautiful. Faber seems to admire what humans manage to build and strives to do as good as them, if not better, though it’s not clear what his final purpose is. What’s for sure is that Faber never stops and that the mere idea of the work ending is an anathema to him

          • Tarpea. The Fae known as Tarpea torments the Lost of Rome since the city was little more a than a bunch of huts and mud. She’s a witch with no equal, a cruel hag who wields and weaves the Wyrd into countless curses and enchantments. Tarpea cares nothing about those who suffer to satisfy her desires. The True Fae is happy to help those who come to her looking for wonders beyond what mortal mages and changeling sorcerers can provide, but there’s always a price to pay. A price which is often far greater than it looks at first. As if that was not enough, changeling know well that Tarpea is the one behind the disappearance of many neonates of Rome. Nobody knows what really happens to them, but the small bones that litter the ground of Tarpea’s Arcadian abode are enough to draw uncomfortable conclusions.

          • The Maw That Swallows The Sea. The Maw inhabits a realm which resembles a version of the Mediterranean Sea perpetually trapped by a thunderstorm of infinite size. At the center of it, a gargantuan maelstrom draws in everything that comes too close, the Maw itself. An existence dedicated to power and the celebration of it, which seemed to satisfy the Maw until not too long ago: one day the Fae realized how better would it be for sailors, ships, and creatures of all sorts to be trapped along with it inside the storm, all screaming and praying to be spared from the Maw’s never ending thirst.

          • Orco. Scholars of the underworld insist that the Fae who goes by the name of Orco is not the real deal. He cannot possibly be the chthonic god he claims to be, they say. To those who meet this Orco, the distinction is pretty much meaningless: the Fae looks and behaves like a dreadful king of the dead, ravenous and vindictive. His kingdom is a dark place of tormented souls and buried riches, from which nobody is allowed to leave.

          • Circense. Circence is an exiled Fae who was forced to make a pledge to never return to Arcadia until they manage to set up the sort of show that would captivate all the Gentry who watch it, no exception. Which is pretty much impossible, but Circense keeps trying. He roams around the Hedge, from Goblin Market to Goblin market, and buys artists, fighters and beasts from anyone willing to sell. He experiments and comes up with new ideas for his show, but each performance has its costs and those who die for it don’t have the right to complain.

          • The Seven Patricians. The Seven Patricians might be the most infamous True Fae know to the changelings of Rome. These beings, who would look exactly like humans if not for the facts the classical theater masks they wear never come off and there seems to be nothing but inky darkness where their eyes should be, are a distorted ideal of decadent aristocracy amplified with wicked glee by the madness of the Fae. The Patricians laugh, eat and celebrate. They feast, they kill and torment. Each of their slaves remembers what means to serve in the mansions of the Patricians: it’s a memory their masters make sure to imprint forever into their souls.

          • The Golden Emperor Wreathed in Fire. The Golden Emperor is not a Keeper, but he is well-known nevertheless. The True Fae is a powerful tyrant who exists make war against the Gentry and expand his empire. To him, it’s either conquer or be conquered. The Emperor cares nothing about changeling, but many get caught in the crossfire of his battles or are given as tribute to him by other Fae. Woe to those few Lost who actually catch the Emperor’s attentions
          Last edited by Cinder; 08-20-2019, 01:36 AM.

          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

          I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


          • #6
            Alright, here's Deimos. He's basically the same-named character from AC: Odyssey, but "post-game" in the Best Ending, and where the events of the game are 1) Durance & 2) Pretty damn foggy

            Name: Deimos
            Needle: Daredevil Thread: Anger
            Concept: Ticking Tyke Bomb
            Touchstone: Family (Kassandra, Eagle-Bearing misthios)
            Seeming: Elemental (Blood, +1 Stamina) Kith: HunterHeart Court: Summer
            Favoured Regalia: Sword & Shield
            Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 1
            Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
            Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 1
            Mental Skills: Enigmas 2 (Cults), Crafts 2 (Soldier's Kit), Investigation 2, Occult 1
            Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Survival 2, Weaponry 3 (Outnumbered)
            Social Skills: Intimidation 4
            Merits: Mantle (Summer) 3, Air of Menace, Spear and Bayonet 1, Parkour 3, Professional Training (Mercenary: Weaponry & Athletics) 2, Contacts (Gladiators & Legionaries)
            Common Contracts: Might of the Terrible Brute, Primal Glory, Baleful Sense, Vigilance of Ares
            Royal Contracts: Red Revenge, Helios' Judgment
            Goblin Contracts: n/a
            Wyrd: 1
            Glamour (10/1): 10
            Clarity: 4
            Willpower: 2
            Size: 5
            Initiative: +4
            Defense: 6
            Speed: 11
            Health: 8
            Aspirations: Start a Fight, Defeat a Superior Foe, Become Champion of the Arena

            Background: He's... not quite sure how long it's been in Ironside since he was taken, because he was taken as an infant and raised by the being that now carry the name "Tarpea". He was taught of the superiority of his bloodline, how it made him semi-divine, better than any others, deserving of rights and honours. He became the enforcer of the witch in their Arcadian realm, ruling over the other captives as a bloodthirsty and unpredictably temperamental figurehead. The battlefield became his home, blood and domination all he cared for, until his elder sister fought her way through Arcadia, slaying the foes and saving the Lost that Tarpea put in her path. Deimos (for that's who he will always be, to himself) broke upon realizing that he was a useful tool, a monster pointed in the direction of things that Tarpea wanted dead, but he abandoned his ego and helped his sister carve a red ruin out through the Hedge and into a world that was both familiar and very, very strange.

            Without sycophants to worship him, and without near-constant acts of violence to prove his superiority, Deimos has to try and find... constructive outlets, for his rage and need for control. Summer is the best place for him, though he is still thoroughly scarred by his Durance and tends to rely on his companions for things like, say, most basic human interactions. He cannot help but be stilted and awkward, because the alternative is achieving everything through menace and intimidation. He borderline-worships Khopesh (though a part of him would like to defeat her and take her place, as he did with rivals in Arcadia), and sees her as an ideal to strive towards. What he wouldn't give for her mentorship or, he hardly even dares to wish it in the safety of his own mind, her friendship.

            Ultimately, Deimos mostly does what he's always done, just in service to others instead of himself. This is better, he's been told, but it sure as Hades doesn't feel that way. It always leaves him feeling rather hollow, so Deimos, the glittering golden demigod, tends to moonlight as a gladiator, when he can.

            Description: In his Mask, Deimos is an, oddly unscarred but obviously martial (from his bearing), person with a bit of scruff, dark hair, and eyes bordering on black. In his Mien, he is a chimerical creature, mostly human but with features that are... off. Inhuman. His skin gleams gold and shimmers in the light, made of supple scales, his face is almost leonine, with an eagle's eyes and a mass of hair that's something like a lion's mane and something like ostrich feather. Regardless, he is imposing, obviously capable of great violence, and has the utter minimum of self-restraint necessary to not use violence as a solution to every problem (mostly because that would disappoint Khopseh and his sister). In battle, he's a blood-spattered maniac capable of controlling the very field of battle and turning his enemies' viscera into gleaming armour.
            Last edited by Arcanist; 08-26-2019, 02:31 PM.

            My Homebrew Hub


            • #7
              I posted a write-up of the Marble Court here, folks.

              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

              I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot