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How long have there been Freeholds?

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  • How long have there been Freeholds?

    I'm curious about this before I look too hard at doing any historical Changeling works, and I wanted to know if there's anything in canon on this: how far back do Freeholds as a concept go? Lily, Sabre, and Thorn seemed to suggest that they're relatively new or at the very least unpopular, with the a significant number and a historical majority of Lost living as lone individuals or simply with the motleys.

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  • #2
    I imagine that Freeholds have existed as long as there has been a changeling population to support them. All changelings need protection from the True Fae and Huntsmen, and the friendship and support of people like them is invaluable. However, with enormous swaths of humanity living in extremely rural environments, it's hard to organize. Playing the numbers game, a court requires 10 dots of mantle among its members. So 2-10 members and let's call it 5. A freehold will usually have 2 to 5 courts, depending on its structure so you've got to have 10- 25 changelings on the absurdly tiny side of a freehold. There are no actual numbers on changeling: human ratios but for those kind of numbers to be in one place we're at least looking at a small town of several thousand people- not just a tiny village. So... as long as there have been True Fae turning people into Changelings and cities where they can gather, there have probably been freeholds.


    • #3
      1E had a more definite history in mind for the Freehold Model, but then again it was working on the predominancy of a few Freehold Models rather than cities being unique city-states, each drawing on stories and their expression for their individual representation.

      In 2E, the assumption has been that changelings have largely been using the Freehold model for as long as there have been significant enough populations of changelings in an area-the earliest confirmed freehold is Three Kingdoms of Darkness's take on the Directional Courts, which is about 220-280 CE-but the True Fae have been seen to be predating on changelings even pre-Sundering in the sidebar for The Sundered World, and it's reasonable to assume that there might not be an individual freehold in any of the villages along the Danube, there may have been a freehold consisting of changelings all along The River and in the Forest. While we're in non-canon territory, I'm fairly convinced Irem had a Freehold. Point is, at a minimum, freeholds became a thing before 220 CE(because the Directional Freehold is not treated as exceptional), and the big thing that probably determines the start point is when enough changelings exist in an area to be more than a motley, entitlement, or a singular court, and I would lean earlier rather than later. It'd be kind of hard to pin the point when changelings did this, but honestly it probably happened as humanity started chaining villages together.

      In writing Paris, our major assumption is that Lily, Sabre, and Thorn represents the ascendancy of the Seasonal Freehold Model as the status quo for Western European freeholds, the point they became popular. This spread of the Seasonal Freehold would actually be the beginning of a breakdown in the barriers between changeling nations that would be finished when the Grimms shattered the regional isolation completely(Arguably also Andersen, d'Aulony, and other assorted folks like that), as a changeling could actually go from Paris to Dublin and theoretically not be as hamstrung or vulnerable as they were previously-assuming Dublin had a Seasonal freehold. In Grimm Dark Era, barring Mannheim, the text presents it as though everyone uses the Seasonal Courts as a rule*, and a tiny note in the loyalist section basically says for most of the 18th and 19th centuries, most of Western Europe were using the Seasonal, and most of Eastern Europe were using the Diurnal Courts.(I may need to double check that)

      It's worth noting that that little note is pretty much the entire reason the Rosiere was the result of the Nazi Occupation of France rather than the French Revolution, a fact I am now actually super glad for.

      It was also, probably realistically, the point when the Freehold became popular as an actual city-state and group identity rather than mere convenient protection if we want to preserve the notion of L,S,&T further. Prior to that point, a Winter Court mentality might have been more popular, in that while the freehold gave a wall and Courts gave tools, changelings still didn't like to group that much together and advertise. The Sun King's influence on the notions of nation infected the Lost and gave them the verve to actually conglomerate and identify far more strongly in their freehold, risking the visibility that came with for the benefits of a tighter-knit community. TKoD, it's worth noting, doesn't neccesarily debunk this idea, although it doesn't portray it hardcore that way either-being stuck in a legendary war doesn't help matters.

      Anyways, The fact that Lily, Sabre, and Thorn represents a transitional point for not only freeholds in it's text but the handing of direction from Skemp to Hill makes it an odd thing to handle, because it's a very 1E approach in a world that is now 2E. Hopefully this gives some clarity by re-contextualizing L,S,&T without neccesarily abandoning it's notion. This is definitely one of those things I wanna talk more about if I get to talk about Paris or freeholds in general in future-especially if I get to talk more about freeholds in general in future.

      *EDIT: I messed up-due to the flux that was going on, German Changelings in this time were actually quite experimental and had a variety of freeholds.
      Last edited by ArcaneArts; 12-10-2016, 03:06 AM.

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