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How are the Gentry used?

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  • How are the Gentry used?

    I bought the new Changeling book and I'm planning my first attempt at such a chronicle in spite of never having played the game before. I've plotted out the earliest antagonists, a Huntsman aimed at one of the group, a Hobgoblin holding a loved one who became lost in the Hedge while searching for a player character, an already established drug war involving a supernaturally augmented violent cartel pushing their way into the area, and more long term a group of pro-active Fetches who until now haven't known what they are they just see freaks and monsters while some greater villain whispers 'kill them' in their collective ears.
    Ultimately that greater villain is trying to destroy a local lighthouse that is heavy with symbolism about lost souls finding a place of safety in the world (it was a rather successful Christian commune in the real world during the seventies), a light that has led many of the Lost to find their way out of the hedge. Naturally the local Lost take it as an important duty to protect it.
    Now the obvious choice for that greater villain is one of the Gentry but I find myself at a total loss on how to use one of the Fair Folk in a game. Obviously they send the Huntsman, Privateers and Loyalists, and in this chronicle whisper in the ears of unwitting Fetches, but after that...what? How do I finally bring this puppeteer out of the shadows and into a final confrontation? When I do how do I use him, what form should that final conflict take?

  • #2
    Maybe if I tell a little about the Keeper that I am using, or at least the Title directly involved with the Lost of the region.
    I named the chronicle 'The Broken Tower', partly for the Gentry's targeting of the aforementioned lighthouse, but also because the Title in question is that of the 'Tower'.
    For one Lost it was the tower from which the Field Marshal oversaw endless battles.
    For another it was a glowing column of coral that lit an undersea grotto, the countless nooks lining its rough sides hiding a vast assortment of baubles stolen from mortal dreams and memories.
    For Mr. Spicoli (yes, one of the characters is named Spicoli) it was a giant Hookah Pipe that rose up through the smoke filled haze of a party straight from 1001 Arabian Nights.
    For another it was a great tree, towering over and casting its shadow over all of the lesser trees in the forest.
    For another a tower in a dark wood, the lone light through an upper window a hoped for sanctuary from the savage beast that hunts anyone who trespasses within the woods.
    Perhaps most poetically, for the lightning elemental it was a lighthouse on a dark and foreboding coast where the Lost was trapped at its top to provide the light that warned travelling ships away.

    Thinking about it now it occurs to me that maybe, instead of trying to destroy the lighthouse, the Tower should be trying to 'steal' it, adding it to its own title.


    • #3
      I think your post contains the answer: the True Fae manifests as a Realm aka The Tower. In other words, it wants to supplant the lighthouse.

      At first its only confined to a secret room, boarded, hidden or only sporadically showing up. Sometimes room decorations change, doors lead to new places or vanish altogether. Secret passages show up and vanish the next day. Where a maze of pipes existed suddenly leads to a cozy room with warm soup heating over a red brick fireplace. The basement vanishes and an attic full of taxidermied animals appears. The bathroom leads to a ballroom and so on.

      As the agent of the True Fae manage to corrupt the hearts of the changelings, as fear and paranoia perch more deeply where comfort should be, then you escalate how much the lighthouse is affected, how creepy and dangerous what they find is. But also make its secrets more enticing, tempting them to explore, to depend on it.

      The Tower's logic is simple: if the changeling will not come to the tower, the tower will go to the changeling.

      Its agents will seed chaos in the Freehold and the lighthouse plot will run concurrently.

      But, if I may draw a parallel, the star of Bioshock is not Jack, Ryan or Cohen.The real protagonist is the city of Rapture, everything is a means for you to know her, to interact with her. I think doing something similar in this case would help portray this True Fae.
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 04-29-2019, 12:00 AM.

      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists


      • #4
        So instead of treating the Tower like an opponent in a battle I should make it the actual battlefield? Instead of a ghost, a haunted house?
        I now have images of the old sixties wallpaper changing to take on patterns reminiscent of the Hedge as in the Hedge a corrupted mirror of the Lighthouse arises and bleeds through to the mundane world.
        In my Mage game the light of this Lighthouse actually reached into the Astral realm and for the cost of a Willpower Point characters could seek it out and follow it back to safety, kind of a get out of jail free card. The Astral played a big role in that chronicle and some of the places in it were regular death traps.
        Perhaps in Changeling that light sometimes shines into normal people's dreams, normally helping them wake up more refreshed and hopeful, but as the corruption rises that light could eventually negatively influence dreamers, ultimately becoming a tool leading them into the Hedge and abduction. Perhaps instead of having the corrupted version rising in the Hedge I should set the final conflict beyond the Gates of Ivory and Horn.

        How would you have the Changelings fight back, what 'goals' would they need to achieve to take back the Lighthouse?
        What 'goals' would the Tower need to achieve to corrupt it, actions the players might detect and actively work against?
        Last edited by 2ptTakrill; 04-29-2019, 04:48 PM.


        • #5
          How about looking into the symbolism of The Tower card ? Maybe that could inform the nature of the obstacles and agents of the Fae.

          How do you seize control of a lighthouse ? With a lighthouse keeper:

          " The keeper’s life was not at all quiet. During periods of low visibility, keepers had to sound fog signals, which depending on the era might involve blasting canons, shooting guns, ringing bells, or blowing horns.

          Keepers not only had to maintain the light and fog signals but also clean the lens, trim the lantern wicks, and scrub the walls, floors, windows, balconies, and railings, inside and outside. The many brass fixtures and appliances had to be polished diligently, a job that of itself was enough to drive keepers to madness… Inspectors appeared without warning wearing white gloves…”

          That sounds like a cool legacy for your players to leave behind, changing the nature of a True Fae using a constructed Astral entity. As you said, the lines between reality and dreams blur. To paraphrase Jung:

          "The meeting between the … individual consciousness and the vast expanse of the collective unconscious is dangerous, because the unconscious has a decidedly disintegrating effect on consciousness.”

          So the creation of the lightouse keeper is done by each player character finding their light in the dark, then bringing it to the Freehold. Symbolically speaking, reconnecting with others they no longer feel so lost. They acknowledge the trauma in Arcadia but do not let it define them, allowing them to now have power over it. Conflict will still happen, and the True Fae are conflict personified, but they now face it on their own terms.
          Last edited by KaiserAfini; 04-29-2019, 07:56 PM.

          New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

          The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists