Changeling: The Lost
Victims who were once humans, abducted away by the Others (the Fae) and made into a hybrid of the two - part human, part fae - a Changeling. Yet despite their enslavement and servitude, they found a moment to escape the madness, found a way to leave the Fairy realm of Arcadia, and returned "home" - where they found their absence has gone unknown and they were unmissed. Now with memories of a life they can never truly return to, in a form they are cursed to remain with, and the horrific knowledge their Keeper is always seeks and hunts them (and, if caught, they know they will never return again), the Changelings seek to exist with their condition.
All changelings are physically different, yet possess an illusion (called "The Mask") that hides their abnormality from mortals to appear 'human' and let them walk pass as normal.
The Bane of the Fae is cold-iron, a readily available and yet rare resource (given modern man does not construct such "crude" instruments any more). Changelings do suffer from contact with Iron as their many gifts offer no defense against such items. Fortunately, being only "half-fae" their wounds are nowhere near as deadly as that which a true fae would suffer from such a weapon (something the Changelings often use in their own defense).
Changelings come in a vast variety of types - yet each fit into one of six categories (called "Seemlings"). Despite each Seemling consisting of further "categories", with these differences aside they share enough common ground to be considered of the same 'group' (or cousins).
- Beasts - merfolk, satyrs, minotaurs, monkey-men and spider-women. Cursed with an animalistic mind that reduces their "logical" thinking
- Darklings - goblins, ghouls, leaches and eels. Nocturnal creatures that stalk the shadows and hide during daylight hours.
- Elementals - dryads, naiads, djinn, golems, and "snow-men". Impressively durable, yet they struggle when trying to interact with others.
- Fairest - elves, pixies, dragons, and green-men. While alluring and social masters, they are arrogant and quick to lose their clarity.
- Ogres - cyclopses, titans, trolls, giants, and brutes. Incredibly powerful and strong, yet impulsive and victims to their own instincts
- Wizened - paintbrushes/ scalpels for fingers, veins that pump alcohol instead of blood, humanoids modified to serve a "role" or "purpose". Incredibly nimble creatures, yet cursed with an appearance that make many avoid them.
The "seasonal courts" exist as a powerful oath to ward off the True-Fae. Each Court reins for 3-months in the year, before handing over control (knowing, in 9-months, they will rule again). This mechanic confuses the True-Fae whose nature cannot comprehend this "chaotic attitude" of surrendering power without a loss, or being rewarded with power without a gain. Changelings typically join one of the four courts, and in doing so gain privileges and protection from a vast network. In swearing an oath to a court, the Changeling gains access to Contracts connected to emotion and the elements of that season. Each Court acts in a way/ agenda that they believe will keep the True Fae from pursuing them.
- Courtless - about 10-20% of Changelings refuse to join a court. Their reasons vary, but in exchange for giving up portection of a network