episode 2 – the fae before changeling

Changeling the Podcast
Changeling the Podcast
episode 2 - the fae before changeling

In this episode, we discuss some of the conceptions of the fae in the World of Darkness before Changeling came out (and indeed, before it was even certain that it would). Behold some snippets of faerie lore from eons past, by which we mean the early 90s:

From the 1st Edition Vampire Storyteller Handbook (1992):

Older Cainites remember a time when Faeries ran free on this planet, going where they liked, doing whatever they would. Now Faeries are as rare as honest politicians (well, maybe not that rare). Those same Cainites who remember those long ago times speak of a great cataclysm which split our realm from Arcadia, the birthplace of the fey races.

Some Faeries live here permanently, making their homes in out-of-the-way places where humans are unlikely to bother them. Others manage to sneak their way into our realm for their own purposes. Some of these get trapped here and quickly wither away and die. Some come to steal children to take back to Arcadia with them and some have been discovered living for years as humans.

No Kindred claims to understand why Faeries come to steal children. The most popular theories have to do with the nature of Arcadia as a place of magic wholly lacking in reality. Some believe the Faeries need the children to provide an anchor of true creativity for their actions, for otherwise they would be caught in eternal loops of their own actions, unable to break old patterns.

The few Kindred that have ventured into Arcadia have never returned. Most believe them to be deceased, while others think they have joined with the Unseelie court of Arcadia, doing battle with the noble Seelie. Some also believe the Tremere actively support the Unseelie, but then everyone believes the worst of that Clan.

Faerie powers vary widely. Illusions and insight, entropy and energy, levity and levitation all seem to exist side by side. Even the results of drinking Faerie blood are not constant. Sometimes the Kindred will be filled with great power and other times the drinker will become lost in a land of hallucinations. Sometimes it acts as poison and other times as water.

Faerie Kidnapper from Vampire Storyteller's Handbook, 1st edition
Check out this upstanding example of Arcadia’s finest

Faerie Kidnapper from the Storyteller’s Handbook:

Quote: “Hee hee hee. You mean you really don’t know how you got here? Hee hee hee.

Concept: The Faerie Kidnapper has come to our reality in hopes of capturing the characters. Whether he needs them as warriors in a great battle, prizes in a scavenger hunt or attractions at a new zoo, he will hunt them and his other prey down and bring them back to Arcadia with him.

An expert at illusion and deception, the Faerie Kidnapper will bring his targets back with him by hook or by crook. He will use promises, lies, mind control or brute force to accomplish his goals. He has specific requirements regarding anyone he will bring back to Arcadia (they must be bound, willing, laughing or whatever), but once they meet the requirement they will find themselves in a new realm.

Roleplaying Hints: Your type of logic is quite foreign to anyone you are likely to meet on this plane, just as theirs is likely to be alien to you. Laugh at totally inappropriate events, burst into tears for no apparent reasons and completely befuddle your targets.

Nature: Deviant
Demeanor: Jester
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4
Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 5, Appearance 4
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 4

Talents: Acting 4, Alertness 3, Brawl 4, Dodge 5, Subterfuge 3
Skills: Melee 3, Music 5, Security 3, Stealth 5
Knowledges: Linguistics 2, Occult 4, Faerie Lore 4

Disciplines: Auspex 4, Celerity 2, Chimerstry 5, Obfuscate 3, Presence 2, Protean 5
Virtues: Conscience 0, Self-Control 0, Courage 2
Humanity: 0
Willpower: 9

A few useful bits for Kindred from the Vampire Player’s Guide 2nd edition (early 1993):

Faerie Affinity: (2 pt Merit)
Your presence does not frighten faeries; indeed, it attracts them, and you are naturally attuned to their ways. You are able, unlike most Kindred, to enter Arcadia, the mystical kingdom of the faeries, provided you find an entrance.

Faerie Lore
You possess information pertaining to the Seelie and Unseelie faeries, and know something of their great kingdom: Arcadia. Because Kindred are unable to travel to this realm, most of your knowledge is hearsay, and thus difficult to verify.

* Novice: Your knowledge is largely speculation and hearsay.
* * Practiced: You know some relevant facts.
* * * Competent: You possess a general knowledge of their ways.
* * * * Expert: You possess expansive knowledge.
* * * * * Master: You think you know the secrets of these creatures.

Possessed by: Faeries, Lupines, Occultists, Vampires, Magi, Witch-Hunters
Specialties: Enchanting Music, Faerie Food, Somniare, Atlantium, Antrum, Caelum, Barathrum, Tartarus

Spirit Thaumaturgy

* * Spirit Eyes (“The Sight”): This power is very similar to Aura Perception, but the character perceives spirits instead of auras. He sees them in the forms they take: i.e. fox spirits, faerie plant spirits, etc. This power enables the Thaumaturgist to see ghosts.

System: The vampire must roll Perception + Occult (difficulty of the target’s Willpower). The more successes he scores, the more information is revealed. The character may speak with the spirits once he sees them.

Excerpt from the Book of Nod
Book of Nod for Vampire: the Masquerade (mid-1993)

The footnote given at the end of the book for this passage states, “Faerie Lore dictates that the Arcadians are “too good for Hell, not good enough for Heaven.” This may be Caine’s way of expressing this middle state. Kindred who discover the Fey may do well to listen to their Father’s words in this matter. Of all the fragments of the Chronicle of Secrets, it was this fragment that I found to be the most elusive, perhaps because it carries a good measure of truth about the Sidhe.”

The original Clanbook: Malkavian (spring 1993) has the following power:

Visit Faerieland (Level Seven Obfuscate Discipline)
The Malkavian can utterly disappear from the area and appear in Faerieland. From Faerieland, she can go anywhere on Earth she wishes to go. But, first, she has to pass the Faerie Keepers, who dislike capricious use of their land. They question the Malkavian about her purpose, and if they don’t like her story, they push her back into the world she left, near the time she left it. The keepers are willing to listen to bargains, especially if the Malkavian will Prank the entity of the Keepers’ choice.

(who knew it was so easy for them to get there?)

There are more references scattered throughout the early books of these lines, but we discuss these at length in the episode. Let us know if you find some other choice, pre-summer 1995 bits! (Note: all material here is (c) by White Wolf, and is only reproduced for discussion under the terms of Fair Use. Also, all of it is astonishingly out of date and not really useful for your game at this point.)

Your Hosts

Josh Hillerup recently petitioned the Canadian government to adopt the Tim Horton’s maple-glazed boston cream doughnut as the official door snack for all state functions.

Pooka G (any pronoun/they) can do a yoga headstand but doesn’t really enjoy it.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

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