episode 7 – freeholds and hidden glens

Changeling the Podcast
Changeling the Podcast
episode 7 - freeholds and hidden glens

As we enter the Seelie half of the year, it’s time to talk about Freeholds and Hidden Glens, which gave us seven thorough descriptions of the spaces where changelings get together for the doing of all manner of sundry things. Each of the freeholds is rather different, offering a range of ideas and story setting possibilities for a game. Each of us were rather partial to one or two of them, but we’ll let you be the judge of which ones sound the most interesting…

uncanny places

Something that came up briefly in the discussion (but will not be expanded here to the voluminous amount it could be) is Stephen King as a point of reference for the trope of semi-conscious places, most of which turn out to be creepy. This is slightly different than what you’d usually get with Haunts in Wraith, where the spookiness of a haunted house or wherever gets mostly attributed to the presence of the ghosts. But when the place itself begins to take on an intelligence of its own, that’s another matter entirely. Works by King like The Shining and perhaps Rose Red have this thread of a place becoming corrupted by the violence or evil deeds that took place there, which causes it to gather a malevolence of its own, which leads to more such deeds, making the place stronger.

It all seems very darkly Glamourous. But this isn’t unique to horror literature, and obviously folklore is thick with mythology and superstition about the relationship between past events and present influences in specific locations. You could easily set a scene in a place that causes people to become joyful, or lustful, or whatever. The Dreaming is brimming with emotion, so it’s not unreasonable that places in close contact with it, freeholds or otherwise, would have an outsize influence on the feelings of those who enter them. If the building or glade or skate park or whatever is set up as antagonistic to a motley as well, it presents slightly more of a puzzle for players: how do you fight a landscape? How do you reason with geography? How do you prevent yourself from becoming sucked into its emotional vortex when you enter to rescue the childling/find the Treasure/defeat the nocnitsa?

Ghost stories do not have a monopoly on these topics, and folding them into your chronicle can be a clever way to give changelings something a little more nebulous to deal with. But equally, it’s fitting for the themes of the game; that uncertainty and sense of being out of place, what theorists since Freud have called the uncanny, reminds us that sometimes the horror in a faerie-story is from the sense that your surroundings are just somehow, indefinably wrong. Food for thought!

just because…

It’s always nice to see White Wolf folks poking fun at each other with their writing, and sometimes the artwork…

So, one of the freeholds, Gangster’s Hideaway, is situated along a trod where all the abandoned objects in the world eventually end up (supposedly). Here we have some keys, a pen, matchbook advertising a phone sex line, a thumbtack… and a curious book buried underneath that old-school Vampire players may recognize. Because of course, if the Endless Trod is the place where all lost and abandoned junk ends up, VtM books will and should be there.

(J/k, VtM players. <3)

Maybe that sweatstained sock is what you’re supposed to use to bookmark the page with the Vicissitude 10 power.

Your Hosts

Josh Hillerup (he/him) can’t find the microfilm, and he’s meeting his contact at midnight. What to do?

Pooka G (any pronoun/they) couldn’t think of much to write for this week’s show notes, because Beltaine was off the hook and life is tiring. Next time, Gadget.

“The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” —Gaston Bachelard

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