A Changeling: The Dreaming campaign
(December 2013 – )
Me – 15, African American, hoodie, baggie jeans, bling, dreads, attitude problems, comics. I miss my bandana. This school sucks.
Act first, think later! Impatient and easily bored, looking for adventure. Never plan! Cant’ keep mouth shut, or keep from doing stuff you are forbidden to do. Curious. Never keep a secret, never obey an order
My fellow players: Ciara the Troll and Eugene the Sluagh.
Prologue: The Athenian School
Our three characters met in a draconian boarding school. My rebel character was united with the brawler and nerd characters by way of us all seeing a weird floating mischievous light bouncing around. Then stuff got weird! So far we know the Nerd’s real persona kind of looks like The Slenderman, the brawler looks like Na’vi from Avatar and mine looks like an evil from Lord of the Rings (place your kith bets now!). We found a baby phoenix that we are raising in our locker, we’re battling purple dragons in our sleep and we found a really annoying talking teddy bear. Also: a really creepy doctor with a closet filled with books about chimera keeps wanting to talk to us about our past experiences and our sexual complexes. Our banality and glamour scores are bouncing up and down, but we should probably awaken next session.
The session was super smooth. I’m jealous because Conlaen is a much better overacter than I am, which is great for GM’ing colorful NPCs. Looking forward to the next one!.
Prologue, pt II: Escape the School
Our escape from the boarding school was pretty epic. After much problem solving with the alarm, it just turned itself off when I got mad at it, we had a chess match with a horse who was stuck in the checkbox pattern in the schoolyard. We had to ‘check’ the horse, but we could only move the way we did when we first set foot on the board. Fun! We got a lot of glamour for playing the game and awakened shortly after.
That was the action bit, then followed a lengthy part of Q&A exposition, which our two new players (a male Sluagh and a female Troll) really got into. The player of the Sluagh nearly had a folkore-gasm as he’d read up a lot of Faerie tales, but had no idea this was all part of Changeling lore. Suits his character, though! I (Nocker. I am the one who knocks!) just made fun of all the stupid words and tried to order beers.
We find out about the Toybox, a bar in town where Kith can gather. It has a big toybox in the middle of the room that apparently no one can open. Then someone goes and steals it. Cliffhanger!
The chess fight and the school shenanigans were great, hope to return to that storyline even if it was just the prologue to the written scenario’s.
Chapter I: The Toybox
Oh, and they’re blaming US for it! The entire session is one frantic chase scene.
My favorite part of the session was the group’s introduction to a Pookah who was supposed to know all about the Toybox. I hung back a bit so that my group members (who are new to changeling) could try to get information about the lying, disinformation spreading rabbit-man, but after a while my Nocker also joined the fray.
Pookah (for the umpteenth time): I don’t know aaaaanything about this toybox
Nocker: What about this drawing?
(shows a self-made drawing of toy soldiers marching towards a big toybox)
Pookah: Well, it’s soldiers.
Nocker: And what are they marching towards?
Pookah: An Elephant!
Nocker (first checking the drawing again suspiciously): That’s not an elephant!
Pookah: Sure it is!
Nocker: Elephants have trunks, this toybox does not have a trunk!
Everyone else: Well, a box kind of is a trunk.
Pookah: See? SEE? Elephant.
Nocker: AAARGH! I GIVE UP!
Eventually we followed a nice trail of changelings and toys back to the toybox, defeated the evil McEvils and put all the toys back in. As a reward, we now get 1,5 free beers every Saturday (we need to negotiate better).
My character can’t lie, which is horrible to play. I’m so used to bullshitting in every game we ever play in that ‘not lying’ is immensely hard. People had to correct me all the time, though I managed to get people in trouble with the truth quite a few times as well. What a fun drawback!
Chapter I, continued: The last soldier
Apparently a few of the toys are still out of the box, and there’s big rewards in bringing them back. A team of creepy no-nonsense Kith were chasing after the soldier, and we resolved to get there first. An epic chase scene followed, through the park, over a roof and into the sewers. For a while we were joined by an Eshu called Sorry Martin, but then he turned out to be part of the creepy Kith, who are in a group called the Ragger’s band.
We prevailed and nabbed the soldier, and were then greeted by another group of soldiers who needed to get back. We dropped them off in the box – no one mentioned any reward – and then there was a Shidhe guy commanding us to go to the palace to explain the recent toybox events to Duke Aeon of the Duchee of Golden Gate at our earliest convenience. But that will be for next time!
Bit of a jolt to get back on the railroad of a pre-written scenario instead of having total freedom, but still quite fun.
Chapter I, continued:
The group had their first invitation to the court of Duke Aeon. Most nobles ignored the commoner changelings, but they were approached by a Count to do some footwork for him. Their search brought them past some of the saddest figures enchanted San Francisco has to offer. Drunks and lowlifes aplenty. Eventually they faced off against the person they were meant to find, only to be interrupted by Count Elias, who cut short their investigation and forced them to secrecy by Geas.
The county of Oakland is already too unstable as it is, and the court is doing it’s best to not have it break out in total anarchy. However, the fact that there is cold iron weapons being smuggled in worries the Count more than he cares to let on.
Typical White Wolf stuff, interrupting your epicness with their NPC drama!
Chapter I, continued:
We played the last scenario from The Toybox, in which the players saved a little girl from the chimerical monsters spawned from a villains nightmares.
Chapter I, epilogue: The Saning
In our latest session, the players were invited for a Saining session inside the courts of Duke Aeon. They needed some time to think about new names they wished to take, but eventually Eugene settled for Sherlock, Ciara went for Titania and Jade went for Jade-Electra.
They made their oaths, some more willing than others and were granted a boon for their services to the duchy so far. Titania requested of the duke that his redcap servant Maire that had been fired due to her incident with the harp would be reinstated to her previous position. Sherlock just wanted money. Jade-Electra wanted to make her request in private and when the others had left, she requested to become the Duke’s consort. She did not get that request, but she does now have a dinner date with the Duke. Titania in the meantime has a dinner date with Rasputin at the Bannock Club.
They were also filled in on more details about the Keystone they carry, and have been officially requested to search for Silver’s gate and how to open it.
Intermezzo: The Wraiths
An in-between session, which meant there was plenty of time and opportunity for character stuff, especially the two wraiths that follow Eugene around – his mom and dad. Ciara the Troll that was so heavy that she now put him on suicide watch and follows him around everywhere. Drama!
Chapter II: Prologue
First a few scenes that had been started in mailplays needed to finish up. Ciara had been on a date with Rasputin the Pooka, which turned out to be very cute as the troll also tries to speak in pooka opposites, so they will both say what a terrible evening they are having and they wish each other bad dreams.
Jade on her turn, had supper with the Duke of Goldengate, which she has requested as a boon for the services to the duchy. She may not be quite aware yet of House Fiona’s curse…
Eugene was having dreams of being Shermlock Holmes, when a Sandman Wraith tries to pull him out of his dreams. They were somewhat surprised to find Eugene had trained his mind and they couldn’t pull him out.
After all this, they set out to find the Selkie, to find out more about Silver’s gate. After having an encounter with some were wolves, they finally found the Selkies and were told of the legend of the Eyestones. Now they know their next stop will be in Hawai’i.
End of Chapter II
Prince Irthalien discovers our plot to get his Eye of Shadow. He crucio’s our accomplice, his 2nd in command, and puts us under a grandeur spell. Jade’s anti-authority bandana protects her and she has a hell of a time convincing Ciara and Eugene to get over their sudden, immense and hilarious love for the prince. We hold up the ruse until the final moment, and stop him from sacrificing a Hawaiian princess to Pele. He still runs off with the Eye of Shadow though, the douche nozzle.
Nice session! Some nice drama between Prince Irthalien and Ciara (whose past reincarnation has sworn allegiance to him) and some nice subdued deal-making and investigation scenes with Eugene.
Intermezzo: Golden Gate
We get back to San Francisco and find out the Dauntain Rider has been stirring up trouble again, and has fled to a Dauntain safehold: The Athenian School. The school we started at. We are taking those fuckers down! The Duke agrees and he gives us the quest. We are to gather as many allies and call in as many favors as we can before we head out.
A particular twist is that Dauntain will attack your fae side and you can protect yourself from that by tuning into your human side. So now we have a bit of an ethical dilemma: are we taking the young kids that have zero battle experience, or the grizzled warriors with hardly any humanity left?
The rest of the night was spent in the bar, drinking beer, recruiting the people in the bar, but mostly trying to navigate the complicated Kithain procedures for Courting. Near the end of the night almost everyone has figured out who is courting whom (kind of a pre-requisite to even start courting).
A mid-season finale!
All the Changelings band together to take the fight back to the draconian Athenian School in San Francisco where we awakened. We all hated the place and now that it turns out to be a Dauntain stronghold… Let’s say it’s the first of the Duke’s assignments that is met with enthusiasm.
We spend far too long on preparations (as PC’s tend to do) but finally get around to sneaking into the school. Everything’s going quite well until they run into two Kithain who are working for the Dauntain, believing us and themselves to be demon-possessed. We manage to convince one of them that we might not be evil ([b]”It’s okay to be Fae! You were born this way!”[/b]) with the Eye of Opening.
The other Kithain alerts Rider, the worst Dauntain of all. But Rider turns out to be dying. He has the Sapphire Eye infused in his hand! It helped him find us, but it is also killing him slowly and painfully. He begs us to take it out. We try but in the end we have to do it “Walking Dead style”. Afterwards, Rider kills himself.
We confront the other school bullies like the librarian and the headmistress, but they seem a lot more pathetic than we remembered them. We take all their info on Kithain, a new Kithain boy who was at the school (a teenage Satyr, oh my!), and leave the mess for the cops to find.
Intermezzo: Golden Gate II
We got knighted for our brave deeds of ridding the Athenian school of Dauntain influence! This took up most of the session. We went to a Satyr so he could think up dresses for us! (Jan was very impressive with his fashion stuff). We had to make our own vows, and had a big party afterwards! Where the duke showed up and danced with Jade! This is some Disney princess shit right here. And then I gave him the present (a painting Jade made in character, and Kristina photoshopped up for me out of character – Thanks, Stina!) and then we kissed (whooooo!). And now we have to go NY!
The Kingdom of Apples
We go to The Kingdom of Apples, meet Lisa the Clurichaun, find Goblintown, spend far too little time there (Incredible Machines! Wacky Races! Mechanical dragon!) before we find out we need to travel to Ireland!