Thursday, April 28, 2011

Not-Roundup #4 -- Also, Changeling-Stylez.

So, haven't played much of anything for the past couple of weeks apart from Spiral Knights and Portal 2. I have a couple of larger projects in the works for this blog, both of which I've mentioned here and there, so we'll see if any of those actually get done.

In the meantime, I will post instead: The Kingdoms and basic synopsis for the Theoretical Changeling: The Lost game I've been considering and considering:

Players are all Changeling-types who live in a place of a Thousand-Thousand Kingdoms, all embodying some sort of idea. Seven of the Kingdoms are available to players, as they tend to be clustered in groups of seven neighbors, even though they don't all get along. For purposes of meshing with Changeling, the Kingdoms are all located in what is more-or-less the Hedge, with Arcadia, or Avalon, as an adjunct realm, and The Kingdom Right Proper, or the mortal world, on the other side. Belonging to a Kingdom will be more-or-less analogous to belonging to a Court in the Changeling rules.

More or less Below the Kingdoms are the Shadowcities, which are reflections of things in the Many Kingdoms, and in the Kingdoms right Proper, though among its many other differences, Arcadia casts no shadow.

The Adjacent Kingdoms:

The Kingdom of Thieves -- inhabited by sneak-thieves, traps rogues, confidence men, gamblers, ragpickers, safe-crackers, card sharps, Marks who've been conned into living there, and assassins. They are exactly what you expect, for the most part, and when talking to Marks they call their Kingdom Innisfreigh. They are best aligned with the Kingdoms of Masks and Manikins, are neutral with the Kingdoms of Mendicants and Wrights, and don't get on at all with the Kingdoms of Knightly Vows and Locks and Eyes.

The Kingdom of Masks -- Also known as the kingdom of Artifice, the Masks are liars, actors, dramatists, dancers, puppeteers, stage-duellists, quick-change comedians, tightrope walkers and acrobats. They are best at seeing things that are hidden, and understand lies better than truths. They get on fairly well with the Kingdom of Thieves and the Kingdom of Mendicants, they do frequent business with the Kingdoms of Manikins, somewhat less with that of the Anvils, and are violently opposed to the Kingdom of Knightly Vows and to a slightly lesser degree, the Kingdom of Locks and Eyes.

The Kingdom of Knightly Vows-- also known as the Kingdom of True-Spoken words. The Knights are Chivalric lords, paladins, champions, honest courtiers, statesmen, judges, keepers of records, poets, and idealists. They represent the perfect ideal of a Kingdom of Paragons, and deal fairly with those about them. They mislike deceit, save in service to an oath. As one might imagine, this puts them at odds with the Masks and the Thieves, and aligns them just fine with the Watchmen and the Mendicants. They have a great deal more use for the craftsmen in service to the Anvil than the makers of Manikins, but don't seriously object to either.

The Kingdom of the Anvil-- Also known as the Wrights, these are largely craftsmen, smiths in metals and workers in wood and stone. They build things for use-- they are carpenters and tinsmiths and blacksmiths and architects, makers of tools and builders of castles, miners and lumberjacks, sculptors and shapers of clay. They are very workmanlike and dream on grand scales. They are kin with the Kingdom of Manikins, though they consider them less useful than they. They have no real alliances or enemies, though they frequently receive custom from the Watchmen, the Knights, and the Thieves. Though in the case of the latter, they always check their purses after. They have little use for the Mendicants.

The Kingdom of Manikins-- Inhabited by makers of little crafts and clockworks, they shape things into man-shapes. They are scientists and theoreticians, inventors of gadgets, locksmiths, clothiers, dollmakers and toymakers, builders of simulacra, alchemists, witches, scroungers and carvers in wood and stone, they make idols and fetishes of straw, feather, and clay, the latter medium they share with their siblings of the Anvil. Like the Anvils, they have no real alliances or enemies, though they have a particular friendship with the Ragpickers of the Thieves. They welcome the patronage of the Kingdom of Masks and betimes the Mendicants, welcome the protection of the Watchmen, and are generally ignored by the Knights.

The Kingdom of Locks and Eyes-- Those who dwell here are called the Watchmen, and they are the vigilant protectors of the Kingdoms at large. They are spies and police officers, private investigators, clerks, builders of traps, marching soldiers and honest guardsmen, vigilantes, seekers of security, builders of walls, commanders of fortresses, and other seekers of justice. They are very good at ferreting out wrongdoing and, as one might imagine, are fundamentally opposed to the Kingdom of Thieves. Their best allies are the Knights, and they tend to offer their services to the Mendicants, the Kingdom of Manikins, and the Wrights, though in the latter case it is largely in trade. They don't really get the Masks, and as such, do not trust them at all.

The Kingdom of Mendicants-- Also known as the Kingdom of Seven Tongues, it is a Kingdom of superstition, myth, and many, many temples. Here might be found supplicants, pilgrims, lay brothers and sisters of a number of Orders from every Kingdom, oracles, tellers of fortunes, mystics, readers of cards, casters of runes, bishops and cardinals, acetic monks, vestal virgins, sacred prostitutes, storytellers, lore-keepers, dervishes, Ecstatics, revivalists, and other worshippers of one god, faith, tradition, superstition, word, or another. They are also the keepers of what little Lore which belongs to the Kingdoms alone, the Rules of Other Worlds, of which there are Seven. Every Kingdom has something to serve here, and something that makes them a bit uncomfortable. They frequently operate on gifts and offerings, which is pretty much all right with everyone but the servants of the Anvil, who trend against superstition, and dislike parting with the work of their hands except to receive coin.

The Kingdom of Shadows-- Beneath all of the Realms except Arcadia, where the Faeries live, there lie Shadowcities. That said, the people of the Kingdoms do not themselves cast shadows, by and large, when light is shone upon them. Only mortals cast shadows. In the Kingdoms, Shadows dwell in their cities when their light-halves in the mortal world are asleep, or away from light. There are ways to sever a Shadow from its light-half as well, but this "freedom" for the Shadow often leads to other, more unfortunate vulnerabilities. In many kingdoms, severed Shadows are kept as indentured servants.

Arcadia, where the faeries live-- The term fey or Faerie in the Kingdoms refer only to what in the Changeling rules are called 'True Fae'. These beings dwell in Arcadia, by and large, although they frequently come into the Kingdoms for revels, or to conduct business, or whatever other reason takes their fancy. They are ruled by one queen with two faces, called Mab on the dark side and Titania on the light side. She has seven daughters, seven sons, and any number of consorts.


  1. I could probably come up with a fun character concept for any of these Kingdoms, but my two favorite are a Wizened from Manikins (or the Anvil, either one), or... I dunno, a Fairest, maybe, from Mendicants.

  2. I love the idea of a Fairest Mendicant, though I have a special place in my heart for Manikins.

    In response to a question you've not asked here, but in person, it occurred to me that the Watch mostly work in other Kingdoms as will have them, but they keep their homes and their families in their own kingdom. They would like to turn the Kingdom of Thieves into a giant prison, lock them all up there, and throw away the key.