Story So Far
Once upon a time, the world was filled with magic and wonder. The faeries walked freely between Earth and Arcadia, their ancient homeland where they were birthed. Humanity believed in them, feared them, and revered them. There was no separation between dream and reality.
Then along came disbelief. The mortals embraced rationale and left dreams behind. It’s believed that when the Iron Age came upon man and the first iron weapons were forged, the Sundering began. It was no instant process. It took centuries to come to its fruition. Reality slowly separated from the fantastical, and the Dreaming came into existence.
As the world began growing colder from the force of Banality, with reason and science pressing down on it, the ties that connected the Dreaming to the mortal world began snapping. Historians point to the outbreak of the Black Plague in 1347 as the turning point of the Shattering.
During the Shattering, the nobility of the Changelings fled Earth and disappeared into Arcadia, their true home deep in the Dreaming. Most of those who left were Sidhe. Although they took a few commoners with them, mostly those who comprised their retinues, they mainly abandoned the commoner Kith to their fates on Earth. Only a portion of one House of Sidhe remained — Scathach — and these Sidhe are regarded as only half-Sidhe or lesser Sidhe by the others.
The gates of Arcadia slammed shut. Trods withered and died. The faeries who remained were in exile.
The commoners left behind had to learn to do without the nobility to rule over them and lead them. This period of time was called the Interregnum. At first, there was a lot of fighting. The force of Banality in the mortal world was fatal to their delicate fae souls. So the commoners learned to hide their fae souls in the bodies of mortals. By joining their souls with the unborn, they became Changelings. They would be born, live their lives, and then die, and their souls would reincarnate in new bodies to go through it all over again. This process became known as the Changeling Way.
Time passed. The world grew ever more hostile towards magic, and it seemed as though there would never be any end. Then in 1969 came the Resurgence. When the moon landing took place, there was a fresh wave of Glamour and wonder, and the gates of Arcadia cracked open, allowing a flood of Sidhe to return to the world of men.
All of a sudden, nobility returned to find a world that had moved on without them. The commoners, understandably, were none too happy to find that their masters had returned to take up leadership as if nothing had happened in their absence. One night, on the pretense of diplomatic talks between commoner and nobility, the Night of Iron Knives took place. This massacre, engineered by Sidhe nobility, brought about the deaths of many commoner Kithain.
Soon enough, there was war. The Accordance War. For three years, there was fighting between noble and commoner until the rise of High King David, who rose to take power, negotiated for peace, and brought about the Treaty of Concord. The nation of Concordia (known by the mortals as the USA) was reunited under David’s rule.
Since that time, Annarbour Barony has been held by a Sidhe. It has been a prosperous and quiet little Barony, usually keeping to itself. It has not been the site of any great conflict, though it enjoys its own share of court intrigue.
From 2005 to 2015, Annarbour Barony was ruled over by Baroness Ellune ni Gwydion, a lovely and elegant Sidhe wilder who was as fair, just and wise as she was beautiful.
Unfortunately, she was also stark raving mad.
Upon their return from Arcadia, the Sidhe were ill-prepared for what they found. They had not embraced the Changeling Way, and so they are twice as susceptible to Banality as their commoner counterparts (and Scathach). Sidhe had to forcibly rip the souls out of the bodies they took as hosts, and to this day, no one knows what happens to a Sidhe after death. They aren’t returning. They aren’t reincarnating.
Banality had driven Baroness Ellune quite mad, who tried to cope with it by regularly flipping from her Seelie Legacy to her Unseelie Legacy. So some days, she would be fair, even-tempered and gracious. On others, she would be petty, cruel and tyrannical. The commoners who had pledged fealty to her were chafing.
They also decided to do something about it.
Whispers and rumours swirl around the death of Baroness Ellune. Some say there was a secret Oathcircle of Changelings who pledged to take her down. Some say they planted false rumours of a powerful weapon in Flint, Michigan, and tricked her into going there to quest for it, only to meet her end at the hands of a group of Garou Kinfolk, the Rough Riders. Others say she had simply gone mad in her quest for power, that she had been besieged with visions, and that she got everything she deserved when the Rough Riders came after her with cold iron.
Either way, Baroness Ellune was gone, and the Back Room motley took control of the Barony early in 2015. This motley was a council of commoners who focused on the protection of the freehold, River Harbor Freehold, and on the protection of the city.
But their power did not last. In the summer months of 2015, Baron Aitur ap Gwydion had been accorded the rank of Baron, by Queen Mary Elizabeth, after a long and lengthy Knighthood. The aging Grump Seelie Sidhe rode into town with his own small retinue, approached the Back Room motley, and peacefully took control of the freehold from them with his thanks and with recompense of dross.
Aitur has held power ever since, and since the summer months, he has been working against rumours and resentment in the commoners. Some have pledged fealty to him. Many have not. Some say he is just as mad as his cousin was, ready to slay rivals in order to maintain his power. Others say he is stony and stoic, but that he takes in orphaned childlings and is generous in his fosterage of Dreamers.
In Ypsilanti, there is an Unseelie Baroness named Baroness Deirdre ni Ailil who controls Wood Grove Barony and the Triune Bridge Freehold. Her Barony stands as a buffer between the brightness of Annarbour and the dark war zone that has engulfed Eerie Strait Barony (known to the mortals as Detroit). This once-thriving marketplace has dwindled in power, and its wonder has grown dim. To further threaten matters, Deirdre and Aitur have been known to snipe and warily dance around each other like a pair of distrustful cats.
Will the peace hold out between Annarbour and Wood Grove?
Will Eerie Strait’s darkness finally overwhelm Wood Grove and spill into Annarbour?
Will the commoners rise up in revolt against Aitur to reclaim the River Harbor Freehold?
And will anything else go terribly, terribly wrong?