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Paradise Lost: U.S. Virgin Islands

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Paradise Lost: U.S. Virgin Islands

Post by Hedgebound Heart on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:36 am

The Lost Paradise freehold was once an idyllic retreat for many changelings who sought to escape the restrictive nature of typical U.S. freeholds. Court membership in the Virgin Islands was not as divisive as in the mainland, and the generally laid back attitude was a welcome change for many visitors, particularly those who chose to remain courtless. However, island life is a give-and-take. You get to enjoy living in a little piece of paradise, with sunny skies and crystal blue water. But, you also have to abandon many preconceived notions and familiar comforts, such as reliable electricity and cell phone service. Many found their previous courts present, but just didn't seem to translate well. Even with some regional modifications, the Seasonal, Directional, Diurnal, and Transitional Courts just never gained enough overall popularity to impose one dominant court system on the entire freehold. In fact, each of these factions was overwhelmingly outnumbered by the huge population of courtless changelings who refused to swear an oath to any court. Some worried about this apparent weakness in the freehold defenses, and their pleas to swear stronger societal oaths for protection from their former Keepers fell upon mostly deaf ears. Many have speculated since that this was indeed one of the greatest factors that led to the near total destruction of the freehold.

This paradise was almost completely lost in September of 2017. Two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes devastated the Caribbean, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Gentry took advantage of these natural disasters and the chaos of their aftermaths to lay siege to the freehold, making off with numerous human and changeling victims. Many who escaped the destruction of the storms, as well as the depredations of the True Fae, decided to leave their island homes for what they now perceived to be the greater safety of the mainland. Those who remained now realized that their freehold could not continue as before, and stronger oaths were needed to ensure their safety. After much angry discussion, a consensus was finally reached to merge all of the remaining courts and adopt a new freehold system based on three powerful forces of nature that remained constant and unchanged after the recent storms. This is how the Courts of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars were formed. At first, the former courtless chafed at being forced to join a court, but soon realized that the protection of the freehold greatly outweighed any delicate notions of personal freedom they held. As more survivors returned to the territory, the new courts soon gained strength on St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and have even starting to spread to other nearby islands. Although outside courts and courtless may still be present, their members are usually transient and are never officially affiliated with the local freehold. 

*All player characters in the venue are required to be a member of one of the following courts*

The Court of the Sun: The Unconquered (Seelie)
Focus on Power Attributes & Social Skills - "The Eternal Struggle" "Best & Brightest" "Winner Takes All"
Concerned with Politics, Law Enforcement & Tourism. Mostly led by former Spring/Summer/Day Courtiers based out of St. Thomas.
Challengers may attempt to win the Golden Wreath, and leadership of the court, by winning a ritual contest held every Summer.

Seeing no reason to hide their passionate natures, when Solar Courtiers see what they want, they go after it... and may the heavens help anyone standing in their way. Their fiery natures make them both quick to anger and full of pride, so they are seen as the most volatile of the courts and yet have seemingly draconian rules of etiquette and protocol that sometimes baffle outsiders, but seem to keep most members in line. However, they also hold to a strong sense of honor and justice, and when the True Fae or their agents threaten the freehold, they are often found in the vanguard, leading the first charge. Having no desire to ever again be dominated by another, the unconquered hold unto their sense of purpose and exert their singular will over every aspect of their life. However, they are just as likely to use social acumen as they are their strength of arms to disarm an opponent, and hold strongly to their sense of purpose once they have committed to a course of action. Few members refer to themselves as "Seelie", but do consider anyone not of their court to be "Unseelie" and strive to maintain an appearance of political dominance over the freehold at all times. When pressed for an opinion, they typically view The Unseen as a distasteful, but necessary evil to be watched closely at all times, and the Unfettered as little more than common rabble in need of a steady guiding hand.

Give & Take: From sunrise to sunset, the Gentry and their agents cannot do violence upon any member of the freehold unless they have issued a formal challenge 24 hours in advance. This does not need to be done in person, but the message must be seen, heard, or somehow clearly communicated to the target. Many changelings use this opportunity to rally their allies and prepare for the encounter as best they can, since those unfortunate few who have used their time to tried and get outta Dodge quickly learned that their protection only extended to the borders of the freehold. In order to uphold their end of the bargain, Solar Courtiers hold a series of formal competitions that celebrate the best and brightest of the freehold, during the best and brightest half of the year. Beginning after the Winter Solstice and ending just after the Summer Solstice, these competitions often coincide with Carnival events held on each island during January(St. Croix), April(St. Thomas), and July(St. John), finally culminating in the annual challenge for the Golden Wreath that decides the leadership of the Court of the Sun.

Mantle: Your character gains a Glamour point whenever she succeeds in a formal challenge. 
1) Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to gain attention.
2) Enemies suffer a penalty equal to your character’s Mantle dots to intimidation rolls.
3) After defeating a powerful opponent, gain bonus dice equal to your Mantle dots to any subsequent Social actions for the rest of the scene.
4) Spend a Glamour point to exert your dominance over someone. For the rest of the scene, the target suffers the Cowed Condition when facing you and must spend 2 Willpower to end it. 
5) Once per Chapter, add bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to a single roll to incite Bedlam.

The Court of the Moon: The Unseen (Sidhe)
Focus on Finesse Attributes & Mental Skills - "What Is Hidden" "Betwixt And Between" "Know Thine Enemy"
Concerned with Education, Agriculture & Environmentalism. Mostly led by former Autumn/Winter/Night Courtiers based out of St. Croix.
The Silvern Horns spontaneously manifests on a leader chosen by the Wyrd, often after a month of ominous signs and portents.

Like most fae of legend, Lunar Courtiers prefer to remain hidden and leave no trace of their presence. They often study forgotten lore, believing that knowledge is power, be it martial or mystical. And while they do not necessarily wish to "fight fire with fire", they do seek to understand as much as possible about the fickle nature of the Wyrd in order to find the loopholes that will help protect them. Often secretive and paranoid, the Unseen observe many arcane rituals that both protect them from harm and help leash their unnatural curiosity, with the understanding that some knowledge is forbidden for a reason. In times of war, they are the seers and shadowy spies who divine the strengths and weaknesses of the freehold's enemies. The Unseen consider the Unconquered to be a useful, if rather blunt instrument, and often have layers upon layers of subtle stratagems in place to deal with them. The Unfettered are viewed as far more dangerous in comparison, due to both their greater versatility and near unpredictability.

Give & Take: The Gentry and their agents cannot openly do harm to any member of the freehold while the moon is overhead(even if it is unseen). Any fae creature attempting violence must appear to be wholly mundane to their victim, or else they are immediately thrust through the nearest hedge portal and find they are unable to return to the Ironside for a full lunar cycle(28 days). Lunar Courtiers are obligated by their bargain to observe the greatest mysteries of their court during each new moon. Most whispers about these practices include wanton bacchanals and blood sacrifice, but only the secretive Sidhe know for sure what happens during these arcane rituals each month. The current leader of the Court of the Moon is said to have walked away from the very first new moon ritual wearing the Silvern Horns.

Mantle: The character gains a Glamour point whenever he succeeds at keeping something hidden. 
1) Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to find anything lost or forgotten.
2) Enemies suffer a penalty equal to your character’s Mantle dots to subterfuge rolls.
3) After learning an important secret about your opponent, gain bonus dice equal to your Mantle dots to any subsequent Physical actions for the rest of the scene.
4) Spend a Glamour point to befuddle your enemy. For the rest of the scene, the target suffers the Disoriented Condition and must spend 2 Willpower to end it. 
5) Once per Chapter, add bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to a single Dreamweaving roll.

The Court of the Stars: The Unfettered (Sluagh)
Focus on Resistance Attributes & Physical Skills - "One Of Many" "Blessed & Benighted" "We Are Legion"
Concerned with Transportation, Communication & Entertainment. Mostly led by former Courtless/Dawn/Dusk Courtiers based out of St. John.
The Shining Band appears upon the brow of an undisputed leader who has been elected by popular vote.

More than anything, the Stellar Courtiers understand that personal freedom is important, but there is strength in numbers. Although individual members often vary considerably in their opinions, they always rally around any member that is threatened from outside the court. This understanding allows them to move about their daily business without attracting undue attention, appearing as a fractured and unorganized mob most of the time. However, they are a truly awe-inspiring force to behold when united against a common foe, and can use their diverse range of knowledge and skills to overwhelming effect. The Unfettered mostly see the Unconquered as domineering control freaks, while they view the Unseen as manipulative control freaks. Stellar Court members mostly just want to be left alone by the other courts.

Give & Take: The Gentry and their agents cannot physically attack any freeholder that can see even a single star in the sky. However the True Fae can still abide by one of the old tales in order to do harm, as long as their victim is not directly injured or physically compelled. Luring the foolish with three wishes, all night revels, or riches beyond imagining are tried and true methods for the True Fae to tempt someone into the hedge on a cloudy night. However, there are more recent stories of The Slender Man silently following his prey until panic causes them to run into that dark, unfamiliar door of their own accord. Stellar Courtiers honor the stars in the sky, known as Anansi's Web, since Anansi created a star for each of his stories, and as everyone knows, all stories are Anansi's stories. The Unfettered gather several times a year to share the celestial stories written in the constellations above. These large outdoor gatherings are celebrations of community and cooperation between the vastly different members of the court and tend to have multiple bonfires with different stories being shared at each one. Would-be leaders of the Court of the Stars often use these "campfire talks" to rally popular support for their campaigns to attain the Shining Band.

Mantle: The character gains a Glamour point whenever she surprises an opponent. 
1) Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane teamwork rolls.
2) Enemies suffer a penalty equal to your character’s Mantle dots to persuasion rolls. 
3) When held or restrained by supernatural means, gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots to escape.
4) Spend a Glamour point to read the stars and gain the Informed Condition for the rest of the scene.
5) Once per Chapter, add bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to a single Hedgespinning roll.

Restricted Concepts: "Newly Escaped" and "Anachronistic" - They tend to unfairly burden other players with teaching another character about being a changeling or how to use a cell phone. These concepts simply tend to draw out scenes and are not conducive to the PBP style.

Lines and Veils: TBD. Extreme topics should generally be used very rarely, and won't include gratuitously graphic descriptions. It takes a lot to offend me, but players should feel free to make suggestions in the Round Table or PM me if they would like to avoid any sensitive topics.
Hedgebound Heart

Posts : 18
Join date : 2018-02-16

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