Interview held at the Rivières-des-Prairies psychiatric hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada
Date: December 24, 2003
Patient: Julia Doerner; age 15; diagnosed with DID
Conducted by: Dr. Jason Mayer
Mayer: Evening, Julia.
Doerner: Could we not do the hypnosis today, Dr. Mayer? It’s kinda creepy.
M: You’ve made a lot of progress so far, Julia. We really need to keep going.
D: *sighs, fidgeting in the chair a bit* All right. * closes her eyes*
M: Okay, I want you to picture the field like we’ve practiced. Got that in your head? *Doerner nods* Good. Now imagine yourself laying down in the field, and letting the grass cushion you. As you lay there, you find yourself becoming more and more relaxed…
D: *Doerner’s head bobs, then she look back up at Mayer, smirking. Her voice is now more masculine, and her posture changes drastically, becoming more like that of a confidant young man* Ah, the good Doctor Mayer. It’s been what, two weeks now?
M: About, yes. I’ve been reading over our notes from the last session *flips through the file in front of him* and I was curious about the Shattering you mentioned before.
D: The First or the Second?
M: You only mentioned one before.
D: The second was a mere shadow of the first, hence why I didn’t mention it.
M: I see. *writes something down in the file* You mentioned something about an army of…Raksha, was it?
D: *slight nod* The Fae have gone by many names throughout the Ages. That is the oldest.
M: *more writing* So, what caused this army to gather?
D: *a wicked grin crosses the girl’s face* Why, the end of the world.
M: *looks up from the file for a moment, then back down* Do explain.
D: *leans back a bit in the chair* The Dragon’s Chosen had lost their little queen and went to war to lay claim to her throne. The ones twisted by the Neverborn let loose with hordes of the dead led by the half-dead. The champions of the Sun had joined with Luna’s Get against the dead while demons chewed through the walls that had held them for more than an Age. The world was overrun with chaos; what better time for the Wyld to regain what it had lost?
M: I…see. *more writing* What happened next?
D: The Bordermarches filled with the armies of the Shaped Ones, hobgoblins of horrifying form lead by creatures so awe-inspiring they would cause a mortal such as you to claw out your eyes, knowing that the world would forever seem ugly after seeing their perfect forms. *chuckles softly* That is one characteristic I love about you mortals: you’re so strong, yet so weak…
M: *looks at Doerner, looking somewhat concerned* So, you consider yourself to be immortal?
D: *smirks* Now, my good doctor, let’s stay on topic, shall we? *leans forward in the chair, leaning her elbows on the table and steepling her fingers* After the armies gathered, a horn was sounded at each end of Creation, and the march began. Some of the Moon-Touched fought against us, but they fell just like the mortals did, their dreams and passions drained away like so much water. *she pauses for a moment, eyes closed as though in thought* Such emotion Luna’s Children had then! Those that survived are much too…angry.
M: *one hand slowly moves toward the button to call in the staff while writing with the other*
D: *slight grin* I wouldn’t do that, Doctor. I’m not finished with my story, and I hate being interrupted.
M: *his hand flies backward as he looks at Doerner, fear growing in his eyes*
D: Good. Now where was I…oh yes. The armies swept through the lands of mortal men, the scant few defenders falling before the gossamer blades like wheat before a scythe. Before their bodies hit the ground, they were drained dry of every dream, every emotion… *the grin widens* Have you ever heard the scream a man makes when his last dream is pulled out of his body, Jason? It’s the most phenomenal symphony every created.
M: *pushes the button under the table to summon the staff, his eyes widening when nothing happens*
D: *a truly depraved smile twists the girl’s face into something not human* Now now, Jason, no need for that. We haven’t even finished yet. Plus, they won’t be coming in for some time. As I said before, you mortals are so weak at times… *Her face returns to something more humanlike as she looks to the doctor, who is now out of his chair and running towards the door* Come come, Jason…you know you can’t reach the door.
M: *He stops, looks towards the door, then cries out in alarm* Wha…
D: Now, come and sit down. Once you get back to your chair, you’ll feel better.
M: *Mayer rushes back to the table, then looks at Doerner, now nowhere near stable* What…are you?
D: I am a thief of men’s words, Jason. I am a taker of dreams, devourer of passions, creator of wars the likes that this Age has never seen. *the demonic smile returns to her face* Well, not yet anyway. *Suddenly, Doerner appears behind Mayer and spins around his chair. Mayer looks up at her in abject horror as she grabs his chin and wrenches his face up* Let me show you that symphony, Doctor. It is truly…mind-blowing.
[Note: At this point the visual cuts out and a gut-wrenching scream can be heard, going on for a good two minutes. When the visual comes back, Doerner is nowhere to be found and Mayer is huddled in the corner, muttering “It’s coming…” He said nothing but the phrase until he died three days later. As of this being written, Julia Doerner has still not been located.]
The fae of the 5th Age speak of a Shattering that broke the connections between the material world and the realm of the fae, which they called Arcadia. However, an even greater Shattering happened much earlier, so far back that no one born in modern times has even heard of it. This Shattering came at the end of an earlier Age, and changed the world in ways unknown until after the turning of the Ages restarted the cycle.
At the end of the Second Age, Creation was besieged on all sides. The Dynasty fell into all-out war over the Scarlet Throne and both the Isle and the Threshold felt the wrath of the Dragon-Blooded’s magic. Seeing that their time had finally come, the Deathlords swung into action; first Mask of Winters and the First and Forsaken Lion began their attacks, then the others joined in until the Threshold was stuck between the armies of the dead and the battles of the Dragon-Blooded. Those Solars who still remained fought against the Deathlords, aided by the magics of the Sidereals. While some of the Lunars went with their former spouses to fight against the Neverborn’s servants, most stayed to guard the border of the Wyld, which was growing due to the lack of stability at its edges.
While this turmoil raged on, the leaders of the Raksha courts met together for the first time in an Age. After some time of discussion, the five returned to their strongholds and sent out declarations: The Second Balorian Crusade was to begin at the next Calibration. During the season before the Calibration, the Raksha prepared for war; each court leader received an item of some sort from a fellow Raksha, although the form of this benefactor differed each time he spoke before a court. Although rumors flew about his or her identity, most of the focus was on the oncoming war.
When all was ready, the Bordermarches filled with the armies of the Wyld. The Lunars left on the borders were shocked by the sudden appearance, and only a few were able to relay messages to their fellows before being overtaken by the sheer numbers of the fae. On the day that all was prepared, the five leaders of the courts blew on horns given to them by their mysterious benefactor; these horn blasts were heard throughout Creation, causing pause to all who fought. Then, moving to the beat of a million drums, the Raksha marched in the lands of mortals, and the Wyld followed in their footsteps.
The fae left the people of Creation drained of passion and the lands they passed through twisted beyond repair. Even the Exalted couldn’t stand up to their might; a number of Solars and Lunars fell to the hungry maws of the nobles, as well as the Sidereals and the Abyssals. All of Creation turned to fighting off the Fair Folk, leaving behind their squabbles. The Deathlords allowed the chips to fall where they may, gaining power through an increased number of shadowlands as the world died. The battles between the Exalted and the fae were long and hard fought; the gifts of the fae hardened them to the perils of Creation.
After almost six months of fighting, the Exalted were winning, but they had been pushed back to the Blessed Isle. Almost the entire Threshold had been warped by the Wyld; the few mortals remaining huddled in Exalt-created safe houses. There was no hope in sight until word spread through the Exalted forces that Copper Rose, a Twilight whose First Age incarnation had designed the Imperial Manse, had made it inside. The Exalted fought with renewed vigor, hoping beyond hope that she could do something to help. And help she did: while battle raged on the shores of the Isle between Exalt and Raksha, a brilliant pillar of light shot out from the Imperial Manse, followed after by a shockwave of massive proportions. All of the Exalts and their scant army fell to the ground, then looked up in shock and awe as the fae before them – both the attacking Raksha and the Mountain Folk who had aided the Exalts – shattered into hundreds of pieces.
The wave from the Manse shattered most of the Wyld covering Creation, pushing what remained into its own realm, floating in Elsewhere. Those pieces that remained in Creation sought safe ground: most burrowed into the earth while others found safe lodging in the mortals who remained. The wave also reshaped the world, giving it a new shape and cleaning up what taint it could. The remaining mortals and Exalts found themselves in a new world, and none of them knew what to do next other than to survive.
Over the following millennia, the fae shards passed from mortal to mortal, slowly gathering power as they came in contact with other loose shards. Soon, these shards began to emerge through their hosts, and they eventually were strong enough to exist on their own. Although much weaker than they once were, these fae were among the most powerful beings in what modern day fae knew as the Legendary Age. They quickly relearned their magic, and co-existed with the world until the Second Shattering, when the few remaining connections to the Wyld (which by that time the fae had renamed Arcadia) disconnected. The shards, once again unable to survive without a human host, underwent the Changeling Way, thus leading to the well-known history of the 5th Age fae.
The wheel continued to turn, and as the 5th Age neared its end, the fae (now calling themselves Changelings) felt the amount of gossamer left in the world fading slowly but surely. As these supplies dwindled, the fae began huddling together at the few places where they could still get the dreams they needed to remain aware. One day, when the baleful red sun shone brighter than Sol’s light, all of the balefires went out. There was a pregnant pause, then as the gates of Arcadia reopened, a rush of Wyld energy turned the embers into bonfires that could be seen from miles away and filling the fae shards with the power lost to them for eons.
The shards soon became independent once more, most pushing their human halves deep into the background. However, these fae found themselves bound to their human shells; the shards had fused with their mortal hosts when the gates were reopened, so they were only able to leave when the host died, and even then they needed to find a new host before they were drawn back into the Wyld. The fae gathered together to discuss what had occurred, then began to rediscover the magics that had been denied them for so long.
You are one of these fae, an Ages-old soul brimming with new-found power bound to the shell of a mortal life. Will your stories be told across this new Creation, or will you fade away into the annals of history? Only you can decide.
ZOMG oh my god oh my god. You have managed to simultaneously provoke the rabid Fair Folk fanboy AND the rabid Changeling fanboy within me! This sounds sooo cool and now I want to completely screw over my PCs in my running Changeling game! -- OhJames
WOW! That was so awesome, I feel like using it for my new World of Darkness game! - IanPrice
*beams* Thank you! If you do end up running it, let me know how it goes. I haven't had a chance to playtest it yet. - Caelene
Might I ask why you allowed commoners two feeding graces instead of their allotted one? If anything, I'd have stripped nobles of their second grace to reflect the weakness of the "Fae Shards" (a phrase which made me double-take) - AmbroseCollector
- Fae shard was the best term I could think of to describe the parts of the raksha that remained. The grace thing isn't a bad idea, though; consider it changed. - Caelene