Changeling:The Lost

Changeling: A Redemption
Written By
Aaron K. Bolyard

No doubt, most of you avid role-players out there are familiar with White Wolf's Changeling: the Dreaming. Unfortunately for us, Changeling: the Dreaming had no real place in the World of Darkness. Changeling, as written, was much too happy-go-lucky, reminiscent of childhood imaginings rather than adult horror fiction. If Changeling had been released as a separate entity from the World of Darkness, I think it probably would've done better. As it was, the game line did not do so well and was discontinued. White Wolf has chosen to give Changeling a second chance and has just recently released the subject of my piece today, Changeling: the Lost.

If you're interest in reading or playing Changeling: the Lost stems from some trendy obsession with Tinkerbell-esque creatures sprinkling their pixie dust, then I suggest you leave now and go suck on Amy Brown's clit. You don't belong here. Here there be monsters. Gone from Changeling are the childhood dreams that populated its predecessor. Changeling: the Lost is a land of nightmares.

Imagine this; if you indulge me for a moment, you're an average teenager, out for a night on the town. You can bring up your own memories if you like, I'm sure you've had similar ones. I wouldn't get too comfortable in them, but I digress. Imagine your friends decide what would be fun is to go into that house that everyone has always said is haunted. You agree under a bit of duress to go in, and because you showed hesitance your "friends" force you to be the first to go in. You do go in; you know you do. Wouldn't want to disappoint your friends would you? Some part of you knows deep inside that you've made a mistake, but you continue. Now, maybe it was Fate, maybe it was coincidence, or maybe you broke pacts and promises made in times passed. It doesn't matter. What matters is that when you walked into that one foreboding room, something was waiting for you. Perhaps a hideous hag cackled as she drags you off. Maybe a pale creature that more resembles a slug than anything humanoid extends its pseudo pods and pulls you with it through the closet door.

Don't leave me yet readers, there's more. Whatever takes you drags you through that closet door, or maybe down the cellar. You don't emerge into a cellar or a closet though; your kidnapper drags you through a thick patch of thorns. I'm sure you've cut yourself on thorns before, but I doubt you've ever been dragged through them. Its not just physical pain the thorns inflict as they grab and tear at you though, these thorns tear away at your soul. Pieces of your soul are left behind as whatever monster has taken you drags your through this thorn-filled hell, till nothing is left. That's when you arrive at the gates of Arcadia, and your new life begins.

New life is perhaps too upbeat of a statement. Your new hell begins now. You quickly discover that your kidnapper is not human, nor the monster you thought they were. A monster nonetheless though. Your new Keeper is one of the True Fae and they are not there to sprinkle pixie dust on you. Perhaps your Keeper enjoys forcing you to work as a blacksmith and beating you fiercely until he has stripped the flesh from your back. Perhaps your Keeper chose you for your beauty and amuses himself by raping you every evening or whoring you out to his other "pets". The True Fae can be all of these things. Whatever they think is amusing at the time, you are conscripted to play in their dark never-ending cinema. Until one day, you escape.

Your Keeper in his arrogance forgot to lock your cage, or maybe he didn't? Maybe this is part of his game, to let you get a taste of freedom so he can beat the hope out of you later. Something tells you that now is your time to escape, a memory of dinner with your family calls out in your mind. The years or months of captivity have not taken everything from you it seems. So you escape, you run back through the thorns and feel their bite once more, clinging to that memory as you do. Finally, you break through the thorns and stumble out of the closet door. You run out of the house as fast as you can, tears streaming down your face as your memories slowly return to you. If this were Braveheart, it would be your cue to yell "freedom" at the top of your lungs.

You have no idea how long you've been gone, but you know that you need to see your family and you head home. You fill the time of the journey with thoughts of how relieved they are going to be to see you, and wonder if they will believe your story. You walk up your driveway, and something catches your eye inside. You approach the window and look in on your home. Your family is sitting down to dinner, and there you are, eating and laughing with them. It isn't you though, you can see through the facade. It’s a farce, a fake, cleverly disguised by Fae magic to look and act as you do. You are about to charge in and call out the imposter until you realize how old this imposter looks. How long were you gone? How long has this imposter been here fooling your family? That's about when you take a good look at yourself. You've changed too. Your Keeper left his mark on you, and you've taken on some of his physical traits.

You've been changed. You are no longer human, and yet you have not become the monster that kept you captive for so long. You have no home to return to, no family waiting for their little boy to return home. You are Lost, find yourself.

Thank you for indulging me in my little tale for you. These are the stories that populate Changeling: The Lost though. Kidnapped, brutalized, and then escape, or perhaps release? Changeling has become a game of paradoxes, even by White Wolf’s own admission. They call it “a game of beautiful madness”. It can be so much more than that. A game of paranoia, a game of beauty, a game of nightmares; Changeling can be as mutable as the Fae that kidnap its namesake.

Regardless of what you make it though, know that this is not something White Wolf shelled out to rake in the dollars, though no doubt it will. White Wolf has broken the mold in more than one way with this game; even the X/Y axis that is inherent in all of their games has been shattered. I won’t bore you with the technical aspects of this game. They don’t matter. If you purchase this game, do it because you want to see a great story told, not for wonky powers and pixie dust.


Changeling - The Lost

Comments

" i can't wait to dig my

" i can't wait to dig my teeth in to this game. finally a story that gives the old grimm stories some respect. wicked little things. gimme gimme gimme!

Thanks

Thanks for the review! I'm glad Lost meets your liking.

~jess~
www.jesshartley.com
Freelance author, editor, developer