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The Fifth Season
Author: A ngelus Morningstar Artwork: Gavin Hargest
Lost Shards are fan- made products designed for use with the World of Darkness book, Changeling: the Lost. A bsence of trademarks from copyrighted materials does not constitute a legal challenge to the original owners. A ny original material is the intellectual property of A ngelus Morningstar unless otherwise credited.
(the Gilded Masque, the Amethyst Court, the Court of Madness)
You know us. We are the hidden eyes, the multitude of unsung voices. We are the whispers in your nightmares and reveries. We are the watchers of the Wyrd, we are the sayers of the sooth. Only you call us mad. There is truth in madness, truth in the ineffable names of our lords and ladies. It is only you, who cling far too tightly to your well worn mortals ideals that are Lost. We have found the way. We know exactly what we are and we become it. You may deny your faerie nature, rail against it, supplant it with new hope, or quail from it. We become it, we know the madness that lies within, we give it new names of Apocalypse and revelation. This hour is our hour, the time when the world is upside-down and given over to Reverie. There is a tale told by the elder changelings, who suggest that Faerie was not always as hostile as it is now. They speak of a time long ago, told to them by changelings before them, of a place fanciful and glorious for changelings and their kind. It was alleged that many changelings found their way to Faerie and found a paradise, a place of delight. In such times, madness was not viewed as a dysfunction, but rather a revelation granted by the gods. The world of madness, Faerie, was too a place of beauty and glory. They say Faerie has always, on some level, reflected the state of affairs of humanity, and that the two have always reflected each other to a certain degree, mimicking each other in change. When the Dark Ages came, Faerie too was twisted by the barbarism of the times medieval, casting Faerie into gloom. Then the world was further shook by the Renaissance, an awakening for some, but a terrible shattering of dreams for others. Finally, upon its heels came the Industrial revolution, which wreathed the world in smog and iron. Such turbulence, it is said, shook Faerie to its core, and in Faerie emerged new mechanical nightmares and horrors. These changes, it is said, infected Faerie with an element that is could not tolerate. The passions of divine inspiration and reverie were institutionalized, and broken down into dysfunction. The Faerie, reflecting this change, became creatures of dysfunction themselves, and the Fae became creatures of madness. The creatures of delight fell to the perversity of delirium. For such changelings, their madness is a product of the state of affairs of the world. It is a supernatural malady born from their faerie nature. The Courtiers of Reverie tell a somewhat different story. They talk about a progressive and inevitable change from delight to delirium. They talk about the idea of revelation, the inspiration of wisdom that comes from madness. They say that their season has always been closest to the flow of the Wyrd, its influence being seen since the enthogenic cults of the Hellenic era. They allege it was the inspiring force that brought about the new philosophies of the era. This is because the season of Reverie is about revolution and innovation. In these times they called it Apocalypse. Since then, the season has been found inspiring the Renaissance, the Romantic movement, the Bohemian movement and in the last few decades, they claim its innovation in the rise of Discordianism and then chaos theory. For the Reverie courtiers they say it was not humanity that changed the season, but the season that changed humanity. Most changelings are familiar with the four temperate seasons, but changelings, who deal frequently with other strange and rare seasons have learnt of a fifth season, complementary to the four temperate ones. Reverie is a season that has no name, but goes by many. It is the season of festivity, of Carnivalé, of reverie and madness. It is the season called Reverie. Like the other seasons, it too has its correspondences to times and places of the year. You can tell when you are in the season of Reverie by the sense that time is standing still. In the times of great and grand celebration, there is a wanton fervour that excites, depresses, angers and scares all who witness it. It is one turbulent cacophony of other emotions. It is the season of the in-between, the not quite real and fragmented memory. The season of Reverie is said to be the axle upon which the other seasons turns, the fulcrum of the year and seasons. Reverie also correlates to the eastern Directional Courts, maintaining a role as the central axis around which the other Directional Courts reach out. Knowledge of the season of Reverie is not that widespread, and it is only in modern times that it has earned any serious following as a Court in its own right. Though in comparison to the other Courts, it is almost always in a minority. It is a rare and strange city that has a population dominated by the Court of Reverie. This is the philosophy of the Reverie courtiers. They see Faerie, though mutable, being a place of stasis. The Fae do not age, or decay. Neither do they give birth or demonstrate a true capacity for creation. To embrace Reverie is to embrace the fundamental aspect that is change and weave it into your very being. Just as the changing nature of the seasons offer a modicum of protection over freeholds, subsuming to change itself is thought to lend a similar protection to the changeling herself. The Court’s founder was a changeling by the name of Tom O’ Bedlam. He was a renegade and an outcast even among the Lost. Rather than trying to gloss over his eccentricities, he positively embraced them; much to the discomfort of the other courtiers. He claimed to be of all courts and of none, and was far more mercurial and adversarial than most changelings have come to tolerate. He was considered courtless by most changelings who came upon him, for his ways was not their ways and his ideas were not theirs. He spoke of prophecy and revelation, of times of madness and change. Such things did not sit well with changelings who, having spent years in Arcadia, found the notion troubling.
Spurned by the other courts, it is said he went off into the Hedge one year, and was thought to have been lost amid the Thorns. He emerged a month later professing to have made a compact with a season that was both old and new. When he revealed to them the season that is not a season, they scorned and laughed. Others, though, had felt a calling. heartedly to their vice. These nights are sometimes annual events, sometimes seasonal, depending on the freehold. The Bacchanal can be held at any time during the year. They are decided upon almost spontaneously by the court of Reverie, where the local Reverie courtiers descend upon the freehold declaring a time of the Bacchanal. The Bacchanal is certainly the court’s longest running tradition. The changelings of the freehold use it to let all their reservations run free. All members of the different courts are invited to participate and celebrate their bizarre natures; the more outlandish and bizarre the event, the better. Within the court, there are a number of unique twists to the usual Court structures. Unlike the other courts, they do not have a King or Queen – but rather a Fool. When the Bacchanal descends, the crown of the reigning King of Queen disappears and, almost at random, the season of Reverie appoints someone as the Fool – the master of ceremonies. The appointment may be only or a night, or even just an hour, but they are the reigning Fool for the time of Reverie. Such a selection is often considered to be auspicious and the Fool is generally held to be bestowed with the luck of the Fates. When Reverie fades and the normal procession of seasons returns, the crown is restored to the proper ruler and the lucky Fool maintains their title until the next reverie. The other major event that the Reverie court hosts is known as the Tribute, which brings the art of storytelling to its heights. They are often held to celebrate historical events, or to commemorate the deeds of a particular individual, or sometimes simply to honour a demand of the season itself. In effect, these are staged events where the members of the court must deliver a story up to the audience as a pageant for all the members of the freehold. The ostentatious claim is that all stories told must be true, for the court of Reverie is composed of soothsayers. Prizes are awarded to the person who tells the greatest tale but may still be thought to be true. Of course, in a world such as the ones that changelings live in, truth can be very mutable. Though the Tribute and the Bacchanal are the most famous events of the Reverie court, the courtiers also have an internal tradition that is only shared amongst them. The Reverie court is fond of games of chance and tests of luck. It is not unusual for the court to run events or host games of chance amongst them selves and with other changelings. Here the centre of activity focuses around seemingly innocuous games. However, they are merely distractions for the real game at hand. While the changelings sit there, they must attempt to manipulate a web of connections around them to attempt to make a fool of the other without ever leaving the game. It is easy for many not of the court to underestimate the value of this, assuming that the humour is at their expense. Instead, the agenda of these practical jokes is to keep themselves from losing their edge. To the court, individuality is more than essential for those in Reverie; it is a way of life and a way of existence. Some even conjecture that the games are a metaphor for the entirety of existence being nothing but one big cosmic joke.
The Reverie courtiers are often quite contrary, and oppositional, taking it upon themselves to ensure that the flow between seasons happen and to remind changelings that nothing is static, everything changes and falls to entropy. Such courtiers positively embrace their eccentricities, and may even do little to hide them. Each Reverie courtier deals with the fact that many of the other courtiers do not truly acknowledge their faction as a legitimate season, as though it were nothing more than the ravings of a madman. In many respects, it is true. How does one express a completely irrational manifesto to ones who rely solely on their sense of reason to understand. No, the Reverie courtiers do not speak of understanding, they talk of gleanings, enlightenment, the middle path, and of course revelation. This is what it means to be a Reverie courtier. It is to be a herald of bedlam, a mad oracle, to delve into the depths of the incoherent lunacy to truly understand the mindset of the Fae. By assuming the guise of the Fae to some small measure, they hope to delude, confuse and trick the Fae with their own games of madness. The criteria for entering the court are minimal. Either you seek revelation or you don’t. Most of them are nonplussed about the opinions of the other courts to their behaviours but are welcoming and open to those who share their vision. If they do have a recruitment strategy it would consist of personal encounters that happen between established members, and those they feel might have a chance of understanding their ways. This testing procedure often tasks place as a form of game, usually cards, dice, or anything that utilizes luck or chance. Ultimately the court wants to see how lucky that individual is, whether the fates bode well for them. If luck is with them then they are taken into the fold. Once accepted into the court, the Amethyst courtiers are each encourages to seek out their own form of revelation. They are taught to seek out change, both in their own self and within others. While some may simply resort to the strange and the bizarre to illicit such change, the more established members of the court have learned to temper their quirks and turn instead methods of greater finesse to bring about a little bit of chaos in other people’s lives. This is because the Reverie courtiers, like most of the Lost, are faerie at heart and prefer to fall back to subtle and devious means when possible.
Without a doubt, the most famous festival of the Reverie court is the Bacchanal. Bacchanals are truly amazing sights to behold. They are festivals of pure and simple deviance and indulgence. Bacchanals are typically held upon auspicious nights where all changelings are permitted to give whole-
To suggest that there is an official code of dress or apparel for the Reverie courtiers is to miss the point. There 3
is no real mode or motif that the court adheres to, but each of them seeks to exalt their own brand of fashion as much as they can. That being said, the official heraldic colours of the court are purples and whites, though often the shades of white can be tinged with silvers. the promotion of illogical methods of understanding, going into the world and challenging basic assumptions. A changeling may venture into a world where people depend on the assumptions of money, power, science and order, and introduce a little bit of nonsense into the mix. One changeling may introduce of a swarm of insects into the serenity of mass, to induce confusion and mayhem from which to feed. Another will contaminate the water supply for an officer building with LSD. A third will pose as some form of homeless beggar and violate all the social conventions on the street, or even a high-class soiree. All of these acts usually involve the assumption of some other guise or mannerism to dupe and fool others into some simple entrapment. For the courtiers, Revelation is also a journey; a mystical path of enlightenment. Where logic fails, the unconscious mind must continue the journey. This is the road of prophecy, where the changeling walks into the unknowable future and gleans the hidden truths that lie in the depths of madness. So too can mortal explorers in altered states of perception can be targets of revelation. Places of drug indulgence, meditative transcendence and even experimentations with the pain/pleasure threshold.
Reverie’s Mantle is strange and diffuse, interfering with the senses of other people. At Mantle • to •••, these may be shifts in spectrums, the sense of vision ripples as though seen through heat-like haze, sounds produce strange tones and other oddities. At higher levels, Mantle ••••+, aspects of their own madness leaks out into the world, making the delusions inspired by their diminishing Clarity visible to those around them. The Amethyst Court is tinged with strange madness, imbued with a strange contrariness that makes them over-all impossible to deal with. At Mantle • the changeling develops an affinity for madness. With a single glance, and the expenditure of a point of glamour a Reverie courtier can learn all of the derangements a target is inflicted with. As their Mantle grows, and reaches ••• the manifests a type of circumlocution, granting them two bonus dice to any action involved with beguiling or deceiving others. When the courtier’s Mantle teaches the height of its splendour at ••••• the changeling becomes more and more querulous. They may re-roll any failed Finesse roll at the cost of a measure of glamour.
Spring Court: They understand some part of reverie, but are far too much in the indulgence for its own sake, rather than seeking insight. Summer Court: Far too many of these courtiers quake wrathfully without a compass to guide them. They are blind. Autumn Court: You seek some form of understanding, but for the sake of power, not empowerment. Winter Court: There is little to offer your transcendence by hiding, by assimilating, by forgetting that you are not mortal.
There Amethyst Court seeks out Revelation. The first is to be the harbinger of bedlam, the bringer of chaos and nonsense in a world founded on logic and science. Here is