Umbral Domains: Changeling Dreamform Blossom

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As you might've guessed I like Changeling: the Dreaming very much. But one major thing about the setting always bugged me: by default the player characters take the role of fae spirits posessing human hosts. In some cases the human soul is merely supressed, there's even suggestion that this is a "blending" of some kind, while in other cases (Sidhe I'm looking at you) the human soul is kicked right out.

Well suck it dolphin. I know this was the World of Darkness and all, but manditorily riding roughshod over human free will just ain't my kind of angst (though being able, as a character, to choose human posession is another matter).

So as an alternative to the standard cosmological explaination for changelings I'd like to present the following concept:

True Chrysalis[edit]

Magi Awaken, Changelings Chrysalize.

Chrysalis is not the awakening of a fae soul that has lain dormant inside a human, but the blossoming of a human spirit's in it's true nature: the Fae Meim. Changelings are not chimeral others who've merged with a human and now run half the show, they're humans who've suddenly become vividly aware of the hidden world that human fear and imagination have spawned. In theory all humans could become Changelings if the persistant pragmatism of Banality didn't keep dragging them back to normality.

Upon achieving Chrysalis a human identifies with an archetypal form (typically a Kith) and adopts a somewhat (occasionally dramatically) altered persona more suited to dealing with the dangerous new world in which he finds himself. In more extreme cases this may produce an almost Jeckyll & Hyde like split in personality, though usually the Changeling's understandings and attitudes shift only slightly with the new influx of experience.

The Dreaming is a vast sea of humanity's collected unconscious memories, fears, hopes, and speculations. Those fae with the knack for Remembrance have learned to dip into this well, gaining insight into the Dreaming's recurring themes and recalling events long before their birth. Some fae who've gained great Rememberance at Chrysalis may even identify closely with the heroes of old, believing themselves to be re-incarnations of the same. And who's to say that some bit bulk of the heroe's life, and even "spirit", isn't passed along in the memory? Still there are always significant differences between the heroes of old and those who re-live their memory.

False Chrysalis[edit]

But not necessarily all Changelings have such benign origins. There are purely chimeral entities who can take posession of humans. Such entities generally originate from two sources:

1) Chimera born in or spawned directly by the Dreaming, which have either gained the appropriate redes or been taught the arts necessary to possess humans (or other mortal entities).

2) Human changelings who have temporarily (or permenantly) "burned off" their mortal seeming through the use of the Expiation cantrip, and set out to possess their fellow man.

The act of possessing a human is sometimes referred to as a "false chrysalis" as the act creates a Changeling, at least temporarily, but results in the supporession of the mortal host's spirit rather than it's emergence and freedom. Similarly possesion is not accompanied by the telltale signs and rush of glamour normally found at human Chrysalis.