Just what is a Changeling? Who and what are these creatures?

That's a tricky question. The Fae have always been people of story and dream, so naturally there are any number of origin and creation stories; some even putting forward the idea that as things and stories changed so has their past. What is generally held is that before the Fae were the Tuatha de Daanan, elder creatures of the Dream. They charged the Sidhe with leadership and had a greater command of the Dreaming than any others since. After great wars with a dark force known as the Formorians, many of the Tuatha left as part of the agreement to end the war.

But the question is what is a Changeling, what are they now?

Changelings were nigh-immortal creatures of power and legend, but as Banality (the force of unbelief and sheer mundanity) began to permeate sometime in the early middle ages it became increasingly difficult for them to function on earth. They began a mass exodus back to Arcadia (a city or realm in the heart of the Deep Dreaming), the Sidhe leading the charge and generally making the Commoners stand aside so they could go first. The gates began to falter and then to fall, and finally closed with the Sidhe on one side and the majority of the commoners on the other.

Cut off from the wellspring of Glamour that was the Dreaming, the remaining Fae faced a world that was eroding their very existance. In a desperate attempt they undertook a powerful ritual called the Changeling Way…where in the past some of the immortal Fae had lived out a lifetime amongst mortals before returning, now those still on earth bound their souls with human ones. They sacrificed a great deal of power and their immortality to shelter from Banality, entering the cycle of rebirth so they might survive.

The Fae side of a Changeling will now slumber within them until something (usually glamour from art or performance) will set them off. The Changeling goes through what's called a Chrysalis, and awakes with some (but not all) of their memories. Usually in the Chrysalis they are flooded with memories, but wake up without being able to hold them all. Depending on their Remembrance and Past Lives knowledge, they may recieve more memories than just what they and others are.

Wow, trippy. Might want to get some more information on them, eh? Might want to look at the Kiths.

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