Titles: Chattering Chorus, The Spinner of Worlds, Echidna: Forge of Horrors
Description: The aspect of the FableEater who is sometimes called “The Leveller” or “Call to Adventure” responsible for leading most, if not all the realm’s changelings into its clutches, the Call is a shapeshifting, mellifluous being skilled in persuasion, subtlety, and trickery. Those it deems worthy, or more likely simply those who fit a particular trope or ideal are usually snuck away from Ironside with the promise not only of power, but of heroism, adulation, and purpose. Though its appearance regularly changes to suit its needs, the Call is most commonly seen as a celestial, shimmering being of light that can grow to be an all-encompassing universal panorama. Its methods are often honeyed and full of promises, but it is also the FableEater’s aspect of sheer Elemental destruction.
Realm: A series of interlocking cities connected by vast plains of unoccupied land suitable for large scale combats. Each city tends to relate to a different theme or technology, changing over time as new stories and tales have been formed. In the modern-day, these cities are mostly analogues for American cities, though those spun through the lens of modern comic books. New Apple, Coast City, MegalopolisVille… cities of faceless hobs and citizen changelings at constant risk due to the actions of the so-called “Super-Villains”, trapped in the role they have been spun into.
Despite being a world of ‘advanced technology, magic and superhuman powers, it is a place that never changes, where the status quo can never be altered, and where none of these things can genuinely improve life because it wouldn’t be ‘relatable’ to the mundane world anymore. Beyond this space of stasis lies an infinite series of false reflections, like the protected space but subtly, or incredibly different. In these worlds, Changelings are written and rewritten, mirror images of more beloved ‘characters’ in the Keeper’s stable, tweaked or twisted to see how a tale might go differently.
New Apple is modelled after New York, while Coast City is like Ironside’s San Francisco. MegalopolisVille meanwhile is geographically similar to Chicago, though it is the realm’s centre of science and technology and the realm’s tallest towers. Other places, fields or cities are expanded upon as needed, but all too often these places are collapsed into nothingness when they are no longer central to a story. Other realms sit side by side with it, many featuring the same or similar figures with an altered theme, be it the era, the theme, or the genre of story, occasionally visited by favourites from the prime realm for a novel change of pace.
Entourage: The FableKeeper’s court spans swaths of its realm. Composed initially of Hope Inc, the premier group of New Apple, over time its membership has grown and changed to incorporate The Brigade, an anti-hero collective of “take no prisoners” heroes that revel in their ability to endlessly cause destruction that can always be fixed if they get bored. They are:
- Donner - The team wall, a statuesque Ogre woman made of living stone who controls the environment.
- Blitzen - Team Speedster, a deer-like Beast woman and partner of Donner. Lightning powered.
- Joan Janezz - “Alien” Water Elemental, Shapeshifter and Density Manipulator, four-armed and has antenna.
- Heavenly Dayz - Fairest Bright One who can manipulate elemental forces. An older, bright green-skinned man with greying hair. Healer and team Leader.
- Night Haunt - Darkling martial artist, spy, mental genius, and superior driver. Always wreathed in cloaking shadow save for 2 bright, red eyes.
- Rampage - Giant, red Ogre brute. Eyeless and hunts by sound.
- Gunhead - Mad, Wizened Inventor. More guns than just the head.
- Brutalia- Seven-foot-tall Fairest strongwoman, weapon wielder and team leader.
- Dread Claw- Raptor Beast, Speedster, and assassin. A spindly, bird-headed man with feathers along his arms that are razor sharp.
- DeathStar - Shadow Elemental, a tall, quiet figure wearing white gloves, white boots and a suit that looks like a starscape.
Huntsmen: The Huntsman of the FableEater are well known and feared, they often come out and hunt escaped changelings.
Fetches: FableEater commonly makes fetches, though just as many are simply destroyed in its own machinations and entertainments as they are actually sent out to replace anyone. When they are, they tend to be almost extreme, amplified examples of the trope or ideal that the True Fae saw in their real counterpart. People who were thought to be good produce fetches who are incredibly good, and people who were chosen for their particular malice or cruelty produce fetches who become mass murderers.
Xekanius, Archdevil of the Devouring Abyss
Description: They say that Arcadia is hell, but little do they know there is an actual hell somewhere in there. There is a part of Faerie known as the Infernal Kingdoms, a gathering of realms where a multitude of fiends vie for dominance over one another. At the furthest edge of these kingdoms is the Devouring Abyss, the domain of the Archdevil Xekanius, a demonic fae that lords over an army of fiendish soldiers, self-serving bureaucrats, depraved aristocrats, and brutish slaves.
Xekanius is tall and muscular, a pair of ram horns growing from his skull and leathery wings sprouting from his back. Many find him simultaneously abhorrent and attractive, both drawn to and repulsed by him in extreme measure. His voice is deep and melodious, his words imbued with a supernatural charm that is nigh impossible to resist; when he speaks, you wish to listen; when he commands, you wish to obey; when he scolds, you wish to cower. The Archdevil has a way of honing in on weaknesses that is impressive even among the Fae, possessing an innate understanding of how to exploit people's vulnerabilities and moral shortcomings. He is a literal devil, through and through, and he will have you saying 'thanks' and 'please' as you sell your soul on the dotted line.
He seduces his victims with promises of lost knowledge, tastes of carnal pleasures, or power to decimate those that wronged them. He threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, to rob them of friends or family, or to utterly ruin the legacy of their life's work. He will do whatever it takes to convince you to follow him through the Thorns. Once you belong to him, though? Hell is your new home, and your master... well... he is the Hunger That is Never Sated.
Realm: Lakes of fire craggy hills surround the Devouring Abyss, the outer edges of Xekanius's realm patrolled by warbands of savage fiends. An expansive mining complex is the heart of the Fae's industry, slaves taken in war or bought on the markets digging for sulphur, iron, copper, and other, stranger materials that do not exist in the human world. The Abyss itself is a massive depression in the black, barren ground, a chasm several miles wide and unimaginable deep.
A sprawling society of devils and demons descends along its northern slope, roads, stairs, and ladders connecting the buildings painstakingly carved from unyielding bedrock. Slaves, chattel, and servants live in simple hovels, while the merchants, craftsmen, officials, and clerks live in modest comfort. Great mansions and luxury palaces belong to Xekanius's favoured subjects, places where unimaginable cruelty and boundless hedonism meshes together in spectacles designed to entertain the most prominent citizens of the Abyss. Regardless of their position or status, they are all devils and demons of one sort or another: raucous imps and honey-tongued incubi, barking hell-hounds and braying nightmares, towering balrogs and near-human cambions, to mention but a few. Many Wizened end up as lawyers or officials, navigating and taking advantage of the massive and unwieldy bureaucracy that governs life in the Abyss, its wheels greased by excessive amounts of forms, permits, and bribes.
Some become craftsmen, forging weapons of war for the infernal legions or becoming engineers or architects, planning the infrastructure of Xekanius's realm. Ogres and Beasts are primarily recruited to the war effort against Xekanius's neighbours, though those who distinguish themselves may be recruited to serve as bodyguards or gladiators, spilling each other's bloods in gory and vicious tournaments. A rare few rise to ranks of strategists, infernal generals that send thousands to their death in the name of the Archdevil. Darklings skulk and skitter across obscure vantage points, gathering information and spying on alleged enemies of the kingdom, or serving as ruthless assassins, dispatching of those that earn their master's ire. Some are sent outside the Abyss, targeting rival fae, or even influential Goblin Queens in the Hedge.
Fire elementals roar and roil in rivers of lava, acid elementals lounge in corrosive pools, and elementals of stone, metal, and obsidian help shape the hostile environment, ensuring that the Abyss ever continues to expand and grow. No matter who you were, no matter what you become, the Abyss is a place that eats away at you. Whether from endless years of monotony or unspeakable, diabolical tasks, Xekanius has a way of diminishing the people in his captivity, making them less and less of what they used to be, of -who- they used to be, until there is hardly anything left but the devils he made in his own image.
Huntsmen: The Archdevil's Huntsmen are always demonic in appearance, red eyes, claws and horns, some terrible to behold, and others possessing dark, mesmerizing beauty. They are instilled with their master's desire for his subjects, and his hunger for them, and they are relentless in their pursuit.
Fetches: Xekanius crafts fetches from whatever is available at the time he abducts a human into the Thorns, making do with random debris, twigs, or old pieces of patio furniture. They all return to their human lives with a strange birthmark they never had before, but apart from that, they are indistinguishable from the humans they are impersonating.
Titles: Voice of the Northwood, Reader of the Taleweave
Description: At first, one might be excused for believing Mother Goose to be a kindly matronly figure at least from a distance. However Mother Goose stands over twelve feet in height, and is covered in pale frost bitten skin. Cracked and dry hair sticks out in all directions from under a shawl made of living fibers that continually play out and tell stories that humanity has long since forgotten. Her clothes are thread barren and show signs of being mended and damaged many times over. The bottoms of her skirts are cacked in dark mud and grasses, but under them are wicked and cruel clawed cockrel’s feet.
Realm: The Northwood is a dark and bitterly cold realm of Arcadia. The trunks of the trees in the Northwood stretch up to the sky above, so high that clouds form under the canopy. No light can reach the depths of the woods, and even lights brought from other realms find their ability to function severely diminished. Snow piles high at the base of the trees and threatens to swallow up anyone who dares enter the realm.
However there is a path that one can take to move through The Northwood with out succumbing to the deathly cold the Realm offers to unwelcome visitor. Anyone who offers up a Rhyme that Mother Goose has never heard before will find that the snows part and takes them directly to the small cabin located deep in the Northwood.
This cabin is massive for most who enter, but fits the giant Mother Goose just perfectly. It is in here that she tends to The Taleweave, the record of all stories that mankind has ever told each other. Sitting in her rocker, she weaves new lines into the Tapestry as the Changelings she has taken are forced to act them out for her.
Entourage: Mother Goose keeps a multitude of Changelings who serve as Actors in her tales. However few of them are truly loyal to the Gentry. Her greatest Ally in the realm is a great hedgebeast that serves as her mount. This great beast is a huge winged monster that moves silently through the woods and hunts any and all who would try to escape.
The Gander - Hedgebeast ally of Mother Goose
Huntsmen: Mother Goose sends huntsman out to seek out any who would dare escape. They are often statues made of Ice and Wood. They use methods of coercion and manipulation to draw their prey out.
Fetches: There is always a fetch left behind by Mother Goose. A creature whos flesh is made from the same threads used to knit the Taleweave, and its bones of knitting needles. These fetches are deeply flawed and extremely dangerous to those around them, usually falling to their most based desires.