Miranbrück: Adventures – plot hooks for Changeling the Lost

Miranbrueck EnglishBy now, we seem to be almost entirely complete, right? Miranbrück and its Freehold in general, locations of interest within the town and Freehold then two groups of characters (part 1 and part 2). So what are you waiting for?
Well, yes… apart from a setting perhaps a plot could be useful, too.

So far so good, but I won’t make it quite so easy. I actually see little sense in presenting complete adventures in here (apart from the fact that this would be entirely too much work). For one thing, such pre-scripted stories stray into railroading all too easily, and for another I am a firm believer in the idea that adventures really need to be tailored to each individual group with their unique players and characters.

So instead of full adventures I’ll be presenting a number of plothooks, little snippets and ideas, which can be used to set the stage for the player’s actions.

The Ways To and From Arcadia

In 1921, right after one of the Fae had turned its baleful gaze on the Freehold, all the ways leading to Arcadia were closed and barred at great cost. No True Fae bothered to forge a new path to attack the Lost again. But how did they manage to pull this off? How does a Freehold close off the pathways to and from Arcadia so thoroughly, that it is even the slightest bit of an inconvenience to a Fae?

And why are all these ways suddenly open once more? After all, new Lost are arriving again.

Some possibilities for what could be behind this:
The great sacrifices made could have been just that – sacrifices. Jumping out of the proverbial frying pan right into the waiting fire, the Freehold’s malcontents were presented as gifts to another Fae in a most heinous act of betrayal.

The contract sealed by this sacrifice? The Fae agreed to guard the Hedge around Miranbrück for a year and a day for every Lost given to it. 2006 marked the end of this vigil and the Freehold’s original tormentor returned to wreak its revenge. No wonder then, that only a few survived.

On the other hand… some of the Lost do hold some power over the Fae. Perhaps the ways weren’t so much closed but rather their directions changed? If enough Lost with the proper talents were to stay in the Hedge just long enough, they could perhaps reroute the ways to another town.

Naturally, there were victims. The Hedge is a dangerous place, after all, and Arcadia nearer than anywhere else. Just as naturally, those paths would form again given time. Somehow they did appear in the first place, after all.

But why did it happen so suddenly? And is there really no connection to the disappearances of 2006?

If you’re also a fan of Mage, perhaps you might prefer the following option. As Equinox Road amply demonstrates, the Arcadias of Mage and Changeling might be one and the same or at least closely linked. What if the Awakening of an Acanthus creates a path through the Hedge (no matter whether he perceives it or not)? What if the Fae just open these preexisting ways?

Maybe – just maybe – it would be sufficient to simply kill all the Acanthus in the town (or rather sacrifice them in a special ritual as a Contract Clause) to close all those paths again. The Lost could have succeeded in this and 2006 might then have been nothing but the late revenge of a cabal of Mages, who uncovered the long hidden crime.

And if those, who kept the town free of Acanthus, died in 2006, the reopening of the ways was a foregone conclusion.

Stories

As you can see, the ways to and from Arcadia can more or less be considered Miranbrück’s “metaplot”. Accordingly, these ideas are kept a bit vague so as to be open to interpretation.

Obviously, a setting with just a metaplot can be found wanting. There should be more to it. And so there is:

There could be more to the entitlements and associated metaphors than simple naming convention. Music, combat, academia and death might not be exactly the same as Vainglory, Thorns and Brambles, Lucidity and Shade and Spirit but these contracts are close enough in their themes.

Perhaps the individual entitlements enable the Lost filling it to invoke special contract clauses. No matter how such a rumour gets started, it is certain to attract some attention in the Freedhold.

Or perhaps it’s a bit more personal? Maybe those mythic clauses could be exactly the McGuffin one of the PC’s is looking for? In that case, he’d have his work cut out for him, researching the clause, then maneuvering to be appointed to the respective entitlement in the right season.

Optional: Contracts do not work without some kind of payment. Each of the courts possesses an object in the town, which has to be kept and guarded. Upon receiving an entitlement, a character has to swear to protect those four cardinal objects. The catch being that knowledge of what these objects are has been nearly lost over time.

Example: That the town hall hasn’t been demolished yet isn’t a coincidence, but rather the doing of the Lost. The chimes up in the tower are not only a landmark of Miranbrück but also at the centre of an old contract. As long as the chimes dutifully sound day in day out, the court of spring will retain access to their special clauses. Recently, though, Dalia has learned of this secret and wishing to screw over Silke (without breaking her oath) she finally pushed for the administration to make a decision. The old town hall is to be demolished.

To what lengths do the Lost of the spring court have to go to prevent this? Occupy town hall? Bribe or intimidate Dalia? Something else entirely?
Similar setups could be imagined for the other courts as well.

While we are at the topic of entitlements: An entitlement as cold blooded as the assassin (Spring: Harp | Summer: Arrow | Autumn: Secretary | Winter: Poisoned) might not seem like a strange thing to have in a vampiric community, but it does seem slightly out of place in a Freehold. Who had the idea to create such an entitlement? What happened in the Freehold to make it an accepted part of the order of things?

One possibility could be that the entitlement’s true purpose was lost over the years. After all, there are other people responsible for dealing with internal strife. So, the assassin’s job might really have been to “deal” with ordinary humans in matters of interest to the Lost. There are some extraordinary events in the mundane history of Miranbrück. A death here, a blackmail scheme there – a Lost legbreaker could go a long way of explaining things.

How this is interesting? The leader of the Winter court is a politician and she might get an idea or two.

The oath sworn by the leaders is pretty encompassing. Given even the slightest hint of trouble, they are bound to rush to the other’s aid – even if it’s just to reassure themselves. In truth, most of them couldn’t be happier if the other three just ceased to exist, however such a thing might come to pass. They can’t do it themselves, they can’t order others to take care of it and if they knew, they even would have to stop it. There are certain loopholes to get around this, though.

How about explaining this very situation to a sympathetic third party, then letting yourself be locked up while the deed is done. After all, it just says you have to try and aid the others best as you can. There is nothing in the oath about having to succeed. You could spice things up further via mind reading, wishes to the Fae or other elements of the kind.
Or the plan has gone awry, and now the shrew court leader has to move heaven and earth to save his brothers and sisters yet.

Both Erwin and Dalia never killed their fetches. One of them is a patrolman and the other a politician. Who, after all, remembers the face of that beat cop or cares for the communal politician, who always only appears in the last row on any pictures. On the other hand, if it’s your own face (almost), you are bound to notice. The Freehold could get into a lot of trouble with two clever strawmen trying to get rid of the two. Especially if for once they go about things more deliberately.

The description of the Apollo Hotel literally screams “plot”. A public place which not a single Lost could enter – or even so much as thought about – for decades and all of a sudden the ban is lifted. Here more than anywhere else a crossover with Werewolf, Mage or maybe even Vampire might be considered. Especially the more powerful specimens might have kept other supernaturals away without too much effort. But why? Just to protect their “home” such measures seem a bit extreme. Werewolf and Mage would offer the added possibility of a place of power. Mystical energies being channeled through the hotel – and the disappearance of the former owner wouldn’t necessarily have to result in the source of that magic drying up as well. An appropriate Contract might even allow for accessing it.

The priest of St. George’s Cathedral offers an interesting alternative to regaining Clarity. It hasn’t to end there, though. The mystery surrounding him can be interesting enough in its own right. He appears to be just a mundane mortal, possessing Fae vision without anyone having bequeathed such a gift upon him. How bad could things get if that man, to whom so many confessed their secrets in the meantime, turned out to be a spy? Whether of Arcadia, one of the court leaders or some altogether unknown party would remain to be seen. The possibilities appear nigh endless.

Srell is a school counselor. A Lost professionally involved with the fears and sorrows of children. A wellspring of Glamour if there ever was one. Naturally, things can go awry with a scheme like that. A child driven over the edge or one who realises that something is going on and catches on to him. Such things simply cannot be allowed to happen to the perfect Oracle. Srell doesn’t make mistakes.

That way, a vicious cycle of cover-up and revelation may quickly develop and start to spiral out of control. Resulting in the leader of Autumn to be in need of someone trustworthy to take care of his problem.

An adventure of a little more classic bent can be found at the H2O. In the pirate cove, children are going missing and reappear after a few hours. Well, the idea isn’t far fetched (a bad pun I know!) that they are not themselves anymore. So let’s re-examine: Designed as a tropical island for kids, pirate theme and lost boys. Well the only question still remaining in light of this is if we are dealing with a True Fae which is starring as Captain Hook or one who is opting for the guise of Peter Pan (or a cruel caricature of one of them to be more exact). A recurring kidnapping point for a True Fae should attract a lot of folks. Those who want the hotspot sealed or those who want to attack the Fae. Either way, at least the fetches have to be dealt with and somebody should think of the poor children! So, Changelings… Neverland calls and you should answer!

The Museum of Early History has at least one plothook to offer. Just think about it! A whole secret stash of unique Tokens. The only guardian? An old man.

This may be the perfect crime. Whether the group is made up of those who steal the stuff and have to deal with the proverbial Pandora’s box (there are really dangerous tokens there, after all, and no manual is attached) and the investigators of the Freehold hot on their heels, or if they are the investigators themselves and are searching for the culprits (not to mention deal with the effects of the tokens). At least one evening is easily filled with that (and those of you who fancy the “artifact of the week” storyline can even craft a miniature campaign out of this).

Speaking of the old man. Povres is after all not only storing these tokens but searching for them in the Hedge as well. He can deal with the Hedge itself without problems but as the graybeard he is, he may need help nonetheless! Hobgoblins and other dangers are present everywhere. Mostly he will be accompanied by Alder but she can’t be there all the time and even if she could, there might still be things requiring yet more assistance – or perhaps the two of them haven’t come back from their last trip. In any event, it the player characters could very well be the ones who could help out.

And then there is of course our imminent love story between Alder and Salvo. I think this is best served as a side plot for one of the stories above but you could just as well bring it into focus of course.

Alder herself is way too shy to make the first move and Salvo won’t as he barely knows her. But when all is said and done, Alder would go through the Hedge and back for him to paraphrase the saying. When Salvo finds himself in serious trouble, he can serve as the McGuffin for whatever story you want as Alder will recruit any help necessary and promise them everything they want for his safe return.

Oh, and one additional story for the town hall. The woman in the registration office has a lot of strange and crazy things to deal with now that there are really new Changelings coming to town frequently in comparison to before. There is the pledge and the occasional visit from Erwin to guide her of course. In spite of that, though, it is just a matter of time until she snaps, and if she does she could become a major problem! Just think about her blogging sensitive details of the newcomers on the web! Sure, 99% won’t believe her but there are a few supernaturals or even servants of the True Fae who know how to open a browser.

Hidden within the old river port, there is a Goblin market. It is easily reachable at night if you know how and it is open in both directions. If you enter a certain boat through a certain pathway at a certain time, you will end up in the market. And while they were surely frightened at first, a small group of juvenile mortals found out about it. Now, they sell stuff they think they don’t even want (like memories of certain events or people for example) and get goblin fruits in return. A few of those are eaten by themselves but most are sold as a new drug back in the town, turning a tidy profit. It is just a matter of time before the Changelings hear about this and even if the characters are ignoring the rumours, Alder isn’t likely to sit still and so she will ask somebody to investigate.

See you soon… in Miranbrück!

I think this should be enough stories to fill a few evenings after all. In my experience, most of the time this is all a chronicle needs to get started, as whatever happens in these first few evenings will cause enough ripples to generate new adventures in turn. But if you seriously need more ideas, then you should just go back and check out the older articles once again, as there are a few additional ideas hidden in there which were not elaborated upon here.

I sincerely hope a few groups out there will have fun with Miranbrück or at least will be able to recycle a few elements of it for their own chronicles.


Changeling the Lost and related names are the Intellectual Property of White Wolf and protected by Copyright. These items have been used unofficially and quoted exclusively as reference with no infringement on any associated rights intended and without implying endorsement by the copyright holder. Other contents of this article are published without permission or license.

Changeling the Lost und alle damit verbundenen Namen sind Geistiges Eigentum von White Wolf und urheberrechtlich geschützt. Diese Elemente wurden inoffiziell und ausschließlich als Referenz zitiert ohne die Absicht damit verbundene Rechte anzufechten und ohne eine Billigung durch den Rechteinhaber zu implizieren. Andere Inhalte dieses Artikels werden ohne Genehmigung oder Lizenz veröffentlicht.

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