Fair Damsels and Foul Treachery
Innkeeper of the Lost
Taro, born in 1936 to first-generation Japanese immigrants, spent three years of his childhood in the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. After the Japanese internment camps shut down, his family moved to Virginia. A very shy child whose formative years were spent in hardship, Taro did not get on well with his peers and often lashed out. The aggressive behavior shown by their son was embarrassing to his parents, and they arranged to have him sent to a military school.
Posing as a staff member of the school, Taro’s Keeper led him and three other young men off. There, the changelings were forced to work in the Fae’s slaughterhouse, subduing and killing Hedge creatures, skinning and preparing the flesh and boiling the bones. The beasts were obviously not willing to go along with their slaughter, and often even the skeletons or blood or dripping raw flesh would lash out at the slaughterhouse workers. This proved Taro’s means of escape, however, when one particularly large nightmare went after the Keeper itself, giving Taro and some of his peers the chance to slip out of the factory through a bloodied grate and swim their way to safety.
Back in the real world, Taro was forced to come to terms with the fact that he was much too young to simply slip back into his old life, even though his Fetch had died years before. Instead he joined up with the Winter Court, established a new identity, and met his future wife Susan. Susan’s family had owned the Candlelight Inn for several generations, and now she and Taro staff it, offering hospitality to changelings fresh from the Hedge and Winter courtiers who need a place to lay low for a while, as well as mortals who simply think of the place as a charming bed and breakfast with rather eccentric owners.