Lost In Maryland

Life Among the Local Lost

The Area

Fatti maschii, parole femine (Manly deeds, womanly words)

Though indigenous peoples had been living in the area for many thousands of years, present-day Maryland is regarded as having been founded on March 25, 1634 by Caecilius Calvert, also known as Lord Baltimore. The colonists arrived in two small ships, the Ark and the Dove, and founded what is now St. Mary’s City. Maryland was one of the only Catholic colonies in the Americas, and the Maryland Toleration Act came into being to protect freedom of religion for all Christian sects.

Maryland was one of the border states during the Civil War, though its soldiers were predominately Union and the state was officially part of the Union. No major battles were fought in our area of the state, though the Battle of Antietam in Western Maryland is considered the largest and bloodiest battle the state saw during the Civil War.

The State Bird of Maryland is the Baltimore Oriole; the State Flower is the Black-Eyed Susan. By far the largest city in Maryland is Baltimore, and most state government agencies are centered in Baltimore instead of the State Capital, Annapolis. The Southern Maryland region encompasses our Freehold – Prince George’s, Charles, Saint Mary’s and Calvert Counties. Urban sprawl is rapidly overtaking the once-rural Tri-County area.

In the World of Darkness, that urban sprawl brings with it even more violence and tension than it has out here in the real world. Changelings in the area are lucky, however, as the urbanization of once-rural Maryland has led to some other supernatural populations packing up and moving on, and thus most of the supernatural tension in the area comes from other changelings and the Gentry.

The Courts

The Courts of Southern Maryland split from the Freehold of Washington, D.C. in 1957. Tensions had long run high between the Autumn Queen Llatha and the Winter King Octavian, and finally Llatha and her supporters split from the main Court system and returned to her hometown of Clinton, which is the current unofficial “center” of the Freehold today. Henderson, the Ogre who leads the Margravate still today, took this opportunity to strengthen the March Lords by starting a massive campaign for new members among those Courtless disenchanted with the current state of affairs among the Courts.

Currently, the Spring and Winter Courts hold the most power in Southern Maryland. Their respective Queens have been trying to “one-up” the other for years, and both are powerful women in their own right. Summer and Autumn suffered major blows to their membership following the banishment of the former Summer and Autumn rulers, Dravain and Adriannen, and their current rulers are – as Court leaders go – inexperienced and weak. However, the close nature of Lucianus and Seraphinus has had some effect on the two Courts, which has led Summer and Autumn to work more closely together and spread goodwill between the two factions.

  • The Spring Court: Led by Queen Drusy Chrysocolla, the Spring Court is the second-largest in the area, and some would argue the most powerful in terms of political and community connections.
  • The Summer Court: Led by King Walter Lucianus, the Summer Court is the smallest in the area, though it boasts many changelings known for their prowess in battle.
  • The Autumn Court: Led by King Seraphinus, the Autumn Court is the second-smallest Court. The Autumn Court tends to work behind the scenes in Freehold politics, with several members prominent local religious figures and community activists.
  • The Winter Court: Led by Queen Eltiana, the Winter Court is the largest area Court. It is also the richest of the four Courts, and some might argue the most conservative in terms of politics and issues of the day.
  • The Courtless: Almost a Court unto themselves, the Margravate of the Brim composes the vast majority of Courtless in the area. There are a few individual Courtless located throughout the Freehold; however Henderson’s campaign to “grow the March” has garnered the Courtless a great deal of power.

Otherness

The Hedge

The Hedge around Southern Maryland is full of dense deciduous trees and brambles, as well as a great deal of water. Sometimes the swampy, murky waterways are the only way to traverse great swaths of area within the Hedge. There are numerous Hollows located within the area and many stable Trods, not all of which seem to be known to the Gentry.

Gateways, Trods and Keys

For Changelings, any door can be a gateway into the Hedge. Of course, there are plenty of gateways activated by keys as well. Here are the four best-known entrances into the Hedge:

  • In Point Lookout State Park in Scotland, MD, there is a field where the army hospital once stood. There is a rock that stands just west of the sign commemorating the tuberculosis sanatorium that once stood there, a great granite boulder that seems to have been cloven in half by a huge axe. By placing the palm of both hands on either side of the boulder and hopping through, one may enter the Hedge.
  • In Nanjemoy, there’s an ancient, decrepit black tree that seems ready to fall over at any moment, and yet it’s stood there as long as anyone can remember. Crawling through the great knothole in the roots allows anyone to enter the Hedge.
  • On Solomon’s Island, just to the south of the bridge, there’s a marina. It’s pretty crowded during the day, but if you can sneak under the dock there’s an old, slimy door that’s usually covered by the tides, but with a low tide (and a strong stomach) anyone can enter the Hedge.
  • There’s a great big oak tree in Rock Creek Park – you know the one. Walking counter-clockwise around it three times will bring you into the Mocha Hill Hollow.

Goblin Markets

GoblinMarkets have their own page!

Other Supernaturals

The werewolves got the hell out of Dodge (or Southern Maryland, as it might be) years back, when the inevitable march of human progress began turning the Tri-County area into something resembling Prince George’s County but with more Amish. There’s certainly the possibility of encountering a lone shifter wandering in Freehold territory, but all the packs have long moved on.

Vampires, too, prefer the vastly more cosmopolitan District of Columbia to Maryland. Prince Banister is the reigning Prince of DC, and Queen Drusy of the Spring Court is apparently on good terms with the Prince via his Seneschal, Cedric. However, there isn’t much overlap between the bloodsuckers and the changelings, at least in terms of the Southern Maryland Freehold.

There are a few mage cabals scattered throughout the region, and on occasion a cabal has attempted to locate, subdue, and “study” one of Southern Maryland’s Lost. These “mage-hunts” are met with swift, often violent reprisal from the Courts (or the Margravate, depending on the stolen changeling’s affiliation.)

Prometheans, being as rare as they are, only wander through the area on occasion. Recently, a motley of Waldorf Lost helped a Promethean named Loyola retrieve his son, Moses, and defeat his Promethean offspring, a Centimanus named Faith who was working with a True Fae called The Good Doctor. Faith was dragged off into Arcadia by the Doctor; Loyola and Moses have since moved on to West Virginia. This uproar was the first anyone had heard of the Created being active within Southern Maryland in fifty years.

Rumors and Legends

  • “I heard that Queen Drusy’s on really good terms with that vampire Seneschal Cedric, if you know what I mean. …You don’t know what I mean. Think about it. They call his kind Succubi for a reason.”
  • “I heard that King Lucianus really misses his Keeper. My friend said that he has it on good authority that he’s really a Loyalist, and he’s trying to infiltrate the Summer Court in an attempt to break the Court Contract with the season so his freaky princess can take him away to Arcadia, along with every other Summer fae.”
  • “Have you ever been into that bookstore down in Prince Frederick? You know the one I’m talking about – full of old books from floor to ceiling? Run by that Antiquarian, Nestor? Yeah, that one. I heard that Nestor’s an exiled True Fae. No, hear me out – he got banished for something really weird, and the other Gentry won’t let him back until he gets his hand on this one particular book. Some biblical thing. I don’t know, I heard it from this chick in my girlfriend’s motley.”
  • “My friend’s roommate’s ensorcelled mortal girlfriend knows this vampire that’s addicted to fae blood. Says it tastes like candy or some shit. Apparently he’s been stalking Lost in the DC Freehold – how long until one of the bloodsuckers shows up down here?”
  • “Ever heard of The Bunnyman? The one from Fairfax? He’s really a Scarecrow Minister, and he moved down here three years ago…”
  • “Every generation, some poor schmuck Lost gets picked by the Powers That Be to become the new Blue Dog. Oh, sure, you always find changelings who appropriate that name for their own use down here, but there’s really a Blue Dog, and it’s not guarding it’s master’s buried treasure, it’s guarding an Inamorata. You know, a dead True Fae. A really dead True Fae. No, I don’t know what it looks like. All I know is that my friend Starsong disappeared three weeks ago, on February 8, and I saw a big blue dog prowling out behind my house that very night…”

Fun and Games

Not everything about Changeling society is violent, scary, and depressing. Occasionally, being Lost brings with it access to wonderful things that mere mortals don’t even know exist.

Hospitality

The hospitality symbol for Southern Maryland is a green pineapple, stylized in such a way that the fruit seems to be full of pomegranate seeds. One might find this on pottery in a local home-goods store, taped to the inside window of a bookstore, as a stained-glass window in a restaurant or church, or even as a sticker plastered all over a brick wall in some downtown area.

The following places are well-known for their acceptance and defense of young, scared, and inexperienced Lost who’ve just made it back to reality:

  • Blue Moon Holistics on Solomon’s Island. Run by Clare Seaward, a Courtless Swimmerskin who will occasionally shut down her business to allow visitors to sleep in the back room.
  • The Candlelight Inn in Indian Head. Run by Taro and Susan Mikimoto, an Oni and his ensorcelled mortal wife. They will frequently allow Lost trying to get on their feet to stay for as long as they need to, within reason.
  • Pandora’s Basement in College Park. Run by Giovanna “Sundown” da Silva, a Nightsinger, and her partner, Chandani Shah, a Gangharva. The couple will allow anyone who needs to to sleep on the couches in the nightclub for as long as they’d like, though they must either participate in the debauchery or vacate when the club is open for business.

Public and Semi-Public Hollows

Some Lost operate places of business completely or partially within a Hollow. Some well-known Hollows:

  • The Hog’s Head Tavern in Waldorf, run by the Hog’s Head Quartet: Mack (a Brewer) and the rest of his motley. While the bar is not a Hollow, it does boast a small cavern accessible through the back door that is used for storage purposes. Humans occasionally visit the rather sleazy, dingy dive bar, but most of its patrons are changelings.
  • The “upper level” of Pandora’s Basement exists in a Hollow (size 3, amenities 5, doors 3, wards 3). Unlike the half-wild party that goes on “downstairs,” the Hollow is quiet, relaxing, and full of fantastic amenities like fountains that dispense high-quality champagne, swarms of brilliantly-colored butterflies that breeze about the room bringing with them wonderful scents, and a hot tub area that appears to be a miniature rain forest.
  • Mocha Hill, the coffee-growing Hollow and coffeeshop tended to by Kendrick and jointly run by Roscoe (a Skitterskulk) and Tiberius (a Stonebones ogre vaguely reminiscient of the old Nordic trolls), who provide its dual character: home of dutiful knights and mocking fools. Stephanos, the much-beloved Draconic rocker, frequents this Hollow and can frequently be found playing a gig within its walls. (Size: 4 Amenities: 5 Doors: 3 Wards: 5)

Court Events

  • Spring Court – The Spring Court holds a Homecoming ball (held on May 6, the date Drusy escaped Duke Chton’s gardens) every year. This grand formal ball encompasses many of the traditions found in most other courts’ Spring Revels. (The Spring Revel is not celebrated among Southern Maryland Lost.) The Spring Court holds many smaller balls, dinners, and unofficial parties throughout the year.
  • Summer Court – The small Summer Court holds a few minor competitions throughout the year. Its largest celebration, however, is Pennons (June 24, Midsummer’s Day.) A mortal stumbling upon the celebration (which is always held ion a farm or other secluded area) would probably mistake this for an eccentric Renaissance Festival of sorts, what with all the jousting, mock combat, and musical and poetic festivities.
  • Autumn Court – The Ashen Hunt begins on the Autumnal Equinox and lasts for two days. The Autumn courtiers will frequently target an Autumn Court member’s Fetch and plot its demise months in advance, making sure that it is in the right place at the right time to be hunted through areas both urban and rural without attracting undue attention. Lectures from members of other Autumn Courts (and occasionally mortal occultists) are common throughout the season, and the Fallen Fair is held the last day of Autumn’s reign (December 20).
  • Winter Court – Carnival is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras). During this celebration (which takes the place of the Winter Formal found in other Freeholds) identities are kept secret, and no retribution for any word spoken or deed done can be taken. (Barring, of course, physical or magical violence.) The Winter Queen or King must serve as “Jester” to the Carnival King or Queen, typically a drunk, drugged or oblivious mortal still reeling from Mardi Gras debauchery. There are two Winter Markets held during Winter’s reign, one at the beginning and one at the end. Each Market lasts for twenty-four hours.

Motleys of Repute

Devil’s Nest – Based in a rural area of Waldorf, the Devil’s Nest motley runs a farm and maintains a private Hollow in which Goblin Fruits are grown. It is comprised of Busy Lizzy and Burl (both Woodbloods,) Doreen Green (Skogsra), Hoss and Daisy Mae (Broadbacks), and Granny Taters (Woodwalker), as well as Granny’s Hedge Beast Companion, equine Content Not Found: sorrel. Their cultivated fruits are available to anyone who might ask, and this commune of hippie souls is always up for bartering.

Fat Bottomed Girls – Based in College Park, the Fat Bottomed Girls motley is famous (some might say infamous) for being not only proud to be changelings, but unabashedly queer. Composed of Sundown (Nightsinger,) Miss Anthropic (Gandharva,) Lucy Diamond (Polychromatic,) Chanticleer (Thusser,) Coma Berenice (Telluric,) and Dara Dorian (Illes.) Very politically active, both in changeling society and LGBT society, though very rarely active in polite society. The nightclub owned by Sundown and Miss Anthropic is well-known and popular in the DC area as a haven for changelings and LGBT mortals.

The Dream Police – Based in St. Mary’s County, The Dream Police can often be found patrolling Point Lookout State Park, home to several active Trods. Composed of Tom O’Bedlam (Moonborn,) Halvard (Stonebones,) Sister Shiloh (Weiss Frau,) “Big” Bertha (Troll) and Tom Nutt (Soldier.) A very militant and oft-times survivalist motley.

Mad Maudlins – Based in the Scientists’ Cliffs area of Calvert County, the Mad Maudlins run Radio Free Fae, disseminating information to other Lost via the airways and more recently through internet Podcasts, streaming radio, and blogs written in highly coded and obtuse language. Mally Dixon (True Friend,) Nestor (Antiquarian,) Molly Boggle (Pishacha,) Mother Holly (Witchtooth,) and Johnny-Cake (Pamarindo) compose the motley.

Two Lovely Children – The Two Lovely Children (a motley with a misleading name if ever there was one) is composed of Melusine (Nix,) John-a-Dreams (Author,) Nene Menehune (Artist,) and Sataga the Blue Jackal (Coyote.) It publishes a ‘zine, also titled “Two Lovely Children,” in both electronic and hard-copy format. Like the Mad Maudlins, with whom the Lovely Children often collaborate, the language is almost indecipherable to mortals and novice fae, and – they hope – to the True Fae and their agents. Poetry, artwork, fiction, and anonymous “letters to the editor” furiously attacking “parents,” “bosses,” or other thinly-veiled euphemisms for one’s Keeper are common.

Red Ships of Spain – The Red Ships of Spain are an influential motley composed of Seraphinus (Draconic), Walter Lucianus (Fairest), and Zero, Son of the Atom (Blightbent). Their LAN parties are without compare.

Rat Cellar Dwellers – The Rat Cellar Dwellers are Mocha Hill’s own motley of drunks, scoundrels, and troublemakers. The hidden basement of Mocha Hill is their official (as official as anything can be with this group) meeting and hangout place. Once per month, they play “kangaroo court” and bestow upon themselves all sorts of ridiculous titles and punishments. Every month one member of the motley is declared the Court Asshat and must wear a hat vaguely shaped like a giant butt to official Mocha Hill court functions. Composed of Roscoe, Stephanos, Kestrel Mane, Caleb, Janica, Yumboe, and Peg Powler.

Changeling Roll-Call, by Court

See Mocha Hill Roll Call for the updated list of changelings in the Mocha Hill area.

Lost In Maryland

Fair Damsels and Foul Treachery bobbert0476