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The Hedge is a psychoactive realm which divides the Faerie domains of Arcadia from the good old mortal world, with several area-specific mechanics.

The Hedge nearest the mortal world (the Near Hedge) is very similar to its mortal counterpart, including weather, temperature and flora/fauna. If it is snowing and cold in the mortal world, please remember that it is probably snowing and cold in the Hedge as well.

The Hedge nearer the domains of Arcadia (the Deep Hedge) is .. ah, its own special flower of a place. It does not need to have any relationship whatsoever to the real world.

A number of subsections below describe specific mechanics and cosmetic effects.

It must be noted that ANYone can enter the Hedge via an appropriate gateway. ...The problem is finding your way BACK.

The information here (and in the corresponding news files) is a summary of what is written in CtL.

Entering the Hedge

Anyone, changeling or otherwise, can enter or leave the Hedge via an appropriate gateway. Any opening, archway, doorway or even reflective surface is a potential gateway, provided it is large enough for the changeling to pass through. It merely requires a changeling or other fae being to activate it.

To activate a gateway:

  • Be a Changeling or Fae-touched with at least 1 point of Glamour to spend.
  • Touch part of the gateway and make some sort of request to be admitted. A knock or a verbal request ("Let me in, damn it!") is sufficient.
  • Spend a point of Glamour, and if the gate isn't locked/obstructed, it opens.

Gates remain open for a number of turns (3s each) equal to the changeling's Wyrd after the gateway is no longer being used.

e.g. a Wyrd 1 changeling activates a gateway and four of her friends use it. The gateway remains open a further three seconds after the last has used it.

While a gate is open, anyone can blunder through it, or see those on the other side.

Once a door, archway, mirror or any other gap/entrance is made into a gateway, it remains a gateway forever.

A changeling making use of an existing gateway can roll Wyrd instead of spending Glamour to open the gate.

NOTE: Repeated use of a gateway under specific conditions can form keys over time, allowing mortals and other beings to access the Hedge if they meet the key's requirements.

A key may also be deliberately formed, but this is a special case, only useful when handling a changeling's creation of Hollow Doors.

Leaving the Hedge

Leaving the Hedge through a gateway works much the same way. For purposes of this game, if you are in the near Hedge, you are assumed to retain enough of a perspective on the mortal world to simply create a new gate as needed, unless you choose otherwise. Bear in mind that the gate you create will go to a general area, not necessarily exactly where you wanted to end up.

If you are in a Hedge room with 'Deep' in its room name, this is not possible.

A changeling can search for an active gateway, and will probably find one, given enough time. This requires an extended action. The roll is Intelligence + Investigation + Wyrd. The time that each roll represents varies based on how familiar the character is with the surrounding area.

Familiarity Time Per Roll
Very familiar; neighborhood in which the changeling lives or claims domain 1 minute
Somewhat familiar; section of hometown or ally's domain 10 minutes
An area visited only infrequently 30 minutes
The area was only visited once, or described in some detail 1 hour
Unfamiliar area or enemy's domain 3 hours

The number of successes required likewise varies based on how long the changeling has been in the Hedge.

Length of Time in the Hedge Successes Required
Less than one hour 2
One to eight hours 5
Eight to 24 hours 8
24 to 48 hours 10
48 hours to one week 15
More than one week 20

Note that it is possible for a changeling to spend so much time in the Hedge searching for a gateway that the player needs to acquire more successes to escape the Hedge than when the character started looking. Teamwork actions can (and probably should) be used for this search.

Suggested Modifiers: A well-known and often-used gateway is in the area (+2)
Changeling is being chased while searching (-3)
Changeling is off the path (-3).

Navigating the Hedge

Travel in the Hedge, for changelings, is in theory an attractive notion.

Attractive, but dangerous.

Want to walk to New Orleans? If you're lucky, you could get there in a handful of hours. If not... well.

The Hedge is not reality. Getting from point A to point B does not necessarily happen the same way every time.

The process is as follows:

  1. Pick a destination. Roll Clarity to see if you stay on a path.
    • If you fail, you lose the trod and must take the time it takes to locate one again. Navigating when off the trod is done at a -3 penalty.
  2. Roll Intelligence + Survival to see how long the trip will take. The journey takes 10 - Wyrd hours.
    • If traveling in a group, use the lowest Wyrd rating.
    • If you get an exceptional success on your roll, use the highest Wyrd rating instead.
    • If you fail, the walk takes just as long as it would in the mortal world.
    • Any dramatic failures are a failure for the entire group, and result in losing the trod entirely. You will need to find a trod again to try over.

Staff does not expect players to send in +requests every time they travel, but this mechanic IS an aspect of Changeling: the Lost which staff upholds in theme.

Non-Fae in the Hedge

It is perfectly possible for non-fae to enter the Hedge. Not advisable, but possible.

The Hedge is not, by nature, an evil place. It does not tempt mortals to sin or to act against others. It does not change a person's morals (Integrity).

The Hedge changes perspective.

The Hedge lessens inhibitions.

What wouldn't make sense (indulging in gluttony or wrath, theft, murder) in the mortal world can be seen in a different light, through a very different lens. The Fae are not known for fair play. Or justice. Have fun! Stay a while! Leaving won't be kind.

If you are a mortal in the Hedge, do not check for Integrity loss, no matter what you do, until such time as you leave it. At that time, you will make the appropriate Integrity degeneration rolls, starting with the most serious sin and moving to the least serious. If the mortal's Integrity rating drops to the point that a later-occurring sin would no longer be applicable, you need not check that breaking point.

Entering the Hedge

A mortal can enter the Hedge through any of the following methods:

  • Following Someone
  • Using a Key
  • Vice

Following Someone

Any time a changeling or a Fae is on the Hedge side of a gateway, the mortal can see the being for what she truly is and can therefore see the gateway itself, even if it wouldn't normally be visible. For instance, the space between two large bushes might be a gateway into the Hedge, but mortals can normally walk through this space with no ill effects. If a changeling flees into the Hedge through this gateway, and a person watches, however, the mortal can see the changeling (in her seeming, since she can't hide it while in the Hedge) and can suddenly perceive the boundaries of the gateway in the greenery. At this point, the mortal can follow the changeling into the Hedge if he does so before the changeling is out of sight. At that point, the gateway closes to the mortal. Given that, then, changelings can bring mortals into the Hedge, willing or not.

Using a Key

Some keys are passed down from generation to generation, some are common knowledge to an entire village, and some keys are lost when the last person to know them dies.

What if a mortal occultist wants to enter the Hedge? It is possible to discover a key, but this takes careful research and deduction. In game terms, this requires an extended Intelligence + Academics roll. Each roll requires one month of research, and this assumes access to appropriate materials. Such materials include a well-stocked reference library, the Internet, field research (going out and looking around the suspected gateway), changelings and Fae artifacts.


As it turns out, vice is one of the oldest and most potent keys to Faerie. A mortal who regains Willpower from his Vice while in sight of a gateway to the Hedge has a slim chance of noticing that gateway. The mortal's player rolls Wits + Composure at a -2 dice penalty. If the roll succeeds, the mortal notices the gateway and spies something inside it that appeals to his Vice. A Lustful man might see what looks like a beautiful woman resting under a tree. A Greedy woman might see a glint of gold in the branches, etc. If the mortal steps through, the gateway immediately closes and the temptation proves to have been illusion, leaf-shadow, litter on the ground.

Leaving the Hedge

What happens when a mortal wants to leave the Hedge?

Mortals and other supernatural beings in the Hedge can search for gateways just as changelings can, but their players suffer a -3 dice modifier to the roll, as if they were attempting an unskilled Mental task.

If such a character becomes practiced enough in traversing the Hedge to warrant an Investigation Specialty in "Hedge," this penalty no longer applies.

Non-fae can only search for gateways. While a changeling can take a -3 to navigate the Hedge itself, a mortal does not have that option. A mortal is lost.

A mortal is also in peril of losing Integrity, much faster.

A mortal loses one dot of Integrity per hour spent wandering the Thorns off of a path. A player can roll the new Integrity rating to realize what is happening. The mortal feels emotionally and mentally drained.

Effects on Clarity

A changeling's Clarity is, in part, his ability to differentiate between reality and illusion, to trust in their perceptions.

The Hedge breaks that. Perceptions cannot be trusted, no matter how trustworthy they normally are.

As a result, entering the Hedge is a Clarity 10 sin (see news clarity).

Changelings in the Hedge roll normally for Clarity degeneration while they can still see some vestige of the mortal world, but once that 'anchor' is lost, all degeneration rolls are made at a -1 penalty until they leave the Hedge.

The Clarity roll to avoid gaining a derangement is unaffected.

Shaping the Hedge

Changelings, Fae and ensorcelled mortals all affect the Hedge.

  • Mortals - Mortals only shape the Hedge through its inherent feedback loop. (e.g. If they run, they feel they are being chased. If they stop, they may feel as though they must stay still to avoid notice. Fear rebounds on fear rebounds on fear, or anger, or hate, etc.)
  • Ensorcelled - Ensorcelled mortals shape the Hedge slightly more than other mortals, but not as much as even the least potent changeling. The Hedge occasionally produces tiny cosmetic effects similar to those of the changeling to whom they're sworn/enchanted. (e.g. a mortal ensorcelled by Black Aidan, the Airtouched Knight of Thunder, might hear his brutal master's voice in the rumblings from the clouds above, should he think about trying to flee.)
  • Changelings - Wyrd determines the extent, while Seeming (and Court) determine the details. Fae-touched are assumed to affect it as a Wyrd 1 changeling.
If multiple changelings are in the same area, the effects they have on the Hedge meld together in subtle ways, though the changeling with the highest Wyrd rating always has the greatest influence on the area (excepting direct shaping; see below). Motleys shape the Hedge in ways consistent with the overarching theme/purpose of the motley itself. e.g. a motley dedicated to finding and slaying fetches leaves broken branches and destruction in its wake.

Effects of Wyrd on the Hedge

The strength of a changeling's Wyrd score determines just how much their presence alters the Hedge around them.

Wyrd 1 - 2

The changeling's immediate area is subtly changed. From his perspective, this effect extends as far as he can see, but beings that cannot see the changeling can only detect the changes within 50 feet or so, and only within about 10 minutes of his passing (meaning that a skilled tracker can follow a changeling through the Hedge) or until a changeling with a more potent Wyrd enters the area. The details of the changes depend on the changeling's seeming and Court, and should be largely up to the player, but they are cosmetic and subtle. Someone tracking the changeling gains a +1 bonus to attempts to follow his trail.

Wyrd 3 - 4

The effects of the changeling's Wyrd become more pronounced at this level. While the changeling, again, perceives the changes that her Wyrd makes as affecting everything that she can see, everyone within 100 feet can also see the effects. Perceptions start to play tricks on observers. Someone entering the "zone" in which a changeling's Wyrd is in effect might think he sees a row of skulls along a path, but upon closer inspection (if he has the courage to approach), he finds only a few strangely shaped rocks. Trackers receive a +2 modifier to attempts to hunt the changeling, and these changes linger for roughly 30 minutes.

Wyrd 5 - 6

A changeling at this level of power begins to define the Hedge, rather than simply altering it. The very defining features of the area -- the Thorn bushes or high shrubbery that make the Hedge a labyrinth -- enter flux as the Hedge and the changeling's Wyrd struggle for dominance. The Hedge still wins out at this level. Thorn bushes remain thorn bushes, but out of the corner of the changeling's eye, she might see sheets of ice (a Snowskin or Winter Court changeling), crawling insects (Venombite) or even seaweed (Water-Dweller, Swimmerskin or Waterborn). These changes last for a scene or an hour, whichever is longer, after the changeling leaves the area and extend for 500 feet around her. Trackers receive a +3 bonus.

Wyrd 7 - 10

At this level, changelings unconsciously influence the Hedge as described for Wyrd 5 to 6, but they are also capable of deliberately altering the Hedge around them. While changelings can never truly tame the Hedge, as they approach the limits of their power they can change it in their own favor or to hinder an enemy. A changeling with Wyrd 7 or more can change the details of his surroundings, freezing puddles of water solid or reshaping the Thorns to block a larger pursuer. This requires the player to roll Wyrd, subject to the modifiers below. Such effects last for the remainder of the scene or the rest of the day, whichever is longer, with one exception: If the changeling alters the path through the Hedge, this change lasts only for one hour.

High Wyrd Hedge-Shaping

When deliberately altering the Hedge, those paragons at Wyrd 7-10 must roll their Wyrd score with the following modifiers. Multiple modifiers may be applied to a single roll. House Rules are written in blue.

Situation Modifier
Surrounding Hedge is receptive to the change that the character is attempting (freezing water in winter) +1
Character has been in the Hedge for a day +1
Character has been in the Hedge for 3 days. +1
Character has been in the Hedge for a week. +2
Character has been in the Hedge for two weeks. +3
Character has been in the Hedge for a month. +4
The character has a specialty in Occult.Hedge Shaping. +1
Small functional change (temperature changes, silencing birdsong) -1
Notable change; enough to confer a modifier of +/- two dice on a roll (freezing puddles, lengthening Thorns) -2
Impressive change; enough to confer a modifier of +/- three or four dice on a roll (slight altering direction of a path, thickening brush, summoning a swarm of insects) -3
Opening a new path or creating a dead end in an existing one -5

Dramatic Failure: The character's Wyrd clashes with the Hedge. The change that the character was attempting to make does not take place, and the character's unconscious effects on the Hedge are even more pronounced. All bonuses to track the character are doubled until the character leaves the Hedge.
Failure: The desired change does not take effect. The character can try to make the same change again, but doing so costs a point of Glamour.
Success: The desired change takes effect.
Exceptional Success: The desired change takes effect, and the character's Wyrd influences the surrounding Hedge more strongly. The character can make an extra, cosmetic change, which does not require another roll from the player.

Freeholds, Rulers and the Hedge

The Hedge in areas in and around a freehold often changes to fit the temperament and power of the local ruler. Such changes are not any more potent than those listed for the 1 to 2 Wyrd level, but they don't fade over time unless the ruler is removed from power.

They occur in the Hedge within the ruler's defined boundaries, which means that a savvy changeling can tell when she has reached a point of safety (or, conversely, when she is in enemy territory).

The ruler's Court often influences these changes, as well. In the Blue Mountain Duchy, for instance, the foothills of the Hedge sing in the wind, in tribute to the Bardic Duchess Doremma. Because she belongs to the Spring Court, however, flowers, plants and even stones take on the rich blues and lush greens of the Court's heraldry.

Changes in the Hedge based on freehold and rulers can become quite complex as more changelings inhabit an area. If a powerful ruler segments his domain among several other changelings, the Hedge in the area becomes divided as well. The whole area carries the signature of the ruler, but in each of the smaller domains, that domain's ruler makes a mark, too. Some changeling courtiers have become quite expert not only at discerning such boundaries but in puzzling out how loyal to the ruler a given changeling is based on how her Hedge effects interact with the ruler's. (This requires a Wits + Politics roll, with negative or positive modifiers applied based on the investigator's familiarity with the history and the personalities of the area).

In our case, the Fate's Harvest freehold's effects will extend throughout the looptrod areas (H01 - H12), and will change depending on the strength and Court of the current Monarch.

Hedge Duels

No changeling knows why the Hedge responds as it does, but when participants in a duel enter the Hedge, it is very eager to assist. The briars shift back slightly, giving room for the fight. Ambient sources of light brighten, and the Hedge seems to watch, hungrily, as the duel commences.


-Both must enter the same Hedge gate.
-If the duel has a prearranged ending (first blood, death, unconsciousness) it must be stated at the outset. At that point, the Hedge responds.
-Neither needs to be Wyrd 7 or higher. The Hedge responds to the duel whether or not a changeling could ordinarily manipulate it into behaving.

Attacks may be made in three forms:

  1. Physically
    • Use the normal combat rules. This is the mark of a brute or a simpleton in some circles.
  2. Mentally
    • Target your opponent's mind. This is dangerous and unscrupulous.
      WARNING! Using this method IS a Clarity 8 break. You are trying to erode somebody's sanity and will.

      Attacker: roll Manipulation + Subterfuge, contested
      Victim: roll Clarity OR Resolve (whichever is lower) + Composure
      If the attacker's successes exceed the victim's, the victim loses a number of Willpower points equal to the attacker's successes.
      When the victim's Willpower runs out, s/he has been terrorized and degraded. He can continue the duel only at a -2 dice penalty on all actions.
  3. Use the Hedge
    • The attacker uses the Hedge to strike at their enemy. Normally only available to changelings at Wyrd 7 or higher, during a Hedge Duel, branches and brambles swing out from nearby trees, stinging showers of sand or insects erupt from the earth, gouts of flame strike from the sky...

      Attacker: spend 1 Glamour, roll Wits + Wyrd - opponent's Wyrd
      Victim: Defense does NOT apply, but all forms of armor do.

      Dramatic Failure: The Hedge rebels against the attacker. She suffers lethal damage equal to her own Wyrd rating as the attack reverberates back on her.
      Failure: The attack misses; the defender was able to shield himself somehow, or perhaps the Hedge, for whatever capricious reason, refused to respond.
      Success: The defender suffers lethal damage equal to the number of successes rolled.
      Exceptional Success: No further effect beyond the greater amount of damage inflicted.