Miss Bishop leaned back in her chair, and eyed the man who had come into her office before locking the door behind him. He had the lean, ropy musculature of a serpent beneath his cheap suit, and the dead eyes of a shark. She could see where he was packing a heater on his hip, and she had no doubt he was good with it. Good enough to do the job he was usually hired to do, at least.
She was familiar enough with Mr. Delano, and the syndicate that employed him, to know that she was in real danger here. She reached over to the chessboard on the side of her desk, and moved a single piece, feeling the magic run through her fingertips as she did.
"No," Miss Bishop said. That made Delano's eyes widen.
"Perhaps I wasn't clear enough with you, Miss Bishop," the gunman said, his mouth curving into a nasty smile. "My employer wants this matter handled quietly. What would it take for him to do that? You can dictate the terms."
"You were very clear, Mr. Delano," Bishop said as she leaned back in her chair. She watched over the man's shoulder as a figure silently stepped into the room, his body passing through the closed door as if it wasn't even there. A huge man in a black three piece suit, a silver pin on his lapel in the shape of a rearing horse, he would have drawn interest anywhere he went. Bishop could see beneath his mask, though, and she saw the visage of the stone-faced ogre, glamour running through his veins as he took up position behind the client chair Delano sat in. "And while I appreciate you didn't say, 'Name your price,' as well as your basic manners, let me make one thing clear. You're scum, your bosses are scum, and you are all going to have your day in court."
The nasty smile got even wider, and Delano stood, his hand going for his weapon. That was when the ogre drove a fist into the small of Delano's back, the blow landing with such force that the goon was driven to his knees, eyes watering, and mouth open in a silent O of pain. He kept scrabbling for his weapon, but the ogre bent down, and snatched the nine millimeter out of its holster.
"Thank you, Mr. Knight," Bishop said, letting out a breath she hadn't been aware she'd been holding. "Would you please show Mr. Delano out?"
"The door, or the window?" Knight asked.
"The door," Bishop said with a thin smile. "This time."
As Knight dragged the enforcer out by the scruff of his neck, Bishop rubbed her temples. The syndicate wasn't going to play nice after today... fortunately for her, though, she and her associates were no strangers to risky gambits.
A Chessboard World
In Changeling: The Lost, you play a person who was taken by an interdimensional being called a True Fae. A creature of nearly god-like power, it altered your very being, transforming you into a creature with a fae nature. Though you've escaped back to the mortal world, your fae nature maintains, and it is likely you still carry the skills and scars of the role you were made to fill in that True Fae's realm.
Coming up with who your True Fae was, and what they turned you into, is one of the most interesting parts of creating your changeling. However, if you want to put together a group concept where you and the rest of your motley escaped from the same creature (and were made to serve similar purposes) consider the Chessboard Motley.
The motley consists of rook, knight, and bishop, at the very least, and as there were 4 members of each between the two colors, you have a lot of potential history to bring to the table. For example, does the motley have two knights, or two bishops? Are they the same color? If not, do they still have an old rivalry and bad blood because of what was done back in Arcadia? Do they fall into the same old patterns and power structures they used to operate under, or do they attempt to break from the roles they had to become different people?
As an example, does the black knight's ability to move strangely and unexpectedly make them a tactical asset, striking hard and fast? And do they serve the clandestine interests of the Winter Court, in keeping with their tendency to use unexpected strategies, or do they find themselves an agent of fear in Fall? Does the Rook end up as a Summer Courtier, or does their steadfast nature and desire to keep moving forward make them identify more with Spring? Not only that, but does the motley form an organization in the real world (private detective agency, law firm, private military company, etc.), or do they live their separate lives until the freehold calls upon them to put their talents to use?
Lastly, who was their Keeper? Or Keepers, if there was one for the black side of the board, and one for the white?
For example, did the True Fae sit on either side of the board, ordering the strategy and tactics? Or were they each the kings, considered too valuable to ever actually kill, the game ending whenever they were put in unavoidable jeopardy? Or was the king merely a target, while the True Fae took on the roles of the queens, the most powerful pieces on the board? And did the pieces escape when they were captured? Or did something upset the board, scattering the pieces, and giving them their chance to seek freedom? Or were they dismissed from service once the game was finished, and the Gentry had lost interest in them going forward?
There's no right or wrong answer to any of these questions... but they can ensure that dozens of different groups might choose to make this motley, and no two of them will be the same!
If you're in the market for additional Changeling: The Lost content to help round out this idea, consider checking out the following articles and supplements.
- 7 True Fae To Find in Arcadia: Even more True Fae to inspire you, and to help mold your changeling concepts.
- 100 Frailties: As your characters grow in power, they begin to develop fae weaknesses... these can be tough to come up with, so consider grabbing this guide!
- 5 Questions Every Changeling: The Lost Player Should Ask: Whether you're a new or experienced player, always make sure you have answers to these questions.
- 5 Movies You Should Watch To Really "Get" Changeling: The Lost: The concept behind this TTRPG can sometimes be tough to wrap your mind around... but there are a lot of films that help put things into perspective.
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That's all for this week's Unusual Character Concepts post!
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!