Oak Up-Rooted

A History of the Fall

The hushed whispers of a prophecy foretelling the fall of the freehold have come true. On the first night of Winter, a Blizzard swept through Talloke. It was truly devastating, but not just for the damage of the high winds and heavy snows. For that night, the True Fae returned.

Most Changelings that had gathered for the Changing of the Seasons were just trying to forget their troubles for a little while. Many of their friends had disappeared at an alarming rate. The numbers had dwindled. Most Changelings were not willing to leave the Hollow’s grounds, fearing an attack. Little did they know, they were walking right into a trap. After most of the Goblin Wine had been drunk, the Winter King stood to give a final toast.

My fellow Changelings, a new time has come. The Winter is here! Its pure white snowfall is a symbol of purity and rebirth. But for the rebirth of a Kingdom, so must a cleansing first occur. It is time for the Courts to be cleansed.

As he lifted his glass, the confused looks on his subject’s faces changed to alarm. The faces of their old Masters appeared amongst the walls, from the shadows. Screams of horror rang out as it was a mad scramble to try and escape recapture. Most, sadly, did not make it out of the Hollow safely.

Some, however, were wise to this plan. The Autumn Court was wise to the Winter King’s plan. Most of the Autumn Changelings did not show to the party. Those that had to for formalities quickly left the party, blaming the bad weather for their early retirement. Together, they gathered in a secret Hollow. Those that would listen to their warnings came with them. Together, they shut the doors of the secret room and hid in safety for the rest of Winter. The town suffered a severe population loss, but the blizzard did not end until the Fae were sure they had gotten all the Changelings they could. The town was all but abandoned for an entire season.

As Spring approached, the new Flower King was determined to give the Freehold the new beginning it needed. Now a hero among the town, he rallied the scared Changelings into action. They took back their homes. They rebuilt and reformed the secret Hollow below the library.

Inspired by the new King, the Ogre that took to being the leader of the Summer Changelings decided an army was needed. Most of the Summer Changelings who had survived were well-equipped to fill such roles. Even some of the other seasons decided they would like to serve for the Courts in this manner.

While the Autumn Court had already done more than enough to save the Freehold (including a surprise attack on the invading Gentry that left them dazzled and allowed the Court to save even more Changelings from recapture), they continued to give aid with their keen sense of Magic. The Autumn Queen was key in helping to reshape the Hedge that made up their homes, and to add in more security to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

Though many refuse to acknowledge it, the Winter Court perhaps did the most for the Freehold. Ashamed, almost every Winter Court Changeling was determined to regain their good name. They took up many dangerous tasks, hoping to prove their worth once again. Many do not like the new Ice Queen, so named because of her icy, stand-offish demeanor. It’s not that she is mean, no, she just has to be the strong leader to withstand verbal attacks from the other Courts.

The Courts have seen quite the change in social dynamics. Once viewed as flighty, the Spring Court is now among the most honored. The Summer Court is now viewed as a very regimented group. Those of the Autumn Court are quite mysterious, and often seem distrusting of the other Courts (especially Winter—the Autumn Changelings perhaps hold the greatest grudge). And now, Winter, which used to be simply a calm, pleasant and rarely troublesome group, is the scum of the Hollow.

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