Glamour has been with us since the first times. It is the ringing melody of the song of life. It flows like a river through us, on us, around us — a living power. Like the healing water from the Cup of Dreams, the raging fire from the Gae Bolg, and the unblinking stone eye of Balor, Glamour is the very source of our being. It is sacred to us. Drink deep and dream.
- — Eilun Silver-Hair
The living font of all spiritual energy, Glamour flows from the Dreaming to Earth. Indeed, Glamour is concentrated dream, comprising magic, life and beauty. Its truth is hard to fathom, perhaps impossible. The wisest changelings have spent lifetimes studying it, yet it remains a mystery.
Whatever else, Glamour is a precious commodity now that Autumn has come and the Long Winter encroaches. At one time, Glamour filled the very air, free for the taking. Now it grows ever more rare, and gathering it becomes ever more difficult.
As far as anyone knows, Glamour flows from the Dreaming, the ancestral home of all faeries, to Earth. Exactly how it reaches Earth is unknown, but the process seems to have some connection to humanity's creative and artistic faculties. The human imagination evidently has the capacity to open channels to the Dreaming, acting as a siphon and gateway for Glamour.
Still, why this occurs at certain times and not at others is unknown. Nor do changelings understand why Glamour is often found not just in people, but in places and objects that no human has ever touched or that have been abandoned for years. Do the dreams of humanity call Glamour to roost in places, things and people? Does the creativity of great artists and thinkers continue to collect Glamour after the artists themselves have ceased their great Dreaming? No one can tell. Certainly, Glamour shows up in some strange places and among some unexpected people.
Although Glamour is fundamental to changelings' existence, even they have a difficult time explaining exactly what it is. This is because they find it difficult to separate their feelings from their perceptions. The feelings that accompany Glamour are unlike any other, and virtually indescribable in human speech. Furthermore, Banality causes many changelings to forget the ambrosial qualities of Glamour all too quickly. It is difficult to retain the memory of a beautiful, Glamour-filled moment when one must go to work (or school) the next day.
Gameplay and GlamourEdit
The stuff of dreams, the magical clay, the energy of awe, the workings of wonder, the breeze that blows the cobwebs of disbelief from our eyes — Glamour is all these things and more. The ability to live your dreams, to perceive the true and fantastic essence of the world, abides in Glamour. Everyone can create it, even normal humans. Only the fae, however, have the ability to give it form, to use it, and to wield its progeny as a weapon. Only the fae have a connection to and a command of Glamour that no other creature shares.
Raw Glamour can take physical form, and changelings can not only perceive it, but also see its presence. It appears to changelings as multi-colored flickers and tentacles of ever-changing energy. Unlike an aura, raw Glamour does not radiate, but seems to caress over and wind through things and beings, never still, ever evolving. When imbued in a cantrip, Glamour sparks and flickers around both the caster and the target of the cantrip. For this reason, it becomes very difficult for a changeling to cast a cantrip without all other changelings present realizing exactly who did it. A changeling has to be extremely subtle to hide his use of Glamour from other creatures of the Dreaming. Once infused into an item or being, Glamour becomes more rigid, but nevertheless maintains a certain ethereal quality. For example, a chimerical sword swung through the air will leave a trail of shimmering Glamour behind in a wake.
Uses for GlamourEdit
In Changeling, a character uses Glamour to exert control over the different aspects of the Dreaming, including forming chimera and casting cantrips.
• You must spend a temporary point of Glamour each time your character casts a cantrip.
• Sometimes you can spend temporary Glamour in order to extend the duration of a cantrip.
• You must spend a Glamour point (as well as a Willpower point) to Call upon the Wyrd.
• You can use Glamour to create a token in order to enchant a mortal. To do so, the changeling invests a number of temporary points of Glamour into a small item, such as a ribbon or coin, equal to the number of days the changeling wishes the enchantment to last and gifts the item (or food or drink) to the mortal who has to accept it of his own free will and carry it with them, or eat it. They are enchanted for one day per point of temporary Glamour imbued in the item. They will see and interact with Chimerical items, beasts and energy just as Changelings do, but they have no glamour of their own, so they cannot cast cantrips themselves. They can use their Banality to defend against cantrips, but each time they do so, they lose a point of the Glamour given to them by the token. Enchantment is suspended while the mortal is within a freehold and, like Changelings, will not age while enchanted and withing a freehold. After the enchantment wears off, there may be some time displacement, in that they may feel as if many years have passed in only a few days. The Mists will make it difficult for the mortal to remember clearly what happened while he was under the enchantment. (Note: Being Enchanted for too long or too often can drive non-changelings into madness. The more banal, the easier it is. They will climb the Bedlam thresholds much like a Changeling would, with the lower banality characters less likely to reach the higher levels, while high banality characters are in more danger.)
- As a side note, Supernaturals can be Enchanted in the same manner as mortals, with the exception of Wraits, who need to physically manifest first, and Vampires, who get enchanted through drinking Changeling blood. Beware, ye changelings who enchant the Vamps, though, for they are likely to get addicted to the effects.
Several methods exist which allow a changeling to regain temporary Glamour. Under only the rarest of conditions can a changeling regain lost permanent Glamour. For game purposes, it is safe to assume your character is able to refill their Glamour once a week, using one of these methods, unless a GM says otherwise (for plotfoo and whatnot) or the character in question is somehow being kept from refilling his glamour, or choosing not to. Or, on the other side, if the character is particularly greedy, speak to a GM or Wiz about how quickly the character will speed toward Bedlam.
Sanctuary: Getting a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep within a freehold provides a character with one point of temporary Glamour. A freehold may only support a number of changelings equal to twice its level. Furthermore, the character must dream; if her sleep is troubled or disturbed, the Storyteller may choose to withhold the point.
Epiphany: A changeling may take Glamour from mortals (extremely artistic, creative or imaginative human make their own Glamour) or other changelings (or a rare few can use their own mortal selves). An epiphany is a near-overwhelming rush of sensations, ecstasy and emotions that flood into the changeling as she connects directly to the Dreaming for one brief, fleeting moment. A particularly intense epiphany can cause a changeling to switch Court affiliations or change in personality, at least temporarily. There are four paths to Epiphany:
- Reverie: The pathway of Inspiration and by far the most noble. A changeling spends time cultivating a Dreamer, inspiring the mortal to tap into the Dreaming and create a Glamour-filled work. Reverie is looked favorably upon by Kithain because it is sustainable, and more beneficial to the mortal in the long run. Can relate to the Changeling's Musing Threshold, as they are inspiring a mortal to create something that, in turn, inspires the Changeling to feel their connection to the Dreaming.
- Rapture: The pathway of self-inspiration and creation. Rapture allows the changeling to gain Glamour from her own imagination, as she is inspired much like a mortal would be. The moment of Rapture is one of pure and total ecstasy as the changeling connects directly to the Dreaming. The two halves of her nature are united as one for a brief and fleeting moment. Any Kithain who can find it is believed to have reached an ultimate height. In order to achieve Rapture, a changeling must make an artistic or creative breakthrough, which is no small task. The changeling chooses an art or medium in which she excels (though this is not a necessity), and comes up with a vision or an idea that she wants to fulfill before she can begin the long process of seeking Rapture.
- Rhapsody: The pathway of destruction. This is an Unseelie means of epiphany that is strictly forbidden by the Kithain because it destroys any possibility for more Glamour in the future. A changeling can imbue so much raw Glamour into a mortal that he burns like a Roman candle; all his creativity goes into one, final, glorious masterpiece. This is the last creation the artist or Dreamer is capable of as he is left drained forever after. It also destroys the mortal's life so thoroughly that he may become an enemy of changelings subconsciously, if he survives. Many Rhapsodized mortals succumb to exhaustion, suicide or stress-related ailments. The work of art that results from Rhapsody contains copious amounts of Glamour (the item is considered to be a special form of dross — see below). When the work is destroyed, the Glamour is released. (And this is added insult to injury for the artist—not even his greatest creation is allowed to live on.)
- Ravaging: The pathway of theft. This path is banned by the Escheat. It is a simple matter to tear, wrest or rip Glamour from a mortal, and it can be as satisfying as any epiphany. Such an assault taints the epiphany with the psychic anguish of the victim, mixing pain with Glamour — a delicious meal for many Unseelie changelings. Unfortunately, mortals don't have an infinite supply of Glamour, and they need time to replenish their creativity. If their Glamour is stolen from them, it will take much longer than usual for them to rejuvenate. If done too often to the same mortal, they will tap out eventually.
Dross: Dross is fleeting. It does not allow you to restore Glamour to either your temporary or your permanent pool, however dross can be spent in place of Glamour from your pool. The raw essence of the Dreaming sometimes gets trapped in physical form, usually through natural or magical means. Dross can manifest in many natural variations — forest mushrooms, geodes, fern seeds, well-worn river stones. Dross is often contained in the possessions and relics of great people: John Lennon's diary, Picasso's paintbrush or palette, Abraham Lincoln's top hat, or a letter written by either Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss. Dross can take many forms. Below is a sample list.
- Dream stones are beautiful natural objects. Although these items are named dream stones, the majority of them aren't stones at all — they might be anything from a small clump of moss from a rarely visited forest to an unusually formed crystal. Dream stones are distinguishable from their ordinary counterparts — the moss might be an unusual color, or the crystal might glow with a chimerical inner light. Dream stones are usually found around faerie glens and in hidden wilderness grottos. Dream stones usually contain only small amounts of Glamour, from one to three points.
- Mementos are items associated with a person or an event of great inspirational significance. One of Elvis' rhinestone-studded jumpsuits, a pen that belonged to H. P. Lovecraft, a moon rock from mankind's first lunar landing, or even John Belushi's bumblebee outfit could be mementos. Mementos can contain large amounts of Glamour, some as much as 10 points. The more rare the item and the greater the person or event connected with it, the more dross it holds.
- Treasures can hold as little as one or as many as 10 points of Glamour, depending on the significance of the item and the impact it has had on creativity. The original copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare might contain more than 20 points of Glamour, while a canvas painting by a new but well-respected graffiti artist might contain only two. Most treasures are guarded zealously by the Kithain. Some treasures are made specifically to be destroyed, to release the Glamour contained within. Destroying a permanent and important treasure simply for the Glamour within earns the defiler a temporary point of Banality.
- Chimera: Glamour gained from destroying a chimerical beast may be used to replenish a changeling's own depleted score. However, one must consume the flesh of the beast in order to gain any benefits. Doing this repeatedly can cause side effects ranging from purgative to poisonous to Bedlam-inspiring. Chimerical items may also release Glamour when destroyed. The amount of Glamour gained by consuming a beast or breaking a chimerical object is generally proportional to the power of the creature or item.
- Founts: Certain hidden places in the world have a direct connection to the Dreaming. These places, called founts, are highly sought after. In fact, some freeholds are built upon or near these sites, where Glamour bubbles up naturally like a spring. The amount of dross gained by ingesting the Glamour-laden "water" is determined by the Storyteller, although it is usually never more than 10 points in one draught, after which the fount must be allowed to replenish itself before it can be drawn from again. Strange side effects can arise from drinking from certain founts. Anything from hallucinations, nightmares, precognition or an attack of the giggles may result, depending on the Storyteller's discretion and the location of the fount.
Temporary Glamour is lost by spending it to fuel the special effects your character achieves. Permanent Glamour is lost as your character ages. A childling who becomes a wilder loses one permanent Glamour, as does a wilder who becomes a grump. This marks a changeling's gradual slide toward mundanity as he grows older.