Overview EditChangelings are both born and made. Since undertaking the Changeling Way, they are born in the bodies of human infants and spend the first part of their life as normal children. Many reach their teens and a few even full adulthood before the part of themselves that is of the Dreaming bursts out. This process, at whatever time of life it comes, is the Chrysalis
Hints of the Dreaming Edit
Throughout their lives, most Changelings grow up as misfits in their communities. Some indescribable essence hovers over them and causes others to label them as "gifted," "exceptional," "precocious," or even, appropriately, "fey." Some societies have more derogatory terms for such people. As children they have imaginary playmates who might not be imaginary. They insist on believing in dragons and unicorns and superheroes even after their peers have moved on to sports and dating. As they age they continue to strike their friends and families as eccentric or whimsical and fail to ever really feel comfortable in the world. this sense of not quite belonging comes from the sleeping faerie soul, waiting its time to express itself.
As the time comes for that expression, warning signs occur. The changeling to be catches glimpses of things that are impossible, at least to mortal eyes. They see incredible visions of a world that isn't there to other eyes or creatures that others can't see. Personality disassociation can happen. They smell, or taste, or feel things that others tell them don't exist. Many feel, at this point, that they may be going crazy or approaching a nervous breakdown and seek professional help.
Dream Dance Edit
At some point, usually the most inopportune time for the mortal life, the warnings stop and the high point of the Chrysalis begins: the Dream Dance. Like a natural disaster, Glamour rushes in to surround the awakened Changeling, wrapping him or her in the stuff of raw Dreaming. Nothing they experience has any relation to the world they thought they knew. They often have a hard time perceiving where their body and the rest of the world begins.
Confronted with the Dreaming for the first time, the Fae faces his or her true fae self in the light of chimerical reality. The Mists roll away, more or less, and visions of past lives and even distant Arcadia may come; visions of the future are possible as well. Their deepest dreams and nightmares come to bear, birthing chimera. And the surge of Glamour announces to every fae in the area about what has just happened.
A Changeling is at their most vulnerable during the Dream Dance. Unable to make sense of what is happening, they become a beacon of mystical energy that any supernatural being has a chance to notice. He or she becomes easy prey to some of the more disreputable characters of the World of Darkness, including those who hunt the fae. All changelings in the area are duty-bound to locate the new fae and protect him or her and most do, if only to drink from the wellspring of Glamour associated with the Dance.
Fosterage & Saining Edit
The kithain who find their new sibling usually quickly spirit him or her away to introduce them to their new life in a period called Fosterage, a time of learning what it means to be Fae. This period ends with a Saining ceremony and with the new faerie being accepted as a full member of Kithain society. (See Fosterage, Saining) The Chrysalis technically ends at this point, though many would say the Dream Dance is the end of the phenomenon.
Not every changeling who experiences their Chrysalis can cope with it. Some plunge into madness as their world crumbles. Some take refuge in Banality and deny that anything is real about their new being; they would rather have "normal." A few even turn against the Dreaming and all those things connected to it, joining the ranks of the Dauntain.