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Mantle represents a mystical connection between a fae and the elements and emotions that a particular Court embodies. The higher a changeling’s Mantle rating, the more he has come to embody that Court’s ideals.
From a descriptive perspective, as a character’s Mantle rises, his fae mien reflects this ascendance, displaying both literal and figurative signs of the season around the character. These trappings are not visible to mortals and have no real game effect, but should be used to enhance a character’s description and convey a sense of how rooted in her Court she has become.
A character may learn clauses from the relevant Contract path of his Court, which generally require a certain amount of Mantle to learn, though he must still meet any other prerequisite as well. Should his Mantle fall or he adopt the Mantle of a new Court, he might no longer meet the prerequisites for some of his old Contracts; in that case, he must spend additional glamour to activate those Contracts.
Each Court has certain mechanical and descriptive benefits for all its members developing a Mantle rating.
In addition to those benefits, each Court has a benefit reserved for its leader, an advantage most commonly referred to its “crown.” A crown can only manifest in a freehold where there are at least a handful of members of a particular Court and they are able to choose a common leader, and generally manifests only during the appropriate physical season.
As we can observe in the freehold of Miami, a crown will occasionally manifest during the off-season if a Court is especially prominent or powerful in the area. As the Hedge reflects the Court’s potency, or a changeling who is elected leader of the freehold might manifest his crown out of season if he is sufficiently popular. Note that the leader of a Court is not always the member with a highest Mantle rating, often referred to as the King or Queen of its respective season.
- Changeling: The Lost Rulebook, p. 45, 48, 52, 56, 60, 97-98, 124