Nettle and Mistletoe

The Heirarchy

You live in the County of the Crystal River, which comprises the St. Paul area and its suburbs. The local Countess, Anisavallach Speardancer, is a Sidhe of House Scathach. Though Unseelie, she’s a fair ruler, known to sympathize with her Commoner vassals (probably because she is of the Scathach that stayed behind during the Interregnum). The two major gathering places in the County are located at the Freehold itself (in Lilydale Park) and the Ordway theater.

The County of Crystal Lakes neighbors the County of the Crystal River and comprises the rest of the Twin Cities metro area. The Count of Crystal Lakes is a Seelie Sidhe of House Eiluned named Alistair Thompson. Relatively little is known about his court in the County of the Crystal River, as Alistair and Anisavallach do not get along. The only known stronghold in that county is located at the Guthrie Theater.

The Counties reside in the Duchy of Lakes, which comprises most of mundane Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Duchy is ruled over by Duke Taranir Goldenwing, also of House Scathach, and is known to yearly make the Oath of Truehearts with Countess Anisavallach.

The overarching realm is the Kingdom of Grass, ruled over by the ever-pragmatic Queen Mary Elizabeth of House Dougal. The radical sentiments expressed by her Duke and Countess may ruffle her proverbial feathers, but she is not unwilling to use every resource at her disposal, and the Duke and Countess curry enough favor from the Commoners that any aggravation is well worth it.

Freehold of the Crystal River

This is Countess Anisavallach‘s stronghold. The freehold is located in Lilydale Park, in some caves located off one of the main trails. To get to the Countess’s audience chamber, one must always take the left fork.

Changelings of all kinds congregate here, as well as influential allies such as Marie Willings and Saffir “Voice of Faerie”. Saffir can often be found in a room dedicated to physical training, while Marie has her own tower attached by spiral staircase to the freehold.

St. Paul Open School

Located at 90 Western Avenue South, St. Paul Open School is a Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade institution that is highly recommended. It has diversity, and multi-age classrooms that allow students to progress at their own pace. Often, children of high-school age attend classes at post-secondary institutions nearby such as Hamline, Macalester or Concordia Universities.

Miss Miller and Mr. Brown are first grade students here, and Miss Brooks is a tenth grade student.

Allies - Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage is a pack of Garou from Sept of River’s Might bound by the spirit, Twister. This pack is the sept’s war pack, but also the pack designated to deal with any problems the Changeling Courts have. This is because they picked up Saffir “Glór ar Sí” as a member, and her duties revolve around helping the Fae deal with problems.

The alpha of the pack is an adren Fianna Galliard named Mikkel “Dueling Crescendo”, who is, with Saffir, a member of the tribal camp that deals with the fae, the Tuatha de Fionn. His beta is an adren Get of Fenris Metis Ahroun named “Captain Hammer”. Other pack members are ’74 Gremlin “Driver Miss Daisy” (a.k.a. “Driver”, a fostern Bone Gnawer Theurge), Gremlin “Ride-Crasher” (a.k.a. “Crasher”, an adren Bone Gnawer Ragabash), and James Carnegie “Painful Truth”(a fostern Silver Fang Philodox).

Mikkel and James are well known at the Freehold of the Crystal River for their close relationship with each other, and with Marie, and are often with Saffir for training the more advanced combat students.

Allies - Marie Willings

When Marie first arrived at the Freehold of the Crystal River, her reception was cold. After all, this was a will-worker, one who could drain the freehold of it’s Glamour and destroy it in the process. On top of this, her mother and brother were known and ranking members at the freehold in the Ordway, the family resemblance too much to mistake.

However, after talks improved the relations between the Freehold and the Chantry located beneath the Minneapolis Downtown Library, she was slowly allowed more privileges. Eventually, this lead to a spot on the Countess’ private council and her own tower Sanctum attached to the Freehold.

She advises the Countess primarily on Occult matters, and how the Chantry can help the Freehold or vice versa. Beyond this, she’s a skilled Oneiromancer, working most of her Magick while in a dream-like meditative state, and walking in the dreams of others so as to better interpret them. When the Duke is unavailable at a Saining, it is, in fact, Marie who performs the ritual to find the Changeling’s True Name.

The Ordway

Oh the Ordway – with it’s two theaters for music and stage, it’s a prime spot in the County of the Crystal River for Glamour… However, it is the one place in her entire County that Countess Anisavallach does not hold any power.

That is because it is a known Shadow Court holding, one that the Countess had to give them in order to keep their machinations out of her Freehold. She does not approve of any venturing there, but cannot legitimately stop any from coming and going.

The hierarchy at the Ordway freehold is unknown to any who stick to the Countess’ Freehold but it’s an extremely sore point for the Countess.

The truce is tenuous at best, and there are some stirrings that forewarn of an outbreak coming soon.

Dakota Jazz Club

The Countess has mixed feelings about this location within her domain, feeling that half the supernaturals here are less dangerous, and the other half are as banal as your average CEO

I’m of course speaking of the Vampires.

They hold the Dakota Jazz Club and have their private meetings in the VIP lounge above stairs. While not strictly antagonistic (in fact, some are known to give blood willingly to the less banal of the lot, which call themselves “Toreador”), they are considered a nuisance at best and a menace at worst by the changeling hierarchy. So far, a tentative truce has kept them feeding on willing donors or on blood bags smuggled out of hospitals, but no truce lasts forever….

Minneapolis Downtown Public Library

Some years ago, coincidentally, inspectors of the old Downtown Library discovered cracks in the foundation, which forced a debate in the local government of what to do about it. To fix the foundation would cost as much as to build an entirely new library, so what to do? Due to the influences of a few members of the Minneapolis Chantry, known among the Mages as the Chantry of the Dancing Water, the government elected to build a new library. Further influence ensured that no one noticed the extra sub-levels.

So it came to be that the Chantry of the Dancing Water took up its primary residence in the sub-basements of the Minneapolis Downtown Public Library. It is this chantry that Marie Willings serves as the “ambassador” for. There are several branches in other major metropolitan area libraries (the main sub-branch being at the Downtown St. Paul Public Library), to say nothing of a few notable houses (like the Hill House), but everything goes through the Chantry of the Dancing Water, and every mage, no matter which is closest to their Sanctum, will attend at least one meeting at the Minneapolis location.

It’s a multi-traditional Chantry, which seems to work by way of keeping the traditions separate but equally respected. The Hermetics and the Choristers have recently had a huge split (primarily over Miss Willings), and it’s only the fact that a war would draw too much attention from the Technocracy (to say nothing of Paradox) that keeps them in line at the moment.

County of the Crystal Lakes

The court in Minneapolis, led by Count Alistair of House Eiluned and the Seelie Court, is mostly unknown to those in the County of the Crystal River. Only the major holding is known; the freehold located in the Guthrie Theater.

Members of the freehold hold positions in the theater, or give lessons in music in practice rooms there. Because of the theater and concert hall, the Guthrie is a prime locale for Changelings.

Count Alistair and Countess Anisavallach are known to not get along and frequently exchange insults. Their respective messengers are often abused verbally for delivering their missives. To say relations are not good is an understatement. Even when Duke Taranir tries to mediate between the two, Count Alistair rails about the Duke’s bias and negotiations go nowhere. Any attempts to get Queen Mary Elizabeth to intervene fall on deaf ears, as the Queen refuses to meddle in something so frivolous as a petty rivalry between Counts.

Barony of the Dancing Lights
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival

In Shakopee, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival spans over 22 acres, making it a small Barony, but a Glamour-rich one. Because of it’s relative wealth, Unseelie Baron Sean Findlay (known to his fellow Festies as John “Johnny-Bear” Behr, which is perhaps why he resembles a bear given human form in his Fae Mien) of House Daireann can choose who he aligns himself with, even though his Barony technically owes it’s fealty to the Count of the Crystal Lakes.

Because Count Alistair didn’t actually trust the Baron who’d been installed by his predecessor, Baron Sean felt no guilt over switching his fealty to Countess Anisavallach, which has been just one of many sore points between the two Counties.

The Countess and the Baron get along fairly well, though one would suspect from their interactions a rivalry. However, it never actually seems to be anything more than a friendly one. Relations are very good and sharing subjects (given that the Fair is only open for two months of the year) is common between them.


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