A Species of Allutheria
|Habitat: Changelings are found almost exclusively in Allutheria. While some may escape back to Ga'leah, they do not make their status as Changelings known. Nearly all Changelings are in the possession of a Fae, those who are not are often hunted and when captured are returned to their owners or the Goblin Court for punishment.|
A Changeling is a human
child who is taken from Ga’leah
into captivity in Allutheria
. Kidnapped by the Goblins
and enchanted by the King of the Goblin Court
, they are bound by mystical marks of servitude that keep them obedient to their Fae
masters. For the most part.
The Goblin King presides over the Changelings and creates them through a series of spells he keeps carefully guarded from others. Only one other Fae knows part of the secret, Tinkerbell is sometimes contracted out to help him garner more children and has her own variation of the Changeling spells which she uses to make her Lost Boys.
Changelings still appear very much as they did when they were human. Most Changelings are abducted young, but not too young, and aged during their ‘training’ by the Goblin King who uses their lost years to power the shape-changing abilities of the Gobin torcs. All Changelings bear a mark of servitude somewhere on their person. Rarely do you encounter Changelings physically younger than sixteen years of age. Most are much closer to their late teen years if not beyond them. Because Changelings cannot be aged mentally as well as physically, the Goblin King has learned that it is best not to take children too young.
For the most part, Changelings are discouraged from social interactions with other Changelings. Once their training is complete or they have captured the attention of a Fae who wishes to buy them, they are often taken from the Labyrinth to a new home somewhere else in Allutheria.
Many are kept as pets and are therefore most often kept around the Fae, while others attend their Fae Masters as servants. The servants generally have more access to other Changelings and therefore attain a small amount of social interaction.
Changelings were originally created by the Goblin King who began abducting human children from Ga’leah to fuel the magic of his Goblin torcs, a magic that allowed Goblins to assume human form for a time. After he had begun draining the youth from children to feed the magic of the torcs, he discovered that he could ‘train’ the children to attend the Fae as servants and pets. The Fae were enamored with the human children and took great pleasure in subduing the beings who had replaced them in Ga’leah.
Changelings are taken in a variety of ways. Some are abducted, some are bartered for, and some are simply given away. In most cases, the Goblin King provides the human family with a ‘Fetch’, a magical creation that looks and seems exactly like the child the Goblin King has taken but with one major difference. The Fetch will grow ill and ‘die’ within a few days of its introduction into the human family, thereby alleviating any suspicion about the child’s true whereabouts in Allutheria.
In theory a Changeling could reproduce just as any other human being could. However, to bear a child in Allutheria would be to subject it to the fate of being a Changeling from the very moment of its birth. For this reason alone, Changelings are careful never to reproduce. Even those who find their way out of Allutheria often fear having children lest they be taken by the Goblin King. There are, however, a few instances of Changelings who bore children and regretted it.
Changelings have no inherent magical abilities unless granted them by their Fae masters. These magical abilities are seldom given and generally limited to one ability, such as flight.
However, all Changelings do not age from the time that they are ‘marked’ unless they are aged by the Goblin King or their Fae master. If neither party is interested in maturing them, a Changeling will remain the same age indefinitely.
A Changeling’s greatest weakness is the Mark which binds them. It cannot be removed except by magical means. It is also controlled by the Goblin King and any Fae the Goblin King has gifted with mastery of the Mark. Should a Changeling’s Fae Master perish, the Changeling is magically forced to return to the Goblin King to either be sold once again or destroyed, whichever he prefers. This Mark is used to age them physically and uses the years taken away to power the magic of the torcs the Goblin King created to give the Goblins the illusion of a human form.
A Changeling can live indefinitely if their Fae Masters choose not to allow them to age. However, most Fae grow tired of their Changelings over time, eventually aging them from young adulthood to death in a matter of hours to make room for a new Changeling.
Changelings are also vulnerable to physical ailments and injuries which result in death. Though most sickness remains in Ga’leah, some illnesses do travel through the portals with abducted children. Introduction of a disease into a Fae Master’s Changeling collection can greatly diminish the lives the Master holds.
Although some Changelings have been able to escape, they remain vulnerable to the Fae and typically live short, dangerous lives fraught with paranoia.
In addition, a Changeling's mental maturity, intelligence, and education do not mature with the physical body when aged by magic. These things still occur at a normal rate of speed for a human child. It is said that some experienced Fae can mentally mature the Changeling as well, but that the cost of such an enchantment is very high and so it is seldom done.