Changeling: Bellevue; The Daedalus Shards
The Freehold of the Eastern Estate:
Founded originally in 1923 by Nathan “The Butcher” Benedict and Alyssa “The Mad” Vermillion. The Freehold of the Eastern Estate was once an exclusive well-to-do apartment complex set apart from the hectic hustle and bustle of the urban jungle. It was a place of peace. A haven where Lost could rest easy apart from the lurking monsters and lunatics walking the streets.
While originally small compared to Seattle’s Freehold of the Four Winds (who were composed of the Asiatic Directional Courts) the Freehold of the Eastern Estate managed to attract a small band of followers who leaned towards the more Western oriented Seasonal philosophies. Neither freehold was particularly fond of the other, but the Eastern Estate was simply no threat to the greater of the two. This combined with distance led to a tenuous relationship, sometimes amicable sometimes not, that lasted for nearly forty years.
“As my Grandfather once said: Time is a bitch.”
-Boudica “The Brutal”
In 1984 tragedy struck and in a night of horror the entire Freehold of the Four Winds was silenced permanently. A dark hunt led by some of the regions most notorious keepers found a way to breach the Freehold of the Four Winds defenses during a much lauded celebration – and stripped it bare of all life.
Those belonging to the Freehold who had missed the celebration were left to fend for themselves. Many were snatched in the dark nights that followed, but many more fled to The Freehold of the Eastern Estate to cloister for safety. There the survivors molded into the existing Freehold framework and prepared to be assaulted. Summer sharpened their knives, Winter pulled the cold rain close like a blanket, Autumn wove its spells, and Spring prepared distractions. For two years they waited with baited breath, but the killing stroke never came.
Seattle to this day remains a dangerous place. Filled with the ghosts of the lost littered with rumors of Keepers. The Freehold of the Eastern Estate however, has become a bastion of strength. Still not as powerful as the Freehold of the Four Winds that preceded it – it stands the testament of time. An old survivor.
As time must create, so too must it destroy. Ninety years of entropy and decay have not treated the Freehold of the Eastern Estate kindly. The once lavish complex has long since been swallowed by the expanding city of Bellevue. What remains is now fully integrated into lower income housing.
Despite the fading paint and relentless march of decay, the wooden structure of the original gentile building still exists. The paint falls off in patches like clumps of hair and the framework falls out like rotten teeth, but the heart of the grounds remain largely unchanged.
The Freehold, currently under leadership of “The Ghost”, masquerades as a homeless shelter with limited capacity. They take in a select clientele when “space is available”. In particular, this means that they only cater to the Lost.
“It is said that when Nathan returned to the mortal world and saw his wife sleeping with his fetch that he was driven into an uncontrollable rage. In his blind fury he killed both of them. Afterwards, in a panic, he burned the grounds to hide his tracks.. The police searched for a culprit, but Nathan fled to nearby Seattle where he met up with the Freehold of the Four Winds. It wasn’t until much later, when he had grown in merit and influence, that he re-purchased his old grounds under an alias and started reconstruction.”
- History of the Eastern Estate. Ch. 1, Pg. 23.
“Nathan and Alyssa were a paranoid lot. Legend has it that they had the earth around the building ground up and salted in an off the cuff belief that it would keep spirits and the Fae at bay. Even now.. those of the Flowering or Woodblood lineages often express feeling suffocated when staying here for long periods of time.”
- History of the Eastern Estate. Ch. 3, Pg. 65.
In the 1980s, during an attempted renovation, a lift was built into the central stairwell to help those occupants that had trouble with stairs. Nowadays it doesn’t see much use; and when it does the sound of creaking and groaning gears wake up even the most stalwart sleeper.
Despite its appearance, the building itself is actually considered a supernatural fortress by the lost. Rumors of ghosts are always circulating, but a second glance almost always reveals a natural cause. Indeed the building itself is often more off putting to non-changelings than to them. Perhaps this is intended and Autumn court had a hand in the whole deal?
The Freehold of the Eastern Estate relies on a series of shifting seasonal Kings and Queens. To help keep peace, and to keep goals in alignment, the four of them have their own Motley. Entrance and expulsion are based upon maintaining the crown of their particular season.
Shepherds of the Eastern Estate: Leaders of the Eastern Estate. They reside an expensive condo two blocks from the Estate itself.
Drunken Fisherman: Need a place to hide for a night or two? Ask one of the Drunken Fisherman. They hang out by a bar of the same name near the Lake Washington waterfront. Find the door in the establishment with a crudely drawn fish drinking out of a keg. Inside will be someone who can help.
The Wayward Night: Wizened hedge magicians and goblin marketeers. The Wayward Night make it their business to know about anything that goes bump in the night.
The Battle Guild: A noble band of warriors and bodyguards. They offer their services for free to fellow lost in an emergency, but charge a premium for extra-curricular activities.
12th Street Station: Located in an apartment block by the 12th street metro, these daredevil adventurers make their claim to fame by knowing every physical nook and cranny of Bellevue. They also know a few secret spots in Seattle that they will share for a favor.
The Teamsters: A Motley specializing in the mechanical. They boast a couple of bikers, a machinist, and several local truckers. They are a wily band of hedge-crafters and token makers whose every skill is available for a price.
The Freehold Pledge:
The Changeling swears himself to the service of a leader and pays a yearly tithe of Glamour equal to the leaders’ Wyrd, as well as the benefit of the Freehold Blessing, whatever it may be.
The standard oath for joining a Freehold.
Other Freehold Titles:
The Everqueen: Molly “Two Buckle”; The Phantom in the Mist. Molly “Two Buckle” is a phantom name given to untrustworthy sorts when members are pressed on who leads the Freehold. If pressed further they point the wayward soul to the Hilton Hotel near Interstate 405. Here an Autumn Soothsayer of great prestige will meet them to discern their true intent.
Princes of Seattle: The Gentry