Glades are naturally occuring wells of glamour whereas freeholds are constructed by the kithain. Glades exist because they were dreamed into existence and have become exceptionally rare in the modern era. They all share one thing in common: a sacred stone that serves the same purpose as a balefire- a repository for glamour. Two glades exist within the Haight: the Korbet Childrens Corner and Buena Vista Park.
Some freeholds, especially those belonging to the sidhe , are styled after medieval or renassiance courts They function as seats of government for the changelings in the area. Commoner freeholds might have a dramatically different theme such as a pub or market square, but they will still serve as the center for kithain activity and socialization in the area.
Creating a new freehold requires incredible effort. The changeling must carefully chose the site and bring balefire from another greehold and blend into it some of their own glamour, making a permanant sacrifice. When a changeling discovers or is given a freehold, they are required to swear an oath to protect it and must invest their own glamour, This creates a bond that will last between the new holder and the freehold that will last until the changeling's death or them willingly giving it to another so a new oath can be made. Once the holder, the changeling who possesses the freehold can dictate its chimerical appearance, take glamour from its bale, establish who is permitted or barred from entry. All of these rights are recognized and enforced by the Dreaming itself.
Freeholds in San FranciscoEdit
The majority of freeholds in San Francisco burst into re-existence during the beginning of the Resurgence . They were places belonging to the faeries before the Shattering and not necessarily located in North America at the time. They were eagerly and rapidly claimed, sometimes fought over viciously. The most elaborate and powerful SF freeholds rest in the hands of Duke Aeon and his court. The freehold in Haight-Ashbury which the player characters have free access to at the beginning of the chronicle is located in the Soapbox CafeSoapbox Cafe.
Freeholds in the HaightEdit
For a list of the assorted freeholds and glens found specifically within the Haight district and featured in the first Rainbow City chronicles, please go here.
The largest concentration of glamour within a freehold is a chimerical flame in the heart of the freehold called a balefire. The source of all North American balefires is the Great Balefire that burns in a sacred well under Tara-Nar, the stronghold of Queen Lenore. During Yule , travelers called Firebrands depart from Tara-Nar to carry lanterns that contain fire from the Well of Flame and deliver it to every freehold in Concordia to be used to delivered to every freehold to replenish their balefire during the Imbolc ceremony. It is considered a very bad omen for a freehold failing to receive their Firebrand Lantern on time.
Magical paths called trods connect points within the Dreaming. When the Shattering severed the terrestrial world from Arcada, most trods were lost. The Resurgence re-opened many of the lesser paths within the Near Dreaming, however. Not every trod is easily found or immediately accessible though. As products of the Dreaming, they seem to intentionally lead to adventures rather than a direct route from place to place and might only open at specific times of the day, days of the year, or after a riddle is solved, a sacrifice is made- some kind of event that is the hallmark of a story. There will usually be more riddles, puzzles, and distractions along the way. However, trods generally have the protection of the Silver Path covering it.
The Silver Path Edit
The Silver Path is a form of protection that was cast in primordial times by the Tuatha de Daaanan to protect the kithain from predation. A trod that shimmers with this silvery pathway is generally protected from attack by chimera and will protect the changeling from becoming lost in the Dreaming- a doom that is all too common to those who attempt to find shortcuts, leaving the safety of the trod behind.