The island of Great Britain is known as Albion and is a land of petty kingdoms that exist in peace through a fragile accord known as the Caerlaw. Changeling society shuns the big cities in favour of the smaller and more defensible cities. Tinned food could have only lasted so long and a feudal system allows Changelings to continue their existance from the land. Changeling society follow a Pantheon of 4 Gods, some of the First Awakened that created the Changeling Way to protect Changelings from the Others.
The Feudal SystemEdit
Those with wealth gained or good strongholds gained in the early days found that when more Changelings awakened, they flocked to them for sanctuary. With a few notable exceptions, those people decided that their bloodline, or house should rule that area and those sheltering within their walls had little choice but to agree. With the magic of the Dreamscape everywhere, these Houses became fixed and nobles became noticably distinguished from the common folk. The commonfolk were not bound to the nobles unless they made an oath blessed by a priest, but most who reside within a stronghold would be loyal to their lord - the lands around however do not share the same loyalty, even if it is within the noble's domain.
The Changeling EconomyEdit
There are few career paths available to changelings. Outside of the main Changeling towns, there are villages that have formed around farms. Many changelings carve out a piece of land for themselves and attempt to keep livestock and grow crops - for themselves and to trade to the city folk. However, there is a sybiotic relationship between the farmers and the guards. Changelings who lack the skills or patience to farm often find their best line of work is in guarding those that can. In exchange for bed, board and some of the money gained from harvest trade, guards keep any who would raid or ravish the farms from doing so, be they Changeling, Nightmare or anything else. Guards can be those magically talented or those who are good at hitting things, and those who prove themselves can often apply for city posts, though one of the best ways to get reknown as a guard is to travel with the caravans.
Merchant caravans are what hold the nations together. They provide the transit of goods throughout the kingdoms. In the cities merchants can count coin and live without fear, but the average changeling merchant lives a life of peril. As a result of this, the Merchants Guild looks out for all merchants.
Artisans set up shop wherever they can, they are always welcome on farmsteads, but city space is a premium and only the most skilled or best connected can get it.
The most profitable and dangerous industry to be in is that of the scavengers. Those who brave the nightmare-infested cities for metal, technology and anything else they can find are sure to get a pretty penny or a bloody end.
The Great DivideEdit
After the first awakenings, Changelings hunted for one and other, trying to rebuild some semblance of society and feel less alone in the big bad world that had descended upon the World. In time, they began to gather at places like Conwy, which was to become the first 'city' of Albion, where there were ancient stone walls to hide behind and few nightmares to deal with. Here they now live as ghosts to the few Unchanged that still remain within the town walls.
This seemed to be a common theme, which some scholars believe was caused by the few Changelings exerting their will over the Dreamscape, as across Albion Changelings found a home in the few remaining fortified towns. As each of these societies grew, being still partially human, they wanted to unite the land under the banners of their leaders. Unfortunately ideological differences remained and human traits remained, causing borders to be marked with skirmishes along them to follow.
The first alliance was between Mercia and Wessex, known as the Heartland League as they encroached on the lands of Jorvic and Anglia respectively, creating Union of the Ice Sea. The ambassador of Jorvic to h-Alba and Northumbria requested aid, however Northumbria acted on Jorvic's strategic weakness and invaded from the north, joining Heartland League. However, h-Alba decided that helping Jorvic was in their interests, as it would prevent Northumbria from gaining too much land and thus power. Meanwhile Dumnonia and the Cymru agreed that they should stand together, forming The Prydain. When both Heartland League and the Union of the Ice Sea requested their alliance, instead forseeing no positive outcome to either the Heartland League or the Union of the Ice Sea going into all out war, they threatened to side with the defender in any major conflict. In a show of force, The Prydain marched west from Caer to claim a neutral area and a major Threshold and invited the Heartland League and the Union of the Ice Sea to the table for peace talks.
The Prydain offered a solution that they believed was to the benefit of all Changelings in Albion. The lands that they had taken from the Heartland League and the Union of the Ice Sea would become a neutral state, governed from Caer at the southern end of the Wirral - a site of major Thresholds. Here, the Prydain would initially hold court for all the nations, for them to work together for all Changelings. However, there would be instances where skirmishes may occour or cause conflict between nations or factions. In order to allow this to happen without consequence to the individual Changelings, any expedition or mission would be put before the Council of Caerlaw and if passed, those who worked it would be granted the right to do so - and bear the Mark of Corley.