|The Freehold has been in place since before William Penn, and as such is frequently called the Anglicized version of the original Lenape name for the place and the Freehold on it.
The original Lenape name was Sakimauchheen Ing, 'To Make a King Place', which Anglicizes to 'Shackamaxon'.
Changelings have a hard enough life, what with having had their lives stolen, their bodies changed, and their souls shredded on the Thorns. What, then, would cause them to want to live in Philadelphia, of all places, the city where they throw batteries at Santa Claus and riot so hard that they collapse awnings on buildings and set cars on fire when The Birds win a Super Bowl?
Well... that's kind of why, actually. Consider:
- In Philly, it isn't weird to live in a house with your polycule or other group of friends well into middle age. It's not that housing prices are awful (they are: cost of living is actually similar to Portland, OR) or that rental laws aren't the greatest (they're not, but Philly at least has a tenant's union these days) but just that this is kind of expected, actually.
- The city is brash and weird and tells you to your face what it expects. For those whose Durances took away from them the ability to understand social niceties, this is super helpful, actually!
- Nicknames: there's a huge culture in Philly for calling people by nicknames. It's not unusual to know someone for eight years and only know their nickname, like Patchie or Bee or Yetti or Spider. (No, really.) Pick your name or nickname - it won't stand out in Philly.
- The freehold is old and well-established, which gives a lot of stability and structure for newly-escaped and veteran Lost alike.
That's not to say that life as a Lost in Philly isn't without its perils and pitfalls -- it is. There are other things lurking in the darkness, and not just Huntsmen, plus, living in a city isn't easy at the best of times, even when you're human. Additionally, the social safety net in Pennsylvania isn't the greatest, either. That's why the Freehold has several jobs that really focus on making sure that the members of the Freehold are provided for.
Welcome to Philly.
All Changeling Sphere PCs are expected to be Freehold members. This applies to Changelings and Avowed PCs. If you wish to play out the process of Oathing, that's fine, but the process should take no longer than a chapter (that is, a week RL). Staff will arrange for roleplay opportunities if people wish to Oath on-screen, but otherwise, once a PC has been in-play for a week, they are assumed to have met with the Crowns and Oathed to Shackamaxon Freehold. You may enter play already Oathed and must enter play already Oathed if you have been in Philadelphia for more than a week IC, but the maximum time a PC can be in play and un-Oathed is one week.
All Changeling PCs are expected to choose a Court within a Season. This does not necessarily apply to Avowed. This is an IC expectation. You can be a probationary member of the Freehold for a Season if you are Courtless and this includes backstory time; after that, you are expected to choose a Court or get out of town. We will not be utilizing any Courts except Seasonal on From Dusk Till Jawn.
The Freehold maintains a Stable Trod which runs from Bethlehem in the Lehigh Valley down through Philadelphia to Cape May on the Jersey Shore. Each Court maintains a Hollow as well as a single old Hollow right off Independence Mall. There's a door that looks like it leads to the electric for a parking garage, and does, but if the correct knock is given - changed weekly by Winter - it opens to a homey little village in the Hedge. Small cottages, a small garden of extremely generic and tasteless Goblin Fruit which only restore glamour in their native state.