The Founding of New Haven
The Four had been battling their way out of the hedge for what seemed like forever; and it was definitely a battle. The hedge was reluctant to let them go and was using every trap it could conceive of to keep them locked in its world-the world of chaos and the Others. After years of planning they had finally escaped their captor; although they still were uncertain if they had just given themselves enough time to run or if the captor was killed in their attempt for freedom. It didn’t really matter to them as long as the gentry that had held them captive didn’t catch up to them. There was no way they could escape a second time…if the gentry caught them they would be drug back to Arcadia. They kept fighting the good fight; ignoring the thorns, the pain, and the blood as they ran and occasionally crawled through the lush plant life that refused to let them go.
And then the deadly vegetation just ended. The Four stood still taking in great gulps of fresh air-the first any of them had had since they had first been captured. The sight before them was beautiful and as different from the hedge as it could possibly be. Before them stood and field of grass that faded to sand that stretched to the ocean. The area seemed uninhabited and so The Four decided to call this area home; at least for the time being. Although part of them wished to get far from the area in the fear that their captor would come for them another part wished to stay. If they had murdered their captor others like themselves may make their way through the hedge. The Four reasoned that it would be better to stick together than to separate like leaves in the wind.
The Four began the task of surviving in this new area. They created shelters for themselves and gathered food and fresh water. While they waited for others to join them they realized that there were a few other changelings in the area. Most of them were used to the isolation of the area, but were friendly enough to the new changelings and helped them gather supplies.
More changelings did emerge from the hedge in this location-but none came from the same captor as the Four. They reasoned that they must not have killed the gentry that had tormented them for so long and thus; they needed to fear his inevitable retaliation. Many of the changelings had no desire to leave the relative safety in numbers that the are gave them. Some did leave in the hopes of reclaiming their past lives but returned when they realized that was impossible. The Four and the other changelings decided that their quickly thrown together society would need to be reformed in order to survive and to protect themselves from the gentry.
Good leadership can ensure that a city succeeds; whereas, without it a city is doomed before it even gets the chance to thrive. With that in mind the changelings decided that the Four should lead them into this next phase of development. After all, it was them who had decided to stay in the area and organize the scattered changelings. It was their journey through the hedge that caused the small path out of the hedge to become a full sized trod. It was them who would lead the city to greatness and protect them from the members of the gentry.
After the changelings voted them in charge of the city they took their responsibilities to heart. They decided to move their city into the already established city near by. This way they would be a little ways away from the trods exit. They remained close enough that any newly escaped changelings would be quickly found but this way the gentry would not be in their backyards. Most of the changelings found jobs in the city and slowly began to rebuild their lives.
Although the four enjoyed ruling they knew their time would be limited and thus, a way for leadership to pass on to new changelings needed to be created. After much thought on their part they decided that the seasons would be a good way to confuse the gentry since they would never understand willingly giving up power. They established feelings that correlated with the seasons and thus, the seasonal courts were created. In times of peace if a leader is coming to the end of his time on the throne the crown manifests itself to the successor of the throne. Although this is how the system should work it is not the way of people; or changelings. There are always people who want power for themselves.
With the changeling presence in the city it not only survived. In time the first rulers of New Haven moved on, whether they passed away or left to seek solitude or another freehold is unknown. New rulers were placed on the throne and still, the freehold thrived, at least until children started to disappear. The first disappearances were of homeless and abused children who were assumed to be runaways. As more disappeared it became apparent that it was something much more sinister than that. Mortals believed it to be the work of a serial killer or possibly a group involved in slave trade. The changeling community knows better, no human is responsible for these disappearances. They only wonder what is and if there is a way to stop it.