The War of Summer's Ending
The Bacchanalian Jesters
Winter has long lain upon my heart, and upon the hearts of my fellows. For too long, our hearts have lain dormant under the earth. No more. I swear by my own heart that I shall help the hearts of my fellows to awaken, break through the cold soil, and bloom. The frost may yet kill their tender shoots, but Spring must have its chance to blossom, just as surely as Winter must return with its crushing snows.
Modus Operandi: The Jesters are a merry band of fools and party animals, who just want everyone to have a good time. At least, that’s what it says on their business cards. True, they do throw some killer parties, but revelers should keep in mind that the more you play, the more the interest compounds.
The Jesters recognize that many Lost have trouble “letting their hair down,” for one reason or another. They seek to allow everyone to have a good time, no matter how severe their inhibitions. In their presence, inhibitions melt away, emotions rise to the surface, and everything gets out into the open, where it should be.
When a partygoer engages the “services” of a Jester, he or she is filled with an intense rush of euphoria and social insight. Until the next sunrise, or until the party is over (whichever comes first), as long as the Reveler remains in the presence of at least one other partygoer, the Reveler receives a +3 bonus to all Social rolls, and gains +2 on all Stamina rolls to avoid passing out, vomiting, or suffering from alcohol poisoning (however, their hangover the next day will be correspondingly severe.) The reveler must make a Resolve roll to leave the party.
The hangover, however, is not the worst of it. There is a price to pay for everything, and happiness is no exception. For each hour of partying the Reveler engaged in, he or she receives a cumulative -1 penalty to Social rolls, lasting 24 hours from the time of payment. As the Jesters frequently mention, “you don’t have to pay right away.” But you must pay eventually, and each day (or fraction of a day) that you delay payment levies another cumulative -1 to all Social rolls you make for the 24-hour “payment” period. Theoretically, it is possible to continue delaying payment infinitely, but the Jesters rarely take kindly to anyone who delays long enough to reduce their largest Social dice pool to zero. As they frequently remind late-payers, giving happiness is not the only thing they can do.
The payment can be deferred by a number of days equal to points of Willpower tithed to the Jester. At dawn of each day, you may choose to tithe another point to them in order to delay payment. However, the longer you wait, the more severe your penalties will be when you finally do pay. When you do, you are drowned by a tide of melancholy, and it becomes exceedingly difficult for you to do anything. You gain the Depression derangement, or have your Depression upgraded to Melancholia for the extent of the payment period. Whenever you fail a roll to avoid the effects of your new Derangement, the Jester automatically makes a Harvesting roll, and subtracts their successes from your Glamour pool, no matter where they are or what they are doing. The roll is automatic, and does not require their awareness or concentration.
Titles: Jesters (male and female), Revelers, Fools (derisive), Jokers (derisive)
Prerequisites: Socialize ●●●, Mantle (Winter) ●●●, Court Goodwill (Spring) ●●●
Joining: A changeling who wishes to join the Revelers simply makes this desire known to them. The induction process is fairly straightforward: the applicant attends a party thrown by a Jester, and does their best to influence the moods and actions of other revelers without the use of magic. Typically, the Jester who throws the party gives the applicant some goal to accomplish before the party ends, such as “Convince two complete strangers to sleep together,” or “Get that wallflower in the corner to lighten up and dance.” Applicants are graded by creativity, persistence, and subtlety.
Mien: Frequently appear satyr-like, with shaggy hair and very revealing clothing, if any. Many (especially Beasts and Elementals) are decked with flowers that bloom in early spring, such as crocuses and daffodils. Frequently, these flowers are coated with a dusting of snow or a touch of hoarfrost. Their clothes are often in disarray, and the men are rarely clean-shaven (though female Jesters often make it a point of pride to always shave their legs and armpits).
Background: Many Jesters had Durances marked by endless drudgery, toil, and hopelessness. They may have been given some Sisyphean task, or unending drudge work, with no time for rest or recuperation. As such, their free time and partying are very important to them. They often come across as happy-go-lucky and carefree, at least when they’re in public. Jesters are touched with melancholy, which becomes more pronounced in private, especially around other members of the Court of Sorrow.
While the Bacchanalian Jesters are an Entitlement of the Winter Court, they are required to possess at least a few dots of goodwill with the Court of Desire. The Socialize skill is vital to the Jesters, who require it in order to ply their trade. Empathy, while not a requirement to join, is often quite useful.
Organization: Not really organized, just devoted to the idea of spreading good cheer (and collecting their fees). They treat each other well when they meet up, but they don’t often hang out in groups of more than two or three. It tends to be bad for business.
Concepts: Undergrad who fears leaving college, broken-down burlesque dancer, literal party animal, pill-peddler, raving-mad raver, seedy old guy in the corner, alcoholic frat boy, sorority slut.
Coxcomb (Token ●●●)
Mien: The Coxcomb is a piece of mundane headgear chosen by the Jester upon their initiation, and infused with Glamour. It could be a novelty ten-gallon cowboy hat, a feathery Mardi Gras mask, or even a beer-hat. All that’s necessary is that the initiate select it themselves, and that it is in some way comical. Unlike most Tokens, the coxcomb is normally attractive and new, and becomes even more so upon activation. Many drunks find themselves fascinated with this unusual headgear, and are unable to stop complimenting it.
Effect: Everyone within 20 yards of you ignores all their Derangements (if any), as long as they are within this radius. Also, the wearer is immune to passing out, and the effects of alcohol poisoning (though you still get rip-roaring drunk.) Whatever you drink while using your Coxcomb will not give you a hangover; though whatever you drink after removing/deactivating the Coxcomb can give you a hangover.
Drawback: Afterwards, you are drained. You are unable to spend willpower (though you may lose it to magical effects), and you gain the Behavior Blind flaw until the next sunset or sunrise.
Catch: The wearer may invoke this Token’s magic for free if he wears it for an entire day, while still performing his normal duties, such as shopping for groceries, picking up the kids, or going to work. The wearer may give any reason for this behavior, though “I lost a bet” is popular, as well as “Don’t you know that today’s the Feast of St. Whatchamacallit? It’s a sacred holiday where I come from.”
Engaging a Jester’s Services:
1. You must attend a party either thrown by or attended by the Jester in question.
2. Buy two drinks. They must both be the same type of drink, must contain at least 10% alcohol, and the Jester gets to choose the drinks.
3. Sit down with the Jester, raise your glasses, and sing a drinking song with them. The language or origins of the song are not important, though both parties must know the words.
4. Both parties drain their glasses, and the Pledge of Payment is sealed when their glasses touch the table, both empty. If this does not occur (for example, one party drops their glass), then the Contract is nullified, and neither party gains or loses anything.
5. After this, you gain +3 on all Social rolls until the party ends or the sun rises, whichever comes first. If the party moves or breaks up, you still gain the benefit, as long as you remain in the presence of at least one other reveler.