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A realm beyond reality, beyond any laws of nature that you understood. Forests of glass, mountains carved from bone. A nightmare from which there was no waking. A Prison from which their was no escape. A place known as Arcadia.

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Beings of alien otherness, outside empathy or understanding. The Gentry, some call them. Or the True Fae. Their reasons for taking you were many and varied. Perhaps they locked and you in a kennel, beat you and fed you like a dog. Maybe they sealed you in a lantern somewhere in their cyclopean, maddening estates, using you as a human source of illumination. Or they possibly just threw you down into the dark and locked you there, leaving you surrounded by the gloom and the silence and the things that chittered and slithered across a hidden floor.

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Your time in captivity, your Durance? It changed you. Warped you. Trapped in the realm of faerie, you found yourself taking on aspects of it. They beat you and treated you like a dog? Soon you found yourself becoming one, the power, instinct and urges seeping into you. They sealed you in a glass cage and used you for illumination? Soon your skin glistened and beamed, as you were slowly but surely transformed into a living light. They sealed you in a prison of darkness? Soon you found yourself twisting and contracting, allowing the darkness to become a part of you, allowing yourself to become one of those chittering, slithering things.

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Maybe you got lucky. A cell door left unlocked. A key left abandoned. A chance opportunity that you seized upon. Maybe you fought for it. Red-soaked memories of blood and desperation, of the corpses you left in your wake when you remember who you once were and what you had to get back to. Maybe you were clever. Maybe you used the same guile and cunning that got you captured to reverse your fate.

Whatever you did, it led to you fighting through a forest of thorns and bramble that tugged at your flesh and your spirit, that ripped away literal and metaphorical pieces of you. Close your eyes and you can still feel it. Your essence being torn away as you pressed forwards, only the memories of the life you once led keeping you from being pulled apart by the magics of the Hedge.

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That bittersweet moment when you returned to the world you had been taken from, only to discover that there was no returning to what was taken from you. Not really. Your captors were cunning in their crime. In your absence they left impostors forged from scraps and twigs, who looked and spoke like you, who carried your memories as they carried on your stolen life. Or perhaps the decades you spent in captivity only translated to a few days or hours in this world. Even with your Mask, a disguise of Glamour that allows you to blend with mortal society, there was no just stepping back into the existence you left behind.

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