Character generation went very well indeed. I sat everyone down with a variety of handouts in hopes of making the process go as smoothly as possible. This mostly worked, though not flawlessly. Notably the backgrounds on the kith pages made it pretty painful to print them out from the PDF (and, as an aside, the PDF sucks. Seriously. It's split into three files with no bookmarking. Noting that it's graphically very intense, in the absence of bookmarks I need to scroll through it manually, which is slower than hell. This bothers me more than it should because the core rulebook PDF has been incredibly useful an easy to reference, and the contrast is painful.) Still, it mostly went well.

Eric and Fred came to the table with ideas in mind, ideas that played off each other quite well indeed and were similar enough that I was surprised they hadn't spoken about it. Both of them are very far out of time, and both have a strong World War II connection. Deborah and Em had to work from scratch, so we kicked around a few different possibilities. Em had a really solid idea for her mortal life, but it took a while to make her time in Faerie really zing. Deborah had a core tragedy in mind and I think she got to build up around that to her satisfaction.

We did not formally discuss the keeper so much as we got to the end of everyone's stories, and the thread of commonality suggested to me that it be The Boy - Peter Pan meets that kid from The Twilight Zone with a dash of Bart Simpson and the Squire of Gothos.

The characters are

Anna Glimmer - Magpie Songbird of Autumn

Anna's parents never got along, and one of their attempts at reconciliation was a second child in their forties. The child was not healthy, and Anna quit school to take care of him full time, acting as his nurse, his guardian and his legs. The Fae took them while they were in the woods, and her last thought as they took her away was for her brother, abandoned in the woods.

In toyland, she was put in a cage and told to sing, and sing she did. Perhaps not well, but enthusiastically. When the traveling minstrel taught her a song of victory to celebrate the upcoming triumph in The War, she practiced it very hard, and when the trumpets blared, she sung it at the top of her lungs, and still doesn't understand why it made him so angry. Things sort of broke after that.

Back in reality, she found that a decade had passed, and her fetch had managed to nurse her brother to health, helping him to walk, and even skateboard. She has not approached, or even seen, he fetch, but a long night of watching her brother through the window very nearly broke her, leaving her caught up on what should be hers.

Nika Kosmas - Haruspex and Healer

Nika was a promising surgical resident from a big Russian orthodox family who went to the wrong break room after a thirty-six hour shift. She found herself in Toyland, where The Boy had need of an oracle, and Nika had been chosen because she could put her organs back in after he had finish casting them.

She saw the disaster coming, in a flash of vision, and could have warned The Boy - in fact, it would have been hard not to, for her innards would reveal it when he asked. But the one thing she had learned to hide was her heart, and without it, the reading went wrong, and The Boy was not warned. Things sort of broke after that.

Since she's gotten back, she works in a free clinic, off the books, and watches the golden arc of the career of her fetch from a distance.

Tom Whispers - Medium and stabbin' hobo

Tom's father was a war hero, who had landed in Normandy, and his youth was idyllic, at least until his brother was born to steal away mommy's love. His boyhood adventures were many, and took him farther afield as his brother grew, til the one day The Boy took him deep into the woods and he did not return. As was inevitable, The Boy grew tired with this new playmate and put him to use as a message - not a messenger, a message. His sole role was to convey something, receive response and whisk away to deliver it.

Tom Whispers was very tired indeed, and perhaps after decades, this fatigue warped a message, perhaps he planned it, but the orders to the general of The Boy's army of toys was not what it should have been. Tom understood this not at all - all he knew was that the general was upset enough that rather than send a response, he folded Tom up and put him in his pocket. SOme things apparently happened, but for Tom, this was the first chance to sleep he could remember, and he only awoke as he burst out of the General's pocket, in the hedge.

Tom has adapted poorly. he was a kid when he left, and there's a good chance he would not have made it back if he hadn't been dragged most of the way. He spends his time among the hopeless now, the homeless of New Jersey, and is a twitching wreck of a man, looking like it will take little to push him over the edge. And sure, his Fetch is old, but his nephew sure looks a lot like him. But he'd never even think of that! Would he?

Walter Gold - The Good Soldier

Captain Gold's transport opened on the beaches of Normandy, but when he stepped through, he was not in France. He was inducted into The Boy's wooden army, fighting forever across a vast gameboard. Something he did caught The Boy's attention, and the wooden soldier was taken from the field, dipped in gold, and returned as a General, overseeing the eternal pointless struggle.

But he did his job too well. Over time, he came to see that the game could never be won, and when a particularly egregious order came his way one day, he seized the messenger, and stopped the fighting. This had never happened before - The Boy had been scheduled for a victory, and this threw everything into disarray, and his rage was unbelievable, but even in that rage, something pushed it just over the edge into a full blown tantrum, shattering toyland.

Gold has adapted to the real world quite well - the talents that made him a capable leader have translated well into business. His mundane concerns are well in hand, but he is facing a stranger issue. His fetch and his wife appear to have not aged a day - both look like no time has passed between his disappearance and now. He has no idea what that means, but a number of the possible explanations are disturbing indeed.