In The Garden of Good and Evil
The game is set in the World of Darkness, a fictional analog to the real world in which human beings unknowingly coexist with legendary monsters and other supernatural phenomena. The “Changelings” of the title are ordinary human beings who were kidnapped by the Fae and taken as slaves to their world (alternately known as Arcadia or Faerie). The player characters are changelings who have managed to escape their otherworldly captors and struggle through the barrier (known as the Hedge or the Thorns) that separates Faerie from Earth. The game focuses on the experiences of these changelings as they re-discover the world of their birth, try to cope with the changes they have undergone, and seek to evade recapture.
The dominant themes of the game are the pain of loss, the quest for identity, and the bittersweet nature of human existence.
Changelings refer to themselves as “the Lost”: they were kidnapped by the godlike Fae, taken to an alien realm, and held prisoner. While trapped in Faerie (referred to as their “Durance”), they were forced to serve their otherworldly masters and endure inhuman tortures; to survive under the twisted laws underpinning Arcadia, they also had to undergo physical and supernatural changes. Many escape only to find that they have been replaced by a faerie simulacrum (called a “Fetch”) and that they have not been missed at all. Most also discover that time passed differently in Arcadia than in the mortal world, and they are either too old or too young to resume their normal lives. Those who can often do attempt to pick up where they left off before they were taken, with varying degrees of success, while others try to build new human lives elsewhere. However even under the best possible circumstances, the Lost are no longer fully human; they have become part of both worlds and while they are still human enough to make sense of human things, they have been changed just enough to skew their perceptions. Many embrace their new existences, compensating for the loss of their mortal lives by immersing themselves in changeling society. Most find that they have come to appreciate humanity in a new way, finding beauty in the most mundane or painful of experiences, aching for things they did not appreciate before their capture.
The Lost have many problems to deal with, the most prominent being the Gentry, or True Fae. Other problems include their fetches, Hobgoblins, Enchanted Mortals, Mad Changelings, and the various other beings within the World of Darkness Cosmology.