Overview EditUsually, there are one of two initial phases before the Chrysalis. Either the changeling experiences an event so traumatic that the fae soul stirs, or the mundane runs into a banal brick wall in their life. They hit an emotional dead end, which is more often experienced with grumps: Nothing else to do but sit around in her boring little mechanized world and punch time-cards.
This dead-end point is called Lethargia.
Other changelings are not so cushioned from the nasty reality of the Dreaming as are Lethargias. These changelings meet their Dán head-on in a sudden, shocking confrontation. What these changelings experience is the "Exigency" phase, or "Oh, Shit!" (Why do so many call upon excrement when they first encounter the Dreaming?) Perhaps a young kid glances from their daily dose of afternoon cartoons to see a dozen fae knights galloping on horses down the street. Or an old man who visits his departed wife's grave and carries on one-way dialogues with her tombstone... only this time, it answers. Or a gaggle of giggly teenagers stop off at an O'Tolley's. Across the aisle they see a scraggly bum eating enough sandwiches for six. They all listen to the slurpings and suckings and lampoon the feast, poking fun at the codger until he snarls at them and proceeds to eat the tray. Then, the gigglies all stop, and the kids make a quick exit. One of the kids lingers a bit longer than the rest, and a knowing look passes between kid and bum. Before shuffling out, the bum croaks: "Rest easy kid... if you can."
There are a million ways to encounter the Exigency. One thing is for sure: if the changeling is shocked enough, or bored enough, they lurch on to the groggy half-awake state called the "Onset" phase.