"Rath" is the Irish name for circular earthworks left by the fae; even humans know these are gateways into the faerie lands (though few humans really believe such fairy tales). This folklore is true, however, though not all paths are circular earthworks. Raths vary widely, from a silver archway for the sidhe, to a hole under an upturned tree root for a forest-dwelling pooka, to a gauntlet of whirling saw blades in a nocker workshop. A rath may be any kind of portal that is large enough for a changeling to pass through, though not all are big enough to allow humans passage. The size of these archways varies but is usually proportional to a freehold's power.
The freehold on the Dreaming side of a rath usually appears similar to its mundane aspect, yet there are startling differences. Perhaps north is south here, or mirrors do not reverse images in the usual manner. Banal object disappear completely, while others are barely visible but drift away like cobwebs in the breeze when touched. The air seems crisper, and cloys are more bold. Minor chimera are ubiquitous in the Dreaming aspect of most freeholds. Attracted to freeholds like fish to a coral reef, most are mindless and do little to endanger the freehold or its inhabitants. More daring chimera may use the rath to jump between realms, though they must have the right rede to do so. Homesteads, a type of freehold that exists wholly in one Dreamrealm, have no paths that lead to other realms.
A freehold is more "static" than the Dreaming that connects to or surrounds it. Thus, a freehold situated between the Near and Far Dreamings has two aspects. The Far Dreaming aspect is less mundane than the freehold's Near Dreaming aspect, but still more stable than the rest of the Far Dreaming. If a changeling leaves the immediate vicinity of this island of stability and enters the Dreaming, they may become lost quickly and may never find their way back to the human world (Intelligence + Dream Lore roll to find the way back, difficulty increasing with distance from the freehold), unless they travel by way of an established trod. Few changelings dare to wander more than a few city blocks from their freeholds in the Dreaming. Only changelings with Dream (or Dreaming) Lore may navigate the Dreaming reliably.
Opening a Rath Edit
Raths are usually easier to open than trods, though this is not always the case. To open a rath, a changeling must possess the Wayfare Art at Level 3 (Portal Passage) as well as the Fae Realm to level 3 (Manifold Chimera). The number of successes needed to open a rath varies greatly, depending on the circumstance. The sidhe are more adept at traveling the Dreaming than other kith, and their difficulties to open raths are reduced by two. The changeling who owns a freehold has a difficulty of 5 and requires only one success. They may then enter the freehold's Dreaming aspect on the other side of the rath, taking any other changelings (or even enchanted humans) with them. Any changeling with the appropriate Art and Realm may attempt to use another changeling's rath, but the attempt is challenging (difficulty 7, two successes needed). Some changelings use their Arts to make their raths inhospitable to uninvited guests.