Courts of the Old Fae
For our purposes here, the Fae courts in play will be listed as reasonable, and as they are added to play. These are courts of traditional ancient faerie, fae, or fay of old lore. A good page to start with for their powers, abilities, and mindsets, is here.
- 1 Species
- 2 Courts
- 3 Seasonal Courts
- 4 Non-Seasonal Courts
- 5 Events and Holidays
They have different and very strict moral rules and codes than Humans, and some of this is built into who they are, while other parts are bred into their culture. For instance, they cannot reveal themselves unless it is already known what they are or certain binding agreements have been reached; favors and gifts must always be returned in kind; saying "thank you" is always an insult.
Fae are divided between male (Fel) or female (Faere), although their sexuality is much more fluid. Fels have slightly pointed ears, while Faeres have star-shaped pupils which bleed into the iris rather than having a clear delineation. The word "Elf" came about in Human language as a miss-pronunciation of the word "Fel", and the idea of the tall, elegant elf in Lord of the Rings style clothing is derived from the Old Fae. "Faere" has likewise become "Fairy", although the modern idea of faeres is quite misleading when dealing with Old Fae.
Fae and Humans can procreate, and some Humans in the world have a small amount of Fae blood. Some Fae even choose to live in the Human world, although some Courts do not approve of or allow this.
The Fae have their own version of the ballet The Nutcracker, which is based on a true story between a Fel and a Human girl, as well as the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
All Old Fae have the ability to be invisible, create glamours of all sorts, and in their natural forms appear extremely attractive to Humans, in the effect of Humans becoming enthralled or falling in love on the spot. The more powerful the Fae, the more powerful this effect is. Even among their kind, power equals beauty and attraction, and their ranks are based on power levels.
Blessings and Curses
Fae have the ability to bless or curse people, especially regarding things such as health or luck. Having their patronage can raise a person to the highest rank or esteem in a short time, and having their ire can resort in a person's demise just as quickly. They will not balk at cursing someone they despise or feel unworthy of living to death.
The more powerful the Fae, the more powerful their blessings or curses are. More powerful blessings or curses, or ones which must overcome other powers, such as with senshi or other innate powers of the person, become magically binding. If the pre-promised favor or action is not delivered when called in, the blessing becomes a curse within hours until the agreement is fulfilled. In very egregious cases, this may end in death or punishment from the Fae Realm, even if the agreement is eventually carried out or offered to be carried out.
Fae who are not partial to Humans often use this to trap or trick them. While they cannot lie, they can be vague or use words or phrases that have more than one meaning.
Most Fae are organized into one of the existing courts, although there are solitary Fae as well. All Fae swear allegiance to the court they chose to join, whether Tiered or not. These vows of fealty are binding, and Fae are subject to the rulers of their court's commands, whether or not they agree. The rulers of each court are bound to look to the safety of their Fae and strength of their Court.
Each court is separated and ranked into four groups by their amount of magic: three Tiers, and non-tiered Fae. The First Tier is the most powerful and have the highest rank. Tiered Fae are those primarily responsible for their magic over their element, while non-tiered Fae are responsible for trades and running the Palaces and are more likely to be experts in these areas while the Tiers are expert in certain types of elemental magic. Non-Tiered Fae either do not have magic tied to their specific court, or have very little of it. Nearly all Tiered Fae are still involved in some kind of craft or skilled work, and often due to their enhanced magic tend to be more highly placed in these areas. However, anyone with skill or talent can advance.
Fae are sorted into Tiers based entirely on their level of power, and is not dependent on their parents' Tiers, although it is very unusual for someone to move more than 1 Tier up or down than the one they were born into. At about age 30, Fae are tested on their magical schooling thus far and placed into their station, at which time they will swear their fealty to the court. These are presented before the court at the quarterly celebrations (equinoxes and solstices). The Fae will then spend the next 70 years in the training of their magic, education, and etiquette before joining the world of adult Fae around their first century.
The Winder and Summer Courts work the most closely together, as it is their cooperation which keeps the world's seasons in order. However, their job has become harder in modern times due to pollution and global warming, which they can't always fully correct for. Since they are always based on opposite sides of the equator, they share the same two spaces. In the northern hemisphere, their realm is located within Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. In the southern hemisphere, their realm is located within the Hummingbird formation of Nazca lines in Peru. Winter and Summer Magic is on the same day each week.
Members of these Courts, especially the more powerful ones, feel cold or warm to the touch, and affect the space around them. Elemental Fae are also susceptible to harm from magic opposite of theirs, such as Winter and Summer Fae. The touch of someone with opposite magic is uncomfortable at best, and powerful attacks can easily kill un- or low-Tiered Fae. They can be around each other, but this will depend on the magical power of the individual. Usually only highly Tiered Fae are selected as ambassadors to the opposite court.
Kings and Queens
It is the primary responsibility of the Kings and Queens of the seasonal courts to run their court and properly channel their court's magic into the Human Realm. They come from the First Tier, and gain more power when they become King or Queen through their respective Staff, which is used to both hold and channel vast amounts of power. As such, the Kings and Queens are always the most powerful Fae and therefore also the most attractive and beautiful, and often sought after.
The Kings and Queens are chosen by Rite of Ordeal with the King's/Queen's Staff, and that Fel/Faere is then the King's/Queen's Heir and trained for their role as the next King/Queen. Most rule for at least several hundred years, and King and Queen pairs are advanced together, even if one of the previous pair is still quite capable of ruling. While not necessarily a mated pair, the King and Queen do usually eventually become lovers due to the universal Fae love of power and beauty, and the fact that King and Queen pairs are usually very compatible as far as power is concerned.
The Winter Court
The Winter Court is responsible for Autumn and Winter, slowly bringing cold and then reversing the process. While physically cold to anything they come contact with, the Winter Fae run the from friendly and amicable to most they interact with to emotionally cold and frigid. These Fae may specialize in cold temperatures, wind, frost, snow, hail, or ice.
While all Fae are quite fashion conscious, The Winter Court is extremely high fashion, notable for their haute couture style. Current silhouette is long and lean with elegant, shiny, or gauzy fabrics with much embellishment such as beading or embroidery, very much in the style of Zuhair Murad or Ziad Nakad.
Their most celebrated event is the Winter Solstice, followed by Samhain/All Hollow's Ever/Halloween.
King and Queen
The current King and Queen are Adal and Amia, respectively. Although relatively young when they came into power after the tragic and untimely death of the previous Queen in an accident, they have matured into strong and powerful leaders of the Court and work well together. However, they are still young by Old Fae standards and have not yet discovered their heirs; neither do they have any children.
The Summer Court
The Summer Court is responsible for spring and summer, slowly bringing heat and then reversing the process. While physically warm or hot to anything they come contact with, the Summer Fae run the from friendly and amicable to emotionally aggressive and life of the party. These Fae may specialize in warm temperatures, wind, growth, sunlight, or summer rain.
The Summer Court is known for it's wild and untamed parties involving feasting, dancing, music, and rampant sexuality. Their fashion is light and airy, filled with color, light fabrics that catch any breeze, lace, and flower adornments. The Summer Fae are known for their strong emotions, and whatever they are feeling is likely to be at full display. While this makes for great frivolity, evoking negative emotions can be quite dangerous.
Their most celebrated event is the Summer Solstice, followed by Samhain/All Hollow's Eve/Halloween.
King and Queen
The Forest Court
Unlike most of the Fae Courts, the Forest court rarely gathers together. Most of its' members care for forests throughout the world, and are isolated from others. They enjoy solitude and the company of the trees and beings of the forests and plants rather than the company of other Fae. It can be hard to pin them down, and their relations with the other Courts are spotty.
The Forest Fae dress in plant material, if at all, similar to Peter Pan in leaves and vines, rather than dresses or suits made of petals.
King and Queen
The Unseelie Court
The Unseelie, or Dark, Court is populated by Fae who are extremely hostile to Humans, whom they hate. Any Fae may join the Dark Court, whether from another court or solitary Fae. They keep to themselves and live separately from any contact with other Fae except by official Court channels. Their natures become dark and they revel in things most others find dangerous and repulsive. They are also exacting when extracting punishment, and the other courts will send them those whose punishments they do not wish to carry out themselves, Human and Fae alike.
When Dark Fae venture into the Human Realm for purpose of hurting and causing suffering to Humans, they are for the most part left unchecked by the other Courts.
King and Queen
The Animal Court
The Animal Court works intensely with animals both magical and not as they are gifted. In the Human Realm, this work focuses on protecting animals from harm caused by both Humans and natural disasters. They do not interfere in the pray/hunter relationships between animals themselves. When working with magical creatures, they often act as emissaries or work to help them in certain goals if they are sapient. Although usually very busy, the do meet as a Court quarterly for assignments and revelries.
King and Queen
Events and Holidays
Solstice is the most important day of the Winter (moon) and Summer (sun) Courts, respectively. The Court will collect the special light of the moon or sun on that day, and celebrate with ceremonies, rades, and feasting with music, dance, and other such frivolities. Fae wear their best raiment and most often commission new finery for this occasion. The Winter Court is also responsible for collecting the light of full moons.
All collecting is light done via bowls or pools of water which have been prepared with special magic. It is used in other type of magic and in healing.
Samhain/All Hallow's Eve/Halloween
This is the most important universal holiday among all Fae, whether the Courts or solitary Fae. It is a time when the Human and Fae realms are closest together, and today they celebrate with a mix of ancient a modern traditions. They move freely in the Human realm, and indulge in the costumes and pageantry for days, leading up to grander and grander costumes until October 31. They may participate in trick-or-treating and other such festivities, as well as in blessing or cursing individuals. Anyone with ongoing contact, patronage, or relationship will receive visits and if properly prepared, receive the annual blessing. Children may be taken, according to the law some Courts.
In the Fae Realm, both Summer and Winter Courts celebrate with festivities leading up to the day, and much time is spent in the preceding weeks and month preparing costumes as befits their love of fashion, pageantry, and beauty. On 31 October, they return to the Fae Realm at midnight and feast and party into 1 November, which doesn't actually wind down and fully cease for several days. No official work is done during this time excepting emergencies.
If Halloween falls on a day of Magic, they will Carry out the Elemental Magic at 1 AM and the feast will begin immediately afterward.