More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 2

“We are friends, come join us.”

Your journey went as well as ours?  Good, good.  At the very least, you have gained a larger understanding of the mainstream political groups that dwell within the so-called Good Kingdom, Wyld Realms and many other a name.  Regardless of what they courts may call themselves in that moment, they still hold sway and much command.  Do not let their chaotic forces fool you, those who fully oppose them can for the moment unite in near legion.  That Narrator is certainly not welcome within their grounds, letters within Sigil have made that clear.  Though, I’m not sure that this mysterious figure is as insensitive or cruel as many make them out to be.  That’s a matter that shall be discussed later.  In the meantime, let us form a lecture around more looks into the fey.  For the time being, we shall continue to look at the major power groups found within their realms, who they cooperate with and how they maintain a very tenuous cease fire.  After all, tales of the epic sylvan war resulted in no winners and no conclusion.  Fully realized organizations and groupings came from the schism.  But in the end, none came to a common consensus or attempted to reconcile in full.

What has been stated before covers the 4 primary courts of the seasons within the Deep Ethereal pockets belonging to the Fair Folk.  Many fey exist beyond the bickering of four seasons.  Once one leaves the Ethereal and reaches for the Outer Planes, they may witness conflict over two distinct “newer” courts.  The two so-called “traitor courts”, as they are called by the traditional fey of the Ethereal, act within Upper and Lower Planes.  They are the Seelie and Unseelie respectively.  For the Seelie, they are often found in Arborea, but not always.  Likewise, the Unseelie typically dwell within the most wicked pits of Pandemonium.  But, who are they?  Likewise, the Seasonal Courts aren’t alone in the Ethereal.  There are those who are not aligned with mainstream fey politics?  Why certainly!  There are tales of outsider societies as well as religious sects dedicated to ancient ways, ancient even by sylvan standards.  From obnoxious rebels to the fey equivalent to heretics, many divisions and groups have formed.

Author’s Note: Part 2 of my look at fey factions, politics and the like.  As I’ve said before, spirit type creatures needed more umph for the Planescape setting.  So, this is my way of accomplishing that.  So, let’s look at Upper Planes, Lower Planes, outsider societies and cults.  By all means, most of this is supplementary (and some minor degree of altering) to what has been written about Seelie and Unseelie via the Monstrous Mythologies as well as Planes of Chaos and Planes of Conflict.  In terms of outsiders and cults, that’ll need another post too.  Stay tuned for that!  This does not cover everything in detail, much like with part one.  Consider looking under this link for much more.


The Seelie Court

Wood Nymph – C.M. Russell Museum

Archfey: Titania and Oberon.  The Queen and King of the Faeries, by their words.  In truth, they only watch over the Seelie Court and nothing else.  And in truth, such a matter annoys them.  Despite what has been said, neither of them get along well with the Seldarine.  In fact, Oberon hates many of them with a deep passion, especially Corelleon Larethian.  His rivalry with the elven deity is well documented and well stated across various sources, including in mythic primer accounts of the world of Mystara.  Many of these folk myths are biased and distorted though.  Many point to the creation of the elves and the betrayal of Sarula Lliene, a former Seelie Court circle member.  Neither respect several other pantheons, such as the dwarven one though.  Few gain positive reception from them, but those who do are sought out as allies for time everlasting.  Despite these issues, they maintain a strong alliance through their political circles.  And through them and extended networks, their Seelie Court remains strong.  When ties begin to strain, Oberon and Titania enact trickery to test loyalty of the seelie, the fey way.  These can be elaborate games or just feats of intrigue to suss out potential outside interlopers.  Like the rest of their court, pure beauty is a symbol of all that is goodly in their eyes, among other things.

The Seelie Fey. If Spring conveys a natural beauty, the Seelie showcase a far more divine form.  Things are radiant in a more Upper Planar way, rather than the natural rays of the sun.  By the logic of the planes, most tend to align with Good.  However, the conflicted creature that is the fey twists this into an alien form, as the fey often do.  While much of the Seelie Court consists of a sylvan blood pantheon, its servitors are as important to overall stability.  Their Sidhe followers act as extensions to their beliefs.  For the most part, each of these sidhe are devoted to one or more of the court pantheon.  While most favor Oberon or Titania to a degree, some are willing to favor others completely.  This often refers to the divide known as the Inner and Outer Circle, with the inner being deities closely tied to the central court of Oberon and Titania.  Sidhe within this inner circle tend to be more obsessive, but just as playful and curious as the rest of the Seelie Court.  Outer Circle Sidhe, like their patrons, tend to less involved in duties and paying homage to the noble leaders.  However, Inner Circle matters tend to be resolved fast, while Outer Circle find themselves becoming too convoluted to continue, eventually forgotten or worked over over time.

Holdings.  The holdings of the Inner Court lie secret within the Seelie realms, hidden to much of the Outer Court even.  Beyond there, one could find the Gilded Gate that links less secretive Seelie claiming to Arborea.  Several Eladrin celestial emissaries have used it as a quick means of interacting with the fey.  “The Dream Pool” is less of a realm and more of a powerful artifact that allows the Seelie to observe the Prime Material from afar, though they can slightly interact through use of the pool.  Castle Senaliesse acts as a gift of joy for the Seelie, even if it’s a mark of woe for the Summer Court.  Tiandra now acts as a minor influence in the Outer Court.  Most notoriously, the House of Flowers is something of both an embassy and security force.  While their private agendas are hidden, they help ward off forces of darkness from infiltrating the court.  Curiously, both the House and the Court align more than each other think.  The living weapon, Mourner’s Rosebush, is bred here.  Beyond that, little outposts and hiding places can be found on the Chaotic planes, especially more Good-leaning.  However, their own hidden agendas make sure they keep prying eyes out when the Court moves about.  After all, true beauty shall be protected and those who fight it will be destroyed.

Alliance.  Goodly clerics upon the planes may find themselves upon the Seelie Court.  The same could be said the aspiring as well.  Even Druids aren’t shy of embracing Seelie ethos.  For them and their aid, protecting beauty is a must.  Those who violate and destroy it are pure evil.  Likewise, evil that wish the fey harm, especially the seelie, must be quelled by any means.  Unfortunately, these fey view a lot of things as evil in a heavily skewed way.  These perceptions may be considerably extreme or alien to some.  When it comes to interactions and social resources with mortals, the Seelie often employ unicorns.  Despite their xenophobia and issues brought upon by notions of purity, they are still the most noble and goodly; sometimes even acting as sylvan judges.  In fact, wicked acts will cause them to wither and slowly die out.  For that reason, many act as the face for when making an alliance with fey kind.  Perhaps they are the most truly noble, as they won’t be shy in telling outside help that the Seelie can become rather fanatical.  After all, their agendas must be aided at all costs.  And their enemies?  Vanquished.  Who are their enemies?

Open and Hidden Agendas.  The Seelie Court likes to present itself as the most noble and goodly of all fey.  To an extent, that is true.  Often this involves them meddling in the affairs of other goodly creatures to help deliver justice as they see fit.  Likewise, the preservation of beauty and wonder is key for them as well.  Love, passion, splendor, all things pleasing.  These things must be preserved by the Seelie, lest the Unseelie break all of them.  There is a dark side to this.  They have been cold to the unloved, outright cruel to the ugly, jaded towards the dull and more.  It’s no wonder that a truce at the time resulted in the House of Flowers joining the Seelie Court.  Oberon is secretly working to remove Elvish influence in the Seelie Court though, in spite of Corelleon.  Both him and Titania dislike the House of Flowers, but haven’t found mutual allies on that and don’t know of their hidden genocide agenda… beyond the help they’ve lent in smiting the unseelie.  In the meantime, the archfeys fail to lend support and lend criticism instead.  This slight isn’t unnoticed and has drawn ire.  Titania herself has become too distracted with the Celestial Eladrin, while Oberon enjoys hunting offers from the Horned Lord of Spring.  However, their darkest secret extends beyond the House of Flowers.  Their campaign for Beautification of the Planes amounts to massive mutation and genocide.  Anything that isn’t beautiful is not good, and thus must be crusaded against.  If there wasn’t a deep animosity towards elves, the House of Flowers would have joined them.  This is the Seelie Way.  And under their way succeeding, all other life is doomed to perish or be melded into useful changelings.

Relations with Wyld/Seasonal Court/Unseelie Court.  The Wyld Fey disappoint Titania.  It depends, but in general she feels that the “unaligned” fey need to get past their sadness of Rhiannon and realize that they’ll be forced to pick one of two sides in time.  And by all means, the forces of good prove to be better for longevity than the forces of evil.  Of course, that is her bias for her court coming into play.  It’s likely that this analogue for the Blood War will not happen and it’s more her desire to end the unofficial truce.  She finds the Seasonal Courts to be various kinda of vapid and pretentious.  The spats formed from Summer and Spring amuse her deeply, viewing them as quaint and childish.  She does not care for the “ugliness” of Autumn and Winter likening them to being “thankfully better” than the Unseelie.  All in all, she tires of their “olden style” politics and wants them to recognize how she has revolutionized the fey for the better.  The rest of the Seelie Court can tolerate the Wyld Fey much more than the other way around.  However, if it can be helped, they’d rather ignore them and leave them to their business.  Oberon remains the outlier.  Relations with the Unseelie should prove rather obvious.  While Oberon hates the Unseelie,  but Titania’s reaction is one of raw mixed emotions.  For her, it’s sorrow, unending fury, betrayal, doubt, guilt, vengeful glee, bloodthirst and much more.  Dwelling on these matters quickly upsets her, so she tries not to until it’s relevant.

Relations with the Planes.  The view of the Seelie Court upon the planes as a whole is often clouded in details.  The Seelie are mostly a mystery.  But, what is known by greybeards and deep scholars is that they are a Goodly representation of the Fey.  While still spirits of chaos, they collaborate with celestials to help ensure that their curious brands of joy affect the cosmos for the better.  Even at their most mischievous, there is rarely malice in their acts.  Save for more xenophobic primers, this is known to many.  In fact, to many they are particularly crafty arbiters of morality, using their own chaotic brand to teach powerful lessons.  The Lower Planes, often siding with the Unseelie out of convenience, does not care for the Seelie Court and their affinity for celestial beauty.  Likewise, more fully Lawful creatures are unnerved by them.  Even the Angelic devas see them as mocking truly goodly order.  The same could be said for the defensive orders that other aspects of the fey use.  Despite disliking true Law, they have received inspiration for Mechanus.  Their witnessing of the Great Modron March accidentally set wheels in motion for their big project, The Beautification.  What it is has been largely unknown.  Some suspect that their lofty goals will clash with the planes, if not bring untold change to the Outer Planes at the very least.  Such incredible desires could prove apocalyptic, unless uncovered at the right time.


The Unseelie Court

Emerald Forest' by Joseph Vargo : r/DarkGothicArt

Archfey: The Queen of Air and Darkness.  Petty, stubborn, aggressive, controlling and many other negative character traits.  These create what was once Mab.  She rarely has willing subjects, usually subjects of compliance after constant abuse.  She lends these techniques to those who trespass her primary lair in Phlegethon, her grim throne overseeing the evil gem that ruined her to begin with.  While she wasn’t always like this, she has long since abandoned any notions of returning to her sister or old ways of life.  The joys of violence, loathing, pain and more are too great for her.  She is submerged in this literal dark underworld.  For a long time, she ran the court without aid.  However, upon witnessing the effectiveness of the Inner and Outer Circles of the Seelie, she began to change her mind.  Those serving directly under her lie and cheat, while trying to save face and earn her graces.  In fact, she encourages all of this behavior as her subordinates claw their way to winning the Unseelie Queen’s favor.  Countless other Unseelie have emerged as schemers, warmongers, torturers and other horrible occupations.  Each has a role in spreading dark fey influence and they’ll see to it that such things are carried out.

The Unseelie Fey.  The Unsidhe, dark fey.  These dour and awful residents of Pandemonium and beyond haunt the cavernous halls and grim spires that dance the planar layer.  Even in other realms where the court may travel to, their presence is quickly known.  Like all fey, a penchant for mischief is a given.  But dark fey trickery is deeply evil, often with the victim locked into deep suffering.  While their mayhem is motivated by a hate of anything unlike them, few things set them off more than the fey of the Seelie Court.  Campaigns to snuff out seelie agents on other planes aren’t uncommon, but toes aren’t stepped on to avoid a greater war.  When their infamous Queen is not dealing with outsiders, they’ll often try their hand at toying with those who dare to visit.  Even those summoned to attend Queen Mab’s court are not safe from her subjects.  Unless one is considered protected under the queen’s watch, everyone is fair game… even fellow subjects.  Much like the plane, the fey here are sadistic and devoid of any empathy.  Counter trickery or diplomacy requires that much deeper thought, as many won’t care about their victims in the slightest.

Holdings.  Within the Plane of Pandemonium, Phlegethon hosts all means of horrors.  But here, the Unseelie Court typically rests.  Hatred, slavery and death rule over this court.  A wandering attraction of the Unseelie is Thought Shatter Theatre.  Stingquill Bloodink and Humphrey unleash all sorts of vile displays, with the establishment being more of a ploy to harness and abuse planar travelers.  Timbergorge is a more recent acquisition, the result of dark fey trickery at its worst.  The monstrosity now known as Silvermaw rests as the pathetic caretaker of the Unseelie pocket.  Kingdoms of Fomorians and Goblinoids dot the nightmares linked to Pandemonium.  In reality, they aren’t true kingdoms, duchies at most.  The name Kingdom is granted to make the queen’s subjects feel important and to see who would try to stand against her.  So far, numerous insurrections against the Court have been uprooted and quelled.  These fiefdoms and territories by themselves are an odd feature in regards to Pandemonium though.  The further one goes into Unseelie territory, the more it clashes with the rest of the plane.  More than likely, the Court is also its own demiplane merely linked to the plane.  This is aided by the Abyssal Cysts that are tethered to the Abyss, arcane sources that blend demonic and dark fey together.  Some locations are more outsider friendly, like the Trade Moot at the edge of the Goblin Kingdom of Nachtur.  Beware of the brutal vendors and parasitic flying heads.

Alliance.  For starters, this is a fool’s errand.  Those in allegiance to the Unseelie are mostly puppets, slaves or native horrors.  Outsiders who aren’t immediately captured for dark ends are used for dreadful suicide missions or truly heinous acts to test the scruples of the subject.  Either amount to whatever can help get the Unseelie ahead, with a strong prospect of the tested dying horribly.  Those who do prove that they’re worth something still don’t earn much respect, but prove to be a valuable agent all the same.  They aren’t manipulated as much, so long as they continue to pay tribute and act as the Unseelie would.  Those who gain the trust of these wicked creatures are equally so, if not more evil themselves.  True to Mab’s nature, she does not take deception or betrayal well.  The only exceptions this stem from whether or not she gets ahead from it… as well as whether or not the matter was executed in a creative way.

Open and Hidden Agendas.  It’s known that the Queen of Darkness and Air wants to overthrow the Seelie Court.  She has made it known and heavily obvious.  Her means of trying to do so are currently more covert, as full on war would be just as likely to destroy her side too.  However, her lack of trust within her own subordinates and archfey tier creatures shows through other actions.  The Dark Fey have made pacts across various planes.  The Cult of The Hag Countess is especially grateful for the support, even if the two agendas only somewhat mix.  Likewise, the Abyss is fascinated by the Dark Fey and wants to see where the Cyst projects will go.  Part of the reason why there is interest in the Abyss though is releasing a captured Wyld fey.  This rogue element could prove useful when the Unseelie expand their campaigns against their more neutral cousins.  The ousting from what would become the Fair Kingdom still stings Mab, as she pushes for eventual revenge.  Despite cruel vindictive behavior, deep down Mab fears Titania and Oberon.  She knows their secret agendas and wishes to stop them.  This is more for self-preservation over truly helping the planes.  She doesn’t care if the rest of reality dies, so long as her Court remains as she desires.  However, she delights in shattering the public’s perception of the Seelie Court, if only in small amounts, as to not compromise her.

Relations with Wyld/Seelie Courts.  All inferior and backstabbers.  The Dark Fey refuse to get along with the majority of the Wyld fey.  The Unseelie see them as mindless tools to a dead regime.  Even Mab is aware that Rhiannon will not come back, short of a miracle.  But, this pales in comparison to their opinion of the Seelie.  Titania ruined everything in the eyes of the Dark Faerie Queen.  The wondrous gem could have revolutionized the fair folk, but Mab’s “obnoxious sister” destroyed all of it, including their original home.  The Dark Fey at times reflect upon this and reflect upon what has been lost because of the “Idealist Court” and its consequences upon fey races.  The Seelie is considered a disaster that must be “solved” in due time.  Only then can Mab prove that she was right and restructuring of the fey can continue.  Dark thoughts and desires for retaliation often cloud the Queen’s thoughts, as the very thought of the Seelie makes her deeply seethe.

Relations with the Seasonal Courts.  The Unseelie straight up hate any lingering influence they have over the Autumn and Winter Courts, after starting to gain ground in each.  What has developed from both exists as a mockery instead, something both seasons enjoy.  The Unseelie consider this to be crude appropriation.  They find the Spring and Summer Courts to be more bothersome, especially over their past defecting towards Seelie ears.  Overall, the Seasons are disliked across different reasons.  Only exceptions to the rule are tolerated within Autumn and Winter.  This also tends to come from outliers among the Unseelie as well, not the mainstream views of the court itself.  However, while they dislike the Courts and their brand of politics, it’s small compared to the Seelie.  The Unseelie Queen considers the Seasons to be an obstacle in comparison to her real goals.  Though, trying to rebuild her old home will likely see the end of the Seasonal Courts as they are currently known.

Relations with the Planes.  The Unseelie are not afraid to infest and tamper with the planes at large.  One of their most recent descents into dark realms is through the Layers of the Abyss.  Not only are dark fey stationed there, but a prison lies in the plane as a weapon to use against rivals.  A former member of a Verdant sect (see below) is trapped in a layer, due to a brief pact between Tanar’ri and an enterprising Seelie looking to banish evil influences.  While the Verdant sect reels over the pain and humiliation, it’s just another piece to use.  Likewise, the Feral Wyld is a corruption of the already sinister Wilds of Antorek.  Likewise, the Grey Wastes have seen more fey presence, thanks to alliance with the Night Hags.  Even Carceri has seen its wardens let the Unseelie torment prisoners.  Within the City of Doors, the dark fey operate a business known as The Simmering Cauldron.  It’s more so a front for drugs and gambling.  Chant speaks of slave-trade, the dark of it all is that it’s true.



Various groups who align with multiple interests or none, typically in the Fair Kingdom.  They are independent of the Seasonal Courts of the Kingdom, as well as Seelie and Unseelie Courts.


The Verdant Virtue (The Shepherds)

Albert Pierre René Maignan, The Green Muse (La muse verte) | Dark Classics
“Tomorrow, you’ll burn down the factory and plant a tree over the ashes.”

Leadership: Spring Acolyte Morningglade Gweniyth.  A Spring Sidhe of rising power, she is a direct proxy for the Horned Lord.  Despite potential worry for bias, she is equally enamored with the methods of Summer as she is with the ways of Spring.  And by this, she enjoys who both can bring to a sect wholly about nature within the fey.  While the fey represent a supernatural distortion of the mundane and wild, Morningglade proves that many can form around a deep interest in that far less extreme world.  Morningglade discovered her passion after a trip beyond the planes.  From the Beastlands, she discovered a gateway into a jungle within the Prime.  Its mix of imperfections mixed with the shocking tranquility that the mortal world could give.  Enamored, she sought out more incredible places across the prime, learning how these wonders could be brought back to her fellow fey spirits.  Ultimately, she began to amass curious followers around her.  Originally just Spring, even Summer found her pursuits interesting enough to diver deeper into later.

The Verdant Fey.  Spring and Summer leaning, protect nature.  It is common to see plant-like motifs throughout the fey involved, as if it is growing around them.  Due to sharing a heavy membership of spring and summer, the attitudes of both have bled together in some ways.  Valuing the beauty in the organic and natural is a must, but this has a second side.  These fey are extremely technophobic, loathing anything overly artificial to the point of violent rage.  Likewise, creatures not born of nature or some kind of fey nature are ridiculed at the very least.  This love of the natural also creates a zealous protectionism that emerges when something natural is threatened and they perceive it.  Lodges and divine circles, not unlike the primal orders on the prime material, have gradually built up over time.  While they do not fully understand the methods of these primers, they emulate them in hope of better understand nature.  Many scouts have tried to influence and pay off the Seelie to make sure they witness use of the Dream Pool.  Their only interest is to both witness Material Plane nature as well as those who would harm it.  They rarely have misgivings with those who share their ideals.  However, the omnicidal mania of a fey-tinged dragon lord proved too much for them.  Likewise, the encouragement of mortals fusing themselves with spiritual natural energies turned them away.

Holdings.  Due to their connections, most of the order can be freely traveling between Spring and Summer Court spaces.  They have no true central hub that they operate out of.  Meetings are usually held at somewhere between the two courts and often at some place of natural significance like by a sparkling waterfall or by a field glistening in dew.  Meetings are always held where one can find natural beauty.  This need not be the case.  Natural lands, even beyond the faerie, in need of desperate aid have been popular points of meeting.  While more casual sessions end and members disperse, more intensive ones usually see members immediately getting to work.  However, what defines a natural land in peril can greatly vary.  They have invaded homes, only to restore a forest from inside of it.  In their view, as long as the Shepherds uphold their principles and bring a renewed life to a region, then their job is complete.  Likewise, a new base can be formed to operate from in future events.  These actions have resulted in several sylvan jumping points upon the Prime, much of the unnerving of many.

Alliance.  The easiest way to join or be associated is for starters, already be involved within nature somehow.  Druids and rangers quickly grab their attention.  Likewise, having good standings with Spring and Summer is another way of being in healthy relations with the Verdant.  But, they are quick to witness from their wild patches.  Could an outlander show true virtue in their love of nature?  Will they serve and protect organic life in all forms?  Are they too a shepherd?  As long as the focus of their attention can achieve these and more under their cloaked gaze, then there is hope to fight along their side and help reign in those who harm their world.  Mortals who align with the Shepherds of the Verdant veneer towards extreme by the standards of their peers.  Many Material denizens will liken them to a radical druidic circle or the like.  In truth, those who fully embrace these fey also embrace ideals that are meant for immortal spirits in their ongoing crusade against the inorganic, the constructed, the mechanical and much more.  Their primal mission was never meant to be undertaken by creatures beyond their scope.  All the same, they welcome the help.

Open and Hidden Agendas.  The Verdant Fey blatantly take ideas and inspiration from humanoids of the prime material plane, stealing ethos and means from various druidic groups, as well as ranger conclaves and other orders tied to upholding the natural world.  Despite not being on Seelie Grounds, the Verdant has donated to the House of Flowers with a request to destroy that which threatens natural beauty.  This has rewarded them with the Mourner Rosebush to use as bodyguards and tactical units when they embark on “ecological retribution” campaigns.  While they try to recruit mortals, should they be overtaken in passionate rage against an enemy, they will abduct humanoids who might prove to be helpful in an upcoming campaign.  They’ll often dress this up as a sacred quest, to avoid suspicion.  Ironically, they have invested time and resources into fighting Antorek’s lingering cult.  In their views, the dragon lord has perverted nature and has created abominations.  The Wyldfolk, impure and artificial in their view, are targets for destruction.

Relations with Wyld, Seelie and Unseelie Courts.  In terms of the Wyld Fey, they view their name as an irony.  They are too distracted by pleasantries and contrivances to see the greater picture, the deeper mission.  They do not hate them, but consider them naive and childish.  The Seelie is disappointing to them.  While they seemingly approve of the House of Flowers, their reference and love for beauty seemed tainted by decadence and pretense.  There is no beauty without some elaborate or artificial aesthetic in the eyes of the Verdant.  They aren’t quick to go after them, but they’ve harbored a dislike.  But, the Unseelie are downright loathed.  The Unseelie perverts and abuses nature as a pastime, in the views of more powerful Shepherds.  There are no greater sinners among the sylvan than the Unseelie Court.  But in reality, that’s not fully true.  Some Wyld Fey are true heretics, ripping apart what it means to be a fey as a whole.  Tinkerhold is a subject of immense loathing.  One end goal is to destroy it, taking out many in the area as well, as a lesson to anyone who would dare to betray the fair folk so deeply as the tinkerers have.  Those among their kind who do show some appreciation from a misguided lens are seen the opposite.  These Wyld fey are “strong in heart, weak in mind”.  And for the shepherds, it is their job to save them while helping to foster a passion in the untamed and uncultivated.

Relations with the Seasonal Courts.  Much like with the Wyld fey, most of the Seasons are tolerated.  In their view, they are misguided by in depth politicking and games of pointless intrigue.  In their views, their division is all a greater distraction from larger threats.  Over time, they have extended olive branches by appealing to various courtly sensibilities.  The Summer enjoys extreme heat, while Winter does for extreme cold.  Meanwhile, Autumn and Spring have some investment in far more mild climates.  Each court has pitched in their share to ensure that the types of realms and undomesticated landscapes stay as they are meant to.  And by all means, the shepherds help.  However, secrets involving Autumn’s “logical” tinker faction have been kept well away.  To unveil such would be treachery for their allies.  And while Winter unnerves the shepherds, due to the obsession with death, they have earned some respect by honoring aspects of pure and savage lands that have been lost to time.

Relations with the Planes.  The Beastlands has become the primary outer host for their visits on the planes.  However, they have come into direct conflict with the Shapers of the Organic; mad even that the plane has not ejected them prior to their intervention.  The Neutral Meeting grounds allows them to play intermediary between the Seelie Court and both the Eladrin and Guardinals.  Even Arborea can be pleasant for shepherds, who have been joined by Eladrin looking to liberate aspects of nature oppressed upon the planes and beyond.  While there is much nature there, Arcadia terrifies the shepherds.  It represents nature is an uncanny manner.  While not artificial, it is bent to reflect false perfections and ideals that run counter to them.  Many enemies of the shepherds who used their horror and madness brought upon by the plane to their advantage.  But, few places disgust them more than Sigil itself.  Under no willing conditions will they enter The City of Doors, even if countless other fey actively travel through there.  They’d rather find longer ways to access portals, if it came down to it.


Defenders of the Rose Blossom Thorn (The Diminutive Defenders)

Richard Dadd - The Faerie Feller's Master Stroke

Knight of Highest Honor:  Twyleth Teg.  Perhaps the most orderly of a paramilitary organization.  Her title is one to trust and acknowledge, for it’s by her hand that the Defenders were brought into a new era.  Older incarnations were far more latched onto early years of the Fair Kingdom, dictated by their service to their original queen.  Long without her, they became something of a security group to ensure the plane remained safe for their kind.  Enter one lighthearted but determined pixie.  Through heroic tales of valor and a committed focus, she rose to great respects among her own.  After what would amount to decades of mortal time, her victories over foes of the fey earned her the current title.  And thus, she acts as de factor leader of the organization.  While informal, none question, as she has only enhanced prosperity for both her cohorts and those around her.  All the same, this has made her all the more desirable by enemies, especially the Outer Planar fey.  While the rest of her order is hesitant to embrace the workings of Tinkerhold, she has long since been cutting deals and making breaks for them.  The Defenders, while still quite hesitant, were looking to overlook this.  As for the tinkerers?  The added support and protection was deeply appreciated, landing her a unique arcane rifle.  Continued collaboration with the artificers may begin to raise questions and discontent in the future.  Thus, she shall have to tread carefully.

Miniature Corps.  When one is so small, the world is much scarier.  That is why the Defenders emerged initially, but now their scope and numbers grow.  The composition of this organization is made of sprites and pixies with a clear cut mission.  That mission?  Defend all realms of faerie from larger threats, which often amounts to anything negative or dangerous that is larger than them.  It is rare to see one solo.  If this is the case, they are been marooned or have become last survivor.  And worse, no backup has arrived.  It’s much more likely to see large to massive groups of them, clustered like a dark cloud.  While aerial missions are a specialty of theirs, they have tamed and bred mounts to accompany them on the ground.  Squat sylvan canines with large ears traverse the underbrush and thickets to help that dash towards their destinations.  So called “Fey Corgis” have become the official mounts bound to their riders in service to the order.  Also intelligent, these companions can likewise speak and sometimes walk upright.  These companions often live by the famed Wee Lands beside the Autumn Court.

Holdings.  The Wee Lands isn’t just their place of origin, it’s their strongest place of power.  Bordering at a strange cross-roads at the tip of Autumn and leading towards Spring, it’s within a mostly quiet forest alongside a serene stream.  Or in Wee Folk, the Great Riverside.  Winding by the riverside is a well protected town.  The Defenders act as not just a local militia but the  guardsmen and general peacekeeping as a whole.  Any Wee Folk is capable of joining the order, in fact most originate from here.  Another primary base is found at the end of the Summer Court, the eponymous Rose Blossom Thorn.  This miniature citadel may look the size of a humanoid’s house, but it’s anything but.  A fully fortified source of battle operations, those who dare trespass aren’t given the same niceties even granted enemies.  Magic and arrows jump from tiny dots to humanoid sized as interlopers are taken out with terrifying skill and accuracy.  But, like with The Wee Lands, those who gain favor and permission may be shrunken down and even get a layout of the place.  Of course, only true members get the chance to suit up and fight.  Guests merely gain privilege of their protection while there.  Twyleth likewise holds a minor dominion on Spring property, due to political marriage with a court representative.  To this day, the decision was controversial and the Defenders are not required to be stationed here.  But, through this property, increased presence has been known.  Many Spring fey don’t know what to make of it.  The leery minute fey fluttering about make many denizens nervous, fearing that something is going on nearby.  But, when matters occur, they remain relatively thankful.  Especially in Spring territory, the Knight of Highest Honor is quite reluctant to brandish or utilize her donated firearm. 

Alliance.  The Diminutive Defenders don’t really make friends, they prefer to get their work done.  As such, they prefer others not get in their way.  But, should you find out that you are working towards a common goal with them, there will usually be cooperation.  And should you prove to be beneficial help against their threats, they’ll consider you a valid comrade in arms.  While anything outside of their limited range can apply for membership, they will stand up for those who have done them great service.  This is rare beyond the kingdom of fair folk, their security is a blessing within their own ethereal realms.  Corgyn Shire is up a small slope near the forest and great riverside, it is here where the mighty allies of the pixies, sprites and more reside.  The Fey Corgis often look to their own tasks when not involved with the Defenders.  However, they remain one of the few exceptions to the rule when it comes to non wee folk.  Those who befriend the corgi kind typically befriend the wee folk soon after.

Open and Hidden Agendas.  It’s blatantly obvious that they serve and protect the fey.  However, they have a side mission of warding off and sometimes outright attacking Seelie and Unseelie agents who find themselves in this neutral ground.  Their presence is not tolerated by the Defenders.  This starts with faerie appropriate trickery and games.  Should the invader not take the hint, then the forces mobilize for more direct approaches.  Only those who immediately make themselves known and show that they will not attack do not incur the wrath of the defenders….  usually.  As a semi autonomous and vigilante leaning group, there’s little to stop operatives from breaking the peace and just attacking anyway.  This is deeply frowned upon and many within “the ranks” will chastise them and do whatever they can to make the rogue operative resign.  But, should the “Other Court” outsider prove to be causing issue anyway, this is easily overlooked.  However, when not contending with such forces, they keep the wary eye upon other Planars instead.  Prime creatures tend to be viewed as foolish, but draw focus due to potential recklessness on the primer’s behalf.  Another dark agenda is that many in the order won’t disrespect their leader to her face.  But, they’ll do underhanded workings in secret.  The use of an artifact that can simulate cold iron and kill their kind easily goes too far for many, including within the Defenders themselves.  Those in the know who have turned stag have helped place bounty hits for their leader.  As it is a currently small pool of public outcries are calling for her to retire and destroy the weapon.  Should it be find out that it is a secret bargaining chip to keep the Seelie and Unseelie at bay, maybe they shall change their tune.

Relations with Wyld and the Seasonal Courts.  Overall, the Defenders attempt to stay on the good sides of the four Seasonal Courts, who make up the current establishment of the neutral sylvan realms.  However, the jovial antics of Spring, mixed with the hot headed aggression of Summer often make their work cut out for them.  Likewise, the Autumn Court is critical of the lists of mishaps caused by wee folk that proved unready for a task.  Even the readied have had their share of mistakes.  None the less, they continue onward despite the complaints.  As for the Wyld fey around them, they have sworn to protect them to the best of their abilities.  In sizeable numbers, their efforts become great and their achievements become astonishing.  Much of the Wyld as a whole likes to give the numbers of wee folk space.  There is often a mix of admiration, curiosity and fear channeled through the public when the Defenders move on by.  The other sects draw a range of curiosity to ire.  While no finger can be lifted upon native fringe groups and religious extremists, they’ll keep their distance and watch with suspicion.

Relations with Seelie and Unseelie and planes beyond.  Should something truly unusual occur, information will always travel to the right source.  The earliest members of the Defenders recall the betrayal of both Mab and Titania, as such even the current members hate both.  Likewise, the opinion of the “Other Courts” is one of scorn and disdain.  Should a particularly powerful agent of either Outer Planes court cause trouble within the Fair Kingdom, it’s not uncommon for the Highest Honor to be summoned.  While knowledge of her “fake iron” rifle is not too obscure, the weapon strikes fear into the invading outsiders.  A strange magic even causes attacks to sometimes function like the faerie bane.  For now, there has been no action to remove and destroy the weapon, due to its use against enemies.  However, a growing dislike for it is forming and Tinkerhold is being asked to explain themselves.  For the planes beyond, there isn’t much that holds their interest.  They’re well aware that they’ve caught the bad sides of the Seelie and Unseelie in spades.  Fortunately, their presence isn’t widely known or regarded.  But, growing fame will bring growing challenges.  Some have taken to escorting Court nobles of the Free Kingdom throughout the multiverse, for whatever the noble must handle.  This can range from a diplomatic visit to Arborea (evading the Seelie if it can be helped) to a trades dispute in Sigil the City of Doors.  Due to having hands in all four courts, the Defenders try to remain apolitical if at least neutral.  This likewise extends beyond fey politics.


Gelidgale Scholarly (The Knowing)

The Collect by Keith Thompson : r/ImaginaryHorrors

Head Librarian: The Speaking Seed.  An ancient seed belonging to a type of long extinct tree.  Upon being brought into the realms of the fey as a gift, it was taken in by what would become the academics group.  They figured rather than just growing the plant and risking loss, it would be preserved and studied.  Somewhere along their magical process, more seeds were made from this one.  However, a strange side effect of the magic blessed the seed itself with intelligence.  It sought to learn more about its saviors as well as its “children”.  Several of the iconic libraries within the Fair Kingdom are in fact children of the seed.

The Gelidgale Fey.  Mostly Autumn and Winter aligned fey, they favor pursuits that favor the savvy and intellectual.  For them, research and understanding is an absolute.  More than most fey, they “understand” creatures beyond their scope.  However, their methods of expressing this is often pompous and egotistical, thinking of their peers as often lower or ignorant.  When not frowning upon ignorant masses, they embark on quests of discovery, risky experiments or other facets of science taken to absurd levels that mortals would dare not tread.  Unhampered by such moralities and (often physical) constraints, The Knowing is quick to seek more.  In fact, many Knowing are former Tinkerhold “madmen” brought under the wing of “reason” and “coherence”.  In the end, these are just twisted fey versions of both that would easily seem insane to others.  But, other fey fear their cold and shrewd minds, well aware of how calculating and precise they often are.  A discovery or a deduction is often big within their ranks, and a breakthrough is even bigger!  These fey are not ones to joke and will often be quite literal in their general demeanor.  This is a great strength and great weakness all the same.  As such, their tolerance for those who can’t think exactly in their manner is low.  Only one who continuously tries to make the effort can impress them.  But, such matters are best described in terms of alliance.

Holdings.  Majority of this sect can be found in the tree-like archives found in the Fair Kingdom.  Effectively libraries and monasteries, these are private and sacred places associated with the academic organization.  However, their holdings are rather exclusive to members and other trustworthy faces.  Independent meeting grounds tend to be in more neutral areas, such as various meeting halls under sylvan control.  Some likewise meet within Autumn or Winter grounds.  The Den of Discourse is a Knowing dominated “social house” found in Autumn territory, while the Mausoleum of Memory has proved valuable in the Winter territory.  Those not used to the bleakness of the Winter Court favor the former, which is a rather plain and spartan building seemingly erected from brown and grey branches interweaving with stone.  In the case of the mausoleum?  Blackened obsidian like stone lit by blue and light flames houses memories of destroyed fey.  Its atmosphere might prove macabre for many.  However, it’s invaluable for historic purposes.

Alliance.  They aren’t alone.  Even in the Summer Court, they have direct connections.  Lady Shandria of Astrazalian is deeply invested in their work.  Despite her Summery temper shining through in moments, she’s far more intrigued in the studies of the academics compared to most of her court.  However, details still deeply bore her.  Due to her investment, the Lady and her subjects are tolerated.  And should one seek to aid them, tests are often given.  For non-fey, this proves extra egregious, as they’re held to the same standards.  Tests start simple, drawing upon knowledge of the fey.  However, this then jumps into a research project on some aspect of fey life, even going into more dangerous aspects of the Seasonal Courts themselves.  Many mundane creatures and mortals give up when going this far.  Those who don’t prove that membership can be open to those who understand the fey and those who deeply try.  While research rarely extends beyond their realms and the outer planar fey, some are willing to take a break and observe something new.  Most mundane and mortal beings up to the test must be willing to subject themselves to research project on the respective outlander’s home.  Should this subject oblige, then procedures ranging from the simple and harmless to the downright dangerous begin.  Should the subject even provide help, their hopes of joining increase all the more.  While the secrets of creating changeling doubles of mortals is no secret to many fey factions, they’ve used it on very loyal outside researchers, to ensure that their work continues and doesn’t go to waste.  Above all, they want someone they don’t consider a “moron” in their view.

Open and Hidden Agendas.  They openly look down upon all who do not consider “the logical” or some other academic pursuit.  Their devotions have made them even more cold than most Autumn and Winter fey as w result.  Many seek whatever knowledge there is on the fey.  In fact, many seek to recollect lost histories and forbidden lore.  While the fey are ancient and very wise from untold numbers of experiences, a lot of their mythic ages past is lost to them.  Tragedies upon tragedies have caused whole pieces of their domains to flash out of existence, while whole populations have even vanished outright.  Some secrets are hidden for the good of all sylvan.  One matter that the scholars are seeking to uncover involves the secrets of the Precursors.  This in turn has attracted the attention of a hidden cult that deeply reveres them.  The Ancient Ones, Courts of Dream, Antediluvians; these names and more embody a hidden fascination.  Likewise, they seek to know more of the Sisters’ War that shattered their original home and more into deeper conspiracies on it.  As it is, they have accumulated dangerous and taboo information that could spell the doom of countless court members.  Some members have begun offering such forbidden fruits in exchange for favors and gaining protection.  They know that knowledge is perhaps the most powerful weapon.  While they are not big into direct politics, their behind the scenes weaving cannot be understated.  This doesn’t even describe the worst of their own numbers.  They have an end goal to use their research to enslave all other fey into the perfect subjects; for find knowledge, for experiments, for whatever goal they have in order to learn more.  While they enjoy borrowing Prime Material mortals to help with their tasks, it feels incomplete.  They need fellow fey to truly advance.  Their means of harnessing “lesser” and more “stupid” fey is currently flawed though.

Relations with Wyld, Seelie and Unseelie Courts.  Natural allies of the Autumn Court, many scholars send their best to contend with intellectual matters in those dominions.  However, the Tower of Zoramadria is of particular interest, due to its strange and forbidden arcana.  Many of the Seelie would rather keep to themselves and are reluctant to aid in research.  At least, this is true when dealing with Wyld Fey.  One recent addition to the Outer Circle might change that.  Hoawh’uih of the Hsaio represents the priestly owl beings that have made themselves home beside the court.  While only fey related, Titania has long observed their worth in the world of Mystara.  Their unending devotion to the sylvan cause, as well as the eventual “sylvan ascension” of those who come to the court has marked them as true fey in the eyes of the Archfey Queen.  Oberon does not balk either.  Hoawhuih and her tribe have been the connection between the Scholars and the Seelie Court.  Typically, interactions with the Unseelie are frowned upon.  However, the help that Garckle of the Goblin Market has been is nothing short of tremendous.  While a sleazy backroom operator interested in money first, his trade networks have helped to secure all sorts of interesting artifacts and genuinely obscure factoids.  His mostly kind dealings and discounts for the scholars show he can have a slightly altruistic leaning, especially if he believes in a cause.

Relations with the Seasonal Courts.  The Knowing is a major institution within the Fair Kingdom.  To consider them unwanted is a deep insult.  While they get along the best with Autumn and Winter, they are still more than welcome in Spring and usually tolerated in Summer.  There is little more to say for the first two courts.  They make up the majority of The Knowing itself.  Dedication to pursuits like archival and understanding have long been appealing to both of these seasonal courts, making the scholars all the more welcome in each.  The denizens of Spring always find them quirky, yet charming.  But, should the visitors become too invested or passionate about their work, most Spring folk will get bored and leave them be.  In the last case, only a few are interested in them prattling on about their research or whatever topic has struck the fancy of The Knowing.  However, the scholars have proved well rehearsed in tactical knowledge and military history.  Both of these fascinate much of the Summer Court greatly.  In fact, even Oberon is quite fond of them in his visits to Spring and Summer.

Relations with the Planes.  While Tir na Og is mostly tied down to one court, the scholars are honored guests.  Some willing to sell out their allies have been given some boons from the Tower Arcane of Gehenna even, especially if the fey can give the yugoloths some nice Blood War resources in return.  Treks from members into Sigil has made their presence known among The Sensates and The Takers.  Oddly enough, even The Guvners find them intriguing from their relentless pursuit of knowledge.  Some ask if they’ve attempted to garnish and handshake with me?  Well, yes, they’ve tried.  But the store my family operates treats all guests the same.  They’ve left satisfied enough, I can assure you.  They’ve even traded particularly mouth-savory chant on the Simmering Cauldron, an infamous bub-house operated by Unseelie.  Speaking of Unseelie, the Murkroot Trade Moot has provided an outlet for especially conniving scholars to sell their knowledge without others tracking them.  However, the ethos of never betraying another scholar are upheld during this.  Should it be broken, word will get out.  Word always gets out, all across the planes.  Back to Sigil, they’ve proven that their knowledge is indeed a weapon.  Thanks to different groups of well paying fiends, both received information sending the mutually hateful parties into paranoid frenzy.  Demons and Devils started to jump each other in The Hive.  But, the tactics seemed rather anxious.  When most of the guilty party was mazed, the remainder has gone on the crackdown for the fey who dared to play with them both.  No scholar involved with that incident has returned, as of yet.  There are many places that they won’t touch.  Realms upon planes where might makes right is not to their liking.  The most brutish parts of The Abyss draw their ire.  Even The Beastlands is to their distaste, where the mind succumbs to primal instinct and anti-intellectualism.


IMAGE CREDIT: Yuliya Litvinova – Faeries and the Peasant Girl; C.M. Russell – Wood Nymph; Joseph Vargo – Emerald Forest; Albert Pierre René Maignan – La Muse Verte; Richard Dadd – The Fairy-Feller’s Master Stroke; Keith Thompson Art – The Collect




Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

2 thoughts on “More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 2”

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