I don't know how useful this will be but here it is. There are a few things that I will discuss before launching into the In Character text of Fey Historian Meulkim. First I will be adding various bits and bobs of rules I made to other parts of the project and providing links. Second I have left out detailed descriptions of the Seele and Unseele courts as I didn't use them but instead used several other courts but I have tweaked some info to integrate them. You might consider these to be lesser courts, sub-courts or even newer (or perhaps older and more reclusive) alternatives to the standard courts. By adding more courts you can remove some of the good guy/bad guy perception of fey society and allow for politicking at an even higher level as not all courts need be hostile to each other.
These are the shorthand notes, I never had to write much more than this as the game never went over that way. I could produce more if required.
Use what you will, discard what you don't want.
Oh and Meulkim is writing this for the Queen of the Seele.
On my observations of the Sieel-vaun.
The fey of the Sieel-vaun, under the rulership of Queen Arabell, are a placid and somewhat indolent. They seek little in the way of political or spiritual advancement, preferring instead to satisfy their baser needs. Each noble of the court is attended by scores of servants and imported mortals and the inevitable weakening of the bloodlines is clear to see. Some powerful families in this court even have a breeding stock of mortal creatures, I spoke to an elven female proud to have been the fourth in succession of her bloodline to have served as consort to a certain lord of the court, similar occurrences could be found with any family of real prominence.
The court hold no hunts, few balls and fewer ceremonies. The only real events of note are it's feasts. These are lavish and incredibly complex affairs with layer upon layer of protocol. It is during these events that one recalls that these fey truly are our cousins. Even the less significant of these meals are a feast for both they mouth and they eyes, rare and delicate dishes from all of the planes brought in and arranged by master chiefs. I saw dishes during my stay that stagger the imagining, including on no less than four occasions cakes that where in fact animate, moving down the table to be served.
The Queen will dine, with her inner court, in the house of a noble family at least once a week, more if many families desire favour. Unless they are certain in their status families dread having their invitation clash with that of another as it sends clear signals as to whom the queen favors. I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest to several of these affairs, twice on the same evening as the Queen. Often they where perfectly amicable but on one occasion the Queen found herself displeased. Due to some confusion or other no fish was available, but rather two game courses instead. The Queen is very partial to game but the lack of a correctly rounded menu offended her so much she declined to eat, an act that has ruined the prospects for the house this coming season.
The males of many families are partial to baiting and other similar blood sport, this combined with their desire for competent and dedicated servants has lead to the menageries of the powerful houses rivaling even that of the Queen of the Selee. On the rare occasions that the court has to use arms to defend itself their forces swell with hydra, dire beasts and al manner of strange exotic creatures.
I understood after a short discussion with Her Majesty Queen Arabell that she would be interested in visiting our court, if such a thing could be arranged I might go so far as to advise allowing Her Majesty to install her own catering staff for the duration for their skill is easily the equal of anything offered from most noble kitchens.
Of the Tylwyuv
As you are doubtlessly aware the Tylwyuv have once again proven their ability to shock and surprise even today. The court has entered the rule of King Tielen. In typical Tylwyuv fashion he won all he has by risking everything he had, even his every life to the Cup of Despair, on a game of cards. He won and took the throne as a prize.
Such is life in this court. Everything is a game. To win is to gain prestige and power, to lose it to fall. All of the traditional court entertainments are held here, gala balls to hunts to the ceremonies of the year, all as one might expect. What one would not expect however is the fact that almost every act has a wager attached. Who will be greeted by who, what shade a certain noble woman's dress shall be and so on. The court is serviced by creatures much like the will o the wisp only distinct that come into being when a wager is made and vanish, making the result known to all, when the event comes to pass. It is such a normal event to be followed by dozens of these lights at all times that the court balls (during which it is considered rude to wager, although games still occur at dining tables) no lighting is used and the ball ends when the last but one wager laid on it is settled, the last wager of course being a group pool as to the time of it's ending.
As all manner of things are wagered upon our cousins here are far more interested in skill at arms than even we, a duel is always a massive event with sums to stagger the mind at play. I was confided in by a nobel woman who revealed to me that the matter of her union to one of half a dozen sutors who desired her was decided in a contest of archery. She also informed me that she is sure that her husband is a fraud as he has shown no skill in the bow before or since. I inquired with my host to discover that he was in fact a sterling bowman, but feighned otherwise. During his youth he suported himself by placing large wagers on his skill, a skill that was widely belived that he did not have.
To understand exactly how seriously this is taken one needs to visit. During my stay, the length of which I had not stated and as such I had many offers of exquisite rooms from people who had wagers for a long visit, a birth occurred. Within minutes a pool had been opened as to the child's name (after vast sums and much property has changed hands on the deceleration that the child was a male). It was announced officially two days later, only one wager was correct and the family themselves had wagered that no more than one would guess the name. The fact that the winner employs a Pixie was not commented upon, cheating is only against the rules if you are caught.
Somewhat against precedent the King sent the newborn a gift, a chess set with a board of gold and black marble and each chess piece carved of a different hue gem. A certain disregard for precedent and protocol is somewhat of a hallmark of the King, and many wagers are made as to whether he will or will not follow a certain mode at a given time. The King spends most of his time playing all manner of games from his throne, itself stylized to appear made of game pieces, he rarely looses more than a token sum and often wins massive volumes. I myself was invited to a game of Viceroy's Dukat. I did not last long despite my love of the game, each and every one of them far exceeded my skill.
A word of caution however. Policits is afterall but another form of competition and the Tylwyuv and mastery players.
The alarming and disgusting Feuarilu
There is a tale told to all young fey. The tale of the Feuarilu sisters. Every court states that these sisters where of another court. I have no delusions that the Selee may well be their true former home. The tale goes that a group of sisters, jealous of the Queen and lusting after one of her pageboys kidnapped and assaulted him in many, disturbing, ways. He was found and recovered but the trauma caused him to spend the rest of his days a recluse. The sisters where forced to take the Cup of Despair. Angry and vengeful they strove for all their mortal lives to gain revenge and later became the first of the Hags, cheating death but not returning to grace.
I have not spent any time in the Feuarilu court, as a male my fate would have been a thousand fold worse than that of the pageboy in the tale, but what I know is terrifying. All around it is death. Scores of pitiful slaves trudge back and forth to the will of their foul mistresses. There is some debate as to whether the Feuarilu court is a true fey court or not. If it is then Queen Angelica is the oldest living fey Queen, the one surviving member of the original Feuarilu sisters.
My observations on the Ferriouls
For all the erratic behaviour of the Tylwyuv, for all the disgusting depravity of the Feuarilu, at least it can be argued that these creatures have a place in the cyces of nature and have a right to be known as fey. The Ferriouls, throught the thin premice that nature Herself is ingenious and as such the invention of mortals is natural, have abandoned all tradition and propper behaviour. This court is full of monsterous machines, furnaces, iron, iron and more iron. Great lumbering constructs serve where others would have eligant and graceful servants. Many of our friends are missing from these lands, no Treants or dryads would live here, no fey of wood for trees are felled to fead furnaces. Arcane magic, harsh and hurtful, flows next to alchemy and technology. It must be siad that despite all this the court maintains a certain level of decorum and pride and Her Majesty Queen Sharganna is allways radient.
Yes we certainly need more courts... I'm stormin a few too..
It will indeed break the common misconception that Seelie/Unseelie dynamic is similar to the battle between good/evil, dark/light, or Angels/Demons. So untrue.
More like political parties, each playing the same rules for the same country.
Any sujestions/comments on what is there?
Sorry for the delay but I had time recently to read this in depth.
It's a very elaborate alternative to the more 'standard' courts. It should definitely go in, but consider some editing.