Example Fays

"Grim," the Churchgrim of Limstow

Marked common fay, member of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: black thaumic lemur
True form: black Alsatian-like dog, optionally gigantic
Other forms: little gray dog, knee-high dog-faced "monkling," Anubis figure, bat
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Saxon, Brythonic, Sindarin, Wentle *

Got Marked ages ago in brownie service, in Doggerland, and acquired a taste for human company. Got baptized in the fourth century and has guarded the church of Limstow and stood godfather to virtually everyone baptized there since long before the Norman Conquest. Joined the Channel Fays when the village became Grand Norman, which was a pure formality as far as he was concerned, since he was already working well within the Pact. Has never had any trouble with consecration and, for instance, freely changes shape in the church. See Warm Yule.
* Wentle is a Morquendi tongue originating in Doggerland and still spoken by many fays of the North Sea rim.

Punklevie, Head Brownie to the Royal Family of Grand Normandy

Marked common fay, member of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: thaumic galago (bushbaby)
True form: customized black cat-lemur thing
Other forms: black cat, swift, owlet, vole, cat-like hobbit, black pony
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Norman French, Saxon, Latin, Brythonic, Sindarin, Quenya, Wentle, all of various ages, plus more he's largely forgotten

Got Marked ages ago in brownie service, in pre-Pictish Britain, and acquired a taste for human company. Was converted by St. Alice herself. Was one of the royal family's first fairy friends, even before they allied with the Channel Fays and made the Pact. Bosses a slowly shifting staff of under-brownies. Has been godfather to most of the royals, including the current set. Sometimes gives hints of considering the royal family to be his pets/hobby/personal property.

Derrullew, Woods Goblin

Marked common fay, member of no court (so "Wild Court")
Original form: thaumic ape
True form: dwarf-high Neanderthaloid
Other forms: human man, wild boar, stag, European lion, wolf, fox, peregrin, and a mess more. (He collects them.)
Languages: English, Chenelaise, Welsh, Norman French, Saxon, Brythonic, Sindarin, Wentle

He took the Mark from St. Alice herself, and got baptized but it's not clear that the latter had much effect on him except to make him harder to exorcize. ("Don't throw that Latin at me! I'm as good a Christian as you any day the wind blows.") He claims a stretch of Sundered woods rich in enchanted animals, about which he is possessive but not generally sentimental, and retaliates against poaching, as the Corliss family can attest.

Eowyck, Head Brownie of Ufham Cavalry Base

Marked common fay, member of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: thaumic loris
True form: badger-sized Tweedledee-like little man, bowlegged, usually in cavalry uniform
Other forms: badger, dun pony, big rat, barn owl
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Welsh, Brythonic, Sindarin, Wentle

Got his Mark long ago but continues to run the stables because he likes horses. Bosses a slowly shifting staff of under-brownies. He won't like you if you mistreat horses. Well-known and respected figure in Ufham. Gets on fine with Fletcher and Sanders. See Darcy & Donovan, Aftermath, Booster Shot.

Faëndor, the White Lord

Angelblood (latter adhene), lord of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: humanoid
True form: humanoid (the same)
Other forms: white-maned lion, unicorn, white-lit firefly, probably more
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue

Faëndor is the mortal-facing, diplomatic bargain-maker among the Lords of Webney and was crucial to the creation of the Pact with Grand Normandy. Acutely conscious that the neutral status of his adhene ancestors gives him no moral high ground over humans, his attitude toward us is a mixture of benign, detached, and critical, reminiscent of the Doctor. Very committed to the Seelie ideal of combining human and fay strengths for good.

He is the Royals' most frequent visitor of the six. He does not always announce beforehand that he's coming, but that's fays for you.

He is married to Silefrodel, the White Lady, and contrary to rumor they are the only married couple among the Lords of Webney.

Silefrodel, the White Lady

Angelblood (latter adhene), lady of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: humanoid
True form: humanoid (the same)
Other forms: white doe, sheep, snow-white butterfly, white-lit firefly, probably more
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue

She really isn't bipolar; it just looks that way. She is an excellent seer, especially into the future. When you see one blink of it, you need to check it out with another to verify context or simply because you've found out you need to know more. It keeps leading you on. Then you run up against the fact that every part of the future you know is part you can't alter. So you look for a good spot to back out.

So she alternates between being lost in a fog and being cautious and tight-lipped. She passes out advice, gnomic because it has to be, and people listen nowadays.

She does surprisingly little magic, just knows stuff. Sometimes does banshee duty. When she begins throwing around SFX, times are dire. She soothes herself with knitting and crochet work and the like. She makes people gifts. They always accept them.

The White Court and Host

Silefrodel and Faëndor share a personal entourage, the White Court, consisting of a mix of Marked Common Fays and changelings. The changelings were all unwanted children or rescued from abusive homes, at least to hear them tell it. In any case, they all seem free and loyal. They are styled as knights ("sir" and "dame") in Grand Normandy.

They also share the White Host, a troop, almost entirely in the forms of talking animals. Since the Pact, at least, they are a very safe troop to go a-reveling with. No getting press-ganged or leaven-stripped or time-slipped. Well, not badly time-slipped.

Carandor, the Red Lord

Mortalborn (ancient changeling), lord of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: humanoid
True form: humanoid (the same)
Other forms: cheetah-like black and auburn cat, black and auburn bear, ember-lit firefly, probably more
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue

Being a Mortalborn Steward, Carandor retains his ability to shape the Dreaming. He spends most of his time there, raising and revising dream-territories for Webney and Grand Normandy. He is happy to take mortal help, or to lend help to mortal (specifically Grand Norman) dreamers. But he is not always easy to locate or get to.

Contrary to rumor, he is not married to the Red Lady, or married at all. He does, however, raise changeling children from time to time (all in accord with the Pact nowadays, of course) and there is a long string of his foster-children among the Channel Fays.

He has a long-term project. He believes the Sundering and the growth of mortal civilization will inevitably force Webney's population (and probably the island itself) out of the home zone. The Dream holdings are a place to go. Meanwhile, he is also very happy that Grand Normandy is looking for more solid real estate in the out-zones. He feels sure that Grand Normandy will have to follow Webney out of zone eventually.

Bornrodel, the Red Lady

Common fay (Marked, ascended), lady of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: thaumic monkey
True form: humanoid
Other forms: crimson long-haired cat with black points & purple eyes, hummingbird of red white & gold, red damselfly, probably more
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue
Bornrodel is interested in various kinds of animation and, secondarily, transformation. In her parts of the Channelwood, you will find singing flowers, mobile trees, novel animals, living artworks. Some are fay collaborators; some aren't. The new forms eventually work their way into the wider Channel Fay culture and beyond. The other Webney lords acknowledge that she, singlehandedly, is the reason most high-level Chennel Fays have several forms. The animations often go on to their own careers.

She can sometimes offer help in matters relating to transformation, and has been consulted about merfolk, centaurs, and satyrs, but these were transubstantiations done on mortals by the Animal Powers, with no connection to fays, and she was unable to do much. It is, frankly, out of her league. As a transformationist, she is more creative than mighty.

Contrary to rumor, she is not married to the Red Lord. Rather, her husband is Feätar, a notable pooka (general shapeshifter), most often encountered as a gigantic black bear with blue human eyes.

The Red Courts and Host

There are two Red Courts, the Lord's and the Lady's. Rumor to the contrary notwithstanding, they are not married to each other. Neither are they antagonistic; they are just colleagues.

At any given time, most of the Red Lord's court is dispersed through the Dream holdings of Webney and Grand Normandy. A lot of them are Mortalborn, helping hold the places down.

The Red Lady's court is usually found scattered over Webney, being "normal elves" (when humanoid) but with a keen interest in tending various plants and animals.

Members of both courts are styled as knights ("sir" and "dame") in Grand Normandy.

There is one Red Host because the thought of two such troops is just too exhausting. When they aren't forcibly collected together for a major task, they are either scampering around the Channel Wood or frisking through a revel. Most look like small, odd humanoids.

Raïnrohir, the Errant Knight

Mortalborn (ghostly volunteer), lord of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court pre-Christian former ghost (now incarnate & Christian)
Original form: humanoid
True form: humanoid (the same)
Other forms: dun horse, albatross, hare, little beige moth (for stealth)
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue

Ever since the Pact was made, there is a recurring rumor among mortals that he is married to Agarrodel. Oak, Ash, and Thorn, no! Just ... no. Brilliant as an ally, of course. Good heart. Really. But no.

Raïnrohir has been a fay lord for far longer than he was mortal, but he remembers how hard it was getting used to it all. So of the six he is the one most interested in pulling mortals out of fairy trouble. To this end, he wanders about (hence the epithet), zeroing in on people who need help. He has a small number of recurring companions, but does not keep a court or have any residence at all, though he could if he chose, and the Red and White Hosts are his to command at need.

His big recent interest, though (on a centuries-long scale of "recent"), is technology. What fun! He loves inventions, magical or mundane. He isn't really the leader of the Webney gremlins because, well, they're gremlins, but he certainly gets a lot of respect from them and has several in his permanent entourage. He is a patron of Grand Normandy's tech magic, and so of much of their export and of the technical aspects of their Age of Exploration.

Raïnrohir was converted and baptized by St. Alice herself, first of the six. (The Red and White Lords and Ladies were baptized by St. Geoffrey of Alderney. The Blood Lady has not converted.)

His horse Celebroch is an ancient changeling. Grey horse is his preferred form but he can also assume human form, so he and Raïnrohir can change places.

Agarrodel, the Blood Lady

Angelblood (latter sidhe), lady of the Channel Fays, Seelie Court
Original form: humanoid
True form: humanoid (the same)
Other forms: red eagle, auburn she-wolf, auburn lionness, probably many more
Languages: Chenelaise, English, French, Latin, and Sindarin routinely, and in general language is not an issue

She leads the Wild Hunts for the Channel Fays. And collects heads. In fact, the horses, hounds, hawks, and riders of her personal entourage (that is, not including the Red or White Troops, and the guests, which usually outnumber the entourage) are mostly former owners of those heads (now skulls), and she considers that they should be grateful for the honor of being slain by her. Many of them are pre-Christian souls who reckon they have wound up in a kind of Celtic Valhala, and they mostly are grateful. Others find that they are passing the ages as a fairy horse or hound, and are less enthusiastic.

So she was a really hard sell on the Pact with Grand Normandy. She'd be a great Unseelie, except she considers the Unseelie lily-livered for being afraid of Adamite contamination. She'd be a natural Wild fay, but the other lords and ladies of Webney are her chums, battle-sibs really (old story (really old)), and, in a crunch, not really as soppy as they seem. In a way, she is suited to the Seelie Court: she thinks mortals are so much fun!

She's met St. Alice. Neither lady convinced the other but at least there was no bloodshed.

Bayard the Horse Changeling

Mortalborn (changeling), member of the Shetland Hunt, Wild Court, (late of the Orkney Hunt, Unseelie Court)
Original form: human
True form: horse (black stallion with blue human eyes)
Other forms: none yet
Languages (comprehension only): Scots, Wentle

Bayard was stolen as a baby, a stock left in his place looking like an infant corpse. Within hours, he was fairy-marked and turned into a horse colt. For some large and hazy number of years, he has been a fairy horse. He has human intelligence and language comprehension but cannot speak. He was recently traded to the Shetland Hunt, a Wild Court, by the Unseelie Orkney Hunt, and is happy about it though he misses some of the other changelings left behind.

The Shetlanders treat him better and talk both to him and around him a great deal more. By listening, he has begun to figure out what he really is, and has recently realized that he is an immortal shapeshifter, so his long-term goals are to acquire first speech and then a human form. The Shetlanders, unlike the Orkney Hunt, might even be willing to help him, if he were able to make some deal with them to recompense them for the loss of a horse.

Rotraut Koppenberg of the Piperkinder

Mortalborn (live capture), Seelie (rather unofficially)
Original form: human
True form: human (the same)
Other forms: rat (optionally wolf-sized)
Languages: German, French, English, Wentle, Sindarin

Rotraut was abducted from Hamelin in 1284 along with almost all the other children of Hamelin. The Piper kept them as a troop hive-mind, trained them as fighters (part of which was teaching them rat-shape), but also treated them, on the whole, very well. He drummed it into them that their parents were cold and greedy and did not deserve them. Then, in 1304, he used them in a strike against an old Unseelie rival. (The Piper was Seelie. Loved mortals.) The rival appealed for help and the Piper was squashed like a bug by the Erlking, who un-trooped the Piperkinder. And abandoned them. They were children of Adam, after all, and Seelie.

There followed a rough century of recovering individuality and generally learning one's way around the world. Rotraut is typical. She hates the Erlking and the Unseelie, she wears red and yellow a lot, she practices rat magic and flute magic, and she has Sundered a long string of children, taking them into fay adventures. She has not left changelings behind nor turned the children fay, because she is not yet able to create stocks or work with troops, but many of the children have wound up fay by other hands. She considers that each child was rescued from a bad situation.

Ellen of the Carolines

Mortalborn, ghostly volunteer, member of the Skye Sluagh, Wild Court
Original form: human
True form: human phantom
Other forms: none yet
Languages: English, Scots, Sindarin

The late Ellen Buchanan, née MacKellar (1919–2016) and her husband, Benjamin Buchanan (1918–1998) were among the last of the Caroline Scots, a tiny and, in the event, doomed Cryptic Nation holding onto the kingship of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his line. After Benjamin died, and then Gilbert Gilmartin, the 54-year-old nephew of their late fellow Caroline Rachel MacNee, Ellen was the last Caroline Scot. Nothing remained of the Cryptic except Ellen, some fading estates in the Dreaming, and the deal with the Skye Sluagh. That deal was that, in return for a certain amount of fairy help, mostly involving camouflage, health, and early warming of enemies, the Skye Sluagh got the Caroline Scots as recruits when they died. Ellen is the last one.

Ellen and her friends are not Trimmers. She would probably have gone to Heaven, unless making the deal with the Sluagh was a mortal sin. She is now with her former husband Benjamin and all their other Caroline friends, who form a considerable social set within the Skye Sluagh. (Indeed, it's not obvious the Skye Sluagh realized how dominating a collection of politically eccentric Scots could be. Oops.) The two main options they are entertaining are (1) continue the Caroline cause as dead but not gone, so to speak, somehow, or (2) buckle down to learning to be Good Fairies. Both seem rather nebulous. It is just beginning to sink in that there is a lot of time to fill ahead of them.

See Cryptic Nations, especially the bottom.

Jeremy (Jerry the Joiner)

Mortalborn, ghostly capture (Trimmer), member of the Edgestow Troop, Unseelie Court
Original form: human
True form: child-sized phantom humanoid
Other forms: phantom crow
Languages: English

Jerry died in a car wreck on a rainy night in 1978, a few miles away from Edgestow. He hung about for a few days, getting used to ghosthood—his biggest achievement was learning to flit between the crash site, his former flat, and the homes of his parents and sister—but was then very much surprised and confused to be taken in hand by a brisk and sharp-tempered young lady—a beautiful, pale-skinned brunette with a penchant for dressing in black, always attended by exactly one of a big bloke that could have been her brother but acted more like a bodyguard, a black horse, or an apparently animated motorcycle (He later learned these were three forms of the same person).

His ghostly state made no difference to them and, by a combination of intimidation and manhandling, they brought him to a wood, a park in fact, in the middle of Edgestow University. It was odd: sometimes it was a nice little park with birds and squirrels and sheep and occasional people; other times, it was a much denser wood, with no animals at all. In the middle of it was either a granite block with a plaque reading "Here stood 'Merlin's Well'" blah blah blah, or a bare gray patch he did not want to approach.

Neither did any of the others. After a confusing night involving a picnic feast (the first thing he had tasted since his death, though it did nothing to fill him, not that he was hungry) and a lot of country dancing with a bunch of kids, he found that he was a kid now himself—or rather the size and proportions of a child, though his face was adult, as were those of the other "kids."

Most of the time, there is nothing to do but hang about the wood, ghost around the town, and talk. Thus he learned that they were all ghosts, or had been. Apparently, they are now fairies, the "Edgestow Troop," and belong to Herself. So far, their fairy powers amount to no more than being able to step from one version of the wood to another and go without food, drink, or sleep (though he tries to sleep as much as he can). That and turn into ghost crows. All the others could already do it; Jerry learned the way they did: Herself and Himself (the big bloke) turned him into a crow and back, over and over, ordering him to do it himself betweenwhiles, until he found he could. Best thing to happen to him so far, and not much else had happened since.

They occasionally have phantom feasts, and attend their mistress as she goes about her business, which she does not explain to them. They may fly after her as crows when she goes tearing through the night on horse or motorcycle, or form background when she attends social functions in weird and gloomy places. Jeremy has come to notice that he and the rest of the Troop all seem to have much the same opinions on things and to always be in the same mood: vaguely stunned and mildly bored. They really look forward to their outings with their owner.

Their lives will become much more exciting when Herself decides to have her brother (the big bloke) teach them his motorcycle shape so that, at any time of her choosing, half of them can be bikers and half of them can be were-cycles. They'll need to be able to materialize first, of course.

The Edgestow Troop

Most of the people who died in the Edgestow Event went straight to Hell, of course, but not all, and of the remainder a high percentage were Trimmers. This came to the attention of an ambitious fay, an Unseelie sidhe, who saw an opportunity for setting up her own court.

Douglas Shengming Cheung ("Doug") &
August Virgil Weisskopf ("Gus")
of the Raurim

Mortalborn (live captures), members of no court (so "Wild Court")
Original forms: humans
True forms: humans (the same)
Other forms: a custom form variously called "scaly cat-man," "lungmao" (Ch. "dragon cat"), raurnér (S. "lion man," pl. raurnéri), and raurmaethor (S. "lion warrior," pl. raurmaethyr)
Languages: English, Hunan (Doug), Sindarin, some Varsic

American mercenaries shanghaied and transformed into a made-up shape by an Angelblood and impressed into a fighting troop (the Raurath, the "Lion Host") along with 25 partners, escaping at her death, now seeking their place in the world. Best friends and now self-styled "elven knights."

Return to Inkliverse
Return to Wind Off the Hilltop

Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2017