Overview EditThe Escheat is believed to have been recorded during the Sundering as a way to ensure the survival of the fae in the face of great change and to have originated among the wisest of faeries who lived closest to the Dreaming. Passed down and enforced by the nobility, its tenets are followed by both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, though they may have disagreements on how to interpret them. Seelie tend to follow the letter of the law while the Unseelie try to find loopholes to work through.
Unlike Oaths, the authority to enforce these tenets is not backed by Glamour or the Dreaming. It is carried by the force of law, tradition, and custom. Occasionally, though, the Dreaming will still subtly work around the Escheat to make certain rulers follow its dictates and causing those who break them to suffer the consequences.
There are six basic rights protected by the Escheat.
The Right of Demesne Edit
A Lord or Lady is the ruler of their domain. They are judge and jury over all crimes, large or small and their word is law. A noble expects obedience from vassals and respect from all others. In return a noble respects those nobles superior to them.
- Reality - The nobles have had to make some concessions to Democracy in the face of the modern world and popular rule. Most now have to rule with force, cunning, charisma, or custom.
The Right to Dream Edit
The Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve have the right to dream unhindered by Fae needs. The Dreaming will die if we steal directly from the font. No one is allowed to manipulate the creative process with Glamour. While the fae may inspire creativity, it is forbidden to instruct or infuse humans with Glamour.
- Reality - This is usually interpreted as prohibiting Ravaging and many fae, particularly the Unseelie, ignore it, especially when seeking a quick fix of Glamour or power. Since ravaging often permanently drains a victim, convicted ravagers suffer harsh punishments to keep them and others from doing the same thing. It is rumored that some changelings will infuse mortals with Glamour, overloading their souls with too much creativity and feeding on their bright dreams. Such a practice would obviously go against the tenet.
The Right of Ignorance Edit
Do not betray the Dreaming to Banality. A Fae must never reveal themselves to humanity because Humanity will hunt them for their wisdom and power, overwhelming the fae with Banality and destroying their sacred places. The more humanity knows the more forcefully it will seek the Fae, draining the world of Glamour and petrifying them with their Basilisk's gaze.
- Reality - Most changelings, Seelie and Unseelie alike, respect this rule because it does protect all from the forces of Banality. Glamour is hard enough to come by so spending it on a mortal so they can witness the Dreaming is wasteful. Still, some Changelings will enchant mortals to bring into freeholds as lovers and retainers but will carefully remove all evidence from their minds when they return them to the Autumn world.
The Right of Rescue Edit
All Kithain have the right to expect rescue from the clutches of Banality. The fae are in danger together and must work together to survive. Never leave anyone behind. Kithain are required to rescue other faeries or other creatures of the Dreaming trapped by those who serve Banality.
- Reality - Again, most changelings follow this tenet as they themselves might need rescuing one day. Seelie and Unseelie will come together, forgetting their differences, to go to the aid of others when they are captured by Dauntain or other agent of Banality. While most fae would risk their lives for a Griffin or Unicorn, most won't for minor chimera.
The Right of Safe Haven Edit
All places of the Dreaming are sacred. Kithain must not allow their faerie places to be endangered or threatened. All those who seek refuge in such a place must be admitted and these places must be kept free of Banality and worldly violence.
- Reality - This tenet is a hard one to enforce because of the competition for the few Freeholds that have survived the Shattering. Rival claims to the same faerie place often lead to warfare that can enter the sacred boundaries of Glades and Freeholds, though this violence is usually restricted to chimerical weapons. Some lords will bar entrance to their households if they fear the visitor will waste the Glamour there. Despite the demands of hospitality on the nobility, Mews are usually more inclined to admit a changeling seeking refuge without question.
The Right of Life Edit
No Kithain may spill the lifeblood of another Kithain. No Kithain shall bring salt tears upon the earth. No Kithain shall take from the Dreaming one of its own. Death is anathema.
- Reality - This rule is almost universally upheld, especially since the Dreaming itself seems to enforce it by inflicting Banality upon a Changeling who kills another. When two Kithain meet in combat they usually use chimerical weapons, although there are exceptions, such as nonlethal duels to first blood. No "real" damage is caused by such chimerical combat. The loser, if "killed" merely dies temporarily to the Dreaming and returns to his or her mortal seeming until reawakened by an infusion of Glamour.
- , p.79