Overview EditTheir throats parched with war lust, the hearts of these Celtic fae burn to hear the call of battle. Every chance to show prowess in combat is gladly seized with a nigh-berserker fury. Yet their great pride and unbending sense of honor prevents House Daireann members from becoming mad dogs. This is a band of fae; many sidhe and a few commoners, who call themselves Unseelie but in many ways combine the best and worst of the two courts.
That’s the way the house might be billed by some foppish herald. It says little of who those of House Daireann really are.
The Founding Tale Edit
For more on the origins of House Daireann, see the article Daireann (Founder).
Growth of the House Edit
For more on Daireann’s son and the growth of the house, see the article Conchobhair.
The Mythic Age Edit
Is there any fae who does not wish for that half-remembered past? It was their time; the world was their world. In noble courts, the Daireann were prized healers and masters of herbal lore; their warriors were champions to kings and peerless on the field. Their skills and valor inspired mortals throughout the Celtic lands of Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man to tell tales and practice arts that enriched the world with Glamour. Those many tribes, as well as the people before them, learned from the house, fought with and against them, and became mighty and dauntless warriors.
The Sundering Edit
As the bonds between this world and the Dreaming weakened, battles became less epic but more desperate. Daireann swords were seldom bright in those days, for blood… fae and mortal alike… was spilled more frequently. But though their banner was feared on the battlefield, the oaken standard was a welcome sight when flying over a manor or lodge, for it guaranteed an evening’s worth of food and shelter, even if it meant a night on the cold ground for the host.
The Shattering Edit
The Daireann are not a house of seers and seldom quest for foreknowledge beyond the outcome of the next battle. The coming of the Shattering was a surprise to them. But as trods crumbled and freeholds faded, their few holdings quickly filled with refugees. The house can proudly claim that they were not in the vanguard of the retreat to Arcadia. Many among Conchobhair’s followers insisted that they be the last to leave, letting griffins, lions, and dragons take to the trods first. Some members waited too long. Others, perhaps, stayed of their own accord; Conchobhair among them.
The Interregnum Edit
The Daireann know nothing of this time. Those of the house who stayed behind have vanished. Their memories are honored as the house searches for hints of their fate. Even brave deeds and honor could not have fought off Banality forever.
The New Resurgence Edit
Few Daireann remember much of their journey back to Earth. The journey was long; they know that much. Why did they leave? Not for any disgrace, that is certain… death would have been the price for that, whether theirs or another’s. The most clear-sighted of them speak of a grimness; like the howl of a distant war-horn or the frigid dimness that heralds a blizzard. Most believe they came back to defend against an ancient foe, but do they fight to protect the Autumn Lands, or is Earth the battleground before Arcadia’s gates? This they do not know.
Who is the ancient foe? The fomorians. Many Seelie scoff at this, but they have bought into the purely Seelie myth that the fomorians will be easily vanquished. But the fomorians are old and cruel and terrible. House Daireann is all for striking now before the foe is completely empowered, but as they are back in Arcadia, waiting for a chance to assault this world, a preemptive strike is hard to figure out.
The Throes of War Edit
The Daireann understand that the impending war precipitated by the disappearance of High King David is a pressing matter. They see it honorable to fight on the side of the nobles. While they respect commoners, the house sees their place as at the right hand of the sidhe, not sitting on their thrones. They pity any who think the commoners can have some sort of fair and equal rule with the sidhe and see this as probably why David lost his throne.
One could see the conventions of House Daireann much like a buffet. They pick and choose their rules from the Unseelie and Seelie codes, the tenets of the Shadow Court, and the Escheat. First of all, though, they follow the Three Laws of Conchobhair.
The Three Laws Edit
Thanks to the teachings of Conchobhair, three laws reign supreme even over the Escheat and Seelie or Unseelie codes.
Above all things, honor is most important to House Daireann. But they define honor in many ways: keeping one’s word, spurning cowardice, or serving a just cause are just a few examples. No one would ever want to be branded as a dishonorable cur, and, to put it bluntly; death would be a better prospect than such shame. To further complicate matters, one’s individual honor is actually even more important than allegiance to one’s liege. Many a Daireann hero has given bonds of fealty a pass when it comes to preserving his or her personal honor. This is one of several reasons why House Daireann is known as Unseelie.
House Daireann has a bloodthirsty reputation, thanks to this tenet. Usually, no amount of material recompense is sufficient to satisfy an insult or ill treatment. A duel or battle is often the only solution. Moreover, the vengeance is usually quick and brutal. Fae of this house like dueling, particularly the Danse Macabre sort. When their ire is roused, The Daireann make vengeance a true art.
- More on Vengeance
A tiny minority of house members is not above the Dance of Iron. However, there are some fae of the house, often women of Belladonna's Chalice, who specialize in producing and administering exquisitely complex and deadly poisons. Some of these may take weeks to kill an enemy, painfully at that. Those who give House Daireann reason to wreak vengeance on them sometimes get more than they deserve.
House members will never deny anyone shelter, even a foe, when honorably asked. Any denials gain them a bad reputation and a stamp of dishonor. The host should be prepared to give quality fare to their guests, not the leavings of the table (nor poisons from the larder). Being a good host does have reasonable limits, though. Daireann hosts claim the right to ask for entertainment and stories in return for their hospitality, as well as the reasonable expectation of some day receiving hospitality in return.
A House Divided Edit
Although they do not often discuss it, there are indeed two distinct factions in the house. The largest and most prominent group consists of warriors. They generally decide the house policies, and the righ or ban-righ are nearly always from this faction. The smaller but no less powerful group is made up of Daireann who are more bent toward magic, herbalism, and the brewing of potions both foul and fair. They must show some skills in war, as all members of the house do, but once their Fior-Righ is complete, they are generally left to their own devices. This faction is particularly attuned to nature, and while they are certainly capable of using the Arts, many of their most powerful (and most foul) brews are the products of the natural world rather than the Dreaming and Glamour. For now, there is almost complete harmony between the two groups. As they enter a world much stranger and harsher than the one they left, some fear relations may deteriorate rapidly and nastily, particularly if some of the better established houses try to use the house’s skills to gain an advantage in war.
Growing Up in House Daireann Edit
The Chrysalis Edit
The coming of a new Kithain to the house is greeted with much joy. The awakening of a fae during Chrysalis confirms the turning of the season and the renewal of the cycle. Only one event can dampen the spirits of those in attendance at such a wonderful event: when the new changeling comes into themselves with a physical blemish in their fae mien, for this means they can never be ban-righ or righ.
Simply put, the house does not allow their righ or ban-righ to have visible disfigurements of the flesh. Rightly or wrongly, they believe that disfigurement of the body indicates unworthiness on the field of war, and their high lords must set an example in the battlefield. Such rules do not apply to anyone other than the high king or queen. Indeed, since their brief time back on earth, a number of house members have willingly tattooed their flesh with marks of the Celts. A few have even gone so far as to have the chirurgeons change their human bone structure to make it more like their original fae appearance. It makes them feel more at home in their human body.
One of the most important times in a young Daireann’s life is the time of fosterage. Families never rear their own children. Instead, they send them into the homes of others of the house to learn proper behavior and, most importantly, skills of arms. Competition is stiff to have a childling taken into the dwellings of the best warriors, and usually there are tests the young fae must overcome to be accepted. A safe and prosperous place is always found, though. They are trained in war from the first days of their fostering and this means starting from the very beginning. They might work for months in the stables, cleaning stalls and lifting bales of hay before ever touching a sword, building up strength and endurance. Even then, the first sword will be made of wood. Things are done precisely in training; one step at a time.
Along with physical training, the learn tactics and the stories and traditions of the house, particularly the teachings of Conchobhair. They hear of the Escheat and Seelie and Unseelie codes. Most of them learn a craft of some sort, even if they aren’t very good at it, at least compared to House Dougal. One could learn to repair weapons, or perhaps to make jewelry or weaving or whatever else interests them. Some choose to learn, as Daireann herself did, the art of making potions with many purposes.
Most childlings stay in fosterage for several years, but at the end of the first year and a day, they have their Saining ritual. It is actually quite a minor event, usually attended by the childling’s foster family and perhaps a great lord or lady who confirms the young one’s True Name. There is a small celebration, then things go right back to normal. For the Daireann, seeing as they are all sidhe other than a few adopted commoners, the real event is the Fior-Righ.
Unlike most other houses, in Daireann the Fior-Righ is a time of challenge; the passage into adulthood usually given when the childling becomes a wilder, rather than at Saining. All members of the house who would call themselves warriors run a gauntlet of sorts in the presence of the local ranking lord or lady. Any available warriors are welcome to participate. They let their interest be known, and the new wilder has to best them in a fight. But it is not that simple. The would-be warrior must fight each challenger in turn in a battle of first blood. As long as they win every fight, from every challenger, all is well. However, should they lose a fight, they must begin again with the first challenger. Thus, a Fior-Righ can go on for hours or days. The weapons are chimerical, but the fatigue and stress are not. It should also be pointed out that the crux of the test is not winning every fight easily. No, the local noble and their council really want to see how the new warrior comports themself in battle. Are they brave? Honorable? Stalwart? Do they know how to pace themself? Few, if any warriors, have bested every challenger on their first try. Usually, the noble calls a halt after they have seen enough to make a judgment, after a few hours. Then, assuming the news is good, the celebrations commence. This is the moment a young fae truly knows they are part of a long and glorious heritage.
The Codes of Conduct Edit
Some of Daireann’s views on behavior set them clearly outside the Seelie court, and they have accepted an Unseelie mantle, though it is not a perfect fit. As is their nature, of course, the change according to what moods suit them, and many of the house follow the old customs of remaining Unseelie from Samhain to Beltaine and Seelie the rest of the year. But even before the Shattering, this practice was falling somewhat out of favor. It is impossible to say what every Daireann fae thinks of the codes, but here are some thoughts.
The Unseelie Code Edit
- Change is Good: This is true chiefly because stagnation is bad. If one never changes, how could they continue to be effective warriors? Most Daireann train and hone their skills their whole life. Any fae who thanks that change is for ill is a fool.
- Glamour is Free: Why should it be otherwise? Are the fae not survivors? Is not Glamour one thing essential to their wellbeing? A Daireann will take what they need to endure.
- Honor is a Lie: On the other hand, this is a part of the code the Daireann cannot agree with. What matters is how one defines honor, and that is a completely personal and individual thing. Therefore, it is not a falsehood if one knows in their heart what honor means.
- Passion Before Duty: This depends on where one’s duty lies. If passion is necessary (as it often is) to drive an army under one’s command to victory, so be it. Most Daireann would do anything to light the fires necessary to rouse their warriors. Thus, passion and duty become one. If, however, one is speaking of lust or drooling over some song or poem while there is work to be done, passion be damned!
The Seelie Code Edit
- Death Before Dishonor: Of Course. Without honor, the Daireann are nothing; no better than worms crawling on the earth. Honor is one of the three greatest things they treasure, and most would rather be dead by cold iron than lose their honor.
- Love Conquers All: This sounds like a load of Fiona horse dung to me. Love is powerless when there is an iron dagger sticking in one’s heart. It’s as simple as that.
- Beauty is Life: There is nothing beautiful about a battlefield covered in blood, true enough, and the passing of life is ugly. But sometimes a greater beauty comes through loss, or at least a deeper appreciation for what one has. One cannot appreciate life or beauty without feeling the pain of death and ugliness first.
- Never Forget a Debt: Conchobhair spoke well when he wove together the themes of honor and hospitality into the laws. To forget a debt owed to another is dishonorable in the extreme, just as those who owe a debt should keep their promises as well.
The Shadow Court Edit
- Understand the Mortal World: Although most Daireann love and seek the Glamour of mortals as much as any fae, few gave the process of understanding them much thought before now. In this new world, it seems, mortals are more powerful than ever before. If knowing their ways is a requirement for taking Glamour, then the house will do what is necessary.
- Understand the Supernatural World; Make & Break Alliances as Necessary: Isn’t this the most important secret of survival? If one does not know their friends and enemies well, then they are doomed. Even though the Daireann are warriors, they take time to learn a bit about their foes and allies alike. This is just a part of their tactics.
- Harvest Glamour; Prepare for Endless Winter: Having full stores in time of war is wise, but most Daireann are not yet convinced of the coming Winter yet. Nor are they particularly afraid if it does come. Isn’t that part of life’s cycle?
- Overthrow the Seelie Court & Nobility: Maybe they need overthrowing and maybe they do not. Most Daireann are certain Ard-Righ David meant well, even if he was misguided. The house, as a rule, has tended to pay more attention to their local kings and queens than the high ones anyway, and that goes for following their orders as well as overthrowing them.
- Fulfill the Ritual Obligations of the Year, Culminating in Samhain: This is a must. The Daireann see the year and even life itself as an endless cycle of seasons. War turns to peace and peace to war, just as winter, spring, summer, and autumn follow each other every turn of the year’s wheel. Marking the ritual holidays is simply part of their acceptance of the cycle.
- Spread Chaos, Revolution, & Anarchy: Chaos keeps things lively. If there is always something going on, one does not have time to be lazy and complacent. Revolution works much the same way. Anarchy, on the other hand, seems to be too extreme. Order in battle is a good thing; wars would be lost without some type of structure.
The Escheat Edit
- The Right of Demesne: Members of House Daireann give homage where due to the high king or queen of a given realm but the people who have their strongest loyalties are those closest at hand: the rulers of local strongholds. If they are good rulers and have proven themselves such, house members will defend their sovereignty to the death. If they are shoddy, then they might just be the ones removing them from their estates.
- The Right to Dream: It would be insane to constantly and cruelly drain mortal after mortal of their Glamour. Eventually, there would be no one left! Of course they have the right to dream in peace. But by the same token, the fae have a right to take Glamour if they need it. As a general rule, most Daireann dislike Ravaging, but if they are in a life or death struggle, they will be the first to take Glamour from a mortal, by force if necessary. Survival is a strong instinct.
- The Right of Ignorance: Yes; the fact the fae exist should ideally be kept secret, but sometimes it is simply impossible. Those of the house newly returned have yet to adapt as well as those sidhe who have been on earth for some decades. This is a perilous time for newcomers, and if they make some errors, the rest of the fae will have to be understanding.
- The Right of Rescue: Unquestionably, any fae who are in danger must be saved, even if one must defy their leaders’ orders not to do so. It matters not if the endangered one is friend or enemy. Some things transcend love and hate, and being imprisoned by Banality is such a thing.
- The Right of Safe Haven: The discovery of freeholds and other places of power is not a strong suit of the house. However, they will always give aid if asked to protect any realm of Glamour against Banaliry.
- The Right of Life: To fear death is natural for any being. That’s understandable. But the Daireann also believe they return; perhaps in a year, perhaps a thousand years. This is part of the endless cycle. Such a belief is not widely held by most sidhe; this is why they abhor death so much. Those of House Daireann do not have the same terror of dying, at least not so deeply. For that reason, they are less squeamish about death in battle. It is ugly, true, but sometimes it is also a necessity. This harsh truth is something from the day after their Saining.
House Boon & Flaw Edit
- Boon: Battlewise – House Daireann members are among the fiercest and most stalwart of all fae warriors. The difficulty of the Dragon’s Ire is always lowered by 1 for members of the house, even if this exceeds the -3 cumulative modifier. Also, they will not flee in combat unless ordered to do so by the ranking war leader (and even then, they will be the last people on the field).
- Flaw: Loose Tongue – These fae cannot keep a secret to save their lives, literally, and stories of these lapsus lingua abound through Celtic legends. They’re the one who, in a series of wild brags, explains the one way they can be killed, probably to the wrong person, or share the intimate details of any geas they’re under. Anytime a fae of the house boasts of their deeds (not an uncommon occurrence), they must roll Willpower with three successes to avoid blabbing some secret. Note that Daireann fae don’t go spilling the beans to complete strangers, although with a little work, a clever stranger can become a friend.
Yearly holidays are quite important to the house. They mark the passage of days and allow the house to remember traditions of ages gone by. Also, those among them who dabble in sorcery and potion brewing find that working their Arts on these days seems to garner more potency.
- Samhain: The Daireann use Samhain not to play insane tricks or engage in raucous depravity, but rather to think about the dead and departed, honoring their Celtic ancestors. It is also a time for exchanging gifts and bringing in the final bounties of the harvest. And like all their holidays, they light teanlas, or bonfires, to symbolize the Balefires and their respect for Glamour and the Dreaming.
- Alban Arthan: Alban Arthan (Yule) marks the coming of winter. Like mortals, they give gifts, but the biggest event of the day is an enormous feast. The cooks spare no expense for this celebration, and included in many of the dishes are interesting magical trinkets or bits of hard-to-find ingredients for working cantrips.
- Imbolc: The Daireann celebrate Imbolc much as do other fae. It is actually a day of resting, as far as they are concerned; a time of wearing bright colors and sitting around the fire with friends and family.
- Alban Eilhir: Alban Eilhir is the day of the Vernal Equinox, when the day is half in light, half in shadow. Not too much happens other than some games of chance, friendly dueling, and the traditional eating of plums: plum pie, plum pudding, plum wine, you name it.
- Walpurgis Night and Beltaine: Walpurgis Night is a rather active evening for the Unseelie. Since their old traditions hold that the Seelie will take the thrones on Beltaine, there is often a pretty rowdy celebration on April 30th. On Beltaine, they eat oatcakes and burn fires made of oak in honor of Daireann. There’s also the maypole dance around a birch pole topped with colorful ribbons. Dancers weave among each other with the ribbons, “braiding” the maypole. Sometimes a male fae is bound to the pole, reminiscent of the ancient sacrifice some high kings used to make to preserve the sanctity of the land. It is considered a mark of esteem and honor to be the one asked to stand in the high king’s place.
- Alban Hefin: On Alban Hefin (Midsummer), members of the house usually stay up the entire day and night, celebrating the wild beauty of the outdoors. Most childlings like to make paper chains, which they then burn in a great bonfire during the evening.
- Lughnasadh: The first of August is Lughnasadh, marking the gradual end of summer and the beginning of harvest. The Daireann wear earth tones on this day and eat bread baked from the first dainty grains plucked from the fields. It is a time for somewhat more sober contemplation of the waning of one cycle and the beginning of another.
- Alban Elfed: Alban Elfed, the Autumnal Equinox, is a day of balance like the Vernal Equinox; when light and dark are equal. It marks the spiral of the year toward Samhain and is a time for gathering and consuming the fruits of the harvest.
Secret Societies Edit
House Daireann doesn’t have secret societies. They do have some groups of likeminded fae who have banded together for common interests, however, but these are well known.
Oaths of House Daireann Edit
Oathbreaking is an unthinkable breach of honor in House Daireann, and those who take oaths do so solemnly and for life. Should a Daireann break an oath, it would only be because a greater matter of honor had demanded it. Usually, an oath is sworn on some type of weapon, and, almost always, a gentle bloodletting is part of the ceremony.
Relations With Others Edit
Relations with Other Houses Edit
Like most fae, the Daireann have their friends… and their enemies.
- House Aesin: They lack subtlety, but damn, what a fine sight in battle! They have many of the old and honored customs Daireann does, and for that the house generally counts them as allies. If they have a flaw, it is their one-sided view of everything. It is hard to get an Aesin to compromise or give on anything, but that is not necessarily a disadvantage when the enemy is bearing down.
- House Ailil: Perhaps they have a poor reputation in some quarters, but the Daireann find the Ailil to be worthy nobles; clever and battle-wise. Should the tide of war come, they would make valiant leaders. In the old days, it was most often the sidhe of this house who wore the mantles of the righ or ban-righ when summer turned to winter. The Daireann wouldn’t be sorry to see those days return.
- House Balor: The Daireann find the Balor despicable. Their very founding is rooted in dishonor and lies. They flaunt their darkness, so evident in their twisted bodies. As far as the Daireann are concerned, they have nothing to offer. The call themselves Unseelie but have no true grasp of what that honestly means. Instead, they are content to wallow in petty plots, never lifting a finger to aid their fellows. Would that they had stayed behind in Arcadia!
- House Beaumayn: Many years ago, it is said, warriors of this house journeyed east to what was called the Holy Land and no doubt learned many tactics of war that would have been of great interest to the house. Unfortunately, the Daireann never found out much about what they learned; when the Beaumayn returned, they were no longer warriors but mystics and prophets. The two houses don’t talk much since, and not only because of their strange embrace of cold iron. One never knows if a soothsayer is being truthful or just trying to goose you for their own amusement.
- House Dougal: Daireann has had some disagreements with Dougal over the centuries, but count the house among their strong allies. They understand the feelings of honor imbued in work well done, and in Daireann weapon stores, there have been many items bearing the sigil of House Dougal and its artisans. They hope this friendship can be reforged into something even stronger in the coming days.
- House Eiluned: The house has widely varying opinions on the Eiluned, so it depends on whom one asks. Most of the warriors find the sorcerers too scheming and caught up in devious intrigues, but those ladies and lords of Belladonna's Chalice have old friendships and alliances with the house. With their return, perhaps Daireann’s bonds to them will be stronger than before.
- House Fiona: What a pack of fools to be distracted by all that romantic nonsense! Of course, the Daireann are creatures of passion and can fall in love as easily as the next person, but the Fiona take things much too far. They could rank among the finest warriors of all if they did not lie abed so often. One could wish it otherwise, but most doubt these swooning romantics will ever change.
- House Gwydion: The valiant warriors of Gwydion are in actuality a lighter reflection of House Ailil, whether they would ever admit it or no. Many Daireann find them too optimistic; they have trouble facing the reality of how things should be, well evidenced by the misadventures of Ard-Righ David. The Daireann do admire their sense of honor, though. Perhaps in the coming war they will learn to temper their gentler ways.
- House Liam: Maybe there is a story behind it, but as the Daireann understand it, Liam fae are oathbreakers. How can they trust people without honor? They would never deny them hospitality, and it is interesting how much they love mortals, but most Daireann generally find them distasteful. They are simply not the kind of people they tend to find enjoyable.
- House Scathach: Their belief in commoner equality aside, they are some of the best among the fae. The two houses have been known to scrap and argue, true, but most Daireann would rather have an enemy Scathach at their back than a Balor ally at their side. Yes, there are some unpleasant rumors floating around that tell of a Daireann betrayal of the Scathach, but, really, none of the Daireann remembers too much about what happened before. Truly!
- House Varich: These fae who stand on the shores of the east and the west are oddly compelling, and some Daireann wish they knew more about them. Varich warriors are valiant and their sorcerers wise and powerful. Occasionally, a Daireann has spoken with a member of this house, but the secrets they have revealed are few and far between. What do they want by returning to this world? They revel overmuch in darkness, and it is unclear why it is so.
Loose Lips: Of Scathach & Daireann Edit
Any observer can see some interesting similarities between these two houses of Celtic extract. Both have a matrilineal tradition, a love for all things martial, and deep respect for honor and bravery. So why is it that things are, well, a little strained between these fae?
Most of the blame, sadly, falls upon the Daireann. Once upon a time, Scathach herself had a powerful student named Cú Chulainn. He had, as did many fae, a geas laid upon him; he could not refuse hospitality should it be proffered. Unfortunately, the warrior was under the influence of another geas so that he couldn’t consume dog flesh. The hero was in a very bad position when offered a hospitable meal that included dog stew. That event more or less began the downfall of poor Cú Chulainn. Interestingly enough, those who concocted this accursed stunt received their information from the Morrigu, who was angered at Cú Chulainn. The Morrigu, in turn, heard it from some loose-lipped fae who probably meant no harm. While the specific blabbermouth is unknown, most Scathach are sure it was Finias, a Daireann companion of Cú Chulainn.
If that weren’t enough to strain relations, some Scathach of Caledonia still bear a grudge for the capture of King Patrick of Dalriada by King Richard of Albion at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. Supposedly, the Dalriadan monarch, a member of House Scathach, was travelling back to a border stronghold when he took refuge in the humble barn of an English mortal lord who had seen better days. Given instructions to obtain bread and wine from the lord’s larders, Seamus of House Daireann, a young squire, hastened to do his lord’s bidding. Little did he know that a winsome satyr-lass served the lord, too, and Seamus had the great misfortune to meet her in the scullery. She promised her help to the Scots fae, only to break her promise and get word to the court of King Richard. A battle ensued in the dawn, wherein King Patrick and all his allies were captured. He blamed Seamus’s loose tongue, though the Daireann lad insisted the satyr was the true villain. In any case, the Scathach look askance at the fae of House Daireann, admiring their courage but ever doubting their trustworthiness off the battlefield.
Views on Other Kith Edit
As the Daireann have views on their fellow nobles, so do they on the other kith as well.
House Daireann sidhe come from a time when commoners stayed more or less within their own oathcircles. There was certainly not animosity between the two groups of fae, and any commoner who asked for hospitality and comported themself with honor was accepted and welcomed. Some even serve within the house as skilled crafters, yeoman, or soldiers. However, things are very different in this new world. The Daireann cannot understand why commoners, particularly ones who are not war leaders, have so much political power. Why they even rule some territories! It is true there are a few commoners in House Daireann, notably some trolls and sluagh, and they are appreciated but expected to keep their place. It is the sidhe who are supposed to be the rulers, and it’s as simple as that. Any commoner who can live with this and other edicts of the house is most welcome. Any who cannot are shown the door.
- Boggans: Stalwart sorts, boggans know much of hospitality and there are a few who have learned the way of the bow and arrow. While few Daireann would count one as a close friend, they have their uses in times of peace.
- Eshu: Eshu make wonderful guides, and the stories they tell are always exciting, but as a kith, they are too easily distracted. It is hard to get them to keep their minds to the business at hand.
- Nockers: House Dougal well exemplifies the benefits of having nockers around. In war, the Daireann will gladly accept their companionship at their forges. Otherwise, though, they are boorish and crude. Until they learn some manners, Daireann will give what hospitality is necessary and not much more.
- Pooka: These twisted liars are annoying in the extreme. Some find pooka tricks amusing but many say they cannot be trusted. Their petty schemes to gain attention waste time and energy. They do not impress.
- Redcaps: Viscous, nasty bastards who, whether the fae like to admit it or not, occupy a unique place in Kithain society. If it were not for the redcaps, who would do all the dirty work? Daireann has employed them from time to time, and with the proper authority, they can be unstoppable on the battlefield. Perhaps it would be well to remember that in the coming war.
- Satyrs: One of the great heroes of the house, Finias, met his doom at the hands of a satyr temptress who promised him and his lord safe passage only to betray them to the enemy. It is true the satyrs’ reputation is one of wisdom, but does knowledge necessarily impart honor? Apparently not.
- Sluagh: A number of sluagh are close to House Daireann, particularly with Belladonna's Chalice. They have served well in the past and the house looks forward to renewing those bonds of friendship and service on the present.
- Trolls: Trolls are the finest among the commoners, and in some respects, they are trustworthier than certain nobles (certainly more than the wretched Balor). They are brave fighters and have a keen sense of honor that rivals Daireann’s own.
Gallain, Prodigals, & Others Edit
- Nunnehi: The what? Oh, the native people of the Summer Lands. Well, there is a legend of Prince Madoc of Cymru that includes them. Supposedly he had some dealing with them, although relations were poor between the nunnehi and the fae in the prince’s company.
- Inanimae: Daireann knows less about the Inanimae than do their fellows in House Varich, who are the true experts. It seems the Sessile Ones fell into a long sleep around the time of the Shattering. What their fate has been is unknown to the house, but with the coming war, it would be useful to rediscover these lost ones.
- Thallain: Daireann fae can be ruthless if the need calls for it, but the majority of the house tends to avoid the Thallain if at all possible. They are rapacious and evil, having few, if any, redeeming qualities.
- Fomorians: One reason the Daireann dislike the Thallain, incidentally, is that they are concerned that they might become allies of the greatest enemy of the Kithain, the fomorians. No longer are they the stuff of forgotten legend. The Daireann came back to Earth to defend the mortal lands against these beasts. They will do what they must, but this battle will be far worse than any the fae have ever faced.
- Dauntain: The Daireann hold great stake in the Right of Rescue. It is sorrowful that David Ardry prohibited the fae from approaching the Dauntain. If they can be saved, or if they have taken others captive, the Daireann must take action, risks be damned. It is as simple as that.
- Wizards: In the past, the Daireann tended to avoid the wizards, whose strange and bizarre magics were difficult to understand. They will probably do the same in the present, particularly if they have magic steeped in machinery. The house is too newly come to this world to take on an unknown enemy.
- Ghosts: The ancient lands from whence the Daireann hail are full of lost spirits. While they do not make a practice of seeking them out, they are to be pitied and aided if possible. Most are more annoying than dangerous.
- Children of Lilith: The Children of Lilith used to be a mixed lot of treachery, greed, and an odd sort of honor, or so it seemed from the few dealings Daireann had with them. They were best avoided and that seems a sound practice to continue.
- Mortals: The lives and fates of the Kithain are forever interwoven with those of the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve. The Daireann count many relatives among the mortal kinain and not a few enemies among the Autumn People. As much as the Kithain, these humans are the ones they came back to save against the might of the Fomorians. Daireann is not like Liam, too caught up in the lives of mortals, but saving these innocents is a question of duty and honor.
- Werewolves: The Fenrir came to Eire as enemies of the Daireann long ago but became more like brothers as the years passed. The names of other groups have been forgotten. There is one rabid band, however, the house does remember. The brothers of Fionn MacCumhail are bastards, the lot of them! They cannot see past a drink, a brawl, or a one-night stand to make any kind of sense. Daireann enmity with the Fianna goes back a long way and is one thing they have not forgotten! (See the article Daireann (Founder) for more information.)
Structures & Traditions Edit
All that the Daireann believe and hold dear harks back to the Three Laws of Conchobhair. These teachings, while simple, are a powerful combination that has guided the house since the Mythic Age. Other than adherence to these laws, the only other important tradition they have is the choosing of their rulers.
Choosing the Righ & Ban-Righ Edit
It probably comes as no surprise that the house chooses their Righ and Ban-Righ in trial by combat. Their rulers reign until they lose a challenge, and challenges may be issued only on one of the four seasonal holidays: Imbolc, Samhain, Lughnasadh, or Beltaine. A challenge must be accepted if it is honorably given. The only exception to this is if the house is at war, when it would be folly to have a change in leadership. Say one fae becomes Righ on Beltaine. Come Lughnasadh, a young warrior challenges him. The comhairle, a group of fae councilors who have been Righ or Ban Righ before and are willing to serve as advisors, agree that she has given honorable challenge and has no physical marks that would disqualify her from rulership. The two fight best three out of five bouts with real weapons of their own choosing, to first blood. Of the Righ wins, he continues to be Righ until a new challenge comes, not before Samhain. If the young warrior wins, she is immediately named Ban-Righ. The winner has the privilege of picking his or her own consort, usually a romantic attachment, but not always. In the case of multiple challenges, simple lot or perhaps a game of chance chooses the combatant, if the comhairle is so willing. It is a simple system and so far has worked well for the house, and though you might expect every new holiday to bring a new ruler, it is not always so. If the house is pleased with the Righ or Ban-Righ, several seasons may pass before a new challenger emerges. The fact that the ruler appoints all other territorial nobles and grants certain lands and titles may have something to do with this relative stability.
One puzzling thing is that during their recent coming to Earth, the house emerged with no Righ or Ban-Righ, only the presence of their Ard-Bantiarna, or high lady, Fiadnait ní Strachan. This may be because the Righ or Ban-Righ perished, or it might have been a condition of their return. In any case, as soon as immediate matters are settles, the house is certain Fiadnait will see to it that the office is filled.
Political Leanings Edit
Anarchists, Purists, Repudiators, Ritualists, and Modernists? Other than their general meanings, these terms are strange to House Daireann. They don’t understand what is meant by political leanings. Are they orders of warriors? The Three Laws are all the house needs to understand house politics, but the fae have changed and probably so too will some house views on politics.
Modern fae of Daireann use old-style titles, and the ranks have become a little muddied over the years, but here is what has come into the common usage of House Daireann. These titles are of Irish derivation, although there are also Scottish and Welsh usages as well, which are slightly different. The prefix ‘Ard’ can be added to elevate any title to mean the highest person of that given rank in the land (i.e., Ard-Righ for high king or Ard-Tiarna for High Lord).
- Flaith and Banfhlaith: Prince and Princess
- Tiarna and Bantiarna: Lord and Lady
Movers & Shakers Edit
Treasures of House Daireann Edit
The house had at one time a number of magical Treasures stashed away for a time of great need. Alas, the Second Coming has erased many memories of these wondrous implements. Two Treasures that Ard-Bantiarna Fiadnait does hold, though, are the Cudgel of Cochobhair and the Cauldron of Sceanbh. They are priceless, and she hopes that once the Daireann are resettled, she can put these treasures into the hands of a new Righ or Ban-Righ of the house.