- 1 Overview
- 2 Many-Fold Paths: A History
- 3 The Workings of House Dougal
- 3.1 Dougal's Code
- 3.2 Genius
- 3.3 House Boon & Flaw
- 3.4 The Great Secret of Making
- 3.5 Chain of Command
- 3.6 Seelie Members
- 3.7 Unseelie Members
- 3.8 Secret Societies
- 3.9 The Escheat
- 3.10 The Fior
- 3.11 Fostering
- 3.12 House Oaths
- 3.13 Relations with Others
- 4 Current Politics
- 5 Treasures
- 6 Crafters
- 7 References
All changelings face dichotomy. They must balance a mortal seeming with a fae mien. House Dougal faces more challenges than other Kithain. Other than the (over) much-maligned House Liam, they are the most overlooked, under-valued great household of the sidhe. Though rulers of other houses belittle them, the Kingdom of Grass, ruled by Queen Mary Elizabeth, is the happiest and most productive realm in Concordia. In Caledonia, King Niall's commoner charges would have no other sidhe as their Lord.
In the machinations of politics, many believe that House Dougal is superfluous, but it is their devices that fuel the intrigues of House Eiluned. The hot-blooded Fiona squabble over their beautiful artifices. The lords of House Gwydion perform their great deeds with Dougal swords, clad in Dougal mail. Some of their devices even shelter the sidhe of House Liam. And who sits to inherit the throne of Concordia? Princess Lenore, charge of High King David and lady of House Dougal! So House Dougal is intimate with politics, yet apolitical.
While most other houses squabble, pout, and piddle, Dougal works, builds, and creates. The truth is subtler than an Eiluned's compliment: House Dougal is the unseen center of the sidhe. Without the examples set by the members of this house, the Kithain would wonder into ruin.
The Dougal are called arrogant. Perhaps they are. If arrogance is pride n workmanship, they are for certain. If arrogance comes from providing lessons by deeds rather than words, they are arrogance embodied. If arrogance is holding the sidhe to a higher standard, the they are guilty. So be it.
Listen to the Kithain and search your heart for truth. Sometimes their critics are right, but it is the strength of House Dougal to listen, adapt, and improve... to cast off their failures and build again. Journeymen of the house face ridicule and failure. But as members of this august house, they must stand after a fall and bear silently burdens others cannot.
Many-Fold Paths: A History
Precision has little place in history. Instead we'll use a metaphor for the lesson... a garden path. Some would have you believe that history either has no direction or it's opposite, that it is a path like in a formal garden, straight and true. Neither is good enough. History is like a garden path. It definitely goes somewhere, but you often find you have been down it before. The end is often the beginning.
The Knotwork Paths: The Time of Legends
During the Time of Legends, this world and the Dreaming wove in and out of each other like intertwining garden paths and there was no House Dougal. Dougal was but a smith to Fergus of House Gwydion at that time. He served Fergus well and, in turn, Fergus built him a smithy such as the world may never see again. A hundred smiths could work there and never get in each other's way.
Dougal was the greatest smith Arcadia ever produced, but he was not perfect. (Remember, admitting and exploring faults is the axiom of improvement.) He shared his knowledge freely with the fae lords, for Dougal's joy lay in the creation of things, which is the seed of House Dougal's conflict with the Prodigal Garou, for it was during this time that the most fair Lady Fiona came to Dougal and asked for a weapon that the humans could use against the Garou. Dougal gave her Silver, out of deference to the great lady, but also out of hatred for the Impergium, the Garou's foul plan to herd and cull humans as sheep. Few of any house knew of this plan, which has always pained Dougal sidhe.
The smithy became a workshop and gathering place for all the best fae and human artisans; it was a hub of innovation and artistry for centuries. To Dougal's discredit, he did not look into the hearts of his students. He welcomed everyone into his smithy during the Age of Legends, including ones that would betray the fae: the daughters and sons of Balor, lord of the Fomorians, and unscrupulous men interested only in armor and weaponry.
The Divergence: The Sundering
The paths of man and fae began eventually to diverge, like a favorite gown whose edge is unraveling and if not caught quickly, the result is irreversible.
Dougal and his smiths improved continually the quality of Bronze, but mortals and the dark fae perverted the skills they had learned, using their expertise to produce better weapons and armor. Dougal banned the sidhe of House Balor from his workshop and, later, the warmongering humans as well.
Perhaps it was this act of rejection that began the Sundering; certainly it contributed to it. Numerous forces were at work. The copper and tin supplies used to produce bronze were growing harder to obtain. Mortals discovered iron while searching for a replacement metal from which to craft weapons. Maybe it was the hatred and jealously of Dougal's work that infected the metal and the mortals who produced it; or perhaps the progeny of Balor used their foul Arts to poison the metal. Or maybe it was the Prodigal Garou, angered over the arming of humans with silver to end their terrible Impergium. Man pounded the dirt and taint out of the ore with bronze hammers, purifying their hatred and quenching the red-hot metal in the dull waters of the future. Thus Cold Iron was born. No one can remember exactly who did it or when, but the Sundering came, balanced on the edge of cold iron daggers and poised on the tips of iron arrowheads.
The silver-clad warriors of the sidhe began to fall beneath the iron-shod boots and spears of humans until the mortals ventured into Strathcruach, the ancient vale that sheltered Dougal's smithy. The story of Dougal finishes that tale, though. Dougal's sacrifice stemmed the tide of Cold Iron. Perhaps it was too late, for it did not stop the end.
Myths and Mysteries of Cold Iron
More than any other House, House Dougal has striven to understand why Cold Iron harms the fae. After all, their founder gave his life to try and break cold iron's grip on the fae. It is their duty to continue his work and to protect the fae. As High Lord Donovan said, "To fight a thing, you must understand a thing."
Before we get to the theories of it's nature, let's talk about the reality of it as opposed to its myths. First, iron is not cold iron. Most of what we think of as iron, thanks to Dougal, is actually steel. We live in a modern age of blast furnaces, alloys, plastics, steel, and ceramics. Cold iron is quite rare for modern changelings. Even ferriers use steel these days.
The best way to think about cold iron is not as a thing, but as a process... a very low-tech and crude process. The ore is found all over Concordia, sometimes very close to the surface. Some freeholds are actually built on deposits of it. Once hunted and gathered, the ore is heated in a large crucible over a charcoal fire. The resulting lumps of black-grey materiel can then be hammered into shapes.
Compared to steel, it makes poor weapons. They are heavier, more brittle, and they lose an edge more quickly than steel ones. Thus, cold iron weapons tend to be small: axe heads, daggers, arrowheads, darts, bolts, etc. It is rumored that some Prodigals produce cold iron weapons with steel properties. Other gossip says that weapons quenched in sidhe blood are extremely hard for fae to sense.
The most common form of cold iron found today is known as wrought iron, which is used in older human cities for fences, gates, and balcony railings, for example. Some of the most beautiful cities are bastions of cold iron: Paris, Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans. (Stick to the middle of the street during Mardi Gras.)
- Sundering Incarnate: Many believe that iron represents the force of the Sundering; the philosophical division between humankind and the Dreaming incorporated... made flesh. It was formed not by any "thing," but as a "natural" effect when Banality reached a critical level. Paradoxically, this mystical assertion is backed by hard science: Steel actually contains more iron than cold iron does. After all, most of the tings we associate with iron are actually steel or cast iron (cold iron that has been melted and poured into a mold).
- Nightmare Metal: Some believe that iron is the "anti-matter" of Glamour. Some masters in the Hinterlands Project believe there is a location opposite the Dreaming, "Nightmare," if you will. Iron, these masters propose, is made up of materiel from this place.
- Balor's Bones: Others postulate that iron was poisoned by Balor, or that it may even be made from that demon's body. While this is ridiculous to most fae, two hard facts back up this theory. First, the members of House Balor seem to be immune to cold iron's effects. Secondly, many fae have dreams of Arcadia involving cold iron, suggesting that it exists in Arcadia as well.
- Garou's Revenge: An Emissary reported recently that some Garou are able to talk to spirits that live in machines. This report has led to a frightening possibility: perhaps cold iron houses some evil spirit, placed there by the Garou. Dougal's refining process that transforms cold iron into steel may drive the spirit off. If true, then the Garou may be able to infest other materials with this spirit. The same informant says there is much dissension among the tribes of Garou so perhaps they lack the power or perseverance to do so.
The Paths' End: The Shattering
The sidhe's time walking the paths of Earth may have been drawing to a close, but for House Dougal, the garden seemed, until nearly the end, to be in spring; burgeoning with potential. During this time of great sadness, their house saw the greatest growth.
As sidhe fought side, culminating in the betrayal by High King Falchion, demand for their smith work grew. Their house swelled under the leadership of Aife, Donovan, and Morann. Disaffected or orphaned sidhe and talented commoners filled their workshops. Their smithies spread throughout the lands as lord after lord built forges to propitiate their craftsmen and artisans.
Sadly, the talents of the house awakens easily what is worst in man and fae. They were so often maniacal in their quest to become the masters of their arts that they forgot what their tools do in lesser hands. They should have worked harder to bridge the widening gap between the worlds of men and fae. In the end, they did nothing as one of the greatest artifacts of their race, Silver's Gate, was destroyed and the Dreaming ripped from this world.
Morann's Lonely Path: The Interregnum
Unlike the other houses, the Dougal tried to organize their withdrawal from Earth. Aife and Donovan returned to Arcadia. Morann, the nocker, became the titular leader of the house, until the sidhe returned. Remnants of the house remained on Earth, although their numbers were small. Most of the sidhe returned with Aife and Donovan. The fine leadership of Morann undoubtable led to the belief that Dougal was somehow guiding our progress during the Long Night. Most sidhe hate to admit that exceptional commoners can be good leaders. (House Dougal also kept records of this time. Particularly exceptional is Interregnum Est, by Master Twofingers, the boggan bookbinder.
The greatest mystery of this time is the fate of Achen, Dougal's hammer. Some say Donovan took it to Arcadia and it is now in Aife's hands. Some sidhe claim they left it in the possession of Morann. Many commoner members of the house who remained loyal claim that Donovan was to return with it, but he himself has no knowledge of Achen's whereabouts.
Morann managed the house well for numerous years after the bulk of the sidhe left. Along with members of House Scathach, most of the sidhe masters became changelings and faced the uncertainties of their long exile from the Dreaming. They died eventually. Other fae of the house closed off their workshops from the world and made pockets of the Dreaming from their own devising. They are the Lost Ones.
Many forces beyond the bitter tides of Banality worked against Morann and House Dougal during the Interregnum. Sidhe masters began to detest being led by a nocker. The growing commoner "nobles" often used Dougal craftsmen as wagering chips, or even as hostages. May members began to regard the House Dougal name as a liability in those dark times. The house's numbers began to wane inexorably.
Most of the sidhe members of House Dougal crowded for decades around the balefires, descending into Bedlam first. some fell victim to the Lost ones, and some commoner members of the house even betrayed some sidhe to appease commoner kings; our sidhe leaders have borne many stains in their leadership, but no mark has measured up to this dishonor. To their credit, though, the nockers and boggans still loyal to the house tracked down the traitors and captured them; the loyalists beheaded most, while others suffered more... final judgements.
Morann's first death led to a great crisis in the house, one that still echoes loudly today. Donovan, Aife, and Morann created no rules for an exchange of leadership before Aife and Donovan left for Arcadia. In typical Dougal fashion, members rolled up their sleeves and set to work. The remaining sidhe lords lobbied for the creation of a new triumvirate, but the commoners rejected this suggestion that two sidhe should be chosen automatically to fulfill the roles of Aife and Donovan. they all decided instead that the master craftsmen would vote for a single leader until Donavan and Aife returned and/or Morann's new changeling body, his de facto heir, could be identified. And so, the craftsmen created the position of Grand Master of House Dougal.
During the 600 years of the Interregnum, there were 10 Grand Masters, most of whom relinquished their control whenever Morann reawakened. Twice, Morann's fae mien never awoke before his mortal seeming died, but it was the last change of power that was the most tumultuous and that set the stage for the Accordance War.
A nocker named Cranad became the Grand Master in the late 1950s. Cranad was a hard-edge arbiter and led the house well for a while. A shadow slowly fell over him. Perhaps his Unseelie nature got the best of him, or maybe it was an outside influence such as one of the Thallain. In either case, his treachery reared its head soon after he learned to make simulacra.
At first, Cranad used the simulacra for pranks, copies of friends used for practical jokes, etc. But the return of Morann plunged him into the dark waters of the Unseelie. Somehow he made a simulacra of Morann and killed the true. Why he did not give him the death of cold iron is not clear. Perhaps this was too horrible even for an Unseelie. Who knows?
The Mists obscure all but fleeting, maddening remembrances of fair Arcadia. Aife and Donovan led House Dougal upon their return, and it is presumed that they ruled until the paths to this world reopened in 1969. The exact nature of House Dougal's exile is unknown. Frivolous Fiona bards tell tales of one of Donovan's machines running amok during battle. (A Goblin trademark, you know.) Others in the house whisper of an Eiluned plot gone awry. The only justice there is that they, too, were exiled. Donovan is troubled with dreams of human wizards violating the sovereignty of Arcadia. Baron Weyland dreams of a fair warrior-maiden of House Gwydion and an injustice done to her; then standing by her side during some court censure. Whatever the reason, they got ready and were on Dafyll's right hand when they re-entered the world.
The Road Home: Resurgence & Accordance War
When Donovan returned, it was not the true Morann that awaited him, but Cranad's simulacra. Since the Resurgence, Cranad and the False Morann gave only mock obedience to the fae lords, so their shipments of supplies were often late and of mediocre quality. They directed the best good to the commoner armies. The false Morann avoided a face-to-face confrontation with Donovan. Dafyll eventually ordered the House Dougal lord to take control of Morann's freehold (Freehold of the Forge), and Donovan sped quickly to Rochester, New York, where Morann's workshop lay.
Cranad and the false Morann were confident that most of the commoners supported their cause against the sidhe. The house's guards greeted Donovan in full battle gear. Donovan suspected Morann's motives by now, but he could not believe his old friend would harm him. So, Donovan took his helm off and the freehold gate and left his sword on his chimerical war steed. The sight of Donovan in full House Dougal regalia awakened stronger bonds in the master craftsmen than Cranad's poisoned words. Another waited inside to serve her true lord: Hanna was a nocker welder who also headed the Mothers of Morann who had long suspected the false Morann. By the time Donovan made it to the great hall, nearly half of the commoners and newly awakened sidhe were in his wake. Cranad began to speak openly of rebelling against the nobles, but Hanna interrupted him and told the massed journeymen, apprentices, and masters of her fears.
Enraged, the simulacra stacked Hanna. Donovan leapt to her defense, forcing a rousing battle in the freehold as Donovan and Morann's follower's fought one another. Donovan refused to draw a blade on his kinsmen. Seeing this, all but Cranad and the False Morann sheathed their swords; the kinsmen renewed their oath to Dougal in that moment of Donovan's triumph. Cranad and the false Morann fled, and the true leader of House Dougal took his rightful place as head of the House.
Donovan turned the freehold toward prosperity and soon the knights of the Accordance War bore the finest House Dougal weapons and armor produced since the Shattering.
The Workings of House Dougal
The basic framework of House Dougal society is the relationship between the student and their teacher. This house is about work. Status is awarded primarily due to a member's skill. to a lesser extent, seeming and kith also play their parts.
It is a journeyman's responsibility to travel from workshop to workshop and offer themself as a worker. They must contract out there labor with a master, and they must stick to that contract. Their purpose may seem like cheap labor (to be honest, it is part of their purpose), but in actuality, they are searching to find a rewarding job; to follow their bliss. This is their time to learn as much as they can under as many masters as will have them.
Should they break a contract or act dishonestly, their master will tell Baron Weyland. That's never something to be wished as he knows many nockers that could (ab)use an assistant (read lackey).
For more on this topic, see the article Dougal's Code.
Every member of the house is led foremost by their own creative spirit, or genius. While they preach and reward order and efficiency, it is because those qualities define their own genius. A good journeyman, though, will not let the rules that follow, or the organizations they join, blunt their search. The time they have as a journeyman is set aside so that they may find that genius. It is the universal pursuit of that part of the Dreaming that binds the house together.
Once they have found it, they follow it. This is the most precious tenet of the house. This is why they overlook the politics of the courts and the squabbles of the houses. They hope to rise above the prejudices of kith and sex. The pursuit of genius may even lead the there. It is Dougal's true legacy in a member of the house. That is what makes House Dougal great.
House Boon & Flaw
Members of House Dougal are strong-willed and known for their ability to invest Glamour into everything they do. Once per story, a member of this house can convert a portion of their temporary Glamour points into temporary Willpower points (up to the level of their permanent Willpower). This must be done during some sort of physical exertion: working, exercising, or participating in combat.
Physical reality seems flawed to these fae, just as they are flawed. Only through hard work can they overcome these flaws. Sidhe of this house always have a physical handicap that they must compensate for. This is usually something that can be corrected by cunningly crafted smith work: a mechanical leg for a club foot, an intricate eyepiece for poor vision, and so on. These handicaps are present, though not always visible, in their mortal seemings.
Their penchant for precision also presents a curious weakness. When witnessing a well-maintained machine or a masterpiece of engineering, they can become enraptured. Some attain a state of Reverie and can contemplate such things for hours.
The Great Secret of Making
So you want to know how it's done; how you will make a masterpiece? Well, how did Dougal make steel? Go back and read the story again. It's all there.
There is no special list of ingredients, no hidden cantrips, no secret Art. The Dreaming is a place of wonder and passion, and it rewards genius only if you dedicate your life to bringing forth its emanations. Work. Sacrifice. Dedication. These are the secrets of the House and why so many of the other houses fail, and why House Eiluned has never stolen House Dougal's powers to create. They are not up to the task of creation. Members of House Dougal are.
Dream about that you wish to create; let it consume you. Then fall in love with the act of creation. keep your mind rom the glory is brings, the position is wins you in court or in House Dougal. When your heart is pure, your sacrifice great, your work done in joy, then the Dreaming comes, and whatever "it" is, is made.
The Torgail Ainn
For more on this right of passage of the Dougal, see the article Torgail Ainn.
Chain of Command
High Lord Donovan controls the affairs of the household from the Freehold of the Forge. He holds the ultimate responsibility for members' actions and collective future. As such, he is the one being that decides ultimately the fate of wayward members of the house. Supporting him are three offices: the Mentor, the Grand Master, and the Council of Preceptors.
Most members of the House are Seelie and it is from that court that they derive most of the traditions of the house.
- Death Before Dishonor: Doing is more important than saying. What you do is the measure of your life. Lying by saying that you cannot accomplish a task or claiming credit for a work that is not your own is a grievous sin.
- Love Conquers All: Some call Dougal a cold house. Their love is as fragrant as the glint of the stars on a midnight rose, as loud as the thunder produced at a thousand foot waterfall, and as bright as a lone candle above the wedding bower. Which is to say it is not fragrant, loud, or bright, but just as you smelled the rose, heard the waterfall, and see the light, so is their love often overlooked, but nonetheless it is true. Their love reveals itself in their work, in their deeds, and in the romance in their hearts.
- Beauty Is Life: Dougal's appreciation for the beauty of precision and efficiency are their greatest gifts to the Dreaming. Their ability to create machines, works of art, and even bylaws, are proof that they can rebuild the Dreaming even in this twilight world.
- Never Forget a Debt: One goof work deserves another. Your greatest debt is to your foster and to your teachers. Repay them with honored service and by treating your charges with love and dedication.
House Dougal contains few Unseelie members, but they are not unwelcome; the work one does is more important than any code. One will fail or flourish by their deeds in House Dougal. Unseelie members have their own traditions.
When reality fails to live up to a Dougal's ideals, they tend to display one of two solutions. Their first reaction is to roll up their sleeves and redouble their efforts. They can, infect, display an amazing willfulness when they are desperate to make an ideal work. Should this fail, they fall into their Unseelie legacy until they find something to stir their idealism again.
- Change Is Good: Things fall apart. Things decay. It is a duty to rebuild what breaks and dismantle what is not working. Anachronism is death.
- Glamour Is Free: Glamour is like everything else; how can it be recycled if it is not used? If a cup is not emptied, how can it be filled again?
- Honor Is a Lie: The most efficient way to govern yourself is to look to your own needs. Sometimes self-sacrifice is necessary, but honor is often just a tool someone is using to manipulate you. Watch out. Think and do for yourself.
- Passion Before Duty: Let your instincts guide your work. Your masters gave you training, now you must go beyond. To fulfill your passion, you must not only stand on the shoulders of giants, bot on their heads as well. So be it. The passion for your work or your goal is paramount. The ends always justify the means.
Even though the house esteems honesty, a plethora of their fellows find it necessary to hide their activities. Hose Eiluned unfortunately deems it appropriate to stick their noses into house business, and they do this by secret societies. These are secretive groups that have been discovered that exist in House Dougal. It is the duty of any good house member to report their activities to the House Mentor immediately.
As the most ancient tradition of the fae, the Escheat is the basic guide to a changeling's behavior and to be followed without modifcation. Noble or not, one is to follow the Escheat's precepts for it is the most precious code of the fae. Since House Dougal rarely controls holdings outside of workshops, it is often necessary to put one's lord's interest above those of House Dougal. This is allowed to a small degree, but serious breaches in the house codes and traditions are not tolerated.
- The Right of Demesne: Members of House Dougal, of course, support their superiors, but a good member also points out the faults of others so that they may improve. The house also apples this right to a master in their workshop. Not even Donovan would think to order around a master in their workshop!
- The Right to Dream: House Dougal does not support Ravaging or Dream Rape of any kind by any person. If someone attempts these heinous crimes, they act. If they themselves cannot act right then, they find those who can act in their stead.
- The Right of Ignorance: Mortals are enchanted only when deemed necessary by a noble or master. Donovan's Emissary Initiative could be regarded as posing a threat to this law, but Donovan's will must be trusted.
- The Right of Rescue: This right is one of the most basic of the fae, and the house follows it to the letter. Dougal members have been known to risk life and limb to rescue members of House Eiluned and those of the Shadow Court. The Right of Rescue is also extended to those approaching Chrysalis. Such persons are to be conducted to the nearest sidhe freehold. House Dougal also extends this right to Gallain, Inanimae, and Treasures.
- The Right of Safe Haven: Dougal do not like letting strange or suspect Kithain into the workshops. They will if pressed, but they often keep strangers under guard, or make them stay behind locked doors until the suspected are ready to leave.
- The Right of Life: House Dougal believes in this right, but also holds that a Kithain who breaks it looses all of their rights. Kithain who kill members of House Dougal beware... their knives are as sharp as their will for vengeance.
The Fior is the only tradition older than the Escheat. Dougal sidhe have modified it to a trial by great deeds. The house sometimes forgives an offense if the offending member creates a new masterwork or takes on some task that most nobles find beneath them... like serving as an apprentice for a year and a day.
The only task more important than deciding to what work to dedicate your life is the responsibility of fosterage. Fosters of House Dougal have three Herculean tasks. First, the must instruct and apprentice (childling) on their new life as a changeling and protect them from the forces of Banality.
They must also cultivate skills in their charges. All Kithain of this house must have work to give their life beauty and meaning. Due to an apprentice's behavior, fostering is often a disheartening and exasperating task. One must do the unspeakable and neglect their own work to see that an apprentice does not neglect theirs. One must also know when to overlook the flightiness and unpredictability of a fledge. The house must engender childlike wonder while tempering some of the childishness. They do not run sweatshops and assembly lines: Work's goal is beauty. Unpleasant to the extreme, but fostering is required for an apprentice to become a true member of the House.
Finally, fosters must let the apprentice go. It is natural for a foster to wish their apprentice to carry on their work, but to be a good foster, one must call their apprentices 'journeymen' when they are ready, and then must let them go... even force them to go on some occasions.
Relations with Others
Most Dougal, both Seelie and Unseelie, are Traditionalists. The sidhe nobility has shown the wisest leadership over the centuries, but Dougal's emphasis on deeds, not words, gives way to a surprising number of Reformers and Modernists. Dougal believe that noble actions and deeds are justifications for noble rule. Nobles whose comportment is ignoble must be re-educated or removed from office.
- House Eiluned: Of all the great houses, Eiluned is the most troubling. It is without a doubt the least noble and most Unseelie. Other than their mastery of magic, house members have no skills of which to boast. They generally do no work. Rather, members waste time dissembling, rumor-mongering, and scheming. Their efforts range from pointless to pernicious. Conversely, truth is often at the core of their criticisms. Look for that truth, but ignore the rest of the bile that obscures it.
- House Fiona: Despite the admonishing Dougal stares, it is hard to disapprove of members of House Fiona for long. If Dougal are the strong heart of the fae, House Fiona is its soul. But even their grumps seem to be childlings to a Dougal; they never follow through with their tasks, leaving most unfinished (or shoddily completed). Their songs and poetry move House Dougal nonetheless, and their machinations are mostly harmless to all but themselves (unlike House Eiluned's).
- House Gwydion: House Gwydion spawned House Dougal and supported it during its youth. And, if the Mists don't betray, even in Arcadia, House Gwydion spoke up for Dougal. Dougal's finest weapons and armor have gone to the house's kings for centuries, yet Dougal's debt to them is still unpaid. They do not serve blindly, but do listen to Gwydion wisdom. It has served the fae well.
- House Liam: Although House Liam is often blind to the banal side of humans, House Dougal must not add to their misfortunes. Their members have brought House Dougal human workers who have become some of the most talented of the enchanted. The biggest problem between the two houses is Dougal's view of them as having a penchant for talking too much while doing very little. Many nobles believe that House Liam's misfortune is really the work of other forces, such as House Eiluned or the Shadow Court. Help Liam members when it is appropriate, but do not coddle them.
- House Scathach: Those of House Scathach do not trust the Dougal, probably because they were seen to be an arm of House Gwydion, or blind Traditionalists. What a pity. Their purported mastery of Dream-Craft would make them welcome researchers on Donovan's Hinterland Initiative.
Unseelie Houses and the Shadow Court
These groups pose the greater threat to the noble houses. But while they are related, they should be thought of as separate entities.
The Shadow Court represents the Unseelie of the noble houses, and as such, should have a greater say in our government; a mere 5% of the Parliament of Dreams is not enough. Are not all the fae, at least in part, Unseelie? Many Dougal would prefer to see power shared between the two courts rather than drive all Unseelie into the waiting arms of the Shadow Court.
None except the fomorians and the Thallain deserve mistrust more than the Shadow Court. House Leanhaun makes the Fiona look like tenured professors of mundanity. House Ailil makes House Eiluned seem almost honest (almost). None is more foul and a greater foe of House Dougal than House Balor; its members delight in infiltrating Dougal workshops, stealing their discoveries, recruiting commoners to their cause, and, if nothing else, slipping a cold iron dagger into a Dougal back. House Balor's resistance to cold iron is the only way to detect them. Give them no quarter; by now they know better than to ask.
The other kith are not the sidhe's quals in power and prestige in House Dougal. Boggans and nockers have always held a high place in Dougal, but after they told of their kith's treacheries during the Interregnum, most sidhe have treated them unfairly.
Since the Resurgence, all other kith are measured by sidhe standards. Boggans are believed to lack the sidhe's aesthetic skills, and nockers are incapable of making a device without some flaw, however minor. Morann and Lady Legre are regarded as exceptions to this shameful rule. But, as always, House Dougal is ready to work on a problem.
The final criterion for position in the house has always been the work that a member does. This factor will always be the final consideration for ranking.
Too often, Dougal relegate themselves to deal only with the fae that they know best. But if the house is to grow, they must seek knowledge and inspiration from other sources. Who better than from their faerie kin?
- Inanimae: Of all the Gallain, House Dougal looks for contact with none more than the Inanimae. The writings of Lady Sierra and Professor Edgewick tell of golems, will o' the wisps, and nymphs. Fascinating. Living machines, Treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan... who knows what forms the Inanimae may take?
- Nunnehi: Truly, the fae share the "white man's burden" when it comes to the nunnehi. But Dougal sidhe have nothing to offer but their backs, muscles, and the willingness to repair what was done. they would welcome an exchange of knowledge and skills with their cousin fae. Although King Meilge of the Kingdom of Willows makes many honest efforts gathering information difficult for the house, they have heard reports of a nunnehi kith called the Yunwi Tsundsi, fae of the Cherokee peoples. Some Dougal crafters have had congenial conversations with these "little people." Although they seem to be gifted craftsmen, they have so far ignored Dougal inducements for a more formal exchange of ideas and skills.
House Dougal considers most of the Prodigals dangerous to the extreme. Deal honestly with them, if at all.
- Children of Lilith: These vampires wallow in the banal and blood-dimmed muck of this world. Their presence steals your Glamour; their bite robs you of your fae mien. Fear them.
- Garou: The Garou are friend and foe. Some remember when they danced at the fae gatherings in the Time of Legends, but they, like the Children of Lilith, began to feed on the humans. It drove them mad for a time. Sidhe silver changed that balance of power. Dougal thought it was necessary to cure them of insanity, but it gave him no pleasure to harm them. The garou are a vengeful folk, so do not speak of the gift of silver to humans. Some Garou never recovered from this stain upon their soul and now they seem to worship some kind of Fomorian, perhaps Balor himself. Now, some garou, like the mages, fight against the same forces of Banality the fae abhor. This was learned when High King David called upon the house to interpret some technology brought to him by knights of House Fiona. These knights fought alongside a pack of Fianna Garou against humanoid creatures wielding exquisite, but twisted, technology. The garou called these creatures fomori. The enemies of the Garou are the enemies of the fae. The Emissaries encountered a pack of Garou in Japan called the Glasswalkers. They are now acting as mediators between one named "Xiao Xan" and DreamSoft. Xiao Xan is helping DreamSoft design a mechanical doll that will interface with their software, that will display emotions, and be used to teach childlings of their fae heritage.
- Ghosts: House Dougal does not pry into the human afterlife. From all the information they've obtained, the human afterlife is a dreary and unproductive experience. There are rumors of Unseelie Loricas who sought to forge weapons out of human souls... the horror.
- Wizards: Human wizards seem to turn their dreams into reality, the human equivalent of the power of the Dreaming. House Dougal actively seeks contact with the wizards, but be warned, human wizards are likely to be as banal as normal humans. Lord Greyhawk is friends with Native American wizards, Dream Speakers, and fae on the Isle of the Mighty have connections with wizards called Wyck (or Verbena) and Order of Hermes. Dougal ambassadors have sought contacts with three cabals that exist in Concordia: The Sons of Ether, House Merinita, and the Virtual Adepts. No doubt you have heard some of the tales of House Dougal's exile. One story states that High Lord Donovan constructed a machine to battle a human incursion into Arcadia. Donovan believes that these humans who were attacking Arcadia may have been a cabal of magi. These magi are not to be sought out, but any information concerning their whereabouts and activities that you stumble across must be reported directly to Lord Donovan.
Humans: The Enchanted & The Kinain
No race is as precious to House Dougal as humans are. Their house harbors very few philosophers, but it is clear the humanity's dreams are part and parcel of the Dreaming. Human smiths and artisans have been part of House Dougal from its inception. Indeed, it was Douga;'s assertion of the innate goodness of humanity that became the impetus for the house's creation.
It would be hypocritical to disdain humanity for its penchant for Banality since Dougal is the only house formed on Earth. But more than any other house, House Dougal knows the pain of cold iron, and for this reason, Dougal's ban on accepting humans into the house remains firm.
This dictum is under severe attack from Reformers and Modernists and the Unseelie members of the house. It is known that two members of the Council of Preceptors are in favor of allowing enchanted kinain into the house again. These fae argue that this prejudice is the largest impediment to Donovan's Initiatives.
Enchanted or not, slavery is not permitted in this household. It is a violation of the Escheat and it risks the Dreaming as a whole.
Although House Dougal members have examined the bodies of some of the so-called fomori, they seem to be mere brutes with a similar name. Many believe the old menace has resurfaced, but doubt it is from the bowels of some human corporation. What the Garou call fomori may be ugly and unkind, but they lack the inhumanly intelligent malevolence of the Fomorians. Perhaps Balor is just warming up with this brood; therefore, the house should not dismiss the unhappy coincidence of the name too soon.
The deranged Garou fit the old definition of the fomorians the best: they are cunning, they are strong, they are evil incarnate. House Dougal should strengthen its bonds with the Garou who are their friends so that they can learn to hunt down the ravening beasts and put them out of Dougal's misery.
All Thallain are dangerous, but Boggarts and Goblins give House Dougal reason to fear. Boggarts can pass themselves off as Unseelie Boggans. One such boggart, Sharkie, was able to turn an entire workroom of boggans into more of his kind. Before the Temperance League crushed the operation, the bastard was involved in a scheme with a perverse corporation to develop a chinchilla-shucking device.
Bogies are capable of getting by electronic security devices, and goblins have been the instigators of malfunctions and serious disasters. The nobles of the house believe that a goblin was responsible for the "malfunction" in the device created by Donovan that resulted in the house's exile from Arcadia.
Many of House Dougal's greatest smiths and crafters became Lost Ones during the Shattering. The most famous was Ilmarinen. His fantastic workshop excelled in the production of beautiful items of whimsy and Glamour: toys. He and his wife, along with his nocker and boggan servants, closed themselves off in the cold wastes of what is now Finland or Norway. He sends a chimerical simulacra of himself to distribute his chimerical toys to children all over the world via a large sled. Unfortunately, the Mists now confuse his legacy.
A few changelings have visited Ilmarinen with no ill effects, but most of the Lost Ones are extremely dangerous. Some believe there is a Lost One operating in Silicon Valley. Despite the success of Queen Mary Elizabeth's Internet Initiative, every fae sent to find talent in that wellspring of creativity has either disappeared or has been found later in a state of Bedlam.
There is plenty of fighting and outright gossiping in House Dougal, but it os usually over who is getting more raw materials, whose liege built the better workshops, who took my Glmaour-spanner, and the like. Tame stuff. They are all too busy working to plot against one another. Besides, messing with another's work is simply not done. Period.
The greatest political force in House Dougal comes from Donovan's Initiatives. Donovan himself supports several fields of work for the betterment of the house and the Dreaming as a whole. Masters who choose to work on these initiatives are given first crack at the promising Journeymen, liberal amounts of Glamour, and remuneration for their mundane expenditures.
All members of House Dougal have heard of these treasures and it is good for a young member of the house to keep them in mind as they start a quest for their art. These treasures have inspired House Dougal for ages; they are icons to its members. Two are lost and so the others are closely guarded, but none is owned by anyone. The treasures are kept in trust for all to gain insight and inspiration from them.
Catalog of Dreams
- Andres McCarty
- Lady Aine
- Master Ansel
- Aunt Finny
- Bolsan of the Dove
- Corbie John
- Hamish Somerled
- Sir Hugin
- Inez Torres
- Lloyd Morgenstern
- Mary Elizabeth
- Oona Kinane
- Piper Gaines
- Ranulf Dorsey
- Stephen Brunswick
- Walter Burroway
- Francis Dilbert
- CTD. Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 9-31.
- CTD. Changeling: The Dreaming Second Edition, pp. 106-107.