- 1 Overview
- 2 Love's Lore: A History
- 3 Love's Whirl of Gaiety: Society
- 3.1 The Seelie Court
- 3.2 The Unseelie Court
- 3.3 Samhain: Fiona's Descent
- 3.4 Boon & Flaw
- 3.5 Passion's Many Faces
- 3.6 The Escheat
- 3.7 Oaths of House Fiona
- 3.8 Fosterage
- 3.9 Love, Marriage, & Other Indoor Sports
- 3.10 Relations
- 4 Love in Vain: Politics
- 5 Movers & Shakers
- 6 References
Sidhe are creatures of extremes, and the nobles of House Fiona are no exception. Lady Fiona and some of the sidhe of her house stayed on Earth during the Interregnum so that they could continue to explore its pleasures. Some even say the House's founder rejected the call of Arcadia because of the love of a mortal man. This would not be surprising in the least; Fiona thoroughly immerse themselves in Earthly pleasures.
Fiona sidhe are overly fond of food, drink, drugs, and sex, and are often called away from their higher pursuits by appeals to their baser needs. Anything that gives them a rush is fine with them. When the chance to indulge presents itself, they can descend into their Unseelie Legacy until their lusts are slaked.
These reckless nobles continually flirt with disaster. They love to taunt the status quo, even going so far as to aid their enemies to bring a little discord. Still, when called upon to fight, this passion takes on a different focus; Fiona fae are fierce warriors who live for the fury of battle. Many are addicted to the tumult of the battlefield. The thought of dying in battle, and tempting fate by recklessly fighting, fuels this passion even more.
The house claims to have hundreds of traditions and customs that are strictly obeyed, even though no two members of the house can seem to agree on what they are. Thus, each member lives by their own rules and their own code of honor. Theirs is the most accommodating of all houses. Fiona rarely pull rank on commoner kithain. For this reason, its members are beloved by commoners, and fiefdoms ruled by the House are happy ones, if a bit on the wild side.
Love's Lore: A History
The Mythic Age
Great historians like Thomas the Rhymer and Professor Edgewick write that the Tuatha se Danaan gave birth to all the fae. These fair folk taught humans how to dream, though past histories do not explain where humans came from, save that they are Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. My personal hypothesis as that the dreams of humans had a profound effect on the children of the Tuatha. In other words, human imagination shaped the natures and appearances of the kith in some unfathomable way. Perhaps some had nightmares that caused the Tuatha to birth redcaps, while dreams of might and majesty summoned forth the sidhe. I may may be heretical, but I believe simply that humans did have significant power in the Dreaming during the Time of Legends. Furthermore, this hypothesis fits with Fiona's tale about how she herself came into being. The Mythic Age stands as our epic childhood, full of legends and sagas. There we first learned about love and lust, pleasure and pain. Our passion for battle and devotion to danger and excitement swelled during those ancient days, bearing fruit ever since.
Founding of the House
- Main article: Fachan
Simply because Fiona had no sidhe in her retinue on Earth does not mean the Dream Lords shunned the Waking Lands. True, this was a time that Professor Edgewick calls "hierarchy," when humans and other beings set up centers of power in cities, where Banality spread its dark tendrils. Likewise, he refers to the Sundering as a chilly autumn. The good Professor fails to mention that autumns are also beautiful in their days of gold. Perhaps Fiona alone of the noble houses found much to treasure during that time; this swansong of the old ways. As humans built kingdoms and empires, they fought great battles. For the Fiona, war is the finest meat and drink. What greater glory could there be than a valiant death saving your oathmates? Many of House Fiona dreamed of honorable death on a field of blood, while gladly fighting alongside heroes such as the Fianna and the Kievan Rus. Most got exactly what they wanted. Perhaps because they saw darkness approaching, they threw themselves into living full-force. Some fae wasted this time in silly squabbles between Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Such foolishness! The fae are inherently fickle and changing creatures; denying this is wrong. Rather than supping at the table of life and glory, they preferred to quibble over philosophy. Thus, when times became darker still, they ran willy-nilly for the safety of Arcadia. I am proud to say that those of House Fiona stayed until the bitter end.
Eventually, things changed even too much for the Fiona. The Banality and hate waxing among the humans made their hearts ache, and yes, I do believe they felt it more sharply than most. Truth be told, many of House Gwydion would not feel heartbreak if it bit them on their royal purple bottoms. Or if they did, they would never show it. The Fiona saw people dying, hardly recognizable under the swollen blue postures of the Black Death. The fae waged an internecine battle that brought sorrow to everyone, all for the precious resource of Glamour. House Fiona was fortunate because of their good relations with the commoners; they were able to share their freeholds where other houses were not welcome. The Fiona have never forgotten their kindness in those terrible days. The most fortunate among the them went through the last gateways to Arcadia; the few staying behind there themselves on the mercy of the commoners and were hidden away. Many a noble of House Fiona handed over their crown and scepter to trusted commoners and bid them good fortune in their rule. Other houses did not dream of stooping to such measures, and much disharmony resulted 600 years later.
I call this period of history by the name the commoners use rather than the Twilight Time because I learned my stories of those days from certain eshu and satyrs; as it was their time, I will respect their tradition. The common kith fought alone for survival in a banal world, even while managing Fiona lands with skill and aplomb. They took mortal forms and huddled together for survival. Yet, highpoint came, such as the Renaissance and the Romantic period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. What fun the gay '90s and roaring '20s must have been! Though we will never know, I daresay a lot of sidhe of House Fiona would have been running liquor and hanging out in speakeasies with their commoner brethren.
The love story of Lady Fiona and her mortal lover has been told, retold, and changed a thousand times. Like many Arcadian tales, no two versions are the same, as no one can fully remember the details. In every version, Lady Fiona dies tragically, and the fae of her house descend from Arcadia to attend her wake. Each year, on the same day, a sidhe troubadour speaks to her in dreams.
Another legend tells that the current High Lord of the House was exiled from Arcadia by a jealous rival. Placing the honor of his house at stake, he challenged this rival to a duel. In losing, he sentenced the 13 members of his entourage to Earth. Nonetheless, many Fiona insist that they left Arcadia to show their fealty to Lord Rathesmere and their contempt for the High Lords of Arcadia.
Like most of the sidhe, the return to Earth of House Fiona is blurred and confused. While some looked upon them with suspicion, they generally found welcome with the commoners who remembered their ties to the house. Soon after, word trickled in from Caledonia that all of the House were summoned to the Kingdom of Three Hills for the wake of Lady Fiona. When they returned to the States, they hoped for some peace. Instead, they found war.
The Accordance War & Beyond
When House Fiona left Earth, they had the foresight to bid goodwill to the commoners, leaving them their treasures and tools. When they returned, they asked for the privilege of once again ruling those fiefs. The commoners welcomed them back, in most cases, and gave back what they had held in trust. The Fiona didn't stride in, demand the freeholds they'd abandoned and march all the commoners out at swordpoint; some nobles of other houses were relatively kind and gentle. But most sidhe saw their rulership and right to demesne as part of some natural order. That's amusing. There's no such thing as a natural order, for in love, there is no absolute rule. Those of House Fiona, on the other hand, earned the trust, affection, and respect of the commoners. When they saw how rudely and cruelly some of the other sidhe treated the common folk, that tore things apart. Many members of the house refused to fight against the commoners, though they had no heart to battle the sidhe either. Despite their love of combat, most of them just kept a low profile and waited for the politics to get sorted out. Some of them actually fought on the side of the commoners against the other noble houses. The skill of their archers is the stuff of legends until this day. Several of the house served as neutral messengers between sides, or as healers to all forces. When peace finally came, I think the nobles had a goodly amount of respect for the commoners. You'll now find the strongest and most prosperous courts in Concordia are ruled by Fiona sidhe who welcome and cherish their common kith. Observe Queen Mab in the Kingdom of Apples, Queen Laurel in the Kingdom of Northern Ice, and Queen Aeron in the Kingdom of Pacifica.
Looking to the future, my personal belief is that this time of peace and calm is just a respite before a greater storm. The Fiona are not complacent, admittedly; nor are they afraid to acknowledge that the potential for great good and terrible ill exists within us all. Things have been a little too quiet for too long for some tastes, and I am among the more moderate of the House. Whether from politicos such as Duke Selim, terrorists like Count Gut Splicer, or errant fops like Sir Sathar, change is coming. Woe to any who tries to stop House Fiona from stirring the pot!
Love's Whirl of Gaiety: Society
Practically all Fiona are Romanticists; they gleefully indulge in courtly love and build elaborate games and rituals around all affairs of the heart. Fiona courts are places of beauty and passion, often filled with playful intrigues, secret trysts, and forbidden loves. They are forever changing their allegiances among the so-called Orders of the Heart, loosely structured Romanticist clubs. these include the Order of Shallot, the Ascetics, and the Cerenaics. General trends indicate that Fiona grumps tend to migrate to the Shallotians, while Wilders prefer the Ascetics. Several of their many Unseelie enjoy the company of the Cerenaics, though many Seelie Fiona engage in similar excesses and taboo loves.
House Fiona has countless mottos. An extremely popular one is: If it feels good, do it. Another is: The heart is the dumbest muscle in the body. Most of them interpret these mottos to mean that there's no limit to what you should do, so be happy and don't worry about the consequences. They'll try anything at least once, and if it involves great risk and situations with chance, so much the better.
These basic principles (Not philosophies; that sounds too structured) guide their entire social system. Many of their so-called secret societies arise because a group of Fiona want to band together to fulfill a common desire: the hedonistic Boytoys and Sir Sathar's knights are two examples. The bottom line is that emotion guides everything they do, from making love to waging war. Any of House Fiona who refutes this simple truth is fooling themselves.
The Seelie Court
Those of House Fiona take the Seelie Code, love conquers all, into their hearts and souls; love is who and what they are. Seelie Fiona expend great amounts of time and money on whatever person or pastime that's most recently struck their fancy; if a Fiona sidhe falls in love, they'll spare no expense or effort in wooing their new object of affection. Most Seelie in the house are Modernists, believing the world as it is now must be dealt with and that living in the distant past is a mistake. A small number are Reformers; they follow a moderate path between the Modernists and Traditionalists while practicing just rulership by the will of the People. A few rare Traditionalists also exist among the ranks of the Seelie. These folks, both sidhe and commoner, think the sidhe sure by the will of the Tuatha de Danaan and that right makes might.
Unlike most Seelie, those of House Fiona don't worry too much about preserving justice, stability, and traditions; instead, they reserve their energies to punish oathbreakers, cowards, and traitors. They delight in making the punishments fair, yet fitting to the crimes. This isn't to say that traditions like the Escheat aren't important, it's just that curbing dishonor is of much more import. Fiona of the Seelie Court tend to remain true to each other until death, despite petty squabbles or even bloody disagreements. There are many tales of two lovers parting in anger only to reunite years later when one needs a protector. Their ire and hatred can burn as brightly as their love, but they don't desert their own in times of trouble, be they noble or commoner. Such is the nature of duty and honor to the House.
The Unseelie Court
Most Fiona are bewildered by the nobles who think there's a crime in being Unseelie. In all honesty, the lines between Seelie and Unseelie are sometimes a bit blurred. The major difference is that the Seelie strive for the duty and honor of the house while the Unseelie strive for the power of the self. Also, while all house members seek out rich experiences and new sensations, the Unseelie really push the envelope. A Seelie might enjoy spending the day engaged in sexual play with toys, drugs, and multiple partners; an Unseelie stretches this into a week and adds sadomasochism and a little torture just for fun. They unleash the wild side that rests in all of the Fiona and don't bother with any trappings of decorum. Those who deny that the fae of dual natures are lying to themselves. The Unseelie are at least brutally honest in this respect.
The Shadow Court
Truly, many Fiona sympathize with the Shadow Court's philosophies. Negotiate with the more unsavory Prodigals and Gallain? Very well, there is some wisdom in that. Overthrow the Seelie Court? A bit radical but you can't deny that a shakeup in the current power structure might be exciting. Spread chaos? Again, those of House Fiona can't abide stagnation. Those outlooks don't bother most of them too much.
On the other hand, cold-blooded murder (unless you're avenging the death of a loved one) is heinous. Using Cold Iron weapons is terrifying to all Kithain and absolutely wrong. Death in battle, where your foe stands on equal ground and you both have a chance for honor, is acceptable. The Shadow Court, however, seems to endorse back-stabbing and the devouring of human flesh. If you doubt this, listen to some yarns about the infamy of the Shadow Court, such at the story of Etienne duBois, the Face of Terror. Legend has it he murdered dozens by cold iron in the French Revolution. If you are even more brave, hark at the darker tales of pooka who turn into blood-thirsty monsters or mad sluagh who consume innocent children. Threads of truth run through these nightmarish accounts, and even those of the Fiona who cherish change and freedom desist at such foulness.
Samhain: Fiona's Descent
When someone mentions Samhain, those of Hose Fiona feel their throats tighten, for this is the night where they enjoin duality and face their worst fears; when their Unseelie natures gnaw through their hearts and souls and escape and wreak mischief. Most Fiona purposefully indulge their Unseelie passions at other times of the year because of Samhain; we think of those other days as pressure valves because waiting until Samhain carries great risks. But, because they like danger, most of them do wait, sometimes to their sorrow.
The strongest and most Seelie among them treat Samhain as a challenge; to resist the calling of their Unseelie ways on the holiday takes tremendous strength of will. These folk don't necessarily deny the duality of their natures and often indulge gladly in their darker sides other nights. It's just that they believe they gain more esteem through resistance on the night most sacred to the Unseelie. They're the G. Gordon Liddy's of the house, I suppose.
Others revel utterly in Samhain.
Shadow Court Fiona & Samhain
Here for your amusement is the program of delights the Fiona of the Shadow Court enjoy during Samhain. These parts of the pageant are their house's particular variations on ancient Shadow Court customs. (It should be noted that these may simply be Unseelie practices as the term "Shadow Court" doesn't necessarily mean the true Shadow Court all the time.)
- Descent: Some Seelie hide themselves away on Samhain, for they know how deliciously tempting it is to slide into their Unseelie natures. The Unseelie sometimes take the party to them if they're too cowardly and ashamed to come out on their own and free their darker passions. Being a tempter is quite fun; you'll never have a better opportunity to mess with someone's mind. One bit of anger, one glimpse of a Samhain ceremony, one sniff of those special candies the satyrs and boggans sell, and chances are the Seelie snobs loose it. But the truth is that the vast majority of Seelie Fiona run into Samhain with open arms.
- Lover's FaVades: Some of the Shadow Court might have mock reenactments of famous lovers, but the Fiona do it right. Many of us take on aspects of history's most doomed paramours, such as Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Iseult, or even Bonnie and Clyde. Thus disguised, they proceed to act out the drama in detail to its conclusion, along with the violent deaths using chimerical weapons. Some of the newbies get disguised and play bait-and-switch with other people's lovers, but that's rather amateurish for most Fiona. Hell's bells, they dabble in that kindergarten stuff any day of the year so why be a shrinking violet in Samhain?
- Court of Fools: This is actually a bit lighter event for Fiona of the Shadow Court than other nobles, since they're on good terms with the commoners generally. Yes, even the Unseelie Fiona. All the commoners of the freehold choose one of their own to be a Lord or Lady of Discord for the night. This person essentially becomes the host for a down and dirty roast of the nobility, usually against other houses, but sometimes against the Fiona. Most folks really dress up for this in the most bizarre costumes they can imagine. The grimmer and weirder the better.
- Feasts & Famines: After court concludes, there's a huge feast followed by a food fight. Before the fight, though, they stuff themselves until they vomit, then they start all over again. That's good for a lot of laughs before the cream pies start flying. Some of the more perverse folks will capture a human, bind them fast, and put them in a giant bowl of cold chocolate pudding. Then the feasters eat just until they get to their naked flesh, though the victim is led to believe otherwise. Any mortal who manages to stay conscious until the bitter end gets to jin in the revels as a welcome (enchanted) guest.
- Bonfire of Vanities: At midnight, a blazing bonfire is lit, and if any Garou area round, this is when they join the party. Some Unseelie confess their greatest sins around the fire, but the Fiona put a twist on it: they proclaim what things they'd like to do but haven't. It's still a confession of sorts, for denying desires or suppressing a wild hair is a near-crime to the Unseelie Fiona. A group of judges decide who has screwed up the worst by not giving in to their most barbaric cravings and that individual gets punished in whatever manner the judges see fit.
- Revenge Served Cold: Before dawn and the Mists arrive, they swear oaths of vengeance on those who have wronged them the previous year. They state the extent to which they will punish the offenders, and they do keep their word. If they think they can't, they leave the price of restitution unspoken. Revenge may mean a season in Hell, but they don't shirk on that account. These are the passions that will drive them until the next Samhain.
Boon & Flaw
- Boon: Defiant to the last, Fiona sidhe are renowned for their great courage. Though they understand fear, it does not control them, even in the face of death. Any attempt, natural or magical, to generate fear in them automatically fails. Only threats to a lover's life can frighten a Fiona, and they often succeed very well.
- Flaw: Sidhe of this House have an overpowering attraction to danger. Even if the object of their pleasure is somewhat safe, they can find ways to make it dangerous. This is especially true of their romantic trysts, which are usually epic and almost always tragic. Creatures of pure ethereal beauty, they tend to fall in love with outlaws, strangers, wanderers, mortals, and other "unacceptable" types. Often, such loves become true and complete passions that cannot be denied. Some of them overcome this Flaw, but only by becoming hateful toward all romance. The most tortured become obsessed with preventing it from occurring to anyone they know.
Passion's Many Faces
While love, lust, and romance are the usual indulgences of House Fiona, they certainly aren't the only pleasures. Passion comes in many forms, and that felt for a paramour is one facet of a complex prism. Fiona are driven by love of beauty and art, song, and nature. Duty and honor often replace physical love as chief achievements in a Fiona's book of days. And because of the overwhelming martial prowess of House Gwydion, some observers forget that the Fiona are fierce warrior who love the heat and fury of battle, too. The gist is that stereotypes don't always bear true; lumping all of House Fiona together as a bunch of sex-crazed hedonists over-simplifies a complex and diverse family of Kithain.
Secret Societies & Social Clubs
The whole concept probably gives House Eiluned a collective heart attack, but many constituents of House Fiona and keeping secrets rather difficult; they're naturally inclined to be talkative and forthright. Ergo, the following societies are hardly "secret." I'm sure there are truly forbidden cadres and leagues within the house, particularly among the Shadow Court, but I'm not privy to them... yet.
The Escheat is extremely important to the Fiona, of course, though they have a more liberal interpretation of its words than other houses. Despite its love of freewill and of individual power, House Fiona needs a framework of behavior to work from. While many rules are meant to be broken, some are timeless and universal.
The Right of Demesne
True, a lord or lady is master or mistress of their own demesne and all vassals should be loyal. By the same token, a liege should love and safeguard their subjects, even when they are displeasing. The liege's role is not only one of protector, but also of friend. Loyalty and respect walk a two-way street.
- Reality: This right works well until a fit of the glooms takes one over or one gets so enraptured in a new love affair that they let court business descend too much into chaos. When the local pooka set up a mockery of your court in your absence, things have probably gone a bit too far.
The Right to Dream
Mortals are not endless wellsprings of Glamour; it is inherently wrong to take it by force. As with the treatment of commoners, Fiona find it more pleasant and fair to befriend mortals and engage in Reverie. Rapture is much more difficult since it requires considerable time and discipline.
- Reality: Unseelie Fiona are not at all above harvesting Glamour illegally. Some even copycat their distant cousins in House Leanhaun by inspiring, the burning out, mortals. (See Rhapsody) Seelie Fiona, conversely, detest Ravaging and seldom indulge in it even in dire emergencies.
The Right of Ignorance
Humans, for all their Glamour, are creatures of Banality. They can't be trusted just to know the facts and cope with them. Instead, many deny the existence of the fae or, worse, hunt and slay them. Keep your fae nature secret from mortals unless they are kinain and known to you.
- Reality: While it is best never to reveal your true seeming, accidents happen. If possible, making the mortal forget or believe they've seen your face in a dream is the kindest and least invasive cure. Even Unseelie Fiona don't advocate murder or violence against humans who know too much, though they're perhaps a bit crudes in messing with a person's memories.
The Right of Rescue
The Fiona passion for love and their love of honor demand that they always respect this right, even if such actions impart great danger to them. It matters not if the prisoner of Banality is an enemy; they do all they can to recover them and do it quickly. They can't afford to loose anymore Kithain.
- Reality: Nothing makes members of House Fiona angrier than tales of commoners murdering newly arrived nobles. Since the Fiona usually treat commoners as equals, they expect friendship in return. A few radical organizations like the Ranters have earned House Fiona's ire for flagrantly disrespecting the Right of Rescue. Needless to say, the Fiona rescue anyone from Banality, noble or commoner, it it is within their power.
The Right of Safe Haven
This law is nearly as important as the Right of Rescue. Once again, even strangers and enemies should be granted hospitality, even if it is just for three days. Treat guests as you would like to be treated. Explain to them the customs of your home, but be patient with their manners, too. When their visit is done, be sure to bid them safe journey and give them what provisions they need.
- Reality: Fiona uphold this law to the letter and have a reputation as superb hosts... for the requisite amount of time, that is. After three days, if an enemy won't leave, they aren't above booting them out the door.
The Right of Life
Killing is wrong, especially if the death is that of a sidhe. Period. It's not that they're superior to the commoners, it's just that after the first death, there is no other. Or, at least, they don't think so. Murder is a loathsome crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of fae law.
- Reality: Hmmm. In a perfect world, I could say that the Fiona have never killed except in the heat of battle. I'd be a liar. Their passion and fury sometimes drive them to strike down opponents in anger; perhaps unjustly, perhaps not. Most of these killings resulted from jealousy or when their lovers had been harmed. They are willing, though, to take with a brave face whatever punishment the Uasal Court deems fitting.
Oaths of House Fiona
The House considers oaths to be deadly serious; aside from love and lovers, oaths may be the only things it takes seriously. Because the Fiona are so wound up in passion and ardor, virtually all their oaths somehow encompass devotion and affection, with penalties for failing the oath striking where it hurts most: in their hearts. A noble of house Fiona who has broken an oath is the most pitiful of creatures, usually bitter, lonely, and deep in despair.
Youth deserves ample opportunity for frolic and folly, and so the Fiona view fosterage as a time for plenty of games and silliness. Too quickly to the demands of love and war descend on them, so they let the new ones enjoys themselves while they can. During this crucial time, Fiona nobles like to encourage childlings of all kiths to play together and learn each others' weaknesses and strengths; therefore, they can aid each other in future need. This tradition likewise shows sidhe childlings the value of common kith. Of course they teach the Escheat and other crucial facts of life in kithain society, but fosterage should be fun and not a series of dreary lessens.
Often, Fiona lands contain both nobles' households and commoners' mews. The fledge is given to an older Kithain whose temperament and skills best suit the youngster. It usually works out that sidhe stick with sidhe, but not always. Satyrs, trolls, and even pooka have occasionally been guardians for Fiona childlings (though I've never heard of a redcap being asked to serve). if a commoner is chosen as guardian, a sidhe acts as a secondary mentor, usually giving the lucky commoner some reward and making the childling an heir.
At the end of a year and a day, the Fiona have grand celebrations for Saining. The Fior-Righ is attended only by those who are in vassalage to the particular Fiona noble overseeing the ritual, and yes, this sometimes includes commoners. (Can't you hear the other houses gasping in horror?) The celebrations afterward, though, are open to all freehold members. These revels last anywhere from three days to a week, depending on the constitutions of the party-goers. While the Fiona certainly don't let childlings indulge in more adult habits, neither do they keep a secret that they obtain pleasure from sex and potent substances; honesty is important in these matters. By shielding youngsters from the truth, one does them a disservice. So they learn about the innate sensual natures of House Fiona early on. Later, when they reach physical maturity, the adults take great pride in showing them the wonders of sexual and sensual fulfillment.
The Fiona obviously teach their young ones about much more than physical pleasure. Music, dance, works of art, heraldry, fine food... all are part of learning. Likewise, they teach martial skills, including tactics, archery, fencing, and horsemanship. And if they get training scars or bruises, what of it? Pain is part of life. Children are tough, energetic creatures, and to deny them a chance to run and scream is banal in Fiona eyes. Show me a child who has to stay neat and clean all the time, and I'll show you one miserable kid.
For more on this more recent tradition of House Fiona, see the article First Night.
Love, Marriage, & Other Indoor Sports
Fiona are experts in the art of love, both the courtly and the true. Even from the time they are childlings, most Fiona are in some flux of passion. As young fae, this is puppy love, usually a crush on a house mentor or the most popular person at court. Other childlings moving into wilderhood have infatuations rising to a peak of passion, then falling into a pit of despair (just like any teenager). Many Fiona grumps, having flitted from affair to affair in youth, settle with a single partner for their last years of life. Largely as an act of self-interest rather than an upholding of tradition, many House Fiona nobles quickly betroth their youths in arranged marriages. The marriage rarely takes place; though sometimes the two fae find true love with each other, which is a particularly joyous occasion. Regardless, the arrangement satisfies convenience and decorum. A betrothed fae is never without an escort for celebrations, never alone in times of sorrow, and never without a love token on the field of battle. Conjugal fidelity is not regularly expected before or after marriage, although certain Fiona craft their own special oaths to make constancy part of the relationship (such as Baron Arawn and Baroness Ellawyn). More often, the fae couple appear together on social occasions while each partner has his or her own lover and courtly admirer stashed nearby. In short, House Fiona has perfected the talent of having its cakes and eating them, too.
See also Fiona's Laws of Love.
Relations With Other Houses
For all of Fiona's exasperation and occasional eye-rolling, they get along well with the other houses, in general. A few have even asked for our advice on dealing with commoners. Most could stand a little mud in their faces, but they will all do their best to support each other, especially in troublesome times. In days of peace, the Fiona will do what they can to bring a little joy into their dull lives.
- House Dougal: Lighten up, for goodness sake! You make all these items of beauty and grace, yet you never step outside your workshops to enjoy the things you've built. How can you find perfection your crafts when you have no idea what place the have in the world around you? Moreover, there are more kinds of virtue than that found in things. Have you ever sampled excellence in the the flesh? Is your lack of physical perfection what drives you to seek precision in your devices? Your bodily disabilities don't matter a whit to us; we're more worried about the tension of your libido, frankly. Our advice is to take a respite and come over to one of our freeholds. You might find your work a little easier afterwards.
- House Eiluned: Our relationship with these keepers of secrets is of quintessential love and hate. Their curiosity and mystery draw us close, yet their close-mouthed, conspiratorial ways push us apart. We're honest and forthright, and these things are seemingly anathema to the Eiluned. Still they can certainly stir up trouble when things get dull; bring one into a sleepy court and things get lively right away. Their adroit magic and arcane knowledge make them useful allies, but given a choice between trusting an Eiluned sidhe and any commoner, I'd chose the latter every time.
- House Gwydion: Stuff and nonsense! Don't touch that! Stodgy up! Get off my hem! Geez! If there's a house more uptight than House Dougal, these folks have that renown. But, we give them credit where it is due: nobles of House Gwydion are ordinarily trustworthy and honorable. The fact that they occasionally give in to base desires means theres some small hope for them. But overall, they're arrogant, pompous snobs who think the know best for everyone. Have they ever seen the sorrow of a commoner who has worked hard all their life, only to loose their freehold to an upstart noble? I doubt it. On the other hand, be sure to not anger them overmuch, for if we have equals in battle, they definitely number among the warrior of Gwydion.
- House Liam: Mortals have an irresistible allure, and Fiona believe Ravaging and cruelty to humans is wrong. House Liam's quest to care for mortals is virtuous and just, if hopeless. We've found great wisdom in their words and generally welcome their pitiable ilk to our freeholds when they need shelter. However, be aware of some inherent risks: First, their Banality is dangerous occasionally, and secondly, they are oathbreakers. Some Fiona find this highly offensive. Treat members of House Liam well, but always with some caution.
On the Other Kith
Unlike other noble houses, House Fiona has a large number of affiliated, and even titled, commoners. Kith doesn't matter; guts, glory, and love of life do. If a commoner performs unprecedented acts of bravery (or astonishing feats of love), a sidhe House Fiona ruler may reward do-gooders with a title. This individual's actions do have to be pretty extraordinary, though. The downside to this is that lands seldom accompany the title; thus, non-titled commoners jibe the new noble for being uppity while the landed sidhe often look down their long noses at the upstarts. More typical is for the deserving commoner to be granted status as an oathmate of the house: they get to claim rights of friendship and aid without having to put up with much of the negative social stigma. Of course, exceptions work both ways...
- Boggans: While dreadfully traditional, boggans are trustworthy and good companions. They do excellent work and many Fiona households employ a boggan seneschal. The best among them take special care in creating exquisite feasts and sumptuous decor for Fiona revels. They're always well worth the price.
- Eshu: Of all the other kith, eshu indeed understand the Fiona love of chills and thrills. Many close friendships have formed between the Fiona and eshu through sharing dangerous exploits. Next to satyrs, these beautiful wanderers are most humorous among commoners who share Fiona beds. Much like the Fiona, they also like exploring their dual natures. Every Fiona should have an eshu affair once in their life.
- Nockers: The Fiona have bad days and fall into hollows of despair, but nothing like the nockers. I've never seen one that wasn't grumpy about something. If you can say something witty about their crafts, many of which are unique and interesting, they might spare you a word. Otherwise, they're a dull lot.
- Pooka: What sidhe hasn't been the but of a pooka joke? I've certainly had my share, ranging from pies in the face to ruined kirtles. But overall, these adorable fae are charming; we can't see one without wanting to pull them into our laps and stroke their ears, whatever form they might be in. Pooka antics also help keep things hopping at a freehold, no pun intended. Keep them around for their wits, if no other reason.
- Redcaps: Most redcaps are violent to the extreme and find little commonality with Fiona beliefs. However, the do have certain insights, and when Fiona Unseelie natures come forth and display their darker motives, redcaps can prove to be reasonable associates. Don't shun them on principle, but watch their kind carefully.
- Satyrs: O moons of delight, what pleasures these lovers bring! No other kith appreciates the satyrs as the Fiona do. Maybe some other nobles fear the complexities of satyr love affairs, but not the Fiona. With them, they can let their passionate natures run wild; lovemaking with a satyr is a time when a Fiona indulges their Unseelie desires. And there're no hard feelings in the morning either. On the less carnal side, the goats are also chock full of useful insights. But lets be honest... with the satyrs, it's the sex that matters.
- Sluagh: These wormlike folk are unpleasantly reminiscent of the Eiluned and give many Fiona the creeps, frankly. House Fiona may enjoy danger, but not when it's coupled with disgusting habits like crawling around sewers and trashcans. Maybe some of the sluagh are gentle, and some Fiona do pity their poor whispers, but most can't seem to warm up to the underfolk at all.
- Trolls: The trolls attract the Fiona love of honor and war. They are good fighters and willing to teach battle tactics. Many are the Fiona strongholds that have troll guardians, knights, and warlords. Many believe they disapprove of Fiona's flightier mannerisms, but they've usually got the good sense to keep their opinions to themselves.
Gallain, Prodigals, & Others
House Fiona has had limited contact with the Gallain and from the stories they've heard, this is maybe for the best. The most appropriate approach seems to be entreating them based on rituals and pacts from before the Sundering. Still, the chance to discover new ties and potential allies is appealing, despite the risks.
The prodigals, however, demonstrate frequently that they are good friends and lovers. Other houses condemn affairs with these creatures absolutely, but the Fiona suggest making more of an individual choice. Some carry inordinately high Banality, so be careful if the person in question is unknown.
- Nunnehi: From Lady Sierra's tales, the nunnehi hate the sidhe with no rhyme or reason. Are they angry about our arrival from Arcadia? Did we unwittingly offend them? I want to know the answers to these questions, yet if we cannot get close enough to talk to them, how can we ever strike up a friendship?
- Nymphs: I've never had the privilege to see one of these beings, though Sir Sathar seems to know much about them. From his brags, the nymphs have many of the same physical needs and desires the Fiona do. Not that I would turn down one of these ladies' heartfelt offers, but I wonder if their are male nymphs?
- Inanimae: Inanimae reflect the base elements of the Waking Lands: earth, air, fire, water, and so on. They're as varied and unpredictable as any part of the Dreaming. I feel the sages among us should make a concerted effort to learn more about them and be willing to share some of our own lore in return.
- Fomorians: The true nature of these bestial creations is unknown to us. Are they Chimera? Monsters from the Dreaming or Arcadia? That they are related to the Garou Prodigals is suggested, but I've not seen evidence of such. I propose that members of House Balor and even House Dougal have more information. Whatever they are, the fomorians are never a threat to take lightly.
- Autumn People: The majority of the Fiona find it tempting to go on risky quests to thwart the schemes of the Autumn People and their occasional allies, the fallen Dauntain. I've heard whispers about a secret cadre called the Order of Bianca who make it their sworn duty to rescue Dauntain. These inexperienced fae see the Right of Rescue as a chance to prove their worth and express their love for battle and glory. Many don't return. If we need to show restraint and a curbing of our passions, dealing with the Autumn People is an ideal venue to do so. There is no shame in this, nor is it a matter of fear in facing them that should stay our hands. Rather, it is the price we must pay, the loss of the Dreaming, should they destroy our fae souls. Think twice before you even consider facing these sad and twisted people.
- Wizards: Once upon a time there were kindly wizards calling themselves Merinita who befriended us and shared our love of the world. They've vanished since the Sundering, and more is the pity, for the willworkers who have replaced them are a crabby, self-centered lot. One family of wizards, the Cultists of Ecstasy, are quite fun; among all the humans I've met, these men and women are able to hold a candle to our excesses. Practically all cultists have exquisite drugs and sexual urges aplenty; moreover, they seem to have many spells to prolong their pleasures. Another family, the Verbena, has also proven to be a friendly ally. However, beware a group of wizards who sometimes masquerade as the Cultists. This group is terribly vile and seeks to twist our bodies and hearts. They're quite clever and try to lure one in with the promise of exotic substances, only to perform agonizing experiments and tortures, all for the sake of science.
- Ghosts: Let's face facts: these spirits of the dead can't exactly engage in physical activities, can they? I mean, at best, they're whispy bits of ectoplasm or whatever. But that doesn't mean they can't be lovers in the broadest sense of the word. I've heard some woefully sad tales of how our mortal lovers die then become ghosts, hanging around freeholds and so on. Sounds rather intriguing, doesn't it?
- Children of Lilith: While the vampires engage too much in complex politics, I think the whole idea of drinking blood is kind of kinky, provided no one has to die. I've never met a vampire, but most stories about them really play up the sexual allure. The big danger from the Children of Lilith is that the older they are, the more Banality they carry around them; think of them much like grumps, wilders, and childlings. If you can locate one of the prettier ones, from a group called the Toreador, I'd say a little cross-cultural research is in order.
- Garou: Of all those not fae, the Garou are dearest to Fiona hearts. If Fiona's tale is true, maybe we're trying to atone for our past atrocity by befriending them today. Perhaps the ancient call of our blood binds us. Or the attraction between us could simply be conjunctive desires for music, dance, and battle. The Fianna are the tribe closest to us, and they've joined in our wars as we have attended their festivals on Beltaine and Imbolc on occasion. Our ancestors and theirs made pacts of friendship long ago, and we still honor them in full. As we sometimes find kinain among their kind, so, too, do they find kin among us. House Fiona looks on the Fianna as family.
When a Fiona Loves a Fianna
Much more than blood, pacts, and oaths bind House Fiona and the Fianna. If the stories are to be believed, it was a young Fianna Galliard and his Kinfolk bride dreaming of love personified that gave birth to Lady Fiona in the first days of the world; her bittersweet passions, battlelust, and courage were born directly from the Fianna's dreams. Or so the tales tell. Some among the Fianna Galliards say the story goes a little deeper, with Dana, mother of the Tuatha de Danaan, taking lupine form and mating with the first wolf who lifted his voice in joy. From their passions sprang the Fianna. So in a sense, the Tuatha created the Fianna while they created Lady Fiona.
Whatever the original story, millennia of history have formed inexorable ties between House Fiona and its Fianna companions; even their names evolved from the same roots. As the Celts migrated throughout the world, the fae and the Fianna travelled together. Each taught the other certain gifts, rituals, and enchantments. Legends abound concerning shared treasures, such as the Gae Bolga. Fianna are sometimes willing to trade Talens to the Fiona for chimera or enchanted objects, and, of course, the making of faerie mead is a cherished skill among both groups. It's easy for Fiona's people to enchant the Fianna, since a number of these werewolves are kinain. In fact, some Fiona are also Kinfolk to the Fianna, bringing all the joys and trials of family ties into play. The Fianna camp with the closest bonds to the fae are the Tuatha de Fionn; members of this group often have extensive knowledge of Fiona nobles and politics.
Too cozy to be true? Indeed it is. For even as the Fianna have become bitter and divided over the troubles in Hibernia, so have the Fiona followed suit. They've taken sides and played a greater role in the violence slowly but surely. The Welsh Fianna, the Dryn a drowd yn flaidd, cultivate strong relations with House Fiona and, at the same time, they produce an alliance with the pro-British Brotherhood of Herne against the Irish Fianna and fae. King Finn of Ulster, once a beloved and wise monarch, has turned more and more to his Unseelie urges, going so far as to try to taint others in his realm. Nor have the machinations of Doireannara of House Ailil and the members of the Fianna Brotherhood of Herne helped matters.
Love in Vain: Politics
Politics isn't really a means to an end; its nothing but a great game. Bureaucracy and the day-to-day handling of state affairs are boring. What's more fun and practical is to become immersed in the lives of the people. And that's exactly how How Fiona tends to rule so successfully. They're not like some noble houses, whose unofficial motto is "We pretend to care." No, their concern for people, commoners as much as nobles, is rooted in the belief that everyone matters and should be treated with affection and respect. It's been said that other rulers sometimes dress down and hide themselves among the rank and file to check up on things. Why not just show up on some boggan's doorstep, bring a good wine, and spend the evening together and have a great time talking? Why make such a big secret of the whole affair? All this falseness does in the end is remind the commoners once more how separate the nobles are.
So the tricks to the great political game are these: First, never let yourself become complacent. If you find things at your freehold getting dull, do something different. Switch your allegiances, invite a known Shadow Court member to visit or bring over a bunch of Unseelie satyrs and redcaps. Just do something to shake things up a bit. Next, be sure to walk a mile in your subjects' shoes, be they noble or commoner. Find out what it's like having to whisper all the time or for all day at a steaming forge. You might gain a little more appreciation for the sluagh or the nockers. Finally, don't be afraid to admit to screw-ups. This is so difficult for the sidhe; our very natures prevent us from looking inept. But we can still say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake," and look dignified. All of these tricks of the trade have enabled our house to do our duties as rulers well and still hold the love and respect from our subjects. I think the other houses' nobles should learn something from us.
Movers & Shakers
- Aedward of Glastonbury
- Alasdair MacInnes
- Allesande the Fair
- Arawn and Ellawyn
- Billy Mjolner
- Breanna ab Corwyn
- Carmen Juarez
- Charles Fizzlewig
- Denis Millard
- Edward McLaren
- Elena-Anastasia Nicholenskya
- Finlay the Fair
- Finnula Finnegan
- Granville de Corby
- Gut Splicer
- Isabel Blanding
- Father James
- Julia Spencer-Drake
- Kendall de Witt
- Marc Millard
- Marcella Sourania
- Matthew Millard
- King Sean
- Terry Wood
- Troy Eshelman