There is little record of when the Fae began, and through their deceitful natures any such story told would be questionable at best. What is known is that the Fae are far older than humans, and most scholars assume they have been around as long as existence.
In the realm of the fae, only three main factions are recognized. The first is the Seelie Court or Summer Court, ruled by the Queen Titania; then her balancing opposition, the Unseelie Court or Winter Court ruled by Queen Mab; and the unaligned, or Wyldefae, who can be found with either but owe ultimate allegiance to none.
The Seelie Court
The Summer Court, or the Seelie Court (they are interchangable) is associated with the season of Summer, the growth of Life, and the comfort of fire. They tend to be more subtle then those of the Unseelie, and more emotional as well.
The Seelie Court is made up of Kings, Queens, Ladies, Knights, and some lesser positions. The exact number of any position is unknown at this time, though some guesses can be made. (ie There is only likely one King and one Queen).
The Unseelie Court
The Winter Court, or the Unseelie Court (they are interchangeable) is associated with the season of Winter, the death of Life, and the chill of frost. They tend to be more bold then those of the Seelie, and less emotional as well.
The Unseelie Court is made up of Kings, Queens, Ladies, Knights, and some lesser positions. The exact number of any position is unknown at this time, though some guesses can be made. (ie There is only likely one King and one Queen).
Generally unaligned creatures, Wyldfae are a mixed bunch and even this loose category cannot hope to capture their scope. They do not belong to either Winter or Summer, and as such most of them follow their whims, capable of choosing whichever side they want in a given conflict. During full-scale conflicts, some Wyldfae feel a "calling" which drives them to choose one side or the other; generally this is core to their personality, rather then blood.
There is no direct leader of the Wyldfae, although the being known as the Erlking or Elfking is probably the closest counterpart.The Erlking is one of several Faerie Kings. These Kings are Wyldfae on the fringes of their respective Courts, Winter and Summer, and therefore generally are not known as Powers within the Courts. One of the most powerful Wyldfae, the Erlking is the Lord of Goblins and is one of the predatory beings that can be summoned by ritual to Earth to lead "The Wild Hunt", a massive predatory stampede in which the Erlking calls all nearby beings (mortal, supernatural, faerie, or otherwise) who consider themselves hunters to join him in his charge.
A promise given three times is binding upon them. They are not methodical or organized, nor do they tend to be impatient - however, they are often vindictive. Debt and obligation make up a huge part of what they are, and they constantly trade gifts and favors, jockeying for power and position. Mortals shouldn’t give or receive gifts from fae or strike bargains with them: anything but an equal exchange is either enticing or insulting.
- Breaking an oath to a fae gives that fae power over you, power that passes directly through any magical defenses.
- Fae are notoriously difficult to command via magic, thanks in great part to their tricky and deceptive natures.
- All pure-blood Fae enjoy functional immortality, their natures dictating their general lifespans they will live unless otherwise destroyed.
- Glamours and Illusions are pretty common, especially Invisibility and Disguise magics. Most types of fae have natural skill and power with a particular type of magic, and can run in bloodlines.
- They can pass from their lands in the Everafter (or the Inbetween, or Faerie, et al) to the mortal world through specific points close to their particular nature (nixies through water, or cobbs through a shoe store, etc.).
Some standard Fae weaknesses include:
- Iron (which they call “the Bane”) burns them with its touch. This is more than simple discomfort—it is a poison, affecting both body and spirit.
- Fae must speak the truth (though they can still deceive).
- Their magic doesn’t tend to last long outside of their immediate presence.
- Additionally, fae aren’t used to enduring pain. Like children, they get scared and wound-up about even relatively minor pains, like getting a shot or skinning a knee.