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Fey Bonds

Songs of the Sidhe by David Ross

tree, sunset, amazing, Fey Bonds

The majority of fey take their bond as a simple guide to life or pleasure, living in touch with it because doing so is the most natural thing in the world to them. This is why a satyr keeps to his bond of sex and revelry, or why an ora watches over her bond, the dreams of others. These fey often live their lives like other beings, seeking sustenance, reproduction, power, and socialization, seen through the lens of their particular bonds. Other fey, particularly powerful ones such as daoine sidhe, see their bond as a right to rule, and so draw on its power as a king draws wealth and influence from his kingdom.

Most fey, perhaps all, are bound specifically to nature or some aspect of it. Consequently, the mainstream fey culture fixates on nature as an issue of greatest gravity. This fixation manifests in many different ways – it might be hard to notice, but it is rarely absent altogether. Powerful fey generally see themselves as the rightful caretakers, rulers, or paragons of the natural order. Some carry this assurance with arrogance, others simply act as one of the more uncommon bit players in the workings of the world, and still others fall somewhere in between. The view most take on the natural order is as a cycle, the Great Cycle.

The Great Cycle: Time is a circle. Life is a ring. Birth and death are but two steps in an endless dance. The fey are agents or exemplars of this cycle, the leaders of the dance. Just like all parts of nature, and nature itself, they grow, age, die, and are reborn again. For the cultured or philosophical fey and those who follow them, these linked truths are the only absolutes – subjectivity encompasses all else in shades of gray and gives the fey relatively little room or reason to judge their peers on the grounds of conventional morals  or ethics.

However, many fey do feel qualified to judge others based on their place in relation to the Great Cycle. They will shun, toy with, or even attack those they consider to be hindrances or liabilities to the natural order. Fey philosophers often argue fiercely over whether the more unusual fey, such as oras (linked to dreams) or peris (associated with the Realities Beyond) can be considered truly part of nature. In some cases, mainstream fey will attack foes of nature out of conscious fear for the natural order and/or the power they draw from it. Conversely, antipathy may be based more on political expediency – a fey can find ways to claim his enemies are enemies of nature as a way to unite other fey against them. Other times, though, not even a thought is required.

Most fey instinctively sense what may threaten their bond, and will lash out in blind fear against it. For example, aberrations and many undead elicit automatic, visceral loathing from fey. Any proof of association with such beings is enough to destroy any fey’s chances for respect, or even continued life, among other fey. Certain other beings produce similar, if less extreme, reactions.

While some fey leaders rely on more conventional methods of rule, such as charisma or raw power, many need to convince fey sages and courtiers to support them in order to cement political power. To this end, leaders demonstrate how their rule moves the Great Cycle forward. Seelie dignitaries guide their charges in the steps toward rebirth, growth, and strength. They opine that nature needs to be helped to improve, grow, and live. At the same time, their Unseelie counterparts plunder the lives and resources around them, dooming their enemies and those too feeble to defend themselves to decline, weakness, and ultimately death, all the while claiming that life has grown out of control. The Watchers of the Current and those among the more introspective sects of the Wild Hunt tend to advocate a view of the Great Cycle as a whole unit that demands balanced influence from all sides. The Demesne Courts maintain (ostensibly) that their territories reflect the best or truest examples of the Great Cycle in motion and may use that claim as justification for spreading their brand of environment at the expense of others. Still other courts have their own rhetoric on the Great Cycle.

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