The Greenwood Fae
Based:The Greenwood, in the Duchy of Gloucester
There are a number of Fae Courts spread out within the Greenwood; One such being the Court of the Green Oak also known as Quercus Virens. The Court has lived, for the most part, in isolation from the outside world for many centuries, choosing to stay away from most other races aside from the Greenwood Elves with whom they have a long history of trade. It is also known that ‘pairings’ have taken place between the two races over the millennia as a means of strengthening their relationships, but these have been few. The Court’s isolation has predominantly been as a result of the fear of persecution mainly as a result of stories related to them through the elves or fleeting interactions with ‘outsiders’.
The Court of the Green Oak is split into 3 groups or clans, divided loosely along family lines although this varies from year to year depending on allegiances and the environment. The three clans are Alnus (Alder), Tsuga (Hemlock) and Betula (Birch).
Whist this Fae Court tends towards a nomadic existence, there is one permanent settlement, deep in the Greenwood, generally consisting of tree dwellings and tents. This is known as Quercus Pectus or Oakheart in the common tongue, and is used as a stopping off place for many Fae Courts during the year, for trade and the sharing of knowledge. Only once a year do all the clans gather there for the Spring celebration of Beltaine (the Court being Seelie).
The clans wander the wood; generally sharing all they hunt and make, to keep the clan alive. It could be seen as a harsh existence but the fae know the secret places and how to manage the wood and so in return the forest has kept them safe and well-fed.
This Court’s arrival in what is now Albion is lost in the mists of time. Some elders say they came from Arcadia and are descendants of the Firstborn; The Fae of the Old Moon. The stories say that they were sworn to protect the Greenwood and live in harmony with it and learn all there is of Life and Death and that this would be reflected in the Hunt; the balance of everything.
Others say that they emerged from the earth at the feet of a Green Oak and are born of earth and root and will return there, thus the protection of the forest is the essence of their existence as they walk on those who have gone before.
The ‘elders’ are not the original elders of the Court but see themselves as the caretakers of the clans. The ‘First Ones’, concerned for the safety of the Clans and protection of the forest, took a small group of fae (known as the Picea or Spruce Clan) who were willing to go and went deeper into the forest some 2000 years ago. They were not seen or heard of again and much of the old knowledge of Arcadia went with them. The Picea are rarely talked about and only in hushed tones. They are highly revered and considered by some to have become the living essence of the forest itself. Young fae are often warned that the Picea will ‘come for them’ if they misbehave.
The Green Oak fae are Hunter followers; having embraced the Ancestor many centuries ago through their links with House Hunter. Fae, being fae however they do have their own deities and customs; mainly related back to the days in Arcadia, but on inspection these traditions have very little influence in their lives and the old theological ideologies have become absorbed into the relevant aspects of the Hunter, hence His predominance in their lives.
Fae glamour is often misunderstood by other races; it being seen as a way of beguiling or misdirecting others, this however is a misconception. The glamour is often a reflection of the fae’s state of mind or environment and for the Green Oak fae this is reflected in their markings. Having been part of the forest for so long, they have absorbed many of its shades and some even develop leaf-like growths and forest colours on their skin. Most show a shade of colour across their eyes, which changes depending on their mood or surroundings but always reflects the woodland and seasons of green, brown and bronze.
All have wings although they often choose to diminish them using their glamour to fit in with other races outside the Greenwood. Within the forest they use them as camouflage. They rarely hide their true selves and what you see is what they truly are.
The Green Oak fae are very carefree and inquisitive and often given to bouts of what Humans would call ‘giddiness’, which is generally interpreted as childlike behaviour and thus they are often dismissed as wild or chaotic or untrustworthy. The Fae of the Green Oak however are extremely lawful in nature, seeing hierarchy as very important; each clan having an Alpha or leader who is followed at all times, and a structure where all clan members have a given responsibility. Thus, whilst they love to enjoy themselves; in song and laughter, they also have a serious and driven side which makes them formidable hunters and fighters.
They are expert in the ways of the forest, but have limited knowledge of the world beyond the woods. They see knowledge as the root of all existence, ‘To learn is to live’ as the elders say; do not mistake their nosiness for prying, it is often just the seeking to understand things around them.