Friday, March 8, 2013

True Fae Tale: The Red Queen & the Snow Princess

I've been having fun doing some world building in London for my James Tyler campaign.  You can read more about it and see the other articles on the subject over here.  I'm quite proud of myself as normally I can't really think up True Fae or Arcadian Realms (which are quite tricky feats of imagination to make them work). Take a look at the tale of two Fae (or perhaps a Syzygy).  These two rule a land where massive sprawling gardens meet rose encrusted ice. 

The Red Queen & The Snow Princess

This is how the story goes.

Once upon a time, the Red Queen met a dashing King who had been crowned from another kingdom and fell very much in love.  Some say that he may have even been the King of Summer but the Summer Courtiers will not be pleased if you mention that side of the story, so please take care.  This King ailed from a terrible illness and as her baby girl swelled within her belly, he slowly wasted away before finally dying and being placed within the family tomb deep within one of the many flowering gardens that surround the palace.  So sad was she that she cried tears of blood and tore at her breasts, and screamed to the stars that she wanted him back, for she was an emotional and passionate woman.

Her daughter, however, when finally she was born was quite different.  Born of sorrow, her heart was frozen in her icy core.  The passionate Red Queen found her baby girl difficult to understand as whenever she screeched with anger or simpered with devotion, her daughter would simply watch her impassively with an insectile grace.  The Red Queen believed that she had been cursed and that the baby had stolen her beloved King’s life as she grew and swelled within her mother's womb.  She vowed revenge.

The Snow Princess fled the Red Queen’s wrath to the other side of the land to forge a palace of frost and snow where a garden of ice sat above an icy rose-encrusted lake.

The Red Queen was not finished with her daughter, however.  She called forth all of the young men of the land to compete with action and social graces to bring warmth to her daughter’s heart, hoping that her daughter would find someone to love so that the Red Queen could tear him from her daughter.  Then she could devastate her daughter as she had been devastated.  

This night of competition and seduction came to be known as the Night of the Red Gala and there is always a rash of disappearances in our world during the months leading up to that night as the Red Queen captures and refashions human beings into different designs, sometimes even kidnapping escaped Lost from other Fae, or even stealing them right out from under the noses of her enemies to ensure a distinct design.  

And thus the Red Gala will show the gardens and the entertainment areas of the palace filled with nervous Lost re-taken from Earth, Fairest performers, shy Darklings attempting flirtation, Ogres and Beasts competing at challenges, Elementals creating dazzling displays and everything in between.  Even the occasional True Fae visitor may come to compete to gain some advantage or simply to watch and observe the show.

The Snow Princess cares little for the men who are brought to woo her but she will always attend the night of the Red Gala.  Those who capture her attention are lured away to her realm at the end of the night.  The lucky ones are left as cold corpses on the borderlands between her home and her mother's.  The luckiest are the ones who find their way out.  The unlucky ones are purposefully reforged into sentinals as the cold enters their very bodies and they move as though reanimated corpses to feed upon the flesh of the frozen dead.  Those who are doubly damned retain their previous personalities and are forced to forage, hide, and die on the lakes.

On rare occasions the Red Queen will capture a man of such warmth and vitality that it will melt the ice surrounding the Snow Princess’ heart and allow it to beat.  For those brief, rare moments she becomes almost child-like in her innocence and treats this rare individual with such love and attention that it is as though nothing in the world matters.  

It is said that Jack Frost was once such man whose sheer cheerfulness and childlike mannerisms warmed her heart for a few weeks before the Red Queen trapped him within ice sustained by her daughters' tears.  He did not die, however, as he was born from cold, or perhaps he came to imbue it through this trial, and so when the Snow Princess forgot her care for him - as True Fae are wont to do - the ice did melt and he burst free from it to return to the place from which he had come.

Those who fail to garner notice from the Snow Princess at the night of the Red Gala have a few short nights to make good their escape while the Red Queen spies on her daughter but once she has returned to her palace, they are lost.  They will be killed or, more often, traded by the Red Queen.  Perhaps a few might remain as curiosities to entertain her in her castle or keep it clean.  Perhaps but not likely as she can always trade for a fresh crop of slaves.

The Red Queen's Hunts

It is said that during the Red Queen's journeys onto Earth to seek out new Changelings for the Red Gala, she seeks also a new husband for herself but will take for herself no other than a Changeling crowned by the season.  

It is said that she will not care if this Changeling is male or female, only that they are crowned, and that she will steal them away to Faerie to birth another child - if such a deed were even possible. 

It is said that if she comes for you, should you offer to take her to her new King she will listen and let you lead her but what would be the price for such treachery?  Would she even let you, who betrayed her new King, ever leave?

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What do you think?  The sort of Keepers you'd like to have had?  Be careful or they just might be.

You can find a list of Changeling articles like this one (among many others) over here.

3 comments:

  1. Love it. This is definitely going to be used in my chronicle.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could oblige. Tell me how it goes.

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    2. Excellent. Tell me how it goes.

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