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Old 08-29-2017, 10:40 PM   #51
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: [Spoilers?] Blue and Orange Morality: Adapting the Faerie Courts

It's not strictly necessary that we see the Sidhe as being organized into Summer and Winter. That's one traditional view, and it's the pattern used in tThe Dresden Files, which is sort of the source text for the OP first post.

But other legends exist, and it could also be that the Summer/Winter dichotomy is a function of mortal misperception. For example, suppose that the reason we think of the Sidhe as being Summer/Winter is that Western countries' stories of them mostly derive from Europe.

In actuality, suppose the Sidhe are divided, not into Summer/Winter, but actually into North/South. That is, the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. To the Medieval Europeans, that looked like Summer/Winter, because when they encountered Sidhe in the summertime (northern summer), the Northern Sidhe would be 'Summer' and the Southern Sidhe would be 'Winter'.

But what the Medievals didn't understand, for lack of the necessary astronomical/meteorological perspective, is that both Courts are basically similar, but operate on opposite time cycles. The North Sidhe that you meet in Europe in July is 'Summer Sidhe', but if you met that same Sidhe in January, he would be 'Winter Sidhe'. The 'Winter Sidhe' you met in July would be 'Summer Sidhe' in January, because January is summer time in the southern hemisphere.

This would make the Sidhe more 'natural', rooted in the basic cycles of the planet, but give mortals the illusion of two opposite groups when in fact they are simply cycling, trading places as the year passes.

Which might also help to explain another trait common to the Fae in legend, their capricious unpredictability. The Sidhe you meet in January might behave totally differently in April, and totally different again in July, then cycle back to act like he acted in January, when January came around again. If a mortal only occasionally encountered him, and didn't understand the Cycle, the creature would seem intelligent but psychotically unpredictable. What bought good will, or tolerance, in July might get you killed in January with the same being, and vice versa.

It might also go along with the traditional warnings about the danger of friendships or romances with a Sidhe. Someone 'in the know' might well warn a na´ve mortal: "Yeah, she's loving and kind and passionate right now. It's June. She'll be different in October. Very different. It won't be fun anymore in October. Not for you, not for your family and friends. Break it off while you can!"
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:35 AM   #52
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: [Spoilers?] Blue and Orange Morality: Adapting the Faerie Courts

The traditional distinction - in the UK anyway - was not Summer/Winter but the Seelie (happy) and UnSeelie (unhappy) fae.
The Seelie fae were generally good natured - but still easily offended and, frankly, not safe to have around even when they liked you. They traditionally hung out in groups. Unseelie fae tended to be actively malicious and have ideas of fun that involved sadism and were more likely to be solitary (although the sluagh were a famously nasty swarm of evil mini fae that numbered in the thousands).
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:25 PM   #53
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: [Spoilers?] Blue and Orange Morality: Adapting the Faerie Courts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
It's not strictly necessary that we see the Sidhe as being organized into Summer and Winter. That's one traditional view, and it's the pattern used in tThe Dresden Files, which is sort of the source text for the OP first post.

But other legends exist, and it could also be that the Summer/Winter dichotomy is a function of mortal misperception. For example, suppose that the reason we think of the Sidhe as being Summer/Winter is that Western countries' stories of them mostly derive from Europe.

In actuality, suppose the Sidhe are divided, not into Summer/Winter, but actually into North/South. That is, the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. To the Medieval Europeans, that looked like Summer/Winter, because when they encountered Sidhe in the summertime (northern summer), the Northern Sidhe would be 'Summer' and the Southern Sidhe would be 'Winter'.

But what the Medievals didn't understand, for lack of the necessary astronomical/meteorological perspective, is that both Courts are basically similar, but operate on opposite time cycles. The North Sidhe that you meet in Europe in July is 'Summer Sidhe', but if you met that same Sidhe in January, he would be 'Winter Sidhe'. The 'Winter Sidhe' you met in July would be 'Summer Sidhe' in January, because January is summer time in the southern hemisphere.

This would make the Sidhe more 'natural', rooted in the basic cycles of the planet, but give mortals the illusion of two opposite groups when in fact they are simply cycling, trading places as the year passes.
Building on my comment about the possibility of the Sidhe being deeply rooted in the natural cycles of the Earth, that's another way to play up their inhumaness. This is a key aspect of the fay in legend, they look human, at least some of them, and sometimes they seem much like us, but they are in fact quite inhuman.

If the Sidhe are so tied to the natural world, then their personality might cycle, not only with the seasons, but with the larger cycles like glaciations and interglacials, or warm periods and cool periods on a scale of centuries. Their personalities might change in unpredictable ways when a major earthquake or volcanic event is imminent in the area.

(Which might also lead to mortal misapprehension through confusion. The Sidhe in question might be showing strange behavior because the earthquake was coming, but to a mortal it might be easy to think the Sidhe was causing the earthquake when in fact he or she was reacting to it. Likewise, a Sidhe who displays a nasty temper when bad weather is approaching might be mistaken for causing the bad weather as a result of his mood, when in fact the weather is causing the mood.)

If the campaign setting happened to involve space travel, this type of Sidhe might be so tied to the natural cycle that they die if removed from the immediate proximity of the Earth.

Toikien touched on that in his stories, at one point he observed that his Elves are actually far more natural than Men, who are basically supernatural and not 'tied to the world'.
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