Fae Courts Topsy Turvy; Little Folk forget your Shyness!

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Favashi

Fury of War
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Maedbh's Temple; The Dawn Court

Hierarchy is one of the greatest constraints we allow ourselves to fall into. I decree that once a year the tables shall be reversed! Lesser Folk and humans may taste what it is like to be a King, and Kings may taste the freedoms afforded to those who can go unnoticed in a crowd...

Favashi rose gracefully to her feet and dried her hands on the soft white towel she had draped over her shoulder. The Brownie wriggled her toes and marvelled at the subtle lilac shade of gloss painted over her nails.

"T-thank you! Oh Fava--" The Fury of War held up one hand to silence her and shook her head in a bemused gesture.

"What did I tell you, Nynaeve? You do not thank servants if you truly wish to act like a Queen this day," the last part of her sentence was said in a hushed tone as she bent and offered the tiny fae her hands to help her down from the large throne-like chair she had been sitting on. The girl blushed but at least managed to catch herself before she curtseyed and was soon running off into the crowd to enjoy the rest of the festivities the day had to offer. Favashi watched her go with a smile that made her face a heart-breaking work of art despite the more mundane clothes she wore today. Instead of the usual battle attire fit for a general people often found her in she had opted to dress as the brownies did. Her simple cut gown looked to be woven out of moss and embroidered with delicate little flowers that blended in to the tapestry on her back. Her hair she wore loose, pinned back only at one side by a simple gathering of feathers she had found on her way there. Feet bare and dusty already, she looked the least like herself.

Yet she had never felt more like herself.

Latha bun os cionn - or Topsy Turvy Day as the Little Folk had named it - was one of her favourite holidays. Maedbh had been right; the Little Folk did not always appreciate the freedom that came with not being looked to for answers or guidance. She watched in amusement as a Puca unsuccessfully tried to shoo away a gaggle of sidhe who had taken to following him and giving him little gifts of pinecones. Ny had been the last customer before her voluntary shift at the relaxation centre had ended and after tidying up her station she practically skipped off into the crowds herself. Unseen. Unnoticed. Ordinary. Oh what a thrill it was!

And no stupid dancing for her!

Her eyes flickered up to one of the palaces owned by the Priestesses who was hosting the festivities exclusive ball and the hive of activity as leprechauns, pixies and wisps alike were ushered inside the door by two serious looking Duanann - high courtiers of Andronicus' court. Whilst the Lesser Fae were treated like royalty the rest of them were left to enjoy the rest of the entertainment. Jousts on camels, puppet theatres, mummers plays. The streets were wall to wall with entertainment alongside food stalls and market stands were tenders tried to shout over the din. The trouble was picking what to watch first really. As a cheer went up from the large circus pavilion nearest the Temple - a temple shut and strongly guarded, after all, not even this day allowed for those outside the order inside - Favashi weaved her way towards it.
 
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Not all fae were good patrons and masters. Many held the leashes of bonds taut, slowly suffocating the will and vitality from their warlocks for their entertainment or to hasten to the inevitable bad end those sorts of agreements could only conclude with.

Diyue liked to think she was different. Mortals were and always would be smaller creatures, but no less deserving of her respect and care. That was why when business carried her westward she had brought her two warlocks with her. It was, at first, under the guise of work because she couldn’t let them be too happy all the time. Both of them had obediently made arrangements to travel in her company. Neither had complained about the long, exhaustive travel halfway across the world. Neither grumbled about the dry heat of the towns or the small, endless requests she made for her comfort.

But instead of going to the salt flats, she turned their journey south into the jungles. They passed through the Summer Court’s territory and into that of the Dawn Court and its mysteries. It was only then that they knew something was amiss.

It was a celebration she had partaken of before: the inversion of the fae hierarchy for a day of harmless amusement. It was an odd way to reward the lower castes of fae and to give a much-needed nod to their service and value. Diyue made a point to make sure all of her warlocks got to attend it at least once in the span of their deal, and neither of her current warlocks had been.

So her day had begun by righteously pampering her warlocks. The duanann had tended to their every want and need for hours by the time they’d left their lodgings. Both women were dressed in fineries she had purchased for the occasion. Fuurrin, the straline, was not required to wear her glamours here to disguise her feline attributes from mortal eyes. She was dressed in floral pinks and creamy white robes that complimented her white and yellow fur splendidly. Bells on her sash jingled cheerily as she ran circles around Diyue and the other warlock.

Kari, the dark-eyed, dark-haired human, was bedecked in black and gold. Her outer robes gleamed with the visage of a golden eagle bending its flight toward an array of chrysanthemums. It was as extra as the lady wearing it, and she walked with the same regality as a High Lord.

Dressed simply, Diyue walked a few paces behind them as they meandered the streets, doling out the coin to spoil her warlocks as they purveyed the festivities. Fuurrin insisted on treats that inevitably got stuck to the roof of her mouth and, instead of Kari being obligated to fix it, Diyue knelt in the street to aid the yowling straline. Kari walked her own path, utterly aloof until they came to a stall selling jewelry. She held out her wrist to try on a gold bracelet, then looked expectantly back at the duanann. Diyue made the purchase and their promenade continued.

Their peaceful, indulgent morning only came to a screeching halt when the warlocks arrived at a conflict.

“I don’t want to watch puppets,”
Kari sneered. She crossed her arms and cocked one leg. “I want to see the jousting.”

Boringggg,”
whined Fuurrin loudly, her childish voice cutting through the noise of the crowd.

“How about we--”


“The jousting isn’t boring. Puppets are literally for children.”


“They are not! They are funny!”
Fuurrin’s bells jingled as she stomped indignantly.

“Funny to children.”

Diyue was summarily ignored. That wasn’t so different from every other day, however. Her warlocks were as different as night and day and often squabbled, mostly over nonsense. She sighed and settled in to see if they could sort it out for themselves. Which they wouldn’t. She would inevitably be forced to step in and resolve it.