Houses

This is the list of Houses, both Seelie and Unseelie, their Boons, and their Bans. All houses are upon approval of the ST, so if you are interested please talk to Nikki.

House Dougal

(Changeling: Second Edition, pp. 106-107; Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 9-31, Shining Host, pp. 44-47)

The members of this house are perfectionists known for their technical acumen. Lord Dougal, the founder of the house, was a great faerie smith who devised a way to weave Glamour into steel, making it safe for faeries to use. Some say that Lord Dougal himself stayed behind on Earth during the Interregnum because of his fascination with metalwork and machines. Members of this house are very precise, both in word and deed. When a plan is made, they insist that it be carried out to the letter. Efficiency is considered the highest of virtues. Very few of them rule, preferring instead to make sure everything runs like clockwork. Because of their orderly disposition, they often work as clerks and barristers, although they perform their tasks with an intellectual flair. The rare member of House Dougal who does rule usually governs his fief in a very matter-of-fact, practical manner, but tends to deal with problems better in theory rather than in practice. This ideal of perfection puts them at odds with many other fae. Few can live up to their expectations, which tends to make these sidhe even more elitist. They take their amusements far too seriously. Higher mathematics, mechanics, architecture and smithwork are common vocations for them. They're no strangers to hard work, and they firmly believe that 'if you want something done right, you've got to get House Dougal to do it'. Their penchant for precision also presents a curious weakness. When witnessing a well-maintained machine or masterpiece in engineering, they can become enraptured. Some attain a state of reverie and can contemplate such things for hours. The blazon of House Dougal is or, an arm embowed maintaining a hammer sable on a chief gules three cogwheels ( Three gold gears on a red field above a black arm and a hammer on a gold field )

Boon

Members of this house are strongwilled and known for their ability to invest Glamour into everything they do. Once per story, a member of this house can convert a portion of her temporary Glamour points into temporary Willpower points (up to the level of permanent willpower). This must be done during some sort of physical exertion: working, exercising or participating in combat.

Flaw

Physical reality seems flawed to these fae, just as they are flawed. Only through hard work can they overcome these flaws. Sidhe of this house always have a physical handicap that must be compensated for. This is usually something that can be corrected by cunningly crafted smithwork: a mechanical leg for a club foot, an intricate eyepiece for poor vision, and so on. These handicaps are present, though not always visible, in their mortal seemings. Each must choose a permanent Lame, Oblivious, Decrepit or Delicate Negative Trait, to reflect this Flaw. However, for practical purposes, the Flaw is considered to have been corrected or compensated for somehow
by the time play begins. This Negative Trait can only be called if the character
knows a particular Dougal’s Flaw, and that usually requires a bit of digging.

Exile

During the Resurgence, the sidhe of House Dougal were exiled to Earth because of their fascinations with technology. The current ruler of the house tells a story of building a massive siege engine, just prior to the resurgence, to defend the gates of Arcadia from mortal invaders. The threat was highly exaggerated and the havoc wrought by the infernal device disgraced them. Sidhe troubadours tell and retell legends of the mechanical monster created by High Lord Donovan. Each tale ends differently, as no one can fully remember it.

House Eiluned

(Changeling: Second Edition, pp. 107-108; Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 33-53, Shining Host, pp. 44-47)

This house has always been tainted by the scandals of its founder, Lady Eiluned. As the creator of the so-called 'House of Secrets', she conspired with many dark and mysterious beings and powers to gather magical knowledge. Although many now work as counselors or advisors for the Seelie Court, some whisper that Eiluned will eventually become an Unseelie house. Regardless, sidhe of this house seem to enjoy the best of both Courts. Eiluned sidhe are valued for their extensive occult knowledge, their uncanny ability to gather secrets and their preternatural talent for intrigue. Fiefs ruled by this house are filled with mystery. There are accusations that House Eiluned voluntarily accepted exile on Earth as punishment for their horrible and forgotten crime. Members of the house counter that their Seelie affiliations prove they are innocent. This doesn't prevent Eiluned sidhe from falling into their Unseelie Legacies, however. Eiluned sidhe know darkness as well as they know light. When a sidhe from this house needs to work with treacherous or unscrupulous characters to gather secrets, they are capable deliberately becoming Unseelie until they get what they want. This state must last either from moonrise to moonrise or sunset to sunset ( a full day to those who dun like riddles ). If the changeling doesn't get the secret they lust after, they cannot become Seelie again until the truth is learned. Their blazon is per chevron, sable and argent, two decresents and a pentacle counterchanged. ( Two silver crescent moons on black above a black pentacle on silver )

Boon

All Cantrips cast by members of this house are especially potent, and the magics worked notably durable; as a result Eiluned fae may spend a Mental Trait to receive a retest on all cantrips the cast. A Glamour Trait may be required to retest Advanced Arts (at ST discretion)

Flaw
Members of this house love intrigue, and cannot help being drawn into plotting and rumor mongering. They receive a permanent Untrustworthy Negative Trait, and must spend a Willpower Trait to avoid listening in on or joining any mysteries or plotting they come across.

Exile

There are three stories concerning the reasons of this house's exile to Earth. The first relates to the curse of an ancient artifact rescues from the soul forges of Western Arcadia. The second concerns a pact with an ancient order of warlocks. The third says that a promise has been made between the ruler of the house and a pretender, an alleged Unseelie High King in exile.

House Fiona

(Changeling: Second Edition, pp. 108-109; Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 55-77, Shining Host, pp. 44-47)

Sidhe are creatures of extremes, and the nobles of House Fiona are no exception. Lady Fiona and the sidhe of her house stayed on Earth during the Interregnum so that they could continue to explore its pleasures. Some even sat that the house's founder rejected the call of Arcadia because of the love of a mortal man. This would not be surprising in the least; Fiona thoroughly immerse themselves in Earthly pleasures. Fiona sidhe are overly fond of food, drink, drugs and sex, and are often called away from higher pursuits by appeals to their baser needs. Anything that gives them a rush is fine with them. When the chance to indulge presents itself, they descend into their Unseelie Legacies until their lusts are slaked. These reckless nobles continually flirt with disaster. They love to taunt the status quo, even going so far as to aid their enemies to bring about a little discord. Still, when called upon to fight, this passion takes a different focus; Fiona fae are fierce warriors who live for the fury of battle. The thought of dying in battle and tempting fate by fighting recklessly fuels this passion even more. More often than not, each member lives by his own rules and his own code of honor. Theirs is also the most accommodating of all houses. Fiona rarely pull rank on commoner Kithain. For this reason, its members are beloved by the commoners and fiefs ruled by House Fiona are happy ones, if a bit on the wild side. The blazon of House Fiona is gules, a lion passant reguardant argent. ( that make any damned sense to you? Didn't think so. Here's translation: A silver lion walking on a red field, looking back over its shoulder )

Boon

Defiant to the last, Fiona sidhe are renowned for their great courage. Though they understand fear, it does not control them, even in the face of death. Any attempt, natural or magical, to generate fear in them automatically fails. Only threats to a lover's life can frighten a Fiona, and they often succeed very well.

Flaw

Sidhe of this house have an overpowering attraction to danger. Even if the object of their pleasure is somewhat safe, they can find a way to make it dangerous. This is especially true of their romantic trysts, which are usually epic and almost always tragic. Creatures of pure ethereal beauty, they tend to fall in love with outlaws, strangers, wanderers, mortals and other 'unacceptable' types. Often such loves become true and complete passions that cannot be denied. Some of them overcome this Flaw, but only by becoming hateful towards all romance. The most tortured become obsessed with preventing it from occurring to anyone they know.

Exile

The love story of Lady Fiona and her mortal lover has been told, retold and changed a thousand times. Like many Arcadian tales, no two versions are the same, and no one can fully remember the details. In every version, Lady Fiona dies tragically, and the fae of her house descend from Arcadia to attend her wake. Each year on the same day, a sidhe troubadour speaks to her in dreams. Another legend tells that the current High Lord of House Fiona was exiled from Arcadia by a jealous rival. Placing the honor of his house at stake, he challenged his rival to a duel. In losing, he sentenced the 13 members of his entourage to Earth. Nonetheless, many Fiona sidhe insist that they left Arcadia to show their fealty to Lord Rathsmere and their contempt for the High Lords of Arcadia.

House Gwydion

(Changeling: Second Edition, p. 109-110; Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 79-105, Shining Host, pp. 44-47)

This house is perhaps the most 'noble' of all the houses. While others retreated to Arcadia long ago, the Gwydion sidhe chose to face the Sundering head-on. Gwydion sidhe believe that their lord and founder has been reborn again and again as a noble sidhe. He is said to have been resurrected as a paladin serving Charlemagne and a major-general serving Napoleon. Rivals swear that he must have aided Machiavelli as well. Members of this house are conservative, duty-bound Kithain who place the well-being of their kingdoms above their own. Unfortunately, they let everyone know this. Their rule is often marked by extreme arrogance and they categorically state that only members of their house are fit to rule ( snotty little buggers, basically ). From there, each member of House Gwydion proceeds to state that she is more fit to rule than her brethren. The internecine feuds that result can only be halted by one thing: a threat from outside the house. The members then band together to prove the superiority of House Gwydion. When the threat ends, its back to business as usual. Their anger, like their rivalry, is legendary. When confronted with something that offends their honor, they have been known to go berserk. Furthermore, when a fae of House Gwydion is presented with a rival that he cannot overcome, he becomes Unseelie until he can find some way ( any way, no matter how base ) in which he can triumph. Once triumphant, he returns to his typical Seelie arrogance. The blazon of House Gwydion is vert, a falcon maintaining an oak leave or ( A gold falcon, facing left, with a gold leaf in its beak, wings raised, legs splayed, against a green field. )

Boon

Gwydion fae can, with a Mental Challenge using the Kenning Ability, determine whether someone is telling the truth (as the subject knows it). For some mysterious reason, members of House Eiluned are completely immune to this ability.

Flaw

When a member of this house reaches his Wounded Health Level, suffers intense pain, or has his honor directly insulted, he is in danger of flying into one of the legendary rages ascribed to Gwydion. He must make a Static Willpower Challenge to avoid suffering the effects of the Derangement: Crimson Rage for the next 10 minutes. He may be talked out of this rage by allies as one would talk a vampire or werewolf out of frenzy )i.e., very carefully), with a successful Social Challenge, but if the target of his fury returns before the time of rage has passed, he will go wild once more.

Exile

Kithain of House Gwydion insist that they returned to Earth by their own choosing. Enemies attest that a high ranking Seelie in Arcadia exiled them to Earth as punishment for their arrogance. In the mundane world, they reasoned, Gwydion sidhe would be forced to live up to their bold claims.

House Liam

(Changeling: Second Edition, p. 110; Noblesse Oblige: The Book of Houses, pp. 107-129, Shining Host, pp. 44-47)

The quietest ( and some say the wisest ) of all the house founders, Lord Liam was exiled to Earth for his eloquent defense of mortal folk. Centuries ago, the earliest Kithain held a great contempt for humans. Many saw them as the cause of rapidly spreading Banality, and some argued that revenge against them would remove this curse from the world. For many years, Liam stood alone against those who argued for retribution against humans. The outrage against Lord Liam was so great that all who supported him were condemned by the High Lords of Arcadia, and his followers were exiled to Earth. Members of this house don't see humans as perfect - far from it. They do, however, believe that humanity has earned the right to exist undisturbed. They fiercely despise Ravaging and Banality; their peaceful demeanors can turn wrathful when they encounter such. Kithain of House Liam do not advertise their allegiance. Other houses revile them, although Gwydion sidhe will not allow Liam sidhe to be mistreated. Exiles or not, they're still sidhe. Despite their secrecy, House Liam is the most widespread house, and its members travel all over the world. Liam sidhe serve as sages, loremasters and storytellers who remember earliest fae societies. House Liam can rarely rule openly, but they do accept just about any changeling under their banner. Despite this, even the most common changeling would never accept a title in the house. They do quietly hold claim to some territories, but many of these are barren and despoiled by urban fiefs. Liam's blazon was struck and discredited when the house was exiled. The symbol has since been erased from all faerie records, although certain members of Liam still possess shields displaying the heraldry of the house: an oak tree blasted and eradicated, argent ( A silver oak tree with bare branches and exposed roots on a bare field )

Boon

Liam sidhe find it easy to affect mortals with Glamour. They need spend one less point of Glamour to do so then other changelings. Even this, however, has a downside - Liam fae begin with one more point of Banality than normal.

Ban

Those of House Liam are considered oathbroken; no other changeling feels obligated to honor oathbonds, hospitality, or justice so far as these fae are concerned. In addition, Liam fae begin with one less Status Trait than their Title would normally indicate.

Exile

There was no need to pronounce exile upon House Liam. The silent followers of this fallen house took up the quest to return to Earth when the opportunity presented itself. Once the gates of Arcadia opened, they fled to where they could hide from persecution.

House Ailil

(Pour L'Amour et Liberte: The Book of Houses 2, pp. 5-50, The Shadow Court, pp. 62-63)

House Ailil is perhaps the best known of the Unseelie Houses. They take an active role in changeling politics, openly opposing the stranglehold on power that the Seelie Court possesses. In Concordia, they are often found as a small, underrepresented, yet highly vocal, minority in the Parliament of Dreams. Ailil fiefdoms are rare, and are almost invariably Unseelie. They are watched with care by Seelie rulers, as they are hotbeds of Unseelie insurrection and Shadow Court manipulation. Distrusted by Houses such as Gwydion and Dougal, they are nonetheless treated as distant cousins by House Eiluned, which is their sister House. Relations have always been fairly peaceable between these two lines of Sidhe; many even consider it ironic that the more "noble" of these two Houses is so unrepentantly Unseelie, while the shady and secretive Eiluned claim allegiance to the Seelie Court. Some old legends persist that Ailil and Eiluned themselves were brother and sister, and that Ailil was a Seelie-disposed king, while his sister was an Unseelie-aligned sorceress. How the two gathered courts around them that were so obviously opposed to their attitudes, thereby forming Houses of Sidhe around them, is anyone's guess.

House Ailil wants to restore the ancient traditions of half-year rule, wherein the Unseelie Court would control land and political moves for the fall and winter of the year, and then restore the crown to the Seelie for spring and summer. House Ailil claims that the Seelie have betrayed the trust of the Unseelie Courts, and grossly destabilized the Dreaming itself by reneging on their promises. Some among their number suggest that it is not too late to return to this practice, and are ready to make the exchange in any year the Seelie will finally agree to it. Others believe that the Seelie control of the past six hundred years has upset the balance, and that only an Unseelie control for the next six hundred will clear the slate.

House Ailil provides much of the leadership for the Unseelie Court, defending Unseelie commoners and the other Sidhe, and invariably acting as the open adversaries for House Gwydion. Despite the noble face of this House, its members see themselves as unjustly wronged by the Seelie Court, and are fully prepared for all manner of treachery to revenge themselves. Assassination, kidnapping, framing, conspiracy, blackmail, seduction, deception, and more are all common weapons in the Ailil arsenal. They are strong believers in doing the job themselves, but also see the need for monkeys paw and thugs, to keep their own hands clean. Internal competition is common and expected in the House.

House Balor

(Pour L'Amour et Liberte: The Book of Houses 2, pp. 103-149; The Shadow Court, pp. 63-64)

Most Sidhe who hear the name House Balor regard it as little more than a jest, a cruel joke designed to aggravate Traditionalist Sidhe. House Balor derrives its name from a powerful Fomorian king named Balor of the Evil Eye, whose gaze could destroy his enemies. Most Sidhe who recall Balor's name believe that the Sidhe of House Balor intend nothing more than to aggravate the Seelie with a reference to one of their ancient enemies. House Balor have no intention of dissuading them from this erroenous notion. In truth, House Balor believe their founder was Lugh of the Long Arm, the half-Sidhe, half-Fomorian grandson of Balor himself, and a hero of the Sidhe in the wars against the Fomorian Courts. Thus, the Sidhe of House Balor believe that they are the true kings of the Dreaming; their blood is that of Fomorian and Sidhe intermingled, and they laugh at the claims of House Gwydion, or even their own allies among Houses Ailil and Leanhaun. Just as Lugh slew his own grandfather, House Balor believes it is their destiny to triumph over the Sidhe of the Seelie Court and take their rightful place as rulers of the fae.

More than any other House, the Sidhe of House Balor believe that Winter is almost upon the world. Without a strong hand to lead them, the fae will surely perish. House Balor fully intends to set itself up as overlords of humans and Kithain alike, demanding tribute and guiding the waking lands and the Dreaming through Winter with an iron fist. Until this goal can be reached, the fae of House Balor cultivate allies among the Unseelie Court, both commoner and Sidhe. Additionally, these Sidhe are always on the look-out for Prodigal races who can be converted to their cause; already they have found allies among several shapeshifter species, especially a twisted race of werewolves who call themselves Black Spiral Dancers. House Balor forms alliances with a number of murderous, dark, and twisted spiritual organizations and supernatural races; many whisper that chimera of Nightmare are found commonly in the council-chambers, and even the beds, of this House.

At their worst, House Balor are insane tyrants, desperate to seize control of mortal and fae worlds alike and grind them beneath their boot. Others, however, point to a proud history of betrayal in the past of House Balor; some optimists claim that just as Lugh drew upon his Fomorian and Sidhe magicks to destroy Balor, so is it likely that the Sidhe of House Balor form alliances with dark creatures only to betray them one day. Many insist that their convuluted geneaology cannot help but force them to knife their current allies in the back, and that, should Winter ever come, they will be staunch allies of the Seelie Court, secret infiltrators of the Nightmare camp

For now the Sidhe of House Balor are content to plot with the Unseelie Court, forming alliances wherever they can among Kithain, Gallain, and Prodigals. While whispers link the Shadow Court to the Sidhe of House Balor, it seems as if the two organizations each have their own agenda. Many Sidhe of House Balor masquerade as members of House Eiluned or Dougal, worming their way into the Seelie Court. Most of them regard the Seelie Court as weak, and constantly probe and test it for opportunities to strike at it. Many members of House Balor enjoy politics, and are masters of treachery, though their flair for the dramatic tends to unmask them before too long, another example of their unhidable flaws, perhaps. Many of them are quite decadent and debauched, and demand total obessiance from their vassals.

House Leanhaun

(Pour L'Amour et Liberte: The Book of Houses 2, pp. 53-100, The Shadow Court, pp. 64-65)

Members of House Leanhaun are often seen as the most moderate of the "Winter" Houses, for they throw their lot in whole-heartedly with the Unseelie Court. A few Seelie Leanhaun exist, but they are by far the exception to the rule. They are traditionally viewed as hedonists and rakes, fond of mortal company, and extremely vain. A tradition of musical and poetic skill runs through this House, and many of them find employ as the bards, harpers, talesingers, and historians for other Sidhe. There are few commonly known Leanhaun Freeholds or fiefdoms, and most of them are in Hibernia (Ireland). Those Leanhaun Freeholds in Concordia opened themselves as places of peace during the Accordance War, offering succor to both sides, and acting as neutral ground for the wounded and the desperate. This earned House Leanhaun a good reputation among other fae, causing many of the Seelie Court to believe that their reputation as Unseelie monsters is unjustly earned. This is certainly a popular sentiment among the commoners who have just met House Leanhaun.

In truth, House Leanhaun carries a terrible burden, which forces them to engage in activities that the extremists among the Seelie Court cannot permit. The Sidhe of House Leanhaun are cursed with unnatural aging, as their bodies continue to crave Glamour. Without a constant and plentiful supply, members of this House sicken and wither, physically aging in both their fae and mortal appearance, and even passing through the varios Seemings (from Childing to Wilder to Grump) as the years mount.

Members of House Leanhaun are known for their beauty and style, and many of them are vain sensualists. They live in dread of the House's bane, and resort to brutal methods of gathering Glamour to abate their curse. Though they control few Freeholds, they have mastered the art of Epiphanies, and are masters of Reverie and Ravaging.

In many cases, however, this Glamour is not enough to abate the hunger that a Leanhaun has, and so she chooses instead to Rhapsodize mortals. This method of Epiphany infuses a human Dreamer with Glamour, causing his creativity to burn like wildfire, producing some of the greatest art of their lives. However, this process inevitably burns out the artist, causing many of them to waste away or even take their own lives. Since the Ressurgence in 1969, a number of great musicians, poets, painters, and the like have perished as a result of the Leanhaun's tender mercies. Their creativity reached heights it might never have soared to, but they paid the ultimate price, all as the Leanhaun watched on.

Though House Leanhaun enjoys good relationships with some Kith, they are always slow to reveal their secrets, and never offer full membership in their House to any non-Sidhe. The commoners are far more useful as retainers and allies, free of the curse which afflicts the members of this House, and perhaps even unaware of it. Many consider House Leanhaun to be doing little more than upholding the Unseelie Code, which preaches that "Glamour is free." Rhapsody, Ravaging, and the suffusion of all aspects of life with constant sources of Glamour allows a Leanhaun to pass as any other Sidhe, and thus they sometimes wear the colors of House Fiona or Eiluned, and are virtually undetectable in these guises, with their smooth ways and silver-tongues. There is a definite emnity between Houses Leanhaun and Liam, most likely over the Leanhaun abuse of mortals. These two Houses have crossed blades more than once, and neither will trade with the other. Many members of House Leanhaun, when they have the ear of Seelie lords, warn against too many dealings with the Oathbroken House of Liam, claiming that they have never proven their alliegance to the fae over their love of humans

House Scathach

Barred from the halls of power by the condescension of the other noble houses, members of House Scathach live on the periphery of kithain society, taking it as their duty to defend faerie-kind from hostile outside forces. Little is known of this house, save that its members typcally wear voile of black, grey or white, and that few can match them in a fight. House Scathach founded in the Sundering by a warrior-woman born of the union of a sidhe with a mortal. Although snubbed for her low origins, Scathach n Uanaind won the right to establish her house by besting the champions of all the High Lords of Arcadia. Nonetheless, her house finds itself regarded as half-caste pretenders from more conservative fae in both Courts. Whatever their heritage, there is no denying that members of this house are the most accomplished warriors of the kithain, nor is their reputation founded solely on skill at arms. The Morphean Oracles, elite seers of this house, are regarded by those in the know as the most accomplished practitioners of the Soothsay Art. In the long years of its earthly exile, House Scathach has learned to mingle amongst humanity much like the common kiths. Surviving the after-effects of the Shattering, when all sidhe were suspect by commoners, has made them silent and efficient warriors. Laying aside any claim to noble prestige, they instead concentrate upon defending the kithain from the perils of the Autumn World.

Boon

All members of this house are unnervingly quiet, even in combat,and are masters of blade and fist. Scathach fae recieve a free level of Brawl and Melee, and are at a one-Trait advantage in challenges related to any kind of hiding or sneaking around. Because of their lineage, Scathach fae do not have the regular sidhe Frailty of Banality’s Curse.

Flaw

The members of this house exhibit a strange madness in combat;
once they enter battle, Scathach fae must either spend a Willpower Trait or
be unable to leave the field until all foes have been defeated. However, friends
and allies are safe from this madness. These fae also are forbidden by an
ancient pact, enforced by the full weight of the Dreaming, from using the Art
of Sovereign, and are down two Traits on Social Challenges with other sidhe
(except those of Houses Liam and Fiona) .

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