Thursday, July 9, 2009


1. Stay on the Path: By ancient covenant those on any obvious road, path, or trail are safe so long as they stay on the road. Thus many would be predators attempt to lure the unwary off the path with offers of wealth, threats of force, or seemingly urgent requests for assistance. The traveller in the Fair Lands would do well to remember this simple advice: never, under any circumstances, leave the road. No matter how tempting, no matter how dire, no matter what reasons one might have for leaving the road it is rarely worth the risk. Once off the road not only is a traveller in danger from possible assault or worse, the nature of the Fair Lands is such that a path once left might not be found again, even after only a few steps.

2. Neither eat nor drink the things of the Fair Lands: All things in the Fair Lands are tainted with the magick of the place, and seemingly doubly so the food and drink. One can never be sure of the effects such items will have. At the very least a character who does so may gain the Fey Touched feat, but worse fates are more likely. Alice, in her rash reading of directions, got off easy by simply changing size. In the poem The Goblin Market one of the heroines foolishly exchanges a lock of hair for some fruit, resulting in an addiction and wasting sickness that is only cured by more fruit. A more common occurrence is that mortals that eat of the things of the fey are forever bound to the Fair Lands, unable to return home. Some fey encourage humans to drink, and once they have done so bring the mortal under their control. Fortunately, while a human in the Fair Lands will get hungry and thirsty they will not die from lack of food or water for the very nature of the Land sustains all life.

3. Mind your manners. What is always good advice is especially true in the Fair Lands. The fey value good manners above all else and find bad ones the worst of crimes. Intent seems to be the main issue; thus while one may not know proper etiquette if one attempts to be respectful and demonstrates a desire to be well behaved, it usually is enough. Exceptions do exist, of course, and some evil minded fey will attempt to use breaches of etiquette as an excuse for all manner of trouble. The traveller should remember that the rules of good manners work both ways, and a clever person can turn the trap back on his would be trapper. Fey are so bound by the law of manners that while they may deceive and try to mislead, all answers to direct questions must be the truth as far as they know it to be. This does not mean, however, that they will not try to get out of giving a direct answer.

4. Accept no gifts. An unspoken part of fey etiquette is that a gift binds the recipient to the giver. A gift creates a disparity between the two, allowing the giver to exercise control over the recipient to various degrees. While it would be improper to demand a lifetime of service for a small favour, a year of service could easily be required with total enslavement likely for any gift of value. The very nature of the Fair Lands compels obedience in these matters, but as with all things in the Fair Lands there are ways out of it.

5. Repay in kind, no more and no less. This is a sub-rule of 3 and 4. Anything short of an equitable exchange risks evoking the no-gifts rule. No fey wishes to be part of such an exchange and will be insulted, a violation of rule 3, as a result.

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