Making My Marchland Seelie Court
Marchland contains one of my pet peeves: super-mysterious embedded NPCs with no game stats. I presume this is meant to help fuel a Marchland GM’s imagination and allow her to customize the setting to her vision, but I frankly find it annoying. If it doesn’t have stats, the players can’t kill it; if the players can’t kill it, then player agency is denied; if you’re trying to deny player agency, then these NPCs are even more precious snowflakes than the player characters – and that sucks.
(Feel free to substitute “combat” for “kill” and assume “combat” includes “argue with,” “trick,” “humiliate,” and all the other things PCs should be able to do to NPCs.)
(Also, I’m a bit cranky and groggy today.)
Because of that, I need to assign some danged stats and figure out who’s who and what’s what. Because Una Sheridan’s primary allegiance is to the Seelie Court, I’ll start with them – and I’m going to use FATE Accelerated Edition (FAE) because I can do that without flipping back and forth between a bunch of books for hours.
Lilliana “Lilly” Barnes
High Concept: Queen of the Seelie Court of Brighton Bay
Trouble: Too many Otherkind, too little space.
Aspect 1: Owner of the popular bar, The Froudian Slip
Aspect 2: An ancient sidhe of royal blood
Aspect 3: Breezy and cheerful
Stunt 1: Because I have a deceptively harmless appearance, I get a +2 when I Sneakily Create an Advantage to aid my subjects.
Stunt 2: Because I wield the Power of Midsummer, I get a +2 when I Flashily Defend myself from creatures of darkness.
Stunt 3: Because it’s good to be the queen, I have a surprising number of valuable possessions far outside the means of a simple tavernkeeper (a classic Jaguar, bottles of 200 year-old scotch, etc.).
Lilliana Barnes is, honestly, one of the few NPCs in the Marchland book who stuck in my brain after reading the book. She is identified as a fae who may be “1000s” of years old; since her bar is also implied to be a major fairy hang-out, it makes sense to elevate her to the position of leader. It should be noted, however, that her position as queen is more akin to the tribal leaders of the Celts instead of a feudal lord. She’s a lot more than first among equals but a lot less than an absolute monarch.
High Concept: Green Knight of the Seelie Court of Brighton Bay
Trouble: “Where is the honor in that?”
Aspect 1: Fencing coach at the local college
Aspect 2: Historical European martial arts afficianado
Aspect 3: Sidhe of the tribe of the Horned Lord
Stunt 1: Because I am the champion of the queen, I get a +2 when I Forcefully Attack in single combat.
Stunt 2: Because I am as fast as a stag, I get a +2 when I Quickly Overcome physical obstacles in my path.
Stunt 3: Because I use my position in society to scout for potential recruits, I have a small cadre of fae warriors at my command.
High Concept: Seneschal of the Seelie Court of Brighton Bay
Trouble: Nearsighted nebbish
Aspect 1: Certified public accountant
Aspect 2: “It may be a mess, but it’s my mess!”
Aspect 3: Doing everything a clurican can
Stunt 1: Because I know all the angles, I get a +2 when I Cleverly Overcome financial obstacles.
Stunt 2: Because I can shrink down to three apples tall, I get a +2 when I Sneakily Defend against man-size or larger opponents (but only when I can dare use my powers).
Stunt 3: Because I’m just another face in the crowd, once per session I can literally disappear into a crowd.