For the next few weeks, we’ll be delving into the 30 Days of Devotion, a devotional writing project that helps us explore the gods we worship. We will do each of these for each of the Four Gods. If you are an Other Person or exploring the Four Gods, feel free to add your own comments – or join in!
If you have another topic you would like to see written on, you can email me (email@example.com) or message me on Facebook – but my writing will likely go to one of my other blogs, as we’re focusing on the Otherfaith at this blog for the time being.
Our last post went over the Clarene’s family; today, we’ll be exploring her Court of faeries and mortals.
Called Black Court, the Clarene’s faeries are in charge of protection and cultivation of the West. Smartly suited and slickly dressed, her faeries are mathematicians, scientists, teachers, libriarians. They help her tend the trees and flowers. Ranging from giants to mice, the Court is expansive, their handy skills keeping the West – and the faith – in order.
As with every Court in the Otherfaith, Black Court members wear specific colors and appear in certain ways.
Black Court, more than any other, it notable for the large horns its members wear atop their heads. Or antlers. Equally notable are their ungulate legs – centaur-like faeries dwell in the Clarene’s Court, and most of her faeries wear cloven feet.
Black Court is beautiful, as all faeries are, but even more so. Outshone by only White Court, which is led by the god of beauty, Black Court carries with them the passion and glory of their god. All Court members are also scarred, often along the joints, as part of joining their Court.
Taking from the leader of their Court, the Black faeries dress in black and gold. Often, they are well-dressed, hinting at the Clarene’s luxury, but just as often they wear nothing but jewelry. Gold strands, onyx or jet stones, piercings – especially of the lips and nose – are all part of Black Court appearance. One member may wear a wonderfully beautiful suit, while another may run naked with only bells atop their antlers. It depends on what their specific duties are.
In their ‘core’ state, which we will use to refer to their appearances stripped from most anthropomorphism, Black Court members skin is shiny, hard, and black like a black mirror. They often bear no eyes or facial features beside a wide mouth full of sharp teeth.
The enforcers of the People’s laws, the archivers of their stories, the messengers dwelling on plain street corners – Black Court holds a variety of duties, and they all reflect the base of their service to the Clarene.
Along with White Court, Black Court often goes through the streets, running wild and shrieking, tearing apart any they meet. But, unlike White Court, Black Court also consists of warrior-faeries, those who wield sword and shield and gun and kevlar. These warrior-faeries, called Zeroes (0s), do everything from keeping outsiders from entering the West during certain times to cleaning the streets after the raucous murderous crowds go through. They also defend, as best they can, those in the West (or Otherfaith) who are in need and call upon them.
Black Court, due to the Clarene’s connections to books, also keep books. Huge libraries, full of otherworldly and more mundane knowledge. Epiphany is one such spirit, her mind being actually set on fire by her reading and desire to share knowledge. And her daughter, Epiphia, is later crafted from Epiphany’s hand as she writes. These spirits help mystic travelers and laity both, said to help with studying and understanding literature, as well as aiding in finding knowledge and certain books.
And we cannot ignore the fields and orchards, where Black Court relaxes and works at the same time. Helping bring in food to the cities, and taking time in the country to listen to less noise, and being close to their god as she stays in her orchard-house, this Court’s connections to the Orchard-Picker’s fields cannot be ignored. (Each Court in the Otherfaith, however, visits and works on her farms – part of ‘growing up’.)
The core of each of these duties, however, is where we find the real and more frightening key to the Black Court.
Everything Is People
I mentioned above that Black Court, when we strip the glamour and human-concepts of beauty, are monsters walking around with gaping jaws full of teeth. Rows of sharp teeth, going back and back into the darkness of their throats. And if that’s creepy, or a strange change from the glimmering spirits of the Otherfaith, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. These are faeries, and they are, beneath everything, frightening.
And Black Court’s heart is that of consumption – of eating. And one item that has always been on a faery’s menu is people.
No matter how we spin it, no matter the glitter they wear, no matter the technology that dreams of an amazing advanced future, the West is still dangerous. No otherworld is a walk in the park, even when the journey is walking through the park. And Black Court, when they run through the streets and rip limbs, when they fill their butcher shops with fresh meat, reminds us of that danger.
Reminds us that we’re not the top of the food chain, we’re not out of the web of consuming – we’re still part of it.
Black Court is more than just a reminder to us, though. They are the consuming spirits, going through the otherworld and eating to cleanse, eating to create. They sacrifice, as well, often dying again and again to provide for others. They’re all about eating, about taking, about knowing the value of what you’re consuming.
And that should be frightening.
They’re frightening, very monstrous, and utterly important to our spiritual understanding as Other People. They’re a warning sign and a flashing arrow pointing at ‘cost’. And when we’re confronted with them, we can find ourselves wondering just what we might be being served, and wondering if we’re willing to pay the cost for it.
(Still, I hope that didn’t scare too many of you away.)
Want to participate in the 30 Days of Devotion? Here’s a great link with all the prompts.
We are holding an Otherfaith discussion group every first Sunday of the month. Click here for more details, and send me a message or leave a comment if you would like to join!
New visitor and a little confused where to start? Head over to our About and Otherfaith pages, and then meander over to the beginning of our ‘basics‘ series. Any questions can be directed to my email firstname.lastname@example.org.