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Mar. 3rd, 2007 @ 05:04 pm (no subject)
Dear mgrasso,

You're a bastard...and we're not dead! ::throws dice::

No Love,
Hauviette and Beata
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Nov. 8th, 2006 @ 03:54 pm Tain
This song struck me with da:faeness, so I figured: why not post it here? decemberist lyricsCollapse )
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hope on a string
Jun. 22nd, 2006 @ 11:18 am Dark Ages: Fae thoughts, Part 3: Maiden
crossposted to mgrasso

Part 1: Mother
Part 2: Crone

Finally, Hauviette, the Maiden. Hauviette was designed from the very beginning by mebib to be the social "face" of the group, and this was justified by saying that Hauviette gets around the village of Domremy and knew everyone. Here's a bulletpoint summary of Hauviette's life up until this point:
  • Hauviette (or perhaps "Hauviette-prime"?) is born to Robert and Aimee.
  • At some point, Hauviette becomes a Changeling. This part of Hauviette's origin is unknown at this time.
  • Hauviette is not baptized as a Christian, thus saving her from harm as a changeling.
  • Hauviette's parents, both Cathars, do their best to raise her as a pseudo-Christian to protect her from harm, despite their refusal to baptize.
  • During her childhood, Hauviette plays near the abandoned church of St. John, now used as a clandestine Cathar meeting-place.
  • At some point in her childhood she sees and plays with the floating ball of light which is later to be revealed as the fire inanima Carina.
  • Hauviette is fostered by Carina as a member of the Summer Court. She is put before the Court of Bois-Chenu and Kornloen for her year of fosterage.
  • Hauviette formally meets Maria and Beata at the spinning circle before the spring equinox.
  • Hauviette meets Joan for the first time, is identified with St. Catherine.
  • Aimee puts Hauviette forward for May Queen, not realizing the mythic dimensions of such a decision.
  • Hauviette becomes a vortex of energy due to her position as May Queen, only made right by a literal and figurative "unweaving" at the Maypole.
  • Hauviette's May Queen title is transferred through magic to Siobhan.
  • Aimee wants to baptize Hauviette because of the bad stuff happening. Robert thus reveals to Hauviette that he and Aimee are Cathars.
  • Hauviette, on a mission to Chinon to plant Joan's sword, makes herself first into a boy and then a dog (Unleashing botch).
  • During the Summer Solstice, Hauviette is approached by the Greyhound, secretly, for the purposes of changing places. Hauviette agrees.
  • Hauviette-prime rules over the Court as Queen after her Saining and the disappearance of the Court.
  • Aimee leaves Robert, because of the confusion of being a Cathar/the supernatural in her life.
  • Marie thinks that with her husband's death, and Aimee leaving Robert, that she would make a good step-mother to Hauviette.
  • Marie and Robert court, ending in a dual wedding (Cathar/Christian). However, in order to marry, the marriage to Aimee must be annulled, thereby making Hauviette and Henri bastards.
  • At the Christian wedding, Hauviette feels like a Queen. She acts that way, disrupting the wedding. Beata tries to Hush her, but it backlashes on her. Hauviette glows, and soon the church is covered in a lattice of grooves of summer light. The church flickers, putting Hauviette with the Winter Witch at her back. Then, back to reality and the entire court, minus the Winter Witch, her consort, and the Saracen Woman, is there! Kornloen says that Hauviette must swear an oath of absolute fealty to him for him to make the mortals forget all this. She agrees.
  • Kornloen, after questioning, refuses to change the Oath of fealty.
  • The Lutin, upon questioning, reveals that Hauviette "must not be a queen."
  • Hauviette meets Aimee on the road during Samhain.
  • Robert wants an annulment, but Marie prevents it by quieting Robert.
  • The Winter Queen makes an Oath to save Lir from decay, who was brought back from the lands of the dead, by saying she wants three uninterrupted days with Hauviette. Hauviette concurs, to save Lir.
  • In response to the fact that the Winter Queen wants Hauviette, the circle attempts to protect her. This backfires, and the Winter Queen stands next to Hauviette, saying, "Thank you. I'm done with her now." Apparently, they lost three days in the magical backlash and Carina has been murdered... by Beata.
  • The circle goes to trial, and then travels back in time to find that Carina was instead taken bodily into a future, a future where Joan burns at the stake. Carina gets to say goodbye to Hauviette: "Everything ends in fire." (followed up with image of Joan burning in flames) "This fire is not mine." "This will happen to you too." right before she disappears.
So the issues central to Hauviette are pretty clear. Mutability; of gender, of species, of status. She is a changeling, after all, slipped into another child's crib (we think!) and has held that disguise for all of her existence among the mortals. She is both girl and boy, both queen and peasant-girl, both blessed and cursed. Christian and pagan (well, Cathar). She is a product of a liminal union, of two heretics, and for that reason alone she might be cursed with being a changeling. Like Joan, she is neither one thing nor the other.

This is compounded by the fact that she was replaced, for almost an entire season, by a counterpart from the lands of the Firstborn, believed associated with the Winter Queen. As her opposite, Hauviette-prime was virtually indistinguishable, although her father and brother believed they saw a slight difference in her.

Rulership. The irony of her becoming ruler of the Court upon her Saining (and then the further irony of her not actually being herself) is a continuation of her Maidenhood being full of contradictions. The problem began when she was found to be vulnerable to the old folk traditions at the heart of the May Day celebrations, and made more manifest when Hauviette-prime showed her Queenly self at the wedding of Marie and Robert. But then, with the return of Kornloen, she is thrown into chains. The Queen is brought low, made into a beggar-girl.

In a way, even with Beata's outsider status as Crone-witch, Hauviette is the most dangerous member of the circle. She is the weakest at traditional magic, but her status as doppelganger and as the Winter Queen's "favored one" make her a wellspring of more powerful magics. As a Changeling, she is bound by more Oaths by necessity of safety. And her status as the daughter of Cathars places her in a dangerous place in human society, as well.

Hauviette is closest to Joan too. Joan, after all, is the Virgin, La Pucelle. St. Catherine, Hauviette's role in Joan's visions, was the patroness of young girls and students. And we haven't even discussed the fact that mebib got Hauviette's name by looking at the names of Joan's friends as she grew up... an interesting coincidence, to be sure!

So with Hauviette as "double," we examine the adolescent tendency to consider oneself alien, unknown, in a fog of uncertainty because one is neither girl nor woman yet. An attempt to marry her off backfired. She has not taken the route of Marie's daughter and entered the clergy and remained a Maiden, she has not taken on the role of wife and Mother, and she is not yet old enough to be considered the lonely Crone. She stands at a crossroads, like the little girl transfixed by the dancing lights on the summer solstice horizon, her gateway to her primary double life, as fae and human.
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la pucelle
May. 8th, 2006 @ 04:05 pm Dark Ages: Fae thoughts, Part 2: Crone
I know I kind of did these out of order, but it's just the way they've sort of come to me. Here's the second part of my character exposition for my Dark Ages: Fae game, La Pucelle de Demain.

Part 1 is here.

Beata, the Widow de l'Etoile, is the Crone of our circle. She is an air inanima (her origins, as in when she transformed from nature spirit into inanima form, are still unexplored and are ripe for backstory). But here's a very quick look at what we know about Beata's life so far.

  • Beata is "born" as an air spirit.
  • Beata takes on "human" form, that of an older woman who has oddly-elongated features, like an autumn tree shedding its leaves, and wanders France (and elsewhere?) specifically seeking knowledge.
  • Beata enters the city of Orléans, known far and wide as a center of learning, both mundane and occult.
  • Beata shops in the markets of the booksellers and encounters, while perusing an incomplete French/Latin copy of The Prophecies of Merlin, a Templar by the name of Gregoire de Tours. His family standard is that of the shining star, hence his other name, Gregoire de l'Etoile.
  • Beata befriends Gregoire, who sees in Beata an intellectual and spiritual equal. Likewise, Beata grows closer to Gregoire, learning more and more of mortal spirituality, and specifically the very particular Christianity of the Templar Order.
  • Gregoire is drawn to leave the Order, in order to marry Beata. He tells her that this is not uncommon, but all Templars are brothers unto death.
  • Gregoire goes before the Chaptermaster (the predecessor to Francois de Merci, the Chaptermaster of Orléeans in the campaign's present-day) to beg to be released. After some time, the Chaptermaster acquiesces, knowing full well that Gregoire's oaths will follow him to his grave.
  • Gregoire and Beata marry. Beata must be christened (in secret, as an adult) and take a Christian name in order to marry (this after Gregoire discovers she has not).
  • Beata manages to steal the cards which the Chaptermaster brought from the Holy Land, recognizing them as potent totems of magic.
  • At some point in their marriage, Gregoire becomes sick, and on his deathbed accuses Beata of poisoning him unto death. It is also believed that Gregoire has told his fellow Templars of this treachery.
  • Taking her books, Beata wanders the countryside for an unknown length of time. It is during this time that she receives a vision of four knights, whom it is her sacred charge to find and unify. It is her belief that she is the Knight of Swords, because of her affinity with air and her superior mental acuity.
  • Beata settles in Domremy and becomes a sort of village wise woman.
  • Beata meets Hauviette and Marie, and they become a circle dedicated to aiding La Pucelle. It is notable that Joan sees Beata as St. Michael, the only male saint of her three Voices.
  • Beata steals the real (yet only semi-solid; it exists half in this world and half in the Firstborns') Prophecies of Merlin from Kornloen, leader of the fae court. The only other fae to notice is Beata's fellow Autumn Courtier, the troubadour Thibault. Beata has a vision of Thibault as the Knight of Wands. The two of them swear to aid each other in translating the Prophecies from their extant proto-alphabet.
  • Beata tries to aid Marie's daughter Siobhan during her time of supernatural troubles. She does not succeed in making the selkie's daughter feel at ease or helping her control her powers.
  • Beata confronts Thibault on "losing" the Prophecies, when it turned out they were just shifting out of this reality.
  • Beata fights the Winter Queen in a wordless battle over Hauviette's home.
  • Using her knowledge of the Chapterhouse in Orléans, the circle retrieves the hunter Harduin after the Templars invade the clearing of the faerie tree and drive the court into the lands of the Firstborn.
  • Beata becomes convinced the current Chaptermaster is the Knight of Coins. This leaves only the Knight of Cups for Beata to discover and assemble.
  • Beata talks to both the River Meuse and the River Seine in an effort to discover who the Knight of Cups is. They both give cryptic answers, but Beata begins to suspect that the search for the Knight of Cups is a Grailquest.
  • Beata takes on rulership of the court upon the return of the missing courtiers.
  • Beata has a vision of a huge hall filled with feasting men, having something to do with her search for the Grail/Knight of Cups.
  • Beata is framed for murdering Hauviette's mentor Carina during a botched Unleashing. She will need to cede control of the court to the Winter Queen at the solstice.
So as you can see, Beata's main themes are prophecy, magic, abandonment, solo strength/conspiracy, withering/poisoning, and confrontation. Not entirely out of bounds with what I've read about the Crone figure in Spinning Straw Into Gold.

Beata's been a Crone her entire "human" existence, and one with an ancient task forced on her. She is a wise-woman, and one with incomprehensible and somewhat queer goals to the outside observer. Again, this reinforces her status as "outsider" as an older woman and a widow.

Conversely, widowhood (as we know from the Wife of Bath) provides one of the only ways a medieval woman can achieve independence. Beata is notable for being the only one of the circle who owns her own home (first her own shack in the woods, then Marie's old home, ironically after Marie herself became a widow).

Beata has acted as mentor for both Hauviette and Siobhan, a foster-mother figure when the real mother could not aid her daughter. Like the child snatchers of myth -- Baba Yaga, the Harpies (yes, Beata is our only flyer... odd that, hmm? :) ), the evil witches of fairy tales, etc. -- she cannot have her own children so she is condemned to constantly substitute as second-mother. Her womb barren, she is all the more tragic for never having had a time in her life where she could have her own children. In a way, her esoteric tasks are her children.

Thibault is interested in Beata for the same reasons Gregoire was: here is a (granted, older) woman unattached and undaunted by society, and an equal to them in wit and wisdom. The Crone is "more" male than her counterparts, because her childbearing years are behind her and with her independence and wisdom, she is more than a match for most men. Again, Joan sees Beata as St. Michael; not just a male saint, but an archangel and the marshal of God's Army.

Beata is a warrior, to a certain extent, but more like an assassin. She has plotted and planned, like Lady MacBeth with her unsexed, barren womb, in many ways to get what she wants, and is not above harm or even murder (although the circumstances of Gregoire's death are still a mystery in-game!) to do it.

Beata is set against the Winter Witch because she is similar to her, but oddly, the Winter Witch's children all seem to want to be with her (like the Hauviette doppelganger, for instance).

Prophetess, Sibyl, Widow, Warrior, Crone... all these things are Beata.

coming soon: Part 3: Maiden

crossposted to mgrasso
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la pucelle
Apr. 15th, 2006 @ 06:35 pm Dark Ages: Fae thoughts, Part 1: Mother
ioianthe, mjhockabout2 and mebib will probably be able to verbalize and contexturalize this better than I can. After all, I'm just the GM. :) But there's something very special about the exploration we've done in Dark Ages: Fae of female mythic archetypes.

I think it all came to a Freudian boil last night when ioianthe's character, a captive selkie (well, for lack of a better term) named Marie (née Mairead) was trying to forestall her second husband from annulling their marriage. It gets confusing, but here's the rough timeline:

  • Marie is "born" as a water spirit.
  • Marie is captured by her first husband, a fisherman named Eoin. He knows the tales and holds her shawl.
  • Marie, enslaved by a mortal and obeying the ancient Gold Oath that rules over her kind, becomes Eoin's wife and bears him children.
  • Marie takes a lover, Eoin's fellow angler, Lir.
  • Eoin kills Lir in a fit of rage with a harpoon through the chest. This is a secret Eoin has Marie keep.
  • Marie doesn't age, so Eoin packs up the family and moves to Northern France (we never quite tackled why an Irish fisherman goes to France, perhaps in a future flashback?)
  • Marie gets involved with the local fae.
  • Marie's second-eldest daughter Siobhan shows signs of developing into a fae herself. She's eventually driven into a convent to escape these weird phenomena.
  • Eoin suffers from a mysterious illness and dies, but not before handing the shawl to their youngest son. Now the son essentially holds Marie to the surface world and her mortal life.
  • Marie, through her own machinations and those of mebib's character, Hauviette, try to "fix up" Hauviette's recently-abandoned (secret Cathar) dad, Robert, with Marie.
  • They marry, both as Cathars and as Catholics (a smokescreen).
  • Things start getting weird around Robert and he starts wondering if his secret (and, he's slowly realizing, the secrets of his new wife) can be kept safe from Marie's vindictive daughter, the putative Sister Margaret and the rumblings of Inquisition.
  • Marie and Hauviette disappear for three days, and Robert, who formerly espoused the Cathar belief of equality of the sexes, seeks an annulment because Marie does not "obey." This sets off alarm bells, and the Circle believes Robert's been messed with by their enemies.
  • The Circle of Marie, Hauviette, and mjhockabout2's character Beata essentially render Robert pliable with magic.
  • Robert, almost in an infantile state, is led back into "his" house.
Okay, whew. But you get the idea. Robert's gone from forward-thinking women's-rights heretic, to a dupe for the Circle's enemies, to an easily-led shell of his former self. Fair enough.

It just came to me as Marie was leading her husband back into the house, that he should stammer, "Ma-... Marie?" (It works better if you sound it out). Brilliant, and totally off the cuff. The husband has become the son, much as the son, who now holds the selkie shawl, has become the husband. Lovely that linguistic quirk that makes "ocean," "mother" and "Mary" so close. :)

Marie's always been the most interesting of our Maiden (Hauviette)/Mother/Crone (Beata) triad to me. Mainly because the myth of the selkie is so clearly a metaphor for the near-inseverable ties of marriage and family for the pre-modern woman.

I know my players are reading Spinning Straw Into Gold, which takes fairy tales and places them in a context of life-transitions: from Maiden to Mother and Mother to Crone and back again ("second childishness and mere oblivion"). She has the vindictive daughter (which is an odd reversal of the usual vindictive mother of the Wicked Stepmother ilk who is jealous of her daughter's fecundity and nubility) and the men in her life are either domineering father-sons or submissive son-fathers.

Marie's character is the one, I feel, with the most total interior emotional life. Is it solely due to the fact that she has a family that she love/hates? Or a dream of innocence snatched from her, a life in the seas which are now poison to her? No. I think it's because Marie, despite Beata's being creepier than a full moon on a cold October night, is the most twisted of all three of the PCs.

When Marie's dead lover, Lir, was recently re-introduced after a trip to Hell? the Sunset Lands? Purgatory? and frozen until someone "of pure heart" comes to melt him, and Marie was told in no uncertain terms that she is not pure, I started thinking about the myths and what they say about the state of the Mother.

Eve's fallen to the pain of childbirth. Lilith is the Crone. The forgotten third Maiden, never touched by Adam. (Okay, I stole and adjusted this triad from Neil Gaiman, who probably stole it from someone else, but still). Eve's the Fallen one. Lilith gets off more or less scot-free and gets to give zipless birth to legions of demons and become the crone-witch of legend.

What is a curse? Motherhood? Femininity? The state of being tied to a home? I forgot to mention, one of Marie's Echoes (the mythic prohibitions and geasa that characters in Dark Ages: Fae bear as part of being in the world of humans) is that she must offer hospitality to all who enter her home.

It's believed that Marie was Spring Court (rebirth, joy, fertility) before she was captured by Eoin, and then in her bitterness turned to the horrors and coldness of the Winter Court when she was forced to breed for her mortal captor. In that way, she is on her way to becoming the succubus, the night-witch of Cronehood.

There's no way to go back, I guess, and recapture that lost innocence. Which I guess makes Hauviette's eventual and imminent growth into nubility that much more interesting.

coming soon: Part 2: Maiden

crossposted to mgrasso

Edit: Holy SHIT. I guess I should've looked this up sooner. *laugh*

Gender: Feminine
Usage: Irish
Pronounced: shi-VAWN [key]
Irish form of Jehanne, a Norman French variant of JEANNE.

*laughs some more*
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la pucelle
Apr. 9th, 2005 @ 08:57 am extremely short capsules of Sessions 3 and 4
Session 3, Walpurgisnacht: Béata instructs Siobhan, Hauviette confronts dad. travel to King of the Wolves, Marie wrestles his champion. Hauviette confronts dad. Finds she is May queen. Walpurgisnacht, fewer people. Meet Joan's brothes dad. Whore in V. Fly. Unleashing. Political situation. Joan in Vaucouleurs, confession running away, and then about voices. Sinner because sherunning away from home. Stepped in. We are not demons. She said they're here. Priests hurts us all. H and B got hurt by exorcism. Make him cry. Havette hudged out. B got hurt. You made him cry. Blurred his vision, ended the effects. Convinced her to leave. Priest bad. Dad on the way. watch over her in stable. , fly there, speak in church, get exorcised, Joan cuts off hair.
Session 4, May Day: Danger of Hauviette being the May Queen, a changeling at the center of a folk ritual, decide to move the title to Siobhan. Béata speaks to Lugh/Mercury/Wotan and he reveals Thibault is the Knight of Wands. Bird ranch from cabapple tree. Beata red sash. Marie washes feet. Hauviette takes the red sash, foot-washing while on the throne. Mom woke her up. She was chastised Echo. Mom thought she was finally a woman. Three competitors. Good match with miller's son. Jacques. He read poetry. Cpuncil approved him. Unleashed forgottn. Dawn's Absolution unleashed. Stole her from May Queen. Counterweaving stands of Winter. Church, behind the house, sitting during ceremony, two more points formed a star. Vomited seawater locked cantrip Reveal. trying to find of winter. Reverse on the maypole. Templars in town. Conclusion in Orleans; Harduin captured.
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big ben... parliament
Mar. 27th, 2005 @ 07:03 am La Pucelle de Demain: Chapter 2, Interlude. Scenes 1-5
Scene 1: Orléans, 1185Collapse )
Scene 2: The shores of the Irish Sea, 1194Collapse )
Scene 3: At Béata's HomeCollapse )
Scene 4: At Marie's homeCollapse )
Scene 5: Orléans, 1185Collapse )
Scene 6: The shores of the Irish Sea, 1194Collapse )
Scene 7: Near Béata's homeCollapse )
Scene 8: Near Marie's homeCollapse )
Scene 9: The Chapterhouse, 1185Collapse )
Scene 10: Marie's Bed, 1194Collapse )
Scene 11: The Ravens' PathCollapse )
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big ben... parliament
Mar. 26th, 2005 @ 01:59 am Oaths
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Oaths are the bonds that tie one life to another, and the promises that the fae make with one another, and with humans to secure their connection to this world, and their power within it.

These are the oaths of Moira Ó Loingsigh or Marie Pêcheur(as she is known in france)
(poetic/fancy rephrasing to come later)

Gold Oath of the Selkie with humanityCollapse )

Iron Oath of the Court with Marie and HauvietteCollapse )

Iron Oath of Marie with BeataCollapse )
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hope on a string
Mar. 19th, 2005 @ 05:42 pm (no subject)
Here are pictures of the three PCs and one NPC from the game.

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big ben... parliament
Mar. 19th, 2005 @ 06:39 am La Pucelle de Demain, Chapter 1: Equinox
Scene 1: The Weaving CircleCollapse )
Scene 2: The Home of MarieCollapse )
Scene 3: A Path in the WoodCollapse )
Scene 4: CourtCollapse )
Scene 5: La PucelleCollapse )
Scene 6 (a-c): AfterwardsCollapse )
Scene 7: The Wolf and the GirlCollapse )
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voynich sun