The Deep Court
The Deep Court partakes of all the dreams of fabulous undersea kingdoms.
Its main races are the Mer, the Selkies, and the Myriapoda, with others under their dominion or protection.
The Deep Court proper is headed by a triumvirate of a leader from each main race.
For almost all purposes, the Queen of the Mer and the Queen of the Myriapoda make all decisions, with the Queen of the Mer presiding at court.
The Court perches on the edge of a cliff above an abyssal deep. Within the inky depths of the abyssal canyon awaits the entrance to an Umbral initiation path.
A strong Umbral enchantment alters air-breathing guests so that they can breathe underwater within the area of the Court. Eidolon initiates may have difficulty assimilating this alteration. There is a crystal bubble above the Dry Garden beside the Deep Dock for those who cannot accept the alteration.
Queen Myriada of the Mer holds court with beauty and grace of form, voice, and speech. She appears as a golden-haired mer-woman with a powerful, scaled fish's tail below the waist. She may carry a trident or gaff, whether functional or in ceremonial miniature. She is attended by merfolk and swift fish.
Queen Hydra of the Myriapoda is ordinarily a silent presence when in court, preferring to confer quietly with her co-regent. Sometimes she might illustrate a point with a cunningly crafted swirl of animated ink. Of great beauty and stature, she appears as a dark-skinned fey matriarch above the waist upon a pedestal of suckered tentacles. She is attended by squids, eels, and jellyfish.
King Proteus of the Selkies is most at home basking in seal-form upon a sunny beach, but when necessary, can take upon himself the form of a man, a mer-seal, or that of many other sea-creatures. He is rarely in Court, rather preferring to roam the realm among his people. He is attended by seals and otters.
Disputes with the High Court:
- A coastal town is suffering from a plague of transformations, its citizens gradually taking on animal-like forms. The High Court accuses the Deep Court of leaking Umbral magic.
- Rogue ships of the overworld have hunted some of the Court's favorite sea creatures.
- A planned exchange of Court guests/hostages has been delayed.
The High Court
Wind riders, longstriders, whose mounts are far-flying beasts energized by atmospheric electricity, flying from storm to storm.
The court perches above the Plain of the Labyrinth, where the initiates walk out the strict paths of their harmonics. Across the High Range are the Shrines of the Chords, each of which reveals a color, a note, a chord of the Harmony.
Pilgrims visit the shrines in the hope of greater attunement with the Harmony, and return to walk the Labyrinth with greater insight. Those few who glimpse the Higher Harmonies have had varying responses; some join the servants of the Chord Shrines; other return to their previous lives, and some slip away quietly, following their own new paths.