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Titania and The Summer Court

Before The First Fairy War

Long before Titania the fey queen ever heard of a world called Avlis, she ruled peacefully over her realm in the Land of Faerie for a thousand years. As a deminplane realm, the Land of Faerie shifts its location from time to time among the chaotically good aligned planes, spending a century or two in each location but easily moved away in an emergency. As an independent demiplane, it is vast and unspoiled. The land is eternally locked in summer with perfect weather throughout the lush green forests, glens, and meadows which sway in a gentle breeze during the day and highlight two mesmerizing moons at night. No one knows for sure if Titania created this land and its inhabitants, or if they were brought into existence long ago by a predecessor. The land is so vast and the inhabitants are so unconcerned with such matters, that there could even be other monarchs in far off parts of the realm. However, if that is the case, they are extremely far away and uninterested in discord. The Summer Court led by Titania and her consort, Oberon, benignly rules over the inhabitants of Faerie with a keen interest in freedom and protection of the realm from outside meddling.

One exception to Titania’s authority, however, is from her sister, The Queen of Air and Darkness who rules the underground realms of Faerie. Long ago, Titania’s sister, whose name can never be spoken again, was a gentle soul who lived with the other fairies in the light. Her troubles began when she discovered an ancient artifact of evil that changed and corrupted her. The problems she created throughout the realm sundered her relationship with her sister and forced Titania to banish her and the fey who followed her to the realm below. Upon being completely sealed below ground, the evil Queen of Air and Darkness took it upon herself to gather her forces and recruit the orcs, goblins, and other subterranean kin to her cause to retake the lands above and depose Titania. She taught these minions her magical arts and opened portals below ground that led to other evilly aligned planes, especially The Gray Wastes, Pandemonium, and The Abyss. These portals acted as highways of trade, diplomacy, and war that fed her new kingdom. All the while, the evil Queen’s goal of breaching the magical seals covering the surface was foremost in her mind.

Aside from the small effort it took for Titania’s fey of the Summer Court to maintain the sealed entrances to the world below, most memory of the tragic incident with Titania’s sister became shrouded in foggy memory, and the fey of the surface that came to be known as the Seelie fey went about their usual business. That is, until one day the unexpected happened. Using magic from the Lower Planes, the Queen of Air and Darkness managed to burrow up to the surface of Faerie. Her forces, bolstered by demons and monsters from the evil planes along with her own orcs, goblins, and evil fey, rushed across the land destroying everything and everyone in sight. The attack was so brutal, and the Seelie fey were so unprepared, that the entire population of the realm had to retreat to Titania’s palace where they would make their last stand. The goodly Seelie fey of the Summer Court were desperate and cornered as they suffered siege from the evil beings brought to bear by Titania’s evil sister and her twisted fey followers, now known as the Unseelie fey. Redemption seemingly came when a mysterious and powerful bald hero in hardened leather armor wandered into the realm seeking an audience with the fey queen. The raging siege and battle scenes did not seem to bother him at all, as he swatted evil minions away like they were gnats and continued his walk up to the palace. The Seelie fey praised his arrival and marveled at his strength as they pleaded for his help.

Titania granted this mighty hero an audience and learned his name was O’Ma, a newly born greater god from a world called Avlis. He paid his respect to Titania and proposed to offer some assistance as an exchange. Titania asked the deity what he wanted in return for helping her lift the siege, and O’Ma explained that he wanted her to teach him the ways of the fey and how to create a similar race of his own back on his world. At first, Titania was taken aback, but this bold request gave her an idea that might save her people. She accepted the deal with O’Ma with the stipulation that her fey would also be allowed to reside on Avlis, especially in the event that evil overran her realm and they needed a new one to which to retreat. O’Ma explained that this should not be a problem, as his world was pristine and looked much like Faerie. He clarified that there had just recently been a massive war between gods that shaped the continents, but that things were recovering nicely and there was plenty of room for all her subjects.

The god and goddess began their work. O’Ma took command of the palace forces and led a push to break the siege, which succeeded. This allowed Titania’s subjects some breathing room and created several battle fronts farther away from the castle that gave the Seelie fey a basis from which to expand and try to push the Unseelie back to their underground realm. Meanwhile, Titania taught O’Ma how to fashion new races, and as part of the deal she reminded him that her older fey races would need access to Avlis. She proposed that this would be accomplished by using something called Fairy Ways, which were permanent hidden portals between Avlis and Faerie. These portals took a lot of effort to set up but required no other magical talent or knowledge to use. One simply had to know how to walk through them, though that was not always easy because they were often hidden in deep forests or other uninhabited places and protected with puzzles and illusions. The only thing required to keep these portals open was tying the two realms together, and this would be accomplished through forging physical and emotional relationships between the inhabitants of Avlis and Faerie. For this purpose, Titania showed O’Ma how to create Titanian fairies, which would frequently travel back and forth between the worlds and bind themselves to humans, elves, and other races on the Avlis side by intermarrying and having children. The offspring of these union would not be fey. They would appear to be the races of their fathers, but their souls would act as the glue that keeps the Fairy Ways open. More children born of these unions would allow for the creation and maintenance of more Fairy Ways.

Having fulfilled the early part of his bargain and broken the siege, and having completed his lessons on the creation of fey, O’Ma took his leave from Titania’s court and began his tasks of establishing new races on Avlis. Several Titanian fey groups were granted permission to accompany him and they began to establish new settlements and teach O’Ma’s new creations. They also established the first Fairy Ways and began to bind the two planes together. Titania was happy that her people’s escape was now assured, but she turned her attention to settling in for the long war ahead against her sister.

As time passed, the war waxed and waned. Titania’s forces nearly ended her sister’s advances several times, but just as often the evil queen’s forces pushed their way right back up to the palace gates, only to be repelled. Initially during these years, Titania sensed that the bindings between Faerie and Avlis were strengthening due to creation of Fairy Ways, but after a while they leveled off and began to lessen. At first she thought it might be due to the loss of strategic control and subsequent takeover of multiple Fairy Ways during various battles in her war against her sister, which allowed Unseelie fey to cross into Avlis along with their Seelie enemies. However, the use of these gateways by her enemies did not seem to result in their closing. Something else had to be doing it, and this alarmed Titania, who ordered her subjects on Avlis to investigate. The disturbing news that came back alleged that O’Ma was not living up to his end of their deal. Instead of creating copies of Titanian Fairies as a female-only race that bred with Avlissian males to strengthen the bonds between the planes, O’Ma made his fairies in both genders that bred true. This means that an O’Ma fairy pairing gave O’Ma fairy offspring, and when an O’Ma fairy bred with an Avlissian the result was a hybrid fairy with no connection to Titania or her realm. Given time, the Fairy Ways would evaporate and the connection between the planes, and the escape route of her forces would cease to exist. With new rage, Titania redoubled her efforts at defeating her sister and began sending as many fairies as she could spare to Avlis to try to make new ties and strengthen the existing Fairy Ways. By this time, she had a significant population of Titanian fey on Avlis, but not enough to do what she needed. That became even more clear when the Unseelie fey that went through to Avlis caused a war to break out between the Titanian and O’Ma fairies and divided her attentions further. Looking around for help, Titania sent her avatar to Avlis to fight her way through the lines and look for any allies. There she encountered another avatar of a god named Dru’El who created the elven races of Avlis. He deplored the battle they now referred to as The Fairy War, but understood Titania’s predicament, even though he pledged to O’Ma he would not lift a hand to influence his battle with the fey queen in any way. The existence of the Queen of Air and Darkness, however, was news to him, and he believed that helping Titania against her sister would be a legitimate way to stave off more bloodshed. Thus, Dru’El sent his aid into Faerie with Titania in the form of three armies of Dru’Elian High Elves commanded by his own avatars.

This delighted Titania and turned the tide of the war instantly. Using their true forms, Dru’El and Titania expelled the Queen of Air and Darkness from Faerie and the realms below. Titania, in an effort to make peace, assumed rulership of both the Seelie and Unseelie fey folk and commanded a halt to all hostilities, but it did not happen right away. The eventual peace with the Unseelie fey relieved both sides, but also allowed Titania to turn her attentions back to matters on Avlis. Though an escape route was no longer acutely needed, she believed the ties between the two realms were still important in case escape was ever needed once more. She also now had a sizeable number of her fey there and wanted to give them the opportunity to go back and forth to their true home as they pleased.

Unfortunately, as she turned her attention back to O’Ma’s deceit, she realized the war between the two fey races had ended and flared up into a larger war enveloping nearly all the non-fey races on the planet. There was little she could do without making things worse, and when that war finally drew to a close due to a large explosion that leveled forests and claimed the lives of many of her subjects, Titania felt the pain as that same destruction laid waste to nearly all of her Fairy Ways. The two planes were almost completely set apart now.