Both Alike in Dignity
The Autumn Court
Where violence underpins desire then fear cannot be far behind. Fear of becoming a victim, fear of being an agressor, fear of never having that which you desire – all these are food for the Autumn court. In terms of numbers, Autumn is only fractionally larger than Winter with around 20% of the freehold population, but Autumn contains a disproportionately high number of older and more powerful Lost.
Historically, the Autumn monarch maintained a circle of twelve potent masters of fae magic, with him or herself as the thirteenth member of the circle. Three of the twelve were notionally assigned to each season to act as advisors to the monarch of that season on all matters magical and while it was possible for any monarch to ignore the advice given, in practice they were usually heard, giving Autumn what many considered an unhealthy level of influence over the other courts. Insofar as this concern gave rise to a healthy degree of fear among the freehold population, the senior members of the Autumn court were happy and keen to persue the practice.
Red Ember and Briarpatch
As recently as seven years ago, however, the system broke. Red Ember, the most powerful of the twelve advisors and head of the trio dedicated to advising the Autumn monarch, Briarpatch, vanished along with one other member of the twelve and three other notable members of the court who were considered to be the most likely inheritors of openings among the circle of twelve. It was speculated outside the Autumn court that this individual might have attempted some sort of coup with his students in an attempt to seize the crown and been either killed or banished by the monarch (it was widely agreed within the Autumn court, however, that had this group attempted a coup, Briarpatch would have been no match for them). Regardless of the reasons, the Autumn court was left with only ten members of the inner circle and no obvious successors. Although diminished, the system held for the following year until Red Ember made a dramatic return with one of his students, declared his independance from the Autumn court and offered his impartial advice to all courts. Since then the influence of the Autumn court has waned, although following a private conference with Briarpatch, Red Ember appears to have escaped what many would have expected to be the extreme ill-will of that court.
Younger members of the Autumn court are typically apprenticed to one or more of the senior members. Historically mentors for the season would be selected from those not serving the seasonal monarch, in recent years even those notionally providing advisory services have sufficient time to dedicate to the cause.
The court is based in Dulwich and owns a large house with considerable grounds surrounding the gate to a known Trod. Court members are encouraged to live at the house and make use of the facilities, in fact younger court members are encouraged not to leave, or at least to spend as much time there as possible. Among the local mortal population, the Dulwich house is reputed to be the home of some sort of strange cult and consequently avoided. Briarpatch has been keen to encourage this assumption and the resultant fear which it engenders, together with the relative freedom which such isolation gives the court to engage in whatever practices take place on dark nights behind closed doors..