Both Alike in Dignity
The Summer Court
Drawing strength from a combination of racial tension and gang culture, Summer is the second largest court in the freehold and home to around 30% of the population (40 changelings or so). The Summer court hovers somewhere between organised militia and a series of disparate street gangs, coherence being a function of necessity with necessity being determined by the current monarch.
The current ruler of the summer court is an Elemental Manikin called Sally, and alternately known as Strongarm Sally, Steamengine Sally or any one of a number of similar appellations. Sally has only been monarch for the past two years after the previous ruler stepped down.
Individual summer motleys are expected to patrol the area that they claim for their own for signs of the Gentry or other threats, and no summer motley worthy of the name would suffer interference form any mortal gang, although many form the nucleus for larger mortal gangs in a given area. Summer court changelings from mixed motleys are either attached to a gang or tasked with providing assorted logistical services for the larger court. Unlike her predecessor, Sally encourages the Summer gangs to engage in a little rivalry between themselves when not performing duties for the freehold – she believes that it keeps them sharp.
Chief among the freehold duties for the Summer court is the Bridge Guard. For as long back as anyone in the freehold can remember, the Summer court has maintained a nightly watch over the bridges crossing the Thames and leading into freehold territory. The duty is considered largely ceremonial, certainly there is no established threat against which the Bridge Guards actually guard, and in modern times some bridges are left unguarded, or guarded only at certain times (i.e. until local pubs, etc have closed and traffic droped to a minimum). In practice the most that a given guard can expect to do is stop the occasional changeling heading over a bridge and remind him about the prohibition on magic north of the river. Bridge Guard duty within the Summer court is largely compulsory – when your name comes up on the rota you are obliged to serve your time unless you have a good reason not to, although arranging a replacement is acceptable. Volunteer Bridge Guards from the other courts are always welcome, and a regular stint as a guard is a good way to win court goodwill. Shrewd changelings from other courts who regularly offer to do duty in pace of those within the court can both increase their goodwill and find themselves owed a number of favours by indivudal Summer court members.
Sally runs her court from Elephant & Castle. She owns a sporting equipment shop at the top of the delapidated shopping centre with an extensive array of storerooms that can be used for meetings, but her own motley controls the upper floors of a neighbouring towerblock.