THE UNSEEN COURT
THE FOLK OF RISUR KNOW THAT THE DREAMING exists, though they might call it the feywild, the green land, the unseen house, the world beyond the looking glass, or the happy hunting grounds. Most Risuri treat it like an unpredictable neighbor. While human kings rule in the material plane and there are clear cities, nations, hierarchies, and borders, the Dreaming follows rules mortals can only struggle to understand. Once every few years the Unseen Court sends emissaries to collect the tribute that the king promised the fey titans at Risur’s founding, typically in the form of magic items, prize hounds and horses, or more exotic gifts. In one notable event, a cadre of archfey arrived on the summer solstice and demanded one thousand engraved silver moons before sunrise.
The ultimate desires or motives of the Unseen Court are unknown, but so far their requests have never been onerous. When they are not appeased, however, they retaliate by seizing infants from cribs, driving wild animals into cities, or calling forth impossible weather like flashdroughts and hailstorms of frozen toads.
Many folk charms are said to ward off the unwanted attentions of the fickle fey. Lines of salt block their crossing, iron and the sound of iron bells drives them away, and red liquid—blood, paint, or muddy clay—distracts their attention. They are unsettled by anything with spinning parts, from wagon wheels to the gears of a clocktower, and often try to break such devices as fervently as a man might chase a mosquito. On the other hand, milk or cheese left outside a home will win a fey’s favor. Of course, as a fickle lot, fey do not always follow their own rules.
The most famous manifestation of the Dreaming in Risur is the Great Hunt. Every seventeen days an army of mounted fey warriors gallops the entire length of the nation, avoiding cities and sticking to the uncertain borders of civilization and the wilds. The wind carries the stamping of their steeds’ hooves, the melodies of their riding sounds, and the baying of their hounds, but they are only ever seen by the light of the full moon.