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OverviewEditFeuds are covenants of Gentry who vow to plot against each other in a form of cultured story-warfare that can include many, many rules. The Fae battle each other to generate Legends and live — but to fight, they need each Other’s permission. Arcadia’s ruled by oaths and Contracts; dire enemies must negotiate their wars. These agreements create the alliances of enemies that dominate Gentry society.
Of course, True Fae also use outsiders against their rivals. Free changelings need not ask permission to attack. To that end, they’ve revealed a few vulnerabilities, but they frame them with lies whenever they can. They tell changelings that a rival’s weakness is unique and doesn’t reflect a general truth about the Kindly Ones.
The Gentry battle constantly; vying for each other’s Titles, for each Title contains a shard of immortal essence. These conflicts take many forms. In one, an Actor searches for the hidden gemstone: his enemy’s Prop form. If he wins it, he steals the Title it represents. The rival’s been wounded; if she felt mortal pain it might be like losing an arm or burning alive. She’s been weakened. Other members of her Feud might attack again, creating more Legends to channel their assaults until she’s left with nothing but her name. If she loses that to a final Legend, she’s been devoured. Her rivals have eaten every part of her spirit. Whatever survives is no independent being, but a fragment owned by one of her conquerors.
This “death” is the end a True Fae is most likely to suffer. The Others sustain themselves through rivalry. Some Feuds maintain a balance of power by enforcing complex oaths between members. These stipulate who can be attacked and when, in the hope that this will merely shuffle Titles in a controlled conflict. These arrangements rarely survive for long. Invariably, one faerie blunders. She’s weak, vulnerable. Her Feud companions hunger for her power and set upon her.
No mortal knows all the ways a faerie duel lays out, but there’s always a specific order of injury. A True Fae’s name is sacrosanct until she’s been stripped of every Title (however, a Fae's Nemesis can ignore this restriction). Without these Titles, the unfortunate faerie must take an Actor form whenever she participate in a Legend. Her Titles are gone, but her new, static shape contains remnants of them all: tells and certain Contracts. In a final Legend, she fights for her very identity. If a Feud-mate wins it from her, he devours her completely. Gentry often flee to Earth to escape this fate.
, p. 87