Nockers are the artisans among the Kithain, able to craft the stuff of dreams into whatever they desire. Their creations are always flawed, however, and their knowledge of this curse makes them irritable and quick to anger.
The Ancient World Edit
Unlike the Sidhe, Trolls, and Redcaps who whine about who was the first kith, the Nockers now they were probably the last in the line-up and the do not murbinfurbin care. They are modern and proud of it. Most stories say the first Nockers came from the mountain roots in the Middle-late season of the First Times when most of the great stories had already been written. They may not know their true origins but at least they don't lie about it.
There are a lot of colorful ideas as to where the Nockers actually came from: They're the friggin' bastards of the Redcaps and Sluagh; They're the cast-off shaving from when Dana carved the first Troll; they were hatched from a giant mechanical egg from another dimension; or as the Pooka tell it, they were born from a giant pile of dragon cuck. Whatever their origin, the first Nockers were five pounds of cack in a ten pound bag. They were the new kids on the block and the others all tried to take them under their wings. Translate that to mean the beat the alley apples out of them "for their own good." The Sidhe and Trolls stomped on their heads when they were "bad," which was often according to them. The physical abuse wasn't as bad as the "I'm so disappointed in you" looks they gave along with the lectures. The Redcaps were nasty older brothers who hit them upside the head when mom wasn't looking. Luckily they learned that the Nockers taste really bad and after countless bouts of cacafuego they finally got it through their heads (and other parts.) While they continued to kick the Nockers around, they still tended to hang out together; which made the Sidhe and Trolls more upset. And of course all the others sort of lorded it over the because they were young and toothless and bullied them because they could get away with it. Why? Who knows.
While the Nockers were young, they weren't stupid. They hit the dirt and kept on going... into the underground. While the other kithain hung out topside, the Nockers looked for something to make themselves useful and strong. They wandered caves; learning from spirits of stone and metal. They studied subterranean plants and animals. They learned the resilience of rock, the versatility of plants, the beauty of precious metals, the glitter of gems, and the sting of Iron.
This was before chimera as we know them today existed. The fantastic creatures of those times were real, no matter what flackinfurbin science books and fossils say. It wasn't until after the Shattering that these beasts faded into the Dreaming. It's a good question why some creatures crossed over while things like dinosaurs with their walnut sized brains didn't. Something must have set them apart.
The Nockers' history is the history of invention. Fire, the Wheel, Tools, the Plow... nockers were there to watch it go. Sometime they followed human lead and other the humans followed their's. being able to talk to the spirits of metal and stone helped. As the other fae hid from the changing world, the nockers were slower to follow and show off what they had learned; perfecting their knowledge and trying it out on... I mean sharing it with... the other Kithain.
Being underground gave them a talent for mining and plenty of time to practice. Entire mountain ranges were filled with their tunnels. They discovered great secrets and treasures. Occasionally those tunnels would bump into redcap tunnels which brought ugly fights and uglier parties. Today, Nockers are still most comfortable below ground.
They also learned to craft and soon beautiful things of gold and other precious metals became their trade. Their grottoes earned a reputation for treasures and the other kiths soon came to buy their goods. By the time the "metal ages" (Bronze, Iron, etc...) the nockers were already kicking ass and taking names and payback was a pain for their kithain siblings. Not that the nockers hold a grudge. When the battles against the fomorians happened, the nockers were there.
War of the Trees Edit
While the Tuatha de Danaan fought the fomorians and beat them down for a while, when they took off, they baddies got frisky again and the fae had to clean up. The Nockers supplied the weapons. They had learned a lot. A thousand years of warfare will do that. While they mostly stuck to their underground freeholds where they could easily defend against the enemy, a few played both sides, selling weapons to all parties or even joined with the Fo-morons like most of the redcaps did.
The war got bigger the longer it went... even people lobbing mountains at each other, so the stories say. One of the Nocker tales tells of a battle wagon the size of a castle. According to the Nocker's history, the Chronicle of the Black Mountain, the fae finally beat the fomorians at the Battle of Moytura. The enemy flooded the nocker caves in the final days of the war and were as good as the nockers at mine-fighting but the nockers collapsed a few tunnels and sealed them off for good and as far as anyone knows they are still there, (may they rot in peace).
Not all of the Nockers hung around for the end of the War, though. When things got hot, a few made themselves scarce. As skilled as they were they could go anywhere and make a living and many have been itinerant since the end of the Fomorian War. The Eshu travel more but there is still dust on nocker boots as well. They don't know if they can claim the pyramids in Egypt but the Chronicle says they did inspire the earliest irrigation systems. Many of them settled in Canaan, in the Middle East, and they've been hanging out with the Jews since 1200 BCE. That's one of the few pieces of history they still claim. Some old tales say that the Nockers are the ghosts of Jewish miners who did in Cornwall tin mines.
Sunder & Shatter EditThe Sundering didn't hurt the Nockers as much as the other kith. Not that it was easy but they were used to suffering. Some of the others, particularly the Sidhe and the Trolls, talked about punishing the nockers for "bringing Autumn to the world" and all that sozzle. Apparently they thought that the nocker use of technology was spreading Banality. The sidhe even passed an edict, the "Doctrine of Joy," against them in the final days of the Shattering. (That's what the sidhe always do when they think another kith is getting too powerful... pass down some imperious law or claim special wisdom from Dana, or Dagda, or the Tuatha or whatever. They're trying the same thing with the Troll Assimilation Proclamation in the Parliament of Dreams right now. The Big Blues better not expect any help from the Nockers is all they're saying.)
The Nockers had other ideas and their plans relied a lot more on human progress more than side nostalgia and when they told them to furk off, the Sidhe and Trolls pretty soundly kicked their goolies all over the place. Fortunately, the sidhe and trolls ended up fighting amongst themselves when things got to their worst and the nockers slunk away to hide. They got a few good licks in, though, before the sidhe high-tailed it back to their Arcadian hidey-hole and even the Redcaps will give the nockers their due when they get pissed off.
The Interregnum Edit
While the Sidhe were arrogant, self-righteous bastards, they were the Nockers' best customers and loosing them diminished their fae souls as well as their purses. Pay was the least of their worries, though, because Glamour also became scarcer than a Pooka with half a brain. The Changeling Way was introduced which went pretty easily on the Nockers as they had already been close to the humans since the first times, just like the Boggans. The Nockers are a pragmatic lot and did what they had to do to survive.
The shortage of Glamour also meant no more large-scale creations for the nockers. No flying castles. No mountain sized golems. Most had to focus on simple crafts to keep their sanity. Their inventions occasionally inspired the humans who then occasionally produced some Glamour and with a few nudges things picked up steam. While they won't exaggerate their role in human development, they did often end up in the right place at the right time and were one of the few kiths to welcome the "Age of Enlightenment" even if some of the philosophy was pretty whiny.
While the Enlightenment stifled all the old superstitious dreams that the kithain were used to, it did open up a whole new furking paradigm for mortals and Nockers to explore. While the rest of the fae were quaking in their boots, the Nockers were thrilled. They had been hoping for this for centuries and the world was finally catching up with them.
And that was just the beginning.
The Industrial Revolution EditThe Nockers came into their own during the Industrial Revolution. While other fae complained about how "Iron and steam rode over sylvan glades," the nockers were having the firkin' time of their lives. Highlights were Charles Babbage and the first computer, electric lighting, chemistry, mass production, new alloys that replaced Cold Iron, and on and on. Some Nockers became really rich though they often had to stay in the background as their profanity upset the sensibilities of Victorian prudes.
Around this time, the Nockers also bumped into the wizard-scientists of the Brethren of Aether who wanted to jump ship from the Banality monkeys most fae call the Hidden Ones but the Nockers have heard called the Technocracy. They helped the Aetherites jump ship as wells they could without dropping themselves into the mess but they weren't quite subtle enough. Some of the Newtonian cack-whackers caught on to them and have been snooping ever since.
20th Century Edit
Banality started to prove a problem for the Nockers in the 20th century, though they were still doing better than the rest. They remained at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, making a lotta noise and a lotta mazuma and doing fine for themselves. The world wars came and others came looking for the best weapons. The creations of World War I horrified the Seelie nockers but that didn't stop the Unseelie ones form making a wad of cash.
The 1920s were hot for them as well. The Depression slowed them down a bit but not much. There's always work for inventors and nocker skill has always gotten them through lean times. Demand for their creativity took off again with World War II. Some were even involved with the Manhattan Project but by the end of everything all the death dealing got under most of their skins.
The Resurgence Edit
While what comes next isn't a secret, per se, it's hardly widely thought about or accepted. Many Nockers, who were involved in government science programs during World War II, inspired the space race on both sides of the Iron Curtain. If mortals wanted the stars, the Nockers weren't gonna say no. While the other kith may call Nocker science Banal, it was integral to the space program. Without them the moon launch wouldn't have happened. You can see where this is going. Apollo 11 created the greatest influx of Glamour since before the Sundering and the Sidhe rode that wave, the wave the Nockers basically caused, back to the world during the Resurgence. Now the sidhe may claim they had something to do with all of this but the Nockers know the truth.
The Accordance War Edit
If the Nockers had known the furkin' sidhe were gonna come back, they might've thought twice bout the whole space race thing. The commoners were stunned by the return and the sidhe played at amnesia but had an army within a year. The Night of Iron Knives came quickly and Lord Dafyll kicked the commoner's asses all up and down the seaboard before showing up dead at the Goblin Town Freehold.
While the Nockers aren't embarrassed to say it, though they get flack from many of the other commoners, they did sell weapons to the sidhe. At least some did. They are businessfae after all. But the Sidhe didn't come through the gateways all innocent as newborns, no matter what they say. Also, they had a few Arcadian Nockers with them and more than enough chimerical weapons to kick the Autumn Fae's butts. What was a few extra swords or knives?
But all in all the Nockers did what most fae did. The dug in and chose sides as necessary. It all hinged on the trolls, though, so the nockers made dross while the sun shone. The one bad part is that the trolls keep trying to blame Dafyll's death on the Nockers of Goblin Town, but the nockers know the trolls were the ones who frabin' killed 'im. They also know the sidhe and trolls are just two peas in a pod, no matter what they try to say otherwise.
In the British Isles the Sidhe tried to carve up everything into little kingdoms in the War of Ivy. The commoners fared a little better there. When the smoke cleared there were Nockers sitting on the thrones of two kingdoms: Lord Davey in the Kingdom of Smoke and King Morwyd in the Mistlands during the winter... some respect for the kith for once.
As for the Arcadian Nockers who returned with the Sidhe... well they went underground pretty quickly. They've sent a few samples of their work to the Bes Din patent offices and those who've seen it will admit they've improved on their admirable crafting abilities... and leave it at that. Most of the Autumn nockers have nothing else good to say about them.
The Present Edit
The nockers still feel that the other kith blame them for Banality but they're used to it at this point. Technology does NOT equal banality. Is a television responsible for you rotting your brain in front of it for hours? No!
The nockers have had their bogeys kicked out up and down in the last few decades but they've survived worse. Plus, with the Glamour brought out from the Resurgence they've topped off the tank and are rarin' to go. They didn't waste their resources in the Accordance War the way others did and could be in worse shape as Winter approaches. Plus they have their mines to hide in if it gets really bad (even with all the other weird critters down there.) Anyone who sticks their nose where it doesn't belong will lose a nostril. Winter is coming; even the Prodigals know it, and the nockers haven't picked a side yet.
Nockers are a conundrum to the other Kithain because they defy investigation. Their manners make scrutiny discomforting the way poking a cow-pie in July brings its own unpleasantness. A wise old pooka once observed that under the bile and venom of the nockers was a much kinder nd gentler venom and bile just waiting to ooze out onto your shoes.
The nocker perspective is unique among the Kithain. Born half from the luminous joy of creation and half from the darkness despair of frustration, the nockers spend their existence in a manic state. They wrestle with the forces of total artistic abandon and the inability to accomplish anything "just right." They are, so, necessarily a little mad.
While these terms can be found under the Changeling Lexicon page, they are particular enough that they merit placing here as well.
- Alter Kocker
- Nice Nellies
Profanity EditYou can't talk about Nockers without a frank and healthy discussion on cussing. Why do the Nockers talk like they've got furkin' Tourette's Syndrome? They don't know. Ask a troll why they're honorable. Nockers are weird and make no apologies for it. Half their profanity is habitual. They have diarrhea of the mouth because they do and Dana knows they have a right to cuss. Maybe they do it because it's the only way they keep their heads from exploding as they figure out the mumbo jumbo needed for their crafts. They are born from the dreams of creativity and frustration, after all; ranters plain and simple. Half the time they don't mean half of what they say. The other half they don't say half of what they mean. The rest of the time they're actually giving compliments. The other Kithain don't want to take the time to figure it out. If they realized it, the nockers would have more friends. A few thousand years of bad blood and social predisposition are tough to get over.
The Courts Edit
The Seelie Code Edit
The Unseelie Code Edit
Nocker Craft Edit
Nocker Astronomy Edit
Wyrd Science Edit
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Glamour, & Dodging the Hidden Ones Edit
Nocker Freeholds Edit
The Dreaming Edit
- Hieronymus Continuum
- The Hollow Earth
Social Structure Edit
Bes Din Edit
Nocker Guilds Edit
- The Builders Guild
- The Toymakers Guild
- The Weapons Guild
The Monkey's Paw Edit
Courtly Love Edit
Perspectives on Others Edit
Nockers of Note Edit
- Blistertongue Jill
- Cadmium Redd
- Doctor Tapp
- The Wire Man
- Maxwell Silver Hammer
- The Black Dwarf
- Dame Lillian
- Ragnild von Folkke
- Fitz McArthur
- Morwyd of Mist
- Isaac Glass
- Mike Potter
- Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz
- Lord Davey
Nocker Treasures Edit
Nockers are master artisans. Their skill and inventiveness are legendary; so is their cynicism and bitterness. Typically, they are highly critical of their rulers and eminently sarcastic of the people around them. Most nockers dislike having to deal with "imperfect" things, including people. Most prefer to surround themselves with treasures of mechanical wonder and ingenuity, instead. Things are much more reliable than people, and they're much easier to fix. Nockers are also known for their great talent for crafting chimerical inventions.
A nocker's standards of perfection are impossibly high. These Kithain got their name from their habit of constantly rapping on things to inspect their quality. Unfortunately, they treat others the same way. They continually "knock" others by insulting them, testing their reactions and trying to find their faults. While this is a great way to test machines, it doesn't work as well with people. As far as nockers are concerned, they've elevated ridicule to a high art form. This hardly improves their popularity.
Nockers are also fiercely individualistic. Once one has selected her tastes in artwork and craftsmanship, she immediately condemns everyone else's. When she works, she develops a style of craftsmanship that defines the work as hers. Anyone else's attempt is second best. Then again, nocker's creations are an expression of her identity: if her work is no good,then she's no good.
Nockers have other weaknesses, but they will never admit to them. They usually yearn for an escape from their flawed lives: music, treasure and even courtly love attract them. Denied ambitions stir the passions they bury beneath their work. Romantics pity nockers. Their cynical facades, the romantics say, hide the fact that they can never attain what they truly desire. In fact, if they did attain their desires, it would cease to be so appealing. In any attempt at romance, a nocker will wear at the minor flaws of a relationship until the magic is gone. Tinkering is the only surcease from a life trapped in such an imperfect world. The dream if everything; reality is a disappointment.
Pursuing their obsessive and passionate natures, nockers lose themselves in creation. Their greatest creations are in the chimerical world. It's hardly surprising that they excel at creating things that could never be. Their mundane lives may never mirror the vision of their art, but not for lack of trying. Whatever their chosen mediums, they strive to make their dreams real.
Version Differences Edit
boggans · clurichaun · domovye · eshu · ghille dhu · killmoulis · korred · merfolk · morganed · nockers · oba · piskies · pooka · redcaps · river hags · satyrs · selkies · Arcadian sidhe · Autumn sidhe · sluagh · trolls · wichtel · wolpertinger