While a Keeper’s name is his promise to be a will that binds the Wyrd, his existence is more than ambition. And just as a mortal needs a body to express his thoughts, a faerie uses Titles to make contact with his world. Titles are abstract (and even enigmatic) concepts but they always refer to an emotion, sensual experience or object. One Fae may be the Prince of Weeping Rats, while another is the Acolyte of Screams on the Mountain.
Most Fae have more than one Title. The more powerful the faerie, the more Titles they possess. Titles are channels through which the Gentry manifest. Every manifestation incorporates a Title in some distinct way. This shape or theme is called the Title’s tell - and the chosen Title’s tell colors every manifestation. The Prince of Weeping Rats appears as a rat-headed crying man holding a scepter, or becomes an endless, filthy high-rise, whose human-looking tenants weep whenever the ruling rats eat their food or steal unattended children.
When participating in a Legend, a True Fae can only commit a Title to one form at a time. Therefore, a faerie with three Titles can appear as an Actor, Prop and Realm simultaneously (as a king in a castle, wearing an enchanted crown, perhaps), but she can’t command a household of Wisps at the same time, or make herself into another Prop. No manifestation can disguise its tell completely, though it might alter it slightly. The Lord of Weeping Rats might shift from having a rat’s head to a naked tail, or opt for a human body with a particularly “rattish” look, but he can never banish the rat from any form that uses that Title.
Enemies and disasters deprive a faerie of Title. Some Fae are left with nothing more than their names. These wretches are devoured by their betters, exiled or mutate into mindless monsters. Arcadia reclaims their unprotected souls.
True Fae can swear upon their Titles. This is less risky than a namebound oath. If they violate a Titlebound Contract it costs them the connected Title. It’s a major blow, but it won’t obliterate them. A mortal analogue might be agreeing to guarantee a promise with a pound of flesh. You can break your word and survive, but it’s painful.
- Equinox Road, p. 86