Seelie & Unseelie

So let’s rejoice with loud fa-lal
fa-la-la-la, fa-la-la-la
That nature always does contrive
fa-la-la-la-la
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little liber-al
Or else a little conserva-tive
fa-la-la-la, fa-la-la-la
Is either a little liber-al
Or else a little conserva-tive
fa-la-laaaa
— Gilbert & Sullivan, Iolanthe

The politics and alliances of Aeldreth are varied and subject to frequent change, based on the shifting interests of states and private enterprise.

In the Cimoscan Age, before the Great Cataclysm, the world was much more orderly, divided along mostly geographical and partially ethnic lines between the followers of the Bright Lady of the Seelie Court, ruled by the elves of light, and the Dark Lord of the Unseelie Court, ruled by the elves of darkness.  Locked in unending conflict, those two great factions divided the world between them and engaged in a perpetual but fruitless tug of war to take it all.

The Great Cataclysm shattered that world, both physically and socially.  The old lines of homelands were erased by the geological upheavals, and the races and tribes were scattered across the new continents.  With the death of the old gods, their courts and the social order they commanded also collapsed.  Power and the building of the new world passed to the hands of those outsiders who had never claimed any land nor pledged themselves to any ruler — the formerly wild elves and faerie of the sea and forests.

However, though the actual Courts no longer exist, Seelie and Unseelie survive as social and political viewpoints.  And in some circles, they are beginning to reemerge as political parties.

In modern Aeldreth, Seelie and Unseelie may be thought of as analogous to liberal and conservative or left-wing and right-wing, respectively, in Earth’s politics.

The Seelie viewpoint values individuality and equality, the rule of law, work for shared social benefit.  It believes the world to be a place of abundance and opportunity, and life to be a blessing.

The Unseelie viewpoint values service to higher powers, the rule of protective strength, and the preservation of order.  It believes the world to be a place of opposing forces in dangerous and delicate balance, and life to be defined by conflicts won and lost.

Anyone can fall into either group, although there are some traditional cultural trends yet surviving.  Thus, the majority of light elves are Seelie, while the majority of dark elves are Unseelie, to this very day, their cultures echoing their former power.  The majority of the Red Cap goblins are Unseelie, as their warlike culture teaches that conflict is the natural order of things and peace is akin to death.

Aside from such vestiges of ages past, it is generally not possible to tell who is Seelie and who is Unseelie until one gets to know them and their works.

But there are those who suggest that the factions that once ruled the world may yet return someday.

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