Frozen Iron: The Icy Shores
Court of Frozen Iron
The Court of Frozen Iron has existed in its current incarnation for over two centuries. The Lost were attracted by the large iron deposits surrounding the growing city, the perfect weapons against their oppressors. Duluth soon became somewhat of a capital for the Lost in the region, attracting fae from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. This has led to Duluth having far more fae than its size would suggest… which of course has led to the attentions of the Gentry. They have tried to make moves on the city over the years, but the hand forged weapons of the fae and the policy of discretion that the Winter Court has enforced have driven them off again and again.
Of the seasonal Courts, Winter is the dominant force in Duluth, as the cold season never seems to leave quite when it should. This gives the court the ability to force the other courts to comply with its demands, and means that much of the Freehold’s bylaws are focused around keeping the fae of Duluth hidden from both the mortal world and from their Fae pursuers. Summer and Autumn come in a close second and third, and to some extent chafe under the domination that Winter claims over the other courts. Summer is interested in taking the fight back to the Fae and protecting the human population of Duluth with their many iron weapons, while Autumn is interested in augmenting the defenses of Duluth through arcane, and often times dark, magic. Spring maintains a distant fourth, thanks to the brevity of the season and the reserved nature of Minnesotans. As befits their small status and the similarities that the Spring court’s ideals of blending in with the mortal world the Vernal Sovereigns are often seen as the “bitch” to Winter’s dominating influence.
Despite the Winter court’s misgivings, the Court of Frozen Iron has earned the moniker of “The Fortress in the North”. and to some extent it is true. Huge amounts of iron weapons, plus large numbers of fae and the discretion policies put into place by the Winter Court have made it one of the safest places to be for Changelings. Of course, if the Fae ever had to focus intently on the city, it would crack, and for every new changeling, the chance that one is a privateer or loyalist increases, a problem that Winter is very aware of.
Freehold Meeting Place
While there are many places that Changelings in Duluth meet, the main meeting place for the freehold is currently located in a community hall called the Deer’s Club located just outside of downtown with a good view of the lake. It is styled after similar community groups like the Elk’s Club and aims to not attract too much attention. The accommodations are fairly bare and this combined with the out of the way location make the destination not that popular with the locals.
The Deer’s Club is purposefully not connected with the Hedge except for a few very well warded emergency exit onto defended trods, as it’s in the mortal world that the fae have the advantage over the Others.
Most of the laws in Duluth are similar to other Freeholds across the world. A mutual defense pact exists between members of the Freehold, and the Court offers various services to members including fake IDs and a Sun Banisher to clean up minor scuffs with the law. Tithes of glamour are required on a monthly basis to help keep the wards upheld and a strong pool of glamour fully stocked in case of emergency.
Some of the laws in particular show Winter’s hand a bit more than others. There is a strict policy with regards to fetches that they must either be avoided at all costs or eliminated with a bare minimum of fuss and escalation. This is necessary according to the Winter Court to prevent the fetches from reporting back to their Fae masters or causing unsightly incidences with the local mortal authorities. If a fae wants to attempt to take down their fetch they are required to review the plan with a ranking Summer courtier and have a motley at their back when making the attempt. For those that are not inclined to combat or are judged incompetent at review a Jack Ketch is available who will take out the fetch at a price. Not all changelings abide by this law as a long build up to conflict can work to a fae’s advantage, and a few even develop working relationships with their fetches (an area of rare friction between Spring and Winter).
The Court also encourages members to blend in with mortal society as much as possible. If you look the same as the rest of the herd it’s hard to pick out the freak. To encourage this the Court has ties with several career counseling services around Duluth and offers an in house mental support group to help make their members normal parts of society. There are also monetary and service based incentives for gainful employment and forming deep mortal relationships.
“On my safety and surety, I swear to obey the written laws hammered in iron and ice, and to aid my fellows against the Others. For keeping me safe from the attentions of others my sorrow, desire, wrath and fear are yours.”
Vassalage (2), Blessing – Fake ID (+2)