The Ameth Chronicle
The Courts generally function as they appear in Winter Masques, but to a lesser degree to make them actually playable in a group. Being a mix of changelings from all over the mortal world, their masks seem a little out of place in the semi-homogeneous city of Ameth. In an effort to fit in, many take names that fit within the language of the layer they’re holding court in.
The Court of the East: The court with the most obvious power, the Serpent Court dominates Baojia Caozi. It owns four of the seven ruling corporations and is always looking for ways to flex it’s business interests into other layers, who generally have factions wise enough to mitigate or resist such expansion.
The court is ruled by Lady Liang Nüying, a Mirrorskin Darkling who’s rumored to be on the edge of fae transcendence.
Eastern courtiers are ambitious, often to the point of being greedy or power hungry. They fit in well with the corporate hierarchical structure and hopes for promotion, but also are frequently willing to smooth the process with various corporate skullduggery. They feed on envy as well as practice it, and the business world is a great place for that.
The Court of the West: This court’s emotion is honor. The court revolves around discipline, ritual, and martial ability. The court is ruled by Lady Shum Chunhua, a cyclopean ogre. She lives in a fortress in the hedge guarding the Demon’s Gate. Most Ameth-related affairs are handled by her plenipotentiary Dai Yusheng, a Draconian fairest who runs Tiě Gùn Chǎnyè, one of the seven ruling corporations of Baojia Caozi and the only one owned by the Court of the West.
Western courtiers are realists, but honor means honesty and fair dealing. They’re one of the safest courts to deal with if you wish to strike a fair bargain you intend to keep. They’re one of the most dangerous ones to cross if you don’t. It’s rarely ‘just business’ to a Western courtier. Matters of integrity are matters of honor, and honor is personal.
The Court of the South: Ruled by Lord Sin Chengle, a darkling nightsinger. He is Chairperson of Zhīfáng Chǎnyè, one of the seven ruling corporations of Baojia Caozi, and the only one owned by the Court of the South.
The court’s emotion is Ecstasy. This means (despite what you may read in the manual), that they seek to find a zenlike perfection in the depths of as many emotions as possible. Courtiers tend to focus on a certain emotion and play out ways that it can be taken to an extreme without causing harm to themselves or those they care about. Whether they go on a sad movie marathon and listen to hopeless love songs to glory in melanchony, or join a fight club and play VR Sims for the rush of exhilaration, the courtiers are about exploring what reaching the limits of each emotion can do for them. They find any self-destructive expression of an emotion unsatisfying, as emotions are supposed add to their world, not subtract from it. They extend this to their allies as well.
Mechanically this means that you get a harvest bonus whenever your target is experiencing the extreme end of any emotion. Nails on a chalkboard might feed annoyance as normal, but it would take losing sleep all night listening to a barking dog to really hit the heights of annoyance.
The Court of the North: Lord Yang Youde, a coldscale beast with the aspect of a turtle, is ruler of the Court of the North. The Court of the North has had strained relations with the other court rulers ever since they took the side of the rebels in the civil war that formed Ummah Wahidah. Currently headquarted there, with friendly relations among philosophically aligned Lancea Sanctum factions.
The Court of the North is apparently the weakest court, without a giant corporation to wield influence and generate money. But the court believes that its inner strength is all it truly needs.
It’s a strength that comes from suffering, and the Court of the North has suffering as it’s emotion. It believes that through giving up one’s never ending desire for wealth, power, and immortality, one can appreciate what one has, what one needs, and the life one lives. They believe the truest way to abandon that desire is to embrace suffering. Suffering on it’s own is pointless, and when they confront suffering that does not lead towards enlightenment, they feel no obligate to perpetuate it, and are often adept at relieving it if they feel it is necessary. Changeling who endured the tortures of the Abathoth before suffering the durance of the Fae often feel drawn to the Court of the North’s philosophy to gain control over the suffering inflicted upon them.