Making an alliance, agreement, or contract with Fey come with risks and benefits. They allow each party to agree to what their expectations and requirements are, and what needs to happen on either side for an agreement to be settled or fulfilled. As long as it is advantageous for a Fey, they will maintain the agreement, contract, or alliance. Once it is better for them to break it, they will. Lesser Fey are obvious in their betrayal, as they are poor liars. Fey and Greater Fey make it more difficult to expect when double-crossing may occur. However, Greater Fey are more likely to think long term, and therefore are less likely to break an agreement.
Fey will not break an agreement or alliance if a debt is involved. Once the debt has been paid back, however, a Fey may decide to take whichever course of action is best for them. Both Fey and civilized creatures can be locked into a contract if they swear on their true name three times. However, this is only saved for the most serious of matters.
One must watch their words around the Fey. If a debt is implied, a Fey will attempt their best at trapping one into an agreement that only serves that Fey. Therefore, they are equally as careful not to trap themselves. When interacting with Fey, never say “thank you”, “please”, or any other saying that implies gratitude. Even saying, “Excuse me,” can imply that one is in the Fey’s debt. When receiving an item from a Fey, it is best to simply say an observation about that object. It is also of equal importance never to say anything that implies the Fey is in debt to you, as many Fey will get aggressive at this implied offense. For instance, “Excuse you,” or “You’re welcome” are both seen as incriminating.
Fey are also very careful about their true names (addressed below). This is because not only can true names be used to lock one into a contract, but also be used for more successful tracking, hypnosis, and even magical attacks. Therefore, never say, “What is your name?” It is less offensive to say, “What are you called?” or, even better, “What may I call you?” Fey do not say, “My name is…” Instead, they reply with something to the effect of, “I am called…” or “You may call me…” It is best to follow the same figures of speech when interacting with Fey, to protect oneself.
Fey take debt very seriously. Debts can be from favors, from promises, and from saving one from death. Because Fey take debts so seriously, they do their best to stay out of them, or return the debt as quickly as possible. This is why Fey lack many manners that are considered to be vital in a polite environment. If a Fey is paying off a debt, they will not break the agreement or alliance until they have finished serving their debt. Once their debt has been paid off, whether a Fey remains friendly, or becomes deadly is up to them.
One also wants to avoid being in debt to a Fey. This is because a Fey will attempt to stretch out a debt for as long as possible. They enjoy the feeling of power, and feels like it makes them stronger. Some Fey will do nothing but attempt to trap other Fey and civilized creatures into debts. If a civilized creature does not take a debt seriously, or attempts to avoid or null it, Fey will usually get aggressive, even deadly.
Some debts are minor. Thanking a Fey for a meal means that one owes them a meal, or something of equal value. Some debts last much longer. A life-debt, from saving someone’s life, has serious repercussions. With a life-debt, the creature the debt is owned to (the savior) creates a one-sided contract with whatever terms they would like. The creature with the life-debt must then follow the contract until it is payed off, they are released, or until they die. Depending on the contract, some will seriously consider suicide over life-time enslavement. Some saviors will create contracts that are easily paid off. However, this is typically only seen if the savior is a civilized creature, who is capable of feeling compassion and kindness.
Fey use aliases or titles when they interact with others. This is to protect their true name. A true name is a name that a creature, civilized or Fey, considers their own. It is a part of their identity, a reflection of themselves. A Fey is not often given a name when they are born, since Fey in general will leave behind a child as soon as it can survive on its own. Instead, Fey choose their name when they are old enough, chanting their chosen name to themselves over and over again until it becomes their identity. However, names can change. Fey will change their names as their personalities change and grow, or as they desire. Some Fey will use multiple aliases or titles, to make sure that they don’t begin to identify that alias as their true name.
True names can be used in magic with powerful consequences. They can be used to strengthen hypnosis abilities, tracking abilities, charms, and even weapons. By placing someone’s true name on a weapon, it increases that weapon’s accuracy towards that one person. Done correctly, it can even override the negative effects of iron on magic, making a weapon that is more accurate and inflicts iron burns. Silver, however, will always be stronger than a true name. Gold can increase the power of a true name, which is especially handy for charms, particularly wards.
It is always recommended to use a false name or a title when interacting with the Fey, or anyone who might spread one’s name to the Fey. It is also important to choose a true name that would not easily be guessed.
In Themble, the use of aliases has been forgotten since the Feylands were built. Therefore, they use their true name on a day-to-day basis. For instance, Ireen goes by her true name.
Most Fey consider themselves to be superior to civilized and mundane creatures. However, they do tend to have a healthy respect for the inventiveness of civilized creatures, even as they look down upon the weakness and stupidity that is their compassionate natures. Very few Fey believe that compassion is something to be jealous of. In fact, Fey will often attempt to use the emotions of the civilized to their advantage, to prey upon their generosity, pity, or feelings. More than one civilized creature has believed that their love with a Fey was real…only to find out it was all a scam.
As for mundane animals, Fey don’t typically see them worth anything besides food. Mundane animals are admired for their beauty, though. Songbirds are generally not eaten for their pretty songs. Fey do not typically raise mundanes for slaughter, but certain organized Fey will choose to domesticate mundane animals for riding or pulling carts. Some enjoy mundanes for the feel of their fur. For meat, Fey typically hunt, or steal from civilized creatures.