piratekitten has declared February world-building month.
Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.
The question post is here.
The twenty-ninth question comes from librarygeek and is for Addergoole.
Keeping: Was it part of the original plan or it something fae? Is there any specific magical binding for Keeper and Kept? I just read a reference to ‘Hell Night’ and wasn’t caught so he should be home free. Is being caught at Hell Night how you get to be Kept?
Keeping is the effect of one of the Laws of Belonging.
The Laws are the rules which bind all Ellehemaei (fae); they fall in a few different categories, but the ones that interest us here are those of Belonging.
These laws state that a fae will first belong to its* Mother, then to its Mentor, and then to itself, but that a fae, once they belong to themselves, may choose to belong to another adult fae.
There are connotations to the word “belong” in the language used for the Laws (commonly called The Old Tongue) which include a sense of responsibility rather than just proprietorship; the word literally means “under another’s name,” and one who Belongs to another, either as their child, their student, or their Kept, is that person’s complete responsibility.
The ritual that makes two fae Keeper and Kept – at its most basic, a repeated statement of “you’re mine;” “Yes, I’m yours” – binds the Kept to the Keeper. Once Kept, a fae cannot disobey direct orders from its Keeper. The Kept feels bad if they disappoints or angers the Keeper, good if they are praised, and will often strive to please their Keeper at all costs.
The binding on Keeper is societal – if the Kept upsets or offends someone, it is the Keeper’s responsibility to ameliorate the problem. If the Kept breaks a law, the Keeper has to deal with the consequences. And the Keeper is responsible for making sure its Kept are fed, housed, clothed (if they so wish), and so on.
All of this covers Keeper and Kept relationships in the greater world outside of Addergoole, as they happen within what passes for fae society in the world.
“Hell Night” is a function of Addergoole.
Originally intended as a gentle hazing ritual to induce stress in new students – because stress is part of what causes juvenile fae to go through the Changes that make them full fae – over the years of the school, it has become a darker, more intense day of pranks, chases, and flat-out bullying, with an underlying secondary cause of enticing students who do not yet know about Keeping to agree to belong to someone for the year. So, in Addergoole, being caught on Hell Night is how you are often Kept, and the day in which the upperclassmen are the most intent on hunting down their new prey.
* Ellehemaei use a gender-neutral pronoun; the closest English has is “it.”
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/689925.html. You can comment here or there.