Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities
I was so hard to please
Don’t look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
– Gerard Way (feat. Ray Toro), “A Hazy Shade of Winter”
The Shadow Court is not a true Court in the sense of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. It was founded during the Interregnum by disgruntled members of the Unseelie Court as a way to mock the Seelie Court’s refusal to cede rulership during the winter and autumn months. Each year during Samhain, the Shadow Court assembled to rule for one night of revelry. It bestowed honorary titles on everyone who attended the celebration. Pranks were played, sometimes in jest and at other times scathing, at the expense of those in power. Tournaments were held, and feasts were provided. A merry time was had by all while allowing the disenfranchised a chance to air grievances and have an outlet for their frustrations.
In modern times, their only goal is to force a response from those capable of alleviating some of the suffering. They take inspiration for their tactics from, and inspire in turn, the protests of similar groups in human society — the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter to name a few. Whenever the Shadow Court discovers a high-ranking noble will make a public appearance, they gather in numbers impossible to ignore to disrupt the proceedings. The aim is to show the elites of Kithain society that they exist and that they will not submit to their circumstances quietly.
Rumors are whispered by some who refuse to join the Shadow Court that other, more sinister proceedings happen each Samhain. They say the true masters of darkness come out that night, shrouded by the safety of the Mists, to direct the Shadow Court to its original purpose — the downfall of Kithain society.
The Black Court
The rumors about the Shadow Court are not far from the truth. While it wasn’t founded by the Thallain, it was soon taken over by them. The Thallain were invited to join by the Shadow Court’s Unseelie founders who thought the Thallain were so few and so mindless they would make useful, if crude, tools. The Thallain, while rare at the time, were not as stupid as the court’s founders thought. They quickly recognized the Shadow Court’s potential to destabilize the Kithain. They usurped the original founders but made sure to keep their existence hidden from the rest of the Shadow Court. They adopted the name of the Black Court in honor of their absent Fomorian masters. Today they direct Thallain activity across the world while fracturing Kithain society from their place atop the Shadow Court.