"...we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all." -Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Though few of the modern kith recall, the Sidhe were onces the masters of the seas. The Tuatha de Danaan gave mortals language, magick, herding, farming, riding and metal-working. However, the Shining Host also taught of boat construction and sailing, and many a battle against the Formorians, especially the revolting Green Court, were fought on the water. The Dreaming has claimed several memories of these ancient wars, and the Changeling Way has muddled fae history with the blood of man, but the Sidhe of House Dylan still recall.
The members of House Dylan were sailors, explorers, smugglers, and pirates. The worst of their number were Unseelie brigans, raiding mortal and Kithian ships alike for their Treasures and other booty. Others served on mortal ships as boatswains and crew-masters, while others made names for themselves as great adventurers, seeking the secrets of the Deep Dreaming. Their knowledge of the sea was invaluable in the war against the Green Court of the Formorians, and they worked to vanquish the various Sea Dragons which sometimes troubled the fae.
House Dylan also served as a crucial link between the Shining Host and the Courts of the Mer. Many of these Sidhe had ancient peace agreements with the Merfolk, acknowleging the seafae as the true rulers of the deep. Dylan rarely sent expeditions underwater, and the two Kiths bothered each other little. House Dylan was forbidden from fishing or even sailing in certain waters, and in return, the Merfolk taught the members of this House ancient magicks of the sea, which Dylan still uses to this day. They captained the awesome and magestic White Ships, with their long bows and billowing sails. Many of these fae even possessed an eerie ability to helm such ships alone, or call the ships to them when they were stranded, a fact which manifested itself within human lore of ghost ships without captain or crew, pale and lovely in the moonlight.
Sidhe of House Dylan are rarely remembered by the earthbound Houses, though it is said that House Scathach recalled their departure. During the Shattering, as Sidhe Houses fled the Earth, the members of House Dylan felt the Dreamsea call to them. They followed ancient Silver Trods which glistened beneath the waves, and set sail into the dreaming in their unearthly White Ships. Never returning to Arcadia, they knew nothing of its fate during the Interregnum. Some of their number maintained Isle Freeholds, which they closed the doors to forever, and became Lost Ones of the House. The majority of the House, however, spent 600 years within the Near and Far Dreaming, sailing the Seas of Silver, and uncovering the mysteries of them.
The Resurgence was a confusing time for this House, and a good number of Dylan have clearly not yet returned to the waking world. These Sidhe vaguely recall a compulsion to return to the moral realm, which was strongly at odds with their instinctual urge to wander the Dreamsea. Some speak of an ancient Treasure, the Horn Resounding, which was blown to call them back to Earth. Whatever the reason, just as the Trods opened in 1969, a few scattered Sidhe of House Dylan found themselves in the waking world once more. though they participated little in the Accordance War, some of them were able to reclaim long lost Isle Freeholds, hidden from mortal eyes on abandoned islands and hidden coves. Some of these Dylan Sidhe were quite blindsighted by their reappearance on Earth, but some found that their ships returned to them, given time, sailing alone back into the mortal lands, awaiting their masters once more.
Attitudes and Lifestyles
The only troubles the Dylan had in the old days arose from their legendary passion. Moody and unpredictable, these Sidhe have a strong attraction to beauty, and may become irrational when in love. Some Dylan Sidhe abandoned the surface world for the love of a striking mermaid, while others were more than content to have a lover waiting for them in every port. The impulsive nature of these Kithian in love earned them a questionable reputation; surely they were without peer in nautical matters, but was it worth the tavern brawls or the kidnapping of mortal women for the sake of exceptional navigators?
House Dylan mostly stays out of Kithian politics, and they have no representatives in the Parliament of Dreams. Some of their sages claim that at one point they had a High Lord, but no one has come forth to claim the title, as though they are waiting for his return. A few of them control a handful of isolated Freeholds, but even these rarely send representation to Parliament, though they often acknowledge the rule of the nobility without question. A few Dylan Sidhe have recieved honourary titles, but their love of the sea inevitably calls them away from control of even the tiniest fiefdom. They are pro-commoner, in that they are more likely to have dealinds with their own crew than other captains, but they try and stay out of politics as much as possible.
Hospitality is a matter of course among Seelie Dylan, who will hail any other ships they find, and invite other crews and captains to dine. The penchant of Dylan Sidhe for stealing away attractive members of the opposite sex from the visiting crew only causes problems, however. Unseelie Sidhe of House Dylan are likely to avoid other ships if they are smuggling goods (such as iron weapons) for the Unseelie Court, but may also engage in Seelie practices to confuse patrol ships looking for smugglers. The worst of them still engage in piracy, boarding other ships and stealing goods from them, and then imprisoning or executing the crew. Unseelie Dylan still take joy and pride in making prisoners walk the plank in chimerical shark-infested waters, and have an active slave trade in Enchanted mortals.
Sidhe are not the only members of this House, of course, though Dylan takes matters of others swearing membership to the House very seriously. It's not uncommon to meet Boggans and Eshu who have pledged allegiance to Dylan's banner as vassals. Occasionally, a noteable Troll or Redcap pirate has been welcomed into the Unseelie ranks of House Dylan as well, though these are rarer and rarer these days. To be formally inducted into House Dylan requires three Dylan captains to be present, with formal membership Oaths being sworn. When another fae swears allegiance to House Dylan, he undertakes a life-long devotion to the sea, thus only the heartiest of Kithian sailors are ever offered membership. Still, some Eshu seek out the privilege, giving up the road for the waves forever.
Though Dylan aren't as embroiled in mortal society as other Kithian, they may hold careers in the Navy, as sailors, fishermen, salvagers, ship builders, or even cruise directors. The Unseelie of the House may partake in the darker aspects of the water, prefering to engage themselves as smugglers, pirates, human traffickers, and rum runners.
House Boon and Ban
As with all Houses, House Dylan has a Boon and a Ban that comes with swearing loyalty.
House Dylan members are the undisputed masters of the Dreamsea, and are skilled in navigating mortal oceans as well. They recieve 2 extra dice for all rolls involving sailing and sea navigation. They can roll Perception + Kenning to determine the sailing conditions on the seas of the Dreaming, which are always treacherous and likely to be reshaped by the Firchlis. In the Near Dreaming, the difficulty for this roll is a 5. In the Far Dreaming, the difficulty raises to 7, wheras the difficulty may go to 9 in the Deep Dreaming.
Members of House Dylan are notorious for their lack of control over their own passions. Their love of the sea is what presses them to return to it after a time, but their love of company sometimes compells them to strange trysts with others, which are almost inevitably doomed. "It is difficult to love two mistresses," the Dylan Sidhe say, and their passions create convoluted love lives. Some Dylan Sidhe maintain spouses in multiple ports who know little to nothing of their rivals. Other Sidhe of this House have brief relationships with mortals or other Kithian, which they then break off once they set sail again, leaving confused, upset, and angry lovers behind. In some situations, a member of this House may even become fixated on someone who is married or otherwise involved, and may profess their love for such a person at inappropriate times and places. Most Dylan Sidhe are more than willing to fight for their loves, and then just as willing to abandon them shortly afterward, with only a cursory explanation of why they must leave.
Some members of this House believe the easiest way to solve their problems is to marry someone they can take with them on voyages, but this is inevitably difficult. Most mortals can't bear a life at sea, and even other Kithian begin to long for dry land sooner or later. In some cases, Unseelie members of this House will even kidnap their "loves", who awaken aboard the ship and miles from shore, with no easy means of escape. A few Sidhe of this House have married other Dylan Sidhe, but even these relationships tend to be short-lived, as both spouses, have problems with wandering eyes. Some sages claim that a Dylan Sidhe can only find happiness in the love of the Merfolk, but these relationships are almost unheard of in this age.