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My mother killed her little son,
My father smiled when I was gone,
My sister loved me best of all;
She buried the family one and all.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who had no father or mother. All alone in a shack at the end of the village dwelt her godmother, a wicked and cruel woman, with just an ounce of heart. This woman wasn’t really a woman, but a disturbed Fae who made her keep amongst the living by spinning, weaving, and sewing. The old woman took the miserable child in, and put her to work on the loom.
So the years went by and the child eventually mastered the spindle; with it she drew fine lines of thread strong as wire. You had to get it right; else old mother Fay would cut off a finger as a lesson. The girl lost many fingers, but her thread was powerful, and she fashioned replacements soon enough.
Eventually, she also mastered the shuttle, even when her fingers were slick with blood. She had to get it right; else old mother Fay would rip her hair out and make her weave a tapestry from it. Many tapestries later, the girl mastered both arts, and fashioned herself the most beautiful head of hair.
Eventually, she mastered the needle, and hardly noticed when she stitched through her fingertips. You had to get it right, or the old mother Fay would leave you with open seams. Many stitches and many cuts later, the pincushion girl was the most beautiful in the land, and also the cleverest.
But she didn’t remain a docile creature, and she was slowly becoming her own master. One day, she would seek to be rid of the old tyrant woman. Old mother Fay had taken to sleeping at all hours of the day, but try as she might, the maiden couldn’t bring herself to challenge her.
One day as she was spinning, the solution came to her.
“Spindle, my spindle, haste thee away, and here to my house bring the woodsman, I pray.”
The spindle sprang out of her hand, and ran out the door, and she saw it dancing merrily away, drawing a golden thread behind it. Before long it vanished from sight, so she took the weaver’s shuttle in her hand, sat down to her loom and began to weave. Soon, she began singing another song.
“Shuttle, my shuttle, weave well this day, and guide the woodsman to me, I pray.”
Immediately, the shuttle sprang away and ran out the door. Before the threshold, it began to weave a tapestry that was more beautiful than the eyes of man had yet beheld. Lilies and roses blossomed on both sides, and on the golden ground in the centre, green branches ascended, where all kinds of creatures frolicked. In the leaves, brightly colored birds sat, lacking nothing but song. As she held the needle in hand, she sang another song.
“Needle, my needle, sharp-pointed and fine, prepare a crime to anger this woodsman of mine.”
The needle leapt out of her fingers and flew all over the shack, quick as lightning. It threw down the flowers, it turned over the pots, the windows were broken and the door was knocked open. The maiden took herself and began to unravel the seams that held her together. Very timely were her arts, for the woodsman soon gasped in awe outside, but in dismay when he entered the threshold.
“Who has done this to thee?!” She pointed a severed limb at the door to the cellar where the treacherous lazy mother Fay slept.
Old mother Fay was quite surprised when an axe severed her head from her shoulders.
The Courtless are a mixture of this and that. They were isolated from the other changelings, so they had to improvise and find on their own what worked for them. Many were abandoned, and many more had no choice regarding their time in the realm of Faerie. They learned incomplete lessons in Pride, Avarice, Wrath and Desire; as such, their bodies reflect this. Many are incomplete, or replaced with a mishmash of parts, not entirely human nor fae.
The Courtless are like mannequins or dolls, covered in stitches. This is all right, as each line or scar is a reminder of what happened, and how they fixed that problem.
They found it difficult to escape the lands of the Fae because they didn’t know better. They thought the realm of Fae was all there was. To escape, they had to dream of normalcy, they had to dream of something besides sick humor and pain. They had to climb out of what they thought was their lives, overcome what had been, and dream of something better. As such, they were born into the impossible, which is why they struggled. The struggle allowed becoming real to be possible.
Look back on the tale of the wooden boy, who only wanted to be real. He knew no better; he had no knowledge of what was evil, and what was good. He was a fool, but a lucky and crafty fool, and experience taught him plenty. He knows better now.