Tales from the Trident
The Autumn Court (Leaden Mirror, Ashen Court, Court of Fear)
The Autumn Court is just beginning to find its feet again after the death of its leader. Tom Hood quite literally was the Autumn Court, having led it since it was founded in the late 1940s. His murder at the hands of Deathless Ivan threw the Court into chaos, effectively decapitating any further attempts at revolution against the self-proclaimed King of Endless Summer. Reprisals against the Leaden Mirror were brutal, but mercifully brief: three of Tom Hood’s oldest and closest advisers were executed for their treason, and four more were exiled from Miami for “as long as summer shall endure.” Only now, years after the coup, is the Autumn Court re-emerging as a force within the city. Tom Hood left no choice of successor when he died (or if he did, it was left with one of the other dead or exiled changelings), and the aftermath of the coup left no one with a clear position of seniority to step forward and claim the throne. Those who made their bids all the same rent the Court of Fear into several internal factions and a quagmire of shifting alliances and broken oaths. Perhaps ironically, the Leaden Mirror was ruled by fear: fear of being on the losing side, fear of betrayal and, most of all, fear that whoever claimed the throne in the end would be unable to live up to the legend of Tom Hood. The recent emergence of Naamah, one of Tom’s youngest and most zealous disciples, as the Autumn Queen has helped to bring the Court back to some semblance of stability. The internal strife has been subsumed, but not forgotten by any means. The Autumn Queen has decreed that there shall be no continuation of the vendettas from previous years and that the Court must now focus on the future and the restoration of the freehold. The Autumn Court holds little in the way of actual “territory.” Most Court members live in the same general vicinity, with a high concentration in and around Coral Gables and the University of Miami campus, but the Court does not claim any part of the city as “theirs” the way the Summer and Winter Courts do. Naamah claims that this is because the city of Miami should be freely open to all changelings, while the pundits of the other Courts suggest that the Queen of Autumn is afraid of her inability to enforce such a claim.