The Nature of the Fae and the Wyrd
The Fae are not natural creatures. Or maybe they are just too natural. It's hard to tell. Apart from very rare cases, they do not originate from human souls, and are instead born straight from the Wyrd. They are inherently solipsistic - they cannot feel empathy for anything other than themselves, and they cannot truly feel any emotion other than boredom. Any Fae that seems to be otherwise is acting, purely for its own amusement. There are only two social rules among the Fae: uphold your Contracts, and be entertaining.
The Wyrd is the metaphysical embodiment of Time and Fate. It is the one irrefutable natural law present in the Fae home of Arcadia. Things can only interact beneficially in Arcadia if the parties involved have a Contract with each other. A fire will not warm someone without a Least Contract between the two, and a Least Contract of Food is required to gain any sustenance from eating. More powerful Fae are, of course, able to barter higher services from the Aspects of Reality they deal with.
Despite all being born individually from the Wyrd, some Fae claim relation to each other. This is just another Contract at work. The Fae to be a family simply make a Contract, and it has always been so. As far as everyone in Arcadia is concerned, the Fae involved have always been related, and no Contract was sworn to make it happen. It just was.
Being as self-serving and self-indulgent as they are, Fae rarely stoop to manual labour if they can avoid it, The Court of Copper being exempt. Powerful Fae will order lesser Fae to fulfil their whim, and those Fae in turn will try to pass it on. Of course, there has to be an end to this cycle, and it is here that the Fae role as British psychopomp comes to the fore.
Fae do not only pass souls on to the afterlife. They also steal the souls of still living humans, often through trickery or a Contract loophole, and bring them to Arcadia. There, they are forced into work, either doing the manual chores the Fae themselves cannot be bothered to do, or used as a source of entertainment. The Fae casually use their Contracts to make their new slaves more fit for their duties and new home, turning them into hunting hounds, eldritch abominations, a golfing green, or whatever they currently require as they see fit. Sometimes they shove hollows into their new toys, just to see what will happen. Sometimes they make hollows, just to see what will happen.
Ultimately, it all comes down to doing what is entertaining.
As an aside, Fae do not possess reiryoku or reiatsu. Instead, they possess a fragment of the power of the Wyrd within them, which performs much the same to the reiatsu and reiryoku of spiritual beings. It differs only in its ancient and mind-numbingly alien feel.
Arcadia and The Thorns
The Fae reside in Arcadia, a realm of arcane beauty that is simultaneously maddeningly horrific. The sheer beauty, majesty and scope of the architecture and landscape can reduce a man to a gibbering wreck. Like all things in Arcadia, the realm itself is bound by the Wyrd and by Contracts.
Every Fae of the Grand High Court or the High Court possesses a Realm. There will typically be some sort of palatial structure at its centre, but not necessarily. Within this Realm, the Fae does at it wishes. The landscape, and everything in the Realm conforms to the Fae's wishes, and he knows everything that occurs within it. These Realms do not border each other, nor do they interact with each other, but they do border on the common land of the Arcadian Fields. In the centre of this seemingly infinite plain, the various Copper Court armies of the higher ranking Fae do eternal battle for the entertainment of their masters, around the central Assembly of the Family Most Wyrd. In this structure, the Wyrd itself sometimes dwells in manifest shape, and it is as close to a place of government as the Fae come.
Here, Old Man Oath or the Wyrd itself will summon the Gentry of the High Court and the Grand High Court to discuss matters of import, and to come to a decision regarding them.
Accessing Arcadia is not easy. The only way in is to find a way through the Thorns. The Thorns are a forest-like maze of briars, brambles and other flora. The thorns of the place literally eat away at the soul if they scratch you, taking the memories of the weak and draining the reiryoku of the strong. The Thorns are also psychotropic, responding to the emotions of those within it. Those frightened in the Thorns will find the environment becoming more intimidating. Also, the place is inhabited. Colloquially known as Hobgoblins by the Fae, the denizens of the Thorns are often, but not always, failed Fae experiments, or toys that outlasted their entertainment value. Things vaguely resembling creatures of myth can be found prowling the Thorns, as can the twisted remnants of what were once men.
Likely because of the Wyrd's semi-temporal nature, instantaneous travel to Arcadia itself is impossible. Any attempts to do so will result in the party involved finding themselves in a random part of the Thorns.
The Grand High Court of the Fae, The Court of Gold
The Grand High Court, also known as the Court of Gold, typically consists of the ten Fae crowned at any given time. At the current time, however, one Crown is missing, leaving only 9 Crowned Fae in the Court. The chance to possess a second Crown has lead to vicious infighting and power struggles within Grand High Court, which have only intensified recently as Old Man Oath excused himself from the debate for a while. Aside from their Crowns, the Grand High Courtiers are noted all possessing a Supreme Contract related to their Crown.
Old Man Oath, The Hierophant of the Truesworn Rune, His Most Illustrious Majesty of Grand High Court of the Fae, Patriarch of the Family Most Wyrd.
Teller of Woven Tales, The One Who Ignores the Fourth Wall.
Miaren Rose, Mistress of the Shifting Vale of Roses.
The Sad-Eyed Gentleman, Sovereign King of Despair.
The King of the Wild Hunt, The Supreme Hunter.
Meshugah, the Rock of Ages, Lord of Enduring Stone
Mw'yvan Brillya, Sovreign Lord of the Earth.
The High Court of the Fae, The Court of Silver
These Fae are still nobles and entitled. While they have no Crown, some members do have a Supreme Contract. They number around 150, but possess significantly less raw Wyrd than the Grand High Court.
The Court of the Fae, The Court of Copper
The Copper Court consists of all other denizens of Arcadia. Lesser, untitled Fae and captured human souls alike are placed in this Court, which ranges from slave to doctor to soldier to barrister in its membership.
Owynn ap Morrigna (Former, deceased).
Fae power revolves around Contracts. Any Aspect of Reality can be bound into a Contract, but the extent of a Fae's control over it depends on the complexity of the Contract:
Minor: Basic stuff - the kind of abilities (airwalking, not eating/breathing, basic superhuman strength and toughness, etc) that can be taken for granted. There's generally no need to include these on character profiles unless you want to.
Adequate: The sort of stuff that might show up as an outstanding base ability - above average superhuman speed, or strength, or senses, or very basic control of an element. Most Gold and Silver Court Fae will have a few worth mentioning.
Average: Around Shikai level in terms of power. Again, most Gold and Silver Court Fae will have a few worth mentioning.
Major: Around Bankai level - however, most Bankai have more than one ability, while a single Major Contract is more one-dimensional. Most high-level Silver Court Fae will have one. Gold Court fae can have two or even three.
Supreme: Gamebreakers, were it not for a drawback of some kind. Generally work out as Cool But Impractical, or a Useless Useful Spell. Most often this is becoming an embodiment of the subject of the contract, with all its drawbacks. At most, a Gold Court Fae will have one of these.
Most Fae possess the Minor Contract of Stone and at least an Adequate Contract of Celerity if they wish to be combat capable. The former bestows superhuman strength, and the latter speed comparable to a shunpo or sonido. Later grades of stone provide further strength boosts, physical toughness and eventually something comparative to hierro.
Fae are weak to the grounded nature of iron. Any pure iron weapon (i.e. not steel or any other iron alloy) will completely disregard any protective Contracts a Fae may be using. Hand-forged iron is even more devastating. Hand-forged iron is iron that, after having been smelted, is hammered into shape through nothing other than a hammer, raw strength and patience. Not only does it bypass Fae magic as pure iron does, it also leaves terrible wounds in the flesh of those Fae it injures.
Rather than bleed from these wounds, small manifestations of their main Contract will leak out of their body - for example, an insectile Fae would let out a swarm of flies when wounded by a hand-forged iron weapon. These wounds take a long time to heal, cannot be healed through any supernatural method, and are exceptionally painful.