Although elven culture is diverse, stratified, and lacks central authority, they are unified by an ancient protocol collectively called The Courts (although they are more commonly referred to as the Seelie Court or the Unseelie Court depending on which faction is being referenced). The Courts go back through time immemorial, some say they evolved with the origin of elves, but the fey are notorious for poor record keeping and a predilection for what is interesting over what is truthful, so no one really knows.
Although divided between the Seelie and Unseelie, there are a few independents among the fey. The Seelie say their number is small and inconsequential, not really worth thinking about, really, but the Unseelie say the independents are much more numerous and will soon join the Unseelie Court in a great uprising against the Seelie. As is currently used, the term court applies to each group as a whole: a metaphorical court. It is thought that long ago, the Seelie and Unseelie held great courts in palaces and halls together; everyone agrees on this although no one can remember how long ago it was.
The Seelie are supposed to be noble and just, representative of the day and the sun. They are thought of as meticulous long-term planners, although in reality this applies to the leaders of both Courts and the lower echelons are as likely to live day by day as not.
The Unseelie, or Winter Court, represent darkness and fear, unordered chaos and unhindered spontaneity. The commoners have a perhaps unfair reputation for being crude and earthy. Although members of both Courts tend to be strongly emotional (at least that’s what they say), an Unseelie emblematic of her Court should give free reign to expressing her emotions.
Both Courts are supposed to be mischievous, but the Winter Court’s often leans more towards the devilish and darkly wicked. A member of the Courts, Seelie or Unseelie, must abide by an oath they swear or sign and the Seelie are just as likely as the Unseelie to only obey the letter, not the spirit of the vow (the Unseelie say they are more likely).
The bastions of Seelie power can be found along the coast, among loosely affiliated city-states that sometimes forget to acknowledge each other’s existence and powerful local religious leaders that lead madmen in cults.
The Unseelie mainly reside in the West, among the thick tropical forests. Even the Unseelie are unsure of what their relationship to one another is, but there are several rumors that the powerful goblin queens have forged strong alliances with one another and the region’s dragonborn.
The reality of modern Sapucaia Roca is that the differences between the Courts are not so clear cut. There are stodgy goblin tinkerers who seem to express nothing but contempt and wince at the thought of disorder and Seelie princesses with unrivaled Joie-de-vivre, but who have trouble remembering their friends names. Membership in a Court is a matter of political expediency more often than not. Sometimes fey do switch Courts and everyone pretends this is a rare and grave matter, but it is neither.
There are festivals for the Courts, with the Seelie parties well-known and planned for like holidays and the Unseelie celebrations uncountable, secretive, and usually exclusive. Rare galas include members of both Courts. These are the largest and most wondrous affairs, usually with hardly any deaths to speak of.
It’s considered bad form to go to war with a member of your own Court, that’s what the other Court is for. However, passions run high during disagreements and there are often any number of “cold wars” going on between members of the same Court. All disagreements are supposed to be put aside during festivals , but no one wants to waste what is considered a prime opportunity for scheming, back-room alliances, gaining favors, and treachery.