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Puck

Puck

Puck is... well, the Puck, whose status tends to depend on who you ask. To some, Puck is a sidekick. To others, a villain. To still others, a guardian. To most, though, he's Oberon's jester and a mischievous pain in the neck.

The Puck is a Child of Oberon in more than the usual sense. The King of the Faeries found a young Greek child three thousand years previously and invited him to come with him to be his friend and play forever. He made him his changeling, a human-turned-faerie, and made him his close companion.

Unusually, Oberon made young Puck into a hobgoblin, a rather aggressive and territorial species of faerie more commonly known for its bloodlust rather than its social skills, rather than a more gentle species. He did this because as the King's changeling, Puck would need to be able to defend himself and sometimes him against faeries who disagreed with Oberon's politics. Puck's hobgoblin instincts are kept in check by his connection to his King, turning his nature from malicious predator to a more benign penchant for mischief.

As a changeling, Puck learned to utilize faerie magic, or Glamour, to various ends. These included shapeshifting, a favorite weapon in a trickster's arsenal. His ability to change form let him pull tricks on anyone he liked, including other faeries and most especially humans.

For a time, Puck was close friends with a powerful faerie within Oberon's court, a green-skinned fey named Elva. However, this friendship came to an end when it was discovered that Elva, now styling herself Maleficent the Mistress of All Evil, was discovered to be using dangerous dark magic. Puck and a trio of faeries by the names of Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather were charged with evicting Maleficent from Oberon's Court, much to the hobgoblin's unhappiness.

Puck became aware of the war between the Friends on the Other Side and the High Council very early on. As a member of Oberon's Court, however, he is not supposed to get involved in the conflict. He does anyway, on occasion, by putting one of his infamous tricks in place to ruin the plans of one side or the other. Sometimes he even does this on Oberon's orders, when the War gets too close to Faerie territory. Most often, however, he does it of his own accord when he gets bored.

Throughout the centuries the Puck has been interacting with faeries and humans alike, often crossing swords (and claws, and fangs) with members of Nicnivin's faerie court, which was opposed to that of Oberon and his queen Titania. Puck's loyalty to his lord caused much tension between him and other hobgoblins, who exclusively sided with Nicnivin. The same fact of his hobgoblin nature tended to put him at odds with many faeries of Oberon's own court, who regarded him with the same amount of goodwill one might afford a ticking time bomb. Regarded as a traitor by the hobgoblins and a lurking threat by his king's subjects, Puck came to spend more and more time among mortals, entertaining himself by playing tricks on them when Oberon didn't have need of his services. Sorcerers and mages were his favorite targets, because the possession of magic tended to inspire a sense of invulnerability and superiority in humans that Puck found irresistible.

One such sorcerer was Maxim Horvath, a powerful Morganian. Puck and Horvath had several run-ins over the years. In the 1920s, Puck attended a party and interacted with the sorcerer. While they were talking, Horvath tricked Puck into a contract that would force him to help him capture his rival, Balthazar Blake. Puck played along with it for a short time, but warned Balthazar that Horvath was coming for him, allowing the Merlinean sorcerer to capture Horvath within the Grimhold. Puck was disconcerted by this- to him, it was dishonorable just to capture an enemy. In his view, one should either kill an enemy outright or let him go to fight again.

Later that century, he discovered Titania dallying with a mortal named Renard. To keep an eye on the situation, Puck created a new role for himself based on Renard's assistant Preston Vogel, reasoning that, out of all the roles he had ever played, he'd never been 'the straight man'. Puck found that he greatly enjoyed his time as Owen Burnett, to the point that when David Xanatos, the boyfriend of the Renards' daughter Fox, asked that Owen stay on in his service, Puck agreed.

Owen served Xanatos faithfully, assisting him in his myriads of elaborate schemes. A more loyal assistant could not be asked for. He treated the mastermind much as he treated Oberon. Whatever Xanatos asked, Owen did for him, even if it meant sacrificing a hand to the Cauldron of Life in order to test its ability to grant immortality. Owen's hand was turned to stone by the cauldron, which caused Puck some trouble until he was able to remove the magic on it. He thereafter used his Glamour to maintain the illusion that Owen's hand was still stone.


Upon the birth of Xanatos's son by Fox, Oberon and Titania arrived to take the part-faerie child away to live amonngst the Court. Forced to choose between his master and Xanatos's family, Puck chose to stand with the mortals. Oberon was greatly angered, and bound his power so that he could neither return to the Court nor use his magic unless he was training or protecting young Alex, whom he was charged with guiding. Though pained by how his master treated him, Puck resigned himself to living a mortal life as Owen Burnett. Over time he came to realize that something was missing in his faerie life. Exactly what it was, he could not lay his finger on it.

Oberon, realizing that he missed his jester's presence at Court, relented on his punishment after a few years and freed him from the geas he'd laid upon the hobgoblin. Unfortunately, things were never entirely the same between master and servant after that.

Puck was rapidly becoming dissatisfied with merely being Oberon's changeling. More and more often his act as his jester was that- an act, and a mask. Though he enjoyed being a trickster, there was a certain emptiness about it now. He realized that he had quite liked being Owen, having a human life and work. More importantly, he had quite loved his time as Alexander Xanatos's guardian. Faeries love children, though only a few of the greatest Old Ones (like Titania) are able to produce them.

Though Puck has returned to his duties, splitting his time between Oberon and Xanatos's family, there's a new edge of rebellion in the ancient trickster. In defiance of his Lord's decrees, he is planning to start meddling in the War with more of a vengeance than usual. His own nature makes him partial to the side of good, but he will never formally ally himself with the High Council. If he ever sees an opportunity to meddle in the plans of the Friends, however, he will take it gladly.

Woe betide anyone who gets in his way.

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