25 Mab Square
Extract from emails between Judith Cromwell (head of the Bureau of Occult Affairs) and Stephen Jones, the head of the Civil Service
I thought this might amuse you. Rumour has it that the Inquisition is spreading the tale that any member of the Occult Crime Squad found with it in his possession is threatened with disciplinary action. That sounds like a complete overreaction, if true; though even in my short time here I've come to view some members of the OCS as profoundly paranoid. Would it be cynical of me to suggest that some may be encouraged by their logo to act like the worst kind of cowboys?
Amusing as it is, it seems a lot more disrespectful to the Seelie Court than to the Althing – should I consider that a reflection of the respective power of the two organisations, do you think? Or might it simply be put down to the proportion of magic cases as opposed to Were cases the OCS have to deal with?
Oh, and by the way - you're absolutely right about Peter Robson. He's a complete treasure on all things Were. I hope he doesn't take early retirement - I need him.
Brownie aka hobbit, hobgoblin
Nasty little characters often used to clear up crime scenes. This makes it virtually impossible for Scene of Crime Officers to find useful evidence. Mostly motivated by misplaced loyalty but many on the payroll of organised crime.
Elfhame aka Faerieland
Territory owned by the Seelie Court. Cannot be entered without an Order from a High Court judge and even then unsafe without a fay guide. This makes it virtually impregnable. The solution to many unexplained disappearances of suspect fay might be found here. One day.
Tuatha Da Danann (TDD)
The Irish gods. Pronounced tooha day dahnarn, or similar. See also Daoine Sidhe. Never talk to one alone, especially The Morrigan or Da Daghda. Don’t even think of contacting one without the authority of a senior officer. These people are highly connected trouble!
Chief of the TDD. Sloppy dresser. Never leave a woman constable alone in his company unless you want her to be on maternity leave within 8 months.
The North Sea culture gods. On the whole, not a bad bunch (but avoid Loki at all costs. Or anyone dressed in a wide brimmed hat and cloak). Less trouble than the TDD but, like all gods, get straight onto the Inquisition if you find yourself talking to one. And never, ever, take an oath in front of Tiw. Not without top notch legal advice.
Snappy dresser, but might be found driving a battered mini as soon as some sporty number. Knows a lot of luvvies and hangs around with gods from all over the place as much as his own crowd. Known to frequent low life clubs. Don’t leave any officer alone with this one as he’ll talk his way out of anything. Has been known to use police cars if the keys are left in them.
A particularly lowlife faerie trick of using magic to disguise themselves, usually as human. Can also be used to disappear into the woodwork. Literally. Always use a staff magician to locate them if magic suspected at any crime. Magic ointment also works, unless it’s a member of the Daoine Sidhe, for whom nothing except a senior magician is any sodding good.
Daoine Sidhe (DS)
Pronounced theena shee. Irish Elvish royalty. High Elves who live in minor palaces in mounds and lakes in Ireland. Servants of TDD who look after their property and business concerns. Slippery, streetwise customers with dangerous connections. Could be involved in anything and not be detected without highly expensive magic. Often well connected with the inner circle of the Seelie Court, if not in it themselves. Generally a drain on the budget if we’re to get any evidence on one of them.
British Elvish royalty. Virtually unlimited legal and magical resources at their disposal. They administer their own justice, within agreed limits. Never to be interviewed without the presence of at least a Detective Superintendent. Treat with extreme care and never, ever, accept an invite to interview in Faerieland alone. People have been known to disappear for years that way.
Nemeton aka Sacred grove.
Usually oaks, but often yew or ash and can be any kind of tree. If one becomes a crime scene DO NOT ENTER without obtaining a warrant and serving on the Custodian or owner. Details of ownership should be posted on one of the trees. Owner may be one of the trees. Shares certain tricky attributes with stone circles, as it’s easier to get into one than get out, unless you have authority. There’s something about these things that cause confusion even in experienced officers, so always take a staff magician.
Very, very dangerous and never to be approached alone. Usually High Elves or other faeries who’ve gone bad. Most of them fall under the influence of the so-called Unseelie Synod, which is virtually an organised crime ring. Serious Crime squad is working on penetrating this group, but so far it’s proved impossible. Contact senior officers if you get any useful information on a suspected member. On the whole, much safer to leave it to the Seelie Court to sort out anything involving an Unseelie. A total bugger.
The heavies in the hunts. A sympathetic Eldorman is worth his weight in gold for getting things done, as he’s got leverage over Thanes. An obstructive Thane is a pain in the arse, as they have access to good criminal lawyers.
The Big Bad Wolf of the Hunts, who want to treat you like you’re Little Red Riding Hood. Worse still, they’ve mostly got the brains not to do what they want to. And they’ve got the legal backup through their pack leaders. It’s not a good idea to kick them in the balls down a dark alley.
Wish Hounds/Gabriel’s Ratchets/Yell Hounds/Cwn Annwn/Wild Hunt etc
THEY DO NOT EXIST. If you hear them, leave the scene immediately and don’t return without assistance. But THEY ARE NOT REAL AND YOU WILL BE OK. Really.
See under “Wish Hounds”.
Selkies, magic swans etc
Stupid buggers who keep losing their skins. If you find a skin, hand it in to Lost Property – DO NOT WEAR IT AND DO NOT USE IT SLEEP WITH THE WOMEN. Not unless you want the boot. It may be fun, but it’s not worth it.
Bloody awful weather which clamps down as a result of magic. If you get a snowstorm in summer, it’s one of these. Break out the anoraks and watch out for trolls, as they hide in it.
Always offer to interview under geas, as well as a caution. Some courts will take note if a geas not to lie is refused. If interviewing the fay, always ask if they’ve got any existing geasa on them, as it can be damned inconvenient to come across one of these in the middle of an interview if you’re unprepared. Otherwise inexplicable and potentially suspect behaviour could just be the result of some damned geas. And never, EVER, allow one to be put on you. Remember: a geas is for life, not just for the investigation!
What Weres get at full moon. Don’t interview Weres with ‘fever: you won’t get much sense out of the buggers and you could end up damaged. And the judge won’t touch them for it if you do. Provocation, and all that rubbish. If you get an order to hold for questioning during full moon, the magistrate will extend until the fever passes.
Never, ever, enter one. Get the staff magician in to disable it. If you get caught in one, wait to be rescued, as you’ll find your radio won’t work. Neither will your watch. Neither will any damned piece of electrical equipment. So if you’re in one in a deserted house on a Friday night, prepare for a long wait. It’s your own fault.
© Alexa Duir 2006. All Rights Reserved.