The Four Monarchs of the Great Court

Katrina Yeoman, the Green Lady

Katrina Yeoman's father was a stockbroker, her mother was a magistrate, and her maternal grandfather a baronet descended from a boon companion of King Charles II. With such a background, as she says defensively, she had a lot to rebel against, which is why she took to the 1970s Punk movement like a duck to water. Her Keeper, she thinks, was drawn to her by her wildness, her disdain for social convention, and her love of life

The Spring Court might not seem like a natural fit for a Darkling, but as Katrina herself says, you never feel so alive as when you're staring into the darkness with your heart hammering in fear. The only constant in her life is her partying - not just punk any more, but jazz, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, forties revival.... she does them all. A Mirrorskin, she's seldom seen out wearing the same face twice, let along the same outfit, although in Court she tends to revert to her "natural" form, an auburn-haired beauty with snow-white skin faintly tinged with green

She's considered the weakest and least effective of the Four by many changelings - although not the more perceptive, who wonder how an airheaded party girl could have accumulated so much political power in the ten or so years since she escaped from Arcadia. Nobody's ever caught her overtly politicking, she always just... seems to be in the right place at the right time. But perhaps she's made more of her own remarkable luck than many suspect. A party, after all, is a great place to make friends - or overhear things...

Michael Grevane, the Scarlet Lord

Michael Grevane wanted to be an actor, and possessed talent enough to spare. Growing up in 1970s London, the son of Jamaican immigrants, he encountered plenty of racism, but even the bigots had to admit that his performance of Henry V, in the school play when he was sixteen, was a stunning tour-de-force.

His parents, though, had other ideas. His family was hard-working, loving and close-knit, but not very imaginative. They wanted Michael to have a solid future and steady employment, not the sometimes-precarious life of an actor. At their urging, he became a barrister, a trial lawyer. Somewhat to his surprise, he found that his talent as a performer was immensely useful in swaying juries and even the occasional judge, and that was enough of an outlet to leave him content with his life, if not especially happy with it

He finally realized his dream of being a performer, but at a terrible cost. His Keeper snatched him away into what he ironically refers to as "A Midsummer Night's Mare", honing and enhancing his nnatural abilities to make him even more entertaining.

If he can trust his memories, he finally escaped by using Henry V's speech to his troops at Agincourt (or something very like it), to rouse his fellow captives to revolt. He thinks the fight to win his liberty was a fierce one, although only disconnected flashes of it linger in his mind.

A Fairest of the Muse Kith, he's easily the most personally charismatic of the ruling Four, but some of the more perceptive Lost have noticed that his talents like primarily in motivating others, rather than taking action himself.

His Fae mein is little different from his mortal Seeming; a handsome black man with a neatly trimmed beard and compelling brown eyes. But his fae appearance seems perfected, somehow - or, as some of the younger and more irreverent members of the Court put it, "Airbrushed" and "Photoshopped", with every flaw and imperfection smoothed away, and his tremendous personal magnetism enhanced.

Gwendolyn Leaford, the Gold Lady

A Snowskin of the Elemental Seeming, Gwendolyn Leaford is taken for the White Lady rather than the Gold by newcomers to the Court, for her fae mein is pure white - skin, nails and hair alike - with only her eyes, the blue of the arctic sky, providing a trace of colour. Her Seeming is almost as pale, although her hair seems white-gold to mortal eyes.

Back in the eighties, she was a simple barmaid, working for a bar owner in the City who had an uncanny - almost supernatural, some of his victims whispered - way of ferreting out the dirty secrets of the City whiz-kids he served, and using them for blackmail.

Or so it appearaed. Actually, Gwendolyn Leaford was a talented hedge witch with a talent for scrying and mind-affecting magic. Within three weeks of starting work in the bar, she'd made its owner her thrall. She was the hidden hand behind every piece of blackmail he ever attempted, and the profits went into her bank account, not his.

Her Keeper was supposed to be one of her victims; she never realized until it was too late that he was more than just another young City stockbroker, ripe for exploitation. Her use of fear and subtle manipulation intrigued him, and he took her back to his kingdom of ice to show her just how much she had to learn about both. It was his misfortune that she learned her lessons too well. Somehow - she still doesn't recall how, and the thought that she might have incurred a debt that she has yet to repay worries her sometimes - she conspired to introduce the element of fire into his frozen world, terribly injuring him and allowing her to make her escape.

Since her return to the mortal world, she's found that her old magic doesn't work for her as it once did, but her new power to manipulate the Wyrd more than compensates for the loss of the paltry abilities she had before. She is, by a large margin, the most proficient sorceress of the Four, as well as being their most subtle (and amoral) manipulator

Aislin Keldane, the White Lady

Aislin Keldane came to London during World War Two. A nurse, she bore the brunt of caring for the most horrific injuries suffered by the civilians caught in the Blitz, as well as the returning soldiers.

She doesn't remember her abduction, or much of her time in Arcadia. She knows, from research she's done since returning to the mortal realm, that the wing of the hospital where she was working was damaged by a German bomb, and that it was assumed that she'd been killed in the explosion. She assumes that her Keeper must have somehow snatched her out of the hospital seconds ahead of the blast.

Her fragmentary recollections of Arcadia suggest that she was used as both a test subject and dispenser of experimental medical treatments, although she doesn't know if the procedures were truly intended to heal anyone or whether they were simply for the amusement of her captor. She doesn't clearly recall how she escaped, either - she thinks perhaps that she revived unexpectedly after the latest experiment left her as good as dead - but she found herself back in London in the late 1980s, half a lifetime after she'd left.

The culture shock was profound, and the Winter Court's philosophy of concealment probably appealed to her because of it. Her time in Arcadia had left her one of the Wizened - her face, in her fae mien, looks like a great mass of fine, fine lines, white and desiccated - but her medical skills had increased a dozenfold.

After a time, she returned to work as a nurse. A skilled Chirurgeon, she was able to use her position to help people while remaining comfortably under the radar. Under her guidance, the Winter Court frequently act as hidden "Good Samaritans", doing good deeds whose recipients never know to whom they should be grateful.