An essay on The Aether Court, by Professor Bartholomew Horatio Cottingley, 1898
Even in these enlightened times, there are some amongst us who still believe in magic. Truth be told, such beliefs are not misguided. Since Emma Forrester first drew back the veil almost two decades ago, the existence of aether — and those beings who draw from its unlimited well of power — has come to be understood as the source for many tales, myths, legends and dare I say even religious beliefs of our forebears.
Indeed, let me expand upon that last point a little. Whilst I am a faithful and devout member of the Church, it is an undeniable truth that many belief systems across our globe are based on threads that stretch back so far through time they are fragile at best, and broken at worst.
Lest I cross some boundary patrolled by our benevolent Sisters of Mercy however, I shall posit only the theory that the denizens of The Aether Court are, in most if not all cases, the original spinners of those many threads that still brush against our beliefs to this day.
Consider but one example. Naya, The Flower Queen; Goddess of the Coral Shore and holder of several other, equally obtuse titles. Consider her countenance, her lineage and the circumstances of her birth (as told, at least, to Ms Forrester.)
Springing fully formed upon an idyllic beach, froth lapping at her feet. Beauteous beyond all measure, captivating to a magnificent degree. Consider also her relationship with Yris, the King of Clubs and personification of war, and her dalliance with the Knave of Diamonds, Luagann, the smith of The Aether Court.
With the above in mind, is it any wonder to those with even a passing knowledge of myth that Naya could be the origin for Aphrodite, the beauteous goddess of the ancient Greeks? Similarly, could Yris, with his grim countenance and thunderous hammer, be mistaken not only for Ares but also for Thor of the Norse? Perhaps even Luagann, with his eternal furnaces and metal-scarred limbs, is the origin of the myths of Hephaestus and of Lugh of the Irish?
I leave the reader to draw their own parallels, and encourage further reading and study into the many secrets, personae and attributes of those mysterious beings we have come to recognise as The Aether Court.
And, even though I may risk a visit from our dearly beloved Sisters, I tentatively ask the most diligent of students to consider Y’ssu, the King of Hearts, the Twice-Born Son, the Beloved Spirit and the Vessel of the Martyred Blood, and to ask that eternal question: how much of our world and all that has come before can we truly say we fully understand?