For decades, the fae courts of Sage and Foxglove have been at odds with each other, each ruling over the winter and summer seasons, respectively. That is, until Sorrel of the Sage Court invites you to participate in their interactive game show, A Battle of Wits, mid-spring — a week before the Foxglove Court’s First Ball of Summer, and Wisteria of the Foxglove Court is not happy. The game show goes off the rails when Wisteria and the Foxglove fae interrupt the event, never getting back on track as tensions rise between the two court leaders before Kestrel, Sorrel’s assistant, hurries the arguing leaders out. Afterwards, both courts reach out to you with a chance to prove your wit or charm and ally with one court or the other.
As the week continues, Juniper, Wisteria’s advisor, sends you an invitation to the first Ball of Summer. As the Sage Court is also invited, both courts send you the opportunity to upgrade your ticket and further your alliance with either Sorrel or Wisteria.
You’re then summoned to a preparation meeting where you learn some fae customs and history, though some questions remain unanswered. What’s going on between Sorrel and Wisteria? Who’s that intern (Crabapple, is it?) who seems to be working for both courts? And where is Iris, Queen of all the fae?
The day of the ball, Wisteria presents a dance telling the tale of Queen Iris: a human who met the fae and fell in love with Sorrel and Wisteria, but who tragically grew old and died a human death, breaking their hearts and driving a wedge between the two courts in an argument of how to best honor her. The fae have been without a queen ever since. The performance goes off without a hitch until Sorrel and the Sage Court arrive. Wisteria reluctantly agrees to a dance with Sorrel, and by the end of it, the two leaders seem happier than ever.
As the festivities continue and the courts grow closer, Kestrel announces that she’s looking for her penpal, and Juniper reveals himself as her correspondent. While Kestrel and Juniper don’t care that the other is from the rival court and are delighted by their new friendship, Sorrel and Wisteria are upset and begin bickering, only to be interrupted by their intern, Crabapple.
Crabapple has their own version of Queen Iris’s story that they want to tell. According to them, Queen Iris was once a human woman named Alice Thomas. She was born in the 1860s and was abducted by the fae from her loving family when her son, Alexander, was only eight years old. Revealing their identity — Alex Thomas IV, great-grandchild of Alice — and their own court, Alex vows to take the vacant queenship for themselves and destroy the fae once and for all.
With the ball ruined, Sorrel and Wisteria end the festivities. They later explain that Iris joined the fae willingly and that they loved Iris as she loved them. Each court sends an excerpt of Queen Iris’s journal to shed light on her life with the fae. Now, as Alex’s coronation approaches, all that stands between the grieving fae and a descendant hungry for revenge, is you.
As the first game without eliminations, winning teams worked a little differently this year — each court had its own champion! Congratulations to:
- The Champion of the Sage Court: ghos moust, who wrote three incredibly clever riddles in verse.
- The Champions of the Foxglove Court: Regular Squirrels, who embodied beauty and charm throughout, and Anti-Square Society, who demonstrated wonderfully graceful calligraphy skills.
- The Champion of Alex Thomas IV’s Court: The Wandering Light, who composed a moving and convincing speech to Alex, and lovingly addressed it “XOXOXO”.
- wug, for completing the extra challenge to join Alex’s Court as a solo team and doing their best to get Alex to see the other side of things, exchanging some wonderful emails in the process.
- Just Elliot, a one-player team who composed a daunting false trail… that ultimately tricked teams into making a hilarious Twelfth Night reference.
- Solve the Sage Court’s crossword puzzle and the Foxglove Court’s spot-the-difference puzzle, and solve each court’s ball invitation challenges!
- Learn the fae’s custom of origami flowers – but which side is the right side up? Depends on which court you ask…
- Read the century-old journals of Queen Iris, and discover how she became queen!