The Sidhe Courts are the governing body of the Sidhe race. There are four main members of each Court: The Mother (the Queen Who Was), the Queen (Who Is), the Lady (The Queen Who Will Be), and the Knight. The Knight is the only human member of the Sidhe Courts. Because the permanent members of the Courts cannot directly involve themselves in human affairs, the Knight is their ambassador in the human world and acts on their behalf.
Currently, only the Queen and Lady of both Courts are known by name. The Queens are Titania (Summer) and Mab (Winter) and the Ladies are Aurora (Summer) and Maeve (Winter).
Both Sidhe Courts are located in an invisible world called Faerie that exists on a plane parallel to the world of humans. The locations of the courts are highly secretive and nomadic depending on the time of the year. However, those who are not permanent members of either court (called "wyldfae") can be found throughout the magical world. Wyldfae often live underground in faerie mounds (usually each tribe has one mound) or living among humans outside of the courts.
The Summer Court is often beneficent toward humans. They warn those who accidentally offend them and often return human kindness with favors of their own. Still, a fairy belonging to this court will avenge insults and can be prone to mischief. The Summer Court comes into power just after midwinter and rules the faerie world until they reach the height of their power at midsummer. They are associated with the element of fire. The lands where their court is situated are bright, sunny, warm, and lush with vegetation. Most of the lesser creatures who would align themselves with Summer are typically not malicious, but can seem so when they involve themselves in mortal affairs.
The Winter Court consists of the malicious and evilly-inclined faeries. Unlike the Summer Court, no offense is necessary to bring down their assaults. As a group (or "host"), they sometimes appear at night and assault travelers, often carrying them through the air, beating them, and forcing them to commit such acts as shooting elfshot or cattle. The Winter Court comes into power at just after Midsummer and rules until Midwinter. The lands of Winter resemble a tundra or frozen wasteland, with the centre during the height of Winter's power being Arctis Tor, a massive fortress made of black ice.
Wyldfae are members of the sidhe race who are not permanent members of either of the Sidhe courts. They are only required to swear loyalty to a court during times of war, but even then lesser members of the wyldfae are permitted to swear loyalty to their liege lord or tribal leader, and the lord or tribal leader then pledges fealty to either court. Most of them do freelance work instead, capable of choosing whichever side they want in a given conflict. During full-scale conflicts, the Wyldfae feel a "calling" which drives them to choose one side or the other. If they are forced to choose sides in a war between Summer and Winter, they will align themselves with the faction most appealing to their personalities. Therefore the nastier and more murderous aid Winter over Summer.
The Sidhe exchange their mantle of power at a place called the Stone Table, located in a region of Faerie called Awnsidhe, twice a year, at Midsummer and Midwinter. Whichever Court is in control of the Table steadily gains in power, and in order to preserve the balance, the Summer Court hand it over at Midsummer, the height of their strength, and the Winter Court hands it over at midwinter, the height of their strength. This exchange is necessary to keep balance between the forces of the earth (seasons, etc.)
The power of any being killed upon the Stone Table goes instantly to the court which is currently in possession of the mantle of power.