Most stories about the Fey, she told us, say there is a duality to the rulers that reflects the duality of Summer and Winter — a King who rules over Summer, and one who rules Winter, each with his own attributes, the Oak King and the Holly King, the husband and the sage. Oh, the stories differ on which aspect of the year is made flesh by one or the other, but the idea of one to rule the season is very, very old.
But what if there were two Queens, a Summer Queen and a Winter Queen? She told us that story just recently on one of those blustery nights where a blazing fire and a whiskey seem just right. The storyteller was dressed for early winter in a skirt that looked like falling oak leaves, a blouse in a brown dark as the bark on a spruce, and a hat like the black of the night sky.
She said that the Queens had ruled for time beyond knowing by any mortal. The Queens, she said, keep the balance of the Year from going askew. There are no sacrifices of Oak Kings, no fighting for dominance, as one queen cannot exist without the other. Oh, they do battle as they please — both have their sword fighters, mostly female, but they only do battle to first blood, and even that is rare, since both are peaceful sorts, one ruling the season of growth, one the season of rest.
She drank deeply of her whiskey, and finished off by stressing that her story of course was just a story, nothing more. Then she stood up and left us to think about it.