Ro-ha n' Feilae Gaela
Festival of the Moon's Chosen
For ages beyond remembrance, Cu Tailte was a monarchy. Its ruler was the Si an Cadhar, the Faerie of the Chair. The Si an Cadhar held a position equivalent to a monarch of absolute power in the human world. She or he had a council but its members did just that: they advised, gave recommendations. The final decision on any matter belonged to the Si an Cadhar. So it was important that the Faerie of the Chair be a wise ruler and a Faerie of high moral character. Because of that, Cu Tailte's throne was not gained through primogeniture or simple inheritance. The successor to the throne was chosen by the moon goddess, Gaela, during a sacred ritual.
In the seventh age of each generation, a great festival, Ro-ha n' Feilae Gaela, was held. It began on the night of the first full moon of Am n’ Solsae Airgid (the Time of Silver Lights). When the Moon was a half-step from her full height (just before midnight in human time), all the residents of Cu Tailte gathered on Noc nae Ofa, the Sacred Hill. Those who were candidates for the position of Si an Cadhar were arranged in a circle at the hill's pinnacle. No magical race other than Faeries was eligible--and only a small number of Faeries qualified. Called the Solsae den Cadhar (Lights of the Chair), the candidates consisted exclusively of faerylings (chidren) of the current Si an Cadhar and the her nieces and nephews.
When the Moon reached her high point in the sky, she shone her light on the face of one of the faerylings and a circlet of seven stars appeared around the child's head. The faerylng was proclaimed the An n' DAn, the Chosen of the Moon, the successor to the Si an Cadhar. A Unicorn always officiated at the ritual, as Cu Tailtans considered the Unicorns as a sacred race. The Faeryling's name was written in the Book of Wisdom and Knowledge kept by the Unicorns. Thus, when the current Si an Cadhar moved onto the Higher Realm, no one could question the An n' Dan's right to ascend to the Chair. Once Gaela, the Moon, revealed the identity of the future Si an Cadhar, the Cu Tailtans celebrated for the eleven nights, singing, dancing, and feasting in honor of the new An n' Dan.
The Festival of Ro-ha n' Feilae Gaela has not been celebrated in Cu Tailte now for nearly fourteen ages. During the Great Dragon War, Eithne, the last Faerie Queen of Cu Tailte, and Anya Gra Capall, her An n' Dan, were murdered by the invading Dragon King, Analainn. He slaughtered the An n' Dan first so when he killed the Si an Cadhar, she would have no successor. The Dragon intended to take advantage of the resulting power vacuum to seize the rule of Cu Tailte for himself. Eithne, realizing his plan once she heard of Anya's death, turned the governance of Cu Tailte over to her Council. Following her death, Cu Tailte ceased to be a monarchy, despite the insistence of the Rioga Si (Royal Faeries) that Eithne had meant only for the Council to take over until a new Chosen of the Moon could be named.
Nevertheless, the Ro-ha n' Feilae Gaela, complete with the Choosing Ritual, was held in the seventh age of the next generation after the Great Dragon War. The Si Comhaer-li (Faerie Council) tried to stop it but the people responded with a near-riot, so the Council allowed the festival to continue. Gaela shone her light on a four-ages old faerylng. Her mother declared that the faeryling was the Si an Cadhar rather than the An n' Dan since the Chair was empty. As the Faeryling was too young to rule, the mother proclaimed herself Regent until her daughter reached adulthood (seventeen ages old in Cu Tailte).
The Si Comhaer-li called the mother's pronouncements nonsense since Cu Tailte had ceased to be a monarchy, but she set up an alternate government in Caslain Solas n' Gaela, the late Queen Eithne's castle.
The populace divided into those who supported the Counciliar government and those who wanted a return to the old ways. Cu Taillte came to the brink of civil war but, after a nearly two ages long conflict, the self-proclaimed Regent relented in order to stop the growing death toll. However, she and the other members of the Rioga Si did not stop plotting to put the young Si an Cadhar on the throne, despite punishments and humiliations from the Si Comhaer-li, including the confiscation of Eithne's castle (now the Si Comhaer-li's headquarters) and the passing of a law prohibiting members of the Rioga Si from living in anything grander than a cottage. Finally, when the Moon's Chosen reached sixteen ages old, the Faerie Council exiled her to the human world and forbade her to return to Cu Tailte on punishment of death. They then outlawed the Ro-ha n 'Feilae Gaela.
Nevertheless, at the appointed time in the next generation, the Choosing Ritual was held again--but in secret. Only the members of the Rioga Si who attended and the Unicorns who presided know the identity of the new Chosen of the Moon. The Si Comhaer-li have learned about the secret ceremony and are eager to get possession of the Book of Wisdom and Knowledge in order to discover the An n' Dan's identity. To obtain it, they are trying everything short of imprisoning or harming the Unicorns (which would outrage Cu Tailtans). And they are becoming increasingly desperate as the An n' Dan, they have learned, is about to reach seventeen ages old.