The first time the city of Equinox slipped through the planar boundary, its presence went largely unnoticed. Though the Eladrin and more exotic fey living within the strange city were a curiosity, they were just another curiosity to the frontierspeople in the area. In a few days, the city was gone again, back from whence it had come, and the inhabitants of the area went back to their normal routines.
The Second time Equinox appeared, it was there to stay. Couriers were dispatched from that fey city, claiming a large swath of the frontier as "the newest annexation of land of the good kingdom of Emberfrost". Again, the city was mostly ignored... until the Eladrin tax collectors started appearing.
"Our good King Elderic desires a small tribute for the good of the Kingdom" said the tax collectors.
"What Kingdom?" cried the frontierspeople.
"My friends, you have all been annexed into the kingdom of Equinox! It's for your benefit and protection of course!" said the tax collectors.
"Protection from what?" cried the frontierspeople.
"Why, the war between the faerie courts, of course! Surely you know that our great city of Equinox is of vast importance to the winter/summer strife!"
The frontierspeople deliberated amongst themselves for a while, ultimately deciding that they would be better off under the protection of a kingdom, even if it did mean paying taxes.
"Okay." Said the frontierspeople. "Come back tomorrow and we will give you some of our gold."
"Oh, no, no, no, no!" laughed the Tax Collector. "Our good King Elderic has no need for gold! I'm here to collect a tribute of bones! Dog bones, bear jaws, chicken feet, it doesn't matter what, but it must be ready for our King Elderic tomorrow!"
The frontierspeople deliberated amongst themselves once more, and ultimately decided that a tax of bones was better than a tax of gold, and made the necessary arrangements.
Since that time, the frontier around Balthir's Forest has been officially known as the Kingdom of Equinox, and until recently, was ruled by King Elderic the Mad.
King Elderic was undisputably not sound (though the degrees of his madness varied by the day) and the kingdom was instead run by a group of advisors and administrators known as the Emberfrost court. The boundary between the material plane and the Feywild is especially thin within the city itself (which makes sense, given that that thinness is what caused the translocation of the city to begin with), and has become a minor hub of interplanar trade because of it.
Though the boundary has never again become so thin that Equinox might fall back into the Feywild, the border is permeable enough for the rapid transportation of sizable groups of armed forces -- armed conflict between the faerie courts is a very real danger to the non-fey citizens of Equinox. This is exacerbated by the ciy's location -- nearly equidistant from either power -- and thus controlled by neither (and coveted by both!).
Six months ago, King Elderic, in one of his innumerable bouts of madness, named the court archivist, a "lowly" kobold named Kip-kip, standing Reagent. The King proceeded to go on vacation in Castle Equinox's moat because "I heard the water was nice, this time of year". When he was devoured shortly thereafter by feymire crocodiles, (and in light of Elderic's lack of heirs) the Chain of Succession landed squarely onto Reagent Kip-kip's small shoulders.
The Emberfrost Court doesn't care that they now have an inexperienced monarch in Equinox (in fact, they grudgingly admit that the Kobold is better that King Elderic in many areas, including (but not limited to) bodily hygiene, ettiqute, court procedings, and natural eloquence), but for the proud fey of Equinox, being led by a no-name Archivist (of all things) is almost too grave an insult to bear! They seek a way to remove Kip-kip from power, though they would never go so far as to murder or drive him out themselves ("Murder the new king? Are you mad? I'd get blood all over my robes!")
For his part, Kip-kip is none too pleased with his inherited position. He had spoken with King Elderic perhaps twice before his sudden Reagency and resultant coronation. He's smart enough to distrust the Court, and savy enough to nudge the kingdom in a successful direction. Truthfully, the Kobold would be happy to return to his archival job, but with that out of the question, Kip-kip has resigendly contented himself to doing two things: running the kingdom well, and surviving.
The King of Equinox
Kip-Kip, King of Equinox: Good Male Kobold.
Str 11, Con 18, Dex 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 12
Skills: Insight, Diplomacy, History, Religion
Unprepared and untested, an unexpected King ruling over an uncaring populace.
For some five years, Kip-Kip the Kobold had been an archivist in Castle Equinox. He tended the libraries and when one of the King's mad decrees or commands required it, dredged up the relevant records to add (or retract) any number of amendments. When King Elderic stormed into the library late one night, bodily whisking the small Kobold away, Kip-Kip had an uneasy feeling that something bad was about to happen. Indeed, King Elderic's destination was the great hall, and he put Kip-Kip on the Emberfrost Throne itself, draping the silver chain he wore as his belt in a haphazard manner across the kobold's face.
"Archivist" Began the madman. "I am going on vacation. In my absence, you shall be king."
Kip-Kip was too shocked but to watch as the King left for his ill-fated, moat-based vacation. Within minutes, Kip-Kip informed the Emberfrost Court of the King's proclamation. Sylene was immediately dispatched to fetch the king and undo the hasty edict, only to return almost as quickly, still shocked from the vicious spectacle of the mad king's bloody death.
Kip-Kip's gulping was the only sound heard in the silence of the council chambers. He knew the laws better than anyone -- he had inherited the Kingship for good or for ill, and only upon death or succession of an heir could that mantle be passed on.
Since he lived a hermit and has no wish of dying, neither option was found particularly appealing to the Kobold. His sole solace is that the Emberfrost council is likely to force the latter rather than the former (at least for the moment), but even this is fleeting.
The magic of Elderic's Chain of Command (commissioned to assuage Elderic's vanity, of course) compels the five members of the Emberfrost Court views him as the best possible leader of Equinox -- that is to say, a charismatic Eladrin of indeterminate gender and temperment. Kip-Kip realizes that were his true, kobold, nature to be discovered, the court might abruptly swing to the alternate option: death. For now, Kip-kip believes his secret is safe, but he can only turn away so many ellible Eladrin bachlors and bachlorettes before the Court becomes suspicious and bothers to investigate further.
The Emberfrost Court
Sylene of Winter, Luminent Coronal of Equinox: Unaligned, Female, Eladrin
Str 10, Con 18, Dex 14, Int 20, Wis 8, Cha 10
Skills: Intimidate, Arcana, Endurance, Religion
Over-eager and unrepetant, Sylene's dedication to the new king is surpassed only by her need to regain standing amongst her peers.
The Luminent Coronal's job is simple -- protect the King. Therefore it is no surprise that Zheyva enjoys Kip-Kip's relative stability to Elderic's fleeting bouts of madness and extamporanity. Certainly, he is easy to follow around. Zheyva is young, devoted and (though she denys it herself) smitten with her perceived king. To her, Kip-kip is tall, blonde, rakish... (other members of the court sneer at her adulation, and have thus far declined offers regarding free books featuring her love poems)
But Zheyva does not truly love Kip-Kip, only the facade created by the Chains of Command. Like most of the court, she is haughty and feels innately superior compared to the "common races" which inhabit Equinox's usurped lands. She was blamed for King Elderic's death, and has lived an outcast from the court, these past few months. She doesn't hold herself accountable, but she is hellishly determined to regain her standing amongst her peers. Currently, she holds the least amount of power in the court, and is not even allowed to vote in any of the courtly proceedings.