Hello all! Yes, I’m late again. My only excuse this time is the complacency of a peaceful day in the sun, spent trying to catch up on Camp NaNo. (Epic fail, if you wondered how that went.) Never fear, if all goes as planned I should have a random piece of character background for y’all with the next post. In the meantime…
What is this Tithe thing, anyway?
By now you’ve figured out that the Tithe is what the Impartials have to bind every seven years. But what is it really?
Let’s check the dictionary, shall we?
tithe [tahyth] noun, verb, tithed, tith·ing.
Sometimes, tithes. the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.
any tax, levy, or the like, especially of one-tenth.
a tenth part or any indefinitely small part of anything.
verb (used with object)
to give or pay a tithe or tenth of (produce, money,prizes
to give or pay tithes on (crops, income, etc.).
to exact a tithe from (a person, community, parish, etc.).
to levy a tithe on (crops, income, etc.).
It’s hard to say which definition is most accurate here, but it’s likely the first. The only real difference are firstly that this Tithe is paid not to God or any of his human disciples, but to the Fae; and secondly, it is not paid in coin or crops but in sacrifice.
Every seven years, whether by notice from the Seelie who first instituted–some say imposed–the Tithe on Unseelie and humans alike, or by targeted attacks from the Unseelie, one Impartial is called to the Tithe. The choice to try to bind it or to turn away from it is hers, but the latter option has consequences. To date, no more than a handful of Impartials have survived past age 25 without fulfilling a Tithe they were called to. If they do step up to complete it, they’ll endure attacks from the Unseelie, frustrating so-called hints, and little to no assistance from the Seelie in order to find the Unseelie Court and settle the terms of the Tithe.
When you think about it, the terms are simple enough: the Unseelie will refrain from killing or otherwise harming human beings for the coming seven years in exchange for what the Impartial prizes most.
So tell me… What do you prize most? Would you let it be taken from you? Would you bind the Tithe? Or would you turn and flee from it, knowing you wouldn’t survive?