One of the suggestions is that, even if some character kills the main faerie antagonist, a different faerie spirit arrives to fill the vacant role.
ie the empty throne is once again occupied by the faerie lord, in time for the next run through of the scenario.
Then I wondered what happens if the (re-)spawn point is warded strong enough that a replacement faerie spirit can't reach the respawn point?
I would say that it depends what kind if saga feel is desired. If the players have gone toba great effort to kill the faerie king, and ward his throne room, it would be quite a rug pull to just put a new faerie monarch back in there.
If there must be one, then maybe a faerie noble returns from a distant land and gradually seeks to ally themselves with various powers mundane or no, to gradually become the new monarch in all but name. A story about how there is no king and one must prove themselves to earn the place on the throne definitely harkens back to many tales of the period. To make things interesting, this faerie might even seek some form of help from the Covenant or its members, that way the stories interweave.
That is perhaps better than what I was thinking.
In my hypothetical, the players are investigating the suspicious activities of another Covenant, enter some Fae ruins and accidentally break the ward keeping the faerie noble from respawning. Then they have to deal with a disoriented and possibly angry faerie court reappearing piecemeal.
I think that's a classic plot line. Break the ward, face the consequences is a timeless one.
You don't need to change a thing, since it would not nullify the actions of players, but rather shows their consequences on the world. I would not have the monarch respawn immediately, but rather after the players leave, over a season or so. Though obviously, some kind of puck-ish fae guiding them and leading them to break the ward, with the aim of seizing the throne once they are gone would be a good way of binding the new monarch and the party more tightly through a web of cause and effect.
If a fae spirit can't occupy the role, could a spirit from another realm be drawn in to occupy the "space/hole" defined by the role?
A magical ghost or demon perhaps
Very unlikely. It is faeries who care about stories and roles.
While a demon or other spirit could concievably take advantage of a missing faerie and take over its role for some purpose of its own, they will not be drawn in automatically.
Something to (maybe) chew about.
One classic fantasy trope (which I happen to hate) is "the rightful heir", the "rightful king returns", stuff like that.
Hell, you even find it in Robin Hood stories.
With assorted ideas that the "true" ruler is just, fair, cares for his people, and have I told you that I hate this trope?
You may spring this on your players, in whatever way you want.
Who cares if the faerie lord is an asshole. The land wants its rightful heir back, and everyone loves him.
One thing which I did in my saga is that every named Faerie was described with a famous actor (Kate Blanchett was the Ice Queen, Brian Blessed the Pissed Prelate etc). When the bodyguard of the Ice Queen was defeated (and harvested for vis) by the dickhead Tytallus, he ( Gerard Butler) was replaced as the face of that faerie by a young Arnold Schwarzenegger at the next Winter court. The character behaved the same way towards the PCs, had the same demeanour. But instead of being a club wielding Ogre he was a burly barbarian with a longsword.
I don't know if this helps, but I found it a nice way of highlighting how unreal the faerie are and that they are literally playing roles
One thing about this- the role of the king will be retaken, yes, but it won't necessarily appear to be the same king- perhaps his son, or his brother has taken the throne after his death. In fact it could even be the same resurrected faerie spirit (depending on whether their vis was taken), but they will seek to create narrative within the story, not simply resent and aggravate the mortals. Now if the king must be uniquely defined (such as king Midas) this won't work, but generally a faerie throne will seem to operate the same way a mortal throne does in terms of a monarch being killed and the position being refilled by someone else.
Hmm,.. What about the case of multiple incarnations of the same role.
Say the "Hoax" snake god Glycon, had multiple cult sites over a large portion of the Roman Empire in 2nd/3rd Century AD. For arguments sake, in Ars period, it still has several hidden cult sites, with each site with a different faerie playing the role of the god on the altar at each of the sites.
Glycon was originally touted as the re-incarnation of the (demi-)god Asclepius. So if it "dies", perhaps its congregation is pre-disposed to believe it will be "reborn".
Actually, this may have given me an idea.
One thing though. Does any of this count as "molesting the fae"?
Maybe. That paragraph has been notoriously lacking in enforcement.
I see no reason why it would have to be the same faerie playing the role of king Midas. There must be a king Midas with floppy donkey ears, but any faerie who adopts the prerequisites of the story could be king Midas.
The fact is that it is essentially impossible to tell if the same faerie has resurrected the role or if another one has taken it up.
Also it's kind of hard to enforce a rule against molesting the fae when their dependance on vitality means the fae are more than willing to be molested.
This is tangential to the overall thread, but in the one and only story I've based on the ideas from RoP:F, the Faerie was actually playing a demon.
Anybody remember a Joe Haldeman screenplay/short story called i of Newton? Or the '80s Twilight Zone episode of the same name starring Ron Glass and Sherman Hemsley?* I sprang something like that on my players. It all started with a teenager playing around with a thrift store paperback copy of the Necronomicon...
*It's on Youtube if you don't remember it or if you do so fondly and want to see it again.