Characters Adapted from Other Works
First Appearance: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Creator: William Shakespeare
Nationality: Faerie
Occupation: Royal retainer
Appearing in:

"A Late Symmer Night's Battle"
by Laura Frankos

Fantasy pastiche
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Occupation: Soldier

Mustardseed the fairy is a character from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Along with Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth, Mustardseed is one of the royal retainers who accompany Queen Titania in most of the Queen's scenes. The retainers are stock characters with very little character development or individual personality, and are not considered especially desirable roles for actors, nor the subject of extensive analysis by Shakespeare scholars.

Mustardseed in "A Late Symmer Night's Battle"[]

Mustardseed was one of the royal retainers of Queen Titania of Faerie. She was at the Queen's side throughout the much-publicized humorous dispute with King Oberon over the apprentice Ghosh. Like a large percentage of Faerie's female population, Mustardseed was a former lover of Robin Goodfellow.

Mustardseed was also a soldier in Faerie's standing army and a veteran of prior wars, including the brutal one against the reremice, which left Mustardsee with a scar, and took the lives of the family of her good friend Peaseblossom.

With the fight between Titania and Oberon called off, Mustardseed found herself rather bored. Not long after the conflict between Titania and Oberon, her fellow retainer Cobweb came home on leave, and Peaseblossom decided to celebrate by throwing a party. She made a point of inviting fellow retainers Mustardseed and Moth. Mustardseed was initially hesitant, given the recent break-up with Robin Goodfellow, but decided to go to see Webby again.

Mustardseed, an indifferent dancer, spent most of the party talking to Webby and watching Moth tend to Ghosh. Webby let it slip that Peaseblossom was dating Robin Goodfellow, unaware that Mustardseed had just ended her relationship with him. The party was interrupted when Lady Quill, the acting leader of the fairies, announced that a tribe of German kobolds invaded Faerie while its monarchs were on their Second Honeymoon Tour. Mustardseed instantly regretted complaining about her boredom.

As the Faerie military gathered, Robin Goodfellow arrived to say farewell to Peaseblossom before he sought out Titania and Oberon. Blossom threatened him because she knew he'd been with Cinnabar. In response, Robin then attempted to get a farewell kiss from Mustardseed, but she also angrily rejected him. Mustardseed and Peaseblossom shared a laugh, and reported for duty.

General Pard explained that the kobolds were evicted from their silver mines in Greece, and made their way to Faerie. They were led by a general named Hinzelmann, who rode a snake.

The battle proved to be a skirmish. While there were more kobolds, they were plainly physically weak and desperate. Mustardseed had one of her spears broken during a brief tussle, and then attempted to kill a kobold colonel, who cheekily doffed his hat to her. After a time, Hinzelmann ordered a retreat to regroup.

The arrival of reremice changed the course of the battle. Lady Quill's owls thwarted their attack on the fairies long enough for them to take shelter. Mustardseed found Moth, who told Mustardseed that everyone was sheltering in a cave that Ghosh had found while digging. The kobolds had no defenses. Realizing that a cultured people were being attacked by mindless predators, Mustardseed convinced Pard and Lady Quill to allow her to ride to the kobold line under a flag of truce. She helped the kobolds fight off the reremice, and even saved the life of the colonel with the hat. He introduced himself as Hödeken, and informed Mustardseed that he'd taken command after the reremice injured Hinzelmann. The kobolds accepted the fairies offer of peace.

With this act, the war was over. Hinzelmann died of his injuries. With him gone, Titania and Oberon successfully negotiated an agreement with the kobold leaders. The cave Ghosh had found contained enough silver to support the kobolds for some time. For her part, while attending Peaseblossom's party celebrating Cobweb's return to archery training, Mustardseed took the opportunity to dance with Hödeken.