The concept of the Circle is important, even essential, to most arcane rites. Holy powers may not necessarily require a circle, they can still benefit from their use.
By inscribing a circle, magical energies can be focused more efficiently, providing a bonus to the mage's skill or a penalty to the target's resistance, depending on the circumstances. Unclosed, but intact circles, can be magically closed with an effort of will.
Simply drawing a circle in the air around your body isn't enough. Something physical is required. Chalk is common, as is salt. Drawing a circle with such common items takes one second and another second to 'seal' the minute spaces between particles. Such quick and dirty circles provide a +1 bonus or -1 penalty, depending on the spell cast within their confines.
Fancier circles provide greater benefits. A brass or bronze ring is common in summoning circles. Jewels and precious metals are used in the strongest circles.
Circles can also be used for protection and entrapment. Most supernatural creatures cannot step in or out of a closed circle. Be warned: the stronger the creature, the stronger the circle must be. Trapping a major demon in a salt circle is a very bad idea. You'll just piss it off.
The Faerie Folk
Known for the inhuman beauty and devious ways, the fey are amongst the trickiest supernatural beings to classify. Their fickleness is their defining attribute: that and their unyielding power. The fae are not to be trifled with.
The fae folk are divided into three seperate groups: The Summer (Seelie) Court, the Winter (Unseelie) Court, and the Wyldfae, who hold no allegience to either. The Courts are ruled in a medeival-ish system, with Queens Mab and Titania ruling Winter and Summer, respectively. Under the Queens are the Ladies (The Queens' direct heirs) and Mothers (former rules). The Sidhe are the nobles of the various courts. Usually they wield far more power than their lesser bretheren. The High Sidhe are the ruling class, reporting directly to the Queens and Ladies.
The Wyldfae, as their name implies, are much more disorganized and tend to be loners. Their only authority figure is the Erlking, he who leads the Wild Hunt. However, his authority stems from the Wyldfae's recognition of his power and fear of his retribution, rather than the strict culture that binds members of the Summer and Winter Courts. Most of the various monstrous fae are Wyldfae, including trolls, ogres, pixies, sprites, and whatnot.
The fae folk (by the way, they hate being called faeries) are predictable in a few matters. They tell the absolute truth and are incapable of telling a direct lie; however, they leave the interpretation up to you. If you make any assumptions, that's not their fault, now is it? They always come out ahead on any bargin, and they'll try to bargain all the time. Lastly, they are bound to perform any action they speak three times. Be warned though: a faerie's interpretation is never what you expect it to be. They take a twisted pleasure in telling the truth while still completely screwing over anyone they encounter, mortal or otherwise.
And don't think that just because the Summer fae are considered "nice" that they actually are: they're only nice compared to the Winter Court. Being bound to a Summer fae is bad. Being bound to Winter is worse. Neither is pleasant, and both can be deadly.