Faeries or "Fae" are supernatural beings of many different types Sometimes considered to be mythological, they often possess magickal powers and play a role in folklore This article also discusses their spectral homeland, the realm of Fae.
The beliefs of many nations of the world commonly include otherwordly beings with magickal powers. Often, these creatures derive from the wild places of the world, as nature's natural defense, and a warning to mortals who would take more than their share from the natural order of things. Some myths claim them manifestations of mortal emotions, unclean spirits removed from the sight of the Creator of the Universe, or the shades of the restless dead reborn.
In Real Life, the Fae seem to have left the sight of mortals, scarcely seen but for personal accounts and storybooks.
In the furre world, however, they are all too real. Unwilling to leave the world to mortals alone, furrekind cannot ignore its supernatural neighbours. Early anthropologists tried to track their course, but seem to have all but given up. Though they remain a central figure in mortal legends, stories of wild fancy, their reality cannot be denied.
The Dubious Truth
The more wild and winsome still haunt the wild places of the earth, divided into varieties of paragon benevolence and almost catatonic evil. Few leave the ancient ancestral homes they inhabit, giving rise to the belief that they are the guardians of the wild places, against mortal incursion and destructive development. The few that do are referred to as the Daoinde Sidhe, and though it is uncertain why some Fae choose to be itinerate and wander while some do not, it appears that some event in the last few centuries has drastically increased the number of them now visible in the world. Some have even begun to live mortal lives, complete with relationships to others and everyday concerns.
The Old Country
Though their mysterious homeland has never been found by explorers, many of these rare and winsome supernaturals still speak of it with clarity, despite its strange disappearance from recent history. A popular belief (among mortals) is that the Faerie homeland collapsed long ago, a separate spoke on the wheel of time that snapped and left the entire population refugees in our world.
Those that do take stock in its existence claim it is a physical place, but so secluded and so heavily defended by the most complex magickes that it had just as well not be. Evidence has surfaced to suggest that Fae is a very real place, a sort of microcosm of the spiritual realm that was their original home, condensed into a real-world place.
One rumour puts its location nestled in the Balkan mountain ranges, north of real-world Montenegro, where few mortals ever tread. Scholars often concede that all the fae descend from refugees that entered the mortal world at roughly this location, and spread across the globe long before mortals had civilizations that would have stayed their progress. There is some dissension in the academic community over this point.
In actuality, the only way to get to Fae is through various access points throughout the world. To gain entry, one must first appease the local guardian fae. The method of impressing these guardian spirits is a matter of pure conjecture. To attempt to bribe them is to pay a cost so elaborate and unfathomable that it is popularly thought of as a practical joke. Meanwhile, many Daoinde Sidhe, mortals’ only conduit to the faerie world, have forgotten these methods, some say a cost of wandering from their spectral homes. Suffice it to say, entry by mortals to Fae is nigh impossible, and any unfortunate enough to stumble upon an access point would be in grave danger from its elaborate magickal defences and ferocious guardians.
An unfortunate legend arose that to capture a faerie and glean Fae's location from them would provide one with riches and magicke beyond compare. This led to a mass Inquisition of Daoinde Sidhe by mortals, using exceptional and vicious cruelty.
It would be hard to imagine a world where faeries intentionally fall into little groups. Their nature tends to detest this possibility. However, as contact with the mortal world becomes unavoidable, a strange factioning is occurring behind the veil of Fae, organizing the Fair Folk like has never been done before.
The Court of Two Heads
Europe's bi-fold Court comprises a popular "political" movement among its Faeriefurres. The Courts arise from a desire to form an all-encompassing policy with respect to dealing with the modern mortal. This is not as easy as it sounds. They say it was a cataclysmic war that originally divided all of Europe's faeries, fought so long ago when half their unholy host went one way and the other half the other. Nobody knows the original cause, or much cares anymore. Elaborate, over-arching and with utter contempt for one another, they are:
The Seelie Court
Like a lavish (and sometimes decadent and pompous) mortal Empire, the Seelie believe that the source of their power is mystery and superstition itself. They are a bizarre re-enactment of mortal furre hierarchies, their leadership often the result of strange role-reversal. Their Court has a festival atmosphere but conceals a more and more totalitarian truth. They keep a friendly arm’s length from mortal affairs, but often persecute those who do not. Mortal ignorance is their religion and their sustainence, and they have adapted mortal ways of doing things; even the unfortunate parts. The Seelie avoid full disclosure with mortals, and frequently persecute their own kind for revealing too much. Emissaries from the Court have begun to appear in recent history, on rare occasion striking agreements with mortal nations in ways that would absolutely astound the mortals of just a few centuries ago. Some say it is almost as though faeries have learned to reason in a way they never have before.
Those that would oppose the Seelie’s centuries of isolationist dogma are known as the Unseelie. They want a full stake in this new, changed world, and are willing to commit acts of violence to accomplish it. They are the renegade environmentalists, animal rights activists and violent Bolsheviks of the furre world. Many fae with characteristics too unusual or ugly to be accepted by mortals take sympathy with the Unseelie cause. They oppose the Seelie, and engage them in a longstanding secret war under mortal noses, but they also oppose the very way of life the Seelie have adopted. They resemble a terrorist organization most closely, frequently engaging in shock politics, assassination and other violence to unseat the Seelie. Though called a Court, they are vehemently against the Seelie model, and are lorded over by a central Chairfae whose identity is unknown. To mortals, Unseelie are often known as the monsters that steal infants and lead travelers astray and to their certain deaths. But any of them would tell you that Seelie court propaganda is the source of such nonsense.
Many mortals believe this conflict is waged beyond the plane of reality they perceive. But this silent war has begun to spill over into the mortal world. Even now, a primarily European conflict is spreading like wildfire across the globe, as similar movements connect to bolster the numbers of both courts. The respective courts even seem to engage in intimidation to those fae that choose to remain unaligned. It seems that soon all the world’s faeries will be ordered into Seelie and Unseelie, and when that happens, the carnage may be too much for both worlds to handle.
It must be emphasized that Daoinde Sidhe is a term describing the nomadic mortal-like faeriefurres who wander the world. They come from conceivably any race of Fae the world over, however some fae by their nature will have difficulty blending in with mortal society (aquatic or more “monstrous” races for example), and their nomadic tendencies will come to naught.
Daoinde Sidhe often face hostility as unwelcome guests in mortal nations. Their enigmatic and insular behaviour often exacerbates this problem.
Elysian multiculturalism and tolerance applies in their case, diminished somewhat by a natural fear of the supernatural. Meanwhile, in many Kingdoms of the world, the fae are hated, hunted and persecuted, generally contributing to even more defensive and aloof behaviour. They are not as "visible" in these countries.
The People of Danann
There is a sizable number of Fae descendants in Elysia known as the Tuatha de Danann. Originally from the East, there is no official account of how it was they found their way and settled on the island nation. They are made up primarily of Daoinde Sidhe nomads. Though seeming roughly mortal in their appearance, they nonetheless retain the considerable power for disguise of their cousins. They are now made up of many different types of fae, the original Irish founders of the group being the minority. This means that members of the Tuatha de Danann group can conceivably be -any- type of fae from any part of the world, and their "furre" appearance can be taken from any species. Though without a central settlement, they are a loosely-organized political organization that frequently engages the Elysian government to highlight the cause of faeriefurres in Elysia.
The Tuatha de Danann are Court-unaffiliated.
Among the Danann are many warrior fae, who lend their magicke, prowess and armscraft to the plight of their adopted nation when the need arises. They were involved in the recent war, but were persecuted during the Novari Occupation, and have fared poorly in the reorganization of Treaty-era Elysia. They can be considered a faction of their own, though are generally aligned with Elysian Colonial interests.
Though fae share many traits throughout all the nations and ages, they seem to be made up of many “sub-races” that originate in particular areas of the world. For the sake of roleplay, assume that some types of fae will only come from one part of the world, or else have their ancestry from that place. These are all in keeping with real-life mythology of supernaturals from numerous different regions of the world, however, this is not by any means a complete or limiting list.
The Primordial Fae
This first list is the Ilks of fae that are tied to particular furre races. To assume one of these characters Ilk is to assume one particular furre species at the same time.
Originally trickster spirits found in eastern Asia (not limited to Japan by any means), they are descended from the shape-shifting Fox spirits. Most have lost the shifting talent over the millennia. A great many of them are nomadic Daoinde Sidhe. They are always multi-tailed, making them somewhat easy to distinguish from mortals. Kitsune have an affinity for illusionary magicke in particular, but many other types as well.
Polar bear fae. They are the ancestral guardians of the far north and spirits of the hunt that indigenous mortals have prayed to for generations. Though they had a quasi-religious reverence in the past, their modern descendants more resemble the mortals that worshipped them than they do their own forbearers. They still possess a talent for magicke and shape-shifting and are highly respected for their wisdom and benevolence within the Courts.
These are the dragon-faeries, with roots in ancient China. They often possess bizarre physical characteristics that differentiate them from mortal dragon-species, such as an equine or other ungulate appearance. They are gifted with flight, and magickes associated with the air and wind. Their numbers are few in the world, but they still retain their own territory in China, and are sought by local mortals for their wisdom.
Highly unusual, the raccoon-dog Tanuki are a modest culture, still possessed of magicke but often considered wild, capricious, and unaligned. They have begun to wander the world and spread their influence. Wikipedia says they have huge bollocks. Player discretion.
An equine fae type, unique for the beautiful spiralled alicorn at the center of their foreheads. For all reports, they have been around forever, inspiring stories of purity, chastity and virtue. This is a bit inconsistent with the modern state - unicorns have a tendency to fall from grace, and are looked at by some mortals (and fae) as notorious drunks, leches and scoundrels. They have taken to mortal living with an almost unadvisable zeal. Some say this sorry state is a direct result of exploitation of their kind, particularly by the cruel Novari, who performed experiments on them and created the Daruni.
Neither truly Fae nor mortal, the creatures are among the most mysterious concerning origins. They are avians with particularly strong affinity for fire elemental magicke. Some are rumoured powerful enough that they can spontaneously combust and reform themselves by the use of their potent magicke.
Some say the first fae was a Phoenix, that after countless millenia of aimless wandering, sacrificed itself for want of something different. From the ashes of its body came the first Faeries - not only avian phoenixes, but scores of other types. This is in concert with the reverence of the Phoenix in many mortal religions. The Eastern Star of the Templar faith is sometimes said to be personified as a phoenix.
Phoenixes can be any avian race. Even a penguin! When a phoenix possessing a sufficient prowess with magicke dies, it is indeed reborn from the ashes. It doesn't, however, retain its former memories and abilities well, instead rebooting itself almost like a reincarnation, though many will have reoccurring dreams and nightmares and experience deja vu concerning their former lives. They are exceedingly, exceedingly, exceedingly rare.
The World's Fae
Some fae types are not limited to species. These Ilks you can mix-‘n-match with any furre species, with the assumption they will also share the physical characteristics of that Ilk.
These seem to have originated in Greece, and often share the trademark goat-legs and hairy lower bodies of their ancestors. Most are Court-unaffiliated.
Thought to be faeries in the loosest sense, goblins are crafty by nature and their culture is quite violent. They typically align themselves with the Unseelie Court. They possess no body fur and sometimes odd skin tones and exaggerated features. Other faeries typically hate and persecute goblins.
Aquatic fae. They possess a variety of traits of water-dwellers, but need not necessarily be a perfect furre upper-body and a perfect fish lower. Some simply have webbed fingers and toes, gills, and other adaptations, but also, at times, possess freakish characteristics as well that are hard on mortal eyes.
These are sometimes dangerous, sometimes benevolent french-speaking nature spirits. Their origins seem to be in France, Belgium and Dunmoore. They are some of the wildest of all fae, typically associated with forests and other thickly wooded places. They are all across the world in the modern day, in all manner of wild settings.
Something of a career more than an Ilk, they possess the strongest magickal abilities of any Fae type. They traditionally were benign tricksters whose mischief only occasionally led to bloodshed, but more and more they are joining the ranks of the Unseelie Court. They are thought to be from the British Isles region.
Wildest of all are the child-like Piskies (also known as Pexies and Pixies and sometimes confused with Sprites), possessing an enormous talent for magicke that generally goes to waste. They are the tiny winged creatures of legend, any species conceivably, and can shapeshift to a mortal size. They abhor civilized behaviour, industrialization, modernism, and just progress in general. They are rare to see, and highly unpredictable.
There are numerous other faerie types and no upper limit in the possibilities.
That Which Can Be Agreed Upon
All fae possess extreme longevity, living centuries rather than decades.
Fae have magickal abilities, but not always have an ability to perform magicke spells the ways mortals can learn to do.
Particular “ilks” of faeries can perform particular types of magicke better than others. These are discussed in depth later.
Jiangshi, the Returner disease kills Fae dead. They do not become bloodsuckers.
The curse of therianthropy is a mortal condition and does not apply to fae. No fae will become a werefurre.
Many fae possess an affinity for armscraft, and are very good at constructing armor, weapons and equipment. This will mostly be due to particular faerie families passing down a craft they’ve had centuries to hone.
Many faeries detest certain religious symbols and artifacts, as well as almost universally the element Iron which is poisonous to them. This is not innate, but a cultural belief they often share.
Fae have cultural language they all share. Most all faeries speak Elvish, an archaic tongue whose origins are lost even to the long-lived faeries. Some of the wilder fae scorn elvish and speak Glimmer, an almost childlike and highly dialectical language. One of the Seelie Court mandates is to establish Elvish as the faerie primary (and only) language.
Faerie curiosity often serves as a weakness; they are confused by mortal ways, many obsessed with mimicking them. This is said to be a curse from the beginning of time, as they scramble to try and compensate for their endless separation from God. Sucks, huh?
While attempting to create an interesting an open-ended universe for supernatural creatures to inhabit, we realize that some character types are nearly impossible to codify. Faeries stand out among even these.
Moreso than any other type, this reference is a set of guidelines, only. Faeries flout strict rules, and flourish under a reality undefined by rigorous standards. If you are the player of a faerie character or would like to be, we hereby encourage you. Flout away.