This was put together by Goat (former Admin of Cormyr and the Dalelands), and I figured it would make a good reference for those of you who are interested in fey or anything else down that alley. I've found it very useful in the past (Thanks, Goat!):
Guide to the Goat
~ And Other Fey
Author’s Note: The following was written by me in order to help in educating other players in aspects of fey, especially regarding satyrs. It is in no way an “official” document, but merely a reference and a brief overview on the nature of the fey creatures of our game world and others.
"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of the fairies.” Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
The wind whistles through the thickest parts of the forest, rustling leaves as it passes unhindered through sylvan glades bathed by the light of the full moon. Nearby a creek flows around countless boulders, filling the night with sweet, natural music, creating a peaceful respite for any traveler in these majestic woods. Throughout this majestic forest, the creatures that inhabit it slumber the darkness away except for those locked in the eternal celebration of life. Hooves stamp, and pipes bray loudly, chimes tickle by the dozen and a cacophony of music not unlike that of the stream in its own right, bursts forth from an isolated clearing, far, far from any mortal’s sight. Drink flows freely and laughter echoes from the branches, forever drowning out any sorrow the world might fling their way.
These creatures that celebrate are the fey; the faerie folk of countless legends and myth. Beings born of nature and steeped in superstition, and in some cases fear. What constitutes these mysterious sylvan beings and how do they operate from a day to day basis? What exactly are they capable of? What types are there? What are they afraid of? How would you attract one to you? These questions mortals have asked for centuries regarding the fey folk, and countless superstitions have blossomed from these inquiries. Perhaps, in exploring the known characteristics and superstitions regarding these beings, we might be able to divine some of their properties.
What is a fey?
To be blunt, a typical fey is described to be any diminutive human-like being that possesses various magical powers that are often used to play pranks or otherwise intervene in human affairs. Not too surprisingly, many different cultures have their own views of the fey and possess countless names for them. Here; however, we shall simply focus on what might apply to our own world. One might often hear the fey referred to as faeries, sylvan folk, fairies, fay, fae, faery, the fey folk, or simply as used here, fey. In some cases, elves goblins or even some dragons can be considered fey, but it is usually wise to forgo this association in the presence of a true faerie being. It is worth noting that each and any of these spellings are correct and that there are countless other ways just as proper to refer to fey. Many simply break down this broader term into those used to reflect individual races or species of fey.
Divisions of the Fey
The Seelie Court
It can be said that the Seelie faeries represent the purity of nature and possesses all its beauty that countless artists and minstrels have tried to capture over the millennia only to be driven to madness by the sheer perfection of it or fail miserably. In truth, when many hear the word fey, they conjure images of stunningly beautiful creatures of nature. These ideas are exactly what the Seelie faeries are: pure manifestations of beauty and utmost perfection. These faeries are typically benevolent in nature, content to live in peace with humanity. It can be said that while they are certainly mischievous, they are usually not malicious in intent. Any Seelie faerie might also be referred to as being of the “Sun.” Thus, a ‘sun satyr’ would belong to the Seelie Court versus a ‘moon satyr’ who would be more malignant towards humanity (and other goodly fey in general!) and be a member of the Unseelie Court.
The noble fey that make up the Seelie Court, or the ruling body of the goodly fey, are, ironically enough, less tolerate of humanity than other faeries. These freeorin, or noble faeries, are the cream of the crop, so to speak and are extremely elitist in attitude towards humanoids and other faeries. In fact, only pure-blooded fey are allowed to attend the Seelie Courts meetings or be in the presence of their nobles. On the rare occasion, a noble of the Seelie Court might sponsor an extraordinarily beautiful or talented creature (usually an elf or something with ancestral fey blood), but unfortunately, they can never obtain any rank within the court structure itself.
The supreme ruler of the Seelie Court is known as Queen Titania. In fact, in most cases, she, along with her consort King Oberon and a handful of other faeries serve as the deities of many of the goodly fey.
The Unseelie Court
If the Seelie Court can be said to be the epitome of the beauty of nature, then the Unseelie Court is the exact opposite. In truth, the Unseelie Court is nothing but a macabre mockery of the perfection of the Seelie. These are the creatures of nightmares, many of which are twisted and deformed, resulting from centuries of indiscriminate breeding with fey and non-fey alike. It should be noted, that despite the reputation for the Unseelie fey being horrendous creatures, many of them are, in fact, deceptively beautiful like their Seelie cousins.
If appearances can be said to foreshadow these fey’s attitudes towards other humanoid races, then it would definitely hold true in this case. The Unseelie are generally hostile in intent towards other races, going out of their way to play harmful pranks on, steal from, injure or even kill any who cross their path. Sadly, these faeries often strive to enslave, torture and kill all other “lesser” races, even other faerie who do not hold similar views are subject to this horrible fate. In fact, the Unseelie are commonly at war with the other fey, at one level or another.
The Unseelie Court is ruled solely by the fickle and darkly beautiful, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Every Unseelie bows to her whim, seeking nothing more than to acquire her favor, which is often said to be a double-edged sword, often proving to be as dangerous as it is beneficial.
Where do fey reside?
The Material Plane
The faeries in question typically reside in a woodland setting and are heavily associated with other sylvan beings. On occasion, they might venture into lands inhabited by humans or other creatures to barter, to cause mischief, or even simply to sneak around out of curiosity in one of their most favorite pastimes of ‘people watching.’
As there are dozens of types of fey, the habitats vary greatly from each individual, but it usually holds true that a traveler would most likely find the majority of fey in the forests, as previously stated. Others live exclusively in water or underground. Some even prefer to make their homes in specific types of plants.
The Plane of Faerie
It should be made known that in the multiverse, fey possess their own plane, known simply as Faerie in most worlds. This strange plane is relatively unique compared to most, as it is easily accessible in most situations. Most fey who are on the material plane can easily return to Faerie simply by finding associated crossroads or backroads. Humanoid creatures; however, might have great difficulty perceiving these magical doorways, which are often activated by frivolous means. For instance, one might walk backwards around a particular tree stump seven times, then forward three times, before jumping on the tree stump. More on this particular phenomenon will be covered later.
Physical Attributes and Physiology
It can easily be said that the number of varieties of fey is nearly equal to their population. In most cases each individual fey creature possesses unique qualities that are completely disassociated from their parents own physical appearance. The only general exceptions to this rule would be dryads, nymphs and satyrs, who, because they reside for most of their lives on the material plane, breed ‘true.’ More or less, this simply means that they retain dominate physical characteristics of their parents, even though there are no male nymphs or dryads, and no female satyrs. Beyond satyrs and the various types of nymphs, the birth of a new fey is entirely unpredictable in what the resulting ‘infant’ will be.
With that being said, the physical nature of most of the fey folk would obviously vary greatly from one individual to the next. They might have the wings of a butterfly or a bat, possess the legs of a grasshopper, might have antennae, or the lower body of a goat or deer in the case of satyrs, have leafy appendages resembling plants, or other countless, whimsical combinations. While these creatures can range in height anywhere from a scant few inches to towering giants of ten feet or more, the average faerie is between two and five feet tall.
The coloring of faeries can be nearly anywhere in the spectrum, and can even change over their lifetime, or in some cases, simply by mood. Certain ‘types’ of fey do; however, have certain colors associated with them as well, such as a dryad’s earthy browns and greens, or a satyr’s more humanoid coloring.
In theory, fey do not need to sleep. Even the reverie of the elven people is not needed. Instead, a scant four hours of dozing or otherwise non-strenuous activity such as reading, writing, or some other simple thing, is all that is needed versus eight hours of reverie or even human sleep. This does not mean that fey do not sleep; however, as many, in their extreme laziness, find it quite comforting to doze or nap the day away.
Many mortals would say that the fey folk in general are childish in their emotional extremes, ranging from happiness one moment to heart-wrenching sorrow the next. As a whole, they tend to be whimsical and frivolous, frolicking about with just about anything given the slightest provocation. More often than not, when angered, they lash out immediately with practical jokes meant to humiliate the target and hit close to sensitive issues (Besides, what’s more fun? A fight that’ll last all of a few minutes or humiliation of the person that you can relish for weeks on end!). Unsurprisingly, given their short attention spans, they rarely hold lasting grudges.
Being curious to a fault, fey have a knack of sticking their nose into other people’s business where it assuredly does not belong. One might even go so far as to say that the old saying “Curiosity killed the cat” should be changed to “Curiosity killed the fey.”
Many fey, despite their mischievous reputations, actually delight in helping humanoid creatures in tasks. Unfortunately, this supposed help does not always work out as the faerie planned. They often take the human’s request too literally or misinterpret the various nuances of speech. Many tales abound of humans receiving faerie aid, only to have it backfire disastrously; of course, the poor fey had no intention of doing so (most of the time at least).
It can also be said that fey, as a whole, have little to no sense of accountability whatsoever. In their eyes, they are never at fault for their actions and will be quick to pin the blame on others, regardless if it makes sense or not. One notable example would be a fey mistakenly catching her companions within the confines of a sleep spell. When later chastised, she simply responded with “Well they should have moved!”
Due to the very timeless nature of fey society, these creatures have little regard for the human obsession with tracking time. Of course, this can be expected from creatures whose lives span over many centuries or millennia (it is even rumored that certain fey, or all of them, depending on who you ask, are actually immortal). As such, fey generally have no concept of the passing of time. Day is day and night is night, and each is sure to come in a never-ending cycle. When referring to past events, a fey simply needs to know that it happened, and cares little for when, much to the frustration of their human companions in many cases.
Life and Death Cycles
Life and death are just two sides of the same coin, each one no more natural or unnatural than the next, and as such, fey see death, if it can really even be called that, as simply a continuation of their own personal journey. It’s not really an end, so to speak, but in reality a new beginning. While most fey do have an extremely long lifespan spanning across several centuries or millennia they tend to know that their own demise will come naturally within up to a century of their passing. Many might ask how they know of such a thing, and a fey will respond that it’s just a feeling in their bones: they just know, and sure enough, it’s true. When this time comes, the elder fey is typically followed by younger members of society who enjoy the teachings of his or her wisdom and life experiences.
When the final days approach a tremendous party is thrown to celebrate the life of the elderly individual- after all, that’s what fey do best, celebrating life, when the final passing comes with the rising of the moon, it is a time of joy and festivities, rather than loss and sorrow.
In the rare event that an unnatural death occurs, the fallen fey is remembered in a similar passion, though it has a slightly different, perhaps sadder and more solemn context than the festivities of a usual passing. While fey might experience anger or sadness at a death of a friend or family member, they continue to move on, knowing that living their own lives to the fullest is what truly matters. Humans often have difficulty understanding this concept, and many accuse fey of not feeling true emotions at all, but this is hardly the case.
Names are some of the most important aspects of all faerie society, and this is made doubly so by the fact that anyone can take advantage of a creature’s True Name, fey being no exception to this type of magic, and because of this, all fey respond with absolute horror at the human custom of freely exchanging their actual names. It is considered a grave insult to fey to be bluntly asked for their name, but with a simple (albeit silly) change of semantics, the situation is smoothed over by simply inquiring “What do you wish to be called?”
This oddity in naming might also stem from the very whimsical nature of fey themselves. It has been thought that many of them simply do not remember their actual names. In truth, many fey simply call themselves by whatever suits their fancy at the moment, taking inspiration from their mood or surroundings or some object they currently find pleasing. As such, it is common to find fey named Fern, Ivy, Cobweb, Star, Bluebell, Sand, Flower, or any other seemingly random name. If a fey finds a name that is more attractive to him or her, they will simply take it and discard the old one. In fact, the names that usually stick with most fey are only those names that are used on a daily basis by their companions or ones that hold special meaning to them.
Titles given among fey nobility are similar. Many noble fey of Faerie, known as feeorin, simply go by nicknames or perceived titles, making no effort to correct it should they not be worthy of such a honorific.
As one might guess, most fey are both highly attracted to and amused by the traditional means of entertainment such as song, dance, poetry, theatre, and even athletics to an extent. These creatures relish any opportunity to show their own physical prowess or other natural talents, perhaps resulting from their carefree or otherwise lackadaisical nature.
Interestingly enough; however, are some of their favorite past times of eating and drinking, which they in their own right, make more like an art itself. It is said that fey take great pleasure in a finely cooked meal, even if what is being prepared is somehow questionable in nature, such as things humans or other beings might not normally consider food. Most fey will simply point out that it’s the anticipation of the meal, the exotic flavor, and the curiosity of not knowing what exactly it is that they are eating that makes this such a delightful pastime. While humans or elves might be known to throw grand banquets of nine or ten courses, these often pale in comparison to the galas thrown by the faeries. Such events often consist of dozens of courses of exotic foods and last all through the day and often deep into the night (though a few have been known to last weeks on end!), and many mortals who attend them, accidentally or otherwise, have been known to simply drop dead from exhaustion from the nonstop activity.
Like humans gazing upon animals in a menagerie or zoo, faeries often go out on excursions that they prefer to call “People Watching.” Because most of them often possess some means of glamour, a faerie’s magical power, in which to conceal themselves, they flit about unbeknownst to those which they are watching. Due to their very nature and habitat, fey are often limited to viewing the activities of rural folk or solitary beings that dwell in the woods, but they find them no less interesting.
Another novelty of fey life is the act of bartering. Most humanoids take going to market to granted, simply as a means to acquire what they need and return home. Fey make this a form of art and entertainment all in one, delighting in what they can trade with each other and what new, interesting things that they can acquire. This being said, it is common in a fey market not to see traditional exchanges of gold and silver coins for a good, but instead odd ideas and promises for equally vague or intangible and material things alike. A few examples might include an individual being offered a pile of gold for their first born, a wish for the last six months of their life, and seven truths and seven secrets for a person’s death rattle and final breath.
Interactions with Other Races
Nearly all fey possess an overwhelming curiosity that leads them to seek out new experiences and places and perhaps the most interesting thing a fey can do is to meet new people! Unfortunately, like almost all other racial groups, they possess their own stereotypes of those around them. When dealing with any race, fey are much more likely to interact with individuals that are commonly associated with nature, be they simple farmers or druids or rangers. This is most likely due to the fact that these individuals are constantly exposed to places that fey might call home, as well as the fact that they can more closely identify with the creatures.
Unsurprisingly, when dealing with races in general, faeries more closely with elves than any other race. In fact, in most cases, the elves are considered to be cousins to the fey folk. Interestingly enough, on the opposite end of the spectrum, fey have a strong intolerance for anything dwarves, regardless of the individual’s personality traits. This is directly due to the faerie legend of the Black Diamond and its corrupting powers that turned Queen Titania’s sister into the evil deity now known only as The Queen of Air and Darkness. While fey do not normally hold grudges in such a fashion over the centuries, the sheer magnitude of this event and the introduction of what became the Unseelie is simply unforgivable in their eyes.
Humans and other races like Halflings and gnomes in most cases are treated with a particular cautious curiosity when approached by fey. Because they are so different from the fey themselves, this undoubtedly makes them more interesting to faeries. While it can be said that fey will interact with nearly any race on a limited basis (with varying degrees of outright distrust in the case of dwarves or caution with most others), it can be said that as a general rule, fey abhor all undead, as they typically represent a corruption of the very life that fey hold so dear.
Lures and Banes
Unlike many creatures, fey are magical beings and thus are attracted or repelled by a number of mundane and magical items both. Any item that attracts a fey’s attention is known as a lure, and anything that repels fey is considered to be a bane, perhaps the most notable of which is cold iron. It is said that a faerie is well aware of any lure around for quite some distance, but are usually completely naïve of any bane in the vicinity until they are right upon it. As one author is quick to note, fey do not make a habit of recording what these lure and banes are, and the following are merely the observations of humanoid scholars, many of which with little explanation. It should also be noted that what works for one fey, will not necessarily work for another. Not all faeries are repelled by inside out clothing, just as not all of them will be head over heels for a handful of black sand.
· Alcohol: Wine, mead, ale, spirits! Any of this is liable to attract the attention of fey in the area, especially that of satyrs and their cousins.
· Black Sand: Thought to attract the attention of any fey residing in water especially, perhaps due to its singularly exotic nature.
· Blackberry Brambles: Blackberries are thought to be a delicacy among fey, as well as the bush itself housing many of the smaller varieties.
· Blackthorn: Thought to be sacred to all faeries.
· Bluebell Flowers: Fey often delight in enchanting these tiny flowers to actually ring like bells when disturbed.
· Colorful Magic: All fey, though especially pixies and bogies, are attracted to brilliant flashes of light or displays of showy magic colors. It should be noted; however, that many fey view human magic in contempt in comparison to their own natural abilities.
· Eggs: Fey are highly attracted to the eggs of any mortal creature, if only because of the intense wonder and anticipation they feel when waiting for it to hatch. One story holds that chimeras and griffins resulted from eggs from the Material plane being transported to Faerie, where they hatched.
· Hollow Trees: Also called bull or bell oaks, these trees are thought by many to be the homes of fey.
· Holly: This particular plant is known to attract and even house a number of smaller fey.
· Love Poems: The act of reading these poems aloud has been known to draw forth many curious faeries in earshot.
· Music: Like poems, any faerie within earshot is liable to be drawn to the sound of music.
· Paintings: Due to the fact that many fey lack the dedication to complete such a task, they are often caught marveling over a particular skillful painting for hours on end.
· Rowan: Fires built of this wood are said to attract fey in the area.
· Sage: As above, burning a bundle of sage is said to attract fey, especially dryads.
· Salt: Oddly enough, salt is both a bane and a lure. When thrown across the face of ice, it is said to attract any fey who might be residing nearby, especially if they have ties to the element.
· Willow Trees: According to some lore, the wind whispering through the willows is actually said to be the voices of hidden fey whispering in one’s ear. It should also be noted that performing any act of magic, song, dance or other artistic endeavor underneath a willow tree increases the chance that a fey creature will be attracted to it.
· Writing Implements: Many fey are fascinated by idea of writing. While they are certainly capable of it and many do, in fact know how to read and write, it nevertheless fills them with curiosity and catches their attention.
· Ash Berries: a Folklore state that by placing the berries of the ash tree around a sleeping child makes them less likely to be abducted or attacked by the Unseelie fey.
· Bells: The clatter of bells is known to drive away less hardy fey.
· Clothing: “Turn your cloaks for the fairy folk are in the old oaks!”
By wearing one’s clothing inside out, it is said to so disgust any faerie that they will leave the wearer be. Also, wearing mismatched paired clothing (such as socks) or having them inside out will duplicate the effect. One legend also states that by tossing an inside out article of clothing in the midst of a faerie ring or dance will cause the reveal to cease almost instantly.
· Cold Iron: This is perhaps the one nearly universal bane for all fey. Many legends claim that cold iron is deadly to faeries, and by carrying a dagger, or even a sliver of this metal in your pocket is enough to make them leave you be.
· (Un)Holy Objects: Symbols, pray books, holy water, even mold from holy ground is said to be able to repel fey.
· Red Ribbon: When tied to the chests of livestock or infants, it is said that red ribbon will discourage fey from making mischief with the wearer.
· Salt: While many fey actually will eat salt in small amounts, a line of pure salt cannot be crossed by any fey.
· Silver: Silver coins in particular are said to repel faeries. By throwing them at the unfortunate being, it is often said that they will become terrified and flee from the area.
· Water: In some cases, running water is known to repel fey.
· Whistling: Perhaps the easiest way to drive the most innocent and sweet fey into a rage is to simply whistle. Surprisingly enough, fey, despite all their musical and artistic prowess, cannot manage this small task that many humans take for granted, and are so immensely jealous of it that they will become quite angry at the unfortunate whistler.
When Dealing with Faeries…
Stories and tales abound about mortal dealings with fey and why one should always be on guard in such situations. Fey, as one would expect, have completely different ideas of what would be appropriate decorum in various situations than humans would. As such, a general rule of thumb would be to always be extremely polite when dealing with these creatures, as one never quite knows what they might be capable of. This is especially true if one were to venture beyond the Material Plane and into the world of Faerie itself, but these same general rules apply regardless of the situation.
1) Never forget your manners!
Above all else, this is perhaps the most important rule! Fey are often sticklers for manners (granted that what they deem polite and impolite is often completely different from human standards). Any fey, no matter the situation should always be treated with utmost respect and reverence. While it may hold true that many of them might seem to be incapable of causing significant harm to those who rouse their anger (after all, many fey’s choice of punishment is a severe barrage of pinches), they are quite capable of summoning their friends, or even denizens of the forest in some cases, to reinforce their opinions.
2) Do not accept any gift from fey or repay more than you borrowed.
“It is often better not to give a gift at all, than to give too little or to give too much; for a gift begets a gift.”
Fey may love to give gifts, but in most cases, they always expect one in return. The catch is, that whatever you receive, you are expected to return something of exactly equal value- but something completely different (After all, who likes receiving the same thing or something remotely similar). A word of caution: while it may seem polite to return something of great worth, doing so makes the fey feel that they are in debt to you, and in extreme situations if they are unable to provide proper compensation, they might view themselves as a slave to the giver, or vice versa.
3) Do not accept food or drink from fey.
While this rule mostly holds true for humanoids who have somehow wandered into Faerie, it can have influence on the Material Plane. Many fey are tricksters, and some will try and lure humanoids into danger by offering them intoxicating food or drink, some of which may be hazardous to the health of the consumer or in attempt to lure them off the forest path to get them lost in the woods. Fey are also infamous for encouraging humans to overindulge in fine food or drink, especially alcohol, often taking advantage of their inebriated companions lack of wisdom.
Faerie Magic and Attitudes towards Such
Fey could arguably be some of the most magically profound creatures in the multiverse. Their very beings are purely magical in nature and in most cases completely different from the magic commonly associated with arcanists. Fey magic is generally known as “glamour” no matter what form it is used in (even if in conventional arcane spells). This is typically because fey creatures often appear as outlandishly beautiful to humans and other races and are rumored to have the ability to boost their appearance, or on the rare occasion should the situation demand, actually make themselves appear less attractive, or even make themselves disappear entirely using their glamour.
Interestingly enough, a fey’s source of magic is life itself, and as such they draw their magic from the land or their own life force, projecting it outward so it effects the rest of the natural world. Some fey fear that if they draw too much naturally, that they will inadvertently harm the land or someone that they care about, but this is not necessarily always true, as there are several ways that fey acquire fuel for their glamour, so to speak. The first, known as the Breath of Life, is typically only practiced by Unseelie faeries. By sucking away the breath of a living victim (usually a small child) the fey leave the person severely weakened or even dead. This in turn, helps power their glamour with the life force of another victim directly.
Another option is to know and have power over their own True Name, which each and every creature possesses. While this might seem easy enough to find out, it does come with increased danger, as if any being discoveries your True Name, they gain a certain amount of power over you (as is the case when a mage summons a demon from the Abyss, they are in fact, calling the demon with its true name). Secondly, discovering your own true name can take months or years, and obviously, many fey lack the patience to meditate on the issue for such extended periods even though time is relatively meaningless for them.
Finally, fey are known to have a certain type of magical sand, believed to come from the Sands of Time in the lands of Between on Faerie itself (In fact, the Sand Man, as some humans believe drizzle sand in children’s eyes to make them fall asleep, is actually a faerie himself legends say!) Such magical sand is priceless in value and is often sought after by mortals to augment their own spellcasting powers. The use of such is generally believed for it to take the place of spell components so commonly associated with the wizardly arts. Interestingly enough, Unseelie fey cannot use this type of magical sand for whatever mysterious reason.
As one might expect, with all this magical prowess, fey typically take magic for granted. This does not necessarily mean that they abuse its art, as it comes naturally to them, but more so akin to how humans might take the abilities to eat, breathe and communicate for granted in most cases- its just simply something that they do and always expect to be able to do. As such, fey typically have at least a small amount of contempt for spellcasters of other races and are generally unimpressed by most magical phenomenon (though admittedly, they do love dazzling displays of color in spellcraft!).
Human Superstitions Regarding Faeries
Humans are a superstitious bunch, there’s no denying that, and what better than to fabricate beliefs about than magical beings that they don’t understand! Some individuals sadly take these superstitions to heart and believe that they are a true reason to fear the faerie folk (A radical few even become the mysterious ‘Cold Iron Warriors’ of legend, slayers of all fey, good or evil) The following are a small collection of the many superstitions, true or false, that humans have regarding faeries.
· Mischievous faeries can bewitch cows, causing them to produce no milk. This can be especially frustrating in rural communities, and a simple cure has been devised to ward off faerie attacks and cure “Faerie-struck” livestock. The owner of the cow must simply find a well that has been blessed or rumored to have mystical powers and lead the animal around it three times, casting a single stone in each time around. To prevent the cow from being “attacked” again, simply tie a red ribbon around its tail, which is a known and relatively proven way to ward off real faeries, regardless if they were the cause of the lack of milk or not.
· A newly wed couple should always retire to their bedchamber at the same time, especially on the night of their wedding. Should the bride be left alone, the faeries, which are attracted by the festivities revolving around the wedding, might very well steal her away to Faerie due to her fine clothing.
· Leaving out eggshells after cooking is known to attract fey due to their natural obsession with eggs of all kinds. In order to prevent them from gathering in your kitchen or even near your house, it is wise to fully crush any eggshells after they’re broken open for the yolk.
· If milk is spilled upon the open ground it is considered good luck to leave it there to appease the fey as a small gift, rather than try and clean it up.
· There are also those who believe that leaving scraps of food in their hearth or other easily accessible location as gifts to small fey of the area leads to good luck and a general benevolent feeling amongst any faerie visitors they might have.
· It is also commonly believed that fey are the direct cause of erysipelas, or the infection of the skin and mucus membranes which causes them to turn a grotesque shade of red, and it is actually a form of vengeance amongst those who have somehow sparked their wrath.
· Favorite targets of fey mischief, especially when dealing with the Unseelie court, are small children, due to their small size and relative inability to ward off attack. Similar to warding off faerie attacks on livestock, it is wise to tie a red ribbon to a small child, or even leave a pair of iron scissors; blades face up, tied to their crib. Should misfortune strike and one believes that their child has been “faerie-struck” (that is, given to convulsions or some other ailment) a “sure cure” is to light a large fire and throw in several types of herbs. What these herbs are vary greatly from location to location and local lore, but it can be assumed that they are most likely some sort of a bane to faeries. After the fire dies down and begins to smoke, the child should be carried around it three times while the parent performing the ritual recites a prayer to protect from evil to the deity of their choice. Afterwards, to complete the process, a small bag that contains an iron nail should be tied about the child’s neck with three loops of red ribbon.
· A sure way to pierce through faerie glamour (the general magic of the fey folk, believed by some to conceal them from human sight at all times) is to look through a self-bored stone. Such a stone must be made naturally, resulting from the erosion of a small rock so that a natural hole is made all the way through it. When looking through such a stone, a human can supposedly see fey clearly, just as all other animals can.
· Many stories abound of fey being malicious creatures that are known to enchant humans so that they are so entranced with the fey’s beauty that they slowly wither away. One such story claims that a proud, young knight once caught a glimpse of a water sprite bathing in a pool in the forest and instantly fell in love with her. So caught up with her beauty, that he sat by the pool until he starved to death, hoping to catch a glimpse of her just one more.
· Another popular tale circulated among humans is the supposed legend that a noble family threw a grand party at their castle, only to have an unexpected guest. In the story, the Queen of Air and Darkness herself arrives just in time for the dance to begin. Using her fey powers, she enchants all the women present so that they fall into a deep, magical sleep. At the same time, the men present became caught up in her faerie glamour, and began to dance with her unceasingly until they all slowly died of exhaustion. The women, when the spell was finally broken, woke to the horrible sight of the corpses of their husbands and sons scattered about the dance floor after their ethereal dance.
Interestingly enough, the fey themselves tell versions of this legend as well, suggesting that perhaps it is based on factual events and that it is a particularly favorite punishment of the Queen of Air and Darkness. In the fey version, a lady-in-waiting of the Queen of Air and Darkness, named M’Ara feel in love with one of the queen’s prestigious Dark Hunters, Shadowsigh. The pair planned to flee the faerie lands on the night of one of the macabre festivals of the Unseelie Court, the New Moon Celebration.
The Queen instead learned of their trickery and love, and “gifted” M’Ara a beautiful costume to wear to the festival, complete with magical slippers. When the unfortunate faerie donned the slippers, she began to dance uncontrollably and no matter how much she cried and begged, couldn’t stop. The story goes on to say that by midnight, she was dead from exhaustion. As for Shadowsigh, it is rumored that he still serves the Queen of Air and Darkness and that she largely ignores his indiscretion, save for the night of the New Moon, when she brings him M’Ara’s slippers, which he himself must wear for the evening.
· Many sailors insist that water faeries, such as mermaids or nixies, rescue drowning people. This superstition does, in fact, hold a bit of truth to it as one might expect the occasional intervention by a goodly fey. However, a darker side of the tale states that some of these water creatures actually entice the sailors into the water where the fey drowns them or keeps them afloat long enough so that they die of thirst.
The Faerie Deities
Portfolio: The Faerie folk, Magic, the realm of Faerie and friendship.
Titania is the Queen of Faeries, even of those who have deserted the ways of the Seelie and have ventured towards the arms of her evil sister, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She teaches all the faeries that mercy and goodness are to be upheld at all times. She often is seen as a beautiful, but tiny female faerie with gossamer wings and an absolutely perfect complexion.
Portfolio: Nature, wild places, animals
Known as the Lord of Beasts in the Seelie Court, Oberon is unusual when seen next to his kin. He is distinctly quite a bit larger than normal fey, possesses no wings and is surprisingly, heavily muscled. While he is often referred to as King Oberon, more an honorific than anything, due to his status as consort to Titania.
Portfolio: Food, shyness and friendship
Rarely seen for more than a few moments, Caoimhin is an extremely shy deity and is rarely seen alone without the company of at least one other member of the Seelie Court sylvan deities. Notably, he is enticed by warm clothing, food and recitations of bards and music, particularly stringed instruments.
Portfolio: Song, Dance, Celebration, Satyrs
The patron god of satyrs and their kindred, Damh loves all forms of music, song dance and just about any type of joyous festivity. While he’s a very old deity and on good relations with other druidic deities in various pantheons, he has a fondness for dryads and is (unsurprisingly) self-indulgent and rarely will postpone personal gratification.
Portfolio: Healing, Loyalty, Protection, Unicorns, Pegasi
This unicorn deity is revered by all the fey folk as a protector, and is notably the mount for a handful of deities, such as Oberon, Fionnghuala, and it is rumored that Hanali Celanil of the elven pantheon has a particular relationship with Eachthighern.
Portfolio: Treants, trees, deep and hidden magic
The Treant deity is known as the sage of the Seelie Court and has seemingly been around forever. Like Yggdrasil (often rumored to be the World Tree), he is a World Tree, his roots stretching out through eternity as if he had always existed.
Portfolio: Swanmays, Sorority, Communication
Once a mortal human, Fionnghuala served the fey folk for many years before being slain in a battle against the Queen of Air and Darkness while protecting Oberon’s avatar. Feeling pity for her lost mortal friend, Titania rose the human woman from the dead, and granted her the gift of a white swan’s feather, which now lets her acquire the form of a swan.
Nathair Sgiathach (neigh-er skey-ak)
Portfolio: Pseudodragons, faerie dragons, mischief, pranks
Despite the fact that he is a dragon himself; however small, Nathair Sgiathach does not often concern himself with the affairs of his larger kin. Instead, he chooses to spend his time playing tricks and otherwise indulging his ample curiosity.
Portfolio: Centaurs, community, natural balances
The god of the centaurs is in truth an ally to the faerie folk, seeing a mutual benefit for both peoples should their allegiance continue.
Porfolio: leprechauns, trickery, illusions
Known as the Court Jester of the Seelie Court, Squelaiche is always prepared with a joke or quip, sometimes even at the expense of Queen Titania herself. While he might play the part of the Fool, he is certainly an intelligent creature and readily defends the sylvan folk should the need arise.
Porfolio: Nymphs, dryads, sylphs, female faeries, charm and beauty
Like those who worship her, Verenestra is a fickle and vain goddess, though is completely loyal to the Seelie Court despite her nature. Unsurprisingly, she is very snobbish and avoids contact at all costs with other female deities of love, beauty or romance.
The Queen of Air and Darkness
Portfolio: Magical Illusions, Darkness, Murder
Known once the beautiful sister of Queen Titania, the Queen of Air and Darkness’s name has long since been lost to the sands of time, leaving only this honorific, if it can be called one, to name her, rather than a true name. No more than a twisted husk of her former glory, the Queen of Air and Darkness is an incorporeal being, though if perceived through magical means, might appear as a female faerie of stunning beauty with stark white skin, pure black eyes with red pupils and inky black hair. The direct opposite of her sister now, she seeks only to destroy the faerie folk and the lands they hold dear.
Places of Fey Power
The Fey Mounds
While fey have exceptionally long life spans and are immune to all sorts of common ailments, they do, on occasion, pass from this existence to the next. When this occurs, the friends of the fey creature often bring the body of their deceased companion to what has simply become known in the Common tongue as a fey mound. While the faeries have their own name for this special place, it is almost impossible to pronounce outside of their tongue, and as such the term ‘fey mound’ is almost universal.
In short, a fey mound is essentially a magically enhanced burial ground for all types of fey (the creatures are not prejudiced in what type of fey uses it), and is typically located deep in the forest so that no one will accidentally stumble upon it. Whenever a fey creature dies, its companions bring it to such a place and cover the remains over lightly with leaves, branches and dirt; and as such, it is often possible to see layers upon layers of bone beneath all the organic material, especially if the fey mound has had a recent interment.
It is rumored among many arcane practitioners that the resulting “mulch” of decomposing organic material from such a fey mound is an extremely valuable spell component; however, anyone caught stealing from a fey mound is punished unremorsefully with a quick death (if they can even get close enough to the mound to steal!).
Considered hallowed ground due to the unique magical nature of the remains located within, a fey mound possesses several curious properties that radiate out around it, as if in a sphere of magical energy. The effects vary depending on how close a person gets to the mound, but a general idea can be found below.
Distance from the Mound - Effect
100-51 feet - A silent image of the newest dead fey and ghost sounds of whispering and giggling.
21-50 feet - Hallucinatory Terrain
11-20 feet - Sleep
Up to 10 feet - A form of Lesser Geas (As chosen by any presiding Dungeon Master)
~From Magic of Faerun, p.# 43