The Origin of the Fae

Faerie is the home of all Fae, yet they’ve managed to infiltrate the Mortal Realm and make it their home. They’ve even forged bonds of friendship with human magic users. Here’s a list of everything magical and monstrous. Follow the links on images to read more.

Dark Fae and Monsters

The Hunt (Wild Hunt)

Hounds.
Females are rare. They’re more vicious than the males. (They get into more fights and die.)
Ferocious creatures with claws and sharp teeth. Particularly strong glamour to hide their true selves even from other fae.
When the Hunt is around, every living creature feels primordial fear. They remember the worst moments of their lives. The Hunt causes people to feel extra anger and violence as well – leads to lots of fights filled with fear and anger whenever the Hunt is near.
Only certain fae are immune to their effect: the monarchs of the Courts, the Cù Sìth and Caìt Sìth, and particularly strong fae like the Assassin.
Their allegiance is to the Dark Court even though they are technically a law unto themselves like the Cù Sìth and Caìt Sìth.
Pack loyalty is everything.
They take part in seasonal ritualistic hunts/kills to feed the magic of the earth(the place magic comes from).
Mortal enemies: none known.

The Cailleach

AKA Cailleach Bheur AKA Beira, Queen of Winter
Sacred tree: holly and Gorse bush.
Storm Hags accompany her.
All turn to stone (standing stones) from Beltane to Samhain. According to myth – turning to stone only happens when they do not fulfil their duty to the land, the Dark Court and the Dark King.
The Cailleach has a staff that freezes the earth with each tap. She is also guardian of the animals during winter.
The Cailleach is aligned with the Unseelie (Dark Court) since the Rift for protection and power. Though the Storm Hags accompany her wherever she goes, it is more for their entertainment than her protection.
She holds the power of winter. She can appear as an old woman (thus her name) or at any stage of life; whatever suits her purpose.
She lives in Tir na nÓg – a realm all of her own filled with snow, various fae that either come willingly to her realm or accidentally or by force, a castle that sometimes appears as a cottage, and various animals from the mortal realm that find their way to her for comfort and safety. She sends the cold from her realm to Faerie and the mortal realm as needed.
Storm Hags
They are an ugly veined blue. They are truly hags.
They cause storms wherever they go. Their cackling can be heard in the wind.
They follow the Cailleach around because they are drawn to her strength and cold. They obey her every command – as long as it is in line with the wishes of the Unseelie King.

Yuki Onna and Tsurara Onna

Two sides of the same fae.
Yuki Onna: white hair, white skin, white kimono, violet eyes. Snow fuels her glamour. She lives off human life-energy. Usually she preys on lost travellers during snowstorms.
Tsurara Onna: black hair, white skin, blue kimono, blue eyes. Icicles fuel her glamour. She lives off regular food and affection. She finds a human to adore her through winter. She bonds with this person emotionally, but has to leave in the spring. If she returns the following winter and the human stayed true, they can be happy once more; if not, the human gets skewered by an icicle.
This winter fae usually only appears in Japan, but they have been known to travel widely – keeping their appearance the same.
They appear to be young, beautiful Japanese women, taking on the glamour of either Yuki Onna or Tsurara Onna depending on their mood that winter. They serve the Cailleach and aren’t affiliated with any Court.

Leannan Sìth

This Dark Muse has beautiful red hair to go with her strikingly good looks.
There are only female Leannan Sìth.
She offers inspiration to an artist in exchange for his love and complete devotion. Lovers of the Leannan Sìth live brief, though highly inspired, lives. This union always ends in madness, despair and death.
If her advances are spurned, she’ll take action against the human with unpleasant results. (Better to devote oneself to this Faery and die young than go against her and have her cause a fate worse than death for all you know.)
She drains the sanity and life-force from the men she inspires to greatness.
She drains the blood from those she deems unworthy of her love (which is a gift and a curse of itself). She drinks their blood from a huge cauldron in which she gathers their very essence and vitality along with their blood – this is the source of her power and good looks. (This technically makes her a vampire.)
With one kiss from her, a man is her slave even beyond death (she takes possession of his heart and soul).
She only goes after young, handsome men.

The Most Powerful Fae

The Faery Queen

Formal name: Queen Andromeda (used to seal compacts, curses, etc. There’s power in a name.).
Known as: Mae.
Known love-interest: Jamie MacKinnion, leader of the Galno, laird of clan Kinnion.
Weaknesses: none known.
Mae is the all-powerful queen of the fae. Though she shares the responsibility of Faerie and all fae with the Dark King, it is on her mercy fae (and others) fall when they have transgressed. She makes the rules; she enforces the rules (sending the Assassin or the Seelie Knights after the perpetrators).
Only the Assassin, the Dark King and the Cù Sìth can rival her powers. Even Ankou, King of the Dead, defers to her.
She can be volatile, merciful, caring and careless depending on her mood. The Rift was caused during one of her careless moments.
She is Faerie. Everything lives and dies by her whim. Everything comes into being or disappears at her command. After the Rift that divided Faerie, she no longer has such power over the Dark Lands belonging to the Unseelie Court and the Dark King.
When she decides to interfere in the Mortal Realm it is rarely a whim: she had foreseen something in her waterfall that is the Eye of Time, and it had most likely been confirmed by one of her Seers or even the Fates.
Mae is a powerful, independent woman in charge of a whole race of beings. It is her job to make sure that peace prevails between Man and Fae, to make sure the Dark King doesn’t do more damage than he already did by creating the Rift and the Labyrinth, and that everyone survives the unexpected.

Capricious Fae

Pixies

Usually the size of a human thumb, they can change size and appearance at will just like all fae. It takes a lot of magic, though.
They love ribbons. Their clothes are usually made of ribbons – in any colour. Some clans may have a preference in style or colour.
They always live in thorn trees, including fruit trees that have thorns (apple and lemon trees, for instance).
Pixies love mushrooms. They will plant them anywhere. When they have revels, mushrooms will grow in a circle around the place of the revel – sometimes growing huge overnight. It is unlucky to remove or harm these mushrooms: pixies will cause mischief in various forms. In some occasions, they will live in mushrooms: special faery trees that happen to be thorn trees will be guarded by pixies who live in mushrooms at the base of the tree.
Pixies also have a love of growing tulips, cannas and other bulb flowers. They will encourage the growth of these plants wherever they live.
They love to have fun. They are mischievous creatures who enjoy riddles. They also like playing games. Pixies usually don’t harm others, but when it is a choice between their own survival and that of another creature, they will always choose themselves.
Pixies are great at creating glamour. As a group, they can create illusions so strong that even other fae cannot see through it. Some might even do it as a favour…

Selkies

They are able to shape-shift between their seal and human forms.
Selkies mostly live in the human realm.
The biggest taboo of their kind is to mix with other Fae (through marriage, etc.).
Though they do occasionally marry their own kind, it is more common for them to seek a human mate. They entrap an unmarried human by leaving their Other-Skin (the seal pelt) for the human to find. The human is unable to give the Other-Skin away, allow the Selkie to reclaim it, or otherwise harm it. They are bound to their Selkie-mate through this pelt. It is thought that someone powerful had cursed Selkies (and thus humans) to always fall prey to the magic of the Other-Skin.
It does happen that during the Tithe freedom from this curse can be bought from either the Faery Queen or the Dark King (usually the Tithe happens every seven years…). Though some have found the price for freedom to be too steep.
Selkies are known as the good folk to some. They help fishermen to gather enough food from the sea in times of need by singing in the language of the ocean. They are gentle creatures. Though they are known to cause storms and avenge the indiscriminate murder of seals and selkies.
Their homes are usually deep in the ocean, most often a natural vault made of pearls or coral.

The Will-o’-the-Wisp

As big as a human thumb, blue fire faeries with indistinguishable features. Chirp and crackle to communicate. Can understand all language and can make themselves understood using Glamour.
Mischievous. Obey Dryads and other Tree Nymphs. Love to cause trouble and see what happens. Thrive on discord.
Solitary Fae – no allegiance to any Court. Love living in the mortal realm. Can be found in Avalon, The Dark Lands, Isle of the Blest, Tir na nÓg, The Wild Wood, and even The In-Between (so everywhere in Faerie).
Cannot be trusted. They do whatever they please and keep no promises – except to the Tree Nymphs. (So if a Tree Nymph instructed them to lead you to safety, you can follow.)

Magical Places

The In-Between

The In-Between is a shadow world, a prison.
Only powerful Fae can move easily between it and the other Realms (only the Faerie Queen, the Dark King and the Assassin can accomplish this – even Ankou stays away, but only because death doesn’t exist there). Others need special ingredients that come at a price: the first fire given to man by Dragons – Eternal Flame; water from a sacred spring carried in a special crystal chalice; wood from the heart of an oak tree – only a Dryad’s tree will work.
The In-Between takes the life-essence from those trapped there, though it doesn’t kill them. It sloughs away their body and soul.
Those who are powerful – or in great need – can communicate with someone close to them on the outside. But it takes even more of their life-essence to do so. The In-Between is a cruel place.
Fae – led by the Caìt Sìth – have to take light to the In-Between to keep balance between darkness and light or all the Realms will fall to the all-consuming darkness of the In-Between.

The Wild Wood

The Wild Wood was formed after the Rift that tore Faerie to pieces.
It is a place neither in the Mortal Realm nor Faerie, yet is filled with magic and wonder. Wild Fae live there – they have changed over time in ways that other Fae hadn’t.
It is the easiest way to travel between Realms – but it is extremely dangerous. Wild Magic runs through the Wild Wood. But if you can find a copse of trees that connect to the Wild Wood, you can safely travel to where you need to go – especially if travelling out in the open is too dangerous.

Faery Rings

The only safe rings to use are those with white flowers, white stones and white mushrooms. These rings will take you safely to wherever they end up. Pairs of faery rings work together, creating a portal from one location to another.
The grass inside a faery ring will always be different than the grass outside of the ring – something to do with their portal quality and where they lead to.
Pixie rings are technically faery rings, but they do not have stones and always have tulips among the mushrooms. These rings shouldn’t be trusted: pixies are fond of pranks.
Never destroy the mushrooms of a faery ring, as it will cause great tragedy to you. If a faery ring needs to be dismantled before it can be finished (the mushrooms sprout first), carefully remove the mushrooms without breaking them, put them in a plastic bag, seal the bag and dispose of in the garbage – it will end up somewhere safe for the fae to create a new ring.

Faery Circles

Their only defining characteristic: a different grass type growing in a circle within another type of grass. Sometimes it is obvious: kikuyu growing in veld grass. But the true faery circle, the one created by the Cù Sìth, usually has a type of lily in the circle that still looks like grass to fool the eye.
Faery circles can take you wherever you wish to go and do not need another faery circle to deliver you safely at your destination. Faery circles are rare – the Cù Sìth do not believe in allowing great power to be accessible to just anyone.
A dead faery circle will have nothing growing inside: it will be a circle of barren soil surrounded by grass. This can mean various things, but usually it means that all the magic in the area is depleted by a great battle. Or that the Cù Sìth who had created it was dead and had been the last of their bloodline.

Magic Portals

Momentary. Created by human magic-users (warlocks, witches, druids, etc.). Something strong has to be channelled to create these portals: standing stones, meteoroids, the full moon, the blood, bones and scales of dragons, etc.

Caves and Tunnels

Thanks to the dwarves and duergar, what happens within the earth can be in either Faerie or the mortal realm. Caves and tunnels can lead anywhere… even dangerous places no-one should ever go.

Caledonian Forest

Home of the Dragon of the Caledonian Forest who hoards books and is an advisor to many druids and halflings who seek his help – in exchange for books, of course.
The forest is old, dangerous and very much alive. For the most part it is filled with oaks, birch, rowan, aspen, juniper, other hardy trees and ferns, mosses and lichens.
Caution: only go there with a Cù Sìth as your guide.

Faerie

Before the Rift (a millennium or so ago), Faerie was one, whole.
Now there’s the Seelie Realm (Avalon), Borderlands within the human world (though humans are smart enough to stay away from what belongs to the Fae) where Solitary Fae live at a price (a Tithe is paid every seven years to either the Seelie Queen or the Unseelie King), the Unseelie Realm with the Dark King’s castle in the middle of it all, the Wildwood that connects everything and where magic is unpredictable, and the Sea of Discord which divides all realms.
Though Faery Circles and Faery Rings are quite capable of taking the user to where they wish to go within the realms, some still use the old passages between realms (though only the foolish or desperate do so). The old passages were created before the Rift and are no longer uninhabited or reliable.
Balance no longer exists in Faerie. After the Rift, the light no longer tempers the darkness in the Unseelie Fae and the Seelie no longer appreciates the light, for there is no darkness in their world (they no longer realise when they are being cruel or callous).
Some Fae have escaped to magical parts of the human realm – places touched by Faerie during the Rift – and made homes there. Usually this dwelling is disguised as a small hill or something uninteresting and best avoided (like a burial mound).
Though scattered, all Fae are still ruled by the Seelie Queen (Faery Queen) and the Unseelie King (Dark King). Whether that’s by doing the Court’s bidding outside of the seat of power (Seelie Realm/Unseelie Realm) or by paying a Tithe for Court privileges (like living on Court land, under the protection of that Court).
The Fae who choose to have nothing to do with the Courts have a hard life. They either live in the untamed wilderness (the Wildwood or the Sea of Discord) and go mad, or on Court land as prey, or in the Mortal Realm, cut off from their magic. (Only the two Fae monarchs, the Assassin, the King of the Dead and Cù Sìth can command the Mist. Everyone else have to draw and store Glamour from the Mist for their own use – and they can only do that in places where magic is strong.)
Time runs differently in Faerie than in the Mortal Realm. Hours there can be weeks in the human world.
Humans shouldn’t eat food from Faerie: once they do, they belong to the Fae. Only the one who offered the food can break the spell. And usually they don’t: Fae love mortal playthings. Also, Faerie food holds an enchantment that makes food from the Mortal Realm unpalatable to humans, causing an addiction to Faerie food. (You’ve been warned: don’t take sweets/fruits/cakes/drinks or anything else a stranger offers you.)
Making deals with the fair folk from Faerie invariably leads to trouble. Rumpelstiltskin isn’t the only Fae who collects debts, he’s just the most notorious.
Faerie changes to suit the will of the Faery Queen. Her power is strongest in Avalon.
The Dark King prefers to toy with perception and light/dark (illumination or lack thereof) around him.
To enter the land of the Fae (Faerie) is to give up all power of where you are and what you see/hear/feel/smell/taste.

Faery Animals

Pegasus

Related to the original Pegasus, the pegasi are magical winged horses. Pegasus = singular. Pegasi = plural.
Much like unicorns, horses and others related to them, the pegasi live in herds. They are matriarchal. Though some come in rainbow colours, most resemble the colouring of regular horses.
Their wings can be used for different magical things. Different parts, different uses. Crushed feather tips = cure for all poisons. Wings can be attached to someone = they can fly.
They become very attached to certain humans. This attachment helps them to harness their powers. Like transformation. Some pegasi can change colour (e.g. from black to white), grow a horn like a unicorn’s and have fiery red eyes – all which magnifies their power over lightning, storms and nature itself.
They are fierce warriors when called for, but they prefer a simple life of grazing.

Faery-Hybrids

All Faery-Hybrids were once other types of Fae. They became whatever Faery-rat, Faery-bat, Faery-baboon or other creature by living a good life and going against whatever their Fae-nature was. Some see this as a reward – after all, Faery-Hybrids are as close to mortal as Fae can get. Others see it as an abomination. Tree Nymphs usually become Faery-Hybrid plants.

Faery-Hybrid Bats

Furry. Black. Some skinny, some fat. Big eyes – blue, green, red, orange, yellow, or purple.
Were Red Caps or other type of Goblin-Faery in past life – becoming a bat is a reward for a life well-lived. They know all the magic of their previous kind and are immune to it. They try to help others against their previous kind.
They are a little comical – try to do magic they once had; think they’re stronger than they are; bit off-balance while flying.
Do have new magic: can hypnotise enemies; have excellent hearing.

Faery Hybrid Monkeys

They can look like any type of monkey, depending on the region they live in.
They adore living in the mortal world where they can play tricks on man and fae.
They like a good laugh, though they can push things too far.
They are not malicious in nature and have a healthy respect for the more powerful fae.

Raven/Crow Hybrids

These beautiful black birds have the longevity of the fae, the freedom, cunning and grace of the mortal birds, and are revered across the realms.
They bring guidance, protection and change to those they deem to grace with their presence.
Though they aren’t aligned with any Court, they do favour the Morrígan (more about this faery in a later post).