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Fairy maiden.

Oh, fairies operate on a system of rules.  They are strange and random, and sometimes seem contradictory, but they all respect these rules.

Fairies, also called Faeries, Fae, Fey, Fair-folk, Sidhe, Youkai and numberous other similar names, are a spirit-race hailing from another world that sits alongside the nurmal material plane.  They are strange, magical beings, as different and numerous as the races that dwell on the material realms. 

Characteristics

Fairies are a diverse group of magical creatures, a unique race as diverse as Angels or Demons.

Appearance

Fairies have extremely diverse appearances.  They often combine aspects of Humanoids and Beastfolk, such as an elf with antlers, or a human with claws and hooves.  Many also have insect-like wings, multiple eyes and limbs, and extra-long limbs.  Many of the greater sidhe are unnaturally beautiful.

Powers

Many fae are frighteningly powerful.  Size means little to a fairy's strength, and ones as small as a doll can sometimes be more physically powerful than a troll or minotaur. 

Weaknesses

Iron is harmful to Fae, and Cold Iron is nearly deadly against them.  Fairies are also forced to follow the rules that govern their existence, detailed more below.

Rules & Deals

Fairies must adhere to a number of rules, completely incapable of breaking them.  There are not consequences for going against the fairy rules, as it is simply impossible for the fae to break them.  The rules sometimes change for different fairy types.  This can be presented as an inability to lie, a need to count certain things, or the inability to cross running water, as some examples.

Deal making is an important aspect of many fairies, used most with mortals.  It often involves a trade, either something the mortal cannot easily obtain or some power they need, and in exchange the fairy will demand something precious of the mortal.  While they cannot lie in making the deal, fair folk often use double-talk or double-meanings to mislead the mortal they deal with.

Descendants

Elves are often said to be a fey-born race, as are Gnomes.  Rarely, a fairy mates with a mortal, producing a new fairy creature from the union.

Governance

An Unseelie Fairy torments a Seelie one.

The fairy folk have an odd system of governance, with courts and kingdoms, though chaos often reigns.

Court of the Seelie

The closest idea of "good" fairies, the Seelie Fae are friendly and helpful, though often enough fond of tricks and pranks.  This includes the lesser courts of Spring and Summer.

Court of the Unseelie

In many ways the opposite of the Seelie Court, the Unseelie fae are a court of monsters and boogeymen ruled over by the dark fairy king, Oberon.  Includes lesser courts of Autumn and Winter.

Servants of the Fairy King

This large group of Faeries were the creatures who elevated Boreas, the North Wind, to the status of Fairy King and served him.  Many of them considered all fae to be servants of Boreas, who they called Dagda, and called them to serve when he re-awakened.  After Boreas' death the kingdom collapsed, though some remain loyal to him even now.

Tylwyth Teg

A small society of equally small fae, the Tylwyth Teg of the Fleetwoods are comprised of pixies, sprites, and other especially small faeries.  They are ruled over by their own queen, Rhiannon.

Types

There are numerous different fae, but some of them fall in to specific types.

Redcaps

Redcaps are nasty Unseelie fae notable by their red cap.  This cap is not naturally red, and the redcap must kill mortals and use their blood to cover the cap.  This leads to a group of bloodthirsty little monsters.

Gremlins

The fairies of Urheim, gremlins are obsessed with ruining mechanical creations, breaking cables and wires, stealing screws and nuts, etc.  They sometimes work with the strange witches of the realm. 

Pixies

Also called Sprites.  Among the smallest fey, usually only a foot at their tallest, Pixies are bright little creatures with insect-like wings and bodies that usually glow.  The tiny Pixies are often servants of greater fae. 

Hags

Hags are the otherworldly witches of the Fey.  They are hideous old women obsessed with ruining things of beauty and causing discord among mortal beings.  Their magic powers are among the greatest of non-noble sidhe.

Satyrs

Goat-like fairy folk. Satyrs are often tricksters, playing alluring music and offering mortals strong drink, then convincing them to debase themselves in unique ways.  They come in Seelie and Unseelie variations as well, ranging from helpful guides to brutal villains.

Leprechauns

Sometimes called fey Halflings, the Leprechauns are short fairy folk with a penchant for fine music and strong drink.  It is said all Leprechauns have a pot of gold or some other riches hidden somewhere, and if they are caught can be forced to give it up.  Many believe this can be done by getting the Leprechaun drunk, however this is a foolish mistake, as Leprechauns can drink enough to make an ogre sick.

Affiliations and Alliances

The many fairy courts and nations often make alliances and agreements with eachother, though they rarely make true alliances with mortals.  Fair folk were servants of Boreas, viewed by many as their king, and many others are in an alliance with Dryas.

Unseelie fae are often served by Ratfolk

Notable Fairies

Viviane

Also known as Nimue and the Lady of the Lake, Viviane is the Fairy Witch.  Not the same as a Hag, which is the fae equivalent of a witch, Vivane is a fairy trained as a "mortal" witch, with power as great as her beauty.  She is the creator of numerous artifacts, among them the mighty sword Arondite.  Her title as Lady of the Lake refers to Viviane's habit of appearing to mortals from lakes, ponds, and streams.

Herne the Huntsman

Herne was a great and powerful fairy hunter, a spirit of the hunt itself.  He served the King of Winter faithfully for centuries, even while the god slept.  Herne was one of the few beings able to call the Wild Hunt, and he attempted to do so when the time of Boreas' return neared.  He failed however, and was killed shortly before the North Wind's return, by the King's own daughter.

The Three Riders

A trio of fae in service to the Baba Yaga.  They are known as the White Rider, My Bright Morning, the Red Rider, My Red Sun, and the black rider, My Dark Midnight.  The three are extremely powerful and serve only the will of the great witch herself.

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