Tir Tairngire is the Fae capital of Otherworld.
Fae come in a variety of types, some of the more well known ones are:
- Sylphs - Also called sidhe. They look nearly identical to humans, save for their antennae, pointed ears, and of course their great big bug wings. The sidhe tend Tir Tairngire and have the highest population in the Otherworld above ground. The current queen is of the sidhe.
- Bluecaps - Cave Fae who are more commonly found in their underground city of Agartha. They are said to appear to miners as blue lights, playing tricks, leading them to rich veins of ore, or warning them of dangers ahead with well timed knocks from within the walls. The miners dubbed these helpful sprites "bluecaps" for the color of their glow, which comes from their luminescent (and squishy!) antennae. Along with their big eyes and bigger ears, they’re well adapted for life indoors!
- Redcaps - A flightless variety of fae, they typically use winged insects as mounts. More commonly known as Brownies, they are the most "real" of the fae, and survive the best in low magic environments. They are a fiercely independent people and mostly stay in the real world rather than subject themselves to the rule of the Queen. They are not as magical as other faes, so they protect themselves by choosing their strongest to undergo a transformation into a Redcap, the horrifyingly strong (enough to kill a full grown human without too much effort) and nearly iron-immune elite guard of browniekind. Their signature weapons are iron pikes, the wielding of which leaves their hands red and scarred, but they see it as a badge of honor. Most of the other fae leave them to their own devices.
- Nisse - The snow fairies are blue, moth-like fairies with fluffy hair and a wooly layer of floof that grows from their collar, as well as highly sensitive fern-like antennae. They live in small, close-knit communities in the frosty reaches of the world, in cities burrowed beneath thick layers of snow. Unlike many other fae, they have a nuclear family unit, where parents raise their children in their own homes. Because of their finely honed magic senses, they set dreamstone beacons to help their kind find their way in blizzards when visibility is zero.
- Finfolk - Deep-dwellers and traditional fish-tailed merfolk, they basically look like they're part eel. Possibly the most physically powerful fae race, with deceptively strong sinewy arms and hardened, fused knuckles that allow for deadly whip-like punches (based on Mantis Shrimp!). Their tails are also super muscular, and they can slither effectively on land as well as propel themselves through the ocean. The deeper they're born, the more exotic they look. They have a fondness for human aesthetics, which has in the past led to some troubles with disappearing crews and large blooms of halflings; the Fae Queen has largely managed to stamp this out. However, the Finfolk are very proud, and very numerous by fae standards, far eclipsing the populations of the Sylphs. They even have their own Queen, who ostensibly answers to she who sits on the Briar Throne, but who in practice considers herself at least the true queen's equal. This leads to some considerable tension between the two prideful races, as the Queen of Tir Tairngire is aware that if the finfolk really wanted to, they could easily resist her edicts by military might... and the Deep Queen likes to remind her of this.
- Selkies - The mammalian variation of sea-dwelling fae. Slick, grey skin, lank gray hair, webbed fingers and toes, big soulful black eyes. They almost always wear what looks like a sealhide cloak, which is in fact a strangely-adapted form of wings! Most fae find shape-shifting difficult, and it's usually the mark of a very powerful fairy, but all Selkies can do it as long as they have their cloak, which they're born with. Selkies guard their pelts jealously because without them they lose their transformative powers, and a Selkie pelt once stolen can be used against the owner. They're a pretty lonesome and melancholy race who prefer to keep to themselves, not even socializing with other Selkies much. They have beautiful singing voices but some of their native songs sound really goofy to human sensibilities, and saying as much is a good way to pique these usually passive people. The eyebrow-like dots on their foreheads are actually regressed antennae, adapted for use underwater. The Selkies protect the Tideheart, a large seashell that embodies the connection between the sea and the moon. It's kept in a secret grotto in an island, and only the selkies and their most trusted allies know it even exists. It's especially kept from the more aggressive finfolk.
- Hyperboreans - The most magical of all the fae, they were an enlightened society that once dwelt on cities above the clouds with advanced medicine and healing. They were almost utopian, but reclusive and pretty far removed from Earth's other peoples. They were the canary in the mine shaft when magic went on the decline leading to their extinction.
- Halflings - They aren't a race of fae, rather they're what you get from the union of a human and a fairy. Generally speaking, when they're first born (or hatch!) they take after their human parent, and while it varies a little by combination, usually the only real tell is a slight point to their ears and a serious aversion to iron. As they grow, their fae nature will gradually take hold and they will take on more features of their fae parent, though still subtle. They'll start to act more like afae as well, often delighting in pranks and puzzles and spending much of their time outdoors, as they feel the inexorable pull of Otherworld calling to them. Eventually this call will lead them to abandon their human family and seek Otherworld. Once they arrive there, their true fae nature awakens, and with it all desire to return home to their friends and family disappears. They integrate into fae society, and it's a rare halfling who feels any ties to their former life. Emily is obviously an exception... a very worrying exception, to the fae. Halflings are very important to the fair folk for a number of reasons: They've kind of got a foot in both worlds (so to speak), when traveling to the real world a fae will wind up very small and can't achieve human size without artifacts or spells; Halflings have no such trouble, and can shift between the two sizes freely in the human world. Similarly, while humans are liable to become hopelessly lost in the shifting, misty forests of Otherworld, halflings can navigate it as well as any pure blooded fairy, as they have the same sense for the flow of magic. Most importantly, only a halfling can become the King or Queen and wear the prophetic crown that grants them visions of the future- visions which the fae rely on to shape the world.
Emily LangEditA Halfling sylph, also known as Hummingbird, she has her own page.
She lived with her dad, Chinese-American illustrator Cho Lang, in the suburban outskirts of Sundial City. One day she wandered off into the forest and discovered, to her great surprise, that mom was a fairy, and Emily herself was a candidate for the fae throne.
OberonEditAlso has his own page.
A sylph who is Emily's closest friend and confidant. He's a studious, methodical young man who has worked as a librarian at the fairy archives his entire life.
In the Archive's deeper chambers, where no one is watching, he's practiced all sorts of sorceries he's found in his books, and not just the subtle sort the fae are known for. He's summoned fire learnt from wizards' grimories, called forth howling winds like the shamans of ancient history... and while he knows he's not supposed to, he's found these skills come in very handy when Emily's gotten them in another jam!
The Fae QueenEditThe current queen is a Sylph halfling with fiery red hair. She takes her job of guiding the fae very seriously and is determined not to have her people decline any further during her rein. This, coupled with the continuing decline of magic, lead to her decision to invade the human world during the late 1970s to look for new or previously untapped sources of magic. The invasion went well since humans had no defenses against her armies magical ability to pacify them until Skathi put her in a head-lock and nuggied her into surrender.
LorelaiEditLorelai is a Selkie, a reclusive coast-dwelling race of shapeshifters. Her people live on their own, with little contact from humans or fae. Like any Selkie, she can change forms at will using her magical cloak to become a seal. She's shy and more than a little bashful, though it doesn't take much prompting to break out in song! Music is her trade and her passion, and though she's young she's undeniably talented. Her love of music sometimes gets in the way of her better judgement, though. Her village is hidden to outsiders, but she accidentally would up revealing its location to Emily and Oberon- while she was tailing the fairy explorers, she couldn't help piping up when she decided Oberon's voice would be perfect for a duet!
Lorelai's special even among her kind; she's the youngest Remembrancer, a sort of storyteller that keeps the history of the clan through magical song. Using the power of her beloved harp, she can evoke scenes from the history of the Selkies, echoes plucked right out of the Grand Narrative and into reality, however briefly. Far from a mere bard though, her powers can be a great help in the fight against evil! Fresher events can be evoked more easily- if Emily were to, say, poke a monster with her foil, Lorelai could "echo" that move with a strum of her harp and cause a phantom Emily to repeat the sword stroke on the same monster! The phantoms aren't any more real than a reflection, and though they maintain the intent of the original action they don't have any life of their own, fading in an instant.
XainEditA bluecap from Agarthan, a society that runs on rules. Unlike the freeform nature of Tir Tairngire's social structure, things are done very precisely in that city deep beneath the ground, and to that end a caste of Watchers exists to make sure everything is done just so.
Xian is a member of this caste, and she loves her job. She's linked to a magical eyeball construct that she can send all around the great subterranean metropolis to look for areas in need of repair, workers in need of advising, or outsiders in need of an armed escort.
Xian could be said to be a bit stuck up. Her job is telling others how to do their jobs, and she certainly isn't shy about that! She herself follows the rules to the letter, and takes pride in doing so. On top of that, the fairies of Agartha are more than a little clannish, and tend to think of themselves as being more civilized than Earth's other intelligent peoples. Her sister, Sheng, works at the Agarthan Archives, a massive repository rivaling Tir Tairngire's own (and better organized!), and is much more of a free spirit, to Xian's endless frustration.
Like most bluecaps, Xian can light the darkness with her antennae, or take the form of a dim glow to hide herself. With her Watcher buddy, she can spy on far-off places, or cast a hex meant to transfix invaders. She's also got a good sense for mineralogy and metallurgy, which simply come from living in a cavern.
Brownies are notorious for being both hardy and ferociously independent. They answer to no queen, and they protect their autonomy with a militia known as the Redcaps, the best of their best, enhanced with black magic and strange mutagens to become nearly unstoppable in close quarters. These men are such juggernauts that the dire weakness to iron that all fae share is but a mere irritant to them.
Dannil wants nothing more than to join the ranks of the Redcaps. He trains daily; whenever he's not working he's working out. He's drank all the seperationist koolaid the Redcap leaders like to spout, and has a very poor view of the sylphs of Tir Tairngire indeed. In fact, Dannil was just about ready to make an example of the latest upstart halfling in the arena when they first met! Luckily, Oberon was able to persuade him that not all royals are bad, and the three ended up friends. Since then he's been a voice of (relative) moderation in his clan.
Dannil is brash, bullheaded and garrulous. He's got big opinions and has no reservations about making them known, regardless of company. While Emily and Oberon tolerate him well enough, others in their group of friends find him less agreeable. Despite his social shortcomings, he's as loyal as they come, and as good a drinking pal as you could ask for- he treats his friends very well. Among Emily's fae friends, his strength is second to none, and he's the only one who can hope to cross swords with her on even terms! Like all Brownies, he's flightless, but has a much better tolerance for low-magic environments, and can even endure iron with great exertion of will.
A wise man would not insult his hat.
Nora EliseEditThis girl is a member of the Nisse branch of the fairy family tree, a moth-like variety that thrives in chilly climates. They're known for the fluffy ruff that grows from their collars. What else they do, I have no idea.
Emily and Oberon might meet her when Oberon is reassigned to their remote village in order to get the duo out of some scheming fairy's way. She is undeniably fluffy.
IrisEditIn the uncharted depths of the ocean, one might never know the fae race was faltering. The finfolk are plentiful and powerful, in all their myriad forms. Though they still hold council with the Seelie Court, the finfolk have long considered their empire greater than any land bound nation, and their obeisance to the Queen is token at best. After all, they have their own Deep Queen, who commands all the legions of the deeps, and what land walker could hope to match her might?
But with numbers comes competition. Many finfolk can claim royal blood and a right to the throne, and the competition to be named Successor is incredibly fierce.
In those dangerous royal waters, Iris was born. She's trained relentlessly to rise to the top of her school, feverishly studying political science and arcane arts while honing her body and mind to peak fitness. She is clever, prepared, and ruthless. Iris has sworn she will see herself on the throne by any means necessary.
Iris has a secret edge over her peers, though- she's a Halfling. This has many implications, but the most significant, to her, are these:
- She is eligible for not one, but two crowns. And....
- Emily is a threat to both ambitions. Doubtless an upstart Seer Queen would oppose the rise of a halfling to the Deep Throne, so as to deny a potential rival influence.
Therefore, Emily is an enemy. And Iris will use any means necessary to defeat, humiliate and eliminate her enemies.
RosieEditA Nisse who has rejected the traditional lifestyle of her kind to live among humans, albeit secretly. She likes the big city life, and gets by in the regular world by stealing dreams (and food). She's got a great deal of contempt for the social structure she was born into, but, y'know, punk, that's par for the course.
She's based on a rosie maple moth.
Harpies are savage, tribal luddites by inclination. This isn't to say they aren't intelligent- though they shun the excesses of civilization such as medicine, clothing or education, most flocks were smart enough to take the Queen up on her offer of sanctuary. They now reside in the outlands of Otherworld, living as they've always lived, and that's how they like it.
MarigoldEditMarigold is a bit of an odd duck, if you'll pardon the phrasing. When she was just a newly-hatched chick, still covered in downy baby feathers, a fae naturalist happened to visit her flock. While the other harpies were wary, she was fascinated by his strange shape and colorful clothes. She followed him everywhere, watching as he wrote his notes and sketched his sketches. When he learned she hadn't been named by the flock yet, he took to calling her Marigold.
The naturalist left years ago, but Marigold's fascination remained. She took up habits her sisters found most unseemly, hanging around the outskirts of Tir Tairngire, secretly watching the fair folk go about their business, stealing discarded clothes to clumsily make her own. She's become something of a fairy otaku!
Unfortunately for her, harpies aren't exactly welcome in the great capitol, being aggressive and destructive and prone to starting fights with anything that moves. Marigold took to stealing tomes from the Archives book drop, to teach herself to read. Inevitably she was caught, but the Chief offered to sneak her plenty of books if she'd take a job surveying the Otherworld's wilds, a task well suited to a studious harpy! Now she can borrow all the books she likes, and the chief gets reports and maps, if rather crude ones. It's tough to write with big meaty talons!
She's got another secret, though- harpies believe they're descended from the Phoenix, and some are born with innate fire powers! Marigold's kept these budding abilities from her clan- she doesn't really want to go back to them.
ViraEditLike many harpies of Otherworld she did not have a given name initially and was only distinguished by her black feathers; eventually she decided on Vira. She is a long time friend of Marigold's, though she is often dismissive of her and chastises her for wearing clothes and being interested in the fae, she does care for her. When Marigold was still a chick she fell ill and it was Vira who nursed her back to health and brought her food, something not many harpies would do.
Though dismissive of the fae and their ways, she has shown interest in clothing, but unless it's plate armor, she prefers to go nude like most harpies of Otherworld.
The Chief ArchivistEditTir Tairngire's head librarian is none other than a huge, serpentine golden dragon. A figure of grandfatherly wisdom and a staunchly apolitical entity in a society of ladder-climbing fae, the Chief is, despite his imposing form, a figure every young fairy feels they can turn to for advice. And who better to turn to than a wyrm who hoards knowledge?
The Chief is something of a father figure for Oberon, who was selected to foster at the Archives once he was old enough to leave the nursery. While most fae choose to aim for loftier careers than sorting books, it happens to be Oberon's passion, and he's become one of the Chief's trustiest lieutenants in keeping the Archives shipshape. Oberon's even been known to scold the Chief himself for leaving books out! Since Emily first discovered Otherworld, the dragon has become like an uncle to her, and the Archives often becomes her and Obie's "home base" while they plan their next adventure. The Chief is just glad to see Oberon getting out into the world!
The Chief owes a debt of gratitude to the fae, as a Hyperborean healer tended him through an illness in his impetuous youth. It pains him that he cannot repay the Hyperboreans, as they've long since passed from the earth, but he does what he can to help their kin, and has grown to love the fae despite their fickle, mischievous ways. Though he could probably stand to see Emily stop dropping books on him.