Otherworld being the magical realm (think pocket dimension) where magical creatures live and Tir Tairngire being the fae capital.
Not to be confused with the Shadowrun location.
More commonly referred to as fairies, the Fae Folk are a race of magical people who are normally about the same size as bugs, but can use magic to grow to human size. Most have wings and are able to fly, all have antenna and hatch from eggs. They primarily use wood and natural products, occasionally gold, but no iron or steel since most have something akin to an allergic reaction to ferrous metals.
They were once known as the Tuatha de Dannan and ruled over primordial Ireland, until a war with the mighty Formorians drove them to the Otherworld – the fiery hair of the Irishmen is a gift from their fae heritage.
The Formorians are not fae but giants, ancient enemies who battled the Tuatha de Dannan for control of primordial Ireland in ages long forgotten. Huge, magically gifted and physically powerful, they were no less clever and cunning than their fair foes. It's said that when the two armies reached parlay, the Formorians' clever leader tricked the leader of the sidhe into granting his people half of Ireland- the top half. The sidhe retreated to the Otherworld, where they now dwell, tending their ancestral home of Tir Tairngire, interacting only rarely with the real world. No one knows what happened to the Formorians in the distant murky past. Fae historians believe they must have been driven out or exterminated by humankind when man first came to Ireland. Some even speculate that an ancient Formorian curse is responsible for the fae's tiny stature when outside the Otherworld.
Time also functions differently here, a few hours in Fairyland could be a few days in the human realm.
The current queen has had the unfortunate luck of presiding over a time of great calamity when the Grand Narrative unravels and the world’s magic weakens. With her seer powers growing cloudy and the Fae Folk outside the Fae Realm growing anemic with the lack of ambient dreamstuff, she was forced to call her people (and any other magical being bright enough to not eat fairies) to the still magic-healthy Fae Realm to wait things out as they subtly steer history back onto its intended course.
Unfortunately subtly didn't work, so she then raised an army and tried to take back the Earth for fairykind through force; this was known as the Fairy War which occurred some 30+ years ago (or sometime around the late 1970s/Early 1980s). With the occupation of New York City, the war was going very well for her, despite it being the current Headquarters for the Justice Coalition at the time. Heroes who tried to stop them quickly fell prey to their enchantments and wound up serving the Queen, though unfortunately for her, Skathi proved immune to fae magic and promptly marched through the fairy ranks to put the queen in a headlock. The Fae Queen has still not forgiven the Last Goddess for the noogie that ended the war.
The war also lead to at least one halfling being born Emily Lang, possibly more.
They come in a variety of types, though not all reside in Tir Tairngire or even Otherworld, see the List of Otherworld Characters for the specific types. There may be even more specialized sub-species cut off from the rest of fae society living in secret patches of magic not listed.
They are a creative, energetic and clever people and it shows in their works as most architecture is designed in a very three dimensional way as most fairies in Tir Tairngire can fly, so every window is potentially a door.
Fae society relies on a magic-abundant environment, and with magic fading from the human realm, this makes Tir Tairngire a popular place to live.
All of Fairyland is protected by a magical barrier which only those of magical nature can usually pass through. The entrance is located somewhere deep in a forest marked by a ring of mushrooms, when any magical creature crosses over it they are transported to the outskirts of Tir Tairngire and shrunk down to about the size of a bug. The city itself is built into a titanic Elderberry tree.
Queen's TowerEditLocated at the very top of the Elderberry tree lives the queen, her tower functions as a portal to a grassy clearing where a throne made out of thorns can be found. The queen herself is tall, with fire-red hair, and pea-green eyes. Her main role in Fae society isn't to govern, but to see possible futures (called The Grand Narrative) and tell the Fae Folk what they should be doing to keep things running smoothly. Other duties include handing out jewels to halflings so their magic will awaken. Only a halfling can sit upon the Briar Throne and only a halfling who has received the proper training and wears the crown can see possible futures.
Strong-willed and crafty, she's serious-minded and highly focused, taking the job of ruling the Fae people very seriously.
Bug jockeys race dragon flies here. Jockeys are typically Redcaps since their wingless bodies cause less drag. The stadium itself is quite large and brightly colored.
A large bazaar that hangs from the vines of the Elderberry tree, it's designed to make full use of the Fae Folk's ability to fly. Just about anything a Fae could possibly need can be found here, from glittering clothes and mysterious foods to strange glowing trinkets
The ArchivesEditA large kudzu-grown building that's been built up over time as needed with extensions, towers and sky-bridges; it serves as a library and museum. The Chief Archivist is a large golden dragon who considers the knowledge contained within the library to be his treasure. There are a number of study nooks throughout the library for when someone wants privacy or to study alone, some contain secret exits.
It is admittedly lacking in knowledge of recent human technologies.
NurseryEditAn ornate building with soft colors and rows upon rows of egg incubators, in recent times only a very small number of the incubators actually have eggs in them as the decline of magic has created something of a population crisis. Fae eggs are brightly colored and often have patterns. They keep detailed records of births and lineage here.
Essentially the slums, everything is much shabbier down there than up above, but still well kept.
Dream WellEditThe Dream Well stores all of the dreamstuff collected from outside of Fairyland. Dreamstuff is the essence of magic and vital to Fae society. It can be processed and infused into items to create magical items and it is potentially dangerous to non-magical folk when unprocessed. The amount of dreamstuff it is able to collect has been diminishing for ages (but not significantly so until recently) due to magic playing less of a role in the human realm, and many think it unwise to try and collect dreamstuff from other realms for fear that something else might be collected as well.
Fairy society is all about being clever and tricky. Special interest groups are all essentially their own political party, these are called cliques. There is no upper limit on how many cliques an individual can belong to so aspiring ladder-climbers will trade allegiances almost daily to improve their standing and accomplish their goals. For this reason some of the most powerful cliques can have pretty minor premises, like maybe the Celedonia Clique is a lobby for greater purity in dreamstone clasp alloys or maintenance of a certain kind of flower for outerwear or a given way to gather dreamstuff. Since there's no limit to how many causes a fairy can champion, and associating with a clique is merely a matter of said clique deeming you valuable enough to recruit, ambitious fairies climb the ranks of society by collecting and trading alliances like a kid with pogs.
When it's advantageous to do so, Fae will openly display their allegiances and young fairies unversed in the serpentine politics of their world will often do so with great honesty, literally wearing their colors on their sleeves. Older and wiser fairies will choose what they show openly, what they keep secret, and what they allow their rivals to THINK they wish kept secret... fae politics are a labyrinthine ever-shifting world of strategy, trickery and betrayal that ensure only the most cunning wield power.
The Queen possess very little actual political power and has to get it the same way everyone else does- by proving she’s clever, devious and ruthless enough to take control of the innumerable cliques and subtly manipulate her social peers.
AgarthaEditThe Bluecap capitol located deep beneath the fae realm's surface where they live in majestic structures of stone built into the walls of an unimaginably large cavern.
Agarthan society is as different from that of Tir Tairngire as, well, night and day! Where the Sylphs live in a colorful, ever-changing world where your wits and your standing go hand in hand, the Bluecaps have a calm, orderly, and decidedly rigid social structure where you're born into a role and it's unlikely to change. Like the Sylphs, children are rarely raised by their actual parents, usually raised and instructed through their youth by the nursing caste- but after that they're assigned to one of the great houses, which they will probably serve for the rest of their lives. They're the best metalworkers and jewel cutters among fairykind, and what's more they have massive repositories of knowledge in their libraries to rival even the dragon's archives! If you want to peruse them, though, you’ll have to come to Agartha- they guard their secrets jealously.
Living deep beneath the earth makes them a rather isolated people with little interaction with others, and that isolation makes them a little xenophobic. The Agarthans can be a bit snobbish, considering most of the other fae less sophisticated. They especially resent the Sylphs for holding Queenship so long- though they have powerful voices in the Seelie Court which advises the queen, an Agarthan hasn’t sat on the throne for centuries, as their last one to do so went dark.