• Miles O'Neal

Who are the Faerie Really?

Three faerie (the triad) approaching

We do not know sure whence- or when- the faerie came. They speak of times before our recorded history, but that tells us only that they have better racial memory. There is much they do not speak of with humans. We know that they fight only of necessity (and almost never with other faerie), that they have powers we deem magical, that they seem to forget nothing and have great knowledge, and that they outlive us by many lifetimes. Their appearance is completely human. They are oft maligned but have no interest in enchanting, kidnapping, or harming humans. (There are three exceptions I am aware of, the most notorious being Morgan le Fay. Her actions heavily reinforced human prejudice against her kin.)

Prior to what we name "the fall", the faerie tell us that the races lived together in peace. The few dragons who will speak of such things say the same. After the fall, humans became suspicious of not only one another, but all others. The faerie chose to fade into obscurity. Many of us ceased to believe in them.

Most of the faerie kings and queens chose to have their people watch over us and help where they could. They did this in the shadows, as it were. At times one would act as a guardian angel, but there were so few faerie and so many humans, this happened only for a select few.

The faerie do not appear to be prolific. It is believed they produce enough offspring to keep their number more or less constant (whatever number that is). I have heard they do not have marriage ceremonies, but that when two faerie choose each other, they form a lifetime bond we might safely call marriage. These bonds last until one of the partners dies.

There are several documented cases of humans and faerie marrying. Contrary to popular belief, such a marriage does not automatically condemn a faerie to a human lifespan. Normally each partner would continue to age at their normal rate. To the human, the faerie spouse would appear not to age at all. The faerie would watch their human spouse age rapidly and die. Given the passion with which the faerie approach life, this would probably feel devastating. The alternative is to take on human aging and their spouse's lifespan- an irreversible decision. This is known to have occurred in Moldova in the late 1300s when Florin of Glodyany wed Ulyssa- a faerie among Viking traders- after they fought side by side for months to save his village from plague-driven invaders. Only weeks after the marriage, Florin was thrown from a horse and broke his neck. Witnesses claim that Ulyssa died of a broken neck even as Florin did, though she was miles away at the time, sitting on the ground sharpening a sword.

The faerie are friendly with dragons and all non-malevolent sentient beings. Most animals have no quarrel with them. Some of their greatest works were produced in conjunction with dragons and dwarfs (before the latter died off).

Copyright 2019 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, TX Illustration from chapter 18 of Into Otherness by Alli W. Ritchie

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