The Fæ

Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 at 15:17

These “rules” are Alpha test rules for the Fae they were only really published because of Garner in the Paradox War and the setting for Ironmaster & Other Tales. Please feel free to disregard them for your own games.

The History of The Fæ

The hybrid being known as the Wyrd was not needed until ancient history began, once humans began recording in writing their beliefs and stories she would be needed to guide the destiny of humanity such that it created the universe that Desi was originally from, before that time she slept within the architecture in a place known variously as the ‘Ordo-Penitus’ by the Eelafin and ‘Dev-null’ by the Eusaiveans.

While the Wyrd ‘slept’ in the architecture she dreamed, her dreams birthed the Faeries or Fæ. Technically a form of Increated like the Dæmons that humanity created outside the Architecture, the Fæ are considered part of the system.

While they may have the same powers as the Increated, they work within the definitions and guidance of the Wyrd, trying to preserve the Fate that Wyrd had in mind for the Universe.

The problem was that while the Wyrd was locked away for millions of years, she did not entirely sleep, and she, and her creations, had gone more or less mad.

At some point in the ancient history of the universe of Terminal 13 the Fæ saw stars through the gates into their world and were drawn to escape from the Ordo-Penitus. They ravaged the universe.

Traces of their excesses can be found in the ancient folk-tales and mythologies across the world. They were powerful forces of order, but their madness brought chaos in their wake.

Desi and others did their best to destroy and drive back the escaped Fæ, to limit the damage that they had created upon the Earth. She brought forward the Iron Age a little in some of the worst effected areas, letting the humans (and the unfortunate half-breeds that the Fæ’s experimentation and frustration had created) craft iron weapons that were effective in driving the Fæ from those areas.

The Fæ were forced back, in retreat, as the Wyrd and Gaia began shutting down the gates, restricting travel to and from the ‘Ordo-Penitus’, although it was never possible to completely shut the gates again as echoes of the original outbreak would occasionally occur, since the Ordo-Penitus does not interact directly with the time of the rest of the Omniverse.

The Fæ were driven away from men, by iron and other technologies of reason, which bound and restrained the Fæ’s abilities.

Those who tried to stay and live near humans became humans, and this was true of their hybrid children too. Many of the Fæ-blooded families forgot that they were not entirely human as time went on, the reason of their own minds held their Fæ-blood in check.

Far from the cities of men though, colonies of Fæ lingered, deep in the wilderness, later as mankind spread civilization across the globe they were forced further and further into the hinterlands and wildernesses, until eventually they were almost gone.

The Fæ are, effectively, immortal due to their Fate Incarna, but they age naturally when away from the Ordo-Penitus, just very slowly compared to humans, and they never die of old age. Instead, they slip finally into a petrified state similar to fossilization, as they no longer interact with time in a manner anything like a normal living being. If this fossil Fæ form is returned to the Ordo-Penitus it immediately becomes filled with youth again.

Changelings, Hybrids and Eelafin

The hybrids were once known as Changelings and it was often believed that any child who was odd in anyway had been replaced by a Changeling.

Actually, the truth was much stranger. Entire families were actually born with hints and features of Fæ blood, although the families themselves often had forgotten, or repressed, their Faery connections.

Changelings come in a number of types throughout the Omniverse.

  • Chimerical hybrids

    Early on you could spot the Fæ-blooded because their ancestry was recognisable. A half-sidhe might have sharp chiseled features and always have silver cornea to their eyes, or a half-troll might literally be trollish on the left side of their body and human (or animal) on the right.
    Some hybrids had tails, claws or sharp teeth, and it was not uncommon for their skin to be strange, perhaps scaled, feathered,  furred, or even of a strange colour or texture. The half-undines might have slimy, wet skin, for example. 

    Chimerical Changelings gain an additional Skill, Talent and Power (often in a Descendant) to express their Fæ abilities. Generally they age like Fæ.

    Example Handicaps
    • Exposed (Fæ-blooded,/Silver-eyed)
    • Malformed (Chimerical body-parts – Specify)
    • Madness (specify)
    • Dependance (Wanderlust)
    • Vulnerable (Iron)
    • Doomed (specify)
  • Human form: Later as reason held sway the Fæ blood was more repressed, and it became impossible to spot hybrids by their looks. Their minds were often quite different though.

    Madnesses, Dementia and Dependances commonly ran in these families, but also there would be children born in every generation that seemed especially gifted somehow. Geniuses, Prophets, Mediums, Psionicists or Magicians, you can never tell how the gifts will manifest, the only sign might be an gift for poetry or a unprecedented dexterity at balancing things on trays (you can really never tell how the gift expresses).

    Since it was now impossible to tell what bloodline a hybrid was from at this time more hybridization would occur. In some universes some bloodlines retained the smallest inklings of what they were, they tried to limit outbreeding to try and improve their abilities, often with disastrous results.

    Human form Changelings gain an additional Skill, Talent and Power in some random gifts (again as a Descendant), but age like humans. In the Ironmaster universe a lot of the noble families have Fae blood in this form.

    Example Handicaps
    • Madness (specify)
    • Persecuted (specify)
    • Dependance (Wanderlust)
    • Paranoia (specify)
    • Doomed (specify)
  • Eelafin form

    Later as mankind expanded out from Earth and began colonizing other worlds in the Universe, the bounds of reason that had restricted the hybrids began to break down.
    Hybrids that went out (Star-called again) into the depths of space often discovered that their bodies adapted to their new worlds more rapidly than the normal humans that accompanied them. Within generations the Eelafin were born.

    An Eelafin Character will have an additional 2 Annexes, Eelafin Senses and Eelafin Body one of which will be a Skill the other a Talent. They also have an extra Power based on their bloodline. These may be worked into a Descendant.

    • Silver Eyes and pointed ears – Eelafin have enhanced senses, that includes Chi, Yarn and Twist and Doom sense, enhanced sight, vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. (“Eelafin Senses”)
    • Lithe Adult Muscle – Eelafin are strong compared to humans, they have animal-like strength, agility, grace and speed. (“Eelafin body”)
    • Prehensile Feet – Eelafin have a foot that is more like a human hand’s palm than a human foot. It is just as dexterous as a human hand. Eelafin are all Omni-dextrous, they have no right-left handedness or footedness.(“Eelafin Body”)
    • Færy Bloodline – All Eelafin are born from Færy-human hybrids – this grants each Bloodline a familial power.
      • Royalle – The Bloodline of the Sith-Elves or Sidhe. They have an Awe/ Dominion Power.
      • Secunnui – The Defenders of the Road. They have a Yonder/Rook based Power
      • Tanazeme – The Stone-bodied – They have a Nature/Burden based Power
      • Feurstmin – The Wood-shapers – They have a Craft-Quiet Power
      • Luftläufer – The Wind-footed – They have a Gossamer/Zeal based Power.
      • Fivanalle – The Fire-wrights – They have a Craft/Phoenix based Power.
      • Gyvini – The Water seers – They have a Fury/Key based Power.
      • Septimus – The Mages – They have an Orthodox/Wyrd Power.

    Eelafin age at about a third the rate of a human being, and many live to see their third century. They believe that with age comes wisdom, so their leaders are always the oldest members of the race.

    • Eelafthla – Literally the Eldest-traveller. The oldest Eelafin of any House who has equivalent power to each Senefthla, and is usually also the Senefthla of the Royalle.
    • Senefthla – Literally House-Eldest. The Eldest of the each House they are granted a seat in the Council of Elders that attend the Eelafthla each one rules their own House according to that houses Traditions and customs, as well as their own will.
    • Jataeupa – Literally Tent-parent. The Eldest of each Tent (or clan within a house), perhaps the most politically active strata of society, the Jataeupa’s are largely responsible for their own Tent and the alliances that they make. A lot of Council wrangling takes place at this level and most Tents keep at least one Herald for carrying messages between Tents.
    • Jatoupa – Literally Untented-Parent. A general title used to refer to any Elder who does not hold one of the positions listed above. Often the Jatoupa will be the Eldest member of a travelling group. They are day-to-day decision makers within the Tents or families.
    Example Handicaps
    • Exposed (Eelafin)
    • Madness (specify)
    • Dependance (Wanderlust)
    • Vulnerable (Iron)
    • Doomed (specify)
    • Persecuted (Racial type persecuted)

Courts, Colours, Parties and Titles

All Fæ have titles, they rejoice in adding names to themselves, and every Fæ has at least three titles. Titles are granted to the Fæ by one of their many Courts, or from one of the less well known Colours, which may be thought of as clans or families between Courts.

Seelie and Unseelie

All Fæ claim at least one title in the two main “Courts”, normally individual Fæ move between the two Courts depending on the Seasons, phase of the moon or trigger events, but the Hybrids tend to get stuck in one Court or the other. The two Courts are known as Seelie and Unseelie and each Court reflects  the following attributes.

Court Seelie Unseelie
Meaning Blessed / Hallowed / Silly Cursed / Profane / Serious
Time of Day Midnight to Dawn / Daylight Dusk to Midnight / Nighttime
Season  Summer-time Winter-time
Attitude Warm / Benign Cold / Malign
Associated Facets Virtue, Orthodox, Phoenix Sin, Heresy, Miasma
Tricks Mischievous Murderous

Each Faery has their own unique and complex relationship with their Seelie and Unseelie nature, and each has their own individual balance of Seelie and Unseelie to contend with.

A particularly Unseelie Fae may spend every night, even in Summer-time in their Unseelie nature, only slipping to their more benign Seelie Court at dawn each summer morning. A more Seelie Fæ may spend all but the very longest nights of the year in the Seelie Court.

It is even possible for Fæ to get stuck by extreme emotions in one mode or the other.

In the Universe of “Ironmaster & Other Tales” following the events of the novel the Fæ are effectively forced to coalesce their two natures. Bringing their Seelie and Unseelie sides together into one integrated personality (or at least one that wildly flickers between the two sides).

Temporal Courts

Each of the Temporal Courts has a responsibility for some aspect of the Commonwealth (and in Ironmaster the Courts apply to the Parliament as well. Power moves between each Court as time flows by, any Fae may have a title in any of the Courts (or indeed a title in each Court). The Temporal Courts often have their own special titles. Titles are assigned by hereditary and taken as prizes in duels, being bested at magic or combat will grant the winner the highest title that the loser has.

Court name Responsibility Titles
Dawn Health and Education Chorister, Dew/Sky-painter, Gleaming, Rising, Aurora, Breaker Duke/Duchess, Dawn King/Queen
Noon Mortal Parliament Commoner, Squire, Knight / Lady, Baronet(te), Baron(ess), Viscount(ess), Earl(ess), Marquis / Marquessa, Duke / Duchess, Prince(ss) / Speaker, King / Queen
Dusk Finance Dweller, Banker, Accountant, Bench-Auditor, Gloaming-Bursar, Dusk-Treasurer, Comptroller, Master Treasurer, First Lord of the Treasury
Midnight Fae Parliament Commoner, Squire, Night / Nightessa, Black-Thane(ss), Black-Jack / Jill, Black-Prince(ss), Night-King / Queen
Spring Agriculture Peasant, Spring-Yarl(ess), Fool(ess), Oestaran, Green Jack / Jill, Spring-Prince(ss), May King / Queen
Summer Dreams and Art Sleeper, Dreamer, Dream-sculptor, Summer-fancy, Chimera, Spectre-Jack, Prince(ss), King / Queen
Autumn Law (High Court) Commoner, Clerk, Bailiff, Lawyer, Magistrate, Judge, Justice (Lord), President
Winter Hunting and Warfare Man-at-arms, Constable, Lance-Corporal / Huntsman, Corporal, Sergeant-at-arms / Forester, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, Brigadier, General, Marshal

Colours

The Colours are like Clans, and there are the following known Colours (but Fae can create new Colours themselves at any time).

Colour Facets
Red Trial,Rook
Orange Phoenix, Miasma
Yellow Awe, Jeer
Green Nature, Craft
Blue Fury, Quiet
Indigo Wyrd, Liberty
Violet Sin, Virtue
White Zeal, Inertia
Black Enigma, Key
Grey Heresy, Orthodox
Pink Dominion, Yonder
Brown Burden, Gossamer

Colour titles are given as numbers

Number Equivalent title
One of… Commoner
Ten of… Head of house
One Hundred of… Head of family / Knight
One Thousand of… Baronet
Ten Thousand of… Baron
One Hundred Thousand of… Viscount
One Million of… Earl
Ten Million of… Marquis
One Hundred Million of… Duke
One Thousand Million of… Prince
One Billion of… Head of Colour (King/Queen/Emperor)

The Parties

The political parties of the Fae share ideologies between Courts and Colours. Parties are named after types of weather and the ongoing politics in faery-ruled lands (such as Ironmaster’s Cymru) does effect the weather.

  • Clear (occasionally Blue) Sky — Positive, progressive, libertarian
  • Silver Lining — Positive, reactionary, libertarian
  • Breeze — reactionary, deconstructive, progressive
  • Gale — negative, destructive, libertarian
  • Still Air — negative, conservative, passive
  • Fog — conservative, preservative, just
  • Drizzle — positive, preservative, just
  • Sleet — negative, conservative, logical
  • Rain — preservative, just, libertarian
  • Snow — negative, draconian, preservative
  • Dark Clouds — negative, draconian, libertarian
  • Storm — negative, destructive, irrational

Trodding

Trodding is an ancient method of travel known to only some races of the true Fae and rarely to Eelafin. It allows the Fae to travel through the Tapestry as the Bulmäs travel through the Lea.

For the Fæ, the Trods are echoes of the connections built in the Ordo-Penitus between places. This is based, in part, on the filing system employed by the Fæ when they choose to Trod.

In ancient Europe, place names along certain roads were often related to the goods that travelled that road. The travel of these goods and the naming of the towns create great Trods in the landscape that allow the Fæ to step from a liminal place in one town to a similar one in a distant town.

In Ironmaster’s Britain there are several great Trods that criss-cross the country. Usually these Trods link archways in towns, or specific doorways in coaching inns. But Trods exist between many crossroads, milestones, church gates and even mirrors.

  • The White Trods – the old salt trade routes
  • The Red Trods – the old clay and pottery trade routes
  • The Black Trods – the old iron roads that extend into Europe (which only certain Fae can tread along).
  • The Tin Trod – from the Tin Trade
  • St. Michael’s Ley – Run’s from Land’s end to Bury-St-Edmonds.

True Fæ

The True Fæ (or Fay, or Fairies) are each unique creatures throughout the Omniverse (although that uniqueness is debatably for some Common types), they are considered the equivalent of Demons or Solos depending on their power level.

Common Fæ or Lesser Fæ are the equivalent of Demons, they are a little more powerful than Mercari, but not as Strong as a Solo.

They use normal Mercari rules, generally except they generate Yarn not Chi (like a Solo) and play cards as Solos also (Yarn cards or Wyrd Tarot as they choose). 

However, they are limited to only two Personalities. Which are usually Split (or at best Co-dominant). One is their Seelie Personality (and is usually a Yin Facet) and their Unseelie Personality (which is usually a Yang Facet), they may add additional Cores as they resolve Handicaps, and can integrate their Personalities). Usually one Personality is restricted to the real world (Unseelie in Winter, Seelie in Summer), and the other to the Ordo-Penitus, but this isn’t true of every world.

Greater Fæ (or Fairy Nobles) are similar to Greater Demons in power level. They are Solos as far as the rules are concerned, but because of their magic can use Yarn to create Twist effects (Twists are the equivalent of Reduced Yarn as far as Fæ are concerned).

There are restrictions on what Færies can achieve with Yarn over Twists, but these are largely cultural choices such as the Seelie not animating the dead, or stealing souls, etc (basically what the Ref says).

Færies cannot use Yarn to create Dark Matter, or Dark Territory, unless they have a Demonic Handicap or a Pact that grants normal access to Twists.

Fairy Yarn

Fæ generated Yarn is slightly different to normal Yarn, each point contains an extra point of Chi and an extra point of Sway (usually Yin for Seelie, Yang for Unseelie).

Fæ find normal Yarn a little tasteless, unless they are able to strip an extra point of Chi and Sway (this does occur if a Fæ drains Yarn from another Character). When a Fairy gives a mortal Yarn, the mortal receives an extra point of Chi and Sway for every point of Yarn. 

Only Fairy Yarn can be Reduced to create Twists. It is not normally possible for a normal Solo to create Twists in this way (although adding the point of Chi and Sway might let them do it for powerful magic, etc).

 
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