Also known as the Fae (alongside the alternate spelling Faeries), the fairies are a race of magical creatures that are known to vary considerably in physical appearance, the most common types being those of winged, humanoid, usually female beings of a small stature with a disposition towards curiosity and mischief, grouping together in large bands in order to preform a myriad of different, often unrelated tasks. Their origins, as well as much about the inner workings of their society remains unknown, which has led to the rise of a large number of myths and legends being ascribed with them, including themselves.
Origins and Occurrence Edit
How the fairies came about is considered formally unknown, and any attempts to ask them themselves on the matter has been met with confusion and funny looks, shortly before the subjects themselves proceeded to flee from the scene with a trail of giggles. One hypothesis is that the fae represent the physical embodiment of nature itself, their powers often tying into natural phenomena such as weather, seasons, and more elemental energies. Other, weirder theories include the possibility of them being an extraterrestrial race of space travelers, originating from either the Moon or a far away planet, having crash-landed on planets like Earth on rocket ships, presumably either scouts sent from their world or travelers attempting to escape it from some reason. Whatever the case, fairies live detached from the creation myth of most races like the dwarves.
Some of the chauns of Earth cite a possible connection to the Tuatha de Danann, a mythical race of beings with immense magical power. The exact nature of this relationship remains highly controversial however, and the specifics have yet to be clarified.
Biology and Physiology Edit
Fairies range significantly in terms of size and appearance, some of which aren't even humanoid. Of the "civilized" fairies however, there are three main categories of fae, seperated by certain characteristics. The first and most common of these is the garden variety Flower Fairy, given their name for their tendency to gather and utilize flowers as tools (though certainly, not all flower fairies possess abilities pertaining to that specific aspect of nature). These fairies are humanoid, child-like female beings that possess one to three pairs of wings, of which often appear to be insectoid in appearance (though among these wing patterns, other types can arise as in the case of elemental fairies). Their size ranges from anywhere between being small enough to fit into a bottle, to roughly as tall as a ten-year old human child, a variable which shall be taken into greater detail bellow. Particularly young fairies of this type are recognized by having disproportionately short legs as well as an even more childish appearance, the latter often giving the appearance of having their feet attached to their torso under their dresses and large shoes.
The second type of fairy common among these groups is the Leprechaun (colloquially often shortened to Chaun), which forms virtually the entirety of the fairy male population. These fae are further signified by their lack of wings and hardier frames, allowing them to preform rough tasks such as working with the earth, making them ideal for use in heavier industries despite the crippling disability their lack of flight entails. Though most leprechauns have a similar, childish look to their female counterparts, a non-insignificant amount of them can have the appearance of adults and older men sporting beards and mustaches, though this often leads to a dwarf-like form due to their proportions.
The final variant, the Great Fairies (Great Chaun in the case of Leprechauns), are considered by some to be more of a life stage shared between the other two types. These fairies are taller and more developed versions of their peers, often appearing as young adults in both size and shape, with amplified physical and magical abilities to match. Unsurprisingly, these fairies often find themselves in charge of leading their "lesser" kin, becoming Fairy Queens and Leprechaun Kings, or other lesser forms of nobility. It is not known what causes a fairy to become "great", nor whether they begin their lives that way or can "promote" into great fairies from the more basic fae.
An in depth look into the workings of these types of fairy reveals many interesting implications behind their physiology. The wings of the varieties that have them in particular shown to often be attached to their bodies only indirectly, some variants floating freely from their backs with no points of attachment even among their clothing. These wings can manifest in shapes separate from conventional types, including structures of the element they represent, such as wings made out of ice, fire, or light, to even inaerodynamic forms such as cubes or crystals. Nevertheless, a fairy without wings cannot fly, and even leprechauns with clear magical capabilities are shown to be unable to form wings, forcing them earthbound without external aid.
As a result of their innate magic abilities, fairies are effectively ageless: A fairy might age from being a baby to possibly eventually becoming the young adult-like great fairies, but will hardly ever appear to age beyond this point, and will not suffer from internal biological issues such as cancer or heart disease. They can often recover from grievous injuries so long as it does not kill them, a trait which helps offset their otherwise frail bodies. Stories of fairies coming back to life in certain circumstances abound, and some say that there are set ways to permanently kill off a fairy that differs on the individual group in particular, with the use of pure, cold iron weapons being a reoccurring tale, among other things. Nevertheless, whether or not these legends have any truth to them, most fairies prefer not to die, and it would appear in most cases that they stay dead on death. Occasionally, when struck with enough force, a fairy will vaporize into a curious multicolored dust, thought to be magic residue.
Pure iron is shown to be highly toxic to fairies, and is shown to have disfiguring qualities when pressed against them as well as disrupt their magical abilities. Without their magic, fairies life spans are shown to be far shorter then that of a human, often failing within twenty years of time from newborn age to elderly. The "old man" leprechaun that is often stereotypically depicted by humanity is thought to be the result of leprechaun smiths and soldiers exposing themselves to iron for extended periods as part of their crafts, disrupting the magics that maintain their youthful appearance and degenerating them as a result as the minutes they expose themselves add up into years. The amount of time it takes for such to set in means that these elder chauns truly reflect their age; Many an older king has been a soldier in the past, and thus it is considered normal for some chauns to have this appearance.
Fairies are shown to not need to eat when under the continued exposure of the sun, possibly implying that they possess a type of photosynthesis, but will usually do so anyways out of habit. Notably, most female fae are shown to contract a form of sickness when left underground for any extended period of time, preventing them from living in such conditions while leprechauns tend to thrive. This is reflected in how their castes often work: Chauns will often preform tasks such as mining, forging, and metalworking, while fairies preform surface tasks such as farming and gathering.
Psychology and Behavior Edit
As a race, fairies are considered to be fairly simple minded in thinking and action: Not unintelligent by any degree, but slow witted, with a tendency towards short-sightedness and acting on instinct over reason. In this regard, they are comparable to goblins; Fairies might steal something that they find interesting and prank somebody (a pass-time shared with leprechauns) when they think it's funny without any ill-will intended, but also without any consideration for how others would react to their actions. Great fairies are often wise enough to act beyond these impulses, which is necessary as otherwise their civilizations wouldn't be able to function beyond small disjointed clans.
As evidenced by the above, fairies often clump into large groups, which if given structure at all, will be organized through a loose hierarchy composed of Great Fairies fulfilling a variety of administrative and other positions to keep their peoples together in loose city-state like entities, which occasionally are combined further in order to create loose confederations. These groupings are often dictated by factors such as appearance, elemental ability, and sometimes even gender; A state of fairies of purely one type is the most common, followed by single-gender fairy/chaun communities (who often pair themselves up with a related group of the opposite gender to act as a sort of binary federation ruled by a queen and king), and identical appearances, such as a civilization of purely blue-haired fae.
Fairies are attracted to magic: Areas where magical forces grow strong are prone to subconsciously compel fae to gather nearby, stronger forces still causing them to fall into a trance that enthralls them to their base instincts, and large gatherings of their kind away from their direct domains usually signify a powerful force nearby.
An interesting behavior unique to chauns is the hoarding of wealth; Every leprechaun will have a cauldron or pot dedicated to the storage of golden objects in his steed somewhere. One possible reasoning behind this is that gold is the source of their power, and that the more gold a leprechaun hoards, the bigger and stronger he becomes. Certainly all known leprechaun kings are rich in wealth.
Earlier, fairies often group together in mostly ad-hoc "kingdoms" (though with their usually limitless lifespans, it is very rare for a succession to actually occur), city-states which are ruled by either a queen, "princess", or rarely a king whom depending on the size of the city may be accompanied by a nobility formed of other great fairies, working in junction with the ruler to preform administrative actions and keep their lands in functional condition. Lacking the rule of a great fairy, it is possible for smaller communities of fae to either live alongside another sentient race such as an elvish community, or in a few rare cases use a non-fae being as the ruling figure, like a human. Failing this even, fairies will often live in disjointed groups within forests based on friend and kinship, living either nomadicly or semi-sedintarily.
Their penchant towards getting along means that attaining world governments through peaceful means is often relatively simple among planets with little other forms of sentient life. As a result, many fae worlds lack a military presence beyond a bare-bones police force, and rely on secrecy or remoteness to prevent capitulation from invasion. This is not a universal rule however, and some chaun worlds in particular are known to be almost 100% militarized, and in the case of fairy civilizations that reach the galactic stage, these worlds often form the bulk of their unified forces.
Science and Technology Edit
Across worlds and even civilizations, fae technology can vary considerably between bronze age equipment to rocket-propelled space ships, to heavily magic-based technology that has no known human analogs. Almost universal among fairies is advanced textile working, and even the most primitive of fae communities will often be capable of creating dresses and coats rivaling that of the best works produced by humans, while shoe making is an art that has been mastered by the leprechauns. Steel working is ubiquitous among the more advanced fairy civilizations, but the caustic properties of ironworking among the fae means that it's usually limited to smaller quantities in situations where its strength is absolutely required, and most other metal used by the fae consists of copper alloys such as bronze.
Availability of military technology such as gunpowder and lasers is mostly dependent on how exposed to war a given civilization has been, and in many cases the most common projectile weapon used by leprechaun infantrymen are miniaturized rockets developed from existing civilian technology in order to produce gyrojets capable of launching explosive warheads from miles away. Otherwise, fairies are known to have difficulty innovating (with the notable exception of Malkaden), and often resort to copying human or other beings' technology in order to stay ahead, using magic as a crutch to replace key components of technology that is otherwise beyond their understanding.
Rocketry is known to be one of the few technologies grasped by almost every fairy civilization that expands to a point of stability; fairies would appear to be inately knowlagable to some instinctual degree of the inner workings of such devices, and can assemble primitive rockets even with little prior industry. As a result, most fae small arms utilize rocket-propelled bullets in some form.
Perhaps most important of any magical technology to the unified fairy race as of current, is an object known as the Great Crystal. Situated within a palace on the planet of Ripple Star, this crystal among other things functions as a teleportation device, capable of simultaneously opening millions of dimensional rifts within the universe of varying sizes. It is absolutely vital in not only the field of space travel, but also in planetary communications between the current major fey civilizations, is also either directly or indirectly responsible for the functioning of much of their technology: For instance, the mighty Battlestation fires shells of 240 millimeters in caliber: Far too large to fit into the vehicle itself in any practical number despite its impressive girth, and almost impossible for something as small as the fairies to load into the cannon without significant mechanization, such as an unwieldy loading vehicle, which would require the cannons to be exposed outside of the armored plating. The solution to this lies in the fact that few fairy AFVs actually carry their higher caliber ammunition, and actually have the shells directly warped into their loading system from remote storage facilities across the galaxy, allowing even their largest self-propelled artillery to fire a practically unlimited amount of shells.
As magical creatures, all fae possess some talent that utilizes this enigmatic force though manifestation of certain natural (some would say "supernatural") abilities. On an individual basis, most fairies only have weak magical ability, decent enough to perhaps pull a prank, but lacking in the sheer force that one would find in say, a psyker or wizard. Great fairies with practice can potentially utilize their basic magic in a more offensive matter, but their scarcity means that using them as such is rarely a good idea, a few niche cases notwithstanding.
Regardless of the weaknesses of an individual fairy, large groupings of fae can generate large amounts of raw magical energy, which they subconsciously use in order to warp reality to better suit their perceptions, a trait that is important not only in keeping certain areas habitable, but in many cases to keep their technology working reliably. As an example, the "Daisy Chain", a term used to describe the internet of Ice-Nine, is composed of various secondhand CPUs (largely ACP-IIIs and other variants of the PC-98) scavenged and bartered from humans and connected to one another haphazardly with wiring as interpreted by fae scientists and engineers. Believing that they have achieved a feat similar to humanity, the magical aura they emit takes the place of the electronic sorting process normally needed in order for such a setup to work, and hence the Daisy Chain is able to function in spite of being nothing being a mess of wires.
Magic use in a military fashion varies based on the civilization. Formalized militaries that rely on heavy mechanization use it less often due to the fact that they are usually run by leprechauns, who in many cases often have little practical magical capabilities on their own. On the other hand, more nature-centric forces will send out otherwise unarmed fairies in order to unleash Danmaku, or bullets of raw elemental force, and hazardous elemental magic capable of causing small scale weather changes and natural disasters. The latter can be fired in great mass, and though found to be highly ineffective against organic targets such as flesh, causing light bruises and blindness at worst (that's not to say that getting hit by fifty at once won't eventually crush you to death), can potentially wreck havoc on harder targets of metal such vehicles and machinery, obliterating tanks and other land vehicles with layer upon layer of magical pellets which are neigh impossible for these machines to properly dodge.
Spell Cards are both a weapon and a pass-time used by the fairies (less commonly the chauns, who find such events inmasculine) in order to conduct a sport known as Danmaku Fighting. These cards revolve around firing set patterns of bullets in distinct formations, with the premise of the competition being to dodge as many of the opposing sides' bullets as possible while forcing the opposing side to make contact with your own. Though non-lethal in their basic state, some modified versions of these cards have been developed to meet outside threats, and can be deployed against foes in a rain of magic that is as elegant as it is terrifying to face.
A handful of leprechauns know of a magic based on chants and shouting, claimed to be descended from the magic of the Tuatha de Danann. Though these spells are rarely seen in action, they are known to produce a number of powerful, deliberate supernatural effects from those who utilize them. Such little is known about this class of magic that most fae themselves consider it a tall tale, told by humans ("tall ones") as a form of amusement.