A Collection of Articles Addressing Aspects of the History and Culture of the Fae of Edreja
Presented to the Bards’ Guild at the Gathering of Nations 1111 by Fama exCerebelli in return for the sanctuary that she found there
Fae Books, Inc.
1. Five Facts for Forgetful Fey PAGE 5
– Fama exCerebelli
2. The Evolution of the Heartlands9
– From the library of Sheikh Al-Fayed, author unknown
– Fama exCerebelli
4. Translations from Falias 16
– Avar & Fama exCerebelli
5. Study of the Fey20
– Naziel D’Avonberg, Spring 1105
6. Seelie & Unseelie24
– Firenzi Morghun
7. Tales of Prince Firenzi Morghun28
– Stalik O’Mite
8. The Power of Belief33
– Treacle Sunstone
9. Teutonian Arcadia36
– Remus Cerebelli
10. Akaria & the Warmasters’ Accord39
– Fama exCerebelli
11. Losing the Mists41
– Fama & Aeneas exCerebelli
12. The Theory of Fey Gates43
– Fama exCerebelli
13. Making Haven49
– Fama exCerebelli
14. Fey, True Love & Edreja57
– Stalik O’Mite
15. The impact of love on fey patterns55
16. Cold Iron Scarring57
– Dr. Ra’Kais Tesla
Five Facts for Forgetful Fey – Fama exCerebelli
Over the last eighteen months I have spoken to as many of my race as possible, from every faction, court and social rank. The results are dismaying – at least half knew nothing of their racial or even personal history. This paper is intended to provide those so afflicted with a few of the most pertinent facts, and perhaps even a signpost to discovering their own stories.
1. Arcadia If you go back to the beginning of history, we are Edrejan in origin. The first great fey city – Falias – was built on this plane. There are conflicting reports concerning the opening of Arcadia, and I am uncertain as to the exact date, method or cause, but for many centuries we ruled both realms.
Arcadia is not a plane, such as the elemental planes. Its nature is something unique. Popular mortal opinion places it on the Edrejan moon – another planet, in fact. I could not personally answer for the accuracy of this theory.
Within Arcadia the landscape varies considerably. There are countries that closely echo their Edrejan counterparts, such as Teutonia, and there are lands covered in mist, through which a few great cities emerge like islands, such as Erin. There are vast forests infested with Redcaps, and secret pockets locked away from all others.
Temporal and geographical progression is not linear, and this is largely attributed to the mists. These are not mists as mortals know them, however - they require great skill to navigate, and the ability to mist-walk is not universally possessed by Arcadians, but limited to those with power - the personal and social power of a fey corresponds to their control over their territory.
The mists act as safe borders and separations between the realms but they also form highways and shortcuts for those with the skill to use them. It is possible for someone to enter the mists at one point and to emerge at their destination, having bypassed undesirable areas along the way. This trait has also allowed Courts to claim dominion over regions that, to purely mundane geography, are separate.
Following the Cataclysm of Fire, these mists began to fade until they were gone completely and all lands were physically adjacent. It is early yet to say exactly what the consequences of this will be, but the political ramifications are likely to be severe.
Your likely plane of origin will depend upon your age. The gates to Arcadia began to close many years ago, leaving inter-planar travel largely to the province of powerful lords. If you were born or created in the last few centuries, or more than 15 centuries ago, you are far more likely to be a native Edrejan.
2. Courts The most fundamental attribute of a fey may be said to be his attitude, by which I mean his leaning towards a Seelie or Unseelie nature. Other races too often attach irrelevant moralities to these terms – moralities which are frequently wholly alien to our culture.
As a race, fey are often focused to a point of intensity that mortals cannot achieve or understand. They are able to align their entire selves, both consciously and unconsciously, towards a particular goal or worldview. The division of self into Seelie and Unseelie is merely a racial extension of this focus. The existence of Courts seems to be an almost universally integral structure to fey society, but its manner varies depending on local beliefs. In the city of Falias, for example, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts co-exist in the same geographical location – one enters a different version of the city dependent upon one’s own subconscious nature. More commonly, however, the Courts are located in separate places. These can be delineated by season, altitude, or simply neighboring regions.
SEELIE COURT: the ‘friendly’ Court, according to popular mortal myth. Where the Courts are determined or governed by season, the Summer Queen rules the Seelie and they are at their ascendancy during the warmer months. Where the Courts are differentiated by their attitudes towards contracts, the Seelie will follow the spirit, rather than the letter, of the contract. This generally means that they will not search out loopholes in the wording, but instead abide by the general understanding of the meaning. Potential complications can arise, however, if the general understanding is different on each side.
UNSEELIE COURT: conversely, the Unseelie Court is popularly viewed as ‘cruel’ or even ‘evil’. They tend to be the polar opposites of the Seelie in many ways, but inflicting a mortal morality upon the word is neither just nor wise. The Winter King rules here, where the seasons hold sway. Where contracts are common practice, the Unseelie tend to abide by the letter. That means that, if the wording is loose, loopholes may be found. This is not necessarily through any malicious intent, but merely following the contract to its logical conclusion.
WYLD COURT: wyld fey are not necessarily organised into a formal Court structure. Sometimes they may even be loosely contained within or affiliated with a Seelie/Unseelie Court. They follow the path of nature, at its most basic urges. Contracts are far less important to their society, although the bond of a given word is still powerful. Some wyld fey align themselves with a particular concept, such as Chaos – in many cases, this can be considered an even more focused expression of self towards that concept.
CELTII FEY: the first civilization, before the division of attitude was placed upon our natures. They might, perhaps, be regarded as the neutral or balanced Court.
3. Elder Race Wars The Elder Races – fey, elves, dwarves and ologs – were brought into being by the Dragons, with the express purpose of aiding the hatching of Edreja. Of those four, we were the first and a particular responsibility was laid upon us: to be the gatherers of memories for the baby dragon.
The fey are immortal. We have unlimited time to explore and experience everything possible. Should we be killed, provided our bodies are buried in Arcadian soil, we will return with the Spring. When the Egg hatches, it will have the benefit of hundreds of centuries of continually developed experience – an invaluable resource.
The four Elder Races each built a magnificent city – Falias (fey), Murias (elves), Finias (dwarves) and Gorias (ologs) – and developed their empires over the centuries. The fey were largely concentrated around what was to become Erin, at least initially. At this time there was no division between Seelie and Unseelie. That split occurred only upon entry into Arcadia.
When the Younger Races were created, the first four took them as servants and slaves. After a few centuries, however, they became restless. They demanded freedom, equality, and the breaking up of the Elder empires. Eventually restlessness turned to rebellion, and the Elder Race Wars began.
Rather than choose between killing the mortals or losing our own lives, the fey elected to withdraw to Arcadia. The Dragon of Spirit aided us by drawing the entire city of Falias through also, before it could be destroyed. Control of the Gates is considerably easier from the Arcadian side, and therefore the drawbridge was metaphorically raised.
The racial memory of this event has lasted down the centuries on both sides of the war. Many mortals feel threatened by us, or distrustful, whereas fey are often unable to let go of the imperial mindset that was once legitimate.
4. Glamour Although a fey’s individual glamour is not necessarily dictated by his Court, it is dictated to some extent by his (sub)conscious focus or self. Again, this can vary from place to place depending on common practices and beliefs.
Some Arcadian nations teach their children absolute mental control over their personal glamour; for most, however, it is a physical attribute impacted by the subconscious. For example, a Teutonian Sidhe’s glamour is shown in the colour of their blood visible at the temples, which indicates which Court they belong to. Should they be exiled, or bound to a different Court, it may be that the mental trauma would alter their glamour sufficiently to change the colour. This is a magical impact on the physical, affected by the subconscious state.
The cause of this is our cardinal element – Spirit. We are a race of ideas, and the power of a concept has a great deal of effect. If a mental shift is made that is significant enough to constitute a change of personality – however slight – that new identity will be reflected in physical form. I have known fey to grow horns, change the colour of their teeth, or even lose their glamour entirely, as a result of major psychological alteration.
If you have forgotten your own personal history, it may be that the state of your glamour can provide some clues – either to your past, or to the event that caused such a memory loss.
5. Memory loss There are several potential causes for your memory loss. Identifying which is applicable to you may go some way towards resolving the mystery of your past:
COLD IRON: This is the one metal that can truly kill us, and to use it on another fey is a capital crime. There are biological explanations, but I will leave them to experts (see Article 16 of this volume). Suffice it to say that cold iron removes fey from the cycle of rebirth. If, however, the weapon does not kill but only scars, then we suffer a different sort of death – the death of identity.
Even though the physical scar can be removed by healing, the mental damage remains. Over the following months, or even days, it slowly leeches away the memories and sense of identity, until there is nothing of the individual remaining. The extent of the damage is often indicated by the waning or shifting of glamour.
If you have lost your memories, and carry unexplained scarring, I would recommend that you seek out Lady Treacle at the earliest opportunity to be examined for cold iron damage.
CONTRACT: As previously mentioned, we are more subject to the power of suggestion than other races. I have known a fey sign a contract that metaphorically negated their former life, and consequently lose all memory of that life.
This really should not require stating, but BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SIGN.
EDREJA: For a reason that I do not understand, Edreja itself no longer seems to tolerate us with the same affection that it once did. Perhaps – like a fractious infant – it has a new favourite race, and the privileges of the old are revoked. Alternatively, it may be simple culture shock, having to live within mortal civilizations and a steady temporal progression. This does not seem to affect those fey born on Edreja – or at least, not to the same extent.
Whatever the reason, the longer fey (and particularly the Arcadian-born) stay on the mortal plane, the harder they find it to retain their true identities or even culture. This should not, however, lead to complete amnesia. If you have some memory or sense of identity remaining, it may be that this is the cause.
SUBCONSCIOUS SUGGESTION:Once again, we are affected by our own minds. If, for whatever reason, you made an independent or subconscious decision to forget then it will have ensured that your memories are buried so deep that you may require magical assistance to uncover them. The power of suggestion can take instant effect, and be enduring down the centuries.
2. The Evolution of the Heartlands
– From the library of Sheikh Al-Fayed, author unknown
The first Race to live upon Edreja was the Fey. The first and true Fey have always lived their lives as they wished, and took forms that pleased them. They drew their sustenance from the very essence of their homeland of Arcadia.
However, some True Fey became obsessed with their physical form, and withdrew from Arcadia for long periods of time to explore the shapes that they took. Gradually over hundreds and thousands of years, these True Fey were deprived of their sustenance of Arcadia, and became trapped into the physical shapes they had decided to take. As their patterns stabilised they became the forms that they had chosen to imitate or experiment with. Some of these were inert forms, rock, trees, plants, etc. Yet a few in their quest to find the perfect form took upon the shape of humanoids that were to become elves.
Others journeyed deep into the insubstantial fundament, and crossed into a deeper plane. Here, they discovered many dark things, and being away from their homeland for long periods of time, drew sustenance from this darker essence. As they drank of it, so it changed them, and for the first time the True Fey knew evil.
One amongst those who had journeyed into Darkness returned after many aeons to the Homeland in Arcadia. Those who had remained within the land first learned of horror when they looked upon him, for he had become Darkness and evil personified. Seeing that his brethren now held no love for him, this Evil used the power of that which he had learnt in the darkness and rent Arcadia itself, nearly destroying the homeland of his people.
Yet the True Fey of Arcadia fought back, and one amongst them found a way to cast the Evil from their land. He became known as the Good. A long time he fell, back into the darkness from whence he came. Yet he was not defeated, and the True Fey knew that in time he might return, as might others who had journeyed nearly as far into the darkness. The only way to preserve their home was to seal it shut. To do this, one from amongst their number was selected to travel forth around the realm of Arcadia, and to wall it in. These walls were woven from the very fabric of the land itself, and he who wove them was forced to remain outside to guard and maintain what he had made. This one amongst the True Fey became known as the Law.
The sealing of Arcadia left all amongst the True Fey peoples, who had journeyed forth, trapped within the lands and forms they had chosen to inhabit. For without a connection to the essence beyond the rent whence they had come, they could maintain no connection with what they were. Instead they drew their strength from the places in which they had travelled to, and lost much of their ability to change.
Feyrie Glamour became a myth and Fey are no more able to change form than Elves or Dwarves.
Only a short while after this occurrence, one from amongst the True Fey above in Arcadia escaped from the land to descend to Edreja. Since the time of the Evil he had been changed by what he had seen, as he had witnessed the discord between the Evil and the Good, and it had touched him in some way. Never before had there been discord and indecision. This one from amongst the True Fey chose to study this matter long and hard. He travelled the full expanse of Arcadia, and could find no answer to the discord that had touched him, and now lay within him. Instead, he found the discord grew within him, consuming his original purpose. He also found he could pass through the Walls of the Law around the realm, and so after much frustration he did. This one became known as the Chaos.
He was not alone, sensing the threat that he encompassed; the Good followed in his wake, passing between the walls of the Law as they closed behind him. The damage that this caused to the defences around Arcadia was such that it attracted the attentions of the Law, who perceived the threat so severe that he abandoned his post to follow them unto Edreja.
Meanwhile the Chaos descended to Edreja, and came upon the First City of the Elves. His discord found no answer amongst the Elven peoples, yet it did serve to undo much of the work of the Law who had aided the Elves in their quest to shape the land as they would wish it. Discord struck the Elves, as they looked upon their brethren who had discovered the magics of Incantation, and were horrified.
Beneath the land, the Evil sensed the movement of his immortal brothers, and climbed once more to the surface of the Land. Having learnt a great lesson from his previous duel with his Good Brother, he now emerged to meet his brethren with guile in his heart.
To protect itself, and each from the other, the land woke one of the True Fey who had lain dormant within Edreja, and imbued him with all the essences of the Elements. He was Strata, summoned and given form to provide a centre between his brothers.
The Brothers met with one another, each was ready to fight its opposite. Yet the Young Strata stood in the centre and denied them all. As the days wore on the arguments became more strained, yet Strata grew stronger. Finally the Evil spoke at length about his plan.
So saying, the Evil offered of himself to begin a ritual that would forever bind the patterns of the five together. The young Strata, having seen only hatred pour from his brothers, was first to agree, seizing upon any chance of unity or peace between them that might offer itself. Strata’s first obligation was to defend existence itself, and since the Evil’s plan seemed to offer less damage to the cycle than a war might, he was willing to agree.
The next to nod in agreement was Law, whose purpose had always been to create order. This purpose might be wrong in part, but at least it was better than war, which could destroy everything.
With three in agreement, Good realised the balance remained against him. Only the elusive Chaos stood apart, and getting him to agree to anything would prove a struggle in itself. He agreed under duress, remaining vigilant, and planning to watch his Dark Brother for any sign of treachery. The hatred between them was all but tangible as they contested the matter, until finally the Evil smiled in triumph as his brother joined him.
And then finally, as if upon a whim, Chaos acquiesced.
The power woven into the patterns of the five and of the land was such that it broke the First City. As war raged around the circle of the five, so the maelstrom built. Purpose tempered with passion formed to coalesce as a tool bent to the will of Evil.
Within the weave that they had constructed between them, Evil sent parts of himself to each of his brethren. These parts were sickening and twisted, designed to corrupt and infect them. And from them he sucked forth their fullest power, transforming himself. Thus the Evil used his brothers cruelly to shape himself into an Immortal, both in pattern and in physical form.
Yet the powers he wrought were not without cost. At the end of the Ritual the changes that had begun within him were deep and painful, and so in fear of his brothers’ retribution he was forced to flee into the pits and darkness beneath him.
Yet the Four Brothers who remained fared worse, each was drained by the betrayal, and could do little else but flee the First City as it rent itself asunder.
The escape of Chaos turned the fear of the True Fey into paranoia. If the walls they had established could be breached so easily then the Evil might return. And with no Law to guard them they remained vulnerable. Many amongst the True Fey withdrew to the upper reaches of Arcadia, striving to keep themselves pure; they clustered around the rent, and frequented the rest of the realm no more. These were later to become known as the Shining Ones.
In some places where the Elves were cast down into the deeper-most darkness they encountered the Evilren who had explored the lower planes, and slowly returned unto the world in a painful exhausting journey. These became known as Formor. Many of the Elves were captured and slain by these creatures, who bred with them, spawning other races. These became known as the Ologs and Urucks. These Lesser Races crawled forth from the earth to fight with the scattered Surface Elves, and war began anew.
Yet not all of the Elves remained upon the Surface. Some were caught in the destruction of the First City, and cast into the Darkness themselves. These Elves fared badly at the hands of their Dark Elf brethren, who mistook them for their dark cousins since they came from beneath the earth. The few remnants of these peoples withdrew into the underground and from all contact for a time. When they emerged, centuries later, they had changed. These peoples became known as the Dwarves.
Meanwhile in the Time before the closing of Arcadia, some amongst the True Fey had experimented with the forms of Animals. In doing so, they had lost or suppressed their intelligence, in favour of exploring the primal instincts of the different creatures they imitated. When they first became trapped in these forms, their only link to the intelligence they had known was a memory of what they had been. This memory became more obscure as it passed from generation to generation.
Over thousands of years, with what little remaining power of changing their form, they evolved, aspiring towards the qualities they had lost.
The first, and more powerful that achieved intelligence – those who had preserved more of the True Fey essence – evolved faster and became known as Beastkin. These creatures retained an affinity with the forms they had taken, and often retained much of the characteristics and instincts. However, despite the achievement of this change, by this time, the patterns within the Beastkin held no memory of what they once had been before they were beasts.
The last to achieve sentience were humans.
It was around this time that many amongst the Arcadians who had remained in Arcadia were persuaded to open its gates once more. The chief amongst those who had argued for the opening of Arcadia was one known as Danu (or Anu). Danu was one of the Oldest of the True Fey and had for a time been the Lover of Strata, before his decision to remain within the earth. She had travelled upon and within the earth, and had become fascinated with the life that she found. She had returned to Arcadia reluctantly, and was the first amongst her brethren to return to Edreja. She took upon herself a form much akin to that of mortals, and explored once more the wonders of the land. Man of the Arcadians who had been of her family, and mortals of the many races, chose to follow her, and to learn of her teachings. In her wanderings Dan sought Strata in the place where she had left him, yet never found him again. For his purpose and pattern had changed him, and he had forgotten much of his former existence. In her endless quest, Danu forgot to return to Arcadia to preserve herself, and gradually lost much of her former identity. In the end, as she felt her life ending, she returned one last time to Edreja, and sank beneath the land.
Yet the Chaos was not idle in this time, and the different Children of Danu quarrelled over her purpose and memories. They quarrelled too with their brethren of Arcadia who had not followed her. They also looked down upon the younger races, particularly the humans whom she had treated as equals. Witnessing the abhorrations of the Olog and Uruck races, the Fey decided to end the breeding of their race.
To achieve this, the Fey constructed with their magic a device that would end their ability to sire children. In this they were successful, however such a success also drew a price. In ending the chance of future generations of their kind, the device also mapped the genealogies of their entire race. As the power of Incantation drew upon this magic, so the device reacted with the uses of Incantation, causing the Elder Races to age with its use. The Fey were forced for their very survival to bury the device, and to forbid the continued practice of Incantation, removing the art from the study of all peoples upon Edreja.
The final intermingling of the species caused the emergence of the smaller races, who were to become known as Halflings. These were as varied in type as those who had come before them, and were the product of intermarriage between Fey, Elves and Man.
Man emerged and evolved upon the world of Edreja in many different places. In some, he was given guidance by other races. Yet in others he was not, and was forced to evolve alone. From the frozen wastes of the north to the deserts in the southmost lands, Man developed individual cultures and built fledgling towns and cities. Yet in the southern lands and the Long Island the Fey and the Elven races quarrelled.
The Fey saw the emergence of humankind and called a council or court of all their folk that remained upon Edreja. At this great council a question was posed. Is it our purpose as the first race to guide others, and to co-exist with them, or should we live as we wish? On one side stood many of the teachers and guardians of the younger races who had spent long years guiding their mortal compatriots. Yet upon the other stood those who foresaw that the time and effort that the Fey would spend guiding the other races would ultimately lead to their own destruction. Their reasoning was simple. We are immortal, our lifespan as it remains spans eons, and we will outlive any. Why should we spend our energies upon these lesser creatures?
The squabble grew into a war, and violence erupted upon the long island, and upon the southern lands of the Heartlands. The Fey split into two distinct factions: Seelie and Unseelie. The Seelie paid heed to mortal concerns and revered the fact that their mortal brethren had managed to retain their true hearts, whereas the Fey had been forced to give theirs up in the last passage from Arcadia. Such was the price they had paid to remain unchanged as they were.
The Unseelie Fey ignored the concerns of the other races, and believed that they should instead concentrate their efforts upon the rebuilding of their own nation in Edreja. Both factions of Fey created their own courts or councils, and went to war.
The war did not go well for the Seelie. They were driven from the Long Island and greatly outnumbered by their brethren. Yet a choice remained to them, for if the Unseelie were to win this war, they pledged to eradicate all that remained of the other races. In desperation, the Seelie enlisted the aid of their Elven allies, and gradually began to turn their efforts of educating the evolving race of Man to thoughts of war.
Two cultures within the Heartlands grew to dominance. The Seelie Fey paid close heed to their human brethren upon the Isle that would become known as Erin. These peoples named themselves Celts, and grew under the tutelage of Druidism.
After nearly five thousand years of war, the Seelie and Elven peoples struck back. The Celtic Nations united under the direction of the Seelie, and invaded the Long Island. They forced the Unseelie back to the lands that are now known as Caledonia and Albion. Yet, the invasion was not a complete success. Ever a divisive people, and finding themselves with great swathes of land in which to roam, the Celts began to settle. The Seelie, ever sensitive to the morals of the lesser folk, believed the war won, and neglected to finish off their Unseelie foes. For a further thousand years, an uneasy peace was restored to the Long Island.
This fragile peace was shattered upon the arrival of the Formor. Twisted and corrupted versions of their Fey brethren, the Formor attacked both Seelie and Unseelie Fe alike, and once more the Long Island was wracked with costly wars. Once again to preserve themselves, the Fey were forced to turn to outside for aid.
The second of the great human nations emerged in the south, as the Elven peoples taught their ways to the fragile human culture. A Republic was founded, and a kingdom established, the capital of which became known amongst the Elven peoples as the Second City. The Republic was a model which the Elven and Fey peoples wished all races to be governed by. Its practice was similar to the practices of the Fey Courts, yet each member of the Republic was allowed equal voice and power.
Yet in their desperate need, the Seelie Court realised that they would not survive the wars against their foes without decisive action. The Republic was too cumbersome an organisation for war. Its practices suited governance in the times of peace. One amongst the human culture rose to power, and owing to their desperate need, the Fey and Elven peoples helped him to overthrow their great design.