The Fey

The Fey have been around as long as the world itself. They're caretakers of nature, and so much a part of it that they share in the simplicity and chaos that all life is based on.

The Fey themselves don't know how they came to be, just that they Are, and that is enough for them. In truth, they are the first of the sentient races, created wholly as a byproduct when the Powers That Be first spawned life on this planet. Seeing how fickle and willful (and unfortunately powerful) these first ones were, exploring into the background weave of what they had spun, the PTB anchored them to the ley lines of the world to keep them from tearing it asunder.

As a result, the Fey folk live in what is colloquially known as 'the Realm Next Door', and their strongest ley line (where they can most easily traverse the two realms) runs right through the British Isles. They're not unknown to other places, but the highest incidence of their activity has always been in Northwestern Europe.

Fey are near-literal forces of nature themselves, and among their powers they possess inborn abilities in healing, growth and life. In addition, they are natural-born tricksters, and are also widely known for illusion, teleportation, invisibility and even flight. They are mischievous and sometimes even childlike, not fully understanding the havoc they may be wreaking upon lives, though few are truly malevolent beings, they just don't understand the mundane and briefness of human lives.

Around 4000 BCE, the Fey became split on the "vampire problem": Fey sprang naturally from the sheer force of Life around them, whereas vampires were a willing creation of Death Itself. Some Fey viewed themselves as diametrically opposed to the vampires and, as such, as needing to fight and destroy the abominations that the Powers That Be had never intended to exist; the rest pointed out that the PTB hadn't intended them to exist either, and that until and unless the world itself was threatened, there was no need to deal with the vampires. This disagreement had been going on for several thousand years, but now it was shifting from an argument to a conflict.

Eventually, the Fey who believed that vampires must be hunted down and destroyed split off from their brethren. Though still cautious of dealing with/being seen by mortals, they spent more and more time in the world, focusing their powers and abilities on an eventual assault on the source of the problem: Cain. When they finally attacked him (3500 BCE), the outcome was... not what they expected. Cain was the original Death, after all, and if he could be eliminated, the Powers That Be would've done so by now. The attack drained their collective powers beyond the point where they could fully recover again.

In the end, this group of Fey wound up nearly -though not totally- powerless and, surprisingly to them, mortal. (One does not attack Death without... repercussions.) After 500 years spent focusing on specific talents and abilities, it was hard for them to recall any others, and they wouldn't have had the power to deal with them any way. Whereas they had originally chosen to spend more time in this world so as to prepare for this battle, now they were permanently denied access to the ley lines' transportive powers. They were far more powerful than normal mortals, as they did still have access to some abilities, but they were clearly no longer Fey. These were the progenitors of the Witches. But their battle did not stop there.

This group of exiled Fey bided their time, plotting and scheming, breeding and raising their children in the belief and knowledge of the evils of the vampiric race. (If Cain could not be destroyed, at least they could take out his damned creations.) They spread out around the globe, at first going to other ley lines but, over time, just finding a place they could call home and hunt vampires. In the period between 3450 and 3300 BCE, the various scattered proto-Witch groups all came to (and attempted to enact) the same plan: that they might be able to regain a portion of their lost powers by joining themselves to some of the most powerful species in existence. Of course, different groups (and different individuals) defined "powerful" in different ways.

Aware that their last plan hadn't gone so great, they wisely chose not to put all their eggs in one particular basket this time. They took volunteers to experiment on, and, through their proximity to various ley lines and their own remaining attachment to Life Itself, fused the volunteers with specific animal species. These would be the first Weres (werewolves, werefalcons, werefoxes, etc. depending on what animal was used), more in touch with the rhythms of Nature and its creations than these splintered once-Fey were, but still no closer to regaining the full power of the Fey that had been lost to them.

These groups were disappointed in their failures, and these first Weres knew it. Some of them left their clans on their own, either to escape that disappointment or simply because the wild called to them more now than the relative civilization of what had been their kind; others were driven out by frustrated and angry friends and family, or exiled because of their sheer other-ness. However it happened, the Weres split from the Witches. Their outlook on vampires faded into the casual acceptance of the true Fey (ironically enough): that Life was messy more often than not, that things could "spring" into being without the PTB's direct hand, and so long as it (Life) continued on, things would be fine. Live and let live; kill those that stand between you and survival, but otherwise leave them be.

This lesson was most keenly learned by the remaining Fey themselves: they watched their former brethren lose power, become mortal, become strange animal hybrids, and all because, in their view, they had given themselves over to Hatred. They Hated the vampires more than they Loved life, and the Fey took that to heart. It's hard to find a Fey who genuinely hates anyone or anything, and most Fey shy away from the very word. (This may be the source of stories that mention some Fey beings getting so angry that they cease to exist; such tales may not be true, but they might be cautionary to mortals and Fey alike.) Fey celebrate Life in all its chaotic, wonderous, and sometimes irritating glory.

Fey cannot be turned into vampires; they simply fall unconscious and awake hours or days later with what feels like an intense hangover. Their blood is also very fragrant and intoxicating to vampires, though not addictive as vampire blood is. Where another vampire's blood may be compared to meth or PCP, Feyblood is more like a vampire's catnip or marijuana. Feyblood is also (obviously) non-toxic to vampires, as is Wereblood (though many vampires complain about a "gamier" taste to Wereblood). Only Witch blood is toxic, either through deliberate design by the progenitors or through sheer hatred and force of will (or possibly a bit of both).

Fey are capable of reproducing with mortals, the result of which are called 'feykin'. It should be noted, however, that Witches and Weres are no longer considered 'feykin'; so many millenia have passed that they are their own species now, no matter their Fey origins. Some Witches and Weres may be Feykin because their Witch/Were mother became pregnant by a Fey father, but that is related to those specific circumstances. The vast majority of feykin (as outlined below) are human/Fey hybrids, but then again the vast majority of mortals on the planet are human. For that matter, Fey seem to target humans more often than Witches or Weres; whether this is out of some remembered sense of their history with these groups or whether it's just the usual numbers game of "there are just more humans around" is unknown (again, possibly a bit of both).

The Feykin

The result of a human (usually) and Fey reproducing, first generation feykin always have human mothers and Fey fathers. After that, it gets a mite tricky (more on that later). Feykin look human, no unnatural colours or traits, though they do tend towards generally good dispositions ("eternal optimist" is often heard in reference to feykin) and are more often than not devilish little pranksters, especially in their youths.

Most feykin are born with one or two inborn 'powers', which follow them throughout their lives and are passive traits. The most common of these traits is good fortune (often the feykin might be known as a 'cardshark' or a 'rabbit's foot' for their good fortune in gambling). Other common powers include an increased healing rate, extremely high constitution, and an overdeveloped penchant for stealth. Whether they know that they are special or not, their deveopment from a human with potential to a feykin is entirely dependent on these powers.

If a feykin goes through life never pushing their limits or asking questions, they will simply be a human. If a feykin utilizes their luck for things such as gambling, as an example, the magic lying dormant in them gets a bit of a kickstart. The more they use their power, the stronger it gets, and other Fey powers (and weaknesses) begin to manifest. Feykin always look human, though often they have bright-coloured eyes (blues and greens in particular), but with enough perseverance they can manifest all of a Fey's powers, if a bit weaker than a full-blooded Fey could. They also manifest several of the Fey weakness, including an adoration of song and dance, cold-forged iron (iron that has been forged at a cool enough temperature so as not to break the magnetism), and an aversion to telling lies. A fully developed feykin can live upwards of two hundred years, though seldom past 250.

The first generation feykin always have Fey fathers, though those Fey seldom are around much for their child's lives, but a first gen feykin's children all have the chance of being born either feykin or human. The Fey blood doesn't 'dilute' as it travels down the generations, but rather lays dormant, so that a human with no Fey potential can still have a child with that potential. A good example of this is Tavis O'Leary; the only one of his seven siblings to inherit Feymagic, and after over ten generations without any other signs of Feyblood. A feykin has slightly better chances of having feykin children, but the incidence of mundane human children is still higher.

A strong enough feykin cannot be turned into a vampire; they will slowly revert back to feykin as the nature magic in their blood fends off the 'infection'. This process can take months and is very uncomfortable for the feykin.

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