Fae Mark Condition in Dark-Fall | World Anvil

Fae Mark

A Rare Honor

Written by ninne124

A Fae Mark is a mark bestowed on a human by a Fae. The mark gives the human the ability to use magic, therefore making them a Spell-caster. A Fae Mark cannot be removed once given and a human cannot receive a second Fae Mark when they already have one.   The only way to have two fae marks as a human is to genetically inherit one from each parent. However, if a person is born with one mark, they cannot receive one from a fae.    
All had thought it but petty gossip when they heard the rumour spread through the town; there was no way she had a mark, she was not worthy.   But they had all been wrong. It was right there on her arm.   The Mark was glowing as her hand stretched out and her mouth widened in a big grin. Fire shot from her fingertips and the embers fell like snow as the town burned. Everything burned.
  The Mark gives the person access to the use of spells. When it comes to difficulty, it all comes down to what mark the person has. A mark does not limit a human to one type of magic like it is seen in the Fae. However, it will be significantly harder to perform any spells that do not correlate with the type of mark the spell-caster has.
Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
Extremely Rare
Affected Species

Fae Mark Types

There are 7 different Fae Marks, one for each of the seven Primal Elements: Primal Light, Primal Dark, Primal Fire, Primal Water, Primal Air, Primal Earth and Primal Spirit. The recipient of the mark is most likely to master the primal element that their mark correlates to, but some have managed to become decent at other elements through vigorous training. This has only been seen a handful of times and is incredibly difficult to achieve.  
  There is a distinct mark for each type of Primal Element. This makes it easy to identify what mark someone has. The mark is placed wherever the Fae pressed their index finger on the receiver during the ritual to mark them.  
Learning Magic from other Schools
  Each Fae Mark grants access to easy use of the corresponding type of magic. With each Mark, it is also possible to learn some magic from the other schools through hard training.   It is the easiest to learn magic from the schools adjacent to one's own on the chart. The hardest school to learn is the one on the opposite side of the chart.       Example: Someone with a light mark could get decent at wind or fire with 5 years of vigorous studying. It would take them over 20 years to learn dark magic to the same level.
Fae Marks Gold
by Ninne124
Fae Mark Types Details

The Seven Marks

The seven different Fae Marks are very distinct, both in looks and in the powers they grant. All seven marks are unique, but the types of magic they unlock for a person can be utilized for many of the same types of spells. The key difference is when a magic type is strong and when it's weak.   Some types of magic are easier to use for certain spell groups. Light Magic and Spirit Magic are both easily used for healing spells, whereas it is virtually impossible to heal with Fire Magic.
The table shows the marks and the corresponding type of
Fae, Primal Elements and Magic type for each mark.
Mark Type Magic Type Fae Type Primal Element
Light Mark Light Magic Light Fae Primal Light
Dark Mark Dark Magic Dark Fae Primal Dark
Earth Mark Earth Magic Earth Fae Primal Earth
Air Mark Air Magic Air Fae Primal Air
Fire Mark Fire Magic Fire Fae Primal Fire
Water Mark Water Magic Water Fae Primal Water
Spirit Mark Spirit Magic Spirit Fae Primal Spirit


Each Fae Mark has stereotypes, cliches and rumours surrounding it. It is said that people with specific marks behave in a certain way. This is based on the idea that the same stereotypes which are often applied to the different variants of Fae. However, most of these stereotypes are nothing but rumours and bigoted opinions, though that doesn't stop people from believing them.   All of the common stereotypes tie into the 7 primal elements.  
Fire Marked
Fire Marked people are fierce and passionate and have a big temper. They're said to be as volatile as a big flame. Most say that you should be wary around such a person and never get to close, lest you be hurt.
Water Marked
Water marked people are said to be unpredictable. Their emotions are tied to the water. Some behave like the oceans and the monsoons, others are peaceful and quiet like small streams or rivers.
Earth Marked
Earth marked people are rumoured to be level-headed, loyal and un-changing. Their opinions are set in stone and they take everything on the word.
Air Marked
Air Marked people are said to be airheads. They go where the winds carry them and are very spontaneous. However, this also means that they can't be trusted. Not because they mean to harm anyone, but because they inevitably will due to their actions and because they don't think ahead.
Light Marked
Light Marked people are said to be like small suns. Good entities with pure intentions. They're the type of marked people who are most accepted.
Dark Marked
Dark Marked people, however, are seen as evil people. Most will do anything to avoid them, as they're said to crave power and money. They will do anything to get what they desire.
Spirit Marked
Spirit Marked people are feared in the same way as Dark Marked people, but also respected more. They're seen as mysterious individuals who are highly unpredictable, just like the spirit fae.


Gettting a Fae Mark

Fae Marks can be acquired in two ways: bestowment from a Fae or through genetical inheritance from a parent who has a Fae Mark of any kind. There is no other way for humans to gain a Fae Mark. Most beings cannot get a Fae mark. Fae are born with one dependent on their lineage and cannot gain another.  

Bestowment from a Fae

The only way to get a Fae mark, if a person is not born with one, is to be given one from a Fae. Some Fae give them out as a token of appreciation, other's give them as their end of a deal. Making a deal to get a mark is by far the most common way it is done. The deal often extends to children born with the mark, though not many know because the fae are sneaky with the wording of their deals.  
Once the two parts have agreed that one will give the other a mark, a ritual has to be held. The ritual can only be held in the domain of the corresponding Fae realm. Often, the High Fae is required to bless the Mark-giving before it can take place. Each type of Fae has their own ritual, which will bind the human and fae for a short while as the marking is taking place. What happens is, that the fae have a bodily mechanism which goes in and magically alter genes on the human so that they get the same gene as the fae, which is the reason for the mark.  

Genetic Inheritance

Fae Marks can be inherited by blood because the marking changes the genetical make-up of the individual who receives.
Double Marks
Humans can only have two marks if they're born with both.   One cannot receive two marks through their lifetime, nor can a person born with a mark get an extra one from a fae.   The only ones who can get two marks are Half-Fae, who are born with one and can get an additional one because of their human half.
  Getting marked changes one of the two versions of the gene the person has and it is therefore inheritable. It is a dominant trait which means that if someone has one dominant mark allele and one recessive allele, the person would get a Fae Mark, each fae mark has its own gene, so one cannot get a different fae mark than the one seen in one of their parents. If the child is not able to use magic, they will not have inherited the gene at all. It is not possible to be a carrier of the gene and not have a mark.  
Genetic Inheritance Details
  This part contains information about genetics which is modelled on real-world concepts. This might be advanced for some. This can be skipped without losing any vital information.

Possible Alleles

There are 8 different versions of the alleles that code for Marks or lack there-of.   The non-mutated allele is the one that codes for no Mark. Other than that, there are 7 different mutated alleles which each correlate to the specific Fae Marks.   The 7 mutated possibilities appear as a result of active altering of genes done by Fae and cannot be obtained naturally through mutation seen over many generations.   There are 2 ways to be marked:
  • Single-Marked: the marked person only has one allele which codes for a mark. The second one is the allele which codes for no mark.
  • Double Marked: the marked person has two alleles which code for a mark. It can either be for the same mark or two different ones. Double-Marked people are rarely born alive.
Mark Type Allele Gene Expression
No Fae Mark m Recessive
Light Mark ML Dominant
Dark Mark MD Dominant
Fire Mark MF Dominant
Water Mark MW Dominant
Air Mark MA Dominant
Earth Mark ME Dominant
Spirit Mark MS Dominant
The table shows the 8 different possible alleles which can
be found in the genome at the spot which will determine
whether a person has a mark or not.
Dominance and Recessiveness
The 7 mutations which code for Marks are all dominant, whereas the allele which codes for no Mark is recessive. The condition is autosomal dominant, which means there is the same chance that a female or a male receives the gene from their parent.
Marked and Unmarked (Any Mark)
The table below shows the outcome of a single-marked person and an unmarked person having children.
The outcome is the same no matter what mark the marked part possesses.
  Outcome: 50% chance of single-marked, 50% chance of unmarked.
Marked x Unmmarked
by Ninne124
Marked and Marked (Identical Marks)
The table below shows the outcome of two single-marked people with the same mark. This can result in a double-marked homozygote.   Outcome: 50% chance of single-marked, 25% chance of double-marked homozygote, 25% chance of unmarked.
Marked & Marked (same)
by Ninne124
Marked and Marked (Unidentical Marks)
In this example, the parents are both single-marked but they have different Marks. One has a Light Mark, the other has a Fire Mark. This can result in a double-marked heterozygote.   Outcome: 25% chance of single-marked (Fire), 25% chance of single-marked (Light), 25% chance of double-marked heterozygote, 25% chance of unmarked.
Marked& Marked (different)
by Ninne124
Other combinations
Other possible combinations would be:
  • Unmarked and Unmarked
  • Double Marked homozygote and Unmarked
  • Double Marked homozygote and Single Marked (Identical Marks)
  • Double Marked homozygote and Single Marked (Unidentical Marks)
  • Double Marked heterozygote and Unmarked
  • Double Marked heterozygote and Single Marked (3 mark types)
  • Double Marked heterozygote and Single Marked (2 mark types)
  • Double Marked heterozygote and Single Marked (Unidentical Marks)
  Only the combination of 2 Unmarked would be viable, as 100% of Double Marked individuals are infertile.   2 Unmarked individuals would have a 100% chance of birthing an Unmarked child.     The rest of the combinations would never be possible because Double Marked people cannot reproduce. Not even the ones with two of the same mark.

Double Marks and Incomplete Dominance

If both alleles code for different marks, there will exist what is called incomplete dominance, a mix of the two which blends them together but makes each of them weaker. Individuals with incomplete dominance are unlikely to survive as primal elements aren't meant to coexist within the same organism. Only about 3% of double-marked heterozygotes are born alive. 5% of double marked homozygotes are born alive.   In the odd case that one such person does survive, they will be able to use two types of magic rather easily, but their abilities in each field will be considerably weaker than a person with one mark. A child with two marks rarely lives long if they even make it out of the womb. A person with incomplete dominance will be born sterile.

Articles under Fae Mark

Cover image: by Ninne124


Author's Notes

Best Article 2019 (World Ember)

I am super thankful that I won the World Ember Best Article 2019 with Fae Marks.   This article was a joy to write and I enjoyed every moment of it :3   Thank you to the community for showing this article so much love!

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Dec 1, 2019 22:00 by R. Dylon Elder

Nice work! is this the only way to use magic? i really like the idea. It seems so unique. Is the mark visible? how does it manifest? looking forward to more!

Dec 2, 2019 14:34

Thank you for the comment Dyl :D   It is the only way for full humans to use magic yes. The mark depends on the fae who gave it, and it is fully visible. It's placed where the fae touched when giving the mark. If the mark was inherited, it will be placed the same place as where the parent had it.   I'll write it in the article whenever I get the time ^-^

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Dec 2, 2019 18:01 by R. Dylon Elder

Very nice! I like it. and no problem at all!

Dec 1, 2019 23:45 by Jimmy Shrekson

Can someone have multiple marks? I might use my dummy thiccness to seduce some fairies into giving me multiple marks if so.

Dec 1, 2019 23:50 by Jimmy Shrekson

Since this is classed as very rare and magic is in a dominant gene do those with the marks suffer from high mortality/low fertility rates or has the giving of marks not been happening that much/is a recent thing? It just seems like if there isn't at least one of those at play it doesn't make much sense for there to be anyone without magic as it could decrease child mortality (healing, cooking food better, etc) and make those kids more desirable mates when they grow up ("Daniel you're very nice but I've got a date with Chad and any kids I have with him are gonna conquer the fucking world") so it'd spread pretty quickly.

Dec 2, 2019 14:32

Thank you for the comments!!   I'm a giant biotech nerd so I'm going to do a section on all that soon, this article is nowhere near done XD   Thank you for giving me some extra inspiration ^-^

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Dec 3, 2019 22:12

They look so pretty! uwu Were you inspired by Hunter x Hunter in the way that learning different kinds of magic than one's own works, or is that coincidentally similar?

Dec 4, 2019 05:19

Thanks for the comment Kelban!   I've never heard of Hunter x Hunter, so coincidence it seems, but maybe i should look into it ^-^

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Dec 4, 2019 10:06

The have a similar mechanic with their pseudo-magical ninja techniques (I think they're called "go" or something, too long ago since I watched it last).

Dec 11, 2019 08:20

It's such an impressive article and really well executed :D Awesome stuff, Ninne!

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Dec 11, 2019 20:34

Thank you so much for the kind words Q!   It means a lot ^-^

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Dec 17, 2019 13:55 by Tobias Linder

I really like the adherence to tropey high-fantasy elemental-magic separation and then completely subverting the trope with such a unique way of bestowing magical power. I am not one to really appreciate high-fantasy, but the way you've approached it is really refreshing!   The fact that it's also a real, visible mark on your body is really great too.   How does the humanity at large treat these people? Are they treated with awe or with fear? What impact does "having the mark" have on society?   For instance, in Dark Shadows (my fantasy setting), Fay-blood are shunned by society and treated like witches (albeit not outright killed) because society at large *really* fears magic. It is the weapon of the enemy, after all.