Sprite Ethnicity in The Crossroad Realms | World Anvil


Common to the species of the same name as well as other small and fey creatures, Sprite culture is epitomized by the pursuit of joy and adreneline. These communities are often small, nomadic, or both, and while they may have one or more leaders, the Byzantine rules by which such leaders are chosen makes their appointment and dismissal seem arbitrary to outsiders.   A person belonging to Sprite culture is said to be Sprightly.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Briafer, Mestren, Enwuen, Lowenath, Elesaba, Ceiteilin, Laseld, Derowean, Morvegen, Annisin

Masculine names

Yeren, Lomonoc, Perradok, Briostel, Audis, Memo, Bleisian, Maerek, Arthion, Melmyn

Unisex names

Lamorient, Casaba, Seder, Talmoyre, Peteilin, Keregirn, Pareth, Destyl, Temoere, Tambri     Generate More Names


Major language groups and dialects

The most common language in a Sprite community is Sylvan, though specific dialects have formed among remote or isolated groups.

Shared customary codes and values

Three things can be considered foundational to Sprite culture. The first is the carefree nature of these societies, unconcerned with long-term planning or the weighty cares of the larger world. The second is a joyful curiosity, and the third is a mischievous and playful demeanor.   Sprightly folk are best-known among the cultures of the Material Realms for their pranks. Among sprites, having one's fun at the expense of someone else's momentary peace is considered no less objectionable than having fun by oneself. Humans and other folk who put up bluster at the inconveniences of Sprites are typically seen as uptight spoilsports, while Sprites who can engineer especially exciting tricks are lauded for their creativity.   Oral tradition is also important in Sprite culture, and storytelling ability—musical or otherwise—a highly-esteemed talent. The value of a healthy natural landscape is also near-universally understood, especially in regards to woodlands.   These traits usually lead Sprightly folk to align with The Seelie Court, but many Sprites do make their homes happily under the dominion of The Gloaming Court, instead. Sprites who have sworn fealty to the Queen of Air and Darkness often engage in more destructive mischief than their seelie counterparts.

Foods & Cuisine

Since the Sprite majority of these communities are herbivores, Sprite diet is vegetarian. It includes many plants which are poisonous to humanoid species, which do no harm to sprites. Sprite cooking is every bit as sophisticated as human cooking, incorporating not only a huge variety of seasonings and cooking techniques, but also incorporating magical and psychedelic effects.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Playing pranks is a popular pasttime among Sprite communities, and perhaps is the aspect of Sprite life which is best-known on the Material plane. Sprites particularly enjoy playing pranks on humans and other (typically) nonmagical creatures, which seem alien and strange to the Fey folk.   Most of these parnks merely inconvenience or startle, but a lack of understanding about the anatomy, needs, and lifestyles of Material-Realm creatures can often make these jokes more serious to their victims. Most Sprites lack the patience to plan long and elaborate setups, but their powerful magic still affords them plenty of options.   As with any Fey community, there is a stark divide in expression between Seelie and Unseelie pranks.   While jokes from both factions usually aim to surprise, creating disorder, Seelie jokes tend to focus on engineering excitement and tumultuous chaos. Sprites might wake up a party of sleeping adventurers by storming their camp with a flock of geese, or trade a family's salt for a psychedelic from the Fey realm to watch how it affected them. Changing appearances or abilities is also entertaining; transporting a creature to the Fey Realm and watching them out of their element, or granting a pet the power of speech for a day are both examples of highly-entertaining (for the Fey) Seelie pranks.   Unseelie pranks, on the other hand, often focus on creating a spiral of chaos where the victim has less and less control as the prank goes on. Granting the prank victim the sole ability to observe a magical phenomenon, and then cackling over their despair and frustration when others first disbelieve, then mock, then cast doubts on their sanity is a classic unseelie sprite prank. Unseelie pranks tend to be more willing to introduce elements of true danger than the life-honouring seelie, as well. Letting a pet or child loose into a dangerous environment to watch how they navigate or find out in what way they will die is a more serious but just as likely Unseelie "prank."

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Naming a new Sprite child is one of the most exciting parts of welcoming a new community member. The parent or parents sometimes accept suggestions from nearly anyone who offers them, aiming to find a name that properly captures the joy and potential of the occasion.   As many Fey change their names over the course of their lifetimes, however, this decision is not made with the seriousness of species who keep the same name their entire life.


Beauty Ideals

Bright floral and jewel colors are popular among Seelie Sprites, while Unseelie prefer winter shades; stark white and piercing black, or the brownish-green of skeleton leaves.   Clothing styles tend to emphasize a connection with nature, as well as the sprite's personal creativity. Unique use of materials is a key component in sprite fashion, and creating an outfit or accessory out of something new and interesting can earn a significant degree of clout. The artistic designs of clothing tend to reflect natural patterns; not only leaves and flowers, but the antennae of insects and the vibration of their wings, the light of the moon on a river, even the shape of roots reaching through the earth.

Courtship Ideals

Sprite courtships tend to be open-ended, noncommittal affairs, and like most Fey institutions, are not restrained by a strict code of behaviour. Polyamory is common among Sprite communities, with monogamy being uncommon by comparison.   A sprite who wishes to enter a romantic and/or sexual relationship with another Sprite could simply ask the intended party, but their chances are better if they first impress their intended mate with a series of increasingly-lavish gifts. Presents which are especially creative, hard to obtain, or surprising are especially valued.   It is atypical for a sprite to formalize the beginning or end of a relationship with any kind of announcement or ceremony. However, they have certainly been known to mimic the human traditions of weddings and anniversaries for fun and as an excuse to hold especially-lavish festivities. These "ceremonies" share almost no common traditions or trappings, save for a focus on the couple.
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Cover image: The Magic Brush by Zsolt Kosa