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Fae Lifecycle

Magic Circle of Life

Written by Endrise

If it was as easy to kill a Fae as it was a regular Human, you need to reconsider what kind of entities you truly are dealing with.
— Nymph

One of the few immortal beings of the Cosmic Hourglass, Fae have no true death unlike other realms. Rather, their kind returns with each death, in a cycle that has no beginning or end. One where life and death is their choice rather than that of the cosmos.

The Eternal Cycle

Birth of a Fae

Almost all Fae are born from various lakes scattered across the Faelands, known as reincarnation pools. Each one houses the memories and thoughts of thousands of Fae, leading to their nicknames of "wells of wisdom."

Every so often, new Fae emerge from it, in countless shapes and sizes, either with established memories or none at all. Any living thing that enters the pools ends up torn apart by it, their mind spread across that of countless others. There might not even be an afterlife for them, unless each memory gets removed from the lake individually.

The Choice of Death

Most Fae do not show any sign of age nor can die of natural causes. Decay does not happen in their bodies, making them immortal in some sense. The only way one might die is by being killed, and even then the effects are not permanent.

If one kills a Fae, their body decomposes in a matter of hours. Their essence finds its way to the closest reincarnation pool, where it forms a new body. The progress can take hours, if not days to recover, during which they can choose to change their appearance.

We are born from something greater than all of us, and will die to return to it. Once a Fae chooses to die, they stop being an individual. They become part of something as vast as an ocean, as great as the heavens.   Why fear death if no Fae ever came back regretting it?
— Archfae

The only way for a Fae to truly die is by choice, for which nobody knows what happens to them afterwards. Their essence still returns to the nearest pool, but their conscious is lost in the collective. Some believe they become part of newborn Fae, others think they exist in a higher state of being. Due to the mystery behind it, nobody is certain which one is true.

Breaking the Cycle

Denying Rebirth

In theory, people can prevent a rebirth of a Fae by trapping their essence before it leaves. Doing so can lead to the Fae's body dissolving in a liquid state, leaving behind pure arcane essence. In such state, they are still conscious, but unaware of their surroundings. The liquid is quite fleeting as well, evaporating in seconds if given the chance.

Dire situations can make them force to reincarnate with their current essence, but results are less elegant. Depending on the damage caused by their death, the new body might be weaker, if not too weak to function properly. Multiple attempts might even harm the mental state of a Fae if they can't return to a pool.

The Threat of Undead

The danger of trying to turn a Fae Undead is that their magic can go haywire. With their mind absent, the body knows not how to reform making it take on a monstrous form. It is wild magic with a semblence of conscious, too wild to be controlled by any necromancer.

In said state the body can go on a rampage, shifting and morphing as it lashes out at anything and anyone. If slain though, it will cease to be and return back to normal, but the progress is often harder than it looks. For as mindless an Undead Fae might look, they are aware enough to know what they are capable of.

The Case of Fairies

One of the oddballs of Faekind are Fairies, as they do not use reincarnation pools. Instead, they have regular lifespans, metamorphising during their pupal stage from child to adult.

During the pupal stage, their bodies melt down too into the arcane essence, keeping their conscious anyways. It might be they also draw magic from their surroundings to mature during this period in their life cycle, although most of it is speculative.

Fairies are such an enigma for scholars some believe they are aware of what lies beyond a Fae's death. But even with countless research, none have gotten closer to what the true answer might be...

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Cover image: Natural Law Cover by Endrise


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