The last thing I would do is betray you material ones. Fairies can't lie... Or so I think. Egh, whatever, you're going to help me or what?
Fairies are a race of insect-like Fae that come from the Faelands. Known to be mischievous tricksters, their migration to the material plane has been met with curious looks. Through their presence, areas become little pockets of the arcane madness their realm is known for whether or not the natives might like it or not.
Fairies look human at first but are more closely related to actual insects. Their bodies are composed out of segmented parts supported by an exoskeleton, akin to that of beetles or ants. Most even have abdomens or antennae, varying in length and girth.
Each limb of theirs is relatively slender, with both hands and feet having three digits each. Some do possess a pair of smaller arms near the midriff, although those lack an useable extremity to grab hold of things.
Their most distinct feature are their wings, which vary wildly in height and width. Usually, those are adorned with elaborate imagery, often imitating their environments or even other animals. Some even look like runes or spell circles, which gives the Fairy an arcane focus to work with.
Fairies come in boundless amounts of subspecies, often as a result of adapting to Fabulae's climate. With it, many began taking on traits of common insects, leading to scholars categorising them by what the Insect is capable of.
Bee Fairies are the most social of Fairies, making colonies near cities and working along with citizens. Sharing an appearance with bumblebees, they gather in huge hives to harvest plant nectar and produce honey. Excess honey gets traded for stuff to help their colonies grow, leading to the name of "the Merchants of Fairykind".
Taking their inspiration from stag and horned beetles, beetle Fairies are armoured in a way other exoskeletons aren't. While it makes them too heavy for proper flight, it does make them sturdier than others of their kind. As such, there's a competitive culture amongst them, fighting both for sport and for territory.
ButterflyThe closest to a pureblood Fairy, butterflies have large colourful wings decorated that make them distinct as a race. Through the patterns forming on them, their kind channels arcana unlike any other Fae. The downside to this is that their wings are sought after on the black market, whether be the scales or the whole thing.
Cicada Fairies are some of the more expressive of the subspecies, with a call that can be heard miles away. It can be so loud it is able to drive people mad when they sing in unison.
At night, many often circle together to have their calls lure in anyone who hears. Often fellow Fae come near, but also mortals and spirits alike come close to hear their songs. Sometimes they sing for hours, in a trance that grabs hold of everyone until the morning sun.
Known as the trash eaters of the Fairy kingdom, Cockroach Fairies are seen as a disgusting race. Often dwelling in the tunnels beneath large cities, elegancy is something they lack quite a lot. For them, any place can be their home, no matter how filthy or foul it smells.
It doesn't help that their kind is quite resilient, able to survive in almost any environment. Such Fairies have proven capable of withstanding the worst conditions, sometimes even thriving in them. But due to it, many are fine with living in minimal luxury as well.
Fairies are not elegant creatures. If you study them long enough, you'll learn they are as elegant as the bugs living under the floorboards.
Unlike the actual insect they're based of, Dragonfly Fairies also seem to take traits of actual Dragons. While they have the slender bodies and translucent wings, they also have elemental resistances too. Nobody knows why though, with at best people assuming the name alone grants them such power.
Through bioluminescent chemicals inside their bodies, Firefly Fairies can produce a soft light. With it, their kind learned to communicate through light, but also warn others of any danger as well. Through their magic they even can toss their light onto others, ruining any stealth they have.
Confused for their bee cousins, Hornet Fairies are bastards of the species. While they might seem harmless at first, their stingers are capable of causing intense pain. Some scholars stung by a Hornet Fairy call the sensation as getting stabbed with a burning knife. An experience best not felt.
Locust Fairies live in swarms of hundreds on open fields as a nomadic society. They trade proper flight for strong legs, making them great jumpers and powerful kickers. The problem is that their group dynamic makes them a threat for local vegetation, ravaging anything they pass by.
Mosquito Fairies are the only ones that feed off blood, often at night on unsuspecting animals. They do through a mixture of their proboscis and magic, making wounds that get sealed before anyone knew they came. The only thing they leave behind on the victim is a small mark where they fed.
Moth Fairies are a more nocturnal subspecies of Fairykind, often making their living space in barns and abandoned homes. Many seek them out for the silk of their larval stage, as it has higher magical properties than other Fairies. As such, most avoid outside contact, out of fear their young might get stolen.
While many joke of relationship problems with Praying Mantis Fairies, the threat they form is elsewhere. Sharp claws and quick reflexes make them able to attack at blinding speed, leaving cuts before people even notice. It is why they get referred to as the assassins of Fairies, for better or worse.
Genetics and Reproduction
Despite popular belief, Fairies do not get pregnant. Instead, they lay their eggs similar to other insects on the surface of a plant or even their own bodies until they hatch. However, not every egg ends up fertile, with some being either used as a food source or simply to increase survival chances.
Fairies usually lay between a dozen to thousands each time, which can take anywhere from a week to a month to hatch into Faeworms.
Growth Rate & Stages
The miracle of life is horrifying.
When Fairies hatch, they begin their life as a Faeworm, a caterpillar-like Fae with a Human head. In this state, most are incapable of using any magic or even speech, relying on others or sheer luck to survive.
During this stage of life, they simply eat constantly, through a diet of leaves preparing a metamorphism. Once ready, the Faeworm hangs itself upside down, wrapping their bodies in a chrysalis and liquifying inside of it.
Over the course of several weeks, they absorb surrounding magic to help grow, maturing rapidly and gaining knowledge of their environment. Some even believe the Fairy astral projects during this stage, making them aware of any dangers that might hinder further growth.
Eventually, the Fairy breaks loose of their cocoon, now deemed an adult. From there, they simply try finding a partner to continue the cycle or explore the world with their newfound wings.
Ecology and Habitats
Fairies prefer living near lakes and rivers, especially in dense forests surrounding them. Like other insects, they are not capable of enduring cold climates, especially those below zero.
If a significant group of Fairies can endure and strive, the place might end up being magically charged, with some even becoming Aetheryical Hot-Spots.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Fairies live off a diet of liquid materials, often in the form of things like nectar, fruit juice or even blood. While they are able to eat little bits, their digestive track struggles to digest anything that isn't either liquified or in small pieces.
To avoid choking, Fairies basically salivate their digestive acid onto their meals, letting it melt into edible chunks they can slurp down. While the progress still takes time, it does make them able to eat normal food as well.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Many mages hunt Fairies for various reasons, as their magical properties help with everything from potion brewing to magic items. Almost every piece of them can be used, which includes:
- Scales: Used for potions that invigorate or boost magic in one's system, or is sniffed directly. Seen as a magic-enhancing drug in mage society.
- Wings: Used for decorations on staffs and wands that help arcane focus.
- Silk: Silk from their larval forms carries high magic properties, making it ideal for robes and clothing that boosts or channels spells.
The facial features of a Fairy appear insect-like, complete with the bug eyes and antennae protruding from their foreheads. It does have some Human characteristics with a visible mouth and even a nose-like bit of plating between the eyes. Some even have mandibles in the corners of their mouth, which usually hang from the side of their cheeks.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Fairies are found in both Fabulae and the Faelands, typically in the warmer climates near the equator. However, few are found near big cities unless they are explorers or merchants themselves.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Fairies are able to see in less than optimal environments such as dark forests or barely lit dungeons, although their senses go far further than just sight. With their antennae or tongues, some are able to sense things others might not see or even taste the very air surrounding them.
Some Fairies even see magic auras, usually in the colours associated with the school of magic. As such, they become viable allies in finding arcane objects or seeing magic traps set up by mages.
Civilization and Culture
Common Myths and Legends
- Fairies eat their males: Rumoured to come from how some insects eat their partners, many presume that during mating season Fairies eat their partners. However, this is not very common, if sometimes downright taboo in hives.
- Fairies don't see any prank as too low: Fairies like to tease and prank others, but their jokes usually try to be harmless in the long-run. However, sometimes their pranks can escalate, leading to property damage at worst.
- Anti-magic fields can kill Fairies: Since Fairies are Fae, many presume they can't survive in magic-absorbing environments like anti-magic fields. However, this is not true, although their spell-like abilities do falter.
The 4th stage of the Fairy cycle
Stories tell about certain Fairies having a 4th stage of life, a form equivalent to being pure energy. If one would be able to live at least a thousand years, they shed their mortal coil to become beings of pure magic. In said form, they would transcend the laws of time and space itself, becoming one with a reality far beyond mortal comprehension.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Fairies have a bit of a reputation when it comes to the mortal plane, especially with their association as Fae creatures. While some can form great relationships with local towns, others become festering pests that cause mischief wherever they go: scaring cows, hiding tools, etc.
They find themselves closer to races that also delve into arcane means such as Elves or Gnomes, giving advice to help further research. Some Fairies even work together with fellow outside races like Aasimar or Undine, forming small teams to get safely across the realm.
However, in certain regions they tend to be also hunted, usually for their wings as those are believed to have magic properties. As such, some hives isolate themselves deep within forests, either hiding from others or acting hostile to anyone trespassing.
Fairies are known to be curious creatures, living to cause mischief wherever they go. However, their knowledge of the other world makes many great allies for adventuring parties, especially when it comes to magical situations. So if you have to deal with a spell or a wizard, it's sometimes best to have a Fairy with you.
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