The smallest of all sophonts species, fae are flying insectoids known for their particularly strong natural attunement to the magical fields of Vazdimet. They are rather delicate, due to both their diminutive size and body structure, and tend to congregate into their own smaller communities as a result. Their larger Imperium reserves also make them rather popular Afterlife Intelligences, although history has taught this is only successful if the fae in question is willing to undertake the role.
ArmsTrue to their insectoid nature, fae possess three pairs of arms, often called the fore-, mid-, and hind-arms. The exact configuration of these limbs also vary from fae to fae, although all contain at least one bendable joint at some point along their length with most containing at least two. Their arms, particularly their hind-arms, also double as legs.1
WingsAll fae also possess at least one pair of wings, with some claiming as many as three. Two pairs seems to be the average. These wings permit the fae to fly and even hover in place, a necessary trait for life mixed among the other, larger species of sophonts scattered throughout Vazdimet. It is not uncommon for a fae to spend the majority of their day in flight, particularly those who interact with non-fae on a regular basis.
ExoskeletonFae are also the only sophont species to rely upon an exoskeleton rather than an internal skeletal structure. This does not grow with them, instead requiring they molt periodically throughout their growth and development. They are especially vulnerable immediately after a molt until their new exoskeleton hardens, usually within a day or less. Their hardened outer shells do provide additional protections against magic, but their lightweight nature and smaller stature still leave them physically vulnerable to the larger hazards of the universe. Legend claims this led the fae of ancient Fillimet to hide their existence from the rest of society, living in vibrant but isolated communities in the environmental extremes of the world, although the truth of these tales have not been verified.
Dietary Needs and Habits
While the largest component of their diet remains flower nectar, fae have also been known to consume honey, certain vegetables, and all manner of fruit. Their preferred food sources are sweet and high in liquid content, a necessity as they do not possess teeth but instead rely upon their probiscus to suck up juices like a straw. Fruit and vegetable purees are also acceptable food sources, although they have no nutritional need for the additional fiber. They are entirely herbivorous, with many reporting digestive discomforts or worse if experiencing a more than incidental exposure to meat within their foods, although in most cases Alchemy has proven sufficient to resolve the problem.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
SightWhile fae have exceptional sight and depth perception up close, with many possessing compound eyes allowing for highly detailed images and full degrees of vision, they are surprisingly nearsighted. Rather than relying upon glasses or other physical means of vision correction, fae lean into their remaining senses, particularly their unique sense of smell. Some fae also choose to learn basic Thaumathea to improve their vision at distances, although others find the prospect of long-range sight disorienting and even overwhelming.
TouchFae are highly sensitive to touch, with hairs all over their bodies including their legs, wings, antennae, and even eyes. This allows them to not only sense objects they are touching, but also changes in local air patterns, allowing them to dart out of the way of larger species and other potential physical dangers.
SmellFae possess an excellent and highly refined sense of smell. It could be argued that a fae's capabilities for smell are equal to that of a canid, although the comparison is rather misleading, as their experience of smell is quite different to that of other sophonts. A fae's antennae contain olfactory sensors, providing detailed information about the scents and smells surrounding them. They can easily determine the identity and location of each source, allowing them to recognize familiar people and objects in their vacinity at long range despite their genetic short sightedness. With practice, fae can also refine this sense further, allowing them to fairly accurately determine the chemical makeup of each scent. This has become a particularly popular skill among those dealing with Curative Magic or Alchemy.
HearingFae utilize a pair of thin, tympanic eardrum-like membranes to hear, located on either side of their thorax, typically between their fore- and mid-arms. Some also possess additional membranes in their arms, allowing them even greater accuracy in locating the source of a sound. Their range of hearing is greater than that of most other sophonts, including the katanoji, although their ability to interpret sounds in the lower ranges remains limited unless further enhanced with Anemancy. They hear best in the higher octaves, likely an adaptation due to their own higher pitched voices.
TasteIn addition to their probiscus, fae possess taste receptors on their hands, antennae, and legs. They can experience sweet, salty, sour, and bitter flavors, although sweet is clearly their favorite, a fact echoed by their typical diets of nectar and fruit.
MagicIn addition to their skills in using magic, fae are highly attuned to the magical fields surrounding them, allowing them to use their larger Imperium reserves more efficiently. Their magical endurance and efficiency is often compared to the notable physical endurance of human. They are also more likely to possess a natural affinity for Metamagic, the only classification of magic that cannot be taught to those without a genetic disposition, although of course the ability remains rare.
Civilization and Culture
Common Etiquette Rules
Due to their smaller size and advanced sense of touch, it is considered not only impolite but also reckless for a non-fae to touch a fae without permission. Fae will often perch on the shoulders of trusted individuals among the other sophonts, allowing them to rest their wings while still interacting with larger people. In these cases they may permit that individual to touch them in return, although requesting permission is still highly recommended. Some people will also offer their hand as a convenient perch for a fae with whom they are having a conversation. Since fae can also taste through their hands, it is expected that the person offering is currently maintaining appropriate hand hygiene.
HygieneFae self-groom, much like katanoji, although they rely on their hands and arms. They have been known to use dust baths to clear dirt out of their joints, and while they avoid larger streams of water, a fine mist can help their cleaning regimes. In worst-case scenarios they are able to trigger a new molt, shedding their current exoskeleton in favor of a new one, although this is seen as a last resort.
Common Dress Code
Fae don't wear clothing, as it will interfere with their senses of both touch and hearing. Their external carapace, supplemented with their magical capabilities, provides sufficient protection against the elements while their different, insectiod physiology fulfills any societal expectations of modesty - often to the frustration of those canids and katanoji who would prefer to remain in their bare fur. Organizations requiring a uniform will often supply their fae members with a hat conveying the required information as to their position, status, and even ranks.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Most fae tend to spend the majority of their time alone or with other fae, rather than interacting with the other, larger sophonts of Vazdimet. This is not to say they don't appreciate or even enjoy others outside their own communities, but more a matter of safety. Keeping to their own kind allows them to relax and lower their guard, rather than remain on alert in case someone else overlooks their presence. Fae remain highly respected by the other species, especially in magic-heavy societies. This respect does sometime translates in unfortunate ways, such as an expectation that fae will automatically agree to become Afterlife Intelligences in an effort to adapt to existence among the larger species, although those who interact with living fae regularly are quick to recognize the flaws in this logic. The Space Defense Legion in particular has taken great cares to design many engineering technological advances to allow their fae populations to coexist with the rest of society, despite their minority status within SDL space and the Legion's general scorn for magic when more mundane options can be proven equally as effective.
5 in to 8 in
Less than 0.005 lbs
While surprisingly strong and sturdy for their size, fae are physically weak when compared to their fellow sophonts. They compensate for this weakness with a larger than average Imperium reserve, a natural attunement to the magical fields of Vazdimet, and a preference for congregating with other fae rather than the larger species of the universe.
Harbia Hoffigar by Astron
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Fae are found in an impressive range of color variations, with a surprising array of hues and combinations, even among the same genetic line. While some display only one or two colors, others dazzle with an entire rainbow of colors.
Isabella Hoffigar by Astron
Orchid Mantis Fae by Astron
Van by Astron