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Ideas for the Fey

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Tom, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I just wanted to run some new ideas past you lovely folks, to see if you had some feedback that could fuel my imagination.

    So I thought up a possible origin for the Fey in my story--they were originally human. I think I mentioned here how some people in my story-world are born with more magic than others. So maybe, long ago, some children were born with magic so powerful that it made them “mutants”. These mutants would be shunned and cast out, so they would only have children with other mutants. Eventually, they would become a separate race/species, with magic to aid the process of natural selection.

    I was also thinking–maybe people who work magic for a while start to grow horns (my Fey have horns). Perhaps the longer/more numerous the horns, the more powerful or experienced the magic-user? They’d also start to acquire more physical Fey traits, such as ashen skin and long, claw-like hands, and probably mental traits as well, becoming more emotionally unstable and capricious. So not only would that make powerful magic-users visibly different from normal people, it would cause others to possibly shun or fear them, as they would the Fey. That's kind of the angle I'm going for.

    What do you guys think? Any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Kind of sort of like the elves in my worlds, who began as alien souls trapped in human bodies, condemned to cycles of reincarnation in the physical realm. The alien nature of these souls changed these human bodies on the physical level, longer lifespan, pointy ears, that sort of thing, though I don't go into great detail in my stories. Elves are more of a background force - so and so is trading with the elves, or was sent to elf land as an emissary and came back acting weird, or there is an elf in the ancestry of another character.

    The Fey, now, for the most part are the original alien spirits that didn't get snared in a cycle of physical reincarnation. They can assume material form - and sometimes end up trapped in such - but for the most part they dwell in the etheric realms and only visit the physical. The elves, being cousins of a sort, can and do call on the Fey for favors now and again, though. Humans, especially the Church, view the Fey as demons, and regard elves as deeply tainted, though not quite demonic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    Tom likes this.
  3. BronzeOracle

    BronzeOracle Sage

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    I don't have ideas or suggestions, but some questions re: conflict and drama.

    How has their heritage affected their identify - do they hate or fear humans? I am thinking of X-men and how humans fear mutants and some mutants hate humans. Or are the Fey now secure in their supremacy and oblivious / disdainful of their past?

    How do the Fey and the magic-users who begin to look like them regard it each other? Do the Fey regard them as second class citizens, muggle-bloods, or do they embrace them as fellow magical creatures - even if in a paternalistic way?? Do the magic-users regard the Fey with yearning, like wannabes?

    The fear of magic and the corruption it can bring is such a rich vein to mine, I think its a great idea.
     
    Tom likes this.
  4. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Where did you take your origins for the Fey from? Just curious.
     
  5. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I would think that if someone is an intelligent and reasoning being, that once the horns started to grow they would find ways to cut them off.

    Otherwise I envision a whole slew of daily annoyances. Walking through doorways, laying on a pillow, kissing, wearing a stocking hat when it's cold out.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
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  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    You could keep the horns small. Have them distinguish by color? Hardness could be another variable. Size isn't everything. ;-)
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I drew most of my inspiration from the Tuatha De Danann, the old gods/Faeries of Celtic myth. Some of their cultural aspects are based on early tribes of Europe during the Stone and Bronze Ages. The rest is just my imagination.
     
  8. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Bad, skip, very bad. Go sit in the corner. ;)

    I was waiting for someone to say it...
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    For the most part, I've kept the horns small--just short nubs that sprout slightly above the temples. They're easily covered by hair or a headband. And yeah, I've thought of ways a mage could get rid of them, the number one method being acid. In the real world, it's used on goat kids to remove their horn buds when they're a few weeks old.
     
  10. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Excellent. I was afraid you were going to say True Blood. :D
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Nope. Actually, to tell you the truth, I thought their concept for the Fey was kind of, well, lame. They focused more on what we think of as the "traditional" traits of the Faeries, which were established mostly by Victorian fairy tales. I prefer the mythical Fey, because they're more alien and frightening than those we're familiar with in fairy tales.
     
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  12. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Yeah I wasn't overly thrilled with the introduction of that group of supernaturals.
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Hey! Sorry I forgot to answer your questions. The thread's a little old now, but hey--better late than never, right?

    In regards to how the Fey view humans--I actually took some of my inspiration from X-Men, with the Fey having a general fear and hatred of the human race for how they were--and still are--treated. Humans for their part both hate and fear the Fey as well, because of their strong magic, and for how they seem alien yet familiar. The origin of the Fey is largely forgotten, as it happened in the distant past, but it lives on in various forms within the legends of both the Faeries and humans.

    The Fey usually ignore magic-users, regarding them as humans just like the rest, unless their Fey characteristics are so advanced as to make them only partly human. Then the Fey take an interest in them (as they do with part-Fey humans), as they have the potential to be fully transformed into Faeries. They can then assimilate into Fey society and bolster the Faeries' declining population with new bloodlines. Unless their minds have begun to take on Fey traits, most human magic-users cling to their attitudes about the Fey, and struggle to reject what they are becoming.

    You're right about this being a great opportunity. When I stumbled upon these ideas, I was thrilled. There are so many possibilities opened up for worldbuilding, character growth, and plot points!
     
  14. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi Tom,

    Just a thought. You seem to be trying to introduce the concept of evolution by natural selection into your back story as to the development of the fae. I'm not sure that works so well. My thought would be that instead of trying to use a scientific paradigm to explain how they "evolved" instead use a more magical one. So instead of talking about centuries of selective breeding, geographic isolation etc, why not go for something about the magic itself altering them.

    So the fae were originally humans who embraced magic - or failing that a god of magic - and as they embraced magic it became a part of them. They became more strongly magical but the magic warped their flesh in certain ways. This allows for a faster form of speciation for the scientific among us. It also explains the racial characteristics - especially if you use the divine magic god approach where they are simply becoming more like him. And it gives you some hope of having humans with no fae heritage having magic, and perhaps slowly starting down that path - which is different to those with actual fae blood.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  15. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I approach worldbuilding from a very scientific perspective most of the time. Even though I love Tolkienesque fantasy, where everything is explained through the work of gods, oddly I always want a solid scientific basis for my worlds.

    In this instance, the emergence of the Fey is not purely natural selection--magic certainly helps it along. All the humans of this world have the potential written into their DNA to become Fey, and working magic unlocks that potential. Additionally, the Fey aren't a truly separate species from humans, as the two can interbreed.
     
  16. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I haven't been able to do much with the notion, but I rather like the idea that magic itself evolves. That there would be some sort of DNA to it, and that this can mutate. It could explain why magic is different for different races, or in different places, or even in different circumstances.
     
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