There are a number of elemental fae scattered throughout the world. While their magical presence is fairly minor, they are especially connected to an element of nature and act as guardians wherever they’ve chosen to live.
Flowerfae – Usually around a foot tall. They grow flowers on their bodies, and the flowers are like little mood indicators. They tend to be excitable, but can hyperfocus like nothing else.
Snowfae/Frostfae – Two to three feet tall. They’re little living snowmen. They tend to trail snowflakes wherever they go, but they never leave a mess. Surprisingly tidy and usually have some kind of vocal tic when they speak.
Rockfae – Three feet tall. Their shapes vary, but they’re made of stones. They make excellent messengers in mountainous regions and enjoy rolling around.
Mistfae – They live in bogs and don’t have a solid form. They’re not very nice and often lead travelers astray, given the chance.
First and foremost, there is a lingua franca in fairly common usage throughout Muunfel. Not everyone knows it, but there are usually enough people around that have at least a basic understanding for communication to happen eventually.
For a general idea of the different languages found among the peoples of Muunfel, I have considered some real-world analogs for some of them.
Elfkind: There are several regional dialects, but the elfish language is smooth, sibilant, and rhythmic like some romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese).
Faekind: Many fae are able to use a very low-energy glamour to speak whatever language they need to, but the fae tongue contains many compound sounds where words are shortened or combined with others on the fly (like the style of German with the sound of really smooth French).
Tamkind: The Solians speak a rolling language with a lot of hard or fricative phonemes (Arabic, Farsi). In the west, this is the second most common language in use among humans, as many of the folk living in the deserts of Rutan are descended from groups that interacted directly with Solians.
There are also several communities here and there that have developed and spread signed languages (”handspeak”, colloquially). In Rutan, sign is one of the official languages of the nation. A Braille-like system is also in use in many scholarly places, though it is not as common in the wilder areas of the continent yet because of the difficulty in spreading any print media to such locales.
Holidays across Muunfel vary with the people. There are some regional variants that all center around the same idea but which are attributed to different gods. For example, a spring thaw festival over most of the continent celebrates the children of the earth god Kuro and their stewardship over plants and animals. However, in Rutan, the harsh desert nation, the same festival is held in honor of the god of storms, Elias, in the hopes that he will bring them plentiful rains.
Most people will have a low key celebration of the New Year on the first of Queen’s Eyes. It celebrates another cycle in the passing of time, and a new beginning. The Fae celebrate it for nine days, some for an excuse to party and others for their respect of the cycle.
Some other holidays found throughout Muunfel:
- Korvasin has a Festival Day on the birthday of the reigning monarch, though it is mostly celebrated in the cities – more rural folk will actually prepare all year to bring some of their produce into more populated areas to sell.
- Korvasin also shares a holiday with the Fae, in remembrance of the battle in which a previous king oversaw the maiming of a previous Una of the Fae. It is a somber day of reflection.
- In Rutan, there is a three-day celebration of the formation of the Rebel Kingdom, one day for each of three key figures in the success of the rebellion: Aaron and Leah Stride, spies for the rebels, and Vale Rutan Galen, the first king of Rutan.
- Genfierz celebrates the birthday of one of its most prominent inventors: James Mercy, the innovator of steam power. His contribution to the mainstream importance of invention is honored all over the country.
In the middle and western regions of Muunfel, there is an easily recognized gold standard. Coins minted in Korvasin, for example, are acceptable in Genfierz or Rutan and vice versa without much haggling. Genfierz also employs a silver standard, and recently there have been calls for a copper one as well, owing to the material’s importance in the nation. In several cases, however, these three nations come to a direct bartering agreement when it comes to exports/imports.
In the North and in Meraev, the people blend bartering and currency much more fluently. With the people spread out in more isolated clusters, it’s simpler to go with what is easiest for both parties to manage when they do run into each other.
The Fae deal in favors and information. Not all of them are instantly good at striking a deal, but the ones that are should be dealt with carefully. People have gotten themselves into deep debt without realizing it, and debt to the fae will be collected.
In the elflands and the timewilds, they lean towards a barter system but have a silver standard for trade with Genfierz, their most regular trade partner.
The topic of gender and sexuality can vary depending on the species/region, but in general it’s something of a non-issue. The first gods, who are really just embodiments of broad concepts given life, don’t have traditional genders. Sometimes they are referred to as a god or a goddess, with neither being inaccurate. The first prototype of humans created by the goddess of creation were completely sexless, as well.
Fairies and elves tend to be the most lax and fluid about sexuality (and gender identity, though the fae tend to explore it more). They tend to be chaotic, long-lived, or both, and that gives them plenty of time and inclination to test their own boundaries.
There are some human communities where gnc folk might be met with some confusion, but with the gods as an example, people wouldn’t generally be hostile. Just bemused, perhaps, with the occasional grumble here and there that It’s their own godsdamned business, ain’t it?
Elias Dawn, a demigod/later ascended god of mischief and storms, is one of the specific characters I’ve written that exemplifies this. He is pansexual and genderfluid, and occasionally has “she days” during which she will adopt different pronouns and shapeshift to reflect her feelings for the day. Elias travels a lot, and he has met all kinds of people, and so far he’s never been run out of a town, big or small, for his preferences. It’s pretty much always because he stole something or sassed the wrong person.
As the Land of the Gods, the first answer to this is, of course, the gods. While they can and do manifest on other continents on the planet, they are most likely to appear on Muunfel, and no one has really found a reason for this (it being the first land created has been a theory for some time, but there’s little evidence even in the words of Vayla).
Other than the Godkind, beings of Time and Magic, however, Muunfel is also populated by
- Mankind – any species created by one or more gods rather than one of the three energies that make up the universe. Includes humans, dwarves, and angels.
- Darkind – any species created by the energy of Nature. Usually called monsters, it also includes several intelligent “beast folk” species.
- Faekind – the fairies, created by Nature and Magic. They are many and varied.
- Tamkind – beings of Magic. The most common example is the Solians, though this also includes shapeshifters and elementals.
- Vaykind – elusive beings of Time. They are the rarest folk, but are most likely to be found in Synka.
- Elfkind – the youngest of any species created by the three, they come from Time and Nature.
Back again! I’m making some progress, getting some Plot to happen. 😀
Word Count: 9866 / 20000
They crested a hill in the afternoon and finally spotted it. In the distance, a large, curving building stood out against the landscape. A settlement of sorts had formed around it, and the shining blue of a pond could be seen nearby. They would reach the place within the hour at the pace they were going.
It was time again to think about what they would do at the entrance to the library. Eral had never minded playing fast and loose with planning ahead, but dealing with other fae was a rare exception.
Like any world in which magic exists, there exist people who study its uses. In Muunfel, the first place that comes to mind as a major destination for magical scholars is Scytheshadow College.
On the far eastern coast of Synka, a peninsula juts out into the Kela Ocean. The peninsula has a unique scythe shape (for a real-world example, think Cape Cod). This shape is the reason the bay cradled in the curve of the peninsula is called “Scytheshadow Bay”, the namesake of a college built on the edge of the peninsula itself.
The college is a stronghold of information, with records dating back to the earliest humans to set foot on Muunfel. Experimentation and development of magical skills is encouraged there, and many young mages and sorcerers find themselves training with the scholars. It was built with a focus on those who don’t have inherent magic in their blood, but in recent years there have been Fae and Tam teachers to give their own insight on the workings of magic.
The top mage of the college is one of the younger wizards in its history to earn the title, rising to the top by his late thirties. As the leader of the college, he carries the Sytheshadow Staff, one of the most iconic magical foci in the world.
“It’s not easy, earning this spot. I didn’t get here by counting buttons or letting musty old books tell me what I can’t do.” – Valen, archmage of Scytheshadow
Throughout history, the people of Muunfel have found reasons to fight one another and drive rifts between them. One of the most violent rifts is between the people who can channel magic directly (Tamkind, gods, and fairies) and those who must direct it some other way (wizards and sorcerers, etc).
This fighting saw a turning point when scholars of Korvasin discovered and developed what they simply dubbed “Grey Metal”. This material, created through alchemy, enchanting, and rigorous rituals, can be shaped into almost anything. It is an absolute bane on magic channellers.
When it comes into contact with someone with magic in their blood, it floods them with its own strange, false magic. The afflicted person cannot use this Grey Magic, and are rendered almost helpless because of it.
Grey Metal has been made into chains and manacles as well as weapons. In some regions, it is common for magic folk to be detained using Grey Metal, while in others there are those who lobby against its use at all. The ethics behind its use are often brought into discussion, and many of the naysayers cite some of its more catastrophic uses as reasons to ban it without considering its usefulness:
- Manacles made of Grey Metal were used on Trace, Biim, and Fiorebell in the incident that resulted in Fiorebell’s death. The land surrounding the village where this took place still cannot support any growth, and Biim himself received an incurable curse thanks to the way his and Trace’s godly magic fled.
- The previous Una of the Fae was shot through the spine with an arrow tipped in Grey Metal. Because she was unable to heal, she spent the rest of her days unable to walk. The Aubry placed a curse on the entire empire of Korvasin for this, and it has yet to recover from it.
Regardless of anyone’s stance on the subject, Grey Metal is dangerous and not to be used lightly in any scenario.
Seek ye not the secrets of the Fae
Seek instead to live another day
Not much is known for sure about the deepest workings of Fae. The vast Fair Forest of Muunfel is world renowned for its glamour, and no mapmaker has successfully charted the pathways through it. Those invited in know their way without need of a compass, but trespassers may find themselves lost among the trees forever.
The many and varied species of Fae owe allegiance at best and respect at the least to the Una and the Aubry of the Fae, holders of Singularity. When the wild and unpredictable people of their kind need leaders, and someone to make new rules for them, they look to these individuals. Only they can operate outside the otherwise rigid rules governing all fairies.
The Rights pass seemingly at random to a new Fae when the last holder dies. Oftentimes, the Una will receive a vision before the Aubry’s passing to guide her to the next vessel, and vice versa.
As of the current year in Muunfel, the Una is a sylph and the Aubry is a Treant. Despite technically being one of the Wee Folk, no one doubts the Una’s ability to lead. Sylphs, like any true elemental fae, are not to be trifled with.
“A sylph? Friend, I know this is unusual, but I’m not even remotely kidding. Back away slowly and she might let you walk.”
–Elias Kingspeaker Dawn, wandering bard and Lord of the Oracle’s Temple