Physical AppearanceAt a glance, they look human, but what being can only look at a Noble Faerie once? Imagine an exotic butterfly, give it the morals of a rabbit, the loyalty of an old dog and the temper of a two year old and that sums up the personality of the Daoine Sidhe, nobility of Faerie kind. Noble Faeries are extremely beautiful to look at by any humanoid race. This is part of their magical nature. They are forever youthful-looking despite their great age and only grow more so with time. Their skin is fair and soft, their hair long and flowing.
NOTE: Insect wings are a `literacy' invention. This is probably because they are so dexterous and people imaged this noble race had the ability to fly like their common cousins - the sprites and pixies.
*Though they look remarkably human, it must always be remembered that Noble Faeries are to a large extent, alien creatures with values and ethics far removed from mankind: they do not think, and notably, they do not feel, the way humans do. They have some curious ways: they might weep at a wedding or laugh and sing at a funeral.
Daoine Sidhe exist in a permanent age of chivalry, with a king and queen and full royal court. Richly jewelled ladies float on filmy, samite and silk, while their knights shimmer like iridescent beetles in silver armour. When travelling, their clothes are usually white and grey, but they can be green, or change colour with the seasons.
Contrary to popular belief, the Daoine Sidhe are in no way related to elvan kind, though often they are called High Elves. In Annfwn, the Otherworld realm of Faerie, elves are barely three feet tall and are more like halflings in appearance and lifestyle. Of the numerous rumours surrounding their origins, one favourite is that they are the descendants of angels, who, when Lucifer rebelled and was expelled from Heaven, didn't know which side to join and thus, were still cast out of Heaven anyway for their indecision. Not being wicked enough for Hell either, they remained where they fell - on Earth.
Today, the Daoine Sidhe still retain their dislike of religion. Priests in person are initially treated with great suspicion until they can prove themselves trustworthy as a person. Even then, a faerie will rarely choose to call a priest friend. Never expect to convert a Daoine Sidhe to any form of religion!
Faerie Life*They spend their days feasting, fighting, hunting, love-making and enjoying beautiful music. While a Faerie Hunt is a wild and exhilerating pursuit, their rades (ridings) are certainly more impressive. They ride in solemn procession, a more gentle, aristocratic way to pass their days. They possess their own animals: horses, cattle and dogs. Most Faerie animals have the peculiarity of being pure white with red eyes and ears.
Noble Faeries live for singing and dancing. Noble Faeries play a variety of musical instruments: fiddles, harps, tamborines, cymbals, flutes, lutes and pan's pipes. Their singing is extraordinarily sweet and seductive, but can be often mournful. Though usually placid and funloving, even the gentlest of Noble Faeries may become spiteful at will. It is not good to make them jealous, or refuse to dance with them as they take this as a great insult.
Don't try to cheat a Noble Faerie though they are very hard to deal with. You will loose in the end, but there are great gains if you persevere. *The Daoine Sidhe take great pleasure in fighting and are skilled chess-players. Many mortals have lost everythin they possessed by daring to challenge a Noble Faerie.
Never look back over your shoulder at a Noble Faerie as they consider this an insult. Never claim Faeries of any kind don't exist. They most certainly won't die, but will try, often painfully, to convince you of their existence. Also, never leave anything in their path, even by accident, as they are greatly annoyed by this as well.
They have a great passion for cleanliness and virtue and despise people who are slovenly. They reward people who give them gifts or food or are very honourable and truthful. Noble Faeries dislike spies and eavesdroppers and will punish them with blindness or death. They are hard on mortals who covet faerie goods. This is especially true of anyone who find their way into the Faerie court. Attacking the Queen is the worst thing that anyone can do and will bring certain death.
Noble Faeries go to great pains to protect their home and their treasures. Steal something from the Faerie court and there is a 50% chance that the goods will turn out to be worthless rubbish disguised by a "Glamour". The Daoine Sidhe are merciful though, and if an intruder can give a good reason for being there, they may be released with something for their trouble.
If by chance, they are able to gain an audience with Queen Titania, she may offer them a "Wish", an ability that she possesses and can use at will. She also has the ability to "Stop Time" in which a mortal may think they spend only a day in the Faerie court and leave to find a year or a lifetime has passed in their own world. This she may do once a day.
Titania rules alone now with a strict hand, but finds ruling tiring and dull. Any Noble Faerie who displeases their Queen is cast out of Annfwn to a certain death. A Daoine Sidhe must return to the royal court within 12 months of visiting a mortal world or dies.
There are many stories of Noble Faeries stealing human infants and leaving an ugly baby of their own. This is in fact false. Too few Daoine Sidhe babies are born at all and they are far too beautiful to be given away. There are only 355 Daoine Sidhe left, including the Queen.
It is true they take mortal babies to improve their own stock, but the changelings they leave are the offspring of the common faerie races such as goblins, brownies and gruagach.Once a Faerie year (equivalent to a human's lifetime, the Queen sends out her thieves to gather up fair and beautiful children to be raised as Daoine Sidhe. There children are quite often the offspring of roaming male Daoine Sidhe anyway and very easily forget their mortal upbringings.
Eating HabitsNoble Faeries seem to need some mortal foods - bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, but definitely no flesh of any type of animal. They like red wine, whiskey and beer. Their favourite food is milksops (milk and bread) favoured with saffron - the dried golden stigma of the autumn flowering crocus. Beans are another favourite. There is a taboo on the use of any other type of spice or salt in food though.
If a Noble Faerie is hungry, they will steal food. Part of a Faerie Thief's job is to steal food for the magnificent banquets they hold regularly.
*It is important to remember that when in the realm of Annfwn that one must not eat or drink Faerie Food as this can lead to perpetual enslavement.
Monstrous CravingDaoine Sidhe sometimes crave milk. When this craving occurs (not more than once a week), the Noble Faerie has a -1 penalty at all weapon, non-weapon and normal proficiency checks (cumulative per hour) until the craving for milk is satisfied. If no milk is available, the Noble Faerie will become a gibbering idiot, searching in the most ridiculous of places and doing the most fool-hardy of things to relieve this craving. (It is the D.M.'s descretion as to when this monstrous craving takes place.)
MoneyNoble Faeries are only interested in gold because of its appearance, not value. They will often make gifts of it to others who they think are worthy or are in need. Silver is of much more value to them. It is usually gathered for the purpose of melting down to make weapons and other items from. A Noble Faerie can automatically tell if gold or silver has been polluted with iron. Copper is of no interest to them what-so-ever.
AnnfwnAnnfwn, they call it - the magical Faerie realm that somehow runs parallel to the mortal worlds of man. Entrance to it is usually via a group of standing stones or a mound or hill. The Faerie world is devoid of sun, moon or stars, an enormous underground maze of jewel-lined walls and glowing, luminous fungi.
*It is a world of dark enchantments, of captivating beauty, of enormous ugliness, of callous superficiality, of humour, mischief, joy and inspiration, of terror, laughter, love and tragedy.
© 1997 | Last Revised Jan 1997