Types of Fae
Changeling fae are not the only supernatural beings in the world. They are the protagonists of By Light, By Night because their ambiguity – their ability shift allegiances and outlooks every bit as much as their ability to change form – makes them an excellent source for drama. They also come in a broad variety of types that nevertheless are recognizably part of the same storytelling tradition. The default assumption in the types listed below is that most fae fit into the Celtic and Germanic traditions of strange outsiders – distinct from the undead and possessed of human levels of intelligence – who can change their appearance and/or shape or turn invisible.
“Folk” is the accepted term in the Court of Light for the broader fae types that encompass what in Dungeons and Dragons would be called “races” (though that doesn’t stop irreverent Night fae from talking about sub-races and demi-humans). These folk are then divided into smaller ethnicities or “kin.” Some of these folk and kin are:
The Fair Folk
Across the British Isles, France, Germany, and Scandinavia, there are stories of a beautiful and magical race apart from mankind that dwells in burial mounds, caves, mountains, and under the earth. These Fair Folk are adept with illusions and healing magic, pale of hair and skin, and by turns imperious and whimsical. While they form the backbone of the Court of Light, it is not unknown for Fair Folk to turn to the Parliament of Night.
Fair Folk kin include:
Beautiful, pale human-looking fae who glow faintly from an inherent luminescence, the alfar are the prototype for the elves of contemporary fantasy games and literature. Despite their benevolent appearance, they often favor Sneaky as their primary Approach; their relationship with mankind has been filled with betrayals and deception and they have learned to tread carefully with outsiders. Alfar who join the Night find their hair turns black; they become known as svartalfar (“dark elves”).
Because I have mastered the magical elf-shot – an invisible bolt of crippling pain – I get a +2 when I Sneakily Attack a target in an adjacent Zone.
Because the alfar are masters of deception, I get a +2 when I Cleverly Create an Advantage over a stranger using illusions.
The daoine sidhe (“people of the mounds”) embrace their Celtic roots pretty strongly and have taken to covering their bodies in tribal tattoos. In Ireland, the daoine sidhe created hidden homes for themselves in ancient burial mounds, pocket dimensions that echoed their haunted dreams of the Otherworld; even today, some of them can still create such hidden strongholds. They are more warlike than most Fair Folk and often choose Forceful as their primary Approach. Daoine sidhe who break from the Light often become twisted and dangerous creatures like the infamous banshee.
Because I come from a proud warrior tradition, I get a +2 when I Forcefully Attack an opponent in a one-on-one duel.
Because the sidhe retain their ancient magic, once per session I can create a temporary shelter in a pocket dimension that lasts from dawn to dusk or from dusk to dawn.
Arguably the most beautiful of the Fair Folk, fairies can fly on butterfly- or dragonfly-like wings. They affect to be graceful and harmless – spirits of the air – but in truth are the most capricious of the Fair Folk and the difference between Light fairies and Night fairies is mainly cosmetic. Fairies enjoy the company of humans and tend to be very possessive of their companions. They tend to favor the Quick Approach to problems.
Because I have gossamer wings, I get a +2 when I Quickly Overcome obstacles when flying from one Zone to another.
Because I have a posset of fairy dust, once per session I can put anyone to sleep as long as I do no physical harm to them while they sleep (but mischief is allowed).