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Thread: Aos Sí

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    Site Owner Armorbeast's Avatar
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    Aos Sí


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    Bókeðakyn

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    Among the most ancient of the Ælfbøkur, the Holy Books of the Álfar, is the Bókeðakyn (Book of Lineage). It was said to be written by an Álfar priest who proved bold and deceptive enough to gain access to an ancient runestone held by the Aos Sí. Dust from this stone wiped off upon his fingers, and which, he then unwittingly touched to his lips poisoning himself. From this, a gift of knowledge would be passed into him allowing him to see how the Aos Sí came to be. To preserve what he had learned, he had his flesh flayed from his body with orders that it be made into vellum bound within covers carved from his own bones following his death. His spirit returned to use small bottles of his own blood and a quill taken from a griffins wing to write the Bókeðakyn.

    Within the first sentences in the Bókeðakyn, the Álfar are identified with the Áosáin, rulers of a galactic empire controlling thousands of worlds. But, it was a dying empire sending its emissaries to distant worlds where they used cunning and diplomacy to secure ascendancy. One such world was known as Àva'Làrra, a world where they were seen as demons called the Paig. When their starship was destroyed, they became marooned on this world and passed their bloodlines into the native populations. This would forever alter their existence but the Bókeðakyn becomes vaguer at this point save to say they became isolated in an inhospitable land where they remained until Àva'Làrra (from which the word Álfar derives) itself met with destruction.

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    Genesis of the Fae

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    The Áosáin had brought with them knowledge of alien gods and demons some of which they summoned to this new world. These beings found their way to a world within the Abode of Gods called Dehmōs (doom, judgment) bringing some of the Áosáin from Àva'Làrra with them. The Aos Sí would be created by mixing bloodlines and while being greater in grace and beauty, they would not view themselves as gods. They would, instead, see themselves as "sublime" and as conquerors whose "Royal Blood" extended even to the least among them. Above them, however, were gods called the Tuath Dé who viewed themselves as more like a tribe of gods just as there remained demons calling themselves the Fǣge (from which /Fae derives).

    Dehmōs was one of the worlds founded by the Angelic Host that became lost during the War of Angels. Its peoples had perished leaving spirit orbs to mark their passing that had evolved into winged Sprites known as Ʋǐla. During the time when Aos Sí used magick to steal life from other realms to replenish Dehmōs, the Fǣge hunted Ʋǐla to devour them because mixing their energies made them more powerful. It is from this fusing of energies that the first true Fae would be formed called the Dehmōsbhrentōr (Doombringers, Dehmōsians). They further evolved by interbreeding with the Aos Sí and when Ʋǐla formed from them, they shared their energies with other Ʋǐla creating the diminutively named Faeries.

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    The Hidden Kingdom

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    When the Abode of Gods became merged into a single world, Dehmōs became a hidden place more myth and legend than reality even among the gods. For all their vanities, even the most lowborn of the Aos Sí were due respect and often intermarried into lesser peoples to elevate their positions of power. They might even intermarry with other gods as they would do with the Vanir. But the Highborne among the Aos Sí became increasingly xenophobic. They had thought Aos Sí blood would evolve other races to the level of perfection they found within themselves. Instead, they were finding that their own "pure" blood was being diminished, made impure by those less than they were meant to be... by the dregs and filth which they were responsible for creating.

    Taking the name Déithe , they withdrew into a secret subdimension where they created the Rígdacht Ceilte (Hidden Kingdom). A war to exterminate the , a name they now twisted to mean "fated to die", had begun where sex was now as much an enemy as any physical threat. War with the Tuatha Dé would follow as the blood of these gods flowed within their veins and the Déithe Sí did not limit themselves as those who were imperfect existed only to steal from them what was theirs. The Déithe Sí would be cut off and imprisoned within the Hidden Kingdom to protect other races as much as to protect the Tuatha Dé themselves! There, they would devolve into a tall, gaunt people with pale skin and no external noses leading to them being known as the Básfae (Death Fae).

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    Sídhe & Sìth

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    During the war against the Déithe Sí, the new Highborne that replaced them created a new peoples called the Sìdhe. Formed from the lowborn among them, the Sìdhe would be comprised from all the Fae races to be led by an Aos Sí princess named Styrktal who was known for her rebellious nature. When the war ended, Styrktal would marry the Tuatha Dé prince Ursprünglich and pledged her loyalty to them. The Sìdhe would now form a new class of Fae elite between the Highborne and Lowborne before incentives to marry one another transformed them into an actual race. The warrior king Malsióg intermarried them with Landvættir retaining their identity as Sìdhe but expanding the definition of what being Fae means.

    Malsióg would eventually begin a civil war among the Sìdhe leading to his defeat and banishment. His intentions had been evil so that he and those sent into exile with him formed a new subrace of the Sìdhe called the Sluagh. The Sluagh, in turn, increased their number by absorbing changelings who created the various cursed races of the Sìth merging man with the beast with the fae. Becoming only one among the Sìth, the Sluagh became known as the Caróg and Préachán (both meaning crow) because they can transform into the creatures. While the Sìdhe and the Sìth were kindred races, they would not necessarily see themselves as Fae because Fae mixed their blood with humans where they retained the name Aos Sí for all who possessed "An Fuil" (The Blood).

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    Tuatha Dé Danann

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    The Tuatha Dé had slowly merged with other godly races until one of their number brought about a renaissance of their cultural and racial identity. Mathonwy married an Aos Sí princess named Rhoswen and began seeking out other powerful beings related to the Tuatha Dé to join them. They would produce a hermaphroditic son named Dôn who would marry his twin sister Danu to beget a new tribe called the Tuatha Dé Danann. Soon, they would be followed by the Tuatha Dé Cessair, the Tuatha Dé Parthalán, Tuatha Dé Nemed, Tuatha Dé Firbolg, Tuatha Dé Mílesia and the Tuatha Dé Riata bringing about an age of chaos and war. The Firbolg were first to gain dominance by absorbing surviving Dehmōsians to become more a race of demons than aspiring to be gods.

    The Danaan merged with the remaining Tuatha Dé to grow more powerful until a series of wars with the Firbolg made them the most powerful of the tribes. It was by absorbing the Tuatha Dé that the Tuatha Dé Danaan would begin transcending their position. Where they saw themselves more as aristocrats, others would now see them as a race of gods with Danu being viewed more as a Mother Goddess. Her husband seems to disappear at this point only to later be revealed as a God of Rivers who might assume his wifes identity being they were identical in appearance other than his male anatomy. Part of the legacy inherited from the Tuatha Dé was their pinkish-white skin and blood as clear as water that only turned red several moments after flowing from their bodies.

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    Danu

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    The goddess Danu would begin organizing the Fae races into a single political structure. She accepted reverance as a goddess only because being a goddess gave her influence over the Fae, influence she would need if she was going to achieve what she wanted. In truth, she knew she was a goddess and she was the most powerful of all the Fae gods. But, she had inherited the Aos Sí view on such matters much as she accepted the Aos Sí identity for all who possessed the An Fuil. Danu would elevate the Sìdhe to a position of authority as beings less than gods but powerful enough to enforce her will and to create the land of Tír Tairngire (Promised Land) which became better known as Tír na nÓg (Land of the Young).

    The Bókeðafeigr (Book of Faeries) would provide the histories and lists for the various Fae races. The Fae had evolved into many different races embraced by Danu even as they became divided into the Seelie and Unseelie, the light and the dark Fae representing the light half of the year (Spring/Summer) and the dark half (Autumn/Winter). Within the Bókeðafeigr existed a series of laws administered over by The Dagda, the Chief Magistrate of the Tuatha Dé Danaan and son of Danu by the God of Death Bilé. As ruler of Brú na Bóinne (Palace of the Boyne), he set up Llys Dôn (Court of Dôn) and all legal matters involving the Fae would be handled there. The Dagda would become the most powerful of the Tuatha Dé Danaan with only Danu herself being more powerful.

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    Sprites

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    Another type of Fae is even more ancient having their beginnings in the death of living, sentient beings. When some beings die, there remains a small portent of spirit energy which reforms as spirit orbs. Some of these gradually took on shapes similar to those they had when living and developed wings to help them as they moved about. These small, winged Sprites eventually became known as the Ʋǐla and while these would not be Fae, they would intermix their energies with the Fae and then spread it to other races of Little People. When Fae die, part of them survives as a Ʋǐla further intermixing their energies until almost all Little People became Fae. They would, however, become better known by the dimunitive identity of Faeries.

    Fairyland became another name for Tír na nÓg for this reason as well as becoming a generic name for almost anyplace they call home in large numbers. In rare instances, a Fae might end their existence by transforming into pur energy and allowing all that energy to burst forth as Sprite-type Faeries creating hundreds of their kind. In other cases, one might summon forth a single Sprite to serve them as a separate part of their own spirit which actually became more common among Elves because of their shared genesis with the Fae. All Sprites eventually take on physical form and those born from them are born creatures of flesh and blood. Most such Little People are mortal but to varying degrees and some live extremely long lives before experiencing death.

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    Wights

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    But, there would be another type of creature created by this process known as a Wight as sometimes this Sprite becomes trapped within the body that has died and their energies reanimate it. These creatures feed on the life energies of other creatures and possess certain supernatural abilities. They don't drink blood like vampires but anyone who survives being drained by them will bear their curse becoming Wights when they die. Rarely does a Wight kill their prey as they do not intentionally create more of their kind as the new Wight will typically be more powerful than the one that created it and appear whole. Because they retain some of their memories from life, Wights can sometimes convert life energies into healing energies to undo the damage from injuries or decay.

    The sooner a person becomes a Wight after death, the more memories they will regain to a point they might resume the lives they lost. The older the body, and the more ravaged by decay, determines what degree of memories or intelligence they will possess. Those who are little more than skeletons possess the least intellect and least awareness to make themselves whole. Wights can be created artificially in a similar fashion by capturing spirit orbs and forcefully imprisoning them within bodies. These will be subservient to the one who creates them but regaining a cherished possession can sometimes break this hold over them. Wights are classified as being "undead" because the bodies they possess are dead even if spirit energy survives within them. They tend to be creatures of cold and they can seem like they have bones of iron because they can't feel pain which increases their strength.

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    Wraiths

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    Among the Aos Sí are various beings far more loathsome to behold known as the Fúath, an offshoot of Dark Fae better known as Wraiths. Twisted into many subraces of monsters such as the Glaistig, the Arrach, the Dullahan, the Banshee and many more became collectively known for their hatred and sorrow. While Wraiths are not unique to the Aos Sí, the Fúath are because they possess An Fuil. When the Tuatha Dé Danaan king Nuada Airgetlám was slain and beheaded in battle, his queen Bóann asked the Dagda to restore his life. He did so when she became his wife and Nuada became the first of the Dullahan taking the name Crom Dubh (Dark Crooked One). Any who worshiped him, and lost their head, might be reborn as a Dullahan although being far less powerful.

    The first of the Banshee was a Tuatha Dé Danaan goddess of Beauty & Love named Clíodhna. She was also Queen of the Sidheog (Sheoques, faerie women of the hills), a healer and a siren luring sailors to their doom upon the unseen shoreline. Falling in love with a human named Ciabhán, she abandoned everything to be with him. When he did not return from a hunting trip, Clíodhna somehow sensed his death and returned to the sea where she allowed the sea god Manandán to avenge old wrongs she wrought upon his followers. Drowning in the ocean, she would return as a Wraith now cursed as a siren wailing to warn of impending death and who passed her curse on to others becoming known as the Queen of the Banshees.

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    Culture

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    Defining common elements of Aos Sí culture can be difficult. Natural born Aos Sí tend to be more effeminate to a point where males would be ridiculed as such even by women among other races. However, the physical beauty of most Aos Sí is greatly admired and males will even enter into homosexual relationships to get what they want. This does not mean Aos Sí are homosexual (although some most certainly are), it means they are primarily heterosexual with bisexual tendencies where it serves a purpose. Should such a relationship be betrayed, Aos Sí can become extremely violent and take a blood oath to kill those involved in such treachery. Where Aos Sí prize truthfulness, one must always be aware it is in their nature to be deceptive.

    They are a patriarchal society where women gain status based on who they marry. The reason for this is that males are more "fated to die" than females and are given respect by their wives because they will often outlive their husbands. Aos Sí females tend to be better educated and make better administrators on their husbands behalf which survives even should their husbands perish. This element of their culture extends to the highest levels where the Queen holds a position of greater respect while the King holds greater power. Where males take the forefront as decision makers, adventurers and warriors; females emerge more as caregivers, nurturers and sorceresses with training in defensive warfare.

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    Racial Traits

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    Where gender roles are somewhat instinctive and based on traditional values, race is a far more difficult thing to address. The most glaring trait that most possess in common are pointed ears allowing them superior hearing along different wavelengths of sound. The size of the ear ranges from a length where they can be tied together at the back of the head, to being almost human with barely any point at all. All Aos Sí possess at least a slightly elongated skull and tend to be more slender in frame than humans or Álfar. When reproducing, multiple eggs within the female are fertilized but only one is allowed to gestate. The rest are held in a state of suspension as a survival trait allowing females to give birth to children without males if their are no males.

    This is a survival trait among the Aos Sí and their descendants yet, preserved embryos are older and deteriorate at least to some slight degree. This is another reason they are so racially diverse and why some among the Aos Sí learned to become changelings or to create illusions about their true appearance. From glittering faeries newly formed from spirit orbs to tall slender folk with long hair... Aos Sí can differ dramatically from race to race beyond these few exceptions. Fae are associated with wings because of Faeries but not all Aos Sí has such an association. By mixing their life energies over time; many Fae either have remnants of wings, can create them from energy or have the ability to transform themselves into Faeries.

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    Fae or Elves

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    Elves and Fae have always been confused one for the other as they originate from common ancestry and evolved along parallel lines. It is for this reason that they possess some common traits such as both possessing pointed ears. Beyond external similarities, the two species have far less in common. One of the greatest differences is that Fae possess a natural affinity for spirit energy where Elves tend to be creatures more of flesh and blood. Some Fae are delicate while others have flesh as hard as steel where fighting them has been equated to fighting a hammer. Some are weak while others possess deceptively strong bodies even for their lean forms. Elves, however, generally have more in common with humans possessing the same physical strengths and weaknesses.

    Elves are not born with wings or the ability to fly like many of the Aos Sí. They can fly using elemental magick giving them limited control over wind and commanding elemental (generally in the form of animals) Familiars with whom they sometimes physically merge. Álfar have a greater diversity in flesh tone and skin color which often reveals their inner nature by their outward appearance. Fae tend to be more deceptive and secretive learning to conceal their inner nature beneath physical beauty either real or illusion. Where Fae live in tribes governed by the Bókeðafeigr, Elves tend to live in settled communities where they live under local authority and by local rules. Fae tend to be immortal or extremely long lived while Elves are mortal even if longer lived than humans.

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    Núafae

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    Unlike the Fae within the Worlds of Shadow and the Abode of Gods, the Fae who live on the World of Men differ dramatically. They exist because of Fae involvement on the Earth where some of them became exiled or interbred with humans. Because the supernatural is rare on Earth, these Núafae (New Fae) are mortal and forced to conceal themselves within human populations. They still possess power on Earth but are far weaker than Fae visiting from the Otherworld. But, their power increased should they visit the Otherworld just as any visiting from the Otherworld sees their powers diminish. It is also because the Núafae are more human that Elves have also intermarried with them accepting the name Núafae as their own identity.

    Within the Worlds of Shadow, a similar merging of Elves and Fae created the Sióg. While such groups are extremely rare, the Bálsióg (Fire Fae) would be the most infamous and well known because of their association with dragons. Some Álfar have gained entry among the Aos Sí through marriage and undergoing a ritual cleansing making them one with the An Fuil. Elves have more heavily mixed their bloodlines with humans than Fae because they view humans as irrational creatures driven too much by uncontrolled emotions. Much like the Álfar, there are light Fae and dark Fae but the lines are not so clearly drawn in regard to the malevolence they are capable of. This is more pronounced among the Núafae because they more heavily merged with Elves and humans.





  2. #2
    Site Owner Armorbeast's Avatar
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    The name Aos Sí describes all beings within which exists the An Fuil (The Blood). While the word Fae is generically used in place of Aos Sí, not all Aos Sí are Fae. I also wanted to address how Fae and Elves differ because they are separate species within the World of Shadows. Elves will have their own separate topic but this topic will continue by listing the Fae races and more facts to define who they are.



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