The Fae are supernatural creatures that have existed secretly alongside unsuspecting humans for thousands of years, closely resembling them, and feeding off humans in various ways. Whereas humanity consists of a single species (Homo sapiens), there are a myriad of species within the Fae universe. Most species seem to be similar in appearance to, and of the same intelligence as, humans.
Since ancient times the Fae world had been gripped with near endless civil war that continued until The Blood King, a Blood Sage, used his powers to end The Great War by forcing a truce that settled differences, and writing the Blood Laws that created the Light Fae and Dark Fae clans. This peace has lasted for centuries; however, the Light and Dark collectives still view each other with contempt and suspicion.
The name of the leader of the Dark Fae is taken from dead warriors; while the leader of the Light Fae is named after sacred trees.
The Fae have strict sets of laws and rules of behavior which enable them to stay hidden in plain sight. The majority of the Fae population are typically humanoid by appearance. Those who are incapable of passing as humans, and thus must be kept hidden, are deemed Under Fae. Fae who can pass as human have infiltrated the human world and live as imitation humans. Even among their own kind, Fae tend to converse using the dominant human language(s) of their region.
In recent centuries, the humans' stories of encounters with Fae have faded into legend, myth, and fairy tales.
The Fae in all their various breeds share the same taxonomic kingdom, phylum, class, and order as humans with only the difference being their genus which is simply labeled "Fae." All Fae share this same genus regardless of other distinctions. For example, a Succubus is a member of the succubi species.
All Fae appear to be physically strong and extremely long-lived compared to humans; however, they are not immortal. They can be killed or commit suicide. Trick is, in fact, centuries old despite his appearance, as are The Morrigan, Dyson, Aife, The Norn and many others. Young Fae age and develop at nearly the same rate as humans until puberty, after which they become physically matured and thus no longer age as humans would. How they age is unclear and some Fae have been known to die of old age, but if and how their Fae abilities affect their aging is unknown. In Season 3, Vex lost his Mesmer powers when he reached a certain age. Some Fae live different lifespans than others: Valkyries, for example, die and are reborn (the repetitions are unknown) once they reach a certain age, until they reach their last life cycle (in a flashback, Tamsin was shown to be present at a battlefield of The Great War). In Season 4, Hale was killed and we learn that Rainer died in battle.
Although different Fae species can apparently interbreed with each other, it is unclear how the powers of Fae children are inherited. While Bo is a succubus as well as her mother, Aife, it is as-yet unknown if Isabeau (Bo's maternal grandmother) was a succubus, too. Bo and Aife are part Blood Sage, inherited from Trick, and their blood can enthrall and bind Fae and humans to them. Bo's father is known as a powerful Dark King, but as of the end of Season 4 we still do not know his species.
Hale and his sister Val are each different species: Hale is a Siren like his mother, while Val is a Pombero; but it has not been stated what type of species their father, Sturgis Santiago is. Hybrids of both Fae parents are also possible, such as The Glaive possessing the power of telepathy from her father, a Telepath, and control of some aspects of nature from her mother, a Wood Nymph.
Fae, in general, do not appear to be as prolific in comparison to how humans can be. For example, Sturgis Santiago is thousands of years old but has only two children, neither of whom have children of their own. In contrast, a human a century old in age often has at least two generations of descendants. The Cabbit, on the other hand, had 38 children.
Unrelated to reproduction, and according to Trick, Fae also do not allow divorce for the first thousand years of a marriage in order to "give it a chance" (Fae-nted Love).
The leader of the Light Fae is called The Ash, while the leader of the Dark Fae is called The Morrigan. Once a young Fae chooses allegiance to one of the two clans he remains a member of that clan forever. The Light and Dark are opposed to each other, but generally operate on a policy of a guarded peace, adhering to essential rules such as neither side crossing into the other side's territory without permission, and ensuring that knowledge of their existence is kept secret from humans. Dyson required explicit permission from a Luck Fae to enter his Dark Fae territory, a betting shop. When the two Kavanaugh brothers chose separate clans they specifically requested that their mother's grave be relocated to neutral territory so that the Dark Fae son could visit it as well as his Light Fae father and brother.
Bo is the only known Fae to be "unaligned" – after choosing allegiance to humanity instead of the Fae – which allows her to operate freely within either faction; although it also means that she lacks the protection of either one. Because Bo is known to be quite powerful, both the Light and the Dark have tried various times to sway her to their respective clans. As Bo is unaligned, her relationships fall outside of Fae rules. (In Waves, Bo deliberately chose to align herself with the Dark Fae so that she could find her way back to the Death Train and save Rainer from it.)
Many of the Under Fae appear to be non-sentient. Sentient Under Fae have not been referred to as being Light Fae or Dark Fae, but probably have to choose a clan as well since the Blood Laws keep members of the Light and Dark separate from each other (although more primitive Fae are generally considered exempt from some of the rules of Fae society).
Intimate and love relationships between Light Fae and Dark Fae are considered treasonous by both clans and are punishable by death. Only one day a year, on La Shoshain, are Light and Dark allowed to socialize freely with each other. This peace day between the two Fae clans also prohibits them from using their powers on this holiday (the exception being primitive Under Fae). A Banshee wailed on La Shoshain without being punished as the wail was instinct rather than an exercise of power.
Most Fae despise humans and they are generally ignored by both clans except as property, pets, slaves, and food – Light Fae take what they need to sustain themselves, while Dark Fae are more likely to kill for pleasure as well. The Light Fae generally ignore any crimes that the Dark Fae might commit against humans. Despite this, Fae parents send their children to human schools to ensure that they can learn to interact with humans, with there being no indication that Fae have a separate education system from humans.
Relationships between humans and Fae based on mutual love are forbidden, but casual relationships are condoned only in the short term. If the two beings cross-breed the resulting children do not inherit Fae powers, and Fae parents are discouraged from having contact with their human children. In Vexed, the Dark Fae rebel, Lou Ann, was punished for falling in love with a human, bearing children with him, and choosing them over her Fae clan. However, Selkies, as an exception, can have long-term relationships with humans as long as they don't use their pelts, at which time they become mostly human. Evony Fleurette Marquise, The Morrigan, had an affair with a Wall Street honcho in the 1980s that resulted in a human son, Massimo, whom she left in the care of Vex to raise as his foster father.
On at least two occasions, Fae infants have been adopted by humans without the humans knowing their true nature: Bo was left by Lou Ann in the care of a human couple, Sam and Mary Dennis, who then adopted her, and her succubus nature actualized during her first sexual encounter when she was eighteen years-old. Tyler, a Gama-Sennin, learned about his powers while trying to help his human father, with the boy and his father afterwards "taken in" by Lachlan, The Ash, to preserve Fae secrets (Raging Fae).
Some prominent Fae own humans as their property. Lauren is a pledged servant of The Ash, along with various other humans under his control. Some Fae (such as The Ash that lured Lauren into his servitude) allow them to have more personal freedoms. Lachlan – who assumed leadership of the Light Fae after the former Ash was critically injured and left comatose – viewed human property as "chattel" and enforced rules mandating that Fae should keep their human property locked away when the latter aren't working.
Humans who are claimed as property may interact within Fae society and are not to be harmed by other Fae. Trick announced to other Light Fae present in The Dal that Kenzi was Bo's property to allow her such interaction and to provide her with protection by Bo. Although Tori, the daughter of The Glaive, expressed an interest in purchasing Kenzi, Bo considers Kenzi an equal and treats her as such, with most of Bo's Fae contacts treating both Kenzi and Lauren (her friend and human lover) as acceptable members of her circle.
It is unclear how the Fae decide what humans to own. While Lauren possessed skills that were desired by the first Ash, the second Ash (Lachlan) took "custody" of the Gama-Sennin's adoptive human father because of his love for his Fae child, although he at first briefly suggested separating them from each other before Dyson confirmed their bond. There has been no reference made about other human property of The Ash.
So far, the only Fae shown owning humans are the Light Fae, with human servants of the Dark Fae appearing to be simply employees unaware of the other-worldly nature of the Fae among them.
Feeding on humans varies widely among the species, but generally doesn't involve oral ingestion. It appears that most Fae species do eat "normal" food for sustenance, while preying on humans serves a different purpose. Frequency of predation also seems to be quite varied among species and also doesn't necessarily involve killing humans – the victim may simply be left temporarily or permanently weak, ill, or damaged mentally or physically.
The Ancients are the oldest and most powerful of the Fae. Ancient families were worshipped by human civilizations as deities with many names: while Greeks idolized one Ancient as Zeus, for example, the Egyptians idolized him as Amun, and the Vikings as Odin.
As Ancient Fae, they preceded The Great War and the division of the Fae into Light and Dark clans; and are not under obligation to the laws and rules that govern the Fae universe.
Many Ancients feed from the energy created by both the adulation and fear of them by humans. They are ruthless and will kill a human to use his or her body as a vessel for commingling with other humans. Ancients are known to become sexually involved with Fae and humans. They also produced offspring with humans (a Heraclid is a human descendant of Hercules, born with exceptional genes that make them incredibly resilient and strong).
- TRICK: The issue between the Light and Dark Fae is a little more than just not liking each other. We've been on the edge of a war for more than a thousand years.
BO: That's holding a grudge.
TRICK: Huh. A war between our people would end the human race as well as ours.
BO: Well, if you people are so powerful, how do you stay under the radar?
TRICK: It's more comfortable for us to remain a myth. – (Where There's a Will, There's a Fae)
- TRICK: Those born of only one Fae don't have any Fae abilities. – (Where There's a Will, There's a Fae)
- TRICK: Most of us feed on the humans in some way. Their blood, energy, emotion. It’s the nature of Fae. – (Vexed)
- HALE: The Dark Fae take their names from dead warriors. Light leaders are named after our sacred trees. – (I Fought the Fae (and the Fae Won))
- THE BLACKTHORN: Humans are food. We eat from them or we die. Now the Dark Fae, they tend to kill for pleasure, not just need...We're more like your Native American hunters. We respect the kill. Won't over-hunt. Don't eat the young. – (I Fought the Fae (and the Fae Won))
- LAUREN: Fae puberty happens anywhere between the ages of 11 and 16, just like humans. – (School's Out)
- TAMSIN: What's the difference between Light and Dark anyway?
KENZI: Well, the Light are assholes. And the Dark are assholes who have fun. – (Let the Dark Times Roll)
The word Fae derives from "Fairy", a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers.
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