Spirits of nature, beings from beyond the veil, myths and fairy tales, they are known collectively as the fae. Fae are beings that exist just beyond the mortal plane. The planes that touch the mortal plane intersect in places and allow the fae to travel freely between this world and their own. Fae are closely tied to nature, both plants and animals and natural processes like the seasons. It is believed that the fae hold sway over the changing of the seaons, and many of the fae act as guardians for the sake of nature, protecting the natural world from unchecked progress. The fae themselves take on many different forms with several similarities between all of them. The main similarity between all fae is a type of immortality. When destroyed, fae return to the land they came from. Most of the time they can come back from this banishment, but sometimes the land will reclaim them, or in the case of yokai, the mists.
Fair Folk: Fauns, Satyr, Leprechauns and many more mythical seldom spotted creatures make up the fair folk. Fair folk are some of the most social fae and have a significant interest in other people. Of the fae they are also the most human-like in their physical characteristics, with some of the fair folk looking very similar to humans or elves. These human-like fae tend to travel into human lands, sometimes incognito to spy on them, or sometimes for a deeper purpose. Fair folk like all Fae are vulnerable to cold iron. They have some of the worst reactions to it however, being burned just by touching the substance or having it held too closely.
Fair folk have 6 HP, and risk taking extra damage from weapons made of cold iron.
Nature Spirits: Nature spirits don’t often have their own physical form, but instead are spirits of the earth and take on forms from aspects of the world around them. Dryad, Nymphs, Banshees, Sprigan, and many more are spirits that tie themselves to a place or to an aspect of nature. They share much in common with the fair folk, but their primary difference is being more sedentary. It is difficult for a nature spirit to go far from the place or aspect they are tied to, and will grow weak when taken too far away from what gives them their strength. Like fair folk, Nature spirits are like all fae, and have a particular vulnerability to cold iron. If they or the thing they are tied to are struck by it they could be severed from the place they are tied to. This makes Nature Spirits more aggressive towards trespassers than most other fae.
Nature Spirits have 6 HP, and risk taking extra damage from weapons made of cold iron.
Littlefolk: Nothing is quite so harmless looking and yet dangerous as the Littlefolk. Pixies, Fairies, Brownies, Wisps and other tiny fae all seem innocent at first, but many can play pranks, sometimes fatal ones on those lost in the forests. Most Littlefolk have wings and fly around to where they want to go, or in the case of the Wisps just float like balls of fluff anywhere they want to go, but some Littlefolk have no wings, and survive in a world of giants with just the legs they are given. While small, the Littlefolk possess the magic and the fortitude of beings tied to nature. They can still lash out with great power at those who wrong them. Like all fae however, Littlefolk are vulnerable to cold iron, and avoid it at all costs.
Littlefolk have 4 HP, and risk taking extra damage from weapons made of cold iron.
Forest Guardians: Treants and Ents were each created as forest guards in different areas and with different mentalities. Some are so sedentary they appear like trees until they are discovered to be something different, while others can be outright violent and cruel to those who wander into the forests. All Forest Guardians share tree-like qualities and a huge hulking form. They are physically quite intimidating, and can be rather difficult to combat if angered. Like all fae, Forest Guardians are still vulnerable to cold iron, but their tree-like natures make them equally vulnerable to fire, even above and beyond the other fae and even the nature spirits.
Forest Guardians have 7 HP, and risk taking extra damage from weapons made of cold iron, and fire of any source. A flaming cold iron weapon will only have the ability to do one extra damage to a forest guardian, not a cumulative effect.
Yokai: Not all fae come from the natural world and accumulate on the mortal realm. Spirits form from all kinds of aspects of nature, including the world between life and death. The land of spirits in the Mists Between are home to various spirits called Yokai. Their presence is more commonly seen in foreign lands, but any being which is able to travel to the Mists Between could meet one in their home. Yokai are much like fae from other lands, each are spirits of the land, and take on characteristics of the animals of that land or the land itself. Yokai come in the form of beneficial spirits as well as oni which are commonly thought of as demons, but which do not come from the outer planes. A trait almost all Yokai share is the ability to shapeshift. Most Yokai can change into a human form, an animal form, or both, and some Yokai can shapeshift into stranger things or even objects. Yokai are still vulnerable to cold iron like other fae, though some of them have never encountered the substance to know. Their quirks and weaknesses are sometimes more mundane and rely on ritual or taboos to banish them if they invade the mortal world. Unlike other fae who return to the land, Yokai return to the Mists Between, and are known to help guard the mortal realm from any spirits that try to return from the mists.
Yokai have 6 HP, and risk taking extra damage from weapons made of cold iron.
Fey Touched: Though rare, it is not unheard of for mortals, particularly elves, to mingle with fae in various ways and become part of the spirit world themselves, or to bear offspring which are. Fey touched mortals have either been born to a fae parent and a mortal parent, or they were a mortal who was born in and/or raised in the lands of the fae. Spending too much time in these lands can have the effect of tying the mortal to the land in a similar way to how the fae themselves are tied to the land. Some races of mortals are actually thought to descend from the fey touched, such as some of the various types of elves, though they are not fey touched themselves as that change happened long ago. Fey touched are not harmed quite so severely by cold iron thanks to their mortal heritage, but the touch of cold iron is still painful to them.
Fey Touched have 5 HP, and do not risk taking extra damage from cold iron, but they do feel pain from it.
- Seelie and Unseelie: Both light and dark fey exist in the world. These two ideologies for how to treat the world and the denizens within change how the fae themselves appear and act towards people. Every classification has their light and dark sides, as unlike planar entities, fae are not born with any predilection towards one or the other. Yokai, though they come from the Mists Between and are typically further apart from the typical fae, also have their light and dark divisions, though they call these divisions nigi-mitama, and ara-mitama. Oni are typically dark ara-mitama yokai, though their appearance could make many think of them as demons instead of fae-like.