Flesh of Memory
Fantasy settings are lousy with Elves. I get it; we’ve all read Tolkien. But after a while, all that toothless arrogance gets a bit tedious.
By contrast, fairies have a long, terrifying history of whimsical cruelty. On Achades, they are beings of pure magic. Beautiful and formless. Creatures who long ago sheathed themselves in glamorous flesh to enter the world of men. Their one, single-minded, purpose? To seduce the unwary into ironclad bargains before disappearing again into their ether realms. Often with children in tow.
IT’S ONLY WAR
Gone are the luminous fae of myth. They’re called Tyrin now, an ancient word in an ancient tongue meaning Warskin. For on Achades, the fae cannot become corporeal without first encasing themselves in the husks of giant ironwood trees.
It wasn’t always so. In distant times, when humanity was still in its infancy, the immortal fae dwelled only in their Evergreen – hidden away in Shining Cities unseen by human eyes. The most ancient among them were seers, burdened with the gift of foresight. When they gazed across the ages, they saw only visions
of fire and ruin. Unlike the other elder races who faced a similar threat and refused to take action, the fae recognized survival would require more than simple glamour. It demanded unimaginable levels of power. As creatures born of magic, the fae could sense the Arcane all around them. Some could even touch it. Unfortunately, the ability to shape and bend those energies outside of the Evergreen remained beyond their grasp.
So, they sacrificed a little bit of their eternity to a godling full of promises.
No longer would fae kind live forever. They would remain long-lived, sure, continuing to mark the passage of time in millennia. But, they paid a toll in centuries. A debt they would pass along to their heirs. Within the Evergreen, time moved with unbearable sloth as the fae fortified their defenses. But, when the Enemy-To-Come finally broke through, their ancestral home was reduced to ash, just as they had foreseen. With their precious Evergreen destroyed, they fled through the Wayfarer’s gate to Achades.
REBORN IN FORMLESS LIGHT
On this new world, they would never again know the embrace of another – a doomed, formless race drifting toward inevitable extinction.