The Sidhe are a group of purely magical creatures, descended from the Old Ones - fae themselves - from the time before all. It is said that the First arose from the prim, the magical stuff of creation from which all things are born and return to on death. The sidhe of the old world revere the prim as a deity in and of itself, and see its use in the Art of magic as sacred worship. As a people, the Sidhe value the balance of nature and, in particular, of the use of magic itself.
Sidhe are composed of some subcategories within, such as Banshees and Tuathu'an as well as the Aos Si. Not all members of the species necessarily belong to any of the subcategories but all of the subcategories belong to the overarching umbrella of the sidhe.
Among the oldest members, the traditional language of their kind is spoken. None born to Arethil are likely to know the native tongue of the foreign-born sidhe, except in snatches of words at best.
As a species within this world, they tend to speak the language of the place they are born and live. Many are learned in multiple languages
given the ages
that a sidhe can live to be. Most, though, speak common and possibly one or two other languages or dialects that are useful to them.
These people come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All are pale and slight, though. Most never grow to be any taller than half the height of an average human, with a frame that is delicate and willowy. All have pointed ears, though not as long as those of the elfin persuasion. Coloration of eyes tend to be that of gemstones, with black and brown eyes being rare and considered abhorrent. Sidhe eyes glow with a faint inner light that can be seen in the dark, although very faintly. Hair tend towards lighter colors; golden blond, silver, white, and red are all common colorations with others seen as undesirable as well as exceptionally rare. Males and females exhibit little different in height.
Not all sidhe are winged. The older members of the species do retain fragile, elegant, and etherial wings - younger members may be born with or without. Having wings does not guarantee the ability for flight. Some sidhe use their magic in order to get their wings to work, whilst others possess a bee-like ability to fly. Some find themselves unable to do either and the wings are an echo of a dwindling gift.
Such imperfections as may affect other races, such as obesity and age, do not affect these fae; at an early age, a sidhe will begin to slow in their aging and eventually stop entirely. Once they have reached forty of fifty years of age, they will reach the apparent physical age they will retain for the rest of their lives.
Sexual dimorphism exists within all variants of this group of fae; outwardly there is little different beyond reproductive organs. Males tend towards a minor degree of physicality over females, while females tend to have a slight edge over sorcery.
These fae tend to be found outside of human settlements
, typically in the wilderness of the world. They are more comfortable around other fae than they are of humans
, or the like. Even so, they are not a common people, especially the rarer variants within the category.
A sidhe will choose to live in an area where there is an abundance of naturally present magic, often chosing to reside where leylines meet or close to these magical pathways through the world. Old sites of ancient sorcerous clashes, where the ground is saturated in magic, are also favorite haunts. Once a place has been claimed as their home, it is not uncommon for an individual to fiercely defend its domain.
A fair people, they are also a frail and delicate section of fae-kind. As a people, sidhe tend to be far less sturdy than most of the other people of Arethil and this is more or less without exception. Physically, most are similar in strength to human children which matches their short stature rather well. Despite this, they are light on their feet, quick and agile.
Magically is a different story. They are born of the prim, the raw magic of creation. So closely attuned with the arcane grants them great potential with magic of all kinds, although almost all - if not all - practice a form of magic simply known as the Art. Sidhe live off of magic, consuming it from the background day and night; this magic is the source of their power and they draw the power for their spellcraft from themselves.
All Sidhe are born with an elemental Greater Affinity and a Lesser one; all are significantly more talented with their two affinities than any other form of magic, and the elements are not strictly elements at all. Earth, air, fire, and water are the most common among the people as a whole, but healing, illusion, defensive - to name a few - are also present. No member is limited to their individual affinities in the learning of the Art, but any other element or skill is decidedly weaker than that which they were born to wield. The strength of any individual caster is also set at birth.
These affinities and strengths can not be changed.
The art of the Sidhe is potent and difficult to counter, especially when coming from a skilled elder.
As creatures of the prim, they are naturally highly resistant to all forms of magic, both offensive and defensive. It is difficult to harm one with magic, requiring a great deal more power placed behind a spell, and enchanting, cursing, or the like are exceptionally difficult to get to take hold upon one of the Fair Folk. It is even difficult to magically heal their kind, so much so that it is more taxing than worthwhile in most circumstances.
They are, however, completely incapable of affecting themselves with their own magic. A Sidhe cannot heal themselves magically, nor enchant themselves, nor enhance themselves magically in any way. These talents are reserved only for others, and in days of old would have been boons granted to supplicants.
Unlike other species, the consequences of excessive use of magic are more directly harmful to these folk; an important factor considering that much of their culture and what society they have is structured around magic. Over zealous use results in physical degradation of their bodies, and these injuries cannot be healed magically. Although it is uncommon that one kills themselves in this manner, grievous harm shall befall any who forget the laws that govern magic on Arethil.
Those born of the union of one of the fae and that of another species are considered to be Watered, their blood impure. Half-breed children of such a union find themselves in a perilous position, as their ability with magic will often manifest young. Unlike a purblood sidhe, however, there are no safeguards protecting them from pulling more power than they can handle from themselves, and as a result the Watered tend to live very short lives.
If, by some miracle, they manage to make it past the first few decades of their life, they will find that they suffer all of the weaknesses of their sidhe side with non of the benefits from whatever genome makes up their other half. Within the loose society of the Sidhe, a watered is considered the very bottom tier, an untouchable, and generally shunned by all except their progenitors.