General InformationEditThe Tuatha de Dain (children of Dain - Elves) are inhabitants of the shifting world of Faerie . They are certainly quite few. They are immortal and ancient and form the natural aristocracy of their world. Their population has been stable since no new elves are born. The Bean Sidhe (Fair Folk - Half Elves) form the core population of the elven society. They live for about 100 years and die, yet they are not actually born. The children of half elves are born weak and with blunt faces with no facial characteristics. Early on in their lives they have to be exchanged with human babies from the world, or killed, as elves keep a very strict check over half elven population. Those babies, with the help of the few elves of their society grow into half elves. Thus, the half elven society is in constant need of the human world and the “true” elves.
- Tuatha De Dain (children of Dain) - The true Elves, they exist since their creation by Dain and they are immortal. They cannot enter the World.
- Bean Sidhe (Good Neighbours, Fair Folk) - The half-elves, they are human babies stolen at a young age, raised and trained by the Tuatha. The children of the Bean Sidhe are born faceless and blunt, so the Bean Sidhe steal human babies, living their own faceless child in their place as sson as they are born. The Bean Sidhe can cross into the World through abandoned places of worship. Their shape is elf-like and distorted.
Most Bean Sidhe who are sent into human communities are taught by the elves to change their appearance to a more human one. This is purely an illusion effect and not a polymorph.
- Athru Cruith (Changelings) - The Bean Sidhe babies left behind by the elves grow up in the Real World with the ability to change the shape into any human being at will. Most of those children are slain when discovered, as alf-bairnes (elf-babies) or products of Witchcraft.
The Tuatha were created in the North by a mysterious, lonely God known as Dain, who was born in the mind of the dead giant Humnir and knew the Sean-Scealta (the Old Stories). He brought them into this world of Humniraigne, meaning the "mind of Humnir", where they initially lived in four cities known as Falias, Gorias, Murias and Finias, all ruled by queen Oonagh, who was the only one of the Tuatha that was able to speak with Dain, the father of the Tuatha.
The Southward Flight:Edit
A much elder race of giants lived in Humniraigne long before the coming of the Tuatha, and the cities lived under the constant threat of those giants, the Fomorians, the “Nightmares of Humnir”. Oonagh kept asking Dain for a new home for the Tuatha where they would be safe and, finaly, she claimed that Dain had shown her a new world to the South, were the Mind of Humnir touched upon his dead body inhabited by a new race of men smaller and weaker than the Tuatha and the Fomorians. Down to the South, though, the mind of Humnir was frail and unstable and on the bring of insanity, since his body had died in intense agony and pain. This southern world was unstable and fleeting and not as rigid as Humniraigne. The Tuatha came from the north to this land, that they named Faerie, upon black clouds. (although later versions rationalise this by saying they burned their ships to prevent retreat, and the "clouds" were the smoke produced.)
From Faerie they could see the world beyond that Dain called the “Body of Humnir”, and there they saw a race of intelligent beings (the humans), whom they called the Nathair Bas (“maggots”) since they lived by scavenging and carving Humnir’s dead body. The native inhabitants of Faerie at that time, the Fir Bolg, used to cross into the human world, at places where the “maggots” had carved the body of Humnir so much that they had actually affected his mind, and so the man-made Landmarks were found (crossroads, bridges, graves, places of worship). In places were the work of the “maggots” was minimal, the mind of Humnir still remembered the body exactly as it was in life, and so the natural Landmarks were discovered (Thorns, forest glades and streams, secluded heaths and mountain tops). The Fir Bolg used these passages to cross into the human world and steal what they wanted, capturing humans to use them as brides or even food.
The First Battle of Magh TuiredhEdit
The Tuatha planned to drive the Fir Bolg away and claim Faerie, but the Fir Bolg king, Eochaid Eirc was warned in a dream about their arrival and prepared an army to face them. Led by their queen, Oonagh, the Tuatha fought the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh, on the east coast of the world, in which they defeated and displaced the native Fir Bolg, but Oonagh lost an arm in the fight. A truce was called, and the Fir Bolg were given three options: leave Faerie, share the land with the Tuatha Dé Dain, or continue the battle. They chose to fight. Bolrag, a champion of the Fir Bolg, challenged Oonagh to single combat. Oonagh accepted on the condition that Bolrag tied up one arm to make the combat fair, but Bolrag rejected this condition. The Tuatha Dé Dain then decided to offer the Fir Bolg one province of Faerie. Bolrag chose the land known as Sjael to the north, and the two sides made peace.
At the place of the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh a beacon was contructed, known as the Beacon of Gwyll Eldur, as a symbol of their peace.
The Second Battle of Magh TuiredhEdit
Since Oonagh was no longer "unblemished", she could not continue as queen and was replaced by a Fomorian, Hrum, who had travelled from the north with the Tuatha and swore allegiane to the queen. Hrum, though, turned out to be a tyrant. Thus, secretly, the great physician Dian Cecht replaced Oonagh’s arm with a working silver one and she was reinstated as queen. When Oonagh’s was reinstated, Hrum was enraged. He complained to his family and his father, Balor, king of the Fomorians .
The Fomorians sailed to the south under the command of Balor and the Tuatha Dé Dain fought them in the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh upon the eastern coast. Oonagh was killed by the Fomorian king Balor’s poisonous eye, but Balor was slain himself.
The Forming of the Courts:Edit
After the death of Oonagh none else was able to come in touch with Dain. Several ladies of the Tuatha tried to claim command over the people and the Tuatha were divided into several courts. In each court a throne is retained for Dain, next to the seat of the Lady, but Dain has not given any sign of existence.
The elves have used the human world, but not in the way the Fir Bolg have done. They could not enter this world, but used human slaves they had stolen from the Fir Bolg, to kidnap babies, which they taught, raising them as their own, thus creating the Sidhe, who can travel through man-made Landmarks into the world of the Nathair Bas, but are as fair as the Tuatha and have their knowledge of the mind of Humnir, the teachings of Dain and the Sean-Scealta. The Sidhe, like the humans could reproduce, but their children were born faceless and ugly, and thus the Sidhe begun to exchange them with human babies after they their birth, who were in turn trained like to become Sidhe.
Through this interaction with the world of the humans the Tuatha found that the Body of Humnir had more inhabitants, like the Orcs and the Norsemen. In all those societies the Sean-Scealta would repeat themselves, bringing balance and justice, but in the societies of Humans the Scealta did not form, though when they did their effect on the humans were equally powerful.
They begun to send the Sidhe more and more into the real world to guide humans in different ways and those Sidhe they called the Good Neighbours of the Humans. Their destiny was to subtly forge the Sean-Scealta into the human societies and observe their effects, sometimes even locating new stories and new archetypes. Through this effect of the Scealta upon the humans the ladies of the courts pass their time, sometimes for mere fancy, sometimes for power or various bets and sometimes for darker and more complicated reasons.
Society - ConceptsEdit
The Sean Scealta are the Old Tales, a great amount of verbally transmitted stories that are imbued with magic and were given to the elves by Dain in the early days. The power of the Sean-Scealta is that they have the ability to bend the world around them, repeating themselves endlessly.
Those tales are simplistic pattern, containing certain archetypes, that act in certain ways and are bound under certain rules. The Sean-Scealta literaly hold the fabric of the world together.The Sean Scealta are the main pillar of the elven society and the closest thing they have to a religion.
The elven courts are completely independent with each other and heve no central connection. They are set in Natural Landmarks within Faerie and are led by a Lady. Each court has its own special rules that prescribe everything, from laws to dressing code.
A court consist of 10-100 Tuatha and five to ten Bean Sidhe for every Tuatha. The appearance of a court varies greatly according to the whims of each lady. Some look like country fairs, some resemle royal encampments, while other look secluded forest hamlets. Either way there are no big structures.
Each court is ruled by a Lady. They are sometimes known as Brides of Dain, though none of them has managed to communicate with Dain. They are absolute rulers in their courts and they are considered the keepers of the Sean Scealta.
To most of the Ladies, in fact, the Sean Scealta have become complete obsessions. Though they normaly do not communicate with each either they will lose no chance to antagonise each other on the knowledge of the Tales. The Ladies are immortal, like all the Tuatha and they are the court's essence. If a Lady is somehow lost the court will certainly fall apart and cease to exist. The Tuatha will have to seek other courts, or get hopelessly lost and isolated in Fairie.
When a lady loses her court, due to combat or any other reason she cannotjoin any other court. Her mind becomes quickly consumed by madness and she usually becomes a Banshee. Banshees live in graves and use them to cross into the world. They tend to seek for a way to control the Sean Scealta, but usually in bitter and vindictive ways.
They mainly yearn for the presence of the court around them, often trying to entrap intelligent being and control their lives, causing mostly suffering and conflict.
Thrones of DainEdit
Each courts retains a throne, next to the seat of the Lady dedicated to Dain, the father of the elves. The thrones is sacred and is always kept empty. Just like the courts themselves thrones are of varying shapes and materials. Some might be carved out of gold, others out of living wood, and some might even be plain, uncarved stones.
The Ladies of the Tuatha have found the human societies are often resistant to the Sean Scealta. This they mainly attribute to the humans' base nature and the effects of their religion, which they claim is "new" to the world. When they find great resistance, or merely feel playful they will steal a grown human being into Faerie, instead of a baby and show him selective things. Those humans, usually masters of some art, are known as Rhymers.
The making of a Rhymer though, is not merely as trip into Faerie. It bears the significance of a pact, making the human, recognisable, as a Rhymer into almost every creature in Faerie. Rhymers are generally respected by most creatures in Faerie, as ambassadors of a Lady.