The Fay Realm
The fay realm is a magical place where many physical boundaries of our world simply do not apply - it follows its own, rather different rules. I wanted to create a world that is farther from our own than most fantasy worlds are where people by and large need to earn money, eat, sleep and do more or less things we do as well with a little magic added. The fay realm in contrast is based on magic - and this leads to questions like: What does a people do when there is no need to work for a living? When no one needs to fear old age and sickness because everyone is ageless? How would social conventions be if everyone can easily assume any shape he desires? How would an economy work if simple magic gives many the ability to effortless amass gold or gemstones?
Where the realm is, there is also the fae, and it is the fae that makes the bare matter of the realm more than bare matter. The fae bestows the essence of things upon them - meaning, purpose and intention. It binds all things together into an all-encompassing fabric and the souls of all things living are tethered to it, long for contact with it and require its touch for sustenance, and for that reason they all are able to feel the fae.
There will not be a map of the realm, because it cannot be simply mapped - different places are connected in different ways, the realm has ends beyond which one can see but not journey, it has hidden folds and passages like the Ley-roads that connect distant places in walking distance, i has a geometry behind the obvious one - so many places aren't actually in something that we think of as a 'location'.
Instead, in the following are descriptions of a few places:
Also known as the City of the Water Lily, Nyacea lies at the edge of the realm, across the Sea of Dreams and near the Pillars of Dawn. Here night is eternal, and the two moons, Orea and Tirea, appear much larger than in other places. The city is an extraordinary place in more than one sense - it attracts talented fay and wonders from all over the realm.
Even in a realm that was so full of wonders, a city build on a giant water lily was unique. And yet, it was not the expanse of leaves that lay spread out before him that impressed Roanai most, nor the huge flower that could be seen rising out of the waters and opening its petals to embrace the eternal night - it was the lights. Myriads of were-lights dotted the city, tiny bright sparks like fireflies, forming gossamer threads cunningly woven around the structure of the lily, Glamour wrought skillfully to create sublime beauty in the way a golden shine gave way to bluish silver light, in the way all the different auras merged to ultimately create a glowing halo around everything, a halo that reflected in the deep, dark waters of the Sea of Dreams.|
(from: 'Of a Web, cunningly wrought, under an Eternal Starry Sky')
The rainbow bridge of Areyadë is one of the more mysterious places of the realm - under the right condition it hangs over a deep gorge, and there are ancient words that spell out the conditions when and how it might be crossed. Indeed, the rainbow does not move away from any fay who approaches it but remains in place instead, and it can be stepped on - but where the bridge leads, no fay knows.
In the north of the land of Lindanorea, where the ancient, moss-covered trees of the Weeping Forest give way to a more rugged terrain of steep cliffs and deep gorges, yet cling tenaciously to the shallower slopes and higher valleys, there begins the rise of the Turquoise Mountains. A mighty range of steep rock faces thrusts upward, through clouds and mist, leaving the forest behind, till it reaches a skirt of glaciers and ice fields whose deep color has given the mountains their name. Here, icy winds eternally blow through a labyrinth of deep cracks, icefalls and frozen lakes. Yet, beyond the ice fields, the central range continue to rise skyward, far into the upper air, a shimmering white apparition that never seems quite real. It is said that the stars sometimes descend there to birth their offspring, therefore the peaks are named Cradle of Stars, yet no fay in living memory has ever crossed the ice fields and climbed up there.|
From the glacier fields, many large and small meltwater rivers make their way down towards the lowlands, crashing down in thundering cascades and waterfalls. The largest of these is Ramaorë, the Voice of the Mountains, but the most mysterious one is Areyadë, the Birthplace of the Rainbow. There, the waters cascade down from the ice fields till they reach a steep fall over more than half a mile down into a narrow gorge, their foam changing first into spray and then fine mist on the way. When the clear sun on a late morning falls into this gap, a rainbow appears, and seen from below it seems like a bridge crossing the gorge.
(from: 'Across the Rainbow Bridge')
When the realm was created by the fay of old, in the time of stories, they used their magic to create many wonderous displays and whole landscapes that are works of art - one of them are the Sky Lakes.
I come from the region of the Sky Lakes of Firondea. There, islands of rock float in the sky, with lush vegetation hanging over the edges. Many are covered by lakes and ponds, and waterfalls drop from the higher ones to the lower ones. The larger of the sky lakes are stable, and roped bridges connect them, the smaller sky ponds orbit in their own way. The fay there ride the largest of the multitude of birds that fly between the lakes to get to these.|
(from: 'Across the Rainbow Bridge')
The Ley-roads are a hidden network of pathways that connects different places in the realm. The secret of their usage is known only to few, and it requires some skill to navigate them.
The Ley-road here resembled low stepping stones - old, worn and moss-covered, leading gently upward through an ancient forest under a dark midnight sky. To both sides of the road, mighty needle trees reached upward, and the warm light of Orea fell in great shafts through gaps in the canopy, while fire-flies danced in mysterious movements over places that were hidden by dark shadows. |
Tanima had never quite understood whether the Ley-roads led somehow out of the realm, to somewhere else, or whether they followed real paths that existed in the realm without actually being those paths. Certainly what she could see from the sky looked familiar, and there were spirits here like in other parts of the realm - but how much of all this was real, if any, she couldn't have said.
(from: 'The Hall of Immanent Knowledge')
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