A helping faerie hand

Titania's ward, Cynthus, has been asked by the Full Seelie Court to serve as your helpmate during this trying time.

Felilum, friends! It is I, Cynthus, and it is my pleasure to assist you in this vital task.

The more you know about the fae as a species, the better equipped you will be to help divine what in Tohubohu (excuse my language) could have happened to our beloved queene. If you are a human, you are no doubt woefully uninformed on this topic. So here I offer some bite-size tidbits to get you up to flutter speed, excerpted and paraphrased from Dim Q's invaluable quickie encyclopedia site(There is no need to visit that site now. I linked it should you wish to do additional research after completing this quest).

Time is of the dearest essence, so if you become bogged down on any given step, simply visit the HELPS & HINTS page or individual Quest Steps links located in the right sidebar of this dedicated quest site.

*I highly recommend listening to the High Priestess' Faerie Archives playlist included herein while you work*

Once upon a time, the word "fairy" was used to describe an individual inhabitant of Faerie or the "realm of the fae." The race is a type of legendary being prevalent in European folklore. Various folkloric legends call the fae wee folk, good folk, people of peace, or fair folk.

"The label of fairy has at times applied only to specific magical creatures with human appearance, small stature, magical powers, and a penchant for trickery. At other times it has been used to describe any magical creature.

A recurring motif of legends about fairies is the need to ward off fairies using protective charms. Common examples of such charms include church bells, St. John's wort, wearing clothing inside out, four-leaf clover, cold iron, and baked goods.

Please go into a private room immediately and turn your shirt inside out ... I'll wait

In some folklore, fairies have green eyes. Some depictions of fairies show them with footwear, others as barefoot. Wings, while common in Victorian and later artworks, are rare in folklore; fairies fly by means of magic, sometimes perched on ragwort stems or the backs of birds. Fairies are sometimes thought to haunt specific locations, and pull pranks such as tangling the hair of sleeping folk into fairy-locks, stealing small items, or leading travelers astray using will-o'-the-wisps. 

The Fairy Tree by Richard Doyle, 1865
A considerable amount of lore about fairies revolves around changelings, i.e. fairy children left in the place of stolen human babies. In fact, the issue of a changeling is what led to the argument between Titania and Oberon that is at the root of Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In County Wexford, Ireland, in 1882, it was reported that “if an infant is carried out after dark a piece of bread is wrapped in its bib or dress, and this protects it from any witchcraft or evil.”

The Courts
Two of the most prominent categories, derived from Scottish folklore, are the division into the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. The Seelie fae tend to be more tolerant of humans and often even helpful. The Unseelie tend to be more malicious and revile humankind, going so far as to harm humans for sport.

Other names for the Seelie Court include The Shining Throne, The Golden Ones, and The Summer Court. Members of the Unseelie Court include bogies, bogles, boggarts, abbey lubbers and buttery spirits. Unseelie are often allied with witches.

These aristocrats of the realm are known as trooping faeries because they travel in long processions to display their pomp. Many a cottage has been built with the front and back doors in line, so that the owners could leave them both open to enable the fairies to troop through.

These fairies live alone and are inclined to be wicked and malicious creatures, except for beings such as broonies who are said to help with household chores.

These fairies generally function as pets or household servants, although they sometimes sneak out to join other fairies in making merry.

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