The fea, or fea-folk, are a collective name used to describe creatures who typically dwell deep within woods and forests away from civilization. The fea comprise elves, faeries, pixies, and tree nymphs. All of these variants are small, lithe humanoids, who dress in garments made of bark, moss and leaves. Renowned for being acutely shy and elusive, fea are largely a mystery to most common folk. Living deep within the vast, tree-covered wildernesses of Iiosia, fea are rarely encountered by outsiders and so little is really known about them.
Elves are a comparatively large race of fea, ranging from two to four feet in height. Sharp of both wit and of features, these keenly intelligent beings are the most commonly encountered fea. Lovers of song and dance, elves will leap from one branch to the next with startling grace and speed. Often friendly, they have been known to lead lost travelers out of the woods, and lead them away from dangerous areas and monsters.
Faeries and pixies are often confused, as they are extremely similar. In truth, they're the same species, with faeries being female and pixies being male. They are tiny creatures, ranging from just a few inches to no more than a foot in height, and have large, colourful wings sprouting from their backs. Living in large groups, these creatures create homes within trees, sharing a mutually beneficial arrangement wherein the tree will shelter and house them, and in turn receive protection from pests, molds, and other things that might do it harm. It is not unusual within fea society to find several of these tree-homes nearby one another, for both pixies and faeries enjoy the company of others as they fly through the branches of their home.
Tree nymphs are somewhat larger than their cousins, and could at a glance be mistaken for humans. Exclusively female, nymphs are creatures of acute magical awareness. Their life force and power flows through the forest and literally depends on it. They are born within the woods where magical energies are high, and at that point a tree begins to grow. The nymph and tree are bound together, both sustaining one another. Therefore, nymphs can live to be many centuries old. Where a nymph tree grows, magical energy abounds, and the area surrounding it becomes lush and full of life. If either the nymph or tree were to die however, the land becomes barren, and nothing grows there again.
Living in harmony with their surroundings, it is widely thought that the forest itself will try to protect fea by directing interlopers away from their homes. They encounter no hostilities from creatures of nature who might otherwise consider them food. The only creatures who are hostile to fea which also dwell within the woods are demons. Fea themselves are rarely hostile, instead choosing to play tricks on travelers they come across, leading them astray or stealing small trinkets that take their fancy. The fea are magical folk with a keen affinity with the Magical Arcs, particularity Nature, Healing and Blessing. They rarely make powerful mages however. Instead, the magical energies help sustain them, feeding them in place of traditional food. Because of their magical nature, however, they have the unfortunate side effect of making excellent conduits. As a result, unethical mercenaries hunt down fea with the intent of selling them to mages willing to harvest them for their power.
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