The Coming of the Zioth


Having so much diversity in themselves, humans have been known to muddle the stories of other races together, and confuse them until it is easier just to clump them all into the category of “fairy folk.”

The common words used for many in this category, “Elf” and “Fairy” are perhaps too vague to describe a such a varied collection of people. There is no agreement beyond the regional level, as to to what the words, precisely, refer. Some include all fairy-folk with the names, and others include all magical creatures. Still others limit them to specific varieties of specific races. Even people who claim to be in agreement on the term have vastly different opinions on what they look like, how they act, and why and when they appear. Some call them mischievous, others honorable and noble. Some describe them standing only inches tall, and others claim six or seven feet. Some call them learned and wise, others barbaric and foolish. Some call them forever youthful, and others as living only days. Some say they're found in great hidden cities, and others say they live in peaceful anarchy. Accounts vary widely by region, terrain, and attitude of those who have claimed to see them. Fay-stories are so inconsistent that it would be better to skip through vague descriptions as quickly as possible, and describe only a few distinct peoples.

Stories in certain regions tell of the Tiiph (tif), who live either in small villages or in great cities, hidden in the forest. Men who were led to their settlements, or who found them by accident (always with a Tiiph or two waiting for them, so none could be sure it was truly an accident), could never find them again, even if they had made maps. The Tiiph are tall for fairy-folk, standing at about five feet. Tiiph seem to flow with magic, as any one of them might cause an object to appear from nowhere, or ask an animal or tree to perform a task for them. Their tables are always said to be full, but none has seen a Tiiph do work of any sort. How they survive, if not by magic, is a mystery. Like other elves, they have an uncanny knack for appearing silently, and then disappearing back into the woods without being noticed by anyone. In regions where Tiiph stories are told, they are sometimes referred to simply as elves.

In 577, High Mage Fovery says, “The elves won't get involved in anything like this. They prefer personal interaction, involving just a few people at most.” He also says, “The elves trust their memories rather than writing things down, so their accounts may be even less reliable than ours, and from what I have gathered, they have little interest in the Zioth, but I could be wrong.”219plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigAppeared or occurred in:

: The First Piece

Halaren held Corbyn's hand throughout the ritual. He hardly had a choice; the scholar held on with the grip of a woman in childbirth. Sounds and colors flew through the air as if they were solid things, and each time one struck Halaren by accident, it briefly held meaning

The silver-haired, gray-skinned Fiesi (fE's&) are always seen dressed in fine clothing of white, gold, silver and purple, the colors of royalty. Their height is vague in the stories, ranging, depending on the region, from three to seven feet. Few have interacted directly with Fiesi except to ask for advice, which they tend to give in the riddling ways of oracles. They are found sitting in circles, discussing matters in their own musical language, but when someone comes too close without an invitation, they vanish.

The violet-skinned Fiesin (fE'sin) are about 5 feet tall, with pale gold hair and violet eyes. Their sparse, translucent clothing, when worn, is of a single color, or of a color that shimmers and changes with the light. From the stories, one might assume there are no male members of the species, as nearly all of the stories speak of Fiesin as female temptresses. Stories tell of heroes drawn irresistibly to their beauty, and compelled to follow them forever as they flee from sight, or rescuing violet-skinned maidens in distress and then vanishing into the woods.

Brininigs (bri'ni-nigs) are savage fighters, guardians of the woodlands, who defend them with their lives. Even if the woods themselves are not in danger, Brininig may attack unexpectedly, for no reason men can fathom.

The Battle of Araner The Flovian wars of 370-382 were at their bloodiest times, when Earl Araner XII planned what was to be his most deadly attack. He would bring his army of five thousand, one of the largest single attacking forces of the time, through Grandwood Forest, and surprise Duke Flovere at his weakest point. Flovere would never expect an attack from the forest, immersed as it was in legend. In his entire lifetime, he had seen no one ever enter or exit that forest, and Araner was quite aware of the duke's superstitions. In autumn of 380, Araner sent his army through the woods. The forest was quiet, and the journey was easy, but the army's morale was unsteady. One soldier had noticed a pointy-eared child wandering through the uninhabited woods. He had called to him, but the child had disappeared. More and more soldiers told similar stories as the army walked deeper into the forest, but most found the stories difficult to believe. On the sixth day, however, the disbelievers could not doubt any longer. A wall of logs had been erected across their path. As the soldiers climbed the wall, they began to notice that they were not alone. By the time only a few soldiers had crossed the wall, thousands of children, or perhaps diminutive men, stood among the trees. They were clothed like the trees, and, as the soldiers watched, some thought they saw the trees themselves move about and transform into children. All was still for several long minutes, until a rain of knives, spears and arrows fell upon the army, very few missing their targets. Two weeks later, only two hundred and eight emerged from the forest, where they willingly surrendered to Flovere. After that venture, Araner was quickly defeated, and Flovere won the war. To this day, Floverians avoid entering Grandwood, and the borders of the forest are strewn with monuments and ancient temples.

Frautauli (frau-to'lE) appear rarely in literature, and only in a few regions. What is strange is that stories told in different languages, in widely separated parts of the world, tend to be very similar. Perhaps these creatures have held special favor with widely-traveled bards, but then one would expect a geographic link between the story-tellers. Frautauli have black skin, like parchment coated with charcoal, hair ranging from pale white to glistening white, and eyes with a wide range of color, which changes under unknown conditions. Frautauli are known as malicious creatures of unsurpassed beauty, who shun the light.

Gnomes are creatures known for malicious or harmless pranks, or for their kindness and helpfulness, or for any of a number of other mutually contradictory traits. Their heights range from a mere inch or two to two or three feet. Their personalities and sizes vary endlessly by region and climate. Some live in rocky hills and act like slower, more relaxed dwarvesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDwarves

Dwarves are short, stocky people, growing to a height of only two or three feet, who concern themselves primarily with hard, sober work, like mining and metalworking. They are said to be immortal, or at least to live for hundreds of years. The dwarves keep their distance from humans; they are suspicious of foreigners. They live in mountains and hills, always underground, where they carve tunnels and caves in which to live and work. Only rulers, miners and artisans are ever mentioned in …
. Others live far underground in gigantic, complex cities, which are rumored to be huge storehouses of wealth. There are creatures spoken of in Grunderbace near the forests whose description likens them to gnomes, said to be servants of the nature-god. Still others live on the coast of the Great Sea, running a fishing trade at night, and only seen from a distance. Some inches-tall gnomes live in gardens, or in the walls of houses, or in garbage heaps. Strangely enough, the only feature that nearly all gnomes seem to have in common is that they wear some manner of head-covering, usually a pointed hat.

Half Fey: There are stories which speak of the mixed offspring of humans and fey. Most describe loners who live short lives in the forests, avoiding both their ancestral races. They are never said to have children of their own, whether do to sterility or their solitude. There are also a few utterly contradictory stories, telling of extraordinarily long-lived and powerful cross-bred beings who have offspring too numerous to count.