Alter Aeon The Great Library
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Title: a book entitled "On Fairies: Aalfs"
Some time in the ancient past, fairies came to be. Some say they arose from
the essence of creation, manifestations of grief, rage, lust and other
primal emotions. Others place their origins in a region of Purnima called
the Otherworld - a shadowy realm both fairer and darker than our own.
Fairies take on various forms, ranging from bestial to ethereal to
human-like. One of the most powerful of fairykinds known are the Aalfs
(sometimes spelled "Aalves" in the plural).
Aalfs are taller and more slender than human beings, with sharply pointed
features and very pronounced pointed ears. They are graceful and possessed
of otherworldly beauty. They have been compared to angels in terms of
loveliness. They are immortal, unless slain by might or magic. They are
supernally gifted in whatever crafts they choose to pursue. Their origin is
shrouded in the mists of time, but they claim to have sprung from the fruit
of a primordial tree known as the Tree of Sentience.
These days, Aalfs rarely go abroad in the world. However, their descendants
abound across the whole of the world. Some interbred with other fairy-kinds
or mortal races, producing changeling offspring. All races of elf can trace
their lineage back to Aalfs.
There are two major Aalf societies or breeds. High Aalfs have skin as
white as chalk, which glows with soft inner light. They have hair of any
color but always have blank white eyes. They tend to be kind and noble, but
can still be mischievous. They are known to grant boons to mortals that
treat them with respect. They are often hospitable to travelers as long as
they are gracious. They congregate in small settlements, serve or lord over
fairy courts and bury their dead in tombs. These tombs are guarded by
beings known as erlkings, a variety of wight raised from the corpses of
their most favored ancestors. High Aalfs favor the arts of magecraft,
especially illusion and crystal. Many also indulge in druidism, necromancy
The Night Lady of the Aalfhaum Vale is believed to be a wicked High Aalf
sorceress. The witch Baba Yaga may have been once been a High Aalf as well.
There are rumors that the Lady of Blood and Stone, from the distant
Westering Isles, is a High Aalf that emigrated from her ancestral homeland
to seek new fortunes.
Fell Aalfs are very different from their kin. They have deep blue, red or
brown skin that is glossy like glass, dark hair and dead white eyes. They
rarely associate with each other, though they once had their own society.
They are generally found with bands of lesser fairies and undead they have
coerced into serving them. The drow are most certainly their descendants.
They have been known to grant favors to mortals, but these usually have a
monkey paw style twist to them. Dark deeds have been done in exchange for
Fell Aalf favors, and terrible curses have been wrought for breaking a deal
with one. They favor necromancy, stealth and shadow magic, and some even
worship demon gods.
The Lady of Air and Darkness, former patron fey of Westfall, was known to
be a Fell Aalf, though one with a more kindly disposition than most.
Both High and Fell Aalfs are known to traffic with demons, though High
Aalfs are not known to summon demonic minions into service.
Despite their differences, High Aalfs and Fell Aalfs regard each other as
rivals to compete with rather than outright enemies. They often engage in
elaborate schemes, attempting to out-maneuver each other in contests that
can last centuries. They are known to involve mortals in their affairs as
either allies or pawns.
A cautionary tale:
A race called toadlings inhabit the waterways of the Dunn Hurr. They were
once a tribe of murlocks that broke its pact with a Fell Aalf. They were
horribly twisted both mind and body by fairy magic. Their descendants must
now pay heed to any Fell Aalf that calls upon their service. Thus they are
often found in Fell Aalf entourages. Beware a fairy's bargain!
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