Fary (5e Race)

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Design Note: See Flying Races (5e Guideline) and Tiny Player Characters (5e Variant Rule).

Fary

"'Did you ever see a fairy's funeral, madam?' said Blake to a lady who happened to sit next to him. 'Never, sir!' said the lady. 'I have,' said Blake, 'but not before last night.' And he went on to tell how, in his garden, he had seen 'a procession of creatures of the size and colour of green and grey grasshoppers, bearing a body laid out on a rose-leaf, which they buried with songs, and then disappeared." -Lives of Eminent British Painters, by Allan Cunningham

Physical Description

KF-00382-D.jpg
Two young faries by a pond.

Faries are tiny human-like fey folk, who stand just under a foot in height. Every type of fary is capable of flight thanks to their bug-like wings. Different ethnic groups are most readily identified by their distinctive wing shape. Additionally, various bloodlines within an ethnic group can be identified by other faries, (or those who look closely enough) by the distinct shape of a given individual's ears. Fary ears can vary considerably, from human or elf-like, to totally animal-like or even more absurd shapes. To a lesser extent, skin tone or hue may distinguish the geographic origin of a given individual. (A pale-green pixy likely originated from a dark forest, while an emerald-green pixy may have come from an open meadow.)

As for clothing and fashion, this can vary considerably by culture. Some fary communities may wear little to no clothing, being savage wild-folk. Most communities do make practical attire from natural materials, such as leaves, bark, or the skins of rodents. A few communities make an active effort to produce fashion for aesthetic reasons. Even among these "vain" cultures, thread and fabric are rare, as it is extremely difficult to make such a material fine enough to be both comfortable and durable. The finest fabric in existence- fary silk- is the only fabric considered to be appropriate for clothing by faries.

Jewelry and accessories, likewise, are viewed very differently on the tiny scale. It is extremely difficult for faries to work gemstones in a practical manner. Most fary jewelry is carved from large polished grains of sand or gravel, rather than dug from the earth. As such, gemstones are considered "luck charms" because they are hard to find- making their discovery a lucky event. Faries value artistry over craftsmanship when it comes to accessories, as genuine artistic talent and depth is far more rare and important than some rock you can find on any beach with enough patience.

Overall though, being tiny in size, faries value clothing primarily for its pragmatic value. Practical accessories and features are the most attractive qualities in a fashion item for a fary.

History

The faries are a highly secretive people, leading to a great deal of mystery swirling around them. This imposed secrecy is a defensive tactic to protect themselves from exploitation or attack from other cultures. Being tiny creatures, they do not have the technological capacity to front a military or police force capable of maintaining justice through force. More important than simple security and law however, is their effort to hide and secure the source of their origin- a fey crossing.

Faries hale from the Feywild, a parallel dimension to the material plane. Locations which are nearly identical on both planes become natural portals, called fey crossings. It is through these crossings that faries arrive in the material plane, and how they return to their homeland. Most fary communities make some effort to protect, or at least hide, such a crossing from those who would abuse it. Even the more passivist pixy communities will take some effort to misdirected anyone who strays too close.

Politically, Elves and Gnomes are the only races who regularly deal with faries, and even they only consider it "regular contact" in the perspective of centuries-long lifespans. Elves have the best reputation with faries, as is projected in many fary names being elfish phrases such as "Elf Friend", or "Elfish Spear".

Humans have the worst reputation with faries. Their ignorance and curiosity causes them to invent wild rumors and myths to fill the gaps in fary secrecy, and these lies are essentially racist stereotypes based on misinformation. Some cultures blame faries for everything from disappearances, to fires, to droughts, and will go on genocidal campaigns to purge faries from their lands. Others imagine faries as being more powerful than reality, or being in possession of great wealth, and attempt to capture individuals to force them to grant treasures or wishes in exchange for freedom. Some covet the rare fine arts crafted by fary artisans, and there is at least one recorded instance of an entire city of faries being pressed into slavery to weave robes of fary silk. Wizards throughout history have attempted to unravel the mechanism behind pixy dust, and many a pixy has died alone and afraid in the captivity of such a mage- all to no avail.

Society

Despite the strong differences between ethnic groups and individual communities, there are some general trends among fary cultures. A love of wilderness and nature, a respect for the natural order, natural inquisitiveness, confidence and courage beyond their size, an interest in magic, and secrecy, are all fary traits.

Arts, particularly the musical and performing arts, play an important role in fary cultures, even among the most dour of Sprite settlements. From the exuberant fiddles and flutes of pixy ballads, to the funerary drums and horns of sprite dirges, all faries appreciate the power of music.

These trends allow a strong degree of cohesion between fary communities, and what conflict occurs is typically disagreements over practical issues, such as territorial claims and the like. Such issues are usually dealt with through debates and community discussions, though particularly important or troublesome issues may be taken to a legal hearing before the local leadership. War between faries is so rare, it is considered an absurd jest.

The only subject of contention between fary communities is court alignment. The vast majority of faries are of the seelie court, but there are a distinct minority who are of a more sinister bent and align themselves with the unseelie court. Unseelie faries are almost indistinguishable from their seelie counterparts- they all strongly tend toward neutral good- but the way they express their values, and the way their personalities manifest, are very different. Seelie pixies may trick a man into falling into a pit of horse manure as a jest. Unseelie faries would trick a child into falling into a pit of thorns as a jest. Seelie sprites may put an interloper to sleep and drag him to the forest edge. Unseelie sprites may drag the same interloper to the mouth of some monster's den if they determine him unworthy. Unseelie faries, despite being the distinct minority, are the source of most human prejudices against faries.

Despite these differences of association, even when the courts take up arms against one another, faries generally do not take up arms against other faries unless forced to. They prefer to simply move their settlements to avoid one another, and do battle either indirectly by supporting the armed forces, or through battles of escalating pranks or debates.

Fary Names

Faries name indiscriminately from gender. A male fary can easily bear the same name as his wife without conflict. To other cultures, this apparent inconsistency is often seen as comedic, with fary men apparently sporting effeminate names, and fary women likewise carrying apparently masculine monikers. This is mostly confusing and insulting to any fary subjected to it. To faries, names can't be "masculine" or "femenine" because they are words, not sounds- they have genuine meaning in the sylvan or elvish tongue.

Aelfdane, Aelfdene, Afreda, Alberich, Alfrigg, Alston, Alvar, Alva, Avery, Aelfric, Aubrey, Alvie, Alvara, Alvarie, Alvin, Alvina, Aethelwine, Aethelwyne, Aelfwine, Arethusa, Blossom, Breena, Brokk, Brucie, Carling, Dain, Diana, Donella, Drake, Durin, Dulcina, Elden, Eldan, Eldon, Ealhdun, Ealdun, Eglantine, Eglantina, Eitri, Elga, Ella, Ellette, Elva, Elvia, Elvie, Elfie, Elivina, Elvin Elvine, Elvey, Elvyne, Elvin, Elvina, Elvena, Eolande, Erline, Erlina, Fafnir, Fafner, Faerydae, Faylinn, Fay, Fayette, Foster, Gelsey, Gullveig, Genius, Hefeydd, Hreidmarr, Kalen, Kailen, Kalan, Kallan, Kheelan, Kellen, Laila, Liliana, Lili, Lilly, Lorelle, Lorrella, Lorilla, Luella, Louella, Luel, Marigold, Maurelle, Naida, Nerida, Nidhug, Nidhogg, Nissa, Nixie, Nix, Oberon, Odile, Odelina, Odiane, Odiana, Odette, Oda, Odila, Ordella, Ordalf, Oren, Orin, Orla, Orlagh, Orlaith, Orrla, Puck, Radella, Raedself, Raisa Raisie, Rhiannon, Rhoslyn, Rhoswen, Rhyannon, Roosevelt, Rosa, Rosalba, Rosalie, Rosalia, Rozalia, Rosetta, Rosina, Rossa, Roxanne, Rusalka, Sebille, Shaylee, Shea, Sindri, Siusan, Suelita, Susane, Susanna, Suzanne, Suzette, Tana, Tania, Tanya, Tatiana, Tenanye, Tianna, Titania, Warren, Xantho, Zanna, Zuzana.

Fary Traits

Tiny winged folk who hale from the Feywild.
Ability Score Increase. +2 Dexterity
Age. (No consensus exists. They may be ageless, or they may have lifespans of only a few years. Depends on the type of story you and your DM want to tell. The issue of time distortion by the Feywild doesn't help.)
Alignment. Tendency toward Neutral Good
Size. Tiny (As a tiny character, you are subject to Tiny Player Characters (5e Variant Rule))
Speed. Your base walking speed is 10 feet. You also have a hover speed of 35 feet.
Invisibility. You may magically turn invisible at will until you attack or cast a spell, or until your concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell). Any equipment you are wearing or carrying is invisible with you.
Tiny Stuff. The gear granted to you by your class and background are assumed to have come from your fary community and be crafted to suit your size. Read the section Fary Gear at the bottom of this page to apply the unique rules associated to tiny weapons and armor crafted by faries. Unique fary weapons and armor are available to choose from the appropriate weapons lists if you are given an option. (IE: if your class lets you choose one simple weapon, the fairy bow and needle is included in that list.)
Languages. Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Subrace. As a Fary you must choose from one of two subraces; Pixy or Sprite.

Pixy

Pixies are the most commonly encountered fary, due to their playfulness and curiosity. They most often have green skin, but some have earthen tones. Their hair colors encompass any natural flower colour. Pixies have large, broad, lobed wings which resemble those of a butterfly. Pixies sport dazzling patterns of color on their wings, and every individual has their own wing pattern unique to themselves.

Pixies are the most passive of faries, preferring to spend their time playing, exploring, and making art. They are also often the least motivated, tending toward laziness, and being very easily distracted. They take very little seriously, and only become serious when the situation forces them to. Pixies would rather flee then fight. That said, pixies are also far more vindictive than their fary cousins, and can hold grudges that last generations, seeking vengeance against perceived wrongdoings over and over again.

Ability Score Increase. +1 Charisma
Magic Resistance. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Innate Spellcasting. Your wings grow loose scales which are imbued with magical properties. This pixy dust can be used to generate several magical effects without using any components or focus. Your innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. You can innately cast the following spells once per long rest each, requiring only your pixie dust as a component: At first level: Dancing Lights, druidcraft, Detect Evil and Good, Entangle, and Sleep. As you level up, you gain access to other spells. At 5th level: Detect Thoughts, and Phantasmal Force. At 10th Level: Dispel Magic, and Fly. At 15th level: Confusion, and Polymorph. These do not count against spells known.

Sprite

Sprites are the most secretive of the faries. Most of them are nearly human in appearance. Many decorate themselves with body paint or tattoos. Sprites have long, thin, dragonfly-like wings which are extremely regular and consistent in appearance.

Sprites are the most serious and aggressive of the faries, being a warrior culture. They make a concerted, organized effort to patrol and protect their land from damage or corruption. They judge the hearts of mortals and offer aid to the worthy, or eject the unworthy. Many sprite communities will go so far as to booby-trap any fey crossings such that, if an interloper were to get too close, they could destroy the crossing forever if necessary. Often, these traps are deadly to any creature foolish enough to necessitate their use.

Ability Score Increase. +1 Intelligence
Heart Sight. You may touch a creature and magically know the creature's current emotional state. If the target fails a DC l0 Charisma saving throw, you also know the creature's alignment. Celestials, fiends, and undead automatically fail the saving throw.
Poison Brewer. Your people are well practiced in the art of mixing poisons, potions, poltices, and remedies, as a means of defending their homes from the larger creatures of the world. You have proficiency with the herbalism kit. You always have a supply of sleep poison prepared in a cloth for use on your weapons. You may use a bonus action to apply sleep poison to a weapon or piece of ammunition. During a short or long rest, you may apply poison to any number of weapons or ammunition. On the next successful attack with that weapon, the target must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for l minute. If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration. The sleep effect ends if the creature takes damage or another creature takes an action to shake it awake. After being used, the poison has been removed from the weapon.

Random Height and Weight

Table: Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
0′ 6″ +1d6 12 oz. × 2 oz.

Fary Gear

Being tiny creatures, fary craftsmanship and technology is very different from that of larger folk, such as halflings and humans. Metalwork is extremely limited, as very large fires and furnaces are required. Likewise, faries lack the body mass and leverage needed to chisel away or tunnel through stone, so mining and masonry are also very limited crafts. Both trades are practiced by very large fary communities with the aid of magic. Pixies may Polymorph themselves to medium size to work metal or stone, or the community may craft tiny, magically heated furnaces, or make enchanted mining tools that give them greatly increased striking power.

If a fary has a scaled equivalent of a weapon, it deals half its damage die due to its reduced weight. (1d4=1d2, 1d6=1d3, 1d8=1d4, 1d10=1d5, 1d12=1d6) All weapons crafted by faries for fary use have the Undersized (5e Variant Rule) weapon property.

Faries more often make their own unique armor and weapons though, and their craftsmanship more accurately reflects the purpose behind such items. Faries do not go to war, so to them, weapons and armor are made almost exclusively for utilitarian purposes, such as hunting. The following is a list of unique fary gear.


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