The Fey

A Treatise on the Subspecies Homo sapiens danae

Excerpts from the thesis by John Parashis, Johns Hopkins University, 1991:

Throughout this thesis the term fey is used to represent members of the species dubbed Homo sapiens danae (also known as Homo sapiens sylvanus), both in the singular and the plural.


The fey are believed to be an example of convergent evolution. One theory holds that originally they were a type of magical spirit, who either created, or manifested as, humanoids, copying the human population. Hence the fey are close enough to humans to interbreed, although genetic studies clearly indicate that they have 'evolved' from very different roots.

The fey phenotype is very tall and slender, with a triangular (elfin) face, short upturned nose, large eyes (often with slit pupils) and thin lips. The skin is very pale, due to the pale blood.

Several individuals possess full tails, usually fur-covered. The life span of a fey is said to be 150 years for males, 170 for females. Most female fey never look older than 30, regardless of their true age, while males may look older, but invariably age gracefully.

Although they are able to interbreed, and appear very similar to H. sapiens sapiens on a macroscopic level, the fey are very different internally. Fey blood is based on magnesium compounds, not iron. Fey blood is categorized into three groups, labelled W, X, and Z. The blood also reacts very strongly to iron, which appears to be allergic in nature. Due to placental blood exchange, fey mothers bear fey offspring, and human mothers bear human children by fey fathers.

Fey eyes are sensitive to a much wider spectrum than human ones, ranging into the IR and UV. [They also have light-reflective tapetum, like cats and to some extent dogs.] Fey do not store excess fat, nor do they usually burn the fat they have. It is possible that excess energy is transferred to and from the environment in some exotic form as necessary to support the homeothermic body processes. Fey have extremely strong immune systems, are very disease resistant, and can heal wounds more than 200,000 times faster than humans, up to regenerating missing body parts, including limbs. Where the energy for this comes from is unknown, but iron interferes with this, slowing the process down to less than twice the rate of human biochemistry. Congenital diseases are practically unknown, with the possible exception of a single type of cancer.

All fey are said to possess certain powers in common. These include the ability to levitate, referred to as 'air-walking,' by the subject, and apparently due to massive coincidental brownian motion. Other powers include the ability to become invisible, sometimes called 'shadow-walking,' or 'shadowing.' It is unclear how this process works, and it is probably poorly understood by the fey themselves. Being bound with iron interferes with many of these powers, the notable exception being the 'air-walking.' How iron causes this, and whether it is purely psychosomatic, or actually physically (or metaphysically) affects fey is undetermined. Fey bound in iron [including iron-rich alloys such as steel] describe feelings of nausea, hyperventilation, blurred vision, and general weakness.


A pregnant fey-woman chooses a godparent for her child, usually a sister or brother or other close relative, or a close family friend. The godparent is equally responsible with the blood parents for raising and educating the child, and is supposed to be the child's protector, even, if necessary, from the child's blood parents. A godparent is usually a child's most trusted elder, and is frequently the one approached with problems that the child is not willing to bring up before its parents.

Truenames take roughly the same place that christening does in the Christian tradition. The godmother or godfather chooses a 'Truename' for the child and sometime during its first year whispers the truename to it. Originally this was done as soon as possible after birth, in case the baby died, but these days sometime during the first year is considered normal. Much later, at some point when the godparent considers the child to be sufficiently mature (it is unclear what is considered a sign of maturity, or even if there is a traditional sign), the godparent tells the child his or her truename in private. It is unknown if there is a ceremony involved.

There is a strong cultural ethic of truth-telling among the fey, although this too is being eroded with time. The ethic involved being totally honest under oath, or in living up to a contract, or when giving one's word. Lying to a godparent or parent is considered ethically shoddy, too. However, there appears to be no compunction against lying to anyone else in the normal course of affairs.

Other Sources:

The fey are more of a secret society than a separate culture. They never had a movement in the sixties, for instance, and there was great pressure internally to keep a low profile. The organization is very loose, with the Faerie Chivalry acting as a police force to prevent renegade fey from doing terrible things - this was before SAT and before the public was aware that paranormals existed outside of the comics. Today they are not as necessary as before, but exist for dealing with things that the fey would rather were not brought before public scrutiny.

The fey have, just to be safe, infiltrated a large number of government positions and offices, and a lot still work for the government at some time in their lives (like Flint, for instance). The greatest coup is getting a fey on the Supreme Court - the public is still unaware that Justice Brennan is a fey. Actually, the public is unaware that the fey exist as a race, rather than being individual paranormals, and the fey would just as soon keep it that way. A long time ago, when they first came over from Faerie (ca: 400 AD) they set up a kingdom, that was later wiped out by humans. This story is kept alive by some of the more reactionary members of the fey.

Some of the more important fey:

General Background BBI Fey Outside Tech
BB Files General Mob
Games MUDs

The Fey / Flick Inc
Last modified: January 31, 1997 /