Transcript – The Fae Realm
[Theme music plays, then fades into a soothing ambiance.]
Trying to describe the entire Fae Realm in one fell swoop would be about as pointless as asking Balink whether he wants to blow something up. That goblin will always say yes, and the Fae Realm cannot possibly be described as one single thing, or even really in the same breath. There is just too much of it, you see. And to lump it all together in an attempt to make the job of describing it an easy one would be fruitless and, to be honest, a little insulting to boot.
The Fae Realm is not a world as you or I would know one. Sure, it has seasons, weather, nature and wilderness, but none of it is consistent. No part of the Fae will ever quite keep still. You could never be handed a map and sent on your merry way to traipse through the place. It would swallow you up, and have you running in circles without a notion of which way was north, or even what time of day it was.
Imagine seventeen different songs playing all at once, over and under each other. And whittled through them come echoes of voices calling, laughing and speaking in languages most mortals never hear. Then sprinkle on top a good handful of birds serenading, hooves galloping, scurrying paws and every other sound you can think of.
That is the Fae Realm.
And it would drive most mortals almost to the brink of madness.
Unlike the mortal world, the Fae was not created. At least, not in the same way. Truth be told, no one really knows how the Fae Realm came to be, not even us.
There are theories, of course. Some claim the realm was born from the deepest emotions and imaginings of the first creatures to ever exist, emotions so strong and vivid that they broke apart reality itself and formed a whole new plane of existence. A place where the echoes of emotions, thoughts and fears took physical shape. But this is, of course, just a story.
As far as we know, the Fae Realm has always been there, existing alongside the mortal realm across the Continuum, creation after creation, never fading and just going on and on and on. It doesn’t always touch the mortal realm and whole creations can go past without the two meeting. On Toor though, the existence of the Fae is pretty much common knowledge.
What is not common knowledge, certainly not to the peoples of Toor, is that the Fae Realm harbors a slumbering dragon.
Not literally, of course. Although, actually, now we come to think on it, there are several dragons dotted about in the place…
Perhaps a more apt metaphor would be to say ‘the Fae Realm harbors a slumbering catastrophe.’
Though even that is not entirely fair. This particular sleeper is not necessarily a catastrophe. They could well be a joy, a rapturous delight.
Or… well, just a rapture.
This slumbering mystery bears many names. ‘Lord of the Fae’, ‘The First One’, ‘The End,’ and to some even ‘God.’
We don’t know if he was there when the Fae realm began, if he was created from it, or if he is tied to the fate of the Fae Realm or not. All that is really known for certain is his name. Ophaeron.
Taller than a giant he is, and drenched in deep magics and song. Though lengthy epic poetry has been written describing him, none of the beings that reside in the Fae Realm in the current age know his face. Even those who witnessed his last waking moments can no longer recall his features.
This, everyone wholeheartedly agrees, is precisely how he would want things.
Ophaeron doesn’t govern the Fae. In fact he seems pretty content to just leave things to their own devices. At some point in the far distant past, he built a domain for himself in the very heart of the Fae, and there he laid down to rest.
And there he remained.
Over the countless years, he has awoken no more times than there are petals on a doxenleaf clover. Each awakening marked a time of great upheaval for the Realm of the Fae. On one occasion, the entire place shifted in on itself, and two rivers were broken into twenty streams. Once, the grass burned gold, blossoms rained down and the air tasted of honey. Once, he started a war.
The effects of his consciousness are as unpredictable as he is, and as ever-changing as the Realm he dozes within.
As chaotic as the Fae is, that is not to say it is impossible to find your way through it. Those who were born in the Fae Realm know how to maneuver through it almost on instinct. They can perceive its intricacies, making their way from one place to another with the ease of a warm knife through butter. So if you wish to enter and journey through the home of the Fae, you must seek one of their midst out as a guide. Without one you may see nothing at all.
So, then, what exists within the borders of the Fae Realm?
One thing of great note is the River of All Rivers. And it is rather aptly named. The River of All Rivers sits as a monster coiled around the heart of the Realm, crossable only at three points where it narrows to a trickle. In some places, its banks rise over twenty miles high, following towering waterfalls cascading into clear blue depths.
If you walk the dappled paths alongside the banks, you will eventually reach the highest point in the Fae Realm, beside the Falls of Eraipis. From this look-out, you can survey as much of the landscape as is in reach. See how the many isles and islands of the Fae move ponderously through the air and each other. Watch the mountains shift in and out of focus in the distance. Gaze over the fresh greenery of the endless forests. And then duck as gaggles of winged-creatures soar past your ears.
Conversely, the lowest point within the Fae Realm sits somewhere far to the south. Hidden buried inside the gemstone caverns of Jerath. If any mortal craftsman, or jeweler, or thief were to step inside those caves, their little hearts may just about burst.
The narrow passageways and wide stretching mouths were forged from eroded treasures. Every inch sparkles. Diamonds, gold, silver, rubies, emeralds, and some strange ores known only to the most intrepid of Fae creatures.
If you did manage to venture down there, you would discover that you did not require a flame-lit torch, nor magic to aid your sight. The caverns are alight with their own soft glow, illuminating a million miles of tunnels in every direction, burrowed beneath the rest of their world.
There are many wishful tales told about the Realm of the Fae, spread amongst the mortal folk of their own world. All encouraged by the Fae themselves, naturally. The more mischievous of their bunch enjoy knowing no two stories will ever quite match up, which will lead in turn to more stories, each branching off and apart until there is a tangled mass of twine in which only the barest scrapes of the real truth remain.
Which I suppose, is not too far removed from what the Fae Realm itself is.
It is a jumble sale of oddities.
It is your grandparents’ side table crammed with knickknacks.
It is the mud puddle that shoes got lost in, never to be seen again.
It is the whisper on the wind.
It is the shiver down your spine as something shifts in the dark.
It is the last trickle of consciousness in a dying light.
It is the sand scrunched in the corners of sleep-deprived eyes.
It is everything, all at once.
And yet few will ever lay eyes upon it.
But there are some who have. Some of the Mortal Realm who are able to glimpse a small sample of what the Fae is. For in some places, especially in Irdaliin, the veil between the Mortal and Fae Realms is very thin, allowing small pieces of the Fae to bleed through in the Mortal World. And there are those who dwell in such places and, as a result, are as much Fae as they are mortal.
But of these things, we shall talk next time.
[Theme music fades up, credits.]