Orders of the Fay
The fay, or fairies, in my Fairy in the Bed, Pixie Grip and Red Cat series come in a variety of orders, or types.
The orders of the fay are listed alphabetically below.
Alpenfee: Tals (men) Mädchens or occasionally Alpmaids (women)
Alpenfee associate themselves with Switzerland and Austria and with the mountains over there. They tend to be good at baking and are often musical. They are usually tall and fair-haired with blue or grey eyes, practical and forthright. The mädchens frequently wear their hair in milkmaid braids.
Martina Bless, who runs Fee Kaffee in the Counterpoint books is alpenfee. She is related to Jan and Klein Bless from The Red Cat and also to Jan's sons Hugo and Johan from The Kissing Ring.
Grete Luchsinger is another alpenfee woman who appears in The Pear Tree.
Brigitta Bachman Merriweather appears in Man Overboard. She’s married to a human. The dressmaker Currency Hillyard is in the Pixie Grip series, as are Gerda Kinsinger and Berte Haller.
Braefolk: Lads or Laddies and Lassies
The braefolk associate themselves with Scotland, because that's where many of their ancestors lived. They tend to speak with Scottish dialect and some of them use Gaelic terms. Most of them choose to live in the braelands, but there are a few on Heather Island in the star pin archipelago. This is a long way off and most braefolk hardly know it exists. A lot of braefolk have the sight. Some of the men have manifestations, meaning they have second selves.
The men tend to be large and loud, while the women are also larger than most and steadfast. They grow their hair long, and tie it back in a ribbon. The women have a facility with cloth, herbs and gardens. They often enjoy weaving or spinning or quilting. When Ryl Skipton wanted to give a gift to a young human man she had her eye on, she went to her friend Jenny McTavish, a braesider, who gave her some braeside wool cloth.
The lassies dress quite modestly, with a petticoat or shift and a gown over the top. They favour shawls and often have a plaid that has been handed down through their family. Emer Drumwiddy from The Red Cat has her father’s old plaid as well as her childhood one.
Notable braefolk in these series include Emer Drumwiddy/Inkersoll and her mother, Dornie, from The Red Cat series and the McTavish family (from all three series). Hamish McTavish has a manifestation known simply as McTavish. He's a wild and hairy highlander who can be disconcerting in public. He has a lively eye for Hamish’s wife, Flori, and so, unusually, is included in their wedding ceremony. A lot of the men have heathered eyes, which change colour. Hamish is ex-special forces in our world, and now runs a dance studio with his friend Gervais and their wife, Flori. Other braefolk are Mcdonalds, Gordons, MacHeathers, and an Irving; Catriona Chaucer’s brothers and cousins, MacDonalds and David Drumwiddy, Alan Adair and Cameron Dougal.
Courtfolk: Men or Knights, Ladies, Maids or Damsels (damsels are generally manifestations)
Courtfolk are good-looking and most of them tend to be serious and sedate... on the outside, anyway. Those in the courtlands have grey eyes (occasionally blue) and hair that ranges from mid brown to fair. Yvan Skipton from Love Began at Christmas has chestnut hair, which is reckoned unusual, and her cousin Xanthe from Xanthe and the Seaman is a strawberry blonde.
Courtfolk men from the Star Pin have blue eyes almost exclusively.
A lot of courtfolk men have manifests, which can be inconvenient, especially for the men, whose second selves are often knights of the courtly tradition. They live in manors, and are mostly restrained and courteous. Since they look human, those who are not Summer Knights or Midsummer Knights can mingle easily in human life. The women tend to wear tunics or gowns in jewel colours. Young ladies attend balls in gowns that have braid (often gold) in rows, reflecting their years of adulthood until they marry. This is just a custom. No one minds if they don’t. Notable courtfolk include the Skipton family, the St Clairs, the Leopolds, the de Courceys and the du Fens. Delacourt "Court" Leopold is a major character in the Counterpoint books.
Elves: Men and Maids
Elves tend to be tall and dark-haired. They have slightly pointed ears, which they hide with long hair or a glamour when in our world. They are generally light-hearted and friendly, but can get a bit OTT. Elf men are reckoned to be attractive prospects for husbands, because they are sweet-natured and loving, and rarely possessive or jealous. Jacobi le Fay from The Pixie Grip is a bit of an exception, but he’s been brought up in our world and has acquired some human reactions. He accepts his sweetheart’s love child without reservation, but he definitely doesn’t want the baby’s natural father coming back into Barbie’s life. For one thing, he regards Pandora as his daughter.
Niall le Fay, Xavier Partridge, Orlando Fairling, Eve Adeste, August Herron, Lorelei Oak Herron and Jacobi le Fay are elves. Felicity “Flick” Echo is an elf halfling.
Fijordfee: Men and Flickan
These northerners don't mix much with other orders. They live in a chilly area and align themselves somewhat with Scandinavians. They have a lot of traditions, and participate in the wedden-choosen which is a kind of collective ceremony where couples who are of age may formally choose a spouse. Of course, many have already decided.
The only fijordfee to play a major part in the series so far is Sighilda Lund from Under the Christmas Tree. She is unusual in that she rescued a non-fijordfee man who fell into the wedden-choosen circle and abruptly abandoned her expected future to sail with him to the Star Pin. He took her name because she just announced it was going to be so.
Fisherfay/fisherfee/fisherfolk: Men and Maids
These are not very sociable people since they spend most of their time in the water. They can't pass (as human) and wouldn't want to. The air and water in our realm doesn’t suit them. They tend to trade in favours and are capricious. They have an odd sense of humour and will sometimes appear to be threatening just to get you a scary. They practise sea walking which is a kind of magic that lets them spend a lot of time under water. They can temporarily extend this ability to others if they choose. However, they might just let it run out… They’re not particularly unkind. They just have their own curiosity about what will happen!
Divka, who appears in Man Overboard, has green hair. She is quite interested in landfolk as she might call them, and she agrees to help Jisinia Peckerdale and Zach Rowan with a difficult situation… at a price. Divka may not be her real name, as she tells Jisinia "You may call me Divka".
Galleonfee: Men/galleonmen (and Masters if they captain a ship) and Maids/galleonmaids… (or Masters is they captain a ship.)
Galleonfee are mostly swarthy-skinned and dark eyed, though a few look somewhat Nordic. They often have curly hair and strongly-marked features. They live on ships and rarely, if ever, land. They practise a form of fostering that allows their children to meet and sometimes marry unrelated fay from other ships. Sometimes they marry out and the spouse then becomes galleonfee as well. The spouse may, however, have dispensation to spend some time on land to visit friends or relatives. The galleonfee will stay on the ship. They welcome passengers and visitors, and will fetch and return them from and to the shore in longboats. The only place a galleonfee may land is an odd little island called Stella Iris. Foss Chancery was born there because his mother went into labour on the ship Mermaid and, if he’d been born on the ship he’d have inevitably been a galleonfee by birth and favour, and unable to leave.
Tor Chancery is a galleonfee. He’s half-uncle to Foss, Felix and Ishlene from Betony Buys Adventure
Leif, Key and Claire Sorensen and their parents, Nadia and Magnus are galleonfee, as are Nadia's parents Clevis and Selka Andree.
Nothing much is known about herdfolk, because they keep themselves very much to themselves. They are probably related to the treefolk and may be manifestations rather than an actual order. The only one encountered as of mid 2020 is the Arcadian, whom Betony encounters on Arcadia.
Hobs: Men/Lads and Maids/Lasses
Hobs are generally large and placid and very loyal. They associate themselves with the north of England and tend to speak with a Yorkshire accent. They are excellent bakers, and the men have a closely-guarded secret recipe for a charmed cake they call Courting Cake. Many of them are farmers, shepherds or potters. Hobs love loose clothing and, when appropriate, wear smocks and flowing gowns. They can pass, most of the time.
Robin "Hob" Cottman and Nathaniel Applebee are both of the variation called "harvest hob" which means they are especially attuned to the harvest season. Nathaniel is a publican and Hob lectures in alternative and historical farming practice in a university. Hob's cousins, the Cornfellow twins, are potters. His father, Jem and his mother, Iris, are distant cousins. Tansy Thrift is a hob maid. Geraint Trip and Galfridus and Pennyroyal Cassidy and Mathias Charming are also hobs, as are Leo and Adkins Perry. Hob blood is highly persistent. Chess Dane is a quarterling with a hob maid grandmother and three human grandparents, but he retains a great many hob characteristics. He can conjure and he knows his wife’s child will be a boy without even thinking about it.
Leprechaun: Gossoons and Colleens
Leprechauns speak with an Irish accent, and use a lot of Irish/Gaelic terms. They love gold jewellery and charm horseshoes and come-to-mes. They are musical and often herd cattle or grow crops of potatoes or apples. They are smaller than the average human, and often have brown or red hair and green or hazel eyes. The gossoons have greenish skin, meaning they can't pass at all. The colleens have rosy skin and can. Therefore, many colleens live in the human realm, leaving the gossoons in competition for those who remain. Because of this, some gossoons settle with elf women, pixie misses or tree maids. Gossoons are reckoned to make wonderfully loving husbands because, at the back of their minds, they feel so incredibly fortunate to have been chosen. Colleens generally make the first move, so a gossoon who is marrying “out” may be disconcerted if the woman he wants expects him to make the running. Because so many gossoons have “lovied up” with pixie misses, the pixie men have acquired the ability to “rub up the green” which allows a man with a fair proportion of pixie blood to rub a pulse point and have it show briefly grass green. Although they love charms and superstitions, leprechauns don't generally conjure. No one seems to know whether they can't or just don't. They won't say. All leprechauns, especially the men, know their pedigrees backwards and they can always tell you who is related to whom. They call it "telling the names". Leprechauns choose their own surnames when they get to fifteen or so.
Leppies in the series include Oison Seekjoy, Mavourn Tralee, Keiran Shamrock, Liffey Rosheen, Dervla Sunshine, Grainne Forge, Eileen o' the Mist, Calypso Lindon, Corinna Lindon, Liam Dancy, Brid Buttermilk, Brendan Miller, Cormac and Dervla, Lambert O'Shea, Tyrone Scarlet, Maura Dervla, Kerry Parsons and Corrie Claddagh. Halflings include Finn Rivers, Sinead Shamrock and Dervla Flower O'Shea (later Dervla Flower an Ghrá).
Mutable Fay/ Muties
The muties are a different class of fay, since they can be of any order. Most of them are of mixed blood, but at least two full-blooded pisky men are among their number. Technically, a lot of fay are mutable, in that they have manifestations or secondary personalities, but mostly, the fay themselves save the term for someone whose manifestation self is very different. Notable muties in these series include:
Rory Inkersoll whose second self is a red cat named Red
Duffy Inkersoll; Rory's grandson, whose second self is a black cat named Ink
Jago Pendennis, a pisky man whose second self is a roan spaniel named Master Floppy
Merryn Pendennis: Jago's grandson, whose second self is a black dog named Unka
Jory Pendennis, Merryn's half-human son, whose second self is a fluffy white dog known as the fluffy dog or Dog-Jory
Diarmuid "Derry" Warrener; a mixed blood man whose second self is an auburn rabbit
Gervais Almaclair; a courtfolk man whose second self is a Summer Knight called Sir Gervais or Sir Summer
Sebastian d’Chevalier, a courtfolk man whose second self is the horse lord, Delacourt
Delacourt's son Delacourt "Court" Leopold whose second self is the horse lord, D'Chevalier
Tansy Thrift a hob maid whose second self is a self-professed wench named Tress
Hamish Almaclair; a braesider, whose second self is a wild highlander named McTavish
Sean McTavish; Hamish's brother, whose second self is a leprechaun named Shamus
Eileen o' the Mist; a leprechaun woman, whose second self is a teg gwynny named Elan
Niall le Fay; an elf man whose other self is a Christmas elf
Felicity "Flick" Echo, an elf/courtfolk halfling whose other self is a Christmas Angel
Foss Chancery, a scatterblood man who has several other selves. His forever, Betony, refers to them as The Islander or Akaroa, The Highlander, Master Rainbow or the Green Gossoon, the Sea Man, the driver , the Arcadian and the Knight
Mistress Tassie, a woman who lives on Summer Isle, who manifests as a tabby cat named Mistress Tapestry
Calypso (Lindon) Peckerdale, a colleen dancer who manifests as a calico cat named Mistress Calico
There are others... but this is enough for a start!
Women are Misses (or minxes) and males are Men.
Piskies align themselves somewhat with Cornwall. They have pointed ears and a strong penchant for silver jewellery. They love belts and sashes and criss-cross bindings. They have a reputation for being manipulative and somewhat acid tongued. They can pass, but they generally use a glamour to conceal their ears and some of their jewellery.
Notable piskies include Beatrice Hammett, Jago and Emblyn Pendennis, their grandson Merryn, and his cousin Keeley. Philippa Hackney is part pisky, and so are her children Louise, Frans and Dumas. Keeley's sons Yestin, Kevern and Caden Marsh are halflings, and so are Merryn's sons Jory and Tane. Piskies are musical and artistic.
The women are Misses and the males are Men. Pixies are rather like elves, but some of them have faintly greenish skin because of the leprechaun blood in their ancestry. They are capable, sometimes tactless and highly possessive. If thwarted they repress their anger and become depressed or, in fay terms, soul-cold. They tend to be mercurial. They are heavily family-oriented.
Pixies in this series include the Peckerdale/Grene family and York Shimmer
This is a term for those who have so many bloodlines they're unsure which dominates. It's not a pejorative term.
Foss Chancery and Rory Inkersoll are both scatterblood, as was Rory's mother, Annie.
These people live almost entirely in or near the sea. In general, they don't wear clothing. Their skin has a mother-of-pearl sheen and they can spend an impressive amount of time under water. They're not well understood by other fay. One is an aspect of Foss Chancery. The only two seafay in the series who are always that are Lore Mor Arlodh and his grandfather, Mull Mor Arlodh.
Sylvan are biomorphic. Each can be male or female at will. They are unusually tall with long hands and feet. They are kindly, gentle people, but they don't mix much with other fay because of their odd lifestyle. They grow through childhood and then stall at a young-teen appearance until they "bloom" at which point they assume a mature but youthful appearance. They then age very slowly. Their lifespan is at least twice the length of other fay, so they generally match up with one another, taking it in turn to have a child. This works well for them, but sometimes hybrids are born, and they don't always know what they are. There is just one gender, which uses a single name for Manform and Maidform. Oash, Willow, Asht and Oaka are sylvan in these series. Part sylvan include Jeremiah Silver and his descendants, who include Philippa Hackney, her three children, Jillian/Jules Fraeman, Sam, Sherry, Stella and Sofia Silver, John Folly and his children. The farther down the descent goes, the less the sylvan features show. Pure sylvan generally can't pass and don't want to.
Males are griffs and females are gwynnies.
These folk follow Welsh naming custom. Dai Daffyd, the curate in the Counterpoint books, is a teg, and so are Ivy Davis and Owena Darkeyes, Sarah Flint Hillyard and Seren Starsinger. The teg tend to be dark-haired and quiet. Many of them are musical. Eileen, a leprechaun colleen distantly descended from Seren Starsinger , has a teg mani-self named Elen who was quite atypical.
Tree maids and tree lads are small, slender people who live in forests. They always stay near trees, and often use tree-based names. Occasionally, one marries a leprechaun or elf, but she will always stay in close touch with her people. Tally Beech from The Courting of Eileen and Floribunda and the Best Men is a tree maid, married to the leprechaun man Keirin Shamrock. So are Heidi Ash, Fern, Vith and Sash. Moss the Beechmaster is a tree lad. Halflings include Becca, whose mother is a water maid, and Xenophon, result of water maid mother and a tree lad father. Gia Oak's father was a tree lad, but her mother was a courtfolk lady.
Water maids and water lads are cheerful, friendly folk who live in and around fresh water. They produce a lot of happy pheromones, and generally love everyone. Most of them are tall and slender. The women favour short names, which include Tam, Sha, Hula, Niss, Plie, Fee and Kin. They mostly have only one name. The men have classical names including Hector, Handel, Poll, Caster, Paris, London, Orion, Purcell, Socrates, Janus, Julius, and Xenophon. They can't pass. Halflings include Finn Rivers, whose father is a leprechaun, Becca, whose father is a tree lad, and Tane Pendennis, whose father is a pisky and Whim, whose father is a hob. The popular opinion is that their strongest and most lasting attachment is the parent/childbond, and that they generally don't form romantic attachments. This isn't entirely true. As Hula put it, Purcell is my special darling lad. Kin and London had a child together and were a bit surprised to discover they wanted to stay together as a couple. Tam and Fee were rare examples who married, though this was outside their order. Tam married the leprechaun man Liam Dancey, and Fee agreed to marry a human; Jack Miller. Her son, Paris, grew attached to Lucy Tan, and Mari fell in love with the pixie man York Shimmer and married him. There were compromises to be made, though; Tam and Mari moved to live with their men, but returned to the water frequently. Fee and Paris both remained at the falls, where Jack and Lucy spent long visits. Tane Pendennis, son of Tam, married Jillian Jules, but Tane was a rare case who could just about pass. Hector and Poll, Niss and Plie had a kind of four-way relationship. Presumably they knew what was really going on! An unnamed water maid paired up with a tree lad, and had four children by him, including Xenophon.