By Paul Monteleoni

The Tuatha, the Fahmahrah, the Kellakithin, the Dom-Danaan, the Fair Folk

Well, as long as there are fairy tales, there will be fairies- or maybe vice versa. The Tuatha have been around since the time of the Ur, and they know many things- but they forget them all. They are creatures of light primarily, resonating with the universe-spark, but they are also aligned with the song, for they know many words of power, and they follow arcane rules. The thing is, their rules always change and shift slightly, never intentionally on their parts, but it happens.

The Tuatha (the name they call themselves is a completely unpronounceable flicker of light) are creatures of light and color, existing in Otherspace (or, as they call it, the Gloam)- it is they, and other races of essentially psionic aliens, that are commonly called "spirits." The Tuatha are the largest collection of such aliens, and they consider themselves rulers over the other races, based on some half-remembered message from their gods (the Annunaki, of course). Collectively, when the Tuatha are speaking of those who dwell in Otherspace under their rule, they refer to the Dom-Danaans (those subjects of Dom-Danaal, the Tuatha nation), or simply, in a perversion of the king taking the name of the dominion, the Tuatha. Peasant children all over the Known Worlds, however, when huddled around their winter fires, or dallying in the twilight when they should be finishing their chores before dinner, just call them "the Sillies."

Bodiless, they can nonetheless possess living hosts for periods of time, or create manifestations out of pure Wyrd. Though essentially alien, they have an immense resonance with the Wyrding energies released by life. The dreams of humans, the resonance of animals, and such all have immense effect on them, shaping their actions, psyches and very beings. Thus it is quite usual for them to have affinities with certain animals they possess, to act in very human ways, and even to appear with certain natural characteristics, such as leafy hair, skin of water, etc. Such constancies, chimerical as they may be, aid them in giving them some sort of permanence, as opposed to letting them dissolve in flux.

The Tuatha have had an interesting history. They vaguely remember the mists of time, when each of them existed in a complete flux, before the Word-bearers came, and taught them their Great Song, a huge Snow Crash-esque code/system of language/culture/religion/set of rules of etiquette/verse of the Universe-Song/magical spell and thus gave them life, society, and a divine mandate. In those days, they were assigned roles as messengers and divine servants of the Annunaki and their ghost/dream/memory-gods. They split into Seelie and Unseelie courts in service to the Ur-Obun and Ur-Ukar, and acted as divine agents for the various Principalities and Gods that the respective races worshipped. Certain Tuatha became Principalities or deities in their service, but most simply acted as the silent and invisible servants of such deities. They each puzzled over the Grey Engima of the Vau, who slowly grew to sentience, nursed apparently only by the Universe-Song itself.

When the War in the Heavens raged, the Tuatha fought bitterly against each other, and all resonated with echoes of the pain and misery that was felt over the very universe itself. They watched sadly as their gods each departed, and they struggled on, trying to get by as best they could remember, over the years without their gods. The flux of the Gloam slowly caused their traditions to mutate and slide into two different camps. Those Seelie and Unseelie who still believed in their struggle, who still nursed hatred and hope, gravitated towards the other races that still lived and believed and grew- the Obun, the Ukar, and, most of all, the humans. Those hovering around each race became deformed by the impressions each race's dreams and thoughts had on them, and grew to fit the race's stories even as they, following the Great Song, influenced the race's stories themselves. The others, however, the Grey, jaded, empty, and formless after the huge cataclysm, either devolved themselves back into their proto-forms, or gravitated towards the siren song of the Vau, who taught them songs of fate and enigma, songs of stasis and energy, songs that the Vau themselves only barely understood. These Grey became servitors and slaves of the Vau, their sentience worn away and replaced by the Vau's strange hymns, and formed the basis for much of the Vau's energy-sciences. The Tuatha have never been very closely linked to the waking world, and have particular trouble manifesting in the presence of technology (they have an allergy to most metals and plastics). They are not omnipresent, though the mindless Dom-Danaan spirits are much more pervasive than the Tuatha or any of the other sentient Dom-Danaan races. They are not amazingly powerful unless empowered by influxes of Wyrd energy or possessed of a particular resonance with the Great Song. Indeed, their realm is often invaded by conjured demons, ghosts, naturae, or aliens with a partially-psychic essential nature, and they can do little to stop this as a rule (and their customs have evolved so as to prevent them from trying very hard or even caring much), unless these invasions threaten their few strongholds. Still, they do have some power, mostly to confuse, beguile or bewilder.

Various breeds/moods of Tuatha: The Sheeyal'salna (rulers- the most powerful and very alien indeed), The Bughumi (earthy, stout and practical), The P'kah (quick, gleeful, goblinoid), The Clecnrcm (serpentine, arcane), The Klkthn (rather traditional fae, happy and into nature and stuff), The Femergth (nightmares, brutes). These are a few of the innumerable alien races bound to the Tuatha: Mu'shkbu'stk (huge, powerful, semi-sentient, puppy-doggish), Vyslecz (sneaky, malicious spies), W'wrte (living riddles, mostly small, trivial ones), B'stgrth (swarming stalking creatures that collaborate to mimic their targets for no apparent reason), FooSteent (tiny but voracious cannibal aliens), M'd'besp (slithery, unintelligent things things that burrow through the Wyrd surrounding living things- they have more aspects/moods than the Tuatha), Myrtnat (pseudo-insectoid chatterboxes- they think they're sentient, and get in a real huff when someone points out that they aren't. However, they actually aren't).