A nature spirit. Now conceived as small and winged like Tinkerbell. Faeries were once imagined to god-like and gigantic, but over the centuries their posited size and powers have diminished. Irish faeries are known for their capriciousness and their red caps. Legend has it that the faeries have retreated into the hills as civilization has advanced, and now they live under the earth rarely to be seen by men. The merest touch of iron is said to mean death to these otherwise immortal creatures.

Also, a realm co-existent with the world of men or consensus reality in which nature and its spirits can be seen without the filter of civilization.

Also, a branch of neopaganism.

See fairy and feri.

Immortal, supernatural creatures of European mythology. This is a general category which includes beings such as elves, trolls, gnomes, goblins, and dwarves. A legend of their origin claims that when God expelled Satan and his followers from Heaven, some of the fallen angels lodged in the Earth instead of falling into Hell, and became the faerie. It was considered bad to say "faerie", and they were referred to with euphemistic names like "the little people".

Belief in the faerie apparently had its golden age around the 600s to 800s, IIRC. It declined as Christianity gained power in the Middle Ages and with the rise of rationalism, though there are still people who believe in them now. The Puritans considered them demonic. The cute flying Tinkerbell-esque "fairy" archetype came about mostly after the Renaissance.

The faerie were divided into two "courts", the Seelie, and the Unseelie. The Seelie were those which, while they could not be described as "good", were not evil. These faerie could be either "trooping" faerie traveling in groups, or solitary. Some faerie of this court would perform household chores as long as certain rules, often pertaining to what gifts to give or not to give, were followed. They tended to be mischievous. These faerie would try to steal babies and replace them with their own, which were called changelings. (They thought human children were more attractive.)

The Unseelie were evil solitary faeries. In stories, the Unseelie do things like placing a curse on a person who does the faerie a favor, and attempting to trick a man lost in the mountains into falling to his death. The redcap killed people and dyed his cap in their blood. One had to be wary of the Seelie and generally avoid them, but the Unseelie were to be feared.

Faeries are obviously the mythical beings you hear about, but they are also part of the folklore all over the world. They're the fair folk, the fae, good folk, the fairies. Sometimes when people say "faerie," they refer to the otherworldy Realm of Faerie to which people are sometimes thought to be spirited away and hidden for many years, usually children. Sometimes the word "faerie" refers to an actual historical race of people who gradually disappeared, according to legend. Most often the word "faerie" is just an umbrella term for magickal, mythical, or mystical creatures who, depending on who you ask, may or may not exist.

Here is a rather large list of types of faeries.

This is obviously far from comprehensive, but if I find more I can add to this list, I shall do so in good time.

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