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Living Fae

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GLOSSARY FOR LIVING FAE.

 

Some of the characters below have only so far appeared in the (edited) letters of Moth to a human child. These letters are not yet published. The characters are included for completeness and because they might decide to re-enter the story. Some of the characters do not appear until later volumes. Whilst the glossary can, of course, be read from beginning to end as a kind of introduction to the series, but used that way will inevitably give ‘spoilers’ for later volumes. It is not quite complete, and may be updated at some point in the future.

 

Words/names which appear in italics also have their own entries in the glossary but they have not been italicised every time they appear.

 

A note about place names:

Some locations have been given entries. Some may be entered at a later date when the story reaches them. Most are actual places and can be found on a map although the fae settlements will be hard to find.

 
 

 

A

 

 
Age It is hard to know how old fairies are. They don’t celebrate birthdays. They count themselves as one year old at birth. They add a year each spring equinox. But they hibernate and do not age while they are in hibernation. As they don’t worry much about accuracy and are vague about numbers, they are unlikely to tell anyone their real age. Hair colour is from birth and does not change. Nor do fairies lose their hair, though some are born bald and all have at least small horns.

 

Agrimony A friend of Yarrow’s. He can take care of the troop if necessary but is not a leader by choice. Named for the plant, a medicinal herb. Some sources say the flowers are yellow, others that they are lilac, but all agree that the leaves (which resemble cannabis leaves) have tiny spots. Agrimony has freckles, unusual for a fairy. He has reddish-brown hair, brown eyes and lilac wings. He tends to wear yellow and lilac in a kind of ‘pied piper’ style. His unicorn is Sigh.

 

Alcohol Most fairy alcohol is made from forest fruits and flowers. However, fairies enjoy ‘human’ wine etc. French and Italian fairies make their wine from grapes, just like their human neighbours but English fae don’t have access to grapes in sufficient quantity, particularly in the north.

 

Alderley Edge. Sometimes just called the Edge.  A wooded ridge or escarpment in Cheshire, UK. Also the name of the village at the foot of the ridge.

 

Allergies Fairies are all more or less allergic to rowan (mountain ash). The berries cause swelling (and may be used to enhance the lips). The tree either nullifies spells or twists them.

 

Fairies are also allergic to potatoes and even a small amount will cause addiction, sometimes with fatal consequences.

 

All fairies react badly to iron.

 

Cat fairies are allergic to cranberries and lily pollen can kill them. Catnip is a kind of recreational drug for them but should be used with care.

 

Fox fairies are allergic to peanuts. Feathers can drive them into a frenzy.

 

Andolindomina  A princess from Tara .A fancy, royal name, suggestive of luxury and indolence. Blonde with blue eyes. Transparent wings.

 

 

Araminta Harlequin’s unicorn. Mother of Solstice. She liked the name and thought it was pretty. She already knew she was pretty. Pearl white, with tail and mane that reflect sunset and dawn.

 

Arbutus. One of the royal guard. Named after the Irish ‘strawberry’ tree.  Wears green and red. Red hair and green eyes.  Green wings.

 

Arran. One of the royal guard. A friend/colleague of Yarrow. Named after an island west of Ireland. Wears greys and blues.  Grey hair and blue eyes.  Blue wings.

 

Arum, Lord Self-styled ‘Lord’ from the Isle of Man, who married Columbine. Named after wild lilies with poisonous berries. Wears white and red. Bald with light grey eyes.  White wings.

 

Avalon An old fairy from Wetton who has ‘retired’ to Wales
B

 

 
Beech A friend of Rowan, the unicorn master. A tall, handsome fairy with a name to match. Wears green and brown.  Brown hair, brown eyes and dark skin.  Wings brown, shot with green.

 

Beech trees. Tall, handsome trees. Preferred homes in the wood. They produce beech nuts which can be eaten as nuts or ground, like acorns, to make a kind of coffee. The young leaves are also eaten as a vegetable or salad. The leaves are usually green but can be ‘copper’, a kind of deep red.

 

Beetle, Prince. Name of the current oberon before he was crowned. His name reflects his semi-scientific interest in all small aspects of nature – insects, fungi, pollen. Wears black.  Black hair and eyes. Iridescent black wings.

 

Bonding. A rider bonds with his unicorn, and they have a type of telepathic communication. Not all unicorns seek to bond and not all male fairies find, or want, unicorns. Most female fairies do not bond with unicorns but many of them adore being around unicorns and will beg for rides or grooming duties.

 

Bramble A childhood friend of Harlequin’s. Died in an accident. Wore purple. Brown hair and eyes.  Purple wings.

 

Briony Harlequin’s youngest sister; twin to Willow. Her name, that of a climbing plant with pretty berries, reflects her sweet, clinging nature. Wears white. Reddish hair and light grey eyes.  She does not look like her twin. Pale green wings.

 

Brownies. A type of fae. No wings. Closely linked to the land.

 

C

 

 
Cat fairies An exotic subspecies of fairy, with patterned fur, tails and many catlike traits. Not often seen on the Edge, but common in Tara. Some scholars think this type of fairy evolved from Scottish wild cats and is not truly related to the fairies found elsewhere. This is disputed but it is certain that there are no ‘half-breeds’ so possibly the two types cannot interbreed.

 

Chadkirk An old chapel and farm, not too far from Alderley Edge as the fairy flies. Quite near Gee Cross and Werneth Low. There are possible Roman connections and there is a ‘wishing’ well which is ‘dressed’ each spring by Christians but which definitely has a pre-Christian origin. Harlequin asked Dionysos to use it as the site for a portal because the well on the Edge is supposedly dedicated to the devil.

 

Charming /charm Fairies use charm, a type of hypnotic persuasion, to get their own way. Some of them are better at it than others and some fairies and humans are more susceptible than others. It is an unreliable talent.

 

Children Fairy children are few and far between unless your name is Flame. (Even then, there are big age gaps between the children). Twins are common. Children tend to be allowed a great deal of freedom until they are old enough to learn. See education. A fairy woman can have a child by a human male; the child will be totally fairy. However, if a fairy man sires a child by a human woman the child will be almost totally human although sometimes there are vestigial horn nubs on the scalp or the traces of wing cases on the back, and the child might show unusual empathy for animals, or be able to charm people almost without trying.

 

Cinnamon A brownie. A friend of Ginger. A temporary partner for Harlequin on Grenada. Tan skin like tree bark. Black hair and brown eyes.

 

Claws Fairies have retractable claws which can look like nails when fully withdrawn. (Toenails, too) Cat fairies have especially long, sharp ones.  The claws are strong and can help in climbing trees but they are thought to have evolved for fighting.

 

Cobweb Harlequin’s teenage brother. His name, which was taken from Midsummer Night’s Dream by Flame, who is fond of Shakespeare, reflects his looks; pale and delicate with silvery hair and grey eyes. Wears grey. Remarkably good at hiding, even from fairies. Pale grey wings with cobweb-type markings. Flame swears his father was human so he might well be only half-fae but certainly doesn’t look it and in any case is fae by reason of having a fairy mother. He was sent to Australia to collect Frankie and they became lovers. He bonded with Shadow and has joined the Wild Hunt.

 

Cocklebur Infant son of Columbine and Arum. Named for a strong, spiny plant, native to America and Asia but grown in English gardens. It is poisonous as well as thorny so is doubly able to defend itself. It can be used to keep pests from other neighbouring plants, and to make a yellow dye. The seeds can be used in a type of ‘darts’ game. The baby has been named in the knowledge that he will be able to defend himself and his mother, and that he will also enjoy play. Columbine dresses him in yellow. Golden hair and green eyes. Golden wings.

 

Cocoa A brownie. A friend of Ginger. A temporary partner for Harlequin on Grenada. Reddish brown skin, hair and eyes. A dusting of freckles.

 

Columbine Harlequin’s sister (a couple of years his junior), once married to Lord Arum, but later back in the wood and living with Elder. Mother of Cocklebur. She is named after the beautiful aqualegia flowers, delicate looking but strong. Her name also suggests the heroine of the Commedia dell’arte, the Italian theatrical tradition in which Columbine was played by a woman well before that was legal on an English stage. So, a feminist with theatrical tendencies. (This ‘heroine’ was also supposed to be the voice of reason in the stories.  Flame may have got that part wrong.) She wears shades of pink, blue and lilac, or occasionally white or cream tinged with green.  Black hair and eyes. Looks very like Harlequin – they could pass for twins. But her wings are cream.

 

Cooking This is done over small fires, using traditional methods associated with camping etc. There are also small ovens built on the haybox principle. At festivals, large fires may be lit and large animals such as deer roasted on spits.

 

Cursing Similar to charming but malicious. Works well on the young/vulnerable/unsuspecting.

 

D

 

 
Dandelion See puck. Though of course there are the flowers, which make wine, and the leaves which are good in salad.

 

Derry A lady-in-waiting in Tara. Admired by Toadflax.
Devil Yarrow’s unicorn. Father of Solstice. Devil chose his name to suit his personality and to suit Yarrow. (Another name for the herb yarrow is ‘devil’s nettle’.) Copper, large and leader of the herd.

 

Dionysos A supernatural being who met Harlequin at a Samhain party in New York and later visited the Edge.

 

Dogrose. One of Harlequin’s temporary fairy partners. Named after the wild roses that climb through the hedgerows and sprawl about the lanes. Wears pink. Blonde with grey eyes and pink wings.

 

Dragonfly. Moth’s father. Lives in the wood and would love to have Flame in his tree again. Named for the predatory insects that hover. His dark grey wings have a metallic sheen. Wears iridescent fabrics. Hair is greenish black; green eyes. His unicorn is Xanthippe.

 

E

 

 
Edge, the Another way of referring to the ridge above the village of Alderley Edge. The Edge is famous; there are legends which suggest Arthur and his knights lie underneath waiting till England needs them and Alan Garner used the location in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, a popular children’s book.
Education Fairy children gather in groups to learn flying, spelling, charming, granting wishes,  art, literacy (and literature, especially Shakespeare and poetry), geography, fae history, botany, herbal medicine and first aid, music, dancing,  care of unicorns, basic numeracy and cookery. The teacher is usually an older sibling, passing down knowledge and skills. This could be why numeracy is so very basic. Obviously fairies, like humans, have different talents and abilities. Different tastes, too. Despite a taste for interesting food, Harlequin never really got to grips with cookery although he excelled at other subjects..

 

Eglantine, Prince. A rather boring but very handsome royal. Named for the plant which is a sweet smelling wild rose. Wears pink, and a lot of perfume.  Golden hair and blue eyes.  Golden gauzy wings. A sort of male version of Dogrose.

 

Eichhorn A German Elfe, or fairy. Very close to Harlequin and Yarrow. The name means squirrel and Eichhorn is at home in trees. German Elfe have lost their wings but are excellent climbers. They ride large dogs rather than unicorns. Eichhorn is lithe, beautiful and usually semi-naked. Black hair and eyes.

 

Elder Elder comes from Wales. She is Columbine’s lover and Wrath’s rider. Her lover and her unicorn have both had previous partners, but she is the first female member of the Wild Hunt. She has golden hair, deep purple eyes and blue-green wings.
Elfe German fairies. Their wings have atrophied after centuries of exclusive forest dwelling.

 

Emily A human girl from Gee Cross. Harlequin’s family lived in her garden and she corresponded with Moth.

 

Equinox The time when day and night are equal at the latitudes where ‘our’ fae live. Everyone ages a year at the Spring Equinox. There are Fairs at the major centres. The Wild Hunt takes place. Royals may visit other parts of faerie.
Errantry, Prince Columbine’s father. A traditional royal name suggestive of knights and squires. Is reputed to have dozens of unacknowledged children littered around the realm. (Was this true of the original knights errant?) Wears gold and silver. Silver hair and black eyes.  Gold wings.

 

Escot A small forest and area of parkland in eastern Devon, near the village of Ottery St. Mary. The house and grounds are open to the human public and there are falconry displays, breeding otters and captive wild boar. There is also a recently planted beech maze. A small fairy group lives in the woods. Piper is spending winter 2007-2008 there and more details may appear in his letters to Oak and Sage.
Eve A member of the royal guard. Trickery’s twin. Named for the twilight, Eve is at his best when he wakens. (Fairies are nocturnal). Wears dark grey and deep blue. Dark grey hair and eyes. Dark blue wings.  The twins are identical.

 

Eyelids Fairies have a third ‘nictitating membrane’ like cats.

 

F

 

 
Fading. Old fairies start to fade. They usually withdraw from fairy society although two or three might live together to help each other. Eventually they fade to nothing, the fairy equivalent of death. By this time they have usually lost interest in life. In rare cases a younger fairy will fade rapidly as the result of an accident. This is considered an immense tragedy not only by the family but by the whole community.

 

Fae ‘Magical’ beings who share our world but usually remain hidden. Includes fairies, sprites etc. Fae academics disagree about whether unicorns can be called fae but agree that they are magical. Supernatural beings such as Dionysos are not fae.

 

Faerie The world/culture of fairies/fae.

 

Fair There is a Fair at each equinox and solstice. At the spring one, all fairies are deemed to be year older.  All fairies will try to attend their nearest Fair.

 

Fairy A type of fae. Considered supernatural by humans, or else not believed in at all. Fairly common worldwide. Most (not all) look human at a quick glance, and can ‘pass’ by covering their extra fingers, their horns, etc.

 

Fairy Ring Dancing at the Fair. Although fairies do as many different dances as humans, their traditional dance is a ring dance.

 

Falcon A friend of Piper’s who invited Piper to Escot. He is a keen chef and met Piper in France while trying to learn from human chefs. He cooks for the rest of the local fae population whether they want him to or not. He has blue-grey hair, dark brown eyes and an unusually hooked nose, which probably suggested his name. He has dark blue wings but rarely uses them, preferring to comb the forest for berries and herbs.
Fallow An adventurous fairy from Wetton who persuaded his fellow riders to leave after the deaths of Vole and Silk.
Felix A Tara cat fairy. He is Tabby’s lover. He is slightly afraid of unicorns and in awe of Tabitha and Purr. He has a ginger coat, yellow eyes and pale yellow wings.
Ferdinand (Ferdy) A fox fairy. Harlequin’s lover in Tara. Fox colouring with russet wings.
Fingers Fairies usually have six fingers on each hand (and six toes on each foot). As this is an occasional mutation among humans, the fae don’t always hide their extra fingers but will often wear mitten-style gloves if the weather makes that appropriate.

 

Flame. Harlequin’s mother. Has had a series of partners who have fathered her seven children. She is unusual amongst fairies in having so many offspring. Her current partner is the unicorn master, Rowan.  Named for her red hair and fiery temper. Can hurt anyone who gets too close to her. Wears shades of red and orange. Black eyes. Wings are flame coloured and appear to flicker.

 

Flare. A friend of Peasblossom. Like her friend, she has red hair (a slightly less fiery shade) and is named for it. Dresses in fire shades.  Light brown eyes.  Orange wings.

 

Fledhyris An online friend of Harlequin’s. A dragon.  Too little is known about dragons to give them an entry in this glossary.

 

Flying. Fairies have wings and can fly but they have to be taught as children. They have limited stamina and can’t travel long distances. Nor can they travel far over water as water, especially salt water, leaches magic and also tends to provide nowhere to land and rest. Unicorns do not fly but occasionally a fairy will spell a unicorn lighter so that he/she can be carried by the fairy (gripping with the calves)for a very short distance e.g. over an obstacle like a locked gate. Powerful fae can spell unicorns into flight for a single journey at a time but no wings are involved.

 

Food. Fairies rarely eat meat though they sometimes cook small creatures such as dormice. They do, however, feast on venison if the hunters have ‘culled’ an old stag. Exotic treats are sometimes available from the goblin markets. These may have been stolen from human shops. Some fairies ‘shop’ using spelled leaves or credit cards. They do not farm but appreciate the efforts of human farmers and sometimes repay a farmer e.g. by spelling health for his herd or by ripening his wheat. Some of the berries and leaves eaten by fairies would be toxic, in large doses, for humans. But seriously poisonous plants like foxgloves, lilies, yew and deadly nightshade, are avoided by fairies as well. However, again like humans, they might use them for medicinal purposes.

 

Forget-me-not. One of Harlequin’s temporary fairy partners. Named for the flower and for the way that, once met, she remains in the memory. Wears blue. Ash blonde hair and blue eyes. Light blue gauzy wings.

 

Fox fairies A sub-species of fairy, very rare and wild. Most fae have never met one but there are legends. They are believed to be closer to the earth and to other animals than most fae. Their wings are sometimes vestigial and even when they have fully developed wings they rarely fly by choice, preferring to run. They are very agile, even more so than most fae. They have bushy tails which can be used as ‘wraps’ in cold weather.
Frankie An Australian human teenager who met Yarrow ‘online’ and was invited to the Edge for a holiday. His current status in Australia is as a ‘street kid’ but the fae hope to encourage him to use his artistic talent to make a better life for himself. He is, by the end of his holiday, Cobweb’s lover, and has been accepted by the fae on the Edge as part of their family, and provided with a mobile phone to stay in touch.
G

 

 
Garden fairies. Some fairies live ‘at the bottom of the garden’ if the garden is big, with wild areas and trees.  Unicorn riders are expected to remain near the herd. Their unicorns would probably insist. Yarrow moved to Alderley Edge when he bonded with Devil.

 

Gee Cross A village at the foot of Werneth Low. Harlequin grew up in a garden in Gee Cross

 

Giles Peasblossom’s father.  Nothing is known of him, or at least, Flame and Peasblossom aren’t telling. Giles is not a fairy name and it is possible that he is/was human. If so, Flame probably spelled his memory so that he has only a hazy and inaccurate recollection of her. On the other hand, it is possible that he is/was fae and his parents simply liked the name.

 

Ginger A brownie.  Coffee coloured skin and ginger hair. Black eyes.  A temporary partner of Harlequin’s (along with her friends) on Grenada.

 

Glimmering Avalon’s unicorn
Goblins. Goblins are a type of fae. They cannot fly and have very little magic although they can affect goods they have made (or handled) on a short term basis.  They often live near fairies and trade with them, accepting spells for goods. Goblin markets, usually underground, are popular. Some are permanent; others are weekly or perhaps seasonal. Goblins have a possibly undeserved reputation for being untrustworthy. This may stem from their extreme ugliness (except, of course, to other goblins). However, some of them enjoy playing tricks.
Goosegrass Cobweb’s friend in Gee Cross. Named for the plant with sticky seeds. Things stick to Goosegrass. He doesn’t deliberately steal or cheat but he ends up owning things that belonged to other fairies. Wears pale green. Hair is greenish blond. Green eyes. Green wings.

 

Granite A stonesprite; a friend of Slate’s. Named for his toughness. Beige hair, rough grey skin, and sparkling mottled wings.  Wears beige and grey.

 

H

 

 
Harlequin. A fairy. ‘Hero’ (and narrator) of the story. Aged about twenty-two when he begins to tell his tale. Named for Arlecchino from the Commedia dell’arte. The original was meant to be immoral, caring only about food and women.  This Harlequin enjoys food and sex but has a well developed sense of fairy morality (which is unlike the human kind). He prefers to dress in black and white, and although he doesn’t wear a mask, he tends to mask his feelings. Black hair and eyes. Black wings with feathery white streaks. He and Columbine look like identical twins (until they fly, because their wings are different).

 

Hawk Falcon’s partner in Escot. He is all dark brown – skin, hair, eyes, wings. He has a unicorn, Peregrine.
Hedge Piper’s lover in Escot. He is the local unicorn master and also the nearest thing the local fae have to an apothecary. He has dark green hair and eyes and his wings are mottled green and black.
Hercules Holly’s unicorn, bronze and very young
Hibernating Fairies hibernate during very cold weather and during human wars that affect their locality. This makes it hard to assess their age correctly. Hibernation is involuntary but unicorn riders can manage to stave it off if a Wild Hunt is imminent and females can go into a light state of hibernation if they are likely to be needed e.g. to cater for a royal visit.

 

Holly Purr’s closest friend among the Tara teenagers. He has red hair, green eyes and dark green wings. His unicorn is Hercules.
Hornbeam Vole’s partner and previous leader of the Wetton herd. Golden-green hair, and eyes, and transparent light green wings. His unicorn, Silk, was killed in the initial accident that led to Vole’s death.
Horns.(1) Fairies have small horns, almost hidden by their hair. Unicorns have long spiral ones. Both can be spelled effectively invisible so that fairies can pretend to be humans riding horses.

 

Horns.(2) Horns are the favourite musical instruments of the fairies. They range from the simple hunting horn to the Cor Anglais and the French Horn. All can produce haunting music

 

Humans Fairies regard humans as clumsy, frightening, warlike and sinister. For this reason they avoid them and encourage human disbelief. However, some fairies, like Harlequin and Moth, don’t altogether believe the propaganda and are trying to find out for themselves. Humans are known to have some uses, like farming and gardening. Human children have teeth that are ideal for goblin carvings and jewellery. (Fortunately the teeth fall out of their own accord.) Human science is regarded as a type of magic. Humans are considered fair game so far as spelled money and other tricks are concerned. Fairies are not supposed to let humans suspect their fairy nature.  Many fairies can ‘pass’ as human and some fairies seek human sexual partners. Interbreeding is possible but rare. (See e.g. Joanne and Kieran).Whilst human wars are regarded with horror and make fairies hibernate, the main current concern is the lack of human respect for the environment, particularly the woods.

 

I

 

 
Invisibility Fairies are not invisible but with luck or talent they can charm humans into not noticing them or they can stand very still and blend with their background, again, using a charm.

 

Iris. One of Harlequin’s human partners.

 

Iron Iron used to kill fairies. The slightest touch was enough. Nowadays they have developed some immunity though it still makes them ill. As a result, they use silver and other non-ferrous metals for utensils, weapons etc. This has, of course, meant a ‘failure’ to develop along industrial lines, though it is doubtful whether there would ever have been enough fairy scientists or engineers to make ‘progress’ possible. It may even explain their reliance on, and perfection of ‘magical’ talents.

 

Ivy, Princess Name of the current titania before she was crowned. The name is a simple reference to a plant that will cover everything, given time. She wears shades of green, and there are berries twined in her crown.  Greenish black hair and green eyes.  Pale green wings streaked with silver.

 

J

 

 
Joanne One of Harlequin’s human partners

 

John An online friend of Harlequin. He lives, with assorted friends, in a castle belonging to one of them. From time to time they invite others to join them for parties, holidays etc. As they appear seldom it is not worth listing all their names. ‘John and friends’ should be adequate. John has visited the Edge with his boyfriend, Ray.

 

Julia. Toadflax’s human girlfriend.

 

K

 

 
Keanu A small human child, rescued by Harlequin

 

Kelpies A branch of fae sometimes known as Water Horses. They live underwater in their horse form but can take human form on land. Related to mermaids and selkies. Mostly found in Scotland and Ireland.

 

Kerry A member of the royal guard. Named for the part of Ireland where he was born, presumably with some foreknowledge that he would take a protector’s role.  He wears green, for the Emerald Isle. Brown hair and green eyes. Brown wings.

 

Kieran A part fairy, temporary partner of Harlequin’s. Born in America. He was given a human name and wears anything he likes.  Blond hair and blue eyes. (Not that unlike Yarrow).

 

Kinder Scout A mountain in the Pennine chain across northern England. The entire chain is very ancient and the mountains, while quite high above sea level, are eroded and rounded.  Visible from Werneth Low.  There is a goblin market beneath.

 

L

 

 
Leprechauns An Irish branch of fae, similar to goblins but with less trading instinct and greater intrinsic dishonesty. They are small and make their homes among tree roots and in abandoned badger setts. Hence the common names of Digger, Root, Sett and Badger. They are not usually as ugly as goblins but are born looking old.

 

Lime One of Harlequin’s temporary fairy partners. Named for the lime or linden tree, rather than the fruit. The linden is a traditional and handsome tree that provides shade. Lime tends to wear leaf green. Brown hair and green eyes.  Greenish, transparent wings.

 

Lord of the Hunt The post is hereditary and the fairy family who hold the honour are born with antlers rather than horns. The current Lord is the titania’s hunt master.  His name is Stag, for obvious reasons. He sometimes leads the Wild Hunt in outlying fairy settlements but spends most of his time in Tara. Brown hair and eyes. Huge twelve point antlers.  Heavy black wings.

 

Lucifer Solstice chose the name Lucifer when he bonded with Purr. He is now in Tara with his rider.
Luck. Twins are lucky. So is an autumn leaf if you catch it as it falls. A cat can be lucky if it curls up on your feet in a cold spell. Four leaved clover are probably lucky and are cultivated in hope.  Wood may be lucky if you touch it at the right moment. Of course, a fairy can always wish someone luck and this will definitely be more effective than a human doing the same. See superstition.

 

M

 

 
Mace A male brownie on Grenada. Red hair, brown skin and eyes.  A friend of Ginger.

 

Maeve A fairy in distress, in Dublin. Once blonde, blue eyed and beautiful she is now almost colourless and possibly fading. She used to wear green but her clothes are now dirt encrusted rags. Transparent wings

.

Magic Fairies have certain talents.  These include charming, cursing, spelling and granting wishes by means of spells. They all stem from a highly developed ability to use hypnosis, even on subjects who are not present (so that for example love charms, and spelled money work even if the fairy is absent). There are other minor talents such as creating and using a small palm light or flame, and ‘shrinking’ to fit smallish spaces. Humans can also perform magic (having ‘green’ fingers or communicating with animals, and creating some works of art). Fairies regard human science as magic. Luck is not magic. It is mostly superstition, but fairies think you make your own luck – and if they like you they might try to make some for you.

 

Malachi Hood (Mal) Mal is apparently human, with grizzled hair and dark eyes. He comes from Goosetrey, near Alderley Edge. He is, in fact, a werewolf. He falls in love with Peasblossom and joins the family on the Edge.
Marquis. Toadflax’s unicorn. White. Liked the sound of an aristocratic name.

 

Maus A young Elfe in Germany. Brown – brown hair, eyes, skin and clothes.  Named for the small creature that lives in woods and cornfields and tries to hide from humans.

 

Mephistopheles Vervain’s unicorn. Silver with a bad temper. Devil is a month older and got the name of choice. Known as Mephy for short.

 

Mermaids Sea dwelling fae. Harlequin has an online mermaid friend, Eilidh_Morveren. Related to selkies and kelpies. Close and constant contact with salt water means a diminution in magic talent, but mermaids possess singing voices that will lure ‘victims’ without recourse to spells.

 

Milk. The titania’s horse.  White and beautiful.

 

Molly. Sloe’s unicorn. An almost purple-ish black. She’d heard the folk song about Molly Malone in Dublin’s fair city.

 

Money Fairies do not use money amongst themselves. They turn leaves into banknotes which revert to leaves, usually by the next morning. They also spell credit cards so that they can buy human goods and services. The labyrinthine ways of the card companies ensure that this is never noticed.

 

Moonbeam. Flare’s boyfriend. A unicorn rider who spent time in the royal guard. Pale gold hair and black eyes. Wears gold and silver.  Silver wings.

 

Morality Fairies are possibly amoral by human standards but they regard humans as positively immoral, in their attitude to sex, the environment and war. Most fairies are bisexual, unconcerned about property rights and pragmatic about death.  But they regard environmental pollution and technological warfare as horrific acts of desecration.

 

Moth. Harlequin’s sister. About 11 when the story begins. Named for the beautiful flying creatures of the night (she may take risks and might try to reach the moon) and also for one of the attendants in Midsummer Night’s Dream. When the family lived in Gee Cross, Moth corresponded with a human girl, Emily. She resents wearing brown (provided by Peasblossom) and is sure that when she grows up she will find some pink moths. Brown hair and eyes.  Brown wings with coppery streaks.

 

Moving Moving tree is a traumatic experience for most fairies but not for Flame, who makes a habit of it. First there is the problem of finding and/or negotiating for an uninhabited tree to move into. Good trees may be temporarily uninhabited if the owner fades and has no children or their children already have trees. A fading fairy will leave their tree in the hands of a branch agency. This is usually run by goblins and could be the reason goblins are regarded as untrustworthy.  Flame moved to the unicorn master’s tree but as he had no desire (or room) to house the family he found a large tree which had been empty for some time because of its size when the children moved to the Edge. As a result, it didn’t cost too many spells. Harlequin moved a few trees along to live with Yarrow, who inherited his tree from his grandfather (who has not quite faded but has retired to Wales). Peasblossom found the family tree cramped as the children grew older, and tried to adapt a nearby sapling for Cobweb, with dire results.

 

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Names Most fairies have names which suggest flowers, trees, birds etc. Not all. The parents choose the name with some sort of prescience about the child’s future and/or personality. It is unusual to find two fairies with the same name in the same settlement but distant fairies may share a name. See Trickery. Unicorns are named for the time or season of their birth then rename themselves when they bond with fairies.

 

Nether Alderley. A Cheshire village near Alderley Edge with a mediaeval watermill, restored for tourists.

 

Nocturnal Fairies are nocturnal. Whether this has always been the case or whether they have turned to the night to avoid humans is open to dispute. Some fairies have naturally dark skin. The majority are very pale and burn easily if exposed to sunlight. They see well in the dark and dislike strong sunlight but these could be later adaptations to living a nocturnal life.

 

Nutmeg A brownie. A friend of Ginger on Grenada. Brown skin and amber eyes. Red hair. A temporary partner for Harlequin.

 

O

 

 
Oak A travelling historian who is determined to record the history of the English fae. He has dark hair and his eyes and wings are a mix of whirling pastel shades, like a pale rainbow. He is based in Tara but only stays there during the winter. He rides Rufus, a donkey.
Oberon The king of the fairies based in Tara is always known as the oberon. Shakespeare probably mistook this for a name rather than a title. He may or may not be married to the titania. The present oberon is Prince Beetle.

 

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Palace The palace in Tara lies underground. It is large and beautiful with many rooms including state rooms, libraries, ballrooms, unicorn stables etc. The fairies who live there consider it the centre of the universe. Other fairies prefer trees and the open air.

 

Pat One of the royal guard. Tall with black hair and blue eyes. Called Patrick, which his mother knew was a typically Irish name. His friends abbreviate it. Wears green.  Transparent wings. (Not to be confused with Patrick who went to the Caribbean with Harlequin.)

 

Patrick Patrick is a travelling companion on Harlequin’s holiday in the Caribbean.  Although apparently human, he seems to move between the nineteenth and twenty first centuries without difficulty. He has been in the army and has seen active service but it is not clear which war or wars he experienced. Time travellers are not fae and little is known about them.
Peasblossom. Harlequin’s older sister. She looks after the younger members of the family. Somebody has to.  She has chestnut brown hair and very deep blue, almost purple eyes. She wears pinks, blues and lilacs. Lilac wings with tinges of pink at the edges.

 

Peregrine Hawk’s white unicorn.
Piper Harlequin’s father. Unusually for a fairy, he cannot remain settled in one place and has travelled extensively. Naturally, no unicorn has deigned to join him. He has dark grey hair with streaks of brown – it has always been this colour; the grey is not due to age. His wings are mostly grey with streaks of brown to match his hair and his eyes are dark grey but reflect his surroundings.
Portal It is possible to provide a door or portal providing instant communication between two places that are a long way apart. A well or spring, especially one where the old gods may have been worshipped, provides a good site. It is done by bending space (quite technical) and is at present only practised by beings like Dionysos. It is extremely useful if you want to take a unicorn from England to Florida, or if you need to get home from New York in a hurry.

 

Potatoes Fairies find them very addictive and almost totally lacking in nutrition.  An addiction is almost instant and the fairy no longer wants anything else. Provided there is a supply of potato the addicted one will not die but all normal life is shelved in the interests of obtaining supplies. As there are no potatoes near any fairy settlements this means the fairy must live away from friends and family. They will become skeletally thin and very unhappy.
Puck The puck is the Tara equivalent of a prime minister. Again, it’s a title rather than a name. Chosen by the titania and oberon for his political ability.  The present puck is called Dandelion and has a halo of golden hair, dark green eyes and white wings. He is strong as well as clever.

 

Pumice A stonesprite; a friend of Slate’s. Dark grey skin and eyes. Light grey hair with silver streaks, and silvery wings. Wears silver.  Named for his lightness and affinity for the volcano where he was born.

 

Purr A black cat fairy who grew up in isolation on the west coast of Ireland and had to be ‘rescued’ from a dangerous wild life on the Burren, by Rafferty and Stripe. He fell in love with Rafferty but they are an ill assorted pair. Purr is a typical teenager and semi-wild into the bargain. Black fur, eyes and wings. He has bonded with Lucifer.
Pussyfoot A stray cat who found Harlequin’s tree and settled, first there, and then with Peasblossom.

 

Q

 

 
Quicksilver. A young unicorn rider in Tara; one of Yarrow’s temporary partners. Named for his colouring (silvery hair, wings and eyes) and his grace.

 

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Rafferty. An Irish cat fairy. Chief librarian in Tara. One of Yarrow’s temporary partners.  Resembles a silver tabby in colouring. Mottled wings which match his fur.  Amber eyes.

 

Rainbow A water fairy on Dominica. Dark hair, eyes and skin. Wings that reflect the surroundings. Twin to Waterfall.

 

Ray John’s boyfriend. A human who has visited the Edge.
Religious and other observances Some fairies believe in a goddess who seems to be a personification of nature. Most don’t, though they may curse (fairy curses or mere bad language) using her name. Most fairies celebrate the two solstices, the two equinoxes and Samhain (human Halloween). They also celebrate May Day and New Year. Marriage ceremonies may be performed by the oberon or the puck. Naming ceremonies involve the local community. Death, or fading, is mourned privately and any mortal remains are returned to the earth, usually beneath the roots of a favourite tree, sometimes simply left on top of the earth and charmed to keep animals away. The fae are aware of other supernatural beings (like Dionysos) who have different powers. Whilst they know these beings, or perhaps their ancestors, were worshipped in Ancient Greece and Rome, the fae do not regard them as gods in any religious sense though they might refer to them as deities simply because it’s an easy way to describe them.

 

Rhyme A selkie who met Oak in Tara.
Robin. One of Harlequin’s childhood/teenage friends.  Named for the cheerful garden bird. Brown hair and eyes. Scarlet wings. Wears brown and red.

 

Rowan (1) Sometimes known as mountain ash. A tree that produces an allergic reaction in most fairies and can spoil spells. Humans used to wear sprigs to protect themselves from fairies.

 

Rowan (2) The unicorn master of the Alderley Edge troop. Harlequin’s stepfather. Flame’s partner. He is not bonded with a unicorn himself, but ministers to the whole troop. Named for the tree with its toxic/allergic qualities. Not the most popular of fairies. Greenish brown hair, and wings. Red eyes. Most people have forgotten his name if they ever knew and merely address him by his job title.

 

Royal guard This troop of unicorn riders accompanies the titania on her travels, providing both protection and a guard of honour.  The members may be asked to patrol parts of the kingdom, and any of the royals, or the puck, can give them tasks connected with the security of the realm. Some members are permanent and spend their lives stationed in Tara. Others, usually the best of local riders, are called for three or six month periods of duty. A winter tour of duty is almost always six months for a fairy from mainland Britain because of the difficulties of winter travel.

 

Royal/royalty There is a large hereditary fairy royal family. The current oberon and titania are chosen from among them by vote. All fairies may vote. All. Including babies. So may unicorns. The emphasis is on ‘may’. In practice the Tara population votes before the rest have even heard there’s an election and the coronation is the day after the voting. Nobody suggested it was a democracy.

 

Rufus Oak’s donkey. Starling has shod him with hardwood shoes. This took some thought as the fae are not used to having to act as smiths – they are not happy around iron.
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Sage A friend of Piper’s. Sage lives in California and corresponds via internet with Piper and Oak. He has silvery white hair, dark green eyes and silvery green wings.
Samhain Roughly equates to the human Hallowe’en. The fae believe (when they aren’t being prosaic) that the curtains between the worlds (natural and supernatural) are thin at this time.
Science Fairies tend to regard human science, especially anything involving chemistry or physics, as a kind of magic. One they can’t do. Their lack of concern for numbers and accuracy sort of gets in the way. So, to a lesser extent, does their problem with handling iron. But they have an instinctive grasp of biology and practise psychology without a second thought. Their medical science is largely based on traditional remedies but is not superstition, and usually works.

 

Selkies A branch of fae. Seals at sea and human on land. There is a legend that humans can keep them on land by hiding their sealskins. Related to mermaids and kelpies.

 

Sex Most fairies are bisexual. Many settle for one partner and remain in a monogamous relationship for years. Very few fairies are concerned about privacy. Even fewer are worried about infidelity though they do like to know who has fathered the children.  Sometimes a fairy might be jealous but often only if they are in a bad mood or are surprised. Fairies can (and do) have sex with other types of fae and with humans. Paedophilia (in the sense of sex with a fairy below the age of puberty), incest and bestiality are virtually unknown. Although there are fae like selkies and cat fairies who appear to contradict the last statement, this is not the case as they are intelligent beings, as are werewolves and other supernatural beings. Fairies are fierce and enthusiastic lovers. In faerie a sex therapist would be out of a job.

 

Shadow A silvery grey unicorn who bonded with Cobweb.
Sigh Agrimony’s unicorn. Pearly grey with silver mane, horn and tail. He chose the name because his rider’s choice of costume made him sigh.

 

Silk Hornbeam’s unicorn, badly injured by a falling tree and allowed to die by Rowan, who could have saved her. A pearly unicorn, like Araminta. Leading unicorn of the Wetton herd. Some unicorns accept matriarchs.
Simon One of Harlequin’s human partners, a teenager who feels strongly about environmental issues.

 

Size Fairies are near enough human sized – slighter, in general, but able to ‘pass’. Never tall or broad by human standards. A tall fairy (e.g. Yarrow) is about 5’6”. They can squeeze through narrow gaps and hide in places humans would find inaccessible. This may be due to magic, confidence or very flexible joints.

 

Slate A stonesprite. A temporary partner of Harlequin’s (on the island of Montserrat). Named for his silver grey skin, and eyes. Sparkling white hair, and transparent wings. Wears grey

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Sloe. A secret agent in Tara. One of Yarrow’s temporary partners.  Molly is his unicorn. Named for the tart but luscious looking fruit of the hedgerows. Black hair and eyes, skin like polished ripe cherries, purple wings

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Solstice. (1) A jet black unicorn foal. Sire: Devil. Dam: Araminta.  Born at the summer solstice. When he bonded with Purr he announced that his true name was Lucifer.

 

Solstice. (2) The solstices are the times when day and night are at their longest and shortest. The fae believe that at the winter solstice the sun must be tempted or charmed to return. Since they always practise the rites and the sun always returns, there is nothing to disabuse them of the idea. There are parties and Fairs and the Wild Hunt takes place, either for the week following the solstice or for the week following the New year. The local unicorn troop can choose, and will do so in accordance with the weather forecasts. Often, the royals visit distant parts of the kingdom for celebrations.
Spelling Fairies can cast spells which enhance natural properties e.g. they can open flowers, wake hibernating animals, and change the weather within limits. They can spell things invisible though this is possibly a form of charming. For a spell to work at a distance the fairy needs a physical link e.g. a hair. Spells do not usually work on the spell caster; family members or friends may be asked to help. Spelling ability varies much like intelligence does, though the two are not correlated. High ability brings dyslexia in ‘human’ spelling and this is compounded by age. Spelling needs a lot of teaching and a lot of practice. It is costly in terms of time and energy.

 

Spice A male brownie on Grenada. Coffee coloured skin with freckles. Black hair and eyes. A friend of Ginger.

 

Sprites A branch of fae. Not always winged. Various kinds.

 

Stag See Lord of the Hunt. The current Lord is called Stag.

 

Star. Moonbeam’s unicorn.  Silver, with gold mane, horn and tail. He loves to look at the stars above the meadow. He also knows the name means someone special. It isn’t quite a coincidence that it also goes well with his rider’s name.

 

Starling New unicorn master on the Edge. Starling is from Wetton and is still in training. He lives with Yarrow. Gunmetal hair, eyes and wings – a darker version of Cobweb.
Stonesprites A type of sprite living in barren or mountainous regions. Stone colouring, sharp angular bodies, a higher than usual ability to blend with their surroundings.

 

Stripe. A cat fairy in the permanent royal guard. Quicksilver’s partner. A long-haired tabby in appearance, a little like a Scottish wild cat. Yellow eyes. Mottled wings to match his fur.

 

Superstitions Most fairies will touch wood for luck even while they say the idea is rubbish. They also cultivate four leaved clovers and treasure them. Few of them believe in elves; the German Elfe (who are a subspecies of fairy and not elves) probably gave rise to the legend as it appears in old stories or in stories by modern writers like Tolkien. They do, however, believe in monsters and ogres.  There is a strong belief that the moon is made of silver and that the dark side is inhabited by dragons. When fairies see a hare they are supposed to spit into the wind and repeat a secret mantra three times.  Twins are thought of as lucky, which is odd because they are common. Fairies do not share human superstitions about ladders, tables etc. because they do not use such things. And a black cat is just a black cat unless it is a cat fairy.

 

Swapping In the goblin markets the fairies swap spells for goods. Some fairies become swapaholics. Most fairies resent the idea of shopping with money but will turn leaves into paper money if necessary.

 

Sylvia Sage’s sister, recently widowed.
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Tabitha (Tabby) A young long–haired albino cat fairy in Tara. Tabby has bonded with Jasmine and is training as a unicorn rider. Very few cat fairies and even fewer females ride unicorns so Tabby is highly unusual. She and her lover, Felix, are close friends of Purr’s.
Tara Tara, near Dublin, is the site of the palace of the ancient kings of Ireland. Fairies have now taken over and their palace is underground.

 

Teeth Fairies will assist goblins in collecting human milk teeth – they accept goods in lieu of payment for the labour. The teeth are carved by the goblins and used in the manufacture of jewellery. No fairy has ever left a coin under a child’s pillow. The teeth are usually rescued/excavated from rubbish bins. Most fairies are puzzled by the human legends about the ‘tooth fairy’.

 

Titania The fairy queen in Tara is always known as the titania. Shakespeare may have thought it was a name rather than a title. The then titania was called Mab, and the puck was called Robin. The current titania is Ivy and the puck is Dandelion. The name of Shakespeare’s oberon is unknown.

 

Toadflax Harlequin’s best friend. Named for ivy-leaved toadflax, a strong creeping plant that will take over entire gardens if allowed. Toadflax will do anything, go anywhere. Usually dragging Harlequin in his wake. Brown hair, green eyes and lilac wings. His unicorn is Marquis.

 

Toes Fairies generally have six toes (with retractable claws) on each foot. In the case of other fae such as selkies, these may be webbed. Elfe have developed prehensile toes to assist climbing. Most fae, including fairies, prefer to go barefoot but will wear shoes or boots for fashion purposes or to pass as human. There is a fairy saying that if it’s cold enough to need shoes everybody should be hibernating. Of course, the exception to this is the unicorn troop.

 

Trees Trees are regarded as ideal homes by most fairies (other than the Tara residents). When a suitable tree is chosen there is still some arboriculture to be undertaken. Flexible young branches are plaited so that they grow together forming a platform. This is lined with lichen and moss, some of which will ‘move in’ on a permanent basis. Mostly, the moss acts as a carpet and the lichen provides decoration. Leaves make screens in summer. In the depths of winter most fairies hibernate and in any case are not terribly bothered about privacy.  At least two ‘layers’ are plaited; the upper one will form a ceiling, protecting sleeping fairies from rain or snow, and from too much summer sun. Fairies keep very few permanent belongings but those they have are stored in knot holes in the tree or hung on adjacent branches and twigs. Good trees are usually passed down to future generations or gifted to family members. Sometimes fairies move, like Harlequin’s family, and negotiate for a good tree in the new location.

 

Trickery A member of the royal guard; twin of Eve. They are identical twins so for description see Eve.  Trickery was named for his ability to confuse people, especially into thinking he is his brother. Harlequin has heard of/read about an American fairy called Trickery.

 

Twins Twins are common amongst fairies and are considered lucky. Triplets and other multiple births are unknown.  It is a good thing twins are common; babies are not a frequent occurrence amongst fairies.

 

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Unicorn master The unicorn master is the resident veterinarian. He should work well with the leader of the troop but does not usually ride a unicorn himself. Harlequin’s local unicorn master is not ideal. He also happens to be Harlequin’s stepfather and the father of Willow and Briony.

 

Unicorn meadow A clearing on the Edge (or near any fairy settlement except Tara) where the unicorns congregate. They are usually invisible to humans as they can hide behind a blade of grass and their coats reflect the sky.

 

Unicorns Unicorns are like horses but come in pearlescent or metallic colours and have spiral horns.  They are possibly a kind of equine fae. They bond with fairy riders (almost always male) and communicate with them via a sort of telepathy. Their legendary preference for virgins is merely a legend, but they prefer young people, a type of ‘innocence’ not often found in humans and a quietness of spirit not often found in hunting human males.  Thus are legends born. Unicorns choose their adult names when they bond. Until then they are given names signifying their time of birth. (e.g. Solstice, February, Summer). Unicorn hair is used in the manufacture of jewellery; shavings of the hooves and horn of a dead unicorn may be used to make ‘remembrance’ jewellery. The horns themselves make goblets or hunting horns. Unicorns do not live as long as fairies but they do survive a great deal longer than horses. They are never shod, but they are groomed nightly and some will consent to wearing flowers or other decorations. Their shit is impervious to magic and has to be moved by shovel. Their spit has medicinal properties. They refuse to wear any saddles, bridles, reins etc. and regard themselves as equal partners in the riding process. Bonded unicorns are expected to train, with their riders, to form the Wild Hunt.

 

V

 

 
Velvet Son of Stag. Sometimes stands in for him at festivals etc and is training to take over at some hazy future date. Brown hair, eyes and wings. Eight point antlers (at present).
Veronica Speedwell, Lady A lady-in-waiting from Tara. Accompanies the titania on visits to outlying woods such as Alderley Edge. Named for a pretty but invasive creeping plant that will take over a lawn in a very short space of time. Green-gold hair and wings. Blue eyes.  Wears blue.

 

Vervain A friend of Yarrow’s. Named after the herb which is also known as the ‘enchanter’s plant’. The herb has many medicinal uses, including an ability to combat depression and is traditionally known as a female aphrodisiac. Vervain lives up to his plant’s reputation. Sand coloured hair, skin and wings. Blue eyes.  Wears blue and green.  His unicorn is Mephistopheles.

 

Vole Half-brother to the twins, Willow and Briony. Vole’s mother, Wren, was seduced by Rowan who treated her badly. Vole grew up in Wetton and bonded with Wrath. Brown skin, black hair and eyes, russet velvety wings. He was both partner and second-in-command to Hornbeam. He was killed in an accident, his actual death beneath his unicorn’s hooves caused by a fight with Rowan.
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Wasp A court official in Tara. Named for the annoying insect.  Black hair, transparent wings and huge black eyes. Wears black and yellow.

 

Water fairies A subspecies of fairies who have chosen to live in rainforests. They have given up some of their magical abilities and their flying stamina in order to enjoy the warm, wet forests and the waters around them. Not to be confused with kelpies (water horses)

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Water Horses See Kelpies.

 

Waterfall A water fairy on Dominica. Twin to Rainbow. (See Rainbow for description).

 

Watersprites Sprites who enjoy living near and in water. Not to be confused with kelpies or selkies or water fairies.

 

Werewolf A kind of supernatural being, related to the fae, with whom they can marry and breed. Werewolves can change between human and wolf form. They retain human intelligence and knowledge in both forms. Sometimes they are unable to control the change but it may be more related to intense emotion than to the phases of the moon which legend suggests. They do not have wings or horns.
Werneth Low A low hill in north east Cheshire. Gee Cross is at its foot. It is a designated ‘country park’ for human recreation. There is usually a weekly goblin market underneath. It is well known locally (by humans) as a place to gather ‘magic’ mushrooms.

 

Wetton A village in the Derbyshire Peak District. A community of fairies including Starling were living near here. It is south of Alderley Edge in a similar farming area but bordering less populated and less ‘tame’ hill country.
Wild Hunt Each solstice and equinox the unicorn troops ride every dawn for a week in a Wild Hunt to clear the area of spotted snakes, thorny hedgehogs, newts, blindworms, etc. They also cull aged/sick animals such as stags and a special meeting of the Hunt may be called between the major festivals for that purpose. The Lord of the Hunt may grace a local Hunt with his presence.

 

Willow Harlequin’s youngest brother; Briony’s twin.  He is quite unlike his sister and has black hair, huge green eyes and wings that look like green watered silk. Willow is a plant that loves water. Willow may have been named for the tree’s ability to ‘weep’ beside streams. Green willow was often used to express mourning for a loved one who was far away, as in the English folk song ‘All around my hat’. It seems Flame must have sensed a sadness in Willow’s future.

 

Wings Fairies have wings that can be folded down into wing cases on the shoulder blades. The wings are strong and will carry a fairy some distance.  They may be a single pair or a double pair. They are usually, but not always, semi-translucent, but transparent and opaque ones are known. The colours vary and they may be monochrome, multi-coloured or patterned. The texture can vary too, from gauzy to velvety. Some wings look metallic in moonlight. Although they look delicate, they are tough and can regenerate after injury.

 

Wishes Fairies can grant general wishes, for health, wealth, happiness etc.  Luck, too, though this is more of a problem area and it may be that the ‘luck’ is simply one of the other things. The effects don’t always last. If a human wished for a specific object, a fairy could wish them the money to buy it with. There is no truth to the legend about having to grant wishes; fairies will grant them out of gratitude which is how the legend arose. They get fed up after about three, which explains that legend too.

 

Wizard, The A pub on Alderley Edge. English pubs (bars to the rest of the world but usually more than just bars) tend to have names like The Ship, The Red Lion, The Lamb, etc. These are always written with capitals and are familiar to British readers. The Wizard is named for the legend about Merlin sleeping under the Edge (but he sleeps in a lot of places in England, Wales and Brittany).

 

Wrath Wrath was Vole’s unicorn in Wetton, Derbyshire. He arrived on the Edge riderless and his plight led to Rowan’s disgrace and exile. He is a strong black unicorn who only submits to Devil’s leadership of the herd because he is aware that Devil was on the Edge first.
Wren Vole’s mother, Rowan’s wife in Wetton. A gentle fairy, all drab mouse browns and quietness.
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Xanthippe Dragonfly’s unicorn. Bronze with a gold horn.  The name is attributed to the wife of Socrates, the daughter of Dorus and a character in the New Testament apocrypha. It is generally supposed to indicate a ‘shrew’ or ‘nag’. Xanthippe just liked the sound of it, and as her grandsire was called Apollo (one legend has him as the father of Dorus) she chose it and is sticking with it. However, she is a very gentle unicorn and never nags Dragonfly.

 

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Yarrow Harlequin’s lover/boyfriend/partner/whatever. Leader of the local unicorn troop. Tall (for a fairy) with golden hair, dark blue eyes and feathery white wings. His unicorn is Devil. The medicinal herb for which he is named is also known as Noble Yarrow, Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s Plaything and Squirrel Tail. The references to Devil and Eichhorn are obvious. The flowers can be white or pink, depending on the calcium content of the soil, and there is a cultivated variety with yellow flowers. Yarrow wears white and pink. The herb is supposed to be dedicated to evil, but Yarrow is dedicated to Harlequin and to unicorns, in that order.

 

Z

 

 
   
Zinnia A friend of Moth’s. Called after the gaudy garden flower. Red hair, blue eyes and golden wings with swirling patterns. Wears mixed bright colours.

 

 

 

 

 

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