Fairies are dangerously cunning magical creatures that once live outside the fillorian kingdom. They once dwelled within the same time and space as Castle Whitespire but in a separate plane of existence known as the Fairy Realm. They are known for their insidious terms, as well as their unconventional way of expressing themselves, resorting to riddles and puns. Fairies usually cannot be perceived by humans who have not made a deal with a fairy or had a deal made on there behalf like Fen but by using magic like the Truth Key, they can be seen without the need of a deal. Every citizen of Fillory was given the ability to perceive fairies after King Eliot and Queen Margo made a deal with the fairy queen on behalf of the entire realm. The fairies now live as citizens of Fillory after King Margo provided a large settlement for them to live in peace.
Their appearance varies for each individual, but some elements are recurring, such as black eyes, pale skin and pointed ears. The fairies residing in Fillory boundaries are ethereal, with claws and disturbing, sinister eyes.
HistoryFairies are creatures feared by many others. Around Earth year 1600, they were living on Earth, but were hunted near extinction when humans discovered that inhaling fairy powder (a fairy grounded to dust) would grant temporary fairy magic. To save her people, the Fairy Queen made a deal with the McAllisters, a powerful magician family. The family would send the queen and her people to another world if some of them would become their servant. The volunteers were then bound for life to an anti-magic collar that would strip them of the possibility to use magic, as any magical act would automatically kill the caster. Over the 400 years of captivity, only one of the volunteers survived: a fairy named Dust who lost all hopes as he saw his kind suffer and die one by one.Respecting their side of the deal, the McAllisters sent the Fairy Queen and her people to Fillory and there too, they were hunted and tortured. In Fillory they acquired a golden key that created for them a world identical to Fillory and made them invisible to Fillorians. From then on, if a Fillorian wanted to talk to a fairy and strike a deal, the fairy would seem to appear out of nowhere while, in act, they were simply in a parallel world.
In time, the Fairy Queen died, allowing her child to climb on the throne, knowing her people’s history and harbouring a deep hatred for humans. The fairies’ habit of collecting limbs from humans during bargains or after killing them would come as revenge for her ancestors, as she is “simply doing to them what they did to us for many years” .
Meanwhile, the fairies on Earth were still treated like slaves. From serving dinner to cleaning the house, they performed many kinds of labour and the new generation of fairies were led to believe they are unable to practise magic. The fairy presence in the McAllister family became one of their biggest and darkest secrets. (An older member of the McAllister family killed one of his grandchildren for disagreeing with slavery and wanting to reveal the truth. The victim was strangled in his bedroom in Brakebills)
It is only when Fen, a Fillorian who could see the fairies, saw a fairy following Irene McAllister that an investigation would reveal the truth. As a result, after being convinced there were still fairies on Earth, the Fairy Queen went to see for herself what had happened to her people left behind. Having believed them dead for centuries, she freed them and broke the deal her mother had made with the McAllisters. It occurred during a family reunion of the McAllisters and as soon as the enslaved fairies were freed, they turned against the family and killed everyone but Irene McAllister. This bloody murder is known as “the red dinner”.
The Fairy Queen promised there would be consequences for her breaking the deal, but what they are is still unknown.
Powers and Abilities
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Contract With the Fairies
Asking help from the fairies can be risky. Although “all pirates made a deal with a fairy one day”  most people would advise against it, even as a last resort. Once a deal has been made, it is impossible to change one’s mind or to bargain another solution. If someone wants to make a deal with a fairy, an ambassador will come to negotiate the term of the contract. If insulted or vaguely dismissed, the ambassador will take his latest offer as the only solution available and it will be impossible to change the contract.
When the terms are set, the fairy will deliver what is requested from them and get what they ask in exchange.The person who made the deal will, from then on, be able to see the fairies. If the person who made the deal have someone else pay the price, the person affected by the deal will also be able to see the fairies. The only other way to see a fairy without making a deal with them is by holding the Truth key.
The only person able to break a contract is the Fairy Queen. It has been done only once, and the consequences are still unknown.
- According to Skye, an Earth fairy, there are not a lot of fairies on Earth. However, due to her own ignorance of the existence of other fairies, it's uncertain if this is true.
- A number of the fairies on Earth are controlled by the McAllistair Family. It seems that they have been like that for a while as they believe that they don't possess any magic after the plumbers turned it off, which is not true.
- The McAllistair's grind down parts of fairies to a powder which humans can then snort which will give the individual temporary fairy magic. The librarians are also known to do this, however, it is unknown if they do it themselves or buy it off someone who does it for them, like the McAllistair's for example.
- Fairy magic is noticeably much darker than other magic, possessing a more smoky quality as seen when Julia temporarily used fairy magic, as well as when the Fairy Queen moves between realms.
- The Truth Key can show fairies to the holder regardless of whether or not they've previously made a deal with a fairy.