|John William Waterhouse|
Fairies, Fae, the Sidhe (pronounced “shee”), People of the Mound, Tuatha Dé Danaan (“Too-ah Day Dan-aan”) -- they are known by a great many names and a few constant attributes. Beautiful. Glamorous. Magical. Bratty.
Total PR Whores.
The Children of Danu weren’t the first race to inhabit what we know as the British Isles. Yes, the Isles, not just Ireland. They are, arguably, the best known export – behind brawny men in kilts and black ale in pints. Children know them as tiny winged girls who sparkle. As children grow into adults, the fairies become winsome but not larger than a finger.
The Tuatha Dé are a warrior race. The Isles were hardly uninhabited before they arrived. The Tuatha Dé dealt with competition in a typically human way. They jumped off their boats screaming, “Miiiiine!” The Fir Bolg picked up their bronze spears and answered, “No. no. We were here first. Sure, there’s some debate as to whether we’re former slaves of Greece or Belgians with wanderlust. We, uhm, kind of like all this water and land, so, no, we’re not leaving.” Thus the Battle of Magh Tuired (in Ireland) happened. Nuada, the king of the Tuatha Dé lost his hand but acquired the awesome battle name of “Nuada the Silver Hand” (early prosthesis, people!).
|Fomori Card from Magic The Gathering|
The Tuatha Dé settled in, choosing Ireland as their base. Their faith focused on living with the elements, being part of the whole. They were the scientists of their day with a deep rooted belief in powers larger than themselves. This gave rise to the myth of them being able to “control the elements” via “magic.” It could be said they developed a magnificent case of narcissism from all the ooohing and aaahing over their discoveries. R&D takes time and time is not a friend to the seasonal swings of testosterone. They got bored with no one to battle except themselves, so they went looking for trouble. They found it in the Fomoiri.
The Fomoiri had been on the Isle far longer than the Fir Bolgs, but they were busy leading their lives sailing the tempestuous seas until some uppity tree-hugger decided the island wasn’t big enough for two kings. Thus kicked off the Second Battle of Magh Tuired. Now, if you’ve played any mythology-based video game, you probably know how the war ended. Sailors suddenly became sea monsters, demons of the deep, and really whatever other heinous creatures the Tuatha Dé could relay in their oral histories.
A word to the non-believers: Do not pooh-pooh fairies. They have millennia of Public Relations experience under their leafy belts. At your murder trial, they’d totally win over the jury.