Aes Sidhe (also called Daoine Sidhe, sing. Duine Sidhe) are the most common species of Greater Fae. They dominate the Fair Courts and hold most of Faerie's positions of authority.
"Aes Sidhe" means "People of the Mound," meaning folk who keep court below the earth. Often non-Gentry will refer to them as "Sidhe," which means "mound" (as in a little hill of dirt). It used to be considered extremely rude by the Aes Sidhe themselves, but over time it's become more accepted. The rarely-used plural of Sidhe is Sidhthe. Usually when people talk about sidhthe they're referring to the vast underground complexes where Aes Sidhe live.
It's polite to call them Fair Folk or Gentry, but not Faeries. You can describe them as Fair but rarely Fae. And a single Aes Sidhe is called a Gentle(wo)man or Good Neighbour, even when they're not. Aes Sidhe are a moody, dangerous people who look for any excuse to terrorise mortals, and one of the most surefire ways to draw unwelcome attention is to call them by a rude name.
Aes Sidhe are rarely seen in their natural forms, which are said to be horrifically ugly. Instead they use glamours to make themselves look fantastically beautiful. Consequently they may have any colour of hair, eyes, and skin, plus any number of strange physical attributes which nobody else in their race possesses (horns, odd ears, wings, etc.). They take pride in beauty and are easily offended by physical insults.
Aes Sidhe have slightly larger, more intense eyes than humans, even with glamours applied. Usually they choose to look much like humans, only a little more slender and delicate.
All Aes Sidhe have an innate sense of magic. Their life-force is tied to the so-called "Great Source," the sea of magic from which Sihiri's castors draw. If a single Sidhe is made unable to do magic, or if they're drained by too much activity or by a curse, they will physically grow ill and weak. If their removal from magic lasts for too long, even the most powerful Aes Sidhe can die.
Although they're capable of casting large or complicated spells, most Aes Sidhe stick to simple magics, preferring to use complicated schemes of manipulation and trickery to get what they need. Very few Fair Folk keep spellbooks.
Glamours are the most frequently-used magics among the Gentry. A glamour is a cantrip of illusion. Aes Sidhe understand from birth how to cast glamours, along with a few other cantrips, and they can pick up small spells just by watching others cast them. Bigger spells require some formal instruction (such as asking someone to show them a second time) and must be practiced to gain control.
Aes Sidhe use magic the way other races use natural abilities -- they may be able to fly, breathe underwater, or move abnormally-heavy things through the intuitive use of magic. The older a Sidhe is the more spells it has in its repertoire. Sidhe are also capable of improvising and inventing with magic.
Sidhe have tremendously good memories. They cannot lie. They are allergic to pure cold iron and will be badly burned on contact.
Both Courts of Faerie have similar values, though they use different means to achieve them. Both courts value beauty. Architects, artists, and musicians are considered highly admirable professions, and most aesthetic projects are considered worthwhile. Aes Sidhe are also world-renowned tacticians able to spin elaborate, complicated webs with their words. All Sidhe are expected to banter, joke, and manipulate. The lack of this ability is called aemodel, literally "leaden tongue," and is considered a serious fault.
Murder is abhorred. Manipulations that end in a rival's death are widely celebrated, especially in the Unseelie Court. Other races are viewed as less-valuable and may die or be sorely wounded as a result of Fae pranks. Seelie tends to take greater care with all races than does Unseelie.
Aes Sidhe live together in vast underground complexes called sidhthe.
Aes Sidhe are longer-lived than most Greater Fae. Their maximum lifespan is around 1500 years. However, Court competition is fierce and underhanded and very few of them survive to old age.
Aes Sidhe are considered children until they're 100 years old. It's customary not to teach children spells, forcing them to learn cleverness and tactics of spying in order to glean information. On a Sidhe's 100th birthday they're thrown a massive party. There the Head of their Court awards them a new name which may be used in place of their old name in formal documents, veiled conversations, or when casting dangerous spells.
See Also Edit
- Fair Folk
- Greater Fae
- Lesser Fae