History in a nut shell...
Many thousands of years ago there was the First Realm of Fey, a separate realm where all fey first evolved. There is little known about the First Realm or what caused it to collapse. In the collapse, the surviving fey were scattered on the earth realm. Among the few remaining Sidhe there was a woman known as Danu. Her aspect of magic was ‘procreation’. As a Sidhe whose magic was to give life, she took it upon herself to create a new home for the fey.
By gathering artifacts from the first realm of fey and imbuing it with her magic she was able to create a pocket of reality below the surface of the earth. From the outside, the only evidence of this pocket of reality was the mounds, or small hills, hidden within a magical wood. Thus the new realm became known as the Mounds. Within the Mounds existed a whole world until itself, complete with a sky with its own illusion of a sun and moon and stars. A vast expanse existed magically within the Mounds, as large as all of Ireland. Many fey migrated to the Mounds and lived there for thousands of years.
For her part in the creation of the Mounds, Danu became known as ‘mother ‘ to all fey. The Sidhe ruled the Mounds, separated into the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Danu, having always aligned herself with the Seelie, favored this Court above the other. Without question, the Seelie allowed Danu to appoint their kings. With the long lived race of Sidhe, kings did not die and pass down their crowns to their children. While Danu’s whims determined the Seelie ruler, the Unseelie selected their ruler based on skill with magic and cleverness in negotiation.
After thousands of years, punctuated with brief periods of war between the Courts, the first hint of true devastation emerged in the form of a vision by the Unseelie prophetess, Aoife. The prediction? One day the two Courts would merge and the Mounds would crumble. The Seelie rejected the prophecy as nothing but Unseelie propaganda.
Many Unseelie fled the Mounds and returned to the earth realm. They tied their magic to the ley lines of Earth instead of to the fey realm. Something about the magic of the earth realm sparked an unexpected increase in the number of fey offspring, rapidly increasing the number of young Unseelie Sidhe. To keep the children safe from all those who might prey upon them many of these Unseelie children were brought up in rural areas and kept away from human children. Often they were never even told that they were anything but human, with the intention of teaching them about their true heritage once they were deemed ‘old enough.’ And for the long lived Sidhe, that could be a few hundred years.
Through politics and influence, the Seelie Court finally realized its ambition to unify the Courts. That very day the magic of the Mounds shattered and the pocket realm crumbled in on itself. Very few fey residing in the Mounds escaped the disaster. After the Collapse, those surviving fey that have not tied themselves to the ley lines of Earth began to suffer from a condition known as the Fade. All fey are half physical and half magical. Just as they need food and drink to sustain their bodies, so too do they need a replenishing source of magic. Without the magic of the Mounds to link to, the fey suffering from the Fade became weak. Eventually they will lose the solidity of their bodies, becoming as ghosts, before finally Fading completely from existence.
The Unseelie, most of whom are of the new generation of 'earthborns' and less than 25 years in age, vastly outnumber the surviving Seelie. Many of these Unseelie are untrained and are easy prey to wizards, vampires and other predators.
While times are dire for the fey, most especially the Sidhe, there may yet exist the barest whisper of hope.
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