It was right around the time of the Black Death when the Fae started to move underground, meaning they purposely started disavowing their own existence to regular Humans. This is because some political groups of Fae were actually trying to take advantage of the instability caused by the Plague to gain more power. The Humans, seeing this, fought back. The result was a rash of wars on an ever-dwindling population. The still burgeoning religion of Christianity became more hard-lined and branded all Fae as being in league with the Devil. For self-preservation, the wiser members of the Fae community began to discredit any information supporting the existence of the Fae, and slowly they spread into folklore and myth, as did the gods. The vast multitude of gods were then supplanted by one god here in the West, while in the East the confusion of the actual god and the avatar of that god made keeping track of everything very difficult.
Balthasar Sonk dropped the brown monk’s hood as he stepped into the feeble candlelight. Scars from his recovered infection sat just under his jaw line. The rocky lines of the gray stones and icons of the Virgin and the various saints seemed to dance and fade in the light of the tiny flickering flames. The small chapel of the recently closed cathedral in Trier was the best place for a small group of hooded monks to meet in the middle of the night.
“Greetings, my brother,” a woman’s voice said from the other side of the circle of robed figures, all with their hoods removed.
The rest of the circle, now completed at fifteen, one for each breed, all bowed into the center of the circle welcoming each other.
“The Council of Fae will now come to order,” a man of small stature with pointed ears said. “My brothers and sisters, we meet as we do in this house of the Human god to speak of the crisis now facing our people and our food.”
“What are we to do?” the representative of the Lares asked pointedly. “Our fields and lands have been burned by the Humans. We have had to flee our lands, our homes. We are starving!”
“You are not the only ones,” the Naiad chimed in, “our rivers are choked with the dead, both Fae and Human alike. Many of us are always sick, despite our best effort to clean the water and remove the bodies.”
“We Ogres have done relatively well,” Balthasar said. “While we have been attacked, we have also fought in many battles. This plague does not seem to affect us.”
“We Sulis are dying rapidly,” the woman standing opposite from Balthasar said. “We are being hunted as vampires by the Humans, and we also must worry about the plague.”
Other voices began to chime in, all talking over each other. The Elf raised his hands, and the group calmed. Only the sound of sizzling wax from the candles filled the room.
“My brothers and sisters,” the Elf started, “we must come up with a solution for the survival of our kind.”
“Agreed Leif, we have survived plagues before. The problem is the Humans, they blame us for this death,” the Land Wight said. “We have managed to hide in our lands, but we cannot support our entire race. We must find a solution.”
“Shall we hide?!” the Ogre cried out. “Ogres do not hide! We are not cowards!”
“The Copulari refuse to hide, we will starve!”
“I am not suggesting that,” the Land Wight replied. “I am suggesting that we become harder to see.”
“Perhaps we hide without hiding,” the Sulis suggested. “But how do we do this?”
“We must make the Fae into a lie, a myth. We must find a way to ensure our people can still feed and live, with the Humans being none the wiser,” the Dryad said. “It worked in the Alps for our kind.”
“That’s brilliant!” the Elf said, “There is a problem with the idea, how do we deal with the Humans who already know we exist?”
“We leave for the next town that has never seen us. We do not use our abilities in the open, and if someone decides to tell about us being Fae, we laugh and run.”
“Spoken like a true Naiad,” Balthasar said.
“Indeed,” the Elf said. “Then let us put this to a vote. Please take up your candle and extinguish the flame if you agree. Are the Fae to become a myth?”
One by one, the lights of the candles were blown out, until Balthasar held the last one. He then sighed and blew out the tiny flame.
“Then it is settled. The Fae, as of this moment, no longer exist. Go to your people and tell them they are now to act as Humans. We will spread through the clergy and the remaining governments of all the lands that the Fae are nothing more than a superstition. It will take time, but one day we will be safe.”
This is known as the Oath of Secrecy. It is because of this meeting that Europe and surrounding areas began to embrace a specific form of rationalism that would eventually give way to the Enlightenment. The populations of all humans did rebound over the next two hundred years. The Fae did take part in history, as has been noted. However, many events were all but silent on their influence. Since the Cutting of the Stone by Dr. Dorian Astrapios, avatar of Zeus, much of the silent influence is dissipating, and the hidden power base is being exposed.
By contrast, the Fae of the East never participated in the Oath. They did, however, keep the specific names of that they were secret. This resulted in fantastic stories of magic powers being given to seemingly odd individuals in India, China, and Japan among others.
Additionally, much of what the Fae are has been heavily mythologized and gross misinterpretations and misunderstandings that were originally created by the Fae as a smokescreen to deter Humans have become a basis for attack. Many Fae communities have been split on the Cutting of the Stone and the publishing of Homo Sapiens Mysticus. On one hand, these two things have allowed the Fae to come out into the open. On the other, as a people they are now exposed and lack the ability to easily hide due to modern technology.
Only time will tell as to what will happen among the two sister species.
The Hidden Race
Dorian Astrapios was dressed in a black hoodie and dark blue jeans with black canvas, low-top shoes. He had pulled the hood down to cover his forehead and part of his face. His hands were in the belly pocket. Dorian smiled as he entered the bar; felt like a warrior mage from a tabletop game he used to play as a teenager. He strode confidently and purposefully to the door of the local college bar and pulled it open.
Inside he found a throng of young twenty-somethings all dancing and drinking to loud music. As Dorian pushed his way in, he was stopped by the bouncer, to whom he flashed his ID, and was then allowed to pass. The lights were dim and accented with red and blue neon lights from various signs advertising beer and a multitude of liquors. Nearly every surface of the pub was clad in oak-stained wood and rimmed with cheap brass accents. Dorian thought the place stank of stale beer, liquor, regret, and greasy food. All were typical for this type of bar. Honestly, if you wanted a better smell then perhaps the Irish pub down the road would be the better option.
Dorian moved his way carefully through the crowd. His destination was the rather loud mass of young men cheering someone on. All of the young men were dressed in team jerseys, tight blue jeans, and running shoes. When he reached the circle, he found what they were cheering about. In the center of the group there stood a tall man in his early twenties with dirty blond hair and blue eyes. He had a chiseled, muscular physique to which clung a skin-tight fire-engine red t-shirt with the words “Solo Cup” printed on the front. He was pounding shots of dark amber colored whiskey. As he finished the ninth of the set, he sent the tray away for more, and never shook his head or staggered.
Dorian tapped the shoulder of one of the worshipers who was holding his beer mug with one hand in a long-held position of manly love. “Hey who is that guy?” Dorian asked.
“That is the Beast!” the worshiper called out in reply to Dorian. “He is my role model! He is the awesomest dude I have ever seen! He can out drink anybody anywhere anytime!”
“Can he now?” Dorian said to himself.
A fresh tray of shots had been delivered. The dark amber liquid jostled and sloshed slightly in the array of tiny glasses. The young men all cheered wildly. The pretty and scantily clad waitress set the tray of forty shots down on the table and moved to kiss the Beast. She had curly blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a long lean body. After the long and tongue filled kiss with the waitress the Beast called out, “Who wants to drink with me?!”
Dorian stepped forward. He had found what he was looking for. The rumors were true; this man did not get drunk.
The cheering stopped, and the music became quieter.
As Dorian approached, the Beast smirked. “Alright, little man is steppin’ up! What’s your name, Bro?”
“Call me Dorian,” he replied, pushing back his hood to reveal his light brown hair. His blue-green eyes met the Beast’s confidently.
“You drink whiskey, Bro?” the Beast asked with his smile widening.
“Fuck yeah! I will drink anything you put in front of me, B…bro,” Dorian replied.
The circle of young men laughed and hooted out loud.
“Alright, cool,” the Beast said with an approving nod. “So, here’s the game—you keep up with me. First one to finish this tray of drinks wins. But, since I already know I’m gonna win, I’m gonna make it sweet for ya, Bro. If you ain’t passed out by the time this is finished, I will give you twenty bucks.”
The circle of young men oooed with amusement.
“Done,” Dorian said with the valor of a hero.
The next thing Dorian knew someone had counted to three and he and the Beast were each pounding down shots of whiskey. By his fifth shot, Dorian was starting to feel woozy.
He shook his head and concentrated. He could feel electrical impulses coursing through his body and under his clothes.
He was now ten behind.
The circle had grown to include nearly the entire population of the bar, and all were cheering the Beast on.
Tenth shot. Dorian tried to concentrate harder. An arc of electricity poked out from under his hoodie startling him. He dropped the eleventh shot, spilling it on the table. Only two shots remained, and these were both taken by the waitress, who downed them in quick succession.
Dorian, now in a drunken stupor, was set upon by the congratulating shakes of the circle of young meatheads. The Beast looked down at Dorian with a smile of respect.
“Good job Bro, here’s your twenty bucks.” The money somehow found its way into Dorian’s hand. He turned in a slow spin and staggered out of the loud bar. As he made his way to what he hoped was the door, Dorian danced and stumbled along crashing into tables and chairs. This was met with the loud guffaws of the mass of worshipers at the altar of the Beast.
The Rules of Profit
If you haven’t figured it out yet, money is the most important thing in the world. But what about love, you ask? You still need money. Without money your business does not even exist. Without money all of your dreams are meaningless. You cannot feed, clothe, or shelter yourself or your family without money. Assume that no one is going to help you or save you. So, the first set of rules are about the importance of money and how to use it correctly.
Once you have their money never give it back unless you have to.
“There are very honest people who do not think that they have had a bargain unless they have cheated a merchant.” This was said by Anatole France in reference to the way people think that they can change the price of an item or a service just so that they can save some money. I have actually met people that go to the store and buy an item, then they wear it and return it a few days later. There was one woman who got so good at this that she would buy something while the price was low and then return it once the price had risen.
But I’m sure you’re thinking: that’s the same concept of buying stock—buy low sell high. It is not the same thing with hard goods. This rule is in regards to refunds. When you go to the doctor and sure he does his job and treats your illness but he’s kind of a jerk, you don’t ask for a refund because you know that they will not give it. If there is a misdiagnosis, you don’t demand your money back, because it won’t happen.
Remember, when you are considering your refund policy please take the following into account:
Is what you are selling perishable such as food or medicine? If yes, no refund.
Is what you are selling is instantly consumed such as a service? If yes, refund is not really a good idea.
Is what you are selling a durable good and not enough time has passed for it to depreciate and you can resell it? If yes, then refund if you really want to.
Always remember that money is the life of your business. If you are always letting go of money then you cannot hold onto money. This is the antithesis of profit. Additionally, you have to eat. Pay rent. Pay bills and taxes. And you have to provide for your family. You cannot do this if you are poor.
Never pay more than you have to.
Let’s say that you want to obtain something. This thing whatever it is, is not usually easy for you to get. The opportunity to obtain it just happens to float by, so what do you do? Well obviously, you get the thing, right? Wrong. Always consider what is the cost. Let’s consider what is the “thing” you wish to obtain is: Is it peace? Land? Power? Love? This is the heart of a phenomenon called a devil’s bargain. Like rule 11, the violation of rule 2 can cost you in the long run.
For example, let’s say that you need to eat something. So, you go for a walk and find a sandwich shop. You pay 15.00 for the meal. Satisfied, you walk back munching on the sandwich. Just before arriving back at work you see a place selling what is basically the same thing for 10.00. Congratulations you just lost 5.00! It pays to be patient and observant.
Now, let’s say that you want to get married. You want a partner that is obviously beautiful and fun. So, you start going after this one that is just physically perfect and with a great personality. They are amazing. The two of you get married. At the wedding you meet one of your betrothed friends who is not as good looking but is just a touch smarter. You pass this off and life goes on. A few years down the road you realize that your partner is actually costing you contacts and money thanks to frivolity and annoying behavior. You get back in touch with the friend and they remind you that you were warned. You divorce the first and marry the second and life gets better.
The main issue is that you did not consider the hidden costs of the acquisition. Reputation is vital in business, and your reputation is tied to the people around you and those you choose to associate your name with. If you have a good reputation, but someone you are associated with doesn’t, then very soon your reputation is gone. If someone or something is damaging who you are, get rid of them or the cost of everything will skyrocket.
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Homo Sapiens Mysticus
The Fae are a sub-specie of Homo sapiens. The scientific classification for the Fae is Homo sapiens mysticus. Anatomically, the Fae are exactly like normal Humans. The Fae have 23 pairs of chromosomes contained in a typically eukaryotic cell. The internal organs are the same and of similar proportions to those of Humans. The Fae are bipedal and bidexterous with the addition of an opposable thumb. To merely look at the body of a given member of the Fae they are physically indistinguishable from normal Humans.
The difference between the two sub-species then lies in the chemistry of the Fae when compared to Humans. This is caused by the differences between the comparative DNA of both Fae and Humans. Interestingly, the differences are actually very subtle when compared on a macro scale. Although Fae and Humans have the same number of chromosomes, their size and arrangement vary wildly between the different breeds of Fae. This would be on the micro scale.
For example, the breed known as the Leanan Sidhe when compared to the DNA of an average Human, has 3700 mutations spread out over the chromosomes. Because of these differences the protein codings that are performed by the cell in order to create various cellular and bodily functions are different. Things such as enzymes, hormones, structural components, and material storage change in some rather drastic ways. It is from these differences that the more physical types of Fae like the Leanan Sidhe, Copulari, and Nymphs are able to do the things that they can.
This however does not account for everything. One of the characteristics of all breeds of Fae is the fact that they can feed on different types of energy and various emotional states of other beings even if they are not in direct contact. How can this be possible? The answer, near as can be surmised, lies in quantum physics.
According to the rather complicated laws of this branch of physics, the destiny of a particle can be manipulated through desire. Meaning, slight changes can be made if there is sufficient will. More elaboration on this most certainly needed, but that would be beyond the scope of this book.
The question then is: Why do the Fae need to “feed” on anything other than regular food? Basically, for the Fae, the energy and emotions relevant to the particular breed are akin to vitamins. If a person does not get enough vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, they will develop a condition called Scurvy. If a person does not get enough sunlight which triggers the body to produce vitamin D many psychological and physical impairments can develop. The energies fed upon by the Fae help to promote basic physical functions and insure the health of the individual. This then links in with the ecological roles that each breed fulfills. If enough individuals are healthy, regardless of their role, then the ecosystem is healthy. However, if enough individuals are unhealthy, then at least one role within the ecosystem will likely fail. If there is not another specie to fulfill that role, then the entire ecosystem may collapse.
Of course, the good and normal scientific skeptic will come forward and say that this is all nonsense because there is no instance anywhere else in the animal kingdom of this lifestyle existing. These leads into the most interesting thing about the Fae and their DNA. All DNA on this planet shows its history. There are genes in elephants that are the same as genes in an oak tree and so on. This means that all life on Earth originated with one cell. Evolution is the result of genetic drift put up against the environment where a given organism lives. The important thing about the DNA of the Fae is that it is only 50,000 years old. We established this rough date through the Drift Clock Theory as developed through Schweitzer in Switzerland in 1989.
The most basic form the Fae, began in the African Rift Valley, however this does not account for the drastic differences in the various Fae breeds. There just is not enough time for sufficient genetic drift to take place. If this were a normal form of beneficial mutation, then the Fae should be a uniform sub-species of Human and the distinct breeds of Fae should not exist. Not only that, but the differences in the DNA of the Fae and Humans are too clean. Genetic change by natural selection is messy.
Therefore, Fae DNA is not of a natural origin. This can be supported by not only the drastic differences in the Fae breeds, but in the localization of the breeds, and the subsequent genetic drift of the sub-breeds.
So, if the Fae are not of natural origin, how did they come into being?
There are two possibilities. First, the Fae are a rather grotesque science experiment conducted by aliens on the early Humans with the intention to see how malleable the DNA was. The second is manipulation of an unseen intelligence, i.e., some sort of deity.
These are only suggested because there is so far no evidence of anything that could have supported a society advanced enough to modify DNA in such a way as to promote the ability to throw an electrical discharge through dry air from a fingertip. Something foreign to this level of existence or this planet has to be at work. There is no other logical conclusion.
So, to what end was this done? Why spend the time and energy and resources to not only dream up the Fae, but execute the plan to create them in the first place? Currently there is no answer.
We do have answers on a few things, though. These will be explained in the following chapters.
The Science of Magic
Magic mirrors the growth of civilization. At one time all civilizations were nomadic hunter-gatherers that followed herds of animals and ran from various predators all while looking for simple foods to eat. And of course, each of them created some sort of magic. Collectively, each of these is called Shamanism.
The nature of Shamanism is as such: this is the practice of using items from the natural world, within the setting of the natural world to control or influence the natural world. That is pretty broad, because it had to be. The natural world is huge and complicated and dangerous. The idea behind Shamanism is to make the hell that is life just a bit easier by keeping predators at bay or making storms just a bit less of a problem because we need a little more time to rig the shelter.
So, to do this, this form requires that the practitioner take various items that are part of whatever it is that needs to be controlled or influenced. For example, if your group is going hunting, then the Shaman will take a stag’s antlers and possibly a pelt and ask that the future hunted stag fall before them easily. This can vary on how elaborate the ritual is with dancing and prayers, etc.
The interesting part of many Shamanic practices is that for the most part the items used are all from the natural world and are often disposable. Such as the pelt used will eventually rot unless properly tanned. The same will happen with other things through use; eventually they will break down.
As people began to settle down in given locations and farm and take slaves and try to avoid slavery, the magic evolved. Now instead of the spells and rituals asking for help against just predators and prey they now become focused not only getting the natural world to play nice, but now they are asking for help in battle against their enemies. Strength of the lion for instance. As heroes began to arise, the inspirations for gods who took on the various attributes of nature and society which depended on what that person was good at.
As civilization advanced and grew, getting away into the wilderness became more and more difficult. Additionally, the possibility of obtaining the necessary items for various spells became more and more difficult. As a result of this Shamanism became less and less effective. Eventually mixed with the advance of technology and the lack of resources as new form of magic was created. This is collectively called Witchcraft.
The basis of Witchcraft is still rooted in the natural world, but the items used are more symbolic and more durable. The place where the spells are performed becomes more general and all but static. While in Shamanism picking a place was basically, “this is good enough”, the place choosing for Witchcraft is much more specific and the various consecration rituals of the area begin to be used. Within some variations, in order to keep out the elements so the spells cannot be interrupted or damaged, sacred buildings begin to be erected. These then evolve into shrines and later temples. It is at this time the first use of metals and polished stones began to be used along with symbolic plants.
The types of spells also start to change. Instead of calling upon various forces of nature and perhaps a god or two, it is the god/gods that hold most of the power and two schools develop: white and black magic.
White magic is asking for something to help you or to do something. By contrast, black magic is telling or commanding something to happen. It is incorrect to assume that either of these is good or evil in moral alignment.
As society and civilization continued to grow and evolve and various wars and purges forced the practitioners of magic from their dwellings and often forced a return to a more nomadic lifestyle a split happened.
Since in many cases getting to consecrated space became all but impossible, the spells stopped requiring its use or added the ability via an additional temporary spell to create an ad hoc consecrated area. In variations that were able to still use the regular consecrated areas, the spells were moderated down to something that would not draw the ire of the uninitiated. These were called prayers and were usually dedicated to a given deity and followed a white magic basis.
For those who did not want to give up power or did not want to change the basis of worship they took one of two general paths. For those who could create long lasting and durable items with a saved and rechargeable hold of energy they created the first true talismans. The use of symbolic items that have be built up into totems had existed since Shamanism, however these were not as durable or as general. The use of symbolic and purposeful pictures and movements that could be easily reproduced also started to be used. These would include the Seals of Solomon. Once things like those described began to appear, then the talismanic magic called Sorcery was invented. Later, as various areas become wise to the use of talismans and started to prevent their usage, some of the more inventive practitioners dropped the use of talismans altogether. This required the memorization of set verbal spells akin to prayers but with more force. Essentially, “I call upon the blank who is the blank or did the blank to assist or to blah blah for some reason, etc.” It may also include certain hand and foot movements and positions. This is still Sorcery, but it is the verbal school rather than the talismanic school.
At about the same time, the users of Witchcraft that were still hunted decided to take a part of the natural world with them. This was often a part of a tree and refined for concealment. This was the wand. Wands are kind of like talismans, with the exception of being long and based in wood rather than a stone or metal-based medallion. The wand is carefully chosen often from local trees and may contain a sample from one or more different species. The point of the wand is to focus the spoken word of the spell or the intention of the castor at the object or area of intention. Talismans tend to create more of a zone of influence. It is through the creation of the wand that Witchcraft evolved into Wizardry. Wizardry is the use of a wand to focus a quickly spoken single word or phrase with the intention of changing, controlling, or influencing a given object, person, or area.
So, to sum up:
Shamanism is the use of the natural world in the natural world to influence or control the natural world.
Witchcraft is the symbolic use of the natural world to appeal to the gods/spirits/natural forces of the world while maintaining a presence in the artificial/civilized world.
Sorcery is the use of talismans, written symbols and pictures, and/or spoken words or even gestures often as prayers or various incantations to a given deity or natural force to influence or control certain factors of the world. This is usually a zone of effect.
Wizardry is the use of a wand to focus a quickly spoken single word or phrase with the intention of changing, controlling, or influencing a given object, person, or area.
These are the four basic types of magic. Each one can use arcane, elemental, spiritual, daemonic, or divine energies to accomplish just about anything. The specifics of this will often be informed by the specific cultural history of the society from which the magic originates and the difficulties that it must cope with to survive and thrive.
The fading red light of the sun made the gravel and stones of the desert around Dorian seem to smolder like a dying fire. His small yellow car pushed on into the growing night as he drove onward, not really knowing where to go but going all the same. He wanted to run, and he could not care where.
As he continued to drive on, ever chasing that elusive horizon, the sun dipped down lower into the West and eventually disappeared, turning the red light to that calming purple and allowing the shadows to grow and envelop the world in that cold blanket of darkness. The dark purple of the night sky now shone with millions of tiny twinkling dots of light that were all that was left of particles that began their journey to Earth millions of years ago. The Milky Way stretched out before Dorian like a river of light painted across the sky.
Out here on this old highway, the only radio signal that could be found came from an AM radio station whose playlist consisted of country songs from the 1970’s and 80’s. The mournful caterwauling of a tone-deaf Texan was now the highest form of company available, and felt like a cold hand of condolence on his heavy shoulders. Dorian’s eyes became heavy as the soft country melody wove around him. He blinked and saw an impossibly large tree growing out of the road before him. Startled, Dorian slammed on the brakes and brought his car to a screeching halt. The slowness of the old country song continued unabated while Dorian gripped the wheel hard with white knuckles.
The tree was gone.
It was only Dorian, his car, the radio, and the desert. There was nothing but dark lonely desert.
The radio played on. I done ya wrong, but tonight I do ya right.
As Dorian stared out into the night he panted, breathing hard with fright. What was going on? He could feel eyes on him. They were behind him, in front of him, above him. Goosebumps and skin prickles flooded his body. Where were these people? There was no one else for miles. His eyes darted around and his head searched everywhere for the possible attack.
Then he saw something step into view just beyond the range of the headlights. It looked human and seemed to be wearing dark blue jeans and boots with a flannel shirt. Dorian quickly flicked on his high beams to blind what could be his attacker. He was greeted with nothing but a dark road and endless desert stretching out into endless night. Dorian got out of his car and walked into the light of the high beams with his hands building with electricity.
I’m ya real man. The music called out.
“WHO’S THERE?” he shouted into the night. “I COMMAND YOU TO SHOW YOURSELF!”
Then Dorian heard a gentle whisper coming from behind, “I’m in the forest beyond the horizon. To be a king you must stand upon your mountain.”
Dorian spun around ready to strike down whoever was standing behind him. Instead, he found himself slumped over the steering wheel of his car. The soft lonesome sounds of the old country station emanated from his car radio. He was still on the road. His car was idling gently, and he was the only person for miles.
“Okay,” Dorian said to himself, “I think I will sleep here tonight.” He pulled his car off to the side of the road, turned off the engine, and leaned his seat back. He was soon asleep with the dusty smell of the desert filling his nostrils.