"Big Bad Wolves? Girls getting stuck in towers? Gold spinning Faeries stealing firstborns? What if I told you Faerytales were real, they just haven't happened yet?"
"You're next in the books..."
FOURTH ELEMENT: FIRE
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Though burning witches was a truly stupid practice for the ignorant because witches have never been (and never will be) Faeries—they’re just magic stealers. This tradition was carried over from the legends of the Faeries. Why? Fire, in its purest form (in the Sidhe at least) is the Faery’s soul (as I call it)—it’s the core that carries every spark and magic throughout its body, their Snáth den saol (I’ll explain that later). In the City of Findias (a truly horrifying place full of volcanos and lava craters overrun by Unseelie Creatures in the Sidhe), this southern kingdom reigns over the Sword of Nuadha. This is the fortitude, the character, and the soul of the kingdom forged by fire, which brings us back to witches; somewhere along the line, mortals discovered they could fight fire with fire. It was thought that burning the body of the enemy would destroy the soul and its untold powers, though incorrect, fire was the first power that mortals were able to create that worked against Faeries.
Many bogies prefer the hearth (as Cinderella probably discovered). The only reason we can figure is that it closely resembles their habitat in the Unseelie Court in the south. However, these goblins like the heat, not the fire. And as the wolf learned, extreme heat at the bottom of a chimney is never a good thing. Keep the fires going in the fireplace, and you’ll avoid nasty visitors who like to play in the ash and drag you down with them to burn you.
A Mortal’s Soul
Take a look at your second skin. Your clothes, strangely enough, hold your essence. As the Faerytales show, clothing is a vital way to thwart Faeries. Just ask the Shoemaker.
Jackets Pulled Inside Out: Protects the wearer from getting lost by a Faery spell, it confuses the Faery because they can’t clearly sense your presence, so their spell to lose you in that big bad forest, backfires and you stay right where you are…and the Faery is the one who gets lost. I never get tired of that.
Pin in the clothes: I think it’s a voodoo thing. It’s actually painful (if not, it’s annoying) to Faeries standing nearby.
Clothing in Red: Besides the protective qualities held inside the threads, certain species do not like red: ogres and more sensitive species from the Seelie Court are especially vulnerable. The color makes them mad and gets them out of control and into ours.
Shoes: These get honorable mention because they are a huge deal in the Faery Kingdom. Shoes represent sovereignty, and there are many spells (and Faerytales) associated with shoes. They are used to keep Faeries away, and weirdly enough can help you find true love, which is the last thing any of us needs.
When all else fails, catch more Faeries with honey. Appease the Faeries. I promise you, they don’t like it, and some species are forced to leave when you give them exactly what they don’t want.
Milk: Sprites live off it, but most Faeries don’t need to eat to survive (that’s what their Vital powers are for). Certain kinds of Faeries must leave after you give them a saucer of milk. Same goes with bread, oatmeal, salt (though slightly more painful to ingest for certain races, who won’t be able to). It works the opposite of giving a mortal food in the Faery kingdom, mortal food cuts off the Fae’s connection to the Sidhe and they have to return to find it.
Clothes: Dirty socks, ugly sweaters, worn shoes. Give them your castoffs (connected to the theory above that it carries your essence), and they can’t lay a curse on you.
Thank-you: It signals a bargain. Besides painful on the ears, it confuses and disorients the attacker…especially when there was no bargain. Faeries are big on bargains and vows, and words and acts of gratitude work as well as spells.
Straw: Faeries are fascinated with straw (especially simpler ones). Wave it in front of their faces, and they are mesmerized. Keep it in your backpack.
Sugar: A way to get a Faery drunk. If you want them to talk, or to weaken a more powerful species, try this. Always keep it on hand.
Stealing the Fae's Fire:
As we discussed earlier, the source of a Faery’s power is called Snáth den saol—it holds their Core, Fringe, and Vital powers in one. Snáth has the appearance of fire (glows and sparks—though it is made up of many different colors), but it is collected like yarn. The story of the three Fates is real. They are the Norn, who collect the souls and destinies of the living with their spindles then roll them up to release that life to the stars while creating new life from old. With this in mind, scientists from C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc. recently revealed their possession of a spindle—perhaps even after taking it from the Norn themselves. The mission must have been a covert one. Not even I was aware of it.
Spindle: It looks like a top with a hooked needle on one end, and it works by spinning it while holding it with one hand. As it spins, it collects the Faery’s essence—catching the Snáth first on the hook than spinning it down into the whorl of the spindle. One hand will pinch, pull, and slide the Snáth down while the other rotates the spindle until it has captured all the Faery’s essence inside. You can capture more than one Faery on the spindle, simply feather out one end and overlap it with your starter Snáth. When the spindle is full, wind off the cop of Snáth into a skein.
To be honest, only the lab workers and assistants have ever used the spindle, but from what I see, it works better than any Faery weapon. I’m not sure where the Faery goes after we suck up their powers; if the Faery’s soul along with its power is caught up in the Snáth or if they die or just disappear? The head scientist from C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc. have told me that the spindle captures the entire Faery (what they define as the soul, powers, and all), but there are times I feel the presence of something in the laboratories after an experiment as if something else still lingers behind.
No matter. It’s best that I remember that this is war. C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc. is working on making more spindles for their Faery Hunters (once they figure out the magical properties), although I doubt the Norn will talk without cursing us all. Being without souls (as I believe this Snáth to be made up of), the spindle won’t work on them. That probably means no prototypes for us. I don’t mind because I wouldn’t like having a spindle of my own—no matter how many Faeries I can take with it. I’ll take my iron skillet instead.
Spinning wheel: Works faster than the spindle. The spindle can be snapped into place on it, but instead of collecting the Fae’s Snáth by hand, it can collect the Fae’s power in a matter of minutes. More efficient. More deadly.
Loom: Think the Emperor’s new clothes. It’s a way to take the Fae’s Snáth and make them into enchanted and powerful wardrobes; it’s a method of borrowing the power of the Fae by wearing them.
C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc. Prototypes:
An iron base: This is a type of ferromagnetism added to the spindle that catches Faeries in its force field and flattens them against the ground so as to work the damage more easily with the spindle.
New and Improved Spinning Wheel: Iron acts like a magnet to draw out the Core, Fringe, and Vital powers of the Fae. The iron is locked into the spindle portion of the spinning wheel. Seven crystals are snapped snugly into the wheel, and while capturing the Faery’s Snáth, it pulls the power from the fibers and collects it into the crystals as a liquidy, gaseous power. These can then be ingested by mortals, giving them the Faery’s powers. It works better than wearing the Fae as clothes, but I don’t like doing it. The last experiment C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc. did on me backfired and turned my eyes blue. I have no idea what I have in me now. I wonder if they know.
Remember, not all species of Faery are the same. Like crosses are to vampires and silver bullets are to werewolves, the above guide (besides the spindle) is not a fix-it-all for each species or sub-species in the Faery family. Paranormals represent a diverse group of creatures, ranging from slightly annoying to full on dangerous. The less harmful Faeries appear, the closer they look to humans; the more of a threat they probably are and the harder it will be to fight them. Only through C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Inc.’s experiments, will we determine the effects each weapon will have on the test subjects. Results may vary. Until then, good hunting.
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'Faery Hunter Guide'
(Taken from "At Midnight" by Stephanie Fowers. GET FIRST BOOK FREE HERE)