In the ongoing series of “digging secrets out of Amber’s history”, we have a subject that often makes me squirm with respect to Zelazny’s Amber: the Fae. Amber doesn’t seem to dramatically need the Fae—and Zelazny hinted faerie stuff in series that doesn’t blend neatly. We get Tir Na Nog’th and homicidal leprechauns.
Which wouldn’t matter a whit if I weren’t always cross-pollinating the worlds of Zelazny to each other to do my extensions of universe.
Yet my campaign always is peeling back another layer, and the children of the PCs are opening connections that haven’t been seen since Faiella died. That child being specifically Xhimena, daughter of Cassandra, daughter of Evander, son of Eric, son of Oberon, son of Dworkin.
What we have learned so far IMC of the Fae…
They are of several lines or clans that don’t often mingle, being choosy that way. Many scholars report these lines are along five elemental lines (Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Phos, the spark between states.) This info doesn’t seem to quite hold with actual fae met in our story.
- First there were Ravens, calling themselves the Fetha, those who invented all birds. Certainly Air fae.
- Then siren Mermaids, who seemed friendly with the Ravens and prefer to be called Mer Mu. Apparently carnivorous and love music. Certainly Water fae.
- Then those called the Milk Girls by Xhimena, who named themselves Ling Kai. Very fragile seeming ladies who appear only at night and live on the moon. They are sometimes called the Moonriders and are worshipped in Ghenesh. Possible Phos/Spark fae.
- Then the Black Zee warriors, also called the Zhan Zi appeared. Extremely tough and nasty. Possible Earth fae.
- The Black Zee leader has said that Faiella’s blood was of the Ying Ko, or UnShi, side of the culture. The Ying Ko are only a name so far… ?Possible Fire fae?
- The Thornkin exiles have just appeared to confound the tangled picture, known as the Riak Mal. Very powerful magics but not much revealed yet except they worry the other Fae. ?More Fire fae?
And just to keep things perplexing, almost all of the Fae have had black or silver or moon-like and very gothic trappings. Black ravens, black mermaids, black warriors; all of whom seem to respect bright, shiny, or precious craft. All of them foxy and quite secretive.
If any of these notions can be trusted, Faiella was of Fae blood but only in part. For some odd reason, she held great position with the Fae despite this. Fae referred to her as The Witch and said she could destroy them. This same power has not shown itself in Deirdre, or Cassandra, but the Fae expect to find it in females of Faiella’s line.
If Corwin has daughters beyond his Argent Pattern, folks in Amber are not well informed of it.
Though various bits of info seem to conflict, Cassandra also discovered some books she can read in Amber’s library that are written in no language she knows. This fragment of conversation with ravens reported by Cassandra, linked to her web diary.
See Jvstin for a very adroit comparison between Faerie and Amber.
And this for minor Fae magics that flavor differently than ADRPG.
Himmaggery’s comparison of Chaosians and the Fair Folk.