Uncommon to Rare depending on Family
Quadruped equine, sometimes with horn, insect-like wings, antennae or other unsual traits.
Fae Pony is a term that describes a fifth race of pony that co-exists alongside the other four: Alicorns, Unicorns, Pegasi, and Earth Ponies. Fae Ponies are a bit unusual compared to these others in that they are divided up into three different Tribes, with each member of the Tribe sharing general traits, but differing in other important ways. The tribes are further divided into Families: groups of ponies in each Tribe who share certain physical traits, talents, and affinities.
The story of the Fae Ponies traces all the way back to the so-called “Age of Alicorns”. During this period when the magic of the world was still chaotic and wild, and the other races struggled to edge out a niche in the harsh world, the Fae Ponies saw no reason to do so. This was because, tied so close to the magic of the world as they were, the Fae Ponies were also chaotic and wild. The lived in the untamed places, shunning the order and sameness that civilization and the Alicorns brought, and embracing the chaos and variety found only out in the wilds.
Unfortunately, in the end, Order and Chaos could not survive side by side. An equilibrium had to be reached. The Alicorns and the ponies they protected struck out against the Chaos and wildness of the world, seeking to bring it all under their sway. So began the war that ended the First Age and brought on the Age of Discord. Not all of the Fae Pony families sided with the forces of Discord. They understood that even the wilds have an order to them, and that Discord’s rule would mean an end to that. They would not be able to live as they had. Unfortunately, many families were either uninterested in hearing that logic, or unable to understand it, and threw in their lot with Discord. They became the Chaotic Families- The Discordian Fae. They are the Fae Ponies remembered in modern times. The ones spoken of in ancient Fairy Tales and old Folk Legends.
The other families- dubbed the Lutian Fae, or Lost Fae- instead chose to flee the conflict. The sequestered themselves away in the places outside the world; Hidden away in these demesnes, they continued to live as they had for generations. The roads between the Knowes allowed them to stay in contact and trade with one another. The roads back to the world, however, remained closely guarded. The Paths and the Old Roads stayed closed for hundreds of years, before they finally opened again. And what the Fae found when they exited their Knowes was a changed world. The Alicorns were all but extinct, and the remaining three races were living in harmony under the rule of the Two Sisters. Their kind were nothing more than legends now: Old stories used to frighten bad little foals.
Lifespan and Birth
A Fae Pony's lifespan is not significantly greater than a pony of any other tribe. However, as the Lutian Fae reemerge into the world, many are discovering that time within the Knowes has not passed the same as in the world outside it. Several Families have reported spending as little as a single generation inside their Knowe from their perspective, despite the fact thousands of years had passed outside it. This means that there are currently a number of Fae Ponies whose ages are, objectively, in the thousands of years although subjectively they are the same age as any other pony.
For all intents and purposes, Fae Pony children work like any other children in Equestria.
A foal whose parents are of the same tribe will usually be the same as their parents, though a sufficiently strong influence from another tribe or race’s bloodline in the family history can occasionally cause a foal of a different tribe or race to be born to parents who are the same tribe and race. Such a thing usually only happens when the family history contains a mixed-blood, or a changeling.
A Fae Pony who has parents from two different Fae tribes (referred to as having mixed blood) will be born as one or the other, though the way they apply the talents of their physical tribe will show signs of influence from the other parent’s tribe. For example, a Flutter Pony with one Flutter Pony parent and one Sea Pony parent might be born a Flutter Pony who finds themself particularly skilled at Water Evocation. A child of mixed blood can end up as another race of pony (Earth Pony, Pegasus, Unicorn) if there is a changeling in one of the parents’ bloodlines.
Where the Veil truly shows its mark is on the Fae Ponies who has a parent that is from one of the non-Fae races. These were rare occurrence up until recently and are generally called a “Changelings” due to the eventual choice they must make when their Fae heritage asserts itself at the discovery of their cutie mark.
Changeling children have a grace period in which The Veil enacts no cost for hiding their heritage from the world. The child of a Fae and a non-Fae will always appear to be non-Fae (A unicorn if the mortal parent is a unicorn, pegasus if a pegasus, earth pony if an earth pony. There are no known instances of an Alicorn changeling ever being born) with the proper sort of magic that would be appropriate to that non-Fae race. Upon the discovery of their special talent and their cutie mark, they would be confronted by the Fae (usually the Fae parent, but not always) and given a choice to make: Remain among the non-Fae, keep the magic they’ve had all their life, and never know thier fae abilities or the full truth of their heritage; or choose to give up their non-Fae magics and join the Fae Ponies in their demesne and learn to use their fae pony gifts.
In older times, that often meant that those who chose to join the Fae Ponies were abruptly torn away from the world and thought to have been lost or killed somehow. This practice is what eventually gave birth to the myth of Changelings as fae foals switched with non-Fae ones so that the fae parents didn’t have to raise them.
When the Lutian Fae went into hiding, it was decided that new measures would have be taken to protect them from the danges of the world outside the Knowes. They called it The Veil- part code of conduct, part ritual magic- a powerful magical working that would allow them to hide themselves when out among the other races. However this gift came at a great cost: The contract required that in order to tell such a convincing lie, the Fae could no longer lie in other ways- Not in word, nor in deed- to the other ponies who they hid from. For that price, they gained the ability to create a Seeming. A unique appearance that shrouds their Fae traits from the eyes of non-Fae ponies. A Fae who broke their word could quickly find their true nature revealed to the ponies around them, and often an unpleasant reaction shortly after that.
The Veil affects different Families in different ways. The general rule is that the more powerful and strange the traits of the Family are, the more restricted they are by the Veil. For example, a family of Breezies who have little more than the basic small stature and very simple magics, such as plant-growing, for example, have very little for the Veil to hide, beyond their small stature. The cost is thus, in turn, smaller. A Breezie from this family may very well even be capable of telling small white lies and performing other deceptions.
Conversely, a fae from a Family that possesses immense magical power and several noticeable and unusual appearance traits would have to pay the “cost” of masking that magical power to ponies who can see it, as well as several complicated illusions to hide those unusual traits. Thus they would find themselves so bound by The Veil that telling even the slightest half-truth might be immensely uncomfortable for them.
The Seeming is part of the innate magic that all Fae Ponies possess. In most cases, the Fae have no control over what their Seeming looks like. It is simply an intrinsic part of them: One Flutter Pony might look like an average pegasus, while another Flutter Pony who relies less on her wings than her previously mentioned comrade might appear to be a unicorn. The key thing about a Seeming is that it is always nondescript and avoids drawing attention. Coat color will usually match the natural color of the Fae Pony, though perhaps with a more muted and less vibrant tone. Eyes, likewise, will look as close to the Fae Pony’s natural appearance as possible- though cat-like eyes or something unusual will always end up looking normal under a Seeming.
The ways to detect a Fae Pony hidden under their Seeming are myriad and many. That is, after all, where many of those old folk legends about how to reveal one of the Fair Folk come from. The simplest way is to goad them into doing something that they should not, by all appearances from their Seeming, be able to do. Such as tricking the aforementioned fae with a unicorn Seeming into flying.
If a Fae Pony is around other Fae Ponies and not hidden beneath their Seeming, or voluntarily chooses to drop their Seeming around a mortal, they regain the full ability to lie, tell half-truths, and generally be as dishonest as they desire. Culturally, it’s considered bad form to do so, however. If you get into the habit of being able to lie when it’s not important to avoid lying, you’re far more likely to slip up and tell a lie at a time when it could destroy your Seeming.
All Fae Ponies can work magic. The means by which they do so, as well as the kinds of magic they can work, are generally dictated by what Tribe and Family the fae in question belongs to.
The main difference between Fae magic and Unicorn magic is that the magic of the Fae Ponies is immensely more specialized. A fae’s magic is always some variation on their family specialization. A Flutter Pony from a family that specializes in illusion magic may have a talent for aural illusions good enough to let her conjure up the sound of a symphony, but her skill with other kinds of magic would be non-existent at worst, and poor at best, even with proper training. Her body would simply not be designed for the sort of magical adaptability built into unicorns. A unicorn with a similar affinity for aural illusions might eventually, with time and practice, learn to create visual illusions of the ponies in the symphony as well as the sound of their instruments, for example.
The broader a specific Fae’s grasp is on their Family talent, the more of a cost the Veil taxes upon them. While our aural illusionist mentioned above may get off relatively lightly, a pony with a talent in illusions that can fool all the senses would find herself far more restricted by the Veil.
Thanks to the peace and harmony Celestia and Luna have brought about in the modern era, however, the Fae Ponies have started once again openly interacting with the non-Fae races. This means two things: First, the Veil is beginning to weaken as it is no longer necessary, so while children with mixed mortal and fae blood still have to make The Choice, it no longer means being torn away from family and friends to choose to be a Fae Pony. Rather accommodations are usually made for the Fae Pony foals to receive training in their particular Fae Tribe’s gifts one or two days out of the week instead of attending their regular schooling on those days. The trainer is often the foal’s Fae parent, but cases of a trainer being appointed to a town or city from one of the Fae Kingdoms is not unheard of.
Second, it’s become much more common for those who have to make The Choice to choose to remain Fae instead of Mortal, if only because many in modern Equestria feel that choosing to deny and remove a part of one’s self would be unhealthy. Fae Pony parents are often open about their heritage with their friends and family now, and foals with Fae blood are often raised knowing that they will eventually make The Choice and that whatever they choose, they will be accepted.
In time, it is suspected that The Veil will fade away completely, at which point The Choice will cease to occur and Fae Pony foals will simply either be born showing all the marks of their heritage, or the marks of their non-Fae heritage, with no need to ever choose between one or the other.
Fae Pony Families
All Fae Pony Families are descended from the three original Tribes, and to this day there remains a Family within each tribe that still exemplifies the base traits of the tribe, called the Tribe Line. These families are often simply referred to by the name of the tribe they represent.
Otherwise known as the Flutter Valley Flutter Ponies, these are the family of Flutter Ponies that all other variations descend from. They’re a playful and cheery bunch who specialize in Air Evocation spells. They’re well known for their “Utter Flutter” spell, which is a hybrid Wind Generation and Purification spell. Legend has it that when the Family was united in acting against a threat with this spell, they could quell even the most dangerous of foes, such as the ancient and dangerous Smooze.
Branch families of this Tribe Line include:
- Tylwyth Teg (Contact Pixie_Dust for more information on this family)
Also called the Ponyville Breezies, this family of Breezies are probably some of Fae Ponies that are the least restricted by The Veil. They’ve stayed true to the Family’s original specialization of simple nature magic, taking it upon themselves to make sure flowers grow and blossom provide joy and happiness to everyone. The only thing their Seeming has to account for is their size and hiding their wings and antennae, and thus the relative ‘cost’ the Veil places on them is minimal. They are almost as capable of deceit and deception as any other pony, and are not so easily bound by word or contract.
Branch families of this Tribe Line include:
- Delfania (Contact Crystal_Belle for more information on this family)
The Dream Valley Sea Ponies, caretakers of the lakes, rivers, and seas of the Knowes, and generally playful and excitable. Unlike the more specialized Sea Pony families, the Dream Valley clan have ponies with skills in both transmutation and water evocation. They use those skills in the course of cleaning the waters and protecting accidents from happening; fall in a river or lake in a Knowe? Likely it’ll be a Dream Valley clan member who casts a waterbreathing spell on you and guides you back to the surface.
Branch families of this Tribe Line include: