Faery, Stair
Faery, Stair

Faery, Stair

Stair Faery

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Infinite Staircase
FREQUENCY:Very rare, or uncommon after being on the stair for a long time
INTELLIGENCE:Very Intelligent (12)
ALIGNMENT:Chaotic Good
MOVEMENT:9, Fly 18 (A) or 36 (B)
HIT DICE:1 + 3
THAC0:18 (see below)
DAMAGE/ATTACK:By weapon type
SPECIAL DEFENCES:Speed, +1 weapons needed to hit, timespace warp
SIZE:S (8-14″ tall)
MORALE:Average (8)
AD&D 2e statistics

“We’d been climbing the Stair for two weeks when we came upon a Stair Faery, or rather, a Stair Faery came upon us. He was a skinny little thing, and looked quite a bit like a Coure Eladrin. His four dragonfly wings beat about like mad, and he zipped around our heads like an angry insect, which is what we mistook him for. We swatted at him for a moment, until he said in his small voice ‘Hey! Whatcha swattin at me for frien’?’ We were baffled.

He went on to tell us he’d been watching us progress our ways up and was wondering where we were headed, and why the powers it’d been taking us so long to get there. After we told him, he chuckled a bit and told us we’d made an easy enough mistake… that of looking on the wrong side of the steps, and that he’d fix that right off. He spun around us a bit, told us to hold onto the railings, and blasted us with some sort of magic so disorienting we didn’t know what’d happened. I couldn’t figure it out, except when I realised that I was missing my longsword. Looking down, I saw it lying teetering on the edge of the landing, underneath us. He’d knocked us to the underside of the steps, and after walking ‘up’ for another hour, we arrived at our destination.”

Zif, Prime Explorer, from his notes on his first time on the Stair

Stair faeries come in all shapes and sizes, and are the saviours of all the poor sods who get lost on the Everclimb. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share the characteristic trait of four dragonfly like wings that constantly beat with magical power. Most commonly, they’re no taller than a foot, but faeries as large as two feet aren’t unheard of. As well, they all have a singsong sound to their voices, and a greenish glow in their eyes that lets any well-lanned cutter know who he’s dealing with. Stair faeries (male and female alike) are also bald for the most part, but sometimes grow enough hair to pull back back into a single shoulder length braid.

COMBAT: Stair faeries avoid combat at all costs, because of their fragile, easily broken wings (and bones). When forced to fight, they usually fly as far from the Stair (usually around 20 feet out) as possible, and use their lethal gravity shift ability to send a sod flying into the abyss. The gravity shift is a powerful illusion that changes a single person at a time’s perspective of up and down, and causes them, basically enough, to “fall up” into the nothingness surrounding the Stair, usually plunging into an unknown or inescapable plane. This attack can be resisted with a successful save versus illusions with a -4 penalty, and there’s an additional -1 penalty for each person the affected cutter saw fall up (seeing someone fall up causes confusion to one’s own perspective, weakening protection against the faerie’s attack). The faerie’s disadvantage with this attack is that they can only use it once on each target, so if someone passes their save, they have to find other means to get rid of them.

If the gravity attack fails a faery, they can invoke their amazing speed to decrease their armour class to -2 and increase their flight speed to 36. If they still can’t escape combat, they can create a rift in the space-time continuum around the stair, and slip through to another area on it…. but this is extremely taxing to their psyches, and can only use it once in their lives. A given faery has a 75% chance of still having this power, as they’re very conservative of its use.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Stair faeries don’t have any organised society, each is a unique individual that flies about the Stair in search of lost folks to help. They enjoy their work to the fullest, and don’t take any rewards, except in the form of fruit, which they love. The way to a feaery’s heart is through a pomegranate. A faery’s occupation consists of giving directions, putting folks on the correct side of the Stair, and reporting trouble to the lillendi, who take care of such things. As well, they serve as messengers amongst the Stair’s inhabitants, and are often seen flitting about with little messages in cylindrical brass cases. If a cutter needs to get a message to somewhere else on the Stair, get a lillend’s attention, or other such thing, the faeries’ messaging system is the best.

ECOLOGY: The faeries live lives of 100 years on the Stair. After their lives expire, their spirits leave their current body and possess new ones, and the cycle repeats itself. They supposedly breed their bodies and store them somewhere for later use. This practice is called by some amphibianism, coined by a prime storyteller. To find a cache of faerie bodies would be to bring the attention of the whole race, which would most likely kill to have their secret kept.

The spirits themselves are magical creatures of pure creativity, and were originally spawned by the Stair itself, and cannot survive off of it. No greybeard has ever studied the process that brought about amphibianism, and narrow minded folks fear it, including some folks from the Planewalker’s Guild; rivals of the faeries for their service to travellers. The faeries will flee at any sign of the Guild, because in the past they were hunted by them for the study of their spirits… the only result was the killing of several faerie bodies. Some from the Guild are still trying to further the study.

Source: Tom Bubul

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