A brownie (pl. brownies) is a type of fae. Brownies choose a household to take care of, and stay with that particular house (or family, if they get attached) through the generations.


Brownies range in size from one to three feet tall. They usually have dusky or tanned complexions, with dark or straw-colored hair (the better to blend in when hiding in the rafters or a haystack). They have pointed ears, and eyes that come in all shades of brown (although you will find the occasional green-eyed brownie).

Like all fae, brownies are allergic to iron - however they are unique in that the iron must actually be used to wound them in order for it to affect them. They are the only pure fey capable of handling iron cooking implements with impunity. Brownies are also among those fae who enjoy living with or near humans, and therefore do not fade in an urban setting (though they do better in the country than amongst skyscrapers).

Brownies are as immortal as any true fae - they will not die of natural causes. They age slowly, achieving physical majority after about one hundred years, and social recognition of their adulthood after about two hundred. After that, the rate of their aging decreases exponentially (the older they get, the more slowly they age). Because brownies are so long-lived, they typically only have one child at a time - twins/triplets/etc. are incredibly rare occurrences. Also, they tend to be fertile in cycles of at least a century or two, reducing the likelihood that they will have numerous children in quick succession.

Brownies are omnivorous, and eat pretty much anything humans eat. They also have a typical fae fondness for sweets and milk.

Magical Characteristics

All fae are capable of glamour - an elaborate illusion that will fool all five senses (at least for a mortal) - and brownies are no exception. They often use this to appear human. Their illusions are limited to their own person, however - though they can make themselves appear invisible to human eyes, they cannot create a full-blown illusory house. By the same token, brownies are capable of seeing through most glamour. Their own glamour can be defeated in the usual ways: even if they can fool another fae's eyes, it is nearly impossible for them to fool another fae's sense of touch. Even mortals can see through glamour, if they have a special ointment rubbed on their eyelids, have pure iron touching their skin, or turn their clothes inside out.

If a brownie is mistreated or deeply insulted, they will turn into a boggart. Boggarts take all the powers of a brownie and use them for malice and vengeance. It is imperative not to give a boggart a name - doing so prevents them from ever calming down and returning to brownie stage.

Like all fae, brownies are incredibly attuned with nature - they can move through the woods without cracking a single twig or disturbing a single leaf. Also, brownies have an unparalleled knack for domestic tasks. They can cook, wash, clean, and fix with unique speed and efficiency. Part of this talent involves moderate telekinesis (they can make pans scrub themselves while they busy themselves in another part of the kitchen, for instance). Boggarts tend to use this to play poltergeist.

No fae can tell an outright lie. They can bend the truth, and they can talk in circles around the truth, but if they actually SAY the sky is red, it had better be red, or they're considered an oathbreaker and their magic (if not their life) is forfeit. On that note, all fae can sense magic in their vicinity, usually by feeling or seeing it.

Society and Habitat

Brownies are solitary fairies, found primarily in the Seelie Court, though permanent boggarts are Unseelie. They tend to live alone, or in nuclear family units, and are always attached to a household of some kind. On Earth they attach themselves to a human residence, but in the Otherworld they might have their own home, or be domestics for the Court. During the night, in secret, brownies attached to human households clean and organize and generally maintain the household. They ask for no payment other than kindness and a small fraction of the crops. Anything more than that will usually cause them to leave the house forever.