Pixie

A pixie (pl. pixies, also piskie(s)) is a type of fae. Always diminutive, and often winged, these beings are mischievous fairies, known for their trouble-making skills.


Physiology

The average pixie is a bit shorter than a Barbie doll, but they range in size from small enough to curl up in an acorn to full Barbie height. Pixies have pointed ears, but otherwise resemble miniature humans in shape. Some of them have insect-like wings (butterfly and dragonfly being the most common), though naturally wingless pixies are also common. In terms of hair, eye, and skin color, literally all shades of the rainbow come into play. Winged pixies are fully capable of flight, and produce a fine dust called (creatively enough) 'pixie dust', which can be used in fairy ointments, or for other magical uses. They can shed this dust at will onto someone else, either granting the temporary capability of flight or causing a severe rash.

Like all fae, pixies are deathly allergic to iron. Iron reacts strongly with the magic that is an integral part of their anatomy, and causes a violent allergic reaction in the form of a burn. This starts out resembling a rapid and intense sunburn, but prolonged contact with iron can cause any fae's flesh to blacken and die. Pixies are also among those fae who need contact with nature to survive. They can travel in the city, but not live there for any extended period of time - being surrounded by so much metal and pollution drains their life force, and caused them to fade (even to die).

Other than that, pixies are as immortal as any true fae - they will not die of natural causes. They reach physical maturity after a period of seven to ten years, though (in the manner of many fae) whether or not they ever truly achieve emotional maturity is debatable. Upon reaching physical maturity, pixies essentially stop aging for several centuries, then proceed slowly through middle and then old age. Unlike sprites, with whom they have a long-standing and bitter rivalry, pixies are known for their large families - the term 'swarm' is not uncommon.

Pixies are omnivorous, though they usually end up having a mostly vegetarian diet because they're rather small to be effective hunters. They have a typical fae fondness for sweets, and a special love for milk. Also, pixies are the fey most intrigued by trinkets and shiny objects - ribbon in particular is so valuable to them that they trade it as currency.


Magical Characteristics

All fae are capable of glamour - an elaborate illusion that will fool all five senses (at least for a mortal) - and pixies are no exception. Their illusions are limited to their own person, however - though they can make themselves appear like a bird or insect to human eyes, they cannot create a full-blown illusory house. By the same token, pixies 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.

Most pixies can shapeshift into some sort of small animal - hedgehogs, in particular, are a common shape. Like all fae, pixies are incredibly attuned with nature - they can move through the woods without cracking a single twig or disturbing a single leaf. Also, pixies are especially keyed to plant life - to say that they have a serious green thumb would be a vast understatement. They are also unsurpassed in knot-tying (and knot-untying) skill - in this regard they have a special love for working their skill on horses' manes and the hair of sleeping people.

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

Pixies are trooping fairies, found in both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, though admittedly more things at the Unseelie court view them as edible. They organize themselves into extended family groups and clans, with young male pixies bringing their wives and children into the clan of their parents. Outside of the Courts, pixie families tend to live in Otherworld villages. They especially like to settle in large old trees (especially oaks), living in converted birds' nests, knotholes, or in multi-room complexes under and within the roots. Offending one pixie offends the whole clan, and they are quick to declare vengeance for their insulted kin.

Pixies and sprites have a long-standing and bitter rivalry. Pixies will tell you this is because sprites are jealous that their equipment isn't proportional to their greater size, and then probably engage in an extended (and colorful) commentary about sprites being uptight prudes who ought to be swatted, the lot of them!