Selkie

A selkie (pl. selkies, also silkie(s) or selchie(s)) is a type of fae. Shy ocean-dwellers, selkies are rarely seen dwelling on land by choice.


Physiology

In their human form, selkies are indistinguishable from regular humans, although they tend to have more pronounced webbing between their fingers and toes. They usually have dark hair, and always have soft brown eyes. All selkies are more comfortable in their natural seal shape - or barring that, at least in the water. They can shift back and forth between human and seal shape at will, by shedding their sealskin, which they usually hide somewhere safe, to prevent theft.

Like all fae, selkies 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. Selkies are strongly tied to the ocean, and cannot live away from the coast if they dwell on land - being separated from the sea cause them to pine and fade (even to die).

Other than that, selkies are as immortal as any true fae - they will not die of natural causes. They age at much the same rate as humans, for the first twenty or so years. Upon reaching physical maturity, selkies cease to age at a human rate, and in fact the rate of their aging decreases exponentially (the older they get, the more slowly they age). If a selkie is trapped on land and parted from their skin, they will age at a human rate, and can even die of old age! Selkie pairs usually only have one or two children, if any. Sometimes selkies remain landbound for a time, usually as the lover (or spouse) of a fisherman/woman. Their offspring are human, but will always have good luck fishing, and be excellent swimmers, in addition to having the ability to see through glamour.

Selkies are omnivorous, with a diet primarily made up of seafood. They are among the few fey not particularly swayed by sweets and sugar.


Magical Characteristics

All fae are capable of glamour - an elaborate illusion that will fool all five senses (at least for a mortal) - but selkies can generally only manage small adjustments to their person (reducing the webbing between their fingers, for instance, or changing their eye color). By the same token, selkies 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.

A selkie's sealskin can, in some ways, be considered a part of their soul. If their skin is kept in the possession of another (or even worse, destroyed), a selkie is prevented from taking their true shape. They are trapped on land, bound helplessly to the person who possesses their skin. Usually this trick is used to convince a selkie to marry the human who hides their skin - but if the selkie ever finds their skin, they will rush to the sea, back to their selkie kin. If they've had children with their human lover, however, they will sometimes come back (as a seal) to play with the children and watch over them.

Like all fae, selkies are incredibly attuned with nature - in particular, the ocean. No selkie can drown, and they always know the pattern of the tides and storms. Also, selkies are known to have beautiful singing voices, and are famed among fisherman for being able to sing fish into the nets.

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

Selkies are considered solitary fairies, and are Seelie fae. Typically they avoid Court life, however, and live in small family groups at sea, whether on Earth or in the Otherworld. They often live on small, rocky islands, without a human presence. They are universally shy, and if approached will usually retreat into the waves - however, they are benevolent, and have been known to rescue drowning sailors.