Fae for the Future

The folks at Pitfalls and Pixies have kicked off a new blog carnival topic for June 2016. This time, it’s all about the fae. And I have to say it’s a great topic. 🙂

The fae have always been a fascinating subject, from the different courts competing for attention to the multiple types available to play with human fates. No being who encounters them in any way will ever be the same, but I’m betting that no two encounters are ever the same either.

Peter Pan quoteSure, there are the broad encounters where a human stumbles into fae lands and lose their way for years. Or tales where some poor soul forgets not to eat or drink anything offered, changing in some magical way. But there’s always more to it… tales of love and loss, competition, betrayal, and so much more.

But one thing that occurred to me was that we haven’t seen fae in cyberspace yet. At least, I haven’t. There’s the mysterious “Ghost in the Machine” that appears now and then, but that’s not the same thing.

A while back I toyed with the idea of a group of faeries finding their way into cyberspace as their lands diminished in a world bereft of belief in magic. These days the only faeries known by children seem to revolve around Tinkerbell and her friends, so we’ve gone way beyond the “I don’t believe in fairies” being harmful…

So what if they decided to find more fertile ground? The realms of cyberspace are a new frontier for many kinds of beasties. They might encounter digital manifestations of emojis or emoticons, apps, and more. I wouldn’t portray it anywhere to the complexity of the world of Tron, but I think there are plenty of monsters and roadblocks to face trying to establish a foothold in a cyber world.

Here are a few ideas to explore:

  • mgsloan-Stylized-ComputerEntering cyberspace. How would the fae move between their native realm and a cyber world? Would it be magic? Perhaps a bargain struck with a hacker will find a way to transform energy from one form to the next.
  • Finding a place to call home. Though the Internet is filled with domains and demesnes of all conceivable types, it’s much too easy to stumble into one through any popular search engine. Instead, I could see them falling into the Darknet. And establishing a niche there could be difficult when all sorts of nefarious activities are already occurring there.
  • Teaming up. Imagine if the Summer and Winter courts of the fae had to work together to fight against a darkness they’ve never seen before. Bots and hackers are one aspect, but I suspect that deep within the net lie true artificial intelligences – the literal Ghosts in the Machine. And they would be none too happy with sharing their realms with anyone. It’s possible that there could be similar courts already established in the Darknet and the fae might have to negotiate to find a way to survive.
  • Powers and plots. Then there’s the idea of what powers might survive the transition from the faerie realm on Earth to the one in cyberspace. How does fae magic change? Faerie foods? Music? Spells?
  • Equivalents. And then there are the portals between the human world and the new fae lands. What’s the equivalent to a faerie ring or magical portals? Do true humans get sucked in Tron-style and become forced to fight to survive in this world?

There’s a whole realm to play with here. I think it would be interesting to toy with in a Cyberpunk game system or Shadowrun or any number of other rules systems. But isn’t it time to see the fae become more than just echoes of their former selves in any urban or futuristic setting too?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Interested in participating in the RPG Blog Carnival yourself? Be sure to pop over to the Blog Carnival Archive and see what current, past, and future topics might be. Throw your hat in the ring and suggest a new topic or just join in the fun and contribute!

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