The Piper is the leader of this particular Fairy gang. He and his crew make a living from trade in stolen human children. A child has a multitude of uses for the Fae, including being an exotic pet, a slave or a special delicacy. The Piper has a magic flute, whose melodies can prove fatal for the mortals who hear it. From human perspective he's a vicious monster, but for his own kind he's just another guy.
Bratcatchers are a pair of Piper's pucks who help him lure and snatch children. They are big ugly goblins, but they try to make themselves more graceful by dressing up - and the result is quite grotesque.
|The stolen children.|
The Stolen are the children that were taken and are kept under the Piper's influence. Such kids are normally taken to a Fae market and sold as slaves, pets or snacks.
The Pale Man is a child-eating monster.
Aside from the Bratcatchers, the Piper controls swarms of tiny blue winged Fairies. With their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite, a big enough swarm of these creatures can devour a man in a matter of seconds. Luckily, though, they seldom unite into groups of that size.
|Fairy Sniper, a mercenary.|
Fairy taint is the name for the harmful radiation that emanates from all Fae creatures. The intensity of radiation varies from one fairy to another, and even a single one will not radiate equally at all times. The taint lingers behind them wherever they go, and remains in any living thing they encounter. The contamination will, however, diminish by itself with time (depending on the dose absorbed). Prolongued exposure to the Fae causes fairy taint to build up in the body. Smaller doses may cause nausea, tremor or light-headedness. If a sufficiently large dose is accumulated it usually has damaging effects. A heavily tainted person or animal will eventually display some or all of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual aversion to iron
- Social withdrawal
- Hallucinations (such as hearing voices)
- Disorganized thinking and speech
- Glowing eyes, pale complexion
- Low body temperature
- Enfatuation with Fae creatures
- Thin bluish smoke coming out of orifices, often paired with fits of cough
- Undying urge to get up and walk deep into the woods or to throw oneself into a well
- Obedience to the higher Fae
Iron absorbs and neutralizes fairy taint, and repels the Fae by causing them discomfort. This is the reason why village folk will customarily nail an old horseshoe above the door of their cottage.