As unique in nature and personality as they are, Mystfolk do share common characteristics and cultural traits! The following information is intended to help shine some light on the most diverse communities such as the one in Eyr. It is not a set of rules, however. It is intended to help enhance roleplay through understanding quirks and providing ideas. Each Mystfolk is an individual and should be respected and celebrated as such!
Typically, Mystfolk celebrate their bodies and heritage by wearing what grows in nature, weaving together natural materials, or going au natural. Leaves, flower petals, hides, teeth and insect silks are common resources used to make clothes and accessories, though some individuals might choose to recycle or ‘spruce up’ attire from other cultures at times. Those desiring to be ‘freer’ may keep their sensitive bits covered with their own fur or hide flap, while female nipples might be covered by hair or leaves.
When venturing into territories like a human village, Mystfolk looking to fit in or show respect to the locals may don attire appropriate for the area. They may not always get it right, however (especially if they think a set of pants makes a marvelous shrug).
Please note: It is not required to cover nipples per the tasteful nudity rule (see rule 10 under Character Rules as defined under Sim Rules), but players must be aware of child-character avatars that might be about and in line with the nature of their character.
Contrary to some beliefs, not all Mystfolk are vegetarians. Much like the rest of nature, some races and individuals eat meat. Some may also eat their food raw or choose to cook it, it all depends on how the mood strikes them. Many Mystfolk have a sweet tooth, and sugar, apples and milk oddly act as healing agents for them (even helping remove iron poisoning).
For fancy affairs, Mystfolk will prepare large feasts with a variety of dishes including honied breads, baked fruits, glazed nuts, fresh flower nectar, fruit wine, and herbal teas. However, they will often not offer food to non-Mystfolk that they have prepared, carried for over an hour, or been in Mystfolk territory for over an hour. This is because the food is imbued with ‘myst’ energy; akin to fairy dust, the food takes on a magical aura and, when eaten by outsiders, can make someone feel like they are high on drugs or viciously sick. Serving this food to the general public is reserved for festivals, and may be forced upon someone as a punishment.
Nature rarely gives without taking, nor takes without giving; the Mystfolk reflect this in their view of gift-giving and gift-receiving. The matter is taken very seriously, and gifts may range from objects to actions to information.
If a Mystfolk is given something, it is not considered a gift unless the giver clearly specifies it is; it will just be considered a normal part of the interaction, just like talking. It is up to the individual Mystfolk if they wish to reciprocate in any manner.
If something is specified as a gift, the Mystfolk may refuse or accept it; if it is accepted, the Mystfolk will feel compelled to provide the gift-giver with a gift in return. The Mystfolk’s gift will be of *perceived* equal value; that is, the Mystfolk thinks it is of equal value to what was given to them, even though it might not be. By example, an elf gives a Mystfolk silver dagger and the Mystfolk gives a very pointy and trustworthy stick that they have used for fish-spearing and play-fighting. A return gift, while well-meaning, may also turn out to be detrimental: a Mystfolk might not think twice of giving the purple-leaved, fuzzy-headed dragonsbane to a dragon friend if they think it will compliment their scales.
If a Mystfolk provides something beneficial or if someone wanders into a Mystfolk territory or gathering, the Mystfolk may demand a gift. The value of the demand will depend upon the situation: in a simple case of trespassing or exchanging simple information, a Mystfolk would likely ask for something simple, such a shiny rock; in the case of saving a life, a Mystfolk would demand something much more substantial, such as temporary (or permanent) servitude.
If the Mystfolk Atriarch, (the race leader,) is involved in gift-receiving, they may ask other Mystfolk that are around for their input before accepting or refusing. If the Atriarch gives a gift, the perceived value of what should be returned may be higher than normal. Both of these are based on the Atriarch's duties being to the Mystfolk people and their home first and foremost; any energy expended to an individual - especially an outsider - is a serious matter.
Servants, Slaves, and Fey-Touched
Mystfolk, in their desire to expand their free time or always have someone to play with, may capture or trick others into being temporary or permanent servants or slaves. A variety of lore records Mystfolk forcing people to do tasks through magic, stealing children and replacing them with dummies (often other Mystfolk,), and tricking targets into agreements. Mystfolk primarily target those that have harmed nature or in need of an ‘attitude adjustment’ (the rude, mean, lazy, etc.), but will be opportunistic with anyone.
Servants and slaves of Mystfolk may be tasked with a variety of chores, the hardship depending on their situation. If it is a temporary servitude, they may just be forced to dance and play till they fall asleep; if it’s to learn a lesson, they may go through a difficult, humbling task such as burying a talking corpse in one night. Longer servitude is usually associated with individuals the Mystfolk is attracted to (romantic or maternally/paternally) or that have caused a serious harm to the forest and its community (often imposed upon by the Atriarch).
Servants and slaves that stay around Mystfolk and their homes for extended periods of times (especially if they eat Mystfood,) gradually become fae-touched. That is, they take on some aspects of Mystfolk, themselves. This is due to being surrounded and steadily imbued with Myst energy. Such individuals tend to experience their thoughts wandering and becoming more child-like, becoming easily distracted, focusing on odd things, having a craving for sweet things, and physical features changing (such as gaining pointy ears). The process may be reversed, but the individual must avoid contact with Mystfolk and their territories while cleansing themselves with a diet of pure water and plain, unflavored food. An individual may choose to become a fae-touched, but must seek approval from the Atriarch.
Mystfolk, on the other hand, are naturally horrid servants. Their desire to play and lack of attention easily gets them off-task; those that or older or those with more experience in task-oriented societies. Mystfolk might be targeted as slaves for their magical nature (either being forced to do magic through violent coaxing or having it - and their life essence - drained) and/or for their beauty.
True Names and Several Names
Mystfolk are a unique band of magical creatures in that they are subject to the ‘true name’ phenomenon; that is, they have one name which speaks the most or greatest to who they are, and that this name thus holds power of them. A true name may be short and simple or long and complex, depending on the individual’s heritage and nature. All names a Mystfolk has will reflect some sort of aspect about themselves or are given to them by individuals close to them.
As a defense mechanism (and at times entertainment method), Mystfolk often have several other names that they may go by. In addition to a casual name, Mystfolk may swap names as they change activities, change social crowds, weather the changing seasons or at other situations. It is not uncommon for a creature to have at least seven names, and older beings may dozens of names. Mystfolk should be wary of telling one person too many names, however, as while they are not the true name, knowing multiple names can hold a degree of influence over them.
Speaking In Tongues
Most, if not all, Mystfolk are unable to lie. This isn’t to say they are wholly honest; while their magical nature physically prevents them from communicating falsehoods, they will twist words to hide the truth and toy with others. (Note: while Mystfolk are compelled to tell the truth, they may also twist words in order to get out of promises or flat out go against them, depending on the species.)
A Mystfolk may ‘speak in tongues’ by using metaphors and/or descriptors.
“Go east to get to the elven village” becomes “Go greet the rising sun to awaken amongst the large leaves of the long-ears”
Purposefully mishearing what another has said.
“But WHO is the queen who wears the red dress?”
Mystfolk response: “Hoo is the queen? Well she must be new.”
“Will you tell me about your race?”
Mystfolk response: "I didn't know we were holding a race. I'm not really a runner myself- more of a leisurely stroller."
Answering with questions or redirection.
“What are you doing?”
Mystfolk response: “Why do you wish to know?”
“I’d like some information.”
Mystfolk response: “And I’d like a honey-dipped apple.”
With all the different shapes and sizes Mystfolk come in, they all speak a variety of languages and dialects of those languages: some click, some ring, some snort, some breigh, some rustle, some whistle, some- err, we make a lot of different sounds to communicate! There are, however, a number of 'common' languages that Mystfolk might use to cross racial or regional differences. The information provided below is one that might be used in Eyr, out of the book A Practical Guide to Faeries by Susan J. Morris.
|Good morning||Ves sunir (VESS SUN-ear)|
|Good afternoon||Ves arba (VESS ARE-ba)|
|Good night||Ves starren (Vess STAR-ren)|
|Farewell||Bir'kir (Beer keer)|
|What's your name?||Ro'wa wylo tira? (ROW-wa WE-el-oh TEA-rah)|
|My name is...||Syl tira wa... (SIL TEA-rah WA)|
|Thank you||Aura wul (OR-ah We-el)|
|You're welcome||Wyl'rin asha (WE-el rin ASH-ah)|
|I'm sorry.||Tir lin. (TEAR lin)|
|I don't understand.||Ti ja vapir. (TEA JAW VAP-ear)|
|I hate/love it.||Ti jaen/kala ni. (TEA JAY-en/KA-la NI)|
|Where is the toilet?||Tam wa iya vastooten? (TAM WA EE-yah vass-TOOT-ten)|
|I have a pimple on my toe.||Ti keva sai pebin mir syl iggi (TEA KE-va sigh PAY-bin mear sil IGG-ee)|
*Mystfolk don’t like to say ‘no’, and may seldom say ‘ahbottensottensesosametonmotonsshh’ in place of the word.
- Red: embarassed or angry
- Twitching: nervous
- Perked: curious
- Drooping: Sad
- Wave fingers left to right, palm down: I have a secret to tell you.
- Wiggle just pinkie finger, right hand: You're cute!
- Buzzing: angry
- Spread wide: defensive
- Pinned back: scared
- Slowly Fanning: relaxed
- Rapid Fluttering: happy and excited
- Roughly pawing at ground: angry
- Turned to the side: defensive
- Lightly lifting up and down: scared
- Lightly swaying from foot to foot: relaxed
- Rocking: happy and excited