This is a tiny Faerie realm, no bigger than an average sized village and only accessible through the wish of Amorette, the Faerie queen, who will whisk a character (or occasionally a pair or trio, never any more than three people) away with the Wand of Worlds to the shore of its Faerie pond.
The Faerie pond of Starcadia is a reservoir of magical water that has rejuvenating properties, so one who drinks from or bathes in it will feel refreshed, no longer tired or weary, their aches and pains will be cured and any wounds that they may have received will heal (with only the exception of a bite from something turned).
There is a Faerie orchard on the far shore that produces fruit that acts as an antidote for almost all poisons (the only exception is that caused by eating the flesh of a Giant Snail, otherwise known as a Keeper of Time, as even the residents of the Faerie realms honour and respect the venerable sages with a worship worthy of gods).
Once refreshed, healed and rested, each visitor is given permission to take a pebble from the shore of the Faerie pond (and advised to if they decline as it is considered rude not to accept a gift from the Faerie queen, even something that appears trivial and without value such as a pebble, though those who are wise would know that nothing is trivial and everything has value if one is patient enough to learn of it).
When they are ready (and in possession of a pebble from Starcadia’s Faerie pond) the individual(s) gets transported back to Amorette’s august presence, where she reveals the true identity of their pebble. When touched with the Wand of Worlds, the pebble changes shape and colour, growing to twice its size and has its properties explained to its new owner. The following descriptions refer to the stones found in Starcadia:
- Star Stone: A dark blue stone that appears pockmarked like a sponge and has an amber star embedded in the centre. A star stone is able to burst in to a shower of bright golden stars upon command to make an impressive beacon. The stars projected from the stone are harmless and are just images of light.
- Moon Stone: There are four different Moon Stones (one for each moon) and each is the colour of its respective moon, gold, silver, red and green. Smooth and impervious, almost glassy to look at, each Moon Stone is flat and triangular with rounded corners. Regardless of which colour and moon the stone represents, they all have the same power which is the ability to cure a Lycanthrope (were-beast e.g. Werewolf, Wererat etc), turning the being back to its original state.
- Sun Stone: This pale white, flat disc shaped stone has the ability to blind, bursting with the light of a brilliant white sun which will burn someone’s eyes, permanently rendering them useless. One must be facing AWAY from an activated Sun Stone or lose one’s own sight too.
- Day Stone: This odd shaped green stone is one of the more potent Starcadia Stones and has the ability to extend the hours of daylight, keeping the night at bay for two hours. This must not be used frivolously as the immense strain on the natural order (the cycles of the sun and the moons etc) can have severely detrimental effects, confusing and stalling everything and everyone outside a five mile radius of the activated Day Stone for anything up to an entire day whilst the universe realigns itself.
- Rune Stone: This grey stone shaped and stone coloured stone is about half an inch thick with rough edges and a black rune of the Arcane language scratched in to it. These will perform which ever Arcane spell the rune represents (there are hundreds of different ones). The best thing about finding a Rune Stone is it is the only Starcadia Stone that is not limited to a single use so can have its magic employed over and over again, the cost of its power having been spent by the Faeries in another realm long ago so its use also comes without a price.
- Faerie Stone: Amorette’s favourites, a faerie stone can perform any telluric spell one can think of without having to use any spell components, remember any spell words or steal life-force to sate the mana’s cost. These have dual rewards because they also carry with them Amorette’s blessing which enables those who activate the Faerie Stone to turn invisible at will for a limited time (usually up to two, maybe even three hours if the Faerie queen particularly liked the character).
- Night Stone: These devastating stones do not belong in Starcadia or indeed, any Faerie Realm and it is unknown how they got there (though Amorette has her suspicions). The Faerie queen will confiscate these when revealed by the Wand of Worlds, by force if necessary (which would be a shame after receiving her hospitality and enjoying the rewards of a visit to Starcadia) and will ‘swap’ them for another Faerie gift if given freely. The alternative gift could be anything from a comb to a piece of jewellery, whatever the item, even if it seems mundane, it will be magical with some special Faerie attribute; many of which can summon the help of a Faerie as well as its primary magical use. Night Stones are fossilised Nevermore seeds and can be returned to their potent state with certain necromantic magic, enabling it to be planted and grow in to a Nevermore tree.
With the exception of the Rune Stones and the Night Stones (which are not actually stones) the other Starcadia Stones can be used only once and will become warm if a situation arises that would warrant the use of the Faerie gift. Once revealed by the Wand of Worlds and its use explained by Amorette, each Starcadia stone reverts back to its pebble form so the owner must remember what it is he or she has in their possession and keep it safe.
These stones can not ‘go off’ by accident as they can only be activated by the bearer’s sincere wish to use them. Visitors of Starcadia are people that the Faerie queen believes are worthy of the Faerie realm’s support and are usually kind, innocent or selfless; often found to be heroes who have saved lives or stopped suffering somehow. These individuals will be observed from time to time as anyone that ventures in to a Faerie realm can be located once they have left and Amorette tends to be fond of these special people and will sometimes come to their aid again if necessary; such is the love of Faerie-kind.
The residents of Faerie are a peace loving but fiercely defensive and powerful allies. All that come from that mystical realm have a dislike of weapons and mistrust of those who bare arms. Weaponry is forbidden there and any who are found armed within the realm are quickly expelled and often punished
Following the War of the Races, Amorette, the Faerie Queen, was convinced to arm various Faeries and allow a troop of knights safe passage whilst armed, to enter her realm to defend against an army of Ogire that had forced their way in and had evaded capture and consequence through sheer numbers and brute force.
The Faerie queen realised that their way of life was endangered and that certain rules must be bent or broken if they were to prevent the realm from falling. With great sadness but firm conviction, Amorette willed the first Faerie blade in to existence. The short sword was a wide blade, two feet in length and impossibly sharp, able to slice when two inches away from its intended target.
Instead of a runnel, there was a highly detailed picture of a Faerie kissing a rose embossed at the base of the blade, the beautiful flower’s stem wrapped around and threaded through an intricate lattice design of silver that sparkles as if dusted with diamond or mythore. Its hilt, consisting of a slim cross-guard and handle, is smooth steel that ends in rounded tips and the handle is wrapped in soft blue cord. The Faerie blade is superbly balanced and has the ability to blind an opponent temporarily. Amorette’s spellborn sword can never break.
The first Faerie blade was given to sir Morris Tombstone, the knight captain who changed the views of the Faerie queen towards the need to defend her realm and sir Morris led the campaign against the Ogire army that saved the realm of Faerie from subjugation but sadly cost him his life when he and the Ogire king, Hofgrew, slew each other in a fierce final battle.
Sir Morris earned the thanks and respect of Faerie-kind and Amorette blessed the knighthood, bidding safe passage through her realm to any with a noble, honest and innocent soul who believed in good, light and justice; no longer keeping the world of Faerie so opposed to mortals. In desperate need, a Faerie blade will appear when a mortal risks their life to defend a member of the Faerie race. There have been more than a dozen recorded instances but there are likely many more.
These wonderful Faeries are among the largest of Faerie-kind, with an average height of two and a half feet and are often referred to as being the same height as a Human toddler; who they also resemble with their awkward swagger and failure to sense danger. Picksies are brown skinned with brown hair that grows quite quickly on their head so they tend to have long and unkempt hair as they travel a lot and don’t really have the time to cut it.
They also have brown hairy bottoms and legs like fur from the waist down, like a Satyr but with feet rather than hooves and no tails. Picksies have small pointy ears and the males have two tiny horns that protrude from the scalp in-line with their ears and resemble conical shells.
Picksies have similar life-spans to Humans, averaging eighty summers, though some live as long as a century and their longevity is due to the amount of exercise they take as most are travellers, either walking miles every day or accompanying Giant Snails as their scribes; in which case – the exercise comes from climbing up their shells as they tend to fall off their ride a lot.
Picksies are not very sociable and are grumpy people in general as they loathe to be interrupted, bothered or taken away from their studies or tasks. These Fae creatures are perfectionists and will not settle for anything less than excellence. They have extremely high standards and expect (sometimes unreasonably) the same from everybody else.
Picksies are not keen on company unless to lecture or debate but have a fondness for Giant Snails, a strange and unexplainable relationship that is endearing to observe as the Picksie and his or her Giant Snail argue like a couple married for many decades but love each other very much (and believe it is important to tell each other so on a daily basis, even if they are cross with the other one and usually after they have insulted one another).
Picksie Paint is an ink-like substance of a colour so deep, dark and rich in blue that most mistake it for black. The recipe for making this concoction is a carefully kept secret, as is the method for mixing the ingredients due to the Picksie Paint being one of the many items on the Picksie Pact (a binding agreement of non-disclosure made by all the Picksie Council).
Unlike certain inks or regular paints and dyes, Picksie Paint will never fade and is imbued with a replenishing spell that will make the calligraphy on a Giant Snail’s shell, sparkle momentarily every two hundred years and then appear as smart and stark as the day it was penned.