So…did anyone else get any weird mail addressed to someone named “Desmond” lately?
I’m actually not asking about the mail itself - weirdly, after finding out about the Neithercouriers, unexpected mail sent through USPS seems perfectly mundane - but I was curious about some information included in the letter. The whole thing is describing various sample specimens from Neithernor that need cataloging, and some of the items (fae dust, humanely sourced pixie wings, etc.) have made me reconsider what we know about the creatures of Neithernor.
I think we had all sort of concluded from Deirdre’s accounts (and maybe from our own experience) that the flora and fauna of Neithernor is pretty out there. And the Book of Briars fragments hinted at various plants and animals (Obenhedge, Brachursis, etc.) that were unknown to the magiq-deprived Book of Kings. Fae and pixies, on the other hand, have been part of at least legendary records even in a world that has no idea about Magiq.
My question, then, is where did they come from? Do the fae and pixies of Neithernor resemble the legends of the mundane? Were they originally from the mundane and made their way into Neithernor, or vice versa? Which of the stories we know about them, if any, are accurate? Are there other legendary creatures that reside happily in Neithernor, or that were inspired by other Neithernorian creatures? Do they have dragons, or hippogryffs? Is there a REAL HERMAN somewhere in the Neithernor seas? Discuss.
This is something I think is really interesting because, if these creatures are the roots of our mythology, it would make us have to totally rethink Neithernors relationship with our world during the era of these myths popularity. Did the myths come from people who traveled between the worlds, were the first recordings of these myths of Wool origin? It’s super interesting to think about.
It’s a pleasant thought that there was some crossover from one realm to another - people bringing things to and from. In that case, I wonder what survival mechanisms of each creature would changing going from the mundane to Neithernor or vice versa. I wonder how the plants would change in one realm versus the other. A fascinating topic.
According to at least one source (of dubious veracity, but that’s another question) people who spend too long in Neithernor become changed, so it’s possible that when the walls between Here and There were much thinner and doors were more open, that plants and animals from Here went There and then spent enough time there to also change. That would explain any fleeting similarities between our known flora and fauna and the ones in Neithernor.
So perhaps Obenhedge is what happened after a thousand Neithernorian years of mutation and evolution to a single Osage Orange that rolled through a doorway? Maybe an ordinary seahorse with aspirations of glory swam through a gap in the veil and there really ARE Hippocampi in the seas of Neithernor. Nature does weird enough stuff on our side of the doors anyway, add in Magiq and anything is possible.
This is a question I’ve always wondered regarding the life in Neithernor. Because Neithernor was created by people with magiq, so there was likely nothing there to begin with. That means all the life there must have been introduced at some point from the mundane unless creatures and plants were just magiqally created along with the dimension.
That’s definitely possible, but I wouldn’t say that all of the flora and fauna of Neithernor are mundane creatures that slipped through and adapted to their new environment. Neithernor, at least in our current understanding, was born of a piece of the Fray that a magimyst harvested, but couldn’t control. I can think of at least one piece of flora – the Fraylily – whose origins are in the Fray, and I imagine that there has to be other examples of flora and fauna from the Fray. And being a magiqal pocket dimension, I’m sure there are some Neithernorian exclusives™ that are unknown and unconnected to either the Fray or the Mundane, as @Cj_Heighton suggests.
Either way, I think its important to remember the agency of nature (and also magiq in Neithernor’s case). Nature does what it does and exists for its own sake; while we as humans have the potential to do (and currently are doing) massive harm to our environment, we have to remember that nature has its own innate value. It’s one of the reasons I love the mission of PRSFNE as one which recognizes and respects the natural world of Neithernor. Now that I’ve stood upon my environmental soap box for a bit, I’d like to ask: how does one humanely source pixie wings?
That’s what I was thinking, @BairnSidhe - there are probably some who scour standard pixie habitats for wings. I also like to think that some pixies are against the practice, so the gatherers would have to wear beekeeper masks or something to keep from getting bitten.
Ahhhh I love all of this. Similar to what @BairnSidhe was saying, the text of the letter indicated that pixie wings molt every so often, and the remains of their molted wings have some valuable magimystical properties. Similarly with the fae dust - apparently it can be “bestowed” or given on purpose, and that gives it more power than just collecting it, but there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with just collecting it from where you find it, either.
And in terms of how similar or different Neithernor is overall from the mundane, I think a certain number of things have to be similar. For example, all of us who’ve been there have been able to breathe, so either A) Neithernor has an atmospheric composition containing oxygen similar to that of the mundane Earth, or B) Neithernor has some sort of magiqal replacement for such a thing that allows us to function in a similar way, but we have no idea what it is or how to measure and study it. Actually, now I’m kind of hoping it’s option B - maybe that’s part of what makes people “Neithernorian” the longer they stay? Some sort of magiqal property or substance that our bodies adapt to and eventually evolve with over time?
And, to be fair, I don’t even really know whether Obenhedge or the Brachursis (side question: what is the plural of this? Brachurses? Brachursi?) exist in Neithernor, themselves. I’m just guessing that they could, because the key groupings suggested plants, animals, and constellations that weren’t familiar to us at all. Maybe some, like the Fraylily, originated from the Fray and were there to begin with? We don’t know much at all about the Fray, so maybe Neithernor is much more similar to it than to the mundane, or was at one time. And some things sprung up over time that were truly unique to Neithernor, while others were brought through from the mundane and, like some of you were saying, evolved into something more Neithernorian under the influence of Magiq.
But specifically on the subject of pixies: I’ve have a few theories given what we know of Neithernor. It’s possible Neithernor’s creatures are the source of our legends, but that seems less likely to me. Given the editing that took place in the Book of Kings - pardon me as I continue my abiding crisis over the discovery of two.parallel.existences. - I do wonder if any of the widespread legends we know (like dragons or fairies) are themselves altered versions of better documentation on magiqal animals from the Book of the Wild. And in that case, what does it mean for something in Neithernor to be called a pixie by PRSFNE researchers? Did older magimystics see creatures that looked like stories they knew about pixies and named them because of that? Do they have blue skin? How big are they? Do all of them have wings? Are there other creatures we think we know but which are very different in Neithernor?
My head hurts now. I’m gonna go doodle every way I imagine pixie wings might look until I have to do boring mundane Excel work again.
Nimueh’s neithercourier was a couple of “fairies” that appeared as balls of light that giggled and caused mischief. One of them stole some of her hair. Of course, the neithercouriers are likely a very different set of entities than the ordinary fauna of Neithernor.