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Elves are people, too

One of the readers of the blog asked if I could write something about Elves. I haven’t met a real live elf in this lifetime yet, but my half-fae’s father was an elf, so I know about them from those memories. Because I’m elvin half-fae,  I’d love to meet up with some elf-types some day. Sadly, I probably won’t be able to because they don’t like humans much.

Most elves don’t have a lot of magic, although they’ve produced a couple of strong wizards who got pretty famous a long, long time ago. Langoureth’s brother Myrddin was a really amazing wizard, but he was an exception.

Usually, an elf will have a special talent for one kind of magic, and that’s it. One of the most common magic types is being able to enhance the properties of a non-magical object. This can make an arrow into a super-arrow by making it faster and more accurate. But they still have to shoot it from a bow–they can’t make it fly by itself or anything. This talent appears to only work with natural materials. Trying to make a microwave work better wouldn’t work because of the plastic and chemicals. An elf with the right magic can also give a warrior some extra strength, which explains why elvin Warriors are so darn strong even though they’re not muscular.

Even though they could magically enhance other things, they usually stick with making better weapons. I guess people’s choices about their stuff can tell you a lot about them if you pay attention.

The Dragon Tenders and Farmers can communicate with animals with their special ability. It takes a lot of magic to become a Dragon Tender. My friend James (who was Myrrdin in a past life–yeah, it’s complicated), says that Dragon Tenders don’t really talk to animals, they just send them pictures and feelings. Because we all know animals can’t actually understand language, right? Not even fae animals like dragons and pixies.

The other two kinds of magic that are most common among the elves are for healing and tracking. Really good trackers apparently like to become Assassins because Assassins are really respected in their culture. That’s not at all true for Healers.

Healers don’t get much respect from the rest of the elves because most of them are women. But they’re in high demand because the elves get into a lot of wars and are big risk-takers. They’ll hunt something dangerous just to show off how strong they are if there isn’t any war to get into.

What else can I tell you? Well, elves don’t like humans. And they really hate people who have a fae parent and a human parent because they want the fae bloodlines to stay pure. I’m not sure that’s true of all the elves, but the majority of the elves have to do everything their Elders tell them to do or they’ll be whipped, put in jail, or maybe even killed. Their government is not nice. I don’t think most elves would risk talking back.

Elves live in large communities, and they like having a lot of shared social events. Family is really important, and kids are kids for a long time. An elf isn’t considered a grown up until their thirtieth birthday! But that might be because they live to be over a hundred. Some of the current Elders are even close to two hundred.

The compounds have big group dinners every night, and there are lots of group gatherings where the elders talk–mostly to tell everyone how to behave. Sometimes it’s a party with contests like sword-fighting among the warriors, and the common people (who do all the work while the guys at the top blab) get to cheer on their favorites. That part of it sounds kind of exciting, but I’d skip the “conform, or else” speeches, thanks.

I know people are worried about the elves because some of the bigger compounds have been nasty to humans who try to visit. I hope that with elves being so much like humans we could get to know each other better and get along. Plus, elf-guys are hot :-)

Let me know if there’s anything else I left out that you want to know about!

Tanji Ross, Sorceress
Three Months, five days after Fae Day


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Pixie dust and “dusters” (Tanji’s blog)

Pixie Dust

Pixie Dust–so completely not what it seems. Picture provided by Dustin Gaffke under a CC by 2.0 license.

So, you may have heard about this already, but I was surprised to find out how many kids in my little town are now “dusting”. I mean, seriously, we’re like two years behind what’s happening in places like New York on most things. But the dangerous stuff? Looks like we can keep up.

My dad says that (in like the thirties or something, when he was cool) there was a drug called Angel Dust (PCP for the science crowd) that got really popular for a while. It’s made out of an animal tranquilizer, and it pretty much made people crazy and violent in addition to getting them high. Like shoot-your-dog-or-your-best-friend crazy. It can even kill you the first time you take it if you react to it badly. Sounds like fun. I know I want to get me some, right?

Now the updated, post Fae Day version of Dust has hit the streets, courtesy of the pixies. After mixing a potion for my bestie Lizbet that was supposed to help her stay awake, I found out the hard way that pixie dust is a drug you don’t want to mess with. I really learned my lesson about using a magical ingredient without looking into the possible side effects. Seriously, I could have messed her up. Even thinking about that makes me want to tear up my sorceress badge.

But look, here’s the thing: pixie dust is useful in some spells. Think Peter Pan. Not *exactly* like Peter Pan because you can’t just get some on you and then fly around the room. But fae who have the magic to move through the aether can use pixie dust to bring other people along for the flight. So, yeah, it’s like beam-me-up-Scotty useful for that.

The flip side is if you ingest it (eat it, snort it, inject it, or whatever), you “fly” in a whole other way. You’re full of energy and feel like you can do anything. But you lose your common sense, too, like you do any time you’re high. That can lead to doing some really stupid stuff you’ll wish you hadn’t done. Never my first choice. I only do stupid stuff I want to do.

Anyway, if that sounds like fun, hold up for a minute before you go out and try to snag a pixie to get your fix. Because the downside is that the high lasts a few hours at first, but then you crash. And you crash big-time. If you don’t get another jolt from the dust, you’re pretty much going to go unconscious where you’re at. We’ve had kids around here who’ve had bad car and bike accidents from falling asleep without warning when the buzz wore off.

Eventually, you’ve got to take dust almost constantly to get the same effect as you started with. I’ve seen pictures of kids who were badly bit up from dusting and then going out to catch pixies to get more dust to feed their habits. That’s just stupid. Leave catching pixies to the professionals. (This is where I put in the plug for Ron Ross’s Magical Pest Control. Smooth, right?)

Anyway, that’s my public service announcement for today. Hit me up in the comments if you have a particular kind of magical creature you’re interested in hearing about, and I’ll see what I can do.

Tanji Ross, Sorceress
Two Months, 6 days after Fae Day

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Gnomes: scourge of the garden (Tanji’s blog)

Giant Garden Gnome

This giant garden gnome is like the one my dad put into the garden at the gnome relocation camp we own. (Photo courtesy of Scott McLeod under a CC BY 2.0 license.)

Okay, so maybe “scourge of the garden” is a little too strong, but “scourge” is such an uber-cool word. Really, though, gnomes are pretty pesty if they’re living in your garden. They dig holes, they make the worst kind of noises and then laugh about it, and they’ve been known to eat your pets and make clothing from their skins. Yike!

The first thing you have to understand about gnomes is that they are “people” not magical creatures like pixies are. They have complex societies and language. It’s true they’re not very smart and that they get far too much of a kick out of bodily noises, but they are tiny people just the same. So, what do you do when they move into your garden, and how do you get them to move out?

First, forget trying to reason with a gnome. They aren’t reasonable. In fact, they are some of the most stubborn people you will ever meet. My friend Eamon (he’s a gruagach) says that you can’t reason with gnomes because they only have enough room in their heads for one idea at a time. You can change their minds, but only if you can get them stuck on some other idea instead of the original one. That usually takes a bribe of some kind. Try sugar. They really like sugar. BUT, sugar by itself won’t get them to move on, although it might stop them from eating your cat.

Second, you’ll need to remove any ceramic garden gnomes that are decorating your yard. That’s what attracted the gnomes in the first place. They worship the things: they actually believe that the gnome statues represent their gods. And gnomes are *big* on gods. Just don’t get caught sneaking the gods out because gnomes can get dangerous when it comes to protecting them. They may be small, but they’re tough and persistent.

Third, stop growing cabbage. Right now. I don’t care how much you love the stuff. Gnomes find their babies under cabbage leaves (that’s where the expression came from). Nobody really knows what the relationship is to gnome procreation, but they can’t reproduce without it. If you grow cabbage, you can expect your gnome problem to get a lot worse. However, if you do find a baby gnome under a cabbage leaf, don’t touch it. Wait to remove the cabbage plant until after the gnomes claim the baby. Otherwise, you are in for a world of hurt. See above about tough and persistent.

If all else fails and you live in the state of Ohio, give a call in to Ron Ross’s Human Gnome Removal and Magical Pest Control Service. My dad and his staff can relocate your gnomes to a nice place where they can live comfortably without tearing up anyone’s garden.

Tanji Ross, Sorceress
One Month, Two Weeks, Four Days after Fae Day

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