March 2nd excerpt:

With something that strange going on, it was assumed that the still-human-sized human would be coming to the village to investigate. Even so, when the duffel clattered loudly to the ground, the noise did cause a few sprites to falter in surprise, sending Dean stern looks before going about their business again. It was doubtful anyone missed his walking up, but giant steps were easier to ignore knowing the giants were safe.

But really, that had been loud.

Definitely loud enough that Jacob, who was back in Bowman’s house, had no doubts that his friends had arrived.

It’s a good spritely question, sassy, no worries!

Sam most probably has caught a few gazes here and there over the years. Wood sprites tend to court a little later in their young adulthood, so in his late teens and starting his twenties, wood sprites his age may have considered him. The funny part to think about is, Sam can be a bit oblivious at times, so he could have turned down a date or two without even realizing he did so (in most wood sprite communities, it’s usually the female initiating a courtship).

This is a good question, and it’s one that I had to answer early on when developing the sprites if I wanted to get anywhere, since they can live in wintry climates just as often as warmer ones. The sprites do use a Prayer to get warmth, though it has some caveats to it. They have to be Praying over a living tree, and preferably one that has already been influenced by the Prayers to shape it into a home. It can heat up the wood and, depending on the shape they are using, provide the heat they need for boiling water for tea or baking pastries (usually acorn flour pastries, but this depends on what’s available to the sprites; some can get actual wheat).

For a demonstration of the use of this, there’s a reference to it in my short story “Keeping Warm” (x). I’ll also provide a snippet from an unfinished story below, featuring an herbalist named Kayra and her son, Cress.


Kayra kept herself busy, working quickly to get something ready for the poor sprout. The child may have improved in leaps and bounds since she’d first heard his worrisome coughing, but there was a quiet urgency in her movements. Kayra couldn’t stand to let the boy suffer any longer than he had to. She took the water from Cress and carefully poured it into her basin of crushed up dried plants.

She didn’t even have to ask before Cress was at her side with a smooth, straight stick that Kayra took with a grateful smile. She ruffled his hair before setting to mixing the solution in the water, giving the liquid a cloudy, greyish-green color.

Next came a slightly trickier step. Kayra was exhausted, but she had enough energy in her to say a Prayer that most sprites knew by necessity. She placed her hands on the counter top on either side of her basin of water. “Earth Spirit, Lady of Life. I ask for warmth.” As the Spirit’s magic flowed through Kayra into the living tree surrounding them, the sprite took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and sighed.

Trees were hard to shape into homes or stairs, due to their stalwart natures. They changed their shapes only after a sprite put in a lot of time and energy, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult to influence them to direct heat. The basin and the counter top around it grew hot and Kayra took her hands away, stirring the concoction occasionally.

Cress inhaled a deep breath as the medicine’s scent began to creep into the main room. He padded over to a shelf near the dining table, warped crevices dipping into the wall. He retrieved some wooden bowls and his wings fanned opened and closed a few times as he resumed helping his mother.

It only took a few more minutes for Kayra to nod in approval to herself. The broth was ready. She saw Cress waiting patiently with bowls and smiled at him. “Sweet boy. Thank you,” she told him. In moments the medicine was portioned out. The sprites approached the weary, bundled up guests, each with a container cradled in their hands.

Nixie would be very curious about these earthbound sprites! They’re so very different than her and her sisters. There’s men, for one thing. They have babies, instead of being born from their element (I can imagine the confusion when an aeternum water sprite runs into an earthbound water sprite like kadmianika greyfin).

Earthbound sprites also have a better grasp on the language found on earth, as Nixie still resorts to her descriptions when she can’t find the right words for what she’s talking about. She’s an empath like Rischa, and would love to take the little sprite under her wings to teach her new ways of using that empathy. Though aeternum sprites lean towards the more controlling aspects of their powers, unlike the earthbound sprites.

Bowman and Nixie would be wary of each other. He’s a male sprite, and she’s got dragonfly wings instead of the butterfly fins of a water sprite! It’s needlessly confusing. Why the Aeternum sprites need to call themselves sprites would probably baffle Bowman. They’re hardly like the sprites he knows at all!

He’d also be very miffed to find out how fast they are. He worked hard to get his top speed, and they can go much faster thanks to their magic. It’s not fair!

(Well, Sassy, at least it gives me excuses to infodump about my lore)

This is many questions, I’ll just answer ‘em right in order.

1. For really bad inclement weather, wood sprites wouldn’t go outside, no. They’d bunker down inside their homes and make the best of things … they could find a container around if that was needed.

To keep themselves warm, most of the time they will snuggle together in a group (in Brothers Asunder, young Sam most definitely did grow up knowing of these snuggle piles). Wood sprites also know a few Prayers to help them out in such weather. They can Pray for magic that brings heat through the living tree all around them, and prevent them from freezing in their li’l cuddle piles.

2. Newborns and young babies do use cloth diapers, yes.

Fun fact about baby wood spites (hey, I warned about the infodump): When they are born, their wings are not fully developed. Instead, they have little leaf buds on their backs (which I’m sure their mothers are thankful for, no one wants to birth a set of fully developed wings). These leaf buds stay curled for the first few years of the young sprite’s life, developing into full wings with the help of sunlight. When they are four or five, the buds have reached a thickness of around twice what they were born with, and they start to uncurl. At that point, all flutters break loose as the nestlings learn to deal with the very sensitive nerves that are now exposed to the air.

3.  They wash their clothes with water. No, really. Just water. Stones in the stream can be used for scrubbing if needed, but honestly they don’t often need it. Groundwater in Wellwood happens to be extra pure (for reasons), so the stream is extra A-OK to use for cleaning.

4.  Correct. Wood sprites are very lax and don’t tend to be super inventive on their own, and usually they don’t need to be. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and all that.

“Let me guess, someone stole your sweetroll…” (Skyrim, friends, we’re referencing Skyrim like big TES nerds)

Flowerkin is actually neither an insult nor another species, though in the recent excerpt Sam is using it to tease Bowman (Actual tease –

Bowman is still a dainty flowerkin like always. He didn’t even get a bruise on his wings.”). It is simply a word wood sprites use to describe particularly dainty wood sprites (which is saying something because they’re all kind of willowy and thin thanks to their metabolisms). In my sprite lore, flowerkin wood sprites are responsible for the popular artistic depiction of fairies wearing flower petals and such.

For example, here is a wood sprite character that I have developed who would be considered very flowerkin:

image

This little lady has yet to show up in any of my stories, but she will (someday… when I get around to it).

Art by the-searching-one.

March 12th excerpt: 

Sam peeked out from where he was standing behind Scar, his face faintly red at the sight of so many other people, and all with wings like Scar’s. “H-hi Ara- my Lady,” he managed to nervously stutter out, not completely sure how he was supposed to address her. His dad hadn’t spent much time on formalities, and Dean wasn’t the best example to follow when it came to authority figures like police and teachers. Sam wanted to make a good impression after his life had been saved.

His wide hazel eyes flicked to the other knights that were in the room with them. “Are you going to help find my brother?” he asked, innocent hope in him that soon he would be back where he belonged with his family.