02 July, 2010

Legend of the Guardian Fae

As you may know, the faerie race of lore, inhabitants of the lost kingdom of the elves, were a magickal folk who lived very close to nature - indeed, so close as to be inextricably linked up with it. Their unique ability was a sort of harmony with the elemental forces of nature, which they could conjure up in the form of humanoid sprites, and control with their pure will. Different elves had differing affinities to the various elements, and though most could perform small tricks with each, few were masters of more than one element. Of the five elements the most revered was life, for obvious reasons, even though it was more defensive than the others. But the elves were a peaceful race, who used their power of manipulation to aid and protect nature and themselves from those who would seek the power of dominion - the chief threat being that of the ruthless tribe of man.

Many tales have been spun about the old kingdom, the way of the elves, and their conflict with man, but rare even among the elves' mythology was tell of a special tribe of faerie folk who had fused the natural elements and gained the power of spirit. Whether this tribe ever really existed is up for debate - and it certainly requires a strong faith in the magickal realm to believe it - but regardless, their intriguing ability is worth considering, if for nothing more than to serve as a moral fable.

This tribe was referred to as the Guardian Fae, which described the power they were able to wield. By welding the natural elements together, they created spirit, a form of ethereal barrier protecting the bearer, which could manifest in the form of a sprite not unlike a guardian angel. Like the other elements, this power could be activated by sheer force of will - but, even more so than life, it was purely a defensive power. It was like a shield, and had the ability not just to stop material things from injuring the bearer, but it could also isolate the bearer in an egg-like pocket beyond space and time, removing him from the stressful consequences of life for a period of restful peace.

The power was so strong as to protect the Guardian Fae from the effects of aging - already diminished among the faerie folk - so as to make them practically immortal. Once the power was unlocked, its quantity was fixed, and by its very nature, it could only be given, and not taken. Membership among the Guardian Fae was eternal, and new members could be admitted only by the sacrifice of old members. But their society was a grand one, if the tales are to be believed.

Imagine, how it would be to live like one of the Guardian Fae. You could live with no fear, knowing that you possess the power of ultimate protection. Nothing could ever hurt you. Nothing could stop you from pursuing your dreams. The only restriction would be harming others among the Guardian Fae. Of course, their ultimate defenses would prevent you from doing any harm to them against their will - though it was within the Guardian Fae's powers to willfully drop their defenses. Thus, they could be harmed or otherwise trespassed against, but only with their explicit consent. There was no concept of "force", as force could not be exercised within the society - everyone did exactly as they pleased, living in peaceful harmony with one another.

The best evidence against the Guardian Fae is the fact that they do not continue to exist, as far as we can tell. They would not need to hide; they would have nothing to fear. Theirs would be an indestructible utopia. But I have heard rumors about the origin of the power of spirit - that its synthesis requires the destruction of living elves, in order to harness their control of the elements. If this is true, it could be possible that the Guardian Fae, with their insight and empathy, saw that the very existence of their power was a threat to the faerie kingdom. Those who are greedy, with lust for power, would want to seize it, at the cost of others' lives. This was the very antithesis of the spirit brought on by the power's usage, but it was an inevitable product of its manner of creation. Do the few deserve to live in a utopia at the cost of the lives of many?

So then, perhaps the Guardian Fae sacrificed themselves, for the good of all; or perhaps they took this all as a very good reason to hide - not to protect themselves, but to protect us from ourselves - and left this world a long time ago. They surely would have the power to do that. Is it true, or is it not? Who knows, and I don't think it much matters. But the question remains, if living in such a manner as the Guardian Fae did resulted in a life of blissful peace, can we not at least approximate that, without the power, by molding our behavior to imitate theirs? Or is it simply a fact of nature that we will continue harming one another, and then taking our frustration out on others, preventing them from obtaining the bliss that's been taken from us? Do we have no choice in the matter?

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