…and fairies who are in danger of crossing that line are exiled from the fey realm.

For reasons the sages are still debating, some sentient beings of all races are born without certain fundamental shut-off mechanisms.  Most humans can enjoy a goblet of wine or tankard of ale without feeling compelled to overindulge, but for some, a single sip can trigger a binge. For others, bread or sweets triggers overindulgence.  The fey folk, who draw much of their sustenance from magic, have members who are similarly afflicted.

When a fairy is convicted of Deadly Mischief, she is exiled to the mortal realm, where magic is less prevalent. Fairies require some magic to survive; those who cannot find enough usually starve to death in exile. A few, however, find a source of magic so rich that they reach a state of critical mass and change into something twisted and malicious, something that is pure chaos and dangerous, unfocused magic.

Humans have many names for these creatures–demons, imps, will o’ the wisps–and take great pains to avoid them.  Wizards and sorcerers, however, sometimes enter an alliance with an imp. The wizard exploits the creature’s magic, but the imp benefits, as well. Without the structure imposed by the wizard’s will and magic, the imp could not survive very long. Its chaotic nature would quickly expand past the requirements of a physical form, causing the creature to dissipate, either slowly or catastrophically, into a mist of deadly energy.

So how does an exiled fairy survive and gain enough control to reenter the fey realms?

More on this tomorrow.