As you can tell from the book title, Charms of the Feykin, there is a new creature being introduced in the series. Sort of. The truth is that readers have already met a Feykin, but the character didn’t know the term. In fact, the word is rarely used outside of the jungle because they aren’t really found anywhere else.
So, a Feykin is what one would call a fairy hybrid. These aren’t always 50/50 or with a human, as you will see in the book. Some Feykin come from generations stemming single pairing. In families like this, powers might not appear in every generation and some may be stronger than others. Since a fairy’s powers are magical in nature, the potency is determined by a descendant’s aura. For example, a great-great-grandchild with weak aura may have no Feykin traits while one with a powerful aura may be as strong as their ancestor. These abilities work like caster magic, but can circumvent a few anti-magic spells that are designed for learned casting. As for types of powers, it depends on the parents and lineage with the fairy’s aura being the basis for what could be a one-of-a-kind ability. So, a child of a fire sprite would have fire powers, but they may only be able to cover their hands in flames or resist extreme heat.
Feykin are elemental in nature, which can cause some issues. This can lead to difficulty in certain environments and an instinctive distrust of anything that works with an opposing element. They can also be hurt more easily by spells and weapons that utilize an opposing energy. For example, a Feykin with water powers will have trouble surviving in a desert and become combative with any fire-based beings. This issue is why the jungles have become a haven for them. It is an environment teeming with natural energies that can feed all types of fairies and Feykin. Cities can be beneficial for many Feykin as well, but those that come from the wilder species, like dryads, will become more open to diseases if they are away from nature for too long.
You might be wondering if there is anything special about the conceiving of a Feykin. Not really since it comes down to sex just like any other species. Even the types that reproduce by taking aura from non-fairies can have a hybrid through physical sex. It’s rare that this happens, but it’s possible if certain conditions are met. There are also cases where magic is used to fix the size difference, but relationships between small fey and bigger creatures is rare. In both cases, the baby is carried to term under the biological rules of the non-fairy. For example, a river nymph typically gives birth within 4 months. If she is carrying a Feykin that is part human then it’s 9 months. This is very dangerous if the non-fairy is no longer around because fairies don’t know much about the breeding habits of other species.
Now, I said at the beginning that Feykin aren’t found outside of the jungles. This is really a half-truth because there are hybrids around Windemere. The uniqueness of the southern jungle variety is that they have congregated to form their own culture. While those in other lands will define themselves as their non-fairy ancestor or a hybrid, the jungle ones say Feykin. This denotes that they are related to fairies and accept both sides of their origin. It’s a choice to avoid assimilation into the surrounding cities and cultures where they don’t feel they 100% belong and make one from the ground up. In a way, this is the opposite of the elves who refuse to create a central government or city, but lives among the other species.
One question is definitely going to come up in Charms of the Feykin. How will they handle being exposed to outsiders, especially ones that tend to bring trouble wherever they go? This could force them to reveal themselves to the rest of the world or pull even further away. Due to recent events in the jungle, there is a lot of fear and anger within the Feykin and their fate can go either way.