April 27, 2014

THE FAERIE COURT: Backround Info on the Otherworld and Travelers

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The Faerie Court is a group of bloggers who have been invited to act as an exclusive “street team” for THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS.
I am soo excited to be a part of The Faerie Court!
Today I have some exclusive info about the Otherworld direct from Skylar herself!

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld, #1)
The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1)
Author: Skylar Dorset
Publication Date: June 1st 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Book Summary:

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?
When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.
Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.


Background Information on the Otherworld:

The Otherworld is a world inhabited by supernatural creatures. Not as geographically solid as the human world, its regions are flexible and fluid and sometimes the links between them can be terminated in the face of outside threats. This became common in the years just before the Seelies took over, when border control measures attempting to keep the Seelies out of certain regions, the Otherworld growing more segregated in its protectionism. The Seelies were strong and talented enough to overcome the measures, and they now control, for the most part, the geography of the Otherworld.

GirlWhoNeverWas-VerticalBadgeFaeries, gnomes, ogres, and goblins all used to live exclusively in the Otherworld. Eventually, a special group of faeries (called “travelers”) realized that they could jump from the Otherworld into a totally different world, inhabited entirely by another species with considerably shorter lifespans and very different types of talents as well as very different types of vulnerabilities. Up until the time when the worlds began to cross over, there had been no need to name either world. Once travel between the two worlds became increasingly popular, both supernatural creatures and humans alike began referring to the human world as the Thisworld and the supernatural world as the Otherworld. (The supernatural beings liked being the “others.” They had always been used to finding value in “otherness,” in a way humans weren’t used to.)

This all happened millennia ago. Or just the other day. It depends on what kind of time you keep.

Once upon a time, the Otherworld and the Thisworld got along very well. Goblins migrated to the Thisworld fairly early on, drawn by the vast jewelry reserves. Faeries also flitted over frequently, growing increasingly more cavalier about being seen (this coincided with the historical frequency of faerie sightings, which died down as Otherworld-Thisworld relations deteriorated). Gnomes and ogres also traveled over, but they were naturally more averse to being seen and tried to blend in undetected. In the meantime, schools of sorcery started up in the Thisworld, training the most talented humans to interact on a supernatural level. They serve, primarily, as diplomatic posts, encouraging their students to “study abroad” in the Otherworld for a little while.

When the Seelies began to take over the Otherworld, the Otherworld found itself embroiled in a civil war. Many supernatural creatures actually returned to the Otherworld at that point, in an attempt to protect their homeworld. As the Seelies began to win, the remaining witches and wizards in the Thisworld offered various havens to those Otherworld creatures who sought it. These havens then reacted to the collapse of the Otherworld by shutting out all faeries, who had by then developed a Seelie-driven reputation for preying on human children.

I took my inspiration for the Otherworld from Celtic mythology.


Travelers

Faeries, much like wizards and witches, tend to carry particular talents through their genetic lines. The Seelies are nothing but genetically honed super-faeries, in effect, who happen to be unusually strong in naming power. Travelers are faeries who are especially good at the art of travel: they are never lost, possessing unerring senses of direction; they can get into and out of almost any room; and they have the unique ability to “jump” between physical spaces and between worlds, switching locations in the blink of an eye. Doors cannot be locked against them, and they can call for trains at will. Human folklore calls them “will o’ the wisps,” which humans understood to be luring them to their deaths. In reality, travelers are generally caught up in their own activities and seldom notice if they catch a human eye.

As the Seelies began to consolidate power, traveling became more valuable and, conversely, more dangerous to them. Travelers could spread word, quickly and easily, organizing rebellion and keeping others apprised of the Seelies’ movement. As a result, the Seelies began to hunt travelers in earnest. First they forbade the continuation of the line, and then, eventually, they imprisoned or named every traveler they could find. They left just one, for their own use, because the power of the travelers was too intense to eliminate altogether.

The immense talent of the travelers is balanced by immense weaknesses, which was why they never rose to the power of the Seelies. A traveler’s power can be disabled by the simple touch of a goblin, making them sworn enemies. Moreover, travelers are severely allergic to water, which dampens their abilities and can also weaken them to a point near death if they are kept too wet for too long. Finally, while travelers cannot be locked out of a room, they can be locked into one. The enchantment is a tricky one and requires much power but can be performed.

While traveling comes naturally to travelers, it is nevertheless exhausting, and they will often need rest after too much of it at once, especially if water is involved at any point. Some places are easier to travel to than others, and in times of great distress travelers will frequently focus on those. A traveler’s homeworld is always the simplest for him or her to return to. Cottingley is the easiest place for them to reach in the Thisworld. Even when the worlds were sealed into separation, the membrane between them has always been thinnest at Cottingley, making it the most ideal place to bridge the two. (Iceland is also heavy in faerie lore and also an easy place for a traveler to get to.)


If you were a traveler and could travel anywhere you wanted, where would you go? (And why? That’s the fun part!)

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