Maenal are a shy and reclusive race consumed by intense curiosity. They spend their lives blending into the crowd, remaining unnoticed as they spy and eavesdrop on the people around them. They call this hobby “listening to the wind,” and for many it becomes an obsession. They rely on their capable, calculating intellects and on knowledge gleaned from eavesdropping to deliver them from danger.
Maenal tend to be pale and thin to the point of appearing delicate, but their skinny bodies are often more resilient than they look.
Many maenal can easily pass for humans with some effort, though the complex blue markings that swirl across their skin reveal their elemental ancestry.
Maenal also bear more subtle signs of their heritage, such as a slight breeze following them wherever they go. These signs become more pronounced as a maenal experiences intense passion or anger, spontaneous gusts of wind tousling the sylph’s hair or hot blusters knocking small items off of shelves.
Maenal Fae are an ephemeral subculture and their lifespan tends to reflect this. Adulthood is achieved at around 15 years. Old age has been observed as much as 100 years.
Sylphs are usually born to human parents, and so are raised according to human customs. Most sylphs dislike the attention they receive growing up in human society, so it’s common for them to leave home soon after coming of age. They rarely abandon civilization altogether, however, preferring instead to find some new city or settlement where they can go unnoticed among (and spy upon) the masses. A sylph who happens upon another sylph unnoticed instantly becomes obsessed with her kin, spying on and learning as much about the other as she possibly can. Only after weighing all the pros and cons and formulating plans for every potential outcome will the sylph introduce herself to the other. Rarely, two sylphs will discover each other’s presence in a community at the same time. What ensues thereafter is a sort of cat-and-mouse game, a convoluted dance in which each sylph spies on the other as both attempt to gain the upper hand. Sylphs who meet this way always become either inseparable friends or intractable enemies.
Sylphs enjoy prying into the affairs of most other races, but have little taste for actually associating with most of them. Sylphs can relate on some level with elves, who share their tendency toward aloofness, but often spoil any possible relationship by violating the elven sense of privacy. Dwarves distrust sylphs intensely, considering them flighty and unreliable. They form excellent partnerships with halflings, relying on the short folk’s courage and people skills to cover their own shortcomings. Sylphs are amused by the annoyed reactions they provoke in ifrits, and find oreads too boring to give them much attention.
Alignment and Religion
Sylphs have little regard for laws and traditions, for such strictures often prohibit the very things sylphs love—subterfuge and secrecy. This doesn’t mean sylphs are opposed to law, merely that they use the most expedient means available to accomplish their goals, legal or not. Most sylphs are thus neutrally aligned. Sylphs are naturally drawn to mystery cults, and to deities who focus on secrets, travel, or knowledge.
An inborn urge to get to the bottom of things drives many sylphs to the adventuring life. A sylph who runs across the trail of a mystery will never be satisfied until she has uncovered every thread of evidence, followed up on every lead, and found the very heart of the trouble. Such sylphs make plenty of enemies by poking around into other peoples’ affairs, and usually turn to their roguish talents or wizardry to defend themselves.
Male: Akaash, Eydan, Hanuun, Siival, Vasaam.
Female: Inam, Keeya, Lissi, Nava, Radaya, Tena.