As you may know, I have, shall we say, strong feelings about one of the cosmetic items introduced in The Secret World’s most recent holiday event. This led to the creation of an entire new peace of head canon, which I now share with you.
Fun fact: This is exactly 666 words. The dark gods have clearly smiled on this endeavour.
Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see.
TRANSMIT – initiate Ljósálfar codex – RECEIVE – initiate the Huldra cadence – SO I DRIFT AWAY AGAIN – initiate Alfheimr anthem – TO WINTER I BELONG – welcome the children of winter – WITNESS – the Alfar.
In the far north, up Lapland way, you will find people fair of hair and bright of eye. There is something about them that both draws and repels the gaze, some quality that is all at once wholesome and repugnant.
All who see them find their hearts filled with a hopeless longing, but something warns against ever acting on these feelings toward the fair folk. Their skin is always cold to the touch.
Once, every few years, a terrible blizzard will blow through the Nordic lands. All the world turns white, and the wind howls like a hungry wolf. Sweetlings of all stripes cower in their homes, clinging to their electrical lights and artificial heat as the primal fear shivers through their veins and they pray to see another dawn.
Unbeknownst to them are the figures who walk unscathed through the storm, barefoot and barely clothed. The howling wind caresses them like a lover. The snow settles upon their skin like the finest jewellery.
Who are the fair ones? The world has passed them by, but we recall the ancient names.
Huldufólk. Tallemaja. Tuath Dé. Alfar.
They are the ancients, who first named the trees and marked the passing of the seasons. They were the bringers and the curers of disease, the hand of plenty and the breath of the grave.
You remember them, sweetling. Deep down you do. Not in words or even in images, but through the longing in your heart, the nostalgia for the place you’ve never been, the reverence for the name unspoken.
They were mighty once, feared and loved in equal measure. They were the raging cry and the soulful voice of the natural world.
But there was one power even they could not master, and it was time. As the centuries progressed, the world changed, and they could not adapt as quickly. Inch by inch, moment by moment, mile by mile, year by year, the world they knew slipped away.
It happened too slowly and yet too quickly. A world of mystery and superstition was supplanted by a world that no longer respected the old ways, and the Alfar faded into obscurity.
Echoes of their influence percolated through the simmering soup of simian consciousness, coalescing into cartoon caricatures and clean cut film stars swooned over by young girls.
The remaining fair ones learned to blend in among the talking apes. With subtle glamours they concealed their true natures and forced themselves to find a place within the distant corners of your society.
Yet they have not entirely forgotten the old ways. Every few months, when the moon is bright and the stars burn like a million tiny candles, they will gather amid trees and upon the tundra. They shed their illusions and dance with the wind. They sing songs in languages never heard by human ears.
And they remember. They remember a time when they were second only to the gods. They remember a time when they did not have to hide. They remember a time when they were feared and adored and coveted and worshipped.
And they remember how the worshippers abandoned them. They remember how the talking apes took it all away.
That is not dead which can eternal lie, sweetling. The Alfar have dwindled, but they are not gone, and they have never forgotten. As the dark days fall and shadows come to embrace all that you have ever known, how will the fair ones react? They are the disease and they are the cure. Will they be your salvation, or your doom?