While I’m still working on chess as an extended metaphor for the sequel to Eye of the Storm, I still have tons of specific research to work on. This weekend, the Aos Sidhe came to the forefront.
The character I styled as King of the Fairies in the first book will be making a more extended visit in the second, and he’ll be bringing some of his subjects with him. There’s no dearth of information on the Sidhe, either online or in books, so I have n0 problems there. In fact, if there’s a problem, it’s inherent to the ubiquitous nature of the Sidhe. So many people have written about them, it’s hard to come up with a unique approach.
So what am I doing? I’m picking a few types of fairies out of the hundreds of possibilities, and I’m warping them with my universe.
That’s not to say that I’m going to take the original beasties from folktales and change them from the ground up – if I wanted to do that, I would just make up entirely original beasties. It also smacks of cultural appropriation, especially since I am almost entirely German in ancestry. I am in no way Celtic.
Instead, I’m going to take those original fairies and imagine how they would have evolved in my own world, where it differs from their own. How would the Sidhe behave if their Queens were assassinated? The lord of their underworld set above them, with a Greek goddess at his side? What would the politics be like?
I could write an entire book about this. (Heck, that’s not a bad idea …) But for now, I need a window into that little fantasy culture. And while some of it will be gorgeous, a lot of it is going to be frightfully ugly. One doesn’t get much calm and pretty when writing about the gods and apocalypse.
Most of the time, anyway. 😉