Sprites are a mischievous creature related to elves and fairies. While small, they can be vicious if crossed.
Sprites are small and known to be tricksters. Tales of interactions with them typically result in a human offending them in some way, and being cursed with bad fortune or pranks until they are able to make amends or chase off the offending sprites. Despite this, sprites are rarely actively dangerous, preferring petty revenge over actual harm.
Traits and Behavior
Sprites are small, ranging from 1-4 inches tall on average, and their appearance is vaguely humanoid with a number of insect-like traits. They are winged, and occasionally have two sets of arms. Their coloration varies wildly, as their appearance is meant to mimic insect species from a distance. Up close, their faces will have more human-shaped features, though some have additional eyes. They will have hands with 3-5 fingers on at least one set of arms. Their feet are generally more insect life to aid in landing and climbing. Sprites are fast, and have been mistaken for hummingbirds due to their bright coloration and buzzing wings. They are vegetarians, and are especially fond of milk and cream.
Sprites fashion their clothing primarily from leaves and flowers, so their clothing will change depending on local plant life and seasonal changes. They are not seen in winter, and may in fact hibernate. They also occasionally scavenge human items, using fabric scraps, random items or even doll clothes to dress themselves. The gift of clothing from a human will be considered a great insult, however, regardless of material.
Sprites can be awake at all times of day or night, depending, and generally live in large groups, which may include other species of sprites. Their homes will be made of all natural materials and can be mistaken for birds nests or insect hives. Inside, sprites will have furniture, made from natural materials or scavenged human items. They are attracted to shiny items in particular, and will often decorate their homes with sparkly items of all kinds.
Sprites can be easily offended. The most common form of insult is giving gifts. While sprites appreciate gifts of food, especially milk, bread and honey, they do not care for other items like clothing or decorations. It is also insulting to enter their territory without permission, or to touch their plants for any reason. What a sprite considers ‘theirs’ can be unclear, as they may claim a plant that the owner has neglected or that is simply pretty, and there will be little indication that they have claimed it until offense is made. An apology in the form of food can usually calm their tempers.
Sprites enjoy tricking humans with or without an offending moment, so it isn’t always clear if one is the target of a prank or if they have offended the sprites in some way. Apologies in either case are usually effective. Their tricks are usually small and relatively harmless. Tied shoelaces, knotted hair, small items missing or milk going sour are popular pranks.
Sprites also have mild powers of illusion; they most often make you hear the voices of people you know, calling you to get lost in the woods or do something foolish. Their tricks often fall apart if you do not react as they hoped immediately; they have short tempers and will lose patience with a trick without immediate results.
Sprites are considered nature spirits, and have a strong affinity with the woods where they dwell. Some will settle in large gardens, but generally they will avoid settling too close to humans so as to keep their gardens private. A sprite garden will be difficult to identify, as they enjoy allowing plants to grow wildly, but they are very fond of honeysuckle and clover. Sprites do not always live in their gardens, and may travel great distances to maintain them.
Sprites life spans are unknown, but by all appearances they seem to live long lives, perhaps 2-3 centuries. It is unclear if the different types of sprites are truly separate species or if their different appearances are a purely cosmetic difference.
Sprites cannot stand iron; the touch will cause severe burns, and they often are repulsed from any iron items by several feet. Using iron to protect the entrances of your home can keep them from entering the building. Wearing iron jewelry or ornaments can protect your person. This can be seen as offensive if you have otherwise enjoyed a friendly relationship with the sprites, but it can stop their pranks should you have been their victim.
Protective charms made of rowan wood can also repel them, but they will not cause physical harm. Wearing your clothes inside out can make you immune to any illusions they may attempt, but this is not always effective.
Sprites rarely speak, but if they do they cannot lie, and a promise made by one has to be upheld. They will often twist their words to allow for loopholes, but they are bound to the exact wording. Please be aware, however, that should you break an agreement with a sprite, they will never cease in their torment of you; petty though they are, they have long memories and will not allow a slight to pass.