It was once commonly believed that fairies had multiple souls, and that each of these souls had a different nature, a different personality.
This makes sense give that everything in nature is duel sided. The river that provides fish and water for the crops is prone to flash floods and will take children from their parents.
The forest which is home to food is also home to the wolves, and is a place in which people can get lost, vanishing forever.
Thus wicked fairies such as the one in "Sleeping Beauty" was actually exactly the same as the "good fairies." However, once the negative aspect of her had been brought forth she became temporarily wicked.
2-Fairies rarely fully matured
Although they might be old fairies never truly ever matured. Most of them would always act childish.
3-Fairies were often refugees
From Ireland to Japan many peoples defeated fairy like beings, forcing them into hiding.
In one tale from Ireland a Queen was kidnapped by the fairies so the King declared war on them, sending out men to dig up their mountains, pouring salt into these to destroy the invisible fairy kingdoms within. At last broken the fairies had to surrender.
4-Fairies were enforcers of morality
Fairies were obsessed with morality.
They would go about rewarding what they considered moral behavior and punishing what they considered immoral behavior. Hard work, kindness, creativity, and cleverness were the most important morals to fairy kind.
Many fairies despised wealthy nobles and appointed a number of Robin Hood like figures to rob from the rich and give to the poor.
5-Fairies are grandfatherly or grandmotherly.
Driving their obsession with morality fairies often act grandfatherly or grandmotherly to the many young humans around them. Indeed even a dangerous fairy can be befriended by calling it "Grandfather" or "Grandmother" or by telling it a story about adventure or true love.
Just like a cat may occasionally adopt a
duckling, even some of the most dangerous fairies
will on occasion come to care for a human. Indeed one
of the the most wicked fairies in Eastern Europe would often
adopt a single human family, even while they tortured it's neighbors.
6-There are fairies who are related to vampires.
Some fairies would drink blood, be banished by herbs, sunlight, the cross, etc. Indeed in many places there were fairies which were also the unclean dead that lived among the fairy court.
First it's important to understand that the ballads most movies are based on are corruptions of the later ballads, which are corruptions of the original ballads, which are probably based on even older stories.
The truth is that the original King Richard was a French Man and he was overtaxing the people to pay for his badly managed Crusade. So Robin Hood's support for Richard is likely propaganda which occurred much later.
So who was Robin Hood?
And why is he wearing a dress?
Before the first Robin Hood ballad there were a group of socialist rebels in England who wore dresses and called themselves servants to the Queen of the Fairies.
Hundreds of years before in Southern France a man was possessed by fairies and made to rob from the rich to give to the poor.
See the fairies often called on people throughout Europe to Rob from the Rich and Give to the poor. To rebel against the nobility...
Later many of these stories were altered so that instead of The Queen of the Fairies these men were said to worship The Virgin Mary...
In the first Ballad which was written about Robin Hood he is praying to The Virgin Mary when a priest sees him and goes and tells the sheriff to arrest him...
So Robin Hood is a servant of The Virgin Mary but an enemy of the Church...... Or at least the corrupt elements of the church...
But that still begs the question; Why is Robin Hood Wearing a dress???
Well, remember how I said the woodsmen in France was possessed by the fairies...
That was a typical way for people to gain power.
To be possessed by a spirit, most often of the opposite gender.
Gender bending itself is a common feature of European Shamanism...
Odin The shaman King of the Norse Gods was accused of being to much like a woman and driven out by the other deities...
This has been a typical part of European Lore for a long time.
See in order to be a Shaman someone has to exist outside of social norms...
Often that means being both male and female, at least socially.
There is more too it, however.
Again one has to be possessed by a spirit to gain a shamans powers. And most often people were possessed by spirits of the opposite gender..
Men were often possessed by female spirits and women by male spirits.
Sometimes this possession was a bit like a marriage...
But it also meant that sometimes the shaman, in this case Robin Hood had the mind of a woman, or The Queen of the Fairies.
Though being in the forest it was likely very helpful to have aid from the Queen of the Fairies...
Even if it meant that sometimes you had to wear a dress...
Tabletop and RPG's in general have failed to understand the complexity and depth of what shamanism is. Yet the shamanism from lore is a lot more interesting, and would be a lot more fun to play than is usually depicted. So I'm writing a series of articles about it.
Shamanism in lore was never a skill that a person had or learned. Instead it was a calling, a job they were given by the spirits. Almost no one ever chose to become a shaman, this job was forced upon them. In fact in lore from Japan to Ireland, and the America's as well most people who were forced to become shamans for the spirits tried to resist at first. But the spirits would torment and torture them until they gave in and agreed to work with the spirits.
This meant that whether a shaman was good or evil depended not on the shaman themselves, but on the spirits they were forced to work for. A greedy person might be called by good spirits, and a kind person by evil spirits. How long they could resist the spirits call, and how it affected them emotionally depended on their strength an their character.
Within context of a Game this means
that Shamans are given quests
by their spirits.
Shamanism within an RPG is another source for quests, and additional companions. Not a source of individual power per say. Because the spirits are free to act on their own, they are more likely NPC's than they are to tools for the shaman.
Typical tasks which the spirits assigned the shaman.
Fight for the Poor
Many Robin Hood figures in Ancient Europe were shamans. People called by the spirits to fight for the poor and over throw greedy tyrants. In fact Robin Hood was likely a shamanistic figure working for the Virgin Mary (The Queen of the Fairies).
Many people were called to protect civilization, or certain aspects of it, such as artists.
For example, in Ancient Greece an Russia many nymphs or nymph like beings were the mothers of different cities, so they would assign heroes to protect these cities.
In Mongolian Lore the deities felt sorry for humanity and so sent an Eagle to teach humanity to become shamans.
In Japan certain humans were given the task of bringing order to the chaos of the world by the Heavenly Kami.
Spirits often needed mediators with the human world. They would for example, steal someone's soul so that they could hold it hostage until they were paid in sacrifices, and they needed someone to help negotiate this.
Other spirits might also need people to protect their sacred spaces, etc.
Many spirits saw humans as food, and needed shamans to help get this for them. In South America there were many shaman's who worked for spirits that lived in palaces made of bone, with beds made of dried blood. These spirits would demand that the person working for them capture targets and bring them before the spirits to eat.
Spirits can be lonely, and so would sometimes turn humans into their companions.
Many spirits needed human workers to help them watch their children, herd their cattle, clean their palaces, etc.
Sometimes these spirits would make a deal with someone to work for them for a certain number of years, and in return, that person's soul would than belong to the spirit world.
Heal the Sick
Many spirits would use shamans to act as their mediator in order to heal the sick.
How Shaman's Worked
Shaman's didn't have to have magical power of their own. Indeed, rather than wizards shamans historically tended to be weavers, blacksmiths, housewives, soldiers, etc.
This means that anyone can become a shaman regardless of class lever or ability. Spirits would choose shamans they felt they could work with, or because they thought it would be funny... Depending on the nature of the spirits.
The spirits tended to work through shaman's by possessing them, then using them as mouth pieces for divination, or working their healing magic through them.
The the Berserkers would be possessed by animal spirits in order to gain supernatural strength, etc.
The second means by which the shaman worked was by sending their soul out into the spirit world.
While in the spirit world the shaman's soul would act just as their physical body would, and every injury done to the soul would affect the body.
A few spirit journey quests.
In fairy tales there were many heroes who never left their fireside. They were dreamers who weren't part of the real world. These characters are an indication that the fairy tale is about a shaman.
Shaman's didn't have to leave their home to go on quests and save their village, they could do it while lying beside the fire. For their soul would enter the spirit world to face evil spirits, search for ghosts, and more.
End the drought.
When rivers stopped flowing, or it stopped raining it was often because the spirit of the water had come under attack and needed help.
Rescue a soul
When people grew sick in lore it was typically because their soul had been stolen by a creature from the underworld. Shamans would go steal or buy back this soul in order to cure illness.
Protect a village from evil spirits
In Italian, Baltic, an English lore witches would enter the spirit world to do battle with witches from other villages or evil spirits which sought to steal a lands fertility, or the health from people or animals.
In the spirit world inspiration, the fertility of the fields, intelligence, etc. are all represented by solid objects.
Thus the story "Jack and the Beanstalk" may actually have been about a boy which steals fertility from a giant so that the fields in his village may prosper again.
Others could steal the skill needed for their village to become skilled artists, blacksmiths, etc.