Transcript from Professor Benben Beezelwax’s (she/her) lecture series for first-year students at Hiverville College of Natural Sciences.
First lesson: defining what Redanians mean by “fairy”.
Beezelwax: Welcome, everyone. I hope you all have found all your classrooms easily. If not, fear not, it’s only natural to need a navigator. Bliza knows I still struggle to find a few places around here every now and then. But I do know that all your professors are eager to meet you, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help.
Beezelwax: This course is intended to be an introductory class to Fairyology: the study of fairies. While I’m sure many of you have known most of what we’ll be covering here since middle school, this course is required by the college in order to ensure that all prospective fairyology majors and minors have the basics down. It’ll likely be an easy 90 for all of you, I’m not a fan of trick questions or taking trophies for failing my students. I view every <50 as a failure on my part, not on yours.
Beezelwax: First of all, can anyone tell me what a fairy is?
Student names have been withheld for their privacy. They will be identified by pronouns and letters.
Student A (he/them singular): A gaaaaaaaaaaaaay person!
Other students laugh. Beezelwax snickers.
Beezelwax: Oh, yes, I was quite fond of that answer the first three years I heard it. Just remember, that word has been used to abuse others in that context, so be careful where and when you use it.
Student A: Yes, ma’am!
Student B (it/its): Brings a whole new meaning to fairyology.
Beezelwax snorts: Indeed it does. Now, getting back to the lesson, what is literal fairy? Anyone?
Student C (she/him): A fairy is an entity whose body is made of elemental magic, and thus subject to elemental magic laws.
Beezelwax: Well done, [Student C]. Now, class that may sound like a broad definition, that broadness is what we need to encapsulate and include all the various fairies in our world. They take on a wide range of appearances including plants, minerals, animals, and objects.
Beezelwax: [Student C]’s definition also differentiate fairies from people. People are made of material substances such as flesh and bone; but fairies, while often feeling like such substances found elsewhere in nature, simply are not those things.
Beezelwax: Thus, fairies are categorized according to whatever element(s) they embody. Most often one or two, but three isn’t entirely unheard of.
Beezelwax: Each elemental category has three immunities (besides itself) and three weaknesses. I’ve included a single-category elemental chart in the online course materials, so feel free to print that out at home or at the school library for your own reference. The school store also sells copies of Elements for Budding Fairyologists, but that’s not a required textbook for any of my classes. It’s simply a guidebook many students and faculty find handy. Most people just look up elemental interactions on their phones nowadays, but you might like a physical reference material to combat eyestrain and other such conditions. Or if you intend on caring for several different categories of fairies at once.
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