The Firstborn are the sons and daughters of at least one of the Lord and Ladies of Faerie: Oberon, Maeve, and Titania. Each one is entirely unique. They are extremely powerful compared to the living races of fae, who are all descended from the Firstborn.
There are (or were) over one hundred Firstborn, but many of them have been killed in the time since Oberon and his ladies disappeared. No one knows how many are left, as many of the remaining Firstborn have gone into hiding.
Author's Notes Edit
First, the out-universe answer. All fae in Toby's world trace their lineage back to some combination of Oberon, Maeve, and Titania. Some have two of the First in their background, some only have one. The Cait Sidhe have all three, but they're a special case (as they so often are). This means that only mythical creatures whose backgrounds are somehow malleable can be subsumed into Toby's world. Kitsune, Tengu, Bakemono, Tsukumogami, Shi-Shu, Menehune, Nawao, and other creatures who don't have a very firm "and then so-and-so begat..." or who were originally presented as a lone individual and can be made into a race (such as the Blodynbryd) exist in Toby's reality. Other creatures, such as most of those found in Australian mythology, and pretty much all of Inuit or Native American folklore, don't exist, because there's no respectful way to say "and Oberon was your daddy's daddy's daddy, yay!" It's a juggling act. If I were establishing the rules of this universe today, I would probably either keep it more Euro-centric, to avoid possibly disrespecting another culture's folklore, or find a way to incorporate other fae monarchs in other places. I didn't do that when I wrote the first book, and so these are the rules I have to work with. If they're not descended from the Three, they don't exist.
Oh, and jiang shi don't exist because they're very explicitly dead in every accounting I can find. They'll eventually show up in InCryptid, which has very different rules. ~ seanan mcguire: Because You Asked: Fae races and where they come from.
Here's where it gets complicated. The children of the Three are Firstborn, and while they can be similar, they are always entirely unique in all the world. Most of them can blend into their own descendant races, pretending to be what they create, but they'll always stand a little bit apart, no matter how hard they try to disappear. They get good with illusions and minor shapeshifts, because otherwise, they'd never have any peace. No one knows how many Firstborn are still alive. They don't want anyone to know. ~ seanan mcguire: Because You Asked: Fae races and where they come from.
Any time a Firstborn takes a new lover and has children, the child or children will begin a new race. Firstborn are more fertile than normal fae, partially because otherwise, no races would ever become established. The Roane Firstborn, for example, had three children, and those three went on to beget all the rest of the Roane. As for when the last time this happened was. ~ seanan mcguire: Because You Asked: Fae races and where they come from.
"Firstborn are partially genetically unstable. If Firstborn A has ten children with non-First B, they will all be representatives of the same descendant race. They will also not be biologically related. The DNA gets “scrubbed,” for lack of a better term. Fae do have taboos against incest, but only among siblings who actually grew up together. If the same Firstborn goes on to have more children with someone else, whether they get members of the same descendant race, a slightly different descendant race, or a totally new descendant race will be determined partially by the non-Firstborn parent. First + First pairings will always result in consistent descendant races." ~ Seanan Mcguire's Tumblr
Known Firstborn Edit
See the Firstborn category for the most complete list. Below are Firstborn who are mostly unknown.
|Arawn of the White Stag||wild Firstborn who lived in the realm of Annwn|
|Aoife||The Fixed Stars|
Descendent Races Edit
See the Types of Fae category for the most complete list. If known, the Firstborn will be listed on the individual race's page.
Book References Edit
External References Edit
- seanan_mcguire: Because You Asked: Fae races and where they come from.
- Rosemary and Rue by Seanan Mcguire (October Daye, book #1): A TO Z | Book Reviews | Open Book Society
- Characters (Firstborn) / October Daye - Tropes & Idioms