Fey means both strange & otherworldly as well as being marked for death. Wode comes from the Middle English and may refer to wood as a material, wood as in a place with many trees, and finally utter, raging madness. The Feywode has been known by many names: Álfheimr, Sídhe, Otherworld, and quite possibly Elysium, Hel, and Hades.
Creatures from the Feywode, possibly all living things there, are symbols of human concepts made physically extant.
For instance, goblins are pettiness, but it is hardly that simple. Nothing ever is. One goblin may be the sad satisfaction of a pointless lie believed. Another may be schadenfreude. Still another may be the spiteful bitterness of spurned lovers. Feywode creatures often have an experiential element to what defines them. In a sense they feed off these particular experiences; the creatures exist to perpetuate these feelings and experiences because without these feelings and experiences the creatures would not exist.
Then there are still those things in the Feywode which are even more abstract, godlings and fairy lords and the like. These things have a great deal more power and rarely interact directly with our world. In fact, the more abstract the basis for the being, the more powerful it is, and the less time it is possible for it to exist in our world. This is why one rarely sees Eris floating down the street, but also why world changing things like the Trojan War occur when she deigns to intervene in human affairs.
Suffice it to say, the shifting alliances and labyrinthine politics of the Feywode are a topic best left to scholars more erudite than I.
There are more types of fairies than there are tears in the ocean. There is a certain affinity to wildness that vaguely ties all the types together, but that very defining trait makes each one stunningly different from the last.
Sugar Plum Fairies – These tiny violet glowing creatures resemble youths with buzzing insect wings on their bare backs. They exist to perpetuate the joys of surprised children; children pleasantly surprised by finding berries in the forest, surprised with small toys from their parents, surprised by
finding candy in unexpected places.
Sprites - This is a broad class of smallish beings that delight in shocking the unwary. Some just tie knots in your hair as you sleep (feeding on your vulnerability and irritation) others, like the will-o’-the-wisp, thrive on false hope fading to despair.
Angels are universally beautiful, but universally dangerous too. Though they represent virtues and graces many of these beautiful concepts cannot exist without being preceded by horrors. There can be no grace under fire without there first being flame. And woe to you who dance with angels of mercy. There is no mercy without a stunning imbalance of power from which to begin.
With demons at least, you’re dealing with something quite direct, usually. Only prudes (and people with more important tasks at hand) need fear beings of lust. Demons of fear and rage and hatred and larceny and other such foul things are at the very least, rarely beautiful. I am not sure what this says about cosmology or virtue or metaphysics; again, I expect scholars wiser than I shall debate this for ages to come.
Gnomes are interesting in that they live entirely in our world. This possibly lends credence to the position that some part of them is actually composed of the frustrations of great men fallen before their work is done.
In conclusion, well, what conclusion can one possible draw on a subject like this? In conclusion, I suppose, there is none.
Fraederick Maypole of Merry Mount the II, Chronicler and Occasional Poet.