A common theme in folklore about faeries is the idea of benevolent, or at least non-malicious fey that abide by unspoken contracts. Brownies that will clean if you leave out a dish of cream. Hearth fey that create a sense of warmth and happiness throughout the home in exchange for a shot of vodka. That kind of thing. But what place do such faeries have in a Sci-Fantasy Future where fey undoubtedly exist, but where traditional home structures are markedly different and many of their traditional roles have been supplanted by technology (or magic, or techno-magic hybrids, etc)? Here are some ideas of new kindly folk for a futuristic setting.
The Bro-nE are never seen, only interacted with on the infosphere. They are the silent acquaintance on social media, a being who thumbs up all your posts and shares all your important shares, but with whom you’ve never actually texted, spoken, or met. All they require is that you like their occasional post, whether it be a picture of a derpy Seal-Deer from Tabrid Minor, or a story about someone’s favorite theme park as a child now long closed. The content they post is seemingly random and rarely commercial, but whatever it is you are expected to provide a Like in exchange for their continued support. Woe be it to the individual that attempts to track down or speak with the Bro-nE though. Any attempt to get to know more about the fey will raise their wrath, causing them to drag your online footprint into malicious communities, inundate your inbox and DMs with spam, or worse. Noone has ever actually seen a Bro-nE, and there is much debate on whether they even have a physical form or simply exist entirely in a virtual sense, but infosphere scholars agree they do exist.
Bit Knockers are even more subtle in their influence. In a modern life full of devices from coffee makers to robot vacuums and more, there is always a non-zero chance some device will break down in any given day. Not so the home with a resident Bit Knocker. The fey insures all the devices stay in working order, saving the other occupants the trouble of repairing or replacing anything, and all they ask in exchange are infosphere access with a password available to all who live there, streaming services, and the occasional gift of a battery left for them. Students of faerie liken the bit knockers to infosphere freeloaders with a gift for minor maintenance, but they ask little and those who enjoy their favor or have ever had it and then lost it are quick to speak to the value they provide. Like brownies of old though, the bit knockers take umbrage at any effort to expose them or overt acknowledgement of their presence. Should they become angered they sabotage all devices in the home, such that they break at the worst possible moment.
Cat-drift are fey found on many small trade ships and long haulers. Never seen, but often heard as a faint purring sound during Drift travel, these faerie keep ships free of vermin and other invasive stowaways, and some claim they even decrease the amount of time needed for Drift travel by hours or days. Their good graces can be maintained by leaving out a UPB every week or so, and bringing the occasional pet toy aboard and leaving it out in a storage bay. The offerings disappear, but the sound of the toy being played with can occasionally be heard in the vents. Cat-drift leave if they feel their presence is unappreciated, or if their cache of toys is discovered somewhere on the ship and disposed of, instead of being left undisturbed.
As always, if you like this or any of the other content here on Solo Run Studio I would welcome a little of your support through Ko-fi. Until next time Starfinders!
Artist and Writer