Sprites

Sprites are a group of small, sentient fey creatures of mysterious origin, consisting of the subspecies grigs, nixies, and pixies. Like humanoids, nixies and pixies possess a fairly catarrhine anatomy, apparently including genitalia and humanoid psychosexual behavior, but they are utterly sterile (females possess only vestigial uteri and lack ovaries entirely; males do not produce sperm, not even nonviable sperm). Thus their young are not born to other sprites, but rather appear to arise from other forest species under extremely rare conditions that the science of alchemists and archmagi has yet to successfully replicate; this phenomenon has been observed and recorded by teams in the forests of Färchaia and northeastern Komwë on only five occasions (one female nixie, two female pixies, and one male and female grig, emerging respectively from a budding water lily, a white-winged snowfinch egg, a slime mold, a rain puddle, and an overripe olive) but had been common knowledge to sprites themselves prior to confirmation in the field.

It is hypothesized that the vast majority of newborn sprites die within hours, usually killed and eaten by predators; for the number of sprites born per second per acre of forest to be high enough for older sprites to stand a reasonable chance of finding infants to adopt, many more must be born than can actually be rescued. However, despite their high rate of infant mortality, sprites are by far the most long-lived of all the sentient races of Ërdin; once brought into sprite society, the mortality rate of sprites does not increase with age, and there is no recorded case of a sprite ever dying of age-related illnesses such as cancers or diseases of the heart. This means that, while they can be killed, sprites are considered to be biologically immortal.

Though sterile, sprites can (like most otherwise sterile beings) be impregnated or impregnate another if their mate is a magically hyperfertile being (such as a true dragon or a true outsider). The offspring of such unions are always similarly sterile, however.

Sprites

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