The Fair Folk, the oldest of the fae, have many, many names. In Ireland they have been called Tuatha dé Danaan, Daione Sídhe, Aos Sí, and similar names. In Scotland they were usually known as the Daoine Sith. In Wales they were known as the Bendith y Mamau, Gwyllion, or Ellyllon. And they were known outside of the British Isles as well, where they have still other names, such as the Jötnar in Scandinavia. However, when asked, they will always say that they are the Children of Danu. Modern mages usually call them Danaanites.
Of the names given to them by humans, the Irish come closest to their name for themselves, as “Tuatha dé Danaan” means “people of the goddess Danu”. But they would still say this is inaccurate, because Danu is not a goddess. Rather, Danu is the name they use to refer to the Earth as a living being; the soul of the planet itself. This is not widely known to outsiders, though.
A Danaanite is generally humanoid in form, resembling elves in particular. Their forms are more angular than a typical human form, almost giving them the appearance of being carved from stone, but they are not ugly. Indeed, most people who encounter them would say they are beautiful to behold. Their body glows softly, a phenomenon that can even be noticed in already lit areas, though full sunlight (or equivalent lighting) is enough to overwhelm it. Their bodies are also translucent, which is especially noticeable in bright light. They’re also known for being tall, ranging from 1.8 metres to as much as 5 metres (that’s about 6-16 feet), though even taller ones have been attested.
Like many other fae, Danaanites are shapeshifters. However, no matter what form they take, they will always be translucent, and they will always glow. When not assuming a humanoid form, most Danaanites prefer the forms of small or “noble” animals, such as squirrels, elk, or eagles. In humanoid form, however, they prefer to be tall and imposing.
A Danaanite’s life cycle is much like a human’s, though they reach adolescence late (no earlier than age 20) and never succumb to the negative effects of old age. It is widely believed that they cannot die of natural causes.
Danaanites seem to favour a diet primarily composed of fruits. They do eat vegetables and have even been known to eat meat, but they almost never have a meal without a generous portion of fruit.
One thing Danaanites are known to abhor is the vegetables of the nightshade family, which has led many to believe the plants are poisonous to the fair folk.
In addition to shapeshifting (in which they specialize in size changes), Danaanites have the ability to move out of phase with reality and pass through solid matter.
Society and Culture
Danaanites are highly varied, and as such don’t have a single society and culture. Like humans, the Danaanites of different areas each developed their own society and culture over time. However, there are a few things that all Danaanite societies have in common. They have a profound respect for the natural world, since they are essentially a sort of nature spirit, and this respect can be seen deeply ingrained in all Danaanite cultures. Danaanites in an area often have a similar appearance and size.
As the oldest and most widespread of the fae, the Danaanites have been known by other names in various cultures. For example, some claim the Cyclopes of Greek mythology were a group of Danaanites, while others suggest the Semitic Nephilim may have been Danaanites.
The Danaanites were closely involved in a number of significant historical events. In Scandinavia, they fought in the battle of Ragnarok. In Ireland, they had a long history of conflict with the fomorians. It’s widely believed that the Shinto deities of Japan, such as Izanagi and Amaterasu, were in fact Danaanites.