The “Andalite bandits” have splintered. It was largely inevitable. Unlike the Animorphs series, the war hasn’t ended, and it’s cost us a lot of soldiers, human, Andalite, whatever. I was actually part of the original group that happened upon the dying Andalite prince who gave us his Escafil device. I’m the only one of them still alive. We’ve kept recruiting since then, and, well, you get enough people under pressure, and they’ll fracture.
I’ll give you a rundown, and I’m obviously going to be biased towards my own faction. I know these people and there’s a lot of animosity there. So be warned as I discuss these douchebags.
My own group is called the “Protean Collective”, and we’ve got the most people. Problem is, most of them aren’t useful for combat. We’re most closely allied with the free Hork-Bajir colony, and we’ve been freeing human hosts as well. We’ve also got a lot of nothlits, largely humans who got stuck on missions. We do have some intentional nothlits, though, some people who had genetic illnesses that threatened their lives, and, (and I know @selfdeterminedsymbionts won’t believe me) a few Yeerks and Taxxons who chose to trap themselves in another body. Basically, we realize we’re in the middle of an invasion, and we have to try and stop them, but there’s lines we won’t cross, and if anything good is going to happen after the war, well, we’re going to need to work with other species.
The first group that split are the people I hate the most. They’ve cycled through a few names, but they’ve settled on “The Vanarx”, after the Yeerk’s natural predator. These are the genocidal fuckheads who at some point decided that any despicable action was fine as long as it killed Yeerks. And they aren’t too worried about collateral damage they cause along the way. I won’t lie and say my hands (or talons rather) are clean, but the majority of the worst shit done by morphers in this conflict comes from them. Luckily, they have a high rate of attrition, but they manage to recover their losses quicker than I’d like.
The next big splinter are the “Fleet Vanguards”, or as I like to call them, the Heaven’s Gaters. These are the people that still have faith that the Andalite fleet is going to come and save us all. Everyone else, however, has cottoned onto the fact that the Andalites don’t have any plans for Earth that don’t involve a planet-shattering boom. These folks are in total denial. Now, you might imagine that all the Andalites on Earth were a part of this group, and that only Andalites would be a part of this group, but you’re wrong on both counts. There’s more Andalites here than in any other group, sure, but it’s only a plurality of the Andalites on Earth (Like, 30-40% of the Andalites still here), the oldest ones, the ones who were middle-aged when they landed here after their failed space battle. And within the group, they’re outnumbered by the humans. These people… well, they’re to Andalites what those hardcore anime fans are to Japan. It’s kind of creepy. Oddly enough, for their part, the Andalites in the Vanguard actually value their human members. Sure, it’s paternalistic and awful, but they do legitimately care about their little cultists.
Then there’s the “Saviors of Humanity”. They’re basically the opposite of the Vanguards. They may not be completely genocidal, but they are very much of a mindset that Aliens Are Bad. This group is the only one that’s 100% human and they will keep it that way. And, while they tolerate groups like the free Hork-Bajir for now, they’ve made it abundantly clear that when this war is over, they want them off our planet. Aside from that, they’ve got sticks up their asses and are very much authoritarian and militaristic. Our first leader, who died in combat, is treated by them as some kind of hybrid of Washington, Patton, and Jesus, and our second leader, also deceased, is treated like a lesser version of that. Basically, they’re fascist pricks.
The “Defenders of Gaia” are closest to us ideologically. They’re also in favor of working together with alien races and a big multicultural freak fest. Problem is, these guys aren’t only after Yeerk operations. They’ll happily go after whichever human group happens to piss them off. Corporations, militias, hate groups… hell, I’m pretty sure they’re gunning for the US government these days. I mean, the Yeerk Empire often is involved with their targets at some level, and they do go after them as well. Still, they’re wasting time and energy, and increasing the chance of getting caught.
The last group call themselves the “Shadows on the Web”. They’re our stealth and tech-specialists who hack into Yeerk systems, spy on Controllers, and do all sorts of useful things. However, as we started to split, they basically decided they were going to sit out the war. They fight back against the Empire, but their methods are little more than leaving a flaming bag of dog feces on their porch, ringing the doorbell, and running away. They’ve got useful skills, but we’re in the middle of being invaded. Rickrolling the Pool ship isn’t going to make it stop. Still, they can be useful. Hell, they got me this secure setup out in the woods. But everything comes with a hefty price tag. They also have a few organizations that are subtly working to undermine The Sharing which is always a good thing in my book.
But yeah, those are humanity’s last hope: My band of misfits, a group of underhanded monsters, an Andalite cargo cult, a xenophobic militia group, the ELF on steroids, and Anonymous.
Fuck it, I’m going to see if a red-tailed hawk can drink whisky without dying.
okay so i asked someone already and they were an asshole about it. since you are a witch mom, maybe you can explain?? why can't we call them spirit animals?
This would be the part that the lights would lower and all eyes would be on me as I roll in a white board. Anyway…
See, darlin’, there is thing and it is called CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.
*The very words echo off the walls of the empty auditorium.*
By definition, cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. Let’s take the United States and use it as an example…
Because people from hundreds of different ethnicities make up the U.S. population, it’s not surprising that at times cultural groups rub off on each other. Americans who grow up in diverse communities may pick up the dialect, customs and religious traditions of the cultural groups that surround them.
Cultural appropriation is an entirely different matter. It has little to do with one’s exposure to and familiarity with different cultures. Instead, cultural appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups–often with little understanding of the latter’s history, experience and traditions.
“Borrowing” is a key component of cultural appropriation. In the 1950s, white musicians borrowed the musical stylings of their black counterparts. Because African Americans weren’t widely accepted in U.S. society at that time, record executives chose to have white recording artists replicate the sound of black musicians. This led to musical forms such as rock-n-roll being largely associated with whites in spite of the fact that black musicians were pioneers of the art form. This move also had financial consequences, as many of the black musicians who helped pave the way for rock-n-roll’s success never saw a dime for their contributions to the music.
Onto the more witchy aspects of this…
The term Spirit Animal, as used by young adults today, is a bastardized version of a Native American tradition. The word’s loss of meaning is damaging to the concept of tradition, especially one as regularly plagiarized and demeaned as the traditions of Native Americans. Religion and belief is something to be taken seriously, and when it’s corrupted by pop culture and turned into something it shouldn’t be, then that’s where the damage starts to set in.
I am nowhere near qualified enough to go into the importance of the term, and by no means do I want to generalize Native Americans as a singular identity, especially since Spirit Animal is not the same for every tribe. However, I (and many of my other witchy peers, AKA those assholes you speak of) do feel like the inappropriate use of the term is something that should be pointed out more, since most of the time people don’t know how problematic certain language can be.
Alternatives to “spirit animal” could be: personal totem, Patronus (ha!), familiar, and so on and so forth.
And by the way, I do have three personal animal totems I refer to in my craft. I used to say “spirit animals” when I was younger and I quickly realized how offensive it was because I, a mixture of some very weird Cajun-Creole/Black Irish, am not Native American.
Hope this helps.
TL; dr: If you appropriate other cultures, YOU are the asshole.
iron, salt, and bread (any kind) will ward fae away. so will rowan and hazel.
rowan and iron will ward most bad things away, actually.
ringing church bells at dawn and dusk will drive fae and/or changelings from your village.
alternately, cream and butter and cakes (not bread!!) will attract them.
they have many names. fair folk, the good people, the gentry, the wee folk. my favorite is the good neighbors.
there are places where the veil between worlds is thinner, and these places see more fae. ireland is said to be one. transient places (crossroads and bus stops etc.) are said to be another.
musicians are often taken to their world. they may come back but they won’t be the same.
adder stones (also called hag stones, witch stones, snake eggs, adderstanes) can reveal fairy or witch traps if seen through the hole in the stone. you can’t trick an adder stone.
the fae are highly sexed. orgies are common.
random body pains were attributed to the fae. this was called elf shot.
tangled hair in the morning was also considered their fault. this was called elf locks.
consumption (tuberculosis) was attributed to the fae as well, for forcing young men and women to dance all night.
basically if you were sick and there was no cure, blame the fae.
alchemists sometimes called on certain fae to assist them. no word on how well this worked out for them.
millers were thought to be ‘no canny,’ which means in league with the fae, owing to their ability to control elements. (fire in the kiln, water for the burn, wind for the mill, general control of machinery.)
if you know a fae’s true name, you can summon them at any time to do your bidding. but this is a double edged sword. if they learn your true name, they enslave you right back, and the things they do would be far worse than anything you could think of.
some myths have lesser fae paying a tithe (a tiende) to their royals. some myths have them paying this tithe directly to hell.
mortal midwives were sometimes summoned to the fae realm to assist in the birth of another kidnapped mortal woman. they sometimes offer an ointment for use on the baby. if the midwife uses it herself, she will gain fae sight.
lesser fae can die or be killed. to witness one of these funerals is bad omen.