Many humans have at least one Faerie in their ancestry. Most of them would be shocked to learn this, and it wouldn’t make much difference in their lives. To be a Part-Faerie, you must have one or more of the Faerie Powers. This generally happens only if one of your parents was a Faerie, or if you have Faerie ancestry on both sides of your family tree. Your Faerie Powers depend on how much Faerie ancestry you have. If you have a single Faerie Great-Grandparent, you might have some vague ability to comfort animals and figure out when somebody is lying to you, but those are only wisps of Power With Animals and Discernment.
The most common Part-Faerie Powers are Longevity, Power With Animals, Night Vision and Hearing. A person with two or more of these Powers is likely to be relatively short, have pointy facial features and show great manual dexterity. Discernment is present in about one in four Part-Faeries with Powers. It is almost always associated with short stature.
The rarest of Part-Faerie Powers are those that are given with a Kiss, especially the strong Healing Power. It is also rare for a Part-Faerie to be able to participate in the songs that merge Faerie Powers in the Circle.
A Part-Faerie must “grow” her Powers, by honoring them. In practical terms, this means living a Faerie lifestyle. For example, to grow Power With Animals, she must not eat meat and to grow Discernment she cannot lie. A Faerie who repeatedly violates her Powers would eventually lose them. This helped keep the criminal Part-Faeries of Old Ireland in check. Lying and stealing gradually caused their Powers to dwindle. (Still, a major responsibility of any Part-Faerie Leader is to keep his followers from using their Powers to exploit humans.)
There are two Powers that are never found in Part-Faeries: Flight and Concealment. A person with wings who can fly is a Faerie by definition, and Concealment is the Power most closely associated with Flight (because it keeps humans from seeing Faeries as they fly).
Why are there Part-Faeries in the first place? Why would a Faerie mate with a human? In Old Ireland the human world and the Faerie realm overlapped. Humans and Faeries were often together and sometimes an attraction developed. Occasionally a Faerie (usually female) was given in an arranged marriage to strengthen Faerie-human ties.
The Faeries who immigrated to Georgia in 1850 found themselves in a strange and sometimes hostile land. They had to learn the ways of a an environment very different from Ireland. Furthermore, they had only Solomon Murphy to handle dealings with humans. The Faeries began by taking in escaped slaves and lonely mountain men. During the Civil War they welcomed Confederate deserters. After 1865, there were many impoverished, rootless men and women traveling to destinations they could not describe, and some of them settled on the Georgia Circle Lands. The last human to fall in love with a Georgia Circle Faerie was a young woman from Chattanooga who fled a forced marriage to man she knew was abusive. She settled on the Circle Lands in 1895, and afterwards the Elders decreed there would be no more marriages between Faeries and humans or Part-Faeries.
This began the period of debate and decision that led to the decree in 1900 that the Part-Faeries must leave the Circle Lands. The following year, about two hundred Faeries left for California, to found a new Circle where families made up of Faeries and Part-Faeries could live together. The Monterey Circle was too small to survive on its own, just as the Georgia Circle had been, and they took in many humans over the years, beginning with impoverished Indians and the alienated wanderers of the California coast. The last humans to join the Monterey Circle were three young men who resisted the draft during the Vietnam War. They were looking for a place where they could hide from arrest. They married Part-Faerie women. The West Coast Circle now avoids taking in new humans, but the Elders have said they might do so again in a crisis. It is routine for Faeries there to marry Part-Faeries.