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Most Felaryan fairies possess the innate ability to change their size in mere seconds, growing from 5 feet to 90 for example, and to temporarily alter the size of other creatures as well. It depends a lot on the original size of the target and its magical resistance, though. For instance, if the target is too big to start with, the fairy might be unable to change its size at all. In most cases, altering the size of another creature is only temporary, with the effects varying from about a dozen minutes to a few hours, depending on the fairy. It's interesting to note that the duration of that effect is shorter if the target, say an adventurer that has been shrunken, manages to get far enough from the fairy. In that case they will eventually pop back to their original size without having to wait for the effect to wear off. That range can varies widely from one fairy to another. In opposite, if the adventurer has been eaten and is inside the fairy, their size won't revert back at all. Some items such has fairy glass have been crafted specially to keep preys shrunk indefinitely.
Self Size Alteration
Archmage Mezzus was the first to come up with extensive and detailed theories regarding fairy size-shifting magic. According to him, the concept of "size" simply does not exist for Felaryan fairies, at least not the way we recognize it. A fairy doesn't actually change their physical size, they simply have the ability to change their size in relation to everything else. Mezzus dubbed this ability as "Dimensional Scaling". This means that at any moment, if you asked a fairy ( we will assume that they will actually try to answer the question instead of eating you!) "What is your real size?", the response would always be the same. They might be a bit confused, and not quite sure what you mean at first, but once they understood what you were asking, their answer would be: "This is my real size." Now, if they suddenly went from 6 inches tall to 60 feet tall right before your eyes one second later, and you asked the question again, the answer would still be "This is my real size." Despite the fact that, from your perspective, they obviously changed size, the assertion that their current size is their "real size" indicates that from their perspective, no physical change of size occurred. Thus Mezzus believes that the concept of physical size as we understand it is completely irrelevant to fairies. When a fairy "changes size", they do not think in terms of, "I want to be 80 feet tall.", they think in terms of "I want to be bigger/smaller than that thing over there." As far as the external world is concerned, it appears to treats the fairy as though they haven't changed size at all, which is why then can fly regardless of how tremendous they grow.
Several known facts are corroborating this "dimensional magic" theory:
- The magical capacity of a fairy's body does not increase when they get "bigger".
- A fairy's "real" size is whatever their current size is. Most fairies say they go around small only because they like having more space, not because "small" is their default size.
- A fairy can change size after eating someone. This last one is especially revealing; If a fairy swallows an adventurer, and then shrinks to 3 inches tall, and there is still no size discrepancy at all between the inside of the fairy's stomach and the person inside of it, then it means that the size of their stomach always remains the same in relation to the size of anything inside their stomach. If they eat until they get full, and then gets bigger... they are still full. They do not become less full, because the amount of space the food in their stomach occupies never actually decreases (at least, not until it has been digested). If they are full and get smaller, then their stomach wouldn't burst as a result either.
Fairies never changes their physical size, only their size in relation to the world around them. At least, so thinks Mezzus and many other mages, although they could be wrong of course.
Fairies have no problem with growing their own clothes and equipment with them when they feel like roaming around at giant size but, sometimes, they want to share items with a non-fairy giant friend as well. However, when an object is "grown" by a fairy and is relinquished, it will eventually be subject to effects of imperfect dimensional scaling. If not in direct contact with a fairy, that upscaled object will obtain some amount of dimensional instability, eventually "popping" back to its original size. You could think of it as a book on a train rattling closer to the edge of a shelf, inevitably dropping off. The larger an object would be if upscaled to a fairy's maximum size, the more instability it will begin with, or it may simply fail to grow at all in the first place. A typical fairy could enlarge a book to be 10 feet tall for weeks or months, but couldn't for a moment enlarge a vehicle to ride in at maximum size. Objects enlarged by fairies gain immense instability when exposed to anti-magic spells, or to places with no or very little magic. This means that, while you might just be able to trade or steal an enlarged priceless gem from a fairy, you run the risk of being very disappointed once you take a dimensional gate to your home world, when the object turns out to have been constructed at tiny size! Even more unlucky would be selling it in Negav for the buyer to have it shrink on them a few weeks later... Needless to say, Negavians are rather wary about over-sized objects.
Some fairies living in the Fairy kingdom have a knack for more potently applying dimensional upscaling, essentially granting it permanently so long as the object isn't exposed to things like being taken near a voidcap mushroom or for a stroll through Mycoria Forest. They are widely spoken of for this skill and often sought out for it, regardless of whether they want the attention or not.
- Credits goes to Gregole for his characterization of fairy size-shifting magic and to Fish for the dimensional upscaling concept.