If you’re like most fairies and sparrow men, talent symbols are not very important to you. They help interpret what talent you are when you first arrive, and then you never have to think about them again. For most of you, that’s probably true. However, talent symbols can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, and, for one talent, proved simply disastrous.
There are some things everyfairy knows about talent symbols. They’re presented by talent mentors in the arrival ceremony, they glow bright if you’re in the talent they represent, and seem to wilt if you aren’t.
However, there are many things most pixie do not know about talent symbols. For one, talent symbols never ‘wilt’ or grow old. They are kept from aging by the same magic that preserves all the Hollow. So, the garden talent symbol, which looks to be a hibiscus or a freesia, has been that same exact flower blossom since the beginning of Pixie Hollow’s first talents. Once in an age, a new talent arrives, and thus, a new talent symbol is created. How talent symbols are forged is unknown even to this day, but they appear suddenly in the arrival ceremony hall. The last recorded talent to appear was the candle-making talent in 1879.
A talent symbol’s power is not only symbolic. If a fairy or sparrow man of a certain talent wields their talent symbol, they control an immense amount of power. This is why talent symbols are kept under lock and key in the Home Tree.
If a talent symbol is destroyed, no more pixies can arrive and be sorted into that talent. Instead, they are sorted into the next most similar talent, and most never realize they aren’t in the talent they fully belong in. For example, if the baking-talent symbol (an oven mitt) was destroyed, the next baking-talent fairy to arrive would likely be sorted into the cooking-talents. Another example, this one a bit more far-fetched but not quite impossible, is that if the art-talent symbol (a paintbrush) was destroyed, one of the potential art-talents could be sorted into the baking-talents and become a cake decorator. Destroyed talent symbols are the leading cause of mis-talenting, but it can happen for other reasons too…
Then, there are the things about talent symbols that are kept completely quiet, under the threat of banishment or worse. While a talent symbol has immense strength, it also holds the greatest weakness of a talent. If a fairy or sparrow man were to steal the talent symbol of another talent, they would be able to control the sum power of every pixie of that talent. This is why the silk-talents were forced out of the Hollow as a group, because they were being held at the threat of destroying their talent symbol (which happened later, despite their cooperation).
If a pixie were to gain access to even just three talent symbols, they would have immeasurable, unsurmountable power. They could change the direction of the wind and force the mountains to bow down. This is the reason regular pixies are kept ignorant of the true power of talent symbols, to keep Pixie Hollow safe. At least, that’s what they want us to think…