This might have been discussed before, but I'd still like to raise this point.
Some things seem easy enough to place, but I see a lot of borderline creatures.
Faeries stem from the belief of the mortals, so whatever they believe in and tell stories about, will exist. Yes?
So the elves of the woods, the dwarves of the deep, mermaids, goblins, sprites, satyrs etc. are all Fae. Also, it seems most non-christian, pagan gods get placed in the Faerie box as well. After all, it nobody believes in them and talks about them, worships them even, they lose all power, or die/cease to exist.
The Infernal and Divine Realms seem absolute, so it doean't matter if you don't believe in the demons - they can still get you!
IIRC creatures of the Magic realm has included Dragons, Giants, Ghosts although ghosts could easily also be Infernal or something else).
But aren't Dragons also the stuff of legends? Perhaps this is one instance of a creature being the cause of the myth, and not the other way around, as for Fae.
How about Werevolves (or other Were-creatures)? Magic or Faerie?
Vampires? HoH: TL in the Tremere chapter list vampires (or at least some form of vampiric creature) as a Dark Faerie.
And what else if left in the Magic Realm? Fantastic beasts, such as Hydras, Basilisks, Gryphons, Chimeras? Pegasi? And how (for same reasons as the other creatures listed) do they not fall into the Faerie category?
How do you other people differentiate?
Maybe it's a terrible response, but I make them whatever I need them to be.
Dragons controlled by a particular fae lord... faerie.
Dragons that stomp across the countryside? magic
Dragons that eat a priest and gain his knowledge? Divine
Dragons that hold a village hostage for a tribute of delicious children? Infernal.
The difference in Ars Magica 5 is more along the lines:
FAERIE: supernatural beings that do care about the humans. That can be because they are curious about them, because they need worship or whatever reason.
MAGIC: supernatural beings that do not give a crap about humans at al. They would be equally happy if humankind did not exist.
it is a better cut difference here.
Dragons tend to fall under magic in this definition. They deal with humankind because they have to, not because they specifically enjoy it. However, the Sigusen guy in the main rulebook should be a faerie dragon IMO.
Or you can go with plan B like we do, and drop both fae and magic realms together since the distinction is artificial. But we are a bunch of rule-heretics here
I'll try to avoid the NDA, but the RoP: Magic blurb states,
"Of the four realms of power in Mythic Europe, Magic is at once the most familiar and the most alien. It's the source of power wielded by Hermetic magi, but it cares nothing for human concerns. Elementals are the essence of the elements given form; what are emotions to them? Dragons are ancient beyond belief; why should they concern themselves with the affairs of men? Spirits are bound to the phenomena of the natural world, not to the creations of humanity. And even those humans transformed by Magic have their own strange ambitions, divorced from the petty desires of mortals."
I've no idea what will be in RoP: Faerie, but I imagine that things that want to interact with humans or need to interact with humans will be Faerie. This includes most creatures you'll see in a "Faery" tale.
I think this is where the line needs to be drawn. If Faerie are defined as coming from human imagination, you will have problems. The problem, of course, is that all mythical things are made up by human thought, so if you define faerie as creatures of imagination, you create a rule that covers all creatures from myth.
In my own mine, which to be clear is not supported by the rules, the difference is things that come from Fairy are fairies and things that come from the Magic realm are magical. Thus you can't tell if something is magical/fairy just by looking at it.
I don't like the idea that fairies have anything to do with human imagination-- or even interaction. They should just exist in their own right. Of course, I also think that Magic and Fairy should be one and the same, but that clearly isn't going to fly.
In my current saga, faeries are effemereal beings of pure imagination. They have no substance, only form. It isn't that faeries are products of human imagination, rather they belong to the abstract realm of possibility, which includes human's stories although these only skim its edges. They are shaped by human stories and in turn shape them, abosrbing substance and nature from the human's and shaping things (including the mundane world and even themselves) towards what forms please them.
In contrast, magical creatures are what's real. In a magical aura colors are bright becuase, perhaps for the first time, you are seeing what real colors are like. The magical is things as they truly are in their most perfect true essence.
The mundane world is an in-between realm, where the shadows of the true platonic ideals (the magical realm) are degraded in decay and decrepitude (entropy, infernal), shaped by mind (imagination, faerie), and at times transcend the limitation of their essential nature (transcendence, the divine).
Highly non-canonical, of course.