A Guide to the Feywild

A Guide to the Feywild

Greetings, reader.  It has come to my attention that I know quite a bit more about the land known as the Feywild in most D&D worlds, and that the ones in my worlds are quite a bit more fleshed-out than in others.  As a result, I was asked to write just about everything I know about it so that other people can use this plane of existence for better effect.  I will be writing this a field or travel guide of sorts, instead of saying “you can use this for this effect in your world”.  You won’t find stat blocks, die rolls, or random encounter tables here, but you will find lots and lots of lore.  Likewise, some of the creatures that I wrote about in here are not labeled as fey in their stat blocks.  I decided to ignore their typing and reclassify them, because it makes sense for my world.  Feel free to leave these creatures out of your Feywild if you choose.  I hope that you find this as useful and interesting as I do.

First off, this isn't strictly the Dungeons and Dragons Feywild.  It’s an amalgamation of a bunch of my favorite sources, which is why I like it so much.  I took in inspiration from many different sources, which you might find as you read this.  I think it works well for D&D, and mine uses the geography of Faerun, but there are probably some issues and things that could be made better.  If you want to use my Feywild, feel free to do so.  If you like some aspects, but dislike others, go ahead and change it up.  If you think I’m full of shit and that my Feywild is idiotic, then ignore this document and create your own.  It’s your world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is the Feywild?

A Note on the Shadowfell

Chapter 2: Types of Fey

Archfey

Eladrin

A Note on Elves and Gnomes

Hags

Korreds

Sidhe

Summer Fey

Winter Fey

Wyldfae

Chapter 3: The Laws of the Fey

Speak No False Words

Break No Oaths

Harm No Outsiders

Chapter 4: Fey Weaknesses

Iron

Running Water

Thresholds

Chapter 5: The Courts

The Mothers

The Queens

The Ladies

Chapter 6: Members of the Courts

Chapter 7: The Nature of the Fey

Chapter 8: Mantles of Power

Chapter 9: The Shadowfell

Chapter 10: The Wild Hunt

Huntsmen

Lords of the Hunt

Chapter 11: The Far Beings and the Purpose of the Courts

Chapter 1: What is the Feywild?

Nearly everyone has heard of the Fey in one form or another.  Fairies such as pixies and sprites take on a major role in children’s tales as magical woodland tricksters and guardians.  Fey monsters, like hags and trolls, haunt our nightmares.  And the graceful sidhe, the fey lords and ladies, are famous throughout the planes for their immeasurable beauty.  Despite the stories, these creatures are rare.  They are often seen only in fleeting glimpses, or in the wild, untamed lands of the world.  Few, if any, doubt their existence, since just about everyone has met an elf or perhaps even a gnome, but next to no one has met a fey creature, and even fewer have lived to tell about it.  Why is that?

The answer is that the fey live separately from the material plane, or the “real world”, on a plane of existence known as the Feywild.  Known to some as the Twilight Kingdom, the Eternal Glade, the Wicked Garden, or the Nevernever, the Feywild is a place of beauty, grace, magic, and peril.  Lanterns seem to float in the air, which is alive with butterflies and other insects.  It is eternally twilight here, and the sun rests low in the sky, never rising or setting.  Creatures that are harmed by the sun are safe here, and creatures that cannot see in the dark still retain their vision.  The Feywild, and its sister plane of the Shadowfell, are referred to by scholars as the “echo planes” of the material.  Their layouts are very similar to the material plane, with much of the same geography.  There are many differences between the planes, however.  The Feywild is a mystical place, and things tend to be more glorious and breathtaking in the Feywild than on the material plane, despite the dangers.  The land is ruled by two fey Courts, the Summer, or Seelie, and Winter, or Unseelie, Courts.  Each Court has a stronghold, which is located in the same place in the Feywild as a castle on the material plane.

Titania, the Summer Queen, rules her land from Chateau Faria, an awe-inspiring palace of emeralds and other gemstones that teems with life.  It is located in the Feywild equivalent of Neverwinter.  The lands surrounding Chateau Faria are too beautiful for mortal eyes to comprehend.  Flowers bloom eternally in the Summer Kingdom, where lakes sparkle as though made of sapphires.  The air is always hot in the lands of Summer, and despite the constant twilight of the Feywild, it is much brighter here.

Mab, the Winter Queen, rules from Arctis Tor, an imposing castle of ice and black stone.  It is located in the Feywild equivalent of Ironslag, a keep in the Ice Spires on the material plane.  The lands surrounding Arctis Tor are as harsh as winter itself.  Icy cold and windswept mountains and dead forests.  Only the strong survive in this land, where deadly predators hunt each other in the snows and struggle, both for survival and for the favor of their cold Queen.  It is much darker here than in the rest of Feywild.

The lands outside the direct influence of either court are varied, ranging from copies of either Court to combinations of the two, to completely individual areas.  Most lands of the Feywild are subject to the changing of the seasons, unlike the lands of Summer and Winter.  Majestic castles and sunken mires dot the landscape, which is inhabited by representatives of both Courts, and by the Wyldfae, which belong to neither.  Strange music can often be heard in the wild lands of the Feywild, as can the laughter of the land’s inhabitants.  The wild lands are just as perilous as either Court, but out here, it is much harder to let down your guard.

Svartalfheim is the country of the korreds.  It is located at the Feywild equivalent of Mirabar and the Spine of the World.  The country has protected borders, and it guarded by powerful constructs, made of metal, wood, and stone, and use mechanics as well as magic.  Some constructs are even made with iron weaponry.  Svartalfheim has not been challenged in centuries, but the korreds do not let their guard down.

Other fey, like the eladrin, the independent archfey and hags, or powerful mortal creatures or their ghosts, can shape areas of the Feywild to their will.  Over time, the land that one of these creatures has claimed transforms to fit their desire.  Hysram’s Woods, for example, are a large patch of forest untouched by the outside seasons.  The domain of the ghost of a powerful mortal that has found its way into the Feywild might appear like their home in life, or perhaps where they died.  Any creature that has a domain in the Feywild is significantly more powerful there.

A Note on the Shadowfell

The Shadowfell, which will be discussed more in-depth later, is not so much a separate plane from the Feywild than a darker area on it.  Portions of the Feywild are simply more in-tune with darkness and evil than with the natural grace and beauty of the Feywild.  Such places are ruled by the Dark Powers, mysterious figures of malevolent magic, rather than the fey Courts, and are home to undead, shadow creatures, and hideous abominations of flesh and shadow rather than the fey.

Despite the physical similarities between the material plane and the Feywild, the echo plane is much more complex.  Rather than taking up all of the same space as the material plane, the Feywild echoes its feelings.  To put it more bluntly, a location in the Feywild is connected to a place on the material plane not because of the physical similarities, but because of the feel of the location.  A secret place on the material plane, such as a secure vault, will lead to a secret place on the Feywild, such as a prison cell.  In the same way, a dark plane on the material plane might lead to anywhere from a hag’s den to a portion of the Shadowfell.  Someone wise in the ways of the Feywild might be able to use these connections to their advantage, traveling to the Feywild from one location, walking a few miles, and returning to the material plane hundreds of miles from where they started.  This is much more complicated and dangerous than it sounds, however, because of the fluid connection between the material plane and the Feywild.  The connections can change without prior notice, and it takes skill to tell that the feel of a location has changed.  The fey can naturally tell if opening a Way to the feywild will bring them where they want to go, but for most mortals, this becomes a guessing game, which can have deadly consequences.  Elves tend to have a better time at this than most mortals due to their fey ancestry, as do mortals who spend much of their time in the Feywild.

Time in the Feywild is a tricky subject as well.  Days spent in the Feywild might turn out to be seconds on the material plane, or they might turn out to be centuries.  Two creatures that both exit the Feywild at the same time might end up being split up vastly by the passage of time, never to see each other again.  Although this is an extremely rare occurrence, it is vital to take precautions against this time-warping effect when entering or exiting this echo plane.  Wearing or holding iron or steel materials appears to stop time from distorting itself, although it is rather difficult to bring these metals into the Feywild in the first place.  The Summer and Winter Queens seem to have some sort of control over this effect, as do some other powerful sidhe lords, ancient hags, and archfey.  Simply traveling with a fey creature or an elf seems to stop this effect from happening altogether, which suggests that it is some sort of defense mechanism meant to stop mortals from interfering with the dealings of the fey.


Chapter 2: Types of Fey

The Feywild is, as the name implies, inhabited by the fey.  These creatures, who live practically limitless lifespans, have an incredible variety.  For the most part, the fey can be divided into several broad categories, with each species being able to fit into one.  However, there are some exceptions.  Hags, for example, nearly always avoid the Courts, who hate them for their blind cruelty and hideous appearance.  However, some hags are willing to work with the Courts, either through being powerful enough to be seen as an invaluable asset, or by putting on a guise to appear less ugly to the fey that they work with.  Bheur hags also typically serve the Winter Court if they can see a use for it, and Mab abides by their appearance to further her own goals.  Other fey, such as eladrin or the sidhe can belong to either court or none at all, but are still not considered wyldfae.

Archfey

Archfey are the most powerful creatures of the feywild.  The fey Queens are the most famous and powerful archfey, but they are not the only ones.  Most of the archfey, such as Oberon and Selephra, are sidhe who have amassed great power through loyalty to their Queens.  Others, such as Baba Yaga, the Erlking, and Hysram, are other fey creatures who have existed since ancient times and have gained their powers through other means.  The archfey are immortal, and can only be killed by very specific means.  Iron is still painful to the archfey, and their bodies can still be destroyed by it, but if an archfey is destroyed, it will eventually reform.  Archfey that have been granted their power can have it removed by the Queen who gave it to them, but for the others, this power is permanent.  Archfey are capable of granting powers to mortals who make deals with them, creating warlocks who can do their bidding without being bound to the Laws of the Fey.

Eladrin

Eladrin are elf-like fey that live in the Feywild.  They are very similar to elves from the material plane, but they are more in-tune with the magic of the fey.  Even without training, an eladrin is capable of manipulating the magic of the plane to teleport short distances.  Most eladrin live in the lands of Summer and the wild lands, but many serve the Winter Court as well.  Unlike other fey, eladrin are capable of going against the Laws of the Fey.  However, it physically pains them to do so, so it is still rare for an eladrin to lie or to break a debt.  Iron and steel are still very painful for them to touch.  They are incapable of becoming a Knight to a fey Queen.

A Note on Elves and Gnomes

Elves are descended almost directly from the Eladrin, but are still not fey.  Although not all realize it, elves live in the best of both the mortal and fey world.  They have all of the benefits that eladrin have, not having to sleep, being resistant to some magic, and being naturally good at learning and using magic, while not having the restrictions of being a fey creature.  Similarly, gnomes are distantly related to the fey as well, although the extent of this relationship is unknown.  Gnomes are a bit more removed than elves, although they still retain magical abilities.  Additionally, gnomes retain a taste for adventure, which leads some to believe they were descended from the Summer Court.  Both are still seen as mortals by the fey, and treated much the same as other humanoids by just about every fey species.

Hags

While most fey creatures have some amount of grace to them, hags are the embodiment of ugly cruelty.  They hate beauty, and they hate authority.  They are not harmed by iron or steel, like the other fey, and their teeth and nails are formed from iron, yet another reason for the fey to hate them.  Although they are bound to follow the same laws as other fey, they rarely work for anyone but themselves.  They work powerful spells and create and hoard magic items.  Like most fey, the love deals and games, but unlike most, they delight in making certain that the deal goes poorly for whoever they deal with.  The oldest and most powerful hags are known as “grandmothers”, and some of these hags have power that rivals even that of the fey Queens.  However, hags are incapable of working in large groups, so they pose little to no threat to fey that avoid them.  Because hags stockpile information, the fey Queens or other powerful archfey will sometimes enlist them to exchange information.  Bheur hags sometimes serve the Winter Court for short periods of time as well.  Auntie Morgan Greenteeth is one of these hags who has been serving the Winter Court on and off for a century or two.  It is rarer for the Summer Court to employ hags for more than incredibly short timeframes.

Korreds

Korreds, also known as svartalves are independent fey creatures that appear as hair-covered, hooved fey a bit shorter than gnomes.  They know the ways of the earth better than anyone, and are master craftsmen.  They are very private, and hold one of the few independent land areas in the Feywild, known as Svartalfheim.  They do not tolerate intruders or breaches in their trust, and their constructs are more than powerful enough to deal with threats and insults.  This is because a korred’s hair, when cut, becomes the substance that cut it, and there are many creatures who would imprison a korred and cut its hair with certain materials for personal gain.  They have control over their hair, and wield iron ropes to hurt fey who attack them.  Unlike most fey, they deal in all currency, and commonly travel to the material plane in order to spend gold that they have earned, or to other planes to use currencies from there.  They are not picky about who they partner with, and, for the right price, it is possible to temporarily become a citizen of their country, which means that the same rights and protections offered to korreds are offered to the buyer while in Svartalfheim for a certain time period.  Even the fey Queens and demon lords do not attempt to quarrel with the svartalves, knowing that it would end poorly.

Sidhe

Sidhe are the lords and ladies of the Courts.  They are nearly incapable of existing outside of a fey Court, and to them, death is preferable to banishment from their Court.  The sidhe appear as humanoids more graceful and beautiful than any mortal, and they are deeply in tune with magic.  Sidhe cast magic as easily and as innately as they breathe.  They can easily see through most illusion magic, and are all but immune to being charmed.  All sidhe have abilities drawn from their Court, but each one also has unique talents.  They love to play tricks on mortals, drawing them with charms or illusions and making deals with enchanted mortals that will give momentary pleasure, but will also give something much more valuable to the sidhe, usually the mortal’s life or free will, which can then be used as a bargaining chip for more power or political standing in their Court.  The sidhe are very competitive, and all seek to both serve their Queen to the best of their ability, and to prove themselves worthy of being granted the powers of an archfey.

Sidhe that are banished from their Court survive in other inhabited areas, joining the Wild Hunt or the svartalves, or else traveling to the material plane.  They sometimes create lands for themselves as well.  When they are forced to take a side, few chose the one that banished them, with most of the banished sidhe working for the other side as revenge for being cast out.

Summer Fey

Summer fey are valiant protectors of nature.  They follow their emotions, although they cannot break the Laws of the Fey.  Fey that appear plant-like or have strong ties to animals, especially herbivores, are usually summer fey.  Despite their appearances, summer fey are calculating and power-hungry creatures.  They will make deals to try to get the upper hand in a situation, and are just as likely to twist the truth as winter fey.  They see mortals somewhere on a spectrum of ignorant children to pests.

  • Blink Dog: A dog-like fey creature that can teleport short distances.  They are more intelligent than they look, but prefer to act similar to dogs from the material plane, and are kept as pets by eladrin and the sidhe as a result.

  • Centaur: A fey creature with the torso of a human and body of a horse.  They are fiercely territorial, but also valiant.  Most centaurs avoid fighting, preferring nonviolent means to discourage trespassers.  When they are threatened, however, centaurs become a deadly threat, using weapons and their physical strength to overpower and slay enemies.

  • Dryad: A humanoid nymph tied to a specific tree.  They guard their trees, which hold their life force, against any threat.  Dryads treat outsiders based on how they treat the forest.  Dryads are incapable of traveling long distances from their tree willingly, although this distance varies based on the power of the dryad.  A dryad that is forcibly moved will fall into a deep depressive state, and long only to return to its tree.  Such a dryad will be incapable of taking any activity that does not directly aid it in returning.  Dryads enter a hibernation when it is cold, and live only in or near lands owned by Summer.

  • Darkling: A fey creature that is aged by light.  They love art and beauty more than they fear being killed by rapid aging.  Darkling elders are particularly wise darklings who have undertaken rituals to heighten their abilities, at Titania’s blessing.  A particularly loyal darkling might be granted a brief respite from its curse as a reward for a job well-done, using this time to glimpse art and the beauty of nature in their true light, rather than the black and white haze of darkvision.

  • Faerie Dragon: A draconic creature tied to the Summer Court.  They are playful tricksters who often roam independently, but they serve the Summer Court when called upon.  They rarely fight, but can create powerful illusions.

  • Gruff: A humanoid fey that appear to be goats that can walk upright and use tools and weapons.  They are varied in size, appearing anywhere from the same size as most humanoids to that of trolls and even smaller giants.  They can do just about anything most humanoids can do, but better, making stronger and faster fighters, more powerful mages, and stealthier rogues.  They typically serve as shock troopers, enforcers, and bodyguards, and a family of gruffs will always work together as one unit.  If a gruff is killed, its family will make it their mission to kill the assailant, unless ordered to stop by the Summer Queen.

  • Merfolk: An aquatic humanoid fairy.  They are common on the material plane, but will travel back to the Feywild when called upon by their Queen.

  • Pegasus: An intelligent winged horse that can be created by the Summer Queen.  A pegasus is often gifted to the Summer Knight as a mount and a partner, or for an ally or champion of Summer.  More than one mortal hero has befriended a pegasus on a divine quest without knowledge that they were being aided by a fey Queen.

  • Satyr: A horned humanoid with goat’s hooves.  They love music and dance, and spread their love of it throughout the Feywild and the forests of the material plane.  They can be powerful fighters when called upon, however.

  • Sprite: A tiny fairy that flies through the forest and brews poisons.  They are champions of the forest, and gladly help those who they believe protect nature.  Sprites act as scouts and archers in combat, flitting through forests undetected and attacking enemies in a flurry from all sides before flying off again.

  • Treant: An awakened tree that serves as a protector of the forest.  They are some of Summer’s most powerful forces, but are rarely called upon, unless a dire need arises.  This is because a treant takes centuries to heal from even a simple wound, and healing magic is all but ineffective on them.  Necrotic energy can fell even the most powerful treants instantly.

  • Unicorn: A magical, intelligent horse-like fey creature with a single horn.  Unicorns are very rare and serve as guardians of places of the utmost importance to the Summer Court.  Slaying a unicorn results in the killer being cursed as soon as the majestic creature’s blood touches the ground.

Winter Fey

Winter fey are much more predatory than their Summer counterparts.  They live by survival of the fittest, and rarely defend one another unless necessary.  They are cold and calculating creatures who constantly seek to rise in power.  They often see mortals as prey, although they hunt in different ways.

  • Harpy: A humanoid fey with the body of a female elf and wings and legs of a bird instead of arms.  They are vicious fighters who dive bomb prey, or grab enemies and drop them from the sky.  Some use a siren song to lure prey to them, and others, known as Sylphs, can create whirlwinds.

  • Hob: A small white creature with no eyes or hair and needle-sharp teeth and claws.  Hobs are weak individually, but operate in swarms, overpowering prey.  Most fight barehanded, but some smarter and tougher ones use crude weaponry and armor.  Sunlight is just as painful to them as iron.

  • Leanansidhe: A handmaiden of sorts to the sidhe.  They appear as beautiful women with a cat’s eyes.  They are predatory in nature, often making deals with the creatures they wish to devour, but as a result of an ancient slight against Queen Mab, they are treated as servants to the sidhe and to other high-ranking winter fey.  Making a deal with one of these fey is dangerous, as they will do everything in their power to stop you from completing your end of the bargain once they have fulfilled their share, giving them free rein to attack.  Mab’s personal leanansidhe transforms her victims into hunting hounds.

  • Malk: A fey predator that looks like a grey, child-sized cat.  Malks are pack predators, acting similar to wolves of the material plane, although an individual malk is a deadly threat to most mortals.  They are fast, stealthy, and brutal, often killing prey before they are even noticed.  In a fair fight, they use their speed and weight to their advantage, knocking over their opponent before tearing out its throat with sharp claws and teeth.

  • Meenlock: A yellow-green crab-like creature about the size of a gnome.  Meenlocks feed on fear, becoming faster and stronger around creatures that are afraid of them.  They work as assassins, frightening creatures and feeding off of their fear until they are killed.  Some powerful meenlocks, called fetches, are able to brush off attacks made by creatures that fear them, and to take on the form of more frightening creatures.

  • Miksani: A brown-skinned humanoid fey that can change form into other fey creatures.  They are capable of lying, unlike most fey, but only when outside of their true form.  It is all but impossible for a creature without truesight to tell when a miksani is pretending to be something else.  They do not take on the forms of specific individual fey, but rather the guise of the species.

  • Oni: A large, blue-skinned ogre-like creature that can take on the form of a humanoid.  Oni delight in tricking their prey, hunting them through words rather than through physical prowess.  They are very powerful, and have magical abilities, and can serve as either infiltrators or as brutes, depending on the need.  Mab will sometimes grant the service of an oni as payment for a debt.

  • Quickling: A tiny, wingless, blue-skinned sprite-like creature.  Quicklings are the fastest creatures alive.  They are all but impossible to keep track of, darting faster than most minds can comprehend.  Mab uses quicklings as spies and messengers due to their speed.  They are very short-lived, with a lifespan of under twenty years, and love to play tricks on unsuspecting people and fey.

  • Troll: A huge, hulking creature with green skin and regenerative abilities.  Trolls are a menace to deal with due to their strength and regeneration.  A troll regenerates rapidly unless fire or acid is used to stop them, and are nearly impossible to kill otherwise.  When their limbs or even heads are severed, they keep fighting, and can even be re-attached.  Trolls are rather stupid, however, and those that end up on the material plane rarely are able to find their way back to the Feywild.

  • Redcap: Redcaps are deadly fey that must soak their hats in blood to survive.  They never stop killing, and they rampage through the woods on the outskirts of Winter lands, hunting wyldfae and killing them.  They are born with their feet encased in heavy iron boots, and, like all fey, iron burns them.  The life of a redcap is short and incredibly painful, and a redcap’s life essence is drained away in a matter of days after it is created due to the damage dealt by its iron footwear.  In order to replenish themselves and survive for a few more days, they must bathe their hats in the blood of freshly-slaughtered humanoids.  Their constant pain and only way of surviving lead to redcaps being brutal and often insane fey.  Those who survive longer than a month are typically beyond thought, killing anything they see on-sight.  When they are called upon, it is because Mab wants to slaughter her enemies.

  • Yeth Hound: A dog-like creature about five feet tall with a flexible neck and humanoid face.  While the Summer Court can create Pegusi for its knight and other champions to ride, the Winter Court can create Yeth Hounds for the same purpose.  More intelligent and predatory than their Summer counterparts, yeth hounds frighten prey with their baying and give chase, helping their masters hunt by exhausting their quarry or chasing them into traps.  A pack of yeth hounds was once given to the Erlking for his services, and he uses them personally.

  • Yeti: A huge white-haired ogre-like creature with horns and blue skin.  Yetis serve as guards throughout Winter, driving back creatures that come too close to Arctis Tor without Mab’s approval.  When needed, Mab can gather all of the yetis in her domain and direct them as a singular fighting force, commanding them through the abominable yetis, which are bigger, stronger, and smarter than the others.

Wyldfae

Many fey species, known collectively as the wyldfae, do not belong to either Court.  They have varied personalities.  Some act as hunters, others as tricksters, and others in other ways.  On the rare occasions that the Courts go to war with each other, the wyldfae must choose a side.  It is possible for independent creatures, such as archfey who are unaligned with either Court, fiends, gods, or even particularly charismatic mortals to create vassals out of the wyldfae.  These vassals are then seen as extensions of their lord, and do not have to choose a side during conflicts.  It is very rare for mortals to have fey vassals, but it is not unheard of.  These mortals are often sought out to serve as Knights for the Courts, should the current Knight fall in battle or else need to be replaced.

  • Banshee: A ghost of a powerful fey creature, usually a sidhe lord or lady, or sometimes an eladrin.  Banshees are wandering spirits who were killed in crude fashions, often with iron, or perhaps through being cast out of their Court and hunted down by predators or wyldfae. They are cruel and territorial, and unable to leave the spot where they died.  Some banshees exist on the material plane, but they are much more common in the Feywild.  They exist as part of the landscape, and when they take sides, it means that their land can be crossed by only one of the Courts.

  • Boggle: A small blue-grey creature with an oversized head, ears, and hands.  Boggles are born from feelings of loneliness, and are much more common on the material plane as a result.  They are playful tricksters who create oil and dimensional rifts to escape when things go too far.  Hags, fomorians, and warlocks of the archfey employ boggles more often than the Courts, although both Courts have a few who claim fealty.

  • Changeling: A humanoid that can assume the shape of any other humanoid they have seen.  Changelings are the offspring of a humanoid and a fey creature.  They are very rare, and often lead conflicted lives.  All changelings live their lives as normal humanoids until they discover that they can take on the size and shape of any other humanoid they have seen.  This leads to trouble, as changelings are capable of lying, and are usually seen as thieves and rogues.  When a changeling first encounters the species of fey that is responsible for their birth, they have one year to make a choice: either become a full-fledged member of that race, or lose all of their abilities as a changeling and become a full-fledged humanoid.  During that year, their shape-shifting ability vanishes and is replaced with some other minor abilities.  A troll changeling might gain immense strength or regenerative abilities, while a sidhe changeling might gain magical prowess or supernatural beauty.  It is uncommon for fey parents to show any sign of compassion for their changeling children, but most changelings still choose their fey side.  Eladrin do not create changelings, instead creating half-elves, and korreds can only breed with other korreds.  Most non-humanoid fey cannot breed with humanoids either.

  • Dirlagraun: A large panther-like creature with six legs and two long tentacles tipped with spiked suckers.  Often called a displacer beast on the material plane, it hunts both for sport and for prey, creating a large territory for itself and considering any trespassers onto its land to have given themselves up for prey.  Their common name comes from their ability to create an illusionary duplicate of themselves to confuse prey and would-be attackers.  The Winter Court at one point attempted to domesticate them, and some winter sidhe keep diralagraun as guardians, but they are sentient and self-serving creatures.  They hate the Summer Court and blink dogs, which hunted them to near extinction in the Feywild.  Unlike nearly all other fey, diralagraun are found much more often on the material plane than in the Feywild, although they are still very rare.  They will occasionally serve powerful masters who are capable of providing a beneficial alliance, but they are only truly satisfied when they can hunt and kill as they please.

  • Djieiene: A large brown spider-like creature the size of a person’s foot.  They feed off of strong negative emotions, and their bites cause headaches and paranoia.  Djieiene cannot speak, but they are intelligent, and capable of removing their heart from their bodies and hiding it.  If the heart is destroyed, so is the djieiene, but as long as the heart remains intact, the fey creature recovers from all injuries, including the total destruction of its body, nearly instantly.  They typically bite a creature, either a fey or mortal, and wait nearby, siphoning off the negative emotions that come when their victim becomes increasingly paranoid of the people around them.  Unfortunately, this method of feeding usually results in the death of the victim, so a djieiene must seek new victims often.  They wander the Feywild and material plane alone, and are very paranoid of each other.

  • Fomorian: An ugly and deformed giant with purplish skin, long limbs, and one large eye.  Fomorians were giants that attempted to conquer the Feywild, but were cursed instead.  Some managed to return to the material plane, but most were left stranded in the land they tried to conquer, forced to become part of the echo plane.  They hate serving either Court, since both united to stop them, but are incapable of breaking the Laws.  They are malevolent and search for any reason to butcher the fey, and they have developed the ability to pass their curse onto other creatures.  Although they hate serving the Courts, when they are forced to, they relish their permission to slaughter enemy fey and curse the opposing Court’s sidhe with the evil eye, leading them to be cast out from their Court.

  • Gremlin: A malformed goblin-like creature with asymmetrical features and a wide variety of physical oddities.  Gremlins are abundant in the wild places of the Feywild and in both the lands of Summer and Winter.  They are the most common fey, serving as the most abundant soldiers of both Summer and Winter during conflicts and making up most of the Wild Hunt and the vassals of other independent lords and ladies.  Their combat styles are also varied, but mostly involve crude, brutal weaponry.  They act much like the goblins of the material plane, which suggests that goblins, like elves, might have their origin in the Feywild.

  • Kumonga: An intelligent spider the size of a horse.  Kumongas are social fey, operating in colonies to capture prey.  They are crafty, and often talk to their captured prey to gain information on the world around them before devouring them.  Kumongas are cannibalistic, and will attack and eat the largest one of their group before relocating when food is scarce.  Kumongas tend to serve Winter when forced to choose a side, but those that live near Chateau Faire often serve Summer instead.

  • Naiad: A humanoid nymph tied to a body of water.  Like dryads, naiads cannot journey far from their river or lake.  Naiads serve whichever Court is closer to them.  Befriending a naiad has many benefits, the least of which being safe travel over their body of water.  A naiad can help an ally escape foes unnoticed and can whisk a friend away from danger as fast as a river.  They also can allow allies to breathe underwater as long as they are nearby.

  • Pixie: A tiny fairy, much like a sprite, with wings like a butterfly’s and miniscule, but elaborate, gowns and armor.  Pixies are often unnoticed by larger fey, and by mortals, and are nearly always seen as weak or useless fey.  While individually, this may be the case, a group of pixies is a force to be reckoned with.  Pixies are very outgoing and prefer mortal food and drink over the magically-conjured feasts of Summer or practically bloody meals of Winter, so they are open to friendships with mortals.  In the few cases where mortals gather fey vassals, these vassals are primarily pixies, who enter into service for food.  Pixies can make themselves invisible and cast minor magical spells, and when they want to be, they can be fierce swarm fighters.

  • Rawhead: A hideous troll-shaped creature formed of a fey spirit inhabiting a body made from the bones of its victims.  Rawheads start small, gathering the bones of small animals and creating a body for themselves out of them.  As time goes on, a rawhead becomes more bold and more powerful, hunting creatures that it devours and adding their bones to its body.  The older a rawhead is, the larger and more powerful it is, with the oldest ones being nearly unstoppable monsters with the bones of giants found in their twisted bodies.  A rawhead is resistant to most forms of evocation magic, and is very strong physically.  A rawhead can be destroyed through brute force, or by snuffing out the green flame that sits within its skull.  When this flame is extinguished, the power holding the rawhead’s bones together vanishes, and it falls apart.  If the bones are scattered before the rawhead can relight the flame, it is destroyed, never to reform.

  • Shifter: A humanoid with the ability to take on aspects of certain animals.  Similar to lycanthropes, shifters have the ability to take on the powers of animals.  Only the most powerful shifter in a tribe can undergo a complete transformation, with the others in that tribe taking on specific aspects of their beast.  In a tribe of shifters dedicated to the goat, one might gain the ability to climb rock faces with powerful hooves, while another might grow strong horns to defend the tribe, while yet another might gain the back strength required to pull heavy loads.  Most shifter tribes are located on the material plane, but all shifters know how to return to the Feywild should danger arise near their village or conflict brew on their native plane.

Chapter 3: The Laws of the Fey

Nearly all fey are bound to a specific set of rules.  Some fey can break some of these Laws, but for the most part, they can be seen as a static code among fairies.  Fey are physically unable to break these laws.  Moreso, they do not see these laws as boundaries, but simply as the way things are.  A fey creature cannot comprehend the idea of telling a lie, for example, although they know that mortals are able to, and are always on their guard.  The rules of the fey are known as the Laws, and are worded in three simple commandments.

Speak No False Words

A fairy cannot knowingly tell a lie.  This does not mean that a fairy cannot spread deceit, or trick an adversary into believing a falsehood.  It simply means that a fairy cannot speak false words.  By nature, fairies never tell the full truth, weaving their words in such a way as to avoid lying while at the same time leaving an impression of something false or incomplete in the mind of the one they are talking to.  The closest thing a fairy will give to an absolute truth a fairy will give, outside of certain circumstances, is their answer to a question asked three times in succession.  If asked in such a way, a fairy is bound to give some sort of answer or promise that is true and not misleading.  In such a scenario, a malevolent fairy will often do everything in their power to warp the truth after the fact, making the situation seem much more confusing than it really is, or vice versa.

Break No Oaths

A deal made by a fairy is absolute, and a fairy cannot willingly break a deal.  Fairies, by nature, try to make deals with other creatures that they want power over, often with the payment owed to them seeming much smaller or easier to pay than it truly is, or else not mentioning a return payment until after the deal has been accepted.  Failure to pay within the given time results in the fairy having power over the dealbreaker, which was the original goal.  A deal a fairy offers will always be equal, and anything offered by a mortal, should it be anything other than equal payment, will be seen as either an opportunity or an insult.  Fairies hate to be in debt, and cannot give or take anything for free.  Accepting a gift from a fairy is the same as accepting an open-ended deal, and the fairy can extract payment as they see necessary.  At the same time, giving a gift to the fey puts them in debt, which they hate.  While they are forced to repay their debt, they will also look for an opportunity to harm the gift-giver, except for very special circumstances.  Similarly, promises made to or by the fey are binding, and must be fulfilled.  An oath of fealty can only be broken through an agreement on both parties.  Additionally, a vassal must fulfill all of the orders of their master, and their master cannot order them to break any previous oaths, and can only inflict harm on them if they fail to complete their orders to the master’s satisfaction.  Prisoners are automatically considered vassals.

Harm No Outsiders

A fairy belonging to a Court, even temporarily, cannot directly harm a fairy or mortal that does not belong to the same court, or is not ranked lower than themselves, unless if they are slighted by the individual beforehand.  Duels are accepted, and open combat between the two Courts is also allowed.  Because of the specifics of this rule, predators who wish to hunt prey that does not belong to them try to enter a deal with their prey or cause their prey to slight them, allowing them to hunt to their heart’s content.  Different types of fey have different definitions of a slight, and these definitions are absolute.  If a creature intrudes on a malk or kumonga colony’s territory without offering something to the resident fey or proving their strength in some other way, it is considered fair game, and is hunted down mercilessly, for example.


Chapter 4: Fey Weaknesses

As varied as they all are, most fey species share a variety of weaknesses.  These weaknesses can be used as proof that a creature is of fey origin, and they can be used as a weapon or as protection against fey assailants.  There are some fey, like eladrin and changelings, that are not affected by some, or even most, of these weaknesses, however.

Iron

For reasons still unknown, nearly all fey are burned by iron.  A fey creature that comes in contact with iron or anything containing iron, such as steel or rust, is greeted with pain and fire.  A fairy’s blood burns on contact with this metal, and the “iron death” is one of the most painful ways for a fairy to die.  It is difficult to bring iron into the Feywild, and most natural Ways will close up around creatures carrying it, although hags and some spellcasters know ways to avoid this.  Being transported into the Feywild through magical means while holding iron can lead to mishaps, such as being transported to the wrong area or being left behind.  Attacking a fairy with iron is a perfect way to gain the ire of other fey, and should only be used as a last resort.  Some creatures, such as hags and redcaps, are not harmed by iron, and use it to their advantage, while others, such as korreds, use gloves or other protections to wield iron weapons in order to defend themselves.  No sidhe, including the archfey or even the Queens, has any sort of immunity to iron.  Even though iron will not kill the archfey, it is very painful for them to handle, and prolonged exposure can diminish their powers.

Running Water

Running water in any form, a river or the ocean, has many effects on the fey.  Most fey, except merfolk and naiads, cannot cross running water without losing their powers, at least temporarily.  For some, this might not be as much of an issue as it would be for others.  Redcaps, for example, will chase prey across rivers, knowing that even without their supernatural abilities, their wicked sickles will be enough to cut down their quarry.  For others, crossing running water is often enough to cause them to fall back in their chase.  A troll will be hesitant to pursue prey if it knows that its regenerative abilities will not work for several hours, and sidhe lords and ladies would be only slightly above mortals without their superhuman grace and magical abilities.  Flying creatures do not seem to have as much difficulty with running water as those that travel the land, for some reason.  For the archfey, crossing water is a trivial matter, as it only slightly saps their powers, leaving them with more than enough juice to handle whatever they are after.  Rain, which does not fall in the Feywild, can also dampen the abilities of the fey, although nowhere near as much as crossing water will do.

Thresholds

A threshold is the barrier between an intelligent creature’s home and the outside world.  To mortals, a threshold is a loose term used to describe an entrance into someone’s house, but to the fey, thresholds are very real and very powerful barriers.  Thresholds do not appear on every building, or even every house, and those that do vary greatly in their strength.  A threshold is formed from the energy of the life that is lived inside a building.  Happy homes and the homes of large or devout families tend to have strong thresholds, while the homes of lonely people or temporary dwellings have little to no threshold.  Churches and temples that see many different people every day might have a threshold if the clergy live there, but only those that serve a truly devout congregation have thresholds of the same power as a home (although these places are often hallowed ground, which is more powerful than a threshold).  Fey creatures cannot cross a threshold without leaving a fraction of their power behind them, similar to when they cross running water.  This power is restored when they leave.  Only the most powerful archfey can cross a threshold without becoming powerless while inside, and even then, they are often reduced to the strength of lower sidhe.  Because only mortals can create a threshold, they are very rare in the Feywild, and fey creatures are often surprised when they are stopped by one.  Fey creatures can cross a threshold if they are invited across, in which case they do not lose their powers.  If one wishes to enter a dwelling, but finds itself unable to, it will often use trickery, threats, and coercion to lure its victims outside or have them invite it in.  Other, more crafty fey, most famously hags and oni, will gain entrance by befriending children under a disguise, revealing their true form when they are brought inside the house.


Chapter 5: The Courts

The Feywild is ruled by two major Courts, along with several smaller kingdoms, countries, and towns.  The Summer Court rules in the west, and the Winter Court in the east.  The Courts are set up in roughly the same layout.  Both Courts have three female rulers: The Mother (the Queen that was), the Queen (the Queen that is), and the Lady (the Queen that will be).  If the Mother dies in some way, the Queen and Lady both move up, with the Queen ascending to Motherhood and the Lady ascending to Queenhood, and a new Lady selected from the ranks of sidhe, and occasionally mortals, available to the new Queen.  Although this is a rare occurrence, the Queens and Ladies of both Courts surround themselves with potential candidates in the unlikely case that a replacement is needed.  It is possible, if the Lady dies suddenly, for a possible replacement to immediately absorb her power and become the new Lady.  After a replacement, although every Queen and Lady keeps her name, the Queens of a Court will gradually adopt the personality of the one before them, suggesting that the titles, not the title-holders, are the true rulers of the Courts.

The Mothers

The Mothers are widely considered to be two of, if not the, most powerful creatures in existence.  Magic is as easy to them as breathing, and they need only think and let it be done.  They are old and grisled, much like the ancient hags, and simply go by Mother Summer and Mother Winter.  There are rumors that they might perhaps be two of the legendary Fates, who spin the lives of mortals and immortals alike, but it is unclear who the third might be if this is the truth.  The Mothers live in a secluded cottage in the middle of a forest in the Feywild.  Only a select few know the location, and those who truly need to find it are drawn there.  The Mothers spend their time in the cottage, taking in incomprehensible amounts of information about the planes so that they can share it with those who come to them.  Mother Summer appears as a kindly grandmother figure, who talks kindly to those who approach her with respect and appears to be happy to share information, although she gives only what is necessary at any given time.  Mother Winter, on the other hand, appears as an ugly crone who forces those who come to her for aid to prove themselves through will, magic, and strength, all of which she has plenty of.  She does not take kindly to being interrupted, and spends her days weaving powerful magic artifacts, which Mother Summer occasionally gives to adventurers who need them in exchange for their aid in solving a problem.  The Mothers are much less manipulative than other fey, and are significantly more straightforward.  Attempting to double-cross them, however, is almost guaranteed to lead to a painful death.

The Queens

The Queens of the fey Courts are polar opposites of each other.  They are incredibly powerful, and although they are not comparable to the Mothers, they use their powers for much more than subtle aid, defense, and creation.  The current Summer Queen, Titania, is a jealous, protective sidhe who sees herself as a mother to the Feywild and the material plane.  She accepts no insult, destroying those who attempt to betray or get the upper hand against her, and sees an attack on a summer fey, whatever the reason, as a personal attack on her person.  While she will not attack individual or even groups of fey who attack mortals on the material plane, she makes it her personal duty to stop Winter from gaining land and power in the Feywild, and large groups of winter fey on the material plane are seen as a threat that must be stopped immediately.  Mab, on the other hand, is coldly logical.  She values creatures for their use to her, and does not take steps to defend or avenge them.  In her eyes, the death of a servant proves that that servant was not worthy of survival.  She calculates every move, and creates plans so vast and complicated that even after they have come to completion, whether a success or a failure, her influence is barely noticeable until she chooses to involve herself.  She treats winter fey as pawns, giving orders that make little sense or that are not even meant to succeed, but that put her in a position to increase in power, stop the advancement of an enemy, take revenge, or put her in control of more servants.

The Ladies

The ladies are essentially Queens-in-training.  Their powers are potent enough to command the fey legions, but they still answer to the Queens, who could smite them with little to no effort.  Aurora, the current Summer Lady, embodies the spirit of kindness and compassion.  She might not be forthcoming with information, like most fey, but she is hospitable and uses her magic for light and healing.  Because of her nature, she cannot give things away for free, but nearly always asks for minor payments.  Maeve, the Winter Lady, is the opposite.  She is cruel and manipulative, taking pleasure in causing pain, especially those who cannot defend themselves.  At the same time, she delights in power, and if a creature manages to stand up to her, she happily offers it a place of servitude in her personal entourage.  Maeve tries to make deals with mortals that she takes a liking to in order to trap them in eternal servitude to her.


Chapter 6: Members of the Courts

The Summer Court is ruled by Titania from Chateau Faire.  Notable members of the Summer Court include:

  • Elder Gruff: The oldest gruff in the Summer Court.  He is human-sized, carries a staff, and wears the robes of all of the wizards he has slain in battle.  He serves as an advisor to Titania, who values his counsel above most other creatures.

  • Oberon: Titania’s sidhe consort, also called the Green Lord or Summer King.  He is a jealous, conniving sidhe lord, who tries to stop others from gaining the favor of his Queen.  He is a talented illusionist and wields much of the same power as mortal druids.  He commands Titania’s personal guard.

  • Puck: Oberon’s personal servant, a mischievous pixie.  He is relatively skilled at transmutation magic, and delights in transforming mortals into animals.

The Winter Court is ruled by Mab from Arctis Tor.  Notable members of the Winter Court include:

  • Catsithe: The leader of the malks.  He appears as a slightly larger, pitch-black malk.  He is significantly stronger and faster than the other malks.  He is very pragmatic in combat, preferring to kill before he is ever noticed, and rarely wounds his foes over killing them instantly.  He serves Mab as a personal bodyguard.

  • Morgan Greenteeth:  A bheur hag who serves Queen Mab as an advisor.  She dwells in a cottage on the material plane, and travels to the Feywild to do Mab’s bidding.  She is related to the famous sea hag Jenny Greenteeth.

  • Selephra: A sidhe lady who guards Mab’s woods from outsiders.  She controls the twisted brambles and poisonous plants that grow throughout the lands of Winter and makes sure that only those who are requested by Mab find their way to Arctis Tor.  She fights with a whip made of thorns, twists magic into her strikes, and has nearly invisible wings.

  • Yeth: A sidhe lord who looks more rugged than other sidhe.  He is much more wild than most, and acts animalistic.  He can be calmed with wine, and is able to create yeth hounds, which is where they get their name.  When a yeth hound is created, it bends the knee to Mab and the Winter Court, rather than to Yeth.


Chapter 7: The Nature of the Fey

Although they fey are capable of making choices, feeling emotion, and acting in surprising ways, the key difference between mortals and the fey is that the fey do not have free will.  Mortals can change drastically over the course of years, turning a new leaf, so to speak, but the fey are unchanging in nature.  Queen Mab will always be a ruthless predator, for example.  She would never even consider the possibility of acting against this nature.  Such an act is as impossible as a human sprouting wings and flying to a different plane of existence without any magical involvement.  More broadly, the fey cannot break their Laws, and they cannot go against their natures.  Their natures are more fluid than their Laws, however, which allows for different personalities, unlike the rigid Laws.

The fey see power in the number three.  There are three Queens in each Court.  Three hags gather to form covens.  The Mothers are rumored to be the Fates, of which there are three.  In spells and rituals cast by the fey, the number three is often involved in some way.  When hunting in a group, many fey species prefer to hunt in groups of three.  A question asked or a promise made thrice by the fey forces a mortal to be truthful, and when asked in this way by the fey shows that they are not actively trying to trick someone.

The fey deal in half-truths and lying by omission.  Except for very specific circumstances, fey will not be straightforward.  They will tell only what they have to, and twist their words in such a way that, while they did not tell a lie, their information is often confusing, muddled, or subject to interpretation, with all of the more likely ways of seeing it actually being false.  The fey do not ponder their words before speaking.  Such things come naturally to them.  Many who deal commonly with the fey believe that, even if they wanted to, which they most certainly do not, the fey cannot give the straight truth unless they are hard-pressed or threatened.  Even then, it is difficult to be certain whether information given was correct.

The fey try to trap mortals in their promises.  Even to a close ally, the fey are dangerous for this.  In general, it is a bad idea to accept anything offered by the fey, including food, drink, and other pleasures, unless you know exactly what the price is.  If a mortal enters a deal with a fairy, they all-too-often are made into eternal servants.  This can have a variety of meanings.  Some fey consider their servants prey, and hunt them down and devour them, some use them as playthings, and others (mostly the Summer Court) actually have them return to the material plane and simply return to the Feywild on occasion to give information or work.  Similarly, fey hate being given gifts, because this puts them in debt with the giver.  Someone who is owed by the fey can expect a favor or gift to be given quickly, but this is often a double-edged sword, especially if the gift was not expected.  The fey often give items that, while they may help in some way, often leave a way for manipulation in the future, or else cause danger to follow the owner.  The only time it is safe to accept something from the fey is if you are greeted as a guest in their dwelling and accept the status.  Even then, you are only protected from the owner of the dwelling.  Other fey might cause harm in some ways, although the host cannot order this, and is sworn to punish those who attempt it.

Despite what many think, the fey are neither good nor evil, at least not in the mortal sense.  While many actions of the Winter Court seem evil, and many of the Summer seem good, the fey care little about morality.  On the alignment scale, they are neutral at best.  They do what they do because they have to, not quite because they want to.  Their nature strives them to be power-hungry, predatory, or deceitful, and they are incapable of resisting or changing their nature.  A fairy that appears to be going against its nature is almost certainly under the influence of some other creature.


Chapter 8: Mantles of Power

Because the fey cannot break their Laws or change their nature, each court employs a mortal, which goes by the title of Knight.  The Knight takes on the Mantle of their Court, which improves their senses and grants them magical abilities,in return for their lifelong service.  While the Knight still has free will, they are required to do as their Queens say, or else risk punishment.

The Summer and Winter Knights both tend to live on the Material Plane, traveling to their Court’s stronghold in the Feywild on special occasions.  They are also contacted by a representative of their Court when they are required to do something.  Favorites of the Queens typically receive orders from them, while others get their orders from other sidhe.  Of course, because there can only be one Knight and the only way to lose Knighthood is death, few Knights ever realize this.

The Knights also take on the weaknesses of the fey.  They cannot touch iron, cross running water, or enter a dwelling uninvited without being harmed or losing their powers temporarily.

The Summer and Winter Knights have very different assignments.  Mab typically calls on the Winter Knight as an assassin, to kill someone that she cannot have a fairy harm due to their Laws.  The Summer Knight, on the other hand, is most often called to stop the Winter Knight.  As such, the Knights most common relationship is one of rivalry and constant fighting.  Knights are most commonly slain by each other, rather than by the fey or by their assignments.

When a Knight needs to be replaced while still alive, the Queen will often go about this replacement by having the new Knight execute the old one.  This first assignment grants the new Knight their power and proves their loyalty to their Queen.

A Note on the Sidhgard

Because the Knight is not a fey creature, most do not know much about the Feywild.  In order to stop the Knight from perishing due to ignorance, each Court assigns an eladrin to work with their Knight as a combination of a squire, guide, and assistant.  This eladrin, a sidhgard, is assigned at birth, and serves until their death.  They are expected to do everything within their power to assist the Knight, and as such, are exempt from the laws of the Courts.  This is why eladrin are picked for the job, because they are capable of breaking the laws of the fey, at minor personal discomfort.


Chapter 9: The Shadowfell

Scattered throughout the eternally-twilight realm of the Feywild are pockets of darkness.  These pockets range in size, with the smallest being a few square miles wide, and the largest being the size of continents.  These areas of negative energy are collectively known as the Shadowfell.  It is eternally night in these areas, which are ruled by strange forces known only as the Dark Powers.  These forces serve as a prison of sorts for villains, creating demiplanes throughout the Shadowfell, which are ruled by their most powerful figure and prisoner.  Places like Barovia, the domain of Strahd von Zarovich, and Lethernia, the kingdom of the Raven Queen, are the nigh-inescapable planes created by the Dark Powers.  Creatures wandering the Shadowfell can find themselves on these planes, which sometimes appear on the material plane, and soon realize that they cannot escape.  Only certain creatures and objects, like the Vistani tribe, shadow creatures, and hexblades.  Even souls are trapped in these demiplanes, being reborn in new creatures several decades after death with no memory of their previous lives.  The Dark Powers delight in torturing the “rulers” of these demiplanes, who once sought evil power and received it, at the cost of their eternal life.

Outside of these demiplanes, shades of long-dead heroes, undead reavers, shadow creatures, and various monstrosities roam the land, which is scarred and bleak.  There is next to no color in the Shadowfell, and creatures that come here rarely leave without suffering from the dark, depressing, suffocating atmosphere of the place.  Some intelligent creatures eke out a living here, creating strongholds against the monsters and zombies, but they are often twisted themselves, or else are very suspicious of wanderers.  Vampires and their spawn feel at home here, where there is no sunlight to harm them, and many believe that the first vampires were once fey who traveled to the Shadowfell, due to their shared abilities and their vulnerabilities to running water and thresholds.


Chapter 10: The Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is a large group of hunters, fey, mortals, and fiends alike.  They are brought together during seemingly random years, on the eve of the Feast of the Moon, to hunt their quarry throughout the Shadowfell, Feywild, and material plane.  They split into three groups, one for each plane, so that each Huntsman can hunt as much as possible.  They move like one single tide, a force of nature.  They cannot be stopped, and their path cannot be changed by any other than their leader.  They make use of shadow creatures, which they bind to their will, and occasionally displacer beasts and other beast-like fey and monsters that share predatory urges to ride on and to force their prey out of hiding.  On the material plane, they burst out of Shadowtop Cathedral in the High Forest and circle the forest, riding down anything in their path.  They do not harm structures, and creatures that show a predatory nature are permitted to join the Hunt.  A powerful and determined creature is capable of taking control of the Hunt by fighting the current leader while riding, and if they do, they are granted control of the Hunt until they give it up.  The Feast of the Moon rituals were enacted long ago to keep civilized creatures indoors when the Wild Hunt is free.

Huntsmen

Members of the Wild Hunt are called Huntsmen.  A Huntsman wields one or more Huntsman’s Weapons, which were forged by the Erlking himself.  These weapons inspire bloodlust in their wielders, who refuse to part with them.  Using these weapons, Huntsmen can wrap themselves in armor made from the energy of the Shadowfell and can call forth shadow creatures.  A Huntsman cannot be harmed by Huntsman’s Weapons, and neither can the Lords of the Hunt.

Most Huntsmen live their lives as normal creatures on their home plane, but when the Hunt calls them, they travel to the Shadowfell, where they prepare for the Hunt.  When Huntsmen die, their spirits are drawn to the Shadowfell, where they join the Hunt one last time before drifting away to the afterlife.  Huntsmen that become ghosts or have their spirits captured in other ways do not have this opportunity.

Lords of the Hunt

The Wild Hunt is led by three lords.  Each one leads one portion of the Hunt to a specific place, and they rotate which leader goes to which plane.

The Erlking: The true leader of the Wild Hunt.  He is an archfey that appears as a nine-foot-tall humanoid with asymmetric features and mismatched eyes.  He wears a helmet adorned with antlers, heavy-looking black armor, and a cape made from the hide of an owlbear.  He runs down his quarry on a huge black horse with a greatsword large enough that even ogres and trolls would need both hands to lift it.  He moves quickly and is much too agile for his size, and uses his sword one-handed.

Vadderung: A figure who appears for the Hunt, and is powerful enough to lead it.  He appears as a humanoid just as tall as the Erlking.  He has a scar over one eye, and wields axes, spears, and a variety of other weapons that he changes out throughout the Hunt.  His identity is not known, and some suspect him of being an angel, or perhaps even a god.

Vold: The Erlking’s right hand.  He is an archfey that appears as an ogre-sized gremlin with a hunched back.  He rides a wolf-like creature made of shadows and hurls spears with barbed tips that embed themselves in the skin of his quarry, bringing them down so his mount can kill them.


Chapter 11: The Far Beings and the Purpose of the Courts

Unknown to nearly all beings other than the gods, the Mothers, and Queen Mab, is that the fey exist for a specific reason.  The fey of the Winter Court that reside in the lands of Winter are only a small fraction of the true strength of the Court.  Most of Mab’s soldiers live their lives by the Far Gates, fighting an endless war against the Far Beings, creatures from outside the reality that encompasses the inner and outer planes.  Little is known about the Far Beings, but they have proven to employ a variety of tactics in battle, often mimicking creatures from the material plane that they have seen through the eyes of their warlocks.  The Far Beings appear to want to take control of this reality, and those who know about them believe that they would devour the planes if given the chance.  It also seems as though they work together, with little regard for their own lives, and they do not seem to have any sort of hierarchy or internal conflicts.  However, this knowledge is based only off of combat with them.

Winter exists for the sole purpose of driving these creatures back.  They take on powerful forms so that they can fight more effectively.  Every Winter fairy is sent to the Far Gates at some point in its life, where it serves for decades before returning or dying in battle.  Those that return have their memory of their time spent there erased, in order to avoid contamination by the Far Beings, which can sometimes infect creatures they come in contact with.  Many wyldfae also journey to the Far Gates, and do some Summer fairies at the request of Mother Summer.  Unlike in the Feywild, Summer and Winter fairies work together and sometimes develop friendships at the Far Gates.  There, the fact that they are from the same world is more important than their Court.  These friendships are forgotten along with their memories of their conflict, however.

While Winter exists to protect the planes from the Far Beings, Summer exists to protect the planes from Winter.  The Winter Court is ruthless and brutal, and predators that are not fighting at the Far Gates would happily rampage through the planes, slaughtering whatever they please.  The Laws were created by whatever power created the Fey, but that is still not enough.  As such, the Summer Court’s job is to combat the Winter Court.  This is the reason for their rivalry and Titania’s personality.  She is not aware of this, however, and simply sees it as her duty.  It is unclear as to what she would do with this knowledge, and the few creatures that know of the purpose of the Courts are sworn to secrecy.

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