Outlaws, Oddballs and Cultist Fanatics
Seelie, Unseelie, Four Seasons and a few minor houses. There is more from there. And by all means, all of them scheme and dream. All of them seek to triumph over the rest. And worst of all, to see one of them fully succeed would spell the end of the fey. Even those devout to Rhiannon would bring about their queen’s deepest fear. In the end, the politics and ways of these creatures are too alien to fully understand. How would they avoid absolute destruction? How would they rebuild? It would take a lot of speculation to imagine how pieces would be picked up by such truly unique creatures. But, a mix of Real Speak and Chant alike has been formulated into some well crafted notes. So, by all means read ahead and dare to discover how much of it is actual truth. Normally, I strive for truly gripping information that holds the tests of scrutiny. But, for cabals and corridors this deep, such endeavors are impossible. Perhaps I have been mislead by rivals? It is the fey way, after all.
Author’s Note: The last of them, at least for now. These remaining sects, like the three before, hold less overall political power and tend to be less centralized. However, most of them are some level of crazy, even by fey standards. Also, huge shout-out to The Piazza forums. Their ideas helped really bring this to life.
Free Whimsy Builders (The Tinkerers)
Leadership: X1-59, the Babbling Syndicate. A cluster of rogue modrons was overwhelmed and overtaken by fey looking to expand into the realm of artifice. Little did they expect that the rogue quasi hive would overwhelm them and call the operations. But, the babbling syndicate did just that. At first it was through correction, and then through more direct means of manipulation. In the end, the curious and industrious fey under their branch only benefited and flourished. It was thanks to this Cluster that a then-new Tinkerhold expanded from a sylvan guild into a minor court of much power. As for the rogue modrons themselves, they are completely mad save for their ability to still understand formulae and invention. Their abilities to process logic and cohesive sense have been skewed horribly following a traumatic expedition into Limbo. The primordial essence of the plane didn’t just damage the modrons, it literally fused them into a singular being… as if in mockery of their collective nature. The mass was brought into a Githzerai settlement and tended to out of pity, but not before the sad amalgam was doomed to change hands. Githyanki staged a surprise attack on the settlement and kidnapped the Babbling Syndicate. They ended up in Ysgard to recuperate, only to encounter some tinker-happy fey who inquired about the acquisition. The Githyanki were not ready to give up their prize, until a fight ensued and hold over the hostage was taken to the fey. Fearing death or more pain, the modron abomination plead for death. The Tinkerers instead suggested a new purpose that could aid both sides. The Cluster is merely grateful for any group that won’t try to enslave them.
The Tinkerhold Fey. They are Artifice, without restraint and without order. Likewise, as their name would imply, they plot and build on a whim. One of their goals is to mimic the technological artifacts and wonders of the mortal worlds. However, their grasp on these concepts is rather limited and flawed. As a result, inventions are often awkward or uncanny, displaying unique quirks or looking truly alien to the outside onlooker. None the less, these fey love to learn and devise. As long as the idea is fresh, they shall pursue it to the best of their own abilities. Should a concept bore them, the project is abandoned or merged into something else. All in all, their works are potentially dangerous to themselves, but very dangerous to outsiders. According to legend, their roots hail from iron resistant mutant fey that experimented and tested on themselves. No formal organization came about until a hapless discovery in Ysgard, a collection of Rogue Modrons fused together through impossible magics of Limbo. From there, this proto-House abducted Minoi of Krynn to help their ambitions expand. It quickly grew out of control, into the faction of today. A day in the life often consists of whatever strange concept they want to build today. It can range from the benign, such as unique eating implements, to the truly bizarre. The aforementioned flesh suit disguise is one of their most recent innovations, though it proves to scare outsiders greatly.
Holdings. It’s quite easy to demarcate areas controlled (or seized) by the zealous craftsmen. Their strange stench is easy to identify. A hint of oil, a lot of magic and a plethora of other curious smells blend together into a noxious cocktail. The otherwise neutral domain of Tinkerhold is the most predominant site where one can find them. Smaller enclaves dot around neutral-aligned parts of the Fair Kingdom. Small stations have gradually made their way into the City of Doors, whether in the Bazaar or to the shocked awe of the Godsmen in their own sponsored Workshop. They are certainly not welcome in Mechanus, especially with the rumor of harboring a particularly dangerous group of Rogue Modrons. The Gate Town of Automata has seen them sneaking about at times, if only to help peddle their ideas and wares. Sometimes, they’ll skulk around in attempt to steal a concept sitting around in the city. Curiously, Ysgard has use for them, as the head butting heroes of the realm have great purpose in testing out the sylvan works. Despite being Unseelie Grounds, they have rented space from Garckle’s Infinite Warehouse to conduct their means and services in private. The enterprising goblin has done his best to ensure them the best in privacy.
Alliance. Any Godsman will tell you that a forge master worth their marbles would turn down the Free Whimsy Builders. But, if you’re barmy enough, give them a try. Like most fey, they don’t understand outsiders and mortals. However, a mutual love of incredible invention and craft is enough to form a quick friendship. Of course, this implies you can maintain the trust and keep up proper offerings. While traditional in some ways, they are otherwise anything but. They must build bigger, better, zanier. A mix of sylvan and minoi influence blend into something marvelous and audacious. Another way to win their graces is to propose ways of defending the fey, including fighting against their weaknesses. As noted again, the Builders have been entrusted with finding ways against the very substances that act as a bane to their kind. Information isn’t conclusive, but there is hope that a breakthrough will one day come. And should that happen, especially with outside help, then there is less to fear from outsiders as a whole.
Open and Hidden Agendas. The Free Whimsy has been given free reign to build and analyze things that would be downright toxic to the fey. The reason? To better understand and prepare for it. These special tasks are stored safely and often destroyed later, for the good of their kind. This push for defense against Cold Iron and other weaknesses has pushed the Builders to get a bit ambitious and brazen. Some day, they aspire to take over various academic centers in the Autumn Court. And from there? Invade and overtake Mechanus! From there, drag it into chaos and build it up to be better. Should anyone overhear such a plan, they’re liable to try to slap some sense into the absolute barmy addle-cove rubbish proposed. In exchange for influence and being spared, many tinkerers have taken allegiance with the Rhiannon cult. Despite being the most progressive faction of they fey, they pine for the great unity that their original queen offered. The influx of divisions and factions upsets them, as that means more groups interested in overly specific and complicated niches, pulling them away from more personal projects.
Relations with the Sylvan Courts. Beyond the Autumn Court, they don’t really fit in with any of them. And even then, their relationship with the Autumn Court is pretty tenuous. In reality, the Autumn Court invites (or kidnaps) tinkerers in hopes of removing more deranged ambitions. Slowly but surely, they have become more and more aware that something is not right with the Autumn Court. As it is, they are preparing for a confrontation. On whose terms? Not known, but something will come up soon. In terms of the other Wyld Fey? They often leave Tinkerhold alone, unless they deeply need something from them. This extends to the other three courts. The Spring Court once made a deep mistake with one of the worst that Tinkerhold had to offer. The end result was creating a prison bubble to keep a particularly disturbed sylvan gnome from causing more damage. In fairness, even his own minor court didn’t like him. The Seelie and Unseelie think of them as equally out of touch and out of place. While neither particularly likes them, they can’t be bothered to take too much action against them. After all, their creations can be potentially useful against their respective other. While each court has no plans to use the goods, they’ve each sent diplomats to sway the eccentric artificers to their side.
Relations with the Planes. Their relaxed, but up for hire nature has made for many bidder across the planes. Likewise, their secretive nature has made them a valid investment away from eyes. Their latest client is a somewhat shock, wealthy yugoloths of the Tower Arcane. So far, they’ve commissioned a super weapon that will help an earn an edge for the Blood War. All that is known is that this incredible device can be used as leverage for the ‘loths getting what they want out of either Tanar’ri or Baatezu sides. Gehenna isn’t the only hidden subject of Tinkerhold and its whimsy workers. Mechanus has oddly been a target, of kidnappings rather. Word of Rogue Modrons inspired by the fey of this house. Or rather, those who display Rogue tendencies have been lured and captured to great use in their system. However, it’s still the removal of Mechanus denizens and is deeply disliked. While little trail or trace has been left, the Modrons have become agitated by this shadowy behavior. The Eladrin, initially off-put by their oddness, have found their free style work ethic ultimately appealing. And thus, they have been secretly contracted to help build defenses for both fey and celestials aligned with Eladrin. Likewise, the magical contraptions of the tinkers have helped work as either a distraction or a direct means of keeping outsiders away from the hidden layers of Arborea.
Court of the Consecrated (The Hallowed)
Holy Speaker: [NAME LOST TO THE COSMOS] alias “Saint Cold Iron”. While their truename is gone, they are something altogether different anyway. Metallic and shiny, they are more like iron ore than a fey creature. The name “Saint Cold Iron” is quick to send a chill into the very fabric of a fey’s being. Indeed, their physical form is akin to the dreaded cold iron that fey fear the most. This was once meant to be a punishment for having forsaken the fair folk so deeply; a rare joint effort from the Seelie, Unseelie and Fair Kingdom. This backfired horribly, as it furthered them as a figure of terror to warn or even threaten the faeries with. The Boogeyman of pure myth and nightmare, Saint Cold Iron will find and kill you. And kill they have, for their body count in the name of several mysterious patrons has been a thing of legendary horror. Indeed, the Saint is less of a living being and more of a holy weapon. But, why is this? Why would this creature betray their kind and turn so wicked? Again, mostly lost to space and time when they took their final form. What is known is that they were a wyld fey who always wondered why cooperation with the planes beyond and the gods wasn’t possible. Exploring caused many to reach out. Somewhere within that time, something happened and the horror that leads this ghastly chrome order was created.
The Hallowed Fey. These “hallowed” fey are perhaps more detached and alien than their cousins; an almost uncanny parody of the holy sources they attempt to follow. Their focus is to be acceptable by the Gods of the Multiverse, something proper that can be respected outside of the fey. While their actions and belief are true, the creatures themselves seem more hollowed than hallowed; almost empty in their physical presentation. If they fey had souls, they sold them. They are bright and neutral vessels to be guided by the gods. They are emotionless, but not in a way that Winter can approve, as they lack sorrow and remorse. They are mere tools, works of tragedy. Their very being has been removed of all believable realism and general sylvan quality. They look almost metallic, akin to the very ores that can prove destructive to their kind. Their expressions equal blankness and a vague sensation of horror. It is as if they constantly live the moment where their very sense of Being was taken from them. A twinge of horror may manifest as a twitching or other inclination of concern. Likewise, they look fake. Everything about them is off, even to their fellow fey. They are terribly uncanny, nothing more than a parody that deserves the agendas of some distant deific power. They are capable of some independent thought, however it is obsessive and always comes back to their central focus. Should something related to their holy new source be put into peril, they will prioritize that first and foremost. Other fey are quick to leave them alone. Besides looking like distorted copies of their kind, their inability to resist fear in the face of gods is a huge deal. Furthermore, their holy touch is capable of burning the fair folk that come into contact with them.
Alliance. Alliance for an outlander is simple, devotion to a divine source. These fey welcome all types of clerics, albeit in a different ways from the usual emissaries of Powers. They will go about in various ritual and performance to their godly patron. However, something about it will off, uncanny, almost eerie. True to the fey, they’ll never quite get down their attempts to worship. None the less, they actually appreciate help from genuine clerics of a similar deity. Their gratitude is also genuine, but feels chilling and off. Some clerics decry them as abominations, things never meant for the divine world. But others see them as hurt monsters in search of healing. Those who can deal with them try to give them a wide path. Few druids are willing to accept them and many warlocks already twisted and turned by the tricks of the fey are often shocked and appalled. Clerics who take them under their belt tend to follow more sinister gods who already exploit the Hallowed under their guidance. It’s not uncommon for followers to harness these strange followers in similar ways.
Open and Hidden Agendas. Their agendas were never their own. In reality, there is a deity that seeks to eliminate the fey through this method. This way proves far more useful than destroying them, as they can be repurposed as something far nicer for the realms of the divine. This dark mastermind is the very force responsible for “Saint Cold Iron”. The Entity has many names and possible links. Many suspect that their origins tie them to the world of Oerth, particularly as a champion of humanity. Seen more upon Western Oerik than the Flaeness, his worship has warped into something almost monotheistic in nature. The deity known as Zarus, the conqueror king for humanity, is considered the source of this. An ancient crusade was lead against fey after whole tribes were wiped out. This in turn was retribution for the unending assaults against faerie dominant forests. The barrage continued until clerics emerged for a new patron. A comeback resulted in divinely protected humans getting their final revenge, either draining the fey of their energy or outright purging them. Some were given a far worse fate. Captured leaders were brought as offerings to the patron deity, who brainwashed and changed them. The penchant for these servants to glow an eerie ethereal and warm light, as well as the holy symbol of Zarus, points to another force who might have hand in this. Those who enjoy a good scandal or at least causing mayhem like to tag the Oerthian deity of Pelor as “The Burning Hate”, a continued existence of Zarus who seeks to bring further misery and ruin to fey.
Relations with the Fey Courts. The majority of the Faerie Courts deeply dislike the Hallowed. The Seelie see them as poor and confused, for the most part. They are stray fey being used by other deities. The Unseelie are somehow more disturbed, but keep away from them. They only turn violent if a Hallowed Fey dares enter their grounds. The Seasonal Courts and Wyld Fey outright reject them… save for another cult, detailed later. They see them as corruptions that strip what it means to be fey away. They are abominations devoid of anything, save for being god puppets. For now, they are not sure how to cure them of this “strange blight”, but many divisions seek to cleanse them of the outer worldly taint that consumes them. Even Tinkerhold has become invested, despite their apathy to leadership and the divine otherwise. But, who could possibly bridge the gap between these heretics and the true servants of the faeries? Robin Goodfellow. The one and only servant to Oberon, secretly a backstabber to other powers. Long has the elusive Puck been pushed around between various tasks. But now? No more! He is ascended to something greater. But, why would he allow himself to be used not just by the already “blasphemous” Seelie Powers, but by others as well? Simple, broad exposure and ability to play and manipulate beyond just the Fair Folk. While he remains cordial towards all in the Seelie, he grumbles on how they have so deeply held him back. But unlike the truly devout, he does not do this out of hatred or malice. Somehow, he remains a major figure within this Court. Of all within this divine realm of horrors, he is the most acceptable by faerie folk… many of whom know of his ability to play sides. Unlike the rest of the Hallow Court, he has retained the entirety of his personality. However, the horror of these fey is getting to him. Even those who haven’t willfully drained themselves are grim reminders of what Puck has endorsed. In time, he’ll seek to flee, but after some more mischief upon the other Powers. Perhaps it’s for this reason why he is unaffected by the “bleaching”. He has had to come to terms with the consequences of his assistance.
Relations with the Planes. They are the will of the Powers beyond. They act as they do and are guided as such. While many planars will see them as the fey equivalent of zombies, others see them as not only useful but proper. Wholly neutral to the core, they simply exist to be the actions of a patron deity. The fey-hating Baatezu, devilish creatures of order, find these creatures to be hilarious. While many of them often serve goodly deities, the thought of their chaos stripped out and replaced with a divine blandness is absolute joy to them. For this reason, they have secretly sponsored the organization and the process for assimilating more of them. Dispater, Lord of Dis, has made a shocking move as a sponsor behind this. In his paranoid mind, this can allow for another thing he could either control or keep out of his way. Barring that, it could be something to use against other scheming archdevils. One thing Dispater can specifically get out of the deal is pacts with fey in search of knowledge, either on the project or the Hallowed themselves. While archdevils are different from deities, the temptation of knowledge is great for those who haven’t been fully turned. Out of a mutual alliance, Mephistopheles has claimed responsibility as well, despite drawing ire from countless other Baatezu. They are right to be suspicious of the Lord of the 8th Layer, given his dreams of one day replacing Asmodeus. Likewise, cabals of humanity still attached to Zarus, their lost god, have made a unity pact with these devils in an effort to continue the eventual extinction of fey as they are aware. But, beyond these secrets, they flitter around the Outer Planes and through divine domains. While goodly deities feel some level of concern over using them, to deny their helpfulness is fool’s speak. And in a multiverse where endless forces conspire against endless others, backup is always good. However, ethical dilemmas are brought up regardless of alignment. Ranging good through evil, some deities have begun barring the use of the Hallowed within their realms. Some lawful consider them a tacky perversion, while more chaotic consider them to be slaves robbed of their minds.
The Dragon’s Chosen (True Wyldfolk)
Leadership: Antorek (Deceased). The founder of this cult was a fey-blooded dragon. To say he was disturbed was an understatement. As a younger draconic power, he found himself conflicted. His fey-tinged heritage outed him as different, while the fey never truly found a home for him. The Verdant welcomed him initially, but his bloodlust proved to be far too much for this then-young group of nature avengers. He took to the planes, amassing forces for a final strike to exterminate society, the sentient and more. It was then that he discovered the machinations of Malar the Beast Lord, a deity worshiped upon Abeir-Toril. The scourge created by the deity was sampled and altered, ultimately dooming that Power during his own mad mission. The Dragon’s Chosen began to come to true fruition. But, meddling in divine politics lead him to being struck down. With help of his sylvan devotees, he was taken to the Fair Kingdom. With his last energy, the land of Antorek was born from most of his body, as his soul and his heart were taken away by Dark Powers. Only his obsessed Generals carry on his foul mission.
Cultists. Not all Wyldfolk are simply content with ordinary lives, the same goes for various fey. In terms of the latter, they saw the mission of the Shepherds as a shallow one consisting of pointless attacking and no true action. These defectors saw value in Antorek’s holy mission. At least, they have at first. Many have been pushed into the mold that the dragon lord enjoys most. While countless cultists chaff under this, they continue to operate within cult objectives out of fear. After all, they have been marked by a truly wicked force. To try to return to what they once had proves mostly hopeless. Antorek’s aura can be tracked on those who take his side. And even then, those who enter his realm never leave the same, figuratively and literally. But, those who aren’t victims in their own right are fervent towards the dragon lord’s vision. While his overarching goal is known to cultists who prove their worth, all know that he shall revert the multiverse to a righteous and natural state. Some are far more capable of suppressing extreme urges, if only to integrate into a society that they wish to undo. This is often a slow and elaborate process. Weaknesses and cracks are found, before the magic of their dark leader can be introduced even.
Holdings. The eponymous city of living flesh and bone acts as the primary seat of the group’s power. Built from not just the ancient body of their draconic “deity”, but of other life forms as well, its strange and gruesome aesthetic cannot be mistaken. The religious faction finds itself within a temple dedicated to the dragon, located where the body’s heart once was… never to be discovered. Outside of the temple, numbers and influence take to the shadows. The city of Antorek proper is the main source of their numbers, but they have various small cells around the multiverse. Wherever the cult can feed off of discontent over civilization, industrialization and more; it can attempt to thrive. Infiltrators have taken hiding from within the Shepherds of the Fair Kingdom, as well as upon The Beastlands, Pandemonium, The Abyss and Carceri. Despite tensions with the Werebeasts found in the Fair Kingdom, many cultists have attempted a unity pact with Malar the Beastland in his own divine hunting grounds. A few fey have even embarked on a mission to seek one of Antorek’s projects, which ultimately became a lonely and wild world within the otherwise built up Crystal Sphere of Steamspace.
Alliance. Those who willingly align with the Chosen are either woefully mistaken or absolutely mad. Those who attempt to join the mission are typically extremists, whose perceptions of civilization of anything beyond nature has been clouded to a violent extent. Many have been badly burned, figuratively or literally, by advancing industry, strange magicks or general enemies of the fey. Their own hatred has devoured room for compassion and cooperation. They are beyond that, only solutions to end their foes. Not all of them are like this, many Dragon’s chosen are tragic. While also abused and harassed by an uncaring world, they are chosen from circumstance and desperation rather than passionate loathing. Pushed into a corner with few ways out, those with the Dragon offer partnership. Despite a sense of guilt and realization, they are part of the movement now and there is little they can do to change that. Instinctual reverence overtakes common sense at the worst points, turning them into perfectly helpful beasts when the time comes for action. To sever these ties is a true challenge, a battle of the sentient vs. the feral.
Open and Hidden Agenda. Few are truly aware of the dark deeds that the chosen seek to do. For the public, they appear as religious orders who seek to commune with the natural world on a deeper level. The truly mutated and warped hide behind facades and proxies, while they lure more to be brainwashed as them. Sects amass those who can disguise themselves to act as leaders, providing various offerings to new members and those curious enough. Even those who aren’t have been marked by the cultists on their often chaotic and otherwise discreet missions. Some have hidden among small villages while slowly corrupting and overwhelming the denizens from shadow. There are many among the cult who have realized what exactly they have wrought upon reality itself. The sheer guilt of their evil has thrown them into repentance by any means. However, there is time to corrupt what they’ve done. Many formerly devout cultists have turned against The Dragon’s Chosen in an effort to prevent them from unleashing their master’s desired apocalypse. Double agents, they actively subvert calls to action or have acted as informants to those who stand against the dread dragon lord’s deadly goals. They know there is no forgiveness, but helping to overthrow the cult should hopefully redeem them in the eyes of many. But those who intentionally dive deep into the agenda of the dead dragon? They are most certainly mad. Their seething hatred and primal savagery fuels the desire to eliminate everything tied to humanoids and their civilization. They transcend from mere hunter into heartless and soulless super soldier, the perfect obedient in a destructive and wicked regime in the making.
Relations with the Fey Courts. Anyone who won’t join is a coward and a fool to them. They are just walls that will be smacked down if they’re in the way. Either they help in the hunt or one day they will be hunted. The Unseelie Court begrudgingly respects them, due to their main fueling force being a raw and unrestrained hatred. As such, they have a slight ally in the Unseelie fey. But, relations are tenuous at best and fleeting. Any other fey who align with them usually do so in secret. For many fey, the cult’s hidden goals were already revealed enough for them. However, as long as the cult brings no direct harm to the fair folk, they will rarely take too much action themselves. The Seelie and the cult mutually hate each other with heavy passion. Likewise, derivatives of the Spring Court, like the Shepherds, do their part to curtail influence of the Chosen. Some Spring-aligned fey prove more easy to sway, as do the hottest tempers of Summer. However, the effort requires to assure their trust is too great for many Chosen. Only those willing to put themselves to a true test of faith will attempt this. The unaligned Wyld Fey are a potent source of recruitment, all without the biases and politics seen in the various courts. Those who settle close to the ideal dominion of plant and animal people are prime targets.
Relations with the Planes. Technically not a fey court, the Dragon’s Chosen are actively locked in a war with the Werebeasts of the Vale of the Fading Moon. Fey previously against the werecreatures are willing to let the two sides fight it out, seeing as they are both stuck in a stale mate resulting in periods of cease fire. However, the irony that much of the cult’s power comes from Malar is lost on them. Should the Power find out, there will be conniptions. Against better discretion, their unity pact with other evil forces has allowed them to accept and weaponize creatures of the “Demon Beasts” from abyssal cysts. So far, the fiendish spawn have been a benefit, even if they secretly hate the creatures and await the moment to destroy them. Their presence in Sigil is shadowy at best, but they actively work to subvert and tear down the Monastery of recovery Wyldfolk for the “traitors” that they are. Likewise, further casing of the city could allow for a later attack, while figuring how to contend with The Lady. Likewise, they hate the “goodly” contortion of their beliefs upon The Beastlands. The Guardinals found in both the Beastlands and Elysium have caught onto this and have thus begun to fight back against any trace of the Dragon or his followers. This is a deep disappointment for the cult, as they wanted to hold these paragons of beastly power in high regard. Also in regards to The Abyss, a fey creature is locked away that’s of great importance to the cult. The Mother of Ground seeks to escape, so she can continue to work horrors in Antorek’s name. The cult wishes to come to a deal with the keepers to ensure that this happens. Other fiends, who happen to display beastly or plant-like features, do not truly care for Antorek or his chosen. Their only real investment is how to exploit them for an edge either in the Blood War or some more obscure fiend politics.
Cult of the Antediluvians (The Reawakening)
Channeled of the Dream. Miglorash the Dream Tasked. The Supreme Cult leader of an apocalyptic movement. A defector of the Unseelie, he desires not just the old ways, but the ways before the flawed Faerie Queen Rhiannon made her accursed kingdom. Hidden under the tutelage of rather accepting scholars for The Knowing, Miglorash found a niche and buried deep. Simple truths weren’t good enough, he desired all means of conspiracies and matters hidden. Unlike other researchers of this sort, politics bored him deeply. He just wanted to collect strange facts, like a dragon hoards gold. What he unveiled proved too much for his naive and foolish mind. The truths about the Proto-Fey were incredible, too much for him. His expeditions and projects shifted. No longer was it about helping his colleagues merely understand those around them. No, it was about unleashing and merging with dark truths to make a new future. The vestiges of failed new regimes were done, it was time to truly return to traditions. Miglorash still lives in a deep irony though. Despite his obsession, he will never comprehend the might, power and sheer awe that the Antediluvian can bring. They are impossibly detached from faerie folk that have long interacted with the planes and prime. As far as he fathomed, they are currently more like thought forms that can change all matters and things just by having a simple presence. His first experiment to open gateways through sealed shrines and lost chambers should have deterred him. A long time research partner slurred into gibberish as his mind shut down. Likewise, he began to rapidly melt into a primeval energy. All of this was caused by a small gateway subjecting the poor creature to unfiltered Precursor power. This tragedy grew an obsession into an accursed devotion.
Cultists. Fey of all courts have grown dour and critical of the inept attempts at solving division, as well as honoring their roots. Dissatisfied with even acknowledging their original queen, they strove to dig deeper. What they found was far more alien, far more primal, far more strange. Rather than shock them too their core and leave them in fear, discovery of the Antediluvians sent them spiraling into deranged obsession. It is their goal to reunite this ancient world with their own, to let these forsaken dream dimensions override and awaken upon their sylvan courts. For the cultists, this is true fae and true power. They exists as agents and tools of truly eldritch powers. While the goals of the Old Ones are unfathomable, even to the cultists, they interpret their methods as desires for true revolution to shake up and remove a stagnant system. Another view is that they shall reward their cultists with incredible power for their services. The offer of eldritch and ancient power is enticing by itself, reason enough for most of the cultists to “embrace their distant roots”. However, others see an inevitable apocalypse that must be accelerated into its final conclusion. These far more radical groups are overcome by the same gloom and horror as those warded from the eldritch courts. But, rather than fleeing, they embrace an insane nihilism and twisted curiosity to want to see the nightmare to its conclusion.
Holdings. There are no true holdings that belong to the cult. There are temporary ritual grounds. These are usually along leylines and conduits that prove potent for Antediluvian energy. The closest thing that they have to a holding is their secret meeting hall within its own sylvan domain. The domain itself is visited by Winter Fey, due to the fact that much of the area is composed of temple ruins. Curiously, none are dedicated to Rhiannon. Beyond visitation, there it little else that they do here. Deep within these ruins, the cult sometimes stirs to discuss what to do next. One means of accomplishing end goals is by infiltrating scholar groups. Those who guard one artifact in particular are crucial to their deeds. They have sought out the Chambers of Dreamed Reality, the dread artifact that directly ties into the ancients. No one truly knows how to operate that, but cult priests seek to change that. Once it is fully activated, few can stop their mad plans to rewrite all reality through dream.
Alliance. This cult is far more secretive than most. Anyone who would someone align is more than likely an ally of convenience, destined to betrayed in due time. And who would that be? More than likely, someone within another cult dedicated to similar but likely different eldritch abominations. Anyone who would dare to try to work with the Reawakening is too far gone to be remotely sane, with questionable morals at best. As of the present, there are no long term connections with these fey. That could change with the right exchange of shaken hands and proper words. As said, there is likely no long term solution. All of these cults look after their own, any outsiders of any kind only become a chore to deal with by the end. They are a refuge for the mad, the damned and the world destroying. Seek out this cult and truly seek out oblivion. Their agenda is far beyond even them, for the ancient ones can rewrite all on a whim; power sealed by long dead gods for likely good reason. Those who seek to undo that are disturbed beyond salvation. However, they have made a more subtle means of alliance. Through merchants and trade organizations, the cult has made dream focus tokens. For the onlooker, they are beautiful trinkets. For their order? A means of channeling and spreading the energies needed to open gateways to the ancient courts’ realms. These conduits are otherwise hard to trace and detect when not used for this sinister purpose. Many of these allies are unwilling.
Open and Hidden Agendas. Some members are actually infiltrators who wish to expose the cult and bring them down. They are a division of The Knowing called “The Doormen”, fey who have gone mad from eldritch revelations of the Precursors. However, instead of succumbing to worship of them, they’ve joined efforts to fight against their return. They aren’t alone. The efforts of The Reawakening have pulled lesser fey of dreams into the Fair Kingdom. They act as agents to monitor progress while the clueless cultists are none the wiser. For both Dreamer Archfey alike, the Reawakening are a means to an end. Both pity and dislike the much younger Courts, viewing them as an obstacle to overcome as they return and take the Kingdom and beyond. As for other dark beings that are worshiped? Two focal points of worship are not found in the distant courts, but in the Demiplane of Dread. The Nightmare Court as a whole has heard the prayers of the cult and has decided to answer. Are they Antedulivians? This is not certain, but they certainly fit the portfolios otherwise. The other? Gwydion the Sorcerer-Fiend, an escaped Precursor from early aeons. As more attention is brought to Gwydion, the cult has traveled in search of rogue Arak who have managed to escape the clutches of the Dark Powers. Gloomwrought has become a common place to conduct searches. Their sway and funds have helped to keep Prince Rolan and his aligned factions off their back. Only a few cultists know either the Nightmare Court or Gwydion by name. But even fewer know of the doom that both parties will bring, The Waking Nightmare. Those who do have already fallen to its hunger, they are instruments of something far worse than the Precursors.
Relations with the Fey Courts. Madness. Pure and simple. The rare few cultists to be uncovered were considered insane, even by fey standards. Those who had no clue about these ancestors found them to be delusional and pursuing nonsense. Those few in the know are struck with total horror. Not only does Fear for the Fey truly exist, but it has followers. Those familiar with the Living Dreams see the cultists as psychotic heretics who who are willing to doom all for a fantasy. For all of the ugliness of the Unseelie, they even fear the Elders. Detachment happened long before Rhiannon rose to power. The two sides changed and evolved in divergent timelines, each splintering into something completely foreign to the other. And yet, each side is at least somewhat aware of the other. For the Sylvan Courts? The Antediluvian is objective terror. For the ancient proto-fey? The Sylvans are fascinating toys more than long distant cousins. In a sense, it’s almost a sick moral lesson, where the fey are put in their place for their actions done to mortals. Many of the their respective sylvan family is nothing more than sacrificial fodder to them. The “fools” have made their choice and they must prepare themselves for it. If they were true to the mission, they would find and be enlightened by the cult. And even then, these Ancients don’t genuinely care about the Reawakening members.
Relations with the Planes. Cults of Eldritch Horrors, Elder Gods and more have common ground with the Precursor zealots. While the distant dream is no Slumbering City, Xoriat, Far Realm or the like; it remains a place of impossibility and grim revelation all the same. These wicked cults hold a sort of truce among each other, at least until one gets the proper edge over the others… at least those who don’t share more common ground. This fey cult is no different in that regard. Meanwhile, planes like Carceri, Pandemonium and The Abyss are filled with creatures of wicked chaos that savor for the action that these fey would provide. While not true allies, they seek to move their machinations forward. Almost everything else in the multiverse shudders at the thought of such abominations being pulled deeper into the Wheel. As far as life is concerned, they are banished from touching too deeply in the planes. Given fears over activity in the Demiplane of Dread, it’s likely too late. But, such secrets are hidden to all except lucky cultists and unlucky victims of the Dark Powers.
Cults of Rhiannon (The Olden Faith/Revivalists)
High Priestess: Brònach, the Drowning Emotion. The First Apostle under the Faerie Queen, she did all in her power to uphold all that Rhiannon believed in. At the time, Brònach was young and full of idealistic vigor. The Fair Folk were about to enter a golden age, even expanding interactions with the planes beyond. However, two treacherous sisters let their own problems get in the way of this glorious new era. All of that collapsed before her. Two new courts of destructive defectors ruined the faerie way of existence. And worst of all, her beloved queen was taken from her in a flash of incredible light. Centuries extending into millennia and into aeons. The devout subject plotted revenge. One day, she accounted of those critical of The Dustmen of Sigil. Their Final Death need not be so final after all. Numerous barmies contemplated ways of undoing such things, which caught the downtrodden fey’s attention. The subjects of this eavesdropping were captured, with all of their knowledge ensnared while they were kept hidden. The high priestess of submerged sorrows was given new purpose and new methods. Her revenge now felt tangible, imbued with new life. And soon, her beloved queen would also be brought back through new life.
Cultists. Bitter, reactionary, seeking righteous revenge for the ancient sins of the past. And worse, seeking to not only right the wrong, but bring that past back in full. The Seasonal Courts are nothing but opportunists, needing to be put back in their place. Hopefully, the return of their Queen will set society back as it was meant to be. The knowledge of their high priestess brings hope and salvation; an attempt to build that age of wonders that they were promised so long ago. Any formality and cooperation with neighbors is nothing short of formality, all while they conspire and sneakily observe. Those who continue to live in the queen’s example are given leeway, while those who would prefer to explore something new or seek to join another court are held in secret contempt. Even if their plots are hidden, their jaded grumbling is known to all in their plane. Or rather, their public personality is that of the old fashioned complainer who tires of how their means and methods were abandoned. But, given how it all ended tragically, most of the Fair Kingdom sympathizes with their plights. Or at least, they continue to until they one day know the truth.
Holdings. Due to no longer holding major political power, there are few places that they can truly call home. The Lost Temple of Rhiannon remains as a relic to a bygone age. Many visit in search of understanding, longing to know of an ancient era. The members of the religious order have preserved it well, while educating all with questions. However, it is the primary location to convert those of interest. Small shrines have been made in sylvan homes, as well as in places to openly defy current rule. Such displays are made in rebellion against either the primary courts of the Kingdom or against the Outer Planar Courts as well. They have made neutrality pacts to expend beyond the planes. The so-called Gateways of Death that connect to the Outlands have seen many cultists using more neutral realms to plot and discuss. However, any mention of revival is kept quiet in an effort to avoid taboos of such plane. Audiences in Sigil have likewise been moved by their tales and cries to help protect their ways.
Alliance. Despite their macabre obsession with the fallen power, they see themselves as romantic victims. While very much a blend of the four seasons’ perspectives, many of them highly value romance, which the Faerie Queen once did as well. Many acolytes will engage in relations with mortals across the planes and into prime, to truly understand the power of mortal love. As their betrothed and later wed slowly whither and die from age, so too do they understand the pain of loss. This is just as the fey have with their true queen. The devotee of the true queen must live and lose such a love to truly understand and take part in clergy activity. This gambit of emotions helps to flesh out a deeper understanding and spiritual connection, at least in the cult’s eyes. Mortals are often disregarded by the cult, seen as all clueless to their deeper plights. Should they somehow learn the truth and genuinely agree in its message, they will be put to the test. The trials that all true clergy face are lethal to mortals. These tests of belief and value could subject the initiated to pain beyond material thresholds, mental anguish capable of breaking minds or quests to seek deadly hidden treasures.
Open and Hidden Agendas. Their existence is a blur to most around them. Few pay them much mind, seeing them as mourners forever stuck in a past that almost lead to the death of the fey. In the open eye, they who seek to preserve the queen’s memory as a noble cause. It’s about paying tribute and keeping memory alive. These monks often collaborate with Winter to make new ways of honoring their original queen. They have their place when it comes to interacting with the other seasons. As all four have a level of regret and sorrow in the loss of their first leader, they are willing to cooperate with the public form of the clergy. This can range from creative projects with Spring and Summer or finding ways to chronicle and preserve lore with the Autumn and at times Winter too. In reality, they hate this. Stooping down to serving the “Inferior” courts of the Fair Kingdom is beneath them. For the pious of Rhiannon, they should be serving them like in olden times. To pretend that she’s gone forever is a disservice to their true mission and these crafts are coy distractions. In order to further their ends, they have also secretly collected Hallowed to help ensure that a divine support network can exist for Rhiannon upon her return. Like the case with others, these brainwashed fey seek to be disciples of their respective patron. The coincidental connection to Rhiannon allows them to be disguised as the disciples paying tribute even in public eye. So far, word of this is kept away from the Tinkerhold who hates the Hallowed immensely, if only so they can exploit them for all means of innovations in exchange for protection. All of this pales in comparison to a deeper and darker reality, their means. They have been capturing Paradoxes of the shattered god, Vecna, to help revive their deity. By overriding reality and creating a massive paradox, she shall be pulled into the present. This would theoretically restore power of divine to the Wyld Courts instead of archfey, but would carry dire consequences.
Relations with the Fey Courts. By intention, the Revivalists have been careful not to upset or damage the balance of things. They’ve attempted to maintain a decent relationship through their facade presentation and creating overall good will. The Four Courts assume that the “church” seeks to carry out the Faerie Queen’s good will without her, acting as diplomats and the embodiment of her ideals. On the surface, this is true. Below the surface, just another lie to avoid suspicion. The Seelie and Unseelie Courts do not care much for the Revivalists. They see them as old fashioned fools who cling onto someone who didn’t understand their feud to begin with. The Outer Courts think of the followers as too conservative, lost in a cause that has been irrelevant for ages. Likewise, the Revivalists consider both of the Outer Planar Courts to be naive and clueless traitors. There are few things that they absolutely hate more than them. In time, they’ll weigh alliances around the planes, even betraying their own chaotic alignment to consider Baatezu or Devas for a brief moment.
Relations with the Planes. In terms of the planes beyond, their position has been often tenuous and delicate. A clergy attempting to preserve the legacy of a fallen power leaves them ripe and open for abuse by other planes and groups. Many have hidden behind other chaotic-aligned deities and forces. These quests have expanded out into retrieving Slaad stones to ensure that a pact with the Plane of Limbo remains. Likewise, creatures of Pandemonium and Arborea are actively garnished off to ensure that they catch the Dark on both Unseelie and Seelie alike while the clergy dashes across the Outer Planes. This only helps their goals of removing both. However, one means of doing so could prove catastrophic for their own goals, let alone the very being of the multiverse. When the Paradoxes of Vecna began to be unleashed upon The Wheel, the clergy were among early responders to investigate. What they discovered was something to unravel destiny, to undo fate, to alter the very course of all things. While Paradoxes are heinous things that seek to make all planes bleed, they hold a lot of potential. And should a massive gamble pay off? They will be the engines to help rip existence long enough for Rhiannon to be rescued from non-existence. Of course, doing this will have unforeseen consequences. The prevalent ties to Vecna alone provide worry for the single tracked cultists. However, until this course proves more harmful to them than helpful, they continue as needed.
IMAGE CREDIT: Helge C Balzer – Pathfinder Elfgate; Chet Zar – Mr. X; PeteMohrbocker – Sandalphon, Light in the Valley of Death; Valeriy Vegera – Bear Abomination; sirfrancisdrake – Acolyte of the Caul; Trippy-Worlds – Acedrate