June 2019 Blog Carnival – Ramon’s Look at the Fey

ecstasy_by_Jeff_Laubenstein

Ramon speaks to guests in the Gatetown of Ecstasy

The marvel and whimsy of the fair folk, is it not breathtaking? Ah, magnificent! Incredible! I tell you, there is much to tell. However, the Primers have it all wrong. That is something I wish to set straight, for all of you. Please, indulge me a moment as I tell you all there is to know!

The fey, alien and majestic. They follow a sense of wonder that is mostly alien to material plane denizens. However, despite being distant from the creatures of the mortal realm, these spritely spirits embody many emotional extremes and ideals. But, where would such creatures dwell? A Mirror Plane, some say. That is poppycock, mere propaganda made by Lords of the Courts to seem akin to true deities. That isn’t to say that fey gods don’t exist, but many of the leaders of the courts are far from gods themselves. Sure, you can find them on Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium and even the Abyss… But, what other such wondrous places might they hide? I have just the answer for you!

Author’s Note: Another post for the June RPG Blog Carnival? Why not!? Find out more here!  And by all means, this might be one of the longest things I’ve made yet!  As in, Wall of Text long!  Why?  Because I like to challenge myself with new ideas and new things to tackle.

This time, my relatively grognard-y ways revive an old character of mine while trying to figure out a greater place for the fey in the Planescape/AD&D Great Wheel. As I’ve made it clear, I don’t care for the 4th edition take on things and care less for stuff like Feywild being in the Great Wheel.  Okay, that’s a lie…  I like to modify some things when I do the Nentir Vale, especially with making the planes more alien and hostile. Despite being a curmudgeon for old school lore, I figure it’s time to make do and repurpose things!

In this, I try to sample the Fey Wild books themselves, alongside Planes of Chaos, Legends & Lore and The Tall Tales of the Wee Folk (from BECMI); in order to build my own Planescape-y proof of concept. Plus, this allows me to tie in some new ideas brought in through 5th edition as well!  So, for those who’d like to indulge my experiments in world building, here’s a lengthy prose about the life of the fey in the Great Wheel.  Enjoy the words of Ramon DeLeon, Priest and Planes Traveler.

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Plantfolk, Revised

Image result for plant people

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Born (Or Reborn) among Wild Realms

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The Plant Folk were created within another reality known to scholars as “arcadia”.  What exactly is this realm?  Not fully known, except it is the origin source of several types of magic as well as the fair folk.   Besides the native denizens, many fantastic creatures have been created through use of their alien magics.  Among these mystical sights and strange places is the Wyld, a sprawling plane of untamed wilderness.  Its alluring and inspiring atmosphere is quite deceptive, as terrible monsters and far worse curses dwell within the spacious demiplane.  Those who become trapped are doomed to become one of the many kinds of wildlife that inhabit this realm.  The plant folk are one such creation.

Native to a domain known as the “Wylds”, a planar place of natural beauty and (at times) savage brutality, the plant folk are at home within the bounds of their typically serene wilderness.  Like the beastfolk, many of these created beings weren’t originally humanoids.  In their case, they were merely plants that were animated and given new life through powerful sylvan magic.  Many have taken after the realm that created them, in hopes of creating a utopia of the organic, while defeating the inorganic.  Despite this, many are by no means evil and aggressive, some don’t even follow the cult-like ethos of their home plane.  Many grow tired of the semi-comprehensible rules, hidden behind the alien chaos of the primal realm.  As such, they’ve set out to explore other possibilities within known (and unknown) reality.  Some still retain attachment to their original home, but hope to “put down roots” elsewhere.

Author’s Note: Looking back at what I made last year, I was wasn’t satisfied with my concept for races of magical plant people.  They seemed really derivative and some decisions felt like rehashes of previous posts, with a different theme.  Now, I’m still struggling a tad with the concept, but here’s my updated take on the idea!  Some of the ideas are something I wanted to try and might be revised in another draft.  Also, I’m sorry for that one pun…  Really, I am.

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Antumbra, the Lady of Dreams – A Lost Fey Patron/Ally for D&D 5th Edition

Queen of Wands by puimun

 

The lost queen of the dream realm, Antumbra is considered the good answer to Penumbra’s reign of terror.  Unfortunately, Punembra is responsible for her disappearance.  What exactly happened to her remains a mystery, but it’s possible that she was slain and her powers were stolen.  Considering Penumbra isn’t any stronger and remains angry towards those who bring up her name, this is likely not the case.  Many who treat her as a divine source of inspiration claim that her essence lingers somewhere in the boundless universe.  However, the exact locations is unknown.  Those who claim to know are more than likely liars or out of their minds.

To many, she is not only a protector of good dreams and sleep, but of good health as a whole.  For aeons, many traversed the strange lands of dream for her legendary healing talents.  Illnesses of body, mind and soul; all of which posed little issue to her.  Granted, her neutrality towards material plane politics and faiths caused almost as many to turn away from her, as she had little interest in spurring on conflict.  Some travelers simply sought out advice in hopes of living out their greatest dreams.  As a master of dreams, she came to understand the aspirations of many sleepers.  This has lead to many cults and covenants dedicated to her strange fey power.  However, she feared the extra attention might bring the ire and jealousy of her unhinged brother.  In an effort to prevent this, she did all she could to protect him and ensure his wellness.

Her personality was a trusting one, as she saw good in all things.  Perhaps one of her greatest strengths was also a glaring weakness.  Her corrupt brother exploited her nature in a time of his own weakness.  He had nearly been crushed by a rival court.  As a family member of the same fey court, she was obligated to aid him.  Upon being helped back to normal, he seized the chance to banish her.  Knowledge beyond that action is all but lost.  All that is known is the realm of dreams was taken over by him and twisted into a vile hellscape of his design.  Wherever Altumbra is, her control over the realm is all but severed.

Author’s Note:  One of my good friends brought to my attention that Penumbra had a sister in his backstory and there was a lot of unused potential in her story.  Even though she was banished, whose to say the players can’t find her and make plans from there?  With that, I decided to expand upon Antumbra a bit more.  Hope you enjoy.

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Dreams Bloodline – An Ethereal Sorcerer from beyond the Veil of Sleep for D&D 5th Edition

Come to the Dreamlands!  It’s like Inception, but less convoluted!

Some arcanists travel over countless planes of power and thought throughout the multiverse.  Infinite realms within these dimensions hold infinite possibilities.  Some planes are manifestations of ideas come to life.  The Plane of Dreams is, quite literally, one such plane.  A realm where all matters of the mind run wild dwells, the traveler moves through this surreal realm in a semi-conscious state of being.  Those who stay too long notice their magic is directly effected, as dream stuff changed the fabric of their being.  Their ability to sleep is enhanced, visions in their dreams are more vivid and a piece of that planar power is sometimes inherited by the next of kin… or even themselves.  Thus is the origin of the Dreams bloodline.

Dream Sorcerers sculpt their powers from the subconscious mind, creating incredible mystical shapes and forms.  Some craft whole realities from the surreal images of the resting mind.  Others are content with exploring the Dreamlands in their entirety.  Some embark on dream quests, fighting creatures of dream stuff and more corporeal things like the Mi-Go.  To some, the potential to rival the dark dream denizens of Dal’Quar in power is all too tempting.  Some decide to forgo an absolutely mystical route in favor of the sciences, examining the nature of the mind itself and the effects of the sub-conscious.  Those who maximize such powers to their benefit, no matter the motivation, are a force to be trifled with.  Of course, Powers of the Dreaming are not to be taken likely.  Those who abuse them could very well lose all grip on the difference between dream and reality.

Author’s Notes: I didn’t like how the original draft came out, it felt very un-sorcerer like…  so I’m gonna fix that to the best of my ability.  In short, some the abilities felt a bit dry; cut right out of some of my other work.  Not to mention, I looked over the negative feedback the Favored Soul received from Unearthed Arcana, especially in regards to expanded spell lists.  In the end, I felt like it needed some modification. 

Beyond the mechanical, I wanted to expand on my Night Terror bloodline thematically too!  I made it more general after reading up on all sorts of inspirations: H.P. Lovecraft’s dreamlands, dreams and their connection to the faerie folk, the Changeling setting from World of Darkness, various cultural looks at dreaming and divination and many more things!  No matter, here’s my update of the “Night Terror Bloodline” from Halloween 2015.

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Penumbra, Lord of Nightmares – A Fey Villain for D&D 5th Edition

“Something horrid lurks and hides, the Chained Islands are where he resides!  He waits for you to fall asleep, for then it’s time for him to reap!  He’ll find your dreams thanks to his schemes, he’ll squeeze your mind till it’s a rind, he’s stuck in your head until you’re dead!  Oh Penumbra, he’s quite the sight!  Yer lucky if ye die o’ fright!” – A bardic tune about Penumbra

Many fear the evil of “The Dream Thieves“, but never question where they are from.  The Faerie Folk of Arcadia hold several mysteries and several realms cloaked in darkness.  The realms of dreams and nightmares is no exception.  Long ago, the Lady of Dreams fell silent to her deranged brother.  This being is not seen by anyone, save for those about to die in their sleep.  This stalker in our one place of solitude has given him notoriety.  Even without his dream thieves, he’s quite the capable slayer.  However, he prefers not to get directly involved, save for the most worthy of opponents.  Unlike many lords and ladies of the court, he has an almost feral hunting instinct, paired with a keen intellect rivaled by some of the greatest scholars of the realm.

Unlike his minions, he enjoys torture to what he defines as hilarious extremes.  For him, a subject must suffer in glorious ways, as he finds new manners to break his prey into submission and death.  The true hunt is the process of psychological destruction.  He often stews and broods within the dream realm that he has corrupted over time.  He is a petty and bleak creature, who shall never know any joy, merely taking it from others instead.  At one time, he might have been similar to his vanished sister, but hatred and despair have polluted his mind and made him into what he is now.  Hiding between layers of reality, his true form is equally masked away in obscurity.  It’s unknown if this lurking master of darkness even remembers his true form, only seeking another fearful mind to take a new form.

Author’s Note: I wanted to make a NPC super villain for your disposal, taking from my own setting as well as a variety of inspirations.  I’ve seen plenty of incredible epic level demons (a la Rage of Demons), Dragons (a la Tiamat) and the like.  In fact, we’re probably due for epic threat Giants when the newest adventure arrives!  That said, I haven’t really seen epic Fey threats.  So, I figured it was only right to craft what I imagined one would look like.  With that, here’s an evil and powerful creature of the fae as well as another contribution to the June 2016 RPG Blog Carnival theme.  Also, this is something I plan on using in a game at some point.  So, to any players in my games…  stop reading here!

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At Home in Faerie – Fey themed Backgrounds for D&D 5th Edition

The domain of the faerie folk is a seemingly endless realm of equally endless sights and sounds to behold.  It is rich with diverse creatures and potent magic.  While noble creatures traverse the plane with decedent splendor, vicious beasts prowl near by in search of their next meal.  In a sense, it’s a world as diverse and colorful as our own… perhaps more so.  It should come as no surprise that such a boundless plane has influenced your life in some manner.  Perhaps you have an ancestral history of dealings with the fey, manifesting in your very bloodline or means of worship.  Maybe you were taken from your home dimension as an infant or child, escaping at some point later.  Perhaps your research of the esoteric has drawn you towards all things faerie.  The possibilities are much like the demiplane itself, they seem quite limitless.

Here are some backgrounds for your PCs to explore a world of Faerie in one way or another.  There’s a background for researchers, for those snatched away and many others.  While the fey themselves are elusive and mysterious, it’s an all the more interesting subject for your characters to explore!

Author’s Note:  The last post for my fey theme draws near, I’m afraid.  However, I’m still eager to craft up a variety of themed content in the meantime.  This time, I’m doing a direct collaborative effort with Brynvalk, who helped to pitch the fey theme in the first place!  With that, here’s a handy list of PC backgrounds for players who want the fey to be an aspect of their characters.  I tried to keep this entry more setting generic.  Sure, I usually mention my fey inspired dimension of Arcadia; but for the purpose of collaboration, I decided to downplay it a bit.  That said, I’ll probably write up more on Arcadia itself.  In short, it’s my take on wonderful worlds of the fair folk.

Please check out Brynvalk’s fey themed backgrounds as well!

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The Fair Folk – A Fey-blooded Race for D&D 5th Edition

The fair folk have long since been creatures of mystery and whimsy, traveling too and from their alien worlds.  They visit our realms for a variety of reasons; curiously studying how we live our lives or perhaps something more complex.  Some feel they’re interested in us, so they could create fey creatures to blend in with our world.  Perhaps they want to capture us to see if they can turn us into fey.  Most scholars seem to put forth the idea that Arcadians want to create hybrid lifeforms.  But the real question behind any of these theories is why?  At the moment, none have an answer.  Instead, a new question comes up in the form of a new creature.  These creatures are the wyld folk, astral beings of clear fey descent, likely hybrids of multiple fey creatures.  Were they early experiments at hybridization?  Are they the start of planar colonization?  No one is truly sure, but one can’t help but wonder their place in all of this.

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Truly alien, wherever they go

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The Fair Folk themselves are shrouded with just as much obscurity as their elder fey ancestors.  However, these beings as a race are quite diverse, sharing all sorts of traits from around Arcadia itself.  Some carry the beauty seen in the high courts, while others are grotesque like the worst of trolls and goblins.  Within Arcadia itself, they are treated quite lowly.  Mutts, impurities, mutants; these pejoratives and slurs are all but common in the lands of their birth.  As such, they tend to live in the shadows of high fey society or branch away from it.  Despite the conspiracy that surrounds them, many try to break free of their caretakers’ original plans and live lives as they please.  Just as free-spirited and whimsical as their progenitors, they drift through the cosmos in search of fantastic new homes and equally interesting new people.

Author’s Note:  My “Wyldfae” was due for a slight revision, so here it is!  I modified the “Aerial” a little bit based on notes from my Birdfolk race.  Some of the others were tinkered with in other ways, but nothing drastic.  All in all, I hope this update is satisfactory for those who enjoyed the original version.  Also, I didn’t realize before that Wyldfae was part of the Dresden Files universe.  I respect Jim Butcher too much to randomly take terms he uses in his stories, after all.  With that, here’s the Fair Folk.

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