April 26, 2019

Embarking | Into the Wilds

In this series, we'll be expanding on the work begun in our supplement of faeries and fariy tales, Fey Folio, by extending the world building, exploring additional mechanics, and fleshing out the Fey's fantastical world. Join us as we embark Into the Wilds.

Before we begin in earnest, we should overview all we've crafted before, laying out our worldbuilding in the sand and opening it to discussion. Specifically, in this article, we'll be taking a look back at the first chapter, Lore of the Fey, to introduce newcomers to the Feywild and its machinations. As we go, I'll be making notes on things we can improve upon in later articles.

The Feywild

For those not in the know, the fey (and the elves) originate in a magical plane of existence called the Feywild, which is suffused with magic.
Not all fey creatures come from the Feywild―many of them are native to the Material Plane―but the Plane of Faerie is unique in that the dominant species and cultures are fey. The Feywild belongs to the fey, in a way that no other place does.
     This is reflected in the nature of the plane, which is filled with magical forests, misty swamps, and hidden enclaves. Like its inhabitants, the Feywild can be treacherous and unpredictable, especially in relation to magical effects. Wild magic zones occur throughout the realm and everything in it, from insects to trees to rocks, possesses some degree of sentience.
Mortals from the Material Plane can travel there via fey bridges, various hidden portals that exist between the world, but are often ill-equipped to comprehend a world that has more magic than their own.
It is rare for a mortal visitor to the Feywild to recall much about what they saw there, adding immensely to the plane’s mystique. The entire trip is experienced in a haze somewhat similar to a permanent state of drunkenness. Furthermore, the flow of time does not run straight in the faerie lands. There is no day or night in the Feywild to track time by (only an eternal, twinkling dusk), and a visitor might find that what they took for a few days spent in the Feywild turned out to be months or years in the rest of the multiverse.
This, certainly, is something we need to expand upon further. Other than this reference, the dreamlike nature of the Feywild, and the ways magic "loosens" reality were not explored enough in the book. Moreover, we didn't focus much on the nature of Fey Bridges or the various forms that might take.
     But the Feywild isn't a chaotic mix of sleepy woods and tranquil rivers, it has discrete regions: gleaming cities, wild magic forests, and gardens of Archfey. For their part, the cities are almost entirely the domain of the fey elves, opulent, isolated eutopias, each with their own unique underlying sinister edge.
The elven cities, though few in number, tower over the surrounding wilderness with their monolithic crystal spires and gleaming walls. Within, they house tens of thousands of elves, plus countless fey creatures and other humanoids, both residents and visitors.
Each of these areas of the Feywild needs to be elaborated on more deeply, but none moreso than the cities.

Feykind

The Feywild is uniquely defined by the fey in ways that other planes are not; the Material Plane is not called the Humanslog, nor are the lower planes called Demonsteads. In (very) brief, the fey are:
…mystical creatures, with innate magical abilities and a predisposition towards sorcery and bardic magic, and most are bound to the natural world in some way.
As bizarre and eye-catching as this is in practice, the general Fey attitudes, their unique view on the world, is where they become extremely interesting. We generally break down Fey Attitudes into three important bits:

Haughty Superiors
Fey are nigh-immortal and innately magical; humanoids are simply lesser creatures, and prefer to use such creatures as chess pieces, targets for pranks, or subjects for dominion. They demand total respect from lesser creatures, and will use magic to disproportionately redress the balance.

Contempt for Property.
Nearly all fey subscribe to the philosophy that property is theft. The Feywild is vast and ever-changing, and lavish goods can be summoned with the flick of a wrist; why should anyone quibble about what's 'theirs' and 'not theirs'?...Fey take endless delight in watching mortals squabble over shiny trinkets and lumps of gold, and use this as a staple of their pranks.
Immaterial Wealth.
Knowledge, influence, skills, the allegiance of powerful individuals, secrets, strength of arms, virtue, and beauty are all held in high regard in the Feywild, and can be traded like currency.
I have designs to expand upon this notion mechanically, that to sign a contract with a Fey or otherwise secure their allegiance should be outlined instead of conventional currency.

Fey Politics

"Seelie" and "Unseelie" are clumsy distinctions made by humanoids; fey politics are far more elaborate. Generally speaking, the most powerful fey creatures claim the titles of Archfey and compete for the allegiances and pledges of loyalty from other feykind. Every archfey commands a Faerie Court, a grand chain of supplication, extending from the archfey themselves.
     In the Fey Folio, we define seven courts, name their archfey, and expound upon their tendencies and Convictions. In this series, we'll likely expand upon that further, and we shall definitely include statistics for the fey.
     Moreover, something we didn't focus on at all is that each Court maintains a very small territory in the Feywild: a Garden. We imply that different Courts have important locales, that the Emerald Court is centered on the Great Grove and that the Obsidian Court is ruled from a grand Obsidian Throne, but do little more. In this series, we intend to expound them in more detail.

- - -

Next time we'll be laying out a roadmap for this article series: where we'll go, how we'll do things, and in what rough order. Stay tuned, and feel free to leave comments below!

7 comments:

  1. Neato. Any plans on updating Fey Folio with this new info?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My feeling is, probably not. We've got enough planned for this series that it would double the length of the book, which is probably too much to release as an errata... Plus it'd cost a fortune to commission art for all of that.

      Delete
    2. My plan is, if we get an abundance of good material here, we might Kickstart an expanded Fey Folio print run. It's the only way we could pay for all the art.

      Delete
    3. Mmm... Yass...

      I feel like yall should do a print with your abundance of supplementary materials and your amazing classes. I mean, you guys have some good solid stuff, even if you only include your classes and no other subclasses you could print a lengthy book.

      I mean, modern rules when their done, an extensive modern and futuristic weapons/ Guns rules sets, expanded rules for ships and space fighting. Even out of their respective books they are good rules. Not to mention the tons of monsters and spells and backgrouds you have come up with.

      Make it a trio Monster Manual, DMG, Players Handbook 1.5. You guys have a better grasp on the costs and planning needed, what you should/need to have done ahead of time, ect.

      I personally think it would be amazing and would support any print books you do or do not do.

      Delete
    4. It's definitely something we think about. My mother always told me not to start something new before you finish what you were doing though, and Dark Matter hasn't shipped yet, so...

      Delete
    5. Well, yeah, and heres hoping to a smooth launch. But the future is wide open, there's always time to dream.

      Delete