pov ur helping Coda pick out his new winter jacket for the mountains and he is just so short
Chrysalis for @cinnamon-suncat !
A fey spirit both blooming and withering, neither living nor dead...
sunflower soldier 🌻
Hey I hope you’re having a great day! If you want, could you write a snippet about the fae coming to collect a firstborn child that had been promised to them by a parent in exchange for something (like immortality or magic abilities) before they were born, which was completely unknown to them? Thank you :)
The protagonist yelped, whipped around and - stared. There was an intruder in their room. The intruder had wings. The intruder had wings. They shimmered in the light for a moment before vanishing from sight.
The intruder was also beautiful in some ancient definition of the word, all acid-green eyes, and something just a bit uncanny.
The protagonist felt their mouth go dry. The words, the questions and indignant comments, choked in their throat.
"Sixteen," the fae sighed. "Such a tender age among your kind. Some of you call it sweet, don't you? Sweet sixteen." They seemed to muse on that, roll it on their tongue, as they studied the protagonist's bedroom with an idle curiosity. "Potential is, I suppose, a delicious thing." They fixed their attention back on the protagonist and smiled. It was a very sharp smile. "I expected bags. Are you not bringing anything?"
"I suppose it's just as well," the fae creature said. "None of your mortal devices will work in the immortal court, and it's best you lose your attachments to this world quickly. You'll be happier."
The fae creature blinked at them. Slow. Just once. Like a dangerous cat that hadn't decided if it was amused or irritated just yet, but was daring you to find out. Or maybe it was simply 'duh'.
The protagonist felt a little dizzy. They sat down gingerly on the edge of the bed and wondered, distantly, if they should put their head between their knees. "What?"
The creature's head tilted, eyes narrowing a fraction.
"I am the fae your parents promised you to, child."
"I don't know my parents." It came out on automatic.
"I do not see how that is my problem. You are still their firstborn."
"They promised me to you?"
"Aren't you a clever one."
Right. The fae had literally just said exactly that, so it was a dumb question, but also, the protagonist wanted to repeat: what.
Many orphans had questions about what exactly happened to their parents, and no doubt plenty of fantasies about the possibilities. The protagonist still hadn't expected this. They had considered that maybe their parents gave them up to protect them, but one didn't protect a child by selling them to the fae in the first place! The protagonist's throat locked unbearably tight.
"What if I don't want to go with you?" the protagonist asked. "I mean - I'm not just some - you can't actually trade a first born child. I'm not my parent's property."
"No." The fae raised a brow. "You're mine."
"Why would you want someone else's child anyway?!"
The protagonist noted, distantly, that an edge of hysteria had crept into their voice. This was not how their birthday was supposed to go.
"Humans have their uses, at least when you've grown up a bit. You're very annoying as children. All that wailing! The complete inability to do anything for yourselves!" The fey fished into a previously unnoticed pocket, extracting a small wooden box and proffering it across the space between themselves. "It's an evolutionary miracle you have survived this long. Here."
The protagonist did not move.
The fae's eyebrow climbed imperiously higher. "It is a ring. It will make it clear who you belong to."
"I'm not marrying you." It came out strangled. "I'm sixteen."
"I know how old you are. Why in the stars do you believe I would want to marry you?"
"I don't understand." As the shock faded, a dozen more emotions began to creep in. Fury. Fear. Resentment. Maybe a smidgen of awe, and a dash of hope that had to be stomped out at soonest opportunity, because being legally kidnapped by the fae was not a hopeful situation.
The protagonist had heard stories; of human servants and lovers, of cruel tricks. They had never heard of a human leaving the immortal court again once they arrived.
The fae considered them, and then, somehow, let their hand drop. The protagonist braced for anger. For punishment. For something otherworldly and terrible. The fae sighed.
"They truly told you nothing. Of course they didn't!" The fae muttered to themselves. "That would be far too convenient!" They moved to pull up a chair opposite the protagonist's bed. "Your mother exchanged you to me in return for a blessing upon any other children she had. Beauty. Fame. Fortune and the like. It was all very standard."
"But I'm...is she alive then?"
"How should I know?" The fae sighed again at whatever they saw on the protagonist's face. "She is not worth your time. She gave you up, and as far as I am concerned no reason could justify that. If it reassures you, I have no intention of treating you poorly, human. But you will come. You will want to put the ring on before we travel, because while it is customary, it will also help with the magic sickness."
The protagonist really did feel very dizzy. Was it possible to outrun something with wings? (Did they even want to?) They'd never felt like they belonged anywhere. Maybe this was where they belonged. Or maybe that was some creepy fairy magic making them think so.
"This is a lot," the protagonist managed.
"Hm." The fae offered them the wooden box again. "It will be more. Get used to it."
The words were not, the protagonist didn't think, meant unkindly.
The protagonist took the box.
The ring was lovely. It was carved out of what looked like strands of lush grass braided together, topped with what looked like a daisy only in different colours.
The fae stood up, impatient, and offered them a hand. Their wings shimmered back into existence.
The protagonist glanced at the door, at the ordinary world that had been so quick to give them up. They looked back at the fae, at magic, at something that actually wanted them.
Nobody had ever wanted them before.
They took the fae's hand.
They did not look back.
do you have any resources or guides for worldbuilding and reimagining the feywild? not looking for adventure prompts or npcs just your thoughts on setting and how to make the feywild feel dangerous and mystical
Planescape: The Feywild
I won’t lie, the introduction if the feywild is one of the best additions to the default d&d cosmology in a while, not only from a thematic perspective, but gameplay aswell, as it allows any podunk patch of land to act as a doorway to wild adventure. That said, too often this wonderland is treated as a place where things are just wacky, without real attention paid to the narrative possibilities introducing the feywild into a story can have.
To that end, I’m going propose a few different aspects of the feywild, different visions of how things could be drawn from different mythologies and storytelling conventions:
The feywild has no geography: like the notes of a song or the lines of a play, the reality of faerie is reinterpreted with every visitation, Coloring itself based on the expectations and emotions of those exploring it. This is why a child can stumble into a mushroom ring and have themselves a whimsical romp full of talking animal friends and life lessons, whereas adults tend to find themselves ensnared by echoes of their deepest desires and why adventurers ALWAYS find something to fight. If you want to go anywhere in the feywild you don’t need a map, you need a thematic structure that will carry you to your destination: whether that be staying on a yellow brick road through a number of distractions and tribulations, or winning a game of riddles against a talking bird who’ll swear to drop you off at your destination.
The feywild is a place of stories: When a peasant family leaves out milk and performs small acts of thanks for the brownie, they are unwittingly inviting the primal energies of the feywild to fill the space they have made for it, creating a creature that had always been there, looking out for them. Likewise, when folk tell of wonderous places just beyond the edge of the map, the feywild becomes those places, taking solidity from repeated tellings of the tale and incorporating different interpretations to give themselves depth. This is not to say that the translation is perfect, as one can’t simply make up a story, tell it to an audience, and expect it to suddenly become true as it takes a powerful and engrained sort of lies, embelishment, or folktales to give shape to the otherworld. When populating your local fairy-realm or those areas near enough to it, consider what sort of stories people tell about that place, whether it be about monsters that gobble up wayward children or treasure hidden there by bandits long ago.
The feywild responds to your emotions: When your party takes a rest, ask them how they think their characters are feeling. Consider whether they are frightened or foolheardy, adventurous or avricious, and then sketch out some random encounter to spice in along the way as the realm of whimsy responds to the vibes they’re putting out. A party that’s feeling hungry may encounter a friendly fey teaparty or a dangerous lure disguised as a snack, a group that’s feeling pressed for time may hear the horn of a savage hunter stalking them, or a parable about stopping to help others can actually speed you along your own path. In this way, the fairyland is in diolog with the party’s desire to press their narrative forward, and will test or reward them according to its whim.
The feywild is everywhere: one of the underutilized aspects of having the feywild in our games is that a portal to the “shallower” areas of the otherworld can pop up anywhere overtaken by nature, allowing fey beings and other oddities to cross over in a way that creates all manner of adventure hooks. If I’m building a dungeon in the wilderness, I’m personally fond of having a mounting fey presence the deeper in you get, replacing the normal ruin dwelling hazards with troops of hobgoblins, odd enchantments, and various tricksters. For smaller dungeons, the closed off fey portal can be an adventure hook for later, encouraging them to come back when they need to delve into whimsy, whereas for the larger dungeons, a non contiguous fey realm connecting multiple points can serve as a combination of fast travel AND bonus stage. Even for non dungeon locations, consider how much fun of an adventure it’d be if someone discovered that their cellar had been replaced with a fairy’s larder, or that the vine-covered lot where neighborhood kids play during the day transforms into a vast battlefield for sprites during the night.
Being the prince of the fairy realm is hard when you’ve got a royal gala scheduled on the same day as your important human artifact finding adventures🧚♂️🐸
Created by the Unseelie Court in their war against the Seelie fey, bloombeasts were made to attract creatures of nature like flies to a fly trap. Their spores incapacitate, allowing the bloombeasts free reign on whichever unfortunate prey they manage to halt. They can be vicious, despite their beautiful, floral appearance.
Unseelie watchdogs. The Unseelie Court created the bloombeasts as they created their displacer beasts, except the experiments that originated in the bloombeasts were not as succesful as the creation of the displacer beasts. Bloombeasts turned out more aggressive and violent than initially designed, and their bloodthirst led to the Unseelie fey instead simply releasing them into Seelie territory. The bloombeasts procreated - through a bizarre mating ritual involving a tree or other natural growth, which dies in the process of "birthing" a new bloombeast - and spread through both fey territories, though the Unseelie fey have since taught the beasts to only hunt Seelie fey.
Natural fighters. A bloombeast's biggest weapon is the flower that grows out of its body like a fleshy head. It cannot see through the flower, but it releases a potent, sickly smell that enraptures creatures that get close enough to sense it. Additionally, the flower can erupt in golden-pink spores which, when inhaled, cause unimaginable psychic pain. Having successfully captured its prey, the bloombeast's next method of attack is simply slicing with the curled claws at the end of its legs, which produce a painful poison.
If you’d like to support what I do, find free pdf’s for my content, get insight into my design process, and get access to other exclusive homebrew content, feel free to check out my Patreon, whose link can be found on my page.
3086. Olette Caeruleum
FAQ • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • DeviantArt
I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are paranormal shows about finding Bigfoot and there are too many ghost hunters. But faerie hunting is an untapped medium. I need a team. Faerie Finders. Let's get abducted on a shaky cam.
A guide for exploring the woods
Only go in the summer. The winter court will do you no favours. The summer court is less malevolent, but no safer.
When you enter, know that time will not work in your favour. You may lose entire lifetimes within hours.
Choose a new name, but don’t keep it for too long, otherwise you will belong to it.
Bring cold iron, wear red.
Carry red berries from a rowan, mountain ash, or holly tree. St. John’s Wort or red verbena flowers are acceptable as well. They will keep you safe, but not for long.
To see through the glamours, place four-leaf clovers in a pouch around your neck. It may help.
Children should wear crowns of daisies.
If you return home, and your child is different, do not go looking for what you have lost.
Leave the same way you entered, but never return through the same entrance. The second time, they will know enough to keep you.
Do not stand in the mushroom rings. If someone you know enters a ring, you cannot save them.
Never accept a gift. They will want something in return.
Be polite, but do not say thank you.
The food will be the best you have ever tasted. Only eat it if you wish to never leave.
If you must stay the night, sleep under the rowan, holly, or ash tree. The elder wood will make you tired. Do not close your eyes.
If you hear music, you are running out of time. If you hear harps, your time is up.
Don’t join the dancing unless they give you a token.
You cannot become one of them, however much you desire to leave your life behind.
If you see an alder tree, know you will not be lucky enough to go home unscathed.
Sit under a hawthrone tree or an elderwood tree on midsummer’s eve if you need to find the courts.
Place salt on your windowsills if you make it back, otherwise they will follow you home.
If you meet other explorers in the woods, do not help them. They have been there too long. Do not let them know you can leave, otherwise they will try come with you. Do not let them help you, they will try make you stay.
some mushroom fae i have up for adoption on twitter! 🦋🍄✨
Player Home: Tolva’s Hearth
Home is where the hearth is. Be it cozy cottage, grand keep, or meager roadside fire, kindness and magnanimity will always stand against the cold and lonely dark.
Setup: With their current adventure coming to a close, the harvest brought in, and snow looming on the horizon, it’s time for the party to start thinking about where they’re going to hunker down for winter. No sense trying to delve ruins high up in the mountains and risk getting buried under an avalanche, the treasure and monsters will be there come the spring thaw.
Why not let them get used to their new home base during a restful bout of cabining, letting them warm their feet, prepare for future festivities in the village, maybe get involved in a snowball fight or two? For whatever their need, Tolva’s hearth is there to provide, built with sturdy walls to keep out the drafts and deep cellars to ensure they’re well provisioned through the darkest months.
Why was such a quaint little cottage left abandoned for the players to buy/inherit/be rewarded with? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the valley that the home and it’s associated buildings occupies happens to be within the territory of a particularly vicious dragon by the name of Ryngale, who scared off the previous inhabitants after devouring most of their livestock. Like most adolescent dragons, Ryngale spends whole months or years hibernating, awakening to raid and gorge itself for weeks on end. Just after the players have settled into their home, Ryngale ends up being awoken by a group of local hunters and terrorizes the surrounding forest and settlements desperate to find something to feed on in the lean winter months.
There’s a door in Tolva’s hearth that just won’t stay closed, as each morning the party finds that no matter how securely they barred it, it’s always furled open, letting snow, bone-chilling wind, and once a very daring wolverine into their home. The culprit of this constant disruption is a housefey by the name of Skelter, who took up residence in the hearth after it was abandoned. Skelter is mousey and shy, and is so conflict adverse that he’d rather try and drive the party out by being a nuisance then actually introduce himself to his new housemates.
While moving themselves in to their mostly furnished new domicile, the party finds an old, weathered table in one of the basements. Long enough for an entire family to sit at, it appears to have been carved with what can only be a treasure map leading up into the mountains. Surely they can wait for the passes to clear and the soul-stealing blizards to die down before they set off in search of buried riches, right?......Right?
If you’d like to use Tolva’s Hearth as a break between major campaign arcs, consider running a small number of oneshots framed around the idea of the party and their winter visitors telling stories around the hearth, allowing you to dial in on different aspects of worldbuilding. These stories can be anything form personal flashbacks to fantastical fables to local legends, perhaps even allowing other players to run for short adventures of their own.
Features & Upgrades:
Players who explore the grounds around Tolva’s hearth will find a number of charms and bells hung between the trees, providing an already festive charm to their new home. These trinkets are however part of a now deteriorated ward that covers the entire property. If the fallen sections of trinkets are salvaged from the dirt under the snow, or replaced, the whole property becomes affected by the Hallow spell, granting resistance to cold, immunity to fear, and lessening inclement weather that falls upon the area.
The valley around Tolva’s hearth is famed for it’s hunting, providing bountiful meat and furs throughout the year. Or At least, it’s supposed to. Unsurprisingly having a dragon use the area as it’s personal buffet every other year has affected the local wildlife. Slaying Ryngale will have the area flourishing in no time, and may even lead the party into some more fantastical hunts later on
Investigating a derelict (seemingly haunted) building deep in the woods reveals a generations old attempt to set up a sugarshack, a processing house for making delicious sugar and syrup from the numerous maple trees that fill the valley. Fetching the right materials and hiring workers could take some time, but it could lead the party into a lucrative side gig and a lifetime supply of pancake toppers.
Prince Tasselis, Archfey of the Autumn Court 🍂
I wanted to draw one of the Archfey thats been mentioned in my homebrew DnD campaign. He’s known for his extravagant antlers and the fact that he tends to shed leaves wherever he goes. The players helped a small pixie from his domain return home, and as thanks she promised to put in a good word for them.
Hi! I found your blog and am obsessed with your writing, it’s so amazing! I was wondering if I could perhaps get a prompt about an unseelie seducing the human into their realm and the human only finding out their cruel nature at the last minute?
I don't write prompts anymore, but I can do you a modern-typewriter original story snippet.
Their lover's cottage was lovely, quaint, all white stone and wildflowers. Their lover's cottage was a threshold, apparently, beneath their lands. The front door led to the human world, and the back door to the fields and the forests of the immortal courts.
"Are you ready?" the fey looked back at them, still holding the human's hand in theirs. They raised it to their lips for a kiss. "I understand if you don't want to do this..."
"I do!" It felt xenophobic to be frightened. Their lover had been patient with them, never complaining of homesickness - always smiling so beautifully, so sadly, as they thought of what they had left behind. What kind of person were they if were scared of seeing all the magic in the world? Of their lover, just because the world wasn't human? "I want to see." It wasn't a lie.
They'd always thought there should be more to the world than what humans had. That was why so many people wrote stories about magic, wasn't it? Hoping for a glimmer of something extraordinary. And now...now they, of all people, had it. They had it and their lover was sweet and thoughtful and brilliant and so gorgeous that it almost hurt to look at them.
The fey smiled at them, bright as the sun.
They didn't know how they'd got so lucky.
"Of course I want to see your home," the human said, more firmly. "I'd never ask you to split yourself in half and stay with me forever, as if you're not what you are. That wouldn't be fair."
The human was, therefore, the one to lead the way forward. They pushed the door open with the fey's key - moving past a comfortable, elegant living room and a kitchen that smelled like baking bread and herbs.
"Just through the back?" they asked their lover, heart hammering.
"Just through the back," the fey echoed, softly.
The human drew a steadying breath and went through to the back door, stepping out into...
"Wow," the human breathed.
The world ahead of them was unlike anything they'd ever imagined. It was wild and it was magic. The trees shone like they were bioluminescent, vivid green and flowering against the pitch black night. They took a step forward, then another. Music drifted through the trees, something orchestral and lilting that made the human's chest ache. They turned to face the fey, wide-eyed, and - stopped.
They had never seen the fey look like they did just then.
In the human world, the fey didn't quite register as fully human, but they were close. A little too pretty, maybe. A little too graceful. Their lover only looked like their lover in the way that a painting could capture something of someone's essence. Their lover now was - the air around them felt different, cold. Not the cool of the sea washing gently over hot skin on a sunny day, but painfully frozen. And their eyes...
"Sweet little human," their lover crooned. Even their voice was different. It had always been like music, but now..."what's the matter?" the fey tilted their head. "I thought you wanted me to be able to be completely myself? Because you love me?"
The human bolted for the cottage door, still so small and so human looking. It didn't open. The key hole was gone.
The fey made a wounded sound.
The human whipped around, and then the fey was there, pressing them up against the wood in a mockery of intimacy. Their fingers closed on the human's hair, tugging their head back with a sharp yank, baring the human's throat.
"Say it again," the fey murmured against their lips. Their breath was like honeysuckle. "Go on."
"Say it." The fey's nails dug in.
Tears, bewildered and hurt, sprang to the human's eyes. Still. They straightened their spine against the door as best as they could.
"You said you loved me too." The human clutched hold of the fey's hand. "Your kind can't lie."
"Of course I love you," the fey said. "You simply have a mortal's adorable comprehension of what that means. Are you going to make me ask again?"
The human swallowed. They studied the fey's face, searching for something they recognised. The problem wasn't that there was nothing recognisable - there was too much, and not enough, and they'd been so blind.
"I love you," the human whispered. "And you're offended by the lie, aren't you?"
The fey looked momentarily surprised. Their grip loosened a fraction, enough to mimic something mortal.
"You hate that I would claim to love you and care for you when I don't know anything about you at all. Well." The human smiled, without mirth. "No more than 10% of you. How dare I call 10% love?"
It was the right and the wrong thing to say, they could see it on their lover's face. Right because it was why the fey loved them, why they'd picked them. Wrong because it was why the fey loved them, and why they'd picked them, and the human barely knew what that meant but the door was locked so it couldn't mean anything good.
The fey leaned in and kissed them, fierce and claiming, and the human had never been kissed like that before.
"Don't worry," the fey said, with a cruel smile that still had the audacity to be stunning. "You have the rest of your life to make it up to me. For once you were blind..." They kissed the human's nose. "Now you will see."
They swept the human up into their arms, spun on their heel, and carried them into the lights and the dark.