B. Join the Wyld Hunt! (Prep)

You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

J. M. BarriePeter & Wendy (1911), Ch. 3.

For sources, we will be relying heavily on the “Journey into the Feywild” supplement from the “Death by Mage” blog. Any following material in quotes is taken from this source.

Setting

The Feywild

“Tall, viridian trees gently bustled from the refreshing autumn breeze, the sky was draped in gradients of reddish-orange to soft indigo. Perpetual twilight hung over the sheltered woodlands, the distant sounds of small birds and rodents frolicking before adjourning to their burrows. As the leaves swayed, they shifted in hue and became rusted in color. Mesmerized by the tranquility, a sudden chill refreshes you to the lurking shadows encroaching.”

The Autumn Court oversees harvest, and the transition from life to death.

The Autumn Court

“Harvest time is a serious matter in the Pastures of Autumn; many fey are often emissaries to gods or patrons of harvesting, agriculture, and bountiful crops. Typically, many mortals make offerings to these sort of fey spirits for a fruitful and abundant harvest before Winter’s chill sets in.

“The trees with their prismatic allure are the backdrop, though many of them bear fruits like apples or nuts. Certain squashes and pumpkins can be seen scattered throughout the endless fields. There are no spring songbirds here, only birds that migrate between worlds such as crows, ducks, and geese. Many animals prefer to stock up and often feed in preparation for their hibernation, so often times you’ll find small rodents or larger mammals that seem fatter than the norm.

“The Pastures of Autumn is set in a field or ever expansive pasture filled with red-orange leaves on trees and on the ground. There are bounties of fruits and vegetables and a soft nip in the air, the sky is stuck in a constant twilight, a reminder of the darker nights of approaching winter.

“Harvest time is a serious matter in the Pastures of Autumn; many fey are often emissaries to gods or patrons of harvesting, agriculture, and bountiful crops. Typically, many mortals make offerings to these sort of fey spirits for a fruitful and abundant harvest before Winter’s chill sets in.”

“But don’t forget that while many of Autumn’s denizens are creatures who feed on the psychic energy of fear, they often will wear the guise of an innocent and kind demeanor. Celebrations are frequent in Autumn, a season of plenty (aside from Spring), the best and most productive harvests happen during this season, and therefore, such festivities should not be taken lightly. I always liked to perceive that Autumn is in a constant jubilation, where the vile and sinister drink with the cheerful and kind.”

“But once the season begins to close, the darker forces of Autumn reign and stalk the pastures and woodlands.”

“Death by Mage” blog

The Wyld Hunt

As a natural arbiter between life and death, full and needy, summer and winter, the Autumn Court has been long chosen as a mediator for the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Councils and negotiations between the two traditionally overseen by the Lady of Ashes and those of the Autumn Court (with some of the Spring Court lending a hand).

At times, the Autumn Court will host Harvest Festivals, open to all of the Fey Wyld, and designed to foster celebrations, temporary truces, and well-wishing among all feykind. Aside from the sumptuous feasts, a number of activities allow the fey to ply their brains, brawn, and trickery against each other for worthless prizes (and bragging rights). The most renowned of all these harvest-time events, of course, is the Wyld Hunt.

To participate, four hunting parties (one from each Court) track selected targets across multiple planes. Targets of the hunt might range from any six-year-old human child who was orphaned on the second full moon of spring, to an Inevitable patrolling the plane of Mechanus, to even an entire legion of demons in the depths of the Abyss.

Favors are granted to those who return the swiftest, bring back the most impressive trophy, or even spin the wildest tale of the hunt.


Character Creation

Playable Classes

Player characters will be 8th level (tentative) and any justifiable class from the Player’s Handbook. (For example, warlocks could only have an Archfey as their patron.)

Additionally, the “Spellbow” homebrew class from James Musicus is also available (compare it with the “Arcane Archer” Fighter archetype from Xanathar’s before selecting):

Spellbow

Playable Races

Most of the following races come from the website of James Musicus. Others are hand-selected come from the Dandwiki. If there is a race you wish to play that isn’t listed there, feel free to contact me directly. (I’m more open to fanciful ideas for one-shots.)

Centaur (Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica)

Changeling (Wayfarer’s Guide to Eberron)

Eladrin (2017 Errata)

Nymphs (Score: 6.5)

Omikyr (Dandwiki.com)

Pixie (Score: 6.5)

Satyr (Score: 5.5)

Sprite (Score: 6)

Tau’ri (dandwiki.com Homebrew)

Yokai (reskinned Kalashtar from Eberron)


Roleplaying the Fey

In the particular interpretation being used for this session, the Feywild is a land of not-so-much incarnated emotion as it is of impulses and desires. Denizens (and locations or even events) can be largely summed up by a phrase beginning with “I want to…”

For example, perhaps a small sprite spies visitors from the mortal realms. An inclination forms in her mind. “I want to play a trick on them, and see how they react.

A wine-loving satyr plies his trade on a group of nearby nymphs. His motivations are not so much “hedonism” as “I want to enjoy myself today, with this wine and these women.”

The kings and queens of the Feywild themselves are motives given form, if much subtler and more nuanced motives. Queens Titania and Mab oversee the circle of growth and death, each opposing the other from need of seeing her own desire flourish.

It may be an unthinking antagonism, but that is because the Feywild is not a place for thought. It is a realm for passions.

Various Fey and Greater Fey Personality Traits

Taking inspiration from this article from the “Death by Mage” blog, we’ve assembled a list of potential personality traits. (If desired, PC players can choose or roll for 3 of these. NPCs will roll for 2.)

  1. Playful / Mischievous
  2. Cunning / Machinating
  3. Kleptomaniac
  4. Generous
  5. Protective
  6. Spiteful
  7. Honorable / Trustworthy
  8. Distrusting of others
  9. Well-mannered
  10. Uncouth
  11. Haughty
  12. Aggressive
  13. Mothering
  14. Naive
  15. Charming
  16. Eccentric
  17. Feral
  18. Curious
  19. Hedonist
  20. Easily-frightened / flighty

“These are just a sample of possible personality attributes that a fey possess. Many of them are just varied as a human individual but the key difference is the heightened or accentuated expression of the particular traits. I suggest that you choose at least two or three distinct key personality traits to help you roleplay any particular fey. Keep it consistent, but still, add natural reactions like anger and sadness.”

“Death by Mage” blog

Fancy vs. Fixation

This brings up another important aspect of the fey: their capriciousness.

Small creatures that live for the span of a summer are but mayflies, easily distracted. They quickly tire of new baubles or visitors.

The queens, on the other hand, have lived longer than perhaps any other creature in the Feywild. They hold their courts and their grudges with the untiring patience of ages.

Everything else in the Feywild falls somewhere in-between.

Whether you’re playing a fey yourself, or just interacting with one, consider how long you’re likely to “fixate” on any particular goal–if it’s only for a few minutes (until you win or get bored), or if denial births within you a resentment that lasts for decades.

The Fey Code of Conduct

The Fey do not call themselves “courts” for purely aesthetic reasons. Though generally wild and unrestrained, the Fey do have a few social laws for how they interact with each other, developed over millennia. Breaching these taboos results in severe (and magical) detriments to the offender.

1. Never tell a fey your true name, only your title. Likewise, never address one by their name.

2. Never accept a gift or favor from a fey, unless you are in dire straits.

3. Never tell a direct falsehood to a fey.

4. Always be polite to a fey!

These rules also apply if you are a fey and another creature is interacting with you. If any of these rules are broken (DM-confirmed), the fey affected may choose to impose disadvantage on the offender for any or all of their direct interactions (attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws).

Mind your manners!

Fey Names

Finally, as an extra resource, the following site produces some decent, flavorful names for different fey races:

https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/

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