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 Is the Queen of Air and Darkness FR before 4E?
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Rekov
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  04:01:55  Show Profile Send Rekov a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In fourth edition, QoAaD got merged with Auril. I'm having a real hard time finding lore about her that is actually sourced for 3.5 and earlier. There is some, but I don't know if it's specifically Forgotten Realms lore, or just general D&D lore.

I know she's briefly described in Dragon Magazine #359 on page 121, but I don't know if that's considered Forgotten Realms, specifically.

Does the QoAad and Unseelie Court lore retroactively become FR by virtue of her being merged with Auril in 4E?

AuldDragon
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  04:37:05  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
She's listed as the foe of most of the elven deities in Demihuman Deities, and she is mentioned in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark (under Glouras, p.30). Planes of Chaos has multiple mentions of the Queen of Air and Darkness, but these aren't directly connected to Realmslore except insofar as the planes in 2e touched almost all settings. I don't know of any other major mentions of the Queen of Air and Darkness in 2nd Edition material.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
Let's Play Old Games: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6398 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  07:28:20  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OP asks: "Is the Queen of Air and Darkness FR before 4E?"

2E player answers: "Queen Who Of What?"
3E player answers: "What is 4E?"

The all-encompassing "official" WotC position is always: "new canon trumps old canon" along with "old canon remains canon until contradicted by new canon".

As far as defining exactly what is "canon" ... there isn't a unanimous consensus. Not even within the TSR/WotC published sourcebooks and supplements and stuff, too many contradictions within these materials (even within same-edition materials). Dungeon and Dragon magazine articles are published under WotC's aegis, and they're largely written/edited by WotC authors and WotC game designers, they're basically about as "canon" as anything can be.

Auril existed in the 1E Gray Box and each subsequent Realmslore edition, if that answers the question you seem to have answered yourself.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 13 Oct 2017 07:44:02
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1478 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  08:14:41  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

OP asks: "Is the Queen of Air and Darkness FR before 4E?"

2E player answers: "Queen Who of What?"

Er, in AD&D2 era Planescape is a big thing, you know.
And Birthright, but there the head of Unseelie Court is simply "The Dark Queen".

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  12:51:45  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

OP asks: "Is the Queen of Air and Darkness FR before 4E?"

2E player answers: "Queen Who Of What?"
(...)


Not if you have "Monster Mythology"... Well, at least i always knew her.

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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sleyvas
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USA
5980 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  13:29:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I will also note that in 2e, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are ALSO tied to the Shadow Rift modules for Ravenloft. In those, Maeve is the Faerie Queen of the Seelie Court and her brother Loht is the Prince of Shadows "Sovereign of the Unseelie Court", and the races of "shadow elves" or Arak... or "ellefolk" (which to note, only about half look like elves)... are ruled over by them.

Just a thought to throw out there. We know the 2e monster mythology lore about the Queen of Air and Darkness and the 4e lore about Auril "being" said queen. We also know that in 4e that Auril is noted as being an archfey named Aurilandur, "the frost sprite queen". The elves also have Rellavar Danuvien, "The Frost Sprite King", from an old dragon article about snow elves (though there is question of if he exists in the realms, though snow elves do have some mentions, and some wonder if he isn't Fenmarel Mestarine or if Fenmarel serves as the snow elf patron in the realms). The Queen of Air and Darkness is also noted in Monster Mythology as a "dark sister to Titania". It also says Mistress of dark illusions, the Queen of Air and Darkness is herself incorporeal and her mythic history is a tale which makes any faerie who hears the least part of it shiver and tremble. Yet it is a sad tale, which explains Titania’s staying her hand against the lost sister for whom she grieves, despite the
urging of Oberon and her Inner Court to wage war against the dark presence afflicting their people


In 2e, the QoA&D is in Pandemonium and Auril's domain (Winter's Hall) is in Pandemonium. However, the "other" Seelie Court is in Ravenloft in the shadow rift in 2e. In 4e, the Unseelie Court is placed amongst the shadowfell according to Heroes of the feywild. Meanwhile, also in 4e in Dragon 367, Auril's domain is in the "Deep Wilds".

So, what I would posit is this.... is the Queen of Air and Darkness actually the Black Diamond itself. We know from Dragon #367 that the black diamond was a corrupting influence on Auril (and it may have reasserted itself since then). This could explain why Titania doesn't want to wage war on her sister, because she hopes, like Auril, that maybe she can redeem her. In using this idea, we could thus have multiple "entities" that have been corrupted by the black diamond... possibly riding them like a vestige does a binder, in which they don't have full control, but they can guide the hand of the being.... or possibly they do have full control...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  18:22:34  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my campaigns I use Auril as a force of nature deliberately kept separate from the Queen of Air and Darkness, as I feel it dilutes the BITTER COLDS I want Auril to invoke on mentioning her name. I prefer Auril to plot against Talos and the other gods of Fury from Winters Hall in Pandemonium, instead of being preoccupied with corruption fey and besting Titania in the travelling plane of Faerie.

With the Queen of Air and Darkness as a separate multiversal entity I can keep the black diamond event offworld on Ladinion, the annihilated world in Faeriespace where the Queen of Air and Darkness got blown up into the empty spiritual vessel she is now, and keep a bit of the ancestral racial tension between dwarves and elves because of it.

I might be tempted to hint at more close relationships with the Unseelie goddess and the gods of Fury if I see a good story connection between the two, but as I have no idea what the Stormstar Requiem entails at the moment so I keep to my 2e planescape lore.

Anyway. A great free article Hall of the Frostmaiden by Brian James is highly recommended, but a shame his further work never saw print as it got me intrigued.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  18:31:17  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Simple answer, she was mentioned in official FR products in 2E and 3E, as noted above, however the connection was not strong and there was even a brief period where they tried to say those mentions were incorrect. I'd say her connection in 4E (and likely 5e) was probably strengthened with the renewed attention on the Feywild, but even that's more speculative than anything. So you have the ability to make her as prominent or not as you like.

Edited by - TomCosta on 15 Oct 2017 17:08:05
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  21:34:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, from a meta-gaming perspective, 'fey' are one of FR's 'Creator Races' (although I'd argue the Creator-Races themselves preexist Toril... because THEY DO). The incident of the Black Diamond had to have happened on Abeir-Toril (or whatever the original world was called) simply because that's where the Fey were. The Fey then fled FR for the Feywild*, according to the GHotR (ostensibly due to those events... and please note there is another giant Black Diamond in Realmslore, in the Crown of Horns). There are tons of references to the Fey having been in the Taan (Hordelands/Imaskar) region, some in novels, and quite a bit in Unapproachable East and The Horde sources (by way of 'Spirit Folk', and their fallen kingdom of Guge). Bruce Cordell even infers the Imaskari 'trafficked' with the Fey, via some 'base reliefs' in some ruins in one of his novels (Darkvision). And lastly, Myrkul - who we now know was a Prince of Murghôm - was connected to the Crown of Horns (quite literally), and one might assume it was HIS crown in life (with a huge Black Diamond in it, from a Realm that was once part of Imaskar's central lands).

While some of that last part starts to cross the border into conjecture, my point is that the Fey themselves are very much 'FR canon', and thus, their backstory has to be as well. So although we never got a canon mention of the QoA&D in previous FR material, she was always there, because she was FEY... who came from FR. In fact, she's the reason why they left, whether the GHotR says so or not (I theorize their former realm of Ladinion is where the Hana-Maut Wasteland now resides, in Kara-Tur).

I'd also hazard to guess that Umberlee is also a former 'Archfey', and one of the ancient Yuir Totems. I once thought she had some sort of connection to the 'sleeping power' that lies somewhere beneath the sea off of Aglarond, but since she is an active power, and in light of 'new lore', I'd peg that comatose being as yet another Primordial. Who knows? Maybe her and Auril trapped the Frost Sprite King there, and split his storm portfolio (one over land, the other, sea)

I wrote the Snow Elves article in Elves of Faerûn (former 'Elven Netbook' project) before WotC decided they were the same person, otherwise I would have thrown in a little something connecting Auril to the lost 'Cold fey'.


*And I'd also contend that the 'Feywild' was something else before the Fey went there and took over the place. Theoretically they could have created it, like a demi-plane, and it has grown ever since (I once pictured it thusly, and being very similar to Ravenloft/The Domains of Dread in that regard). However, in light of 'new information', I think I prefer it to have been a realm of giants (the Jötunnwylds?), that the Fey invaded and stole, a little at a time (and that 'war' continues today). That would connect it better to Celtic myth and Irish folklore (the Tautha dé Danan - literally 'followers of Danu' - would have been those invaders). And BTW, Og(h)ma is a Tuatha dé Danan, and so is Goibne (Gond?), strangely enough.

Further hypothesis: 'Danu' would then be the mother of Titania and Auril, and the first queen of the Fey, who lead her people into the Feywild, and sacrificed herself in order to create Faerie (the place is literally her - she became the realm itself). Danu would have also had a twin sister (twins seem to have been common among fey nobility), who's name is lost in the annals of time, but today we call her... Pale Night. The Fey have ever been about 'The Balance' between Light & Darkness. Hmmmm, methinks I see a parallel there with Selûne and Shar.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Oct 2017 21:59:26
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

431 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  14:01:44  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Queen of Air and Darkness is Titania's sister and mistress of the Unseelie. She resides in Phelegethon.

Auril is the Faerunian winter goddess and lives in Pandesmos, in a realm that is shared with Loki.
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AuldDragon
Learned Scribe

USA
246 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  16:45:01  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I will also note that in 2e, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are ALSO tied to the Shadow Rift modules for Ravenloft. In those, Maeve is the Faerie Queen of the Seelie Court and her brother Loht is the Prince of Shadows "Sovereign of the Unseelie Court", and the races of "shadow elves" or Arak... or "ellefolk" (which to note, only about half look like elves)... are ruled over by them.


Given the limited access to deities on Ravenloft, and the vastly differing descriptions of the Seelie and Unseelie courts of Ravenloft and elsewhere, I would say they are very likely not connected, and the terms are applied as generic "good faerie" and "bad faerie" names.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
Let's Play Old Games: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14182 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  19:33:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Auril living with Loki works for me, because three members of the Norse pantheon are actually fey deities (Vanir).

And there's no reason why a god can't maintain aspects in two different realms - others have done so. I was just reading something (yesterday) Ed wrote 2 years ago concerning the Rise of Tiamat storyline and some inconsistencies similar to what we have here, and that precisely how he resolved it; different aspects in different places. One might even surmise that the Auril we have in Faerûn is more of an 'echo' of her original self, without as much of the taint from the Black Diamond that her QoA&D aspect has, precisely because she originated on Abeir-Toril.

New Theory: (because I can use all of this to fix an old problem)
What if Ulutiu is an aspect of Rellavar Danuvien, the Frost Sprite king? Or rather, Rellavar Danuvien is an aspect of the more ancient fey power Ulutiu (he is described in that one short story as very animal-like, almost like a cross between an otter and a seal, and fey are known to take animal forms and also hybrid forms). Then Auril discovers him trapped there in the ice (she went looking for other archfey after they all abandoned her to her fate), and takes from him part of the Regalia of the Frost King - the Ring of Winter. She casts ancient fey magics to bind him there beneath the ice (to leech his power), and then takes on the mantle of 'The Frost Sprite Queen' (later becoming just Auril when humans begin to follow her). Having a major fey artifact in her possession dampens the effects of her own curse, and she is able to act 'more her old self' while on Toril (because of the cosmic rules regarding artifacts, if she attempts to have her avatar leave Realmspace with it, it will simply disappear and reappear elsewhere, and maybe not even in Realmspace again). As a side-effect of the act of breaking-up the set (the Regalia), the expansion of the polar icecap slows to a 'glacial crawl'. ()

At some much later time (-2550 DR), the Ring of Winter is stolen from Auril (or she gives it freely to a favored minion). She then decides to take the Necklace of Winter as well, even though that would mean the ice would begin to retreat. Being a fully established Faerûnian power at that point, she releases Ulutiu, takes the necklace, and banishes him from Realmspace. This act, unfortunately, also relieves the curse Othea put on Annam, and the 'All father' can enter Realmspace once again. He begins to influence the giants into building a new kingdom of the Giants - a second 'Ostoria' - centered around the frost giant city of Jothûn, and he has giant runesmiths and shamman begin to connect giant realms together using portals (see the Perilous Portals articles centered around Portals of the Frozen Wastes). This 'giant resurgence' does not go entirely unnoticed in the Realms, and conflicts begin to arise between Netherese and the Colossal Kingdom (the Giants slowly lost ground, and even after a brief alliance with Thaeravel, the Cloud Giants were finally subjugated under Netherese rule). Elsewhere, the dwarves also begin to chip-away at giant holdings to avert their new rise to power.

And then the unthinkable happens... Mystryl is killed and The weave collapses, causing the laws of Realmspace to run amok. Ao restores order as quickly as possible, and places part of the blame for what happened at Annam's feet (if the Netherese hadn't been so distracted with their constant wars against the giants, they may have been able to come up with a less drastic solution to their Phaerimm problem). As part of the restoration*, he returns Ulutiu to Realmspace and binds him in the northern ice as he once was, and returns the Regalia of Winter to him (thus causing Auril to withdraw further into her own cursed state - by the time 3e-5e rolls around, she has given in fully to the madness and is what Earth scholars would call 'bipolar'). He does this to reactivate Othea's curse on Annam, which drives Annam out of Realmspace once again (because Annam is a primordial Ao does not have full authority over him as he does deities). All of this causes the icecaps to begin to grow again at an alarming rate, and within a few centuries Azuth appeals to Ao to allow him to take the Ring of Winter and hide it (which he does, along with a cache of other powerful magics, in the vicinity of the future site of Shadowdale).

As of 4e-5e, Ulutiu has been freed by the Spellplague and resides in the Astral in a semi-catonic state, having had so much power siphoned from him by Auril. The necklace remains in a sealed chamber beneath the Great Glacier, but without the Ring (or even 3rd piece of the Frost King's Regalia - the Crown of Winter - which is fused to Ulutiu's head) - the ice continues to retreat, albeit slowly... for now. (And none of that has anything to do with the Tear of Selûne that fell and freed Vaasa and Damara from the Ice.)


*This part has to do with the Phaerimm - I think they may have been trapped beneath the ice themselves, and all this meddling freed a lot, but not all, of them. It could very well be that the Netherese in their rise to power altered the weather in the north to halt/remove the encroaching glacier, thus releasing the Phaerimm the Sarrukh had trapped so many millennia previously.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Oct 2017 19:52:38
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5980 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  20:41:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I will also note that in 2e, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are ALSO tied to the Shadow Rift modules for Ravenloft. In those, Maeve is the Faerie Queen of the Seelie Court and her brother Loht is the Prince of Shadows "Sovereign of the Unseelie Court", and the races of "shadow elves" or Arak... or "ellefolk" (which to note, only about half look like elves)... are ruled over by them.


Given the limited access to deities on Ravenloft, and the vastly differing descriptions of the Seelie and Unseelie courts of Ravenloft and elsewhere, I would say they are very likely not connected, and the terms are applied as generic "good faerie" and "bad faerie" names.

Jeff



It would work though IF the black diamond itself were the source of controlling the "leader" of the Unseelie Court. In other words, wherever it takes over some sort of powerful archfey, it creates "an Unseelie Court" and institutes said archfey as the leader under its control. So, there may be several "Unseelie Courts" and the "Queen of Air and Darkness" may actually work through multiple archfey who lead individual "Unseelie Courts". So, Auril may not be Titania's sister at all. Aurilandur/Auril just happens to be an archfey that the black diamond managed to get a hold over, along with Prince Loht, and along with Titania's Sister... and maybe others.

This could also explain why there's an Unseelie Court in the shadow rift, one in the shadowfell, and one in Pandemonium.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14182 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  02:28:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I steal some of the stuff from Ravenloft's take, like the names (Sith, Shee, and Sidhe - to the human ear they'd all the sound the same, but a fey would know which another fey was referring to because there is also a subconscious emotion attached to each, and Fey are all Empathic, very much so with each other, but to a much lesser extent with other beings). Thus, Fey language is also simpler, because there is no need for adverbs or adjectives - the emotions behind the words conveys (to them) the nuances that human language can't match. The elves have some of this, but are a lot less empathic with each other then are their forbears, the Fey, and practically not at all with other races (although there is always the chance of an occasional 'throw back' genetic mutation - I believe Queen Amlaruil's daughter Ilyrana was one such; she was more 'fey' then elf).

So, anyway, I love The Shadowrift supplement, maybe more so than any other RL source, but I wouldn't apply it whole-cloth. There is a lot of good in there, but those are elves, as far as I can tell, and they are probably first or second generation (so very close to the Fey ancestor than most elves). Actually, I haven't really given it much thought in quite awhile, but now with 4e behind us, I might even peg them as Eladrin (which I also say are 'early' elves - mortal Fey that were born soon after the Shattering of the First {True} world). In fact, I'm actually re-reading parts of it now, and they were called 'Ellefolk' (there's that 'el' prefix we see so often), which could be construed as a type of (4e) Eladrin. Using some of the etymology I've developed for the Fey, perhaps 'le' stands for 'true', thus Le'Shay means 'True Fey', and El'le'folk would be a debased version of 'children of the true people (fey)', and be first-generation, like the Seldarine. Unlike terrestrial elves, however, their bloodlines did not get 'thinned out', because of their captivity in the Shadowfell (which was only the Plane of Shadow back then), and thus, just like the Seldarine, they are virtually immortal (as are true Fey). And since they were infused with 'shadowstuff', they are technically Shadar Kai as of 4e, aren't they? We know their are different groups of them, and one even serves the Raven Queen (Winterkin), so this would be just one more group, enslaved by some sort of shadow-demon lord - Gwydion.

If we go with some of my musings regarding Corellon, Gruumsh, and Lolth (some of which made it into canon, or rather, canon folklore), that means those elves were another group closely related to those three (S'El'Adrin, or Fey nobility, directly descended from fey royalty). In fact, Gwydion would make a nice alias for Malkith, the 'Lost king of the Dark Elves' (and Gruumsh's father, also in my theories). On the other hand, if I twist the lore and timeline just a bit, I can make Arak Malkith, which might make more sense (he was called 'the erlking'). Then Gwydion can be something else - perhaps a Malaugrym. Or even better, a Malaugrym tiefling (old school 'tielfing', I capitalize the 'T' when I'm talking about the post-3.5e Tiefling race, so maybe just a cambion, or whatever term they using now). Hmmmmm... and if he had any children with the Shadow Elves, what the heck would THEY be? An Umbral Fey'ri?

They really should have made the Shades (of Netheril) Malaugrym; in other words, instead of creating something new and whole-cloth for the Return of the Archwizards series, the Tanthul family of Thultanthar could have just been the Malaugrym, and Telemont could have = Malaug himself. That would have fixed so much, and not left us with so much unnecessary repetition. Instead we have two power-groups that are practically a mirror of each other.


Unless... the Malaugrym were an even earlier group of Arcanists... precursors to the Shades. Ones that had 'shifter' blood. Hmmmmmm... Thaeravel/Talfir? I can work with that...

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Oct 2017 17:43:56
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5980 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  14:21:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I steal some of the stuff from Ravenloft's take, like the names (Sith, Shee, and Sidhe - to the human ear they'd all the sound the same, but a fey would know which another fey was referring to because there is also a subconscious emotion attached to each, and Fey are all Empathic, very much so with each other, but to a much lesser extent with other beings). thus, Fey language is also simpler, because there is no need for adverbs or adjectives - the emotions behind the words conveys (to them) the nuances that human language can't match. The elves have some of this, but are a lot less empthic with each other then are their forbears, the Fey, and practically not at all with other races (although there is always the chance of an occassional 'throw back' genetic mutation - I believe Queen Amlaruil's daughter Ilyrana was one such; she was more 'fey' then elf).

So, anyway, I love The Shadowrift supplement, maybe more so than any other RL source, but I wouldn't apply it whole-cloth. There is a lot of good in there, but those are elves, as far as I can tell, and they are probably first or second generation (so very close to the Fey ancestor than most elves). Actually, I haven't really given it much thought in quite awhile, but now with 4e behind us, I might even peg them as Eladrin (which I also say are 'early' elves - mortal Fey that were born soon after the Shattering of the First {True} world). In fact, I'm actually re-reading parts of it now, and they were called 'Ellefolk' (there's that 'el' prefix we see so often), which could be construed as a type of (4e) Eladrin. Using some of the etymology I've developed for the Fey, perhaps 'le' stands for 'true', thus Le'Shay means 'True Fey', and El'le'folk would be a debased version of 'children of the true people (fey)', and be first-generation, like the Seldarine. Unlike terrestrial elves, however, their bloodlines did not get 'thinned out', because of their captivity in the Shadowfell (which was only the Plane of Shadow back then), and thus, just like the Seldarine, they are virtually immortal (as are true Fey). And since they were infused with 'shadowstuff', they are technically Shadar Kai as of 4e, aren't they? We know their are different groups of them, and one even serves the Raven Queen (Winterkin), so this would be just one more group, enslaved by some sort of shadow-demon lord - Gwydion.




I agree that these ellefolk (also called Arak and Shadow elves in the Shadow Rift... not to be confused with the shadow elves of Mystara) are definitely something akin to ancient fey. The way they are written up, they can be millennia old. However, only about half of them appear to look like elves. Some (Brag) look like beardless dwarves with albino skin and black eyes, skin, and fingernails. Some look like tiny fairies with slightly green skin, orange hair, and butterfly wings (Alven). Some (Portune) look like tiny black-skinned fairies with moth wings. Some (fir) look like a little shorter than halflings, pale "quickling-like" with silver hair and extremely long, thin fingers (I'm picturing triple length). Some (powrie) look like "sprites" with wasp wings, but with wiry beards, feral teeth, and snake eyes... skin color is unnoted, so I wouldn't be surprised to find a variety. The remaining four (Shee, Muryan, Sith, and Teg) do resemble elves, though the Teg is a bit of a stretch. By the way, for 5e there was a redo of these being for DM's Guild and I like some of the changes. For instance, the fir are made tiny instead of small (which given their fascination with tiny, sophisticated engineering works for me). Having them tiny in my book makes them able to "pilot" the clockwork things that they build. They also add a ram horned, long fingered, golden eyed, gaunt humanoid fey (Gwytune) that are focused on arcane magical studies (it doesn't mention weird feet, so I picture an elvish looking being with golden eyes, but having ram horns... either small spikes or big curving ordeals). So, if we accept the Gwytune, its about half that are somewhat "elvish".

Not that I see any problem in that they don't look like elves, in fact I find it interesting. Also, all of them can shapechange into different things (from animals to shadows depending on their breed) and different damage resistances. The one part of them that is really weird is that they don't breed true . By that I mean a tiny Portune can give birth to a being that grows into being a six foot tall Shee. This "transformation" that occurs also changes their perception, such that its like these beings in some ways are as mercurial as they are because their genetics make them change their thought processes. By that, I mean a flower tending Alven may give birth to an "ellefolk" that grows up into being a bloodthirsty powrie. This is why (as I see it) that the two courts in that book aren't killing one another is that it would be siblings and parents killing each other.

I've made no secret that I'd like to replace the "moon elves" that are on Selune and that worship Leira with these Arak/Shadow Elves/Ellefolk. To the world, they simply show the Muryan and Shee for the most part, who are fascinated with luxury, art, poetry, music, and dancing (the Muryan are also infatuated with combat). It hits me as I write this that one of the problems that I was having was the idea that their inability to control their offspring's "type" would mean that they have the totally uncontrollable Teg amongst them, and my solution was that they would periodically seize an illithid spelljammer (since the shell blocks sunlight) and crew it with any teg (and possibly powrie) on the colony .... to go explore wildspace in other crystal spheres, meet new civilizations, and hunt and kill them.

Anyway, as I was saying... its interesting that these beings don't breed true, while the elves of Toril... the one thing that we can say is that they DO breed true to at least one parental lineage. Whatever kind they produce the offspring stays that type (no genetic mixing). Hmmm, maybe that might be a better way to handle the ellefolk on the moon? For instance, an alven and a Shee "reproduce" via some magical method... maybe the child should only be an alven or a shee. Then it would make sense that this colony has no Teg or powrie if "when they escaped" they brought none with them, but it may have some shadowy sith.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  19:35:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had forgotten that some of them appear to be 'lesser fey' (not like elves/LeShay). Good point.

However, if I continue my train-of-thought about Arak having been Malkith (or just renaming my Malkith - I stole that name from Marvel comics anyway), then it all works out. Malkith/Arak was the king of the Dark Elves, and I have it where he disappeared sometime before the destruction of Tintageer (maybe by as much as a thousand years!) So Cor'Elion and his brother Gru-Mass (leaders of the El'Adrin, or 'wayward children') leave Faerie and their mother's rue behind, and found Tintageer, and then during the next millennia all the S'El'Adrin (the "S" prefix indicating 'noble blood') rise in power, as their people - the Light & Dark Elves - venerate them. By the time of the 'Conflict of the Brothers' (from Dragon #408), they had achieved demigod status. during that time, the fey powers got into a conflict with the Norse pantheon, and after much bloodshed on both sides peace was finally achieved, but three fey (Vanir) powers had to go live with the Aesir as 'hostages' - Frey, Freya, and Njöror (eventually they were no longer treated as such, and just became part of that pantheon). Also during that time period (and maybe during the conflict) is when I think Arak and his followers (the Dökkalfar) had been 'stolen' from their own realm in the Feywild (which would have included various forms fey, not just the 'High' ones). In fact... that would make a most excellent reason for the war! Perhaps the Fey Gods blamed the Norse for the disappearance of the Dökkalfar King!

So Corellon's father (Frey, Lord of the Ljosalafar) goes to Asgard as a hostage, making Corellon the King of the Light Elves, and Malkith/Arak goes missing and Gruumsh becomes the Lord of the Dökkalfar. Then the two have a falling out and battle, Gruumsh loses an eye, and the two part ways. The 'ugly' (Unseelie) fey leave Tintageer, and eventually become known as 'goblins' (Goblinoids and Orcs). Both brothers continue to rise in power, becoming true gods to their people (along with their retinues), and both leave the Feywild behind and create their own Divine Realms in the Great Ring. Soon after, Tintageer is struck with a catastrophe and sinks beneath the waves. Although the Orc Pantheon (we really need a better name for this, because it also includes the goblinoids and some others) was initially blamed, the truth is far more complicated.

So now I've managed to weave the RL elf lore into my Over-Cosmology, and finally have a reason why the Norse and fey fought (which I always found hard to reconcile, since they were on the same side during the Dawn War). I can even reconcile the Marvel name I stole - Malkith - with all of this: Arak was 'Lord of the Mal-kith', or 'evil (Unseelie) kindred'. 'Mal' would just be a Fey prefix pertaining to 'things Unseelie'. Its more philosophical than 'Dokk' (dark), which just indicates the 'tone' of something, either physical or emotional. And I realize that 'Mal' means pretty much the same thing in Latin, but thats okay too, since both Latin and Fae are two of many languages derived from the Language Primeval - the first spoken tongue in the True (1st) World.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I agree that these ellefolk (also called Arak and Shadow elves in the Shadow Rift... not to be confused with the shadow elves of Mystara) <snip>
Mystra's Shadow (dark) elves were white/albino, very much like Ed's (pre-published) Dark Elves. I tried to rectify some of that in Elves of Faerûn, but I'm not sure if that part made it in (I'm not even sure if I finished the article - I was linking them to the Marels, who also have white skin, and are sometimes known as 'sea drow').

Hypothesis:
Fey are actually beings of pure energy. Each of the Creatori were made 'maleable' in some way, which would allow them to change and survive (humans got 'adaptability', which is even referenced in Core canon). Batrachi could change their physical shape, Sarrukh could 'borrow' physical abilities from other creatures, etc. But Fey were 'spirits' - just balls of sentient energy. In order to take physical form, they have to 'anchor' themselves to something in the Prime Material. This is why we get Fey like nymphs and Fossergrim (and all the Kami of the Eastern Realms) - lesser fey link themselves to more localized phenomena, like trees, rivers, and waterfalls. Greater Fey link themselves to larger things, like a lake or mountain, and the greatest among them to entire regions (or in rare cases - like the nobility - to groups of people). Thus, all fey are technically shape-shifters, since they can take any form the desire, so long as they are linked to a related physical feature of the world. However, there is a 'default' mode for them - how we picture Faeries from folklore - tall, majestic, inhuman, and very pale.

I use a lot of stuff from the Saga of Pliocene Exile series of novels for this next part. Fey's outward appearance is also determined by their hearts; some do so on purpose (and emphasize their 'inner self'), but with others it just happens automatically when they take a form. This is why many Unseelie fey take on monstrous visages. That savagery is whats at their core. This is the whole reason why Gruumsh and Corellon had their falling out (in my homebrew material) - the Seelie ('beautiful') elves didn't want all that ugliness around them in Tintageer. The Unseelie felt their outward appearances where signs of their 'self-expression', and their freedom, and that the Seelie fey weren't being 'true' to their chaotic origins.

Anyhow, all those original Fey were pure energy that took physical form. Willow-Wisps are actually proto-fey who got 'stuck' when the First world was destroyed during the Dawn war, and Death entered into the world (because once we had death, the very nature of procreation itself had changed). Fey are very saddened by the appearance of Willow-Wisps - they call them 'the unborn'. All children born to fey (by 'normal' means) after the Dawn War were elves (El'Ves, or 'loyal children'). Note that before the Dawn War the word for offspring was 'Ael', so one might feel that the term 'el' was a 'lessening', or 'lesser version' of the former... and partly why the two brothers left Faerie and founded their own realm. Imagine living in a place where everyone looked at you with pity.

In their 'true forms' BOTH Corellon and Gruumsh would be tall, fair, and androgynous. The Sidhe of Ravenloft's Shadow Rift would be of that type, having been from that first generation (and having remained 'undiluted' because of their captivity). Post-Dawn War nearly all feykin have lost their natural shapeshifting abilities - they have become 'stuck' in whatever forms they were in. A few retain some semblance of that power, usually the ability to just have one other form, perhaps two (the Phooka being a notable exception, but Phooka may be true fey, and thus not 'after born'). The Lythari are a very good, Elven example. Even true fey, however, need to be 'connected' to Faerie (the Feywild) to change form at-will easily. Extremely powerful fey (like Archfey) can establish such connections from almost anywhere, when they are in 'the mortal world', but lesser fey have to be near a fey-gate to do so (like a mushroom circle, etc).

Being in the 'mortal world' (Prime Material) has this 'equalizing' effect on things, or rather, a lessening of that which makes things unique in other planes. Think of it as a magical version (or maybe 'extension of') Darwin's Theory of natural selection, or genetics. With each new generation, flora and fauna become more and more like the things around them, adapting to each other. its a natural process of the Prime. Hybrids, crossbreeding, even magical creature-melding (Chimeric) have all contributed to this, as well as natural sexual couplings over time. The Prime Material has become the 'great melting pot' of races, cultures, and ideas, and to the 'pure' races in the other planes, that is an abomination - to have their core beings 'subsumed' into something unrecognizable. Some older/longer-lived races - like elves and dwarves, have foreseen this and work actively to counteract it (which is called 'racism' in the RW, folks).

So basically, in the Feywild, every fairy, pixie, satyr, and 'elf' may look VERY different, but on a Prime World, they all start to 'look alike' after a time. So while two groups of pixies from The North and far-off Kara-Tur might look very different from each-other, within their groups they will have attained very similar characteristics (what we would call 'culture' and 'ethnicity'). I kind of lost my point along the way (sorry... I tend to do that ), but it all goes back to those first fey, and their (preferred/default) tall, pale appearance, and the elves/shadow fey of RL would still look like that - at least the majority of them would. Even the Goblyns of RL are much closer to their fey (Unseelie) heritage - time works very differently in Plane of Shadows, and people and places are stolen from all time periods and worlds, so even if 30K years have gone by on Toril, the Arak could still have only been in the Plane of Shadow for a thousand years.

And all of this has just given birth to the embryo of yet another theory regarding RL (the Shadowfell) and Faerie (The Feywild).

"For every action there is a reaction; as above, so below."


"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Oct 2017 19:49:57
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  21:16:59  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally I don't see a need for beings of pure energy and malleable forms. Faerie is a transitive plane like the ethereal. Therefore beings on Faerie can manifest into the material plane much like wraiths and spectres can do from the ethereal or shadows can do from the shadow plane. When fey manifest onto the material plane they each take a different form depending upon their personality. Some appear as orbs of light others appear as tiny people. Some can of course possess others.

So on faerie they all have races like on the material plane (orcs look like orcs elves look like elves) but manifesting from faerie to material shows a different form.

At least that's what I'm doing with them. Its less complicated that way.

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Markustay
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Posted - 16 Oct 2017 :  00:42:11  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I try to cleave to folklore and mythology, as well as canon. Plus I use a lot of Eastern flavor in my stuff, and I like how they have 'spirits' (Kami) for everything, very similar to how Europe (and I suppose everywhere else) had 'fairies' associated with everything.

The one major difference between the two is that westerners thought their 'elementals' came and went from another plane/dimension (Faerie), so they were very much physical beings. Whilst easterners thought their's were 'around all the time', only invisible, in spirit form (so they would only take solid form when they wanted to). However, the easterners also believed their Kami could move to other planes as well, if needed, to interact with 'the gods' (who were really just greater Kami/spirits). They didn't have these 'hard lines' of division like we do. The more I look at all the different takes, though, the more I realize they were all really saying the same thing the whole time, just expressing it differently and focusing on different aspects. The ancient Greeks had their folklore beings connected to natural phenomena just as the easterners do, they just represented them as more 'physical' (solid) creatures. What I've done is just assume both takes are correct - the beings are 'around all the time' in their own fashion, but they also take specific, solid shapes when they interact with the material world. The rest of the time, they just interact with the 'spirit world', which is around us all the time as well (those other planes and dimensions). Its not like they really 'come & go', its more a matter of just becoming aware of them, and they, you.

So basically, there is this 'other world' (in D&D, other planes - MANY of them) that these beings are in, 'just to the left' of reality, and they can see into our world, and sometimes, where 'the veil' is thinnest, we can see into theirs. I think thats how Ed imagined The Forgotten Realms to be. Because RULES, we have to have 'hard portals', with very specific laws governing them, but I think it was meant to be more free-form; more like the folklore. I think there are many 'keys' to open gates, not just the magic words or whatever we usually get. Perhaps when the planets align, and there is a full moon, ALL the Gates on Toril become operational for one night. Other times, its a piece of music that opens the door, or just the right time of day (midnight, sundown, etc), or maybe all the gate needs to do is feel a longing in your soul. Why did the portal open at the back of the wardrobe for little Lucy? Because she wanted it to - her heart was open to new and fantastic experiences, in a way a 'grownup' heart would not.

The universe is a song, and all you need do is find the right melody. Let your soul sing back to it, and find your choir.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 16 Oct 2017 00:47:38
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