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D&D 5E Everything You Need To Know About Witchlight

Todd Kenrick posted a video summarizing a press conference which listed many of the things you need to know about The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. The video is below, but I've bullet-pointed the key items if you can't watch it right now.

wl_map.jpg

  • The Witchlight carnival is a mirror of the carnival in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. Shadar Kair are in charge of the feywild carnival and someone else in charge of the Ravenloft carnival. If these two carnivals meet the ownership shifts again and it is part of the plot that Mr Witch and Mr Light do not want to trade the carnival back.
  • The carnival will go to multiple worlds. Inspiration actually came from things like Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes; Mr Light is a reflection of Mr Dark from that movie.
  • There's a map of the Witchlight carnival laid out like an amusement park map.
  • Time is a component of the adventure. Time moves very differently in the feywild and the shadowfell. Expect time hijinks!
  • The Witchlight carnival is a way of getting into the feywild itself.
  • There are domains much like the dread domains but these are called domains of delight. Each is controlled by an archfey that has power over each of these domains.
  • Some art included the Palace of Hearts of Desire, and they showed a treant called Little Oak who has a tree house built into his back and children live in that tree house, plus a displacer beast kitten named Star.
  • This adventure will be a very light hearted. Any challenge in this book can be solved with combat but also in a non violent way. Talking your way out of things etc.
  • The carnival has attractions and NPCs like a mermaid, a mime named kendlefoot, a Kenku that's up to to to to no good. Also classic characters from the D&D animated series. On the map there is a rollercoaster identical to the rollercoaster in the intro to D&D the animated series. This can imply that that entire amusement park was the Witchlight carnival in disguise.
  • Playtesters loved the game you can play in the carnival.
  • There's 'custard damage'.
  • Player options include new backgrounds. The Feylost and Witchlight Hand. Plus the fairy and herangon (rabbit folk) races.
  • Warduke, Strongheart, and Kellek from the cartoon.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Kind of curious how the Prince of Frost (one of the few archfey mentioned in 5E so far) fits into the new "Domain of Delight" paradigm, given the description of his realm from the Forgotten Realms wiki:


It goes on to say that it was once an idyllic place, so it could be spun as a corrupted "Domain of Delight", I suppose.
I mean, his realm might also not be a Domain of Delight. The Domains of Dread aren’t the entirety of the Shadowfell, why would the Domains of Delight be the entirety of the Faewild?
 

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I mean, his realm might also not be a Domain of Delight. The Domains of Dread aren’t the entirety of the Shadowfell, why would the Domains of Delight be the entirety of the Faewild?
That's a possibility, too.

I guess you could also be more loose with what "Domain of Delight" means. Who is it delightful for, exactly? For some domains they could be idyllic for everyone, while others could be delightful only in the minds of evil fey.
 








I have never bought a hardcopy of a 5E book, but this might be my first.

The great thing about "more lighthearted" is that it's super-easy to push that right into "twisted and scary".
I'm guessing that the Heckna carnival setting can be easily looted to turn the Witchlight Carnival into something significantly darker. (Or, conversely, used to flesh out the Carnival in Ravenloft.)
 








Quickleaf

Legend
Kind of curious how the Prince of Frost (one of the few archfey mentioned in 5E so far) fits into the new "Domain of Delight" paradigm, given the description of his realm from the Forgotten Realms wiki:

The Prince of Frost ruled over the Vale of Long Night in the Feywild. It was a place where the sun never rose and the moon never set, a frigid place where the snow never melted and the trees were eternally covered in frost. Barren orchards and ruined farms there reflected the fears of mortal farmers. A glacier rose to the north, and a vast, ever-frozen lake stretched across the south. The wind seemed to sing a song of pain and loss, and the cold seemed to reach through one's body to freeze even their dreams. The Pale Prince ruled the Vale from his Fortress of Frozen Tears, a citadel which was supposedly constructed out of frozen tears of sorrow. Within it, he kept a number of frozen mortals that he had turned into ice statues.

It goes on to say that it was once an idyllic place, so it could be spun as a corrupted "Domain of Delight", I suppose.
A cruel yet wistful smile formed on the pale prince's face. "Her tears delight me," he answered without pause, lowering his crystalline goblet as the ice sprite poured a frosty clear liquid into it.

My arms remained folded, incredulous. As far as I was concerned, his frost-bound kingdom only sung of pain, loss, and death. There was no pleasure to be found here.

"Queen Meletena, take her for instance," the prince gestured to the frozen eladrin matron wrapped in a fetal position around a pulsating trinket that radiated refracted amber light through the icy walls. "Her youngest brother perished in war against the fomorians, her middle brother died at the hands of a human mob, and her eldest brother was stricken by an incurable curse. She beseeched me to keep her eldest brother alive, even if he would be frozen for eternity. You can see how I upheld our bargain..."

More trickery and half-truths, yet the unwrapping of his long fingers toward the frozen princess drew my eye through the layers of scintillating ice to the trinket. The way it pulsed like a heartbeat. "You transferred her brother's soul into a locket," the words flew from my lips as I connected the dots like a sharp wind blowing snowflakes together.

"I did, that and more," responded the prince from his frozen throne, voice as unapologetic as the north wind. "Meletena's true desire wasn't to save her brother. She yearned for freedom from the pain of her losses. There, can you see in her eye, the tears immaculately fore-stayed in the purity of the ice?" He sipped from his goblet, brooding eyes watching me.

Against my better judgment, yet fueled by desire to disassemble his cruel logic, I looked at the eladrin queen in her icy cage. Then it fluttered in my chest, a wingless yet boundless thing, and all at once my heart blazed with the heat of summer even as my extremities ran cold. She was happy. Peals of youthful laughter, lilting childish taunts, and quiet Elven song echoed in my ears. Though her body was bound like a fossil around the pulsating locket, the queen's mind lived on in those cherished moments with her kin. Only a single solitary unshed tear, just forming along her eyelashes, reminded me that this Prince of Frost was no friend of humanity.

"Your deal was monstrous," I said quietly, now unnerved and suspecting charm magic was at play. Yet, I could not tear my eyes away from this fallen eladrin queen, for in some way, I too understood the pain that would lead someone to accept such a bargain.

"Yes, I sup from the tears of these icebound souls because it delights me," he answered with imperious and self-righteous coolness, then his voice wavered and he set down the goblet. It dawned on me that he might very well literally mean tears filled the crystal vessel. "But are they not better off for it? Perhaps not today, not tomorrow, but the pains of life runneth over for all beings. What is life but not a study in things to which we must grow comfortably numb? So that we may endure? But where is the delight in that endless toil? My palace exists beyond those limited conceits. There is a purity in the ice. A permanence eclipsing immortality. A truth."

Scowling, I was equally transfixed by that burning pinpoint in my heart as I was succumbing to the cold. To think that he'd done her some great service! And yet, I could feel what she felt deep in my chest. "What truth is that?" I asked, my voice quieter than I'd expected.

Arching a snow-kissed brow, the pale prince pursed his lips together and asked one single solitary question that became my longest winter, "Tell me of your fondest memory, the time of your greatest delight..."
 

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