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D&D 5E Making a Domain of Delight; Yggdrasil, the conquered tree of the Queen of Air and Darkness

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hi all! So now in 5E, the Feywild has been changed a bit so that each Archfey is believed to control a "Domain of Delight," which is a sort of counterpart to the Shadowfell's "Domains of Dread." As someone who may end up using the Queen of Air and Darkness as an end-campaign villain, I thought it would be interesting to tree and build a domain for her. This is my attempt, which also does an attempt at reconciling some older edition lore to the 5E paradigm. There is also a little Marvel influence thrown in.

1631305931965.png


The Reordering of the Planes

The planes of the multiverse have been rearranged several times in its near-infinite existence. It was taken several forms that go by many names, including the World Axis, the World Tree, and the Great Wheel. It is at one point, when the cosmology fluctuated from the form of the World Tree to that of the World Axis, where the domain of the Queen was made.

The World Tree was just that; a colossal tree with roots planted in the cold realm of Niflheim, stretching all the way to the branches of Asgard. Eight more realms were held by this tree, with it forming various paths and tendrils to all the planes of the Multiverse. But no tree can stand forever, and when the reordering of the Tree to the Axis began, a powerful being say an opportunity too rich to pass up.

As the Tree weakened, the Queen of Air and Darkness launched a crusade unlike any before. The World Tree had been long defended by the Norse gods, but in this period of tumult their power waned. That moment of weakness was all the Unseelie Fey needed, as they moved like a wave across the domains of these gods. The Norse pantheon did not have the strength to force the Unseelie back, and were only able to save some of their realms, which were cast off and absorbed by other planes as the World Axis formed. Odin was able to muster his family to hurl Asgard, Muspelheim, and Nidavellir into the realm now called Ysgard. Midgard and Niflheim were cast off into the Material Plane and Hades respectively, and other gods like Thrym escaped to form entirely new domains in other planes.

But five realms were lost to the Fey army, and any gods who remained were slain, imprisoned, or worse. Alfheim, Heven, Jotunheim and Svartleheim all surrendered and knelt before the Unseelie Court. The Queen of Air and Darkness took the throne of Vanaheim as her seat of power, and declared her new kingdom of Yggdrasil as her domain.


In the Age of the Great Wheel

Millennia have since passed since the sundering of the World Tree, and we pass now into the age of the Great Wheel. Although Odin had long plotted ways to take back his realms from the the usurper Unseelie Queen, they had all been stymied. The Unseelie Court keeps many of the Norse family as hostages, including Heimdall, Baldur, and Brogi, the locations of their prison and even their captors being switched seemingly at random by the Archfey. And lovely Freya is kept close at the Queen of Air and Darkness' side, a handmaiden to her whims. Other gods have been elevated from their lowly status, and have no longing for Odin's return. Skadi serves as the ruler of Jotunheim, Malekith as king of the Shadow Elves in Svartleheim, Angela as the Valkyrie Queen of Heven. Frey is the morose lord of the Light Elves in Alfheim, forced into inaction and servitude as his sister Freya remains the Queen's prisoner.

The Great Wheel has cemented the Unseelie Queen's rule, with Yggdrasil passing fully into the Feywild. Some say it is the largest Domain of Delight, though most would argue it is perfectly balanced by the realm governed by Queen Titania and the Seelie Fey. It is undoubtedly a sprawling queendom, a testament to the Queen of Air and Darkness' domination, and her rule has few challengers or rebels that go unpunished.


Jotunheim

1631306929757.png


The giants of Jotunheim had long been more refined than the frost giants of the Material Plane, though their new role in the Fey has changed them. The Fey Giants of Jotunheim have lost their very faces, their musculature thinning and becoming lithe like elves while retaining their height. Their lady Skadi has created a church out of devotion to their new Queen. The old golds Thrym and Odin are painted as traitors and cowards, the Queen of Air and Darkness as a savior and benevolent ruler. These giants form the anvil of the Unseelie Court's armies, and any who would enter approach Vanaheim must first pass through this cold and fervent land.

Svartleheim

1631307337773.png
1631307468546.png
1631307493361.png


The Shadow Elves have always been a wild sort, quick to viscous revelry and cruel mischief. Their new role in the order of the Fey is one they have taken to with great gusto, elevated from the heel of Asgard. The swamps of Svartleheim remain as foul as ever, though they now serve as a military breeding ground for all manners of abominations in the Queen's service. The leader of the Shadow Elves is no god at all, but a mere mortal Shadow Elf hand chosen by the Queen. Malekith is the Queen's loyal Vizier, and if many times the source for her most merciless of dictates.

I may write on the other realms later if people like this post, but this is all I've got the juice to write now!
 
Last edited:

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hi all! So now in 5E, the Feywild has been changed a bit so that each Archfey is believed to control a "Domain of Delight," which is a sort of counterpart to the Shadowfell's "Domains of Dread." As someone who may end up using the Queen of Air and Darkness as an end-campaign villain, I thought it would be interesting to tree and build a domain for her. This is my attempt, which also does an attempt at reconciling some older edition lore to the 5E paradigm. There is also a little Marvel influence thrown in.

View attachment 143610

The Reordering of the Planes

The planes of the multiverse have been rearranged several times in its near-infinite existence. It was taken several forms that go by many names, including the World Axis, the World Tree, and the Great Wheel. It is at one point, when the cosmology fluctuated from the form of the World Tree to that of the World Axis, where the domain of the Queen was made.

The World Tree was just that; a colossal tree with roots planted in the cold realm of Niflheim, stretching all the way to the branches of Asgard. Eight more realms were held by this tree, with it forming various paths and tendrils to all the planes of the Multiverse. But no tree can stand forever, and when the reordering of the Tree to the Axis began, a powerful being say an opportunity too rich to pass up.

As the Tree weakened, the Queen of Air and Darkness launched a crusade unlike any before. The World Tree had been long defended by the Norse gods, but in this period of tumult their power waned. That moment of weakness was all the Unseelie Fey needed, as they moved like a wave across the domains of these gods. The Norse pantheon did not have the strength to force the Unseelie back, and were only able to save some of their realms, which were cast off and absorbed by other planes as the World Axis formed. Odin was able to muster his family to hurl Asgard, Muspelheim, and Nidavellir into the realm now called Ysgard. Midgard and Niflheim were cast off into the Material Plane and Hades respectively, and other gods like Thrym escaped to form entirely new domains in other planes.

But five realms were lost to the Fey army, and any gods who remained were slain, imprisoned, or worse. Alfheim, Heven, Jotunheim and Svartleheim all surrendered and knelt before the Unseelie Court. The Queen of Air and Darkness took the throne of Vanaheim as her seat of power, and declared her new kingdom of Yggdrasil as her domain.


In the Age of the Great Wheel

Millennia have since passed since the sundering of the World Tree, and we pass now into the age of the Great Wheel. Although Odin had long plotted ways to take back his realms from the the usurper Unseelie Queen, they had all been stymied. The Unseelie Court keeps many of the Norse family as hostages, including Heimdall, Baldur, and Brogi, the locations of their prison and even their captors being switched seemingly at random by the Archfey. And lovely Freya is kept close at the Queen of Air and Darkness' side, a handmaiden to her whims. Other gods have been elevated from their lowly status, and have no longing for Odin's return. Skadi serves as the ruler of Jotunheim, Malekith as king of the Shadow Elves in Svartleheim, Angela as the Valkyrie Queen of Heven. Frey is the morose lord of the Light Elves in Alfheim, forced into inaction and servitude as his sister Freya remains the Queen's prisoner.

The Great Wheel has cemented the Unseelie Queen's rule, with Yggdrasil passing fully into the Feywild. Some say it is the largest Domain of Delight, though most would argue it is perfectly balanced by the realm governed by Queen Titania and the Seelie Fey. It is undoubtedly a sprawling queendom, a testament to the Queen of Air and Darkness' domination, and her rule has few challengers or rebels that go unpunished.


Jotunheim

View attachment 143611

The giants of Jotunheim had long been more refined than the frost giants of the Material Plane, though their new role in the Fey has changed them. The Fey Giants of Jotunheim have lost their very faces, their musculature thinning and becoming lithe like elves while retaining their height. Their lady Skadi has created a church out of devotion to their new Queen. The old golds Thrym and Odin are painted as traitors and cowards, the Queen of Air and Darkness as a savior and benevolent ruler. These giants form the anvil of the Unseelie Court's armies, and any who would enter approach Vanaheim must first pass through this cold and fervent land.

Svartleheim

View attachment 143612View attachment 143613View attachment 143614

The Shadow Elves have always been a wild sort, quick to viscous revelry and cruel mischief. Their new role in the order of the Fey is one they have taken to with great gusto, elevated from the heel of Asgard. The swamps of Svartleheim remain as foul as ever, though they now serve as a military breeding ground for all manners of abominations in the Queen's service. The leader of the Shadow Elves is no god at all, but a mere mortal Shadow Elf hand chosen by the Queen. Malekith is the Queen's loyal Vizier, and if many times the source for her most merciless of dictates.

I may write on the other realms later if people like this post, but this is all I've got the juice to write now!
Holy wow that’s a lot of info! Nice! Honestly I kinda wish they’d made both Feywild and Shadowfel home to Fey, and made winter/darkness/Unseelie Fey part of the Shadowfel, and made the two planes less separate.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
Holy wow that’s a lot of info! Nice! Honestly I kinda wish they’d made both Feywild and Shadowfel home to Fey, and made winter/darkness/Unseelie Fey part of the Shadowfel, and made the two planes less separate.
Both planes mirror the Prime, so there are many places where the veil is thin between the realms. There is no reason a powerful archfey couldn't have a Domain of Delight that draws in the Shadowfell as it falls into a depression to blend the two. Or a vassal of the Raven Queen who hoards a tiny Domain of Delight in the center of his Shadowfell stronghold draining the life and vibrancy slowly into the Fell. The Fomorian kingdoms
in the depths of the Shadowdark with their gnome slaves can be accessed from the Feywild and vice versa.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Holy wow that’s a lot of info! Nice! Honestly I kinda wish they’d made both Feywild and Shadowfel home to Fey, and made winter/darkness/Unseelie Fey part of the Shadowfel, and made the two planes less separate.

Personally, I'm happy that they keep the two more distinct... the Shadowfel is the realm of undead, and the Feywild the realm of the Fey makes for more distinct realms. Additionally, it allows the Feywild to have a larger swath of Fey, so they can have a mix of good and evil. I wish the Shadowfel was a bit more like that, instead of the "unequivocally evil" shown in Ravenloft.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Personally, I'm happy that they keep the two more distinct... the Shadowfel is the realm of undead, and the Feywild the realm of the Fey makes for more distinct realms. Additionally, it allows the Feywild to have a larger swath of Fey, so they can have a mix of good and evil. I wish the Shadowfel was a bit more like that, instead of the "unequivocally evil" shown in Ravenloft.
Yeah the 4e Shadowfel was a lot more interesting to me. I will say though, I don't think that combining them into an Otherworld actually loses anything.
 

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