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ZEITGEIST [Spoilers] Fey Sickness


GMs, Zeit writers- I bring you a theory, some Deep Lore. But first, the story of how I found it.

Zeitgeist. My party and I start it, and start running it. A crucial issue at the beginning of the AP: *industry vs the fey in Risur*. We nod sagely and RP appropriately as we mosey on through the books; befriending the Duchess, talking to Gale, and so on. It's a very important issue- the more Risur expands, the more ill the fey grow, the more they are pushed back. Poor fairies- the smog must choke them, the iron must repel them, as is the traditional thematic lore of the fey v technology universal theme. Nature versus technology.

Skip ahead, and, in Book 9- we finally come across the first clear example of the fey tech-sickness, in the Dreaming proper. It's quite the disruption- on the road to the capital Clover, a 'traffic jam' has occurred. People are backed up, complaining of a high-pitched whine, keeping over a half-mile distant from a 'blighted area', which 'irritates the fey on a visceral level'.

...it's a mill. A flour mill, powered by a water wheel in the river.

This is odd.

Water-driven mills are *ancient Egyptian*-level technology. If these mills so disturb the fey, then the fey should have been cantankerous at Risur since before the nation's founding for their bothersome mills.

Then in the same book we read of another incidence of fey tech-irritation.
The riverport of Clover has been befouled by the presence in the Waking of a whirligig ship, its tails spinning and its blowhole belching steam at a mechanical rhythm. The maddening song of the vessel’s metal heart is felt in every fey’s bones, all the more vexing for its silence to the ears.

So, a thought occurs- and for confirmation we race back to the Players' Guide, to see the original discussion of the fey tech-illness.
They are unsettled by anything with spinning parts, from wagon wheels to the gears of a clocktower, and often try to break such devices as fervently as a man might chase a mosquito.


...what if. What if.

What if the fey aren't disturbed by technology.

What if the fey are disturbed by spinning wheels.


It sounds pretty darn bonkers. Yet the more we have searched, the more we have failed to find very much that contradicts this theory.

What we did next doesn't much matter- a quickly homebrewed adventure delving Cauldron Hill to destroy a fey-curse put in place by the Red Contessa, afflicting the fey with wheel-sickness.

What does matter is- are we wrong? What are the implications? Could Risur build fey-friendly technology by basing their technology on MASSIVE wheels, which spin so slowly that the fey aren't disturbed, albeit with lots of torque? Is the perfect anti-fey weapon a hoola-hoop?

...what if. What if.

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First Post
Dude. That is an amazing bit of deduction and logic, and draws a really interesting bit of lore out of it. Also something desperately hard to work with to let both sides live together, as there is pretty much no way of generating power and few ways of using it before at least vacuum tube level electronics that don't involve spinny bits in one way or another. Take your XP with pride.


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Fun stuff. I like it. Risur could also make fey-friendly biotech by keeping Mojang as the life plane. These two in tandem perhaps?

I am a player in the above game.

The way I am personally handling this in my own game (with me as the DM) is tying this to the myth of Jhial-el-Avilona's murder at the hands of Khor-el-Jiese. Jiese is the plane that provides the functioning of precision technology to the Waking, and Avilona's death-curse is what has "tainted" Jiese's planar energies.

What is the solution? To revive Jhial-el-Avilona and have them lift the curse.

How does one revive Jhial-el-Avilona? By retrieving the Aquiline Heart and shoving it back into the corpse of Jhial-el-Avilona, then performing the proper ritual.

How does one retrieve the Aquiline Heart? Well, War of the Burning Sky is transpiring on the other side of the world (either that or another world in the multiverse), and the PCs have to barge right into the final battle between Leska and the Burning Sky PCs. The Zeitgeist PCs have to screw up that other adventure path's ending by running off with the Aquiline Heart, possibly having to get into a three-way battle between Leska and the Burning Sky PCs.


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Still confused about that whole Avilona-is-weak thing. Its explained at several points in the AP as being due to something the Ob did and/or the sundering of the link to Avilona on Axis Island (when the fossiled tree eroded). Later, this weakness explained as being inherent to Avilona. Which begs the question how did dragons fly before the link was severed, and why did they lose the ability to do so? And was it the Ob's interference with the Ziggurat that caused it, or the erosion of the stone tree? (Sorry, slight hijack of fey sickness.)


I believe in either the ap or one of Ryan Knocks threads it's explained that it was all three at once. The eroded pillar, Kasvarinas experiment, the eagle dying- all three.

Presumably before this happened, Av was a perfectly normal air plane and dragons flew about easily with its energies.


And was it the Ob's interference with the Ziggurat that caused it, or the erosion of the stone tree?
When I first read that part in the adventure, I was charmed by the thought that planar magic doesn't have to be bound by puny causuality rules. Yes, several completely separate events (erosion of the stone tree, Ob's experiments with ziggurat of Avilona and weakening of living Avilona the Eagle) just happened to occur at exactly the same time. They are separate but they are the same weaking of planar link.

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters