log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E What exactly is Feywild in your campaigns?

I use the feywild in a very different way in my campaigns. My feywild is a part of the forest that cannot be found by mere mortals, almost like a pocket dimension, or a part of the forest hidden through magic.

Druids that are able to travel through plants, actually take a short trip through the feywild. Within the feywild, there are areas where druids can meet. The feywild itself however is much larger. It has many different areas, some ruled by their own forest spirit, and not all friendly.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Yaarel

Legend
The original spelling is Old French and tends to be ‘faierie’ (the realm of the faie, variously a place and an activity, whence a noun and adjective meaning ‘magic’), whence Middle English tends to be ‘fairie’. But there are over a hundred possible ways to spell this, including outliers such as ‘fayerye’, ‘fairy’, ‘farye’, ‘feiri’, ‘fyry’, etcetera.

The ‘faie’ is a spirit of fate, possibly a Frankish concept relating to a Norse ‘norn’, but reusing the Latin neuter term Fatum, whence plural Fata, as if feminine singular ‘fata’, whence the French pronunciation, ‘faie’. (Also spelled ‘fae’, ‘fee’, ‘fei’, ‘faye’, ‘fay’, ‘fey’, etcetera.) Morgan La Fay is in some way a ‘faie’ who does ‘fairie’.
 
Last edited:

MarkB

Legend
On the few occasions it's come up in my campaigns, I run the Feywild and Shadowfell as being overlaid upon the real world, with congruent geography and features, though anything constructed won't necessarily correspond across the boundaries. They represent, respectively, life and growth, and death and decay.

The Shadowfell is very much the Upside Down from Stranger Things, an oppressive, alien realm of decay and darkness. The beings that inhabit it feel a sense of emptiness that manifests as a constant, gnawing hunger - for life, for power, for existence - which drives everything they do.

The Feywild is a realm of primeval wilderness, whose beings have a direct connection to the land around them. For the less-powerful beings that connection is fleeting or limited, but more powerful Fey influence the surrounding landscape, plants and even living beings around them without even consciously trying. It's like they travel with their own personal Lair and Regional effects constantly in effect. One of the main reasons the Summer and Winter courts are divided from each other is that if they even get close to each other their opposing influences will throw the land around them into conflict.
 

In the Ashen Lands setting, the Fae Realms are a step to the left relative to our world.

Easily, and often unintentionally, accessible through natural entries like mushroom circles or leaving trails in Old Growth Forests, the Fae Realms largely mimic the lands of Iobaria in layout, but the inhabitants, and the dangers, are very different.

Currently, the Fae Realms are ruled by the Ash, the leader of the Old Court. But a new and upstart rival faction called the New Court has been trying to overthrow them for a thousand odd years or so. "New and Old" have -very- different definitions for the Fae. Speaking of old, Fae magic is a combination of Primal Power and Occult Magic from the dawn of existence. Representative things can have very real effects.

Want to stop a Fae running away from you but don't have a net? Just drive a Cold Iron nail into his Footprints in the trail and nail him to the ground. But be careful. The same can be done by them with your Shadow, or a doll with your likeness, or simply by asking for your name and taking it for themselves.

Contracts and Promises in the Fae Realms are quite -literally- binding. A Fae who makes a deal is spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and often -physically- incapable of breaking that deal. But if you travel to those shrouded paths and shimmering meadows you'll find the same restrictions fall upon you. And failure to uphold a bargain can cause its most painful extraction from you and your future.

While the Fae themselves are the true rulers of these realms, much of the populace are animals given awareness by their strange masters. So if you should stumble upon a village of doormice neatly dressed in lovely clothes going about their business, or should hear the whispers of wolves discussing how best to take you down, it may behoove you to retrace your steps and find your way back to the world where you belong.
 

Yaarel

Legend
Fairyknight, Faerie Knight, etcetera:

Altho a ‘Faerie Knight’ is a knight who comes from Faerie,

the actual meaning of this term according to its usage is,

Faerie Knight − a knight who fights by wielding magic.



In my mind, the term connotes the 4e Swordmage class, a melee fullcaster.

Actually, the 5e Bladesinger Wizard works pretty well for a Faerie Knight, both for the Fey Elf flavor and for the fullcaster mechanics.
 
Last edited:

Stormonu

Legend
I use neither the Feywild nor Shadowfell, and tend to stick to the older cosmology of 2E/Planescape. I do use a Plane of Dreams/Nightmares on the Ethereal, which is where the elves and goblinoids of my homebrew come from, respectively.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My Faewild, known in-universe as the Otherworld, is the border between the material plane and the five elemental planes (fire, earth, water, air, and aether). In the Otherworld, proximity works by way of sympathy rather than physical distance - the more metaphysically attuned you are to water, for example, the closer you are to the plane of water. In this sense, you could think of the elemental planes as different “frequencies” of the Otherworld. Fans of Chronicles of Darkness might recognize a lot of Werewolf: the Forsaken influence in my take on the Faewild - it’s basically Pangea. The Undrworld basically combines the Shadowfell and the Underdark into one plane, which may or may not just be another “frequency” of the Otherworld.
 
Last edited:

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
My campaign is based loosely on Norse with a dash of Celtic mythology so the feywild becomes Alfheim (home of the Sidhe) and the shadowfell becomes Nifleheim.

Both the feywild and shadowfell broadly copy Midgard (the prime material) but I always explain it as the feywild being the top of the leaf, bathed in sun and light and life. The feywild is the home of the sidhe with the seelie and unseelie courts. Goblinoids originate from the unseelie courts, in the feywild they are more pranksters and servants, not nearly as spiteful and dark hearted as most goblins. Ogres and trolls also originate from the unseelie courts, as do a handful of other creatures. Elves are related to the Sidhe, a Sidhe that is forced to flee the feywild and live in Midgard will eventually become an eladrin elf if they don't go insane first.

The sidhe rulers of the feywild are not really good nor evil for the most part, but they have motivations and reasons that often escape mortals. While you can always trust a sidhe to tell the truth, what they don't tell you can be life threatening. They don't always understand mortals, their perspective is just too different.

The shadowfell is the bottom of the leaf, literally in the shadow and lacking the light of life. Much like the down under in Stranger Things, it is frequently a representation of Midgard that is decayed, abandoned and old. There is little color in these areas, most things are washed out, practically black and white. However, the shadowfell is also the land of dreams and mist and can be quite malleable. At times when people's dreams are particularly vivid (especially nightmares) theirs spirit can actually enter the shadowfell temporarily. In some rare cases people can manipulate and transform the land, shaping it into either a place of beauty or horror.

In addition, when people die their souls travel through the shadowfell temporarily until they go to their final destination. Those that refuse to move on and instead cling to this mirror of their old lives eventually become ghosts or potentially other undead as their original personality fades away. Raising the dead requires people travelling to the shadowfell to retrieve the souls.

Last, but not least, there are times when the shadowfell stores "echoes" of important historical events or particularly traumatic moments. Great wars, critical and emotionally damaging times in people's lives can create small pocket dimensions where the events repeat themselves. Powerful magic can also carve out pocket dimensions where people can sometimes be trapped.
 

Yaarel

Legend
The shadowfell becomes Nifleheim.
Technically, Niflheim is the arctic region, not to be confused with Niflhel.

Hel is the underworld, resembling Shadowfell. It is directly below Midgard. The entrance to Hel, is in the far north, in Niflheim. This entrance is a tunnel winding downward to Hel. The place in Hel where the criminals are punished is called Niflhel.

Alfheimr is one of a number of places in the sky.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Technically, Niflheim is the arctic region, not to be confused with Niflhel.

Hel is the underworld, resembling Shadowfell. It is directly below Midgard. The entrance to Hel, is in the far north, in Niflheim. This entrance is a tunnel winding downward to Hel. The place in Hel where the criminals are punished is called Niflhel.

Alfheimr is one of a number of places in the sky.
I said loosely based, didn't I? ;)

Hel is the realm of the dead and once you pass through Hel's gates even Balder could not return. That doesn't really correspond to my view of the shadowfell.
 


The question of congruent geography is an interesting one. It's one way to play on the "reflection" part of the Feywild plane. I prefer, however, to make the Feywild more abstract and alien by twiting geography. Players aren't expected to orient themselves with map in the Feywild because the concept of moving from point A to point B isn't translated exactly. If you want to move from the capital to the sea, you need to walk 100 km to the South. In the Feywild, the capital embodies the concept of centrality. Walking on any path leads to the capital, irrespective of where you start from (so if you leave by the southern road, you'll end up back at the capital by the northern entrance. If you want to get to the reflection of the sea, you need to travel, not physically but thematically (since i adhere to the Eberonnian Thelanis 'realm of stories' emphasis on reflection of themes and not necessarily a carbon copy of the material plane. So you could leave the city by walking from any direction as long as you seek adventure, freedom and isolation. Feywild maps are songs the speak of some places that are helping to transition from one idea to another. If a place is notorious enough to be of interest in the material plane, it's probably because some story happened about it... and a reflected, twisted or idealized version will be the equivalent location in the feywild, not a geographically equivalent location. It's fluid as well. My group recently assassinated the king's fiancée and I look forward to them visiting the Feywild-related capital palace to see it overcame by the themes of grief and loss.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
In my game, the Feywild is a preservation of what the world was like in the dawn of time, from which dreams of mythology emerge out of the shadows. It constantly iterates on the same stories over and over again because while it is a chaotic and whimsical place, it it trapped by the laws of story and the origins of myth. It is memory, pure and preserved, and it is where Elves go when they trace (their minds cross over into the Bright Beauty).

In my game, the Shadowfell is a lens on what the world may come to be when it is old and decayed. It is fear and palpitation, awe and horror of the natural ends of the current machinations of the world, should the heroes not prevail in changing the course of history. Most heroes do not change it enough to fundamentally change the future: this world is not meant to last.

The Blue Mists of the Ethereal wrap and transport folks to these realms to engered hope to restore something of what was or steel against the potential of what may be. But even now, those mists are mined by arcanologists to use their ethereal energy salts to power alchemy dynamos. The world is barrelling into an Arcano-Industrial Revolution, for both better and worse. Society has the chance to become more fair as work becomes easier with the power of arcane energy. But there is always a cost, and the more we sap from the ethereal, the more we direct the world toward Shadowfell.

And yet the Shadowfell denizens live on, lingering shades of what once was, doomed to repeat their actions in life over and over and over again, unable to realise where they went morally bankrupt. It is a Domain of Dream. One might say that the Feywild is merely another side of the coin of the Shadowfell; that the Feywild is the lingering shade of the Past and the Shadowfell is the lingering shade of the present. What horrors might be the lingering shade of the future? Still, the Feywild seems vibrantly alive, perhaps it has a future yet to tell beyond merely representing the world as it was. The Shadowfell too - there is death, but there is life also, and a beauty in its decay.

So some seek solace in the eternal youth of the world in the Feywild, an escape from the sorrows of the world. And it is a realm that indeed can grant that solace. But it is not particularly a moral place of pure goodness and peace, but rather a world of great extremes - great good and great evil, and great beings that are both and neither. It is the world as it was, should we not have interfered. But so we have, and the while the arc of history bends towards justice, it also bends towards extractive decay. Can our heroes play their part and change the destiny of this world? And what does a Shadowfell even look like if it is neither Shadow nor Fell? These are questions whose answers even the wisest of the archmagisters do not know…
 
Last edited:

cbwjm

Hero
Feywild is just the plane where fey come from in my current campaign, it doesn't reflect the prime at all (neither does the shadowfel, I never liked that as an element of these two planes). Portals link the feywild to the prime and I have gnome villages that tend to spring up around these portals with the village spreading out on both sides.

As a campaign element that I was considering a while ago, I had the shadowfell and feywild as the same place, with only one existing at once. Essentially this single plane "orbited" around the material plane going from light to dark to light again. This happened over centuries so tales of malicious fey tended to be thought of as just tales but at the start of the campaign, the Feywild was transitioning to the shadowfel again so those tales were about to become much more real.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
As a campaign element that I was considering a while ago, I had the shadowfell and feywild as the same place, with only one existing at once. Essentially this single plane "orbited" around the material plane going from light to dark to light again. This happened over centuries so tales of malicious fey tended to be thought of as just tales but at the start of the campaign, the Feywild was transitioning to the shadowfel again so those tales were about to become much more real.
Sounds a bit like Lorwyn-Shadowmoor. ;)
 

Hexmage-EN

Adventurer
So far the Feywild has mostly been a place that my players' characters find themselves in when I want to throw something completely different at them for a change and need little explanation for how they got there. In both my previous campaign and this current one the party has just been traveling elsewhere only to find themselves in the Feywild.

In the first campaign I was being way more freeform with it and just sort of putting the characters through my stream of consciousness. At one point they were in a cave with a ravine full of teeth that tooth fairies apparently just throw teeth into for some reason. There was also an unattended pie in a hut with butterfly wings growing out of the walls; smashing the pie against the wall caused it to transform into a splattered ogre. Also there was a fortress with severed feet hanging from the ramparts.

In retrospect I got too weird with it.

I did at least learn how hilariously dangerous a trio of quicklings with swords of wounding can be, though, when they reduced the party wizard from full health to dying in one round.

My players in my current campaign entered the Underdark of the Feywild simply because two of the three couldn't attend the session at the last minute. I had already decided the deep gnomes in the area were runaways from a fomorian kingdom in the Feywild, so I just told the player that did show up the other two PCs were suddenly grabbed by glowing plants that surged out of the tunnel walls before disappearing with them. Then next session, when everyone was present, her character entered the Feywild as well.

This entire campaign has been set in the Underdark, and I had forgotten that the 4E Underdark book described the Feywild's Underdark as being full of unusual plants that don't require sunlight, so it was a good excuse to jumble up Dungeon Tiles for underground and aboveground wilderness environments to create unusual maps.

The players so far have navigated past a large number of awakened shrubs, met a talking fish who moves about thanks to a friendship with an elemental puddle, avoided getting run over by a cyclops riding a triceratops that was herding giant fire beetles, entered a large, forested vault with a strange false sky punctured by stalactites, saved a forlarren from webbirds that had laid their eggs in him, fought a shambling mound in an area of electric crystals, and have now been invited by a hag riding a gazer she can magically grow to beholder size to her home, which is built out of living stone carved by enslaved jermlaine supervised by a mite that delights in sabotaging their efforts with its magic (you can probably tell I like using weird monsters from older editions). Oh, also there are umplebies, and the party has had a baby umpleby with them for a while now that had been locked-up in a wererat warren for some reason unknown to them (I took a yeti tyke miniature and painted it orange, btw).

Next session they may be escorted to a fomorian outpost by the hag via a magic doorway. I've already statted-up a conversion of the fomorian portal lord from 4E for them to possibly fight, although he is one of the party's best chances to return from the Feywild's Underdark to the Material Plane's Underdark safely.
 
Last edited:


I've posted about this somewhere else on this site, but I'll go more in depth here.

As the OP states, the Shadowfell and Feywild are echoes/reflections of the Material Plane. The Feywild is closely tied to the Positive Energy Plane, and the Shadowfell is closely tied to the Negative Energy Plane. The Feywild draws its energy from an infinite font of possibility, warping the Material Plane where it touches it and founding its own plane of existence filled with the vibrant emotions and stories told by the denizens of the Material Plane since the dawn of time. The Feywild's light shines upon the Material Plane, and creates a Shadow Realm reflection of it directly on the other side of the world (on the cosmological and metaphysical scales, that is). The brightness of the Feywild's energy creates a realm completely opposite of it, filled with nothingness and void that is lacking in the Feywild.

The Feywild is created by the Material Plane, as is the Shadowfell. If there was no Material Plane, there would be no Shadowfell and no Feywild. If not for the imaginations, wishes, and emotions of those that lived on the Material Plane, the Feywild would not be filled with the embodiments of these imaginations, wishes, and emotions, and the Shadowfell would thus be nonexistent, as the dark reflection of nothing is still nothing. The vibrant Feywild evolves as the Material Plane progresses, and the Shadowfell also changes to reflect the progress that the other two realms undergo. As more people exist on the Material Plane (thus creating more wishes and emotions), the Feywild grows in size and population, and the bleakness of the Shadowfell grows.

Lesser Fey are mostly the embodiments of simple emotions and/or ideas, like bloodlust (Redcaps), disgust (Hags), mischief (Boggles and Quicklings), the beauty of darkness (Darklings), the beauty of nature (different types of Nymphs for different parts of nature; Dryads for forests, Naiads for rivers/the sea, Lampads for the Underdark, etc), paranoia (Meenlocks), frustration (Mites), careful curiosity (Pixies), revelry (Satyrs), and so on, and so on.

Greater Fey (mostly Archfey and Hag Matrons) are the embodiment of more complicated wishes and stories. The Prince of Frost is an embodiment of the tragedy of not being able to let go of someone that you love, Baba Yaga is the embodiment of the narcissistic "Mother knows best"-type parent that abuses and corrupts her "daughters", Verenestra is the embodiment of the frivolity of existence and the sinister pleasure that comes from manipulating those with less power than you. Greater Fey are stories and wishes, while Lesser Fey are simple emotions and ideas.

The Sorrowsworn and other shadow creatures of the Shadowfell are physical polar opposites of the extreme emotions of the Feywild. While there could be a Lesser Fey creature that embodies gluttony, there would be a Sorrowsworn that represented the Shadowfell's lack of food (the Hungry), there are fey that embody beauty, so there are Sorrowsworn that embody the Shadowfell's lack of beauty (the Wretched), there are fey that embody friendship, so there are Sorrowsworn that embody the loneliness of the Shadowfell (the Lonely and Lost).
 
Last edited:

Aging Bard

Mac-Fuirmidh
My campaign is 1e, but it strongly incorporates the Fae. The Fae were sidelined over 1000 years ago and have been trying to work their way back into normal reality ever since. Civilized forces have kept them at bay with menhir and dolmen constructs, which are slowly decaying. Most people are unconsciously superstitious in order to ward off the Fae. Cold iron is a weapon of mass genocide versus the Fae, who react to it with righteous fury. The Fae are the ultimate example of Chaos, with the Seelie and Unseelie demarking Good and Evil, though even this is not clear. Some elves and gnomes might understand what is going on, but not many others.
 

cbwjm

Hero
As the OP states, the Shadowfell and Feywild are echoes/reflections of the Material Plane. The Feywild is closely tied to the Positive Energy Plane, and the Shadowfell is closely tied to the Negative Energy Plane.
Your comment here has reminded me how I had the feywild/shadowfel transition, it was to do with it's relation to the positive and negative planes. The plane itself orbited around the prime, as it rose (and approached the positive energy plane/font of life) it transitioned into the Feywild. As it fell (and approached the negative energy plane/Entropy/The end of all life) it transitioned into the shadowfel. I recall having a planar set up where in the celestial planes above energy flowed outwards providing life to all the multiverse, celestials being the closest to this life giving energy. The energy then flowed down through the planes, passing through the elemental and prime planes (essentially on the same level but with the prime nested within the elemental planes) and then downwards to entropy. The lower planes were closest to entropy and the fiends there could draw upon its power.

No idea where I had this setting write up, I often come up with ideas and then completely forget where I left them but it doesn't seem to be in my google drive or onedrive. Might not have had much more than a planar layout.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top