The cycle continues, round and round in an endless loop. The icons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter dance around the Staff of Time, turning the dials and advancing the order of nature. Beyond the four courts, there are a plethora of faerie folk unaffiliated with any court, factionless or courtless as the term denotes. There are fae that resides over a particular aspect of nature like the sea, the wastes, or the skies. Then, there are those that haunt and stalk the endless darkness below the Feywild, foul creatures that have no love for the light above and prey on those foolish enough to enter their domain. An adventurer wandering through the Feywild would do best to avoid making deals or owing allegiances to certain fae, for the politics between the four courts alone are daunting, adding the various other factions makes it even more difficult. These additional courts cover types of fae typically not discussed and seem beyond the influence of the four main courts.
The Courtless – Allegiances to No One
Many of these other courts or those that are deemed courtless owe their allegiances to themselves and whatever groups they wish to associate with. The four fairy courts may have allied with these faes on occasion, summoning them in times of conflict and war. Most of these unaffiliated faes keep to themselves and remain neutral in the faerie politics. Creatures like Eladrin and Gnomes often have communities that are courtless but there are also some communities that are affiliated with a particular court as well. Many archfey are courtless or are affiliated with a non-traditional court, there are even some that reside within the Feydark too. An archfey are the center of their own universes, as such, their awareness of other fey or even the faerie rulers is left entirely up to whether they acknowledge their existence or not. If you have a basic concept of Quantum Theory’s Observer effect, it’s within the same pretext.
The Four Seasons is only One aspect of Nature
Keep in mind that the four courts that represent the seasons are only one aspect of nature. Nature is multi-faceted and therefore takes on a multitude of expressions and will be personified in the Feywild in kind. There are fae that preside over the seas, the desert wastes, and the endless skies of the Feywild. Whether you wish to incorporate these aspects across all four seasons is entirely left up to the GM. If you’re having a campaign that explores the rich variety of life in the Feywild, it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra factions or aspects of nature. It’s unexpected and can add an interesting dynamic that wouldn’t exist in the traditional four-season model.
The Iron Court
In nature, metals exist, that’s a fact. But fairies are said to be vulnerable to a special type of metal, known mechanically as cold iron. Essentially, it is processed iron, forged iron if you prefer the term. Iron and metals from nature itself does not harm the fae. Metal is a reflection of the combination of elemental forces, in various cultures that include a fifth element, usually in the form of either metal or wood. The principle idea is that this fifth element is a culmination of all aspects of the four elements and is expressed in a singular form.
As a result, there are faeries that embody the metallic aspect of nature. But this unique court has another purpose and representation. Humanoids are a reflection of nature as well, civilization is a construct crafted by the humanoids and therefore are reflected into parts of the Feywild. Reflections of humanity is a great term to describe the Iron Court fey. If you want to include a clockwork element to the fey, this is a great way introduce concepts like time, order, pragmatism, metal, and civilization. From a mechanical standpoint, if you want, you can use some narrative inspiration from the plane of Mechanus in the Great Wheel Cosmology. Even more fun, you can treat the Iron Court as a central antagonist of the Feywild, converting nature into the Iron Court, a source of pollution and ruin. The Machine Empire from the Power Rangers is a great concept for a domineering and oppressive force.
The Iron Lord would be a ruler of this would-be court, an emotionless fey that solely desires for the advancement of his court and his subjects. Combating against all of the fey courts for domination and conversion. A great of metal and smokestacks, hands with razor sharp claws, standing at least 20-feet tall. His consort is the Lady of Ashes, a patron of coal, ash, and soot. A female fey of hidden beauty, for she is covered in a veil of black smoke, with only bits of gray skin shown on occasion.
The Faeries of the Sea
There are dozens of lakes and ponds that shatter across the Feywild, but then there is the endless sea beyond that border close to the Elemental Plane of Water. Some iconic fey folk that may preside here are undines, merfolk native to the Feywild, and below the depths are monstrous entities that can only live in the endless expanse of this Fey sea. The current 5th Edition lore has the Sea Twins, Elias and Siobhan Alastai who are eladrin of great power, govern over the seas of the Feywild, sometimes referred to as the “Coral Court”.
Persana is the God of Tritons and easily rule over parts of the endless seas of the Feywild. Blibdoolpoolp is a great monstrous Archfey, as the patron to kuo-toas, imagine its large lobster head as it lurks through the deep dark depths of the ocean.
The Faeries of the Wastes & Skies
The wastes is often associated with deserts and arid lands, home to oversized reptiles, serpents, and insectoids. Nomadic Thri-Kreen may frequent these lands, there are plenty of elementals and djinn that make the Wastes their home. Wastes is a great place for things to get lost, and therefore you can have wonderful, covetous fey that stalk the sands and build great halls under them. The Scorpion King is a powerful archfey that acquires lost treasure, possessing a greed akin to a dragon. There is no particular ruler of the Wastes, as most fey do not wish to take the mantle for fear of others plotting or attacking them soon after. The Scarab Lord and the Locust Lord are forces of ecological devastation, blights personified, they invoke great famines and destruction. Many fae may jokingly refer to this realm as the Empty Court, for often there is nothing there but sand and disappointment.
Sylphs are air elemental fairies that roam and fly along the floating cloud palaces that drift over the Feywild. You have archfey that rule over the winds, the storms, and cloud types even. There are plenty of cloud and storm giants that roam here, often powerful soldiers and emissaries used by the various Cloud Court fey. The archfey that rule the winds often meet and debate over which one has their turn, guiding the various clouds across the Feywild. Fey of the storms and clouds often obey their lords of the winds, but sometimes they may rebel and a sudden storm emerges. The Lightning Lord is a powerful fey of the storms, fickle and wicked, he possess a short temper and can be relentless while enraged.
Beneath the Feywild, as an echo to the Underdark, the Feydark exists. Just like on the surface with fey crossings, there are similar crossings in the Underdark but all paths lead to the Feydark instead. Fomorians are the fey equivalent of titans only twisted and deformed. The Feydark is maze-like with portals leading to portions of the material plane, there are plenty of foul and terrible creatures that roam this dimension, read to feast on prey that accidentally wander into this realm.
But not all of the Feydark is bad, okay, it’s actually bad. Though there is the promise of treasure in the form of precious gems and stones, whether the risks outweigh the reward is left the ambitious adventurer. The drow often will traverse between the Feydark and Underdark, meaning there is a propensity of driders and other foul creatures. Myncoids and other sorts of fungal creatures that cannot stand the light are also likely to make their dominion here as well.
The Deep One is an ancient creature of unknown size, most creatures fortunate enough to escape certain death only witness a large pink worm-like tentacle gliding through the various tunnels of the Feydark in search of food. Legends speak of the Deep One being as large as the Feydark itself, that should it truly awaken or its hunger grow too great, it shall rip apart the surface and feast on all the creatures that fall into its endless maws.
You can find similar topics and more in the “Journey into the Feywild” supplement. Now available on the DMs Guild.
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