Sunday, April 19, 2015

Workings of The Fey of the North Woods

They wear tall bodies made of detritus - seven or ten feet of stone and snapped branches and bones, studded with ice, cloaked in dust and delicate fibers. Their cities are their own enormous, abandoned husks, wrought of earth and roots twisted into hollow, organic shapes.

They do not fear death, their bodies are costumes. They are inviolate blue-white stars which flit into the sky should their vessel fail. Other things die and their passage is viewed as some act, some jest, the conceding of a delightful game.

Here are some things they make to pass the time.


Elf-light springs from pinpoints into rays which hurt to look at directly. It illuminates its immediate space with harsh, actinic brightness, but casts no shadows or gentle wash of radiance.
Elf-light loves illusion. In its Cherenkov rays glamors are enhanced.
Chrenkov effect reactor
Like this, but trees.

Elf-light loves to have the eye drawn to it. It's easy to hide in the non-shadows it casts into the places it isn't.

Elf-light loves supplicants. Plants which grow in it flourish in pulpy profusion, lolling with fat, pithy fruits. Deprived of it or exposed to sunlight they quickly curl and wither.


Fey of the north woods craft their physical bodies from available natural materials, but sometimes incorporate items of their own delicate workings into the vessel.

In the hands of other races these contrivances can usually be exploited to some benefit. With sufficiently powerful magic or surgical acumen members of the fleshy races may take full advantage of these strange items by grafting them into their own bodies. The items make no accordance for implantation or substitution on their own.

Sometimes the elves have been known to grant a graft as a gift. The recipient has not always been willing.
  1. A wand composed of a single ray of elf-light. It can trace patterns and signs in the air which linger as cold light for hours. Against incorporeal beings, the wand slashes as a blade, and the lines it leaves are impassable.
  2. Wooden antlers which branch into fine points across a yard or more. Stroking the branches auguries the past or future, but the user experiences time in between now and the subject. For every 10 years queried into the past or future, the user ages 1d10 years. Anyone killed by the aging rises as a wight.
    Grafting the antlers to your skull reduces the aging to 1d10 years per 100 years and allows you to gore opponents with them. Those such injured quickly turn to stone.
  3. You are difficult to frighten while you clutch this black-brown hedron from which jut matte grey crystals. The crystals breach painlessly through your skin, emerging from your knuckles. Both hands gain incredible grip and it becomes extremely easy to hold someone still with one while you beat them senseless with the matte grey crystals protruding out of the other.
  4. This fragment of armor, a gauntlet, a greave, a faceplate, is made of seamless and pallid stone. The wearer is incapable of spectacular failures on their attempted actions, but likewise, spectacular successes.
  5. A strange flute of rubbery blue fibers, pocked with five holes. Played as an instrument it can, occasionally, replicate a lesser fey spell.
  6. White-rinded fruits with purple juices which remind flesh it must quit, cursing those who consume them.
  7. A fist-sized orb of polished fine-flecked gray and white stone . It may be set in a rod or a necklace. When the bearer takes magical damage, the gray flecks grow and the white flecks shink. Vice-versa for physical damage. In either case, the damage taken is significantly reduced, but if the orb ever becomes all white or all grey, it shatters.
  8. A wooden idol with gently twitching roots, seemingly formed from a single stump. If planted in the soil, miles around it soon become abundantly fertile as long as it remains planted. All who feed regularly on its bounty are susceptible to the influence of the fey.
    If the idol is uprooted, roll d6:
    1. All those made susceptible to fey influence through its nourishment die. They rise as zombies under the new moon and seek to destroy first anything living, then each other. Over the course of a month they will slowly twist and harden into new root-idols.
    2. Under starlight, the uprooter's skin irreparably becomes hard and knotted. Within minutes, unprotected, they become a new root-idol.
    3. The idol shrieks as it dies, rupturing glass and ears.
    4. Sowbugs and centipedes boil out of the idol's hole as it writes and dies.
    5. The idol silently falls to damp, rotten chunks.
    6. A treasure of silver ore and unworked gems is unearthed below the idol.
  9. Hard and tapering seed which collapses a huge area into itself shortly after being planted, then splits into dry and worthless pith.
  10. An anti-wind, a void, which sucks and howls and devours light and sound. Normally tiny and dormant, one with sufficient will can rouse it to service and direct its attention. It feeds on confusion and nightblindness.
  11. A chunk of cold, cold white crystal which spews coils of dense vapor. Carried on a staff or wand, it can be commanded to shroud a large area in mist, though doing so risks depleting the crystal.
    Embedded as an organ, the bearer constantly trails vapor from their mouth and can easily exhale a huge mass of obscuring mist. 
  12. A pale, matte-green crystal which forms a seemingly natural dodecahedron. It may be mounted in a piece of jewelry or breastplate. When the bearer is accused of any wrongdoing, the blame is evenly spread between them and the four nearest possible culprits.
  13. A spindled, skeletal hand of spun glass, jointed with silver wires. Worn as medallion or carried atop a rod or staff the bearer can perform minor feats of prestidigitation.
    Should a hand's structure be replaced with these glass bones, the wielder can easily manipulate objects from afar, and project beams of punishing light from their fingertips.
  14. A fibrous staff whose rich-red base tapers and fades to a fine white point. Anyone struck with it or exposed to a blast of its miasma quickly undergo a metamorphosis as a similar stalk burst from their neck, scalp, or face, growing to several feet in length, curving up. Those such decorated are compelled to follow the commands of the staff-bearer until the growth is destroyed.
  15. This mask, woven from fine, woody vines, radiates gray elf-light. It is difficult to see through, but you cannot be blinded or subjected to creature's gazes while wearing it. With sufficient concentration, you can coalesce the mask's glow into a ray of blinding light.
  16. A delicate chain of glass links. Worn as a necklace or belt, it projects an idealized story of your movement - you seem to glide and sweep airily through any situation. The chain struggles with any display of gross incompetence, however. If you trip or are moved against your will, there is a chance it will shatter.
  17. A clear and languid draught in a shallow stone bowl which forgets for its imbiber, casting memories as stakes in a game of lots with the stars. The stars are very good gamblers, but if the imbiber wins they get some new memories, and likely the enmity of the stars.
  18. This elf-light is a sheen of harsh, yellow light breaking over a dark verizon, a pillar of dawn, regardless of the angle from which it is viewed. Anything held in its glare disintegrates in a heatless flame, scattering to colorless ash in moments. The terrible light cannot be moved or handled directly but it slowly glides into the nearest space which is darkest.
  19. A pitted stone dart which, when released, assassinates up to five nearby fires, one-by-one.
  20. A diadem of light and shining metal. It ignores a shock or afront for you. Until later. Much, much later, when you're alone, and the reverberations can literally shatter you.
  21. This mace of drab green rock specked bone white and brown hardens and deals grievous wounds in the presence of betrayers.
  22. A cloak of floating dust motes which quiets weight, allowing one to drift and bound under a night sky, but also risking being drawn up into that great silence above.
  23. Striated gray mineral cube which seems to squeeze out and absorb deep crimson nodes. Pressed into a wall, it reshapes it into a door or passage you were promised would be there.
  24. This fine dust glows pale blue-white with the brightness of a candle. It settles slowly when cast about or blown, and tends to stick to anything warm or damp. A simple enchantment, but useful to the imaginative.