User:Cedric/Whispering of the Elementals
From D&D Wiki
Spoilers: this hasn't been written to protect the DMs or the players...
...a pantheistic and feywild view of the realms, dominated not by the macro problems and battles of the dominant male gods, but by micro-elemental forces which must always be kept in balance, associated with the female.
Hey player, what are you doing in this sacred universe? Should you be here? If you be not of the sacred circle of fey, begone! We don't need your intrusions into our world! However, if you be kind-hearted enough to commune with our creatures, great and small, and treat with equal respect, then may you pass and learn...
In the feywild, time travels in a circle, of day, night, and day again. It is the humans and other two-legged races such that track the passing of time so as to keep history. Our history is recorded in the trees and the shape of the rivers. The coloration of the birds and the fur of four-legged creatures.
The output of continue cycles is growth, like a tree -- not age. Everything is magic in the wild to the feywild inside of it -- life and death. It is the job of the goddesses and other forces to protect this special world and the purity of the feywild creatures within it. The way the sun shines and alights on the green grass or travels through the leaves. The faeries should be the ones to tell you about this, though. A bird could show you, but who among you is pure and patient enough to listen to a bird and get its special knowledge? An animal probably wouldn't even give you the time of day (but then, they don't keep time, do they?). "Speak with animals" is sensed by the goddess and she decides what is revealed for the animals under her care (DM note: the male side gets to decide what language is employed, but generally no god is there so it is simply the goddess herself).
This world is completely separate form your everyday world of hustle and bustle, yet it is right there alongside it, if you know how to look. Will your game universe be fey dominant with the goddess energies or urban-dominant where heroes are made? Both can co-exist, side-by-side, but there is always one bit that tips the scales every so slightly in favor of one or the other at any given point in time and space. This most-sensitive of dynamics create the breezes that flow across the lands and the sea. Many animals learn to listen to this dynamic and shift their behaviors.
Anyway, to those who aren't so sensitive, a tree is just a tree, and a rock just a rock, and you won't know that you've crossed over into another world: the feywild. The Elders that protect the feywild have many mechanisms in which to keep you out (oh did you get distracted by something alongside the road?), so that you don't topple the delicate balance of the realm and create a wind storm!
The god side is concerned with the trivialities of civilization and the pursuits of power, industry, and law. But the goddess side pursues ideals such as beauty, love, and order through wisdom rather than law. If something breaks a rule of the wild, they don't go to jail or a stinky dungeon, but they'll be chastised so that they know not to do it again.
The experienced herbalist, witch, dreamer, or even neo-warrior learns to read the feywilds, so that they can draw power from it, if they need, or stay in harmony with it when they don't. They must give back for this service. Every little detail in the feywild tells them something and their relationship to the whole, from the edges of the leaves to the travel of insects in the air. The sound of the birds to the scent in the breeze. It's very different from the rough tumble of the god-side view of the world. The wizened elder learns to see and track these signs and can use them to understand where to place their personal power.
Fey love. Two fey creatures, one elven male, and one feywild female. Keep in mind these designations are as they've designated. The key trait of both is their purity. Without their purity, they become regular "normies".
The Great Trees
There are twelve Great Trees*. To the goddesses, these Great Trees help hold the universe together. This view isn't contested by the gods, they simply have a different view. These trees take form as either Tall or Intricate.
The Great Trees are held and protected by the Tree Elders. For the trees were made without any predator they had no natural reproductive tendencies, so when the Great Wars started between dragons and giants, the trees had to go to seed... Fizban was one...
The Great Tree of the Bloodwood (redwood or cedar) knows that all Order is Power and can be used. Like the purity of color in the petals of a flower. Or even dry leaves separated from their source. They have no life anymore, yet are crisp and clean and hold the order and memory of What Was. (DM note: This latent order has utility for transforming waste, otherwise liquid waste would stick around and rot.)
It was the great trees, who had no gender, learned to create male and female as distinct forms orders is also part of the wisdom of the trees. In ages past, the Oerth grew without gender, just dragons, and the reptiles just sat around and got fat. There was no tension, until the gods, in the form of giants came around to rouse them into doing something, like building a lair if they want to sit around. In this way the dragons would have to at least fly around and work for their food. (Female DM note: This is how the reptile got its wings to become the dragon.) But this wasn't good Everything was stagnant -- there was no pursuit of love, for example, until the female was placed far away and separate from the male. A fey hermaphrodite pair XXX (trees!?) eventually grew to recognize this problem and created gender, making the god/goddess forms for the realm. Thus began the mammalians and gender. Because of the god-side, the elves were made, which began the humanoid form. And the
It is the wisdom of the Trees to know that the nature of the universe is disorder, so the Trees assist the this dissolution back to raw elements. It was the Trees, you could say, that first separated the Air from the Water (or OErth from the Heavens?) or Light from Darkness.
The faery race often habitates within these trees. The trees kick out those who aren't pure enough or sometimes the rains come and drench them. This offsets the rain that animals would have to deal with, so it's only fair. The faeries have to learn to master love and people's (including often their own) emotions, afterall.
Faeries can follow animals and learn to anticipate their gait, so that they can stay with them without consuming their energy of flying. For they are very smol.
Fizban, the Tree Elder, points out that a tree generally won't pay attention to a human much and animals only in times of great need, it seems. Humans have cut down trees, afterall. Unless it is sick, a trees attention generally always points upwards, but occasionally a dramatic event might gain their attention and a branch will fall at just the right moment and conjure an herbalist (or a friendly wizard :) to have a look at the situation. The Great Trees grow in patterns along lines of power called geodesics or ley-lines. Teleportation circles can be formed to make use of such parsimony.
Wisdom of the Tree
The wisdom of the trees holds the four elements of alchemy as primal, perhaps even sacred. You'll note that they all get used, in balance, to make a tree.
The elders check for balance in keeping their domains. Is yin (flow) balanced with yang (form)? Are all four elements in balance? How about the divine feminine vs the masculine? A female herbalist might invite male elves to live in her forest to balance her energy. Or perhaps, there's not enough industrial output that can used by Man. Have trees gotten stagnant and aged? These are some of the challenges of the Wild, for it is not an easy task to train a tree to grow more wisdom to keep all of the light input from the sun productive and not wasted in tree fodder. The wisened elders makes trees immortal. But this you'll have to learn for yourself, as various gods want to keep the supply of lumber flowing -- but remember this: there are no natural enemies or predators of the tree, but the humanoids.
Consider what the trees learned that vines did not. Both compete for capturing the available solar gain and water resources (which generally balance each other one-to-one), yet one makes wood, provides shelter for birds, shade for mammals, and food for many -- making 10x the value for the same solar and liquid inputs.
XXX To the goddesses, the turtle holds up the world. According to the elders, if the turtle were to die, the world would collapse.
- Fungi and insects are the primary threat to trees. These arise from challenges made by humanoids, typically, otherwise the gentle support of the god/ddesses would suffice. Each can be resisted by strong trees (a STR-based solution, using excess mana, or CON-based creating more HP internally), yet both fungi and insects evolve too, and only real INT and WIS-based will do. INT-based solution generally enhance the surface appearances of three (leaf shapes, for example), while WIS-based solution provide for longevity, strength, and overall beauty (CHR).
- Diseases such as fungi are a lack of yin power, while insects are a lack of yang. Moss is excess of the water element (deficiency of light element: see below --lack of faith). Balding (lack of leaf coverage) excess of air element. Scalding (edges of leaves get burned or dry) comes from excess light element (usually from sorcery)(??). Excess earth element... maybe bark excess, flaking (bark-skin shedding).
- Some threats to trees can't be countered by the tree's power alone, at least not very easily. For example, moss develops on trees when humans aren't putting faith in the gods, as the trees do. For this, the trees could make disease for humans, rather than take on the burden themselves (a decision that the highest-gods help implement).
- The immortality of trees comes from tree elders who are continually updating the wisdom at the crown of the tree. That is, when a question comes into them from the forest, they must find a solution that honors all of wisdom of the forest, yet solves the problem at hand.
- Fungi and insect strengths are the main source of tree evolution into greater wisdom. These challenges provide the needs to create the opportunities of learning, yet there must be an elder holding the trees. Some elders were have known to become trees, and this is their source of thinking and continued evolution. Some say you can still meet and interact with these elders within the planes where Time becomes altered or angled in the right way to form the common impedence for interaction. Much like the gods speak through dragons. Such techniques still need development within the herbalist classes and go beyond my level 40 understanding.
- To maintain such wisdom of great trees will require the development of great wisdom. Meditate in the quiet and solitude of the forests.
The four elements rise up to protect various aspects of the realm. The development of Wo/Mankind. The four elements embody all the sophistication of the universe and have endless diversity of expression. The master or mistress of the elements must learn to harness these powers and learn the ways in which their power can be used.
The elements are involved in all the power of the universe, yet they themselves answer to more primordial forces that are related to male and female or flow vs form. For example, there is the light of the candle which is distinct from its heat. Or wetness of water vs. coldness.
It is the elements which create the seasons -- should there be need for such. Regulating the temperature so that the animals and others are in balance for comfort. This is part of the homeostasis, and these movements of temperature regulation create the winds (and what are called weather "fronts").
MANA and magic can be collected by a special relationship to the AIR element, which picks up the etherial energy used for magic. It requires a walking with your energy-body (soul) alongside your physical body. The elementals cna then be absorbed through the skin and placed into a special spiritual organ called the "tan tien"???, or as some mages say: the spellforgeXXX.
Wizards who serve the goddess and the feywild typically wear loose clothing so that the mana in the air can be collected by their bodies. But the sure sign is the tinkling bells when they walk to alert the animals that a friend and not a hunter is nearby.
Fey creatures have naturally high perceptivity (20). This is because they must quickly learn to to spring out of the chaos that is the Oerth. The goddess knows that each species of creature in the feywild carries his and her own song. Like whistling a tune while you walk through the woods. Their song is their particular manner of relating to the larger song of the wild itself. An instrument, you could say, in the symphony of the feywild.
When all is well, they all live in harmony with each other and the song stays nice, melodic, and smooth. Everyone improvises in relation to the other and each species is amicable to the others. Some animals prey on others, of course, but it is the job of the goddess to make teach them to live harmoniously and keep it so, for the gods seems to be more interested in the affairs of men.
A dark place like the Mirkwood forest has lost its song or perhaps it has receeded deep into itself, waiting for a new, revised set of tones and melodies to come along.
Herbalists learn to have a relationship with the trees who know the songs of all of the birds and animals that stay and live near them, though they cannot reproduce them. They recognize their tone.
Each brids and mammals and even fish have a song of their own. Fish are sing their song with their colors and movements, birds with their whistle, and mammals just keep it in their heart. Humans that wish to gain the respect of the feywild must have a song of their own (which is noble enough to gain the respect of the goddess) and learn how to integrate it with the songs of the wild, singing together, you might say. Without one, the animals just hear a loudmouth lumbering through the woods. The best response is to run away, so that their own isn't disturbed. Even the biggest mammals have songs that, while strong like a trumpet in an orchestra, are played with the purest of heart, such that if a human were trample upon it, it would be like a human telling a child how useless it is. Tsk tsk. Shameful, that evil warlocks or sorcerers might delight in such.
The Great Sundering??
The feywild is always caring after the Four Corners of the Realms: Truth, Justice, Love, and Beauty. The Goddess keeps all of these in harmony all of the time. Well, most of the time. That's why you're here, I suppose.
They wear clothes. They dont' have the goddess looking after them, I guess.
- It is said that there is still a Great Tree dreaming this world -- not in the FR, but from your own. It's connected to FR through Thundertree.
- Arcana: In the twilight, it is said that there is a special crack between worlds, where the GODDEssEs move in and out of the feywild and share civilization is a separate demi-plane.
- Arcana: It's actually 4 great trees that hold the universe together, while the other four hold the order of life itself -- the hearts of the animals, the nucleus or photosynthesis of the leaves, and such.