Plane of Faerie
In Pathfinder, the Plane of Faerie was made its own fully-fledged plane and part of the Great Beyond, existing as a kind of primal, magic-rich prototype of the Material Plane known as the First World. It is argued whether it came before or after the 4e version.
In Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, the Plane of Faerie was finally integrated into the core cosmology from the very beginning, becoming an important part of the new World Axis cosmology called the Feywild. See that plane for details. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition would retain the Feywild in its weird redesign of the Great Wheel.
AD&D Plane of Faerie
3e Plane of Faerie
The Outer Plane of Faerie is a land of soft lights and cruel desires, the home of powerful elflike beings that care little for mortals other than as playthings and prey. It is a country of little people with great desires. It is a place of music and death.
Faerie is an oddity in most cosmologies: a coexistent Outer Plane. It functions like an Outer Plane, but it connects closely to the Material Plane, and a location on the Material Plane matches with a Faerie duplicate. Faerie overlaps the Material Plane in such a way that travelers don't need the Astral Plane to cross between the two planes. Moving onto the Plane of Faerie from old ruins on the Material Plane, for example, puts a traveler at the door of a Faerie lord's castle.
The Plane of Faerie is a realm of eternal twilight, with slow lanterns bobbing in the gentle breeze and huge fireflies buzzing through groves and fields. The sky is alight with the faded colors of the setting, or perhaps rising, sun. But in fact the sun never truly sets or rises; it remains stationary, dusky and low in the sky. Away from the settled areas of the Seelie Court, the land is a tangle of sharp-toothed brambles and syrupy fens—perfect territory for the Unseelie to hunt their prey.
The plane of Faerie has the following traits.
- Light Gravity.
- Infinite Size: At the very least, the Plane of Faerie is as large as the Material Plane.
- Alterable Morphic.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits: Sections of the plane may have the minor positive-dominant trait or minor negative-dominant trait, but Faerie as a whole does not.
- Mildly Neutral-Aligned.
- Enhanced Magic: The Plane of Faerie is highly magical, and all arcane spells cast there are maximized, empowered, and extended (as if prepared or cast with the appropriate feats). The fair folk do not care much for the pious of any faith, so divine magic is unaffected.
- Flowing Time: For every day spent on the Plane of Faerie, a week passes on the Material Plane. But unlike most planes with the flowing time trait, time lost on the Plane of Faerie catches up with the traveler. Non-natives who spend time on the Plane of Faerie and then return to a plane with the normal time trait instantly “catch up.” Those affected may be ravenous if they have not eaten in weeks as measured by Material Plane time. A visitor who stays a long time on the Plane of Faerie may die if “catching up” with Material Plane time takes her beyond her normal life span (maximum ages for each race are given in Table 6–5 in Chapter 6 of the Player's Handbook). The natives of Faerie are unaffected by this phenomenon, and only the most astute natives mention it to visitors from the Material Plane.
The Plane of Faerie is coexistent with the Material Plane and can be reached without passing through the Astral Plane. It is a separate plane from the Transitive, Inner, and Outer Planes. It follows the topography of the Material Plane closely; should two portals to the Plane of Faerie be a mile apart on the Material Plane, they will similarly be a mile apart on the Plane of Faerie.
Portals to the plane of Faerie only appear at certain times, such as during a new moon, at the equinoxes, or once every ninety days. Such portals often exist within standing stones or pools on the Material Plane.
The plane of Faerie is the home of powerful elflike creatures called the sidhe (pronounced shee). The sidhe divide themselves into a Seelie Court and an Unseelie Court. The Seelie are considered good and the Unseelie evil, but both are unconcerned with the wants, desires, and needs of creatures from the Material Plane.
Other half-celestial and half-fiend creatures may be found within Faerie. Many of these are Seelie and Unseelie versions of fey creatures such as satyrs, sprites, and grigs. The more powerful members of the Unseelie Court ride nightmares on their Wild Hunts and are accompanied by yeth hounds. These hunts are common on the Plane of Faerie, and they often spill over onto the Material Plane when the stars come into alignment and the borders between the worlds are thinner.
Members of the Seelie Court are often chaotic good; they've been known to lure or even kidnap Material Plane characters into their realm for the purpose of feasting and dalliance. Members of the Unseelie Court are also interested in having Material Plane characters at their feasts, but more as dishes than as guests. Neither group is particularly concerned about the time that their guests lose while away from the Material Plane.
Variant Planes of Faerie
The Plane of Faerie is based on traditional folk tales of immortal lords and wild hunts. In these folk tales, mortals who deal with the lords of Faerie usually are dead by the end of the tale, often returning to their native lands only to disintegrate from old age. The Plane of Faerie presented here isn't nearly as cruel, but if you want a more accurate and deadly Plane of Faerie, make the following changes to the plane's traits.
- Flowing Time: For every hour spent on the Plane of Faerie, two weeks pass on the Material Plane.
- Entrapping: The Plane of Faerie has an entrapping trait similar to those of Elysium and Hades. At the conclusion of every day spent on the Plane of Faerie, any non-native must make a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the number of consecutive days on the plane). Failure indicates that the visitor has fallen entirely under the control of the plane, unable and unwilling to leave of his own volition. Memories of any previous life fade into nothingness, and it takes a wish or miracle spell to return such a character to normal. But travelers who have accepted no food, drink, or other gifts from the natives of Faerie during their visit need not make the saving throw.
More Accessible Faerie
In a cosmology you create, Faerie might be an easy place to get to.
Perhaps portals to Plane of Faerie work from the Ethereal Plane even if it's not the correct time for the portal to function on the Material Plane. On the Ethereal Plane, such portals appear as curtains of shimmering brass. Faerie can have its own Ethereal Plane in this case, and spells using the Ethereal Plane would function within it.
Maybe travelers reach the Plane of Faerie through the Plane of Shadow, in much the same way they would use shadow to reach any other plane. In this case, Unseelie creatures roam the Plane of Shadow as well.
The Plane of Faerie might also have portals leading to the Outer Planes. Such portals would lead to natural areas or those with a strong elven presence, such as the Beastlands, Arvandor, or Lolth's layer in the Abyss.
The First World
In the Great Beyond, the First World is so called because it is believed to be the gods' first draft of a subsequent plane that would later split into the Material Plane and the Shadow Plane. It is coterminous with both of these "finished models", but exists outside the standard cosmology, being somehow "behind" the other two planes. Travel to and from the First World is generally accomplished via magic that only works in places where the boundaries between the planes are thin. On Golarion, these are generally wild places far from civilization, often marked by mounds, stones, or rings of earth or mushrooms.
Being unfinished, the First World lacks universal, fixed laws of physics. Regions of the First World remain as test grounds for different, unfinished, and sometimes mutable and evolving physical properties; gravity is inconsistent between parts of the First World, and the speed of light is arbitrary and variable. Where these regions overlap, the reactions between these inconsistent laws can cause unpredictable reactions.
The First World is an infinite plane of constantly varying wilderness, with trees as tall as mountains, living bodies of water, and traveling faerie courts. It epitomises the chaos of birth and fertility. Conditions vary dramatically from place to place. What would be considered to be laws of nature on the Material Plane are no more than local by-laws in the First World, and even these by-laws can be overturned (even unconsciously) by those with sufficient willpower. Times and distances are unreliable in the First World.
Areas of stability do occur. In some cases this is apparently a random event; a current of stability flows through the First World, leaving behind an area of certainty which might range from a narrow trail a pace or two wide up to a vast swathe hundreds of miles across. These stable zones eventually decay back into the natural uncertainty of the First World, a process which might take hours or centuries. It may be that these are gradually increasing in duration. More commonly, stable areas exist where there is a connection to the Material Plane. Stability seeps into the First World at these points, much to the disgust of the locals, who seek to repair the damage and punish those they consider to be responsible.
Of course, this is a two-way process. The fertility of the First World also flows through the connection into the Material Plane, with unpredictable results.
Despite its origins as a prototype material world, or perhaps because of it, the First World still has a role to play in the great cycle of souls. Specificially, as new souls emerge from the crucible of the Positive Energy Plane, they have to pass through the First World before they reach the Etheral Plane and Material Plane. While the souls are unaligned at creation, they gain some of their earliest traits from their journey through the First World. This process also creates new fey from the soul energy left in their wake.
However, the inhabitants of the First World are themselves blocked from the River of Souls, making its inhabitants effectively immortal. When a native of the First World "dies", their energy simply returns to the First World. None of the plane's souls can exit the First World, nor do new souls enter it. Because slain natives of the First World always reform themselves from the substance of the plane (barring extreme circumstances, such as the intervention of powerful magic), but cannot do so outside of this plane - whilst simultaneously being ineligible for any form of afterlife - they are, understandably, discouraged from visiting other realms. On the other hand, it also means many First Worlders don't understand the true meaning or importance of death. This can have tragic consequences when they interact with mortals, who aren't so blessed.
The inhabitants of the First World have souls, but are of little interest to the gods. They also have little interest in the gods either. A few of the First World's inhabitants might live in the First World to avoid the wrath of an offended deity. Visitors from other planes sometimes report they feel disconnected from their gods. Divine magic still works, however—although whether this is solely due to the faith or will of the spellcaster, or because the gods have not completely abandoned the First World, is a matter of conjecture.
The First World abounds in strange and wondrous - or horrifying - creatures, many of them seemingly prototypes of plants and animals now found in the Material Plane. The most ubiquitous, of course, are the fey, although linnorms are another major presence. Its rulers are a collective of entities of fey nature and god-like power, variously referred to as the Fey-Lords, the Shapers, and the Eldest. Nine of these entities have been covered as deities in the Pathfinder game:
- Count Ranalc
- The Green Mother
- Imbrex, the Twins
- The Lantern King
- The Lost Prince
- Ng the Hooded
- Ragadahn, the Water Lord
- Shyka the Many
Almost all creatures in the First World that can speak can do so in the First World's nameless common tongue. It is similar to both Sylvan and Aklo (to such an extent that visitors fluent in either language can generally understand it) and may have been the root language of both tongues.