Shadow Fey

From 1d4chan

In 'Dungeons & Dragons, "Shadow Fey" can refer to either of two races; a race of monsters from the Ravenloft setting, or a playable race from the Midgard setting.


The Shadow Fey (or Arak, as they call themselves) are a species of darkness-loving, shadow-touched Fey native to the Demiplane of Dread, where they inhabit the dark faerieland domain known as the Shadow Rift. Originally slaves to a terrible demon-god from the Plane of Shadow known as Gwydion, a great hero of their people managed to lead them to freedom by finding a passage out of that dark realm and into the Demiplane of Dread. Which is the first time in history when getting stuck in Ravenloft was an actual improvement for anyone's lot in life.

Shadow Fey are detailed in the AD&D sourcebook "The Shadow Rift" and in the 3.5 sourcebook "Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey".

A Diffuse Race[edit]

As with the normal Fey, the Arak come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own particular focus and its own role to play in the greater Arak society. But, at the same time, the Arak are still one race at core; not only do they readily interbreed, but infant shadow fey resemble no specific species - they transform into a distinctive breed when they reach maturity, and may not take the same breed of either of their parents. The "Nine Breeds" listed here are simply the most common manifestations of Arak adulthood, and there are literally countless others; Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey even contains specific rules for creating new kinds of Arak.

Social and mental roles for each breed are most extensively detailed in the Shadow Fey VRG.


Commonly known as "Carrot Tops" or "Fire Flits", alven are the closest thing amongst the Arak to the standard Fairy, appearing as ten to fourteen inch-tall butterfly-winged elves with green skin and bright orange hair. These "shadow pixies" are the Arak's gardeners and horticulturalists; they love plants of all kinds, but especially favor flowering plants, and tend to the gardens and groves of the Shadow Rift. When they deign to visit the rest of the Demiplane of Dread, they gravitate towards gardens and fields of wildflowers, particularly night-blooming varities. They can even shapeshift into the forms of insects to better blend into their surroundings; butterflies and bees in AD&D, but also wasps, dragonflies and moths in 3rd edition

It goes without saying, but alven are fiercely protective of their gardens; picking the flowers or damaging the plants will incite their wrath, and they are surprisingly fierce fighters; by flitting about in mid-air, alven can generate magical effects through their "dance", which requires the victim to make two saves and causes them to be enthralled if they fail the first, or blinded & deafened if they fail the second, and also possess a number of druidic spells (cast spells of the Plant Sphere as if 5th level Clerics in AD&D, spell-like abilities of Barkskin 3/day, Disguise Self 3/day, Entangle 3/day, Hallucinatory Terrain 3/day, Plant Growth 1/day with a caster level of 5 in 3e). They're also immune to attacks with stone weaponry and to electricity, and they can see through invisibility in both editions, although it requires a Survival check for them to do so in 3e. They are, however, especially vulnerable to cold iron.

To get on one's good side, try complimenting its garden or present it with gifts of seeds or living plants.

Alven have a mystical ability to communicate with plants, which makes it impossible for them to lose their way in their preferred surroundings (basically, they can Find The Path at will when amongst living vegetation). This may be why they regard cut flowers as an obscenity; presenting an alven with a picked flower will guarantee that it attacks you.

When an alven makes a Changeling, they invariably choose somebody who will be useful to them as a gardener, although sometimes that is just in the role of brute laborer doing things that the alven is too small and weak to do.


Small but strongly muscled, with a work-hard, play hard attitude towards life, the Brag are effectively the Arak equivalent to the Dwarf. Keenly interested in the fields of craft, especially architecture and other feats of engineering, as well as related fields like stonework and carpentry, the brag serve the denizens of the Shadow Rift as its builders and laborers. Every fey palace or manor was ultimately built by the efforts of one or more brags. When they deign to rest, they spend their time drinking like there's no tomorrow and telling amusing tales.

A brag stands between thirty and thirty-six inches in height, and physically resembles a human with equine ears - a hint at their ability to assume the form of horses, ponies and mules. Except for its hair, eyes and fingernails, which are solid black, a brag is completely pale white, something they emphasize by dressing in contrasting shades of black and white, with the occasional bit of gray for highlighting. This serves as the source of their most common nickname; "Whitemen" (or "Whitewomen" for the females). A brag in equine form can be distinguished by its jet black hooves and mane contrasting its pale white coat.

Brags are not a particularly mischievous breed, but have been known to bedevil mortals by attempting to pilfer work supplies and tools; a brag's pride compels it to finish any masonry or carpentry task it begins, no matter what it must do. Other times, they sneak onto the sites of construction work; depending on how impressed the brag is, it often either lends a helping hand (if it finds the work respectable) or else sabotages the worksite in disgust at the original worker's ineptitude. Cairns often mark the boundaries of a brag’s property, although low stone fences are not uncommon. All brag stonework is unmortared. The best way to befriend a brag is to show it an architectural secret it did not know before – for example, how a flying buttress works. They reward their friends with very potent brag ale.

Earning their respect, though, is not without its risks; like all Arak, in their own twisted minds, the greatest demonstration of that respect is to offer a mortal the "gift" of immortality as a changeling. Bragkin spend the rest of eternity assisting brag in their labors.

If motivated to join battle, brags are quite dangerous. Surprisingly nimble, which gives them an uncanny ability to dodge attacks, they also hit like an angry bear - worse, anyone struck by a brag can be temporarily driven mad, overwhelmed by an unshakable delusion that they are, in fact, a horse. Fortunately, this wears off after 24 hours. Brags can also induce sleep in anyone who meets their gaze. They cannot be harmed by weapons made of wood, and are likewise immune to temperature-based attacks - ice and cold in AD&D, fire in 3e. However, they do have one key weakness: perhaps because of their symbolic tie to horses and mules, weapons made of leather can pierce their supernatural resilience, meaning one can quite literally flog them to death with a horse whip.


Firs are almost unique amongst the Arak in that their depiction changes markedly between editions. The basic premise of their nature as the Arak's artificers, fascinated by precision engineering, mechanics, clockwork and related fields of study, remains the same, but the implementation very much differs.

In AD&D, firs resemble pale sprites whose fingers are extremely long and thin, tapering to needle-like points, and who have the ability to transform into hedgehogs. They have a manic-depressive sort of mentality, resulting in them switching between two different phases of mentality; an intent working phase when they labor nonstop and a ruminating stage when they meditate on their next project. Unusually, their diet is influenced by their alternate form; though they tend to skip meals except grabbing a bite of whatever's on offer when in their working phase, in meditative mode. they prefer slugs above all else but will also eat grubs, worms, bugs, and other such small fry. Inoffensive by nature, firs rely on traps, clockwork-based Animated Objects or even small golems to defend themselves and their lair, and will usually flee whilst their guardians defend them. If absolutely forced to fight, firs can induce confusion with their mind-bending rambling diatribe about theories, designs, engineering principles and so forth, as well as the ability to charm people who meet their gaze. Immune to attacks from stone weapons and to the cold, a final weapon in the fir's arsenal is their ability to cast spells of the creation and guardian spheres as 5th-level clerics. Ironically for a species that tends to work with such metal frequently, firs are supernaturally vulnerable to tin.

So, how did 3e change this? Well, a lot of the core details remain, such as their resilience and their ability to cause confusion. However, 3e firs now come in two varieties, based on courtly allegiance. Firs of the Seelie Court, commonly called Tolly-Knocks, resemble pale-skinned, long-haired human babies with long, thick, pointed claws instead of fingernails. Firs of the Unseelie Court, commonly called Gremlins, also resemble claw-fingered human babies, but much uglier, and completely hairless. Both retain their original AD&D version's fascination with engineering, but the purposes they put it to differ; tolly-knocks prefer clockwork devices of all sorts, whilst gremlins like making traps, weapons and explosives. This manifests especially in their combat tactics; tolly-knocks tend to lead armies of animated toys in their defense, whilst gremlins are more likely to rely on cruel traps and explosive "surprises". Both versions can change into the shape of rodents, with tolly-knocks preferring mice and hedgehogs, and gremlins favoring rats. Tolly-knocks can charm person with their gaze, whilst gremlins instead cause fear.

One special trait given to the 3e fir is that, whilst they function as 4th level sorcerers in terms of spell-casting abilities, these spells serve as simple "base mechanic" to cover their various contraptions and toys; any "spell" a fir casts actually originates from one of its magical devices, and thus all fir spells require material components. As this sourcebook couldn't reference Eberron, it would be perfectly kosher to instead replace both their spell-like abilities and their Favored Class with Artificer.

Fir are attracted to human craftsmen and mechanical artisans - clock-makers, gunsmiths, locksmiths, trap-makers and engineers, whose talents they may seek to preserve as changelings or who they just may want to compare ideas with. They do compete with brags over the engineers.


Muryans are the warrior-caste of the Nine Breeds of Arak, bloodthirsty berserkers who eagerly seek to pit their mettle against each other or against anyone who looks like they might be a challenge. Muryan resemble pale-skinned, long-eared elves, with hair that spans the spectrum of autumn colors and eyes ranging from piercing blue to dark brown. Never seen without their trusty scimitars, muryans always dress in flowing clothing that doesn't restrict their movements, such as cloaks, kilts and loose tunics. Like all Arak, they can shapeshift into animal form, specifically that of mustelids; weasels, martins, ferrets, badgers and wolverines.

Having the standard lack of fear for death that characterizes the shadow fey, muryans will pick fights at any opportunity, casually whistling or humming as they do battle. Of course, the deck is rather stacked in their favor; these Arak exude a mystical aura that can slow and then deafen foes, whilst another power of theirs allows them to try and compel anyone whose blood they have drawn with a weapon to begin dancing uncontrollably, which naturally interferes in their abilities to fight back... especially because they must make a second save in the next round or be struck blind as well! Muryans take a macabre delight in "matching" their partner's dancing motions as they fight, and even when doesn't happen, rely on agility and quick motions to protect them instead of armor; this is the source of their common nickname of "Dancing Men". Wooden weapons have no effect on these creatures, and neither do electrical attacks. Only mithral can easily cut through their hides.

To do battle with one of these fey whirling dervishes is highly risky; if you fall, the best you can hope for is to be killed, but if you impress the Muryan, they may offer to spare your life... if you agree to become their changeling. Those who become muryankin become the Arak's soldiers, and spend their eternities fighting bloody mock-battles for the amusement of the Arak.


Portunes, also known as hodge-podgers, are a pixie-like member of the Arak family tree, resembling black-skinned pixies with white hair, overly large black eyes (white eyes in AD&D), and large, white moth wings growing from their backs. They are rarely seen in this form, though, as they prefer to spend their time in the shape of small reptiles such as snakes, lizards and tortoises. Males are known to prefer tortoise form, whilst females usually take the form of venomous snakes.

Portune are the Arak's medics and healers, although their skills in alchemy stem beyond just medicine into cooking, winemaking and herbalism. Strangely, portune are the only other Arak besides the Fir to change markedly between editions, with its 3rd edition entry claiming that they are a race of "clerks and information keepers"... even though portunekin changelings only receive a bonus to the Heal skill as part of their transformation. This may have been an error on the creators' parts, and is likely a result of them getting confused on the difference between scholar and healer. Their AD&D entry describes them as being somber and scholarly, as well as being compassionate and pacifistic by nature; they don't like to see others suffering, and will always break cover in order to heal the sick and wounded. Their 3e entry calls them careful, quiet, genial, soft-spoken and shy, stating they are renowned for their analytical thought and creativity, which earns them respect from the other breeds.

In AD&D, it's stated that portune are wanderers who may be encountered in almost any terrain as they pursue various research projects. They tend to make their homes in marshy regions where many of the strange and interesting plants and fungi they work with can be readily gathered. They dig small burrows in small patches of higher ground, often concealed by clusters of cattails. A portune home is likely to have a nest of friendly vipers nearby, acting both as protectors and a source of (medicinal) venom.

They have been known to quietly infiltrate the homes of mortal healers in AD&D, where they may, depending on their opinion, offer education or attempt to make a changeling out of that unfortunate worthy. In 3rd edition, it's stated that opening a dialogue with a portune is not impossible, but it is tricky; the mortal must ensure the portune feels completely safe, then call out to it despite its use of a reptile form disguise, and then allow the portune to light on their shoulder; their voices are so soft that it's almost impossible for them to be heard if they aren't speaking into a person's ear.

Inoffensive by nature, portunes have only one real weapon; wounds inflicted by their bite attacks can only be healed by either powerful magic - like, limited wish or better - or by the portune who bit that person in the first place. They are immune to wooden or stone weapons (AD&D vs 3e again), and also to fire, but can be readily harmed despite their fey resilience by copper weapons. In AD&D, anyone attacking a portune must save vs. spell or be afflicted by a Fumble spell, and they can cast Healing sphere spells as if they were 5th level clerics. IN 3e, they lose the former trait, and their spellcasting is downgraded to that of a 2nd level sorcerer.

Portunes are all but exclusively members of the Seelie court, as their compassion and pacifistic nature precludes them from joining the Unseelie. In 3e, they often serve and attend shee, which furthers their status as opposites to the powrie.


The last of the sprites/pixies of the Arak, the Unseelie-aligned powries are very different beasts to their alven and portune kin. They are, to put it bluntly, little psychoes, as is evident from their hornet-like wings, their needle-like fangs, serpentine eye, and unhinged, wide-toothed smiles. In fact, their mouth twists into such a startling wide and freakish grin in battle that they can afflict onlookers with terror. Vicious little monsters who relish in violence, murder and torture, powries have the habit of wearing caps stained with the gore of their latest kill, which gives them their common nickname of redcap. They are notoriously foul-mouthed, spewing barrages of insults and vitriol at foe and friend alike.

The primary purpose of the powrie amonsgst the Arak is serving as a thief, saboteur, spy or assassin. They revel in the chance to cause pain and mayhem, and frequently go off looking for trouble if not directed to cause it in the first place. Powries see kindred spirits in those who serve similar roles, and a sufficiently vile and entertaining killer or thief may be transformed into a changeling, in order to serve as back-up muscle for the small yet vicious fey.

Despite their stature, powries are surprisingly tough. Their sharp fangs carry a venom that causes blindness, they can unleash a deafening scream, and they combine the powers of a 5th level sorcerer-illusionist with the trapfinding and sneak attack skills of a skilled rogue. They can also the form of small, stinging flying insects like wasps, bees and mosquitoes to disguise themselves. Fortunately, although immune to the effects of steel weapons and to electrical attacks, they have no protection against magic and can be harmed effortlessly by weapons made of platinum.

Powrie typically fashion small homes for themselves that resemble wasp nests.


The defining members of the Seelie Court - in fact, Queen Maeve is herself Princess of the Shee - these Arak are the most overtly elf-like of the shadow fey, appearing as nothing more than extremely tall and slender elves with pale hair, amber eyes, and very light, almost milky-white, skin. The shee adore music, poetry, and performances of all kind, and mostly serve greater Arak society as singers, dancers and other entertainers. Strangely, in AD&D they were also the lorekeepers and historians of the shadow fey, a role that was bizarrely transferred to the portunes in 3rd edition.

Perhaps because of their fondness for art, which even gives them a racial Favored Class of Bard (in AD&D every last shee is a 7th level Enchanter whose victims suffer a -2 penalty on their saving throws against the shee's enchantment spells), the shee are the singular Arak breed most fond of humans. They frequently travel into human lands in order to learn new songs and stories, and whilst they see nothing wrong in making changelings out of entertainers, they also often fall in genuine love with them, leading to the birth of Half-Fey (Shadow) offspring.

Despite being a race fascinated with song, poetry and dance, the shee are hardly defenseless. In addition to their magical powers, they can charm people with a kiss, whilst any weapon they pick up borrows from their innate magical powers and becomes itself lightly enchanted. Worse, arrows fired by a shee-wielded bow can inflict magical curses on their targets. Shee can transform into the shape of birds, although they prefer graceful ones like swans and nightingales. They are immune to weapons made of wood and to either fire (AD&D) or cold (3e). In AD&D, like portunes, anyone attacking a shee is struck by a fumble spell, although the shee's version triggers before the attacker's roll is made; in 3e, this is changed to the "Luck" supernatural power, which grants them +3 AC and the ability to reroll a saving throw once per day. They can harmed effortlessly by weapons made from lead.

Shee generally make their homes at hearts of oak copses. These places are always brightly lit, elegantly furnished, and stocked with scrolls, books, and other valuable records of history and lore, plus at least one musical instrument.


The Unseelie counterparts of the Shee, and the Breed to which Prince Loht belongs, the Sith resemble towering elves, taller even than shee, with unearthly pale skin and stark white hair. In contrast to their kin, who are said to be fascinated with life, the sith are fascinated with death; fastidious, meticulous and aloof, they are capable of methodic cruelty. These shadow fey never shout, always speaking in soft whispers, and whilst not humourless, they embrace morbid "graveyard humor" that most mortals find quite unsettling. Sith make their solitary homes in neolithic-style chambers inside barrows, sometimes planted round with copses of yew trees... however, it's said that sith will only make its home in a place where it has first buried a mortal alive to die, as some kind of twisted fey fung shui. Such places are typically decorated with bones and other grave-site trappings.

Sith are terrible foes to face. In addition to potent spellcasting abilities as if they were a modestly high-level necromancer (7th level in AD&D, 6th in 3e), they are capable of bursts of blinding speed, which they exploit through the use of their favored weapon, the rapier. They can terrify others with a gaze, and possess the same supernatural luck as their shee relatives. Almost uniquely amongst the shadow fey, they cannot assume the form of animals; instead, they can physically meld with surfaces by transforming into shadows, which renders them immobile, but expertly camouflaged. They are immune to fire attacks and to the touch of weapons made from steel, but can be undone by weapons made of silver.

One strange aspect of the sith is who they take as changelings; in an act that can almost be seen as merciful, the sithkin are made almost exclusively from those who have been left alone and heart-sick by death. Such souls may spend an eternity as the sith's dogsbody, but, in the face of such grief, it isn't entirely unkind.


Tegs, also known as Bogies, are the smallest, stoutest and most muscular of the Arak; in a way, they share the role of "Shadow Fey Dwarf" with the Brag. However, in terms of temperament, tegs are perhaps closest to forest gnomes if anything else. These shadow fey are easily distinguished by their vulpine features; long pointed ears, a wide face, fox-like eyes, a toothy grin, large hands and claw-tipped fingers. It goes without saying that they can shapeshift into foxes. In temperament, they are unquestionably the most feral of their kind, which alienates them from all the others; teg are so animalistic that they even behave like animals in many ways, complete with speaking their own language of animal noises, marking territory with their urine, and sniffing people when they meet them.

Despite looking down on them with some justifiable disgust, the other Arak still regard the tegs as necessary. At its most basic, they are the hunters of the shadow fey, providing meat, fur and other animal materials that the race needs to survive. They also serve as Arak society's scouts, cartographers, explorers and even its messengers, as the visit of a wandering teg is often the main chance an Arak barrow has to hear news from the outside world.

As avid hunters, tegs prefer the chase more than the kill; their preferred form of combat is to stalk and pester their foe until they end up stumbling into a teg-created trap, although when cornered they turn into a whirling dervish of tooth and claw. Their howl can cloud the minds of others, inducing the effects of a confusion spell, and they wield a certain level of priestly magic; Animal Sphere spells as a 5th level Cleric in AD&D, 2nd level Druid spells plus Cleric spells of the Animal Cleric Domain in 3e. They are immune to either wooden (AD&D) or steel (3e) weapons, as well to the cold, but can be harmed with weapons made of gold. Tegs in 3rd edition also have the same supernatural luck as shee and sith.

Tegs prefer to dwell in treetop lairs established over fox dens. Tegkin changelings are typically made from mortal hunters whose dedication to their craft impresses the teg.

The Lesser Breeds[edit]

Whilst the nine breeds listed above the most common and prominent forms that an Arak can take, other species do exist across different sourcebooks. So far, only five are known; three statted for AD&D rules in two of the Books of S, and two statted for 3rd edition in different 3e sourcebooks.

Huldrow are the legacy of that fateful time when three Drow stumbled into the Demiplane of Dread and were taken in by the Arak. As the Drow spread the seeds of what became The Spider Queen cult, some Arak mutated into a form based upon their drow tutors; even after the drow were killed, a few of these Arak mutants, these "Huldrow" survived. They now exist as outcasts from Arak society, trying to clumsily ape drow society as best they can, and ignoring bits about it that they don't like. Huldrow greatly resemble drow elves, except for their eyes, which are orbs of a luminous white, and their skin, the color of which can range from light brown to obsidian black. Immune to stone weapons and spider venom, they can be harmed by cold-forged iron. It's noted that huldrow don't make changelings, but "huldrowkin", hybrids of huldrow and true drow, apparently exist; these are drow who can "shadow form" thrice per day, and apparently can be a PC race if the DM agrees. Huldrow appeared in the Book of Sorrows, but never made the leap from netbook canon to true canon; instead, their role was taken by the Zelldrow prestige class in the Ravenloft Gazetteer V.

Vilays are a shadow fey race that resembles the Dryad, although how this can be untangled with the existence of the Waff breed is up to the DM. Taking the form of pale-skinned elf-maids with white hair and green eyes, vilays can transform into nightingales and choose large trees as their homes, protecting the forest around them; unlike true dryads, they are neither physically nor spiritually bound to a tree, they just use it as a home, and as a display piece for their lovers. See, the vilay's true interest is in gathering a harem of "vilaykin"... but these aren't the changelings made by other Arak (although they can do so, if they wish). Instead, these are mortals whose beauty or exceptional skills in the field of romance and love enthralled the vilay to the point she had to keep them, prompting her to seduce them into agreeing to become her eternal lover. Once they agree, she can use her soul-sucking kiss to kill them, destroying their bodies and leaving behind only the skull, transformed into an adamantite-hard crystal and now the material focus for that poor fool's soul, which is trapped as a beautiful, love-sick ghost for all eternity. Vilays hang these skulls from their trees, and the more skulls they have, the greater their status; stealing any of these skulls is one of the greatest crimes a vilay can imagine, perhaps other than the loss of one of her prized lovers. Caring only about beauty and skills at love, vilay are all bisexual, taking male and female spirit-lovers as the opportunity presents itself. A spirit-love's existence revolves around pleasing their vilay "mate", whether it be through necrophiliac acts of carnal pleasure or by wandering the world to retrieve gifts and stories for her. In battle, a vilay can cast Charm Person (-3 penalty on saves) 3 times per day, drain levels with a kiss (though combatants slain in this fashion don't become spirit-lovers), and cast spells as a 5th level cleric. They are immune to wooden and mundane weapons, but can be harmed by bone weapons... though keep in mind their crystal skulls are not bone anymore, so, despite how satisfying it might be, you can't beat one to death with one of her own sick love tokens. Vilay appeared in the Book of Sorrows.

Fanggen are a particularly nasty shadow fey breed that were introduced in the Book of Secrets. These murderous monsters appear as a wrinkled old hag with stringy green-grey hair, a toothless mouth, long twiglike fingers and a constant hunger in her milky white eyes, though they can also shapeshift into crows and use illusions to disguise themselves as vilay. In fact, their entire existence is being a "gotcha! monster", pretending to be a vilay in order to lure mortals in close so they can kill them, using a level-draining touch similar to that of a wraith. If a fanggen's tree is seen without the fanggen’s mirages, it appears as a huge, gnarled, oaklike tree, sporting midnight black leaves and bark. The pattern of the bark is twisted into human faces caught in agony; these are markers of the souls that a fanggen slain, and a new face appears on the tree on the third day after she kills anyone; only by killing a fanggen before an unfortunate's face appears on her tree can that victim be brought be to life by raise dead, otherwise you need to use a Wish spell. To trick people into believing her tree to be that of a gentle vilay, some fanggen adorn their homes with the skulls of their former victims. These skulls are not made of crystal, however, offering a last indicator that one is not dealing with a vilay. Fanggen normally keep an eye out for travelers, and are thus seldom seen before they cloak themselves in illusion. However, those fanggen observed by concealed witnesses have been seen caressing the faces on their tree, cackling, whispering, and gloating to the terrorized faces of their past victims. Lately a rare few fanggen have also started to use another hunting technique: They hang treasure found on their victims from the branches of their lair, creating virtual “treasure-trees” to lure the greedy.

Whilst they don't create changelings, fanggen do have a strange trait to them: if a fanggen absorbs 100 levels from good-aligned beings, her soul is overwhelmed by the collective purity and she is transformed, causing her tree to split open and, a day later, the fanggen rematerializes as a Braunchen, an entity that is not quite shadow fey, not quite mortal, but something in between. This redeemed entity is actually a playable character race, functioning as an elf or half-elf (your choice, possibly representing whether the fey or mortal essences are stronger) both in racial traits and in appearance (bar their pale hair and green eyes) with the unique traits of eternal life (thus, they're immune to aging attacks) and taking damage from sunlight, the last lingering vestiges of their former existence. Braunchen are Good aligned, but remember every detail about their existence as fanggen; needless to say, they are consumed with guilt ad tend to dedicate their lives to atoning, whether as an adventurer or through a humble existence as a maid. Braunchen PCs favor the Mage and Bard classes, and suffer one unique weakness alongside their vulnerability to sunlight; a braunchen who fails her first Madness check automatically develops a split personality, as the remnants of one of the souls she consumed reconstitutes itself and becomes a competitor for her body. It's up the DM whether subsequent madness checks result in more such personalities arising.

Waffs, or "Shadow Dryads", appear in the Shadow Fey VRG sourcebook. These ephemeral, malevolent shadow fey are essentially sapient clouds of vampiric mist, hiding from danger within a host-tree and pouring forth to drain the life from whatever catches their eyes.

Gwytune appear in the Ravenloft Gazetteer V. Extremely rare, these court-neutral Arak care only about studying and mastering arcane magic, making them a breed of wizards amongst a race that normally is happy to be sorcerers. They appear as wizened and spindly elf-like beings with long, dexterous fingers, faintly lilac-tinged skin, auburn hair, golden goat-like eyes, and curling ram's horns. Able to shapeshift into the form of sheep and goats, gwytune are physically inoffensive, but powerful casters, and like certain other breeds of Arak, have a special connection with fate that makes them much harder to hurt than you'd expect.

The Courts[edit]

The Arak divide themselves into two Courts, each headed by one of the children of their slain hero-king, who helped free them by tricking Gwydion and then sacrificed himself to hold the line against the umbral demon-god's pursuit.

The Seelie Court[edit]

Sworn to Maeve, mostly containing shee, portune, alven and fir.

The Unseelie Court[edit]

Sworn to Loht, predominantly sith, muryan, powrie and teg.

Relationships with Mortals[edit]

In typical Gothic fairytale fashion, the Arak don't exactly see mortals in a very positive light. The most typical way to describe it is that the Arak view mortals as fascinating, wonderful toys; the Seelie are those shadow fey who play nicely with their toys, whilst the Unseelie are those who enjoy breaking them.

The Arak can magically separate victims from their souls by stealing their shadows, a ritual they can use to turn the stolen soul into a magical drone they call a Changeling.



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In the world of Midgard for Pathfinder 1st edition and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, shadow fey are an elf-like race native to the Shadow Realm, which is either Midgard's version of the Shadowfell or an Unseelie counterpart to the Feywild. Though physically beautiful, resembling elves with alabaster white, ebon black, or gray skin and horns that range in size from tiny nubs to satyr or fiend-like protrusions, shadow fey are characterized as a combination of the worst mental traits of elves and goblins. Fickle and unpredictable, they can be benign, cruel, purposeful and whimsical as the mood takes them, with a chaotic streak to their behavior that makes them seem erratic or outright insane to mortals. Despite this racial propensity towards madness, shadow fey are incredibly cunning and intelligent, being adept at advancing their ploys with great subtlety.

5e PC Stats[edit]

In D&D 5e, shadow fey PCs use the Elf core race with the following subrace traits:

Ability Score Increase: +1 Charisma
Shadow Fey Weapon Training: You are Proficient with the Rapier, Shortsword, Shortbow and Longbow.
Path of Shadows: When in darkness, dim light, or a shadow large enough to cover your body, you can cast the Misty Step spell. You can use this trait a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1) and regain all uses when you complete a long rest.
Sunlight Sensitivity: You suffer Disadvantage on Attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks based on sight when either you or your target is in bright sunlight.
Traveler in Darkness: You have Advantage on Intelligence (Arcana) checks made to learn about shadow roads and how they function.
Extra Language: You can speak, read and write Umbral.