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Fairies after WotI

by Lost Woodrake

I have a feeling that wood imps are building a new "twisted" court in Alfheim-Aengmor, where the Dreamlands used to be - but what happened to the rest of the woodland creatures?

Oberon's Court is technically on another plain (Called Fairie, Spirit World and other names), so it is unlikely that it was directly affected by the Fall of Alfheim. OTOH, the gates between Fairie and Alfheim were probably closed and some of the sylvan creatures from Dreamlands may have escaped that way. Other gates to Fairie are bound to exist, possibly in lands such as Wendar, Karameikos, Ethengar etc.) Bruce Heard made a comment on this in an issue of Dragon once, pretty much saying what I said above.

As mentioned in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, the wood imps collaborated with the Shadow Elves in their quest to conquer Alfheim. After the fall of Alfheim, the Shadow Elves gave the wood imps a semi-autonomous state in Aengmor. The wood imps established their court in the former Dreamland, renaming it Lolach-Lomod - which means "Never Dream Again" in the wood-imp tongue. The imps' spiders have woven their webs all around the dead trees of Lolach-Lomod, so that from a distance the trees actually seem to be in full white blossom. Only when a traveller comes closer, does he see the true death and decay. For this reason, the Shadow Elves call the place "The Woven Wood". The woven trees of Lolach-Lomod are magical. A person caught in them starts to dream and see wonderful visions of the past fairy court. There is no harm in that - but the victim is stuck in such a blissful state, s/he doesn't notice the great spiders approaching...

Since the wood imps have never experienced any social structure more complicated than a small tribe, the new court is highly unstable. Since its foundation in 1011 AC, four monarchs have already been assassinated. The current Ard Ri (the wood imps stole the title from the fairies, among other things) is Queen Lyzza. Other characters of note are her three husbands - Padrig, Gregahr and Krumbz (a.k.a Krispin, a self-polymorphed pixie spy); Rouhazin - the Great Shaman; and Jahak - the wood imp ambassador at Tanadaleyo's court. The court is assembled every new moon - when the moon cannot be seen at all - and traditionally begins with a mock "fairy" circle-dance, which usually develops into violent orgies.

The bad magic point of Stalkbrow is considered sacred to the imps, and all coronation rites are conducted there by the Great Shaman. Afterwards, the imps travel on their spiders to Lolach-Lomod in a grand royal procession. The event is highly anarchic and carnivalesque in nature, and the conservative Shadow Elves truly hate it. In fact, the elves feel extremely uncomfortable with the imps' chaotic lives. The imps simply reply that these are "the ways of the wood". The problem, as far as some Shadow Elves are concerned, is that young Shadow Elves are starting to believe this point, and beginning to lead highly scandalous lifestyles. The imps are becoming a real problem to the Shadow Elves - and some of them want to throw them out of the Canolbarth.

This is not that simple, however. Since the bad magic points are stronger and stronger (for which the Shadow Elves are all to blame), Stalkbrow is generating more and more imps. The wood imps are becoming quite powerful in Aengmor - and driving them out might be not that easy. Besides their spiders, the imps have another strong ally - the evil treant, Travertis (see PC1 for details). Travertis has Nyx as his patron in his own path for immortality, and she is in fact in the process of populating the dead forest with her own hordes of Undead Treants. Other inhabitants of Lolach-Lomod who are connected to the Impish court are: Several Hags residing in the dead Canolbarth; Dark Dryads - the embodiment of the dead trees of Aengmor are very pale, ghost-like, with white, grey, or black hair. They are extremely serious, almost sad - and their main weapon is their famine curse, which they use to destroy all life; and Feral Satyrs - even more beastlike Fauns, with large horns, making them seem even more demon-like. Several Redcaps still haunt old Elven and fairy buildings and monuments as well.

Many of the Imps worship Nyx, and her undead legions serve to protect to court of Lolach-Lomod - making it more difficult for the Shadow Elves to throw them out. Another immortal worshipped by the Imps is Yaga. In fact, the matriarchal nature of their society reflects the central place of female immortals in their theology (or the closest thing to theology Wood Imps have). Many Wood Imps actually believe their queen to be an embodiment of Yaga.

However, a small sect of Wood Imps believes otherwise. Lead by the crazy prophetess Nagila, they see the Shadow Elf princess Tanadaleyo as the one and true embodiment of Yaga. After all, it is she who liberated the forest, drove the fairies out - and allowed the establishment of Lolach-Lomod.

So there is a whole Tanadaleyo cult spreading around the Wood Imps. They send her gifts, make pilgrimage to her palace - and worship her in their own unique Wood-Impish way.

Needless to say, the Shadow Elves are utterly perplexed by the phenomena. And Tanadaleyo is... well... confused.