So I imagined a world, where everything is far more intense - from the colors of the world, to the people and the way they reacted.
I think I found a fun way that would have introduced Tolfan to the Feywild, and how he'd have such knowledge...
And the Satyr queen was based on this image that I found, while trying to find a way to think how a female Satyr might look.
As always, please let me know what you like or didn't like - what works, what didn't!
I welcome all feedback!
In many regards, Tolfan Folkor was like every other Forest Gnome, being inherently capable of tampering with magic by creating minor illusions. He took great pleasure in using illusions to frighten the Red Eye Orcs who frequently ventured into the Forest of Lethyr, even though the forest was also vigorously protected by Druids, Rangers, and even Treants.
Tolfan had developed a strong friendship with one of those Treants named Stonebark. Stonebark was several thousand years old and moved slowly. He had told Tolfan one of his favorite things to do was gather other Treants and constantly shift their movement, ever slowly, so that those who were not welcomed were confused by the ever moving terrain, believing the forest to be haunted.
“So you’re over a thousand cycles old,” Tolfan remarked in awe, sitting on one of Stonebark’s branches as the Treant slowly made his way through the woods. “You must have seen so many things in your lifetime.”
“Indeed,” Stonebark’s voice sounded like an old tree creaking in the wind. “I remember the Fey.”
“The Fey,” Tolfan remarked, amazed. The Fey, though some still existed throughout the world, there had been a time that the Fey ran wild throughout the world, before one day, retreating back to their realm when they found this one to be too hostile. “What was that like?” Tolfan asked.
“Chaos,” Stonebark’s wooden features slowly shaped into a smile, as he recalled the pixies, the sprites, the satyrs, and other magical creatures that had run wild through the Forest of Lethyr. “I welcomed their assistance against troublesome invaders, but their magic often created more chaos… they’re fickle and volatile.”
Several Pixies and Sprites still populated the Forest of Lethyr, but they were contained into tiny pockets of areas in the woods. Tolfan remembered the first time he encountered pixies and had managed to befriend them. They were opposed to any form of violence. Tolfan made one mistake later, and quickly learned the difference between pixies, and their fey cousins, the sprites, who were willing to commit acts of violence, if they felt threatened. Having heard, what he thought was pixies, Tolfan sprang into their area, only to be attacked by a flutter of sprites.
“What is their realm like?” Tolfan asked the ancient Treant.
“The Feywild,” Stonebark replied, “is a place of sheer chaos. As volatile as those that inhabit it, it is an echo of this world, with the land itself drenched in magic. I believe because that magic is constantly flowing in the Feywild, it creates an intoxicating effect, like when humans consume more alcohol than their body is capable of withstanding, they become intoxicated. And those intoxicated humans often become emotional, either crying for no reason, or seeking to fight someone for the smallest slight they feel has been committed against them. Now,” Stonebark smiled, “imagine those intoxicated humans were all magic casters. That, my friend, is the Feywild.”
Tolfan had taken an interest in learning to do more with his illusions and the idea of an entire land drenched in magic seemed like the ideal place to go and learn how to channel it. The Fey excelled at using illusions to toy with anyone they pleased. Perhaps one of them could teach him how to master the art of becoming an illusionist even better than his current teacher, a fellow Forest Gnome named Gorbin Doodlecast.
“How does one get to and from the Feywild?” I asked.
“There are portals in most forests,” Stonebark replied, “so that the Fey can come back and forth. Often times, the Fey who stay in this world, return to the Fey for brief stints. I don’t know if it’s to recharge their magic or perhaps just to return home and see their family… before getting sick of dealing with the madness and returning back here.”
“Is there a portal in these woods?” I asked. “I imagine there must be as I know there are pixies, sprites and even a small band of satyr that live in these woods. And with the Druids and Rangers, along with your kind, protecting it, it seems like there would be.”
“Indeed there is,” Stonebark smiled. “But I cannot tell you where it is.”
“Cannot or will not?” Tolfan asked with a coy smile.
“Both,” Stonebark said matter-of-factly.
Tolfan nodded. “I understand, my old friend.”
But Tolfan suspected he knew where the entrance was. There was a tree, much larger than any of the others in the Forest of Lethyr directly in the center of the woods. It’s where the Druids always gathered for their meetings. Tolfan suspected the tree was so large because it was a magical doorway between this world and the Feywild.
For two weeks, Tolfan packed a dinner and sat, hiding in the bushes, using his own ability to shape a minor illusion to make it appear he was one with the bushes. He patiently waited. He “attended” two of the Druid meetings by waiting and hiding, as they spoke of the rising threat of the Red Eye Orcs and possibly forming an alliance with a group of Paladins known as the Shield of Faith. Then it finally happened, several hours before sunrise, a flutter of pixies approached the tree and whispered some words of magic, and the very roots of the tree lifted up, and formed a portal inside of it. The pixies entered, and almost immediately the portal began to close behind them. Tolfan burst into a sprint and wasn’t entirely sure he was going to make it (and had to admit the idea began to cross his mind – what if only half of his body made it when the portal closed?)
With one giant leap, he pushed his way just as the portal closed on his bag of food. When he landed with a gentle thud, he looked at his hand and saw that the straps of his food bag had been severed. So, somewhere on the other side, there was a bag of food sitting next to the large tree and here he was in the Feywild, without food. Not ideal, but life was too short not to be full of adventure. This was just one more adventure that he would, ideally, somehow survive.
Stonebark was right, however. It was like a thousand needles piercing his feet, as he felt the magic rush through his body. For a moment he thought he might have bitten into a “Pixie Mushroom” because everything in the Feywild was overly vibrant in colors. Purples were so deep, with a thousand different hues swirling all at one time, the blues varied from soft to deep, dark, ocean blues. It was almost painful to see anything.
And that’s why Tolfan never saw the centaurs, with the net, who were riding up on him.
“A Forest Gnome!” he heard, just before he was ensnared with a net. The next sensation was a prick in his neck. He saw a Sprite fluttering away and knew immediately, he’d been hit with one of their arrows that tended to put… people… to… sleep…
Tolfan opened his eyes and saw he was sitting before a beautiful Satyr woman. “What business do you have in the Feywild, Forest Gnome?” she asked.
Tolfan tried to focus but the sleep effect was still beating through his blood, making it increasingly difficult to focus, despite his best efforts. She was a Satyr with hair, so red and vibrant, with a million shades of amber, burgundy, cerise, cinnamon, claret, copper, and crimson, on each strand of hair. She had a very womanly shape for her upper torso, and rather ample breasts that were barely covered and restrained by veins and leaves. Small deer-like antlers sprung from the top of her head. Her bottom torso was covered in a dress woven together by leaves, and her hooved legs were covered, down to the ankles. She was beautiful.
“I want to learn how to better master illusions to help defend the Forest of Lethyr, where I live,” he answered, though he felt his words were slurring together. “You’re beautiful,” he found himself blurting out, though he wasn’t sure why he was confessing that.
The other Fey who had gathered, let out a gasp. Tolfan looked around him and realized for the first time that there were actually others in the room. He had been so focused on her.
Eliysa Deerrunner silenced the room with one gesture. “Begone, leave us!”
Tolfan got up to leave. “Not you!” she snapped. “The others.”
Quickly, the other Fey left the chamber.
Eliysa Deerrunner approached Tolfan. “Do you truly find me beautiful, mortal?”
“I do,” he admitted. Damn that sprite poison. It was made not only to render someone unconscious, but also force them to speak the truth.
“Then I have a proposition for you,” she said, leaning very close to Tolfan’s face. “I will teach more about how to master the art of illusions, but you will be a slave for my pleasure.”
This seemed like a wonderful bargain. Learn magic and be at the “mercy” of a beautiful Fae queen’s sexual urges! “I agree!” he slurred.
While the first few days were wonderful, it became clear to Tolfan, especially after the poison had begun to wear off, what he had gotten himself into. Her thirst was insatiable. She did not regard him as a person, but rather a possession, a toy. If he could not perform, because they had just performed a short moment ago, she became extremely volatile and emotional, and, truthfully, unbearable. Her endless thirst for pleasure, Tolfan began to realize, wasn’t always so much about pleasing her, as it was torturing him through pleasure, and attempting to break him.
It was three weeks of this, until Tolfan made the bold move of making an escape. He had been locked in a room the entire three weeks, and could not leave. But when one of the Satyr’s came to deliver him food, because the Queen would need him to be “ready for tonight” he grabbed the knife from the tray and put it to the Satyr’s throat and demanded to be taken to a portal. Using an illusion he was able to disguise himself and the Satyr, who led him to a portal. The Satyr muttered the words and the portal opened, but the Satyr warned him, “The Queen will not be pleased that you escaped. She will take it as a slight that you did not love her. This slight will not go unpunished.”
“Thanks for the warning,” Tolfan said and jumped through the portal.
Unfortunately this portal was one that was not in the wood, and also seemingly hanging in the air, and Tolfan fell and landed with a loud thump into the hot desert sands below. He looked up, spitting sand out of his mouth and wondered where he had landed…