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    Default The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Through man's history we have marked the passing of seasons with reverent precision. The passing of one season to the next, the slow, eternal march from spring to summer to fall to winter and back to spring, has held a sort of wonder. So it should be no surprise that the seasons have their heralds, their bringers of change, their lords and ladies to ensure that all goes according to plan, and everything stays in balance while the scales forever shift.

    The fey recognize this, and the court of seasons ensures the continued motion of the seasons continues as it is meant to.

    Great Court
    The sovereign of seasons is the only member of the great court, his authority is enough to keep all the minor courts in line.
    Sovereign of Seasons: The lord of all seasons, he is the one whose power dictates the flow of time itself through the world. This massive fey looks like an androgynous figure with flowing, chestnut hair and milky skin. A crown of branches on his head fades rapidly through the seasons, the leaves bugging and flowering, then growing larger and more vibrant, then turning orange and gold, then falling off completely as frost kisses the branches and the cycle starts over, all over a few seconds. His clothing is a simple tunic that ripples through colors from the neck down, always shifting. White, pink, green, orange, over and over.

    Spring Court:
    The spring court is abound with life and beauty. This is the least aggressive of courts, though a Sakura's mighty fists and the Lifebringer's summons are not to be trifled with.

    Bud: These are the least of the spring spirits. They resemble floating flower buds with closed petals, an infant's face peeking out between them. These are the first of the spring court to be able to manifest on the material plane, and they begin the process of thawing out the world from winter's grip.

    Blossom: These spirits resemble green-skinned children wearing clothes made of flower petals. These spirits are a measure more powerful than Buds. they manifest next as the grip of winter loosens and the spring really starts.

    Sakura: The sakura are the muscle of the spring court, massive treant-like fey adorned with brilliant pink cherry blossoms that constantly rain around them. The sakura arrive once spring is well underway, stamping out the last bits of winter.

    Lifebringer: Lifebringers appear shortly after the Blossoms. They are the lowest level of noble in the spring court. They resemble teenaged girls with short, bobbed hair and green skin. Their hair and clothes are alive with blossoms and plants of all sorts. The lifebringers manage the buds and blossoms, coordinating the true beginning of spring.

    Lifebringer Lady
    : The lifebringer ladies arrive in the material after the Sakura. There are higher-ranking nobles, powerful spirits of life. One a few dozen are known to exist. These appear much like the lifebringer, but their hair is much longer and more lush, reaching the small of their backs. Lifebringer Ladies are rare enough that seeing one is enough to warn that something important is happening.

    Lifebearer Queen: The lifebearer queen is the sovereign of the spring court, her power is second only to the sovereign of seasons and equal to the lords of the other seasons. The queen appears girlish, but as she flies low over the ground, her hair and clothes blurring into a trailing carpet of life behind her, there is no doubt of her power.

    Summer Court:
    The summer court is the peak of the sun's journey, the longest days, the hottest season. The summer court is known for it's rashness and destructive power, one of the most immediately dangerous of the fey courts. The light of the Sunbursts and the flames of the Scorcher Lords can render most beings to ashes.

    Beam: These floating orbs of light bring an aura of heat as spring wanes. They look like tiny suns, but looking close one can see an infant-like shape within the light. The beams are the first of the summer court.

    Ray: these floating childlike shapes seem to be made entirely out of light. They bring the true start of summer as spring wanes and the season shifts. Somewhat mischievous, these sprites occasionally start fires in the more vulnerable targets.

    Sunburst: The strongest of the non-noble summer courts, these being appear as men made entirely of sunlight. They are nearly painful to look upon, and the power of their searing light starts forest fires sometimes.

    Scorcher: the least of summer nobles, these beings appear as bronze-skinned teenaged boys with flames for hair. They wear bracers and greaves of gold-and-crimson steel. They are a carefree and amoral bunch, doing whatever they feel like as long as they enjoy it. They fall into line when the scorcher lords are present, though.

    Scorcher Lord: The few dozen scorcher lords spread through creation appear as summer nears it's zenith. The scorcher lords would like little more than to reshape the world in fire, a task not entirely unimaginable to their powers, but the dictums of the solar lord and the sovereign of seasons restrain their desires. The scorcher lords appear as bronze-skinned adult men, with hair afire and the gauntlets and greaves of the scorchers. However, they also wear breastplates made of the gold-and crimson.

    Solar King: The Solar king is the lord of the sun and the sovereign of summer. Few can rival him in pure destructive power, and he bears a wide array of fire and light abilities to incinerate those who question him. He appears as a huge man wearing a suit of gold-and-crimson full plate, with a head engulfed with a halo of flame. His eyes glow like suns in his eyes sockets, and his gaze feels almost painfully hot.

    Autumn Court
    The season of death and harvest, the autumn court treats their task of reaping souls to return them to the cycle with great stoicism. They are professional and efficient. Some call them heartless, but having been given the task of ending life so it may be renewed is not an easy job, and they have risen to it with a sense of duty. The Reaper's blades can sever souls and the Harvest Lord's every swing conjures images of your own demise.

    Sickle: At first glance, these appear to be nothing more than simple sickles bobbing along in midair. However, looking at them through a see invisibility spell reveals a weasel-like spirit riding the handle. In fact, however, the sickle and the weasel are parts of the same spirit, the first among the autumn court. As summer ends and the harvest ripens, these spirits begin to arrive, impatiently awaiting the harvest's beginning.

    Scythe: Scythes appear much like sickles, but instead of a sickle, the scythes ride proper scythes, their bodies scaled to match. These spirits arrivals mark the grim, proper beginnings of their tasks. The world must begin to die for spring to come again, and they begin to bring the magic of fear and death.

    Reaper: The reapers are easily mistakable as large scythes at first, until one looks through see invisibility to reveal their towering humanoid frames cloaked in black, tattered robes that completely obscure their features. A reaper's scythe can sever heads and necks as easily as it severs souls from their earthly bindings.

    Harvester: The harvesters look like scarecrows with jack-o-lanterns for heads, their carved mouth not actually opening and closing, but morphing the way it's carved to imitate lips as they speak. They wield scythes much like the scythe's blades, but their blades are jet black, and gleam in the light, their appearance somewhat disturbing. They organize the lower autumn court in it's task, preventing from running loose as they slowly kill the planet.

    Harvest Lord: Harvest lords look much like the harvesters, but behind their carved eyes crackle malevolent flames which puff out through their eyes and mouths when they move suddenly or speak. These lords of harvest are powerful and terrifying creatures, and their massive, ebon scythes attest to that.

    The Harvest King: When the harvest king arrives on the material plane, the harvest begins. The massive, lanky scarecrow and his honor guard proceed to a single field of ripened wheat and begin a ritual, harvesting the grain. Symbolically, this ritual is what allows the souls of the living to move on, severing their earthly connection as their blades sever the grain's stalks. While some spirits with strong binds remain behind, the vast majority of souls have their connections released.

    Winter Court
    The winter court is emotionless and cold. They freeze life with impunity and hold the planet in an icy grip for months before the cycle forces them to relinquish their hold on it. The winter court cares little for life. The Avalanches can engulf entire villages in suffocating arctic embrace, and the Frozen ladies spread ice and snow in their wake, freezing blood in the veins should the living draw their ire.

    Snowflake: These fey look like blue-skinned infants with glittering butterfly-esque wings of ice formed like snowflakes. They have an aura of frost around them, and with a malicious cackle can let forth a frozen breath weapon. The snowflakes bring the first frost of the season, buzzing over fields and towns.

    Snowball: These blue-skinned children bear white hair and blue eyes. Much like the snowflakes, they bear an aura of cold, theigh theirs brings a light powdering of snow with it as the and their allies begin their common goal of burying the world in frozen darkness.

    Avalanche: The massive figures resemble female forst giants, but their hair is always as white as driven snow and instead of the crude furs of the giantkin, these massive fey are bedecked in crystalline armor of ice, wielding hammers with pure white heads. They bring with them heavy blankets of snow which follow them, giving them their name, as a moving avalanche brings an avalanche on flat ground with it.

    Frostbearer:
    The frostbearers are tall, pale-skinned women clad in flowing white dresses that meld into the snow at their feet as they stride gracefully through the frozen wilderness. The frostbearers are the lowest winter nobles, their status symbolized by their lack of jewlery.

    Frozen Lady: These nobles of winter looks much like their frostbearer allies, but they adorn themselves with platinum and diamond jewelry and their silky white hair is longer.

    Ice Queen: The Ice queen looks, at first glance, like a frozen lady, but her demeanor and presence swiftly indicate that she is much more powerful. Her skin shimmers like it's coated in frost, and she wears a fine, platinum tiara full of diamonds along with diamond-and-platinum necklace, bracelets, rings, and earrings.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2010-08-03 at 07:42 PM.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Monsters!)

    Added fluff for the summer court...
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Monsters!)

    So, what, no commentary until I start putting up stats?
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Monsters!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    So, what, no commentary until I start putting up stats?
    Yup.

    Damn minimum post length.

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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Well, usually, I start getting comments on the concept by this point...
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    I like it. I like it a lot.

    A new, interesting explanation for nature's changes is great for campaign settings, thought, and inspiration to flesh out the concept of the seasons even more.

    Nice job.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    See? That's what I'm looking for. Now I know I'm not just making this for me, and that, perchance, my efforts shall be appreciated.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    See? That's what I'm looking for. Now I know I'm not just making this for me, and that, perchance, my efforts shall be appreciated.
    I'll add to the motivation because this looks really interesting and I can't wait to see where you go with it

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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    I'm glad to hear it! I was actually thinking of a plot hook where the sovereign of seasons goes missing and the seasonal lords begin to clash for control of the material plane.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    You know, when you finish this (because I'm to lazy/have other things to do), I'll be using that idea, if you're cool with it.

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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingKobold View Post
    You know, when you finish this (because I'm to lazy/have other things to do), I'll be using that idea, if you're cool with it.
    Hey, FlamingKobold. Epic campaign playing as characters under the command of these upper beings?
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Totally cool, always glad to see these things go to work.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Temotei: As always, you'll be in provided A) You want to and B) I still don't have a good RL group to play with, which will probably be the case.

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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    A new, interesting explanation for nature's changes is great for campaign settings, thought, and inspiration to flesh out the concept of the seasons even more.
    Well, I wouldn't exactly call the explanation new, when I can think of two books off the top of my head that have similar (though not identical) fey court systems linked to the turning seasons. The Dresden Files books features faerie courts defined by the duality of Summer and Winter, life and death. My own RPG book project (Songs of the Sidhe) is even more similar in concept and is even compatible with 3.5 D&D. :P

    One concept that does look fairly novel here is the idea that all the courts are presided over by one ultimate authority. In order to prevent that from killing all the fun drama, it's important for there to be challenge to his authority. Either his subordinates are rebellious or there are other forces wishing to impose their own will on the turning seasons.

    Of course, the monster descriptions are pretty original. They seem like fine monsters for the most part, though some I would just use existing monsters for rather than bother with new stats (such as the sakura, which is fine just modifying the fluff of a treant).
    Last edited by MythMage; 2010-08-02 at 11:51 AM.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Quote Originally Posted by MythMage View Post
    Well, I wouldn't exactly call the explanation new, when I can think of two books off the top of my head that have similar (though not identical) fey court systems linked to the turning seasons. The Dresden Files books features faerie courts defined by the duality of Summer and Winter, life and death. My own RPG book project (Songs of the Sidhe) is even more similar in concept and is even compatible with 3.5 D&D. :P
    I'm familiar with neither one.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    4E Manual of the Planes has seasonal courts for the fey- however there is also a Night court, and a Sea court.

    MM3 has done Nymphs of all four seasons.

    Maybe some of the ideas, and names, could be imported backwards into 3.5?
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    I really don't like the inclusion of the Sakura in the spring court. Leaving out my dislike of semi-borrowed words that many readers won't know off the top of their heads, there doesn't seem to be a flowing analogue in the Summer or Autumn courts.

    I'd suggest coming up with something else, either renaming this one or replacing it altogether with something more intune with the others' human size scheme.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Hmm. Well, the problem is, the third slot is supposed to be this elite, powerful warrior caste. I'm having trouble of thinking of anything else that fits that theme while still being inside the spring court.

    As for 4E seasonal court, I don't do 4E, and while I wouldn't be opposed to translating the ideas, I don't have access to them.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Green Men? They're a sort of generic fairy/forgotten god character that's not hugely well written about in any given legend but get made a massive amount of by folklorists...

    They're certainly credited with power...

    How about something based on the Warhammer Dryads that adopts aspects of different trees to boost stats and acts as a guardian to saplings?
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Considering how much power it's given, wouldn't the Green Man be better served as a kind of Fey deity?
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Lifebearer queen, something like this?

    That's what sprung to mind when she was described.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Actually, the exact image I'd had in mind.

    EDIT: Rewatching that tells me I need to make an epic firebird now.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tygre View Post
    Considering how much power it's given, wouldn't the Green Man be better served as a kind of Fey deity?
    That varies a lot. Sometimes it's just a trickster or a running herald. In the lore local to my area, he's basically just a harvest spirit with Tom Bombadil's treesinging abilities and a territorial streak. Calling that deific power is pushing it some [unless we're talking the deities from Supernatural, in which case i agree totally].
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    I've never heard of the fella...

    But yeah, sorry this stalled out a bit, my WoW project has just evolved from just races into making the ENTIRE game into a brand new pen&paper system.

    I'm gonna go finish off the fluff for the autumn and winter courts, then try and get started on some serious crunchy bits. I was thinking the creatures would be something like CR 1-2 for the lowest ranks, CR 3-4 for the next up, CR 8-10 for the big beefy one, CR 5-6 for the low nobles, CR 12-15 for the higher nobles, and the king/queen would be CR 18-ish. The sovereign of seasons would be CR 20.

    I was thinking spring court would focus on regeneration, some stuff like entangle, and summons. Summer would be fire and light of varying degrees. Autumn would be fear, and lots and lots of vorpal scythes, along with a couple soul-severing ones. Winter is cold of course, with a focus on battlefield control and damage over time.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    Pretty good renditions of seasons as tactics for the most part, but you should find something else for autumn aside from "cutting" (which isn't even related to autumn outside of certain people's farms, much less the wild nature these seem to be implied to reign over).

    How about weakness effects, like fatigue, exhaustion, ability damage, and energy drain? Their victims wilt like the leaves on an autumn tree and the plants that go unharvested (i.e. most of the plants in the natural world), or become passive and lethargic like a hibernator interested only in storing up food for winter.
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    Default Re: The Court of Seasons (3.5 Fey)

    In my defense, this entire idea came out of this. Or, tracing it back further, the poem at the top of that.

    I DO like those ideas. Needs more redoing, now, tho...
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