The Fhey of Aerk
The Fhey, and as a result the Half Fhey, are the newest major race to walk the world of Aerk; although some evidence shows that they once populated the most remote virgin forests tens of thousands of years ago, for a brief period, as occasional visitors. The Fhey now live within Aerk only in one place upon the continent of Courel: the Fhey Empire; and this forest nation is theirs without question.
It is thought the first recent Fhey came to Aerk looking for one of their kind that had been stolen by an Aerkay wizard who had been smitten by her charm and beauty. When many of the rescuers were killed by the Aerkay’s henchmen, the survivors fled back to their native world and that is when the doom of the Aerkay came. Tens of thousands of enraged Fhey poured into Aerk in a war of vengeance that shattered any holdings the Aerkay had upon Courel. Fhey families established their own holdings in the deep forests and their nobles called upon them again and again to war against the Aerkay “devils” that would abduct and enslave a Princess of their kind.
Once the Princess was restored to the Fhey, they had already decided to stay upon Aerk; the stale and stagnant life of their uncontested native world had little allure to second generation Fhey born upon Aerk amidst war. Determined to establish their race, the Fhey began to push back the Dragons and Giants as well; eventually founding many small kingdoms upon Courel in alliance with the Dwur of the mountains and Centaurs of the plains. For some time the Fhey were the dominant power upon Courel; even the human Vannulvir, Kaeltan, and other barbarians were pushed to the edges of Fhey civilization. This all lasted until the Black Legions of the Karnite Empire came.
The Fhey could not stand against the highly organized military and greater numbers of the Karnites; and Karnite gifts and gold brought many other mercenary humans with them. Fhey Druids and Sorcerers inflicted terrible losses against the humans, but humans bred nearly as fast as orcs. Eventually, forced into an ever smaller area where they could defend their holdings better against the greater human numbers, the Fhey brought the Black Legions to a stalemate. A treaty was signed, and the Fhey began to re-organize. When the humans of the White Marches, descendants of mixed Karnite and Kaeltan heritage, rebelled against the growing evil of the Empire the Fhey were more than happy to assist in war against their old enemy. After this conflict, the Fhey General Caelcormac was given the Fhey Crown and made Emperor of the new Fhey Empire. Emperor Caelcormac still sits upon the Forest Throne and has done much to re-organize his people and make them stronger.
Today the Fhey are much different than when they came to Aerk. While they are still chaotic as individuals, and most follow old traditions and remain seperate from their kin except to wage war or meet for trade; the coming of the Fhey Empire has brought powerful change as well. Fhey cities have become fortified centers of power to protect the Fhey people, and appointed Fhey emissaries have gone to neighboring nations to open trade and negotiations.
The Fhey are the most beautiful people in all of Aerk. Human men can hardly restrain their emotions in the presence of Fhey women. Fhey men are charming and seductive as well; all know that Fhey are vivacious and have immense capacity for carnal pleasure and celebration. Fhey can also exhibit tremendous hatred and wage bloody war when brought to anger; they are a race of extremes: chaotic and carefree by nature, but deliberate and bloody-handed if brought to anger.
Personality: As has been said, Fhey are a race of extremes. They can be carefree one moment, and filled with wrath the next if slighted. They prefer time alone to contemplate their immortal life, and also time with their families to celebrate that life. They mix well with other races that respect the Fhey, but can slaughter races that don’t. They are known for their nurturing love of the wild places and animals while being more than willing to raze an entire city that stands in their way during war. Over all the Fhey are simply unpredictable.
Physical Description: Fhey are tall and athletic; men average 5’10", while women are slightly shorter at 5’6" in height. Fhey men weigh 150 pounds on average and females only 125 pounds. All Fhey have varying shades of honey blonde hair, but their eyes are of varying hues: blue, green, violet and amber most common. Their skin is pale but healthy, and they have a slightly enchanted look to them: pointed ears, almond shaped eyes, and an unearthly grace and charm that either puts others at ease or sets them on edge. Fhey clothing is light and airy, made of spider silk and faerie dust it is said. Fhey soldiers will often be found wearing silver alloyed armors of mail shirt make with a steel cap and large shield while wielding an arming sword, Fhey longbow and light lance for mounted use. Fhey knights will typically wear mail hauberk armor unless expecting full battle when they will instead don Plate Armor as their human neighbors have done; their weapons are usually a war sword and heavy lance in addition to a Fhey Longbow. The Empire’s elite foot soldiers will wear mail hauberk, steel cap and large shield while wielding a bill, war sword, shortsword, poniard and Fhey Longbow.
Relations: The Fhey relate somewhat well with peaceful human neighbors; but can be murderous when faced with an old foe. Ironically, the ordered Dwur and chaotic Fhey are fast friends because neither desires what the other has regarding land. The Fhey despise Aerkay, and can easily be brought to battle for the smallest slight when dealing with them. Fhey and Fhraen are somewhat friendly because of Fhraen neutrality and Gypsy Fhraen are welcome in the Fhey Empire. Goblins were brought to Aerk by the Fhey as a servant race; but since they were not slaves the Goblins left their own way eventually and now both races care little for the other; in fact the Fhey practice their hunting skills on Goblins in the Fheywood. Most other races are neutral toward the Fhey, and they feel the same about them.
Alignment: Saying the Fhey are chaotic is an understatement. They are so unpredictable at times that other races find it hard to deal with them at all. It isn’t so much a matter of changing their minds or decisions as it is a matter of the Fhey being a race of great intricacy in their thoughts that it makes them seem so chaotic. Fhey are also equally capable of great kindness and great cruelty; they have been known to adopt orphan humans found in the woods and then slaughtering men, women and children of an encroaching human settlement. Because they are not truly a force for good or evil; Fhey are seen as Chaotic Neutral as a race.
Fhey Lands: The Fhey Empire is all that remains of holdings that once stood upon most of Courel. Their Empire is open to trade with other races so long as permission has been granted. The Fheywood is a land of Faerie and enchantment where the Fhey while away eternity. Certain places in the Fheywood are feral and violent; where evil beasts stalk animal and sentient races alike. Other places are so beautiful to behold that humans have been lost to their comrades and never seen again when they follow a dryad too far. Fhey cities are marvels unequaled in Aerk but for the magical cities of the Aerkay. Crystalline towers and silver-domed halls fall away beneath Fhey Knights that fly high above on griffons and pegasi.
Languages: The Fhey language is simply known as Fhey. It is an ancient language native to another world; so it has no ties to any language upon Aerk. Its musical character strongly aids Fhey Bards who are known as the greatest in all of Aerk.
Names: Fhey names sound Celtic mostly. The Fhey come from a land of Faerie somewhat like that described in British Faerie tales originating in Celtic history.
Religion: The Fhey follow no gods even though they admit they exist; it is hard for immortal creatures to put faith in powers that are sometimes younger than Fhey leaders. The Fhey do put faith in a world that is older than any know, and so many druids can be found among them teaching about the secrets of the world. Most Fhey respect the followers of the gods, they simply see no point in devotion to a god who only has power depending on how many worshipers they have. To the Fhey, this is a dire weakness for a being that is supposed to be a God; for them the Druidic way is best and more sensible.
The Fhey within the Kingdom of Mahn
(As told by the Lore-Master of the White King)
The Fhey do not live within the Kingdom of Mahn in numbers; although they do visit it. Only within the Centaur Forest will you find them more than rarely; and then only because they refuse to admit that the King now owns those woods. Rarely renegade Fhey from the Fhey Empire will cross into the White Kingdom “hunting” other races here. The Fhey Hunting Ride is a terrible thing, for the crazed Fhey slaughter innocent civilian and soldier alike in the misguided notion that anyone infringing upon their lands should die so that a lesson will be given to those who consider it in the future. Little wonder the Fhey continue to lose ground, as a war of attrition against humanity is doomed to failure. The Fhey Hunting Ride is the only thing preventing the Kingdom of Mahn and the Fhey Empire from becoming very strong allies; although the emerging strength of both nations may pit them against each other eventually, as emerging powerful nations that are neighbors inevitably come to war against the other.
Saying that no Fhey live within the Kingdom isn’t entirely accurate. Imperial ambassadors live within the city of Vhaelin, capital of the Kingdom of Mahn. They stay mainly within their compound: a Crystalline tower where parties are given every night by the Fhey and some few beautiful humans they invite. Some few Fhey Knights also travel within the Kingdom as Knights Errant. They have permission to do so by the Crown because of an old treaty when the White Marches were fighting their war of independence from the Karnite Empire hundreds of years ago.
These few individuals are the only known Fhey that live within the Kingdom, though whispers suggest otherwise. Some Fhey are rumored to visit villages of the poor and seduce young men and women with their charms and magic and whisk them away to the Fhey Empire. Worse still are those Fhey rumored to stalk the forests of the Kingdom of Mahn and slaughter lone travelers to experiment on them; or more vile, to create undead. The Fhey are attributed with creating Wights from the graves of humans to use against the Karnite Black Legions when that empire first came to the shores of Courel; though they deny it.
Those Fhey encountered in the cities of the Kingdom will either be Knights Errant or merchants from the Fhey Empire. They are always courteous and kind, seeking to falsely inform humanity of the true nature of their race. All realize the truth however: the Fhey are both kind and cruel. Some Fhey will come to the Kingdom and help to nurture a burned forest, while the same Fhey may return a few years later and do battle above one of the King’s cities against an Aerkay enemy without concern for the lives lost within the magical maelstrom caused by the spell-battle.
The racial abilities of the Fhey are: