Content of the article: "Feylings – Spirits to make your world feel alive"
Elemental Fey Spirits
Four fey spirits are described below, each a manifestation of one of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water via the Feywild. These spirits are meant to embody a "soft magic" folk-tale vibe, so do not have stat blocks, mechanically they are more like environmental effects than creatures. Corrupted spirits can’t be fought, but with the right knowledge they can be restored. Characters might find this information by speaking to the grumpy old man, the old crone in the woods, or researching in a dusty library. They are ideal short adventures for low level characters, but as they pose problems that can’t be solved by brute force (magical or stabby) in the right circumstances they can also challenge higher level parties if used to provide a complication to a larger plot.
When a fire has been tended to and kept lit for a year and a day without going out, there is a small chance it will attract a Hearthling. A spellcaster casting spell of 4th level or higher that summons an elemental of in front of one of these fires can summon a Hearthling and bind it to the fire.
A Hearthling appears as a small curled up furry creature, that stays curled up in front of the fire. It is hard to pin down exactly what sort of creature it is. To some it looks like a cat, to others a fox, to others still a sloth. If disturbed, it immediately turns into smoke and moves to another space nearby the fire.
When a Hearthling binds to a fire, that fire never goes out on its own, and the fire comfortably warms the space it is in, and produces little smoke. A creature that wishes the fire to dim or brighten must ask the Hearthling politely three times. Sleeping in front of a Hearthling’s fire as part completing a long rest removes an additional level of exhaustion.
Hearthlings will growl at creatures moving to put out its fire, but will take no aggressive action. If a Hearthling’s fire is put out, it immediately becomes a Heartheater. A Heartheater appears as a scrawny version of its Hearthling form, covered in rime and sharp icicles. It still lurks around the remnants of its fire, and shatters into shards of ice when disturbed, moving to another space and reforming.
It is very difficult to light a fire in a Heartheaters domain. Any fire that can be lit or conjured burns for a tenth of the time, sheds half the radius of light and emits half as much heat as it would normally. Fire damage dealt by any source in a Heartheater’s domain is halved. A long rest completed in a Heartheater’s domain does not reduce exhaustion.
To restore a Heartheater to a Hearthling, a creature must willingly give the heat of its lifeblood. The creature must hug the Heartheater tightly, taking 1 point of piercing damage and 1d4 points of cold damage at the end of each of its turns. If this damage reduces a creature to 0 hit points, the creature gains four levels of exhaustion and the Heartheater immediately reverts back to its Hearthling form, the fire it is bound to reigniting.
Plot Hook: Ideal for Rime of the Frostmaiden or any icy themed adventure, the party is hit by a blizzard and comes across an old abandoned shack to take shelter in. The shack is occupied by a Heartheater, will the party freeze to death?
Bonus tip: combine with a grumpy Killmoulis from Mordenkainen's Fiend Folio to really drain your party.
Stormdancers live far out at sea, beyond the horizon, spending their lives singing and dancing in the winds and storms with their siblings. Some claim they are summoned by storms, others that their performances bring storms into being.
Those perceptive enough to spot Stormdancers see silvery ribbons darting swiftly through the air. It is practically impossible to get one to stand still, but legend has it they look like miniature glowing humanoids. Few ever see a Stormdancer, but everyone has heard them or seen the effects of their dances. Their singing is the whistling of the winds and their dancing can be seen in spiralling vortices of leaves and snow.
Occasionally, when a storm hits land, Stormdancers can get separated from their friends and family. In their desperation to be reunited, they are drawn to the nearest family home. This might be a birds nest or a farmer’s cottage, but once it finds a place of safety the Stormdancer will not leave. A strong localised wind surrounds the place where a lost Stormdancer has taken refuge, rising to a hurricane when they are disturbed. A lost Stormdancer is easily frightened, the cries of those caught in tempest only drive it to further panic.
Howling Panic: Each creature within 30 feet of the Stormdancer’s refuge has its speed halved and must succeed a DC 10 Constitution saving throw at the start of its turn or take 1 thunder damage and be knocked prone. The area is also subject to the effects of the Warding Wind spell.
Throwing salt into the air helps Stormdancers catch the scent of the sea, the scent of home, and they will streak off to reunite with their friends and family, singing with joy. This has led to the practice by those living close to the sea of throwing salt out into storms to prevent Stormdancers getting lost.
Plot Hook: The day after a storm passes, the party is approached by a worried father (a halfling farmer, a squirrel, or some other creature) whose wife and children are trapped by a lost stormdancer.
Blessed are those who have a Mosslet living in their field or garden. Mosslets begin growing as a lump of green moss, and come to life when they reach the size of a watermelon. Mosslets snuffle around the field or garden they live in, and their very presence enriches the earth. Any plants that grow in a Mosslet’s domain produce twice their normal yield, and the soil is so fertile that even plants that would normally be impossible to grow in the climate can flourish.
Mosslets have a close connection to farmers, planting and harvesting, and thus are also connected to the full moon. To keep a Mosslet active and healthy, a nice juicy bone must be buried in the field or garden at each full moon. Mosslets love to dig up these bones and chew them like a small, very fluffy green puppy. If a Mosslet is not fed, it will burrow into the ground and never return.
During a Blood Moon (lunar eclipse), Mosslets spawn a plum sized moss covered seed. If this seed is planted during a full moon and the planter spills a drop of blood on it, the seed will begin to grow into a new Mosslet, coming to life at the next full moon.
If the bone from an undead is buried instead during a full moon, the Mosslet begins to blacken and decay as it gnaws upon it. As the Mosslet decays, so do all the plants in the field or garden, until at the end of the month every plant is dead. A Decayed Mosslets growls and snarls at any who approach it. No new plants can ever be made to grow in the area until the Mosslet is cleansed. Only by burying a sacred bone (such as one from a celestial or a saint) during a full moon can a Mosslet to cleanse itself.
Plot Hook: A farmer approaches the party, his prize winning pumpkins have suddenly started dying. The party may be able to discover that a jealous neighbour bought the bone from a ghoul from a passing crone. The only way to save his field is with the sacred relic of St. Ilario’s shin bone from the local church, but the priest isn’t going to just give it away…
Secrets are hard to keep. When keeping a secret becomes too much to bear, country folk pay a visit to a Brookbabbler. Brookbabblers can inhabit any clean source of freshwater, and can easily be mistaken for a dappled sunlight reflection moving across the surface. They often live in secluded but accessible spots, as these are the best places for a secret to be whispered aloud. Those who listen closely however, can hear the sound of gentle murmuring behind the burbling noise of flowing water. A secret whispered to a Brookbabbler is always kept safe, and lifts the burden of not being able to tell anyone else.
Occasionally, the secret told to a Brookbabbler is so awful, so wicked, that merely knowing it twists and corrupts the Brookbabbler from within. Corrupted Brookbabblers are no longer content merely to listen to secrets, they want more. This hunger drives them to lure in unfortunate souls, enthrall and then drown them. Corrupted Brookbabblers begin to whisper the secrets they’ve known back, but just slightly too quiet to make out clearly. Whilst muffled, the whispers sound very important, and only those of strong will can fight the urge to lean closer to hear what is being said.
Murmuring Lure: A creature that understands at least one language that starts its turn within 10 feet of a Corrupted Brookbabbler must succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw become charmed by the Corrupted Brookbabbler and move towards the water it inhabits. The creature then leans too far out trying to hear the whispers and falls into the water. Whilst in the water, a charmed creature stays underwater and doesn’t hold its breath.
The Brookbabbler can only be restored if a creature confesses its true love to their beloved in front of the Corrupted Brookbabbler. A similarly powerful act, such as forgiveness being granted to the one who shared the terrible secret, may also be successful.
Plot hook: Local spring (the village’s main source of water) has started drowning people, and now the populace is too afraid to approach it. Meanwhile, the daughter of the wicked Baron has fallen hopelessly for a local shepherd…
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