Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Postcards from the Flanaess
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
    Canonfire :: View topic - Inspiration for Fey adventures
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Inspiration for Fey adventures
    Author Message
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 743
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 06, 2024 6:11 am  
    Inspiration for Fey adventures

    A question was asked on the Canonfire Discord and several people answered. I thought the subject matter was interesting enough to be collected and saved.

    Matteus (Matthew Fenn, Greycast) asked:
    Hey. I'm a Plane of Faerie / Feywild newbie. What books, articles, novels should I have or use to run a Fey forest?

    The following were suggested:
    Samwise (Samuel D. Weiss)
    The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
    The (comic) Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
    Stardust (comic of novelization) by Neil Gaiman
    Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
    The Lyonesse Trilogy by Jack Vance
    The Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster
    The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson
    Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
    The Dancing G-ds series by Jack Chalker
    To a degree, it depends on what sort of Faerie encounters you want
    Willows and Odd ae very lighthearted and are rated as children's books but are utterly readable for adults
    Spellsinger and Dancing G-ds are rather humorous though they have some intense parts
    Elfland's and Stardust are very old school and traditional and are good as core source material
    Books of Magic are, as noted, comics, and require finding the collection, about a third (IIRC) are set in Faerie and provide an excellent overview of the dangers, the rest are set in the "real" world and include the consequences of dealing with Faerie along with some other magic elements
    Lyonesse and Three/Three are quite serious but more modern, Lyonesse has a metric ton of classical references, while Three is almost verbatim a D&D adventure
    Broken is the harshest of the ones I listed, and is more Norse than Celtic Fae, but is also a prime example of the dangers of dealing with the Fae
    While that is a hefty reading list, 25ish books depending on how you count some things, the whole list will give you a comprehensive foundation for Faerie encounters of all ranges, from the almost completely safe and happy to casually trading moments of your life one at a time for trinkets until you are a wasted husk.

    OblivionSeeker (Les Reno)
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Helen Mirrlees
    Phantastes, George MacDonald
    Goblin Market, Christina Rossetti

    Also, as a model for using fey to introduce mortal history (or versions of it), Kipling's “Puck of Pook's Hill” and “Rewards and Fairies”.
    Reading various collections of fairy tales is recommended, and I'd suggest looking into anthologies and essays by writers such as Jack Zipes, Marina Warner, Marie-Louise von Franz.
    Which brings to mind Piotr Spyra's essay, "The Terror of the Threshold: Liminality and the Fairies of Sir Orfeo".
    I'd throw John Crowley's “Little, Big” into the mix for its take, but ymmv.
    Woesinger (Paul Looby)
    I'd add “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” - the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair is a classic archfey.
    “Mythago Wood” by Robert Holdstock is another one for the whole liminal mythworld/faerie experience.

    mtg (Marc-Tizoc González)
    I think Neil Gaiman's “Stardust” and Gene Wolf's “Wizard Knight” are all highly evocative for representing Faerie and the fey.

    grodog (Allan Grohe)
    Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories” is excellent scholarship too, along with Vladimir Propp’s “Morphology of the Folktale” and “Theory and History of Folklore”.
    Ars Magica had some excellent rules/setting in “Faeries”, as well as for how Faery works in the core rules, and in their use of “regio” in “Mythic Places” and “More Mythic Places”.
    Oh, and also excellent as game-setting-inspiration: Sepulchrave’s Wyre story hour in ENWorld, with accompanying threads for crunch.
    See the compilation at
    The crunch thread is at
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 04, 2021
    Posts: 10

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 06, 2024 7:12 am  

    Depending on how you want to look at the fae, Katherine Kerr's Deverry series is a fantastic resource for fey inspiration. In particular, the Westlands cycle (books 5-8) deal with it extensively. The books take the view of fae being dangerous due to lack of understanding of mortality, rather than maleficent or prankster fae, so maybe not everyone's cup of tea.

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3313
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 06, 2024 7:57 am  

    A recent read by me is The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohammed, a terrifying and evocative look at a woman navigating the rules set by the fey in a search for a pair of lost children.

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2729
    From: LG Dyvers

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 06, 2024 10:12 am  

    I second the Spellsinger series. I enjoyed reading them very much while in high school. They are more awakened animal than fey, but there are a few actual faeries involved.

    Also, Redwall is more awakened animal than fey in focus, but could be good inspiration for particular portions of the Feywild.

    SirXaris' Facebook page:
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 29, 2018
    Posts: 32

    Send private message
    Sun Jul 07, 2024 6:47 am  

    Wouldn't Changeling: the Dreaming be on this list?
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 371

    Send private message
    Sun Jul 07, 2024 8:31 am  

    In terms of inspiration from RPG, I have to add—

    Dolmenwood (Gavin Norman): this releases this fall but backers have pdfs already. Likely to be regarded as the best hexcrawl in the history of the game. All malevolent, creepy fey stuff, so if you want innocent, happy-go-lucky fey this is not for you.

    Pale Lady (Zharkov Kowalski): originally for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, later revised for Neoclassical Geek Renaissance. Short, 8 pg. setting/adventure that goes surprisingly deep, philosophically, and has gigantic ramifications on your campaign. Again, very creepy fey stuff. Not for prudes.

    Into the Wyrd and Wild (Charles Avery): 2e recently published. This is more of a toolkit for a system-neutral forest hexcrawl. Again, quite creepy.

    Courts of the Shadow Fey (Wolfgang Baur): exists in 4e/5e/Pathfinder1 version. Mini-campaign where you dine and bicker with shadow fey nobility in creepy fey palace.

    I now realize I have no recommendations for non-creepy fey gaming material.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 371

    Send private message
    Sun Jul 07, 2024 8:40 am  

    I love most of the recommendations above (esp. Dunsany, Crowley, Jonathan Strange, Broken Sword), but was quite bored with Mythago Wood (I seem to be the only one not enchanted by this) and found Macdonald's Phantastes tedious in the extreme.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 542
    From: Canada

    Send private message
    Sun Jul 07, 2024 3:17 pm  

    What, no love for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream? Or, if you want to take a darker twist on it, how about [i]Macbeth[i]?
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum

    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!

    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 1.03 Seconds