Faeries come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, but because of the almost alien thought processes and motivations of the members of the faerie world, there is often disagreement when it comes to deciding which faeries should be classed as harmful and which as harmless. In some cases, however, there is a consensus. The following represent three types of faerie creatures: the good, the bad, and the clumy.
Though low hit points, yet high AC, the Bramble are so tiny that they might not appear dangerous, Brambles are among the most aggressive and vicious of all faeries. Although currently breeding true, rumor has it that the first Brambles were individual outcasts from “polite” faerie society (their size, name, and fixation with pointy things makes the Gorse their likely ancestor).
Brambles look like tiny, dried-out people, with dark, wrinkled skin, long, pointed finger-and toenails, ears that come to points much sharper than those of elves, and sticking out of their backs are a brace of spines that look like they should support miniature dragon-wings, but which are unadorned. Still, most of these features are usually hidden by the plate-mail armor that they wear under normal circumstances, and even the wing-spines that come out of holes in the armor’s backplate can easily be mistaken as longer versions of the artificial spines covering the rest of the Bramble’s armor.
The spine-covered armor of a Bramble is both its best defense and its strongest attack. The armor provides AC 2 protection, and the barbs on its surface prevent other creatures from coming too close to the wearer; any animal that attempts to bite or eat a Bramble suffers an automatic 1d6 damage, as would any humanoid trying to pick up a Bramble with bare hands. Attackers wearing armor get to make a save, attempting to roll above the AC value of the armor covering their hands on 1d12 to avoid injury.
One Bramble in ten has another weapon to use in combat – poison. The wing-spines of these Brambles secrete a strong poison that causes a painful burning sensation ( -2 on attack and damage rolls for 2d10 rounds, with additional doses having cumulative effects) on anyone hit by them (either as an attack or automatically as a result of picking up the Bramble) unless they make a save vs. poison with a -3 penalty, in which case the effects and duration are both halved. As these Brambles are perfectly willing to use this poison on dissenting members of their own bands, they are generally the leaders in any Bramble group.
Finally, and most strangely, Brambles are often found riding a peculiar selection of animals. It is not uncommon to come upon a band of Brambles riding a collection of porcupines, hedgehogs, al-mi™rajs, and other creatures, looking like bizarre pixie-knights as they search for food and fights They control their mounts with a charm mount spell that each can cast once per day. When so mounted, Brambles also carry barbed spears (that do 1d6 damage on a hit) that they use as lances.
Brambles sometimes will pick up small amounts of easily transported treasure that they use to bribe other creatures into manufacturing their special armor for them. Despite their small size, Brambles are supremely confident, even when dealing with humans and other “giants.” They would think nothing of challenging a “giant” to a wrestling match, especially as they would have no intention of honoring any bets they might place on the fight. They speak their own language, as well as the languages of most other faerie creatures. Their knowledge of elvish is slim, but it should suffice to make business deals with, and to offer challenges to those forest-dwelling “giants.”
There are few ways in which a Bramble can benefit another creature. The average Bamble doesn’t have enough meat on its bones to make a good meal for anything larger than an owl, and those with poisonous spines are also discomforting to eat as their flesh has the same effects on the eater as their poison.
A poisonous Bramble’s spines could be drained by a hunter to make blade poison but one Bramble would only provide enough poison for a single arrowhead or dart; it would take ten or more poisonous Brambles to provide enough of the substance to coat a long sword. The armor they wear is often beautiful in a dangerous way, and some collector might pay 2d8 x 10 gp for a complete, unoccupied suit.
Dobies are small humanoids, similar in appearance to their cousins, brownies. They live peaceful, reclusive lives, and when they encounter humans or other civilized creatures, they try to be helpful neighbors to these “big folk,” with mixed results.
Dobies resemble small elves, with brown eyes and hair, and work-a-day clothing to match. Their features are generally plain; they have ears that are only slightly pointed (as opposed to the extreme points of brownies), their faces are more reminiscent of tired farmers than bright-eyed children, and while they move with a free gait, no one would describe them as nimble. In fact, the image ones gets of them is more in line with “country bumpkin” than “mischievous faerie.”
Dobies are inoffensive creatures, and if threatened, prefer to walk or sneak away than to fight. Still, they are very protective of their big-folk neighbors and will fight to defend them and their property against all comers.
In combat, a dobie prefers to cast the spells to confuse or fumble. A dobie also can use a tool, such as a hoe or hammer, as a makeshift weapon doing 1d2 points damage on a hit. If they come across a real weapon, such as a dagger or short sword their inexperience means that they still only do 1d3 damage on hits. Although their features and size vary, female and young dobies all fight and cast spells with the same skill.
Unlike some other faeries who can see through illusions, Dobies are particularly gullible, and they suffer a -3 penalty on saving throws versus illusions and charms.
As good creatures, Dobies feel obligated to pay for the food they glean and the land they live on, and they offer payment indeed, such as temporarily guarding treasure or doing household chores. Because of their reclusive nature, the dobie won’t ask what sort of chores need doing, and normally will perform his favors at night or when there’s nobody around to see him, but his labors seldom go unnoticed.
One of the few times that a Dobie’s fumbling becomes a blessing is when thieves, brigands, or other hostile beings (including wild animals) appear on the property. Dobies are protective of their adopted families and will try to defend the goods and lives of their landlords against attack, especially if the farmer isn’t there to defend it himself. The scene after a typical fight with a Dobie family will be a jumbled mess of broken furniture, smashed crockery, and the like, but at least the lives and major goods of the farmer will have been safeguarded.
The Faerie Fiddler is a strange icon of faerie society. Always found in a community of faeries, there is never more than one Faerie Fiddler per community. The Faerie Fiddler’s motivations are to protect other members of the society and to make the world more pleasant, according to its understanding of the term.
In appearance, Faerie Fiddlers are among the most human-looking of faeries. They resemble nothing so much as old, diminutive human males (there are no female fiddlers), dressed in somber, archaic clothes (such as a battered black top hat and tails), and playing a most exquisite, tiny fiddle. For all of their aged appearance, they are always in apparent good spirits, and while so skinny that it is a wonder they can keep the front and back of their coats apart, they are apparently spry and lively.
Faerie Fiddlers never begin a fight, but they are quite able to defend themselves and others if one breaks out. The fiddler’s primary defense is his high armor class, the result of its constant, capering dance and small size. As a faerie creature, the fiddler is naturally resistant to most forms of magic, and considering the nature of its magics, it isn’t surprising to find that they are completely immune to the effects of all spells from the enchantment/charm school.
The Faerie Fiddler has the ability to play a number of magical tunes on his fiddle, both for enjoyment and in combat. The least of these magical tunes is one that prevents hearers from experiencing hunger, thirst, or fatigue while dancing, a tune that is woven through the melodies of common dancing songs to provide dance music for faeries and the non-faeries they invite into their circles. As this spells effects can be felt only while the hearer is dancing, it will provide benefits only in combat if the hearer has the Dancing non-weapon proficiency and thus can alter the steps of the dance to allow fighting at the same time. Coincidentally, all faeries in a community with a Faerie Fiddler will have the equivalent of this proficiency, which means that they will spin and whirl as if dancing when in combat, and they will never tire from their efforts. A saving throw vs. spells will negate the effects of this tune, but only if the hearer specifically wants to resist its charms.
The fiddler will use this spell to assist his faerie friends when they fight intruders, to cover the escape of those who are unable or unwilling to fight, and to cover his own escape when he finds it necessary to leave the field. Because of the fiddler’s courage, he is willing to lay down his life if it will allow other faerie-folk to escape, so he will depart only after all other faeries are secure.
The most powerful tune that a Faerie Fiddler can play is used on some-one who offends faerie sensibilities without overtly attacking the faeries, such as someone who refuses to dance with them, who claims not to believe in their very existence, or especially someone who tries to cheat a faerie in some way. This tune has the same fatigue-banishing effects of the first tune but combines with it a powerful time-distorting effect, like an exaggerated time stop spell. For every hour spent dancing, a year will pass in the outside world, and as the fatigue-banishing effects of the tune make one capable of dancing for a long time (i.e., if a human under the effects of this magical tune has danced for four hours, four years will have passed in the real world when he returns to his home, probably to find it long-sold after his “mysterious disappearance”). Again, a saving throw vs. spells will negate all effects of the spell, but the hearer must consciously desire to resist or receive no saving throw at all.
This Time Stop tune can be played only once per month, on the night of a full moon, and as mortal offenses against faeries can happen at any time of the month, a fiddler who wants to use this spell on an offender at some other time of the month will have to lure him back to the faerie circle. The common method to achieve this is for the fiddler to pretend that he failed to notice the offense, and then to invite the offender back to the circle a few days hence for a celebration that promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the mortal invitee. Other ruses will be tailored to the personality of the offender, such as “accidentally” letting slip the fact that a precious faerie treasure will be on display during the full moon if the offender is a thief or challenging the offender to return (“You wouldn’t dare come back here and do that again on the night of the full moon!”) if he is a belligerent sort.
Faerie Fiddlers have no society of their own, as they are never seen with others of their type. They dwell among communities of faerie creatures, and provide a number of services for them, most especially fiddling at their convocations, parties, and gatherings. Naturally, they speak the languages of every type of faerie folk, and those of any nearby human or demi human community.
The fiddle of a Faerie Fiddler isn’t magical (all its effects are the natural magic of the fiddler being channeled through the instrument), but it still has a resale value of 3d20 gp for its fine quality and miniature size.