The Wild Hunt and Changelings
The Wild Hunt:
The fae do not trade in coins as do mortals. As a whole, they are both long lived and pleasure-seeking. It should come as no surprise that their currency is entertainment. Powerful fae in the astral plane seeking to gain in wealth and status must find entertainment for their subjects and equals alike.
Whether to impress or show dominance over a rival, keep the lesser fae content, or simply for personal pleasure many fae turn to the Wild Hunt. When a powerful fae wishes to begin, he will arrange for his underlings to find a wandering mortal who was unfortunate or foolish enough to attempt wandering the astral plane.
When the mortal is found, he will be saved from the chaos of the astral plane by being thrust into a setting familiar enough for him to navigate. This usually, though not exclusively, takes the form of a forest or some other common hunting grounds, likely for the purpose of tormenting the prey. With that in mind, the only true constant required for other fae to acknowledge it as a hunt is the creation of an artificial sun. Hunts which are blatantly weighted in favor of the fae will earn the hunter very little respect from his peers.
This false sun will always start at one horizon, where it quickly lowers. The mortal must survive the fae, his equals, his underlings, and whatever creatures the fae has brought to heel for the entirety of the false night. If the fae is victorious, the mortal will either be killed or (in truly exceptional circumstances) made into a changeling. If the mortal is victorious they will be sent back to the material world.
The fae who live upon Pal Tahrenor also have hunts for dominance and sport. Because they do not need to create any artificial settings, they often rely on the long nights of winter to engage in longer hunts. Due to influence of human empires, the hunts are much smaller than the ones in the astral plane. They are regarded with derision by the fae of the astral plane.
Fae of truly exceptional power and influence (or who simply enjoy hunting in excess) usually maintain frequent wild hunts, often more than can be accounted for by chancing upon wanderers in the astral plane. To acquire additional game, the fae lord will arrange for a young human, usually a baby, to enter the astral plane. The child will be groomed from birth to become a changeling by the lesser fae. Some fae consider it customary, according to ancient and strange codes, to leave a fae child in the stolen human’s place.
These human agents are generally capable of crossing between the material plane and the astral plane, though it is just as often one of the lesser fae who opens the portals for them. It is their life’s purpose to gather other mortals and lure them across the boundary, so that their masters may hunt them.
For discussion and development of the world of Pal Tahrenor
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