The Archfey are not a true race, but rather, a collection of powerful fey. These fey have, by various means, amassed enough arcane power that they rival demon lords and archdevils in strength. In their own demesnes, few beings can best them. For this reason, they are regarded as the true rulers of the Feywild.
As a whole, the Archfey rule the Feywild. However, they are fiercely independent and free-willed, and abhor organization, and so there is no authority that governs all of the plane. Most Archfey have realms that they call their own, but they are not bound to these locations, and frequently travel to other Archfey’s realms for mischief-making purposes. Some Archfey have no realms of their own, and simply wander the Feywild, causing havoc wherever they go.
The closest thing the Archfey have to a political system are their Courts: loose associations of Archfey with similar ideals and powers. There are five Courts known to mortal sages:
- The Coral Court, a large but reclusive group of Archfey who preside over the waters of the Feywild. Merfolk, fish-fairies, and the other denizens of the sea follow their rule. They are perhaps the most numerous of all the Archfey, but they keep to themselves, rarely interacting with the surface. The Coral Court is led by Elias and Siobhan Alastai, the Sea Lords, two children with power over all the oceans.
- The Green Fey, the (second) most plentiful and variable of the Archfey. The Green Fey represent all aspects of nature, primarily its plants and animals. They are wild and independent, sometimes even ferocious and bestial. They have no one leader.
- The Gloaming Fey, a band of Archfey who roam the night and play with the stuff of dreams — inconstant, changeable things, like love and shadows. They bow to no one leader, but their most prominent member is Oberon, King of Shadows, most known for his tryst with Titania.
- The Summer Court, an alliance of Archfey who promote light and life, and seek to protect good fey and mortals alike. Although their mission is the most friendly to mortals, they are still not especially welcoming, and they have been known to use questionable methods to protect those under their dominion. They are led by Titania, the Summer Queen, a benevolent but sometimes cold and frightening ruler.
- The Winter Court, a small collection of Archfey who reside in the Feywild’s wintry wastes. The members of the Winter Court follow either the Prince of Frost, a melancholy Archfey who commands ice and snow, or the Hearth Maiden, who keeps fey and mortals warm against the bitter cold.
The strongest members of each Court are recognized as their leaders, but the Archfey are not beholden to their will, and generally do as they wish. When the Courts meet for discussion and council, they are known as the Court of Stars. Any Archfey can call a meeting of the Court of Stars, any time, any place, but no Archfey is required to attend. Most Archfey do not see a need to meet, with the exception of the Summer Court, which most frequently calls the Court of Stars to request help with dire happenings.
Mortals are advised not to trifle with the Archfey. Even the most benevolent are fickle and unpredictable, and their kindness can turn to cold disregard in a single breeze. The bards are full of Fairy Tales about mortal dealings with the Archfey, and none of them ever work in the mortals’ favor.
The following are Archfey who are known to mortal sages. However, the Feywild is large and uncharted, and any Archfey who wishes to remain hidden can easily do so.
- Baba Yaga – Mother of all hags, and member of the Gloaming Fey. Baba Yaga dwells in the great swamp called the Murkendraw, within a hut that stands on enormous chicken’s legs. She commands the most powerful hags to advance her unknown agenda.
- Blackfingers – An enormous troll, its extremities blackened by frostbite. Blackfingers dwells in the lands of the Winter Court and occasionally serves the Prince of Frost, or anyone who can promise it a frozen carcass for a meal.
- The Bramble Queen – Patron of dryads and member of the Green Fey. The Bramble Queen puts up a cold and thorny defense, but is passionate and protective of those who earn her respect.
- The Cat Lord – Member of the Green Fey. The Cat Lord is extremely lethargic and slow to act, but when he does, he does so with great speed and ferocity. All mortal cats can commune with him, although he rarely bothers to command them.
- Elias and Siobhan Alastai – Twin eladrin children, and leaders of the Coral Court. Elias calls the shallows and fresh water his domain, and is gregarious in his dealings with shore-dwellers. Siobhan is the reclusive Daughter of the Deep, who has not set foot above the surface in centuries.
- The Erlking – Lord of the Wild Hunt. The Erlking leads his followers among the Green Fey in a never-ending hunt, whose quarry changes with his every whim. He has hunted dragons, humans, and even other Archfey over the eons. What he does with his quarries is unclear and variable.
- The Hearth Maiden – One of two leaders of the Winter Court. The Hearth Maiden’s spirit is in every campfire and bonfire lit to stave off the winter cold. She offers food and warmth to those who seek it, keeping them from the Prince of Frost’s grasp.
- The Monkey King – Member of the Green Fey. The Monkey King is a capricious and insensitive glutton, who commands his monkeys to steal anything and everything for his throne room. He holds a pair of magic cymbals that can cause thunderclaps.
- Oberon – The King of Shadows, and the most recognized of the Gloaming Fey. A consummate mischief-maker, Oberon is like a god to goblins, and pulls great tricks on the other Archfey. His tryst with Titania is legendary; they have been lovers, nemeses, friends, and more, often at the same time.
- The October King – A mysterious member of the Winter Court. The October King is rarely seen, and his aims and agenda are unknown.
- The Prince of Frost – The second ruler of the Winter Court. The Prince considers himself a sculptor of ice, and seeks to preserve the world’s beauty by freezing it forever. He is enthralled and repulsed by the warmth the Hearth Maiden offers, a warmth that he can never feel himself.
- The Prince of Hearts – A member of the Gloaming Fey who delights in working the mysterious magic of love. He creates flowers and potions with the power to enthrall, repulse, and break hearts.
- The Queen of Air and Darkness – The most fearsome of all fey, the Queen is a Court unto her own. She is a howling force of destruction and insanity, whom even the Archfey fear. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
- The Sandman – An unnerving member of the Gloaming Fey. The Sandman’s magic dust can manipulate mortal sleep, causing dreams, nightmares, or eternal slumber.
- The Sun Stag – A tremendous white stag whose antlers gleam with magical radiance. The Sun Stag is a member of the Summer Court and a devout servant of Titania.
- Titania – The Summer Queen, ruler of the Summer Court, and most friendly to the eladrin. With a smile, she can ripen a crop, and with a frown, summon wildfires. She rules from the shimmering palace of Senaliesse, and watches over all pure-hearted mortals.
- Whispershade – Oberon’s personal servant in the Gloaming Court, a mischievous figure who steals the shadows of the unwary.