Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

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GMWestermeyer
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Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed May 03, 2017 3:54 am

So, Escalla from Paul Kidd's Greyhawk novels is a Faerie. Fair enough. But which book, from any edition (but 1e/2e especially) do Faeries appear in?I can't seem to find them. And in _Descent into the Depths of the Earth_ there is a Court of the Faeries that is on another plane, was that just invented whole cloth by Kidd?

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed May 03, 2017 10:21 am

Whoops double post.
Last edited by ripvanwormer on Wed May 03, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed May 03, 2017 10:22 am

I have a lot to say on this subject, but for now check out this thread: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php ... pic&t=8582

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by Havard » Wed May 03, 2017 3:18 pm

IIRC Descent into the Depths of the Earth is a sequel to the White Plume Mountain novelization by the same author. Do you know if Escalla was featured in both novels?

There is a creature called Faerie in BECMI's Master Set, though they are strange winged creatures inhabiting traits from all the other demihuman races. I am not sure if that fits with the description of Escalla? Faerie is also a term used collectively for Fey races in Classic D&D (BECMI) while the term Fey seems to have taken over from 3E and onwards.

How is Escalla described?

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed May 03, 2017 4:42 pm

The From the Ashes boxed set describes the faerie Court of Rings, accessible from a portal in the Welkwood (Atlas of the Flanaess, page 66). It is considered another plane (a kind of demiplane called a Fading Land). I don't know if Paul Kidd based his faerie court on this, but there's definitely an otherworldly faerie court in Greyhawk canon. The Court of Rings may or may not be the same as the Seelie Court from Monster Mythology; they sound similar, and were created by the same author (Carl Sargent) but the Court of Rings is a demiplane overlapping the Prime Material Plane while the Seelie Court (described further in Planes of Chaos and Planes of Conflict) is said to travel between Ysgard, Arborea, and the Beastlands so their connection is unclear.

Escalla looks like an 18-inch-high elf woman with insectlike wings, so she's not exactly like the faeries in the D&D Master Rules.

She's a pretty good match for the seelie faeries detailed in the 2nd edition AD&D Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995), page 105. They're actually considered a kind of sprite and listed as "Sprite, Seelie Faerie" but they're referred to as seelie faeries in the actual description. The seelie faeries in this source range from one inch to one foot in height, so Escalla is a little bigger, but she's royalty and they don't seem to have a firmly fixed size anyway. The following page of the same book details unseelie faeries.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed May 03, 2017 5:55 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:I have a lot to say on this subject, but for now check out this thread: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php ... pic&t=8582
That sort of just restates what I already know. :(

I wonder of Kidd is interviewed anywhere.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed May 03, 2017 8:42 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:That sort of just restates what I already know.
What exactly are you asking, then? What do you still want to know? I feel like I answered both parts of your question: yes, there are faeries and a court of the faeries in 2nd edition.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed May 03, 2017 11:37 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
GMWestermeyer wrote:That sort of just restates what I already know.
What exactly are you asking, then? What do you still want to know? I feel like I answered both parts of your question: yes, there are faeries and a court of the faeries in 2nd edition.
I missed the post with info from Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two, that was what I was looking for, thank you! I was refering to the Canonfire discussion.

I agree, Escalla and her family fit as 'royalty' Seelie Faerie from that source perfectly.

I'm pretty certain that is what he meant. The stone circle in't a great match. The Faerie court accessed in Descent is in the Dreadwood (great location, IMO). And I don't recall a stone circle. I need to reread these novels.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed May 03, 2017 11:47 pm

Interesting twist, that is a compendium of monsters TSR released in module and magazines in 1994... so, where did seelie faeries appear in 1994 products? My hunt is on!

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by Havard » Mon May 08, 2017 1:15 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Escalla looks like an 18-inch-high elf woman with insectlike wings, so she's not exactly like the faeries in the D&D Master Rules.

She's a pretty good match for the seelie faeries detailed in the 2nd edition AD&D Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995), page 105. They're actually considered a kind of sprite and listed as "Sprite, Seelie Faerie" but they're referred to as seelie faeries in the actual description. The seelie faeries in this source range from one inch to one foot in height, so Escalla is a little bigger, but she's royalty and they don't seem to have a firmly fixed size anyway. The following page of the same book details unseelie faeries.
Is there any reason why she could not be a standard Sprite? Not sure about AD&D Sprites, but according to BECMI sprites can be up to 15 inches so allowing for slight variations for royalty that might be appropriate.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by Alzrius » Tue May 09, 2017 6:02 pm

As I recall, the novels state several times that "faeries" are simply pixies that are spellcasters. The most obvious reference that I can recall is Lolth saying that in the third novel, Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:46 pm

Just started rereading this series, and noticed the 'faeries are pixies who become spellcasters' thing. I hadn't noticed that the combined pizies and sprites into one race - makes sense.

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Re: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (spoilers)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:03 pm

I have been rereading this series again.

I really think the Greyhawk series is the closest TSR ever came to capturing the feel of a D&D game in novel form. Paul Kidd's trilogy is excellent, but the choices are odd. A more logical series would have started with Against the Giants, and that is part of the Greyhawk series but it has a different author and totally different characters. So instead of the traditional G1-3, D1-3, Q1 module progression, we get S2, D1-3, and Q1. In some ways, that feels more natural, in the early days the links between modules were tenuous and PCs popped all over the world almost randomly, popping from module to module as they became available.

I love this novel, in large part because Kidd introduces a lot of Faerie court politics and some Planescape aspects that just really work with the story. I couldn't find much on the Seelie Court in outside of Monster Mythology. I would recommend Descent into the Depths of the Earth for DMs looking to add it to their campaigns. If you go that route, DEFINITELY get Hackmaster 4e's Adventurer's Guide to Pixie Fairies http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?products_id=46 to flesh out the Faerie Court personalities - it translates very well, with minimal conversion to 2e.

The last book in the series, Queen of the Demonweb Pits is essentially an entire Planescape novel without the Planescape title. Whioch fits, because the original module was, I believe, the first published planes adventure.

This also really highlights how a good DM could take these classic modules and reworked the motivations and preludes to fit them together in different ways. Which is pretty much exactly how I run my own campaigns.

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