Tuesday 20 March 2018

Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition

Angels, Daemons and Beings Between Volume II: Elfland Edition was written by James A. Pozenel, Jr. with supplemental writing by Mark Green, Daniel J. Bishop, and Paul Linkowski. Art is by David Fisher (including cover), Doug Kovacs, Stefan Poag, Stephen Thompson and Bruce Worden. The publisher is Shinobi27 Games.

Disclosure: I wrote the forward and a backer patron for this product, and was a patron of the successful Kickstarter campaign. The author also kindly mentions my blog in his introduction, and says "While all the research broadened my horizons, it was some of Daniel Bishop’s words in a blog post about patrons that ended up informing my work the most."

This is a massive book, containing 13 full patrons (including three backer patrons), four demi-patrons, and more. Let's look inside!

Foreword: Standard fare, which I wrote.

Preface: More standard fare, but which tells you how the author chose to approach him material.

Introduction: Here we get into the first real meat of the book, with discussions of the Faerie Court, Faerie Mounds, and the relationship between Elves, Patrons and Religion. Anyone familiar with folklore, or the more folklore-derived elf-types in Appendix N literature, will be more delighted than surprised by this material.

Patrons: The book then jumps into the 10 full patrons James Pozenel devised for the book. They are:

  • Balancyrs, The Changeling Prince: "Balancyrs is a changeling, the result of the union between an elf and a troll. When a changeling is born, magic is used to give the infant a form. Sometimes they appear as a human, others an elf -- the possibilities are virtually limitless and governed by the spellcaster’s aims and whims." 
  • Ehawol, The Fallen: "Ehawol was once a powerful elf renowned for his prowess in crafting and enchanting. He hungered for arcane secrets and hidden lore until his obsession led to him being consumed by the influence of demonic powers."
  • Finngolric: "Finngolric is a patron to orphans, the poor, vagabonds, and thieves. While none of these roles are commonplace in traditional elven communities, there are times and places where Finngolric is able to entice elves to follow his particular call to freedom."
  • Hollura: "Hollura is sometimes called the Good Mother. She is knowledgeable in protection, healing, and herbalism. She is said to have created the Fey Rune of Healing, a secret that she has shared amongst the elves."
  • Ioelena: "Ioelena is a powerful, female, elf mage who dwells in the fey realms of Elfland. The Lady of Flame and Fate is a powerful pyromancer, summoner, diviner and an expert in manipulating fate itself. Ioelena’s symbol is the phoenix and it is rumored that she may even be related to the mythical beasts."
  • Lumgolit, Demon Queen of the Spider Pits: "Lumgolit, The Demon Queen of the Spider Pits, The Dark Weaver, is the patron supreme amongst the fallen race of the black-skinned dark elves. Her cruelty is renowned and she sows discord between her followers and enemies alike."
  • Setanda: "Setanda is a lusty, brave half-elf/half-faerie who enjoys competing, battling, or contesting anything dangerous or difficult. Many think he is easily provoked, capricious, and erratic, but for Setanda all challenges are to be confronted and conquered."
  • Sintar, The Knower: "Sintar is often just called by his epitaph: The Knower. Both Sintar and the King of Elfland are considered as twin patriarchs of the elves. One is the lord and guardian of the Fey Realms; the other its spy and sage."
  • Volundrar: "Volundrar is a master craftsman and enchanter without peer. He practices his arts in solitude, yet it is rumored that there is an abnormally malicious side to the being called the Strange Smith. It is common knowledge that the Weird Worker was imprisoned at one time by a powerful king and forced to make fine trinkets and magical items."
  • Yvrion: "Yvrion is warden of sacred forests, master of the hunt, paragon of the elven bowman, and swordsman supreme. It is well known amongst the Faerie Court, that Yvrion is a close ally of the King of Elfland. He is bold and quick to take action, at times even rashly."

Lumgolit has the distinction of being mentioned (although not by name) in the core rulebook: "the demon queen of the spider pits tires of her servants being misused by mortals and takes notice of the caster, who finds himself beset by arachnid opponents at all turns (judge’s discretion) for the next 1d7+1 days – these spiders, both mundane and demonic, attack exclusively the caster and clearly seek to punish him" (page 196). The dark elves are mentioned on pages 56 and 320.

Demi-Patrons: Demi-patrons were first described in CE 5: Silent Nightfall, and later appeared in Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between, having been further (and independently) developed by Paul Wolfe. These are beings, not as powerful as full patrons, who may nonetheless aid spellcasters. This volume contains four.

  • Alboran, The Red King: "Alboran is the mightiest of the faeries in the area of Noc Marb. His charges are the brownies, leprechauns, sprites and fairies who inhabit the area around the ancient hill."
  • Dahudmorgan: "Dahudmorgan is queen amongst the sea-faeries who inhabit the haunted and rocky shores of Menegond (Thousand Rocks). During the day, she hides underwater in her magnificent golden city or in one of the natural caves or grottoes in the sea-cliffs surrounding her home under the waves. At night, she sits on one of the rocky islands that stretch along the coastline, combing her beautiful, long, golden tresses and singing."
  • Menelotera, The Devil Bloom: "The thing called Menelotera or Star Devil Bloom descended from the heavens ages ago near the elven community of Dorondil. The community retrieved the fallen plant from its crater and nursed it back to health. They placed the blasted plant in a porphyry urn and grew worried as its condition improved."
  • Reidmar, The Deathless: "The absence of his soul renders him immune to the laws and traditions of the Faerie Courts. Death will not take him and the Faerie Courts fear him. It only remains to see what Reidmar will do next."

The book also contains six Appendices.

Appendix A: Magic Item Generator: This appendix allows the judge to create unique magic items easily, and with interesting results.

Appendix B: Elven Mercurial Magic: This is not a full set of mercurial tables, but offers replacements for the "No change. The spell manifests as standard." results from 41-60 in the core rulebook. It differentiates results in many cases between normal and dark elves.

Appendix C: New Classes: This Appendix offers two new fey classes: Elven Thief of Finngolric and Faerie. The Faerie in particular offers a good treatment of the basic concept:

"You are a tiny, mischievous sprite. The big people call you the Fair Folk, the Gentry, Little People or faeries. You live in mounds or great hollowed trees in secluded, sacred forests and hillsides. You live to torment or treat the larger races if they stumble into your territory. Little children dream of finding you but those who do may regret it. Sometimes kind and helpful, at other times known to play mischief (or worse) upon mortals, their actions, taboos, and customs can seem inscrutable and confusing."

Goodman Games published The Complete Guide to Fey for the 3rd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. That work offers some insight into creating and running faerie creatures that this class does not, but this class reads like a distillation of that work into Dungeon Crawl Classics sensibilities. I think that the author did a very good job here.

Appendix D: New Spells: The book offers two new spells: Glamour and Invoke Nature's Spirits. Both are level 1 spells.

Appendix E: Patron Revelation Sheets: "These Patron Revelation Sheets are for the bonded wizards and elves in your campaign. The players may keep track of results from invoke patron or the patron spells they’ve been taught. The player can also record patron taints and other long term effects from their extended contact with supernatural beings."

Appendix F: Backer Patrons: Three backer patrons are included in this volume. They are:

  • The Faerie Ring by Mark Green: "The Faerie Ring is a collective of faeries. Individual faeries are magical but not hugely powerful, however, when gathered together, their power is multiplied many-fold."
  • Gloriana, Faerie Godmother by Daniel J. Bishop: "Many of the faerie folk take a sidelong interest in human affairs. Often, this interest lasts but for an encounter, but sometimes a faerie becomes interested in mortals for their entire lifetimes, which is still a fleeting interest in the aeons-long existence of the fae. Such a creature is Gloriana, who sometimes aids Wizards and Elves, and has become the godmother of several mortal children - both with, and without, a formal Patron Bond spell."
  • Tand-Alv, the Tooth Fairy by Paul Linkowski: "For a millennium three powerful lich kings have maintained a permanent portal between their realm and the elf lands. Tand-Alv, the unfortunate regional ruler where the portal materialized in, has vowed to stop the undead forces from gaining a foothold in the elf lands. Realizing that a traditional elf army is dangerous to use against the liches because the fallen elven warriors could be used by the liches to add to their undead army, Tand-Alv found an unusual solution. She created an army of giant snails and slugs to fight off the undead hordes."

Gloriana first appeared in The Revelation of Mulmo, and was first fully developed in The Revelation of Mulmo Tentacled Edition.

As with the first volume, there is permission to use these patrons in other products included in the Usage and License Information section.

The fey are an ancient race of elves, faerie and other mischievous beings, their origins lost in antiquity. Ever questing for the esoteric secrets of magic and of the universe itself, elves have long sought to connect with the architects of their kind. Serving and bargaining with fey patrons of old is a means to this end.

Angels, Daemons and Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition unleashes the hidden patrons of Elfland. From fey barbarians and vagabond thieves to vile demons and alien vegetation, this tome shines light on 14 [sic] new patrons of distinct fey character. With accompanying spells, spellburn, patron taints and the rituals required to commune with these patrons. This volume is a must for your campaign’s elves… and wizards, of course!

(I count 13 new patrons and 4 demi-patrons. I think the solicitation text was meant to include the 10 patrons and 4 demi-patrons written by James Pozenel, but if so they are under-selling the product.)

Get It Here!

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