Faerie Rings

Faerie rings are not technically a creature, rather a manifestation of magic surrounding a weak point between realms. They are dangerous only if entered.

Category: Location

History

Faerie rings are commonly associated with stories of humans becoming trapped in the faerie realms or Underhill, a faerie town of sorts. To become trapped, one merely has to step completely inside the ring. To the person who walked inside, nothing will appear wrong until they try to leave, at which point they will be revealed to be trapped on the other side of the ring, or find that if they can leave, centuries have passed in what felt like moments.

Traits

A faerie ring is a circle of plants, most commonly mushrooms, found often in the woods or wilderness somewhere. They form as a natural marker of a weak point between realms, and usually signify a place where one can move between realms. For the fae and other supernatural creatures, this poses no issue, but for mortal species time becomes unstable. Mortals that pass through the ring can become trapped if they do not carefully follow faerie rules of hospitality, and even if they manage to go back home, there is no guarantee that it will be when they left. While arriving many years after their departure is common, arriving before they left has also happened, resulting in unstable timelines and occasional death from the confusion.

If one is welcomed into the ring by one of the fae, and they agree to your safe entry and departure, it is safe to travel to the other side, but the rules of the faerie realm still apply, and your guide is under no obligations to help you unless that have promised to do so. Fae cannot lie, so their word can be trusted, but they may twist their words if so inclined. A promise is only worth the exact wording and no further.

Faerie rings can form anywhere, but commonly form on the sights of high magical activity, or on the graves of dead dryads and other location-locked supernatural creatures. The fae themselves do not create the rings, as they can usually make their own ways between realms. Mushroom sprites have been known to be attracted to their locations. Other species are also drawn to the site of a faerie ring, but whether it is the ring itself or the residual magic in the area that draws them in is unclear.

Besides being a perfect, unbroken circle of plants, all of which will be the same regardless of which species makes up the ring, there are other ways of confirming a faerie ring. There is a general feeling of foreboding and strangeness around the area. The interior of the ring will be pristine; no litter, animal droppings or even fallen branches. If you leave something inside the ring, it will either be gone on the next visit or set outside of the ring. If it is gone, it has been accepted as a gift to whoever came across it first. Being left outside the ring is a sign it has been rejected.

While it would not be recommended to enter the ring without a guide you trust, leaving gifts inside can earn you the goodwill of your supernatural neighbors. If you are leaving gifts, things like milk and honey, or handmade items, will usually be welcomed. Only leave meat if nothing else has been accepted. If you have started gifting, you may stop at any time, but it would be wise to ensure at least one gift has been accepted before stopping, lest whoever has ben rejecting the others is disappointed and seeks you out for more.

Faerie rings will only form in places of high magical energy, and therefore are rarely anywhere near residential areas. If one is found near a neighborhood or town, it’s almost certainly because a fae (or more than one) lives there. It would be best to avoid any such rings, as a faerie living amongst humans will likely be more paranoid than most and won’t appreciate any gifts or anyone present near their ring. If you find a faerie ring in a more secluded area, it’s less likely to be claimed or to belong to any one person.

Weaknesses

Faerie rings are only dangerous when entered, and can safely be avoided without issue. The only issue that could come up is if one appeared on your property; a blatant move onto personal property can be taken as either a very strong invitation or a threat. Best to place an offering inside the ring and avoid stepping into it unless a person actually shows up to clarify further.

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