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I'm creating a character for a game set in the Forgotten Realms. My character is going to be a winter Eladrin.

I have been reading the Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes section about the elves and more specifically the Eladrin, but I'll admit that I don't have a lot of experience with anything "fey"-related.

Which source books and/or publications should I read if I wanted to know more about 'lore-accurate' Feylords, Archfeys, Eladrin nations/cities and the Feywild in general?

I am looking for "pure lore" no matter what edition it is from. I still have a lot of FR books from AD&D 2nd edition and D&D 3rd edition... I'd like to know which one to read, if I am to open that dusty box!

I have been reading on the subject and it is unclear to me if Eladrin are new from 4th edition or if they existed before. Besides those 2 editions' references, this one from a 4th edition wiki, I only found information about elves that might hint at the existence of the Eladrin, but nothing "canon" lore-wise.

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Eladrin

Much of the following is taken from the Wikipedia page on Eladrin, as they are very scattered in appearances.

2e

  • Planescape: Monstrous Compendium Appendix II
  • Warriors of Heaven (first appearance as a playable race)

3e

  • Monster Manual (Under celestial)
  • Manual of the Planes (again under celestial)
  • Savage Species (as a race and playable class)

3.5e

  • Monster Manual (revised edition)
  • Book of Exalted Deeds (also features the Court of Stars, paragons and other key beings)
  • Fiendish Codex I: Heroes of the Abyss (details the role in the tanar'ri uprising)

4e

  • Player's Handbook (Core race living in the Feywild)
  • Monster Manual
  • Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (moves moon/sun elves as subgroups of Eladrin)
  • Heroes of the Fallen Lands (again as a core group)
  • Player's Handbook II (paragon path), Monster Manual II, Martial Power (paragon path)

5e

  • Dungeon Master's Guide (as subrace of elves)
  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Feywild

  • Manual of the Planes (4e) - General characteristics, ways of transition from the Prime world and back, inhabitants, significant places.
  • Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild (4e) - Presents history, stories, settings, player races and subraces, adventure hooks and options.
  • Beyond the Crystal Cave (4e) - Adventure module from Season 7 of D&D Encounters, not a sourcebook but does detail the feywild and has interactions with inhabitants
  • Complete Guide to Fey (3.5e 3rd party book) - Rules for Fey hosts, courts, cycles, player races, creation of new fey races. Attempts to be a complete fey sourcebook for the 3.5e system.
  • The Feywild (5e DM's Guild release) - Lore, history, maps, locations along with rules for subclassing, crafting and several new monsters and magic items.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I usually look for sources on Wikis first, but completely zapped that one ! My thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Catar4
    Aug 5 '19 at 23:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good summary! I think it might be improved by expanding a little on how their general depiction has changed between editions but otherwise this is a solid list of resources. Also, you should note that that last DMsGuild product is homebrew. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 6 '19 at 4:53
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If you're going to play a Winter Eladrin in 5e, the best recommendation I can make to offer about that specific culture of Eladrin is the original article on Winterkin Eladrin. Now, the lore will not be a perfect match, because 5th edition has actually quite heavily reworked the basic assumption of who the eladrin are, even whilst staying true to 4e's basic concept of them as "the Feywild Elves", but it is the original point from which 5e's "seasonal shifting" eladrin were derived, so it can't hurt to check it out.

Winterkin Eladrin are detailed in "Winning Races: Winterkin Eladrin", by Robert J. Schwalb, in Dragon #384, released in February 2010.

As for Eladrin as a whole, if you're playing 5e, you don't really need to look at their lore past 4th edition, because the original Eladrin were very different. Introduced in AD&D 2nd edition as part of the Planescape campaign setting, old-school eladrin were Celestials (Outer Planar beings native to the Upper Planes) who embodied the alignment of Chaotic Good. They all looked like elves (save the two subraces who looked like pixies and aquatic elves respectively), could transform into an energy form, and were officially Not Related to the elves despite their appearances.

4th edition eladrin, which are the root of 5e eladrin, basically took the names of the eladrin, mixed it up with the High/Gray Elf subraces of AD&D, and rolled them into the Feywild. 4e Eladrin are the "Magic" Elf Race (compared to regular elves, which are the "Primal" Elf Race). They are city-builders, focused on arcane magic and civilization's benefits over nature, and the single most powerful and organized race in the Feywild, essentially taking the place of humans in their traditional "dominant race" slot in that plane. Good sources for 4e eladrin are Wizards Presents: Races & Classes, the Player's Handbook 1, and Heroes of the Fallen Lands.

For information on the Feywild, you want to stick to the original 4e lore, as that's where it was invented; the closest thing to the Feywild in the original Great Wheel is the Archfey's Court, a demiplane that travels across the Chaotic Upper Planes, and the optional Plane of Faerie from 3rd edition, which is... minimalistic. I do not recommend reading any of the homebrewed Feywild supplements offered on the DM's Guild, because in my experience they largely ignore everything 4e did and just offer their own reinterpretation of 3e's Plane of Faerie. The best sources on the Feywild in general are the 4th Edition Manual of the Planes and Heroes of the Feywild. There are also a number of articles in the 4e run of Dragon & Dungeon magazines that touch upon specific Feywild locations.

For the Archfey in particular, again, stick to the 4e lore - the original Great Wheel Archfey are literally just names and a table listing worshippers, symbol and associated planes in the back of the Planescape splatbook On Hallowed Ground. 4e Archfey Lore, in addition to the Feywild books I mentioned above, is found as a series of articles in Dragon & Dungeon Magazine called "Court of Stars"; these are the fully-detailed Archfey of 4th edition, and the Archfey article on 1d4chan mentions others that didn't appear in the Court of Stars, including several specifically associated with the Forgotten Realms:

  • The Prince of Frost (Dragon #374)
  • The Carrion King (Dragon #420)
  • Thrumbolg, First Lord of Mag Tureah (Dragon #420)
  • Hyrsam, Prince of Satyrs (Dragon #422)
  • Cerunnos, the Horned Lord (Dragon #428)
  • Selephra, the Bramble Queen (Dungeon #185)
  • Baba Yaga, Mother Of All Witches (Dungeon #196)
  • Tuxil, the Trinket Lord (Dungeon #205)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ what a great answer. I wish I had linkables to all of those articles. +1. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can find all of those Dragon and Dungeon issues online if you simply Google them, but since that is technically piracy, I didn't think it was appropriate to include direct links to them in my response. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, I'll try to be discrete, thanks for the tip. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 at 18:19

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