5e SRD >Backgrounds >Open Design LLC >

Fey Hostage

Years, possibly centuries, ago you were captured by the fey. Each host, as the fey called themselves, treated their“guest” differently. The relationship you forged with your captors defines you just as strongly as the circumstances of your abduction and of your escape or release. You have been indelibly marked—emotionally, psychically, and physically—by the fey and their special brand of hospitality.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Insight

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, one type of musical instrument

Languages: Elvish, Sylvan

Equipment: A flower with petals that will never wilt, a musical instrument (one of your choice), a set of fine clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp

Life-changing Event

The fey have a multitude of reasons for abducting—or rescuing—folk like you, and it’s also possible that you or others did something to bring about your situation.

Choose or randomly determine the reason behind your sojourn in the realm of the fey.

d6 Bond
1 I always keep a journal. It grounds me to my past and organizes my thoughts. Without it, I would be lost.
2 I carefully consider my options before making any decision of importance.
3 I am a student—in thoughts, actions, and words— ahead of all other roles and responsibilities.
4 A quill, given to me be my mentor during our first lessons, is precious to me above all other things.
5 I am bound to fulfill a sacred duty to a university or a tutor that started me on my path.
6 I stole a priceless grimoire from my patron, and they have learned of my theft.
d6 Flaw
1 I am protective of all that I have learned. I have sacrificed much for it, and it is mine to do with as I please.
2 I have found the one true way, the path to enlightenment. I share my teachings with all who can hear me, whether they want to follow the path or not.
3 I place my safety ahead of the welfare of all others. How else will my knowledge be recorded and shared with future generations?
4 I was once confined in a prison of my own making. Never again will I limit myself to learning without experiencing.
5 I will not destroy a book, tome, grimoire, or text of any kind. To lose knowledge is an abomination.
6 I share the knowledge I have worked so hard to attain with all who seek it. A question asked is a question that deserves to be answered.
d8 Event
1 My childhood was tithed to the fey by my family in return for prosperity for as long I remained in their care.
2 I made a bargain with a fox to play with its cubs in their den. The fox turned out to be an emissary of the Summer Court, and I was not released until the cubs came of age.
3 Centuries ago my ancestors were rulers and made a political alliance with the fey in exchange for tribute to be paid every third generation. We are no longer rulers, but the fey still demand their tithe.
4 I have no memories of my past before I was taken by the fey.
5 I wandered into an ancient, primeval wood shortly after learning to walk and was found by the fey, who took me in.
6 A fey child befriended me and invited me to their home.
7 I am the only survivor of a fey raid. They killed my parents, but spared me for their own unknowable reasons.
8 My parents could not care for me, and their choices were to abandon me in a forest or a city. They chose the forest.
d6 Bond
1 I left a friend behind when I escaped, and I am gathering resources to return and free them.
2 I did not escape from my fey captors. They allowed me my freedom in exchange for my continued clandestine service.
3 I earned my freedom by tricking another to take my place with the fey. My betrayal of that person’s trust haunts me.
4 I am free because of the actions of an unknown benefactor. I wait for them to reveal why I was released.
5 I feel a constant, ever-tugging connection to the lands of the fey.
6 I was given my freedom after years of diligent, demeaning, and debauched servitude.
d6 Flaw
1 I cannot lie outright, only by omission, because of my years with the fey.
2 I will never willingly make another promise to anyone or anything.
3 The fey creature that abducted me haunts me in my dreams.
4 I will never accept free food, drink, or gifts from strangers.
5 I speak in sing-song voice and in rhymes. I never answer questions directly.
6 I am certain that my freedom from the fey is only temporary and that any fey I meet want to recapture me.
d6 Ideal
1 Art. Works of art are meant to question, challenge, and disturb. (Any)
2 Pleasure. There are no long-term rewards, only the enjoyments of the moment. (Chaotic)
3 Independence. Independence is the privilege of the few who are strong to assert it. (Any)
4 Fellowship. Lasting fellowship is born in shared suffering and teamwork when overcoming adversity. (Any)
5 Self-confidence. There are no views, perspectives, or standards of any worth aside from my own. (Evil)
6 Malice. I feel nothing but spite, rancor, and envy for those that took me, and for those that let me be taken. (Evil)
d8 Personality Trait
1 I remain a child in thought, action, and deed.
2 I defer decisions to elves and fey that I encounter, always looking to them for guidance.
3 I long for the accommodations and sustenance I became accustomed to as a hostage of the Fair Folk.
4 I distrust any who display traits of fey heritage.
5 I tell others what I think they want to hear, whether I believe it not, to keep them happy.
6 I see danger in every shadow, enemies behind each door, and threats in the eyes of strangers.
7 I never speak unless spoken to, and never look people in the eyes.
8 I am fascinated, frightened, and uncomfortable in an urban environment.

Feature: First Impressions

You were raised in a situation in which failing to adhere to the nuances, niceties, and intrigues of the fey court could have catastrophic repercussions. The first impressions one makes set the tone for future endeavors. You have learned that lesson well, and continue to apply it. In your initial social interaction with an individual fey, you gain a +2 bonus to the first Charisma-based check you make.

Suggested Characteristics

A fey hostage will never forget the events that led to their capture, the treatment they experienced, or the circumstances of their release. Their experiences with the unpredictable fey might range from whimsical to pathological.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Deep Magic for 5th Edition © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors: Dan Dillon, Chris Harris, and Jeff Lee.