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 LeShay, the Archfey, and the Seldarine

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
MandarinB Posted - 20 Jul 2022 : 23:41:34
Hello again, everyone. I was doing some digging through the Grand History of the Realms and it sent me into a lore search when I became interested in the Fey Creator Race and could find so little on the wiki about them. I've since read their entry in the Epic Level Handbook and the Realmslore: Sarifal article from Dragon Magazine, but seeing as there's very little past those two sources, I felt like it was time to consult the lore masters here.

We know that the LeShay are probably the fey creator race, but little aside from that because they lost their whole history in some mysterious cataclysm (searching the term 'LeShay' and reading many many old threads here on the forum led me to someone's theory about the Sundering being the cataclysm, but since that didn't seem to use any source I knew of, I've dismissed it until I find more). Only a few of these super powerful elf-like fey survived, and then they did.. nothing? Aside from Sarifal, I couldn't find anything on them actually affecting the world around them aside from probably being a creator race.

Then I thought.. maybe the ones that actually did something just don't go by that label anymore? I'm not too familiar with the history of the elder Seldarine (prior to Araushnee v. Corellon) and the Archfey, but could it be possible that the earliest members of these powers were originally LeShay. I mean, if the average LeShay was running around with a CR comparable to some demon lords, couldn't some of them have ascended to become deities and near-powers? It would explain why they're the 'creator race' if they established many of the power structures in the feywild, or if they were responsible for the creation of the elves through Corellon's blood (since he would be an ascended LeShay in this theory).

Now I'm not an expert in either Archfey or the Seldarine, as I mentioned before, so I wanted to hear what you guys thought of this as well as any origin stories for the Seldarine or the Archfey that would make this impossible. Thanks in advance!
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
LordofBones Posted - 07 Aug 2022 : 12:24:38

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas
It was also suggested in 3E Pale Night is a danger to gods, despite her low (CR 21). Further in 3E, CR of archfiends varied. Book of Vile Darkness had higher CR, as did the Demonomicon articles and the Savage Tide adventure.




You also don't have to look further than Orcus's defeat and return. The instant Orcus showed up in Naratyr, Kiaransalee proceeded to soil herself and decided that permanent indentured servitude to her hated boss was a far better fate than having Prince Goatface express his displeasure up close.

And there's the 'loths killing the god whose spine makes up Khin-Oin.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 19:27:00
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas


(Though I don't hate the LeShay name. It does seem a combination of Sidhe/Sith/Shee, Le Fay (from Morgan Le Fay), and Leshy, and seems like a fitting name for them, but YMMV.)



It's the capital S that kills it for me. It makes it look like it should be Le Shay, not one word. If it had been Leshay, that would have been better for me. Or Leshaeren or Elashai or something like that, which has a cooler sound to me, and sounds more like something you'd call a people than LeShay does.

Though obviously, as you say, YMMV.
Delnyn Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 19:11:14
The CR 27 was an aspect of Asmodeus, not his true form. That said, I would take Challenge Ratings with a grain of salt.
Baltas Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 16:43:30
I agree with Wooly here.

(Though I don't hate the LeShay name. It does seem a combination of Sidhe/Sith/Shee, Le Fay (from Morgan Le Fay), and Leshy, and seems like a fitting name for them, but YMMV.)

Especially that LeShay, before late 3.5E and 4E (that connected them to elves), didn't have much lore, only an apperance in the Epic Level Handbook, and their lore there connects them to elves definitelly (even as an ancient form of the elven race), and even Seldarine. (And even in Epic Leel Handbook, it was strongly suggested LeShay are closelly related to elven, up to even in statistics explictly elven traits.)

And another thing is, fey beings, elves and the elven pantheon, had allways strong connections in D&D.

There are more fey kinds of elves, that have weaknness to silver, like Pharisees from Queen of the Demonweb Pit (and originally from Three Hearts and Three Lions novel) being one of the earliest examples in D&D.

Seldarine are also connected to fey. Wood Elves were in first edition also said to worship Skerrit, while Treants worshipped Rillifane Rallathil.

Since their apperance in 2E, the Faerie Pantheon has a connection to Seldarine and elves. Up to several members of Seldarine being closelly connected to Seelie court (like Erevan Ilesere - "the Jack of the Seelie court", and possibly Eachthighern mother; Sarula Iliene being an ex-member of the Seelie court who joined the Seldarine). The Queen of Air and Darkness also embodies both the darkness within the fey and elven hearts.

Elves also emigrated from the realm of Faerie to Toril, earliest ones gated by the Fey creator race (the LeShay, it seems), and even the Green elves who first arrived worshipped the Faerie Gods (as were Titania and Oberon still worshipped on Evermeet). Though perhaps it could also mean then there was no difference between the Faerie Gods and Seldarine (it does contradict the Evermeet: Island of the Elves by Elaine Cunningham, but as does Green elves originally not knowing the Seldarine, the Dark Elves yet not being being a separate group).

Elves even can permanently become fey (Treants Dryads and Nymphs) after death, as detailed in Cormanthyr Empire of Elves.

On the world of Aebrynis (Birthright setting), both elves (Sidhelien) and the Seelie And Unseelie Fey are descendants of ancient "Fey elves" - the Sie, which are quite similar to LeShay, and miht be an inspiration for them in 3E.

There are many more connections, but elves were always connected to fey

Comparing "power levels" of beings by just their statistics and CR, is a bit of a fallacy. By this logic, indeed Malkizid would be a rival for/comprable to Asmodeus, and stronger than both Kezef (CR 21) and Dendar (CR 26).

In contrast, earlier 2E Planescape lore suggested Lords of Nine being comparable to true deities/powers in power, even mortals being able to cofront their avatars, not the true archdevil. A single Archdevil (not Asmodeus) aparently kicked out the Orcish pantheon out of Baator to Archeon (described as such in both Dragon 223 and On Hallowed Ground), suggesting power comparable to an extremelly powerful greater god. (There was though Levistus confict with Set, though this could be explained by Levistus' frozen state limiting him, and the fact it was stated all other Lords of Nine hate him, and probably help Set against him, if to keep them at a stalemate).

It was also suggested in 3E Pale Night is a danger to gods, despite her low (CR 21). Further in 3E, CR of archfiends varied. Book of Vile Darkness had higher CR, as did the Demonomicon articles and the Savage Tide adventure.

To be clear, I believe LeShay are extremelly powerful, but I don't think each (or even really, any) would be more powerful than Asmodeus.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 16:02:52
Again, I don't really know (or care) about the LeShay (and I hate that name)... But if I had to, I'd say that the LeShay were the very first race of elves. They're not gods and not Creators, just the first elves -- primal elves, if you will. And then something happens, and their immortality was lost.

It was likely a thing of where before a certain point, all LeShay were immortal, but after this point, either some of the formerly immortal ones were now mortal, or that after this point, they started being born mortal instead of immortal (I favor the latter).

And it was these new, mortal LeShay that started spreading out and differentiating into all the different flavors of elves.

(Also, I like Bastion Press's Faeries and would use that book's FaerieLand as my Faerie, though I might drop in elements of some other versions of Faerie that I've read, and maybe a bit of Golarion's First World. I've never liked the thing of turning Faerie into the Feywild, so my spin is that Faerie is a more "distant" plane and the Feywild is something "closer" to the Prime, and that the Feywild is kind of a blend of Prime and Faerie)
LordofBones Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 14:53:52
The leShay always kind of struck me as Melnibone expies.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 06 Aug 2022 : 02:00:11
There hasn't been much mention of LeShay that I am aware of, except in the Rose of Sarifel novel, which, um, has some, uh...issues, shall we say. MToF ties in the LeShay, but that book changed a bunch of elf lore, anyway.

I am going to agree with King Libertine that the Seldarine are gods (and some, like Corellon, are multispheric), whereas the LeShay are powerful, ancient immortals (it does beg the question of how they came to be though). Depsite my love of elves, this is an aspect of their lore I'm not well versed in. I've just always associated the LeShay with Faerie/Feywild.
m
King Libertine Posted - 31 Jul 2022 : 18:38:34
As I have taken it in canon lore, the LeShay ARE the creator race of the fey, not the elves. LeShay and elves may look much alike, but elves are mortal, and LeShay are immortal, as are the Archfey.

The standard CR for a LeShay is 28, and that is without giving them character class levels. So a LeShay Beguiler 20 has a CR of 48. The Archfey are not LeShay, as LeShay as a fey race have a certain detailed look about them, whereas the Archfey are varied in separate distinctive fey races.

If you read the D20 sourcebook "Faeries" by Bastion Press, there is a race of fey called the Feeorin, and they are the noble elite of the Plane of Faerie. Some becoming Archfey, others just being normal Feeorin.

I would say the LeShay ARE the creator race of the fey from the Plane of Faerie (which 4ed mutilated into the feywild). The Archfey would be the children of the LeShay who inherited the Plane of Faerie after the creator race became absentee landlords.

The Seldarine are actual Gods than span the multiverse and are worshiped on multiple worlds in many different universes, whereas the LeShay are just ancient immortals from the beginning of time apparently.

To separate the LeShay from the Archfey and actual deities, we need to ask where they all fit on the Divine Rank scale. Divine rank 0 is a Demi-god. Divine rank 1 is the lowest of gods. So where do creatures like Archfey, LeShay and Archfiends rank? Asmodeus is a CR 27. Malkizid is a CR 27. A LeShay has a CR of 28. Titiana, the Queen of the Seelie Court has no canon CR. So maybe a Divine Rank of 0? A Demigod perhaps?
In FR canon, the creator races were not deities, yet they created many of the mortals that exist in FR today. So the average LeShay is a CR 28, which is 1 CR more than the ruler of the 9 hells. Maybe they created the Fey race and whatever cataclysm befell them, caused them to leave Faerun, the Plane of Faerie and the entire realm of Ao.

High Lady Ordalf of the city of Karador and the kingdom of Sarifal in the Moonshae Isles is a leShay. Her rule has lasted for over 11,000 years. She can destroy Larloch for goodness sake. Asmodeus and Demogorgon would have a hard time killing her in combat if either of them chose to confront her for whatever reason. If a standard LeShay is CR 28, and High Lady Ordalf has ruled her kingdom for over 11,000 years, then I would assume she has some class levels. Druid 20? Sorcerer 20? Beguiler 20? Ranger 10/ Wildrunner 10? Whatever the case, she would be a CR 48 for that scenario. I would imagine that would be on par if not beyond the most powerful Archfey, besides Titiana, Oberon and The Queen of Air and Darkness possibly. Those 3 may be a Divine rank 0. Just guessing, as no canon stats exist for them.

I would imagine the race of LeShay are not almost extinct, but rather scattered across the multiverse finding little interest in any particular thing for any amount of time. Maybe insert a Spelljammer scenario, as some elves in Faerun came to Toril by such means and landed on Evermeet.
PattPlays Posted - 29 Jul 2022 : 07:11:31
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Community assertion #1
>Ed sayeth the area most maps label as a northern ocean is actually glaciers over land. Sossal is landlocked- there is no 'The Endless Sea' north of Hartsvale to the extent shown on projection maps. This makes the Yal Tengri an actual sea- not an ocean.




Where is this stated?

Ulutiu is said to have sailed from the Great Glacier to the Trackless Sea, so I'm trying to understand if there is a lore contradiction to resolve.

--Eric



Hartsvale is quite literally off of Ed's maps. I can't attest to the exact myths of the giants- even if the Great Glacier is certainly suspicious with or without giants.
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/3/30/Toril_map-2e.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1000?cb=20190412022005
https://www.enworld.org/attachments/img_7931-jpg.115357/

The thread Ed Greenwood on twitter page 40 contains the following:
"The endless ice sea" is a glacier atop land, NOT water, Sossal is landlocked not coastal, etc. @theedverse

That is to say, Sossal isn't landlocked to mean it has no wet water. It is landlocked because the Great Ice Sea is an inland body- if you removed the ice cap.
ericlboyd Posted - 28 Jul 2022 : 16:21:49
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Community assertion #1
>Ed sayeth the area most maps label as a northern ocean is actually glaciers over land. Sossal is landlocked- there is no 'The Endless Sea' north of Hartsvale to the extent shown on projection maps. This makes the Yal Tengri an actual sea- not an ocean.




Where is this stated?

Ulutiu is said to have sailed from the Great Glacier to the Trackless Sea, so I'm trying to understand if there is a lore contradiction to resolve.

--Eric
Baltas Posted - 28 Jul 2022 : 15:08:30
5E lore, from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, does indeed connect LeShay to eldest forms of Seldarine and Archfey - LeShay are there explained to among the most ancient members of children of Corellon Larethian, born from his spilled blood, the oldest siblings of Seldarine. Ordalf, the LeShay queen of Sarifal is among such ancient LeShay. As is possibly the Earthmother - starting out as Ordalfs sister Cymry, at least in the conception of Eric Menge:
https://youtu.be/72axSxslI9M?t=6405

This does kinda tie to LeShay being identified as an very ancient form of (fey/elven) Eladrin in 4E. Which on Nerath at least, were born out of the co-operation of Corellon, Sehanine and Lolth, who were described as the most ancient Fey powers.

This versions are kinda contradictory (ie in 4E Lolth and Sehanine were not born from Corellon, while 5E states it with Lolth, and makes it unclear with Sehanine), and earlier lore implying at least Labelas Enoreth and Rillifane Rallathil are older than Corellon (in Faiths and Pantheons, though other sources stated they might had ben born from Corellon), as well as possibly Emmantiensien (due to being desribed as having allways existed). (Though Corellon possibly could be the ancestor of humanoid fey, which Treats are not really).

Labelas Enoreth does fit kinda as the mysterious, dead parent of Corellon and Gruumsh described in 4E Nerath lore though.

The destruction of the LeShay's universe in this conception, might be a immense damage or destruction to a previous version of the Realm of Faerie/Feywild - possibly tied to the Queen of Air and Darkess' corruption and destruction of Ladinion.
maransreth Posted - 25 Jul 2022 : 12:21:59

While I haven't read Sarifal as I detested the 4e Realms novels, the thing to remember is that LeShay is a 3e concept, and ArchFey is a 4e/5e concept. The Seldarine are gods and we know that mortals can become gods, but the demihuman deities are not specific to the Realms and are found amongst all D&D Shared Worlds (except Dragonlance and Dark Sun, and then Eberron once it came onboard).

The only LeShay reference in a Realms novel, that was from 3e, was Darkvision. And it was a minor reference that people took great delight in making up theories. We know from Elaine's Evermeet novel that the elves from Faerie were just one race and had "bosses" (can't remember the exact phrasing, but the elves looked to others). Whether the bosses are ArchFey is up to you to decide. I think the Seldarine in Faerie were still deities, not bosses and not ArchFey.

LeShay and ArchFey definitely do not have defined back stories as this is the start of the time that WotC started reducing the amount of new information about the Realms. It is up to you what you want to make of the similarities.
MandarinB Posted - 21 Jul 2022 : 14:12:16
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

So, I have just been knee deep in the LeShay this past week. The sages here have discussed some marvelous theories about the far north-east surrounding the Mountain of Iron and these Epic Fey.



You certainly weren't lying, and I'll have to review the thread you linked to get a better grasp of everything you've shared. It's interesting, and I encountered none of it when I was looking into the LeShay by myself. I was aware the LeShay aided the Imaskari, but little past that due to only have three sources on the Wikia page I could look into (and Realmslore: Sarifal being the only one to mention that special relationship with the Imaskari). Hopefully what you've shared has some extra sources I missed?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't know a lot about the LeShay, but I've been under the assumption that they are not native to the Realms. I would, in fact, have them hailing from one of the outer planes, possibly even Faerie itself.

Any LeShay in the Realms would have ventured there from somewhere else, or would been descended from such a traveler.



Their entry in the Epic Level Handbook presents them as stranded after the destruction of their universe, kind of like how the Obyriths left their universe. So I'm very much with you on them not being from the Realms, but instead just coming to the Feywild/Faerie after they were stranded. But Realmslore: Sarifal posits that they are the Fey Creator Race, and I believe the author for that article did work on the Grand History of the Realms, so I believe him on that.

My goal with the thread was more to see if this role as the 'Fey Creator Race' could've been held by LeShay who'd gone on to become Archfey or Deities of the Seldarine. If either of those groups have defined backstories with no wiggle room, I want to know before I develop my own theories too much.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Jul 2022 : 03:36:49
I don't know a lot about the LeShay, but I've been under the assumption that they are not native to the Realms. I would, in fact, have them hailing from one of the outer planes, possibly even Faerie itself.

Any LeShay in the Realms would have ventured there from somewhere else, or would been descended from such a traveler.
PattPlays Posted - 21 Jul 2022 : 03:32:34
So, I have just been knee deep in the LeShay this past week. The sages here have discussed some marvelous theories about the far north-east surrounding the Mountain of Iron and these Epic Fey.

Community assertion #1
>Ed sayeth the area most maps label as a northern ocean is actually glaciers over land. Sossal is landlocked- there is no 'The Endless Sea' north of Hartsvale to the extent shown on projection maps. This makes the Yal Tengri an actual sea- not an ocean.

Community assertion #2
>Glaciers leave cold swamps when they melt. I was very surprised a few years back when I found a genuine modern map of Vaasa in the 4e/5e time period where the Great Glacier has retreated significantly. As someone here said in their concerns about future map-making that there should be a cold swamp in the north of the region. This on a grander scale would exist in the Ama Basin in the days of thunder where it would have looked significantly different. A day ago I read here that a sage believed there were great glaciers in the North-East that were melted by LeShay high magic to create some kind of haven world in the land of Quoya. One of many theories for why it is a desert in modern realmslore (or a lake, to some) is that it simply reverted to the dry landscape it always was- and that the glaciers were long gone and the Ama Basin had long turned into a cold swamp lowland- while the southern basins too were bound to dry up.

Community assertion #3
>The LeShay were heavily involved with the Imaskari. The Imaskar published histories demand to be interpreted and not taken literally. The issues with merging a certain adventure to a certain grand history produces a breaking of lore into many interpretations. This is the issue with the Gate of Iron and the Dustwall where such locations are attributed to Imaskar successor states, the empire's hayday, or to something older. I admittedly am all-in on the Snowblood interpretations of things, but those write-ups have been written about by sages here as "not something to read until my own theories are completed as to not be influenced" to paraphrase. Still, I love the idea that the Imaskari were expanding into old LeShay territory and were influenced by them and their shadowy ways for the whole time. Snowblood asserts that the teleportation network spires had both Batrarchi and LeShay runes on them. And then there's Hilather..

tl;dr It seems like you're free to come up with any kind of unhinged magical theories about the LeShay absolutely making a mess of the North-East of the supercontinent up until something makes them generally retreat to the FeyWild and the shadow dimensions. This means they must have influenced the Imaskari, and that means you can get even crazier with Halaster's wierdness. Also something about the Mountain of Iron.

PS: The Mountain of Iron
Comet hits modern day Inupras on low-angle trajectory (Yal Tengri gets hit dead-on so hard it makes an island in the middle and sinks what would have been dry land) and deposits iron through the area and raises the land all around. The Batrarchi could have had a city later built here or this comet yeets itself into their city and buries it. The LeShay use epic magic to somehow push all of the iron in the area, natural or starmetal, into a specific place far away in the north. This ritual somehow melts all the ice in Ama and makes the south habitable for the LeShay to expand- but only to a certain point that makes them retreat for whatever reason. This image, and this thread. https://i.imgur.com/zcasdjO.jpeg https://candlekeep.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22197

Also, consider that the 'Fey Creator Race' and 'Fey Homeworld' could also have been from wildspace- or from distant worlds and spelljammed into Realmspace in general. There's already ancient aliens in Kara-Tur which is also in the far-east..

The LeShay are indeed tremendously powerful, and the modern game lore has dragged they Fey worlds closer to the material once again. Still, if the Imaskari truly had long lasting dealings with the LeShay then let that (and potentially the whole Shadow Stone ordeal) be plausible evidence that things go poorly for mortals when they cavort with LeShay knowledge and power. Things go poorly, things get messy, and a lot of people die. I think I'm paraphrasing someone here.. Point being the gods know if someone DOES mess with the LeShay for their great power it will probably take care of itself- and discourage copycats.

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