An Invitation Wrapped In Chains
My most dear lady, most serene huntress, I tend to my bosom the token which you left with me when you were last my most beloved guest, and pray that this missive finds you thinking of me.Delivered within a gilded cage, the aged envelope is held shut by a delicate silver chain wrapped many times around it and held in place by the wax seal. Red like blood, the seal is marked with the symbol of a stylized cage, encircled by a length of chain. It is an invitation by the Countess of Cages and Chains, a powerful Fae archlady and currently ruler of the Faelands, to visit her in the Beyond. Each letter is deeply personalized to the person receiving it, though only one such invitation can exist at a time.
Long have we been apart, but never are you far from my thoughts. Whatever cruel fate time may have in store for us, they are memories that I shall cherish always. In my heart, I know that you feel the same and long for me also.
I have enclosed within this letter a lock of my hair, so that you may hold it and think of me.Once in the Faelands, the invited party is met by a retinue of Hobgoblins to guide them to the Countess. The journey is never without peril - no trip into the Beyond ever is - with jealous rivals, angry beasts, and other trials invariably blocking the way. Although the letter is enough to give the traveler safe passage and keep them safe from Fae, most who delight in treating the Countess's guest as their own, its protection is not complete.
I cannot live another day without the blessing of your smile, and humbly submit to you this heartfelt invitation once more to come to my home and into my arms. A thousand pleasures await you here with me, a thousand more should you chose to stay. I know you still prowl the world in your search, my dear huntress, and even if you shan't stay long, every moment together would be my most dear wish.
I wish fervently that this letter finds you soon, and that you remember the time we once shared. As always, no matter how sweet your screams are, I have made my pact with you once more, that no pain shall befall you when you are with me. I will make you scream in other ways, my darling huntress.
Last, I make this vow, that I desire no one but you. Yours forever,
FaelandsFae live in the part of the Beyond called the Faelands, a kingdom of wonder and nightmare they've carved from magic and dying gods. It is a realm of horror and magic, of majestic wonder and terrors not found anywhere else. Within primordial woods and industrial nightmares of pipes and choking gas, the Fae hold court and drown their boredom. The Countess is one of the Archlords and Ladies of that realm, a being of almost unimaginable power.
Deep within the Beyond, the Faelands beckon through dreams and ill-omen. It is a land of wild and primal power, lust and whim unfettered, emotions untamed.
HobgoblinsThe Fae share their lands with a thousand kinds of slaves, collectively known as hobgoblins. Every Fae has their own cadre of Hobgoblins at their beck and call, able to create them with a passing thought and thinking just as little about destroying them again. The greatest among the Fae have entire legions of Hobgoblins bound to their will, using them for anything from waging war to erecting monuments to entertainment and experimentation. These lesser spirits have all the malice and whimsy of their lords, but only a fraction of their power.
A minor fae spirit-creature, imbued with all the malice of their greater kin but only a fraction of the power... Or smarts.
The Countess Hobgoblins are varied, but all feature her signatures in some fashion - heads trapped in cages, chains used as weapons, and so on. Some ape her elegance, while others play the rule of the subservient brute.