The Fey Courts
One of the major powers of this world is the Fey Courts, which are divided into two camps: the Seelie, and the UnSeelie Courts.
The Seelie courts can be resumed to existing as the dreams of those that are sentient.
They are the manifestation of people’s hopes and aspirations, desires made flesh.
Unfortunately, what people want isn’t always what’s good for them.
Similar yet distinct from the stories of Genies, anyone traveling into the lands and holdings of the Seelie Fey may indeed find the things they dreamt about, but the outcomes are often very different from what they had been hoping for.
Separate but equally powerful is the UnSeelie court, which is forged from the nightmares and the terrors that haunt the sentients.
Horrors made manifest, the UnSeelie court has claimed the sanity of many a fool that thought they would brave the thornbush walls.
Yet, for all of their polarizing realities, both the Seelie and the UnSeelie courts have one primary reality which undermines the simplistic view of Good versus Evil: they are composed of sentient beings.
This, first and foremost, defines the Fey: despite their origins, from the collective unconscious of the rest of the sentients, each one of them holds their own individual ambitions and desires, fears and preferences.
They came from dreams and nightmares, but now they have motivations of their own.
The Fey Courts regularly engage in trade and interactions with the other sentient races. They form disorganized, decentralized, but powerful covens that dot the landscape, and have considerable impact on the local politics, economy, and day to day life of the neighbors.
Unlike the average D&D world, in which an occasional Dryad is intended to be a distraction from a pack of Gnolls, the Fey actually hold considerable importance in this world. There isn’t a day in which something some major Fey did, somewhere, that didn’t make it into the daily news.
The Fey have successfully challenged the iron grasp on the world the Dragons benefit from, simply because no matter how many times the Dragons tried to repress or destroy them, the Fey always came back in force.
Simply because even Dragons dream.
They are intrinsically tied to the realities of mortals and sentients, the only way of properly eliminating them would be to obliterate all trace of sentient life in the world, plus to somehow erase the echoes of all of the civilizations.
Therefore, the Dragons cannot crush them, the Guilds cannot ignore them, and, equally importantly, the Fey themselves have every interest in keeping a relatively stable state of affairs with the sentients, if only to have a slim hope of predictability in their own existence.
The Fey, therefore, are the great stabilizing factor of the world, because they are themselves a result of the world’s self-awareness.
The Fey, both Seelie, and UnSeelie, have a broad range of needs, plus the capacity to provide the other races with a supply of goods and services.
Naturally, the Guilds found excellent trade partners in them.
Services such as tourism into Fey Lands are popular amongst the humanoids. The Fey Lords and Ladies also make excellent celebrities, often hounded by paparazzi, always on the lookout for the next scandalous thing the other sentient races will try to judge.
Such intrusions, in exchange, fuel the imagination of the sentients, and guarantees the prosperity of the Fey. They put up a good public face of indignation and tempestuous rage to fuel the responses of the sentients, but really, it suits them just fine.
Though the Seelie and UnSeelie courts are actual, physical places, the vast majority of FeyKind do not exist within its confines. The Fey have a very different understanding of freedom and liberty, servitude and nationhood than those under the authority of the Dragons.
It is not adequate to describe the Fey, therefore, as Chaotic, or Lawful, because they operate on a moral compass very different from the other sentients.
Dryads, for example, are the personification of the beauty of nature. They are tied to their trees, no matter where in the world such a tree might be.
They are typically utterly loyal to the Seelie courts, despite having never set foot in it, and never will. Yet their allegiances with their neighbors might change on a daily basis. Sometimes siding with one Dragon or another, sometimes staying neutral in territorial disputes, sometimes seemingly opposing all parties.
To converse with the Fey is also a bizarre experience. Since they are the manifestation of complex and ever-changing realities, their conversations reflect this. They change topics mid-way through sentences, they change opinions on subjects not even covered, and they are prone to bouts of abandoned passion in some direction or another, completely disproportionate compared to the Sentient’s expectations.
Yet at the same time, the Fey operate on an incredibly complex set of rules and contracts, with things the other sentient races can barely glimpse at.
The simple pleasure of breathing air, to the Fey, is a contract they have already signed with another entity, with rules and consequences. Fey create contracts with all sorts of intelligences unknowable to the common sentient, and they adhere to these contracts with a feverish zealotry.
To converse with a Fey is like to converse inside a dream. But once a contract is signed with them, it will be obeyed to its absolute value, using the actual intent of those which signed the contract.
The Fey do not corrupt the words of wishes the way the Genies do. They understand that words are an imperfect tool to convey ideas, and they are creatures of ideas themselves. If a contract is signed, it is accomplished with full understanding of the meanings, not simply a few select words.
Therefore, despite the Fey having appearances which can lead sentients to believe certain matters, be it lovecraftian horrors or hypersexualized objects of desire, these Fey are entirely sentient, and have agendas of their own.
The Fey are the great stabilizers of the world. They have every interest in maintaining a semblance of stability in it, and they have the capacity to strike contracts with even the most abstract of concepts.
They relate somewhat well with the Druids of the world, except they do not necessarily care about the purity of nature. To them, purity is a silly concept, it robs them of all of the depth of their character.
While the Dragons and the Guilds have their own agendas, the Fey work tirelessly alongside them. Sometimes it is to oppose them, sometimes it is to aid them.
Once one understands the underlying motivations of the Fey, however, they can become powerful allies, and easily form symbiotic relationships with all sentients, from the most powerful Dragons to the lowliest Kobolds.
All they want is continue existing. And for that, the rest of the world needs to keep dreaming.