Brownies were a small humanoid variety of fey,[2] distantly related to killmoulis.[3]

Description[edit | edit source]

Brownies bore a resemblance to elves, but were much shorter. They favored garments that were brightly colored, made from either linen or wool, and often with gold ornamentation.[3][4]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

These fey were known to be very peaceful, friendly, and almost never greedy.[3][4] Though they suffered from a shy demeanor.[5] They often held a fascination towards life on a farm.[4]

Because of their good and honest nature, a brownie always felt obligated to do a good deed for the farmers they stole food from, such as milking a cow. Though in keeping with their penchant for remaining hidden, they would perform these good deeds in secret.[3][4]

Biology[edit | edit source]

These creatures had high senses that allowed them to always stay one step ahead of others, never being surprised.[3][4]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Like many fey creatures, brownies possessed an innate potential for spellcasting. The spells they typically employed revolved around causing confusion and distractions. These spells most often consisted of the following: confusion, continual light, dancing lights, dimension door, mirror image, protection from evil, and ventriloquism.[3][4][5]

Brownies were also known to be capable of quickly blending in with their surroundings, becoming invisible to nearby creatures.[5][3][4]

Combat[edit | edit source]

The carrying of weapons was unusual among brownies,[5] as they typically preferred to avoid combat.[3][4] At most they were seen carrying short swords.[5] But even then, a brownie would not resort to using their blade unless they were cornered and unable to use their spells.[3][4]

Society[edit | edit source]

A brownie romances a pixie, while another watches from afar, and a grig serenades the whole scene.

Brownies were well known be skilled in repairing things. Especially those made of leather, metal, or wood.[5] They typically carried leather pouches full of tools around so that they could easily repair things whenever the need arose.[3][4]

They were also renowned for being guides,[5] as brownies familiarized themselves with every detail of where they inhabited.[3][4]

Diets[edit | edit source]

Brownies were known to be vegetarians. They foraged for wild fruits and harvested small amounts of grain from the fields of unknowing farmers. Following any harvest they would gather grains, fruits, and vegetables that would otherwise go wasted.[3][4]

Lairs[edit | edit source]

Brownies typically lived in the small burrows or abandoned buildings of rural and pastural areas.[3] Occasionally they were known to covertly move into another creature's house or barn, though only if the inhabitants matched up to a brownie's high moral standards. These were referred to by many as house brownies.[3][4]

Due to their shy demeanor and the upholding of secrecy being highly valued as proper etiquette within their culture, a house brownie never revealed themselves to their landlords and only came out at night while they slept. During such hours a house brownie would perform a variety of household tasks. Such as making or repairing small items and clothing, spinning thread or yarn, baking bread, and alerting them of intruders.[3][4]

Those who recognized the presence of a house brownie and understood how they operated would leave out small offerings of bread, fruit, and milk. Occasionally even coins and gems. However, those who were ignorant and boasted to others about having one in their home would deeply offend a brownie, driving them to move out.[3][4]

Homelands[edit | edit source]

Outside of the Feywild, brownies were known to be found in the northern reaches of Faerûn inhabiting the woods of Cormanthyr[7] the High Forest,[8] occasionally the city of Waterdeep,[9] and the Llyrath Forest on Gwynneth Isle.[10]

In Faerûn's Lands of Intrigue they could be found in the Forest of Mir and Forest of Tethir.[11] In the Vast they could be found in the forest of Dark Hollow.[12]

Outside of Faerûn, a group of nomadic brownies were known to live in the Pascocada Basin in Maztica, until eventually settling in the village of Kin Elbhaz.[13]

Languages[edit | edit source]

Brownies were known to speak the languages Common, Elven, Halfling, and Sylvan. In addition, they were familiar with the languages of pixies and sprites.[3][4]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Brownies were generally known to be friendly towards humans, dwarves, and elves.[5] Domestic animals were also friendly towards them and would almost never attack nor alert their owner(s) of the brownie's presence.[3][4] However, because of their shy demeanor they rarely interacted with such creatures, choosing instead to hide.[5]

Brownies were willing to help most lawful good individuals that asked for their assistance,[5] as well as willing to guide most people if asked politely. Brownies were also known to steal treasure from evil monsters. They would sometimes purposely leave their horde of stolen and gifted treasure somewhere that a good individual was liable to find it.[3][4]

Whenever a stranger or outsider entered places that they inhabited, brownies would intently watch them and try to decipher their motives. If they determined that an individual meant harm to their local community, brownies would then work together to try driving them out.[3][4]

Brownies were one of the many fey races known to serve the Seldarine.[14] Among Yondalla's Children they were known to act as servants of the deities Arvoreen, Brandobaris, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, Urogalan, and Yondalla herself.[15]

Rumors & Legends[edit | edit source]

Some believed brownies were distant relative of the halfling. In particular, some speculated that they were the result of breeding between halflings and pixies.[5]

Notable brownies[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

  • Booka, another species of fey who similarly acted as house spirits
  • Dobie, a species of fey related to brownies.
  • Domovoi, another species of fey who similarly acted as house spirits.
  • Quicklings, a species of fey whose ancestors had been corrupted by dark magic. It was once believed that they may have formerly been brownies.[17]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Card Games
Short stories

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Steve Townshend (February 2013). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Fey of Wood and Wind”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #420 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Robert Wiese & Skip Williams (2004-10-06). Adventure Locales: The Silent Manse. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2018-10-01. Retrieved on 2015-09-20.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 119. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  7. Ed Greenwood (1989). Shadowdale. (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 978-0880387200.
  8. Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays) (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  9. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 25. ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  10. Brian R. James (June 2009). “Realmslore: Sarifal”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #376 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65.
  11. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  12. Ed Greenwood (October 1993). “The Everwinking Eye: Treasures of the Vast, Part One”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #88 (TSR, Inc.), p. 14.
  13. John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 978-1560763222.
  14. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 1560768746.
  15. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 163, 167, 170, 172, 176, 180. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  16. 16.0 16.1 David Cook (1995). “Too Familiar”. In Brian Thomsen and J. Robert King ed. Realms of Magic (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0303-1.
  17. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 103. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
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