We received a promotional copy of this sourcebook from Wizards of the Coast in exchange for our honest review.
Once every 8 years, something truly magical happens – The Witchlight Carnival! The magic of the Feywild is laid bare to mortal men, who are invited to participate in a spectacle unlike any they are likely to have seen, or to see again (until the next Carnival, that is).
However, beyond the festivities and merriment of the Carnival lies a darker truth: an Archfey by the name of Iggwilv, the Witch Queen (D&D loyalists may also recognize her other name – Tasha) has been locked away by three evil hags with the assistance of a magically imbued cauldron. How will our heroes [in a level 1-8 adventure] restore balance to this otherwise imbalanced and chaotic realm? That’s what The Wild Beyond The Witchlight asks, as DM’s prepare to plunge their players into a brand new adventure.
In the opening pages, we’re introduced to some new character creation tools, including additional backgrounds, as well as the inclusion of both Fairies and a race of Bunny-people known as Harengon. While I have no doubt that both will be used in future games, I have a feeling Harengon will be a popular choice with more regular access.
Chapter 1 introduces the players to the Witchlight Carnival, as well as a kooky cast of intriguing NPCs, ready to guide the adventurers through their tents and events, and further still to the mystical lands of Hither, Thither, and Yon.
Chapters 2-4 takes our heroes through the three key territories of Hither, Thither, and Yon – where a Hag is ruling over the territory and holds a key to releasing Tasha.
Chapter 5 concludes the adventure properly, with appendices abounds that can help conclude various sidequests and narratives.
The remaining pages detail some thrilling magical items, spectacular new enemies and a Story Tracker to help DM’s stay on top of their storytelling.
Flipping through the pages, it almost immediately reminded me of an adventure straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Boisterous circus leaders and mysterious fey direct (and misdirect) our players, enemies are confused by odd behaviors and afflicted by random and bewildering curses, and the world as a whole is chock-full of color and vibrancy that oozes off of the full-sized map included in the back of the book.
As I navigated through some of the narrative oddities, such as the unique fey pacts one can make to secure a ticket to the Witchlight Carnival, it struck me that in a time when D&D is becoming more and more mainstream, this is an adventure that is very well suited for young adventurers. Unlike the unforgiving environment of the Frostmaiden, or the demonic/hellish experience of Avernus, or the haunting adventures in confronting the Curse of Strahd or exploring Ravenloft, the Feywild/Witchlight adventures provide a fun playground to welcome in newer players of the younger variety.
I was particularly interested in the magic items in the latter pages of the sourcebook. There are some fun options, particularly with the extensive information around the cauldron at the center of the adventure.
I was a bit bummed that there were no additional spells, particularly those that may have been influenced by the fey, but other than that minor gripe I would say that this is a very full sourcebook, with some great additions in a rich world worthy of exploration!
You can pick up The Wild Beyond The Witchlight starting today!