Faerie Rings are an essential part of the ley lines that criss-cross both Golarion and the First World. They are the connecting, anchoring points and provide the stability for their use and power.
Faerie Rings are so named for their connection to the Fey, nature’s direct representation of life. Faerie Rings can be any naturally-occurring material, such as rocks, mushrooms, trees, shrubs or other natural fixtures in a circular formation. The rings can be of any size, some as small as a foot while others hundreds of diameters wide. Faerie rings exist only in areas untouched by civilization; no faerie rings will spontaneously appear within five miles of an settlement, though any that existed in the area before civilization arrived will continue to operate, but may become unstable.
Fey creatures, animals and other natural creatures tend to congregate at faerie rings, the less-intelligent of them drawn to the invisible emanations of nature’s presence, while the fey do so as they feel a stronger connection to the First World and their own existence.
A faerie ring can survive the destruction of up to 10% of the fixtures that make up its composition, any more damage than this permanently destroys the faerie ring. While this does not severe the ley lines that connects to it, it causes that section of the line to become extremely unstable and as a result, nature’s intent can shift drastically in the area which may have undesirable consequences.
As their name suggests, faerie rings are primarily attuned to the fey. All fey creatures that know how to activate a faerie ring can do so any time they please and transition to any other faerie ring within range that connects to the ley lines that faerie ring is connected to. Not all fey know how to activate faerie rings, especially the less intelligent ones. Those with more powerful spell-like abilities have an easier time understanding and drawing upon their natural abilities to use a faerie ring. Normally, the activation of a faerie ring is passed down from members of the local Fey Court to their followers that they trust. Almost all fey, regardless of alignment or differences, protect faerie rings whenever possible, knowing that their destruction diminishes themselves along with the ley lines and the natural world around them. Exactly how the fey use the faerie rings has never been revealed to outsiders.
It is possible but extremely difficult for non-fey creatures to use faerie rings. Exceptions exist, such as the incredibly magic Dweomercats from the First World, but mortal creatures can also use faerie rings with the right permissions, training, magical aptitude or trust. Druids that show an exceptional understanding of nature’s magic can study with the fey to learn how to adapt their granted natural abilities to access faerie rings, but they never have the same power or distance as a true fey creature. In very rare circumstances, powerful fey may impart special tokens upon favored mortals that allow them to use faerie rings in a limited fashion. Activating the ring takes an intense amount of natural magical power, a reserve that most creatures do not possess. A non-fey creature that uses a faerie ring, regardless of the method, cannot use the same or another faerie ring until twenty four hours have passed. A properly crafted token created by knowledgeable fey can be the focus of the natural power needed to use the ring and transition a creature or creatures. It is extremely rare for most fey to grant such gifts to mortals and those who are graced with the ability are watched very carefully by their fey benefactors for any misuse of their trust.
The PCs were one such group in the Verduran Forest to receive the trust of the fey.