The Proper Way to Dress

"Oi!! Thornas! Where ya goin' dressed that way?!"
"What, ma... I'm meetin' Salyndra this evenin'... gonna catch the Travelin' Troupe show wit' her in the market square t'night! This is me best tunic!"
"It's not what yer wearin'... it's how! I taught ya better than ta be goin' out in the evenin' wit' yer clothes right side out! Ya want the fairies ta take ye?"
— conversation between mother and teenage son in the village of Feywood Crossing
As humans have begun to return to the Feywood after a two thousand year absence, they have brought with them many ideas about how they are expected to behave in order to keep the Fey from becoming a nuisance, if not downright threat. These ideas have been passed down in tales with origins that predate the Great Strife. And, of course, many of these tales have embellished the truth at best, and completely twisted it around at worst.

The wearing of clothing inside out is an example of one of the more benign misrememberings of the past. To the Fey around Feybridge Crossing , it is one of the more humorous ones as well, and they entertain themselves from time to time by playing up to it. To the Fey, it's harmless fun. To the Humans - at least to the more superstitious ones - it's serious business. And there's nothing more entertaining to a light-hearted Fey than watching a Human being all serious about something that is rather ridiculous.


The Humans that moved into the Feywood and founded the town of Feywood Crossing brought with them many old tales of the creatures they would find living in the Forest. Many of these tales involved dealing with pixies, sprites, and other lesser Fey creatures who would harass intruders into their world either out of boredom or a desire to keep outsiders away, or both. And one of these tales involves a claim that the lesser Fey are afraid to approach anyone who is wearing their clothing inside out.

In fact, the Fey really don't care how silly Humans wear their clothing. In fact, many of the lesser Fey think that the frilly frayed seams make a tunic look prettier, and they are actually attracted to Humans wearing their clothes this way. But because they like what they see, they will never do anything to impede or harm these Humans, and so it may be said that the practice really works.

"Hi Thornas, I see your ma made you flip your shirt." "Yeah, Sal... I really wanted you to see my new tunic the right way 'round, but she was havin' none of it. At least you made your dress so the seam frills look like they belong there! Looks really nice!" "Oh! do ya like this dress? Yeah... I gave up fightin' me ma... Figured I'd just go with it. Let's go... Mystra the Illusionist will be starting soon!"
— Two teens comparing clothing - and their parents' superstitions

Historical Basis

Over two thousand years ago - before the Great Strife - the early kingdoms of the Humans had expanded all the way to the edge of the Feywood - and beyond. The Humans learned how to interact with the Fey so that all could live in harmony. But after the Strife, Human presence in the lands around the Feywood disappeared entirely. And it is only in the past 150 years or so that Humans are once more beginning to establish themselves around and in the Forest.

The Humans have forgotten much - and some of what they think they remember has been distorted or changed in retelling of tales over two thousand years. The belief that wearing one's clothes inside out is one of the more humorous examples of this - especially in the eyes of the Fey.

The belief that inside-out clothing will keep the Fey away is rooted in a tale of one particular Human whose true name is lost to history, having been replaced by at least a dozen replacement names over the years. In truth, this unnamed Human did much to help the Fey in the years leading up to the Great Strife. In those times, the evil creatures and followers of the Dark Gods had already begun to be a serious threat to life in the Feywood, and this Human was a fierce champion defending the Fey. But as he traveled about the Forest, Fey who did not know him by sight would shy away or even assault him. To prevent this, the Greater Fey asked him to wear his tunic inside out so that the good creatures of the Forest would recognize him. (In modern times, the denizens of the Feywood have taken to using Acorn Cloak-button as a way of identifying Friends of the Feywood.)

Spread of the Belief

The tales that suggest inside-out clothing would keep the Fey at bay have been passed down among Humans since the Great Strife. But for the first two thousand years after the Strife, this was mostly in the form of children's fables. For Humans living far from the Frontier Lands and the Feywood, that remains the only form of these tales. It is only in the past two hundred years or so, as Humans have begun to once more encroach on the Feywood that these tales have ceased to be mere bedtime stories and have morphed into adages and admonisments regarding proper behavior.

Variations in the Belief

The early settlers that founded Feywood Circle firmly believed that their habit of wearing inside-out clothing is why they were able to successfully carve out their town in the first place. And the eldest of its residents still firmly believe that. They try to teach their young that tunic and leggings must be worn inside out -- with the broad, frayed seams of the garments easily seen.

In Karnstown - deeper in the wood, but older and now more cosmpolitan, the teaching has softened a bit. There, the superstitious are satisfied that only an inside out tunic is needed.

Recent Practice

In more recent times, as more and more Humans make their way into the Feywood, some have begn to notice that inside-out clothing really doesn't matter to the Fey. Thus, the practice is fading somewhat. But there still are - and probably always will be - firm believers... and on the few occasions that farmers away from the villagers have things happen that they attribute to the Fey, it is not unusual for them to sudddenly start wearing their garments inside out - just in case it really works.
"Hey Star-shiner... let's find a nice place to settle so we can watch this Human do his magic! He's been here before and is really good at illusions... it's fun to watch the other Humans gasp and shriek when he conjures up some horrible monster that's supposed to be from half a world away. Let's have a little fun ourselves! I've got some glitterdust here... it's always fun to watch the Humans react when you throw this worthless stuff at them... they love it! There's a couple of younglings over there... wearing their clothes that funny, frilly way... they're acting like they're sweet on each other... let's go make their evening memorable!"
— two pixies in Feywood Circle to watch the magic show


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