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Physically, chrysalians appear as humanoid butterflies or moths, with broad, soft wings that can be twice as large as their bodies. These wings are often brilliantly colored or strikingly patterned, with some chrysalians flaunting iridescent colors that shimmer in the light like jewels. They have a singular pair of arms and two legs, and while they have jaws and can speak, they lack any mandibles or teeth. Instead, they have a long, proboscis-like tongue that they use to drink their liquid diet. A pair of antennae sprout from the tops of their heads that can either be sleek or feathery and help chrysalians to better understand their environment through smell. Other than these common characteristics, a chrysalian’s appearance can vary wildly, from plump and fuzzy to sleek and shining.


Characters with the chrysalian heritage share a variety of traits in common with one another.

Fey Lineage. You are suffused with the vibrant energy of the Dreaming. In addition to being humanoid, you also have the fey creature type.

Age. Chrysalians age faster than humans, reaching maturity at 12 years and typically living to be 60–75 years old.

Size. Chrysalians are usually 2–3 feet tall and weigh no more than 20 pounds. Your size is Small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.

Antennae. You have a pair of antennae that are either sleek or feathery. You are able to distinguish scents keenly and gain an expertise die on Perception and Investigation checks involving smell and to other rolls where scent is important.

Glorious Wings. You have a fly speed of 30 feet. While flying, your carrying capacity is reduced to twice your Strength score. You cannot fly if you are wearing armor that has a Strength requirement or if you are currently encumbered. You may, however, utilize magical items that increase your Armor Class and use light shields if you are proficient. If your movement speed is reduced to 0 or you are incapacitated, you fall at a rate of 30 feet per round. Additionally, the Narrator may rule that minutes of sustained flight require you to make a Constitution saving throw as though you were making a forced march.


Chrysalians are practiced fliers who typically spend as little time on the ground as physically possible, and are even capable of hovering in place for brief periods of time. Their endurance on the wing is not unlimited, however. You may hover in place for a number of consecutive rounds equal to your Constitution modifier. If you continue to hover past this point, you incur a level of fatigue for every consecutive round thereafter.

Chrysalian Gifts

In addition to the traits found in your chrysalian heritage, select one of the following gifts.

Aerial Ace

Though all Chrysalians are graceful fliers, you have mastered your skills on the wing. You may double your movement on your turn if you are using your fly speed. You may not use this ability again until you have spent at least one turn where you do not expend any movement.

Healing Touch

You are imbued with the inherent calm of the Dreaming’s eternal twilight. As an action, you may touch a creature and restore to it a number of hit points equal to your level. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest .

Perplexing Riddle

Every fey being loves a good riddle. You may use your action to pose a riddle to one creature you can see within 30 feet. The creature must be able to understand you. That creature must then succeed on a Wisdom saving throw versus your passive Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score (whichever is highest) to try an answer the riddle. On a failure, it is rattled until the end of its next turn. Creatures that have an Intelligence score less than 4 or are immune to being stunned are unaffected by this trait. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest .

Chrysalian Paragon

When you reach 10th level, you become a better chrysalian and gain one paragon gift from the following list.

Debilitating Cloud

You have learned how to weaponize the miniscule scales on your wings, turning them into an airborne powder that can incapacitate your enemies. As an action, you can flap your wings, expelling a cloud of scales in a radius of 30 feet. All creatures within range make a Constitution saving throw versus your maneuver DC. On a failure, they are stunned until the start of your next turn. Creatures that do not need to breathe or are immune to the stunned condition are unaffected. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest .

Technicolor Vision

Your eyes are able to discern colors and light patterns that most humanoids cannot see, granting you improved sight. You can see invisible creatures and objects and gain darkvision to 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, it increases by 60 feet. Additionally, you have advantage on ability checks to recognize or see through visual illusory effects within 30 feet, such as major or minor image, as well as on saving throws against spells or effects that utilize visual illusions, such as the fear spell.

Winged Champion

You have truly mastered flight and endurance beyond what most chrysalians are capable of. Your fly speed increases to 40 feet. Additionally, you may now wear armor that has a Strength requirement, provided that you meet the requirements necessary to wear the armor normally. The rules for hovering still apply.

Chrysalian Culture

Chrysalians have a unique life cycle that mirrors those of butterflies and moths, though unlike these insects, they reproduce asexually. Babies are hatched from eggs and spend the first 10 years of their lives as caterpillar-like larvae. Largely sedentary in this stage, young chrysalians are nameless, genderless, and spend the majority of their time eating and absorbing knowledge from the more active adults. Upon reaching their 10th birthday, they enter into a trance-like state and spin cocoons around their bodies. These cocoons are kept in sheltered places beneath the dense canopies of the Dreaming’s forests and are fiercely guarded by the adults. It is during this time—called “rebirthing”—that the adolescents metamorphose into their adult form. This process takes two years, after which the adult chrysalian emerges from their cocoon and takes their first flight. Upon landing, they declare their name and assign a gender to themselves, if they so choose. Their concept of gender and identity remains fluid throughout their lives, however, and it is not unusual for a chrysalian to swap their proclaimed gender frequently and at will.

While young chrysalians consume plant material, adults have specialized dietary needs. Because they lack mandibles or teeth to grind solid food, they instead rely on a liquid diet that is slurped through their proboscis-like tongue. Their favorite food is what they call ambrosia—a thick, sweet liquid distilled from the nectar of flowers. However, ambrosia is often difficult to come by outside of their communities within the Dreaming, leading many chrysalians in the Waking world to rely on sugar-water or fruit juice for sustenance while they are away. Many of them hold a particular affinity for fermented fruit juices, claiming that it most closely approaches the flavor of the ambrosia from their homeland.

Chrysalians encountered in the Waking are usually solitary creatures, but in the Dreaming they are often found in large colonies nestled in the neverending forests and fields of wildflowers. These colonies—called “kaleidoscopes” for their beautiful, colorful inhabitants—are often a sight to behold, especially when they take flight. Some of these kaleidoscopes are itinerant, moving from place to place within the Dreaming in large swarms, while others remain nestled amongst the forest in vast, treehouse-like villages. More than a few chrysalians have installed themselves among the Unseen Court over the years, serving as spies and silver-tongued servants of the courtly lords and their frightful Great Hunt. Most chrysalians, however, are content to live in pastoral whimsy, far removed from cunning whispers and backstabbing machinations.

Those in the Waking who have experience with the fey are often suspicious of chrysalians, and while there certainly are some who are as sly and duplicitous as the fey’s reputation commands, many chrysalians who make the pilgrimage to the Waking often do so out of earnest curiosity or the pursuit of knowledge beyond their own borders. They delight in wordplay and riddles as much as anyone from their home plane, but to them it is often simply a game and not a way of ensnaring one in a potentially unsavory deal. And indeed, their natural way with words, combined with either their fey charisma or their treasure trove of knowledge, make them indispensable members of noble courts, guildhalls, and adventuring bands. Because of their natural inclination to gather in large groups, once a chrysalian’s trust is earned, they are stalwart companions who will often follow their adopted group anywhere.

Suggested Cultures

While you can choose any culture for your chrysalian character, the following cultures are linked closely with this heritage: circusfolk , dreaming wilds , eladrin , fey court , itinerant , lunar chrysalian , solar chrysalian .