So in my current saga the characters' covenant is set in a forest in Legnica, Poland, where (among other things) there are two faerie factions that take turns in their influence over the forest through a contest that happens twice a year, during the Spring and Autumn equinoxes. In the first they are to hunt a very large faerie tur (sort of a wild ox), while in the second the goal is a faerie boar. There used to be three factions, but the characters pretty much killed one of them so...
And they remain involved in the hunting contests, despite having had several problems because of doing so. At one point, after a particularly complicated (and stupid) offense in which one of the magi went to the faerie glade where the tournament festivities are held bearing his cold iron arm, they were forbidden to ever bearing iron in the forest again, with promises of war should they do so. The gracious Pralixian managed to convince the leaders of the two factions to allow them to bear iron in the forest for their own protection, as long as they did not bring it to the faerie glade and other faerie sacred places, if they could answer a riddle.
Well, so I had to come up with an impromptu riddle... And I apparently suck, cause I couldn't think of any. Since I did not want to kill the pace and flow of the game until then, I decided to just say whatever came to mind and handle it later.
It's been two sessions and they have to return to the glade and offer their answer now, but I have no idea what the actual answer could be!
Being as it is a faerie riddle, I know there are a lot of weird things that can be pulled off, and my players are crafty enough that I'm confident they'll come up with something very, very nice (which the faeries will likely accept), but I'd rather not come to the session completely unprepared...
So if you guys could please suggest some possible interpretations/solutions to this "riddle" it'd be really great.
How about "I will live to see tomorrow." The idea being that mortal creatures do not fully grasp what it means to be mortal, and both trees (if they are not asleep and able to think about it) and men take their mortality for granted and are powerless to do anything about it (Faerie do not have a Christian world view). Yet at the same time the hope to keep on living sustains them. The darkness of night cannot banish this hope, and each new day cannot predict when death will come and make "I will live to see tomorrow" false (nor can the day enlighten).
That's my stab at it. It seemed like something the immortal and fickle faerie would think of. Notice the double meaning of "lies".
Or you could just use "life" and be more vague about it.
First you'd need to decide on wether or not the faeries gave them a riddle that COULD be answered correctly without some knowledge not generally believed available to them (see the Rumpelstiltskin tale, wherein the name is overheard by a messenger rather Deus ex Machina like.)
If the faeries meant for the riddle to be unsolvable, then you could give them aid in some manner.
On the other hand, if the riddle should be solvable, it can still be interperated and solved in different ways; logically, alegorically etc. Seeing as these are faeries they're dealing with, I'd go with allegorically rather than logically (also because that'd be easier to invent an answer for. )
Lastly there's the double meaning of the word "lie". So you can have the answer be "hope" for instance. Almost any esoteric concept could be applicable, especially since I'd imagine faeries woulnd't nescesarily consider trees to be inanimate. That is, I'd think the faeries would easily see the trees as just as alive and thinking as humans.
My personal inclination here would be to be cruel and leave the riddle unsolvable, and then POSSIBLY allow the players some help in a similar manner as in the Rumpelstiltskin tale.
If anyone's curious, I did have a faerie drop a hint on them, which made them more confused than before. So they were discussing the "hope" possibility but ended up offering "infancy" which the faerie considered a partial answer and allowed them to carry one iron piece for each infant in their party...
Now they're wondering whether sprouts would count as infants for that matter. Fun.
Just read this post, and found it enjoyable. I've always had trouble coming up with riddles for my saga, and like the idea of just winging it the way you did. I"m curious what the clue was that led them to change their solution to "infancy."
The faerie, called The Baron of Visions, basically came to the Pralixian and told her there were many angles to any answer, each both right and wrong - and besides, it shouldn't be difficult since the answer lived with her.
My guess is she took the advice to mean the little girl with animal empathy (PC Companion) who she takes care of...