Just as race and class help to define who your character is in the world, theme adds a third component to refine your story and identity. The themes presented in Heroes of the Feywild explain what your character knows about the Feywild and provide story hooks that you can use to roleplay him or her.
A theme generally embraces characters of many different classes. A few more narrowly focused themes are limited to a small selection of classes or races—for example, a tuathan must be a human. Each theme has a sidebar that describes any such restrictions.
Chapter 4 of Heroes of the Feywild presents four themes:
Fey beast tamer, master of fey creatures
Sidhe lord, noble of the fey
Tuathan, human or half-elf touched by the Feywild
Unseelie agent, ally of an unsavory patron
Fey Beast Tamer
"Of course you can domesticate an owlbear! Want me to show you how?"
When the natural world was young and humanity was in its infancy, callous elf nobles intentionally opened fey crossings between their realm and the natural world, sending dangerous monsters through to terrorize early mortal civilizations. Many of humanity's oldest folk tales concern these first encounters with creatures such as owlbears and displacer beasts. Although eladrin scholars have tried to disprove the assertion that their ancestors were responsible, there is no doubt that an unusual number of stories passed down by human cultures involve such occurrences.
However troublesome or malicious the ancient elves might have been, they inadvertently gave the people of the natural world a familiarity with fey creatures. During these formative years for human culture, contact with Feywild beasts had a great impact; the magic of that plane touched hearts and souls in the mortal world. As a result, some members of mortal races developed an affinity for dealing with creatures from the Feywild. They could command the beasts of the fey realm just as mortal nobles could command their subjects. Renowned fey beast tamers, many of whom have been immortalized in story and song, rode into battle with powerful denizens of the Feywild at their side.
Generations passed, empires rose and fell, and wars came and went. Bloodlines that once had been strong were thinned out by centuries of marriage and expansion. The beast tamers who commanded armies of fey creatures died out, and every generation of their offspring grew weaker in their control over fey beasts until the ability was almost forgotten.
Once every few generations, however, a mortal is born of parents who still have strong blood ties to the ancient beast lords. Such individuals grow up with the inherent ability to bond with fey creatures. Though many never realize their full potential, some discover—through chance encounters—that they can influence fey beasts by sheer willpower. These special mortals usually bond with a single creature, forming a connection that is as strong as the one shared by soldiers who serve together in battle.
You are one of these rare individuals with an ability that reaches back to the dawn of civilization. You have formed a connection with a fey creature and can command it to aid you and protect you from harm. Over time, as you develop this bond further, you will begin to absorb the inherent magic of the creature and find yourself capable of things you never thought possible.