Gloriana

Dawn in Dark Hollow - Pt II

  • With an agreement from the Dokkalfar to weave the net, the Band of Iron seeks Glassweb Grove. A twisted part of the Fairy World under the control of the Unseelie Court, the only way to reach the grove is to catch a moth, blindfolded at night, and bring it to a pine tree.
  • In the woods outside of Fernsby our heroes manage this feat and find themselves in a forest of pale, slender, wispy and twisted trees. The deeper they go, the more spiders they see crawling across the translucent leaves.
  • The grove is a mystical web, where all paths lead to the center. The heroes find themselves divided and scattered throughout the web and confronted by the Daughters—spider-fey who blend elven and spider features. The grove’s heart consists of glass trees with glass leaves, all strung with thousands of spider webs. At very center is a single living tree that has grown into the shape of a harp, but without any strings.
  • As the Sisters descend on the Band, they call out in musical voices “Do you sing? Do you play? Will you sing? Will you play?”
  • The daughters smell music in the blood of Ulreik and Tyrandriel. Some of the daughters want to eat them. “The music is in their blood, sisters! Set it free! Let it dance in our veins!”
  • The heroes placate the sisters with music, stringing the harp with Aine’s golden hair and singing to go along with it.
  • The spiders weave them the gossamer they seek and reveal some information.

- The Dokkalfar Sage has come to them before
- Taras Golden came to them with his Gossamer Daughter. They wove her back into the mortal realm.
- Similarly, the child-carrying-mother-and-father came before them, asking them to reconstitute his parents. He was accompanied by a beautiful maiden with a cloak of colorful feathers, a cursed warrior who wore a hundred names, and an alfar with a voice that captured their hearts.

- The Alfar returned long after and made the Glassweb Harp. There he played such music that they curse him, for he instilled in them a craving they can never fulfill.

  • When asked to describe this man, they responded:

Silver hair and silver tongue
His voice was sweet with silver song
Around his head a silver band
A silver star upon his hand

- This visitor returned to seek their silk for a beautiful queen to make a robe for her, one that would capture the light of beauty and help her forget her sorrows.

  • With the gossamer in hand, our heroes depart from the Sisters of Glassweb Grotto and return to the Dokkalfar Grotto. The Dark Elves weave the net of gossamer and glass and give it to Morel.

  • Back at the Tower of Nails, the Band of Iron activates Royse’s Telescope to create a Wind Bridge to the Sky Kingdom. When they arrive, they find themselves on a cloud island inhabited by a village of the Aarakocra, living at the edges of the Morass—a supernatural swamp of smoke and smog.
  • The Knights of Terranimbus notice the opening of the bridge and search for our heroes. The Aarakocra tell them they must flee through the Morass to reach the mountains of morning without being found.
  • Wary of the swamp’s legendary dangers, the heroes take their horse and fix the Horseshoes of the Zephyr, then tie it to the warded carpet they use in the tavern. The magic of the horseshoes make the carpet float above the ground—not truly flying, but hovering above the muck and mire. They dodge smoke wyrms, murderous smoglins, manticores and narrowly escape the attentions of Kurluweydon, the Lifechoker Dragon.
  • On the other side, they find the mansion of Vafprudnir, Keeper of the Stairs of Dawn, Master of the Mountains of Morning. The giant has a fondness for riddles and for eating the flesh of guests who lose in a contest of riddles. To those who succeed, he grants a boon. The Band of Iron knocked on his mighty doors and joined him at the feasting table, a grand hall filled with cloud giants like him.
  • They faced him in a battle of riddles and solved all three. For a boon, they asked safe passage up the Stairs of Dawn, as well as fruits from his garden. He granted both. At the height of the Mountains of Morning, on a peak worlds above the mortal land below, where the bitter air froze their lungs even as they breathed it, surrounded by flights of pegasi and a terrible pair of chimera, Morel held aloft the Gossamer Net as dawn broke. Here, above the sky itself, the air was clear and the sunlight unfiltered. Morel caught it in the net and brought it back down to earth. With the power of the horseshoes, the heroes simply rode right off the edge of the cloud and descended back to the Mortal Kingdom.

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