I….Have a story to tell. Truth be told I would rather I didn’t, but I heard too many of the important bits not to share them.
I will start kinda early, with the spider webs we found on the banks of the river. There were a lot of them, and they were spinning some very fine silk for those talented enough to harvest it. We didn’t think much of it till the new fancy noble lady from up north came to town. She is creepy and a little bit spider themed, and anyone who met her doesn’t really trust her for a lot of reasons, some reasonable, some maybe less so. Anyway, her retinue made it through the mists to come marry off her daughter to our local Lord’s Son. She’s got her eye on taking over, and everyone seems to believe it’s a done deal except for all the little details. Anyway’s there is a whole lot of politics and Noble jibber-jabber surrounding this I won’t pretend to understand.
But what did stick out to me was something her handmaiden said. She told me the reason they made it through the mists at all is because the paths were COVERED in spiders. So long as they walked with the spiders they were fine. But if they strayed too far from them…things.. would reach out and try to grab them. And whenever she slept, she woke resting her head on a nest of spiders. They still had a rough time making it through the woods, and lost a good many of their numbers to bandits and other dangers, but the main reason I bring it up is because the spiders didn’t hurt anyone, and actually made sure they got here in one piece.
Again, when I heard this, I didn’t think much of it other than the nightmares I might be having later. Fast forward to the big party in the woods that night, where several of the local spirits and Standing People showed up to celebrate with us and share some of the forests bounty. One of the folks who showed up was a giant spider..man…thing? It had glowing red eyes, lots of spiders crawling on and around him…. It was dark and I was glad not to see him too clearly, but he…it… was quite polite and openly friendly. He let us know that he was the herald/messenger of his mistress, The Weaver. The Spider Queen, The Crone of the swamps to the north. Her story is that she was a mortal woman, who joined with a giant spider spirit long ago, to become something more than either.
He was sent to let us know a couple of things; First that his mistress is the one who is trying to pull some strings to arrange the marriage of the fancy noble lady to our local lord. Apparently she is The Weaver’s great, great, great…an a few more ‘greats’ beside…distant daughter or nice or some blood relation. The Weaver wants the Mists we have here that protect us and shelter us, to also protect her and shelter her and her lands too. The only way to do that is to make both lands, one land. Hence the marriage.
Now I tried to learn more about this ‘Weaver’ and aside from being a mortal born, part spirit person, the herald also claims she is a Vacatran Crone. He..it.. says she knows many of the old rites and wants to share them with us and ours. He wanted to know why we only had a mother, and not a crone to guide us and wanted to help teach our mother more rites that he might otherwise have lost. He told us his mistress wants to widen the lands the standing people have dominion in, and allow them to walk among her lands in the way they do ours. She knows the nobles in her lands are Banalian, and hopes that the mists will help encourage the people of her lands to go back to the old ways of Vacatra. The Herald promised his mistress would help spread the Vacatran faith in her lands and implied that maybe if we wanted to worship her in our lands we could also do that…but that sounded a little suspicious to me.
Now I know what you are thinking: What did the Standing People have to say about all this? Well, both me and the herald tried to get them to weigh in one way or another, but the three that talked about it all said it was our decision. One agreed that it would be nice to have more room to walk in, but that it was not in their nature to want or not want it. They simply were. If the lands are joined, there will be more land, and if they aren’t then they will still be here. The herald tried to ask Brother Gorse to bless and confirm the…. wedding, but until they were actually together, he said it was not his place to interfere, one way or another. I thought maybe just seeing how they reacted to him being there at all would tell us if they approved or disapproved of him and his mistress, but they treated him like any other party guest, showing neither favor nor concern.
The last thing that the herald wanted us to know is that his mistress can, and wants to help us with our sin. He claims she can take our sin from us, wrap it up in her webs and then destroy it with her venom, leaving us cleansed, and the sin destroyed. Also said a whole lots of creepy stuff about spiders being spiders, but there wasn’t a whole lot that really stuck out as being anything but what you would expect when talking to a giant spider….thing.
So that’s my story. I won’t pretend to know the truth of this ‘Weaver’ or her intentions, but that’s what her Emissary said, as best as I can remember it for now. I know we all have some…concerns about the noble lady herself and what her being here means for the town, but I think that’s an entirely different matter then deciding what the circle wants to do about the Weaver. Should we do as she asks, and help join our two lands? Or should we not trust that she is actually a Crone of Vacatra, and oppose her plans? Do we even think having a Crone nearby is a good thing? I don’t know. But we are going to have to talk about this as a group, and ask Chevreuil for all the wisdom he can give us on this matter.