Around this time of year, the mists weave themselves into strange knots and patterns. A strange fragrance—pungent as sweat, sweet as baby’s breath, and heady as gardenia in full bloom—punctuates the air, drawing merchants, performers, builders, adventurers, and wanderers from all across The Grid into these knots of mist and driving them into a frenzy that manifests as the Fairelands. The lands take all sorts of physical forms, from sprawling lotus lakes to rapidly decaying cities as twisted and depraved as the Unweaver itself. In some lands, merchants hawk textiles and trinkets under the scorching desert sun; in others, Fairelanders sit fireside and share stories comedic and tragic until sunrise.
Though disparate as the lands and their visitors may be, a single Purple Braid of mist vivifies and sustains them all.
That Purple Braid is known by many names. The Relay. The Cause. The Hope. The Cure.
For many years—this being the tenth, in fact—the Fairelanders have devoted ten or more straight days to this feeding of the Braid.
Every copper coin flicked into the Faireland coffers furnishes the braid with another piece of thread. Just as the winds wove the mists into the Fairelands, so do the Fairelanders weave these threads into The Purple Braid, which snakes so far that it could reach the other side of the world.
And indeed, that is the dream of the mists and the Fairelanders drawn to and born of the mist. This year, The Purple Braid knows no borders. This year, it reaches for a land called Kenya, where many people lack the luxury of venturing onto The Grid, let alone adequate healthcare or the wherewithal to pay for lodging on their journey to seek healthcare. Fairelander Da5id Abbot has spilled much ink explaining this dream and why it is so exigent.
But spare your empty pity and guilt, for the people of this land are not without their devices. All they require is the tip of The Purple Braid. Should we weave it far enough, they will grab it and begin their own weaving: the weaving of a web of houses where those touched by the Unweaver may rest on their tireless quest to purge it from their souls for good.
This year will be my seventh time helping forge The Purple Braid. For the past six times, I have remained silent about my adventures in the Fairelands. But no longer. And what more auspicious a day to break my silence than Friday, April the 13th!
I, Adair B’Nansa, Wood Elf of the illustrious B’Nansa Clan, have come to the realization that such experiences are to be shared. With my dear father on his deathbed—though not by the Unweaver’s doing, thank the gods—I owe it to him and my fellow Fairelanders to chronicle my every impression of every last stone and brick gifted to us by the mists. He cannot see the Fairelands for himself, you understand. There is so much of the world he has yet to see…
What’s more, the gods have bestowed upon me early entrance into the Fairelands! Praise be unto the Great Half-Orc Half-Elf goddess Brunhilda!
For those denizens of The Grid who dread the Lag Monster or are reluctant to venture into these lands, I shall be eyes and ears. I shall describe and paint tapestries of the Faireland scenery; I shall dress myself in the finest vestments the merchants have to offer; I shall chart my quest into the heart of the Fairelands and write of the magnificent spoils to be won. In so doing, perhaps I can entice a few who would not otherwise join the weaving of The Purple Braid.
It did occur to me, however, that exploring and reporting upon all of the Fairelands in only eleven days might be too great a feat, even for a resourceful barbarian such as myself. (Barbarian is my fighting style, mind you! The B’Nansa Clan is of the highest breeding and rank. Well, we were—until my heir brother was kidnapped. But I digress.) As such, I had little choice but to form a party.
Among my ranks are Vedika, the Half-Aarakocran monk; Kratz, the cleric (in which domain, he refuses to say—that strange, arachnophilic man); and Frighe, the swashbuckling rogue Orc. They’re a motley bunch, to be certain, and I am still one or two members short. Perhaps I can find some worthy souls at the Faire itself… One never can have too many allies when battling the Unweaver.
Who exactly are these folk, you may ask? Well, that, my dear reader, is a tale for another time. Keep a weather eye on this digest.