Team 6 (aka the best team ever): The Tapestry of Cupid
Canto 6 Stanzas 29-46 describe Cupid’s Tapestry.
While exploring the rooms and halls of Castle Busirane, the player finds on the ground a small piece of an old tapestry; and upon picking it up, the magic woven into the cloth pulls them in. They will appear within the tapestry itself, though at first they won’t realize where they are. Gods and goddesses from several of the old Greek myths appear, as do three of Jove’s lovers; but, very few of them realize where they are or that they are mere shells, one-layered avatars of the people and divinities they actually represent. Only Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, is wise enough to puzzle out the mysteries of tapestry; and she and Danae are the only ones who can point the way back to the Castle for the player.
The land in the tapestry is that of a beautiful, flourishing forest; and yet, the ruins of one of Athena’s temples lies within it, and a calm ocean borders it. The strange mix of landscapes is Cupid’s doing; he has brought together people and places to give tribute to his many victories over the other gods. Europa, standing near the player when they first appear in the tapestry, will introduce them to the land they have entered; but her own ignorance as to the nature of the tapestry will limit her helpfulness. Semele likewise is more than willing to tell the player her own story, as commanded by Cupid, but will not tell the player how to leave. Jove and Apollo each grieve for their lost loves, while Neptune joys in the memories of Theophane; and these gods will instruct the player to seek out Athena in the ruins of her temple. Upon finding her, she will reveal all she knows of the mysteries of the tapestry and how to escape it, and the player’s journey through this twilight zone will end when they find Danae, who stands in quiet contemplation of her bittersweet story near the exit back to Castle Busirane.
There are no quests in Cupid’s Tapestry, merely conversations; though the NPCs will attempt to do as Cupid instructed and tell their tales to the player, there is never a moment where the player’s hand is forced. Should they wander for long enough, the way back to Faerie will reveal itself eventually.
|Jove||Jove is ruler of the gods of the Greek pantheon, but still is subject quite often to the machinations of Cupid. He is a sad and grieving soul in the tapestry, which is how Cupid wishes to encounter him; outside the tapestry he would never be so depressed. He doesn’t know how to leave the tapestry, but will tell the player that Athena can help them. Jove can be found in the belt of verdant forest that runs through the tapestry.|
|Neptune||A jovial soul, especially when compared to his brother and nephew. Though still bound to tell of his love for Theophane, his is a happier glorification of Cupid’s victories. His avatar has never thought of escaping the tapestry, though he is smart enough to know that Athena probably knows how. Neptune stands on the shoreline, next to a small dock and boathouse.|
|Apollo||Apollo, like his father Jove, is a melancholy soul in the tapestry. He never leaves Daphne’s Grove, spending all his time in quiet solitude with the plant forms of three of his loves–Coronis, Hyacinth, and Daphne. He gives no thought to any plight of the player’s, instead preferring to share his misery by retelling the tales of those he lost.|
|Athena||Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, is the only one besides Danae who knows what’s really going on in the tapestry. If the player will listen to her, she’ll eventually tell them the way out and reveal what she knows to them. Athena resides in the ruins of her temple, a likeness of the one she destroyed after Neptune and Medusa violated it.|
|Europa||Europa will be the first NPC the player encounters; she stands right next to the spawn point. However, she is not very helpful as she has little idea of the true nature of the tapestry and how she came to be there. She can, however, introduce the player to the world they have stepped into.|
|Semele||Semele, like Europa, is not very helpful. She wanders the forest, and can point out that Athena may be able to help the player more than she can, but mostly she’ll simply tell the story of her death and of the birth of Dionysus.|
|Danae||Danae, having learned from Athena the secrets of the tapestry, stands very near the exit back to Castle Busirane. Besides telling her bittersweet life story, she marks with her very presence that the player is nearing the end of their journey in Cupid’s Tapestry.|
|The Forest||This belt of verdant trees and grass cuts across the area, and a few of the inhabitants of the tapestry wander it. The player will enter the tapestry at the far end of the wood, near Europa.|
|Athena’s Temple||This is a likeness of the temple where Neptune brought Medusa, or at least a likeness of its ruins. Within it can be found the goddess of wisdom herself, in a dark and quiet solitude.|
|The Ocean||At the southern edge of the tapestry is an ocean, and at its shore are a dock and boathouse–all to accommodate the lord of the seas, Neptune. However, Cupid does not wish for visitors to swim away, and the ocean is therefore kept off-limits.|
|The Bloody River||As described by Spenser, a “bloudy river” flowed around the tapestry’s edges, filled with the rich, the poor, the peasants, the kings, all defeated by the God of Love.|
|Daphne’s Grove||Near Athena’s temple is a small grove where a laurel tree sits. This tree is Daphne, who was turned to bark and leaves to escape the love of Apollo; and around her silent memorial grow pansies and sweetbriars, the flowery forms of two of Apollo’s other loves, Hyacinth and Coronis. Apollo himself never leaves the grove, but stands in contemplation of his grief for them all.|