On their way out of Tar Tranwyn, the Sky House priest, Lokavar, met with them and suggested he was moved by Caerdwyn’s speech, and would like to send his apprentice, Haf, along with them. Caerdwyn and Bayeo agreed.
That night, Bayeo was roused by a distant howling and made his way out of the grounds of Tar Tranwyn, following the calls, which were close and strangely compelling. He encountered a Vulfen who addressed him in what is, apparently the Vulfen language (which he did not know they had). He asked him if he was ready to go on his hom-ba-lechiya, his manhood-journey. Bayeo, surprised, declined, told him he had important business with his people. The shaman, “Counting the Crows”, seemed to understand. He told Bayeo if he had the time and wanted to undergo the rites of his people, he should go to a fort in south Teuthal, and ask for the shaman by name. Bayeo told no one of his encounter.
The next day, the group collected Haf near a rivulet outside Tar Tranwyn. The Siar (priest) seemed somewhat surprised that he was really going on their journey. Full of the vigor of the Sky House, he regaled them with tales of the glory of the day and was otherwise tedious in a way that only the fervently delighted can be.
Two days of overland travel later, based on Saar’s suggestion, they were taking the main road into the Spine mountains, avoiding Dun Mynn to head directly to Dunn Vwym.
The road led past the mining camp, Cean na Dana (Crown of Dana (goddess of luck)). Making camp for the night outside the mining area, they perused the camp and found it occupied only by a pair of pale twins in dark, coal-stained suits playing marbles. The thick foreman inside the mine mouth that afternoon warned the protagonists away.
The group made an uneasy camp past the fouled stream flowing out of Cean na Dana. An uneasiness grew among their company. Eventually, the world grew quiet, and the mining camp utterly silent. Going to investigate, they left Saar to mind the pack mule (and protect his rutabagas). In the little town they found what looked like a ruined well and an old oak. The shacks of the little town were dark and silent, and seeemed empty. Inside the mine, they could hear distant sounds.
It seemed unnatural for miners to be working at night, so they followed the sounds and noises down and down through the mine shafts until… they came through an ancient rockfall, and entered into the vibrating glowlight of a Builder structure. They were assaulted by a miner, and then another. Each was seemingly out of his mind, and each wore a Bound knot amulet made of twigs and mud and twine.
Eventually they made their way into a larger round chamber, and they found the twins in the coal gray suits.With their round, hairless faces, they seemed to howl at the interlopers, and the remaining miners and the foreman in the room attacked. The two men seemed to fold themselves away through shadows in the bends of the Builder structure. A Builder door in the opposite wall slammed shut.
Haf called upon Jyn, the light of the day, and he seemed to lean out of the way of a spark of the sun. A portion of the room grew bright in a way utterly unlike the Builder light. Out of that light across the room, a great, dark Spider emerged. A spider body, it’s thorax up in the air, its forelegs arm-like, with hands, its face a horrifically pale, humanlike face. Its face shocked into a smear, and its gaze struck them like a physical terror.
Several wounds were received from the miners, while Caerdwyn drew his sword and sought to split and undo the will of the Spider. Haf joined in, calling forth Jyn’s light against the Spider as it drew its hands in complex, knot-like patterns and tried to do things to their bodies or their hearts. Fortunately, Bayeos skill and ferocity were enough not only to subdue the miners but eventually to go with into battle directly against the spider itself. From that creature, he received a set of dreadful wounds along his ribs. Eventually, Caerdwyn’s sword with its burning runes drew the creature’s atention, and Bayeo managed to land a savage blow. He and Caerdwyn and Haf finished the thing off.
All the blood in the room seemed bound together, rushing to nearby drops of blood and then standing too tall on the builder stone, as if the place were trying to reject the shed liquid.
Working his Talent, Caerdwyn managed with great effort to open the Door that had shut when they entered. Beyond it, they found a smaller, circular chamber. A channel in the floor exposed living rock below, and a quick-flowing stream. In the water in the center of the room were five spheroids that seemed to be made of lead and bronze. Where the water touched them, it became stinking and fouled, and flowed out into the stone of the Cean na Dana. Above the spheres there was a sticky grey knotted web of rope holding a long, slender crystal to a Builder chain in the ceiling and to the walls and floor.
Being cautious, Bayeo stayed in the room with all the dead, watching them, watching the entrance for the other Spider. When Caerdwyn used his Scian (witchblade) to begin to assault the web holding the crystal, the Builder Door between the rooms slammed silently shut, and vanished. Haf and Caerdwyn felt a profound dislocation and set about very carefully freeing the crystal, and raising the spheres from the water.
The moment Haf freed the crystal, something happened to the room. It changed in some imperceptible way that shook both of them, and the intrusive new-knowledge of the Builders filled them with the knowing that if they did not soon exit the room, the consequences would be grave. Caerdwyn managed to re-open the door. They found Bayeo on the outside of the door, and for some long minutes or perhaps hours had been quite mad, clawing at the wall and the door until his nails ripped and his fingers bled and his wounds re-opened and finally incapacitated him.
Gathering up the matted figure of Bayeo between them, they began their long wind through the shuddering light of that place. They started to feel as though they were forgetting why they were leaving at all, and found that their recollection of the world above had grown…somehow less. Something about this experience or the spider’s power or the Builder’s design of this place was stealing from them some essential intangible thing.
Finally, in one corridor, they saw a surprising thing: darkness, waiting for them. A welcome release from the lightless unshadow of the Builder mine. With in that new darkness, there was something they had forgotten: fire. The flicker light of a torch, flame merrily devouring substance into light. Saar was there, and they had forgotten or not thought about him waiting. Only Caerdwyn’s determination had brought them this far. Caerdwyn, in a clash of utterly non-Builder insight understood what had happened to the miners – why they had been down there, not coming up. He thought he even may have understood that they attacked Haf and Bayeo and Caerdwyn not out of anger or vile control, but probably because they were still full of color and the world, and after so much time bleached by the mine, the miners simply could not stand the outside world and its things anymore.