After disappearing in Vailin, Ori finds herself in the Feywild, surrounded by the intense magical forest she had left. A nearby tree waves to her.
“Hello tree. What are you doing in this wall? What kind of treachery is a-root?”
The tree takes several minutes to start laughing at your joke
“So I am home. The council will not be thrilled. Where exactly am I?
A leaf behind you bows as a male pixie in armor lands on it. “Hail wanderer! Be ye in need of assistance?”
Ori bows back… “It seems that way. I have just come from the elven kingdom of vailin. Can you tell me where I am now?”
“You enter the realm of the fey queen Titania. Pray thee an audience with her grace? Discourse with travelers always … appeases her.” He grimaces slightly at this.
As always, somewhat oblivious and somewhat apathetic, she says, “as interesting as that sounds I’ve found that nobility makes one no more likely to help a wandering traveler.”
He strands up straighter “I will not stand for insults to queen Titania. She is glorious and prefect and beautiful … Um I mean that is to say … Can i perhaps escort you?”
At his tone Ori’s wings give a flutter and she turns to face him as her hand brushes not to casually over the hilt of her rapier. She smirks and a crazy look enters her eye. “Noble types don’t tend to like Oriander. Unless you can help me I would suggest that you move on.”
He harrumphs. “Very well then, but do be ware. Her Highness does not always allow us to police her lands, she enjoys ruling over a realm of malevolence.”
Seeming to have forgotten her statement just seconds ago she says, “Hey lover boy, how does one get to Senaliesse from here? Or better yet, back to trine…”
“Back to Trine?” He hops off the leaf and flies next to her. “You’ve been there?? And you seek the way to Senaliesse..” He suddenly drops to one knee before Ori. “Please, you must allow me to accompany you! My lady Titania would be most displeased if I let you go on your own.”
“Listen, whatever your name is, I don’t care what your lady would like or not. If you can help me get to trine or Senaliesse then you can come with me. But frankly based on what I’ve seen so far it is unclear whether you can help me and I would rather have this tree here as my traveling companion.” Ori winks at the tree at that comment.
The tree blushes, causing all of it’s leaves to shiver in delight.
“I will gladly escort you to Senaliesse! We can acquire some mounts at a nearby keep of my Lady’s. Follow me!” And he takes off.
Ori looks at the tree. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” And she flies off with him.
You fly for about an hour that lasts at least 5 minutes. Several birds try to eat you. A flower gets up as you pass over and starts to sing. Eventually you arrive.
“Ah home…” Ori thinks to herself. And though these are all familiar sights to Ori, some of her latent discontent begins to creep back into her being, just as it had in the prisons of Senaliesse. It is as if a separation from the world of Trine creates a fracture in her soul.
The keep is situated in the middle of a moat of blood. It’s made of some strange crystal like material. As you travelled he named himself Ser Aliourio and pointed out many features of the land, ignorant or perhaps indifferent to you ignoring him. The guards are a mix of fey creatures. Elves, eladrin pixies etc. They recognize Aliourio and let you both enter.
“What’s with the moat of blood? Your lady… not one for company?”
“Queen Titania enjoys company quite a bit. But she has many enemies.” He leads you into a the throne room, resplendent with hunting trophies and treasure. Queen Titania sits atop a throne of pure crystal.
Ori doesn’t bow to the queen. She waits until she is addressed. Instead she begins to test the acoustics of the room. “Echo…echo!!!”
Ser Al gives Ori a reproachful glance then bows before the Queen. She is watching Ori with bemusement and curiosity. “What have you there dear Aliousa?”
“My Queen, it is my honour to present you with this interloper in your lands. She is none other than Oriander!”
“My my, Oriander! What a prize to have fallen into our lap! Where did you come from little pixie?” Titania is clearly an Eladrin, though she exudes power and Ori would recognize her as a Noble Eladrin (one step below the archfey).
Ori lets her last “Echo…” ring out, and a silence falls as she looks at the queen. Then she hovers up close to Titania before she speaks in her usual meandering way. “Your worshipfulness. It is true, I am your anteloper. I have come here, though I know not how or why, from the world of Trine. I would like to find my way back there… if you would be so kind… with your queen magic… or to the court of the Summer Queen. I like your chair.” Then she stops talking abruptly and gives Al a thumbs up.
Ser Aliousa just shakes his head. The slightest smile touches the corner of Titania’s mouth. “You are a wild thing. You wish to visit Tiandra then? Oh this is most convenient. I have a gift i was planning to send to her. Would you be a dear and deliver it for me? If you do i can have my faithful, brave Ser Aliousa take you to her immediately.” He bucks up noticeably at her compliment.
“What’s the gift?”
She plucks a crystal rose from her throne and holds it out to you. “A token of my affection.”
“Of course. It would be my honor.” Meanwhile Ori is not entirely comfortable and is already hatching alternative plans.
“What is it… I mean… What does it do?”
“Nothing but show Tiandra my deep and abiding love for her. It will let her know that i am the one to reunite you with her. Now, off with you.” At the dismissal Al quickly bows again and takes your arm to lead you away.
Ori half bows to the queen and bides her time on the trip with Al until they are near they kingdom. Ori has no intention of delivering the rose to tiandra. She waits for her moment to incapacitate Al.
You ride on a pair of three eyed ravens, but they don’t seem to respond to commands. Ser Al alternates between singing and extolling the “virtues of the Queen” until you reach the border.
Ori promptly jumps off the raven and uses her wings to hover her jump before landing so she doesn’t get injured. She immediately tosses the rose and goes stealthy.
You hear “Wait! My Lady! Please wait!”. The ravens fly overhead but can’t find you. It doesn’t take you long to make your way to Tiandra’s palace.
Ori approaches the gate.
You see the symbols of the gloaming court and winter court on the carriages. One made of shadows with a nightmare steed, the other of frost with a flying reindeer. The guards halt you. “Little late for the celebration aren’t you?”
“I’m sorry. I was delayed. Tiandra will be pleased to see me. I am Oriander of her realm. "
The guards wave you in without much reaction or enthusiasm. Guests are everywhere, pixies, elves, eladrin, even some humans and a Drow. In one corner a group are reading scrolls of some sort out loud, in another performing an intricate three dimensional dance (a friendly wizard is casting levitate on anyone who wants to partake) and in another it would appear some sort of religious ceremony is taking place. In the center Tiandra holds court with the sheer presence she exudes. Beside her the emperor of winter and Prince of hearts both appear dull, as though the very particles of light in the room are attracted to Tiandra.
Oriander makes her way through the crowds and to the front ring of tiandras proceeding. She isn’t hiding but doesn’t want to immediately disrupt what tiandra is doing.
“My dear Lady of summer, we must not dismiss these rumors idly. You have not been popular with many of your decisions, in particular opening a dialog with that upstart human king.” The prince of hearts voice is mellifluous. “Very true. I see it’s with but it leaves you open to attack.” The emperor of winter is brisk and clipped.
Ori wants to defend the queen tiandra but waits a little longer to discover more.
Tiandra let’s out a gentle laugh, and her voice is warm as summer itself, “Alexander is no upstart. He offers us a chance to perhaps reunite with vailin and our cousins on trine. And if he should fail to thwart the incursions of Tiamat and those night blasted monsters from the shadowfell, we would be next on the block.” There is steel behind that warmth too.
Ori can’t hold her tongue any longer. “Queen tiandra is correct.” Then a pause and Ori realizes she just has interrupted some important business. She tries to salvage it… “I have seen king Alexander and what we have accomplished on trine is nothing less than amazing.”
Her eyes suddenly lock onto Ori. Surprise is there for a moment but then she smiles widely and holds out her hands for you to alight.
Ori takes her hands and kneels before her. (The only person she would kneel before.) “my lady I’m sorry for coming to you so suddenly and for interrupting your lord friends.” Ori nods to the prince of hearts from the gloaming court. “I was sent her… I think… From vailin. I have been separated from those who i was sent to aid. Then there was a queen with gems and a rose she wanted me to give to you… And Ravens. But I escaped.” She stops and looks around fully aware that sometimes her words meander. She waits for a reaction before continuing.
Tiandra’s smile turns sad. The emperor turns and sprints away. The Prince lets out a gasp. He looks at you, then up at Tiandra. “You were expecting this??” She shakes her head. “Not this. Not exactly. Oh my dear sweet ori. Im so sorry. You’ve given so much already.” You find your hand is stuck to hers.
Ori is confused. “Did I do something wrong? I got rid of the rose… I didn’t trust that queen woman. I wanted to tell you.” She tries to break away sensing danger. She remembers the cells of Senaliesse. Suddenly she becomes afraid and stands up.
Tiandra shakes her head. “You couldn’t have known.” She looks closer at you. “You’ve changed since you left. What has happened to you?”
Ori is more concerned with what is going on. She isn’t going to be able to recount much more without someone stopping her and saying that she is speaking gibberish. Ori looks down at her hands that are being held. She looks back up at tiandra to gauge what will happen next.
Ori’s hand has started to fuse with Tiandra’s. You can feel the life force fading from you, and it looks as though she is beginning to fade as well. It is happening slowly though. The rest of the guests have been hustled away, only the Prince of hearts remains.
Tiandra coaxes Ori’s story out bit by bit. By the time she is done you can no longer see or feel your hands.
The Prince looks aghast. He keeps pacing back and forth. But Tiandra is calm, still warm and accepting her fate.
“Little Ori, you have had some adventures! And the seven, and you met a reflection of your lost soul in Ashryn! I see know why you seem so different. I am only sad that the gift of
Selune did not have time to blossom.” She looks up at the Prince, having sunk down to the ground. Her hands are gone now too. “Sweet Prince, Titania will come for my seat now. Don’t risk yourself here. She will be archfey with this victory, you were right I should have been more careful.”
Realizing finally what is happening tears come to Ori’s eyes. Though she does not know exactly what tiandra means about selunes gift. She knows that she is responsible for destroying the only person who has ever been kind to her. “My lady… I am sorry. I did not know.” Her sadness turns quickly to anger and she tries to struggle and fight this terrible magic. She pulls and screams and vows for vengeance.
She stops suddenly as they fade. She swallows the anger in her last moments and a distant memory of an old woodsinger lullaby comes to mind. Before she knows it she begins singing this goodbye song for she and tiandra to the world:
“quel night. auta kaim-. ten’ tul’re lle will kuile a’ i’ me’a. dae ar’ huine will never touch lle au’.”
It means, “good night. go to sleep. because tomorrow you will awake to the light. shadow and darkness will never touch you again.”
Tiandra listens to the song for some time. Your hips are attached now, torsos halfway connected. It’s getting hard to breathe. The Prince has sunk to his knees and is cradling Tiandra’s head in his lap. She looks up at him with a final breath and says “Take good care of her…”
He shakes his head trying to deny what is happening and tears begin falling down his face, each one sliding down shadows in his face as though dodging the light.
And then just as your song begins to falter, you feel a pressure all throughout your body. Like something is trying to rip every atom in you in a separate direction.
And then it does. Your body explodes outwards. It is agony as you feel yourself torn into constituent pieces. But when it ends you are standing. High. Your body is huge. Not a pixie body. And when you look down there is a husk wearing Tiandra’s crown.
As you collapse, fading to unconsciousness, you hear the Prince whisper “your sacrifice will not be in vain my love. I will protect her.”
The Prince helps her to recover and get used to her new body, afterwards he helps her get out of the feywild. Titania wastes no time establishing herself in the summer court, and quickly becomes the most prominent archfey.
While recovering you hear about a treaty that has been struck between the courts of the fey, Alexander of Trine, the Free gods of the astral sea, the eberron pact (as they’ve taken to calling themselves) and tiamat herself. It is spoken of by many as a triumph, but one day Ori discovers that part of the treaty is that the Seven be “disbanded”. This is when the prince helps her to flee the fey wild, to Sigil, before Titania finds out about her.