‘Sylvan’ Kestrel’s story continues with a necessary trek to the world of subterranean elves. Read on to discover how Kestrel became the ‘Spider Queen’ and sealed off the Island Well from humankind.
CHECK HER OUT IN GAME:
MODEL & EFFECTS CHANGES
- Kestrel has transformed into a dark elf!
- White hair and red eyes
- Queen’s Web headdress with magenta jewel
- Spider Mother Bow with webs
- Golden elf leafy armor
- Spider silk webbed costume
- Drops exploding spider sacs for Active Camo
- Elvish leap during Glimmershot
- Spins into new pose for One Shot One Kill
- Shoots spider silk into the air that pulls her up and recalls her back to base
ALTERNATE FATE LORE
The Spider Mother
The Island Well was as the King Stag had said, overrun with humankind, contaminated and burbling black tar instead of the clear, healing water that had been revered by the forest creatures and protected by sanctimonious rites since the first memory. Kestrel, the wood elf princess, led the fight against the humans. Kestrel, with her bow named Sparrow, ended many human lives. Bear, wolf and deer fought together, trampling and mauling those who had harmed the well in their selfishness and ignorance. Hares and badgers and snakes, too, joined the fray, and birds dove to peck out human eyes. The battle was well-won by the forest creatures, but they suffered losses, and their victory did not last even a full moon cycle before more humans came, drawn by the stories of the healing well.
From the tallest tree, Kestrel watched them come. The owls joined her.
“We will rouse the animals for the next fight,” said the owls.
“The humans outnumber us,” said Kestrel. She slid her fingertips along the edges of her wings, her mouth twisting. “Seek out my family, and call them to war.”
“The sylvan elves have retreated into the mist,” reported the owls.
Kestrel considered this without expression. “Then I must seek out the elves below.”
The owls widened their round eyes. “The elves below do not care about our world.”
“Our world is their world, and all are one.”
Kestrel dropped to the ground and called, with a low, throaty growl, for the badgers. The matriarch of the clan came with her family behind her, squinting in the bright light.
“Take me below,” commanded Kestrel.
The sow was dubious, but dared not disobey the elf, so she led the way to her den. Kestrel crawled on her belly to enter, but once inside, the den widened into a network of caves and tunnels through which the badgers led her. Together they burrowed deep underground, feeling their way along in the dark, until at last they came to an ancient door that glowed violet around the edges. The badgers snuffled with worry. Kestrel knelt to kiss the matriarch between her eyes before stepping alone through the door and into the capital city of the below.
The only light came from the phosphorescent mushrooms that grew on the roots and ground and in great numbers up the sides of tall spires. Kestrel stood in silence as the proud and beautiful dark elves of the below surrounded her, arrows fitted to their bows, standing sideways at the ready. White hair spilled down their backs in stark contrast to their skin, the color of midnight. They wore jeweled armor and gowns made of spider silk, and their eyes glowed red.
“I am the princess of the Tangled Wood,” said Kestrel. “I call on you to help us defeat the humans who have contaminated the Island Well, and to seal it until it has been forgotten by humankind.”
The dark elves looked at one another. One of them said, “Wars above come and go, as do wars below. Your dispute with the humans does not concern us.”
“Our world is your world, and all worlds are one,” said Kestrel.
All elves above and below knew the words of wisdom. The dark elves lowered their bows. “Even so, only the Spider Queen may command us.”
“Call the Spider Queen to me,” ordered Kestrel.
“The Spider Mother has not chosen a queen,” said one of the dark elves.
“Then I shall be chosen. Take me to her.”
The dark elves laughed at Kestrel’s audacity, but her gaze did not waver, and so they led her to a temple made of gold and shaped like a spider.
The domed ceiling of the bulbous body of the temple was draped with webs upon webs, and hanging from the webs were thousands of silken white sacs. At the center of the webs, a giant black spider perched. Kestrel unstrapped the bow from her back and snapped a magical arrow into existence in her right hand.
“Why does a wood elf come to me?” asked the Spider Mother.
“To be the chosen Spider Queen,” said Kestrel.
“Only a creature of the below may be Spider Queen,” said the spider.
“So be it,” said Kestrel.
“Drop your bow,” said the Spider Mother. “If you pass the test, we will be your weapons.”
“When I pass.” But Kestrel obeyed, resting the bow named Sparrow on the golden floor and extinguishing the magic arrow. “What is your test?”
“Feed my children and survive.”
And with that, the sacs broke open, and spiderlings emerged from them, hundreds of thousands, each the size of Kestrel’s hand. They fled down the webs to the floor and crawled up her legs; they dropped into her hair, hissing. They bared their fangs and sank them into Kestrel’s flesh, injecting their venom. Their stings shot through her, but she gritted her teeth to keep from crying out in pain. She refused, also, to close her eyes when the spiderlings tore the wings from her back, staring up instead at the Spider Mother. The black venom spread under her skin, turning it the same midnight color as the dark elves of the below. Her hair whitened and her vision swam with blood, but not for a moment did she consider dying, and so she did not.
After what felt like an eternity, the spiderlings had eaten their fill, and Kestrel still stood. The Spider Mother crawled down the webs to the ground before the Spider Queen and bowed. “I am your weapon,” she said.
And so the Spider Queen emerged from the badgers’ den, transformed, with an army of dark elves and spiders behind her, blinking their red eyes in the glare. The army set upon the Island Well with their blades and arrows and poisons, and when they had made a ruin of the greedy humans, the spiders wove a thick silken web over the well that sealed its magic away from the world.
Read Kestrel’s canon lore: