The Unicorn Tapestries are a set of seven tapestries, dating from the late Middle Ages, that depict the hunt for the elusive, magical unicorn. They were used to find a Traveler’s Disc at The Cloisters.
The Unicorn Tapestries are seven tapestries created in the late Middle Ages. Each tapestry depicts a scene in the story of the hunt for the elusive unicorn: the start of the hunt, the unicorn at the fountain, the unicorn attacked, the unicorn defending itself, the unicorn captured by the virgin, the unicorn killed and brought to the castle, and the unicorn in captivity.
The Unicorn Tapestries were critical to solving Fragment Four, with each of the Seven Tributes of Rochefoucald relating to a part of the unicorn tapestries. Recruits soon realized the tapestries were stored at The Cloisters and traveled there to retrieve a Traveler’s Disc and materials hidden by Brandon Lachmann. Because The Devoted had solved the puzzle at the same time as The Mountaineers, Reader met with recruits and gave them the information so that recruits could keep up with the Devoted.
During Fragment Seven, Sullivan Green’s journal depicted an alternate story of the seven tapestries. They described an eighth tapestry commissioned by Anne of Brittany. For some reason, the eighth tapestry was seen as blasphemous and was ordered by King Louis XII to be burned after Anne’s death. However, rather than destroy the tapestry, a secret guild loyal to Anne unwove the tapestry and extracted it into three parts: silk, metal, and wool. Anne requested her body, entrails, and heart be buried separately after her death, and the guild members wrapped the body parts in each of the materials.
Deirdre Green realized the magical significance of The Unicorn Tapestries in Phase Three. In her post, “Anne of Israel”, she connected the story with the two paths of magiq. In the same way that Anne had been buried in silver and wool, the paths of magiq were also named the Path of Silver and the Path of Wool. From this, she posited that the creators of the paths were artisans and crafters, Anne’s secret guild and the cult of collectors.
From The Unwritten Histories: 17th Edition
The Hunt of The Unicorn was commissioned by Anne of Brittany, a patron of the arts, in the late 15th century. Originally thought to be a pagan love story, Christian ideology warped The Hunt over time, and the seven tapestries became an allegory for the Passion of Christ. But originally there were eight tapestries. The eighth panel was mysteriously considered blasphemous. Sometimes referred to as “The Unicorn’s Gait,” it’s unknown where in the series it falls (some think it completed the story, placed after The Unicorn in Captivity).
After Anne’s death, the eighth tapestry was ordered destroyed by her husband, Louis XII, for unknown reasons. The tapestry disappeared. But instead of being burned, the panel was unwoven by a secret court guild of artists who were devoted to Anne. The silk, metallic thread, and wool were all harvested. Anne had requested the division of her body upon her death. Her body, entrails, and heart would be buried separately in a funeral that lasted forty days.
When Anne died, the secret guild set out to honor her patronage by performing a mysterious last rite of their own, the purpose and meaning of which is still unknown. Anne’s body was wrapped in a shroud made from the silk thread of the tapestry. Her entrails were buried in a bed of the tapestry’s wool, and a gold reliquary was forged for her heart, which rested inside, protected by a veil of silver.
The tapestry materials rested with Anne until sometime in the late 17th century, when they were apparently stolen by a cult of collectors who were amassing “enchanted works of art.” The whereabouts of the wool and silver veil are a mystery, but we now know the shroud of silk was stretched into a canvas around the turn of the 20th century. The location of the canvas, and its intended purpose, remain unknown.