Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Floating Tower

Eveningstar, Cormyr
11th day of Uktar (The Rotting)
Year of the Fiery Moon

The old bard wiped foam from his lips as he thumped his large mug of frothing ale upon the bar and withdrew a long-stemmed black pipe from the folds of his grey, travel-stained, cloak.
He glanced up, savoring the anticipation from the band of young adventurers who, along with most everyone in the taproom, had turned their chairs to face the bard and hear his tale.
He used a candle on the bar to light his pipe and blew out huge plumes of blue-grey smoke before taking one last sip from his mug and clearing his throat.

“Well if it’s adventure ye seek, then I do know a tale or two about The Killing Keep, The Haunted Halls and the Citadel of the Black Sting. Perhaps I could…”

Brostos Myrgult, the burly fighting man and leader of the Company of the Crimson Banner, pounded his hammer-like fist on the table and pointed a thick finger at the old minstrel.

“I paid you fair! Ye said ye would tell us all that ye know of the Floating Tower!”

The old bard smiled grimly and nodded as he drew on his pipe and scratched his head as if deep in thought.

“So ye did! I’m just not sure that Tumblestone Tower is the best place to start if ye wish to become legendary adventurers!”

A cool look from the grim band told the troubador that any argument would be pointless.

“Very well!” He sighed, I shall tell thee all I know!”

Long ago, some say around the Year of the Slithering Dark, a powerful wizard named Authalyntor Astranghal built a grand tower in the remote wastes of the Stonelands. None can say from where he had come, but rumors persisted that he had fled Halruua, pursued by the Phaerimm who had sworn vengeance upon him.

Authalyntor kept mostly to himself occasionally appearing at Magefairs, entertaining exclusive guests in the elegant pagoda atop his tower or rarely tutoring promising, young mages for staggering fees and only for a few months to a year at most.

Atop his magnificent pagoda, Authalyntor placed a whirling, silvery astrolabe which crackled with blue-white lightning day and night. Some say this was a tap into the very essence of the Weave, channeling raw spellfire from which Authalymtor could draw power, craft defenses and work new and wondrous Art the likes of which had not been seen.

Those few who claim to have met Authalyntor say he was like a taut bowstring, his bright green eyes darting about in search of some hidden foe. The onlt time he seemed truly at ease was in the safety of his tower pagoda.

The years passed and soon, Authalyntor was seen less and less. Music no longer played cheerfully from his pagoda and few lights ever flickered from the tower windows. It was said that Authalymtor was working on some powerful Art to protect his tower from some unforeseen assault or he was journeying among the planes, staying one step ahead of the Phaerimm and their minion assassins that pursued him.

One evening, the Stonelands were rocked by powerful blasts of staggering Art that were unleashed like some catastrophic, magical storm. Folks as far away as Tilverton were said to have seen the flashes of strange, green and purple lights and the roll of distant thunder which wouldn’t have been unusual except voices could be distinctly heard in the rumbling din, shouting curses and arcane chants with a sort of maddened desperation.

Legend speaks that six, black-robed slaughtermages from Mulhorand and their Phaerimm benefactor had finally caught up with Authalyntor and attacked him at his tower. A titanic spell battle ensued and when the dust had settled, the Phaerimm and his six hired assassins were dead and Authalyntor was gone and never seen again.

The most odd thing however, was Authalyntor’s once-magnificent tower was blasted to ruin. At least the lower stories were blasted to ruin for the upper floors of the tower remained intact, hovering about one hundred feet above the charred ground!

A swirling mass of dust and rubble mixed with huge blocks of masonry had formed just under the upper levels of the floating tower, creating a rumbling tempest of debris.

Adventurers who sought to plunder the tower found that the upper levels cannot be reached by any magical means known. The bleached and crushed bones of slain explorers attempting to enter the tower now swirls within the deadly cloud along with a few trinkets and shining baubles that certainly catch the eye and tempt the greedy.

It’s been said that the largest blocks of stone now swirl in and endless spiral, up and down in the middle of the smaller bits of debris and one could possibly make use of these blocks as a means of access to the floating tower.

And if anyone thinks that taking some flying mount to the pagoda, be warned. The spinning silver astrolabe now discharges bolts of deadly Art at any approach. Occasionally, the smoking corpse of a slain wyvern or giant raven will be found lying not far from the tower and the bards say that even the Great Green Wyrm, Shardinastigool was sorely wounded by one of these bolts and flew back to her lair in the Hullack Forest, her roars of frustrated agony echoing throughout the region for three full nights.