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The Tower: After the Dying

The Tower: After the Dying

After the world was nearly destroyed, many wander seeking a new and safe home. There are rumors of an ancient tower accepting refugees. But people say the tower is cursed.

233 readers have visited this universe since Aniihya created it.
Topics: black tower, fantasy post-apocalyptic, necromancy, original, paranoia, psychological, and settlement (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

Story

Just recently, a dark tyrant and necromancer attempted to conquer the world and harvest souls to try to bring back a dead lover. But in the end, they killed themself and a good part of the world population. Many parts of the land have become unlivable. The world is in a constant state of darkness only lit by starlight and a dimly lit moon. Surpisingly despite the lack of actual sunlight, the lands have stayed warm.

Now many survivors are on a journey to seek new safe places to live. There have been rumors that the Arktu'ur tower, a massive ancient tower built by a long lost civilisation, is accepting refugees as it turned out that about a dozen people have lived in the tower for some time now. But there are also rumors that the tower is cursed and that the necromancer who nearly destroyed the world spent some time there and may have been trained there and that the place is cursed.

But some people still went to the tower anyways with high hopes. Upon arrival they are greeted by a woman who introduces her as "the mayor". She makes a very pleasant impression despite her eyepatch. But as days go by, it seems as if the mayor is also the barkeep, the healer, the alchemist and a lot of other things. The other inhabitants of the tower are only sometimes seen and aren't very talkative, only going about their business. Some seem almost mindless.

As days go by, it feels as if you are being watched and you start to become a little paranoid. It is as if the tower causes little anxiety attacks. The mayor says that you will get used to it and it will go away. But it seems as if it wont go away and a lot of things in the tower are suspicious. You become suspicious of the mayor and the others in the tower, but especially the mayor. But the mayor says: "You are free to leave if you are concerned." But you dont want to leave or cant leave because you fear that you could die outside. You don't feel safe inside but you feel it is safer inside. You have many choices. Will you brush it off? Will you investigate? Or will you lose your sanity?

Arktu'ur Tower:

A massive black tower built possibly thousands of years ago. Despite its age, it seems to have barely decayed as if those who always occupied it kept it in shape. The tower is so tall it can be seen from fifty miles away. The tall entrance is illuminated in an eerie turquoise glow. The tower is large enough to probably house hundreds of thousands of people. The center chamber is a massive room almost the height of the tower and nearly five miles wide. At the top of the center chamber there is a massive illuminated turquoise crystal that can be dimmed by the towers current master. In the center chamber, there is a smaller black tower at it's center, which is however by standards outside the tower still quite large (bigger than a castle). There is a weak pulsating in the ground that gets weaker the further you get from the center.

The tower has a steady flow of clean fresh water and plants grow in the center chamber. The trees and flowers have adapted to the light of the crystal. There are also some animals, mainly rabbits, deer and glowing butterflies who live inside the tower.

Around the central chamber are walkways on each floor. There are magical elevators to get to other floors but there are also stairs. The number of total rooms are uncountable, but a guiding crystal can help those new to the tower around. From the central chamber, you can see where people live by lit parts of the walkways. Old buildings in the central chamber serve as stores and a tavern with a guesthouse is available too. The "service" district is surrounded by inner tower fields and the inner tower meadows.

Outside world:

The outside world is mostly hostile at the time being. Cities lay in ruin, black shadows are cast on walls from people who basically were burned up in an instant, barely any live trees left standing. Even the parts that were barely effected are too inconvenient to settle on. But a lot of people seem to rather want to die than set foot in the tower because fears that it is a dungeon that will turn the undead or so.


Character sheet:

Name
Age
Species (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Half-Orc)
Gender
Former job (or possible future job)
Class (if any fighting experience is available. Examples: Fighter, Warrior, Mage, Ninja, Priest/ess, Paladin [although most paladins died as even a good paladin can still succumb to the power of a necromancer], Necromancer [open necromancers are viewed with distrust])
Appearance
Clothing (medieval fantasy-ish)
Likes
Dislikes
Personality
Background
Weaknesses (they have to be real weaknesses, ones that can be fatal)
Strengths (don't go OP)

Rules

No godmoding
At least 80 words per post
Use the character sheet when submitting a character. If you dont, your character will be rejected automatically.

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Character Portrait: "The Mayor"/Elie Moonshadow "The mayor of Arktu'ur tower."
Character Portrait: Hainth Gemheart A good natured artist, who seeks to reconnect his family.
Character Portrait: Aiya Hensern
Aiya Hensern played by Aniihya
Summoner knight

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Stones jut upward and outward, the land a ravaged painting of grays and browns. Wind whipping roughly around, dust in constant flux, never settling. Thin, spindly trees broken across the barren land. Its expanse endless to normal sight, the man cresting over a hill softly was almost dragging himself through the land. A thick and sleek bushel of beard hair, its deep blue almost imperceptible in the inky light, gently whips side to side as the man comes to a stop. His heavy leathers and thick cotton clothing cementing his warmth, the material too heavy to dance like his beard was. Propping his staff against his body, he softly lifts his waterskin up to drink deeply. Gazing ahead, he shudders out a deep breath. The Tower, its form monolithic even at great distances, reigned ahead of him. Stone leading into some unknown metal, its walls were bare and unblemished as far as he could see from here. No windows, no doors, and yet people lived here. People thrived here. With another deep breath, he continued over the rest of the small hill and started his descent.

His footfalls a soft drumbeat in the midst of the wind, he was descending steady. He wasn't moving quickly, but he never stopped moving either, as he slowly came upon the base of the tower. He had followed the rumored path, but it had led to a sheer wall of the tower. Starting to slowly examine the tower, Hainth's eyes were meticulous in their path over the mysterious metal of the tower. Too smooth, too clear to be any metal he had worked with before, his eyes were already sparkling at the possibilities. How heat resistant was it? Is it more suitable for armor or weapons? Could it conduct magic energy? So many questions, and many more, cut short by a thin grinding sound.

Hainth took some steps backwards, watching as a sheet of the wall retracted and slid. Revealing a shadowed hallway, Hainth could barely make out a humanoid figure within the doorway. He stepped forward slightly, nodding at the figure and bringing his voice forward for the first time in days, "Hello, I am here to live in the tower." His Dwarven accent made the common come out rough, with much harder sounds than intended.

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Aiya Hensern

Aiya had fought her way out of a giant battle within the capital. After the disaster, those who survived first tried to uphold order. But soon that order was unable to be maintained and fights broke out, with people trying to assert dominance and gain the most of the leftover resources left. She hadn't seen the necromancer emperor responsible for this mess in months. Some stated he was dead and some stated he managed to go into hiding, but most of the hints pointed to him being the first to die.

As soon as Aiya was out of the capital, she met up with her mother and brother and they made their way with what they had towards the tower. They travelled for days. It felt like forever, because they just hoped to finally get close enough to the tower to seek and entrance, but the tower is so big that it would probably just take days to walk around it. It was an ancient marvel that rivalled any mountain in height. That a civilization thousands of years ago was able to build something like it seemed unbelievable to Aiya.

Elie Moonshadow

Inside the colossal tower, Elie was able to see into the outside world from a crystal linked to the tower. Within the barren uninviting landscape, she could spot a dwarf approaching the tower. Seemed like one of the first of the coming flood of refugees who got the message. Not far behind the dwarf trailed a human woman clad in black armor with a older woman and a young man. She decided to go down to the entrance to welcome them. As they drew close enough, she opened the entrance to the tower by focussing her power on the door and thinking a spell in the long lost language of the tower's builders.

Once the door was open, Elie gestured her hands in a welcoming manner and said: "Welcome to Arktu'ur tower. I am Elie Moonshadow, the mayor of the settlement within the tower. We can provide you with a home, food and get your new life here started." On one side, the very tall woman wearing a brown tunic with a turtleneck underneath, brown shorts and boots, did seem somewhat sympathetic to outsiders, but on the otherside some asked themselves if her height gave her advantages and if she truly had good intentions, because the tower seemed like it could be a dungeon full of monsters and schemeing necromancers.

As Aiya and the dwarf were greeted by Elie, Aiya unsummoned her armor and bowed, saying: "It is pleasant to meet you Mayor Moonshadow. I am thankful you are offering people like us refuge. Did you also seek refuge here or have you been here before the calamity?"

Elie replied: "I am honored to meet such polite folks. I have actually lived here all of my life with some occasional ventures into the outside world. I was in fact born in the tower as have my parents and dozens of generations before. It is said that we decended from those that built the tower so long ago. By the way, may I have your name?"

Aiya: "Pardon. I am sorry. My name is Aiya Hensern, I am a summoner knight from the city of Turqfallen or in lingua franca Turquoise Falls. Or at least what is left of it. And these are my mother and younger brother."

(I am somehow not able to tag my main)

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Hainth nodded curtly at the tall woman, Elie Moonshadow if she was to be believed, "A right pleasure, miss Moonshadow. The offer you've extended for safety is quite appreciated, but I'll have to decline offering my name for now. I hate to be rude, but offering names hasn't been for the faint of heart in these dire times. Though I'm hopeful you being the mayor means you'll be able to point out some places for me once we're inside?" He turned slightly and nodded out towards the barren landscape, "There's a small caravan some six days out you see, and once I've determined the safety of this place, I'll be going back out to lead them here." He dug into his pocket and pulled out a small and rough sculpture of a bird, simple and of undeterminable breed. Whispering gently into it and surging magic into it brought up small runes across it's form in a dull blue color. It's form shifted slightly, growing less rigid and beginning to flap slowly. The magic was what kept it aloft, as it sped off into the sky with a sharp turn and headed Eastward.

Hainth turned to examine the girl who was speaking for her group. He had eyed her warily before, looking hard across her armored figured. Without using magic, he could still have told her armor was summoned. It was too perfectly black, too unblemished to have ever been touched by mortal hands. The way it had draped upon her, conforming too nicely to her body to be natural. Her white dress on the other hand, while simple and plain, had a much more comfortable look. Where the armor had obviously been magically formed for her body, this dress was well worn and must have been well loved for quite some time. It made for a striking contrast to her red eyes. Like a pair of hazy sunsets, he could almost see them glimmer in this dark world.

The other woman, much older and more efficiently dressed, stood beside a young man, her arms around him, likewise dressed. The way they watched her from behind, her family most likely, their sullen and tired eyes full of unwavering love. Hainth bowed his head slightly towards them, his voice a low and rough grating of stones, "A pleasure to you three, as well."

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"Sure, I can show you any part of the overlayer of the tower. Currently the underlayer of the tower is off limits as it still needs to be sufficiently explored, but that place is behind a large door anyways. If you need further information on the tower, I would say that the tower overlayer can house a couple hundred thousand, has enough room to potentially autonomously feed nearly a million and attackers can be defeated with the towers defenses. Currently, I am the only one capable and knowledgable enough to control the tower though." Elie responded.

As Hainth spoke to Aiya and her family, Aiya bowed while her mother and brother nodded to Hainth. "I guess we could be potential neighbors until the world becomes habitable again." Aiya said.

"Come, friends. Follow me. I will get you acquainted with your sleeping quarters and the services and places within the tower." Elie said as she motioned the others to come and follow her with the door to automatically close once all were inside.

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"Having neighbors such as yourselves would certainly be a dream." He smiled gently towards them, bowing slightly to let them in first.

Hainth made some mental notes as he brought up the rear of their little group. It didn't feel like she was lying, she had spoken too smoothly to be dishonest. If these layers she spoke of could really house and feed that many people, this truly would be a haven for the surviving dredges of society. He could smell the different materials as they walked through this passage. A thick layer of metal, followed by thinner sheets of a different metal, something conductive if the thin standing hairs on the back of his neck were to be believed. The dense and sweet smell of dirt brought a smile to his face as they came out of the passage.


The hall had opened up drastically into a vaguely circular room as it sloped outward from them. The earthen walls were rougher than the outside had been, but still far straighter than anything could naturally be. Across from them, some 50 feet away or so, he could see another shear faced wall. He looked around, nodding gently, "Quite a bit of space here, miss Elie."

He looked up and down the empty area, watching carefully. Now that he was inside of this tower, he could feel the steady thrum of magic running through so much of it. It pushed against him in gentle waves, as it invisibly went about it's duty. He nodded towards Elie slightly, "You said something about layers. Could you explain more about how those work, whilst we're walking?"

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As they went in, the door closed behind them. They walked through the dark, ancient, metallic hallway. Then Hainth asked for further explanation of the layers.

"Well, sure. We are currently on the upper layer or the part of the complex that is above ground. It is also the safe part of it as it is and has been habitable for the past 5000 or so years. The upper layer simply consists of a gigantic tower that has it's own biome. From the top, you can even see the curvature of our world. Don't worry, this place as working elevators. The center of the tower is hollow and actually has a landscape where you can build settlements or farm crops. It includes its own irrigation system and water cleaner. So all of the water is safe to drink. However there is also a underlayer which is supposed to be even larger than the upper layer. The stories say that they locked all of the disease people from a past plague down there. But ventures by ancestors found the plague and developed an antidote, now making it safer to venture down there. But it still isn't safe in the underlayer as the undead wander the halls and lichs control areas of it. Only people strong enough to defeat a lich are allowed to venture down there. But I need to find the underlayer's central control console and probably a power source to activate the security system and defeat all undead down there. A power source would be needed as it would probably suck my magic dry without. I would however guess that the underlayer is three to four times the size of the upperlayer, which means that the complete may have housed an entire nation in the past." Elie explained.

Aiya listened and then exclaimed: "How about I come with you sometime?! I can maybe defeat a lich with my skills." Elie then replied: "We will have to test that sometime."

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Hainth nodded along as they spoke, listening intently. He'd have to see the area she spoke of before making any final decisions, but she was definitely making a good first impression with the way she spoke. Freely talking about the support for a budding civilization, not denying the dangers lurking below, all together it made for a pleasant talk as they worked their way deeper into the tower. Hainth had pulled out a small lump of soft clay, starting to mold it with his hands. He worked at it gently as they talked on about the lower layer, a deep dredge of infestation.

"You mentioned defenses, a security system, right?" He had begun flattening the clay, then rolling it once more into a ball, continuously while talking, "The way you're talking, it must have segmented areas for each defense to handle. I'm a fair Artificer, I could probably put something together to provide power." He trailed off a moment, before clearing his throat and smiling softly, "Hell, give me enough time and materials and I could probably solve any problem."

Hainth kept steadily rolling the clay around in his palms, gentle in every motion, "I only ever fought a lich once, but I could probably help out a fair bit. Especially of I can get some materials from one of the bastards. The lot of them are always hoarding precious gems and regents for their magic, quite a bit a power can be brought out of all that."

Hainth looked up toward Elie, trying not to lose pace with the group, "You said your magic would most likely be drained if you tried as you are. Would that be permanent, and if somebody else provided the power could you still control the defenses afterward?"

Now that he had a concrete problem to work on, Hainth's mind was racing with ideas. Designs for runes, which gems could work, how big they would need to be. For the first time in weeks, Hainth was truly excited.

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"Well the difficulty with providing power is that the old magics consisted to a great part of necromancy. Either we would need to use a conventional magic source with a converter, completely revamp the energy system or make an old style power source using a soul. But the most difficult part is finding where the power source needs to sit and how to install it, if it is different from the system in the upper layer. I could make a power source as the ancients made it given I have a usable soul. Even a lich soul would be a good catalyst." Elie said.

"In regards to my magic being drained. It wouldn't be permanent, if I survive. It could possibly even supply the area with enough power for a couple of hours or even a couple of days. I cannot estimate really, because I don't know if the grid down there works properly or as efficiently as up here. But probably the defenses run by segments and power can be shut off in certain areas for conservation." Elie continued.

The soon arrived at a vehicle on an illuminated single rail. "This here, we call the tram. It will bring us into the central chamber as we would otherwise be walking for nearly two days to get there. With this it takes only 20 minutes. Get on and we will get going."

As Elie touched the vehicle, circuits illuminated around where she touched and the illumination spread outward, lighting up a long hallway or pathway where the dimly lit rail went through. As the lights went on the rail grew brighter. A hum around them became audible. A voice in an unknown language then said something and seemed to mention Elie: "Ma'anshun akrur neptet Arktu'ursin. Elie Munsadu, aktep afsha'an lekratu'ur. Neptet lanar iushep." "That is how the old language sounds like and the tower usually addresses me as Elie Munsadu instead of Moonshadow and coincidentally it means the same thing as my name in the old language would be Munsadu. Basically, what the voice said was [Thanks for choosing the Arktu'ur monorail. Welcome back Elie Moonshadow. Please choose your destination.] or if you want the literal translation: [Thanks monorail choice tower city in. Elie Moonshadow, greetings big again. Choice next destination.]" Elie explained.

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"Ahh see that is my chief idea," Hainth spoke calmly, marveling at the fine detailed nature of everything he was seeing as they walked, "The poor wretches seal their souls away, all for immortality on this plane of existence. Locking your soul up like that, forces it outside of the system souls are supposed to go through. Even if the trapped soul is destroyed, it just dissipates instead of travelling to it's next position." Hainth nodded as he spoke, still paying more attention to the tram system than what he was saying. The way it was so smooth and perfectly weighted. He could equally feel and see the magic running through it, not a shred of wasted energy like so many mages allow.

The sound of the tram's voice brought him out of his lucid examination, as he watched Elie talk to the tram and work the system. Hainth paid deep attention to the words, his interest shifting immediately. A new language to him, a rarity even when he was deep in his studies. Something to look forward to learning, hopefully.

He nodded towards Elie, a slight smile on his face, "You can definitely count me in to help kill a lich, long as it's okay for me to keep materials from their workshops?" He was already planning on helping them out, but it was usually better to ask for payment these days. It worried people less when someone wanted payment, instead of just being nice.

"It's unfortunate, but if I'm to be of any real use, I'll need materials you see."

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After everyone got onto the tram, the doors closed. "Lanaru iushep Arktu'ursin sentara. (Next destination: Central Arktu'ur.)" Elie said. She turned to the others: "I will try to get the system to understand the outside standard for you." The tram began moving. It sped up and soon was moving at a speed unimaginable to have been possible by outsiders. It was at least three times as fast as a gallopping horse, possibly faster.

She turned back to Hainth. "Good. You can keep the materials. But please give me any artifacts you might find. I need them for research." She said.

"This is so fast." Aiya said. "If we had something like this on the outside we could transport people and goods in no time." "Well, yeah. When more people lived here, the tram also transported freight. Maybe in the future it will do that again." Elie said. Then Aiya asked: "This place must have so much magic. What if anyone tried to harness it for themselves?" "If you tried to absorb the magic of the tower, you would definitely die." Elie said.

Soon the tram entered the central chamber. The gigantic biome featured a glowing crystal eminating light and warmth near the ceiling way far up, high enough that it would be in the clouds on the outside. The biome was big enough across that the other end blurred in the distance. There were fields, woods, meadows, streams, a waterfall, a small lake and in the center was a large black tower with a light blue light coming from a tall central entrance. Around the black tower was a small settlement, probably three dozen houses. That walls around the biome consisted of balconies and walkways with some of the being dimly lit.

"Oh we are almost at our destination. This is the center of Arktu'ur. On the balconies and pathways around us were originally residences, shops and so on when the ancients lived here. You could possibly live in one of them or you can maybe live within the central settlement." Elie said.

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