Bonespear and the Demon Lord
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The following was a Fireside Tales story for the Mentors on 9/30/5119. Some of the details are I.C.E. Age history because the demon of the tower is archaic.
[Silverwood Manor, Quiet Garden] A pair of stained glass doors open directly into the garden, where a well-manicured carpet of verdant grass is surrounded by a circle of stately haon trees. The strong trunks and layered green leaves create a quiet area of insulated serenity. Moonlight glints on the waters of a perfectly round pond at the center of the area, the surface dotted with glowing white votives. Daisies sprout at the base of an elaborate polished marble statue. You also see a small fire burning within a ring of stones, a flat oak log, a wide wooden log and an eternal flame. Also here: Mentor Alifair, Siierra, Xilona, Mentor Hammibal, Great Lord Gnaeusprimus, Juspera, Mnar, Nazarr, Alisaire, Goblyn, Meril, Clunk, Mayor Lylia, Lorekeeper Leafiara, Seomanthe, Dhairn, Mentor Evician, Ysharra who is sitting, Mentor Shinann, Xorus Obvious paths: none You see Xorus Kul'shin the Warlock. He appears to be a Dark Elf. He is tall and has a gaunt frame. He has scintillating Eye-of-Koar emeralds for eyes and dark skin. He has shoulder length, flowing silver hair. He has a black leather mask contorted into the visage of a vruul over his face and a spider-shaped birthmark on his wrist. He is in good shape. He is holding a cut crystal glass of Faendryl absinthe in his left hand. He is wearing a shadowy black hood, an ora-chained dark obelisk crystal embellished with an attractive Scalu symbol design, a high-collared black leather coat, an incised ebon horn cloak pin, a veniom bound vruul skin weapon harness inlaid with urglaes fangs, a xenium-threaded backpack, some dark double leather, some blackened glaes vambraces, a pair of vaalin-runed black silk casting gloves, a dark glaes band, a black faenor ring, a small abyran'ra skull, a carmine and jet spidersilk bag, a pair of loose stygian black leather trousers, a tiny xenium stitched ankle sheath attached with small razern-etched bells, and some onyx-hued leather riding boots with rounded ora buckles. Shinann recites: "Welcome to Silverwood Manor and our last Fireside Tales this year." Shinann recites: "Xorus Kul'shin, who is our speaker tonight, is an occult archaeologist from the Hazalred Thaumaturgical Institute in New Ta'Faendryl. He is also the chief advisor to the Mayor of Wehnimer's Landing. He will be relating the story of Bonespear Tower and what occured there. Please hold all questions until the end. Thank you." Xorus says, "Tonight I will be speaking of the tower that haunts the westerlands of Vornavis, and the forces of darkness imprisoned within its very marrow." Xorus says, "There is no single individual as far as I am aware, other than Bonespear himself, who was present for everything that has happened." Xorus says, "Thus, I will tell you what I have learned from the tower itself, and the Demon Lord who rules it." (Xorus swirls the absinthe in his glass, making a tempest of the wormwood.) Xorus says, "It was the bleak winter when I first came to those unhallowed lands. The scent of hubris in its airs, wafting with the rot of death and despair." The fire sings a searing song of crackling, elemental power unleashed. In accompaniment, a vortex of hot smoke whirls off into the air with a deep-throated whoosh. Xorus says, "There were omens and foul signs of ill portent. The lamentations of the gorcrow. The soured milk of the beasts of the field." Xorus says, "The spirits wailed in their silent distress, and all the occult forces flowed toward it, natural and preternatural." Xorus says, "It called to me with the intimate coldness of death, and the wary seduction of unspeakable memories." Xorus says, "I was impelled by morbid curiosity, for as many reasons, and came to pay my respects." Xorus says, "... and such a demented travesty it is, this tower, the monument of a madman..." Xorus says, "In the distance it was grinning with a jagged maw, all that is left of its peak, surely fashioned in the cruel visage of a grotesque and colossal skull." Now and again, resin in some burning wood is ignited by the flames and the fire hisses loudly. The sharp smell of the scorched resin permeates the air and invades your nostrils. Xorus says, "Nor was this some mere likeness or facile facsimile, for the tower was made from bones, slaughtered from countless humans and other animals." Xorus says, "The heat of hidden flames was barely out of reach. The violence to the tower, the very lands, was frozen in the aether." Xorus says, "This was a black land of torment and the damned. Terrible secrets and forbidden knowledge of the black arts." Xorus says, "As I approached I felt the choke hold of the wards binding the keep. Suffocating it. Strangling it." Xorus says, "This was the tomb of a truly tremendous power, struggling to break free of imprisonment." Xorus says, "There upon its great doors was a mockery of the mezuzah. The Lord's prayer for warding off dybbuks. Wicked souls who possess those with terrible secrets." Xorus says, "... and all became clear, for I knew at once who was their master, the dark lord whose shadow was the curse upon these lands." Xorus says, "Maleskari reigns supreme in this tower." Scrawled crudely into the metal, fifteen feet above the ground." Xorus asks, "Far below was written in dried blood and gore, "Who's he?" Xorus mockingly scoffs, "Who is he, indeed." Sparks shoot up from the flames to dance in the hot air above the fire. Most glow brightly for a time and then slowly burn up and wink out, but an alarming few drift off, still glowing red hot. Xorus chuckles. Xorus says, "I was impressed with the impudence of it all. The gall this necromancer must have had, thinking he could master the Demon Lord of Death and Undeath." Xorus says, "As though Maleskari were some petty necleriine who could be bound within a summoning circle of dwarven runes and conjurer's wards." Xorus says, "It was clear this was only possible because the necromancer himself was holding the demon down with his very soul." Xorus says, "With all the unnatural leverages, intense wardings, and other unfair advantages over the much greater power." Xorus says, "What you must understand, sweet children of the light, is that Maleskari is a terror amongst Ordainers." Xorus says, "With vast legions of undead. Immolating himself in fire and ice. Ripping out souls at will." Xorus says, "This is what it means to 'ordain', and he is the highest of the highest order." Xorus says, "The Ordainers Moloch. The Death Watchers. Fallen primordials of Fate." Now and again, resin in some burning wood is ignited by the flames and the fire hisses loudly. The sharp smell of the scorched resin permeates the air and invades your nostrils. Xorus says, "Maleskari is a manifestation of hideous and colossal proportions, possessing the form of an enormous skeleton. Many dozens of feet tall." Xorus says, "Wearing a skull mask in the image of his own face, a skeletal visage of horror. Cold and burning. Cruel beyond hate." Xorus darkly intimates, "The very likeness of which was once the jagged maw of this wrecked tower." Xorus says, "This is the horrible truth of that depraved monument to madness..." Xorus says, "Maleskari is not merely imprisoned within the tower." Xorus exclaims, "Maleskari *is* the tower!" (gasps) Xorus takes a drink from his Faendryl absinthe. Xorus cruelly says, "With time the keep slowly revealed its secrets to my mind. The way the laborers were executed and used as the construction material." Xorus says, "Their corpses rising only to pile upon each other. Crushing their bones under the weight. Becoming the tower we know now." Xorus asks, "And what of those who sacrificed them for their own ends?" As the air currents shift, you are buffeted by acrid waves of withering heat and billows of hot smoke from the raging fire. Xorus says, "These were mages who were exploring the dark arts. Seeking forbidden knowledge of the blasphemous through baleful powers." Xorus says, "Through it they learned the ways of undeath. They built this tower. Through slow, arduous adjustments..." Xorus says, "Ever so carefully aligned to draw forth its vast powers through the weakened veil." Xorus says, "They did so before even knowing its name. What might have been enough to warn them against their folly." Xorus says, "They only knew the immense power it represented, and for their victims they were without pity." Xorus asks, "I wonder. Did they know they were making a vessel for it, rather than a mere dowsing rod?" Xorus asks, "... or did they imagine him an imp they could imprison in their oubliette?" Xorus asks, "Were they now cultists of the demon, devout and deranged? Fancying themselves living within it as it wreaked havoc and domination?" Xorus says, "It would seem Bonespear had lost faith with his associates. He no longer believed in what they were trying to accomplish." Xorus says, "The question to my mind is whether Bonespear knew all along, betraying them from the very beginning." Xorus says, "What happened that night twenty years ago is shrouded in mystery." Xorus says, "It was only the month before that Baron Malwind had first established the caravansary routes between Solhaven and Darkstone Bay." Xorus says, "In those first days there was no way to reach the tower. It was sealed off from trespassers and youthful meddlers." Xorus says, "It was situated in a foggy valley with a dark legacy of foul experimentation and unnatural hybrids." Xorus says, "The most famous of these, of course, are the vesperti made from bats and elves." The fire crackles and flames jump. Burning embers ride upward in the shimmering air above the blaze. Xorus says, "In that time the valley was plagued with giant fog beetles." Xorus says, "The tell tale sign of an immense demonic power." Xorus says, "At last came the blood moon of the new year. When the flows become chaotic, the barriers between worlds weaken, and dark cults perform their rituals." Xorus says, "It was within only a few days of Lornon's Eve when a huge explosion was seen from the tower and felt for a great many leagues." Xorus says, "There was an immense concentration of power, undoubtedly attuned to the celestial alignment, followed by devastation." Xorus says, "Something had gone horribly wrong. What went wrong might depend on who is asked." Xorus says, "The top of the tower was utterly destroyed in the infernal blast." Xorus says, "The human mage was almost certainly killed in it." Xorus says, "Bonespear's erstwhile colleague." Xorus says, "There was at first a green streak hovering over the ruins, circling over the tower, before plunging to the ground with another explosion." Xorus says, "There was a violent upheaval of boulders and a pathway was cleared. The horrible thing was said to have flown off screaming." Xorus says, "Fortune hunters and other thrill seekers made their way to the courtyard, clashing with pyrothags and the undead who now haunt the tower." Xorus says, "There was soon a malicious voice whispering on the wind, taunting and luring with the eternal death awaiting them." Xorus says, "When they wandered into the tower its great doors slammed behind them immediately." Xorus says, "The very tower shifted beneath them, and the doors flung back open." Xorus says, "There was moaning and mad cackling. Words promising their impending doom. When they reached the top they found a glowing pentagram in a broken circle." Xorus says, "The winds were eerie with unnatural might, nearly ripping them to their deaths, through the lack of walls and sound flooring." Now and again, resin in some burning wood is ignited by the flames and the fire hisses loudly. The sharp smell of the scorched resin permeates the air and invades your nostrils. Xorus says, "There was then what was later believed to be a second voice warning them all of their peril and imminent danger." Xorus says, "What was in all likelihood the voice of Bonespear. The dwarven sorcerer who now claims to be remorseful." Xorus says, "The white glow of the pentagram died and the eerie blue light of the summoning circle flared out." Xorus says, "The winds once again strengthened and the whispers of malice returned invigorated." Xorus says, "Nefarious forces beset them as they made their way down. One had found a hidden passageway to a secret chamber." Xorus says, "It was a vault not made from bones, suspiciously the only thing not made from the demon's medium." Xorus says, "Within was a huge misshapen sword, badly disfigured, warped by some incredible force." Sparks shoot up from the flames to dance in the hot air above the fire. Most glow brightly for a time and then slowly burn up and wink out, but an alarming few drift off, still glowing red hot. Xorus says, "The worktable was scorched in spite of the chamber having been untouched." Xorus says, "It was lifted by a priest of the death goddess, Truekillr, and all was blasted with dark wind and malevolent cackling." Xorus says, "Suddenly he found it had a will of its own. It was swinging at the others through his hand." Xorus says, "They had also heard what they believed was a sigh of relief." Xorus says, "The blade stilled and all was quiet. They imagined this was some kind of exorcism blade, and returned to the summoning circle to somehow end it all." Xorus says, "Now only the softer voice, thought later to be Bonespear, remained. Speaking of danger and its mistakes." Xorus says, "The fallen were taken away from the tower, and those who remained heard the voice, which appeared above them as a twinkle of light." Xorus says, "I fear when the demon returns my damnation will be complete." He said. "What remaining power I have is growing weak." Xorus says, "With that the spirit of Bonespear left to 'regroup', promising to speak more later." Xorus says, "Thus was the first encounter with Bonespear and the demon of the tower. This was all a matter of confusion to those who witnessed it." Xorus says, "Without the insight of a master of the black arts, no one would have known the right questions." Xorus says, "What might have been understood is now sundered with fragmented tales." Xorus says, "What was most misunderstood is the huge misshapen green monstrosity that was banished from the tower. This was only a minion, not Maleskari himself." Xorus says, "Flamesouls are among the high servants of the Ordainers. Their lesser brethren, the Noble Gogonaur. Though I would not swear to that identification." Xorus says, "To my eyes it resembles one of the terrible slayer demons of the Black Hel. Slaves to the burning goddess and her dead gods." Xorus says, "These were often imprisoned in weapons with wills of their own. With an unslakable thirst for slaughter." Xorus says, "There was a scimitar in this region with such a demon within it. It wished to devour souls with the help of Maleskari, and was once sealed in a krodera sheath." Xorus says, "This is strange as they are of another realm from the Ordainers. But be that as it may, and demons are known for lies, many obey the Demon Lords." Xorus says, "There have even been times when the dark gods of the Black Hel themselves have been trapped in artifacts." Xorus says, "This was the intent of Bonespear in his plan to forever seal Maleskari into that sword." Xorus wryly says, "Imitating the great works of Eonak. Bonespear was Dwarven, after all." Now and again, resin in some burning wood is ignited by the flames and the fire hisses loudly. The sharp smell of the scorched resin permeates the air and invades your nostrils. Xorus says, "It was precisely three months later when the minion returned to the tower, tormenting its plunderers with visions and promises of flames." Xorus says, "Who dares!" It whispered. The worktable where the blade once rested was wobbling. Growls were heard down the hidden hallway." Xorus says, "There was an unseen presence brushing past them. Shifting coils of mist. The air freezingly cold and searingly hot." Xorus says, "The minion was seeking someone to serve a purpose for its master. What this was may well have been possession by the demonic or evil spirits." Xorus exclaims, "It was then that a booming voice was heard. "Ye have been banished once, begone fell one! Leave these folks alone!" Xorus says, "They were then beset with undead ice spirits, followed by a fireball roaring down the hallway." Xorus says, "Those present found the spirit of Bonespear in the sitting room, who explained the minion was only a pawn. He had banished it for the time being." Xorus says, "This is where matters become interesting. For the credulous believe those who shed tears, and piously lament their mistakes." Xorus says, "Bonespear said he had summoned something he had been unable to control. The tower was destroyed in the battle with the demon." Xorus says, "The weapon may be the key to banishing the demon, he claimed, but he would need to study the matter further." Xorus says, "There was an uneasy balance between them. Only its servants have been able to return." Xorus says, "These vast manifestations and thralls were only a tiny fraction of its powers." Xorus says, "According to Bonespear magic is a temptress, and he had succumbed to her seduction. The tower had once been a place for learning, but he had fallen to necromancy." Xorus says, "In the battle he had been able to wall Maleskari within an anti-magical barrier, much like a krodera sheath, but did not yet know how to banish it." Xorus says, "Bonespear swore he would one day reclaim his physical body. He was a discorporate spirit, struggling to keep the demon submerged." The fire crackles and flames jump. Burning embers ride upward in the shimmering air above the blaze. Xorus says, "They know of each other's intentions. But neither he nor the demon knows the plans of the other with any detail." Xorus says, "His students had scattered into the surroundings, and would likely aid the demon if given the opportunity." Xorus says, "These are presumably the so-called 'mezics', swearing fealty to the mock mezuzah. That the Demon Lord reigns supreme in this tower and not Bonespear." Xorus says, "Bonespear was said to have appeared again at a later time, begging for the sword, promising to no longer practice necromancy." Xorus says, "But it would seem he was unable to manifest again when it was brought to the tower." Xorus says, "If there was more with him beyond that night, it has not been heard by my ears." Xorus says, "What I know is the tower has not ceased writhing against its chains." The flames glimmer, red and scarlet, orange and yellow, as they flare and climb upward above each other. Xorus says, "Nor has it incinerated everyone within it." Xorus says, "... or everything around it." Xorus says, "Interesting. Is it not? Bonespear summons the demon. Discovers he cannot control it. Minutes later he is pleading the foolish error of his ways." Xorus says, "The tower was once a place of learning. How innocent it all was, but alas, he had been seduced by foul necromancy." The fire dies down a bit until it finds some fresh fuel to burn. Then the flames dance higher as they feast. Xorus says, "... yet it was raised by the mass murder of its laborers. It was made such that they could realign it." Xorus says, "Bonespear was quarreling with his associates prior to the summoning. They knew he no longer agreed with their own goals." Xorus says, "And yet, he summons it. He had made the surrounding barrier. His weapon for trapping it was already present." Xorus says, "When the explosion melted and fused so much bone and metal, his own bedroom and body were left unscathed." Xorus says, "What should be clear is that the sword was intended to imprison the demon before it was summoned." Xorus says, "It was made before there was any need for banishment. The question is what that means." Xorus says, "The summoning circle was broken. The sword warped in the failed attempt." Xorus asks, "... and if he summoned it, why is his body in his bedroom? Why was he not the one on the roof when it exploded, unless he was possessing his fellow mage to do it?" Xorus says, "There was either a sincere attempt to bring forth the demon, sabotaged by Bonespear, or else they were tricked into it while he knew what would really happen." Xorus says, "You will forgive me for not trusting a mass murderer with such mastery of necromancy that he can struggle with a Demon Lord in a battle of wills." Xorus says, "Needless to say, I do not believe his intent was ever to banish the demon. It was far more likely to harness the vast power for himself." Xorus asks, "Why would he reclaim his skeleton when he can possess the tower itself with the power of a god?" Xorus says, "The dybbuks, of course, are not the misshapen flesh amalgams themselves, they are the souls possessing them." Xorus says, "How grand it would be to dress the skeletal tower in a patchwork of flesh from the slaughtered." Xorus mocks, "Imagine it. Dwarven madman becomes mad colossus. Destroyer of worlds." Xorus says, "But, who knows? Maybe he is sincerely repentant." Xorus darkly jests, "Born again." Xorus smirks. Xorus says, "You are all free to help Bonespear redeem himself. If you wish. But if you wish my opinion..." Sparks shoot up from the flames to dance in the hot air above the fire. Most glow brightly for a time and then slowly burn up and wink out, but an alarming few drift off, still glowing red hot. Xorus concludes, "It would be best to keep that sword away from the tower."
Questions and Answers
Shinann recites: "We would like to thank Xorus for his wonderful tale. If anyone has questions or wants to discuss this, feel free." Xorus says, "Of course, if he was present later and there are things I do not know, I am willing to entertain his redemption." Mnar raises his hand. Xorus nods at Mnar. Mnar says, "You mentioned gorcrows earlier on, I believe." Xorus nods slowly. Mnar says, "I'm not familiar with them." Xorus says, "Carrion crows." Mnar says, "Ah." Mnar rubs his chin thoughtfully. Mnar says, "I guess that makes sense." Lylia says, "It was a tale I did not know at all well, and one I find newly fascinating. The notion of 'redemption' is one I do not find accords well with what little I know of Bonespear, and certainly not with what more I know of necromancers." Xorus says, "There are some in the local graveyard. There is usually one nesting on the burial mound." Xorus says, "They are sometimes used as familiars by dark sorcerers." Goblyn begins chortling at Lylia. Alisaire wryly asks, "But not by light sorcerers?" Xorus says, "Mages, rather." Clunk deeply asks, "What differnse how much they weigh?" Goblyn shrugs at Clunk. Goblyn grins slowly at Ysharra. Lylia says, "It may influence whether they sink or float, like wood." Lylia winks. Clunk furrows his brow. Xorus says, "Ysharra I think has a finer point on the variances between ravens and crows." Shinann folds her hands behind her back. Leafiara takes a moment to observe Ysharra. Goblyn gives a sidelong glance at Shinann. Juspera pinches Mnar! Lylia winks at Ysharra. Ysharra smiles. Evician says, "Good eve to you all. Wonderful to see you all again." Shinann examines her fingernails. Mnar nods at Evician. Shinann smiles at Evician. Feine takes a few steps back. Evician bows low, spreading his wings for all to see. Leafiara turns toward Evician and renders a sharp hand salute. Ysharra says, "I doubt that's really of much interest, even I admit I'm not familiar with "gorcrows"." Mnar mumbles something under his breath. Clunk rubs his chin thoughtfully. Xorus chuckles. Speaking to Ysharra, Xorus says, "There are some in the graveyard." Speaking to Feine, Evician says, "If you need an escort out, ill happily guide you." Ysharra says, "But I am in many ways still a stranger and a novice. I'm only fifty-one." Ysharra shrugs. Speaking to Xorus, Meril asks, "The story tells of several artifacts that were forged to become vessels for demons. What happens to demons bound in such things when they are un-forged?" Shinann recites: "Any other questions or comments?" Goblyn gazes in amusement at Shinann. Xorus says, "Destroyed if they are fused with its matter. Though I suppose some might be banished to their planes." Goblyn says, "Many questions, always." Mnar raises his hand. Clunk deeply says, "I aint got no queshins." Leafiara grins at Goblyn. Speaking to Goblyn, Shinann says, "About the story." Xorus nods. Clunk vigorously shakes his head. Siierra smiles at Clunk. Goblyn says, "I do have some, maybe, but not for this night." Juspera begins chuckling at Ysharra! Goblyn nods once at Shinann. Shinann smiles at Mnar. Ysharra grins. Ysharra looks thoughtfully at Goblyn. Goblyn peers quizzically at Ysharra. Speaking to Goblyn, Ysharra says, "You always have questions." Mnar asks, "Was the tower actually made out of necromancers?" Mnar says, "Every time I've been there, it seems like animal bones." Speaking slowly to Ysharra, Goblyn says, "In most times." Juspera grins at Mnar. Goblyn glances between Mnar and Xorus. Xorus says, "Yes. There are loresongs showing the dead bodies piling on top of each other, and visions in the tower speaking of the sacrificed laborers." Gnaeusprimus asks, "Could we destroy the tower?" Leafiara peers quizzically at Gnaeusprimus. A pained expression crosses Mnar's face. Clunk peers quizzically at Xorus. Clunk rubs his chin thoughtfully. Speaking baffledly to Gnaeusprimus, Goblyn asks, "Why will you want to do this?" Speaking confusedly to Goblyn, Leafiara agrees, "I don't understand either." Gnaeusprimus says, "To destroy the demon lord." Xorus says, "I think it would be extraordinarily dangerous to try..." Xorus shrugs. Clunk deeply says, "Boom." Seomanthe nods slowly. Leafiara suddenly says, "Ohhhh, danger. Okay, that's a pretty good reason to want to try." Leafiara rubs her chin thoughtfully. Gnaeusprimus says, "Okay, bad idea." Seomanthe grouses, "Daresay there is enough danger out there without kicking up more." Speaking to Gnaeusprimus, Goblyn says, "Maybe it is not this 'bad'. It is just... strange to be wishing for." Leafiara tucks her chin slightly, juts out her lower lip, and pouts for all she's worth! She does her best to catch Seomanthe's eyes with a wide, limpid gaze. Shinann agrees with Seomanthe. Seomanthe chuckles to herself. Lylia says, "Destruction of such a powerful entity is not really 'destruction' as we think of it. More of a banishment or an unraveling. Although I defer to those with greater knowledge on that matter." Speaking amusedly to Gnaeusprimus, Goblyn asks, "But maybe it will be -interesting-! You will be telling us when you are trying to do this?" Speaking amusedly to Leafiara, Seomanthe says, "You will have a span of years long after I'm gone, you can do it then." Leafiara grins mischievously at Seomanthe. Goblyn begs and pleads with Gnaeusprimus. Ysharra begins chuckling at Seomanthe! Xorus says, "If it were to break free I would not be surprised if the Lords of Liabo intervened to banish it themselves." Gnaeusprimus says, "Pretty standard religious doctrine. destroying evil." Alifair begins chuckling at Seomanthe! Leafiara gawks at Xorus. Mnar raises his hand. Speaking to Xorus, Ysharra says, "I'm sure the fallout to that would be trivial." Mnar says, "Last question, I promise." Xorus nods at Mnar. Leafiara marvels, "Now that would be a wonder since they don't usually intervene in much." Gnaeusprimus says, "No, no." Gnaeusprimus looks over at Goblyn and shakes his head. Goblyn cocks her head at Mnar. Mnar asks, "Is the tower stable? Not, I mean, architecturally. Magically. Will it remain as it is now forever, or will it fail at some point, and release all that it holds?" Lylia says, "I wondered about that too." Lylia nods at Mnar. Clunk rubs his chin thoughtfully. Alisaire smiles. Leafiara nods at Lylia. Leafiara looks thoughtfully at Mnar. Clunk rubs his chin thoughtfully. Shinann says, "Hmm..." The fire crackles and flames jump. Burning embers ride upward in the shimmering air above the blaze. Xorus says, "It is bound within a field of anti-magic, but I do not know its ultimate stability." Gnaeusprimus peers quizzically at Xorus. Speaking deeply to Xorus, Clunk asks, "Tower is a spire?" Xorus nods at Clunk. Clunk nods firmly. Clunk grunts and nods. Shadows distort oddly underfoot, lengthening and creeping in disjointed angles to pool beneath Alisaire's dusky leather boots. Shinann glances around the area. Shinann asks, "Any other questions?" Mnar shakes his head. Speaking to Gnaeusprimus, Meril says, "In any event, Maleskari is not fully manifested in the tower if the stories are true, so destroying the tower would only mean he goes elsewhere until the next necromancer decides he is more skilled than Bonespear." Xorus says, "The tower shakes and strains against it often enough." Clunk deeply says, "I think I gotta rest." Mnar says, "And necromancers never have any sense of their own limits. Every one thinks they're the greatest to have ever lived." Clunk deeply says, "My head hurts." Lylia says, "No, some of us realize we still have a ways to go to achieve greatest-who-ever-lived status." Speaking to Goblyn, Alisaire says, "Before I return south-" Goblyn cheerfully exclaims, "Everyone will have a nice night!" Alisaire removes an oblong witchwood fruit from in her sable leather kit. Clunk forcefully crosses one arm over his polished steel platemail and offers Xorus a formal bow. Alisaire offers Goblyn an oblong witchwood fruit. Xorus says, "Indeed. The hubris of that tower is... monumental." Lylia lightly says, "Talk to me again in a few centuries." Goblyn blinks at Alisaire. Goblyn beams happily at Alisaire! Alisaire nods once. Goblyn glances at an oblong witchwood fruit in her hand as if it really needs a hug. Speaking to Mnar, Ysharra says, "I'm not aware of many professions being that different. The problem are fools." Alisaire puts an enruned seraceris skull on her head. Lylia snickers at Xorus. Ysharra smiles at Mnar. Juspera reaches inside her white linen shirt and scratches herself under the arm. Mnar nods at Ysharra. Shinann recites: "Thank you all for attending." Speaking to Goblyn, Alisaire says, "Fresh from the grave tree." Siierra smiles. Speaking happily to Alisaire, Goblyn exclaims, "Thank you for this very nice fruit!" Mnar says, "Maybe all necromancers are just fools." Speaking to Xorus, Lylia says, "...Monumental." The fire crackles and flames jump. Burning embers ride upward in the shimmering air above the blaze. Speaking to Mnar, Ysharra says, "You always were an absolutist." Speaking to Ysharra, Mnar says, "We just heard a story about dozens of necromancers, enough necromancers to make a building out of, and every one was a fool." Juspera flashes a quick grin at Mnar. Speaking curiously to Xorus, Leafiara says, "What do you think is bigger hubris, Bonespear Tower or Melgorehn's Reach? I remember you describing the Reach like that too once." Inky black liquid seeps out from under Goblyn's feet and the tips of her fingers, coiling around and consuming her until she is no longer visible. The liquid seems to shudder, then vanishes. Juspera snickers. Xorus says, "The Reach is more problematic, but it is less visceral in its hazard." Leafiara nods understandingly to you. Xorus says, "The sacrificed laborers may not have been necromancers themselves. They may simply have been carpenters who were lied to by their employers." Shinann says, "If no more questions, again thank you for coming and you can join me if you do not know your way out." [multitude of thanks] Xorus says, "Waern't nothin.." Xorus coughs. Xorus says, "It was nothing."