TownCrier/Faction Attraction/Obsidian Tower/Log

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As I have stated previously, certain institutions never sat well with me. As many people know, I am an advocate for freedom in my affiliations and in my actions. As someone who abhors subjugation and slavery, I thought it would be unfair to go into the tower based on my convictions but also on the premise of providing a biased opinion. As a result, I hired an associate of mine, Wixley, to regale his insight. What will follow is the visit through his eyes, with me probing for questioning, should Wixley choose to answer.


It is difficult to get a good look at Landrai due to the number of mirror images of her nearby.
You see Lady Landrai the Loremistress.

She appears to be a Loenthra Elf.
She is diminutive in height and has a lissome figure. She appears to be in the bloom of youth. She has long thick lashes framing her bright sapphire blue eyes and flawless rose-blushed skin. She has waist length, silver blonde hair loosely styled with some tiny lapis lazuli hair beads scattered throughout. She has an elegant, softly-contoured face, a classical nose and dimpled cheeks. A silver-flecked pale mistvein sapphire is positioned between her eyes, which casts a sparkling deep aquamarine sheen across her face.
She has a rainbow-hued dainty starfly tattoo on her finger.
She is in good shape.
She is holding a slender eahnor tuning fork in her right hand.
She is wearing an ivory silk neckpouch, an antique silver bracelet set with small rose-cut pale water sapphires, a thorn-etched antiqued silver collar with a belled lavaliere, a small ebon silk pack, a silver traced lapis samite gown with rosette patterned ivory satin underskirts, a repoussed silver-chased hinged cuff, a woven jet black hair bracelet threaded with jade beads, some delicate gartered silk stockings, and some ankle-tie crystal-heeled slippers.


Wixley: The Landing is where I have spent little time traveling for work. It is here where I was assigned to interview the members of the Obsidian Tower. Of course, he did warn me of possible captivity, hence why he paid me so handsomely. But I’ve never found myself in a lock that I could not escape. Hopefully, I will not need to utilize those skills. Outside the Hearthstone, I met a fair and lovely lady standing alongside a strikingly tall Dark Elf. I assume these were the two I needed to meet.

Landrai (to Talinvor): You have been full of gifts.
Talinvor grabs a hammered silver candy tin from a large pocket inside of his silver-buckled longcoat.
Talinvor offers Landrai a hammered silver candy tin.
Landrai flushes slightly, some color reaching her cheeks and accepts Talinvor's silver candy tin. Thank you.
Talinvor nods once. Then, he cocks his head at Wixley.
Talinvor: You're Yardie's hire?
Landrai: Thank you Tah'lon.

Wixley nods at Talinvor.

Talinvor nods once at Landrai. “Did he tell you what you were hired for, at least?” Talinvor is admiring you.
Wixley: I thought it better to keep matters diplomatic.  Barfights occurred in this way at the first slight utterance by someone’s lips.
Yardie: Wise approach, Wixley.  Talinvor and I do not see eye to eye…but even I would avoid a fight with him unless necessary.

Wixley: Yes er, Ph-- I mean Yardie sent me to do a tour...of a Tower, if I am correct?

Yardie (staring at Wixley): Not the most professional of answers.
Wixley: Well, I’m not a correspondent.  Besides, I don’t often associate with you outside of professional matters.
Talinvor (wryly): Mmhm. I'll try not to let you die on the way.
Wixley: He grabbed my hand. I fought to pull away and strike back, but the lady reassured me.
Landrai: You will be fine.
Talinvor: Gird up.

Wixley: Gird?

Wixley: I thought gird was a Dhe’nar term.
Talinvor: Shield?
Landrai: Creatures surround it.

Journey to the Tower

Talinvor gives a sidelong glance at you, then nods once. Talinvor skillfully begins to weave another verse into his harmony. Talinvor: I will take the route more slowly so that you may keep your bearings.

Wixley nods at Talinvor.

Yardie: I warned you about his music.
Wixley: I saw or heard nothing wrong with it.  Besides, he used it to keep the enemies at bay.
Yardie: That’s how he loosens your guard, you know.

Wixley: He (Yardie) mentioned guards and blowdarts. : Talinvor: Eii. For that, you might be in for an adventure. The moss might be hungry though, so watch your fingers. : Landrai: You will be fine; I will be with you.

Wixley: She was not like him.  She seemed tender, gentle. Her voice carried like the softest breeze.  Alluring.
Yardie: She’s also a bardess.  She is quite talented with her songs and poems.  Still, you should have been careful.  I’ve heard stories of how they can bend one’s will and use one’s emotions for their benefit.
Wixley: I saw none of that here.
Talinvor: True.
Landrai: The guards still do not let me enter freely.

Wixley: Why's that? : Talinvor: She is not a member of the Tower. : Landrai: I have not joined the Tower as an official member. I prefer to keep my House of Aspis."

Talinvor: Are you familiar with where you are still?

Wixley: We're nearing the Sentoph. Wixley: But you are a part of the Tower, correct?

Talinvor peers quizzically at you.
Landrai: No.

Wixley (regarding the area outside of Wehnimer’s): We've cased a few areas around here. It's...familiar, yes. (to Landrai) What's the difference?

Landrai: I do not follow their rules or answer to anyone but Talinvor."

Wixley: Sounds like you work for him.

Landrai: I suppose in a way.
Yardie stares at Wixley.
Wixley: What?  I saw no shackles.  She was not held against her will.
Talinvor: Shall we continue?
Landrai: Should we follow?

Wixley: You'd know better than me, lady.

Talinvor: Go first, sing peace so it is clear on the other side. I will follow him to be sure he doesn't fall.
Landrai: It is peaceful.
Talinvor nods once. This area is where we would prefer the baron not claim jurisdiction It was free lands, once. And that is why we settled so far away from the Landing, where the Empire would often stake claim.

Wixley: I'm not lover of the Empire, so I respect the isolation.

Talinvor: You can see the Tower from here.

Wixley: So many hazards near the Temple of love. Oh...the monolith?

Talinvor: Here's a good view.

Wixley: Indeed. I can see it clearly. It is massive, threatening as well.

Talinvor: I suppose it would seem so, to an outsider.
Landrai: I find the inside to be ancient and comforting in a way.

Wixley: In what way?

Talinvor: You can stop singing peace. We are here.
Landrai: You will see.

Wixley: And so no one can go inside save for members of the Tower? That's what he told me.

Talinvor: Here is where our q'halae will attempt their first challenge." Talinvor swiftly runs the tip of his forefinger across some wild rosebushes.
Landrai: There is a power in this tower, for me its comforting.
Talinvor reaches out to pick a rose from the rosebushes. Carefully, he avoids the thorns and comes back with a perfect black rose.
Talinvor offers Landrai a wild black rose.
Landrai accepts Talinvor's black rose.
Wixley: I didn’t see them practicing sorcery, though.
Yardie: From my research, the Black Rose is a symbol of the Obsidian Tower.  Perhaps THE symbol of the Tower.
Talinvor: They would be considered students in a general sense. They are young Dhe'nar that seek to reunite with the culture, learn The Way and find community here.

Wixley: And what is the challenge exactly?

Talinvor says, Seems they couldn't get in. Talinvor glances at an obsidian tower, laughing softly, trying to hide his amusement. “Often we give these students challenges to complete, that instills critical thinking.

Wixley: Any examples you can think of? I hope to report all of this to him. ': Talinvor: Obtaining a wild black rose is the most common first task. Wixley: Sounds like simple foraging.

Talinvor: For me, I was asked to acquire a ruby staff. In those days, ruby was a craft material for the armorer in the Landing. Eoghain was told to bring one hundred rat pelts for his task.

Wixley: That's a detailed bounty.

Talinvor: Eii, he was a bit too cocky. So every rat pelt that wasn't perfect... Xandalf made him start over. Not all misrae are generous teachers.
Yardie: The term "misrae" is one used to address a superior.  I think it means "master" to be frank.

Wixley: It must have taken him a long time.

Talinvor: Some are more like taskmasters. Today, we have more of those interested in passing along the culture and teaching rather than doing mundane tasks.

Wixley: Some crueler than others.

Talinvor: As with every institution, there will be different personalities for the teacher, hm? That is why it is better for a potential student to request a preferred Dhe'nar to teach them. Else one gets assigned. Generally, we try to pair students with a teacher of the same caste.
Landrai: Tasks that are meaningful will interest students and keep them wanting to learn.

Wixley: Is there ever an issue when one chooses a teacher? Would not the others be offended?

Talinvor: If there is ever an instance where a dhe'nar wishes to instill a lesson to a q'halae, they may ask and are almost always given permission. It is best to learn from various sources of knowledge, after all. And even there have been times where non-dhe'nar of the Tower have been teachers.

Wixley: Who are the non-Dhe'nar teachers?

Landrai: I do not teach.
Talinvor: Debia and Mnar come to mind, as shorn'ri. Which means 'cousin'. They are followers of The Way and dedicated to the cultures within.
Yardie: I know about Mnar.  He was Tabubu’s mentor when she partook in the q’halae.  That’s the initiation process in which one becomes a member of the Tower.  It is grueling, to say the least.
Landrai: I have attended the lessons and find them enjoyable and informative."
Talinvor: Even Kreigh, who is Khanshael, has taught some - but he prefers combat and ships. We are about to enter. Landrai will be with you. Our guards do not take well to visitors. I will fetch you in a moment. You should say hello to the moss, it does miss people.

Wixley: Moss? What moss?

'Landrai': You will see.
Wixley: Then the world around me went black.

The Cell

The air around Melgorehn's Reach crackles with electric energy, and bolts of lightning dance across the sky, illuminating the mountain in brief, dramatic flashes. You wander around the tower, looking for a way inside. As you examine the smooth obsidian surface for an entrance, you feel a sharp pain behind your right ear. Just before your vision goes black, you see a pair of violet elven eyes staring back at you. When consciousness finally returns to you, you find that your surroundings have changed.

Yardie: I did warn you about that, too.
Wixley: It happened so fast.
Yardie: It usually does.  Outsiders can’t enter the tower.  My brother has tried many times to no success.

A damp chill rises from the stone floor. Your eyes slowly adjust to the darkness that embraces you, revealing a small, cramped cell. The faint glint of moisture glimmers on the walls, and the soft rustlings of animal life fill the musty air. In the near absence of light you can barely make out an iron door leading out from the room. You also see some emerald green moss.

Wixley blinks and points at some emerald green moss.

Landrai: The moss. It is not friendly.

Wixley: Mosses aren't supposed to hiss.

Landrai: The moss hissed.
Talinvor glances at some emerald green moss. He rests his hand lightly upon the moss, which undulates in response.
Landrai: It does not like Wixley. That could be a good thing.
Talinvor (Speaking to some emerald green moss): Now, now, it might give you indigestion.

Wixley: That's more like a creature than a plant.

Talinvor: It's ancient. Been here since before even I came north.
Landrai: It can be cute.

Wixley: What type of plant is it?

'Landrai': But today it hisses.
Talinvor (hazards): Moss? Let us continue.
Yardie: I don’t buy it.
Wixley: He said it was a moss.  It looked like a moss.
Yardie: I’ve accompanied many a ranger to know that moss…does not…hiss.

Small, unrecognizable creatures scurry underfoot, retreating startled to the shadows to glare out with beady eyes. Several torches shed an eerie, pale blue light over the roughly carved obsidian walls. A crude table and benches are set in one corner of the room, opposite the passageway leading out of the cavern. Set off to the side is a small alcove, almost invisible in the deep shadows. You also see a heavy iron door.

Talinvor swiftly runs the tip of his forefinger across an alcove. "That's the way out, if you ever need to escape. We stopped locking the cell door."

Two tall, lean figures, their features obscured by heavy dark cloaks, stand before a door forged from solid black ora. Their eyes glint violet from beneath the deep cowls, as if daring you to test their skill with the Dhe'nari whip-blades they carry in their gloved hands. Opposite the sentinels, a tunnel disappears into the darkness of the caverns. You also see a guard and an obsidian plaque.

Wixley: Makes it hard to case the place, I would say. The guard exchanges a few words with his female compatriot in a low, sibilant tongue.

Talinvor nods in agreement. It is not allowed. Which is why at times we see random people running in circles down there. It's quite amusing.
Wixley: I noticed an obsidian plaque that read:
Obsidian Tower
Chairman: Avaia
Vice Chairman: Archious
Treasurer: Tabubu
Co-Secretary: Talinvor
Secretary: Kreigh
Wixley: The only one present was Talinvor. I…Yardie why are you writing the names down? Yardie: No reason. Continue.
Talinvor: The whip blades are a cultural weapon. Meant more for elegance than efficiency. Painful, certainly not quick.
The guard draws his cloak closer about him, pulling the cowl even lower over his face.
You see a guard, one of the Dhe'nar's finest warriors, posted here to keep the Tower's entrance secure. All you can see of him are his intense violet eyes shining out from beneath a deep cowl. In his hand is a Dhe'nari whip-blade, held at the ready to handle anyone who might attempt to intrude.

Wixley: Why would someone need a whip amongst friends?

Yardie (incredulously): You asked that?!?  
Wixley: Sure.  Why?
Yardie: No reason.  Continue.
Talinvor: Noi'sho'rah wielded two at once. However that skill is lost in time.
The guard draws his cloak closer about him, pulling the cowl even lower over his face.

Wixley: You said Noi'sho'rah?

Talinvor: The roles of the CHE have no true bearing for us, as it is the Obsidian Council that leads. However, we must abide to the political requirement in the region. I will explain that later. Noi'sho'rah? Considered our prophet, he foresaw the fall of the elves for not remaining united and choosing to divide. This was proven true when Despana came. Talinvor: Of course, Faendryl have a completely different version of history.
Yardie: He had to say that.
Wixley: What does he mean?
Yardie: We all have different beliefs on what happened long ago.  They…contrast.
Wixley: And what do you believe?
Yardie: I have my doubts about all of it.  Dhe’nar, Faendryl, all of it.  But that’s of minor importance.

The Foyer

Black obsidian walls, polished to a sheen that nearly matches that of the tall silver mirror that stands at the west end of the foyer, rise to the vaulted ceiling thirty feet above. A gracefully curved staircase of black marble winds along the walls, leading upwards into the higher reaches of the tower. Dark banners emblazoned with symbols of the Dhe'nari castes hang high on the walls, and a set of double doors carved of black ora opens to the south. You also see a heavy slate blackboard.

Tabubu: Sh'rein.
Talinvor: This is the base of the Tower itself. Up the stairs leads to the designated rooms of our forbears. Through the mirror is the rooms for Khanshael and Legion. Talinvor nods in greeting at Tabubu.
Yardie: So you met the Warlord.
Wixley: She’s small.
Yardie: And would kick your head seven ways before your lifeless body hit the ground.  Did she notice you?
Wixley: No.
Yardie: She’s…one of the few I converse with.  When she’s not Whoodoo Dolling me, she often talks about the Way and the importance of service.
Wixley: Service?
Yardie: She considers serving an honor.  I do not agree with this at all.

Wixley: I know Yardie is going to ask about the different groups. He seemed to have a lot of information that he wanted to discuss when the time permitted.

Talinvor nods once.
Landrai: Spectacular artwork.
Talinvor: I can certainly answer the questions related to lore and history; that is my specialty as a lorekeeper. These inquiries were not part of Yardie's initial list. This is my favorite art piece here.

Wixley glances at the artwork. Conversation usually leads to more. But I'll leave that to him. But this art is talented.

Talinvor: It is said that a dragon fought an ur'daemon over Rhoska-Tor. It is the death of the Ur'daemon and the blood spilled that seeped into the basalt stones. So this.. is a nod to our beginnings. Our people were the first to inhabit Rhoska-Tor, before Despana.
Landrai: The tower seems overpowering outside, but these places of art are my favorite.
Talinvor: The torches are magic, and infused with mana that is siphoned from the storm outside. Same as the fireplace, which we will see later. Oh, I forgot to show you something.
The following messages are written on the slate blackboard:
Power is Everything. Emotion betrays Truth. Truth is Knowledge. Knowledge is Power. Power creates Magic. Magic creates Truth. Truth is Knowledge. Knowledge is Power. Power is Everything.
Yardie: G’nosa. Kris’a.  I’ve heard the expressions in their language before.
Wixley: You’ve been around the Dhe’nar before?
Yardie: You…can say that.  Go on, please.
Talinvor: The Dhe'nar caste symbols. Each of the castes are represented. There are four. Warlock, Temple, Warrior and Worker. The first three are considered your 'noble' castes. And the third consists of the majority of our population - which are manual laborers, artisans, merchants and the like.

Wixley: Are there many workers here as well?

Talinvor: My role in the council as Balance, it is my responsibility to be sure they have equal representation. Talinvor nods once to you.

Wixley: As in voting and the sort?

Talinvor: You may see them working here, eii. Several are in the den, and we have kitchen staff as well. To be sure that their needs are met as well. Dhe'nar value highly their workers, unlike many cultures.
Wixley: Why are you staring at me like that?
Yardie (tersely): Just…continue.

Wixley: Most tend to use them for work and nothing else.

Talinvor says, "All dhe'nar are tested to their abilities, strengths and skills. A dhe'nar that casts spirit magic is likely to be directed to Temple caste and not as a shoemaker. But someone that is highly talented in leatherworks and makes a killer shoe - takes pride in their work and their skill is appreciated in the community. But they would not be pushed to Temple caste, when they have no innate talents to perform those duties.
Yardie: Not the same as Faendryl, but similar.
Wixley: Hm?
Yardie: Most cultures would push a desire on their children.  For instance, a family of Wizards would likely press their children to be wizards, even if they lacked any magical ability.  Faendryl would not waste their time with that, and cater a person to their natural talents.  The Dhe’nar follow matters similarly, is much more specific.

Wixley: There's a difference between the outside and in. You may have never thought it had one not seen it. The large outside, the tower, you would not anticipate the art within. The walls, the mirror, the banners tell a tale.

Talinvor: There is a lot of thought in what was brought from Sharath, and what artisans were hired. Khanshael built this place, I remember the smiths outside decades ago.

Fine Dining

Silver plates, urns, and utensils glitter from the stunningly crafted shelves and cases lining the walls. An immense, deeply polished mahogany table dominates the center of the room, covered in a rare black spidersilk lace cloth. Blue fire torches line the walls, their sconces wrought from pure gleaming silver. You also see some ornately carved ironwood chairs and some double doors.

Talinvor: The little used dining room. Most of us eat and snack in the Great Room as we talk or listen to a tale.

Wixley: Who often tells the tales here? Would that be your role as well?

Talinvor: A simple kitchen where we can set up a cart, and can brew tea.
Landrai: The students as well.

Wixley: Are there any particular drinks and foods that you would identify for your culture?

Talinvor: Lorekeepers among the dhe'nar are the storytellers, the history keepers and the like. We are entertainers as well. As for myself, I am far more worldly than others like me. I've travelled the world and lived with other cultures. Thus, I'm often the one that engages in the communities here.

Wixley: back here, I would guess?

Talinvor: Bloodwine is the most obvious. It is something you'll often see us sipping in place of more fruity affairs.

Wixley: Does it have real blood?

Talinvor: Starsnuffer used to say, "bloodwine is made from the blood of Elven princesses, Lorminstran priestesses and human virgins - which are difficult to find these days.
Yardie: Human virgins?!
Wixley: S’what he said.

Wixley: That sounds like a far-fetched tale.

Talinvor: In truth, bloodwine can be made with blood - it is served warm so it does not congeal. Blood is very sacred to Dhe'nar, and it is symbolic of our lineage as well as survival.

Wixley: Curious, I took a look in their cart for what food they had.

On the black iron cart you see a tiny oval pumpkin tart, a cup of fermented tea, some bright ruby red blood wine, a glass of blood wine, a cup of blood red rum punch, a plate of pickled nightcrawlers, a raisin-eyed ginger rat, a candied wild black rose, a slab of veal tenderloin, some simmering Dhe'nari blood wine, a snifter of dark dwarven whiskey, a glass of Dhe'nari blood wine, a cube of sharp Dhe'nar cheese, a bowl of blood curds, a freshly cut apple and a bowl of blood curds.

Yardie: Lots of blood ingredients.  Almost vampiric in a way.  You…you didn’t eat the food there, did you?
Wixley: Only a drink.
Landrai: I do not prefer the taste but I understand and appreciate the significance and importance of the symbolism.

Wixley: There's...blood curds in here too.

Talinvor nods. That's Tabubu's addition. She also claims she likes to eat halfling. I think that's odd. One would get toe hair stuck in your teeth.

Wixley: I imagine Yardie will ask about the cuisine, considering his recent passions.

Yardie: My recent passions do not involve drinking blood nor eating halflings.  Maybe that’s why he keeps Ordim around.  Fattening him up for the kill.
Wixley: Who?
Yardie: Nevermind.  Continue.
Talinvor: Beyond bloodwine, much of our fare is cavern-like because in Sharath it is a lot of wastelands and not suited for agricultural farming. But within the volcano, it is excellent for underground crops by utilizing the heat and a little magic. So mushrooms, ferns, and even some species of domesticated animals can live underground.

Wixley: Much like here, to a degree.

Talinvor: The Faendryl took to the same types of cuisine when living in Maelshyve - Despana's old city in Rhoska-Tor. But they take pride in still eating it for some reason and just smother it with terrible spices instead of actually learning how to grow or breed better stock. (thoughtfully) Probably should have left them a cookbook instead of The Book of Tormtor… Moving on.
Yardie: Hey!  Iguana fricasse is delicious!  What does he know.  Lousy blood eating…
Wixley: There’s more.  A lot more.

The Den and Greatroom

Large bookcases, filled with ancient tomes all bound with dark purple seals, stretch from wall to wall. In the center of the room is a large, circular fireplace, its iron curtain protecting the plush fur throws that are laid out before it. Chairs set about two large lamp-lit mahogany tables provide a perfect place for late night studies. About the room rest several large trophies, and a large portrait hangs above the bookcases. You also see a black ash door, an engraved black fel cabinet with a translucent glaes door, a low ironwood credenza carved with thorn-laden vines with some stuff on it, a blackened mithril wastebin, a dark-eyed Dhe'nar man and a lithe Dhe'nar woman.

A large and barren peak rises up out of the land and into the night sky. Surrounding the mountain is a powerful tempest, bolts of lightning blasting the rocky earth below. Small trails wind up the mountainsides, perhaps leading to the small keep set into the mountain's side. Pitiful shanties lie scattered about the mountain's base.

The trophies are of simple creatures, from bears to some form of large lizard. Instead of being poised in the typical attack pose most trophies wear, these simply stare back at you from cold, dead eyes.

A lithe Dhe'nar woman hums to herself for a moment. The scarred young Dhe'nar holds a ledger tucked in the crook of one arm. The ledger is bound in dark silvery leather and stamped with the Obsidian Tower crest.
Talinvor glances between a lithe Dhe'nar woman and a dark-eyed Dhe'nar man. The young man appears efficient and competent. A badge marked with the crest of the Obsidian Tower is pinned to his vest.

Wixley: Who are they?

Talinvor: They serve the Tower. They handle processes for the administration.
A lithe Dhe'nar woman nods slightly to a passing servant.

Wixley nods at Talinvor.

Talinvor: Our lockers are hidden here too.

Wixley: Hidden panels?

A dark-eyed Dhe'nar man smiles.
Talinvor: This was a project for my own q'halae. To collect all their alchemy supplies, house and organize it here. Unsuprisingly, no one in the Tower ever really took to alchemy seriously. Talinvor nods once to you. Several are here, but I'll not show them to you.

Wixley: Are there particular alchemical concoctions that you might specialize in?

Talinvor: I'm a bard. I don't do that. Any alchemical concoctions I do will be with alcohol. Talinvor grins smugly.

Wixley: The mirror is unique.

Talinvor: We'll check that out soon.

Silvery rolaren sconces are set at regular intervals along the walls, fine banners representing each Dhe'nar caste hanging between them. Dominating the east wall is a richly-embroidered silk tapestry depicting three Dhe'nar nobles in a stylized battlefield. Set into the stone next to the tapestry is a small mithril plaque.

Obsidian Tower, Greatroom The warmth radiating from the smokeless blue fires of an enchanted hearth make an excellent counterpoint to the storm-lashed sky the window displays. Stuffed leather chairs and couches sit about the room, giving the room a homey feel. Servants in cloaks with deep hoods wander in and out occasionally, carrying trays loaded with exotic culinary delights. Flashes of lightning highlight the intricately carved motif that covers the western wall, throwing odd shadows across it, and a crystal-paned ebon marble case sits nearby. You also see a roughly carved block of obsidian with a long-stemmed black dragon rose on it, a smoked glaes door, a black marble table with a small obsidian rose pin on it and a silver tray with some stuff on it.

Landrai: This is my favorite room. Well, one of them.
Talinvor tucks a long-stemmed black dragon rose into a small pocket inside of his silver-buckled longcoat. Heh. This was Debia's addition a long while back. We used to have large crowds here for lectures, but they would be purposely disruptive.

Wixley: Why were they disruptive?

Talinvor: I think in more recent times people are a lot more considerate to speakers, rather than taking advatage of an audience. Wanting attention, or chatty among themselves, etcetera. I've never needed it, but it was peace of mind for her. Haven't ever needed to use it since. But it's there. I think the scholarly house has one too. The one where it was fashionable to wear tartan short skirts and backpacks? Rone Acadamy. Talinvor nods. Help yourself to a refreshment. Talinvor nods to a silver tray.where a snifter of dark dwarven whiskey, a thick thrak steak, a wedge of sharp cheese and a glass of Dhe'nari blood wine reside.

Wixley pours a snifter of dark dwarven whiskey.

Landrai pours herself a glass of Dhe'nari blood wine, then offers it to Talinvor, who accepts and nods appreciatively.

Wixley: I prefer my whiskey without blood.

You take a drink from your dark dwarven whiskey. Nose shows significant peat, heavy deep vanilla, and hints of cedar.

Talinvor laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.
Landrai: The whiskey is fine.
Talinvor: So do Khanshael, generally. But some do enjoy the taste.

Wixley: Then again, I am hoping this does not have a dwarf in it either.

Talinvor: From here, we can sometimes see the storm lash outside.

Wixley: What type of storm is it?

I took a glimpse of a motif in the room.

Carved into the black obsidian wall is an incredibly lifelike rendition of the Great Mountain. Looking closer you can see villages and keeps sprawling across the mountainside, a forest of charred and twisted trees surrounding them. The detail is marvelous, down to the bare and contorted branches on the grey trees.

Talinvor: A mana storm. Just like the one over Darkstone. There is a story to that, too. The motif there is a depiction of Sharath.

Wixley: A large mountain.

Talinvor: The Great Mountain is the volcano that rose in the middle of the city and wrought devastation. This depicts the slow rebuild afterward. And reflects the aftermath on what is now called the Ash Forest.

Wixley: How many died there?

Talinvor: Almost all of our people. The few that escaped, settled closer to the coast. It is called Eh'lah. It is where Tabubu and Meliyara are from originally, where I am from the main city of Sharath. Let me show you beneath.
Yardie: The coast.  Makes sense for travel and barter.

Steamy Encounters

Steam Cavern

Wisps of steam curl about the cavern, rising from the natural hot springs in the center. Benches carved from the walls hold towels and folded robes, and several pairs of soft sandals rest beneath them. A few blue fire torches flicker from the walls, giving the room a gentle glow and illuminating the stairway upwards.

Natural Spa

Hot water surrounds you, almost too warm to be comfortable but relaxing nonetheless. A ledge has been carved below the waterline, providing a convenient place to sit and relax. Steam rises from the surface, the moisture plastering your hair to your skull and making you sweat.

Talinvor splashes water all over Landrai!

Wixley laughs softly

Landrai: This is a very relaxing room.

Underground Garden

The rough walls of the natural cavern are coated in a glowing green moss. A trickling stream of steamy water fed by underground hot springs flows through the center of the cavern, feeding the odd indigenous mushrooms and plants found in this humid garden. In an open bower grows a lush carpet of thick blue moss, providing a comfortable resting place for those wishing to relax and enjoy the strangely beautiful flora. You also see some various types of ferns.

Wixley: Are these the same plants as the hissing ones?

Talinvor: Debia wanted this to be a place to relax and guests would not worry about getting swallowed up. The blue moss is quite soft. He walks over to the moss, settles down, and leans back. He then reaches out and touches some softly glowing green moss and finally folds his arms behind his head. “These plants were shipped from Sharath's undergrounds. A place to feel more at home.” Talinvor nods once.

Wixley: Preserved here, then.

Landrai: There are many hidden areas in the Tower that are beautiful. This is one.

Wixley: Why are they hidden, though? It's already hard to enter here.

Talinvor: I think she means just that. The art and history within don't really reflect the stark exterior.

Wixley: Diamond in the rough.

Talinvor: I haven't even shown you the museum or the upstairs. This is taking a long while. Are you still able to continue?

Wixley: I am able to.

Deeper into the Tower


The thick puma fur carpeting and heavy velvet lining on the walls deadens nearly every sound in this small chamber. Dark candles flicker quietly in the two onyx sconces mounted on either side of the room, and against either wall sits a dark mahogany bench covered with black velvet cushions. A heavy velvet curtain hangs from an exquisitely crafted black ora arch. You also see a dark mahogany arch curtained with velvet.

Talinvor: This direction is our chapel and our museum.

Wixley: It'll be much to report to Yardie. But he promised to pay me handsomely.


The roughly hewn obsidian walls and floor are a stark contrast to the polished finish of the rest of the tower. Ornate sconces, lit from within by tall beeswax candles, adorn the walls at even intervals, their orange and red light flickering and dancing across the walls beneath the shadowed ceiling. Two gnarled ebonwood trees flank a blackened display case and a crude shelf formed from rock jutting from the wall, while a pair of mannequins stand at attention on either side of the room. You also see a charcoal Khanshael waraxe and a set of black ash double doors.

Landrai: As he should, most will not enter.
Talinvor: Forgive the mess. We had a bit of an earthquake or something and a few things got knocked around.

Wixley: Earthquake?

Talinvor: Probably fighting.. pylons, empire, giants.. big headed barons.. They should be more careful to not disrupt mana storms.

Wixley: I doubt they'll listen. There is nothing like this in the Rest, save for the Flinger.

Landrai: I find the mana storm calming.

Wixley: Why calming?

Landrai: The power. Can you not feel it surrounding you? To me it is calming.

Wixley: I feel it, but it does not relax me.

Talinvor: It is one of the highlights of this building.


Silvery rolaren sconces are set at regular intervals along the walls, fine banners representing each Dhe'nar caste hanging between them. Dominating the east wall is a richly-embroidered silk tapestry depicting three Dhe'nar nobles in a stylized battlefield. Set into the stone next to the tapestry is a small mithril plaque.

Talinvor: These are the founders. Shtar'sha Soci'dyim, known as Starsnuffer Sunslayer. Shtar'khadesh Sho'nae'dyim, known as Starshadow Kinslayer.
Lord Kree Morlain
Lady Starshadow Kinslayer
Lord Starsnuffer Sunslayer
Talinvor: And finally, the warrior known only as Kree Morlain… Who ironically also founded Paupers.

Wixley: They no longer roam the lands?

Talinvor shakes his head. They returned to the homelands long ago. You'll see Kree's portrait over the Three Cups Bar. At least I think it is called that. Talinvor reaches out and touches a small mithril plaque.
Yardie: I believe he means the Three Chalice Bar in House Paupers.  An interesting connection.


Dark silken tapestries shroud the walls of this circular room. From them, the eyes of Noi'sho'rah, Tahlad, and other great leaders of the Dhe'nar stare down on you in silent appraisal. A massive obsidian altar stands in the exact center of the room. Dark candles burn in onyx sconces set at regular intervals around the room. Extending six feet out from the altar lies a perfect circle of beaten copper, inset into the smooth floor. You also see a set of black ash double doors, a small arch and a black ora arch.

Talinvor: Few are brought here. This is where dhe'nar are tested to see if their blood is pure. Once they have finished the trials, one of the Temple caste will test them.

Wixley: How do they test that?

Talinvor: It can be a simple prick of the finger, to all out maiming. Just as some teachers can be cruel, so too are the clerisy. For myself, it was a slice of the hand and a reading of the spatter on the floor. For Alisaire, it was her blood on a knife and how the color reflected in the candle light. How the Temple priesthood tests is different for everyone.

Wixley: A finger prick isn't so bad. The others don't sound too reassuring.

Talinvor: This is why we buy deeds.

Chamber of Remeberence

This room is small, lit only by a single blue torch. A black velvet cloth hangs over a small arch leading into the main chapel, its soft fringe brushing the obsidian floor with a whisper. Several baskets of herbs sit in the corner. Opposite the archway opens a black thanot door, runes covering the surface like spiderwebs.

Talinvor: Back here is where we dhe'nar contemplate and prepare ourselves for challenges. Most particularly prior to being tested.

Darkness cloaks this chamber, lit only by the almost nonexistent glow of the tiny brazier in the corner. No sound intrudes from the outside, filling the room with a silence so thick as to be nearly tangible. Several small black pillows sit in the floor, dented in the center by the knees of those who have come to remember. You also see a black thanot door.

Wixley: There is a strong absence of light here.

Talinvor: Here we hold reverance to Noi'sho'rah and Tah'lad to guide us. That is on purpose. To focus on breathing.. on heartbeat. To focus inward. Dhe'nar believe strength and power are internal.
Yardie: So, meditation.  
Wixley: Yes.  It seemed that way.
Talinvor: I'll take you down to the khanshael area and legion before we head up the tower.

Wixley: The Khan....shael? Oh, he said the dwarves.

Talinvor: Khanshael. Eii. Clunk calls them The Lost Clan. We call them Tameshai, which means 'Companion' in dhe'narsi. It is a term of respect. To the west is the Legion quarters.
Yardie: From what I recall, the Khanshael were Dwarves that were enslaved by the Dhe’nar.  But their ingenuity and expertise in crafting earned them a place in Dhe’nar society.  A step up as their own people while under the blanket of the Dark Elves.
Wixley: Companion was the term used.
Yardie: The Dhe’nar Language is quite complex.  I believe they are rough translations to Common.  But in their tongue, it's far more specific.

Obsidian Legion and the Khanshael


The scents of sweat and oil fill the air. Gambesons and padded shirts hang over the ends of the bunks that line the walls. Between the beds, racks are filled with every manner of weapon, gleaming and ready for immediate use. At the far end of the room, rows of dark leather armor perch on stands, each with a shield hanging behind it from a hook in the wall. Next to the door, a large workbench sits, with tools and whetstones arranged on it. You also see a battered modwir door.

Talinvor: The Obsidian Legion are non-dhe'nar and non-khanshael that wish to serve the Tower. It is a militia, not unlike the various others you've likely seen or heard about.

Wixley: What are they serving the Tower for? What do they gain?

Landrai: What does anyone get by serving in an army for anyone?

Wixley: Fame, heroism, purpose.

Talinvor: They follow the creed of The Way. They find purpose here, and a sense of belonging. They protect our members, and serve as guardians to the Council.

Wixley: Completely different from what I do.

Talinvor: Fame is not something that we pursue. That is something that others give us, but it does not serve to drive us. Heroism is also not a concept here, really. Duty, yes. Honor, yes. Obligation, yes. Fame and Heroism are things that are considered selfish aims.

Marshal's Office

This small, tidy room is sparsely furnished, with only a large desk in one corner, lit by a wall sconce and covered with various papers, letters, and maps. A small footlocker sits in the corner of the room, and the walls are adorned with displays of different arms. In the corner, a stand displays a gleaming suit of field plate armor. You also see a battered modwir door.

Talinvor: The Marshal is who leads the Legion. They answer to the Warlord, who is currently Tabubu. And she in turn answers to the Council as a whole. We have terms in dhe'narsi for the entire breakdown of the Legion heirarchy, but that is generally reserved for q'halae lessons.

Wixley: The Council were the names on the plaque, if I recall.

Talinvor: No, those were the CHE officers. That is not our leadership. Not really. Our leadership is the Obsidian Council. If you recall, I mentioned that they represent all four castes.

Wixley: Worker, warrior, temple, warlock....?

Talinvor: Right.

Wixley: It's a lot to learn, but I am learning quite the amount this evening.

Landrai: The history and culture are very interesting. I enjoy listening to the lessons.
Talinvor: Balance, or 'Ku'utare' represents worker. Warrior is represented by the Warlord, or Ta'krak'th - currently led by Tabubu. Emissary or Ta'lo'mai was formerly held by Zeminar who has gone on a personal quest. Essence, or Ta'a'flach is held by Archious, which is Warlock. And finally, Avaia who holds Highlord currently and is our current leader.

Wixley: Is she in the Tower this evening?

Talinvor: I've not seen her tonight. She is often hiding in her obscure studies and doesn't come out often. Sorcerers are an odd bunch.
Wixley: Many of the tower denizens were not present.  Aside from seeing Tabubu, it was hosted by Talinvor and Landrai.
Yardie: And he is the Ku’utare.  I know of Zeminar…and Archious.  
Wixley: Sorcery?
Yardie: Yes.
Talinvor: We're moving into the Khanshael area. I think members just set this stuff here. Don't drink or eat it. Hm, Tabubu. Should have known.

About the Khanshael

The center of this room is filled by a large slab of intricately carved stone that serves as a desk. Smooth rolaren and invar runes have been meticulously inlaid upon its surface detailing the history of past campaigns. Behind the desk, three towering ebonwood chairs rest on a slightly elevated base, commanding the chamber. The wall behind the desk presents a striking display of weapons and armors that have been carefully maintained in battle-ready condition. You also see a stout ebonwood door.

Talinvor: The Khanshael respect their elders and have their own heirarchy within the Tower. They do not directly answer to the dhe'nar leadership. They have their own. Their leader is called Forgemaster and second is Armsmaster. These are held by Marroc and Kreigh respectively. We see very few khanshael true to roots though. Most know persons like Trahllin or Gutstorm.
Wixley: Gutstorm is the drunkard.
Yardie: And person of note in the Landing.
Talinvor: Now this is heading upstairs to the true tower itself. And Trahl is a walking pigsty. I enjoy him, but sometimes…Anyway.
Landrai: I have to carry something to smell.
Talinvor: I will speed walk you through these. Then we'll linger near the top.

The Rooms of the Obsidian Tower


This room has a spartan feel. A modwir washstand occupies one corner, a small writing table the center of the room under the window. A dark blue rug is the only covering on the cold flagstones. Two fel-hafted spears crossed under an Iylari roundshield serve as a wall decoration. You also see a saddle stand, a battered cedar chest, a mahogany door and a bunklike bed.

Wixley: Igrak?

Talinvor: Ah, each of these rooms have been kept as pristine as the days they used them. So the items give clues to who they were.

Wixley: I presume you have people to clean them.

Talinvor: Though admittedly you might see a dust bunny or two.

Light from flickering candles drives back the long shadows in this room. Thick hunter green curtains rustle against partially open bay windows, billowing in a light breeze. The walls are adorned with large bookcases containing all manner of foreign tomes and official township documents. Beside the canopied bed are several comfortable reading chairs and a mahogany credenza with a map engraved on its surface. You also see an oaken door.


Talinvor: This is Kree's room.

The map is an intricate carving of the land of Elanthia. From the shores near Wehnimer's Landing into the expansive human empire, the map details caravan roads and major cities and towns. The far southern tip of the map carves out the Dhe'nar homeland. Judging by the markings the map must be recent, as Sharath is replaced with an imposing mountain instead.

Shiliara’s Room

Dim torchlight reflects from numerous weapons that serve as both decoration and ready defense. Ancient claidhmores and sharp swords hang from positions of honor around the room. Below each weapon is a plaque naming the warrior who once carried it and the manner of their demise. A solid modwir bed is pushed into one corner, leaving the rest of the room free for practice. The floor itself gleams in polished patterns, worn by years of bare feet practicing the forms of the Dhe'nari martial arts. You also see a modwir door.

Talinvor: Shiliara was one of our first songwriters. She wrote "Warrior's Song"

Wixley: There's some skinning craftsmanship here as well.

Talinvor: She was a warrior, I think. Many of these dhe'nar were before even my time.

Rasulis Room

The vaulted dark mahogany ceiling of this room rises above black marble walls and a thick black carpet, framing a large fireplace by the north wall and bookshelves upon the south. Several comfortable leather armchairs rest before the fire, facing a portrait hung above the mantel, while a large four-poster bed rests nearby. The glaes windows are shielded by long velvet curtains, providing privacy for the occupants. You also see a basket of sticks and some black granite double doors.

Guest Room

This guestroom is modest but tasteful. The walls are hung with several small tapestries depicting various Dhe'nar battles, and velvet curtains frame the glaes window. A large bed with quilted covers and overstuffed pillows lies in the center of the room, with a matching nightstand sitting beside it. You also see an oak door.

Wixley: Guest room?

Talinvor: Eii, we do have guests occasionally.

Wixley (to Landrai): Do you rest here?

Landrai: Sometimes.

Talinvor: We generally stay up late and fall asleep on the couch.

Yardie: I hope, for all of our sakes, you did not pry further into your sleeping habits.
Landrai: That or Starsnuffer's room.

Briggette’s Room

A hearth of twisted fel tree trunks takes up most of the wall opposite the door. The fire within casts its ruddy glow about the room, adding an almost lifelike cast to the carving of the red fox guarding a basket of acorns near it. Across from the fireplace stands a six-legged desk, the smooth front broken only by a single long drawer. A travel-worn cloak lies strewn across the bed, partially obscuring the muted tapestry spread beneath. You also see a basket of sticks and a modwir door.

Talinvor: Ah, this has a secret tunnel.

Wixley: Appeared to be a room.

Talinvor: The story is that these two were not sanctioned to be together. Yet they found a way...
Yardie: Rare do you see Dhe'nar in a relationship with someone who is not Dhe'nar.  It has happened before, but I imagine there are reservations about that happening.>
Wixley: Why do you think that is?
Yardie: They test blood for purity.  Anything not Dhe'nar stands the possibility of diluting that.
Talinvor: It is rumored that Briggette was not dhe'nar. Or if she was the priestesses did not sanction their union. So they created this passage.
Landrai: It is a lovely story.
Talinvor: Otterex was certainly dhe'nar though.

Wixley: Did they ever get caught?

Talinvor: Their time here was before I became q'hali myself. So I can only guess as to what became of them.

Talinvor taps a secret door. Shall we?

Otterex’s Room

The modestly elegant walls of this oak panelled room are lined with shelves holding leatherbound tomes of Dhe'nar history and magic. Two stuffed chairs sit in front of a large stone fireplace, logs and kindling neatly stacked beside them. The flames of a fire happily burn in the hearth. A carved oak bed sits in the corner, covered with a quilted spread and edged with faint runes of ancient Dhe'nar legend. A large window frames a massive oak desk whose legs are carved in the likeness of great drakes. You also see a basket of sticks and a carved door.

Wixley:This place is far larger than the outside shows.
Yardie: How many rooms are there?
Wixley: Far too many.  But it is a testament to the respect of the past.

Krynith’s Room

The deep obsidian walls are dominated by the large bas-relief on the wall opposite the door. Runes surround the huge soaring dragon, covering the black stone about it as if attempting to contain the great drake. A shattered mirror covers the ceiling, backlit by a mysterious glow. In each of the corners stands a modwir bookshelf lined with ancient tomes. A large gold bed occupies the center of the room. You also see a tanik door.

Dabu’s Room

A gentle, rain-scented breeze pouring in from the huge bay window ruffles your hair. The leaves of the herbs growing in pots near various other windows in the room wave in the wind, nourished by the fresh air and the warmth from the still-glowing embers in the stone hearth. Over the fireplace you notice a fine portrait of a dark elven empath and half-elven cleric kneeling over a slain body in a forest. In the center of the room is a huge, neatly made bed full of soft pillows. You also see a modwir nightstand and a modwir door.

Talinvor: This is Debia's room, which she locked herself. She got upset that I would go in and jump on her bed.

Yeesiuoler's Room

Wixley: I hear a few people enjoy doing the sort.

Talinvor nods once.

Landrai (to Talinvor): We should call you the Yardie of the Tower?

Talinvor snickers.
Yardie: Hey!
Talinvor: I only did it after she'd threatened to choke me. So it was deserved.
Landrai: Mmhmm. Though in hindsight, I think that was her love language. So she had a crush on you?
Talinvor says, "She was Blade to Evarin, and Evarin was q'hali with me. And then he ended up my misri. I think over the years, she ended up being like an annoying big sister.

Wixley: Blade. Yardie is a Blade. I thought that was Faendryl culture.

Talinvor: Faendryl have an entire ritual surrounding it. Debia was Evarin's shira'qa. Blade was what he called her, as her function leaned more toward being his weapon when it was needed.

Wixley: That would make sense.

Talinvor: Landrai has her own nickname so to speak, as her function for me is different. She is more an entertainer than a protector. Though all shira'qa have that function in some capacity.
Landrai: Iit goes both ways. As I have protected you and you protect me.
Talinvor: Eii. We protect our shira'qa as well. Now we are getting to the main and first council members of the Tower. Lochraven was lo'mah, a priestess of the Temple caste. Temple consists of clerics, sorcerers and empaths.

Wixley: Interesting.

Talinvor: Starshadow was my initial misra.. my teacher.
Yardie: I’ll default to his translation, but it has always seemed to have a stronger meaning than “teacher.”
Wixley: I would not know, though.  He did speak about him with respect.

Wixley: Clerics and sorcerers, in the same family.

Talinvor: Starshadow was also a sorcerer. That profession seems to be entirely overrated but incredibly popular with those of dark elf heritage."

Wixley: That's what many have told me.

Celtic's Room

Something is distinctly out of place in this room. Several gashes mar the furniture and the inside of the door, proving to be the claw marks of a powerful puma on closer inspection. In the center of the room lies an oak-framed four poster bed with an enormous puma hide rug at the foot. Sitting off to one side of the bed is a wooden box with a small sign above it. A rolaren bastard sword hangs on the north wall, a small plaque mounted beneath it. You also see a maoral door.

Talinvor: Celtic was a wizard. The first Essence of the Tower, representing the Warlock caste. Now for the fun part.

Starsnuffer's Room

A fireplace of blue flames burns silently in one wall, shedding a comfortable light over the tapestries and odd relics on the walls. Two comfortable, high-backed chairs sit before the hearth, a small black varnished table between them. Over the hearth hangs a magnificent dragon wrought from rolaren, the surface beaten to catch the reflection of the dancing flames. You also see a glaes door and some carved double doors.

Talinvor: Starsnuffer's room is as big as his ego was.

Wixley: That big, then?

Talinvor: He was the first Highlord. A wizard, and of the Warlock caste, which consists of wizards and bards.

Wixley: Quite the notoriety.

Talinvor (wryly): I knew him. He used to joke that the moons only revolved around Elanthia was because of him.

Wixley: I must admit, there are some important names to note.

Landrai: And some think you have a big head.
Talinvor: More random things piled here.
Talinvor gives a sidelong glance at an immense desk.

On the immense desk you see a dark misshapen candle, a green serpent-marked prayerbook and a green spinel Luukos symbol.

Wixley: Luukos.

Talinvor: I suspect Tabubu went around to test where she could leave clutter.
Landrai: Sounds like her.
Talinvor: Her handiwork was on the bar downstairs too.
Yardie: Tabubu has quite the humor.  Though I do not recall her worshipping Luukos.
Wixley: It is what I saw.
Yardie: It's peculiar.  The Dhe'nar tend to work to ascend above the Arkati.  A fool's dream if you ask me.  So I always find it strange to see those who worship them freely.
Wixley: It's not the same for Faendryl?
Yardie: Belief and worship are two different things.  Though, I might be assuming here.

Starsnuffer's Room, Bedroom Four large black candles burn blue in the corners of the room. The flames highlight the flecks of silver set into the perfect obsidian walls, ceiling and floor, giving the impression of a deep night sky full of flickering stars. Set into the far wall is a beaten silver starburst, standing out amid the surrounding stars like the greatest of supernovas. In the center of the room stands a black canopied bed, its heavy black curtains obscuring what lies within. You also see a black glaes bead curtain and some carved double doors.

Starsnuffer's Room, Bed Thick down comforters of black velvet sit atop fine spidersilk sheets. Deep satin pillows lie against the headboard, obscuring several of the silvery runes carved there. Hanging from the top of the bed are exquisite silver stars, moons, and other heavenly bodies, winking in and out in the dim light. The air is filled with the dusky scent of amber, intoxicating to the senses and inspirational to the imagination.

Landrai: I like his bed, as there is plenty of space, no one can hog all of this.

Starsnuffer's Room, Bathroom Candles cover every flat surface in this large bathing chamber. Flecks of silver wink out from the walls, and from the depths of the huge obsidian bathtub, making the basin look like an endless night sky. Thick rugs obscure the floor and provide a warm place to put wet feet. You also see a black glaes bead curtain.

Starsnuffer's Room, Bath Water pools around you, caressing your skin like warm silk. Bits of silver set into the tub walls flicker in and out in the candlelight, and the golden flames play across the water's surface like a sea of fire. Sponges, scrub brushes and soap all sit within easy reach along the edge, and the back of the basin slopes gently, making a perfect place to lean and soak.

Landrai: This is why I take over his suite when I am here.
Talinvor: Lap of luxury. Don't get that in Sharath, but up here. Taking full advantage.
Landrai: Hey
Talinvor: Now for the roof.

Wixley: I almost feel like we've just scratched the surface, but I've seen quite the number tonight.

The Power Above the Tower

A thunderstorm rages disconcertingly close to this rooftop perch. Peering through the battlements, the Sentoph mountains are visible, clouds obscuring the tops of their peaks. Looking westward, you can make out the shape of a large castle set into a far mountainside, waiting at the end of a long trail. A wide path winds between the battlements and a tall obsidian wall that follows the circle of the tower's curvature. An enruned rolaren door serves as the only entrance into the high inner wall. You also see a small staircase.

Wixley: All the way to the top.

Landrai: The roof is my favorte place.
Talinvor: The castle over the horizon, is Darkstone.

Wixley: Can't see the Landing from here, but Darkstone looks great from this view.

Talinvor: The mountains obscure to the northeast.

Wixley: One can feel like they're on top of the world from here.

Talinvor: We're technically closer to Darkstone than to the port from here. At least as the crow flies. This storm is a mana storm, I mentioned before. The glow on the walls you saw as you arrived is from siphoned energy. Both as protection and to light the fires within - thus the blue element.

Wixley: What crow? Did anyone summon the storm?

Talinvor: (after a pregnant pause): As the crow flies' - that's just a phrase used to describe a straight path. Versus taking normal land routes which might not be direct.

Wixley: First time I have heard of it. Nonetheless, it is appropriate here.

The open sky above this circular chamber is alive with an awesome display of chaotic power. Lightning streaks across the clouds, filling the air with the tang of ozone. The floor of the chamber is inset with a circle of silver runes that almost appear to glow by their own power instead of reflecting the storm's light. A large crystal orb sits atop a twisted stand that rises above the outer walls of the room. Sitting at the base of the stand is a circular table engraved with spidery runes. You also see an enruned rolaren door and a small potion cabinet.

Talinvor This was the Tower's enchanting room. This is where the orb of Estrion's staff is housed. And how the mana storm is anchored.

Wixley: What would happen if the orb was gone?

Talinvor: Estrion was from the Empire, who claimed Darkstone as his own. He was a worshipper of Sheru. He wanted to conquer the region and open a portal to unleash things like harbingers and other denizens of Sheru's nightmares.
Yardie: Sheru.  Arkati of nightmares.  Not the first time I've heard of an artifact affiliated with them.

Wixley: Or damaged?

Talinvor (curiously) Hm, the full strength of the mana storm would drop. An explosion, probably take out the entire Sentoph or more.

Wixley: That's terrifying.

Talinvor: Back to the story though. It was Starsnuffer who killed Estrion. With a slate wand, after all his magic had been exhausted.

Wixley (knowingly): Strike when the person is at their weakest. : Talinvor: He took up Estrion's staff, and the orb was separated. Celtic brought it here to be infused into the Tower. The staff itself was a key to transport to various areas within the castle, along with a red laen key. The staff is long lost I think, but the key belongs to Arwen I think. I've lost track of some of those older artifacts. Wixley: I am certain they are in the lands, and someone will search for them.

A searing bolt of lightning strikes the crystal orb, exploding into broken pieces of light that paint the room in chaotic bits of color. The sphere seems to glow more brightly for a moment, then settles to its normal hue.

Yardie: Such power.
Wixley: It seemed an artifact of great power.  I understand why the Manastorm was such a concern in the Landing, now.  For the Dhe’nar to have it and wield it shows rather remarkable discipline.
Yardie: Or perhaps biding their time for the proper moment to strike.

Wixley: A lot to learn, a lot to share. But I thank you for the education and the hospitality. None that I can think of at the moment, but a lot to share. And a lot to demand in terms of payment.

Talinvor: Tell him at least a few million. He can afford it. Want a ride back to town?
Wixley: A few million for several hours of work is fair.
Yardie: Riiiight.
Landrai: And you did not even see anyone being tortured. Or chained up.

Wixley: Does that happen? The tortures or chains?

Talinvor: Only if I'm feeling rather Mularosian, I suppose.
Landrai: I have not seen any here, but.
Talinvor: The dungeon is under reconstruction anyway.
Landrai: I have heard folks assume that is all that happens.
Yardie: Are you sure you didn’t see any dungeons?  There has to be!
Wixley: Nothing of the sort.  Nothing of what you assumed.
Yardie: I remain suspicious and skeptical, but proof is hard to come by.

Wixley: Well there's quite a bit to dispel.

Talinvor: A lot of rumor was perpetuated by Starsnuffer himself, and others. They wanted to be sure those that wanted to be a part of the Tower were willing to see through the smoke and mirrors. It was a good way to help weed out the weak minded.

Wixley: Deception. Quite effective. I'll take the ride to town if possible. It is late for me.

Talinvor: Very much so. Unfortunately, even thirty years later, some truly believe the ridiculous parts. Ready then?

Wixley: I am. And thank you again.

Wixley: I don’t remember when it happened, but suddenly, we were in Firth’s Tavern in the Landing

Closing and Final Thoughts

Talinvor: You should know your way from here.
Landrai: It was good to meet you.

Wixley: Thank you again. I'll be sure that Yardie gets the information. Dead drops take a bit of time, but not too long. (to Landrai) And you, as well.

Talinvor: Tell Yardie I'd like to collaborate with the writing part and what goes to Town Crier. As I mentioned, there are still some that wish to chime in.

Wixley: I'll be sure to relay the information to him.

Talinvor nods appreciatively. Enjoy your evening.

Wixley: You as well. Take care.

For anyone unrelated or unfamiliar with Dhe’nar culture, the findings and tenants held by the Dark Elven society will repulse most with its cruelty and controversy. It is not for the faint of heart or spirit, nor does it relent in the discipline that the Dhe’nar demand. It does not acquiesce to conventional morality. It demands a work ethic devoted to self-improvement. However, the culture here is rich with respect for the past and the journey. The Way guides these Dark Elves in all that they do in their quest for perfection, even about the Arkati. And those roots, deep with soil nourished from a proud ancestry, have crafted a path for those in the Tower and perhaps those Dhe’nar who wish to return to their path. With knowledge being power and power being everything to the Dhe’nar, the Obsidian Tower may provide the intellectual sustenance that the lost may unknowingly crave.