Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Night of Four Stories: Part II

Dran had finished his story. It was my turn to speak. "Hello," I said. "I will be telling the story of how the University was founded."
Dran commented that my story sounded boring.
Dragoneyes commented that Dran should shut his mouth.
"The seven towers predate humans. They have several properties that make them attractive homes. First of all, they are each brightly colored towers, all with ancient and illustrious histories." At this point, I bit back the urge to explain why the White Tower's history was in fact slightly more illustrious that the Black Tower's. "They are invulnerable. No tower can be damaged by either sorcery nor brute force. Even mages who know the True Name of stone cannot move the blocks of the Towers. As such, they grew rather prestigious. For a sorcerer to make his home in a Tower- it meant he was one of the most powerful men on the planet."
"The Green Tower was obviously the largest and most impressive. Each of its eight shafts dwarf any other tower. It was more centrally located. It quickly became the most prestigious- and the most hotly contested- of the towers. Whenever the Green sorcerer grew weak, be it from age or sickness, the others would be upon him, ready to tear him apart and take his land. If he ever grew distracted, be it from love or magical research, his more vigilant rivals would take him by surprise. People say that mages tend to live remarkably long lives. But the lifespan of a Green sorcerer was surprisingly small."
"There was one particular Green sorcerer who wished to break that trend. His name was Anitax, He was getting on in years, and knew that it was only a matter of time before someone eclipsed him in power. So he decided to step down."
"No sorcerer had ever voluntarily given up the Green Tower. Anitax was considering just running away. But he knew that would result in a bloodbath, with a succession of weak and powerful sorcerers swooping in, attempting to occupy the vacant Tower." I paused
Vacant was a relative term. By the time of Anitax, the Green sorcerers had taken to renting out many of the Tower's hundreds of rooms. Some had become nobles in their own right, carving out empires in the surrounding lands. Not that the surrounding lands had much to offer.
"Anitax decided to spare the world a sorcerous war. He invited three of the world's most respected mages to compete for the Green Tower. Whoever most impressed him with a feat of magic would be given control of the tower. The three he invited were Tarean, of the White Tower; Uilim, a sorcerous warlord in the north and east; and Colocon, a mage who knew three True Names. They all noticed the airs of old magic as they approached the Tower. Centuries of sorcerous battle had created a stark landscape of eternal flames and gashes in the ground. Anitax's subjects did not have easy lives. The three sorcerers each vowed that they would come to rule the land from the Tower Green."
"Tarean killed a monster, a giant being that could be found only during the black of night. Uilim raised a mountain. Colocon, meanwhile taught two other mages the True Name of water-"
"And Anitax was impressed," Dran interrupted. "He gave Colocon the Tower so he could teach sorcerers for ever and ever, the end. Boring."
"Actually, you are completely wrong. Anitax was impressed by Tarean, and decided to make the former White Mage his successor. But Tarean had scarcely moved into the Tower when Uilim launched an assault. Their battle lasted for days. By all accounts it was remarkably destructive. The Green Tower, needless to say, remained undamaged, although the same could not be said for its residents."
"Colocon and his disciples decided to seize the moment. Colocon issued a decree: the Green Tower was open to all. It was too much for any one sorcerer to defend. So it would be defended by a multitude. Any sorcerer might come, and his compatriots would teach him all they knew."
"And thus, the Green Tower became a center for learning. Colocon, the first Archmage, invited magic users from every kingdom. But he also invited those with no talent for the mystic. A small city began to grow in and around the Tower, one which exists to this day. The University became a center for everything from sorcery to poetry, with innumerable small shops needed to support the more academic population."
"And now, Koteph threatens this great peace. Even if he is stopped, who is to say that this grand tradition of learning will live on? Who is to say that the Green Tower will not once again rise over a bleak landscape of magical doom?"
"We do," Dragoneyes responded. "I do."    

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