The Sister’s Tower

Posted: July 12, 2017 in 1. Norasburg, Rears Its Ugly Head, Tall Tales
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The younger Falson stepped out of the shadows and sat down at the table beside her grandmother. She poured herself a glass of water and looked across the table at Welsley.

“I am sure,” the younger woman began, “by now you are aware of how turbulent it was during the shift of society to the Goddess’ way. Power never shifts easily, those who have power cling to it more fiercely than they cling to life. The resistance continued throughout the Goddess’ mortal lifespan and for many generations after. The male ruling class forced the hand of the faithful, made it impossible to live beside them. The only viable option we had was to destroy them, to remove the old ways so we could begin anew.”

She paused her speech and took a sip of water from her glass. She looked up in surprise. “This is the cleanest, purest water I have ever tasted,” she directed at Welsley, “and so cold.”

“It comes from the springs under the tower,” Welsley shrugged.

“The Goddess has truly blessed you.”

“Molly,” the elder Falson interrupted, “focus, please.”

“My apologies, Your Eminence,” Molly nodded her head toward her grandmother. She took another sip of water and quietly sat as she collected her thoughts.

“There were fifteen towers that made up the realm at that time,” Molly began again.

“Fifteen?” Welsley repeated. “I thought there were only thirteen.”

“Along with the ruined tower,” Edith broke into the conversation, “there were two more lost within the expanse of the eastern desert. They fell to the same evil that took the thirteenth tower.”

“What evil was that?” Welsley asked.

“The Sister,” Molly stated. “There is a balance to existence. Day has night. Life has death. The Goddess had the Sister.”

“Her Sister,” Edith added.

“Yes,” the younger Falson confirmed. “They believed that change was needed. They believed that every one would benefit if the violence of men could be reigned in. They agreed that women needed to take over the rule of the nation before the male destroyed it in their mindless pursuit of violence. Together they selected the first Council of Lights and recruited like-minded males into their armies.”

“The revolution was brutal and bloody. If there is one thing men do well its kill each other. For every man willing to sacrifice themselves for the promise of a bright future, there were double that willing to throw their lives away for their so-called kings. Despite the odds being stacked against us we won battle after battle. The light of the Goddess shone on us and provided us more strength than the glint of gold could do for our enemies. Her light, however, could not reach every inch of the realm.”

“Beyond the great forest they struggled to gain any ground. The towers were too far away from the bulk of the nation. Reinforcements were unable to reach them, there was no help to be had from the rest of the nation. The fighting devastated the populations of these three towers. It seemed the faithful were destined to lose the easternmost towers…”

“The Sister had been assigned to the tower just beyond the woods, Ravensbrook. Her kinship with the Goddess had made her too proud and too stubborn. She was not about to fail and allow her sister to claim all the glory. She didn’t have the patience that the Goddess possessed, she wanted what she felt was hers immediately.”

“While the Goddess travelled among the people bringing her light to the world, spreading her message of hope, the Sister had taken a different path. She had spent her early years delving into the dark arts. She had trained with masters of the arcane where she learned to manipulate the world around her through ancient ritual and bind it to her will. She learned to do all manner of unnatural things to force the elements to bend to her desires, but it was in the school of necromancy that her talents truly shone.”

“The three easternmost towers were losing their fight to evolve. The old male regime was stronger than expected and more determined to hold onto their power than anywhere else in the realm. The old patriarchs had decided to destroy everything, to make the land a ruin, rather than surrender what they had. They were so sure that no one could win this conflict.”

“The Sister had also decided that if she couldn’t have the towers that no one else would either. She raised the corpses of her failing army and those of her opponents. She performed rituals of massive proportions raising hundreds of the dead to serve her. She sent hordes of restless dead against her enemies driving them into the desert. Every battle, won or lost, increased the size of her forces. Still, she could not break their hold on the desert towers. Her patience was quickly depleting, if she couldn’t have victory she would deliver destruction.”

“Her undead forces laid siege to the two towers trapping the living inside. She could have waited, she could have starved them out, but her rage grew as her patience dwindled. Her fury boiled over and she drew upon the primal forces to end the stalemate. She used the very sands of the desert itself to erase the towers, the defiant men, and her army of the dead from the world. She had won.”

“But there is a cost to sorcery,” Edith took over the narrative. “The spells she cast needed fuel and they took that fuel from the lands around the thirteenth tower. In a circle as wide as the tower’s shadow could reach all life was drained. The region left lifeless save for the Sister. It is said she still lives to this day fueled by her undying rage.”

“You will not find mention of any of this in your archives,” the elder continued after a drawn out silence. “The record was only made at Falson Peak and kept a highly guarded secret. We tell you only so you know what your people might be awakening. We do not cross through the forest for a very good reason.”

“I didn’t know,” was all Welsley could think of to say.

“Now you do,” Edith Falson replied. “This stays between us. No other Light may know.”

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