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The Glass Spire

25 Apr

Twelve years before humans counted the years, a great star fell from the heavens in what is now known as Elkriggsfel.  The crater was massive, and the dust wiped out many.

It is rumored that from each of the surrounding peoples, a representative walked forth into the newly-formed wasteland.  Many died along the way, and those who did not die were not seen or heard from again.

Four generations later, local rulers began to send out parties of scavengers and planters into the allegedly cursed lands.  With water and work, humans reclaimed the land slowly.

They refused to go near the center, however.  In the center, a grand tower of glass rose from the ground and with its bright luminance, they assumed magic.

As time moved forward, life began to find some degree of normalcy.  As long as nobody ventured too near the strange ziggurat, nothing strange happened.  Whenever someone did approach, however, it began to glow intensely, and local crops and animals disappeared.  The person who went to close often disappeared entirely on the next new moon, and rumors of the curse began anew.

Civilizations rose and fell around the tower, and each tried to avoid the curse, save one– an empire under the rule of a foolhardy young man who walked to the tower directly as soon as he heard of it, in the summer of the year 1457 of the common era.  He walked to it, and became the first to behold its base.  It looked like it was made of a massive, round lava stone.  It was covered in pits, and very cold to the touch despite a hot sun that day.

When he laid his hand on it, one of the pits opened into a hole large enough for a horse to enter, and a girl described as slight and wisp-like exited and screamed in agony.  Her eyes were burnt irreparably by the sun after what is estimated to be a lifetime without seeing light.

Despite this, she gave the young emperor a tour of the inside. When he emerged, he claimed all he remembered was a strange cry in a strange language.  He described it as song-like and beautiful, “like a sweet segberd wooing its lady.”

During the night after that, he met again with the girl and made arrangements for food deliveries to the people inside the tower in exchange for more curiosity satisfied and knowledge shared.  Both sides upheld their promises for over a thousand years, until well after humans made contact with races from beyond the stars, drawn by “strange signals” that were broadcasted from the world.  Humans protected their glass tower for years, until curiosity brought some sky men from a distant empire to seek out the mysterious structure in the dark of night.

These curious beings kept exact records.  They ate five small meals along the way, seated in whichever spots struck their fancy.  They sketched each location carefully.  The first was in the shade of a farmer’s apple tree, with moonlit fields all around.  The second was inside a barn filled with soft hay.  Third, a lonely avenue between some young oak trees.  Their fourth spot was by a tiny man-made pond.  The last spot they supped was right outside the tower, with a thin human female watching them from an opening in the tower.

They spent a day outside the tower, napping and enjoying a lavish miniature party that they shared eagerly with the pale denizens of the structure.  They enjoyed various native and non-native delicacies, and drank extensively until the sun set.

At midnight, they entered the tower for a tour, and recorded hearing cries for help in a familiar tongue.  They traced them and found a girl who looked much like every other member of the pale human group inside the tower.  This girl was fused to the walls of the tower, and the sketches they made depicted her complete agony. They recorded her voice and translated it.

“My life is agony.  Kill me.  Save me.”

When asked why she was in pain, she could not answer, and simply continued to plead for death.  No matter what they said or did, she begged for aid through an end.

The sky people tried to remove her from the wall, but their attempts were ineffective, and her cries only became louder.  The sky people began to go insane, and fled the tower.  They left on their ship, and the humans did not see them for five years.

After five years, the sky people returned in force and landed directly around the glass tower.  For days, they tried to free the unfortunate, trapped woman, but the wall was firm, and her pain increased with each attempt.  Her wails became louder, and soon the surrounding humans could hear as she screamed her agony.  The pale humans who lived in the tower eventually died as her cries destroyed their minds.

Pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and blunt force did nothing to offer relief, and the sky people began to worry that there was no way to save the trapped woman.  Finally, they decided to give what she screamed for, but they could not find any quickly-accessible vitals.  No matter where or how they tried to kill her using their traditional methods, it would take a long, torturous time.

It was a human who finally stole one of their knives and lunged at the girl.  He was driven mad by her screeching over the course of the past days, and his mind was gone save his rage at the loud noise.  He stabbed any part of her that he could see with the knife until her cries stopped, and he stumbled back from her.  He was covered in her blood, and he licked it from his lips.

For his inhumane actions, the sky people sentenced him to public execution.  According to medical doctors on the scene, he was incapable of comprehending the pain and died without troubles.

The matter was considered settled, and the glass tower was abandoned.

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