-= November 28, 794 TR =-
As dawn broke over the the small, snowy, and rubble-strewn field, covered with many small excavation pits, the whirring, ticking, and clanking of construction that had been going on for the past eight months came to an abrupt halt. A large tower of blue-grey stone loomed over the cliffside, nearly complete. The clockwork drakes, which had been working tirelessly and nonstop for months to build the great tower, faltered in their work and stopped. Their clockwork mechanisms ceased their endless ticking and their whirring. Rust covered almost the entirety of their iron frames. One by one, they began to fall apart; arms, wings, heads, legs, and tails screeched free from their sockets and fell to the ground with a light *clang*, some shattering on impact. The mechanical beasts fell into the snow and dropped the ore they had been mining and the great stone blocks they were about to mortar into place. The only sound was the crashing of the waves against the cliffside. A heavy snow began to fall and blanket the area then.
/\/\ist Phantom returned from his latest outing of exploration upon the back of a summoned drake, and was greeted by an eerie silence. Where were his clockwork drakes? Why weren't they working? He unsummoned the drake and approached the unfinished tower. It looked to be nearly complete, with only another two stories and a roof left to be added. But where were the drakes?
/\/\ist looked around and saw the glint of grey metal sticking out of the snow. He approached it and conjured a small whirlwind to toss the snow aside. He found the torso of one of his drakes, almost entirely rusted over. The joints where its limbs were supposed to be were bent and shredded slightly, and copper wires stuck out from them. /\/\ist conjured another tiny whirlwind to remove more of the snow. He found the drake's limbs lying nearby, in a similar state of disrepair. He then summoned a larger whirlwind and directed it around the field, kicking up snow everywhere. The snow floated down slowly again as /\/\ist inspected the scene. All of his machines were out of commission and lying in pieces. He would have to finish the tower himself, somehow. He decided to move the scrap metal into one of the excavation pits for now, and he could use the un-rusted metal to build new automatons later, maybe. He summoned three drakes to move the parts into the pit, then conjured up another, stronger whirlwind to move some of the junk into the pit as well.
/\/\ist Phantom then unsummoned his drakes and dispelled the whirlwind as he pondered the problem of finishing the tower. He wouldn't force his summoned drakes to complete it, that would be just too inhumane and cruel. He certainly couldn't do it himself; he couldn't lift a twig in his phantasmal form. He couldn't think of any way to finish the work, let alone finish it as quickly as the drake automatons could have. He didn't have the resources nor the skill to build new ones, and he had no idea what had happened to the artificer who had built them for him in the first place.
He gave it some more thought, and remembered the ruins nearby. There were the ruins of some ancient city buried under the ground here, and there was some ancient library buried nearby. /\/\ist Phantom had uncovered the entrance months ago when he began excavating the area for stone to build the tower with. He decided to return to the old ruins and see if he could find any ancient books of sorcery intact within them.
He took one more look at his nearly-complete Tower of Mist, and reflected on the past briefly; his hopes, his dreams, his goals and his training. He missed home. He missed his family, Master Dimetrios and Master Trokaire, and all the people he knew there. Oh well. It wasn't time to dwell on the past, but to focus on the future. The Tower of Mist must be finished, and he must see what secrets lie within the ancient library buried beneath this place. /\/\ist then ventured into the tunnel leading to the ruined library, determined to find what he sought.
~ /\/\ist Phantom ~
Traug, Troll Mage
/\/ecronis, Lord of Undead
§hard, Sword Mage
/\/\ist walked down the short downward-sloping tunnel that led to the ancient library's entrance. He walked through the rusty metal doors that led into the buried library. It was dark but in his wraithen form he could see fine. The doors opened into a large central entry hall, with a series of arched doorways on either side, leading to many small studies where some scholars of old had once done research and penned the history and knowledge of the world. /\/\ist Phantom wasn't able to take the time to try and decypher these ancient texts the last time he was here, but it didn't matter. He couldn't manipulate anything with his hands in his wraithen form. Not anymore. Besides, for all he knew the books might be so old that they'd turn to dust if he handled them. In any case, he wasn't concerned about the small studies right now. He was headed for the back of the building, where another arched doorway lead into the main librarium.
/\/\ist Phantom had forgotten just how colossal this room was. Upon entering he was awe-stricken once more by the sheer size of the room and the innumerable books, scrolls, and spellbooks that it contained. It was huge, at least two or three hundred feet across, and at least as deep. Every wall was lined in bookshelf, after bookshelf, after innumerable bookshelf. And every one of them was at least half full of various books and scrolls. On top of the shelves were small stone, wooden, clay, glass, and crystal statuettes, along with many other miscellaneous items, such as globes, telescopes, trophies, and small paintings on stands. All of it had been preserved over the years since the library had been completely sealed up until about a year or so ago, when /\/\ist Phantom had uncovered it and pryed open its iron gates. The library had no windows or anything, and /\/\ist suspected that they must have used magic to light the place. He could feel ambient and residual magic all over the ancient library. Filling the rest of the giant room were many rows of bookshelves, and many large stone columns that supported the ceiling. These bookshelves also held many, many books, scrolls, and other things, and also had various statuettes and miscellany resting atop them. To the left and right of the entrance were rows of tables and chairs for the scholars of old to sit at while poring over the tomes, scrolls, and other things they had taken off the shelves. Deeper into the room were similar sets of tables and chairs, after every eighth row of bookshelves.
About thirty feet directly ahead of the room's entrance was an ornately-carved marble pedestal, upon which rested a large tome. /\/\ist walked up to the pedestal and looked down at the large book. It was bound of silver dragon's scales, with borders of dragon's bone. Runes forged of gold were upon the face of the tome, in some ancient and forgotten language. /\/\ist sighed and wished he could still manipulate things with his hands, and wished he had some sort of language-decryption spell. Oh well. He gave the situation some thought and decided that he would at least have to find some way to manipulate objects such as this, or like the stones outside, so he could finish building the Tower himself and flip through the pages of this tome. He could at least try to decypher it, but would first have be able to flip through its pages and study more text than just what was on the cover. He sighed once more and walked away from the tome.
/\/\ist Phantom exited the tunnel and entered the cold winter day. He was glad that he couldn't feel the biting cold in his wraithen form, but at the same time sad that he couldn't feel anything else either. He sighed yet again and walked over to the unfinished pile of stone that would eventually be his Tower of Mist, as soon as he could figure out some way to finish it. His mind began to wander as he thought of how he could finish the tower, build new clockworks, or learn some new spells that would allow him to manipulate objects. He suddenly remembered the strange islands he had flown over before on the back of a drake, after he had nearly died a second time, for good. Maybe there was someone there who could help him. He wasn't sure why, but it just seemed to make sense to him, and he knew that he would find what he was looking for there. He summoned up a medium-sized wind drake and hopped upon its back, spurring it on into the air.
~ /\/\ist Phantom ~
§hard, Sword Mage
/\/ecronis, Lord of Undead
Traug, Troll Mage