This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
True to her word, Scylla had fallen fast asleep not long after the whole ordeal. It was likely that there had been some aether transfer, maybe even a recognition of her royal blood, at the gate. And while it had not budged the doors, it was enough to tire her out.
That was good. That meant there was a connection.
Amon paced back and forth in front of the door, mulling over his options, what could have gone wrong, and stepping over Scylla’s sleeping form with every pass he made.
The Elezen was certain he saw… felt… something during the first attempt. A ripple of energy had spread from Scylla’s hand in the beginning. But it hadn’t been enough. He didn’t know why.
His golden eyes traced the designs on the door, which pictured the outstretched hands of two Allagan royalty.
The story he heard from Koh was that in the end, it only took a single individual – G’raha Tia… a Miqo’te even… to close the gates and put the Tower back into slumber. Granted, he was gifted power not just from his own distant lineage, but also the power from imbued clones of Unei and Doga, to make it happen.
It could be very possible that this required more power than just one person could provide. In which case, Amon’s whole plan had hit a snag.
Or it could have just been poor timing.
Maybe the Tower was depowered and required energy gathered from sunlight to give it the extra boost they needed to open the gates? If that was the case, then once morning came, if he could just persuade Scylla to try a second time, he may get the results he desired…
Amon glanced over at Scylla where she slept and filed that away as a possibility.
Scylla wasn’t sure why she was so tired.
Perhaps it was the frantic pace of the whole adventure. Maybe it was her wildly unfounded fear that there was a wisp of truth to Amon’s words. Or it might have been the whole godsdammed haunted Syrcus tower itself driving her to the brink of sanity.
Her companion was far from his usual jovial self, walking back and forth in the firelight, mumbling about the day’s failures. Normally, the white mage would be one for conversation, particularly when Amon was in one of these troubled moods. But she couldn’t even stay from the embrace of sleep before twilight, and curled away early into the soft Coerthaswool bedroll.
The dream was different this time.
It was the same landscape of spiraling staircases and finely carved stone walls. Azure runic symbols sparkled and ebbed as if the tower was a living, breathing organism.
Scylla squinted her eyes, vision scanning as if to look which direction the nightmare would come from this time. She clutched her chest and stood as if to sprint, heart racing in anticipation of the chase.
But there was no hunt. The tower stood calm, as the lights streamed up to the invisible spire above. There were no sounds of howling, hungry, wolves. No flourish of the blood-red cape and the molded face of the masked skull.
Instead, behind her, was familiar tracings along the giant gold door of the great crystal tower. Relief drawings of ancient Allagan royalty were bathed in blue glow of the surrounding etchings, with both palms glowing with aetheric power. The same palms that Amon had failed to light before when they were on the outside of the tower.
Scylla’s eyes narrowed as she more closely examined her surroundings. There was no bedroll, or nightly cooking fire, and in place of the sky, there was the endless spiraling staircases of stone and crystal. The girl swallowed and took a deep breath, as realization came to her foggy mind.
I am inside the Crystal Tower.