Syrcus Tower – Part 1

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

It had been a journey full of unforeseen difficulty getting from Coerthas into the wilderness of Mor Dhona.  They were ragged from a lack of rest, and it didn’t help that Amon seemed to want to spend very little time within the town of Revenant’s Toll.  Scylla had spent the last of her coin stocking up on food and curatives for the bard’s persistent wounds.  

Though he did his best to hide his pain, Scylla saw the telltale limp surface along the steeper trails.  There was little sleep between the two; it was a dangerous place, teeming with beastkin and wild creatures who roamed the barren land.

Amon didn’t help with his insistence taking the trail to south, away from Coinach’s Find.   The hewn path took them as far from civilization as possible, deep into the crystal desert-lands near Silvertear Lake where the rotted, twisted skeleton of dragon and Garlean were surrounded by the quiet waters.

The only thing that lived in these lands were elemental sprites and the fiercely territorial ogre-kin.  They towered at the nearly twice the height of Amon, and he was a tall Elezen.   A single blow from one of their weapons could remove a head clean from the body, even with armor.   

Even with her magic, Scylla could face one- maybe two- on her own.  But with Amon in his injured state, she could not defend him and keep the others at bay.  

They had been lucky, encountering only two lone weak stragglers, which were easily dispatched.  Several times, Scylla had questioned the wisdom of walking past the posted warnings against trespassing.  But nothing was going to stop Amon from finding a way in.

Now they stood at the overlook of the infamous Syrcus Tower.  It sparkled up into the light with almost a welcoming, familiar, glow.  There were a few rusted utensils and broken pottery-ware strewn about the stones, probably from the last expedition in with the famous Warrior of Light.  It was massive – bigger than any castrum or structure she had ever seen, a fitting shrine fitting to a lost world-spanning civilization.  

“Alright, Amon,”  Scylla pounded her fist into her palm, half-hiding her apprehension as she looked at the ancient monument.  “We’re here, now what?”

“Welcome home,” Amon murmured under his breath. Then, trying to hide the eagerness that left his body almost trembling with the excitement of what they were about to do, he spread his hands to her, indicating the Tower in a welcoming motion, laced with a showman’s elegance. “You may not yet believe it, but all the answers to all of your questions lay just within reach. It’s not much further now.”

The Elezen took in a deep breath, casting his gaze at the Tower, which reflected in a strange wavery haze as the aetheric landscape twisted about them. An echo of the great battle of the past that cast down both dragon and ship, leaving the land twisted and broken under the massive struggle.

He wondered what it felt like to touch the face of that aether flow. How much of that energy could be harnessed? Perhaps, once he’d reactivated the Tower, he could find a way to draw this wild power to the structure. Perhaps, he could find a way to heal their homelands and restore it to what it was in his distant dreams.

“First,” Amon said, as if to remind himself they weren’t quite there yet, “We have to traverse the Labyrinth under the Tower. It was intended to be a means of defense for intruders. However, it was mostly cleaned out when the Eorzean’s champions unlocked the Tower and stormed its heights.”

He tried not to shudder at the memory.

“I doubt there will be much to stall us within. It’s the process of opening the Tower’s gates we have to concern ourselves about.”

The white mage hesitated at Amon’s words.  Though the place was beautiful, the fear fueled pit in her stomach seemed to grow with the proximity to the tower.  The bards expressed familiarity with the spire made her feel even more uneasy.

“Really?  There isn’t just a busted open front door?”  Scylla pouted, trying to hide her fear with a great moan at they stood at the lip of the underground cavern entrance.

She put her hands at her hips in protest, but continued to follow him through the shadows.

“You didn’t say anything about having to crawl through ancient sewage drains?” Scylla sharply called out to Amon. “If we get in trouble with the Sons of St. Coinach, you’re going to be the one with all the explaining to do!”

“The Labyrinth is not a sewage drain, my dear,” Amon sighed, leading the way into the structure. She would see that for herself once they were there, he knew. “And no, the gates, like this entire Tower, are very much intact and enchanted. It takes a very specific trigger to unlock the secrets within… and it’s one the people of Eorzea unwisely chose to forego and close away again.”

He pursed his lips, still marveling at the audacity of the situation. Who in their right mind would have said “no” to the gifts of knowledge and technology that were now closed away in the Tower once more?

For all their desire to research and understand, at the first hint that something was beyond them to grasp, the Eorzeans scuttled away like frightened Kichinebiks.  

“This is where I’m going to require your assistance.”

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