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Destroyer of Worlds
5/15/2006 12:01:02 AM
The notes of an anonymous traveling architect, researching something for the grand archives was unearthed recently… as the Architectural and Mathematical Societies have retired their annual sight-seeing reports, this work was left in the library archives for all to read. Most likely, it will never see the light of day again:
The Officer, whose tower is in question, was a wealthy man, likely gaining his wealth through other means than his official position. Or, at least that is what must be assumed, as the Tower is more of a small castle, perhaps having originally been planned as a large castle.
The architecture, however, suggests that the man was not of any self-respecting noble bloodline, and therefore did not gain his vast funds from every prosperous ancestor.
The Officer was also, very probably, Human.
Few of the other races could build such a... well, perhaps I will start in a different manner…
In the crux of a valley, between two crescented, hump-shaped hills, lies an almost hidden complex dominated by a large solid tower, only slightly taller than the hills that hide it. Below this tower, is a symmetrical complex of walls, trenches, and moss-covered, spike fences. The road leading to it has long been over grown with the tall grasses and shrubs which flourish here. If this were a forest, trees would have obscured the building far better, but the hills on either side do a very good job of keeping things boring in and around the tower.
From the front gates, one might be impressed by the thickness of the walls which rise up, and then slant inward, supported by an even more stable looking set of pillars. One would not be quite as impressed by the state of the iron bars which were meant at one point to keep things out. They really didn’t look up the job at the moment, and luckily for them they could be moved aside as so not to hurt them, in case they had any cultural or historical significance.
Do not be alarmed at the unenlightened and Spartan development you have seen so far! Thankfully, beyond the gate, more interesting architectural details come to light.
Once inside the heavy walls, one finds that most of the walls have been decorated with abstracted carvings of a man in armor, defending... something. Possibly something he found important at one time. The carvings stay in neat elongated rectangles, stretching along each wall unit a huge collapsed area eliminates a good bit of the man's tale. The mural-like carvings depict multiple stories at once, though none more interesting than the rest. Fighting armies, fighting other armies, fighting beasts, fighting birds, dominating nature in one way or another... However, the real interest comes from the style of carving. Very unique.
The man in these images is obviously a man who lives in a world of curves and strong diagonals. He is a strong and very idealized figure, with a backbone straighter than the most professionally leveled stone block.
And therefore, probably nothing like the actual man who commissioned all this to boost his self-esteem.
Oh, don’t give me that: "Well, you never know, he coul'da been..." business. He built his castle in the middle of nowhere! The only people he could impress were himself, his servants and visitors. And if he needed to impress visitors, he wouldn’t have built in a valley, he would have built on a hill top, like any other sensible person.
But the Officer was probably not a very sensible person, not by the look of his architecture at least.
From this empty court yard of sorts there are several doors. One of which leads to what was once something to do with horses, as there is still the stink of it in there and those sensitive enough can smell it from the front gate. Another, leads to a room in which is difficult to judge the original use. The only hint is a circular pit with a suspended chimney above it. The best guess could be a kitchen with a very inefficient method of cooking anything other than soup. The final door is a set of double doors, heavier than the other two.
Once open, unfortunately, these doors have a habit of slamming back into place, regardless of doorstops. Also unfortunate is that this sound seems to attract the only two permanent residents of the place, two mechanoids of feuding nature, who put aside all else to "Greet" any new arrivals who happen to chance in... every once-and-an-almost-never. Even more unfortunate than the frightening sight of two huge metal creatures charging in a mad dash of screeching joints, is the fact that there are no door handles on this, unfortunate, magi-mechanoid-abundant side of the door.
These creatures of metal, though terribly frightening, are not quite as bad as they seem... As long as one keeps in mind their singular objectives.
"To Defend and Maintain."
"To Mend and Defend."
Good mottos each on their own. These metallic beasts are not too bad conversationalists, and seem to not mind humans "Invading" as long as the human a) Does not try to fix, harm or change anything and b) Lends a hand with the pending renovations.
Contradictory, but not un-navigatable. After talking them out of "eliminating" the problem, and equally talking them out of trying to dismantle each other, I found them egger to talk of architecture and history. It was from then that I learnt of the Officer, but the details they had were rough at best. They knew him, and had seen him, but not in some time. What I did learn supported what I had come to believe: the Officer was a deranged individual, concerned with survival and building the best monument to his name. A name, which neither scrap heap had chosen to waste brain space on.
The room with those nasty, tricky doors is a very large room easily fitting more people than the man-of-the-murals had fought in his trails. It was very obvious what this room was, unlike the last two. This room was the main hall. A smashed long banquet table sat in the middle of it, but the chairs were all drawn to the side at the moment. The floor was marble with gold melted in between the tiles, and whole room hand a dark woody feel about it.
After explaining myself as an explorer in search of the new and old in architecture, they let me on my way... though they followed from time to time to make sure I wasn't helping the "other" to interrupt and set back their work schedules. I would suggest those reading this article to mention both new and old equally, as holding favor with either might cost one a good limb or two.
At the back of the Hall are two curving staircases. They are not in the least bit symmetrical; however they have lovely handrails and strange winged globes carved of wood along the way. At the top of the stairs were six rooms, two are rooms no longer, having collapsed into whatever was bellow. The other rooms are empty, but have good views of the compound and the kind of dust that settles when fancy things have long been removed. One of those rooms has a higher ceiling than most... actually, a very high ceiling. Before I fell through the floor I guessed that the ceiling was probably the top of the large tower.
The lower floors were interesting only for those paranoid. It seems the whole house is rigged with traps and escape roots. I would have looked further but the automatons had heard my unfortunate scream and had come to find that 1) I was altering things and 2) I was setting back the renovations.
Unfortunately, getting out of the Officer's tower is much harder than getting in... A proper schematic might be a good help for future travelers...
[Unfortunately the entry ends with a blank page, the writer must have been too busy surviving to finish his article. Or perhaps he survived easily and just gave up: unwilling to try again with the robots to finish his article.]
I wanted to make this much better! but Ahhh!
I just though an old, falling-down place with artdeco leanings might be cool... I never really got to the part about the traps. :( I was hoping for this place to be a good fort location, where whoever knows the terrain best is easily the one in charge if a fight broke out...
Though, probably taking out one of the two robots will help make the place less risky to live in. Everything one builds, the other one tears down and "returns"/"moves" each brick to the place it was "taken from"/"meant to go on the new blueprint"...
This post last edited on 5/15/2006 12:09:35 AM
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