Monday, June 6, 2016

I and Thomas to the Dark Tower came.

So, here is what I have been working on over the weekend, wracking my attention deficient brain to make something worth-while. This is my first collaboration piece with another creative mind. Thomas Novosel, created the picture of the Tower as well as a dungeon map (not included in this post). Thomas created the picture first, and then my mind latched onto an idea. The idea grew, and I found that my idea could mesh with another of Thomas' called The Black Candle Society. I've included a link below to his blog entry about the society, as well as another link to his blog's main page. Read his stuff, this guy is my kind of crazy.

Thomas Novosel's Main Page:

By Thomas Novosel - The map will be included once the write-up is finished.
The Tower –
A stained brick and concrete construction, canted as it points towards the sky. A tower of right angles and straight lines in a place of curves and oblique turns. The decorations on the edifice are made of simple geometric shapes clustered together to make complex forms. The flourishes are few, corralled within the bonds of rectangles and squares, leaving the majority blank. Golden glints are cast from the few bits of brass not corroded from the elements, becoming beacons to those nearby in the day. Broken and grimed windows run up the sides of the tower. The frames are straight sided and curved at the top, ending with a spike shape at the curves' apex. Atop the tower is an incongruous temple-like structure, a profusion of columns and arcane symbols supporting an arched roof. The temple draws the eye, seeming to have been plucked from an ancient city of art, and placed upon a basic tower as a base. The tower is imbedded in the sands of a beach, the grains of soft browns and yellows climbing up the building sides, placed there by the wind and water. Roads to not turn to this place, mapmakers have deigned to ignore its very existence. The structure sets without purpose on a beach that is working to consume it.

No door leads into the place, and the placement of the broken windows suggest there is more of it beneath the sands. Its dimensions, and very presence, suggest a tower far taller than what is seen above the sand. The bricks of its sides are misaligned, some too prominent from the walls' face, others too recessed. Rows and stacks of bricks set aligned and misaligned, without apparent purpose or design. This irregularity is not a product of shoddy construction, the rows and stacks, while misaligned, are perfectly placed in regards to one another. Somehow it's walls have been shifted brick by brick, a feat that has managed to keep it structurally sound. The bricks are stained black in places, large swathes pressed into the tower's sides. The dark stains shine in the sun, coated in a waxen residue that makes the skin that touched them numb for a short while. The temple sets far above, its roof pushing at the sky and the clouds that sail within it. At times parts of the walls, and even the entire temple, can be difficult to look at. Sections of brick and the temple shift perspective subtly, becoming too blurry or too sharp for the distance they are viewed at. The only way into the place is through the broken windows and their verdigris and brass frames.

Through The Windows
The room takes up an entire level of the tower, its misaligned ceiling twenty feet overhead. Water puddles in places on the black and white checkered floor, collected from weather reaching through the empty window frames. The outer portions of the room are devoid of furniture, though the gouges in the floors mark their previous occupancy. Piled to the ceiling, taking up the center of the room, is the furniture that once was spread throughout. Tables, chairs, cabinets, desks, and other miscellanea are woven and piled atop one another. Closer, it can be seen that these pieces have been fused to one another, legs and seats seamlessly emerging from desktops. Sodden papers adhere to the walls and floors in clumps and single pages. Their ink has run to unreadability, save for a single sheet torn in half, set dry and crisp atop a desktop with a chair emerging from it. The page is typed (or written in a perfect and bland script, for those worlds without typewriters), it reads:

The Process Company, Inc.
Lantern Branch Office

To: Edsel Q. Forsythia – Project Long Burn Supervisor
From: Mavis L. Ferris – Company Wide Projects Supervisor

I have been informed that Project: Long Burn is running behind schedule. This lack of timeliness is beginning to reach and unacceptable level. Your lack of progress has been reported to the Process board of directors. The board has given you 96 hours (Central Plane Temporal Accounting) to remedy the situation. Your reports have been reviewed, and it has been determined that the precautions you have ordered are unnecessary. Furthermore, these precautions are greatly reducing the possible profit margins that could be generated by Project: Long Burn. You must bring the Lantern Mechanism online in the allotted time, otherwise a new supervisor will be assigned to your project. Below are the flow specifications you are to implement in the Lantern Mechanism, as per Process Engineering.

Centered in the northern wall are a pair of corroded brass, sliding doors, one slid closed the other tipped onto its side. Beyond the doors is a shaft, blocked ten feet above with twists of stone and metal, below is open to the darkness below. Ajar in the north-eastern corner is a metal door, ajar and askew on its broken hinges. Beyond it is a stairwell, the stairs leading down to darkness tinged with the scent of old books and thunderstorms. The stairs are slick, water puddled in the centers and sides of concrete steps leading down.

1 – The Light Behind The Door
After the descent, puddles sliding beneath feet, darkness held at bay with meager light, the bottom is reached. The stairs end in a small room, plaster bulging from the push of water beneath, hexagonal white tile slick with mildew. At the near end of the room is a wooden door, perfectly hung, the frame dry and well polished. The door's upper half frames a window frosted white, illuminated from behind. Emblazoned in bold black script are the words: Questionable Acquisitions, casting worded shadows from the window's center. A porcelain, hexagonal handle is set along the right of the door at waist height.

Beyond the door, a room stretched, blown out from a cube to a sphere. Floating, fixed in the center is a wooden desk, the contents of its top perfectly arranged, a lamp on its corner casting radiance on the room. A wooden chair, upholstered in red, sets floating and equally fixed behind the desk, its seat rotating upon its base. Orbiting the desk: monochrome pictures, a cigarette smoldering in a black ashtray, blank Process Company letterhead, and a host of unused office supplies. Pictures leer at those is the room, poses subtly shifting with each passing orbit. Soon, poses are completely changed, loved ones belonging to the viewer appear, then replaced by men in Victorian suits and animal masks. The floor, checked tiles of black and white curve down, out, and back up in a hemisphere. The ceiling, domed above, stretches down to meet the hemisphere of the floor, allowing no room for walls. Opposite the entrance, and degrees above the room's midpoint, is another 'door'. Rectangular, the no-color of taupe, the height of person and divided equally into three sections. Attached to the center of each section is a silver, horizontal handle with a placard and frame above it. The placards bear upon them: Acquisitions, Expenses, and Mazes. Next to the 'door', a pair of still wet rubber boots tap out 'shave and a haircut, two bits', in an never ending loop.

When pulled, each handle extends a drawer, as wide as an adult human, and made of a thin metal painted the same color as the front. Within the Acquisitions drawer is a hallway. The black and white checked floor is aligned with the drawer front, making it perpendicular to the sphere room's floor. Hallway walls, made of white plaster, covered floor to ceiling with evenly spaced picture-frames, end after fifteen feet with the floor's sharp downward drop. Opposite the drawer-door, after the drop of the floor, a door much like the one to the sphere room, its frame in the opposing wall or the ceiling of the descending floor. Questionable Practices is printed on its frosted window in gold lettering, a soft yellow light illuminating from behind. The hall is lit by long illuminated cylinders set into metal frames on the ceiling. Buzzing, they shed a harsh titanium-white light that flickers almost imperceptibly in time with their noise. The relative direction of down persists until at least half of whatever, or whoever, enters the drawer's hallway. Once at least half-way, the new direction of down takes hold.

Expenses is a normal drawer, having no hallways or rooms, just a large, tattered black leather book. On its cover the words, YOUR LIFE: DEBITS AND CREDITS are embossed in flaking gold leaf. Thick and heavy, the book bears with it the unforgettable scent of gold, silver, and printed money.

Mazes is another normal drawer, containing a manila colored folder nearly overflowing with papers, and a palm sized cherry-wood box. Sealed with a silver clasp, the box contains a globe that in turn contains a city. An island filled with buildings of similar design as the tower, save they have no temples atop them. Looking through the magnifying glass, also contained in the box, one can the city is alive with movement. Minute people go about their lives as metal carriages without horses travel up and down the tiny streets, oblong silver balloons ply the 'skies', everyone oblivious to the god sized people looking in at them.