The Lonely Tower
Tarander stood up and placed the black book on the small wooden table next to the rough wooden chair he just sat on. He stretched, and flinched, as a sharp pain jolted up his spine. »Aah! By the Souls! «, he exclaimed into the large cylindrical room. Nobody responds, but that did not surprise Tatander. It would have been a miracle if somebody had answered. No one had for centuries. So Arahu is dead. Interesting. But why did I have to find out this way? Tarander walked to the fountain in the center of his room, taking a plain wooden cup, dipping it into the water and taking a big sip. The better question is, where the book actually came from. And who brought it here. Casting a glance through his domain, Tarander found no answer to his question. There was no door in this room he knew about. He had tried to find an exit multiple times, but there was no way out of this, this prison of his. A 300 feet tall tower in the center of nothingness. Tarander smirked. And he couldn’t even use his magic to force his way out of the tower. Even the random explosive spikes of power he experienced from time to time weren’t powerful enough to free him. Even though he probably could have levelled a town with the energy released in those cataclysmic discharges of elemental energy.
It was only him, his thoughts, and his research. For over 1000 years now. He put down the cup and made his way back to the chair and the book. »Come on, get back on track Tarander. Quit wondering about speculations and focus on the evidence you have. Maybe the answers to all your questions are inside the book. « On his way he passed a large mirror, with unused razors on the marble framing. He did not need razors. There was not a hair left on his body. Tarander looked in the mirror and tried to recall his former face for the thousandth time. But the only thing he saw looking back at himself, was a frail, skinny, old man. No hair to speak of and threads of smokey blue energy weaving and writhing around his body. They emanate from a number of blue crystals embedded into his body. Tarander had tried multiple times to remove the crystals but failed every time. His eyes and veins stand out in their slight blue coloring, standing out from his otherwise pale skin. This gave his whole appearance a rather inhuman look. Slowly he stroked his chin, hoping he would find some sort of stubble. But the only thing he felt was smooth alabaster skin. It was too perfect. »Well old man you could say time didn’t treat you well. «, he laughed, » To be fair, you should have died a millennia ago. You know, at a normal age for us humans. « Tarander laughed again. The laugh quickly turning into a heavy cough as he struggled for air. Shaking with coughs, he stumbled towards his reading chair.
Tarander sat down slowly on the old wooden chair and reached for the book with trembling hands. Once he grasped the warm leather binding, Tarander’s body calmed down and he took a deep, although still shaky, breath. Tarander slowly traced the symbol of Zaman’s Hourglass, which was etched into the book cover. Then he proceeded to open the book to where he had left off a few minutes prior. He skimmed over the next few paragraphs, pages, chapters. »Well I know all of this already. How the Order was formed by a freak accident of killing a Dragon and bathing in its blood. And accidentally swallowing it. Haha! How stupid of Arahu. It worked out for him in the end though. He became the most powerful mortal on Tarros. « Tarander chuckled.
Tarander kept skimming trough the book. To his surprise and disappointment, there the book contained nothing new to him. Only things he already knew about. Like the accident at the mines of Aedra. He was even there himself when it happened. That was the origin of these beautiful rocks decorating his body. A memory flashed in his head. A very young Tarander lying in the back of a carriage in a pile of blue crystals. Blood oozing out of multiple deep wounds. The sudden pain as the crystals start to penetrate his skin and the weird sensation of warmth accompanying them. Seeing the wounds on his body slowly closing and healing. Then a long dark silence.
The book states that Arahu saw what happened in the mines and that he heroically escaped the Akai and Humans that were trying to kill him in there. And because he survived that disaster, he thought of himself as the Savior. The only one who knew what and who the enemy really was. Tarander thought to himself. Arahu is ancient, but how can he then be so blind? From then on, the book illustrated the meteoric rise of Arahu to the top of the Order and the Church of Zaman. Forming it to his sole will. Building an army to defend Tarros from the forces of the North. Waiting to be called upon. To stand and defend the Land as the hero he was. What a fool Arahu was. A cocked smile formed on Tarander’s lips. » You hear that Arahu! «, he shouted at the book in his hand. » And what did it help you, you stupid fool. You still killed yourself believing the prophecy was about you! You thought you could make it your own. How could you not realize that you were just a puppet on a string played by forces we don’t understand. There was one thing you were right about though. This was your destiny. « Tarander gleefully turned to the next page where his hand came to a rough stop and he felt like his heart stopped dead in his chest. The title of this chapter sent shivers down his spine. The Weeping Dragon. That was what he had been looking for. For centuries now. There it was. Finally.