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Onyx Tower

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The Onyx Tower is the dwelling of Charon, the once and future Emperor of Stygia. The tallest building in Stygia, it represents Charon's power and his ability to oversee the Dark Kingdom of Iron.

The ExteriorEdit

Originally, the tower served as Charon's lighthouse, both as a greeting to wraiths to come to Stygia, and as a warning to those who might accidentally smash themselves on the rocky shores of the Isle of Sorrows. The tower was continuously renovated; as the buildings around it grew, so did the tower. As a result, the Onyx Tower is and always has been the tallest building in Stygia.

Other than its spectacular, 18-story height and the glowing soulfire light at the top, the tower has little in the way of architectural features; it resembles a simple, gray stone column. A ladder, used for unknown purposes, runs up the outside of the column.

The InteriorEdit

Entering in on the ground floor, wraiths will find the area bisected by a single hallway, with doors on both sides. Going down this hall will take visitors to the massive spiral staircase, the only way to the top, which runs along the entire inner wall of the tower. At each floor is a door with a different Arcanos sigil on it; going through these doors will lead wraiths into a corridor-and-doors arrangement similar to the one on the ground floor. This pattern continues until the 16th floor.

The 16th floor is a single open room. A complex mechanical model, covered with crystals marked with deathmarks or other symbols, moves like an unusual solar system; any of these crystals (which serve to represent important wraiths such as Deathlords, the masters of the Guilds, etc.) can be centered in the device. The orbs that come to circle that crystal have orbits that can be read by the experienced eye to reveal relationships between the actual beings.

The 17th floor is also a single large room. In the center is a simple, rough stone table. The table is grooved, perhaps to carry away the blood of those sacrificed on it. What purposes this table once served are lost to time; what is known is that this table is, in fact, the oldest relic in Stygia. Around this table are similarly made chairs. Before and after Charon's disappearance, the Deathlords use this place as their formal hall.

The 18th and topmost floor is the most strikingly different. It, too, is open, but unlike the other two open floors, this one has a much higher ceiling. Enormous arched windows provide an excellent view of the entire Isle of Sorrows. On the ground are markings. The innermost markings are in a circle and bear the eight sigils of the Legions of the Hierarchy. The outer markings are set in a massive square, and are the sixteen sigils of the Guilds. The three belonging to the Forbidden Guilds (the Alchemists, Solicitors, and Mnemoi) have been violently smashed away, as with a giant hammer. The centerpiece of this floor is Charon's throne; made of the same black stone and crude make of the table and chairs on the previous floor, the throne sits on a rotating dais so that Charon can rotate to view his kingdom or address those on the simple benches embedded between the windows surrounding it.

The Tower's Historical ImportanceEdit

It has frequently served as Charon's retreat in times of great personal crisis. Most famous is when he locked himself at the beginning of the twentieth century. His disappearance caused the Smiling Lord to declare himself Emperor, beginning the Great War that raged in Stygia for over a decade.

When Charon disappeared in 1945, the tower, save the meeting floor, remained empty until he returned during the Sixth Great Maelstrom. After the battle to save the Western Dead that resulted in the near-destruction of Stygia, the tower collapsed. One of Charon's last actions before his Transcendence was to place a shining beacon at the top of the ruined tower that would point surviving and new wraiths to the new settlement. By the time of the wars between Grandmother and the Malfeans occured, the beacon had long stopped shining, but the tower ruins remained as the heart of the now Nameless City.

ReferencesEdit

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