In a seemingly endless sea of trees, a tiny sound could be heard throughout the quiet dense forest. A man was walking in the forest looking rather haggard. He was an insignificant speck compared to the lush green leaves above him. He wore a rather shabby robe covered in dirt and some minor vegetation as he tracked his way through. With a grunt, he began picking up his pace as he shrugged the items he was carrying.

A huge tan knapsack filled with numerous assortments hung on his back and a book was strapped around his shoulder. His black beard weakly swayed back and forth from the futile wind that blew through the forest.

Stopping his movement, the man produced a small crystal compass from his pocket. He ruffled a parchment from his side and held it close to his eyes. Studying both the parchment and compass in his hands, he began to move again through the forest. Sunlight beamed down from up above, piercing through the shade of various trees. This caused him to sweat rather profusely as he walked still studying the items he held.

“This has got to be the way! The Tower has to be in the sea of trees,” the man said aloud to himself.

The man understood he had to reach his destination before nightfall as dangerous creatures lurked about the dark. He hadn’t seen signs of people for days, he was quite far from civilization. He knew that his supplies were getting dangerously low as well. If he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he would have to head back soon. He placed his items away before moving forward again.

Only walking a few more paces before stopping to pull a canteen from his side. Feeling his throat and lips parched, he tried to take a drink of water from it. As the canteen reached his mouth, the look of his eyes showed a hint of frustration. The canteen had been empty for hours and he simply forgot to refill it. He held out the canteen in front of him with one hand and with the other he began motioning his forefinger in the air. The moisture in the air began to condense forming into droplets of water in front of his hand. It gained more and more mass as it formed into a ball of water around the size of his canteen.

As the man stopped his finger motioning, the ball of water quickly fell down. He maneuvered the canteen in his other hand under the falling water, catching whatever he could. The rest of the water splashed onto the ground with the plants underneath getting a delighted surprise. Quickly the man quenched his thirst from the newly refilled canteen.  Feeling refreshed again, he spared no more distractions before going on his way. Only in a distance could a figure covered in a red cloak be seen following him.

Many hours later the  man sighed as he was unsure if he was near his destination or not . He collapsed down on the spot he stood, his energy nearly gone. Only then did his head look up to the sky that he saw it, An Ivory Tower! He was close! Just as quickly as the energy left him he felt reinvigorated, he got up and ran towards his destination. Soon he cleared out from the forest and came upon a clearing does he stop with his mouth agape.

A tower appeared before him surrounded in a clearing among the seemingly endless sea of trees.  It was a white stone tower that stood far above even the tallest trees.  As even the man looked small compared to the trees, the trees paled in comparison to the height and majesty of the Tower! There was a clearing around the huge tower as if the trees were afraid to be next to it. It was frightening how a tower this big could be constructed in the middle of the seemingly endless sea of trees.

Relief filled the man’s face as he found what he’d been searching for. As he came closer to the tower, he saw huge metal doors framed on the tower. Runes and glyphs covered the metal doors from top to bottom.

Staring at the inscriptions the man muttered “Ancient Yu’vre.”

With one hand stroking his beard, he studied the door from top to bottom. As he scanned the door he placed one hand on it and the runes began to light up. Quickly he retracted his hand on instinct but a spark of intuition filled his eyes. Seeing how the runes began to glow and light up from his touch he began to ponder. Then as if he was struck by lightning and gaining insight. He moved his hands to the various markings around the door.  All the runes he touched lit up forming together creating a message for the man to read.

‘Only those who seek knowledge may enter’

The metal doors began to open with a heavy sound, a powerful wave of energy leaped out and a smile came to the man’s face. He quickly entered and was stunned by what he saw inside. It looked like a massive mansion on the inside, fit for nobles. Magnificent rugs were on the floors, quality wooden furniture was neatly arranged in the middle of the area, artistic tapestries with gold and silk weaving hung on the stone walls. There were magical lanterns spaced around the walls, forever  burning and lighting the inside. A huge fireplace was on the opposite end of the hulking doors.

An amazing spectacle feast the man’s eyes inside the tower. Dropping everything he was carrying, a proportionate weight was lifted off his body and mind. There were steps to the left of the entrance that seem to lead to the floor above. With renewed vigor like a youth, he walked onto the steps slowly ascending to the second floor. On the second floor, he saw numerous doors along  a hallway. Carefully on guard he walked through and felt the urge to go through one door. He opened it and inside was a grand bedroom. White sheets and numerous pillows laid on the bed. The furniture was grand in design as well, fit for a king or queen.

Such extravagance kept his face in perpetual shock. Seeing another stairwell, he ascended to the third floor. There, numerous instruments scattered on tables with scrolls and written notes littered around, It was a magical laboratory! Scanning the walls there were numerous boards with magical formulas written on them. The man himself was an alchemist and he had never seen such fine instruments bunched together in all his life.

There were many answers to varying unsolved theories scattered around. How many people would be awe stuck just to be given these answers? Although some formulas and data written on the parchments and scrolls were old and obsolete. Even more was that some of these questions and problems that were written had been long solved for thousands of years! The man wondered how ancient this tower must be!

Everything was still kept in pristine and proper condition. This tower was filled to the brim with magical energy. This magical energy was the source in keeping everything from decaying away the man thought. Seeing another flight of stairs the man continued up the tower. On the fourth floor, there were numerous bookcases shelved with countless books and scrolls. A delighted smile came to his face, he had a thirst for knowledge that has led him around the world. Maybe it was here in this tower that his thirst might finally be quenched.

Seeing another stairway he continued his journey to the top of the Tower. As he kept going it was more of the same on the fourth floor, books upon books. Scrolls, notes, tablets, journals and whatever might’ve contained knowledge seemed to be stored here. Everything was organized and cataloged from magical spells to alchemy, to creatures, to maps of the hidden world. It was if the knowledge to everything was here hidden in this tower.

As the man reached the tenth floor of the Tower his steps were still bursting with energy from the excitement of the previous floors. It was only when he reached the tenth floor did his excitement waver. On the tenth floor was complete darkness, there were no magical lanterns here. There seemed to be nothing here as the man walked onto the floor. Then he saw it, in the middle of the room there was a pedestal  with what looked like a golden book on top.

As he came closer he noticed the huge crystal floating above the book. Energy began to swell in the crystal and light the room in a red glow. The man recognized the crystal almost immediately, It was a blood dragon crystal! The crystal is made from the blood and magical energy of a dragon. From the size of the crystal, the man surmised that the dragon should’ve been very powerful.  The crystal gave out a pulse, swirls of light seemed to come out and danced around the room. This crystal is most likely the reason the tower is filled with magical energy. This might be the very reason why the tower is kept in such immaculate condition.

The man came closer to the pedestal and looked at the golden book. Magical energy seemed to be drawn into it and the book gave off a dominating presence. To the man, the book seemed alive and he slowly reached out to touch the book. As his fingers touched the cover, a jolt of energy hit him. A black band of runes wrapped around his fingers and his arm. His body was in shock and he tried to pull his hand away from the book. As he freed himself, he felt a splitting headache as if something was tearing apart his brain from the inside. The pain was so unbearable that he began to lose consciousness.

Outside the tower, a dark figure emerged from the sea of trees. The figure quickly came to the metal doors and tried to open it, the doors wouldn’t move. Energy started surrounding the figure and then began bombarding the metal door. Still, nothing affected the door in the slightest. The figure stopped and pulled the energy together to create a hammer of light. Again, the figure pounded at the door and still the door was unaffected.

Inside the Tower, a loud pounding and ringing sound echoed through the tower rousing the man. Slowly the man gathered his bearings, realizing what was happening he went down the tower steps towards the first floor. The closer he came down, the louder the sound became. A sign of concern came across his face and he looked for the things he set down as he entered the Tower.

“Who dares!? I’m Gregor the great! Of the four wise men!” Gregor screamed as he quickly grabbed his book.

Before Gregor had entered the sea of trees he had been attacked plenty by bandits and the like. He hadn’t seen people in a long time and lowered his guard. Now that he had found the tower he would be much more vigilant in its defense. His hand flicked open the book and his body seemed ready for a fight. The sound and pounding stopped at once. A muffled sound could be heard outside the door.

“Who dares!” Gregor yelled again as he approached the door.

A grimacing pain came over his face as he went towards the door . Another headache attacked him and he winced in pain as he got to the door. Staying quiet and alert he started hearing some muffled screams and crying. Carefully he opened the huge metal doors and looked outside and saw nothing. But the sound of crying was louder than ever.

Gregor’s eyes began to wander and set downwards and there he set it. A red cloak was bundled and left in front of the tower, cries could be heard from it. He picked up the cloak and revealed what laid inside. It was a baby boy with brown eyes, tan skin and strands of black hair on his head. His skin told Gregor that this baby was from the Eastern Continent, far from the south lands on the West Continent where the Sea of Trees was located.

A note was left with the baby and Gregor looked closely at it, the words made no sense to him. Gregor had traveled the world and learned countless languages as well as ancient dead ones. The language looked made of several combinations of old languages from the eastern continents. The only word that Gregor seemed to understand was “Nero”.

Gregor glanced at the baby boy and spoke “Nero?”

The baby stopped its crying and looked back at Gregor as if he was called out to. The small baby let out a smile to the stone-faced Gregor. Gregor looked again outside, seeing the sun begin to set down. Gregor didn’t know who was following him and for what. He gazed the surroundings but saw nothing. He could only sigh, it was getting dark and there were monsters about. Gregor couldn’t leave the boy outside. Bewildered, he went back inside carrying the baby boy and closing the tower door.

In the sea of trees, a woman stood by watching with her long black hair flowing in the wind. A collar shackle was around her neck and her white dress was stained with blood and dirt. Her tan brown skin was noticeable from the white dress she wore. Tears flowed down her face as she watched Gregor carry the baby inside. Slowly she walked back into the sea of trees and disappeared.

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