The Tower of Madness
I do not know what to say, other than this may be the happiest day of my life. When I was told, almost a decade ago, that I was a mage, I did not think that I would ever find someone willing to tolerate me for my… talents… let alone love me. That was before I had met my darling Thisbe. She is kind to me, the other townsfolk think her to be simple, but only because she lacks the ignorance, and thus the fear, that wraps around their hearts.
We knew each other when we were children, but her parents kept her from me once they found out what I was. We still kept in contact, despite the scorn of her parents and the other adults. Through my teenage years, the only thing that kept me sane and preserved my will to live was my Thisbe. Her soft touch, her mesmerizing voice, others would ostracize her for her tolerance and love, but to me she is an angel.
Now, I have asked her hand in marriage and she has said yes! There would be only the two of us at a ceremony, so we have elected to elope; we need the permission of nobody for our love, as long as we have each other, we have all that we need. She looked nothing short of divine in her wedding dress, the very epitome of purity and grace.
I can tell, together we have a long and happy life, and I can’t wait to see and live it all!
I am trembling even as I write this entry. When I learned that I was a mage, that I could create flames and lightning, raise the dead and achieve transmutation, shape the very fabric of reality, I was in awe. But that awe is nothing in comparison to this moment. Thisbe told me today that she is pregnant. To create such phenomena is one thing, but to create life? Amazing. Beautiful. Marvelous. These are the only words I know that can come close to such an experience.
I can only hope that my child is not born with the same curse as I, I hope that he, or she, will never know the pain of being a mage. But even if my child is inflicted with this dual edged blade, it will not matter! They will not suffer as I have! While I had no one, they will have Thisbe and I to love and protect them.
As I lay to sleep, I weep. I could not have imagined such happiness, and now I know it firsthand.
There were complications during the birth, and I lost them both; the light of my life… it’s gone.
I have grieved for three months now. The townspeople are even more hostile towards me than ever before. The gall! They think that I had done something to doom my poor Thisbe, my child, my family. They know nothing of my pain, yet are willing to heap even more upon me. On my own, I have mourned my loves, but now, I have reason to cease my mourning.
I am a mage. I can shape reality to my will. The divisions between the elements, the lines between the sacred and the profane are illusions; I know this to be true. I can bend, distort, and dissolve them with an incantation and a wave of my hand. Granted, the bolder the line, the more of my will and resources it shall require, but where there is the will, no, the necessity, there is always a way.
So who is to say the line between life and death is any more real than the others? Who is to say that my wife and child, both taken unjustly from this world, are truly lost? Why ought they perish but bigoted fools such as the townsfolk are allowed to live? The only limitations upon me are resources, but there is such power in blood and I believe that I have copious amounts of that available.
There must be a way… there must be a way…
- V. C.
I understand now why the school of necromancy was taboo. The power it offers is… staggering to say the least. I have learned how to preserve a body, to keep it in gentle repose, which I have performed on my family until I have perfected my craft and can resurrect them. I will admit that the work is… grizzly to say the least. When I learned evocation, there may have been the occasional misfire, and a pile of ash would need to be swept up. But with necromancy, things are brought back… wrong. I know of no other way to say it. The creatures I have experimented on are small ones: rabbits, birds, hounds, and I believe progress is being made.
I can bring them back easily now, but they are… different from when they were alive. They are more obedient, but also fearless and lack concern for themselves, yet they are also so much more protective of me, as if they know I created them and gave them life anew. I am not yet ready for… human… testing. So I will continue to hone my skills and see if it is possible to improve these beasts; surely, they may be made stronger and faster than they were in life. I do not know what impacts this will have on the beasts’ psyche, but I do not care. This, all of this, is in the name of righting a grievous wrong. I will have my family back.
- V. C.
Failure. Failure… Failure!
I do not understand it! Why is the line between life and death so easy to cross for beasts but so difficult for humans? None of my experiments are working! Despite my failures, I suppose I am lucky, none of the townsfolk have realized what I am doing. Thus far, I have used only undesirables and people unlikely to be missed: a roaming adventurer, a few drunks, a miscreant; but no one that would actually be cared for, no one that anyone would look for.
My beasts, my children, they look upon me and know that their master… creator… father… is at his wit’s end. Each day, each horrified scream belted out by the latest experiment, each failure, erodes my morale, erodes my conviction, erodes my sanity I fear. No… I am not crazy. For each day, I descend my tower; I climb down the stairs and see my family… my wife and child’s faces. They are still preserved, perfect and serene. They remind me of why I commit such dreadful acts. Everything I do, I do for them.
I cannot stop now; there must be a way, another source of power I can tap. But what is more powerful than that which lies in the blood? I will find it… I must find… or all I have done will be in vain… and worse, I will not have them back. I think I know of a way, but it is the darkest path I can imagine, my soul, if there is even a soul still in my body, will be damned for pursuing it. The path may be one of ruin and darkness, but if it leads me to my family, it is worth walking.
- V. C.
I have done it. I have succeeded in finding a source of power to use. I opened a portal the plane known as the Wells of Darkness and contacted a demon. I know the stories of demonology: it grants immense power at an equally immense cost and it is forbidden to practice. But, so is necromancy… and I have gained power and knowledge and companions from that. Perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with demonology or necromancy… perhaps they are only forbidden because of the power that they grant… and people fear power do they not? The townsfolk already fear and revile me… so why ought I not associate with such things?
The demon I found is a lesser one, and I am glad for it. I am not sure I could control a greater demon or worse… a demon lord. He told me his name is Torpor, named for the thing which he represents. A demon of laziness… I could not imagine such luck! Surely if he is not using his power, he won’t mind me using it. All he has asked in return was for me to plant a handful of seeds in my alchemical garden outside the tower. He says that his world is always in constant shift; that there is no permanence, no stability. He wishes to see what a plant of his world actually looks like, what potential it can achieve.
Thisbe, my child, I am so close I can feel it. We will be reunited soon.
- V. C.
Torpor’s power is incredible. He tells me that as that plant grows in my garden, he is able to render me more aid. He has cast an aura of torpor around the tower so that even if the townsfolk become suspicious, they simply won’t have the will to care about my experiments. I must admit, the progress being made in my test subjects is promising, I am now capable of binding a life to a body and I can control the body precisely with my will. But I have yet to imbue a subject with free will and true consciousness, the last things I need to make my wife and child’s resurrection complete. But Torpor tells me not to worry, that as his plant grows, so too will my power.
The plant is fascinating as well. It is pitch black and grows into gnarly shapes naturally. It has hardly been six months since I have planted it, yet it has grown into what looks like a small tree. Or, at least, someone with a severely limited color palate’s idea of a tree. Interestingly, the plant seems to be a predator… if that is possible for a plant. I have noticed that nothing will grow near the tree and that smaller versions of the plant have already begun to germinate the ground around it. The plants seem to be growing towards the town and already I see sprouts forming around the base of my tower.
I am surrounded by wonder, by power, and soon, by family.
- V. C.
Dammit! Again I seem to have encountered a glass ceiling of sorts on the path to resurrection. I do not understand it. I have resurrected beasts without a problem and my brood has grown to include even great beasts such as bears! I have found how to mix animal body parts to create chimeras! I have done what was thought to be lost with the great mages of the past! Why can I not do the same for humans?! Torpor reassures me that I will soon have what I want most, but the frustration I feel casts doubt upon that.
Torpor… His plant is so very strange. It has grown to a fair height now and its seeds have matured as well, the townspeople have noticed that the plants grow like weeds around their houses and fields, but due to Torpor’s influence, they cannot muster the energy to care or show concern. I have seen… strange things amongst the growing… thicket, that’s the only word I can think of to describe the collection of the plants that now grow in my town… Things that look like beasts yet are made completely of wood. I confronted Torpor about it and he explained that his plants might be able to grow into odd shapes, but anything as complex as a sentient biological beast was surely beyond its ability.
He suggested that I rest, that my work has exhausted me and causes me to hallucinate such flights of fantasy. But how can I rest when this roadblock must be overcome? How can I rest when my goal is close?
- V. C.
My god… no, who do I fool, no god would accept me after what I have done. I gazed from a window this morning and saw a horrific scene painted before my eyes, by my own hand. The thicket had enclosed the town and I see the townspeople hanging from the trees. Not hanging as such, but they appear to be mauled, and it seems the thicket has impaled them and their blood nourishes the plants. I stormed down the stairs, past the still serene bodies of my family, and demanded that Torpor explain what was going on.
His name is not Torpor, and he is no lesser demon. His name is Ansitif and I must stand in awe as I know that name, he is the Demon Lord of Befoulment, Corruption, and the Profane. The power he had given me was not to aid in my experiments, but to aid him in coming to this world. He tells me that with each person I killed, with each drop of blood that fell from my table in the laboratory, he came closer to escaping the Well he was trapped within and emerging onto this world. Now, he no longer needs me. He explains his thicket will be able to destroy the other towns and kill their inhabitants and, with their blood, he shall be made a new.He tried to kill me. As he left my presence, one of the branches from the thicket broke through the window and impaled me, and the last thing he told me was that human resurrection cannot be achieved, that I was a fool, but that I would be rejoining my family soon.
But I am a necromancer, and I will not die easily. He thinks me dead and I watch as his thicket encloses my tower, but I will have vengeance. I will rise. I will escape this thicket. And I will send him back to the Abyss I found him in.
Thisbe, forgive me. I will right this wrong. This I swear
- V. C.