The Tower

A fire upon the Prime- 1
Ripped from my home, into a cold and dangerous nightmare

Fire. Pure, flickering flame. It is beautiful, no? It warms the multiverse, cleansing the filth that filters in from the other planes. Ah, my home. Beautiful. Hot. Dangerous, to you primes. And barred to me by this cursed scar upon my arm. The hubris of some wizards is hard to comprehend, and they seem to care not what consequences come to those around them. As I lay upon my bed, in my home, having offended no man or woman, being or beast, I was torn away to a prime, nay, to a combustible nightmare, cold and vulnerable. I have become weakened, drained of my magical protections, and I cannot even lay down to sleep without catching something on fire! That took some getting used to, but I have realized that instead of embracing flame and its beauty, its mesmerizing calm and meditative power, they fear it, they contain it, they trap it, and everyone knows that fire always seeks to escape its bounds. Never is it content to be confined, nor will it suffer captivity long. So, I show them how to deal with it, when it inevitably escapes, and they call me “firefighter,” when in reality, I simply know it. I know that fire will give life or take it solely depending upon how it is treated, how it is respected, how it is known. Foolish primes. So, too, shall I not suffer being contained. So, too, shall I escape this captivity. So, too, shall I find who is responsible and burn from him what is owed, a return to my home and a restitution for what has been taken from me. At least Iggy, my true companion, a heart of fire, was with me when I was ripped from my home. He reminds me that there is hope, that there must be a way back. We shall be united with the fire of our home, even if we have to raze this plane to its foundations.

After several months of “fighting” fires, I finally heard of a wizard seeking to rebuild after a horrible accident destroying his home. Several months ago. There is no coincidence upon the planes, despite what these primes say. I set out, confident that I would soon find the source of my imprisonment. As I left the city, I realized that the world was off its balance. I rebalanced myself, picturing the flame and feeding into it everything but that which was my focus, honing my body and my mind to a single purpose, consuming all else in the fire of my mind, yet I was unable to determine what could possibly be pushing the very plane itself slightly off-kilter. As I returned my mind to the world around me, I saw the fear in the primes’ eyes as they saw me balancing and meditating. I heard them speaking of travelling to the same place I was, but they would not welcome me. I truly am an outsider here. I will find this wizard, and he shall know that I will not suffer myself to be enslaved, neither to the efreeti, nor to a prime wizard. A flame must be free, or it will smother. I would sooner die. I travelled, meditating, balancing, seeking to make myself one with the land that has become my cage, but I cannot connect myself. I am lost, and my centre has been moved. This land is cold, no fiery passions nor do they understand the consuming and changing power of fire. Despite my repeated efforts, I cannot understand the imbalance I see, I can but compensate for it. It is as if the flame were burning from the inside, rather than consuming from without. Perhaps this wizard will have answers. He had best, for his sake. I approached the site of this tremendous disaster, but a barrier prevented my further investigation. I tested the barrier, and I perceived that someone was watching me. Assuming it was the master of the disaster, I told him that I had the patience of fire to consume and outlast. Suddenly, I was seized upon and dragged through the air. Remaining calm, I tested the limits of the force acting upon me, and found it weak. Even testing without intent to break free, I did. This wizard does not impress. It would seem all his measures are flawed, as are his servants. This does not bode well.

Being set down in front of a ramshackle building, suitable for little more than kindling, much less housing a “great” wizard, I entered without preamble or hesitation. I will make my demands, and they will be met or I shall light a fire under this wizard and he will come to know my ire, more fierce than fire, and even all the magic of the City of Brass will not save him. As I stepped in, I saw the wizard, busy with some tome of magic or other, and a boy, I presume an apprentice or child. I must take care, or I will set some trinket or book on fire, which I do not wish to do unless my hand is forced. I approached the wizard, ignoring the tindertwig. I made my demands, trusting him to know how to reverse what he had done, but I did not take into account that his flame burns with no fuel to sustain it. The wizard didn’t even look at me, until I displayed my prowess at maneuvering and martial skill. I suspect he knows some about azers, and that he knew that the accident had stripped me of my protections, because he did not fear me in the least. Hopefully he does not realize I have been further weakened beyond losing my protections. I do not wish to dwell on what would happen in my weakened state if I were forced to try and extract the gem price I am owed from the wizard. But, what is right, is right, and I will see it done. He, fool that he is, cannot do anything until his tower is restored. I must help him, as he clearly cannot help himself. He seems to have fallen to the great hubris of wizardry, that which the efreeti suffer from, being unable to help themselves beyond the scope of their magic. So I will take his son and with him ignite the fire that will grow into my way home.
I left, and sat outside the door to protect the fools until such a time as they were ready to depart, and to wait and to watch. I saw several dwarves and some magelings, eager to prove themselves and gain work. “This fire is guttering out but is pretending to be roaring,” I thought to myself. They’ll find out or they won’t, no concern of mine. There seemed to be a couple wizards hanging around trying to get the courage to go in, when I saw another person flying through the air with a man hanging from her legs, which was odd, since she was quite small, no more than a child, it seemed. She kicked him in the face, so apparently not too friendly, although I imagine a full grown man hanging on to such a small person couldn’t be too comfortable. As she approached, it became clear it was actually a Halfling. Well, good for her, many of these primes are too clingy, trying to get something for free, imagining they deserve things they don’t. A fire only burns the fuel it finds. If it wishes to live, it cannot hope to be given fuel forever for free. She came up and asked how to get in, and I simply remarked that you turn the handle and walk in. Which she proceeded to do, to the surprise of the dwarves and the other mageling. It would seem that the wee-folk are as fearless as they say. Truly, fear is but the lack of air to a fire, the invisible killer, stifling and yet when air is restored, one wonders what the problem ever was. If these primes can but learn to lose their fears, perhaps they would fare better. I’ll have to watch this Halfling, she could be very useful to our accomplishing the fool’s goals.

The man who fell wandered around a bit, picked some things up, chased something I couldn’t see, and then the wizard’s voice boomed out chastising him. He wandered over, went in, and began peddling his services to the wizard. He left the door open, so I leaned my head in and heard the wizard insult him. However, he got past the wizard’s defenses, survived a fall, cased the area, and generally showed he knew how to get about, so I wondered why the wizard would cast stones. Clearly this fellow could be an asset if we need to find and acquire things, which he had already done, if the wizard’s shouting were any indication. Truly, he needs to learn how to assemble a team. I imagine he’s going to need things that will be difficult to acquire, and hasn’t given much thought about how we are going to get it for him. I defended him, and exchanged words with the wizard, who said something about how he likes me now. I care little for him, but beating him in an exchange of words doesn’t surprise me. I’m not much for winning over people, but one cannot deny wisdom when it is said. It speaks for itself. I am but its messenger. The boy came out, conversing with the little wizard, and the man followed after. The boy apparently had been tasked to visit an inventor, a gnome, and we were to leave immediately. The man demanded to know what he would be paid with, a fair question if one were not obligated to help for their very freedom. Ah, it pains me to be chained to these primes! I cannot feel the purity of flame, nor can I leave this frigid land. And I must bow to these wizards. How it rankles! He does not know the value of his freedom to burn brightly, but I can understand his demands, for promises feed no fires. He ended up leaving, being removed by the boy and his “invisible servants” he is so proud of. He seems little better than his father, but he certainly has more opportunity to change. Perhaps through him I might have a better chance to get what I need. But hopefully that man will keep close. He may prove useful. We set out, and the man did, indeed, follow us. He seems to be intrigued, but unwilling to work without any incentive. Perhaps I can strike a deal with him if he catches up. We arrived at the inventor’s abode, and a bolt of lightning struck out. I calmly stepped aside, and made sure that the boy would be fine. I gestured at him to announce us, since he’s the only one they’d know, and he finally did. They were immediately sorry, recognizing him. At least people know who these wizards are. Gnomes seem a bit… dangerously genius. They build machines to harness lightning, but are a bit too nervous to use it properly, their twitchy natures getting the best of them. The inventor seems to be the embodiment of this dangerous genius, taking it to the extreme of insanity, but what he does, he does well. The room was full of cogs and tools and items, and the place hummed with power. He sat there pounding a hammer upon an anvil uselessly, but I imagine if he can be made to focus, he is dangerous, indeed. The boy told him what we needed, and he promised to make it, but demanded payment up front. Fool that he is, the wizard sent us with nothing. Of course. More delays. We headed to town, and I suggested the boy sell one of his supposedly valuable trinkets to fund his project. With this I will see if he is simply a spoiled mageling or if he can truly be useful. Perhaps I truly can mould him into something. He sold one of his rings, but kept the one that allows me to touch him. The lad has a brain on his head, and a heart in his chest, it would seem. Now to see how brightly his fire burns. I set him up in an inn, leaving the Halfling to protect him. Her valour should hold them until I can get there should something happen, I hope. Seeing only wood and fuel for a fire, I left, hoping to see the man somewhere in the city on my way out to sleep outside the wall. I certainly don’t need to start any wild fires here. Who knows what would happen with the insanity of the gnomes. Searching, I saw the man, and approached him. All I have are the seven small gems that I have kept to remind me of the warmth of my monastery and the plane of fire, my home. Hopefully that will be enough, and he can work some further payment out with the boy. His father seems to think promises are enough, but at the end of the day, a fire with no fuel dies, despite the best intentions or the desperate need of it.

Approaching him, I explained my chains, forged in magic, and offered my small treasure. The man accepted it, warning that it was but a start. Finding nothing in this place to be valuable, I’d give him anything he wanted, but I simply have nothing, needing little. However, having seen him case the area, and his persistence in following us, I feel that he will be an asset to our further adventures. I left him, telling him to meet the boy in the morning, and went outside to sleep. I must say, these gnomes are more curious than the humans I lived amongst before. They left me alone out of fear, these gnomes poked my flames to see what would happen. Luckily, none did anything that would require me to blow cinders at them, and I just ignored them. Eventually, one of the guards stood watch by me to keep people away. Perhaps he knows the way of fire.

In the morning, I returned, and we waited for the man. He in fact did come, and he proved a man of his word. The boy didn’t remember him at all, so he does suffer from the same inattention to detail as his father. I explained that should we need things “acquired,” this man would be an excellent agent in the execution of any plan we might come up with. With that, we returned to the inventor. He took our money, which was clearly more than he needed to fulfill the wizard’s order. The boy didn’t notice, so I stepped in to ‘focus’ the inventor. I clearly indicated to him with my burning fist that he was now in our debt, that he would do as we asked, and possibly finance anything further without such ado. He yelped his assent, and so I let it be. Hopefully he will not delay so in the future. We took his machine and headed to the tower that needed fixing.

As we travelled, I realized that the effect of the unbalanced plants was radiating from wherever we were heading. It seems that this problem with the balance of the world was indeed involved with the wizard’s experiment. Indeed, there must be fire if one sees smoke. This wizard must answer for what he has done.

On our way to the tower, we found some skeletal animals prowling. The boy indicated that they were a danger to the project, and so with that I shrugged and decided to eradicate them. I had dealt with skeletons before, as one fire I dealt with here on the prime was started in a wizard’s lab, and he had skeletal servants that were trying to prevent me entrance into the tower. I easily destroyed them, so I didn’t worry about these three wolves. How wrong I was. Through some trick of fate, the imbalance of this place must have been particularly fierce, as when I charged in to easily dispatch these undead, something happened and I fell into the three wolves. I managed to prevent them from tearing out my throat and hamstringing me as wolves are wont to do, but they nearly tore me limb from limb before I recovered myself. They nearly knocked me to my feet, but, rolling to the side, I stood up and began kicking and punching and burning my way to safety, recovering my equilibrium. The wolves, skeletal and radiating danger, were nevertheless silent, eerily so. They continued trying to take me down as a wolf pack does, but I was wise to the imbalance of the area, and could no longer be taken so unawares. Bleeding, I knew I was in trouble, an inch from death, but as I assessed the situation, a bolt of force flew past me, finishing off one of the wolves I had crushed with my elbow. I nodded to the gnome, and tried to indicate to the man that his bolts were not effective against the solid bone of these monsters. Continuing to engage the remaining two, with the gnomes magic and my fists, we held them at bay, until the boy remembered he had a scroll of fiery magic from his father, and he quickly dispatched them, since the fire didn’t harm me. I cannot fathom how he didn’t think of that from the get-go. But, he is young, he shall learn. Tomorrow he will fix the tower, and we shall continue on. I fear this shall take a very long time.

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