The Wizard’s Tower

The Wizards tower


The Thousand levels of the tower of Wizards are whispered of in the deepest legends of the galaxy. Most assume it is little more then legend but it is simply a place few can find, and even fewer can return from. Once every hundred years emissaries are sent out to scour the galaxy for sensitives, to seek the next generation of adepts who will ascend the levels of the tower, and if they survive eventually ascend to the title of wizard and the long path of wisdom that accompanies that life.

Beings sensitive to the ways of magic usually manifest their abilities early in life, if the emissaries don’t find them most dye in a few short years, remembered as lunatics or demons for their actions while in the throes of barely understood powers. The tower is A place where sensitives can study in safety, and learn how to control their gifts.

Some say it was founded in the time of Illyria, but the truth is it was ancient even when the mother of an empire was born.  The tower is almost as old as reality, so old as to have become in its own way intelegent. It protects its wizards like a mother hen from the lords of rot and demon princes that would prey on sensitive minds. The only entity in creation that might have the power to breach its walls is the shadow king but it is doubtful he would try without the power of the throne of etheria.

In all the eons of the towers existence there has been but a single human taken into its halls. Upon entering the halls of the tower he shed his name and past like a silkie sheds her skin, and took to the endless research and learning of the hallowed tower. As days turned to years the man with no name delved ever deeper into the catacombs of the deepest levels of the library seeking knowledge most thought lost, eventually discovering records from the time of Illyria. The incomplete journals of the wizard Ba’al and the forging of the first great blade. The nameless wizard had long sought the knowledge of how the soul swords, the blades of the Knights of Illyria were made, and he found pieces of what he sought. Pieces enough that the human thought he could recreate the great working. To forge a soul sword would prove his worth and elevate him from acolyte of the wizardly orders to become a wizard of the 999th level, centuries before his time. He had the arrogance and impatience of youth.

The nameless one gathered the ingredients and ascended to the undying fire of the towers peak, a cold fusion blaze that made the tower blaze in the dim light of the morning. Carefully following the complicated tasks that Ba’al had laid down in his journals, he took to the weeks long task of forging the blade in the fires of the beacon. The eldritch heat gave the steel an energy that made it crackle and shiver beneath his hammer, and finally as he carved the last ancient sigle into the glowing steel the nameless wizard realized he was ill informed of the true cost of the task he was undertaking. To forge a soul sword required a sacrifice of equal repayment. And as his very essence was ripped from his mortal body the first sword of power to be forged in countless centuries since the fall of illyria gained life and thought its first thought.



Mouse Hunt

This image titled Mouse hunt has become my most popular painting at conventions, and I’ve for some time wanted to put a short story to it more firmly cementing this image into the Shards of Etheria universe.
Mouse Hunt for web

The dragon is young, bearly a yearling. It had never known others of its kind, dragons are hatched in solitude and rarely ever meet their sires. There are so very few dragons in the universe, and they can travel in the space between things, the etherian pathways that connect all that is and was and could be, they have spread far across the universe using this talent. In the times of Illyria, they were hunted by scientists hoping to learn how they traveled. There was a prevailing theory that they would unlock the secrets to a new form of space travel that would render current methods obsolete. But little was ever learned, and now their number has dwindled even further.

The yearling sees a mouse, munching on a small piece of fruit. He is hungry and the mouse would sait that hunger for a time. Yet something was wrong. The mouse was eating a peeled piece of fruit, looking closer the dragon sees a small piece of cord drailing from beneath the grass, the mouse was bait.

The yearling growls alarming the small mouse into flight, it runs the fruit grasped in its tiny jaw. The dragon disappears back into the woods. His presence had been noticed, it was no longer safe here. The memories he had inherited from his line told him the anthropods that dwelled here were dangerous, and not to be trusted. It was time to leave, these hunting grounds were not safe.