Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Tower in the Sea(Unfinished)

It was the night of the fourth week that the first cry was heard. The watchman on the leadship had spotted it. At last. The young captain gripped the timber of the wood's rail until his knuckles turned white. This was it. They had finally found it. He glanced back at the armada that followed him. They were ships from all the seven seas, most salvaged and patched from older shipwrecks, forming a ghostly fleet spaning ages. And here they were finally.

"Veritas. To me." He said beckoning a man standing aways away, with his white milky eyes fixed towards their destination.

"Yes, lord." he spoke with a voice that commanded respect.

"Tell me again. Tell me about the tower." He said eyes shimmering with passion.

The older man placed his hand to his head, covered by the white cowl.

"The tower was forged of ivory, wrought together with iron and blood. It stands here, in the middle of the ocean, in the place where no land can be seen within a hundred miles of sailing. Here, it towers over the stormy waves, and looms as high as it decends into the swilring ocean and into the very heart of the earth's furnace. Nothing can breech it. Nothing can break it. Nothing can destroy it. It is the ultimate cacoon." spoke Veritas in a hollow voice.

"And what lies within?" asked the young lord.

"Milord, within lies the greatest treasure in the world. Locked up deep in its vaults, high in its towers. But nothing will breech it. Nothing will allow any to see it. No, as I said, nothing can give passage into the tower's secrets."

"We will see." spoke the young lord as he looked down towards his hands still gripping the wood.


It was the third day that the large armada of black ships lay at anchor around the white tower. The people were silent. None spoke. The canons had failed. The grappling hooks and ladders had failed. Even ramming a ship filled with gunpowder set to ignite did not even leave a trace of soot on the gleaming, milky walls. There were no nitches, no place to provide foothold or entrance. All of the people were silent, but with a silence that spoke of fear. Fear of that which defied all they knew.

The gathering of the emperors was equally as quiet. All had heard of the tower. All had heard of the legendary wealth within. All had also heard that it was impassable. The impassable part seemed true enough, which lent credulity to the wealth part of the legend. They therefore found themeselves in a paradox. If the tower was impasable then it must also contain the great treasure. But if it contains the great teasure they would have to find some way into it. Which would then render it pasable. However, it was prooving to be quite impassable. Therefore aggravating their quagmiresque conundrum. The young lord looked over the befuddled old men and found Veritas on the other side of the room.

"Gentlemen, I have with me, someone whom may shed some light on our situation. All of you have heard of him. The one here, whom is like a god among men, or more like a god among insects. He who can see that which our eyes cannot, even without sight. He who can read where our thoughts run, who can even now enter that tower if he so wished. You know of whom I speak. The old one."

All the eyes turned to Veritas, who looked first at the young lord, before making eye contact with each eye in the room and aknowledging their silent plea with a raised hand.

"Great Ones among the earth, I am but a man, as you are. I am no god. But it is true. I am blind and see more than all the seeing together. I am not the wisets man you shall ever meet but I am the wisest man you will ever meet."

"Enough platitudes!" spoke one large, liver-spotted man, "Speak plainly, man! How do we breech the tower!"

"Nothing can break the walls. Nothing can get in." he answered before sitting down.

"Thats all well and good. You're nothing but a direlich old seer who utters nonsense! I am the Emperor of Ishmala. I rule over 340 kingdoms. Those men out there, they have risked their lives to get the treasure. We cannot simply tell them that we shall do nothing. They will mutiny. They will kill us!"

"Do you fear death so much, majesty?" spoke Veritas.

"Ha! Don't try to change the subject! We will not be led by some blind sage! I for one will not risk my neck and my kingdom just so that some lunatic can be indulged! Who's with me!" He called to the assembly.


As the sun set that day, the young lord stood on the bow of his ship seething as he watched a third of the armada sail over the horizon.

"Those fools!" he spat.

"Do not be angry with them sire. It is the tower. It does not even have to raise an alarm or begin to defend itself to drive off the unworthy and unwanted. Its mere presence has scattered those whose fingers would soil its precious treasure." Veritas said, appear from behind the young lord.

"But without them, how will we retrieve the treasure now? Once we gain access to the tower, we will need all the help we can get to secure the treasure." the young lord spoke.

"Do not fret, master. The treasure will not be easily attained, but once attained, it will be secured firmly." spoke Veritas.

"Hmph. I hope you are right. For all our sakes."


For three months they sat at the base of the tower. They fished. They sat. They waited. But nothing happened. Finally, another third of the men left, after apologizing but insisting that they would not waste their time any longer, and urged the others to follow. So the mighty armada was wittled down to a small fleet. The young lord looked over the gaunt assembly with weariness. He had waited for so long. And now, to see the men slowly give up drained his ambition.

"Steady, milord. Almost. Hold on. We are almost there." Veritas assured him.

"How can I, Veritas? I am not like you. I cannot do all you can, I cannot see all you can see. I am nothing but a child. How did I think I was able to find a way into the Ivory Tower? I can't even command my men to remain. I am nothing but a child. I am nothing."

"If what you say is true, then we have finally reached the end of my journey. But the begining of yours." Veritas spoke, smiling his face into a million wrinkles.

"What do you mean?" asked the young lord.

"I said, 'Nothing' can enter the tower. 'Nothing' can see the door in. 'Nothing' can gain the treasure. Behold, Nothing, the door." He said as he beconed towards the tower.

And there, as clear as the young lord had ever seen anything, was steps carved of glass, ascending straight up towards a large door made of glowing white traceries over the threshold. He gasped, not believing his eyes, before turning to Veritas and noticing for the first time that his eyes were actually an icy blue color.

"Your eyes have been opened, Nothing. Now, will you ascend the stairs and take the journey to the treasure?"

"Yes." Then turning to the other men he called, "Come on, men! Look! The way in! Come on! Hurry! Follow me!"

As he got up on the rail, several men ran forward and restrained him, "Sire! Don't do it! Its the heat! And being around this infernal tower for so long. Its only cabin fever. Don't give in to it, Sire. Don't throw yerself overboard!"

Nothing struggled against the many hands holding him down. He faught and kicked and bit and screamed, but more and more of them descended down on him, gripping him in vice like grips and pinning him down harder. As he looked over the tan sea of skins and hands holding him, he saw Veritas, as if outlined by the mealestrome of the arms and hands, reach towards him.

"Veritas!" He yelled hoarsly and grabbed the older man's hand.

The second he made contact the two of them were on the rail, looking out over the water. His eyes stung and he couldn't see. He could only here Verita's voice.

"Trust me. Jump."

And so he took a deep breath, readying himself for the plunge and the sudden shock of the cool water that would follow. For a horrowing instant he was in the space between wooden deck and water. That dreadful space of the inevitable and of dread and regret. The next moment he landed, as if on land, an echoing clacking sound, like ice ringing in a glass. He opened his eyes and they were there. In front of the door.

"Who dares approach here?" asked a voice.

"Nothing." spoke Nothing.

"Hmmmm. So it seems. But why? What do you seek?" said the voice, materializing as an old man in flowing white robes, with flowing white hair.

"The greatest treasure, which is housed within." he answered boldly.

"Ha! Fool! The treasure cannot be housed within. It is housed.... within." and here he placed his hand to his head. "The tower has no riches for you, boy. It has only the great gain, or loss, of wisdom. This is the Ivory Tower, a sanctuary created by the wisest, to harbor the wise. But I am sure that Veritas here can speak more of that to you, can't you brother."

Veritas stepped forward and pulled back his hood, revealing a strange, glistening silver mark, similar to the other man's on his forehead. His eyes met the other man's for a few seconds, and a visible conversation passed silently before he turned and spoke to Nothing, "As I said, I am not the wisest man you will ever meet but I am the wisest man you will ever meet. All the wisest in the land retreat here, to the Ivory Tower, from whose hights they can see all the kingdoms and observe all the star and from whose depths they can retrieve the oldet things, those that have been forgotten. So while I am wise, they are still wiser. You will just never meet them, because they are in the tower. And there they remain."

"Yes. It is rare that one of us leaves the tower." spoke the other with a strange look towards Veritas before he looked once more on Nothing, "We are in the tower because we have gained... perspective..."

(Ends here... and so does the inspiration)

1 comment:

  1. What! Psh, you cannot finish there. When inspiration doesn't come, you must go after it with a sword! The ships made up of many ships were brilliant, I'm now curious to see what's really in the tower. The changing of the name to Nothing, is quite brilliant in my mind :)