The tower has always existed. Or at least that’s what the gods claim. Sitting innocuously in the middle of nowhere, the tower is a metaphysical concept first and an architectural reality only incidentally. It is a gateway to the realm of corruption, from which spring demons and all manner of beings that cannot coexist in our world.
It was not always this way. The gods understand the gate as the entrance to the Gated Land, the other realm from which they originated. In their worldview, they were imprisoned in the Gated Land by entities with power beyond measure, whom they eventually defeated and then trapped in their own prison. Some debate did exist amongst the gods about the veracity of these claims; for surely they were not currently living in the world created by and for the demons who were anathema to creation. Furthermore, many of the gods noted that it was not possible to claim that the tower had always existed and simultaneously claim that it was created as a means of escaping the Gated land.
No solution to this was ever satisfactorily posited by any of the gods, though some did speculate that perhaps the realm on the other side of the gate was not the realm from which they’d come but rather a different plane of existence, the one from which the demonic creatures who threatened their world came. All that anyone knew for sure was that after the war between the gods and the demons, the demons were banished to a realm on the other side of the gate that was the tower and locked there with a matrix of energy that came to be called the Web.
Knowing what was on the other side of the tower and the importance of keeping it there, the gods appointed one of their best fighters, Odrick Dekath He’Matkar, to be its guardian. Odrick was killed and the tower destroyed in the year marked by humans as SC -410, and the Web shattered, destroying the lock as well. Miraculously and for reasons the gods do not fully understand, the gate remains shut, leaving them to assume that Odrick must have sealed it before his death.
Two hundred years later, the first attempt to rebuild the tower was made by Lyren Techen Le’Carden and his followers, which ultimately ended in massacre as fervent worshipers of Nathen Jerrel De’Kerken found and destroyed Lyren’s settlement, and Lyren killed them all in exchange, resulting in his own sealing at the once and future site of the tower. In the present day, Lyren has become unsealed and, with the aid of his new human congregation, is attempting to rebuild the tower again. He claims this is meant as a rallying cry, to unite humanity and gods under one banner again. Critics are skeptical of his utopian vision, or at least would be if they knew he was active again, and would fear that he is planning to open the gate in an attempt to harness the power on the other side.
The above is what is known about the tower by the various denizens of the world who know of its existence. What follows is not known to anyone who lives on the planet.
The tower and the gate that it represents are not eternal. The external architecture of the tower, and the Web that kept it locked, were crafted by the earliest gods during the war as a way of sealing the gate, but the gate itself was already present, opened by aliens trying to flee their own world and the monsters that were about to destroy it. The opening of the gate, however, left this world susceptible to attack from the same monsters, eventually instigating the war between the creatures who would later be called gods and demons.
The gate no longer leads to the world from which the aliens fled. It was corrupted by the monstrous creatures, and now opens to their own world, the same world that leaked into the aliens’ world, allowing it to be destroyed. This world does not exist in the universe as it is understood by most of its inhabitants, and instead is part of a dimensional plane of existence that cannot be comprehended by creatures not from it. Fortunately, the creatures from this dimension do not easily cross over into a different one, requiring gates like the one that is currently sealed shut to enter. Many such gates do exist in the conventional universe, but all known gates have either been sealed and are being carefully monitored, or have been destroyed, often along with at least a large portion of the planet on which they opened.
Gates are rarely dangerous unless opened, and opening a gate is rarely a mistake that is made twice. Sufficient power exists natively on this planet to prevent the opening of the gate and to combat the creatures on the other side if it is opened, and the intergalactic monitoring community puts the planet’s chances at being destroyed by interdimensional aliens at only 21%, far below the threshold for intervention. One last important note is that though those observing the planet are aware that it contains a gate, they do not know its exact location.
The tower has been implicated in some way with nearly every globally destructive conflict the planet has ever seen. Given its importance and what lurks behind it, it is safe to assume it will feature in future conflicts as well. Those affected by it can only hope that, in absence of all the information, cooler heads will eventually prevail.
From “Nova: A Witnessed History,” by Razzgkrar’thengg-ysshrrmdj’znvya’gnkiia, updated SC 3777.
16 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Tower”
Why a tower, in particular? Was it the tarot/Tower of Babel motif tying towers to hubris and disaster? The phallic symbolism, with or without the potentially yonic symbolism of the gate? The image of a tower serving as a bridge between lower and higher realms? What influenced you to make a tower the center of your in-world mythology/overarching plot?
Honestly, I wish I could give a super interesting and detailed reason why I used the specific symbology of the tower, but the simple reason is…I just like mysterious magical towers. There’s one in every major writing project I’ve done. 😀
Inb4 it’s revealed that the gods came from post-apocalyptic Earth and the gods’ magic is advanced hypertechnology.
😀 I mean, it is perhaps notable that the gods’ magic functions quite differently from all other magic on the planet! So you know, that’s certainly one possibility!
So as I understand it, the aliens that would come to be known as gods fled through the gate to Golarion, except then the Eye of Terror ate their old planet and now anyone who opens the gate had best be prepared to reenact Doom. Yes?
Well, I don’t understand any of those references, but I’ll say it’s pretty close! The only thing is: we some alien species came through that portal, but we don’t know it was the gods. Let’s not forget that there have been other inhabitants of the planet whom we don’t know anything about! 😀
Not saying it’s not the gods, of course. Just saying, the possibility of it being someone else does exist. 🙂
Golarion is the planet on which the Pathfinder Campaign Setting takes place; it is also called the Cage, because that’s what it is: the prison of the omnicidal deity Rovagug.
In the backstory of the Warhammer 40k setting, the fourth and youngest of the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh, was created by the sheer decadence and depravity of the ancient Eldar empire: they basically orgied a god of hedonism and excess into existence. This also tore a hole between normal space and the Warp (which is basically hyperspace by way of Hell, H.P. Lovecraft, and H.R. Geiger), and this massive and constantly-expanding realm of madness and horror is called the Eye of Terror.
The plot of the infamously-violent first-person shooter Doom involves scientists accidentally opening a portal to Hell.
Interesting! That is a lot of pop culture that I don’t know anything about haha.
It’s not quite like all of that, but there are definitely some similarities. 😀
Also, I can definitely see a god of hedonism being orgied into existence on X9 87#2, just as an aside…
So the Gated Land, apparently, no longer exists. Or at any rate was corrupted/consumed/assimilated by/into Hell.
…Adherents of the Catechism, I have some very bad news for you.
😀 It’s just one in a long list of things that they won’t be very happy to discover about their religion! Definitely seems like whatever the Gated Land really was, it’s now been annexed by the forces of hell. So that sucks!
Though, depending on how advanced the people who originally came through the gate were, one could interpret becoming advanced enough to join the greater galactic community as returning to the Gated Land. Like, if the gate aliens were originally part of it, and/or had some significant influence on it, culturally?
That’s a very good possibility! The Gated Land could well just be outer space and/or the equivalent to the United Federation of Planets. In which case, returning there is a definite possibility someday! Depending on how good recordkeeping is in space, there might well be a lot of people/species who would happily welcome their return. 😀
Does the presence of the gate have anything to do with the planet’s unusual diversity of sapient species? How many races other than the gods and the true demons originally came from elsewhere?
A few of them did, though most of them did evolve natively (arguably with some help from their colonizers). And it is possible that the number and diversity of sapient species has something to do with the gate, yes. If the aliens were fleeing something, they would have been looking for a habitable world to flee to…and of course, the presence of magic on the planet might have made it easier to draw this sort of attention to in the first place. 😀
Well, I can say whole heartedly that I did not expect the aliens O.O sometimes you get so caught up in he magical fantasy of things, you completely forget that aliens are allowed to exist too, even if you usually only associate them with Sci fi (which is probably part of the point of them being here, but still XD) in an earlier comment here, it’s said that the aliens may or may not have have stayed long enough become the old gods, but it’s so close to the gods’ Gated Land mythology (with them having fled from somewhere, chased by monsters they were fighting, and eventually trapped those monsters in the land where they came from. It even plays on the fact that everyone else assumes “Gated” to mean that the gates keep bad things out, when in truth, gates can also keep undesired things IN….) either the aliens DEFINITELY became the gods, or only some of them did, and then others spread out to become other things… Or left the planet entirely XD it’s crazy to think that the planet is also being watched by aliens who are monitoring the demons here, who are apparently an intergalactic threat. Is that what the guys on the moon are doing…? Maybe activity picked up fifty years ago and so they sent members to the planet’s moon for closer observation…? (and occasionally kidnapped random people like Jacob to assess the planet’s current condition *^*)
The aliens are definitely here just because I like to subvert the idea that fantasy must be set in the Past, and sci-fi in the Future.
The whole aliens situation does seem awfully similar to the old gods’ Gated Land mythology, you’re right! And it’s a very good point that sometimes gates keep things in, just as well as they keep things out. 🙂 But anyway, who knows what happened with that! Maybe we’ll find out someday!
The intergalactically threatening demons are one of the things that the guys on the moon are monitoring–it’s protocol to monitor any instances of life from the other dimension. But they’re also monitoring the planet generally for other reasons as well, one of those being the number of sentient species living on it. There’s a lore post about it around here somewhere!