Tower of Iron Will
Tower of Iron Will

Tower of Iron Will

Tower of Iron Will

Realm of Xan Yae

Location: Outlands / Ringlands and Underlands

The Tower of Iron Will is a bastion of balance, and the cerebral fortress of Xan Yae, the goddess of twilight, shadows, stealth, and mental fortitude. It’s a most unusual structure, only one half tangible, and half a whispered echo of thought, To gaze upon it is to see a structure that defies simple understanding, its foundations set firmly on the ground yet its heights reaching into realms of the mind that few can even comprehend.

Positioned precisely where the dense, enigmatic forest meets the stoic, unyielding mountain, the Tower of Iron Will embodies the balance between the wild, untamed growth of nature and the steadfast, immovable strength of the earth. This juxtaposition isn’t just physical; it’s a metaphor for the balance between action and contemplation, between the external multiverse and the internal landscape of the mind. The tower itself seems to flicker in and out of perception, its silhouette blurring at the edges, as if it’s not entirely convinced of its own reality. Its walls, a mosaic of stone and shadow, seem to absorb light in one moment and reflect it in the next, creating a spectacle that’s both bewildering and mesmerising.

Mirroring this enigma, a counterpart of the Tower of Iron Will stands in the Underlands, a realm of shadow that’s bathed in a dark, paradoxical light. Here, the tower reveals its other half, the part that’s whispered in legends and seen only in visions. This mirrored version is as luminous as its Outlands counterpart is shadowed, shining with an inner light that illuminates the gloom of the Underlands. It appears as a beacon of clarity and insight in a domain where light and shadow play by rules unknown to the mortal world. The architecture of this mirrored tower is perfectly symmetrical to its Outlands twin, each detail and feature balanced with meticulous precision, embodying the philosophical underpinnings of Xan Yae’s teachings on balance and harmony.

Venturing into the Tower of Iron Will is akin to stepping into a dream, where the rules of the waking world hold no sway and the boundaries between the tangible and the intangible blur like shadows at the point of dusk. From the moment one approaches its threshold, reality begins to warp. As you cross into the tower’s shadow, the air shimmers with a quiet energy, the very atmosphere thick with the weight of unspoken thoughts. The ground beneath your feet feels both solid and insubstantial, as if each step treads as much into your own psyche as into the tower’s halls. The walls, if they can be called such, pulse gently with a soft, inner light, their surfaces flowing like liquid shadow, reshaping and reforming in response to the thoughts and emotions of those who walk its passages.

Inside, the Tower of Iron Will defies architecture as we know it. Corridors twist upon themselves in impossible geometries, leading not just to other spaces within the tower but to other moments in time, and other planes of existence. The chant goes that if your will is string enough, you can step through a doorway here and out of a shadow almost anywhere in the multiverse.

Staircases rise into the gloom, disappearing into ceilings that mirror the sky of twilight worlds, or spiralling down into depths filled with the whispers. Doors open onto vistas of your own mind’s eye: Lush jungles, desolate cities bathed in eternal dusk, serene temples floating within bubbles of calm amid a storm of chaos.

Echoes of your thoughts resonate through its chambers, manifesting as visions and challenges that confront you with your deepest fears and highest aspirations—which must all be overcome if you are to achieve inner peace and enlightenment. Here, a room filled with mirrors might not reflect your physical form but your true self, laying bare the ugly contradictions within your soul. A library with shelves stretching into infinity could offer you the knowledge you seek, but at the cost of confronting truths from your subconscious you might wish to remain hidden.

And then there’s the presence of the tower itself, an entity that observes and interacts with its visitors in subtle, enigmatic ways. It might guide you with a gentle hand, leading you towards enlightenment, or it might test you, throwing obstacles in your path that force you to confront aspects of yourself you’d rather avoid. The tower does not judge; it merely reflects, amplifies, and challenges, its ultimate aim to bring you to a place of greater understanding and balance. Is the Tower separate from Xan Yae herself, or is its lingering presence a manifestation of her divinity, or of the Balance the rilmani hold so dear? Who can say, cutter.

They say that to leave the Tower of Iron Will is to emerge changed. The world outside seems sharper, more real and yet less solid than before. The air tastes of possibilities, and the light of the setting sun holds a deeper, more profound beauty. 

The existence of the tower simultaneously in both the Outlands and the Underlands, part in the luminous reality of the living Outlands and part in the shadows of the realms of the dead, is further evidence of the dual nature of Xan Yae’s domain. It serves as a bridge between the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknowable.

Canonical Sources: Polyhedron #139 p20, philosophy and priesthood of Xan Yae

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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