Book One: Ordered by Gods
CHAPTER FIVE:

Where Lizards Weep

From Pillars to Grove: DM's Opening Words

Tiberio, Nimbus and Thalazzar - the day you spent at the Pillars Site was not a wash, for you learned the following while you were there…

As Thalazzar explains, magic flows - scholars debate whether the flow creates the Ley Lines, or whether the Ley Lines determine the direction of the flow, but the essential points are that the world is awash in Magic and that that Magic is in motion. Another debate is whether "flow" is a metaphor or a description. One theory posits that because Magic is tapped either through the words (as with Wizards) or the blood (as with Sorcerers) of dragons, the Ley Lines and the magic that "flows" through them are commonly understood in fluid terms.

Like all things that flow, magic also pools. Places where magic pools are power sites, and they are known by a variety of culturally dependent names. Though they often occur where Ley Lines cross or converge, these sites need not be fixed, and can even be people - powerful Wizards and Sorcerers - or other mobile objects that act as reserve fonts of magical energy (Feat tree, Ebb & Flow). Some spells are more potent close to these flows and pools and there are those adept at tapping directly into them to empower their spells all the more. The pillar site is almost certainly one of these sites. What is not clear is whether the model pillars were built because it is a power site, or that it is a power site because the model pillars were built there.

What is clear to Tiberio is that the Pillar site is not entirely or primarily religious in purpose, but rather scholarly and perhaps even arcane, related to some manner of astrological or magical research. Little enough is known about the Pharonic Ra-Nephi civilization of Semerkhet that originated the Bakare alpha-numerical system. It was highly accomplished in architecture advanced mathematics. Ra-Nephi was originally based in the Atamara desert and, along with its gods, it was effectively wiped out by the Monotheocrate Order as it grew.

It is not clear, however, that this site is the product of the Ra-Nephi civilization. Something about the proportions of the site, particularly the writing and some of the ancillary structures identified in the surrounding wood suggests its Giantish origins - not so old as the legendary Age of Giants, but certainly from the era of the Durgoshii Empire. This would make it a little over 2,000 years old. Not as ancient as many things on Sentar, and certainly not more ancient than recorded history. This doesn't explain the "frighteningly old" language written on the base of each pillar that Domaldi recognized matches the faded writing on the parchment that the map you are following was originally scrawled upon.

Furthermore, it appears as though the site has been cleared recently, if not with an eye to functionality, then at least with an interest in knowledge of its central feature (the pillars). This occurred in, perhaps, the last 10 years. It would take an experienced tracker to determine an exact date.

It is worth pointing out, Thalazzar allows, that the "fluid" allegory for magic, though descriptive and helpful, has its limits. The "Blood and Words of Dragons" theory is tidy and elegant, he explains, but like many tidy and elegant theories it only fits if one takes a selective approach to eth facts. In this case, ignoring several other aspects of magical power such as, divine sources of magic and their relationship with the Ley Lines, the apparent magical potency of the Yithic tongue (womething which you have only just learned), or the manner in which Bards, Rangers and some others learn to tap into the Ley Lines without the benefit of Draconic incantations or the blood of ancient wyrms flowing through their veins.

The relationship between Magic and the Ley Lines, as well as magic's fluid properties, are certainly clear, but Magic is more versatile and resilient than theorists would have it. Understanding its mysterious nature seems all the more important in light of the devastating aftermath of its absence.

Next!
Thalazzar's Take on Things... or is that, "Thalazzar takes things?"

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