Transcript – The Four Lighthouses

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We have previously mentioned how the Lighthouses of Irdaliin came to be. They were raised at the end of the Dawn War, the conflict that arose between the elves, who had been drawing on the Fae Realm as a source for their magical power, and the fae, who believed this to be an attack on their dimension.

The Aenaeti were finally able to end the conflict and, as part of the peace negotiations, created four great portals between the Mortal and Fae Realms that could be drawn on to fuel magic without tearing at the veil between the worlds. These portals were then raised to the tops of high towers, to keep them out of the reach of those who might seek to interfere with them.

These towers were no simple constructs. They were not built from quarried stone or metal, like the towers built by mortal hands. The Aenaeti wielded the True Potence, the power of Creation itself, to raise towers out of the very bedrock of Toor.

Each tower stood taller than a thousand feet and all were crested by a shining disk that blazed with the Light of the Fae. This Light shone out across the lands, from the western ocean to the mountains of the east, which is why those lands came to be called Irdaliin, the Land of the Light. After a while, they stopped being called towers and people started calling them by the name they are known as to this day. The Lighthouses.

Towering high on the western shore, in the land of Norbaran, is the tower named Calarborn, the Burning Lamp. According to the stories, this was the first Lighthouse to be raised by the Aenaeti on the very spot that the agreement was reached with the representatives of the fae. The story actually goes that the very moment the deal was struck was when the Aenaeti diplomat wielded the True Potence and the tower grew there in that spot. The story of the Calarborn Tower is one linked with rulership. In the early ages, it was used as the seat of the Western King, who ruled a nation that ran from the north-west coast all the way to the south, to what is now called Aladia. But when the Bloody Hand of Seregoth rose to power in the north at the dawn of the Third Age, the Tower of the Burning Lamp was taken as the seat of his domain. He could not use its power, of course, as he drew his magic from elsewhere, but his claiming of the tower was enough to dim the Fae Light that shone atop it and so stymy the elven mages of the west, those who might have otherwise been best placed to stand against him. When the Hermit of Aladia, who is better remembered as the Wanderer, finally overthrew the tyrant with the aid of the warrior Temulen, it took many years to restore the western Lighthouse to its former prominence. There were even some attempts by the Bloody Hand, the former leaders of Seregoth’s army, to reclaim the tower and assume His place on the Bloodstone Seat. Thankfully they were stopped and the Lighthouse remained unsullied. For a time, at least.

Calad’elu, the Tower of the Sky’s Light, stands on the shore of the Silver Bay. Throughout the ages, it has been the guiding light for the ships that travel the Gardorian as well as those seeking haven in Pale Harbour, the southernmost settlement of Ardh Narasant. Unlike Calarborn, this Lighthouse was never used as a palace or place of power. It was instead used as a store of knowledge. Throughout the centuries, millennia and ages, important artefacts were brought to Calad’elu to be stored safely among its collection. This collection was actually started by the Aenaeti who gave the Tower its first important artefact. Before they departed Toor forever, they left behind a great stone tablet on which was written their final message. The stone has three sides and each side shows the same message, once in Teithawen, the alphabet used by the elves, once again in Ulyk’Iao, the secret written code taught to the dwarves by the Aenaeti which would, in time, come to be known as “Deeper.” And once more in the language of the Aenaeti themselves, the tongue that spans the entirety of the Continuum, written in Ubwaen hieroglyphs. The Stone of Calad’elu became the foundation for a great collection of knowledge and history and the southern Lighthouse was for many years a place of pilgrimage for scholars. Sadly, those days are long past. When the Horde began its rampage, Ardh Narasant was the first land engulfed by the fires of Destruction. By some art unknown to anyone on Toor, the doors of Calad’elu were sealed and have remained shut ever since.

Rhunenaur, the Flame of the East, which stands surrounded by the Mountains of Thunder upon the shores of the Golden Coast, has become a sacred symbol to the Ashlanders. In the Fourth Age, after their ancestors were chased from the southlands by the Undead March of the Warlord Scarend, they would see the light shining in the east and know that in that direction lay their home. And, when the Undead March was ended, the half-elves of Lithrim used the Light to guide them back to their homeland. This does cause a bit of friction between them and the orcs, for whom the name Rhunenaur is still regarded as a curse. For it was this Lighthouse that the mad king, Orcanor, attempted to harness at the waning of the First Age. In those days, the lands of the south were known as Uialnor, and it was a land of rich green fields and golden cities. The tharvan elves, well known as breeders of fine horses and creators of finer poetry, dwelt in those golden cities in peace and prosperity under the light of the eastern Lighthouse. But times of plenty seem to spawn avarice as surely as night will follow the day. Orcanor, Lord of the Golden Citadel of Minaris, King of Uialnor and the Tharvan Elves, began looking to the eastern lighthouse, not as a gift to the world, but a way to enhance his own magic. By tethering the Lighthouse to his will, he could ensure that the well of power that existed on the other side of the shining disk at the tower’s top would be his and his alone to tap. And so, he tried. And so, he failed. Orcanor had not the skill or the knowledge to bind the Lighthouse to his will and the raw power of the fae was unleashed in a wave that crashed across Uialnor. If Orcanor had been the only victim of his folly, then I doubt anyone would have minded too much, but the wave of power crashed across the minds of all the tharvan elves. Their bodies were filled with raw power, making them bigger and stronger than they had been before, but their minds were filled with swirling storms that caused a mad fury. By the time the Aenaeti quieted the minds of the orcs, Uialnor had been reduced to waste, the Light of Rhunenaur now shining over the golden sands of a great desert. The orcs left those lands, not wanting to see the Light of that which had caused their grief, and they have disliked it ever since. The lessons of Orcanor was well learned. It would be many an age before someone tried again to do what he did. Unfortunately, that person would succeed.

The tower that was once called Gailesgar, the Light of the Shore, stands on the northern banks of the Nara Sea and was, for most of history, the crown jewel of the Aeari people. For many years, the sea elves used the image of the tower as a sigil of peace and the prosperity of their people. The royal families used it in their heraldries and royal crests, and it even came to be used by certain religious groups as a semi-divine symbol. They saw it as a great treasure that had to be protected, especially after the events of the First Age. It was seen as one of the greatest honours to be chosen to serve in the Tower Guard. And these guards would bring their families and would retire to live in the tower they had protected for so many years until, before long, Gailesgar became a small town with families all living together within the tower, all serving to protect the treasure of their people against any threat that might come to claim it. Of course, when the threat did emerge the guard were not ready for it. But then, I suppose, how could they have been? No one ever suspects the enemy from within. These days, the Lighthouse of the Nara Sea is known by another name. The Dannengwath, the Tower of the Fallen Light. It is the seat of the Harbinger, his capital and his source of power. For it was the Harbinger who succeeded where Orcanor failed. In the twilight years of the Fifth Age, he worked a great magic to craft a way to bind the Light of Gailesgar to him, and him alone. The Light of Gailesgar was tainted and the Harbinger now wielded magic at a level never before seen on Toor. And the rest is history.

The Harbinger may be the only one ever to successfully bind the power of a Lighthouse to his will but, as we have seen, he was far from the only one who tried.

At the dawn of the Fifth Age, there was even one who tried to take all four as his own, and came close to doing just that. It was only the intervention of a hero, the greatest of elven sorcerers, that ended the terror.

But of these things, we shall talk another time.

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