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The Tower of Bab-il

The Tower of Bab-il
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530-1569) The Tower of Babel

Songs of the Sidhe by David Ross

The Tower of Bab-il is a massive many-tiered structure that was obviously left to rot before it was finished. In some places, there are even remnants of scaffolds and support beams that have dissolved with age. It is guarded by many very powerful and secretive fey, including the greatest of ruin chanters. Most of them will attack any interloper on sight, fearing they are looters who have come to take the mythical power of this long-lost site.

Yet, none stand guard outside the Tower. It is a very difficult place to find, hidden in a remote corner of Ladinion. The surrounding land is ravaged by unpredictable storms, mere vestiges of the dangerous power locked within. The Tower is a construct of the Language Primeval, Aleph. Its form and abilities were defined by words so fundamental that they did not merely describe reality, but shaped it. A triumph of mortal mastery over the language, the Tower was built to defy the gods and entropy itself.

By the middle of the Era of Empires, the first great civilizations of modern mortals were all but vanished. The people of one such society, perhaps the last, feared their eventual dissolution. So, they united under a giant nephilim called Nimrod when he said that they could find eternal power and unity if they reached the heights of power inhabited by the gods. To that end, they began constructing a tower at a place known as Bab-il (‘gate of the gods’). They used the Language Primeval, for theirs was among the few remaining mortal cultures that had mastered it; they understood Aleph better than even the greatest sages can fathom today.

The mighty tower grew up and up to impossible heights, reaching ever nearer to the gods. Through eldritch technology built by the Language Primeval, they had the power to harness the storms of the sky and the raw power which the gods might use to smite them for their hubris. Some whisper they even held the secret to forcing their way into whatever pleasant afterlife they desired. The gods above knew that these mortals were dangerous, that they might even steal the station of the gods through their treachery. The Seelie fey below, led by Queen Rhiannon II, saw how easily the world around these united mortals could be destroyed by their mastery.

Uniting against a mutual threat, the younger gods and the elder Seelie together sealed and broke the Language Primeval so that mortals could never again wield its full power. The gods ensured that the civilization was ruined and scattered, while the fey stole away with the unfinished tower and the dangerous technologies locked inside. This Tower of Bab-il still resists the fey’s attempts to unravel its power permanently. They can break and seal the runes and sigils of Aleph inside, but for every part which is broken, another yet-intact part will repair still another segment. An elite guard watches over the tower, for worlds could be shaken or destroyed by its secrets. Many mortals still seek after it, either because they wish to finish it or because they desire to learn the secrets of Truespeech held within. Tales tell not only of unknown runes, but also wind funnels that ‘speak’ the Language Primeval in the storms the Tower conjures around itself and glasswork that projects runic plays of light when the unreliable sunlight strikes at the right angle. These and more tricks of the Tower’s builders constantly vex the fey who wish the Tower destroyed, since weeks of damage might be undone by an unforeseen moonbeam.

Some believe the only way to permanently destroy the Tower is with the Language Primeval that built it – a difficult task, since the Language’s most powerful aspects have been lost for so long. The only ray of hope in living memory came when the Last Word, an obvious word of destruction, was discovered in the Realms Beyond. But it was held by the foul demonic entity Tenebrous until it was lost again with his destruction, so none know if it could have finally brought the Tower down..

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