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Blackspire

 

Chapter 1 (Sample)

Candidates

 

 

   The Black Spire had stood in the high plains of Borhhaven for an eternity. At least that is what the people believed.

Rumors swirled around the single dark tower like an eddy in a wide river, stories from the mundane to the outlandish. There were so many tales that bards in the region stopped telling and singing about the structure. There was too much information passed around for even the scribes and historians to keep up.

   No one was foolhardy enough to go anywhere near the tower until a small band backed by some unknown King's wealth trudged through the Forest of Ash trying to enter the tower. They never returned.

   More rumors grew, that wealth beyond the wildest man's dreams lay hidden inside, more expeditions sought the tower.   

   Not one ever came back.

   After some time, the Priests of the Last Light investigated and discovered it was not the tower that was the problem but the forest itself.

   The Forest of Ash was alive. That's the term used. But in truth, it was an evil place filled with undead banshees that wailed a tone so vile it turned a man insane.

   From that point forward, the tower was left to the elements.

Then came the lottery.

   King Fontiss's crazy idea to send a group to the tower every year to try entering.

   The first ever group was accompanied by a priest from the Last Light. It was the only way for them to get through the forest without encountering the evil that lived within.

   They came back saying there was no way into the structure. No doors, no windows, not even a single arrow slit.

   Ever since one group each year treks through the forest to the tower and each year they come back with the same result. There's no way in.