Thirty years ago, a hero appeared. A god. A Calamity.
He called himself Adam, claiming to be the first real man. The first human to reach his full potential and achieve true greatness. Adam was a man with the power to level a city in moments. With each swing of his sword, buildings crumbled, and devastation followed.
In the wake of the destruction he left behind him, the sky stained a permanent bloody red, the world was forced to accept the truth. We were forced to accept that the Tower was real.
It was an urban legend. A fable. A myth. No one knew where it originated, but stories emerged from all over the world. Warnings written into our history that people only remembered when someone disappeared. Every cold case brought the wild conspiracy theories to the surface. With the information age at its peak, “without a trace” shouldn’t exist. Couldn’t exist.
No one can just disappear; they must have been taken. To the Tower. The Gate. The Bridge between Worlds. The story our ancestors told their children to make them behave.
Well, the story changed. After Adam, it was like a dam had been broken. People flooded home from the other side, one after another, and the fragile balance of power shattered. The superpowers of the world meant nothing in the face of these warriors. The world was reforged. When the dust settled, four years after Adam appeared, the tower was no longer a horror story. It was opportunity.
The beings that rule over our world were once ordinary people. They gained untold power, fame, and fortune. They fell through the Gate and changed their stars with their own hands. When they returned, they were the saviours of the downtrodden. Homelessness, poverty, world hunger: all solved by their hands. The media, when it recovered, was full of these new celebrities. And more appeared each year. New movies to watch, new games to play, and a new career to pursue.
Everyone dreamed of changing their fate by entering the tower. Schools replaced sports with combat classes. History shifted from the mundane to the mythical. Children were armed with the bare necessities to pursue a career in the Tower. Anyone could apply to enter; no qualifications were officially needed. The process varied from country to country, but a merchant guild from within the tower always acted as ambassadors and governed the application process. They collected a small fee and arranged entry. For additional costs, they could provide equipment and handle your property until your return.
Even with poverty officially a thing of the past, the social divide only grew in the new era. The upper class ensured that they had the merchant guilds firmly in their pockets. Merchants flocked to where the profit was. They argued that those with the means for better equipment and training would be the most likely to survive the tower’s many trials. We knew better.
Despite the lofty propaganda, we all knew that dreams were luxuries only available to those who could afford them. The only way into the tower for anyone without the right coin and influence was to be scouted by a noble or marked by the Tower itself. To be Chosen.
Hello there! Been struggling with writer’s block lately, so taking advantage of the opportunity to shake things up a bit. This is something new, and a bit different to my usual. If you made it this far, consider hitting the star to tell me you enjoyed it, or drop a comment to let me know what you thought. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the next post, click that follow button to get email updates!