The ELF Tower

Day 6: The expedition has landed, and we have established a temporary camp until our Udug guide arrives. My first impression of Sherdasa is that it does not differ much from the Five Nations. This gentle coast where we have deployed from the boat could be any any spot along the unpopulated parts of Anzakar or Zaginduru. The mountains in the distance are less impressive than those we see back home near Sippar. The only thing of note is a tower of stone that reaches into the clouds, lit from within at night. We will begin our journey there, as it looks to be only a few leagues distant.   Day 19: What in the five hells...
— Arbiter Ivernus, Sherdasa and Its People
  Each time the Gods arrived at a new world, their first task was to survey. Every planet presented new challenges, and they were methodical in their procedure. They knew Adin held many precious elements beneath its surface due to the odd stellar arrangement of the system, but deciding where to establish colonies and how to build their Adinites took finesse. Samples of the plant and animal life were recovered from the surface, and conditions such as climate, gravity, and radioactivity were measured. While their new species was being constructed over the course of the next year, they set into the second phase.  

Does This Ring a Bell?

They deployed a team of gigantic specialized golems to the surface to set up an Extremely Low Frequency tower, or ELF, at the center of the largest continent. They drilled a wide hole straight down into the world to a depth of two leagues, piercing the surface of the asthenosphere.   Giant tubes of metal that adorned the sides of the Temple of Heaven that were kept for this purpose were detached and brought down to the surface. These tubes were fused together starting at the bottom of the hole and rising another two leagues above the surface to the upper atmosphere.   The Temple of Heaven then brought itself into a geosynchronous orbit over the towering spire and broadcast a stream of focused sonic energy into the hollow tube, resonating sound waves through the planet and its atmosphere.   Receptors across the surface of the Temple picked up these sound waves as Adin rang like a huge bell, assembling a clear image of the planet's surface, anomalous points in its magnetosphere and atmosphere, cave systems that would be the best candidates for the Underworlds, and most importantly, where the denser elements they sought could be accessed.  

The Revised Mission

Despite its expansive size, the continent where they had set the ELF tower contained a lower concentration of the rare elements they were looking for. It was also separated by a large ocean from the rest of the landmasses, which were much richer in materials. The Gods established the Adinite colonies on the more valuable spots, intending to recover the tower's pieces and return them to the Temple as usual before moving on.  

A New Audience

In their hasty departure, for reasons unknown, they opted to leave the ELF tower intact on Adin until they returned. When they placed down the smaller colonies of orphaned species they had stored in the Temple, one of these was placed a few leagues away from the tower. The Gods explained the tower to their curious subjects in some detail, and it became part of their basic mythology.   When the next solar conjunction occured a few years later, the approaching white dwarf caused strange fluctuations in the magnetosphere, causing earthquakes around the world. The people living nearest the ELF tower were affected the worst by these earthquakes. A large portion of their Underworld collapsed, killing their Lugal and more than half of their population that was sheltering underground from the harsh second sun. The damage to the surface was also extensive, and having lost much of their city and underground shelter, they migrated the short distance to the ELF tower and established a new city in its shadow.  

The Children of the ELF

The first homes were made in a circle encasing the base of the tower in stone, and the city slowly grew outward in concentric rings from that point. The people felt the Gods had abandoned them, and shunned the original name they had been given. They decided to call themselves the Children of the ELF, and glorified the tower itself as their new Lugal. Their city was built in its image, tall spires reinforced against future earthquakes.  

To The Heavens

The central buildings attached to the tower were remade as a temple venerating the metal tube within. That temple began reaching to the heavens, built up slowly level by level, until the elfs reached a height where the Udug were able to notice them. The elfs fought the invaders valiantly, but were no match for the savage Udug.   Work continued on the tower afterward, as ordered by the Udug, and eventually the entire ELF tower was encased in a beautiful tower of stone. The atmosphere near the top is thin, but the Udug spared no expense of elfen life to make sure it was completed. From this vantage point, the Udug were able to discover the locations of the last two orphaned species, the Nommo and the Sulmu, and their fates were sealed.  

The Children Whisper

The Children of the ELF continued living in and around the tower, forced to send constant tribute to the Udug lands but mostly left alone. The hollow metal core of the ELF tower is now completely covered except for a few small viewing ports left in the lower levels of the temple. None of the other species are welcome within, and though the Udug went wherever they wanted during the enslavement of the elfs, they did not care about elfen rituals. Here elfs come to put their ear to the resonant metal, tap it gently, and hear it sing to them.


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