Himeria's Folly

Well, it's nice to have solid proof that some people have too much damn time on their hands.
— Delaleh, Gherau fishmonger
  Nearly five hundred years ago, a Vessunan architect sought to build a tower tall enough to climb into a realm of lost souls. This venture did not go well.

Purpose / Function

Of course, the blame invariably goes to Himeria, immortalized in the popular name of the structure, but she neither conceived nor executed the foolhardy notion alone. Careful review of extant documents reveals support from some surprising sources.
— Reaching for the Sky: A History of the Architects Guild by Professor Theve
  Many are the theories about the amber towers built by--and from--victims of the laughing pins. No one has yet proven a reason for the hijacking of those who take ill during red blizzards, but about four hundred years ago a Samavaran architect named Himeria acted on a belief now considered by most to be ridiculous fantasy. At the time of construction, however, the idea was not considered so far-fetched. Several serious treatises from otherwise respected scholars of the time discuss its somewhat convoluted merits.   It began with the premise that the Voiceless caused the chaos storms--including red blizzards--by arrogantly trying to reach the realm of the gods. Some believed that they had nearly achieved their goal, but in doing so those who dared to try to set foot in the holy realm were trapped between the mundane and the divine, and an angry Khalilise cursed the world from which they had come for their sin of daring to cross a threshold they were not meant to. The gods could not expel them and they could not return. In some versions of the theory, it was not Khalilise's anger that caused the chaos storms, but the metaphysical irritant to the cosmos caused by the mortals trapped in the liminal space. Rather than fury, the god felt pity, but could find no means to free them. Either way, the way to eradicate the storms was clearly to rescue the would-be travelers.  
I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time?
— Neherys, Winter Academy student
  Working from the folkloric notion that the gods lived above, the idea was hatched to build a tower tall enough to reach between the worlds. Many calculations were done to establish the ideal point at which to pierce the heavens with the mortal structure, which turned out to be conveniently close to Samavra, less than a day's ride away. The project was headed by an architect named Himeria.


In true Samavran style, the tower is not a single elegant spire as one sees in other cultures, but rather what looks like a collection of smaller buildings stacked one upon the other, like children's blocks. It is odd to see outside the city. One is so used to seeing these towers connected to one another by the sky roads. It looks naked. Vulnerable.
— Gulshan's Guide for Wanderers
  Himeria's Folly is built in the style of Samavran towers, albeit those from four centuries ago. As such, it uses the distinctive decorative joins between levels popular at that time, featuring stone carvings of billowing clouds and a variety of bird species, some of which still retain flecks of the bright paint that once covered them, a feature long ago scrubbed from those carvings that remain in Samavra proper.


So, you know how we have to include material estimates in our structure proposals? What under Calitai's sole did Himeria put for that?
— Pirethou, young architect apprentice
  As might be expected, the endeavor to build a tower that breached the sky failed. Over the two decades that it was under active construction, shortages of funding and materials and many deadly accidents hampered and delayed construction. For six months in the project's twelfth year, government officials tried to outlaw the structure, but the Architects' Guild saw this as a gross overstep. Though most architects by then no longer supported the project called the Sky Spear, they objected to allowing the government that kind of regulatory meddling in their affairs. The resultant battle of propaganda and political maneuvering caused disruption in all aspects of city life, culminating in a strike by the Guild. (The government caved shortly thereafter.) The final blow came in the form of a terrible collapse. Estimates of the number dead vary from one account to the next, but most are between 2,000 and 2,400. Popular support for the project vaporized, and Himeria was expelled from the guild.   The remains became the largest known ruin in the world, a cautionary tale for architects and theologians alike, and a draw for the adventurous and the stupid. Rumors persist that a crazed and obsessive Himeria spent her remaining days in the crumbled upper levels, extracting corpses from precarious rubble and trying to single-handedly continue construction. Her spirit is said to still walk the stairs with blueprints in hand, planning new upward expansion.   In theory, the lower levels are still perfectly serviceable, though the intrusion of beasts and squatters add an extra element of danger to concerns about the integrity of the structure with its ruins still hanging hundreds of feet above the ground, and few venture inside.
Alternative Names
Sky Spear, The Blasphemy
Parent Location
The Love Potion by Evelyn de Morgan

Himeria's Hermit

Unbeknownst to almost anyone, the tower does have a resident. And though she encourages the rumors, she is not actually the ghost of a long-dead architect. Kheta'em has spent her entire life in Himeria's Folly, born there after her pregnant mother fled the massacre in Hamat'e. Though the Lashe woman Kheta'em knew only as Mama could have eventually left the tower ruins, she had been mentally and emotionally scarred by Eltane's rampage and insisted that they must never return to the open where the Raven King might find them. Even after her mother's death, the girl spent many years hiding in fear, alone with the paranoia she had been bequeathed. With little else to do, Kheta'em studied magic, architecture, and metalmeld with the handful of texts at hand and her own keen intellect. She has become a formidable arcanist. She does sometimes leave her tower home now, but long ago decided that she's not overly fond of other people, and she feels no desire to relocate to a more sociable locale.

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