The Heavenly Spire
Whilst it is true that many people find it helpful to ascend to the tops of mountains to communicate with beings from the Upper Plane of existence, few have gone to the lengths that Hediya Dilara have, of creating her own Spire of Solitude to cut herself off from the world, and devote all of her time to trying to ascertain the thoughts and machinations of Celestials and the Divine.Extract from Borja Paladell's Libro Planorum. Located at the heart of the town of the Oasis of Zahra in the Sultanate of Fashaddon, the Heavenly Spire is barely accessible residence of an Elven mystic, Hediya Dilara, who has retreated there, away from the society below to contemplate which of the denizens of the Heavenly Plane is the strongest or most influential, and whether any of them could be identified as the true, or original divine being.
Purpose / Function
The Spire was built with the express purpose of providing its occupant, Hediya Dilara, with a space that was not only essentially isolated from the community of the Oasis of Zahra, but which also brought her closer to the Heavenly Plane of existence, so that she could communicate more easily and openly with the deities and inhabitants of the Upper Plane of existence. There are, of course numerous lonely mountain tops in Turoza that would have served a similar purpose, but Hediya Dilara also wished for the Heavenly Spire to act as a reminder to the people of the town that they should also be mindful of higher, more divine things and not just their day-to-day existences. The structure was also intended to provide a comfortable residence in which Hediya Dilara could live and study, and it has therefore been designed with this in mind as well.
Initially, the Spire was designed so that there would be almost no way to contact Hediya Dilara without the use of magical means to do so. However, as more and more people began to travel to the Oasis of Zahra to petition her to intervene on their behalf with one deity or another a small pulley system that raises a small strongbox into which messages and petitions can be inserted has been installed, and is pulled up to the living quarters of the tower once every few days or so by Hediya Dilara, or one of her arcane servants.
In form, the Heavenly Spire is a brick built tower, with stonework embellishments, that is square in shape along its cross section, with each wall being about 20ft/c.6m in width. In terms of its height, the Spire is 164ft/50m tall, with the bottom 82ft/25m of the Spire being solid brickwork, and the top 82ft/25m being obviously built for habitation. There is no immediately visible door at the base of the tower through which one could gain access, but one has been known to appear in the brickwork when Hediya Dilara wishes someone to come up and visit her. The top half of the tower is divided into 6 floors, the first five of which are about 12ft/3.6m in height, with the top floor, being 28ft/c.8.5m in height. All of the floors are connected by a single spiral staircase that extends from the very bottom of the Spire and travels all the way to the spire of the tower itself. The top floor of the tower is the spire of the tower (in architectural terms) and has the form of a smaller octagonal room with the pinnacle of the spire above it. The floor immediately below the top floor of the spire has four clock faces, one on each side of the tower. These clocks, however, do not measure standard time, but do instead record the number of years and months that Hediya Dilara has been resident in the tower and carrying out her ruminations. The majority of the top floors of the tower have been built to act as living and studying quarters for Hediya Dilara, but the octagonal room, right at the top is commonly believed to be where Hediya holds consultations and debates with beings that visit her from the Heavenly Plane. Though no one who has actually been admitted into the tower has any concrete evidence of this, citizens of the Oasis of Zahra frequently report seeing ethereal looking creatures descending from the sky and entering one of the eight windows of the room.
The idea behind the Heavenly Spire was first conceived in 339S.E. when Hediya Dilara decided to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life, so that she might be able to concentrate her energies on the comprehension of higher matters, namely, what the relationship was and is between the beings that live in the Heavenly Plane and those that live on the Material Plane. To this end, Hediya decided to construct a building in which she could isolate herself from the community of the Oasis of Zahra in which she lived, and to that end she began overseeing the construction of the Heavenly Spire in the centre of the town. At first, workers from the town were employed to build the lower structure of the tower, but as soon as work began on the upper living quarters and the interior, they were replaced by strange, barely perceptible beings, who worked throughout the day and night without resting. It was always assumed by Zahra’s inhabitants that Hediya had magical powers of some description, but this was confirmed when the tower was completed in a period of 6 months, and that Hediya herself was able to move into the structure and reside there despite the fact that there is no obvious means of access. Since its completion, only a handful of people have seen Hediya Dilara, and those that have were only able to see her because she specifically invited them up to her residence in the Spire. Initially, the community of Zahra were incredibly suspicious of what Hediya was doing in her exile. This changed, however, when a destitute woman named Adalet Nergis rested for the night up against the foot of the tower after failing to find anyone who would take her in for the night. Adalet, much to her surprise the next morning, found a letter in front of her from Hediya Dilara, instructing her to go and pray at the temple of Annella in the town as soon as she was able. Following the instruction, Adalet suddenly found herself to be the recipient of an enormous amount of good luck, which led to her not only securing employment that very afternoon, but also bed and board. Since that day people from across the Sultanate and far beyond have travelled to the Oasis of Zahra, and the Heavenly Spire to put their petitions to Hediya Dilara, who is now believed to be communicating with beings from the Heavenly Plane for the benefit and to aid those that live on the Material Plane. Every year, hundreds of people claim to have been blessed and their problems eased or solved by all manner of deities, who are said to have been petitioned on their behalf by Hediya Dilara, the mystic of the Heavenly Spire.