Sid and Jir were childhood friends growing up in the same town on the ocean. Both creative geniuses, both with the need to be better than the other. Many will tell you that this friendship created their genius while others realized, in hindsight, that it spelled the lands doom.
It all started as many tales of friendship do. Sid and Jir, from the youngest ages, were always found together roaming the village and beaches near their small home. Equally mischief and polite, there was no outward difference to them that any adult took notice of. The first tell-tale demonstration of the children's talent came in the form of extravagantly tall and detailed sand castles. For a pair of 5 year old village boys, the creations were simply incredible. They were the pride of their small village and were supported and encouraged to best their previous creations and continue these builds.
Over time, the architecture got more complex and their unbreakable friendship grew with their expertise. They moved from the beach to blocks. From blocks to stone. From stone to any manner of physical creation you could think of. As they grew, so did their skill and their ability to create and design most anything anybody could request. They soon made a very comfortable living doing it...at the ripe ages of 10.
They selectively designed and built barns, houses, fences...whatever they found an interest in, often jovially striking out on their own and bidding against each other for the jobs. By the time they were in their early 20s they had, through their constant challenging of each other, created a new style that was as grand as it was impossibly tall. Always they would go for height over anything else, sometimes paying out of their own pocket to make it the highest structure in the area or to beat a past accomplishment.
There were not a lot of intricate carvings or fancy scroll work, it was more a study of the shape and support of the buildings that was highlighted and accentuated. Because they cast off all the intricate work, they were able to put up towers in surprisingly quick amount of time and without many of the common problems that delayed other structures. Surprisingly though, no other builder could come close to duplicating the engineering feats of Sid and Jir and many studied the buildings and tried. It seemed that nobody else had their talent or understanding to create such tall structures in such a quick amount of time. Soon the towers adopted the name Sidjir Towers because, often as not, they were the tallest structures in the area and the friends were the only ones able to succeed in building them.
There came a time, early in their career, when a local Duke requested a series of watchtowers and keeps to be made at the king’s request throughout the towns of the territories. Rumors of unrest were coming from the neighboring kingdom because of their lack of a heir and the local king feared a rebellion was brewing. These new garrisons would give the king a presence in the towns as well as bolster their importance. This enterprise boosted their reknown throughout the kingdom and they were soon sought after by local lords and rich merchants.
Sid and Jir continued to travel the country building for those that could afford their prices. A master builder would be hired at each site and Sid and Jir would be found traveling weekly amongst their towers and checking and assisting in every build. Each tower, just a little wider and a little taller than the last, would loom over hills, trees and cities providing a commanding view. They never over committed themselves and never started a project that they couldn't personally spend time building. Their love of their creations was very much apparent and very important to them.
The towers were impossibly tall, the master builders would say. But they followed the directions and, with Sid or Jir's assistance, the towers inevitably climbed into the sky against all odds. None have ever seen anything quite like it and rumors of magic played on the lips of all.
Over the decades Sid and Jir traveled many areas creating or having a significant hand in perhaps hundreds of different sized towers, garrisons, walls, farms, homes and city streets. Anything that can be formed by man could be worked on by Sid and Jir although their passion continued to be the sky scraping towers they were so proud of.
It finally came when they were old and retired. Their building legacy of the Sidjir Towers standing tall and straight amongst the dozens of city skylines. Their skills unmatched to this day and rumors of magic never proven or revealed. They now slept, peacefully under the same roof in a tower of their own design and build. A monstrosity that leered uncomfortably tall over the center square of a bustling city, the tallest tower ever built.
Sid died quietly in his sleep.
Jir died in the collapsing tower.
The townsfolk around the tower died as the structure rained upon the center of the city.
Like a shock wave centering on Sid and Jir’s home, the Sidjir towers and constructions in surrounding cities and towns collapsed upon themselves in the same moment.
All of them.
Not one Sidjir Tower remained fully standing. All the Sidjir barns fell, all the Sidjir homes were destroyed and all the city streets put down with Sid and Jir’s skill ruptured as they were tread upon. Thousands of people were instantly killed and many tens of thousand more wounded.
Sid and Jir's legacy would be the death of thousands.
It was obviously a magic that held the towers up. Not a specific spell of magic but a primordial magic that couldn’t be controlled and was as much a part of Sid and Jir as the bark is part of the tree. They knew innately how to focus it and form it without knowing they were using it. As long as Sid and Jir were alive, the towers would stand. As soon as one died it would break the bond of friendship they had as well as the bond that held the towers up.
The buildings do not explode or have a magical effect. It would simply be as if the entire structures lost all their nails or mortar and balance that kept them erect. Giant towers would collapse upon themselves, barns would tumble to the ground and any roads would suddenly be as if they were simply stones laying on the ground which could be dislodged and roll with the slightest force on them.
-Along with all the destruction, the king may have had them build any number of siege devices and/or weapons. The loss of these at an inopportune time could change the tide of battle.
-The PCs may have witnessed the murder or were part of the action that caused the death of either Sid or Jir. Indirectly, they would be responsible for the destruction.
-The friendship between the two could have deteriorated over something and the structures would more slowly lose their power.
--The players could realize this, and either figure out the magic that Sid and Jir use and are able to make is so they would continue to stand after their death.
--They would realize the friendship was the key and bring them back together, see the restabilization of the structure, and convince Sid and Jir to search for how their magic works to save the cities.
-Could even scale this with a magic item so the destruction isn't so world changing. Say a mason's hammer or something used to create a tower. If the hammer is destroyed then the tower it helped create or the nails it pounded in would be destroyed.
This had thoughts tied in to my visit to San Gimignano, Italy where they had 72 towers built to show the owners wealth and power...and combined that with Fight Club's final scene.
What Makes a Weapon magic?
And for that matter, what makes any item magic?
What imbues our swords with supernatural cleaving abilities?
Who allows our maces to smash through stone?
Why do our spears hum with bloodlust?
Where does one find this wondrous font of MAGIC?
How exactly are these weapons created?
Well? Now we will find out! We invite you to join Strolen's Winter Quest! Each entry will be awarded an additional 10XP!
The winners will be chosen in the first weeks of the coming New Year. Be the first 'winner' of 2008! For easy reference and further detail see the What Makes a Weapon Magic submission by one of our esteemed authors, MichaelJotneSlayer. Good Luck to All!
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? Responses (8)
I had been thinking about this, not specific co-dependant brother builders, but a post that doesn't just present a moment in time to be used. Your story gives us the all the information we need to understand the ambition of the character, the social view of thier works and the evntual consequences of what will happen. But your plots hooks suggest a use of the general concepts. By providing us with a complete time line, you give us the option to insert the characters at any point during the time. The magic itself is like an item.
Plot Hook: To aid in a rebellion, the hero must try and sow a rift between Sid and Jir in order make the evil over lord vunerable
I thought this was a touching tale actually, and was surprised when the 'towers fell' as i read it. Very nice. Its also somehow allegorical, but i can't quite place my finger on the lesson learned. Beautiful story! Their deaths and incomparable talents will be mourned, i am sure, tragic as their passing was. (I can only imagine how many lives were lost that day.)
I can also see the Sidjirian architectural technique being taught in the future, despite the futility of it all. I can see neo-sidjirianism.
I have to use this somehow.
I really like the idea of inherent magic of some sort, the magic that is based on the fact that a person wants or needs something to work, rather than based on study or practice of 'magic'. Cool idea and a lot of flavor in the story as well truly an entertaining post.
Wow, that was not what I was expecting.
Muro brings up a great point, buildings that influential would most certainly cause an impact. I mean, you know, an historical one. After their deaths, and the immediate collapses, I could see an endless parade of revivalists, archiechtural taboos, and official investigations. Survivors would be left wondering, did Sid and Jir really sabotage their own masterpieces? Did one of them do it? Was could cause them to do such a thing?
This is a really cool idea. Could probably be a nice fairytale of sorts about the powers of friendship with a little work. Great tale, with useful hooks. Nice one.
A very interesting concept. I'm wondering if I could work it into my game though. The plot hooks don't really suit my players, in so far as it wouldn't interest them. Slayers, and powergamers all. Still. . .a good idea, and food for thought.
This is a neat one - the start of a medieval post-apoc scenario, the destruction meted out by the towers bringing an end to an empire and causing tremendous upheaval. Would be an interest time for the PCs to be active during this - perhaps they could seize control or prevent an outside force from taking advantage of the empire's decapitation.
It makes me think along the lines of Icarus, but more solid and enduring. Their legacy would be equal parts their unrivaled buildings, and the devastation of their collapse.