The Tower of High Sorcery at Palanthas, now called the Tower of High Sorcery at Nightlund, is one of the five original Towers of High Sorcery build on Ansalon. When it was orginally built, it was built with white marble walls and crimson minarets. This changed though following the end of the Lost Battles. The Tower was cursed, and the white and red turned black. The Tower also is known by other names such as Spire of Lore and Doom, Tower of Palanthas, Palanthas Tower, Tsandol Sirran (Lore-spire), and Tsandol Shurn (Doom-spire).
This tower was considered the greatest of all the Towers, and housed the world's greatest store of arcane lore and artifacts. The outside of the Tower has gone three three different looks over its years:
The Tower stood at over six hundred feet in height. It was a cylinder shaped tower carved from an enormous block of white marble streaked with red. Flanking the main tower were two four hundred foot minarets, each capped with a red crystal dome. The circular wall around the Tower and its turrets were made of black glass, while the gates were made of silver and gold, studded with jewels. The door leading into the Tower are made of polished bloodwood, covered with arcane glyphs.
Following the curse by Andras Rannoch, the walls became gray with black streaks, minarets shattered into rust red shards. The turrets collapsed, gates twisted, gold and silver turned lusterless and the jewels were gone. The remains of Andras remained on the Tower's gates.
After Raistlin Majere became the Master of the Tower he restored the turrets and removed Andras's robes from the gates. The only other outward difference were the horrible noises would come from the Tower along with flashes of light. When the tower was moved to Nightlund, huge cracks could now be seen running up and down the tower. Inside, a few steps on the spiral staircase went missing. One minaret is missing its roof, the other is blocked by a cave-in.
When one entered the door into the Tower, a mosaic depicting a mage from each of the three Orders reading from a single book was on the floor. After the Curse, these hooded mages bowed their heads in sorrow. Over a thousand steps led up the hollow Tower, with landings at each of the thirty-three floors. No handrail kept people from falling over the side of the steps. Many bookshelves are found all over the Tower that were filled with arcane books before and afte the Curse. While the Tower was under the Curse, all of these shelves were empty.
History of the Tower
Age of Dreams
The Highmage Kharro declared that four more towers be built after the Tower of High Sorcery at Wayreth. The Tower of Palanthas was the last of those completed. Ten years after the building of the Tower of High Sorcery at Daltigoth in 2404 PC, the place that would be Bright Horizon, and later still Palanthas, was selected by Zindreth of Micah to be where the next tower was built.
The people that were living there welcomed the mages, hoping to bring greatness to their area, but the mercenaries that were there already did not approve of this tower that was going to be built. They plotted to kill Zindreth, and then in turn stopping the tower. The mages held a banquet one night in 2404 PC, and invited the mercenaries to it. Most of the banquet went well, but at the end of it Zindreth bit into a blood orange, and instantly collapsed clutching his stomach. The mercenaries had poisoned him, and this almost led to the cancellation of the Tower from being built.
Zindreth had other plans, and the next morning he gathered his fellow wizards and raised the new Tower of Palanthas from the ground. It took all his strength, and Zindreth died after the spell was completed. When the new Highmage Usk reviewed the ceremony, he saw that that Zindreth had mispronounced Tsandol Sirran, instead saying Tsandol Shurn or Doom-spire. Usk had oak trees planted around the Tower, and he enchanted them to keep enemies away. This grove was named the Shoikan Grove. Eventually the pirate haven of Bright Horizon grew up around the tower in 2085 PC with the crash of the ship Bright Horizon.
The people that lived in Bright Horizon, mostly pirates, thieves, and sell-swords, all wanted to gain the treasures in the Tower, but were not able to get through the Shoikan Grove. Following the Rose Rebellion, Vinas Solamnus took Bright Horizon as his capital city, and renamed it Palanthas in 1773 PC. The only building that remained by 1771 PC was the Tower. The Knights of Solamnia did not like the fact that Black Robes lived so close to them, and so they made three attempts to destroy the Tower. All three attempts were stopped by the Grove, one was even an attempt to burn the Grove.
The Master, Namara, went to Vinas and said that the Black Robes would remain locked in the Tower if the other two orders were allowed free movement throughout Solamnia. Vinas agreed to this, and so magic and the knighthood lived side by side for years.
This alliance would prove to be a good thing for both groups. During the last days of the Third Dragon War, the wizards met in Conclave at the Tower of Palanthas. Here the greatest mages on Ansalon created the mighty Dragon Orbs. With these, the knights were able to stall enough for Huma Dragonbane to get the mighty Dragonlances and defeat Takhisis. This would usher in a Golden Age for magic, and the Tower of Palanthas was at the heart of it.
Age of Might
In the distant city of Istar, the Holy Empire of Istar was born. The priests that would form the heart of this empire would grow to mistrust magic due to its tolerance of dark magic. Around the 350s PC, the destruction of all art and monuments to wizards who had help Palanthas would be destroyed in the Eve of Hammers and Flame. This would also lead to the deaths of nine mages. As the wizards were planning on counter-attacking, the Knighthood and priests killed the murders of the wizards and brought their heads to the Tower. This averted a massive war across all of Ansalon.
Eventually things would burst in the form of the Lost Battles in 19 PC. The Conclave would lose two Towers to destruction, but the Conclave did not want to destroy Palanthas due to all the magical artifacts that were stored there. They came to an agreement with the Kingpriest, and were going to turn over the Tower to the Lord of Palanthas Urian. Just as Highmage Merroc was about to turn the Tower's keys over to Urian, Andras Rannoch called down a curse upon the tower:
"You think you have won! You have nothing! The gates of this Tower will remained closed and its halls empty until the day comes when the Master of both the Past and the Present returns with power!"
After that, he lept from a tower window, and he was impaled upon the Tower's gate. With his death, the curse fell upon the Tower and the beautiful tower became black and twisted. The Tower lived up to its name of Doom-spire. People would move out from the surrounding area of the tower, to be away from the evil. The Conclave attempted to take back the Tower, but after several powerful mages lost their lives, they gave up.
Age of Despair
The Tower would remain unchanged for over three hundred years. The only time it was visited was when Fistandantilus (or Raistlin Majere) appeared there in 39 AC. Thinking they could access the Portal to the Abyss unopposed, he along with his cleric and guardian attempted to enter the Portal. It had been moved, and Fistandantilus went on to be engaged in the Dwarfgate War. The Tower would stand quite until the Master came in 352 AC.
Follow the victory at the Battle of Neraka, Raistlin Majere came to claim his tower. The guardians there allowed for him to pass. Here Raistlin would study alone other than his apprentice, Dalamar the Dark. Outwardly he did not change anything with the tower, but made a few improvements inside the Tower such as adding the Chamber of Seeing.
By 357 AC, Raistlin was ready to put his plans in motion of becoming a god. He left the Tower, travelled back in time, defeated Fistandantilus, and ended up journeying into the Abyss with Crysania Tarinius. His plan was to exit the Portal in the Tower of Palanthas, and there defeat Takhisis. Raistlin saw what that future brought, and closed the Portal. With the loss of Raistlin, Dalamar became the next Master of the Tower.
For the next twenty-six years, Dalamar opened the tower for wizard apprentices, mostly Black and Red Robes. The Test resumed with Palin Majere being the first wizard to take it there. All sorts of magical artifacts were stored there once again.
Age of Mortals
Following the Chaos War, all magic left Krynn. Dalamar and the Tower soon found themselves in hostile territory with a trove of magical items that the Dark Knights and the new Dragon Overlord Khellendros craved. So with the help of the Shadow Sorcerer (who was really Takhisis), Dalamar used necromancy to make it appear as if the Tower was destroyed one night when Khellendros had come to claim the magical artifacts. The Tower was transportated to Nightlund, and a pool of black was all that remained in Palanthas. This pool would reflect the Tower back out to those who looked at it.
Here in the land of the Death Knight Lord Soth, Dalamar thought he would be able to research necromancy. Instead he became trapped here by Takhisis' dead who surrounded the Tower. No one would come to the Tower until the War of Souls. Mina and Goldmoon arrived to allow for Takhisis full entry into the world. Goldmoon would sacrifice herself to stop the Portal from opening, and the war would leave the Tower an empty shell. Dalamar was forced out of the Tower with an agreement between the gods following the end of the war. At this time no mage has returned to reclaim the Tower.
Sections of the Tower
- Chamber of Seeing
- Death Walk
- Forest of Cypress
- Great Laboratory
- Shoikan Grove
- Amber and Iron, p. 124
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Winter Night, p. 576, 582
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Spring Dawning, p. 1308
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends, Test of the Twins, p. 924, 1123
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends, Time of the Twins, p. 5-6, 15, 113, 114
- The Annotated Dragonlance Legends, War of the Twins, p. 443, 493, 496-497
- Dalamar the Dark (Novel), p. 3, 209, 226, 227, 263
- The Dawning of a New Age, p. 35, 40
- Divine Hammer (Novel), p. 336-340
- Dragons of a Lost Star, p. 167-168, 196, 252, 258
- Dragons of a Vanished Moon (HC), p. 3, 17
- Knight of the Black Rose (Novel) pgs 16, 19, 20-23
- Medusa Plague (Novel), p. 1-2
- Night of the Eye (Novel), p. 145-149
- Second Generation, "The Legacy", p. 120-124
- Towers of High Sorcery (Sourcebook), p. 97-108