Difference between revisions of "Black Spire"

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Several people reported seeing a light in one of the tower windows two
 
Several people reported seeing a light in one of the tower windows two
 
days prior to the burning, and guards were sent in, but nothing
 
days prior to the burning, and guards were sent in, but nothing
suspicious was found, or found ot be missing.
+
suspicious was found, or found to be missing.
  
 
''(Follow-up question: regarding the Treasures, which are presumed destroyed:)''
 
''(Follow-up question: regarding the Treasures, which are presumed destroyed:)''
Line 55: Line 55:
 
scratched into the blackened rock; it appears that you are not the
 
scratched into the blackened rock; it appears that you are not the
 
first people to have searched the ruin.}}
 
first people to have searched the ruin.}}
 +
 +
A more extensive tome from Elder Danyu:
 +
 +
{{boxed|The Jade Spire caught fire on the Night of the Early Dog in the Month of
 +
the Serpent, in the tenth Year of the Tiger since the Regency Council
 +
was formed, during a thunderstorm. The tower was struck by lightning;
 +
the grounding for the tower was presumed ineffective in retrospect, and
 +
led to re-examination of the lightning grounds on all the other tallest
 +
towers. The strike on the tower was both seen and heard by onlookers;
 +
none of the other towers were struck during that particular storm. None
 +
of the Spire's servants were in the Spire at the time, as none lived
 +
there.
 +
 +
On the Day of the Late Fox in the Month of the Butterfly (that is, about
 +
a month and a half before), at a Council meeting of the King and the
 +
Dukes, there was said to have been general agreement that the Jade Spire
 +
was "abandoned" by the Empire, as there had been no Emperor in residence
 +
for cycles. There was some discussion of cutting back on the payments
 +
for upkeep, and repurposing several of the Treasures of the Kingdom
 +
which were resident in the tower. It is not known who instigated this
 +
conversation, but no particular action was taken between that time and
 +
when the Spire burned.
 +
 +
Several people reported seeing a light in one of the tower windows two
 +
days prior to the burning, and guards were sent in, but nothing
 +
suspicious was found, or found to be missing.
 +
 +
--------------------
 +
 +
The thing that you particularly asked for is what things changed before
 +
and after, so there are a lot of meticulous notes.  We do not include
 +
all the notes, but if there is anything in particular you're curious
 +
about, the book probably has it covered.  ("Hemlines went down...")
 +
 +
* Nationalism increased.
 +
 +
* Ducal hardball politics increased a bit.
 +
 +
* The power of the King relative to the Dukes is about the same.
 +
 +
* Tourism to the City of Spires increased briefly (people coming to see the Burnt Spire), but then dropped to about the same.
 +
 +
* Various VIPs spend less time in their own Spires - more time in the country, or elsewhere.  Nobody wants to be trapped in their own burning Spire.
 +
 +
* The number of Dragon Army stationed in the City increased a little, because of suspicion of rebellion, but the overall respect accorded to the dragon army went down.  Security for various things was turned over to ducal levies for the most part.
 +
 +
* Taxes went down marginally; the theory was "We don't have to pay the Imperial upkeep!" but the actual amount involved for that wasn't sufficient to cover it.  Probably it was as a justification - no Imperial upkeep, taxes are lower!
 +
 +
* Some of the power of the City of Spires city-level bureaucrats shifted to country-level bureaucrats.
 +
 +
* More lightning rods were added to nearly all other Spires.
 +
 +
--------------------
 +
 +
The details of Council meetings are considered confidential (other than
 +
the official notes) "so as to be able to provide the King with trusted
 +
advice", so that's why it isn't known who first brought up the idea of
 +
the spire being abandoned.  However, given that it is described as
 +
"general agreement" it was *probably* the King, because otherwise there
 +
would have been at least some amount of opposition from rival Dukes.
 +
 +
Elder Danyu speculates a bit on some possible influences on the King.
 +
(This is the previous King of the Taiga, not the current one).  He had
 +
an advisor named Ren Hsiao-lou, who was gaining power and providing
 +
clever advice for about ten years up until the Black Spire burned; his
 +
star waned after that, and he retired two years later.  (Possibly he
 +
entered the King's mild disfavor, or possibly he stopped trying so
 +
hard).  The King also had a favorite concubine, Xue Yehonala, who had a
 +
reputation for being particularly Taiga-patriotic, who might have swayed
 +
the King in this way.
 +
 +
As far as the actual fire, if one does not follow the official line that
 +
the fire was due to a storm, it is potentially interesting to note that
 +
a Forest of Chin water mage with a talent for weather, named Ng
 +
Thundersmith, died at his home in the Forest, five days after the Spire
 +
burned.  There are no reports of him having been seen in the City of
 +
Spires, but it is an interesting coincidence.
 +
 +
''If there are particular other questions you are interested in, they may well be covered, but the book does not actually have more details on things like "who was in the tower two days prior to the burning".''}}
 +
 +
[[Category:Places]]
 +
[[Category:Jade Taiga]]

Latest revision as of 21:04, 28 March 2013

Previously known as the Jade Spire, before it was burned. Working from the calendar reference commonly used in the Jade Taiga ("...since the burning of the Black Spire"), that happened 32 years ago.

A report from Elder Danyu:

The Jade Spire caught fire on the Night of the Early Dog in the Month of the Serpent, in the tenth Year of the Tiger since the Regency Council was formed, during a thunderstorm. The tower was struck by lightning; the grounding for the tower was presumed ineffective in retrospect, and led to re-examination of the lightning grounds on all the other tallest towers. The strike on the tower was both seen and heard by onlookers; none of the other towers were struck during that particular storm. None of the Spire's servants were in the Spire at the time, as none lived there.

On the Day of the Late Fox in the Month of the Butterfly (that is, about a month and a half before), at a Council meeting of the King and the Dukes, there was said to have been general agreement that the Jade Spire was "abandoned" by the Empire, as there had been no Emperor in residence for cycles. There was some discussion of cutting back on the payments for upkeep, and repurposing several of the Treasures of the Kingdom which were resident in the tower. It is not known who instigated this conversation, but no particular action was taken between that time and when the Spire burned.

Several people reported seeing a light in one of the tower windows two days prior to the burning, and guards were sent in, but nothing suspicious was found, or found to be missing.

(Follow-up question: regarding the Treasures, which are presumed destroyed:)

Most notably, there was a tapestry depicting swans in flight, and a carved jade sculpture of a flowering tree.

The King at the time of the burning was the father of the current King of the Jade Taiga. Though the Council discussed formally taking possession of the Jade Spire, no action was ever taken, so it is still formally property of the Empire. There are rumors that some of the people who went to fight the fire came out with loot, but there hasn't been any follow-up on that.

A search of the ruins of the Black Spire turned up a coded notebook, and some other observations:

Xiao Fa thinks that the chi of the tower is not the chi of a tower, damaged or ruined, but the chi of a ruin. It definitely has an effect on the chi of the city around it, more so than just "a tower" would.

Lijuan finds a couple of very old zhu.

Shen-Ji doesn't find any hidden magic items, alas. He thinks that the stone of the tower walls was probably originally constructed/worked with some Earth sorcery in the mix, but that was a *long* time ago.

Hana doesn't notice any ghosts; it's about as not haunted as you can get for a ruin (well, except that it has Hana in it right now), which suggests that no one was in it when it burned.

Min Feng finds a couple of places where people's initials have been scratched into the blackened rock; it appears that you are not the first people to have searched the ruin.

A more extensive tome from Elder Danyu:

The Jade Spire caught fire on the Night of the Early Dog in the Month of the Serpent, in the tenth Year of the Tiger since the Regency Council was formed, during a thunderstorm. The tower was struck by lightning; the grounding for the tower was presumed ineffective in retrospect, and led to re-examination of the lightning grounds on all the other tallest towers. The strike on the tower was both seen and heard by onlookers; none of the other towers were struck during that particular storm. None of the Spire's servants were in the Spire at the time, as none lived there.

On the Day of the Late Fox in the Month of the Butterfly (that is, about a month and a half before), at a Council meeting of the King and the Dukes, there was said to have been general agreement that the Jade Spire was "abandoned" by the Empire, as there had been no Emperor in residence for cycles. There was some discussion of cutting back on the payments for upkeep, and repurposing several of the Treasures of the Kingdom which were resident in the tower. It is not known who instigated this conversation, but no particular action was taken between that time and when the Spire burned.

Several people reported seeing a light in one of the tower windows two days prior to the burning, and guards were sent in, but nothing suspicious was found, or found to be missing.


The thing that you particularly asked for is what things changed before and after, so there are a lot of meticulous notes. We do not include all the notes, but if there is anything in particular you're curious about, the book probably has it covered. ("Hemlines went down...")

  • Nationalism increased.
  • Ducal hardball politics increased a bit.
  • The power of the King relative to the Dukes is about the same.
  • Tourism to the City of Spires increased briefly (people coming to see the Burnt Spire), but then dropped to about the same.
  • Various VIPs spend less time in their own Spires - more time in the country, or elsewhere. Nobody wants to be trapped in their own burning Spire.
  • The number of Dragon Army stationed in the City increased a little, because of suspicion of rebellion, but the overall respect accorded to the dragon army went down. Security for various things was turned over to ducal levies for the most part.
  • Taxes went down marginally; the theory was "We don't have to pay the Imperial upkeep!" but the actual amount involved for that wasn't sufficient to cover it. Probably it was as a justification - no Imperial upkeep, taxes are lower!
  • Some of the power of the City of Spires city-level bureaucrats shifted to country-level bureaucrats.
  • More lightning rods were added to nearly all other Spires.

The details of Council meetings are considered confidential (other than the official notes) "so as to be able to provide the King with trusted advice", so that's why it isn't known who first brought up the idea of the spire being abandoned. However, given that it is described as "general agreement" it was *probably* the King, because otherwise there would have been at least some amount of opposition from rival Dukes.

Elder Danyu speculates a bit on some possible influences on the King. (This is the previous King of the Taiga, not the current one). He had an advisor named Ren Hsiao-lou, who was gaining power and providing clever advice for about ten years up until the Black Spire burned; his star waned after that, and he retired two years later. (Possibly he entered the King's mild disfavor, or possibly he stopped trying so hard). The King also had a favorite concubine, Xue Yehonala, who had a reputation for being particularly Taiga-patriotic, who might have swayed the King in this way.

As far as the actual fire, if one does not follow the official line that the fire was due to a storm, it is potentially interesting to note that a Forest of Chin water mage with a talent for weather, named Ng Thundersmith, died at his home in the Forest, five days after the Spire burned. There are no reports of him having been seen in the City of Spires, but it is an interesting coincidence.

If there are particular other questions you are interested in, they may well be covered, but the book does not actually have more details on things like "who was in the tower two days prior to the burning".