The Meeting Of The Seven

From the ancient gardens of what would become Babylon, a powerful magus called Sin spoke of darker days to come, and the need for practitioners to come together. He foresaw the superstitions of the world, and the need for the Talented to practice in secret or face persecution. He, called the God of the Moon because his portents came in Luna’s light, was the one to put out the Call, and make the Seven aware of the greater threat. Packing just a few items of power, including his usual amulet set with a large lapis lazuli, he set out for the lands north of Sumeria, to await the others.

After several long days and nights, he stepped into a clearing of trees and immediately greeted the woman who awaited his arrival. A wanderer of that area for many years, she seemed surprised that he wasn’t caught off guard until he introduced himself. Both had heard of each other over the years, and this woman, as tall as he with long dark hair and piercing green eyes was more than familiar with the tricks of other magi. Sin opened his arms before him, a gesture of piece, and he felt the winding of many powerful protective spells between them as he approached her. She introduced herself as Lilith, and once again the Babylonian was unsurprised. He nodded as she started to speak further, but held up a hand, forestalling whatever she was to say. As he looked to the east, she followed his gaze, and immediately began another spell, but was again forestalled by the seer. He knew what approached, and who, and held her back, unafraid.

A large taloned foot broke through the clearing, the massive appendage towering up into the trees. As the other drew forth, both bent backwards like a birds. As the massive beast descended, both saw no beast at all, but a hut where the legs ended. The hut gently touched the ground, and a wooded hatch swung wide, revealing a hunched and ugly old crone in stained brown robes. Baba Yaga walked heavily with the aid of a notched wood staff easily half-again her height, and her eyes sparkled with madness. She occasionally giggled to herself as she approached the pair, but left off with a grin as she stopped nearby, as if waiting. She amused herself in her madness by twisting the very fabric of reality into shapes and forms that amused her, such as her walking hut.

From the shadows beneath another line of trees, also from the east though much further north, came forth a man… if that is what it could be called. His pale skin was tight across his form, drawn and decaying, giving him a skeletal appearance. His robes were fine, if layered in dust and dirt, and the skin across his hands was so pale his fingers looked like bone. His blue-tinged lips smirked at the others as he approached, but he stopped a polite distance away, and the scent that came from him was the odor of the grave. Koshchei the Immortal, also called the Lich, leered suggestively at Lilith, but made no movement towards her as Baba Yaga cackled. They were old enemies, and sometime allies, but all past grudges were forgotten. His calling was life beyond death, and his continued existence was a testament to his power over the cycle of life.

From the west, a line of white power appeared, circling a small space. As the circle joined, another man appeared within. The circle blazed then died, and he stepped forward. He too, wore fine robes, but his were immaculate, and many heavy stones and gems hung from myriad necklaces, shown from numerous rings upon his fingers. This then, was Dispater, a mage from the area that would become Rome. His arrogance was written upon his face, but he too, knew he must be humble amongst those of his own power, and he controlled himself with an effort of will, drawing near and saying nothing. He was a master of conjuration, and the ability to create anything from nothing made him arrogant, but not unwise.

Directly from the east came a crackle of thunder, causing all but Sin to turn and wonder. Stepping through the trees came a small man, but to describe him as such wouldn’t do justice to the aura of power rolling off him. They all felt it; only a few feared it. The stench of ozone rolled in strong, and the man’s eyes sparked and crackled like blue fire. He was dark of hair and tan of skin, though slight of build, and arcs of electricity crawled across his skin. He narrowed his almond-shaped eyes as he studied the rest, trying not to let his own power think them weak, for he knew better, and had the wisdom of his ancestors. He wore armor and clothing of a style unfamiliar to the rest, and carried a long, straight sword strapped to his side. Legends were already growing of this warlord, the Asian Susanuo, who combined mighty bladework with evocations of frightening power. It was rumored that though his forte was lightning and electricity, he fully commanded all the elements with ease.

The rest continued to study him, and each other, as the winds blew from the west. A subtle power had been building, unnoticed by most, but they could feel it like a storm on the horizon. The very trees seemed to exhale, and small fluttering insects came forth like a locust swarm… but these creatures held many colors, though their dominant trait was all black. The swarm spun together, and as their spirals tightened they all paused for a moment in unison, as if stopping upon something, before bursting apart and scattering to the heavens. Where they’d stopped now stood a woman, barely shoulder height to many of the males, though none present could take their eyes off her. Her skin was like polished black marble; her eyes swirling pits of darkness with hints of stars shining within. She was clad in a simple linen robe, and bore a knife of fire-polished obsidian upon a simple rope belt. She wore many tight necklaces of jade around her neck, and several more bracelets of the same stone around each arm and her ankles. She stood barefoot, though as she moved forward, they all noticed her feet never touched the ground.. she simply willed herself forward, and didn’t bother with walking… no, for that was beneath a goddess. And goddess was how she was worshiped, her people still far too primitive to know more. But she did. She was an Aztec Goddess made flesh, Coatlicue, the goddess of the earth. To the rest, her name whispered itself into their minds: Obsidian Butterfly. She was enchanting and enchantress, and her name would be worshiped by her people for millenia.

She drew nearer, and Koshchei finally stepped forward as well, clearly enchanted by this newest arrival. Reflexively, as if moving on unspoken thoughts, the Seven spread themselves out in a circle, facing each other. Sin was the first to move, reaching his arms outward to Lilith on his right, and the crone Baba Yaga on his left. They, too, reached out to touch those next to them, with Coatlicue and Susanuo taking their positions last, their exotic natures leaving the rest apprehensive. Sin then opened his mind, whispering words of power that joined them as one, and enabled each to speak to the other with perfect understanding. He also opened his mind to them, showing them what he’d seen, and why he’d called them.

What words were exchanged between them were lost to time, though maybe they remember still, if they still lived. What is known, is that when they parted in peace, each carried a stone forged with help from the rest of the circle. Each took a piece of themselves, forged within the essences of the rest, back with them to their corners of the world. Those stones were set reverently by those who carried them, who called to the lands they dwelt upon to assist them. The land answered, and the magics of the stones mixed with that of the earth, and from each stone rose a tower. Those towers became the first Towers of the Magi, each reflecting the desires and power of their bearers.

Over time, a few towers were lost. Another fell to a warring city nearby, whose inhabitants were suspicious of the power held there and wanted it for themselves. Yet another fell from within, betrayed by those who helped shape it. Today, only three towers still stand, and those still call to the various orders, their true natures all but forgotten. Those towers are the current Towers of the Magi.

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