Otherplaces – Vys, Silver Tower of (A to Z Challenge, V)

22 April, 2012

The rulers who founded the kingdom of Vys sought a land ruled by justice and virtue.  The silver tower was an attempt to ensure that goal.  It is said that the wall of tower are only pure when the ruler is, as a ruler falls to vice and corruption, the surface of the tower tarnishes.

Silver Tower of Vys

At the heart of the capital city of the kingdom of Vys is a tall silver tower surrounded by a walled garden.  It is in this tower that the princes and princesses of the kingdom are raised and educated under the watchful eyes of the Knights-Tutorial.  During special occasions, the public is allowed into the garden but never into the tower itself.  It was thought that the heirs of the kingdom should be raised where they could see the people they would be responsible for on a daily basis.

The exterior of the tower is plated in a thin layer of silver, magic has been used to make it seamless, though there are windows and doors, the same magic keeps it beautiful and uncorrupted as long as the ruler is just and pure.  The heirs of Vys are raised in a highly structured and competitive way, with moral instruction being the centerpiece of the curriculum of the Knights-Tutorial.  As all of the children of the extended royal family are in competition for Crown, the word of the Grandmaster of the Knights-Tutorial weighs heavily as to deciding which heir will inherit the kingdom.

Occasionally outside scholars or specialists, occasionally even venturers, are invited in to the tower to teach specific lessons or tell their stories to the heirs.  It is considered a great honor and, as such, only pays a token amount.

As no one is entirely free of temptation, the reading of the patterns of tarnish on the tower has become a cottage industry among the townsfolk.  The exact amount of tarnish on the tower that will trigger the removal of a reigning sovereign is unknown but it is known that a level of one part in ten is not sufficient to do so.


  1. Loved this description, and the silver staying untarnished as long as the ruler is just and pure is brilliant. I didn’t understand the last part, though: no one knows what amount of tarnish would signify the ruler needs to be removed (as he/she is no longer just and pure), but “a level of one part in ten is not”–is not what?

    Great world-building here. I’ve enjoyed discovering it during the challenge, and I’ll certainly look forward to the story itself!

    • Expanded and, hopefully, clarified that point.

      Thank you for your kind words.

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