The floating towers are at once a college of wizardry and the personal laboratories of some of the most powerful wizards in the Five Nations. Many a would-be magewright or wizard comes to the village of Arcanix, below the towers, hoping to study hard and someday ascend to the lofty ranks of Aundair’s finest arcanists.
Home to The Arcane Congress.
Everburning torches light every corner of the floating towers, unless a member of the Congress has a specific reason to prefer darkness. Some everburning torches burst into flame only when someone enters the room, dousing themselves instantly when the room is vacant. Others burn with strangely colored flame, adding a bluish or reddish tint to everything they illuminate. The floating towers are a quiet place; distracting noise is conducive to neither study nor political machinations. The temperature is always mild within the floating towers, no matter what is happening outside. The Arcane Congress built the floating towers over eight hundred years, so their walls have known many architects, both mundane and magical. Within the floating towers, there’s always a strong aura of transmutation (the spells that keep the towers aloft) and at least one other aura.
Arcane architects aren’t constrained by the square footage within the floating towers’ walls; some rooms exist extradimensionally, and each tower has far more space on the inside than a conventionally made castle would. In general, the floating towers have smooth stone floors, superior masonry walls, and 15-foot-high wood-paneled ceilings (with 30-foot-high vaulted ceilings in particularly large chambers). There’s no consistency to the doors within the Towers. The floating towers are too vast to completely map, and such map would be out of date by the time it was completed. Especially in Nocturnas and Skyreach, the wizards are always making magic alterations to their demesnes.
The White Arch Edit
Visitors to the floating towers often ascend (via magic or the Trannicks’hippogriffs) to Glarehold Tower, where an outcropping of rock has a massive white marble arch that leads to a white marble courtyard. The White Arch is also the traditional gateway that new students use when they begin their studies; many an Aundairian youth dreams of walking under the white arch, clad in the brown robes of a first-year student.
The courtyard beyond the White Arch is the largest outdoor space on any of the four floating towers. Magically animated topiaries in the shape of boars stand at the corners of the courtyard.
Library of Robideur Edit
Near the top of Skyreach is one of Khorvaire’s finest collections of arcane lore—although librarians in Korranberg would argue the point, and who knows what dark lore lurks in the libraries of Ashtakala?
The library takes up the top four floors of Skyreach’s tallest spire, with bookshelves running from floor to ceiling. Only the doors and the stained-glass windows interrupt the walls crammed with spellbooks, tomes, and grimoires. A unique spell not unlike unseen servant controls the books within the library. An arcanist of the Arcane Congress need only state the title and author of a book, and it slides from its shelf, opens wide, then slowly descends to the arcanist’s waiting hands, lazily flapping its cover open and shut in imitation of a bird.
The half-elf sorcerer Robideur died more than 450 years ago, but his descendant is the head librarian. The library forbids checking out books even to the most powerful members of the Arcane Congress; examination of a book at one of the library’s oak desks is the only option.
The Library of Robideur is a terrific research tool. The library has a few books on other topics—histories, gazetteers, and the like.
Adal’s Demesne Edit
At the center of Nocturnas are a series of chambers that Adal ir’Wynarn, Royal Minister of Magic and brother to Queen Aurala, calls home. Adal splits his time between the floating towers and his palace at Fairhaven. He regards the floating towers as a place where he can be free of court intrigues and free to direct his staff as they conduct magical research and build weapons of arcane destruction to defend Aundair or extend its reach.
Adal is more politically connected than most of the Arcane Congress. He has the queen’s ear at a moment’s notice (although the trust between them is far from complete). Adal isn’t a great wizard in his own right, but he’s a consummate power broker and charismatic leader. Most of the researchers on his staff are higher-level wizards than he is, and the many agents in Adal’s employ are likewise among the most elite in Aundair.
At any one given time, Adal has three or four major research or weapon-development programs under way within his chambers. Each is kept separate from the others, and only Adal knows the extent and progress of all the programs. One team might be trying to reverse-engineer House Cannith’s creation pattern for warforged. Another team works on a system of weather control, and a third is breeding wyverns that shoot fiery rays from their tails.
Gate of Xabra Edit
Near the top of Nocturnas is an astronomical observatory and one of the great artifacts of the Arcane Congress: the Gate of Xabra. This circle of menhirs, transplanted from a Q’barran ruin shortly before the start of the Last War, has graven glyphs that correspond to no known language or code. The glyphs hold overwhelmingly powerful conjuration magic sufficient to send everything within the circle to another plane of existence.