It is difficult at best to determine the original purpose served by the Wizard’s Tower, but it appears that for much of its existence, magical artifacts have been its raison d’être.
Aside from housing a substantial collection of artifacts from les Plusieurs Mondes, the Tower Doors themselves require magical items to open and close.
In some ways, the design of the Tower’s Doors would indicate a desire to collect and hoard magical artifacts from across a swath of worlds by whoever (or whatever) originally created the Tower.
World Doors and Tower Doors
The base level of the Wizard’s Tower contains a series of 108 doorways to alternate universes which are referred to as World Doors.
For each World Door there is a Key, typically in the form of an artifact which grants its bearer some beneficial power. Its prime power, of course, is in the opening of a Tower Door, a magical portal which allows entry into the Tower.
Based on your understanding of space and engineering, it would seem that a World Door and its respective Tower Door are the same thing. In fact, they are not.
There is only one door for each world leading from the Tower. However, a portal to the Tower can be set from anywhere in the respective universe, provided the World Key is present and the Ritual is observed.1
Unlike a Tower Door, a World Door does not need any special item or ritual to activate and pass through. Anyone is free to leave the Tower, but in order to return you must be able to activate a Tower Door.
There are 216 Artifacts that comprise the system of Doors within the Tower: 108 Door Thaumatograms2 and 108 World Keys.
Tower Door Thaumatogram
Typically Tower Doors will be inscribed on slabs of rock or metal that provide the surface upon which the portal can be activated. They function through the activation of geomantic formulae inscriptions by the process of the Key Ritual.
If destroyed, they can be recreated if the correct thaumatogram is inscribed onto a new surface. It is not uncommon for multiple Tower Doors to exist in a World, though only one can be activated at a time due to the need for the World Key.
There are 108 artifacts known as World Keys that correspond to each World Door, typically taking the form of a gem or crystal. These are the passkeys that allow entry into the Tower. Without one, it is impossible to complete the ritual that allows entry.
Each World Key is labelled by a Season3 Σ (18), Τ (36), Φ (54), Y (72), Ψ (90), Ω (108).
Before the efforts of Laddys Fermille, only one key was left: Key Ω “the Jewel of Antares.” This is also the Key for home world of the Aurantian Concordat.
Building on the work of Malicule the Meticulous who explored and catalogued the Tower itself, along with his experiments on the Jewel of Antares, Fermille was able to devise a reliable method of divining the general location of a Key by opening “communications” using astral projection and telepathy enhanced by the Tower.4
Using this method he has employed a number of adventurers throughout the multiverse to find and bring the keys from their respective worlds back to the Tower.
When one exits the Tower without a Key, becoming stranded is an almost-certain eventuality (it is often a risk even if in possession of a Key). Though in at least one (ultimately successful) case, the duo of Fermille and Parciloquy the Peculiar chanced an adventure in Upsilon Chi5 believing that, armed with their own magic and powerful items from the Tower, they would be able to locate the Key and return.
Currently, the pair have attempted a second adventure in Key retrieval on the legendary Door Alpha, the only World which has resisted all attempts at magical penetration. This appears to be due to some attempt to destroy the World Door in the unknown past.
World Alpha represents a greater challenge than any previous Key collection to the duo, despite the relatively low risk to their personal safety.
It is rumored that based on their research they believe the isolation of this world may be due to the destruction of its Key rather than the vandalism of the World Door. On a more sinister note, they also may be attempting to open a direct portal into the world from World Omega, bypassing the World Door entirely.
Access from outside the Tower is gained by coating in blood the inscription of a thaumatogram on the anchor artifact. The Key must be in close physical proximity while the thaumatogram is being inscribed.
The blood used for the inscription does not need to be from the key holder. Relatively little blood is needed for the transcription, though legends typically depict the process as part of a blood sacrifice. More recently, experiments with bio-engineered blood substitutes have proven effective in reliably opening Doors, prompting creation of specialized thaumatographic spray applicators by members of the Aurantian Concordat.6
The Gemini Theorem
Much of the early research into the properties and powers of the Tower was conducted by Malicule the Meticulous during the first millenium 69A.
Building on the careful research of fellow Aurantian Concordat member Malicule the Meticulous, Laddys Fermille completed his “Grand Tour” of the 107 accessible doors in 3257 69A. Based on this comprehensive and conclusive research, the Gemini Theorem has become accepted as hard fact.
According to Fermille’s Revised Gemini Theorem, their are two “prime” universes, Atlass (connected through Door 108) and Earth (the “closed” Door 1). The remaining 106 doors lead to alternate versions of these two basic universes.
- Fermille, Laddys. Pseudo-Hemoglobular Efficacy in Ritualized Casting. 12th ed. Puce: Aurantian Concordat Press, 723 69A.
- A thaumatogram is a complex inscription that maps an astral pathway to the World Door located within the Tower.
- A grouping of 18 numbers according to the Tower’s numbering system.
- Fermille, Laddys, and Parciloquy the Peculiar. “Location and Procurement of World Key Psi Prime, a Discourse.” Address, Aurantian Concordat Ekklesia 843, Puce, 843 69A.
- Fermille, Laddys, and Parciloquy the Peculiar. “A Grand Adventure in World YΞ.” Lecture, Aurantian Concordat Ekklesia 1179, Puce, 1179 69A.
- Rodolfo the Clock Maker, and Laddys Fermille. “Hemoglobin TMG Applicator Planning and Design.” Popular Pseudo-Science 8, no. 4 (744): 3-26.