Chapter 36: The Floating of the Monolith

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AE 23,205

With construction nearing completion and the potent buds swelling on the Weeping Tree, Draug grew increasingly paranoid and dissatisfied with the protection the Monolith would provide. Throughout its construction he had been constantly revising his design, requiring more materials, more magical energy. Now, he directed his builders to dig even deeper underground, extending the Monolith's walls far below the surface and inclining them inward, to surround the tree as fully as possible. When the builders excavated under the tree to do so, however, they found its roots withered, broken, and dead.

But the tree itself was somehow alive — in fact it was preparing to bloom. Draug realized it was surviving on starlight alone, untethered to the planet's core, and he had an idea how to finally render the tree inaccessible to anyone but him. it would exhaust his vast stores of magical energy, but once accomplished, it would pay off a thousand times more. Draug sent his builders back under the weeping tree to fully encapsulate it, even across the bottom. It was an incredible feat of advanced engineering and powerful magic. Many workers died in the process. And when they were done, when the Monolith was finally completed, Draug killed the rest of them to protect his secret.

Finally, concentrating all the power of his remaining crystals in a single blast of magical energy unparalleled in Mythron's history, Draug raised the entire Monolith and secured it permanently in the sky. The waves of magical disturbance this released caused a Great Disjunction that rocked the planet to its core, destabilizing the continents and setting them in motion. Weakened and spent, Draug was nonetheless awestruck by what he had achieved. All he had left to do was wait for the tree to bloom once more — and he would be infinitely more powerful than ever before.

Unfortunately for Draug, that was when Aq'Toth, leader of the Inxikrah host, ordered the attack on Aestaria.