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Raven Tower

Raven Tower perches high on a precipice overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A rocky shore lies at the foot of the cliff, and at high tide, the waves roar over the beach and beat themselves against the stony bedrock of the promontory.

Visitors turn off the main highway onto a single-lane road at a mailbox that only reads, mysteriously, "C. T. B." The driveway leads to a sheltered area with space, apparently, for five vehicles. There seems always to be enough space for every visitor, however, no matter how many cars may park there.

Inside the parking building, the visitor finds a large-screen television and a telephone. One needs only to pick up the telephone, and one of Corvus’s servants will appear on the screen.

Since there is no parking available at the top of the cliff, servants must drive down in a carriage to pick up the guests and deliver them to the Tower. The rig is black enamelled wood, with the Mage’s escutcheon emblazoned on both doors. The arms incorporate a black shield with a silver device: a raven facing a wolf’s head. Four large horses – one white and one black in front, and one black and one white in the second rank – draw the carriage.

The coach climbs a narrow, winding single-lane road to the top of the cliff. The route is flanked with rose bushes, in bloom year-round. The roses give off a sensual fragrance, and glow with all colours imaginable (including blue, green, black, purple and silver.) At night, tiny lights twinkle amidst the thorns, and floodlights light the tortuous road to minimise the danger.

The carriage eventually rolls across a wide cobblestone plaza and deposits the guests at the front door of the Tower. Anyone who has attempted to approach the Tower by magickal means will discover that the Tower is warded, and they will find themselves unceremoniously dumped at the bottom of the cliff. Should anyone be magickally gifted enough to pierce the wards (highly unlikely,) Corvus will consider it extremely rude to appear at the front door (or, especially, inside the Tower) unannounced.

The Tower is constructed of large, solid granite stones, held together without mortar. There are no windows on the ground floor facing the plaza. The front door is double-hung with massive iron fixtures, and embellished with the Mage’s coat of arms. The doors are of a solid, dark wood, arching at the top. They are carved with a representation of ravens flying and perching among trees. If one looks closely, one might see movement amongst the carvings. The knocker is a large black metal raven’s head, which booms loudly when used. The knocker has been known to speak, on occasion.

The door will be answered by one of Corvus’s servants. The servants, when guests are expected, wear the Mage’s livery of black with silver trim, in the style of Eighteenth Century France. All of the servants resemble large, rugged, handsome young men or beautiful, robust young women, but, in fact, all are daemons, whose true appearance very rarely shows through (usually when their employer is in danger.) They are all freely hired, and none is coerced by magick, by blackmail, or by any other means to perform their duties. Each is free to leave the Mage’s employ at the end of their contract; therefore, none has ever been known to misbehave (in a typical daemonic manner) while in Corvus’s service. Be warned, however, that succubi and incubi are among the servants, although they are strictly forbidden by their contract from attempting to seduce any of the Mage’s welcome guests. This does not mean, however, that they will not succumb, whilst off duty, to a guest’s urging.

The current Major-Domo, or Chief of Staff, is a daemon named Melchizedek ("Mel" to his (few) friends.) He is very handsome, with long blond hair that he ties back into a ponytail when working. He stands 6’3" and weighs 230 pounds of hard muscle, and his loyalty to his employer is unquestioned. He does not wear livery, but usually black trousers and black silk shirts, whether on duty or off. He wears a platinum ring on his right hand, with an onyx carved in the shape of a snarling beast. This ring can come alive if provoked. Around his neck, he wears a platinum chain with a pendant of black opal. If one looks into this amulet deeply, they can see that it is foggy, as if a dark mist had drawn itself across their vision. The mist moves, as if the fog were propelled by a breeze.

The front door of Raven Tower opens onto a wide, high-ceilinged Foyer that is floored in dark grey marble tiles. Directly across from the door is a wide stairway of mahogany carpeted in a plush ivory-coloured fabric, which leads to the upper floors. The Foyer, like all of the rooms in the Tower, is brightly lit when Corvus is receiving guests, but there is no obvious source for the light. There are mahogany doors in the stone walls on the left and the right as one enters the Foyer. The door to the right, carved with a representation of the World Tree, leads to the Library. The door to the left, carved with images of people eating and drinking merrily, leads to the Dining Room.

One oddity of Raven Tower concerns the size of its rooms. When Corvus is entertaining, the Dining Room can be large enough to hold hundreds of guests, banquet tables, a dance floor, and a full orchestra. If he is dining with a few close friends, it is large enough for the mahogany dining table, eight, ten, or twelve chairs, and a charming stone fireplace that warms the room without making it too hot or too smoky. If Corvus is eating alone, the room is intimate, with dim lights, a small table, and a leather chair that conforms to his body.

One wall of the Dining Room is dominated by a large picture window, which looks out over the ocean and the beach below. A set of French doors opens out to a spacious patio with a railing to keep the unwary from falling onto the rocks beneath. The patio is set about with elegant outdoor furniture of white wicker, and plants that enhance the night with their fragrance and the day with their brilliant colours.

The Dining Room wall opposite the picture window is decorated with a large, brightly-coloured tapestry of a medieval banquet scene. This tapestry has been said to come alive at times, although the people and the beasts depicted never come down off the wall.

The fourth Dining Room wall has a door, carved with cooking scenes, that leads to the Kitchen. This wall is set with armour, shields, and ancient banners.

Like the Dining Room, the Library has unstable proportions. It is lined with shelves of dark wood, and the shelves are crowded with books. None of Corvus’s magick books can be found here, but any other books ever printed (or hand-written), even those thought to have been destroyed or lost in the past, can be found on the shelves. It is said that there are hidden passageways behind the shelves.

One wall of the Library has a large window that overlooks the garden and a path that leads out of sight behind a small copse of trees. There are ivory-coloured curtains on this window, which can be pulled to keep out the light, or to make the room more intimate. The opposite wall has a fireplace that provides warmth and light whenever it is needed. The wall opposite the entry door has another door, which leads to a large, bright, immaculately clean bathroom.

Visitors rarely see the Kitchen. It is a massive, glistening room, spotless and orderly, with all the necessary pots, dishes and utensils for a banquet or an intimate meal. The walk-in pantry and the stainless steel refrigerator hold any food anyone could imagine. One wall of the Kitchen has a doorway, carved with grapes and wine bottles, which leads downward to a well-stocked wine cellar. There is a possibility that the walls of the wine cellar, which was carved out of the solid rock of the cliff, may contain hidden doors.

The staircase from the Foyer leads up to guest bedrooms. There are always as many storeys, and as many rooms, as are necessary to lodge all of the guests who may be visiting at any one time. Each room is decorated to the guest’s personal idea of the perfect décor. The staircase itself has paintings of vaguely familiar notables, from all eras, decorating its walls. Some visitors have reported that the eyes of the subjects in the paintings follow them as they traverse the stairway and the hallways.

The stairs cannot reach the top two floors of Raven Tower; these are Corvus’s private rooms. The storey directly below the top floor is his Master Suite. There are his Bedroom, his Bathroom, and a private Library/Conservatory.

The Bedroom is carpeted in soft, thick cream-coloured pile. There are brightly-coloured tapestries and paintings on the walls. The bed, larger than King-size, is canopied and draped. The ivory-coloured brocade drapes can be pulled to keep out the light, or opened to let the daylight in. The bed has satin sheets, a down comforter, and a black velvet spread.

There are windows in all four walls of the Bedroom (even those which face the interior of the Tower.) The windows look out over the ocean, the garden, and the plaza. When not needed, they tend to disappear. The walk-in closet holds all the clothing that Corvus could ever want.

The Bathroom is sea green, with tiled floors and walls. The bathtub, sunken into the floor, is descended into by a set of marble steps. The hardware is of stainless brass. There are fragrant plants about the room. A linen cupboard holds towels, soaps, and other Bathroom necessities.

The third room serves as a Music Room, a Game Room, a Conservatory (of plants) and a Library. It supplies Corvus with whatever activity he needs at the time.

The top floor of Raven Tower is Corvus’s Workroom. He calls it his Laboratory. It only has windows if he wants them. There are desks, tables, shelves, beakers, containers, cabinets and papers scattered about, seemingly haphazardly. In fact, the Mage knows where everything is. In this room, Corvus the Bold experiments with his magick and performs those spells or creates those potions, amulets, or talismans that require effort, concentration, or research.

Behind a hidden door in the Laboratory is his Magick Library. Scrolls, books, sketches, and other materials fill the shelves here. The door can only be opened with a spell that only Corvus knows.