3.02: The Princess and the Tower

Posted: March 26, 2011 by MaskedGuardian in Mage: The Awakening, Perrin
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“Let me tell you a story, Perrin.”

“Another one?  Don’t you think I’ve gotten a bit too old and … well… Awakened… for your tales of princes and kingdoms?”

“You don’t like them?”

“It isn’t that.  It’s… sometimes I wish you’d just give it to me straight, just once.”

“What use would that be to you?  If you do not earn it, then you are not worthy of it.  I expect you to know this by now.”

“Okay, fine, let’s get on with it so.”

“Let’s get on with it so, Master.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Our story begins with a princess.”

“Of course it does.”


“Sorry…  Master.”

“She was the saddest princess in all the land because the world was filled with darkness and she wandered it alone and scared without kingdom or people of her own.  She could not see the monsters in the darkness but she knew they were there.  The darkness wanted to swallow her.

Then one day she met a prince.  He too wandered the darkness alone but he was not afraid for he was on a quest to find the light.  He told the princess of the truth of the world.  The monsters in the darkness enslaved the princess and the prince in this place.  They had no kingdom or people of their own because this was not their land.  And the princess saw the truth in his words.

And then the prince and the princess were happy, after a fashion, because they had long been alone and now they had each other.  The prince’s quest became the quest of the princess too.  They wandered the darkness together, searching out the light, for they knew in their hearts it was out there.  But they did not find it, though they looked everywhere in the land.

One day, the princess realised that the prince grew weaker.  The darkness stepped closer to him than ever before and his heart was sick, for he had lost certainty in the existence of the light.  The princess knew that she could not stay or the darkness would swallow her too.  So that night she again wandered the darkness alone, and she was the saddest princess in all the land once more, but she was not afraid because she knew the light was out there.

And then she saw it – a beam of silver light upon the top of a gleaming tower that burst forth from the ground, defying the darkness.   At last, she saw the monsters, as they gathered before the tower to block her path.  But she was not afraid.  She saw that she had been wrong.  It was not the monsters that enslaved them but the darkness.  She accepted their existence and she overcame them.  She came to the door of the tower and it opened before her.

This is how the princess fulfilled her quest and came to the light.”

“Ok.  Thin metaphor for my Awakening.  Check.”

“If you must comment, perhaps you might wait until I’m finished, child.”

“Yes.  Sorry, Master.  I thought you had.”

“The quest is the beginning, not the end.

The princess was not exactly happy in the tower.  It was beautiful and it was true but it was lonely and she wished that the light could be greater.  She saw the truth of the world through a veil of silver light and she was sad, because she also saw the truth in the hearts of men, and, as you well know Perrin, the truth in the hearts of men is often darkness.  So she sat in the tower and she watched the truth of the world unfold and she nurtured the silver light in hopes of bringing it to many one day.

Much time passed like this, in silence, watching the truth festering in the hearts of men, until one day she once again saw the lonely prince.  He had abandoned his quest for the light.  Instead, he wandered the land of darkness searching for the princess, for his heart was heavy with longing for that which he had lost.  She saw the darkness that rotted his heart but her own was filled with such need that she chose to ignore it.  She gathered her power, that which she had nurtured all this time, and sent the silver light to him that it might light his way to the tower.  The light burned fiercer than she had ever seen it…

…until the prince arrived at the foot of the tower.  As he gazed upon the gleaming tower, and the princess seated at the heart of its light, he resolved that he would have it for his own.  The light faltered in the darkness of his gaze and the monsters drew closer to him.  The princess watched, as instead of accepting them, he railed against them, refused to acknowledge their existence, until flinging them aside he beat against the door of the tower.

The tower would not open for him.  She gathered the light to her so that she might open it for him but she had forgotten that the light did not belong to her.  She was only the guardian.  Enraged, the darkness in the heart of the prince consumed him, and she saw his envy, his jealousy, his anger, she saw his intent to have the light or destroy it.  She saw too the weakness in the hearts of the monsters.  She saw that she could control them and they would destroy the prince.  But she hesitated.  She loved the prince even with the darkness in his heart.  She could not bring herself to harm him and so she allowed him to leave.

So the lonely prince went back into the land and he carried the darkness in his heart.  The princess sat within her tower and watched as the prince gathered many to him with tales of the power of the light and wept as she saw the darkness grow within the hearts of all.  And she knew that she should not have allowed him to leave.  Her heart grew steely with resolve but as the army the prince had grown around him surrounded the tower, the light began to flicker, and fail.  She gathered the power to her, taking it all inside, before unleashing it at the great army that battered the tower.  But the darkness was too great.  The light died before its gaze and the tower fell and the power left the land.

And the princess wandered the land in darkness alone once more, and she was the saddest princess, for she knew in the certainty of her heart that the light would never return.”


“I am finished now.  You may commence your smart comments.”


“Do you understand, Perrin?”

“Yes.  Yes, I think so.”

“Then you know what you must do.”

“…… Yes.”

“I am sorry that it has come to this child.  If only you did not defy my every wish just for the sake of it.  Perhaps now you understand that sometimes I really do have your best interests at heart.  No matter.  It’s done now.  Go.  You have… work to do.”


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