In the Tower, by Oren the Otter

Story name: In the Tower
Author: Oren the Otter

Date: June 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep


While Oren builds his tower, he shares a chat with Bradfox.


It is evening. Achin makes a bet with Shamgar that Oren's tower won't stand up, so Shamgar shifts to his rhino form and rams the tower. From inside, Oren shouts at them and heads back to the top, where Bradfox is watching the stars. Oren hauls the last rock into place, and Bradfox asks what the tower is for. Oren doesn't know, but he wants to do something with the rocks and lumber that the local farmers sell him to get rid of.

Bradfox senses there is more on his mind, and Oren says that there are too many people scrutinizing him. Although he is half-otter by magic, he has not received Metamor's curse yet, and many people are wondering when or if Oren will change. Bradfox muses how everyone wants their change to be over with when they arrive, and wonders if Oren is still human enough to be cursed. Oren idly tosses a rock over the edge, unintentionally knocking out an assassin below the tower.

Bradfox suddenly notices a new star appearing in the sky. After some mental calculations, s'he runs off to tell the Duke that something terrible is coming, leaving Oren frightened and confused.


Main characters:

  • Oren: A half-otter man from Hipocc. He has been at the Keep longer than anyone else without changing. He wears a tunic, but no pants.
    • Oren has been illegally gathering information on other people, including Charles Matthias.
    • Oren uses unwanted rocks and timber from local farmers to build his tower. There is an intricate set of pulleys he uses to hoist the rocks.
  • Bradfox: An ambiguous gender morph. S'he is interested in astronomy: s'he knows every star and knows that there will be a meteor shower tonight. S'he has a beard and wears a kilt.

Minor characters:

  • Achin: A dog morph with glasses. He loses a bet to Shamgar that Oren's tower won't withstand his attack — with surprising indifference to Oren's safety.
  • Shamgar: A rhino morph. He is so confident in the tower's sturdiness that he bets two gold with Achin to ram it, while Oren is still inside.
  • The man in black: An assassin from Devil's Strand, trying to kill Oren. He has several missing teeth, and gets knocked in the eye with a brick.

Important mention:

  • Charles Matthias: A rat morph. Bradfox mentions that when Charles first arrived, he wanted to change, and didn't care what change he received.
  • Duke Thomas: The ruler of Metamor Keep. Bradfox leaves to tell him something very dangerous s'he observed in the sky.


  • Oren's tower currently has four floors. Oren plans to begin the fifth floor tomorrow.

Story Connections

  • The tower has two more floors since its last appearance in Gornul.
  • The man in black previously appeared in Heart-Is-True, with far fewer injuries.

Points of Interest

  • A meteor shower is due for that night.
  • There is a constellation called Aquarius, where a new star has just appeared.
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