Aperion returns to the earth to offer the Elifaen a way of departing. He presents them with the mysterious Nimbus Illuminas, comprised of forty-nine parts fashioned of seven kinds of precious and semiprecious stones, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Amber, Amethyst, and Topaz. These are called the Forty-Nine Keys, but because of their appearance, they will later called the Forty-Nine Bloodcoins. He gives each of the Seven High Houses one set of seven, and, through a vision, he entrusts the instructions for their use to the head of each High House. Over time, those instructions, along with most of the Forty-Nine, will be lost, and only a few of the original Seven High Houses will remain in the world.
Within the year after the giving of the Forty-Nine to the Seven High Houses, six towers mysteriously appear throughout the world. Each tower is alike in form and height, a smooth, column of stone rising up to 980 feet from the tops of six separate mountains. Each is topped with what appears to be a glass dome of some kind, and each dome is of a different color: white, yellow, blue, red, purple, and orange. It is thought by most to have something to do with the Nimbus Illuminas and the Forty-Nine Keys or Bloodcoins due to those colors, but the missing tower of green seemed to counter that theory. It would not be until late in the First Age that the existence of the seventh tower is confirmed, located in a far southwestern region of the Dragonlands known as Karkarando.
The method of construction, and those who constructed the towers, remains a mystery, as does their actual purpose. Many theories abound, but most include the idea that a race of builders descended from the heavens and simultaneously made all of the towers. Although many attempts have been made to penetrate the towers, or to scale them, none have succeeded.
They each acquired the name of the mountaintop upon which they were constructed. Here are their names and locations:
The white Tower Vendril, northwest of Duinnor.
The red Tower Halfis, in the Carthanes.
The yellow Tower Sirrian, in Tracia Realm.
The blue Tower Medios, in Vanara Realm.
The purple Tower Altor, located in Altoria.
The orange Tower Ulaman, in Glareth Realm.
The green Tower Zurlamont, in the Dragonlands.
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William Timothy Murray