A stranger from the west came to the Mages Tower and petitioned for residency. He introduced himself as Kranden and stated that he wished to teach a new magical art that he had discovered, which he claimed drew energy from the very earth itself and could perform great wonders beyond any other human magic. The skeptical archmages agreed to let him perform a demonstration in front of the main tower gates. He drew a slender blue rod from his robes and, after tapping it thrice upon the earth, suddenly spun and threw the rod into the blue tower. The rod disappeared inside the castle walls as the western stranger gesticulated wildly with both hands. The earth shook and the very sun itself seemed to dim in the sky. A heavy weight seemed to press onto us onlookers, and I was scarcely able to raise my hand and activate my personal wards before the tower exploded outward in a rain of blue crystal shards. Many of my close friends and colleagues died at that very instant. They were the lucky ones. Rising out of the earth, rising up and up, to terrifying heights, was a strange demonic figure. As my protective magics activated and a cocoon of earth and living grass and roots swathed me in a protective bundle and ensconced me safely deep below the surface of the earth, I caught a clear glimpse of this insect-like humanoid demon as it opened its golden eyes and unleashed a stream of sunlight out of them which began eating away the skin of the rest of the unfortunate survivors. I waited for hours deep below the earth, using my scrying abilities to monitor the events on the surface. The greatest magi in the Empire of the Sun were as powerless ants before the might of this demon. The stranger from the west rode on its shoulder as if it were a mount from a restless child’s darkest nightmares as it laid waste to the surrounding countryside, sparing not a single member of the tower’s extensive supporting network of farmers and herders. When at last the demon strode off down the royal road to the east, I quietly emerged from the earth and fled to the mountains. I knew that the empire as I knew it was gone forever.
Here is a description of the monster, augmented with my magical senses as well as my own visual recollection.
It was of generally humanoid form, with two legs, two arms and one head. The Mages Tower was exactly 500 feet tall, and this beast seemed to be every bit as tall as the crystal tower which it blew asunder as it rose out of the earth. It was constantly surrounded in shadows, as the sun seemed to dim in its presence as if it were dusk at midday. Two great, lipid eyes glowed like liquid gold when its heavy lids were parted and emitted a light as bright as the sun should have been, and this light appeared to burn at flesh, wood and steel like acid. Its body was insect-like, with disproportionately long, skinny limbs and a torso composed of two distinct bulbous sections joined by a narrow connection, like the thorax and abdomen of a wasp. Its entire form was covered in blue crystalline plates, which overlapped to form a chitonous exoskeleton. Wicked looking spikes protruded from its shoulders, thin neck, and lower arms, which were triple-jointed and resembled a preying mantis’ in form and function. Its face was a featureless oval apart from the aforementioned eyes and two protruding mandibles. It seemed capable of modifying its environment at will; a thousand foot area surrounding it behaved like quicksilver, solid earth running like water and stones flowing into giant pillars which the beast used like spears, crushing those who fled before it under tons of solid rock. It also seemed to be either totally immune to magic, or just so powerful that it did not even appear to notice my colleagues best efforts. May the Gods help us all, as I have related nothing but the truth of the matter.