In which tower do you dwell?

My friend Lilith plays World of Warcraft. Today she told me about an in-game achievement she needed to complete, in order to win a really sweet mount. A purple wyvern or something. Which sounds awesome. Anything purple is awesome.

The achievement involved playing a fairly conventional-sounding game of capture-the-flag. To “win” one needed to grab the enemy’s flag just after they’d returned it to their base — ahem, I mean, tower. There were several towers in play, and in the first one she came across an all-out brawl. I’m not that familiar with the game, but I imagine it was glowing angelic elves thrashing drooling minotaurs, trolls whacking gnomes, pirates and ninjas, dogs and cats, you get the idea. It was impossible to get near the flag. So she headed for another tower.

In the second tower, she found an unusual sight. Two lines of creatures — one line for the Alliance, one line for the Hoarde — taking turns grabbing the flag from each other, so that everyone could win the achievement.


It kind of reminded me of the story about heaven and hell. Not sure where the story originally comes from, but it goes like this: A man visits hell and sees starving people chained to a banquet table in such a way that they can reach the food, but cannot put it in their mouths, and so everyone is miserable. Then he visits heaven and sees pretty much the same thing. But in heaven, they’ve figured out that their arms can reach their neighbors, so they feed each other and everyone is happy.

It inspired me to write this poem tonight. Imagine it being read by Ian McKellan — or even that guy who imitates Ian McKellan on YouTube, that works too.

In which tower do you dwell?
The one by the mountain
Or the one by the well?
The jewel which you seek is in both, my daughter,
Whether you go to the one or the other,
The one near the forest
Or the one near the water.
The goal is to touch,
The achievement is won
Simply by placing your hand on the stone.
You may keep it — or not —
Either way, it is owned.

But in one of the towers
Is chaos and greed
Where many are fighting
For what we all need,
And in this constant struggle, so few
Ever place their hands on the jewel.
This is the one which stands close to the water,
Close to the well,
So be careful, my daughter.

The other magnanimous, forgiving and free,
Where dwell those who share
The gem which they seek.
Each takes their turn,
Whether high elf or orc,
Whether minion of light or creature of dark,
To lay their hands on the sacred spark.

Choose wisely the tower in which you dwell,
The one by the mountain,
Or the one by the well.
The jewel which you seek is in both, my daughter,
The jewel we all seek is in one or the other.
So seek it in one way or seek in another.
The choices you make
Will determine your fate,
To live in love, or to live in hate.

~ J.L. Hilton

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