A tower, usually constructed and occupied by a wizard. The general design follows a simple plan with a tower on a hill that is surrounded by a high stone wall.
Tors on the Frontier
A Tor is not just a symbol of wizardly might and mysteries, it is also a defensive structure that is often replicated as Magi relocated to the peripheries of civilized lands. The presence of a Tor brings with it stability. Often the tallest structure within a region, the Tor's lights serve as beacons to weary travelers who are in search of a place to rest. Many of the early settlements are established surrounding a Wizard's Tor as the wizard is often the most learned influential member of the newly established community.
The construction of any Tor is substantial process that involves dozens if not hundreds of workers. As these workers require protection while the Tor is being built, a defensive wall is often created around their temporary quarters at the base of the Tor's hill. It is for this reason that in many cases, the defensive wall and surrounding trench is often the first element constructed on any building site.Once the Tor is completed, the wall and temporary buildings become an excellent start for a small community that service the needs of the Wizard and his staff. Wooden palisades may be replaced with stone walls and temporary construction huts may be replaced with more sturdy home and houses. However, as the space within the walls is limited, most villages will spill out of the walled enclosure quickly enough. Therefore, a second wall is often constructed some distance away from the first, perimeter wall, to protect the 'expansion'. Villages that are created around a wizard's tower are often named for the builder. Tor Gizad, for example, is the Tower of Gizad. In other cases, the village and the Tor are named for local features or after those people who settle the land.
The Naming of a Tor
Each Tor is named for its builder or for a regional feature. However there are some linguistic rules as to how the towers are named. In Arness, where the term 'Tor' originated, Tor is placed at the front of the name only when it is a proper city of significant size. Tor is placed at the end of the name if it is smaller and less significant. Tor Gizad, for example, is a thriving city with thousands of inhabitants. It encompasses both the tower itself as well as the surrounding city. Argent Tor, however, is smaller without a village surrounding it and is so named only for the tower itself.
Tor Gizad = City
Argent Tor = Village or small town.
Sometimes the name is shortened into a single word such as the case of "Drakentor" coming from the words "Draken Tor".
The design and function of a Tor is very effectual - often inspiring those outside of the wizarding world to create their own. Those nobles who create their own Tors still follow the basic design especially on the untamed frontier of the Easterlands.