The Tower of Hardrada is a high security prison on Crowthorn Isle in southwest Godwin. It is Eternos' tallest structure, stretching nearly 2,600 metres high, and holds approximately three thousand high-risk prisoners inside. Those imprisoned inside the tower are typically those with life sentences, and are never released except in extenuating circumstances, such as false accusations or situations that mitigate the impact of the prisoner's crimes.
Construction of the tower dates back over four thousand years. Old texts, mainly that of pre-CE analects, suggest that the tower was built to stretch to Eternos' moon. When the builders vastly underestimated the distance of the moon, they used the tower as an observatory to look at the night sky.
In the fifth century C.E, Imperials from the northern Godwinian city of Archaeus approached the aspiring astronomers and asked to use it as a prison for most-wanted criminals. The astronomers accepted and construction of the prison blocks inside the tower's circular structure began. Construction of all 140 floors was finished around 587 C.E., and criminals began occupying these cells in 589 C.E.
A conclusion surrounding the etymology of the tower's name is not final, however, the best accepted theory is that one of the first people to be imprisoned within the tower had the name Hardrada--on the first floor of the prison blocks, there is writing faintly carved into the wall which reads "I, Hardrada, king of outlaws, will live and die here". It suggests that "Hardrada" was one of the most nefarious outlaws at the time of his imprisonment, and that the name of the tower was adopted to reflect the permanent nature of being imprisoned, no matter how cunning the criminal.
The first 1,100 metres ground level solely consists of a staircase spiralling around the inner perimeter of the tower, with the following 50 metres being heavily guarded floors to stop prisoners from escaping. The next 1,400 metres of the tower consists of prison blocks; 10 metres in height per block, and eating and adminstrative facilities. Each block is stacked on top of each other; there exists thirty prison cells, each equipped with a bed, writing desk and window slit, and a cooking facility in which wardens and cooks produce food for the prisoners. The tower's height ensures that prisoners do not escape; there have been many attempts to escape such as fashioning a rope out of clothes and distracting wardens in the hopes to make it to the main staircase. So far, no prisoners have escaped.
In the eighteenth century C.E., a central elevator was constructed, allowing easy travel for the wardens across blocks.
The top 50 metres of the tower are the remnants of the observatory tower, and act as the de facto meeting room for the personnel operating the tower. Below the meeting room is an execution room, which includes a door opening for the "leap of faith" method.
The Tower of Hardrada is a prison for those who have committed crimes so heinous that they warrant life imprisonment, and exceptions for being released are incredibly rare. Further transgressions among inmates can lead to further execution; methods including electruction, hanging, the guillotine, magic-induced death and the leap of faith, which involves forcing the prisoner to jump to their death. By 1950 C.E., the only used execution method is magic-induced death, which is now typically painless.
Prisoners are required to stay in their cells at all times; those who leave sometimes commit suicide by jumping off the prison block. Each cell gives the prisoner adequate room to walk around and exercise, and paper and ink are sometimes given to the prisoners to write down their thoughts. Food and drink, gathered from the northern section of the island, are given to the prisoners three times a day.
From the day a prisoner moves into the Tower, the median time of survival is approximately three years. A fifth of all deaths are from suicide.