Tuesday, December 29, 2015


The blade glows beneath the liquid, the steel not quenched but somehow altered with its touch. Suddenly it is bare, dry, and two days have passed. Then one. Time shivers and curls in the Making. No matter that news from the future can't be uttered in the past. Such knowledge is beneath his interest. It is for the blade he works.

The runes that shine are unwritten as he transcribes them. Fho, Garn, Tha.  Always the triumvirate. But then come the specific words that tell the blade's tale. For hours his needle punches skin, making a palimpsest of his flesh, a catalog of his lifework. The stories of the weapons run together, blotting out the color of his body, long forgotten.

This one will undo constructs.

The Work glows, condensing on the blade. Now is the time for his smithing to begin in earnest. It is for this that he has grown so strong. It is for this that he has forgone symmetry, his right arm and shoulder becoming huge. He brings the hammer down onto the blade again and again, driving dweamor into metal.

Steel is stubborn. But it can be broken. 

Seven hours pass. And then it is three. When he finishes it will be yesterday. Still the blade refuses his affections. The spell congeals as he presses it down. 

Finally, as summer fades, the metal gives in to its betters. The thrill of violence becomes liquid and is absorbed. 

Woe to those who would make blasphemous assemblages of unlife! Sundered will be their works. Who has the right to usurp Garthak's role as the Maker?  Who would defile a womb with such monstrosities?  Enough!  They must die. They must all die, along with their handiwork. The wretched claws of those golemists will be hacked from their arms. Their laboratories will be destroyed. And their heads will be lifted from their necks, their ruin presented before them in the moments before their death. 

Months earlier, the Smith wakes in his shop. A bar of unworked iron sits on the anvil. His skin is pale, unblemished. A hammer hangs on the wall. 

--Steve Kilian

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