Book III - Chapter 14

Chapter 14

[Snake Report]

Bad vibes.

Something is really unpleasant, and it’s fast on approach.

Waking up to this, in the middle of the night isn’t a good feeling, but it gets a heck of a lot worse when I can’t figure out “why?”

I can taste something “wrong” on the air, feel the pressure in my bones, on my scales, all around me: this isn’t right.

But, there’s nothing wrong.

It’s dark… but I can see, well enough.

Watched a few wagons off on some road from… I don’t know, at least six or seven miles away, this afternoon. [Tiny-Snake Vision] is more than reliable, and dark hasn’t been a problem for me in a long while. Not above ground, anyways.

But, right now, there’s nothing out there.

Just wind, and dust.

Which doesn’t fit the growing sense of dread. Beyond any measure of reasonable doubt, danger is approaching. I know something’s coming for me, but I have no clue what it is.

Sss…

I cleared everything away, earlier. Nothing but flat sand for fifty or so feet in any direction. Charred dust for anything further than that. Rocks and stones and dirt…

I don’t see anything, but I still feel it.

Wrong.

Danger.

Hate.

Death.

The other voice is bubbling up…

That’s about as sure a sign as any. This is real, then.

Great One… They hunger…

Approaches…

Not a very helpful warning, but I haven’t ever expected much from them. If the “other” guy talking, I’m pretty sure whatever’s out there: it’s real.

Tell me where. I know that something’s coming. Where?

The Depths…

The depths… the depths…

If you mean the Dungeon, I plugged that already. Where else?

The… Depths…

They’re getting quieter.

Of all the times for you to be tired out, this isn’t one of them. Can you tell me anything else?

Below… Great One…

Below…

Shit.

Okay, even the Golem’s reacting, now.

It’s a slow, heavy, pivot.

Shield is up. Weapon is ready. Something’s definitely coming.

Full combat prep.

Mana’s still at seventy… seventy-five percent. Recovery from constant Water Magic takes time, I guess.

Doesn’t matter: Earth Magic is spinning up.

Below.

Alright.

Pretty general, as far as directions go. Still, I can put some feelers out, see what Earth Magic runs into, or doesn’t…

Sss…

Where are you coming from…

Where’s the danger?

Get a defense going… I can lift us up a bit… get some spikes ready… fortify…

It’s…

That’s weird.

I could have sworn I stuff a giant lump of bedrock right about there.

No, I’m sure of it. I plugged this thing up tight.

Why the hell would the ground give-

Oh fuck.

………………………………………………

[Golem]

The Creator was yelling many words the Golem did not understand, but the Golem was not bothered, for the Golem did not know many things.

It was not meant to know.

A copy, of a copy. A blueprint of a relic, made anew and handed off. From one being of greatness, to another, the magic which brought the Golem into existence was formed by commands and logic unknown to its own core.

All it knew was housed withing he pattern of runes, sunk deep into the mesh of crystals which made up its “Heart” as the Creator called it.

Somehow, it remembered that, but again: it did not know how, or why.

The Core.

The Heart…

In time, the Golem was aware that more knowledge would come to it, but for the present: it could only understand the purpose for which it had been created.

Defend.

The single word was cemented into every inch of its body. From the shield of stone, readied before its body, to the thin decorative armor the Creator had bestowed up it, the Golem planned to follow this command until it lay broken.

The Golem knew little, but unlike so many living things, it knew its purpose. The very reason it was put upon the plane of existence.

And that was more than enough.

As the ground became alive with grasping claws and howling screams, the Golem stood strong. When creatures emerged from the abyss, and the ground did open, it knew little of the names or reasons. There were no great plans of tactics, or understanding what was to soon unfold, or even if it would survive the coming battle.

Instead, it drew back its weapon of stone, and delivered first blood.

Then, second.

Faltering, was not its purpose.

No, its purpose was to Defend.

[Lesser Sentient Golem - Rank up]

Its enemy screamed in pain and anger as a third, final blow was delivered, but the Golem continued as another replaced it. Already, the Creator was driving them back, calling upon Magic the Golem could not possibly comprehend, but until the battle was won, there would be many more enemies.

Rear back, swing down.

Simple motions, were all it could manage, after all. The Creator had worked hard to provide it a body far above its rank. It had the height, to provide leverage, and the Limbs which could lift for a fast downward swing. Certainly it was capable of delivering a more powerful strike, while the shield it carried blocked the worse of the counter attacks.

Again, the Golem lifted back up, then struck back down.

It recognized that it could win. A mind oriented for combat could understand this. So long as the shield held, perhaps, it might win against two… or three. But, beyond the shield it raised and the weapon beside it, there were many more enemies.

Too many, the Golem recognized.

They tore the ground apart, ripping their way out through tunnels most narrow, or breaches of open stone. The sand was trembling, as more split open: like scars being pulled until they ripped and bled. More and more enemies emerged. Each as dangerous, if not more, than the last.

The enemy died, but dozens more replaced it.

Victory was not possible.

Even with this powerful body: what came for the Golem was a flood. Just a handful of the beasts which approached might be enough to break the its body, and crumble the core it held to dust.

But, thankfully, the Golem was not alone in this fight.

Mana surged forth, commanded to perfection, as the Creator brought forth a reckoning.

“BEGONE.”

Fires of green which raged across the soil. Earth turned to spikes- then glass, as the fires touched them. Ripples of stone, burred like waves of ten thousand spears as they descended upon the threat.

The violence was tremendous.

As the Golem stood, all but fixed, the Creator lifted. Stone rippled across ground, Magic propelling the blue serpent back, forward, up. Splinters rose and intercepted claws. Shafts of burning stone cut back hungry teeth, and the Creator moved like a spear. Not burdened by a heavy body, not sluggish or slow: for every creature which grasped for it, they found nothing but air, blades, and fire.

As the battle was met, the creatures died. More took their place, and they too died- but the Golem cared little for them. Without magic, without superior strength or intellect: In this battle, the Golem knew its purpose.

The beautiful shield soon shattered. Its armor was slashed and melted.

It arms crumbled.

But the Golem did not concern itself, for again: it knew its purpose.

No matter what.

Even as it was chipped away, broken to nothing.

It would defend.