Author Topic: He will have the Form of Life  (Read 2849 times)

Offline sam_i

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He will have the Form of Life
« on: 17:36, Thursday 01 Mar, 2012. »
“He will have the Form of Life” – A short account of the golem and artefact at Oltson’s ravine, by Aisha, Bookbinders guild, Blackbridge.

I do not know what awoke the artefact.  Many magi, including myself, had been active in that area for a week or more, maybe the overuse of magic brought it to life.  Or perhaps the bandit mage, who I believe to have a darker agenda than merely theft, had used spells or processes to force it to reveal itself.  Perhaps something even more powerful stirs in the world, I do not know.  But it did awake.  Our second night in the forest I began to dream horrible, violent dreams, of people trapped in skin-like sacs, surrounded by fluid.  Then they would burst into flame and be consumed, over and over again.

By the third day, others began to see the ghosts.  Hanging as if suspended (perhaps in the fluid I saw) they seemed asleep and turned around and around, until they too burst into flames.  Sometimes, one would crack, and twist, and become a risen.  Then, in a dream, I saw the purpose of all this.  A human that burst in to flames but was not consumed by fire.  It burned, by they were not hurt. Then a cold, metal hand closed around their throat, and threw them on a floor made of smooth, green metal.  I believe the golems of the ancient world were experimenting.  Making a magi.

The catacombs were locked and shut, firstly by an ancient and complex door it took skilled mechanists to open, secondly by a spell, or some use of tilium steel (though we couldn’t see any) that prevented us scrying beyond the door itself.  Once opened, tracks made of metal and the dark black substances of the golem roads led down into a complex series of caves and tunnels.

We had not been in long when we first found the blue sac-like structures.  Shaped like a large, blue egg with a surface that was somehow both membrane and crystal, the liquid inside contained a powerful, life-sustaining force that could bring someone back from the brink of death or grow a whole forest underground.  Many, many times more powerful than any animist magic I have seen,  this liquid would save all of our lives in the tunnels ahead.

We also, however, found egg sacs that were corrupt and putrid.  The liquid inside was viscous, and yellow, and the smell was of rot and decay.  When disturbed, these sacs burst open to contain Risen.

At first, we found a few, isolated sacs.  Then, a chamber as far and as wide as our lights could reach, full of these stinking, corrupted creatures, suspended on beams of pure red tilium steel, and seemingly sustained by them, as fruits are on a branch.  We ran as they awoke around us.

Then, we came to a forest.  Beautiful and lush as any of the surface, it was sustained only by a pool of water glowing with the same soft, blue light as the egg sacs.  We soon realised we were not alone in the forest.  In the centre of the pool, a beautiful woman, almost glowing with animist energy, was encased in crystal, seemingly willingly.  I could not speak her language, but I believe it to be Atarni, and she a Prima. Even drops of the water took years off our lives, I believe it could have sustained her for centuries.   She was not alone, in the forest we saw a man, as beautiful as his companion, who again spoke to us in Atarni.  We did not understand all he said, but I believe he was warning us to leave.

But it was too late.  The artefact these two had guarded for so long was awake, and the cavern itself began to shake and crumble as the hordes of Risen awoke in their sacs.  We finally saw the artefact, a shifting and glowing crystal that seemed to have a life and will of its own.  We took it, encased it in tilium, and fled the catacomb as fast as we could.

We escaped, but barely.  The hillside crumbled and collapsed, falling in on itself.  And from out of the ruins Risen began to climb.  I tried to sense for the presence of the Prima magi, and found her, alive beneath the collapse.  But as I did so, I felt a metal hand close about her face and head, crushing the life from her.  The golem had woken.

It pulled itself out from the newly-formed ravine, a weird mismatch of metal scrap, that it had wound around itself like bandages around old wound.  We could see some patches of smooth metal underneath, but not many.  Its single eye glowed with a deep red fire, and it let off powerful bursts of flame from its hands, like a skilled pyromancer.  Also, those of us with magical skills, began to hear its voice in our heads: “He will have the Form of Life”, over and over.  We assumed it referred to the artefact.

The golem was defeated, with a combination of guided lightning strikes and tilium steel weapons, as were the Risen around it.  By then, we had fathomed the Form of Life (much like the archive of light) is a reliquary for the memories of previous generations.  Far from the concentrated wisdom of elder magi, however, the memories in the Form of Life are of ordinary people, and also those subject to the golems’ experiments, hence causing the dreams and the ghosts.

Some of those within it were more coherent though.  An older man seemed to understand the situation, and tried desperately to draw our attention North, where I have come to believe something worse stirs.  Some enquiries have suggested this may have been the spirit of Talor Steelarm.  In competition, a younger spirit, angry and violent, also emerged.  When the artefact was briefly stolen by the bandit magi, it was this spirit than emerged and, I believe possessed him.  We believe this to be the spirit of the ancient golem-worshipper,  Kalem Dray.

When the golem died, lights erupted in the sky.  On the coast, and to the North.  We make our way there next.