[Archive] Forged in brass, cursed in stone


It’s an hard task, to transcribe and translate some old tablets and scrolls i traded with a group of adventurers. I don’t know how they got them, but how fool they have been to underestimate the value of such treasure, for a Dawi-Zharr atleast!. Adventurers are all the same, show them a little gold and they lose their mind.

As far as i have translated, it should be an old myth about the fortress city of Marr-Zagib and one of its most famous heroes, or well, heroine. Being a myth, and being old, i’m sure i will find incongruences and hyperboles, but you know, myths have to be taken for what they are!

And well, making everything more difficult, this is not even my natural language, so forgive my mistakes please…

Here you are the first roll, i already finished the second and working on the third. I still have to venture into the old runes of the fourth, the last one.

Bidakka stretched silently in the bed, without opening her eyes yet, but quickly escaping the tendrills of sleep, gaining more and more consciousness. A little moan reached her ears, the hint of a move there in the bed, as her handmaid turned in sleep under the thin and roughly unfolded sheets.

Pushing herself out of the bed Bidakka rose on her feet, taking some steps to reach the small window of the room, pushing aside the dark tent and allowing a warm, reddish glow to fill the room, along with a blow of hot air and sulfur smell. She has never get used to the breath-taking spectacle of the lava stream falling down for almost 50 meters  before reaching a lower pool and flow away, and she firmly requested that room of the temple for herself, to get the better view.

Being hundreds of meters below the surface, only a complex clockwork device on the desk next to the window allowed her to know what time it was, brass cilinders and rings moving with a serie of mechanical sounds that she has learned to exclude from her mind, like the bubbling of the magma outside. She stood there, her eyes following the white-hot stream of molten stone for a time that seemed endless, unable to focus on a single thought, until something suddently requested her attention.

“Miss, it’s time already?” a gentle and still sleepy voice behind her, the Hashut Priestess barely turned her head to catch the figure of her handmaid rising up to sit at the edge of her view. “No Kashia I…it’s still too ealry, but i wasn’t able to sleep anymore. Sleep, i will wake you up when it’s time” answered Bidakka, but she had barely finished the phrase that the younger women had already left the bed and covered herself in a long and simple robe, walking to her mistress and hugging her soflty from behind, her forehead resting on Bidakka’s dark hair. 

“Miss, if you are still serious about leaving the temple, i will have plenty of time to sleep then” she said “Until you come back, of course”. Bidakka sighed, turning in that embrace to face her servant, forcing herself to smile “Kashia, i have to go, my dreams…i have to find if the Lord of Darkness is really talking to me, or if i’m just getting crazy” a small pause in the voice of the Priestess “And you will be quite busy keeping all the slaves in line, once i left!” those last words seemed to steal a little smile on Kashia’s lips “Well, since we are both awake, bring me my clothes please, and then make some breakfast. I will ready my things meanwhile” she ordered, having the handmaid obey with a nod.

The priestess shifted again her weight from the tips to the heels of her boots, standing in the courtyard of the temple and sighing in impatience, the body covered in a finely made scale armor, not heavy as those of Immortal Guard, but still providing her a good protection, in case she faced any danger. She had been there waiting for almost half an hour, trying to not look too often at the one of the upper windows of the temple from where she was sure Kashia was watching her, despite she had ordered the maid to just do her usual routine and stop being worried for her leaving; when finally she saw some movement coming from the entrance of the temple. 

At steady pace, two fully armored guards carrying large shields and obsidian axes lead the way ahead of the figure of an old dwarf wearing a reddish robe and intricated ceremonial pauldrons, along with an encumbering hat covered in spikes and runes, walking dragging his feet on the ground. He was followed by three priests of the temple, in similar but less imposing garments and behind them a dozen of hobgoblin slaves hurried in following the dwarves, with no apparent purpose. Midway, a couple of them parted from the group and ran to a secondary entrance to the back side of the temple, disappearing behind a tall stone arc.

The little group stopped in front of Bidakka, and she bow her head in respect, some of her coiled hair falling down her shoulders. “High Prophet Neradh-Zim, it’s a honor and an unexpect…” she started to salute the head dwarf of the temple, that quickly interrupted her “Cut this up, Bidakka!” he said, pushing aside one of the guards and walking to stood right in front of her, a little shorter than the priestess but towering over her due to the tall hat. “One of my most skilled priest leaving the temple and for what? For some crazy voices in this empty head?” he said, his index finger tapping on the forehead of her horned tiara “Believe me, my dear child, it’s not the Father of Abyss telling you to do something so silly” the tapping continued  “You probably just drunk some avariated hobgoblin spirit or something like that”.

Bidakka tried to politely interrupt the Prophet, but he didn’t gave her the chance, until he stopped himself, like if he got exasperated by his own speech “Enough! We already argued too many times about this in the last weeks, i’m not going to stop you, i gave up on that!” commented Neradh, raising his hands in a sort of surrender and then dropping those down to his sides.

“I thrust you, just…be careful. Are you sure you don’t want to bring some slaves? I brought some with me, they are good!” he said, moving his hand as he was offering her the view of the hobgoblins behind him, whose faces twisted in fear, at the thought of being sent in what they probably considered a suicidal trip. 

“High Prophet, i thank you, but i have to refuse, i want no one with me” she politely said, peeping at the greenskins figures that seemed to relieve hearing her words. “Well, in this case i have a gift to you” said the Prophet, casting a loud shout, probably calling someone from inside the temple and then turning again to face Bidakka, with a malicious grin on his lips. It took a couple of minutes, but finally a  group of hobgoblins appeared behind the stone arc of the secondary entrance, pushing and pulling a small wooden chariot, impossible to spot what was on it. 

The chariot reached Bidakka and the Prophet, who announced “I prepared you some goods for the trip  and provided you some company”

“High Prophet, i said i want no one with…” Bidakka’s voice died midway in her throat as she saw the figure raising from the back of the chariot. With a metallic sound, a towering figure rose to stand, taking some steps to approach her. More than two meters tall, what was standing in front of the priestess was resembling an intricated and baroque armor, feminine in appearance, but apparently with no one inside. In place of the head, there was a mask made or brass sustained by a clockwork mechanism of some sort, not an hint of life behind the empty eyes. Two large pauldrons sporting long and twisted spikes made the figure even more imposing, creating a curious dichotomy with the legs, made out of metal rods of various size and seeming weak and unprotected. The only thing betraying the hidden nature of the “creature” was the glow of a burning core, the light filtering through the chest piece armor. 

“Exactly, no one will come with you!” nodded the Prophet in excitement “She…ehm…It…is just a thing. You know, to carry around heavy stuff and so on. It’s really not a “one”!” he said. At his words,with a mechanical click, the metal mask moved as if it was looking down at the Prophet.

Bidakka’s eyes lowered on the two large axes dangling from the creature’s hips, each of them bigger than her, somewhat making Bidakka dubious about Neradh’s words, but she decided to not fight over “Well, in this case…i gladly accept your…gift” she said, making the Prophet grin with satisfaction “Now i think it’s really the time for me to leave, High Prophet” she announced. “Well, child, i suppose it really is” said the dwarf “May Hashut ward you, and may you come back soon with your questions answered” he nod.

Taking a long breath Bidakka rose her sight at the tall structure of the temple, on the top of it the burning statue of the Bull in front of a large cauldron of molten metal, her gaze then drifting to the nearby side of the large undeground cave, stopping on the dark entrance of another cave, opening in the rock around 20 meters above the floor of the main space, were the oldest lammasu of the temple lived. She wasn’t able to see anything behind the dark entrance, but suddently shivered at the unnerving feeling of eyes inspecting her.

“Thank you again, High Prophet” she said, making a deep bow and then turning to leave the courtyard of the temple. The mechanical creature picked a large bag from the chariot and then began to follow the priestess, reaching her with no effort, due to the long span of its steps.

The couple left the courtyard of the temple, leaving behind the large gate which allowed to reach that holy ziggurat, the two guarding bullcentaurs at the gate getting nervous at the sight of the mechanical creature walking with Bidakka.

Taking a route leading straigh out of the city, the two avoided the large fournaces and the lower docks, not taking long before leaving the light and sounds of the city behind, walking toward reaching the entrance of some old tunnels. “So, what’s your name?” asked Bidakka, now focusing her attention to that unusual creature walking next to her with a sequence of mechanical and metallic sounds. As only answer, the metal mask looked down at her for a moment, before lifting again, looking in front of them. “Mmmh, i suppose you are not one who talk much…” commented the priestess, picking her axe from her own side, rising the weapon as the blade got wrapped in purple flames, allowing her to see in the cave, where the light was getting lower and lower. 

“You know, my grandfather always made little offers to a fire demon named Aruru-Sha, along with those to Father Hashut” Bidakka started to talk again “He said he summoned her centuries ago, while he was enchanting his first war-hammer, and that she was the most beautiful being he has even seen: made of pure flames and living out of an endless, burning fury. For this reason he didn’t bound her to the weapon, and left her free. Since then, he believed that Aruru-Sha has guarded over our family” the priestess made a small pause, raising her sight to her towering fellower “I will call you like that: Aruru” she announced. Again, the metal face moved to watch down at the priestess for a moment, before rising, without a single sound. “Well…i hope that you atleast  understand what i say…” commented the woman sighing, lifting the axe in front of her to light an half crumbled stone arc and stopping on her feet. 

“Here we are Aruru, the dead tunnels. What i’m looking for has to be somewhere in there”


An enjoyable story! Good writing and nice touch with that no-one and the grandfather’s offerings to a fire Daemon.


Thanks ^^ Here the second part!

Even if incredibly old, it was impossible to mistake the tunnels for natural. They were not particularly refined or decorated, but the flat walls had been for sure carved in stone by the hands of countless slaves, over decades of work. 

Bidakka lead the way, the axe lighting the darkness in front of her, while Aruru followed with slow but steady pace, making no sounds except for the clockwork tic of her gears and pieces of armor clinking to each other. “Look!” said the priestess, hurrying her steps to reach a crystal clear vein in the stone wall of the tunnel, looking of a purple tint due to magic flame on her axe. When she got closer to inspect it, she noticed some smaller crystals growing inside the vein of larger clear one. Those were very small and of irregular shape, but in the magical light they glow of a distinctive green brilliance.

“Warpstone!” exclaimed Bidakka “So, it was true. I read that these tunnels got abandoned because they found large veins of Warpstone. That thing it’s very toxic and unstable” she explained, but not being sure of any interest or knowledge of her mechanical companion about the subject “In the beginning, they made slaves extract it, because warpstone could be sold good. But as they dig deeper and deeper they found larger veins, and too much warpstone in the same place usually means troubles. It was too risky, what if all the warpstone get triggered to explode? It could probably blow up the whole city of Marr-Zagib. We are not like those filthy rats, the risk was not acceptable” she turned, putting her back against the rock wall before sitting on the floor “What i’m supposed to look for here?” she asked holding her head with a hand “I already know what we will find going on, just old unstable tunnels and more of that green rock” she commented, looking up at Aruru, that meanwile has kneeled in front of her, still remaining way taller than the priestess. 

“I’m feeling weak…i wonder how long we walked…” she asked, blinking her eyes in surprise as she saw Aruru extend her arm and drawing an elongated “X” on the dust of the floor “Aruru what…” with two more signs the creatured connected the top and the bottom parts of the X, forming two opposite triangles touching by a point. She then took her finger away from the dust for a moment, before tracing a circle around that figure “Aruru, i don’t understand…” another circle, following the path of the previous one, and then a third "What are you trying to tell me? " the metal finger completed the fourth lap “Mmmh…wait! Is than an hourglass?” asked Bidakka, widening her eyes. A fifth, then a sixth circle, before the finger left the surface of the floor “You made it six times…” mused Bidakka “If that is an hourglass…you mean we walked for…six hours?” she asked, the little nod of the metal mask she received being the single most clear answer she had from her companion since they met at the temple. “How do you know that?” she asked out of curiosity, Aruru lift her finger, this time aiming it at her chest and tapping a couple of times on the metal armor. 

“Well, so you have some sort of gear inside taking track of time, that’s…fascinating” commented Bidakka “And useful for sure, since i lost the track of it , i have to eat and drink, or i’m not going to last long” she said, opening the leather bag dangling at her side, taking out some dried meat and a smaller container for water.  “I suppose you don’t need any of this” she spoke, with a stripe of dried meat in hand, watching at the metal mask, that stood immobile, watching back the priestess with empty eyes “Well, i don’t bother to offer you a bite then” she said, resting her head against the wall of the tunnel, the flames-wrapped axe laying at her side, casting a trembling purple glow around.

The priestess inhaled the air of tunnel, closing her eyes for a moment, stretching her sore legs before opening her eyes again. “I feel better now” she announced. “Better to not stop here, we will look for another place to rest” she continued, as she rose on her feet picking up the axe, promptly imitated by Aruru.

As the priestess had predicted, more warpstone appeared as they proceeded in their descent in the abandoned tunnels. The surface of the walls getting rougher, deep signs of pick-axe frantically dotting the stone and more crystals of warpstone starting to grow like flowers, along with formations of bigger, clear quartz crystal. 

Sometimes a split crossed their path, but most of them were just dead tunnels, dying into solid rock no more than 10 or 15 meters later. While not good at tracking time, Bidakka was for sure istinctively adept at orient herself, easily keeping track of the routes they followed and returning to their steps if needed. They started to find wood reinforcements on the walls and ceiling of the galleries, a sign that they were approachin the end of the previous digging operations, passages not fully secure and consolidated. Eventually, the couple got to reach a dead end, the route finishing in a circular cave with the remnants of what could have been an old mining camp. There were some small tunnels starting from there, but none of those proceeded more than a couple of meters.


After she checked all the passages she returned to the center of the room, under a large vein of warpstone glowing in the ceiling of that carved space. “So, what i’m supposed to do here?” she asked, her voice dying against the irregular rocks “This is not my dream, there is no danger for us here!” she erupted in exasperation, falling on her knees on the floor “Think Bidakka…think…” she spoke to herself “Maybe we missed another tunnel at a split? No…no…i’m sure, but there’s nothing here”.

Silently Aruru walked till in front of the priestess, lifting an arm and aiming her finger at one of the interrupted passages, even if it took some seconds for Bidakka to notice her doing that, too lost in her thoughts. “Aruru, we already checked, the tunnel is unfinished, there’s nothing there” she said, while the mechanical creature turned on herself and moved her steps inside the small tunnel. Bidakka stood there, in curiosity, until she head the sound of rock beating against rock. Raising on her feet, she hurried at the tunnel to see Aruru, half bent due to the low height of the tunnel, hitting the end of it with a picked up rock. “Aruru stop that!” she exclaimed, as some shards of stone fell on the floor, revealing that the crystals coming out of the rock on that wall were just part of a larger vein, still half covered by a thin layer of stone. “You see? Such big crystals are harder than steel, we won’t pierce through without lot of slaves or an excavation machine. And probably the crystal’s vein runs deep and wide, there’s nothing there”.

Aruru turned her metal face to the Priestess, then again at the wall, never stopping to hit the crystal surface with the rock “Good luck with that” commented Bidakka, seeing that her words seemed to have fall empty “You will rust before you manage to get any result here” she said, taking a step back. She stopped, as her eyes noticed many small shards erupt from the wall as a bigger crystal got shattered by the stone in Aruru’s hand. “Aruru stop!” she ordered, walking closer again “It shouldn’t break like that…” she said, stretching her arm, her gloved finger gathered some broken white grains from the impact point of the stone and brought them to her lips “This is not an hard crystal like the other veins, this is…salt!” she exclaimed “Aruru, how do you knew that? Oh well…forget that, we can break it! Maybe what i’m looking for is behind this wall of salt!”. Bidakka flipped her axe to use the sturdy point on the opposite side of the blade like a pick, holding it with both hands she directed the blow against the salt surface, making even more  white shards break in their direction. 

The two kept hammering the surface, carving a passage for Biddakka to walk and Aruru to crawl in, having to go in for around half a  meter in pure salt crystals before opening a hole to a different space. The Priestess shook her head to drop the salt grains fallen in her raven dark hair then she lifted the axe to light the surroundings, her mechanical companion getting over the passage and now standing at her side. This time she found herself close to the ceiling of a tall cavern, in front of them a descending slope made of stone, quite steep, but the surface covered by regular veins not seeming natural, that allowed them to proceed without slipping on the rocks. Even through the purple light she was using, she noticed that the stone of the slope was very different from the walls of the cavern, like it has been brought there from a different place. At the bottom of the slope she stopped, looking around, a large mass of stone at her side, filling almost completely the floor of the cavern, and a dark path ahead. “Ground here is softer” she noticed “And seems quiet. I have to stop, we will rest some hours before going on” she announched to Aruru, which promptly kneeled next to her.

Dreams, again, but different. This time Bidakka wasn’t standing in front of the old tunnels entrance, listening to uncomprehensible words. This time she was trapped behind a salt wall, something beating on the opposite side, trying to free her. But then…why she was so scared? Why she felt her heart jump and her teeth clench at every strike on the wall? No…she was not the prisoner. She was the prey, the helpless prey of the unknown being on the opposire side of the wall. Then a voice, calm, powerful and unyelding “Wake up, daughter of Hashut”.

Bidakka blinked her eyes, Aruru was standing in front of her, slowly turning and inspecting the surroundings, her metal hands holding the large axes, clearly put in alarm by something. “W…was it just a dream?” she asked to herself, pushing against the stone mass behind her to get on her feet. Then a tremble in the rock all around them, and that voice again, but this time seeming to come from the mountain itself, and not just in her head. “Not a dream, daughter of Hashut”. She turned on herself, raising the axe, purple flames burning brighter, just in time to see an eye slowly opening on the rock she has slept against, a couple of meters above the ground and bigger than her own head.


Salty. Nice touch with the salt and the dream. Made me think of Gilgamesh. Keep it up!


Third part :slight_smile:

“W…what are you? Show yourself!” asked Bidakka, taking a step back, Aruru swiftly putting herself between the Priestess and the large mass of stone. After a moment seeming an eternity, the voice spoke again, the large eye moving on her, seeming to ignore completely Aruru “Your eyes are blind, daughter of Hashut. I never concealed from you”. Bidakka moved the axe, trying to figure out the shape of what she was looking at. The eye seemed the only living part of a large visage, sculpted in stone with strong dwarf features, connected to a bull’s body of incredible size, laying on a side and half buried in the soft ground. She stood in awe in noticing that the slope they used to descend was in fact a stretched wing, made of stone and lean against the wall of the cave. 

“You are a Lammasu!” she exclaimed  “But…none of you gets so big! And your race shouldn’t be cursed by stone”; the rock rumbled for what might have been a laugh “Lot of time made me big, lot of sorcery made me stone”.

“Sorcery? What sorcery, i don’t understand!” asked Bidakka, looking up at the big eye “I’m Aghazran, and my sorcery has protected this mountain for long, long time” he spoke in that bellowing voice “Marr-Zagib was still young, long before the deepest tunnels in the rock. I was exploring these caves, and i found that the hammers had awakened a sleeping fury, old as the mountain itself”.

“What hammers? And what is this fury you are so scared about?” asked the Priestess, “The hammers of industry, the forges making armors and axes, the contraptions that gave birth to your companion. Your ears are deaf, but my body of stone can hear them working, every hit on the anvils. And like me, the mountain” a pause, then the voice again “You should be the one scared, daughter of Hashut, because my time is almost over, and Marr-Zagib might not live much longer. There’s a primeval being, buried in this caves, my sorcery kept it bound and entrapped. But now i’m weak, and whispering in your dreams made me even weaker, i already felt part of it escaping my restrains, getting closer. It will come, to silence the hammers and shatter the holy bull at the top of your temple”. Bidakka listened at the words of the lammasu with a mixture of incredulity and raising fear “But there have to be something we can do! I will strengthen your sorcery, we will keep that creature bound until Aruru comes back with the High Prophet, he would know what to do and…” “It’s too late, daughter of Hashut” interrupted Aghazran “And you are not strong enough. It’s breaking free of my boundaries…it’s coming right now”. Bidakka turned toward the dark passage on the opposite side of the slope the descended from, Aruru was standing there, nervously holding the two large axes in hands. “I will come back, we will stop this!” announced the priestess  “Aruru, come, we better hurry!” she called for the mechanical creature, as she started to climb the slope to return to the upper tunnels. A strange silence, she turned her head, missing the mechanical sound of her companion moving; her brass body standing there, where she was some moments before “Aruru! Move up, we have to go”.

Without turning, Aruru made a step back with an hiss, and suddently her body got wrapped in flames. Bidakka opened her mouth in surprise, seeing the mechanical feet lift from the ground, sustained by an elegant trail of fire, a torrent of living flames descended from the back of Aruru’s mask, like a cascade of wild, untamed hair, filling up the cave of a light burning brighter than the lava itself.

Bidakka hasn’t yet recovered from the awe when something else caught her attention; the long flames of Aruru’s body made visible another being, slowly approaching the passage. Feet moving effortlessy like growing out of the earth itself, a large mass made out of rock, white crystals and warpstone, the biggest earth elemental Bidakka has ever seen reached the entrance of the cave, crumbling the arc of the passage while Aruru darted aside, to avoide the falling rocks. 

Istinctively Bidakka rose her axe, sorcery flowing through her body as she chanted some arcane words, purple runes glowing in a circle on the ground around her. She got silent for a second, the runes disappeared, then a much bigger symbol manifested on the stone body of the creature, erupting in violet light before disappear, breaking off many pieces of rock and crystals from its torso. The elemental doesn’t seemed particularly bothered by the attack, turning its massive body to follow the quick movements of Aruru, that despite her usually shambling walk, was floating around with unnatural grace and swiftness. The elemental rose one of its stone fists, making it fall down with brutal strength, the mecanical creature dodging it at the last moment, a twirl of her axes barely scratched the hard surface of her opponent, quickly moving away again. Bidakka focused her mind another time, feeling the arcane power of sorcery flow through her body, another large rune glowing on the body of the elemental, before another explosion made shards and fragments scatters away. The priestess took a moment to breath and check the bulky figure wich was swinging its massive arms against Aruru. None of her spell seemed to have done serious damage to it, making some quartz crystals and rocks to break off and fall, but the creature’s body was mostly intact, solid rock built around large shards of warpstone, glowing of a bright green, the priestess starting to questioning herself if it might have interferred with her powers, making the creature harder than common stone. Aruru’s axes clashed again on the elemental, bumping off without effect, as she managed to barely dodge again a blow from the creature, seeming to get closer and closer into finally hit her. 

“We can’t stop it!” screamed the priestess, the rumbling voice of the Lammasu filling the air in response “Run, daughter of Hashut!”. Hearing the voice, the elemental turned to face the Lammasu and the slope allowing access to the cave, searching the source of that powerful tone. Probably unable to distinguish the stone body of the creature from the surroundings, it only noticed the small figure of the priestess, trying to climb back the slope, taking a long step in her direction. Fast like a wildfire Aruru moved around the elemental, putting herself between the creature and the slope, springing on her flames-wrapped legs to make an high jump, both her axes aimed to hammer on the elemental’s head. The jump allowed her to avoid the first strike of the creature, smashing on the ground, reaching her target and landing two powerful blows before getting hit by the other fist of the elemental, wich sent her flying many meters toward Bidakka. The priestess had already started to move over the slope, when a wall of the cave suddently collapsed, some meters above the ground, a stream of molten metal flowed inside, filling the air with fumes and unbearable heat, falling directly on the body of the elemental and pooling on the floor. The creature tried to escape its doom, but the stream of white hot metal seemed to much to sustain even for it, having it fall on the ground, where the metal were quickly getting solid, encasing the rock body.

“I…it’s over?” shout Bidakka, coughing for the smoke and fumes “We’ve killed it?” “Silly child, you mistake a fallen leaf for the tree. Run now, that was my last sorcery” was the answer she got from the Lammasu, the big eye closing slowly, its surface turning grey as the surrounding stone. She looked around herself, noticing the figure of Aruru at the base of  the slope, near the surface of solid bronze that was forming on the bottom of the cave.

“Aruru!”, she hurried at her, coughing as the fumes filled her lungs again, the flames that few moments before wrapped her body were disappeared, emptiness filling the eyes of the metal mask, darkened by smoke and dirt, as her chest had been smashed open by the hit, one of the arms almost ripped of as the hit had completely crushed away one of the shoulderpads and the mechanism underneath. Bidakka was clearly able to see a glowing-red core placed in the chest of the creature, where a man would have shown the heart, surrounded by a structure made by many metal rings welded together, countless runes and inscriptions carved on those. For sure a triumph of daemonsmithing, the creation of such a wonder. With a scratching sound of gears, Aruru turned her head, the mask facing the priestess “Aruru, move on, please, we have to go!” insisted her, grabbying the metal body as if she were pityful trying to lift her. The creature stood watching at her for a moment, a costant sound of gears getting weaker and weaker, then slowly turned her head toward the slope and the exit to the cave, then the sound stopped, not a single gear moving, the glow in the core weaking and fading to the size of a small ember. “Aruru no! Please move!” beg the priestess, coughing badly, her sight getting obfuscated by smoke and tears. She carefully inserted her hands inside the open chest, grabbing the metal rings surrounding the core, pulling to remove it from the structure keeping it in place. The core was heavier than what its size suggested, “You will come with me!” she said, standing and hurrying on the slope, helping helself with one hand and holding the metal artifact in the other.

Crawling through the salt wall Bidakka found hersel in amost complete darkness, rising her own fist and wrapping it in purple flames of sorcery, hurrying to walk back to the tunnels, warpstone glowing green when exposed to that arcane light. Hours seemed days, as she walked back all the way up in the tunnels toward the upper caves, coughing, thirsty and barely unable to stand on her own legs, her off hand firmly grapping the metal core as she proceeded. 

Finally, she managed to walk over the stone arc marking the entrance of the old tunnels, on the background the sounds of Marr-Zagib, with its burning furnaces. As soon as she got in sight with some citizens she fell on her knees, waving some times her flames-wrapped hand to get noticed. “T…the temple! I need to talk to the High Prophet!” she beg them as they got withing voice reach, before closing her eyes in exhaustion.


Nice story. I quite enjoyed it.