Read Time: 3mins
The tip of the chisel cut effortlessly through the stone, small chips of broken ore falling to the chamber’s floor.
“As we carve, we become gods.” The rumble of words left Ferrus’ mouth without an ounce of self-doubt. “We hold your very existence in our hands. Scholar or soldier; the choice is ours.”
A recently formed everok rested, near motionless in the shadowy recesses of Ferrus’ workshop. Great chains crossed its body, lashing it to the ground with old rusted rivets and deep-set spikes.
Raising the hammer once more he continued his tireless work upon the giant’s left shoulder. Ferrus’ cuts were fast, yet intricate and beautiful; so flawless was his work, you might assume it had taken days of painstaking dedication. As the chisel made contact once more, the everok let out a sound; not quite a word and not quite a moan. Its sheer intensity shaking the very room itself.
“Settle down. A fresh lump of clay like yourself should feel honored to find yourself in my company.” The Master Carver struck again, this time the runes that spilled from his tools found their home upon the everok’s broad chest.
“I had such plans for you, you could have been my masterpiece. But then Dolo calls for yet more warriors! Is there anything so simple, so clumsy? Work such as this is below one of my standings. Why waste our time with the quarrels of these mortal beasts?”
As the carvings cut their way into the everok’s torso, pulses of light began to break through, as if the creature’s very core was formed from a great ball of fire. Slowly, the monstrous mound started to move; first the bending of a knee, then its head turning towards Ferrus, the deep recesses of its brow glowing like flames. Finally, one of its arms pulled against the mighty chains that bound it in place, but to no avail.
“Be still! True genius cannot be rushed!” A sudden burst of frustration erupted from the Carver. Grabbing at the everok’s head, he forced it towards himself, running his hand across the giant’s angular jowl.
“To truly appreciate what you are to become, you must remember every mark.” Ferrus’s eyes darted momentarily to the carvings that adorned his own body.
“Some may call it barbaric, but this is why all other art pales next to the magnificence of my own. From pain comes the purest forms of beauty.”
The Carver’s tools found their place against the everok’s chest and once again returned to their maniacal dance. Slither upon slither of stone tumbling to the ground around Ferrus’ feet.
Then he spotted it; a small crack, no thicker than a strand of hair, almost invisible to the naked eye, running from the edge of his latest carving to the center of the previous one.
“There is, of course, one unfortunate consequence in the search for perfection.” Ferrus raised his hammer and chisel to the side of the everok’s head. “The unwillingness to compromise.”
With quick and unwavering committal the hammer made contact with the chisel’s base, splinting the rock instantly. The flames that only seconds earlier burned so brightly, now extinguished.
“A pity,” Ferrus grunted under his breath, as he turned from the unmade everok.
From deep within the mountain’s heart, the deep droning tone of a horn emanated; the walls and floor, shaking under its immense power.
Upon hearing its call, the Master Carver couldn’t help but smile.
“It is time.”