The Book of Flame

by

kirrocen

Interlude: A Reading from the Book of Ash

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A note from kirrocen

3 of 3. Next (planned) update Saturday, and will also be multiple chapters.

So, with a prologue, four diary entries and two interludes, I think I can open the floor to comments.

How's my writing? Too short, too long? Intriguing concept, or boring? What would you see more of, less of?

Anything big you'd change? Anything small?

When the Breath of the Forge broke free from its chains and the Mistress disappeared in a storm of fire, ash, and somethng new, we were devastated. Our guiding light had gone. Our home was destroyed, and we had no Purpose. We were as lost as an ember from a fire, drifting through the wind to die upon cold soil.

Five was the first to recover, collecting and rallying us together to search for any trace of the Mistress or Her will. We had fled from the Forge as it was consumed, to our shame, and now had to travel back through bones picked clean by the greatest fire in existence.

The Forge lay in the valley between three mountains, five stories tall, its ever-hungry maw fed by the flesh of the deepest earth. The Mistress had asked for it as her prize when Nine returned from the challenge unmatched, demonstrating to the world the superiority of Her servants and, by extension, Herself. We were proud of this Forge. We had earned it and She would craft miracles with it. The mining town that had lived here before expanded rapidly under Her influence, its population eager to serve, to harvest and consume metal and stone by the ton. Now the city lay a broken husk, the people as ash, and our great home destroyed.

It was Eight who sensed it first. As we approached the Forge, Eight’s tongues rippled with flame, an expression of hope. We followed in their wake, picking through the debris and shifting what had fallen. Eight’s drive led us to hope itself: The Mistress’s Book, lying unburnt atop a small portion of the Breath.

We stared at it for a time, uncertain if it was real. The first rule of Mistress’s Forge: The Fire Does Not Go Out. So long as the Forge Breathes, the Forge Lives. Here, our home that we thought had perished in its own gluttony, had lived, and had even kept what it could of the one who had given it life. We separated, then, to collect food and materials to build a home for our spark of hope, to ensure that errant winds would not kill it. When we had reconvened around the newly constructed kiln, Eight pulled the Book from its haven and it glowed in their hands when they began to read.

When the reading had finished, we began to discuss. We knew such a miracle would not happen again, so we broke the Book into six more pieces and planned to carry them far and wide. More Books would be made from the six. Some copies, some new. But who would carry those?

We discussed again, and five suns after Eight began the first Sermon, the Council was born. Its first act was to collect the ashes of the city, and offer them to the Forge as we smelted. From this the first Wrought were born and by their birth-screams Her will was made animate.

Seven from One, --Talon-- Keeper of the Forge

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kirrocen

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