Wendell of the Manuscripts of Judgement, the man who kept the paperwork in check and the severing wenches in braziers and loincloths, looked at the creature that the guild's battlemages had found in the rouge enchanter's home.
It was a entity that was not from this realm. It's skin moved and seemed to be in flux, like it couldn't decided if it wanted to be solid or incorporeal. It had no visible sensory organs that the clerk could see. Noe eyes or nose. It didn't even have a head or mouth. It was a bundle of masculine limbs attached to a piece of long twine for a torso.
Instead of hands and feet, its limbs transformed into from a spear tip to an insect leg with two toes. Its original environment was unknown, but it what was interesting was that it appeared that the creature had starved to the point that it put itself into hibernation. This universe was killing it.
“We have attempted to dissect the anomaly but all of our mundane instrument have no effect.” said Cogu.
“Is it a demon?” Wendell asked.
“It doesn't react to holy water or divine energy.”
That was not helping the scribe’s nerves. An outside entity that wasn't effected by the Gods and was immune to blades was not something that he wanted to meet in a dark alley.
They moved to the next cell. It was a cramped little hole that was built to hold wizards, the shackles meant to cut the flow of magical energy to the prisoner’s hands, the runes calculated and precise. In theory, the more powerful a wizard the stronger the prison would become.
The being inside the cage was an intimidating specimen if Wendell was being honest with himself. The person, if could be indeed called such a thing was hideously deformed and yet beautiful at the same time.
It was shackled to the wall, the heavy chains and manacles keeping it from moving. The spells that kept it bound also kept it in a almost stasis, meaning that it only needed to eat and drink once a month, its body kept artificially alive. It would not find even death an escape.
“You told me that it had white skin,” Lucinda argued. The woman always had this insane problems with details, she made getting a library card feel like you were getting your horns pulled out.
Instead of the rich blood red hue that wayborns were born with, this creature had a strange mismatch of skin. Pinks, whites, light browns. But below the neckline, where its clothes hid its muscled body, the skin was an almost chalk white. As for body structure, it had a physic that made Wendell feel a stab of envy.
It didn't have the body of a blacksmith or your common fighter. Wendell could see that even the usual icy bitch Lucinder give the creature an admiring glance.
“It's horns, are they underneath that… What would you call that colour of hair?” One of the council asked appearing to be ill.
“Straw? Yellow?” Cogu said trying to think of the right word. He shook his head, “The creature doesn't have horns. Please note the colour of its eyes. They are an odd shade of blue.”
From inside the cell the creature spoke, “You keep calling me It. Is that going to be how you are going to refer to me? Will it help you sleep better when you start torturing me and cutting pieces off.” The assembly stood ridged as the creature spoke rather elegantly for one not born in this world.
Wendell gathered his nerve and spoke, “What are you?”
“Pissed off.” It smiled and the scribe found that it's perfect teeth were far too white to be natural. The thing's mouth seemed to glow in the candle light. “You came into my home with the intention of killing me, you tried to steal from me, you kidnapped me. You fucking arseholes didn't even give me my clothes or let me say goodbye to my friends. If you are really as smart as you think you are, you would kill me.”
“I've heard enough.” Lucinda snorted. With a wave of her elegant hand the slot closed and the prisoner was left to it's alien thoughts and threats.
“What have you discovered about the golems?” Archmage Sergo demanded.
They moved through the door and were teleported from the tiny little island in the middle of the ocean to one of the guild house’s storage areas.
“What about the creature's friends?” Wendell said. The idea that anyone would think of that thing as a leader, or would pleasure that thing in there made the scribe physically ill. What went through the minds of the lesser class was a mystery to him.
“Most of them died in the explosion. The dog killed his followers to protect his secret, even the priest and two of those witches fell. Only the woman who played the creature's wife escaped.” Master Boldar said. His dark eyes went hard and his face twisted in hate. He had gone to Yovonder to secure the foreign thing but had ended up being made its servants, worse, he had lost many enchanted objects and tools.
From the reports, the creature had managed to brew himself several barrels of a strong alcohol that he hid under the inn and workshop. The bastard also set several explosives that obliterated his workshop, only the stock that under the inn had survived. Fortunately, the reports indicated that the dog has messed up with the explosives. He had bought the oils and fuses from a sub-par vendor.
Entering the experimental floor where the guild kept it is interesting objects, the Brotherhood’s leaders was assaulted with bizarre sights and sounds.
Servants took up the majority of Cogu’s assistants. They were uneducated fodder, children that could do simple tasks but were ultimately expendable. There were also a number of trained students who needed the credits, and reanimated corpses that were there to inspire the workforce into not making mistakes.
It was amazing how seeing a seven year old girl getting torn apart by the recently animated dead inspired competency.
On a nearby table a student had his eyes closed, beside him looked like an animated leather arm made out of rough cow hide. When the young man opened and closed his hand the glove mimicked his movements.
The Keeper of the Infernal Things gestured to the table, “As you can see, we are making remarkable progress into controlling the individual limbs that the collection team…” he coughed, “Collected for the guild.”
For being an accidental genius, the wizard in charge of understanding the curious nature of enchanted objects had a low vocabulary. He often repeated himself and his naming conventions were often less than spectacular.
They observed the students and servants tinkering with the flappy whirlies, the whozits, the giggling whatzits, and the crisper. Objects that Wendell didn't pretend or wanted to understand. What the glorified clerk did want to view were the guild's latest additions.
Standing in a row were four large leather mannequins. They were sexless mountains of reinforced leather. The leather had a distinct red hue to it and Wendell suspected that it wasn't due to dye.
The smallest of the liberated golems was the size of a full grown man but it had the curves and breasts of a woman. The tallest of them was a mountain of skin and sawdust, it was a slumped over beast of a thing, half-finished its iron skull was bare of flesh.
Cogu stood in front of the giant, “We believe that this was… Will's attempt to make a soldier or beast of burden. The other golems are made of wayborn parts. Reports indicate that he had been buying fresh corpses.” He hesitated for a moment, “I and my students have tried to use the golems just as we have with the individual limbs, but there have been no results.”
He pointed to a large hole at the center of the golems' chests, which was big enough for a gem stone the size of a fist to be slotted in. “We think that there was some sort of control crystal or gem that was meant to be placed here.”
Wendel nodded. The reports that he got from Boldar and the guild's other agents strongly indicated that Will put some kind of red gem stone in the chest pieces of his worker golems. The creature had also put on a helmet with similar gem stones attached to it as he worked. It had claimed that the hat and the gems were just for decoration, the agents believed that he was full of shit.
Lucinda walked in front of one of the female mannequins. The face was just one piece of red glass with some sort of venting apparatus attached to its jaw line. The thing looked utterly intimidating, and while the female's size and bulk indicated that it was built for labour, the black metal spikes on its arms and the huge metal blade that was attached to its tail said that it was built for something unfriendly.
To Wendell's shock, the librarian cusped the golem's breast. The woman showed no signs of modesty. “It almost feels like scaled armour.” She frowned, “There is a corpse inside this body. Odd. There is some form of cooling and purifying magic going on.”
She stood there in deep thought, “This Will shows that he understands some things but there is a huge gap out of his magical knowledge.” Lucinda Glared at the armour, “The thing allowed himself to be caught. Did he think that we would be impressed by his toys that we would let him join the Red Brotherhood?”
There was a reason that Lucinda obtained her seat at the council's table. Due to her love of books and obsessive reading ethic, she had a deep understanding of several generations of wizardry practise. She read grimoires from some of the most dullest, most self-absorbed sorcerers that had ever graced the guild. She was patient, she was learned, she knew how men thought.
Cogu shrugged. “I had thought that it was necromancy, but it appears that the boy… Creature, has been modelling the golems on wayborn physiology. Better control, better magical pathways. He is fusing science, anatomy, alchemy, and several other arts into a bastard form of magic.” He gazed deeply into the glass face. “I will interested in seeing how his brain works”
Wendell shivered and couldn't help but look at nearby jar.
Archmage Sergo looked back at the student with the arm, “Why are we having so much trouble controlling these golems when our students are easily using the limbs? Even without this crystal we should still be able to move them.”
“Those limbs were taken from the creature's,” Cogu's face twisted in disgust. It looked as if his next word hurt him to spit out, “lover. These were in the inn that it created. There were a lot of little tiny modifications. And she spent years forming the magical connections. These brutes are new. Though, now that I think about it, it is almost as if the golems are locked. Perhaps it was less of a control crystal and more of a key.” He waved the idea away, “In any case, we will eventually learn their secrets.”
Wendell had little doubt that they would learn something but not everything. Will was of a different species, where he came from they had no idea, but it had to be a strange place indeed if a child could build and take control of a small army of golems.
“I count only four, are the others in the vault?” Master Boldar asked.
“Of course, they are safely hidden away.”
The council of the Red Brotherhood walked towards the exit, each one imagining of changing the face of war forever and lining their own pockets. While the Red Brotherhood were powerful in their tiny little corner of the world, they dreamed of expanding their guild's borders.
Inside the workshop, no one noticed that the female golems fingers flexed.
The alarm brought Wendell out from his peaceful night sleep. Groggy and half awake he heard the ringing and fell back in bed. “Cursed alchemists.” He grumbled and threw his hand outwards.
Magical silence overwrote the call to arms. It was the forth time this tenday that those bastards exploded themselves. The scribe yawned and curled up with his little servant, while unable to preform he could still use his talented dancing girl as a warm pillow.
In the darkness and the silence he dreamed of naked goddesses and talking anteaters.
Bio: Born in Australia I am a late bloomer when it came to books. I started writing when my grandfather died and it just sort of turned into a hobby. I like science fiction, but not space opera. I like fantasy but I am picky when it comes to epic and urban types. I try to stay away from vampires, zombies and romance novels when I can.