God Forge: Forge of the Mind (book 1) [draft 2]

Component 18 - Ether of Dreams

The Forge looked around, and to his dismay he knew not where he was. It looked somewhat like the ice cavern he’d previously been in; in fact there was a dead dragon lying not too far away, and but his friends were not around. A voice had just called out to him, but again, he had no idea where it came from.

“Where am I?” Angon asked the ether. The shadows all seemed to shift about, and the light glared like the sun; everything blurred and warped; even the floor beneath his feet.

“Angon, you never knew me.” The woman spoke again. “I was a friend of your… creator.”

“You know who created me?” Angon cried, turning and looking in each direction. “Where are you? Come out!”

“I cannot.” She said. “For they are watching, but their scrying does not allow them to hear into the Ether. Such walls of existence confused certain spells.”

“Oh.” Angon said, feeling a sadness within him. He wanted to see this woman, for she sounded so beautiful.

“What can you tell me?” Angon asked. “What was my creator’s name?”

“Azteron Zirnoff.” She spoke softly. “But that matters not at this point in time.”

“Then why have you brought me to this… place?” Angon asked, staring at the dead dragon, wondering why it crossed the barrier but his friends did not.

“This place is called the Ether of Dreams.” The whimsical voice said. “It is a place that exists in between worlds, but yet all creatures come here, save those who can not dream.”

“I see.” Angon said. “But I do not sleep, so why am I here?”

“For a moment, you tapped a portion of your potential.” Silvia said. “And there are those that would seek to destroy you for it.”

“Why?” Angon asked. “What did I do to them?”

“It is not what you did, but what you will do.”

“My purpose!” Angon cried. “Tell me what it is!”

“It is not my place, I’m afraid.” Silvia said, and the words disheartened Angon.

The Forge hung his head, and collapsed into a sitting position.

“Fret not.” She said. “For my words will save your life, and those of your friends as well.”

Angon’s head perked up and he looked towards the shadowy cavern ceiling.

“Stay away from those that call themselves the Blood Tomb.” Silvia warned. “They seek to destroy you. And if they do, all of Anhsook Del Iris will be lost.”

“I am that important?” Angon whispered. “Then my purpose must be great! I will be a hero?”

Silvia stayed silent for a moment, but then skirted the subject. “All I can say, is avoid them. If you see one then run; run far and fast, and don’t stop no matter what.”

“How will I know what they look like?” He asked.

“You will see them with red glowing skin.” Silvia responded.

“I can’t run my whole life.” Angon shook his head.

Silvia said, “You are not prepared to face them; not until your mind is properly forged.”

“Your words are like a puzzle.” Angon said.

“It is time to awaken.” Silvia said. “Open your eyes, and travel with your companions, they will lead you where you need to go.”

“But I don’t want to go!” Angon said. “Please, I need to know more.”

“I am sorry.” Silvia said. “For now, you must go.”

The shadowy world around the Forge began to brighten, and then everything grew bright.


The unfortunate Orc minion of Gonzeelda, opened his own eyes then. He looked around and found himself in a dark chamber, with a single beam of light shining down upon him. His hands were bound together with chains that suspended him from the ceiling. His feet did not touch the ground. Somewhere inside the chamber he could hear the drip drop of water, and smell a strong stench of mold.

“Ugh…” Budge groaned, his throat sore. His nose was running, and his eyes burned. He felt as if he had come down with a cold; which wasn’t a farfetched idea, even for the Orc. He had been in a block of ice the last he remembered.

“Anyone there?” Budge whispered, trying to twist in his chains and look around.

As far as he could tell, he was alone. His mistress and brother had abandoned him to his fate. A light sob came from his throat as he considered this. He had never been alone a day in his life. He was born at the same time as Weiggs, and they had always spent every moment together. Even when the mistress had chosen Weiggs over himself, Weiggs had begged her to bring along Budge as well. They were truly inseparable, or so he thought.

“Mistress!” He moaned. “Weiggs! Please come for me!”

“Oh that will not be happening, I am sure.” Came the raspy whisper of Lord Reischerr, the Lich.

“Who dere?” Budge cried, fear flowing through his being.

“Oh come now, you should know who it is.” Reischerr whispered, gliding up behind Budge and putting his rotting lips the Orc’s ear.

“Mommy?” Budge whimpered.

Reischerr lifted his hand to smack the idiotic creature. But he wanted to torture him mentally. Orcs did not respond well attacks on the mind, but they could persevere through the greatest of pains.

“I am not your mother.” Reischerr said, taking his rotting hand and stroking the Orc’s scraggily hair.


“You fool!” Reischerr snapped. “No! I am your Lord. I am the one who owns your life.”

“I no know what you mean.” Budge whimpered. “Mistress owns life.”

“Not. Any. More.” Reischerr hissed, sending waves of negative energies floating into Budge’s mind.

Immediately the poor Orc saw creatures that terrified him. Ghouls and all sorts of undead monsters writhed and stalked around the chamber. Little did he know, these creatures were not physically there, but it was an illusion brought on by the Lich behind him.

The monsters of nightmares came closer, reaching out towards the terrified Orc. As if being murdered, Budge screamed with every ounce of air in his lungs. Unfortunately, no one but Lord Reischerr of the Blood Tomb, could hear him.

Soon… Resciherr knew, soon he would have him broken enough to turn him against Gonzeelda.


Gonzeelda’s skin began to crawl. Every inch of her arms and legs exploded with goose bumps. She knew something was wrong, but couldn’t place just what. Nor did she have time to think and try to figure it out.

The Orcess gripped the side of the Underworld cliff with her delicate fingers. She was unaccustomed to climbing, but knew it was the only way to lose any soldiers Lord Reischerr had sent after her and her minion.

“Weiggs! Hurry up!” Gonzeelda hissed, and cursed herself for allowing the heavyset Orc to climb first.

But the fat Orc could not hear his mistress over the roar of the waterfall behind them. Not only had they chosen to climb near it to drown out any sound they might make, but they chosen to climb behind it.

Weiggs reached up and tried to find a handhold, but the rock was slippery.

“No can go higher!” Weiggs called down.

Gonzeelda tried to hear what the minion had said, but his words too were lost.

Finally, the Orcess growled and grabbed his ankle and yanked. Losing his grip, he fell. Gonzeelda pressed herself against the wall to avoid being knocked off.

Weiggs fell, but only ten feet. He landed on his tailbone and cried out.

“Why you hurt Weiggs?” He whimpered.

Gonzeelda looked down to Weiggs and shook her head. “Follow behind me!”

“I can no go without Budge!” He whined.

With a groan, the Orcess dropped to the ground beside her minion.

“We have to keep moving.” She grabbed him by his collar.

“Budge in trouble.” Weiggs cried, actual tears forming in his eyes.

She gave a great sigh; she thought she’d only lost on minion, but it seemd she had lost them both.

For a heartless ice queen, Gonzeelda was even surprised with herself.

She leaned in and hugged Weiggs, whispering into his filthy, wax overflowing ear, “Weiggs, go find Budge if you must. But I’m leaving. If your brother means that much to you, I release you both from my service.”

“Wha?” Weiggs cocked his head, confused. “You let us go?”

She nodded. “Don’t make me change my mind. Get your arse gone, before I stop giving a fetter.”

It didn’t take Weiggs more than a moment to leap to his feat and start away, but he turned back, looking at his mistress. She had already turned her back and started the climb up the cliff. With a small, yellow-toothed grin, Weiggs rushed back the way he had come.

Gonzeelda didn’t feel any remorse in knowing he was gone. But she also he knew he certainly went to his doom. In any case, the last thing she needed was someone to slow her down; especially when the Blood Tomb would be pursuing her at any moment.


Lavina leaned over Angon, and put her nose to his. “Please wake up, my friend. We need to leave this cave. I’m freezing!”

When the Forge’s yellow eyes flared to life, she squeaked and fell back, landing with her behind on the cold floor.

“Oh!” She whimpered, leaping back to her feet.

Angon sat up and took in his surroundings. The dead dragon was several yards away, and the only other creature in the cave was his half-elf, half-barbarian companion.

“Lavina?” Angon asked. “Did you hear Silvia?”

The confused girl shook her head. “No, I don’t know what that is.”

Angon wasn’t sure if any of his dream with the one called Silvia had actually happened.

The Forge stood and stretched his joints, hearing his gears popping.

“I had… a dream I think.” He said.

“Oh wow!” Lavina gasped, with her hands before her face. “I didn’t know you could! What did you dream of?”

“A place called the Ether of Dreams and a woman named Silvia.” Angon shrugged. “She was speaking of the Blood Tomb.”

“The Blood Tomb?” Lavina gasped, taking a step back.

“Who are they?” Angona asked.

Lavina shook her head. “It’s an ill omen to even speak of them. That you had a dream involving their name may be bad.”

“And to make things even worse.” Gavin said, appearing back in the cavern, alongside Buster, the Dwarf. “Back in Triden’s Gate I found an emblem belonging to the Blood Tomb.”

“Ye found what?” Buster Gasped; for he was no stranger to the corrupt kingdom of evil creatures that once waged war on the rest of Anhsook.

Gavin reached into his pack and pulled out the small emblem with the Blood Tomb insignia.

Lavina gave a small screech, and even Buster gasped, dropping to his knees. He started to speak a prayer to Sheeva, but stopped himself short. The pious Dwarf cursed himself, knowing his goddess was no longer amongst the living.

“How come the Gavin is so calm?” Angon asked, looking between Lavina and Buster. “These are bad people, right?”

“They are.” Gavin said. “And I’m not calm. Inside I’m as terrified as our companions, here.”

He put his hand behind his head and sighed. “But there is no reason to panic yet, for we have no proof they have returned.”

“They’d better not.” Buster grumbled. “If they do, we are in deep bullypig dung.”

“Who are they?” Angon growled. “Someone tell me!”

“Lavina, you’re the history buff…” Gavin said. “For I detest explaining things to the Forge.”

The half-elf girl gave a solemn nod and spoke. “The Blood Tomb tried to destroy Anhsook Del Iris, hundreds of years ago. Their army was so powerful it was able to rival the nine other continents. This was known as the War of the Ten.”

“What happened to them?” Angon asked.

“They just vanished.” Lavina said. “No one knows, really, but no ever dared to travel to the Deadlands to find out. What did ‘Silvia’ say in your dream?”

Angon looked between his three friends. “She said that they want to destroy me, and if they succeed, the world is lost.”

“By the gods…” Buster whispered.

“This isn’t good…” Gavin muttered.

“Oh Angon…” Lavina whimpered.

“What?” The Forge asked, having no idea exactly how much danger he was in.

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