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

Component 14 - Ice, Ice, Maybe?

Component 14: Ice, Ice, Maybe?

Buster Ironheart could not set down the body of his goddess. His beloved Sheeva was gone and he did not know what to do—he did not think he could live in a world without her. Who cared that he would no longer be able to ask for help with daily decisions? Who cared that he could no longer pray for spells? The Belltower Dwarf certainly didn’t. All he cared about was that the only love he had ever felt in his life was now lost on empty space—A soulless body that rested in his arms.

“Me Sheeva!” Buster sobbed again, putting his bearded face to hers.

He kissed her head, and closed his eyes, holding her body so very close. Even though she was known as the Ice Goddess, she was still very warm—and he could feel that warmth slowly leaving her body.

“Blood Tomb…” Buster said with a sudden rage.

Eyebrows furrowed, the blue-beard gritted his teeth and growled, sending spittle flying. It was their fault. It was the gods damned Blood Tomb. Somehow they had made their way into Sheeva’s Ice Halls, her realm amongst the stars. How that was even possible, he did not know, but he believed the late goddess’ words. She had said the Blood Tomb had stabbed her.

“How could it be ye…” Buster growled, “Ye disappeared in the War of the Ten! Ye were supposed to be gone!”

But even though Buster said those words, he knew it in his heart. The Blood Tomb hadn’t lost that war—they had just vanished for an unknown reason. It was just when the nine great kingdoms were about to lose on all fronts—that was when the Blood Tomb army just vanished off the face of Anhsook Del Iris.

If the vile cult had returned it meant trouble for the Nine Lands. Far more trouble than he wanted at that moment. But Buster was conflicted on his duty. He was told to find the Soul Rupture and take it to the great alchemist Sheeva spoke of, but he also knew he needed to head back to Citadel Belltower and tell the High Cleric of the Blood Tomb’s return.

“Oh I don’t know what to do, dammit!” Buster whimpered, and then cursed violently as he closed his eyes and focused on his thoughts—making a decision was not his strong point.

“How about you die?” Came words from a very familiar, Oricsh voice.

Deep chills ran up Buster’s spine, and it wasn’t from the cold.


“What hit Budge?” The squished Orc whined from underneath the pile of bodies.

“I’m asking the same question…” Gavin answered the Orc from within his own daze.

Angon was the answer they both sought. Angon had fallen atop Lavina, Gavin and Budge. Lavina was out cold, and Angon, well Angon was so confused he did not know which way was up and which way was down.

The Forge’s head lulled about as he stared at the frozen ceiling, and thoughts danced through his head like little willowisps.

“Get off!” Budge snapped finally, “Budge can’t breathe!”

“Neither can I!” Gavin cried.

Lavina was squashed between the Forge’s back and Gavin’s front, her mouth muffled, so even if she were conscious, she would not be able to protest.

“Huh?” Angon mumbled, his eyes still looking around and taking in the strange bright-as-snow surroundings.

“Get off of us!” Gavin shouted, and smacked Angon in the back of the head.

The force of the blow snapped Angon back to reality. His eyes widened and he rolled off, landing with a great thud, and causing snow to pop up into the air.

Gavin carefully pushed Lavina to the side, and gasped, taking in a deep breath. He still lay on top of Budge, whose skin had now gone from green to violet with lack of air.

It took a few seconds, longer than Budge would have liked, but the Sol Elf noticed a sharp pain in his lower right back.

“Fetter!” Gavin cried, and leaped to his feet, rubbing the spot furiously, “What in the Abyssal Bat Maws was that!”

It didn’t take the crafty elf long to figure out the obvious. His violet eyes narrowed as he locked onto the Orc. It was dressed in that same red cloak as the ones from Triden’s Gate, as well as wearing the black chain-link armor. On the ground next to him lay an obsidian battle-axe.

Moving in a flash, Gavin kicked away the axe, and then kicked the Orc in the side. The unfortunate recipient curled into a fetal position, and whined.

“What that for?” He cried, nearly in tears.

“For being an ugly, dung-eating Orc!” Gavin shouted.

It was then that Budge had a moment of clarity. He looked up at the tall, golden-haired elf, then off to the side to see the auburn-haired girl, and finally to see a standing, gigantic man in a suit of armor.

“This not good.” Budge whimpered, and then scrambled away.

Gavin’s foot hooked the Orc’s knee, causing him to fall onto his face in the snow.

“Lemme go! Lemme go!” Budge pleaded.

Lavina sat up suddenly and looked around. She spotted the Orc and screeched, crawling backwards until she bumped into Angon. Again she shrieked, and scrambled. Before anyone could intervene, Lavina had her back to Budge.

Orcs were never the smartest of creatures, especially not this one, but inside that cracked skull of his, and idea poofed into existence. Budge grabbed the girl around her chest, and pulled her close, slapping the blade of a dagger right to her throat.

“One move!” Budge said, “Jus’ one move and she die!”


Buster began to turn around, but Gonzeelda shouted at him.

“Do not move, dear Dwarfy-warfy.” Were the beautiful Orcess’ words.

“If ye gonna kill me, get to it, ye filthy bitch.” Buster dared to say, for his goddess had just died and he wanted to be with her wherever her soul went.

“I could do that.” Gonzeelda said, putting away her crossbow, “Or we could play a little game.”

“A game? What damn game be ye speaking of?” Buster growled, tightening his fingers into fists.

“Hmm, I dunno.” The Orcess said, placing a delicate finger to her chin in thought, “How about you swear allegiance to me and I let you live. For now.”

“Doesn’t sound like a fun game.” Buster muttered.

“The alchemist, then.” Gonzeelda said, “Your goddess didn’t tell you where to find him—why is that?”

“How should me be knowing?” Buster said, and although Gonzeelda could not see it, rage was splayed on his face.

“I think it’s because you know where he is already.” His captor guessed.

“Aye…” Buster said, “And I’ll never tell ye.”

In fact he did know where that alchemist could possibly be—but he knew in his heart he would die before he would tell her the location far to the north. The town first destroyed by wicked gods.

“Then I’ll just have to kill you.”

“As I said, do it.” Buster challenged.

Gonzeelda needed the information and she wasn’t about to let it die with him. For her ‘Beauty’ was broken, and only the alchemist who made it, could repair it—she knew that much about magic weapons.

“Then ye don’t have the guts.” Buster’s face changed from anger, to a sudden melancholy—his eyes drooped, and a frown took over, “Maybe I am not meant to die after all.”

Gonzeelda did not like being called out on a bluff. The short-tempered Orcess threw down her crossbow so hard that it snapped into pieces. Slowly, she grabbed the hilts of her daggers and brought the blades up just an inch.

“There’s a fate much worse than death, you know.” She said.

“Ye don’t scare me.” Was his flat reply.

The Orcess snapped. In a blind flash of rage she charged.

In all of Buster’s years he had never thought he would use an actual strategy in a battle. He always thought that rushing in head first was the way to go, but now he was seeing things from the opposite perspective. Rage would not be his master, not that day, not any day after.

The burly dwarf spun around and held out his arms wide. Gonzeelda came in and slashed the weapons. Indeed, the blades did cut into his forearms, but not deeply enough to change his plan.

Slipping, barefoot on the ice, Gonzeelda was not able to stop her momentum.

Buster closed his arms, wrapping her in a tight bear hug, but that was not where the counter attack ended. The might Belltower Dwarf bent back, and brought the Orcess over his head, taking her along until his head touched the ice, and her head cracked against it.

The shudder of the cavern caused loose ice to rain down around them.

With a deep breath, Buster released Gonzeelda, and turned to face her. She now lay on her side, eyes closed, and head bleeding. The woman was unconscious and she wasn’t getting up anytime soon.

“I should kill ye…” Buster grumbled, picking up one of her daggers and walking towards her, intention in his eyes.


The ice cavern shook as a boom came from somewhere through the tunnels—not a single one of them noticed. Angon stared in anger, Gavin stared in fear, and Lavina was in shock. Behind her, Budge held the half-elf girl tight and even the slightest wrong breath from the girl would cause the obsidian blade to cut into her fair, and beautiful skin.

“We can talk this out.” Gavin said, patting the air before him.

“We can?” Budge asked, confused—he had never expected them willing to negotiate—he had been sure he would have to take the girl with him as he hurried to find his mistress, Madame Gonzeelda.

“No, we can’t.” Angon said, his anger growing—his hands trembling, wanting so badly to grab the lanky Orc’s neck and crush it.

“Wha?” Budge asked, “Budge confused, Elf just said—”

In speaking, Budge accidently moved the blade too close to Lavina, and a small drop of red leaked out, running down into her chest cavity.

Inside there was a sudden explosion—the force of a volcano erupted in his soul—Angon saw blood—he smelled the blood—he smelled her blood.

With a great, bellowing roar, Angon left the spot he stood, and moved so quickly the Orc never saw the metal man coming.

The Forge’s huge fist engulfed Budge’s head and he didn’t slow, nor hesitate for an instance—he slammed him right into the wall—once, twice, a third time, a fourth, a fifth—it was never ending.

Behind Budge the ice wall was cracking, chunks flying away with each slam. The only thing keeping the Orc alive was his armor which had been enchanted to deal with heavy trauma, but that could not stop Angon. At that moment, nothing could stop Angon.

Sixth, seventh, eighth—ninth, tenth.

“I think he’s dead.” Gavin said.

But it didn’t stop the Forge. He wasn’t going to stop until the Orc was mush. It was thankful for Budge that the wall gave way, crumbling into the next room. Angon lost his balance, and released the Orc, who skidded across the room and stopped next to a short, surprised looking man with a blue beard and blue hair.


Buster didn’t know what this new threat was. A giant had just shattered a wall to a goddess’ chamber, and sent a body flying in his direction. The dwarf looked down at the black and blue lump that was an Orc. Its stomach still slightly moved up and down—The Orcess’ minion was still alive, but barely.

As he held his dagger in hand, Buster looked up at the metal-man. It looked back at him, its chest heaving.

The gigantic metal humanoid eyes trailed to the obsidian dagger Buster held, and it was then that the dwarf felt true and utter fear. He let the dagger clatter to the ice.

“Friend or foe?” Angon growled, breathing heavily—although he did not need to breathe, and he knew it.

“I be friend… I think.” Buster said, looking over the two elves that were stepping into the room behind the monstrous golem.

“Are you with the Orcs?” The man-elf asked, as he reached for his bow.

Buster quickly shook his head, “Nay. I be with me. Not these damn dirty things.”

“So he’s a friend!” The shorter girl-elf announced.

“If that be what ye calling me then.” Buster said, “But I have business to attend to…”

The dwarf was wary of the new faces, so he took each movement with caution—for the golem still had balled fists and did not look happy. He kneeled down next to Gonzeelda and searched her being—there were very few places to search, and even fewer he wanted to. But on her hip, he found the small sack. He picked it up and gave it a quick shake. Something inside of it clanked.

“What happened here?” The elf-girl asked, looking around and walking up to the body of Sheeva.

Buster opened the sack and looked inside. A blue light glowed from within, and sure enough, it was the shattered pieces of Soul Rupture.

“I knew ye would be too greedy to leave it.” Buster whispered, a small smile hidden behind his thick beard.

“Who is she?” The elf-man asked, walking up to the girl.

Buster took notice of what was happening just then and saw the pair standing over Sheeva.

“Leave her be!” Buster snapped and stomped towards them.

The powerful dwarf pushed both elves away and kneeled over his lost goddess again.

“I have Soul Rupture.” Buster whispered, putting his forehead to hers, “I’ll do as you asked. This way we can be together again.”

Across the room, the golem finally was beginning to calm down. He no longer heaved, but was still clenching his fists open and closed.

“How’d ye all find this place?” Buster asked, eying the group suspiciously, especially the tall golem, “And who be ye?”

“I’m Lavina Mistystar!” the girl bounced on her heels as she spoke—Buster regarded her as annoying.

“Gavin Windhearth.” The other elf said—Buster thought him to be too skinny to be of any use.

“I’m Angon.” The golem said, taking a deep breath.

Like a smack to the back of the head, the name hit Buster. He had heard it before—almost seen its owner. Images floated through his mind—images from when he briefly held Soul Rupture.

He saw the ritual, and the poor child that had been sacrificed. The alchemist had used the scythe—could it be? Was this Angon, the same as the child? Was the creature before him the result of the GodForge ritual—and if that was true, then was it capable of defeating a god?

No, he told himself, that couldn’t be—a machine could never kill a god, mortal soul or not.

But it was just at that exact moment, that the entire temple began to shake with a steady loud booming. Somewhere down the tunnels a voice could be heard screaming.

“Help!” it cried.

Buster’s eyes widened as through the doorway came the other orc companion of the unconscious woman-orc. Pure terror was plain on his face. He pointed behind him and cried again, “Help!”

With a huge explosion of icy debris, the wall of the above the doorway blew apart and a gigantic form was visible through the mist.

All five of the conscious in the room could only stare as a huge white head appeared from the cloud. Buster’s jaw fell slack as he stared, for the first time in his 327 years, at a great ice dragon.

As the warpriest picked up Hellsmasher, he turned his eyes briefly to Angon who looked just as shocked as himself. Was Angon truly capable of killing a god? If so, this was a good way to find out.

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