The Forge Halls

“You are far from the Memory Hold, youth Vodhergodh. And far from the Raegh. This is not your usual manner.” Eyes fixed on the works before him and with hands clasped behind his back, the old sorcerer had to shout to be heard above the roars of flames and metal clatters that thundered in the Forge Hold. Once Vodhergodh stood beside him, only then did he turn to look at him. “Are you here to record Memories? Or to share one?”

“Khedhorro deaghm, Eonegdh” Vodhergodh replied, nodding his head slightly, in greeting. They were aimed and purposeful, both his words and nod, treating Eonegdh as an equal and as if the old Sorcerer had done the same, by recognizing his worth on sight. Eanegdh had not and was not inclined to do so now. Turning his head back to the Forges, his hands ever behind his back, he allowed silence to fall between the two.

“We are both advisors to the Raegh, Eonegdh” the Mnemancer said finally but again the Sorcerer seemed to ignore him. Calmly, Vodhergodh went on. “The Raegh would see us all agree on this, before he takes action. If you do not agree, he will not March, I think.”

“Share the Memory of the Hold’s Automata, Apprentice Mnemancer” came the order, instead of a reply. “Skip the names and dates, save for the Sorcerer and Kerawegh.” Furrowing his brows in anger, the young Mnemancer nevertheless obeyed.

“It is remembered that four-dozen and four were the Automata found in the Rook of Ghisghigamosh” he recounted. “It was discussed for three Duties among the Raegh Enh, the Hold’s First, and his Thanes, how they would be put to use and one Sorcerer, Azmeudh, and one Kerawegh, Sinhbodh, were consulted. It was decided on the fourth Duty that the Automata would be given to the Tempered to control but their use would be decided by the Ardent in war outside the clan. It came to pass that the Automata were put to use to claim what was useful from the Rook and help with the opening of Halls. It is remembered that on the…”

The Young Mnemancer paused, clearing his throat, before he went on.

“It is remembered that during the next Command, the Brood of the Oppressors assaulted the Clan. It was discussed among the Ardent and the Tempered of how to operate and use the Automata. It was decided by the Ardent that they would be put to war, invoking the order of the Raegh Enh. It was observed that the Automata were inefficient, slow and passive in war. It came to pass that two-dozen and six were destroyed with little to no effect in combat. It…”

“Stop” Eonegdh interrupted him “and look and listen” he went on, motioning towards the Forge before him.

He barely contained a smile, as he allowed the discorded clatters and roars of the Forge Halls to take over him. Allowing his Gift to guide his perception, he felt the rivers of molten metal that flowed around them as if they were his own blood coursing through his veins, his thoughts showered in the metal waterfall that splashed into the giant cauldrons and his heart pounded in the rhythm of the pounding metal being shaped in the ancient forges. Fire glow nested and grew in his eyes until they seemed aflame themselves and his hair started moving by an unseen air, like dancing fire in a roaring forge. Calm, almost passive, the young Dweghom next to him simply observed with cold, expressionless eyes, fixed on the old Sorcerer as he spoke on.

“Can you hear? They say the Kerawegh hear something similar in the clatter of battle, the cries of War. If that is so, then I understand why they would seek it so strongly. But that is also why I can never follow blindly in their quest for where they see the purpose of each of us, I see the doom of us all. Each Dweghom’s heart may beat like a drum of war but the heart of the Hold is here, beats here, gives it life and strength and purpose. Here, youth Vodhergodh, here is the heart of the Hold! Here, where wild fire, unmoving earth, they meld, they change, they shape into something new, stronger, more powerful than what they were before.”

Almost aflame, with fire dancing in his eyes, his hair, his fingertips, contained solely by the grafts in his arms that glowed in latent power themselves, the Sorcerer finally turned and looked into the calm eyes of the Mnemancer.

“Know this: I will not change my mind. I will not repeat the mistake of the forefathers, blindly rushing into everything as we have always done. The Hold should not open its gates. If the Northern men dare to attack, they will be destroyed, yes. But if we open the Gates, we answer to their accusations of theft. If we answer to an accusation, then we acknowledge it. If we acknowledge it, then another Hold, whichever has lost one of their Dragon Blade, will come asking next. We have a Raegh and his existence offers an opportunity. I will not squander it so that Ishkish and his lot can have their fun. This is my memory, Apprentice Mnemancer. Record it.”

Calm, almost serene, the young Dweghom nodded.

“I, Vodhergodh, remember your Memory, Eonegdh” he said. “And be not challenged, for I never tried to change it”. He nodded under the flaming Dweghom’s frown.

“I will share another memory: It is remembered that three Clans are marching here. They are small, from Ghe’Domn, where their Memories are strange and many lesser clans exist within the Hold’s Clan, led by their Thanes. One such Dhaen, leads now three clans. He is called Alekhaneros but they call him Azdhaen. Flame Berserkers are his following above all else and he is looking for a lost Draegbhrud. That is the Memory I share and you forge yours as you will.”

The Sorcerer’s brows furrowed in a scowl as he turned to look at Vodhergodh.

“Deaghm dhorro” said the Mnemancer ignoring the reaction and, with a nod, departed.

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