Buried Beneath Living Earth

The Golem War was almost over, for better or worse.

Golems, living (if you call them living) beings of earth and stone and wood, emerged from the bosom of the Mountain herself. They erupted from the roots above, they peeled themselves from the rock below, down there in the old warrens and caves and mines that the dwarves had claimed centuries ago. The golems, they sprang forth from the earth, and the Mountain blushed with the blood of dwarves. Golems didn’t sleep, or eat, or speak–or think–but they could kill. Oh, they could kill.

Dorin, Thane of the Mountain, along with thousands of dwarven men and women, many of whom were not warriors but miners and smiths and traders and sculptors, drove the golems to the surface. The dwarven king fought alongside them, for fighting was a matter of survival, now, and, king or no king, the dwarves would fight on.

And they did fight on, unwavering, even when the king was slain, and the king’s son was slain, and the king’s daughter became queen without so much as a ceremony or a period of mourning. There was no time to grieve, no time to celebrate, for golems didn’t sleep, or eat, or speak.

Or think.

The wood golems of the surface–all root and gnarled branches amidst brambled bush and moss like makeshift hair and beards, were somehow more deadly than the stone golems of the Inner Mountain, and certainly larger. Dwarven axes swung, and the clop cloppity clop crack of golems being chopped asunder filled the air and echoed through the hills.

Now the golem forces slowed their charge. Piles of once-living wood and stone blocked the path back into the Mountain, so the dwarves built themselves forts of their fallen foes and constructed defenses from stone and wood and earth in those increasingly-long breaks between golem attacks. Dwarves were crafty creatures, and always made use of the earth, even when it tried to kill them in the odd cave-in or rockslide. Even when the earth itself came alive and slaughtered countless innocents. Even then, the dwarves kept digging, and they kept crafting.

 

 


 

 

Day 229’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Dwarves!” “IN THE MOUNTAINS,” and, “The Empress.”

Dwarves are the best. Objective fact.

– H.

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