“That’s the last one,” a stocky worker announced unloading a cauldron-sized rock. He wiped his forehead and lead his oxen away, uncertain of the further purpose for the gathered boulders. As the worker walked away, slow in attempt to satisfy the curiosity, he followed the eye line of one of the druids who signaled an overseer few floors higher.
In return the overseer pulled out a book from under his emerald robe; its silver stitches flickered in faint light of the chamber. He looked down at the sleeping, stone figure that stretched along the floor in a thin layer of snow which kept sprinkling down the wide, open chasm up above. With one finger the overseer proceeded to rehearse the words, comparing an illustrated chart to the way the stones have been laid out. After what he signaled back and the workers, along with their oxen and other hauling beasts, were promptly sent back into the mountain temple, unworthy to witness any more.
Dressed in a matching cloak, another man arrived in the chamber, stepping into the sunbathed area to join the rest of the group. A sense of unease emanated from it. Next he looked up into the chasm. Its walls glimmered with the flickering snowflakes, and icy crystals buried inside the mountain flesh. And he marveled at the mighty creature that awaited its wake up call.
“Do you have it?” The leader of the group raised his chin.
“One of the finest cuts.” The cloaked man then proceeded to open an elegant, wooden box. In it was a crystal, almost as big as a grown man’s head.
“No scratches and defects?”
“The finest,” he assured with confidence, only now noticing more members filling the room.
“Let us place it then.”
The two called for a younger associate for help, and the trio gathered around the pile that made up the head. Gently, the crystal was placed into the eye socket, afterward they rejoined the forming chain of people. Beginners, experts – anyone who was sufficiently attuned to magic, was readying to harvest energy.
Each of them came forth and inscribed their initials on the limbs of their creation, believing that would prevent the golem from ever bringing them harm. Once that step concluded the group awaited their command from the overseer.
“I have heard we have a lot of first timers today. To whom I have this to say: Do not be afraid,” his voice compassionate, yet expression still as the water. “If you were not suited for this ritual, you would not be standing here. In fact, you should pride yourselves in this rare honor!” he roused them. “I realize not all of you are fully attuned to the powers around you. Trust me when I say your skills will be enough. Though I have to stress this. You cannot fear, you cannot doubt your mind or body. Hesitation weakens you and opens you to a failure! Open up to the powers around you, take them in and channel it into this shard! Picture a shimmering blood, a life force as it flows through the golem’s veins. Engrave its purpose in the deepest corners of its mind, his role to aid us in our work and to protect us.” With that, his arms dropped, and everyone closed their eyes and lowered their heads in effort to channel all the energy they could draw.
A soft breeze came swooping down into the mountain. The white fluff danced around the boulders as the silence deepened. Only some of the most experienced members whispered a faint incantation. The longer they did so, the more their voices seemed to meld into one, and soon with the air itself. The shard began to melt, seeping into the creature until it situated itself securely in the socket as both a glowing eye and the golem’s heart.
There was a low hum, a faint vibration, and one by one the boulders trembled and clashed into each other, forming bonds and joints, booming like a vicious storm.
“Stop!” The druid yelled out, breaking out from the trance. His legs weakened and he grabbed onto the balustrade for support.
No one moved, observing their creation some with apprehension. Only a few exchanged questioning glances.
Something creaked, then crackled. One of the stone fingers twitched startling some of the less experienced men. Everyone stepped back a tad, following the ones who inserted the crystal.
“Give him some room. Do not be afraid. It is perfectly safe.”
A deep, rocky moan reverberated through the huge chamber when the golem stirred on the ground. It was with effort that it tried getting up, rolling sluggishly from side to side. Soon enough, he picked himself up, his fingers scraping along the stone floor, and into a sitting position. With the blank, yet somehow intelligent look in the eye the creature examined its surrounding. Confused.
“Outstanding job, everyone!” The overseer praised as he slowly made his way down. “Go now. Rest. I will make certain personally that its knowledge has been correctly implemented.”