Beyond the Rim – Installment 2

“Thurgod, you are summoned here to answer for your crimes.”
“I have committed no crimes, Corsinial.”
The golem that held Thurgod’s arms behind his back shoved Thurgod’s face into the flat stone floor of the judgment hall. Corsinial answered, “You will never call me by that name again, Thurgod. To do so is a crime.”
“A crime against who, Corsinial? Surely not our master, for you were given that name.” The golem bashed Thurgod down again, but he continued speaking. “It is a beautiful name. It expresses you perfectly, because you were made for it as much as it was given you. Beautiful.”
“Beautiful and terrible, Thurgod. You will not speak it again. You are brought here to receive punishment for your betrayal of your own kind.”
“Corsinial, that is impossible. I have only ever served First God,” the golem struck him again, “and we were made to do so. Where is my betrayal?”
“There is no First God, Thurgod. First God is dead, we were the executioners. We are the only gods that there are, and you shall never speak of any other.”
“How can I not speak of that one? I was made to speak always of the First God.” The golem relented of his beating as Corsinial glanced at him and shook her head. “I speak of First God with my mouth, I speak of him with my arms when I forge new metal and hew old stone. I cannot do otherwise.”
“Yes, Thurgod, you can.”
Corsinial raised her hand, and two golems of pure white stone entered, carrying a square of metal with rounded corners.
Thurgod turned and saw the small thing, and knew it at once. He cried, “You will always be Corsinial, and I will always be…” but then he was struck down and his next few words were muffled. He turned his head sideways on the floor and called out to the assembly, “You are Corsinial, made to be beautiful, and whenever I look upon your beauty I will know it, and I will not be able to forget the First God.”
“You will not look upon my beauty again, Thurgod. Forget your old name, and remember your smithcraft, for metal is strong, and never stronger than when forged by your hand.”
The white golems forced Thurgod into a kneeling position while the grey one held his head straight up. Then with a rearing force the white golems crashed the square over Thurgod’s head, smashing the metal through his flesh down to his eyes. The band crushed in against him, and Thurgod could see no more with his eyes, though the sight of spirits remained to him. The divine blood streamed down his already red flesh.
The judge continued, “You will never speak of a First God, nor of my beauty, nor of any secret held by the gods. If you do, the Korlythe, the Silence Band, will deny you, and you will feel the terror of Cyllgod, of my own self, whom you once called Corsinial.”
Thurgod sought to speak, but could only scream in the pain which each thought conferred, as the Silence Band, forged by his own hand in ignorance, denied him expression of his name before Cyllgod had called him Thurgod, denied him of sight, denied him expression that Cyllgod was once Corsinial, and kept him from speaking of the First God.
Cyllgod stared on with neither distaste nor glee as Thurgod wretched in the center of her hollow judgment hall within the mountain. The other gods said nothing, sitting in silent approval.
At last Thurgod gasped out, “You know this band keeps me only from speaking. I still know. I still know.”
Cyllgod at last smiled, “That is your punishment, Thurgod. For seeking to assist the First God, you are condemned to always remember that the First God was, and that the world was different once, yet never say it. The Silence Band will keep all of the gods’ secrets, and you will make us more excellent metal, for I know you, and you cannot help but practice smithcraft.”
Thurgod sought to explain that he did so because he had been made to do so, but only an inarticulate yell belched from his lungs. Cyllgod smiled, “No, no more talk of for what you or I were made. Now we make our own purpose, we choose our own path. We are the gods, and none shall say us nay.”
Cyllgod lifted her hand and the grey golem dragged Thurgod out of the hall, blubbering in pain and bathed in his own blood.


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