The dull sound echoed around the damp hills, muffled by mist and moss.
“I’ve found something! My lord, I’ve found something!”
Oddleigh hurried over to the base of the rubble, clambering over rusted gears and crumbling stone.
“Sshh! The master expressly told you not to make a noise – there could be others!”
It had been a few days since they left the Border Forests. The land was still barely hospitable, but the occasional sign of habitation - albeit ruined - meant that they were getting closer.
“I’m sorry my lord, but look…”
Orghai (or possibly Moghai - the thugs all looked the same to Oddleigh) jabbed his spade at the gleaming object.
“Ssshhhhh! Let’s see – c’mon, help me – but quietly!”
They slowly cleared the stones, carefully placing them on the ground next to the- whatever it was.
“Looks like a bell… Perhaps the master is right – this did used to be a clock tower, though why you’d want one out here is anyone’s guess. Look there’s something attached to it.”
“Looks like an arm my lord – yeah, a metal arm!”
“And another… I’ve seen something like this before – the automatons on the Artificer’s great clock in Ulfenhalle.”
“Mechanical men you dolt! They’d come out and strike the hour – it was all very clever. Hmm… but I see no workings…”
“All done with magic I ‘spect.”
Oddleigh sighed. “Oh why don’t you shu- hang on, yes, magic – this is a construct! Come on, help me dig it out fully!”
From the dark and noisome depths it whipped up through the sewers of the frozen city, coiling around soiled rocks and burrowing through rotting walls.
Where there had been food in abundance, where it has writhed sightlessly, where it had… changed… there was now nothing.
But even in the deepest sump of the deepest midden it had felt the sudden warmth, the vibrations and the life above.
And so, clawing and gnawing at the black soil, up it went…
It stood motionless; a stone monolith wreathed in steam rising from the pulverised mess that surrounded it. Blood dripped from it’s massive granite fists.
It had ripped, torn, stomped, smashed.
They tried to fight, or run, or cast their feeble spells; but it had been alone in this place of stones steeped in magic for countless ages… They stood no chance.
It felt… nothing.
The rage that had turned this hulking statue into a furious wall of destruction had abated. It’s massive joints no longer grated across each other with astounding speed. The hatred that had driven the golem do so utterly destroy what had once brought it to life and enslave it had gone as swiftly as it had come.
It stood motionless – waiting.
Three bigger creatures for the collection - L-R: a Medium Construct (a pre-painted plastic Dreamblade 'War Toller' figure, re-based and given a blue/green wash for verdigris), a large construct or golem (pre-painted plastic D&D 'Maug', also re-based and drybrushed) and a Frost Worm, or stand-in for a demon (a pre-painted plastic Dreamblade 'Crypt Worm' model, drybrushed and base removed).