Sundered Peak

through the mind of kyle tolle

The Golem Wall

A city survived raids from neighboring clans. They decided to build additional walls to protect themselves in the future. A man had recently returned from an excursion and he brought back knowledge of Golems, as well as a shard of crystal that would activate one. He presented his shard to the town and the people decided the Golem was the fastest way to build the wall to keep out a return group of vicious clan members. They would build the Golem the next morning.

When morning came, the town assembled its people and materials for use in the Golem. The hardest granite in all the region was gathered and the blocks joined with clay mortar. The crystal shard glowed and pulsed a deep blue as the traveler placed it deep in the interior of the stone formation.

The town’s members had practiced the chant needed to activate the Golem. It was more like a hum, but they performed it well and the clay mortar hardened and shrunk and the stone blocks shifted with the mortar. The Golem’s form took shape and resembled a fat man.

There were two spots left in the Golem’s head. The Golem could not work until these were filled. The traveler had procured two stone runes. One was inscribed with the mark for ‘growth’. The other rune stood for ‘earth’. They, when pressed firmly into place, glowed the same blue color as the shard had. The Golem’s body radiated a hum, similar to that the town had vocalized earlier.

The man gave the Golem a pat on the back and it stepped forward. The Golem dipped its head before the crowd and the traveler elucidated, quite clearly, the rules the Golem would obey. For all Golems operate by following rules, one after the other. When the man had spoken the last rule, the Golem began to obey.

It moved outside the city to a quarry and cut stones. The same stones of granite as the Golem had. These stones were worked into large blocks and it brought them back five at a time, carrying them in a large stack. The Golem was incredibly strong. Around the town’s perimeter it scraped flat the ground and placed the stones, one after the other. It did this until a single row was set all around the city. Then it moved on to placing the next row of stones.

The Golem never slept and the Golem never ate and the Golem never tired. It only cut stone blocks, carried them, and placed them. The blocks were so perfectly cut, no wisp of air could squeeze through the joints. And when the blocks were five people high, they sunk into the ground several inches, and gave the wall more stability and rigidity.

Days passed and the wall grew. The town was relieved when the clansmen returned and attacked the wall, but could not break it, and they could not scale it. The Golem had worked exactly as planned.

But when the clans retreated, the townsfolk discovered the Golem still cut the stone blocks, still carried them, and still placed them. It grew to the height that even birds had trouble flying over the walls. And even then the Golem continued. Soon the walls were so high the sky seemed a tiny point above them and no light could make it into the city, and no people could leave the city either.

They tried to dig under it, but the stones had sunk in their places all the way to the bedrock and sat flush with it too. The walls were impregnable, truly. And the Golem kept placing those cut stone blocks it carried until the people within perished in a climate like that of an eternal winter: dark, cold, frostbitten, and without end.

The town and the traveler had forgotten to tell the Golem to stop at some point, via some rule. Today the Golem still works, one block after the other, and the wall has reached nearly to the stars.