Genesis Scrolls Round 3: {Amosen - Ping's Prophecy | part one}

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{Amosen - Ping’s Prophecy | part one}
Nestled at the confluence where the Tolen tributary joins the mighty O’ti river, and tucked below the low flying clouds of the Opasotitolen region, hides the town of Amosen. A speck on the map, smeared larger than destiny should have permitted, but in the years when only gods traveled the realms fate was rarely consulted about her desires. The map owners would roll out their parchment, plop down a godly finger and create a new smudge, blurring the border separating Amosen from the surrounding lake Rote. Then dragging a path back to their homes, or from wherever the pull called, they would begin to dream of the warm feel of the forge and stories sung by master blacksmiths of Amosen.

Slam Down Heavy | verse one
a song by the smith guild of Amosen

I’m alone beside the fire
my back will burn against the pyre

slam down heavy
slam down heavy

you can never find my like
my hammer is the truest strike

slam down heavy
slam down heavy

Majestic stones of Amosen
What beauty will I find within

slam down heavy
slam down heavy

One particular blacksmith, who could summon the largest crowds from the furthest reaches of the realms with his melodic voice belting out stories, all while crafting the finest armor and blades ever before seen. Ping they called him, ancient if the rumors were to be believed, oldest amongst the gods. He had white short hair and a tight beard that rested on his unnaturally young face. It was his silver eyes though that sang the loudest. More beautiful than even his angelic voice. On occasion, those silver eyes would betray him, and reveal his immeasurably long existence full of endless running. However, Ping was no longer running, he had found a home in Amosen.

Ping arrived long before the crowds when the only blacksmith was a kind-hearted man named Roal, and the town was much too small for any map. Roal’s wife Ella found him cowering amongst some nearby wild berries. She brought him home, and Su, the youngest daughter of no more than four years in age, demanded they keep him, so they did. Time passed in their home and he became more than just a lost wanderer.

“What should I call you?” Roal asked while pounding the iron. “You’ve been here awhile. I can’t keep calling you silver eyes. I suppose you already have a name?”

“I do,” he said and continued staring at the glowing iron.

“Well, care to share it, silver eyes?” Roal chuckled and continued to strike away at the iron.

“No, I think it’s time for a new name.”

“Ok then, what might that be?” Roal’s smile widened, never slowing his hammer swings.

“I like the sound of that, you can call me Ping.”

The years moved quickly as Ping mastered the blacksmithing trade. The roots of the family grew stronger, holding him firmly to the ground. He learned the history of Amosen, about how the gods here still practice the lost arts and spoke in the abandoned tongue. These were not young gods that had settled here. Tighter the ties between friends wove together, binding him even more to their lives. He had completely forgotten how to run.

Su grew to become the beautiful admiration of many in the town. Her father was always amused when they would show up at his door with flowers and sweets. She was never home, always at the forge and most would know this, all that cared enough to know her true passion. Still, he would invite them in, listen to their dreams and abilities about how they would take care of his daughter, and then he would cook them a magical meal. Explain to them that it is her favorite, a hearty lentil soup with local grains and fresh root vegetables. Spiced to her perfection. Few could get past a single spoonful before their eyes would swell with water and they would choke out in pain. When Ella was nearby, she would roll her eyes at her husband’s antics, and provide fresh bread and more water to his latest victim.

While her father and suiters played their games, Su would be tending to the foundry’s fire at the forge. Her knack with a flame was unrivaled. She could hold any temperature, subtracting and adding, creating the perfect alloys. It should not have come as a great surprise, to anyone, when Su was given a god’s skill.

The gods are a unique bunch. Each one is different in their way. Some have abilities while others do not, some live forever while others get sick and die before their first birthday. The oldest are more capable and have powerful skills, except for the occasional wild card this rings true. Perhaps they’re breeding these gifts out for reasons only they know. It’s hard to tell what happens in the mind when one lives so long, it all must become either very sad or very comical.

Su’s arm burst apart into flames. Ping ran to her as fire streamed from her arm just above the spot where her elbow was last seen. He grabbed a small crucible and slammed it around what remained of her arm. He muttered some unfamiliar words and turned to look into her eyes. She was screaming with pure rage and pain into his face.

“You must breathe,” said Ping, with a sound coming from inside her head.

“No!” she howled.

“You must breathe,” again his voice came from within.

Su breathed, and the fires calmed.

“Again,” he said. This time the sound came from his mouth.

She took in another deep breath, and with a slow controlled exhale the fire went out.

Su awoke in her bed and could hear her father and Ping in the kitchen talking. She looked over at her arm, at the crucible squeezed tight around her skin. Perfectly sized, did Ping put that there she wondered. Then lifting her arm to get a better view, she chuckled. Funny, she thought, it’s less than half the size and more than twice the weight.

The years passed as Su tamed the new skill and learned to control the fire. She built a foundry in a little building next to her father’s forge and mastered the art of metallurgy. Despite her transformation, the suitors continued to come, but they had become wiser and no longer visited her home. Instead, they serenaded her at the foundry. Su enjoyed the songs and would hum along. After a bit of time she began to join them outside, for a bite or some lunch, or just to watch the sunset. If she offered to feed them they would kindly refuse and explain that they hadn’t quite mastered her flame. She would smile and nod knowingly.

Roal stepped out of the forge, stretched his back, and looked across lake Rote. Every year it seems to get closer, he thought, walking over to the lake with his hammer still in hand. There in the distance, sitting on a small patch of land, the only bridge between Amosen and the rest of the realms, was a driverless wagon pulled by four large beasts of burden. Strapped down on top of the four-in-hand was a very strange rock.

“Excuse me, is someone there?” asked Roal as he neared the wagon. Pouncing up from between the animals sprang a little man.

“Oh, hello there,” said the man. “Sorry I didn’t see you come up. This stubborn beast has decided she won’t go any further.” He put his shoulder against the animal to demonstrate.

“Yes, she seems determined,” Roal agreed. “If I may ask, what brings you to our little village? We don’t get many travelers.” he eyed the man with a healthy mixture of curiosity and untrustworthiness.

“Oh, well…” sputtered the little man as he looked at Roal’s hammer. “I think it’s you that I’ve come to find.”

The man’s name was Totatanqu or Tot for short as he explained to Roal with a tap of his nose and a wink. Tot was an anxious fellow. Bouncing around rapidly while painting a confusing picture with his words, all about how he acquired the stone and its power to burn. Then he continued to mumble about destiny and a prophecy. It was all very hard for Roal to follow. Finally, he spoke of a blacksmith in Amosen with the ability to smash his stone into perfectly equal bits. This part Roal understood, his god skill, that he had kept secret for all his life, had been found out. Somehow this overly animated man called Tot, had discovered his secret, traveled a very long way, and was now determined for him to use that skill against this very stone.

“I don’t think I understand,” said Roal.

“That’s alright, I suppose it’s a bit to take in,” said Tot. He patted Roal on the arm. “You needn’t worry about how I found out your secret,” he said, continuing to pat his arm. Then he jumped on the wagon and threw up his arms. He howled, “I vow that your secret will never leave my lips again.”

“Quiet down,” hissed Roal.

Tot continued in a lower tone, “All I ask is for you to use your trick, and crack this stone into ten equal parts. I’ll give you three to do with as you choose.”

“And, will they light my forge forever?”

“Well, not forever, but they’ll do much more than that." Tot scurried over the top of the wagon and leaned into Roal. He whispered, “They’ll make you famous, they’ll make you important, and they’ll make you very rich.” Tot licked his lips, sloping back the drool.

After some pacing and worrying, Roal climbed up on the large stone. He steadied his hammer and found that magical spot with his skillful eye. Then he did a trick that he had not done since he was a boy, he smashed the stone.

Beaming with pride and singing songs of hope as he walked home, three stones in his arms, one for him, one for Su, and one for Ping. For a brief moment, he became nervous, worrying about how his family would react and what he would tell them, but the dreams of riches clouded those thoughts away and he continued with his songs. Across town, the quiet farmer Mister Slickles fell down and died, and then nine fish in lake Rote joined him and floated up to the surface.

Time marched onward. In the beginning, Ping was full of outrage, refusing to use his stone for many years, but eventually, he became intoxicated with the power. He lost himself just as Su and Roal did to this new chapter of their lives. No longer was he known as Ping the surrogate son. He had become Ping the master blacksmith, bard of the forge. Everything in the town became larger. Even the small patch of land that separated it from the realms would grow into a mighty bridge of travelers, all coming to feel the warmth of the forge and hear the songs from the blacksmiths of Amosen.

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