Art: 047/100 Themes - Creation

"Kreonum." Creation. - 47/100 Themes.
Sorian's secret weapon - war beasts driven by magic.

Sorian walked through the warehouse with the Historian trailing a few respectful steps behind him. The building used to be a manor house, but the stables were now barracks, and the spitfires were now forges. He glanced around, looking for idle bodies. When they caught his eyes, they hurried back to work, shoveling coal and shaping sheets of steel. He marked their numbers off in the journal he carried, so he could remember whose salary might need adjustment.

They reached the back door. A priest, dressed in white, stood next to it, waiting for them. He bowed, "Your highness."

"You reported that you have something to show me?"

"Yes, my liege," the priest said, bowing again to open the door. "I hope you will be pleased."

He stood in front of his creation, eyes darting between the design drawing in his journal and his living, breathing prototype. Here was his beast of flesh and metal. Merely days before, this creature had been a simple, dumb, war horse who had been too stubborn to ride. Now, it was an armored, deadly, force. Its blood vessels and muscle sinew were replaced by and intertwined with wire. Its skin had been plated over with much harder iron. The little spaces between the mechanical joints crackled with the magic that kept it alive. Sorian knew that somewhere, underneath, there would be a beating heart. It lowered its head to him, releasing a jet of warm condenstation through two flickering nostril vents. Sorian stared into where its eyes would have been. They had been replaced by two, unblinking, glass lenses with steel shutters. A stream of saliva dripped from its sharpened teeth and froze when it hit the ground.

It stood sturdy as he mounted it with ease. Part machine and part animal, its spirit had long been completely shattered. He ran his hands along the smooth, metal laid across its spine. He played with the tubes in its neck, magically-reinforced replacements for arteries. He willed it forward, and it responded to his touch on its wired body. He placed his hand against its thick neck, and as his internal command, it reared backward. He clung to the mass of tubes, holding tightly as it set its forelegs back on the ground. They came down with enough weight and force that they pierced through the layers of soft snow, cracked the permanent layer of tundra ice, and exposed the solid, red, rock underneath.

Sorian grinned and opened to another page in his book. "How much steel remains?"

"Not much, sire."

"Then, get more."

He snapped the book shut. "Take it, if you have to. We need hundreds of these."

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