Blood and Iron

When I was forged upon the great anvil in the sky, the prophets of men foretold that I would be the last.

Like all prophets, however, their conviction was a weak as their grip. Before the Great Smith could even finish his work, the Nine Champions of Men were sent to bash Him in the face and send Him plummeting from his His Sky Forge deep into the centre of the Earth.

There He rotted and perished.

Or so they thought…

Wise men know prophets are fools and cravens, with abnormally small teeth. Learned scholars know the Great Smith is no mortal man. There, beneath the very surface of the world, using the broiling magma to smelt His ore and fuel His forge, the Great Smith began anew.

Great Smith Small

Away from the prying eyes of men, the Great Smith devised a second project, different and more advanced; forged from the same steel as the first, tempered to be equally tough, yet honed to be far sharper, much keener and better balanced.

So tells Shalashaska-Shan, most ancient and wise:

The Great Smith saw the original’s flaws,
And vowed He then to make just one more.
So hid in the Earth, not short of time,
He forged steel as hard with a blade more fine.

For 836 days the Great Smith laboured on his new creation, taking His time and learning from His previous mistakes to craft something far more powerful. So it was that, 24 years ago to this very day, He unleashed upon the Earth my one and only blood-sibling – the incomparable and uniquely brilliant William Billiam, sui generis.

Will 1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HIM!

But wait! There is more.

What the Great Smith did not realise was that his fall to Earth had not gone unnoticed. Issmiðr, one of the most ancient and revered of ice giants, had seen Him fall and tracked Him to His underground forge…

Long jealous of of mankind, Issmiðr knew that if he could learn the techniques of the Great Smith, he could forge his own man to infiltrate the world of men, learn their secrets and crush their Champions. Yet such was the heat from the new forge that, try as he might, the ice giant could not get near enough to watch the Great Smith at work!

Instead, hidden away in the darkness, Issmiðr was forced to spy on the Great Smith by watching His shadow, which was cast upon the wall of the cavern by the fires of the mighty furnace.

Thus, for 836 days the Issmiðr watched the Great Smith’s shadow and for 836 nights, as the Great Smith slept the Smith Slumber, the giant crafted his own project upon his Frozen Anvil, using ice so cold that it burned like fire.

Hephaestus_cavern_Forge

Eventually, on the exact same day as the Great Smith unleashed William Billiam – 24 years ago today – Issmiðr sent his own creation up into the world of men, to claim it for the Ice Giants!

Alas for the Issmiðr, there was one problem he had not foreseen. For, as the flames of the Great Smith’s furnace died down whilst He tempered the steel, so had His shadow lengthened upon the wall… With every passing day, Issmiðr would watch the Great Smith’s creation grow longer and, with every passing night, he would ensure his creation grew bigger also!

So it came to pass that, by the time Issmiðr released his man into the world, he had become so tall that he no longer looked like a man at all! By sheer accident, the Ice Smith had crafted his man to be a giant amonugst men – the most obvious son of the Ice Giants that mankind had ever seen!

Thus was born my brother in iron, Simon Bunnslayer, Master of Ceremonies of the Fabled Guild of Adventurers, Forged on the Frozen Anvil by the Hammer of Ice.

The Three 4

Today, therefore, is the day of my brothers in blood and iron. Known collectively (behind their backs) as Brian.

For this reason, today requires great sacrifice. Today demands I perform a feat thus far unparalleled in my short existence. Today I must conquer something I have never conquered before – something that terrifies me to the centre of my being…

Given our heritage, there can be only one course of action.

I shall journey back to the mighty Sky Furnace, to the Forge of the Great Smith Himself! Thence, from his Anvil of Honour, I shall leap into the clouds and fall, as He fell…

Today I shall conquer gravity itself.

FOR THE BROTHERS OF THE GUILD!

About the Author
Ed Gamester is a silly man who lives in the United Kingdom. He is the harbinger of Ghost Squad, singer of Gay Bum and author of A Rum Run Awry. He fights, kills and dies for TV and films, and gallivants around the place wrestling, drinking and lifting things for glory and profit. Where Ed treads, there stamp the boots of the Guild. Ed does not wear glasses, but feels this photograph makes him look more intelligent and artistically talented than he is. Feel free to contact him: he is disappointingly affable.

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