The Last Sand Golem
Chapter 2: Godali River
Night in the desert was cold and windy. Clouds were sparse on most nights, and the stars shine even brighter on this moonless night. Two people on a watchtower shivered as an especially cold wind blew. A ravaged town beneath them as they stood there in the cold, while the people below drank and sang the night away, among the many husked corpses.
”Rukia be damned! Why do we have to stay watch the whole night?! We didn´t even get any Ginga pelt. ”
His partner looked towards him and sighed, ”Have you already forgotten, Padro? It´s because you killed those children that were meant to be sold. ”
”Pah, those puny children wouldn´t even sell for 10 Crones! Have you seen their state, Rodur? ” The man spat on the ground and crossed his arms.
”You are underestimating the price of Sakarians blood. A bucket of it cost 500 Crones on the black market. ”
”Yes…shit… so stop complaining and go back to work! ”
”There is nothing out there, only some stray canis. ”
Rodur turned towards him and smacked his head, ”Stop your yapping and do your work. It is already bad enough that I am stuck there with you! ”
”Yes, yes, now stop hitting me! ”
The two men grumbled and continued to watch the desert.
”Wait… what is that in the distance? ” asked Rodur.
In the distance, a row of armored figures abeared from behind a sand dune.
Padro took out the spyglass and looked through it. His face palled, as he stand there frozen.
Rodur saw his face and shock him out of it, ”What did you see? ”
Padro still looking into the distance with the spyglass whispered, ”The Sakata golems are here… ”
”No…that is imposible! They can´t be here that fast. They should still be in the west fighting the barbarians! How are they already here! ” panic and disbelief settled in.
Padro didn´t answer him as he held the spyglass towards Rodur.
Alarms rang as the two men shouted with all their might, ”SAKATA GOLEMS ARE APPROACHING!!! ”
The whole encampment immediately buzzed in activity as 375 men and women tried to grab their weapons and armor as quickly as possible. They couldn´t run away as they were too tired and the golems could go on endlessly without stopping.
Fifty sand golems abroached the wooden walls of the barricaded town.
The hands were sweaty and their breaths shallow and fast, eyes still bloodshot from tiredness. They lined up on the town walls as best as they could grabbing every spear bow and rocks they could find.
Coming into range a man shouted ”Fire at will! ”
A barrage of spears, arrows and other random things flew through the air, but all was for naught, as the approaching army raised a wall of sand above their heads in unison.
The people on the wall became desperate and their aim worsened some even fled and jumped down the wall injuring themselves.
Reaching the gate unharmed a large sand golem with a flag on its back stepped forward and swung a large spear, diagonally.
The wooden gate shattered into pieces as the rest of the soldiers rushed in.
The people on the other side held their spears in place, but fear got to them as the golems shredded through the lines. Their weapons did no damage to the golems. No matter how much they throw at them their bodies would just reform and continue their relentless and systematic attacks.
Blood and body parts flew around as they continued walking through the town, in search of any survivors.
In the darkness of the night, cries and pleas from dozens of people could be heard as they were slaughtered.
The ”fight ” ended before the first birds even began to sing.
”Hey, look, look the sand guardians are back! ” the sound of cheering and applauding boomed in the empire as rows of sand golems walk in perfect synchrony into the city. The sand golems were almost completely made out of sand, except for a pure white crystal core with runes etched on it, hidden in the soldiers chest, and darker sand in form of armor surrounding their humanoid build.
They all were like carbon copies of each other, only the golem at the front, leading the others, looked largely different. It was a head taller than the rest with iron sand covering the body and a large flag of the empire on its back, acting as a spear and gathering point. All the others had some kind of different sand armor. The soldiers are the result of peak technology, runecraft, core shaping, and mana enchantment. Able to fulfill complex orders, and the sole reason why the Sakata empire ruled the desert.
One of the sand golems was #11077, which just returned from his mission, killing the Kubara tribe that was trying to claim territories, was stoically walking at the far left of the entourage. Children were staring at him in awe and amazement as he walks past. The adults applauded them for their successful mission. Even if they are just creations, golems, they were treated with high respect.
One of the children threw flowers at the sand golems, 11077 saw the little girl with a basket and flowers in hand and snatched one of the pretty flowers out of the air as he walked past.
The girls face brightened up as all the others just ignored the flowers, shrugging them off as she threw them. She jumped up and down with waving hands while shouting ”Welcome back! ”
The empire was prospering and nothing seemed to stop its advancement.
In a vast desert, a lone figure could be seen marching through the sand tirelessly and without complaint about the intense heat from the sun. This lone figure is the last remaining piece of an old empire that crumbled down due to internal strife and neighboring countries, but now everything is burrowed underneath corns of sand or eroded by time. Hundreds of years passed after the great fall… Nothing was left of the old empire, except a lone sand golem that survived the harsh environment. His sole purpose was to defend the castle from intruders, but he failed.
No, they failed.
There were once thousands of them still remaining after the fall of humans but over time, one by one, they crumbled away, slowly running out of energy, eroded by the harsh climate, or being destroyed by desert creatures. Wildlife eventually reclaimed the regions over time and the safety of walls crumbled down, making the harsh environment even more deadly. Even though they tried their hardest to survive, learn from each other and sometimes even merge together, they returned to the sand they were made of.
#11160 got eaten by sand eaters, #47566 ran out of energy, and #44066 committed self-destruction after a system failure… Those were only a few of the many others that died near #11077.
Now completely alone, his only purpose is to wander around the plains for sand crystals that are scattered around the place, trying to sustain his energy, only to continue his never-ending journey of protecting the place that is now long gone.
He has no purpose anymore, but he still follows his old masters first command, which was etched in his very core. He could still remember his words even after hundreds of years, ”Live and protect the empire of living sand from any harm, golem number 11077. ” But without an empire to protect, without a master to receive commands, he could only try his best to search for sand crystals and prolong his time before he too crumbles to sand.
On a day like any other, the sand golem foraged through the sand in search of any energy source. Looking at his exposed core in his thorax, he could see the glowing crystal core slowly dimming, and flickering.
Opening the inner interface that was programmed into him he looked at his status.
Type: Common Footsoldier
Learned Types: Common Scout/ Common Shieldberear/ Elite Spear Thrower
System Rank: 5
Core endurance: 58%
Vital Sand capacity: 55%
Core Sand capacity: 35%]
His time almost ran out, but this wasn´t the first time he got close to his end, and sometimes the golem thought about just staying still and waiting for his demise, but he couldn´t. He never could. So he continued to move one leg after the other. while his featureless head scanned through the sand.
Just as the sun was about to set, 11077 saw something shimmer in the distance, he slowly walked towards it and kneeled down. Sweeping his hand over the object to dust off the sand, he saw a small yellow crystal. Another lucky find, a fist-sized yellow crystal was barely pocking out of the sand.
Inspecting the yellow jagged orb for any impurities he holds it high towards the sun. The light shone through the crystal, refracting bright yellow light on 11077s face. Only a few small specks of blackish flacks were in there. The golem was delighted as it was quite a rarity, with that he could repair his core and sustain himself for another month before running out of energy.
Holding the crystal towards his chest the sand parted, exposing a slightly cracked core. He gently pressed the energy source against it and the yellow shine slowly transferred toward the core. The cracks slowly closed up as the sand crystal turned transparent. The process took a few seconds before every last bit of energy was transferred.
#11077 decided to place the transparent ball on the sand for the scavengers to find and continued his march.
Even in these harsh environments life finds its way. The abominations and creatures that this desert created are ruthless and murderous and perfectly adapted to survive in these lands. Especially during the night, when the sand cools off, the scavengers and hunters come out, and the moon blossoms glint, making the desolate desert seems to come back to life again. Vegetation was rare everywhere else except near oases.
So looking at the sun that was slowly basking the desert in a red light the sand golem decided to rest for the day. Seeing a high sand dune with a lot of covers he marched towards it, but his slow and steady movements made the trip long.
The sky darkened and the howls of the hunters could already be heard and the golem was only halfway there. He scanned his surroundings and saw a wolf-like creature standing on a far-end dune looking around for any kind of prey it could fest. A desert Canis, or sand dogs as the humans called them, were once living side by side with them, but with the downfall of the kingdom and nobody taking care of them, they scattered away and became feral again. Not wanting to waste his energy the golem decided to make a slight detour away from the creature.
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