Bound to Resolution
This is a short story about an idea I got just recently. Actually, I was picturing someone using a ring to cut a circle out of two panes of glass, and what the final pattern would look like. That somehow lead to the idea of two things being chained together, which eventually led me to this story idea. Hopefully it’s not too laboursome and it’s amusing enough.
The ring binding them together was forged by a passing mage who had overheard their argument. Being wise as he was, the wizard had quickly conjured the ring and forged it into the very fabric of their beings, shackling them together at the leg. This had of course angered the two, but the mage had insisted that the ring was necessary for a resolution to be met. He left, but not before informing the two of the one condition of the ring: it would bind them together unceasingly for seventy years to the day.
To the frail mortal, those seventy years would inevitably end his life. However, the two bound beings were no mortals. These beings were avatars of the gods themselves; living manifestations of their deities’ respective wills built from the very rock that cradled the lives of the mortals who gave the gods their power. One of them, the avatar of leadership and knowledge, Festo. The other, the avatar of exploration and persistence, Endo.
Upon being bound, the mighty golems fell silent and sat, facing away from one another. In that way they waited. Over time, the mortals began to settle on their flesh, though not caring to give an inch, neither of the beings made any attempt to shake them off. Seasons and years passed, and still these beings sat silently. Great empires were forged and fell, and still these beings sat silently. Finally, seventy long years passed, and the golems stood.
The uprooted mortals were not prepared, could not be prepared. Their anguished screams fell on deaf ears as they plummeted to their ultimate demise. The avatars stood, still silent; their gazes both fixated upon the ring binding them. Exactly seventy years had passed.
Still, much to the surprise of the beings, the ring did not break, did not slip away, nor did it seem to change at all. Festo was the first to speak.
“What will you do now to take responsibility for this? It was your actions that brought us to this point, and I have waited patiently for you to atone. Seeing as you have made no such effort, I demand that you at least free me from your presence!” His voice echoed long and wide, so that all worldly golems could hear him. Endo glared at his adversary, the movement causing dislodged stones to fall to the Earth, where many more below were crushed.
“It is as much my responsibility as is the falling free for making the Sun rise. It was you who first acted.” Festo scowled, passing a hand over the land around them, signaling the vast swath of earth.
“Do you not see this land? This land is mine. Every mortal you see, and even those beyond worship my name. It was your intrusion, your action that landed the first blow.” Festo gestured to a town in the distance, his long reach almost spanning the distance. “It was your presence that turned these mortals away from me and led them to you. You have stolen what is rightfully mine. Acknowledge your crime!” Endo’s gaze swept over the land around them, and he scoffed.
“Do you not see the marks over ‘your’ land, Festo?” Indeed, the ground was littered with the unmistakable footprints of avatars not unlike Festo and Endo. “Avatars of the gods are free to move as they will, and settle as they will. Are you so vain as to suggest that you may surpass even the agreements of the gods? Do you lay claim to act as Judge in this place?” In a moment of weakness, Festo let forth a bellowing roar.
“I AM Judgement in this place!” The outburst threw up mighty winds, which further ravaged the countryside around the mighty figures. Festo, catching himself, recomposed his earthly visage. “The people here worship me above all else. The other gods understand this, and pay me heed. You would just assume to claim this land by pure virtue of your presence. That is the vanity you seek to condemn.”
“Even were that to be my goal, it would be my right to pursue it,” Endo retorted, giving a self-satisfied smirk. “And you know it is against our customs to engage in battle.”
‘So it is. Your unwillingness to respect my claim sets me at an impasse. If I am to be rid of you, I must either break our customs and defeat you, or I must leave this place and your taint behind.” Festo said, slightly laboriously. Endo locked eyes with Festo, and gave one last grin.
“So, which will it be?”
At that moment, the ring shattered.