Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Titan and the City


The City once had a singular protector. A bronze-gleaming, orichalcum titan who watched, unsleeping, from atop the highest spire, and sped through the streets in pursuit of evil-doers. He was the greatest gift of the City’s greatest artificer, a wizard of science and thaumaturgy, who built the son fate had denied him. A son with an intellect and moral code as superhuman as his impregnable body.

The father and his City watched his son and creation with pride. The titan woke the somnambulist army of an insurgent nightmare, helped raze the hellish Charnel Gardens, smashed the Reds' war-behemoth nest, and nearly lost his life incinerating the Damnation Photo in the primal fire of his own alchemical heart.

It was all over five years ago. It was then the old wizard died.

The titan has barely been seen since. City-dwellers glance upward, and see the lights on the 86th floor of the Imperial Building that never go dark, but whatever the titan does in his creator-father’s laboratory, he doesn’t share with the world. People ask, “can a construct grieve?”

But the titan still goes out into the City, using all his resources to make sure he’s unseen. He goes to where he can't help but be reminded of a time where his strength and intellect were not enough.  He watches a lovely woman in eternal sleep.  A woman whose life he saved, but whose spirit he could not. He recalls with absolute clarity every detail of the brief time he knew her. He watches her with eyes that don’t blink, but dim a little with something that might approximate longing, and regret.

Perhaps the question people should ask is: “Can a construct love?”

10 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Someone took their prose vitamins today. Well done sir.

Johnathan Bingham said...

Very well done! The City gets even more interesting!

Jim Pacek said...

Most excellent! I can't wait for your Weird Adventures to come out! Thanks for posting this!

Risus Monkey said...

Aside from the much-anticipated Weird Adventures, I'd love to see more of this fabulous Titan. The post also answers my unvoiced questions about the place of super heroes in the City. Well done indeed.

Brandon said...

Very well crafted, man - as always!

christian said...

Love it. Very, very nice.

seaofstarsrpg said...

Has this Man of Orichalcum yet gathered to him a team of skilled adventurer-wizards to assist him in his quest for a solution? If not, what a good seed to start a campaign from.

Trey said...

Thanks as always for the comments. Much appreciated!

@Tim - Hopefully, it wasn't more than my recommended daily allowance of "purple." ;)

@Risus - In some ways. the City and its world as they've developed are a bit incoherent now with weird, hero, adventurer, and even "spicy" pulp elements in the mix, but I sort of write what occurs to me, and figure folks will tailor their on City to the specific elements they like. Hey, it worked for D&D!

Superheroes I see as a small element, but definitely in there. Mostly on a Golden Age or pulp level of power--excepting of course the more widespread nature of magic. The line between adventurer and superhero is often one of presentation--and motivation.

@Seaofstarsrpg - Yes! That's pretty much what I was thinking but didn't want to "break the mood" of the piece by switching to GM mode at the very end.

ancientvaults said...

A very poignant post, Trey. A great read to be sure.

Trey said...

Thanks Bat!