There was rhythm in this island, a cadence that Katwe didn’t realize she could feel until Jurrican Scyawn, in his desire to release the behemoth, enacted a ritual that caused the very land beneath her feet to lose its heartbeat in a cacophony of wrenching pain. The land was still recovering, its rhythm still weak and faltering, but getting stronger every day. Katwe stood on the precipice rising above the valleys of Porto Spice, next to the half-made Colossus honoring the first man who welcomed her and her kind to a new home, and felt the island begin to sing again. But it needed its heart. She shifted her feet, swung Volcano Cutter from her back, brought forth the molten strength of the land, and leapt.
Riding a blast of geothermal steam until she could grab hold of a massive flowering vine forming the tendons of Colossus Veliv’s right forearm, Katwe spared another glance down at her dedicated artisans as they worked on various pieces a safe distance from the eruption field. She wondered if any of them realized that they, too, unconsciously paced, hammered, cut, and crafted to the rhythm she felt all around them. It came so easily to life. The challenge now was to bring that song into this work. She twisted and shaped the vines, a sweet-smelling gift from Obiya, and seaweed from the Gill Clan until they were interwoven with the mix of metal, stone, and spider silk that formed the colossus’s limbs. Katwe grinned at the thought of a gloriously be-flowered giant wading into battle with an aura of bougainvillea. The spider silk created a protective webbing around the joints and other vulnerable areas, supporting and allowing for relatively delicate maneuvers once the it all came to life.
Finished with this particular task, the Solar looked impatiently to the sky, searching. Yes, there he was. As Bountiful Apex hurriedly approached, having learned the hard way that his usual tactic of meandering over when he felt like it did not sit well with the fiery woman, Katwe focused Volcano Cutter at the scaffolding of hardened lava rock encircling the statue, took aim, and sent the daiclave whistling down to Creation. A narrow stream of magma sprang forth, the pressure behind it forcing it to flow up the channel cut into the rock, building it up to the next level so she could continue her work on the chest, back, and shoulders. Just as the lava came bursting up past the highest point of the spiral, a quick drenching of rain cooled each part, creating yet another layer reaching up to the sky. Katwe sprinted up the circular incline just behind the glowing red torrent that darkened as it hissed and steamed in the rain. Finally about ninety feet in the air, she gestured to the pretentious Rain God and the shower ceased. Katwe once again surveyed the land, marking the progress of her artisans as they carefully, competently went about their tasks. It was a peaceful scene.
Too peaceful. As much as she delighted in crafting, this Solar was no Twilight. With a wicked grin and a bellowing war cry that blasted through the valleys, amplified by the tower of lava rock beneath her feet, Katwe Kikorongo of the Dawn launched herself toward the colossus. Loyal Volcano Cutter reappeared, flashing red and white, in her hands as she went to work.
Far below, several of the younger artisans not yet completely adapted to their leader’s methods had dropped to the ground in panic at the sudden roar of battle overhead. Tools and materials went clattering and pack animals started, ready to bolt. The older ones, the grizzled crafters who remembered Katwe from another lifetime, looked over and snorted. One called out to the prone workers. “At least she’s waiting until mid-day now. You’re lucky she decided a while back to stop waking us all up like that.” One older woman laid aside her tongs and hammer for a second to glance up at the maelstrom far above them. From this distance it looked like Katwe was engaged in fierce and joyous battle with a giant skeletal golem. Her anima soon flared and the scene of a raging volcano storm appeared overhead, much to the delight of the children from nearby settlements. The metalworker grinned, weary face lightening for a moment.
“That’s our Dawn.”
The soul-warming morning sun broke through the clouds, sending a beam of radiance toward through the top of a basalt and onyx cocoon that stood like a monolith on the high place next to the Manse of Exploding Infinities. It filtered down, highlighting the carved features of a beloved face well-known in Porto Spice. Katwe stood alone on the shoulder of Colossus Veliv, working delicately and more delicately, losing herself in the details because they had to be just right. Images of the Living Veliv rose in her memories and she gave her hands over to them, unconsciously shaping and smoothing the metal and stone as though they were clay. Obsidian eyes gazed unseeing, but only for now. A careful niche in the statue’s throat, flanked by steel collar bones, awaited the ragged ship’s wheel that carried the ghost of living Veliv. Katwe hoped his soul would soon find rest and rejuvenation. For now, though, his voice would echo throughout Porto Spice one last time as he would defend his ancestral home from a terrible enemy rushing toward it at this very moment. She smiled softly at the thought. It will literally echo across the land; the acoustics in the niche assured it. Any man who managed to seduce the Mother of Storms deserves to be heard by all. Standing 150 feet tall, with the gleaming sword representing his youthful battles ready for attack in his right hand and a massive tome representing the old man’s scholarly years clutched in his left, the Colossus Veliv was almost ready to be revealed. Elemental power will bring it to life, his spirit will be its heart and voice. Katwe lifted her hands, finally done with their long work, from the statue’s face. The two warriors smiled at each other. The rhythm was waiting. The musicians were tuning their instruments. The dancers were approaching.
“Shall we, then?”