The Gnomes of Virook

Behind the scenes

The smell of molten metal filled the caverns, the smelter working overtime. Sweat dripped from many rows as the forge was manned without end, the echoes of hammer on anvil continuing well on into the night. The miners laboured tirelessly to bring new materials. No one could sleep. There was only one week left. They were all preparing for the day of Black Rain.


Gregor Kregar Reflective Lullaby (John) and (Robert) 2013. Mirror-polished stainless steel. Courtesy the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery

Gregor Kregar Reflective Lullaby (John) and (Robert) 2013. Mirror-polished stainless steel. Courtesy the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery

Virook stared into the liquid ore, noticing the familiarity of it. Before the war, he'd been a farmer. But the Fae stole that life from him when they invaded. For sixteen years, the blacksmiths worked furiously on their salvation. For sixteen years, men threw themselves onto the swords of the enemy. His son, dying on the blade of a merciless killer, the only reward for his honour being the bloodstain he left in the dirt. No, not in vain, he thought. The day will come when the Fae pay for the destruction they've caused. He started shaping the slightly cooled metal, muttering 'The day will come.'

Many miles away, Daemon adjusted his hood before addressing his clansmen.

'This is our last sweep before the final invasion. Sources tell me that the dwarves, they're making something. Now, the dwarves are no better than the mud on our boots, but something that takes sixteen years to build, that isn't something I want to fight on a good day. One more look for their forge, and I promise tonight, drinks are on me.'

The days press on rigorously, but finally the last ring of hammer on steel sounded throughout the silence. The men stopped working. Everyone marvelled. The automations were complete. The Gnomes of Virook were created. The dwarves would rise above once again. And their steel gods would take them there.

The ground started shifting under the clansmen. Then the dust clouds came. In the distance, the sun glared of something in the distance. Daemon knew what was coming. It was a vengeance. It was a red hot fury. It was karma. This was the reckoning the last sixteen years had created. But all he muttered was 'This is Judgement Day.' A steel gnome came into view, the metal flowing like liquid with every movement, the power clear in its frame. The red eyes, staring into the soul without mercy, without any contemplation of fear. Just like he had been.

Virook watched as his slender silver children walked in the fray of battle, unharmed by arrow or blade, crushing everything with a pulse. There was no time, there was no place. There was only screams, and then, silence. The Gnomes of Virook had spoken.

by Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson is part of the Year 12 Hagley Community College Creative Writing class.

Over the coming weeks we'll be featuring more works from the students here on the Bunker Notes blog.

Read the last entry.