Twilight in Heaven: Chapter 21


Chapter 21

I took him to Doctor Lammet and hid in the bushes after I knocked on the door. Lammet was a dryad, associated with some form of willow, and the bushes were dumb hyacinth. Most people don’t realize dryads can’t talk to all plants. Lammet saw Jermaine in a pile before his door and reacted immediately, pulling Koru’s son inside. He’d be distracted. I snuck out and went south.

Hyperion was too grand, too magnificent, to perfect for factories, warehouses, and smelly places to pile up the horse dung that the divine stables created. The gods pushed all that stuff south.

I’d fought Osret and the two from Fate almost due south. The tower had stood at the mouth of a small ravine that cut into a sandstone headland. On the other side of that headland, toward the sea, and even further south, Hasso lived.

I’d been there a few times. He’d made things that weren’t precisely legal. He didn’t break the law, of course. That was impossible. But he’d manipulated it in his forge. Five buildings gathered around a small courtyard, two of which contained furnaces. High brick chimneys had risen far above slate rooves to carry smoke and embers away. I’d seen piles of pig iron, fine steel, gold, and silver, among them, as well as baskets full of loose stars and more treasured ingredients in jars and sealed pots. He had escape hatches in case his heavily enchanted firewood ignited. Every stack of lumber had been wrapped in expensive fire blankets. His forge had been splendid.


Scattered rubble lay in piles, the rooves of buildings had crumpled, and Hasso lay in the courtyard. He’d been beaten to death, and his corpse was frozen, broken, and shattered. The impacts of terrible fists had ruined him. Nothing else moved.

Hoarfast had been here.

Cracks reft the first chimney, and the dead embers held no heat. The other chimney had been broken, but its base still stood. The forge was dozens of feet across, made of blocks of speckled gray stone. Its embers still glittered. This was the forge where the blades had been made. Unmaking things in the place of their creation had a way of undoing them. It was more final than mere breaking.

But if someone knew that, they would watch this place. The smokestacks would tell anyone with eyes that Hasso’s forge was active, and someone, Hoarfast, would know there should be no Hasso to be active.

I thought as long as Jermaine had, and that had seemed a long time. I bet it had felt very swift to him. My hesitation certainly seemed to take no time at all to me.

I dropped the counterfeit blades on the work table and started heaving staves of mahogany and dragonwood into the furnace. Hasso’s woodpiles were almost full. Soon the chimneys burped smoke and sparks.

The overcast remained. The little smoke I was making would be hard to see.

I snorted a bitter, quiet laugh and kept building heat.