From afar, the forge seemed much farther than it really was. This made it seem like a normal building, maybe a bit tall, but still normal. As you got closer, however, its scale revealed itself. It was a black, circular building. On the side opposite to its entrance, a small outcrop was suspended above a cliff, and high above, nine towers went so high that their top could not be seen, hidden by the veil of clouds.
The main door was tall, almost as tall as the building itself. They opened it with difficulty. The main room was dark and circular : it filled all of the main building. In the middle, a large circular hole opened to a black abyss. On the walls, countless tools were hung, each displayed with a faded glory. Three doors led out of the room. One went upstairs, to one of the towers, another went downstairs to the tunnels, and the last went to the outcrop. Wasting no time, they went to the tower.
The towers were organized in a circle of 8 towers, with the tallest one in the middle. Midway through the first one, a dinky wooden bridge led out from an opening in the wall, upward, to the next tower in the circle. The bridge swayed wildly in the wind, but they could see the other bridges between the other towers. For now, they were under the clouds, but they could see the next bridges got lost in the heavy cover.
The inside of the tower was the same. Stone floors and walls, humble arches over the doors, and countless windows. The windows were the only source of light, and at this level, the inside of the towers was still very dark. At the 4th or 5th tower, they entered the clouds. The inside of the towers was darker, but sometimes illuminated by flashes of lightning. The bridges were slippery, due to the constant rain, and they had to make sure they didn't slip.
And then, at the 7th tower, they pierced out of the clouds. They couldn't see the ground. A sea of clouds, so dense it seemed almost solid, was stretching far to the horizon in every direction. A brilliant blue sky filled the rest of the landscape, with a large sun so bright that the shadows cast by its light seemed almost pure black. The bridges were completely dry. Jhin tried to remove their glove, thinking that the temperature was acceptable, but Melissa reminded him that no, it was still quite a few degrees under zero.
And then, they reached the ninth tower. It stood straight and tall, in the middle of the crown of towers. From there, they could see the long shadows the towers cast on the cloud cover. This tower was largely empty. The others had been built with corridors and chambers, but this one was one single room. In the middle of the room, a large switch rested, on the off position. Melissa got closer and switched it on. With a clang, and a bzzt, an electric hum filled the air. The towers collected electricity from the countless thunder rods that stretched out of the towers.
The main room was now lit up. The light revealed more details, like how the tools on the wall all had the luster of well used tools, about how the floor was covered in dust, about how ice tried to invade the space from the window. The abyss in the middle was unchanged however. They decided to go down to the tunnels.
The tunnels were dark and tortuous. The air was moist, and the walls stained your hands black after touching them. They advanced through the tunnels. While they were old, the walls, floor, and ceiling were all made out of stone blocks. Regularly, side rooms opened up in the tunnel, revealing cavities dug in the stone itself.
After a certain distance, they reached an elevator. The elevator was a mine elevator : primarily in wood and metal, just a platform lowering deep inside the earth. It also seemed rickety. There was a pretty big chance for the elevator to get them down very fast and very quickly. With caution, they got on, and, with even more caution, engaged the lever. The elevator went down at its intended speed, although it bumped a lot against the walls.
A few minutes later, Jhin and Melissa spilled out of the elevator and collapsed, panting. Oh god, they thought, we're going to have to take a ride back.
The tunnels down were very tight. In some spots they could barely pass, and in others they had to hope that these weren't the way forward because there was no way the could pass. The tunnels, carved in the earth directly, were sometimes held by wooden beams, sometimes by good will and strong intents. At the end, they reached a toll booth. Going over the barrier, they looked at the room behind the opening behind the toll booth. Jhin turned around, and immediately turned back upon seeing the corpse occupying it.
The room was also carved in stone. On the back wall, a large extinguished broiler stood, against the tides of time. Pipes were going upward from it, presumably to the main room. They put some coal in the broiler, then started its flame. Almost immediately, it started vibrating, and the flames got stronger.
The main room was heated now. The ice and snow that had gotten in melted, and Jhin and Melissa removed their thick winter clothes. The bottom of the abyss in the middle showed a small red glowing pinprick. They went to the last branch.
The mystic branch was very different from the other two. Whereas the sky and underground branches were purely functional, the very function of this branch was to be superfluous. A strong smell of incense filled the air, and tentures created a strange, shifting maze of red and purple cloth. It was very warm in this branch. They advanced through the maze, sometimes following the path it drew, sometimes lifting the tentures and going through.
After a bit, they arrived at a small altar placed against a wall. four sticks of incense were placed on the altar, and on the wall behind it a complex circle was linked to the four incense sticks. They lit the incense sticks, and made a short prayer.
They continued through the maze, and found two more of the altars. Taking a big breath, they reentered the main room.
Around the abyss, incense sticks had been placed. And in the middle of the abyss, a platform had been raised, along with an anvil and a basin of water. And, sitting on that anvil, a corpse. "I am the ideal of the Blacksmith. This forge is my realm, thank you for reviving it, and for allowing me to complete my final work."
The swords floated behind and went around the blacksmith. "You've made good use of Law, Justice, and Equality. But the three are only whole together. Will you, rightful owners of the swords, allow me to reforge them into one, as I had intended ?" asked the corpse. This was the final duty of the Blacksmith, and after that, they would disappear completely. They agreed.
The Blacksmith began to work immediately. They worked hard, but quickly. After a short time, only a single sword remained. Its asymmetrical blade was completely black, and it did not even have a hilt, only a band of fabric to hold it. "This sword is named Deicide. It is the only thing capable of definitely harming Ubu and the Sun. Take good care of it." And with that, the corpse fell back in the abyss, disintegrating into dust.