Legends tells of ancient warriors built by Honour himself still operating somewhere in the bowels of the Wastes. While there is little to confirm these stories, the following passage from a children’s book titled “A Spark In The Sand” refers to one particular warrior by the name of Edon. To date, it exists as the only current reference of the Neachtal.
by Cameron Day
Anders Duggan did his best to try and stay awake in class, but rarely ever could. This was the fourth time he had been sent home from classes, and he knew he would hear from his grandfather before the end of the day. Nothing he did could keep him engaged, but then again, Darius Quinn had been teaching since his father had been a boy. As Anders walked down the streets of Rust, some folks waved or called out his name. Some he knew well, others he knew somewhat from the odd jobs he did after school. No jobs today though – he knew that his grandfather would have some sort of punishment for him.
When Anders rounded the corner, he could see Anton Duggan standing outside his bookshop, arms cross over the worn and faded leather vest and yellowed dress shirt he constantly wore. He had his knee pads on – he must have been back in the stacks…that did not bode well for him. He walked up to the doorway and stood in front of his grandfather, reading himself for the traditional ear-yanking he got when he misbehaved.
“Again?” Anton grunted, looking over the rims of his large over-magnified glasses. Anders nodded sheepishly, feeling the cocky wind go out of his sails.
“I’m sorry, Grandpa. I just…I can’t keep sitting there listening to that old piece of beaten bronze go on and on about Chaos and how he destroyed the world and killed Patience and Honor and Strife and the rest of his servants. It’s the same story we’ve gotten since I was little!” Anders never thought his grandfather could raise his eyebrows higher than usual, but the edge of his left one nearly vanished under his bangs of electric white hair.
“And what? I’m not sorry for what I did,” Anders said mulishly, crossing his own arms and sticking his lower lip out, glaring up at his grandfather. He saw Anton’s eyes soften, and his mustache loose its terse rigidity.
“Come in. I found something while I was cleaning out back that might put some interest back in that fool head of yours.” Anders followed his grandfather through the colossal walls of stacked books, all salvaged and brought to Anton by caravaners or scouts or tomb raiders. Finally, they arrived in the stacks, the area of the shop that was more archive than storefront, and Anton pointed to a gargantuan tome that lay on the small rickety desk.
“Take a look at that and tell me if it’s boring after. I’ll be out front.” Anders stared at the book, wondering what lay within it. It was two feet wide, and almost six inches thick. The worn leather cover was sheathed in bronze, windblown smooth. Walking up to it, Anders hesitantly opened it, and looked at the first page. Written in a faded spidery hand, it read: In which the events of the Great Breaking are collected, as well as the birth of the Neachtal – the eternal warriors of Honor.
The dusts of the Wastes blew across the dead ground, the red wind shimmering through the air and across the sunken hulks of long-dead beasts of metal and bone and stone. Little dwelt out here in the Wastes, other than monsters, bandits, wandering caravans, and those few who dared travel between the cities of the One Land. Edon did not bother himself with those mere insects – he had no need or no wish to be seen by the little softies who scurried across his path.
His copper and bronze plating worn smooth and iridescent by the centuries he had laid inactive in the sands after the destruction of the One Land, the stone core of his arms and legs and chest as soft and frictionless as oil, Edon glowed in the hazy sun that shone through the thick clouds of detritus that filled the skies of the Wastes. He wore a massive hooded cloak to dim some of his brightness, masking him from the predators who might be foolish or desperate enough to attack him.
Edon did not remember much from before the cataclysm that had torn the One Land asunder – splotchy images often filled his mind of others like him, colossal beings of metal and stone and qi. His master…his master? Honor? Or had it been Justice? There the memories grew even blurrier, and Edon would return to the only thing he knew: his forge.
When he had risen from the sands, rivers of earth rolling off of his body, he had been surrounded by skeletons of others like him, other golems. But he could not fathom who they had been. Had they been his family? He had clawed his way from within the deep canyon in which he had awoken, punching his powerful hands into the copper walls of the crevasse, and when he had finally reached the top, Edon had felt sorrow and fear fill his colossal body.
Many years had passed since then, and Edon had rebuilt some semblance of a life, finding a titanic cavern within a large mesa that stretched for many miles. Soon, as he crested a high dune, the golem saw the familiar sight of his home, and a smile creaked his rusty jaw. Pushing through the sands and pulling his cloak close, the golem finally stepped into the cold shadow of his doorway, his plating beginning to steam as the abrupt cold of the cave settled in around him.
Edon hung his cloak on the back of the huge chair that sat not too far into the cave’s mouth, and then began to crack the large lever near the chair. High above him, a metal hatch slid open in the ceiling of the cave, and the blazing heat of the sun blasted down, smoke starting to rise from the pool of coals at the heart of the gargantuan forge.
“Time to work,” the old golem rumbled, his deep melodious voice filling his home as Edon began to stoke the bellows.
Edon, Last of the Neachtal
The last of a great race of metallic-stone warriors built by Honor to fight against Chaos when he entered the One Land, Edon towers almost a mile into the sky – and while he is terrifying to behold, his colossal armored body hides a creative and passionate soul. Hoping to one day repair the corpses of his fallen brothers that litter the Copper Canyon, Edon does his best to remain hidden to all who venture the Wastes.
Edon is thousands – perhaps even millions – of years old, and his mind is a giant repository of knowledge from across the cosmos and beyond.
Homeland: The Wastes
Qi Power: Magma Cannon (see below)
Unique Features: While Ebon is indeed titanic, he is able to blend into the landscape with a huge cloak painted and weathered to look like a sandstone mesa rising into the sky. However, this cloak also contains many pockets full of scrap that Edon combs the Wastes for.
Powerful Construct d8+1/5/3
Hand of Honor d8/5/3
Delicate Craft d6/3/2
Healing Hand (Motivation): Being a construct himself, Edon knows the inner workings of ancient technologies that humans are only just able to begin to understand. When he is able to use his vast knowledge to solve a complex problem, Edon gains +1 Vitality per lead character. Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb (Hinderance): Edon is well known to the locals. While Edon’s cloak grants him unique abilities to blend in with the Wastes, for those characters who have spent a great deal of time amongst the sands and rock, it is not that convincing. Should the characters ever encounter Edon, any characters from the Wastes gains +1 steps to spot Edon.
Resource Slots: 3
Broken Blade of Dahmpa Krisht (Legendary Weapon, 5 qi points): Carrying a gargantuan sword once wielded by Honor himself, the Blade of Dahmpa Krisht is able to sever darkness and shadow from someone’s soul, rendering them pure and whole. However, it was broken in combat with Chaos, and slowly Edon has begun to collect the shards from across the Wastes and reforging it, believing that the power within the weapon can reawaken the other Neachtal. By spending 1 qi point, a shard of the Broken Blade can explode with radiant light and cause any evil characters within Close range to the base step until the end of their next description.
Built Of Armor: Edon’s metallic-stone exterior was built to withstand a barrage from Chaos himself and so only explosions are able to cause damage to him or any attackers must spend an equal amount of Vitality to cause damage with a non-explosive strike so long as it is applied with a qi power.
Damage Trigger: Whenever Edon takes damage, he can immediately use a free detail with a d8 for any complication rolls.
Heart of Flame (Signature): Powered by an ever-hot core, Edon chooses to overheat himself in order to reshape or reform parts of his body that might be broken or rendered useless.
Magma Cannon (Qi Power, up to Far range): One of Edon’s arms can transform into a colossal magma cannon, able to fire boiling and explosive balls of molten rock heated directly from his core. However, Edon can only use this attack as a last resort with five shots, otherwise he will collapse and power down until the end of the next scene.
Massive Size: Because of his immense size, Edon always gains +2 steps whenever his size and strength would benefit a complication roll.
Predicting Chaos: As the Wastes’ perk.
Cameron Day is the host of the pop culture podcast, Comics, Clerics & Controllers, and loves everything RPG. When not writing stories about giant steampunk mechs or working on his show, Cam also does freelance work for Lunar Games and serves as a world designer, editor, and proofreader for Black Void Games. Outside the blue glare from his computer, Cam enjoys hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and conducting trail maintenance across his native state of New Hampshire. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.