“If I may, I would know your thoughts on the Idoneth, Dominar.”

It was a brave thing for a mere Iron Legionary to interupt a ranking Iron Golem while he or she was laboring over the forge. Despite this, Malek had wondered about this issue for some time. Their very home was an ever-present reminder of this. He had to ask.

Before Malek, Utaren the Tidebreaker, Dominar of the Abyssal Maul, set his smithing hammer down on the cornerstone of his forge heat-source. He turned slowly to regard his subordinate. Crossing his arms over his cyan plate armor, the Dominar asked, “Legionary, I assume you mean the particular Deepkin that owned Tideforge before us?”

Malek nodded. “Aye, Dominar”.

The Tidebreaker leaned back against the sandstone wall beside his forge. He looked around, and exhaled.

“They wore no earthly armor, yet they were tempered as steel. They fought us with weapons of coral and bone that proved every bit as sturdy and lethal as our forge-fresh metals. Their line troops were an affront to the Gods of Ruin – soulless automata, with nothing to reap upon death. And their mortal, mounted troops were utterly devestating. We lost many that day.”

The Dominar gestured around himself.

“They held us off for hours. Even as their numbers ran down, and they began to tire. Even as their soulless troops began to drop. They fought tooth and nail, and not a single one ran. Even when our own inginuity stole the protections and effects of the aethersea, and we fought on equal footing, they did not flee.”

Malek hesitated. “My Dominar, is that…admiration?”

Utaren scoffed, recrossing his arms, and said, “Of course, Legionary. You may despise an enemy, but you must respect true skill as you see it. It is why we adopted the same shade of armor as their laquered platwe,” he said, thumbing a balled fist to one of his pauldrons for emphasis. However…”

Utaren gestured to the pile of shattered Idoneth weapons and tools in a corner of the forgeyard.

“We broke them. In the end, we took their land, their sea and their lives. The Golem broke them, Malek.”

With that, the Dominar turned back to the hammer he was working at the forge.