"This is done. The rest is up to you."
Rajani came to stand beside Kharnyx. "What exactly do I need for this?"
"Any weak-willed one will do. The less resistance the better. Did you get the runes?"
Rajani opened her palm to display the five runes. Kharnyx smiled. "Good. Your 'helper' should be here soon. I will return after I incite some chaos in the Island Nations."
Rajani nodded, admiring the molded body lying on the obsidian slab before them. "This will be done tonight. The Withermoon will make its first appearance and the magic inside the golem will grow stronger with it."
Kharnyx waved her hand and a portal appeared. She stepped through it and it dissipated with a "pop".
Rajani waited. Just as the moon rose full over the trees, glowing a pale green, Xander arrived carrying a small bundle.
"What is that?" she asked, irritated. She had a deep dislike for most people, and Xander was at the top of her list.
"You and Kharnyx said you needed a pure soul," he said, handing the bundle to her.
It was a baby.
Rage swelled within her, but she remained calm. "Take off your shirt," she demanded.
Xander obeyed, not daring to ask why. Rajani made a nest for the baby with it and set her down at the base of a nearby tree. She walked back over to the slab and rotated the runes in her palm.
Leaning over the golem, she carefully examined each rune before placing it on the clay figure. Laguz, placed on the forehead, for formlessness and chaos; Kaunan, for mortality and pain, placed on the left hand; Hagalaz, placed on the right hand, for destruction; Eihway, for strength and stability, placed over the midsection; and Thurisaz, placed over the heart, for danger and suffering.
Xander stood beside Rajani as she worked, staring at the golem. "It looks just like..."
"Hush," Rajani hissed. "And watch."
Xander leaned forward to look closer at the golem. Rajani plunged her dagger into his chest. He gasped, stumbled forward and fell onto the body of the golem. Rajani grabbed him by the hair and pulled him up.
"You bring me an innocent child? I am many things, most of them evil, but I am not.. I WILL NOT... murder a CHILD! You, on the other hand, no one will miss." She sliced his throat and dropped his lifeless body onto the golem. The runes began to glow as the blood ran over them. The golem began to shake and Xander's body slipped onto the ground. The runes transferred Xander's life force into the clay and mud and gave it life. The features Kharnyx had so carefully carved warped and changed into a zombified version of the man it represented. As the process finished, the golem sat up.
"Gustav," Rajani said firmly.
"Yes," the golem replied, its voice sounding like it was gargling rocks.
"Lay back down. Kharnyx will be here soon.
The golem obeyed, and Rajani smiled and looked up at the Withermoon.
"Now, we wait."