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Golems

From Lost Fables Wiki

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Artwork by WillOBrien
A Stone Golem
Height: 3'+
Weight: 100lb+

Constructs are an interesting sort of thing. Created in one way or another through various magics, they are beings made of stone and metal, rather than the flesh and bone. Because of how wide and varied their creators, the purpose of their creation, the materials they're constructed of, and the magics behind their creation are, it's difficult to pin down a "general" form of golem. Suffice it to say that they normally take the form of very large, battle-capable creatures or humanoids. Note that the word "construct" and "golem" are entirely interchangeable, depending largely on what the local region calls them.

History

Golems have been around for a very long time, with methods of creating them being spread across every species on the face of Anoma. Because their species must be created by another, they do not truly have their own history, however they have been present throughout history for the past four millenia, sometimes in greater roles than others. Generally speaking, any nation mighty enough in Truths to field these creatures en masse is truly a force to behold.

Types of Golems

Golems, as far as the people of the old world are aware, come in only two forms: the iconic, titular golem, and the phylactery construct. These two things are similar in many ways, in that they are both created with inanimate materials given life, but they are very different in terms of their creation. The creation of a construct, depending on the way one goes about it, is typically no more sinister than the creation of any other piece of magical equipment. Many say, because it is creating new life, that it is actually a good in the world, and given that many creators of these things give them fully functional brains and allow them their independence, most golems would agree. Phylactery constructs, on the other hand, are always created through a ritual steeped in the most foul of evil, and their presence almost always portends doom, except in the rare occasions in which one of them attains independence from their creators and then doesn't end its own cursed existence.

  • Constructed Golems: Typical golems are made of all sorts of materials, from glass, crystal, stone, wood, or even metal, and they can be created in any form. Typically they're created for construction or fighting, and thus they almost always take large forms, but they can take significantly smaller forms, down to about three feet tall. Though they can be created in other forms, they are almost always created in humanoid form, as this is the most widely known way of doing it. The vast majority of golems are non-sentient, created without the necessary extra knowledge and materials to imbue them with true sentience, something usually seen as completely unnecessary for the typically easy tasks they are assigned to. Most commonly, war golems are granted sentience, as being able to learn to truly fight rather than just swing a sword is a massive benefit.
  • Natural Golems: Natural Golems are sometimes seen as the strangest form of golem, created when objects close to the wellsprings of ley-lines are randomly imbued with sentience and life. Once a being like this realizes that it has become sentient, a process that can take weeks or months, it typically shakes loose of its surroundings and sheds that which is not useful to it. Usually they end with either a humanoid form, or one in the shape of a common animal in the wilderness surrounding them. Overall, these golems are the most varied of all golems, coming into the world in a complete vacuum and having to invent their entire personality, usually from nothing, meaning that they are frequently eccentric.
  • Phylactery Golems (Event): Phylactery constructs always take the form of huge vaguely humanoid suits of heavy, plated armor, usually carrying a large weapon. They are almost invariably created by powerful necromancers in search of a powerful minion, and phylactery golems certainly do well in such a role. Though the general version is usually made of steel, there are also versions supposedly made by Covrudurth himself, made of primordial blue ice. Either way, they are instantly recognizable by the cool, purple flame which glows within their frame, much different than the solid form of a typical golem.

Those Who Craft...

The following are the most common crafters of golems in the old world, thus where most constructs come from, and the purpose they were imbued with from birth. All of these refer to the regular golems specifically, as no nation habitually produces the monstrous Phylactery Constructs.

Common Crafters

Karmeny have long created golems to fight in their wars, seeing their increased size, weight, and durability as being excellent for the purpose. Generally speaking, the golem servants of the Karmeny created during their massive wars under the mountains were created out of metal or stone, are taught a version of the history of their specific dwarfhold, and then were sent out to fight. When one of these golems got lost or disillusioned by their subpar treatment, they would sometimes find their way onto the surface to begin new lives among the people of the old world. These are a very common form of golem, as their wars lasted a millenia, and Golems were a favored war machine of the Karmeny, giving plenty of time for many of these things to find their way to freedom. Most of these constructs feel very strong anger towards their creators, and even after a millenia they still bear grudges. More recently, in the past millenia or so, very wealthy Karmeny holds still create golems as guards, servants, companions, and sometimes as faux-children, and these more recently created golems are much more likely to hold the dwarves in higher regard, especially those who have been given their freedom, usually after a century of service. The vast majority of these are not true golems, being only lifeless constructs without any of the extra expense or difficulty of making them sentient and giving them souls, but nonetheless the ability to craft the very soul of a creature is something that many Karmeny crafters can't quite pass up.

The Oe Il'Ha don't tend to create fancy servitor constructs like the Karmeny do, nor do they seek to create any form of nonsentient golem. No, the Oe almost exclusively create sentient warforms. Made of flowing, twisting metals beautifully crafted into their deadly forms, Oe warforms are as graceful as the Il'ha and as strong and deadly as the Oe. In the rare occasions when they are built, their creation, the imparting of sentience, and the decades they usually spend training their warforms is almost always a religious practice, done in reverence to their god, Ra'uki. The golem will be gifted a family medallion, giving it a name and a family, and it will usually be made with symbols of Ra'uki etched into its very body. In many ways, the warforms are the perfect expression of their god, being both a symbol of the affection the Oe have for their creation, as the father does their child, and of the destruction and malice that Ra'uki is capable of, and many of them grow to view themselves as divine creatures, directly related to the elven god. Even those who do not tend to be deeply religious due to their training within the faith and upbringing. When one of these warforms has served in the purpose it was made for, usually a specific campaign or battle, they are given their independence, and allowed to do as they please. Though most continue to work with their creators, at least for a time, many eventually decide to travel the world, spreading the faith and name of Ra'uki wherever they go.

Spring elves revere nature, in all of its forms. Where many find the natural golems given sentience by the ley-lines coursing through Gaia to be a near-inexplicable nuisance, the Ue view them as a miracle of nature, like the planet itself was reaching out to spawn new life. Many of the other races create their golems through specific rituals, by carefully crafting the bodies of their golems and imbuing them with Truths of life. The Ue take a much simpler, and more direct approach. Each year, a group of Druii travel around the lands the Spring Elves call home, searching for active ley-line wellsprings. Over the ages, some ley-lines become more or less active, more or less energetic, and as they find particularly energetic ones, they encourage them to shed their energy on the nearby surroundings, creating a natural golem. Then, they dance and make merry in camps around the newly formed golem until it fully realizes its sentience, whether this takes ages or eras, and they teach the newly birthed life their ways, bringing it with them to travel the lands. Golems created this way are almost immediately granted their independence, but most stick with their "creators" for a long while, taking on many of the qualities of the Ue themselves as a side effect.

Though the Gravicans don't disdain Truths, they are not nearly so interested in them as the Armusians, and the Church of Armus has been since the days of yore. While this has led them to excel in combat, it has also led them to be unable to create many of the wonders that the Armusians have been able to make, and Bell Constructs are one of these things. Mostly non-sentient, Bell Constructs are the protectors of the cathedrals of Armus. Hulking, with a large, shiny brass chest that hides a bell's tongue within, these constructs constantly spread the voice of the Church of Armus, as anywhere they go the bells ring. They tend to stick to the cathedrals where they're made, as they're usually not given sentience, and merely perform basic services as well as protect the cathedral, as well as climbing the bellfry at the right times to note the time. When one of these constructs defends a cathedral against great odds, usually it is gifted with sentience and given a modicum of training, then given its independence. Bell constructs so bestowed tend to be extremely optimistic, happy fellows with boisterous personalities, and most of them never leave the cathedral where they were made. Some, however, seek to walk the world and gain new experiences. Whichever it is, these constructs are almost always widely known by the people they interact with. After all, who could forget a seven foot tall brass man who rang like a bell and spoke like an opera singer.

Perhaps the most opulent of golems frequently seen around the world, the Dynastic Golden Golems are a form of golem which is uniquely Rehkish. While the normal combat golem appears to be a suit of unadorned plate armor, sometimes with spikes or weapons in place of their hands, the dynastic golden golem is decked out in fabulous wealth and treasures. The body of one of these golems is made of steel, good for armor, but then various "reinforcing" pure golden plates are applied, typically being forge welded onto the body. The more opulent the god-king, the more gold plating will be applied. Eventually, the entire golem will be covered in gold plating, sparing only those areas which are needed so that the golem might still be fully effective in combat. What is a god-king to do then? Most begin to stud the golden plates with jewels, give their golems rings, bangles, aglets, torcs and necklaces, headbands and gold-lined hoods. In time, even these regal adornments can be outmatched, and so many Rehk send for marvelous silks for their golems to wear, lined with gold and following the latest styles. The most fanciful of these golems will almost never see combat, as they are far too expensive to be put into combat, but usually they are trained well by the palace guard in order to effectively defend their god-king. Regardless, many of these golems are eventually freed when their god-king's dynasty collapses, and they tend to go to more civilized lands, paying their way by stripping themselves of their wealth, if they an stand to do it. Even if they can stand to lower themselves to such base actions, most never lose their haughty, noble attitudes.