Golems, occasionally referred to as 'stonefolk', are sentient constructs, comprised of a magical 'core' buried in a stone body. One of the great mysteries of golems is that no mortal knows how they work, and all attempts to understand their fundamental workings have ended in failure or the creation of abominable monstrosities.
- 1 History
- 2 Creation
- 3 Behavior
- 4 Golem Lore
- 4.1 What is a Golem
- 4.2 The Primary Lore
- 4.3 Bound Beyond Death: Soulbound Golems
- 4.4 The Golem Anvil And Golem Types
- 4.5 How Golem Cores Work
- 4.6 The Disrupter Spike
- 4.7 Miscellaneous Golem Tech
- 4.8 Anti-Golem Tech
The oldest records of golems come from the Scriberfolk; a group believed to be part of an ancient civilisation of Karik, who sought to understand what they called 'stone folk' at a fundamental level. Golem bodies were stronger and did not weaken with age, and through understanding how a mind could be contained in stone, they sought immortality. Their first discovery was soulbinding, where a soul could be bound to a golem's core, taking the place of the rare elemental lightning they usually used to make golems. When this proved just to be an alternate (and less stable) power source for the golem which gave none of the memories or personality of the Dwarf used to create it, they sought to use a variant of necromancy to move a Dwarven mind into a golem. At first, and in spite of the damage it caused to the Anvil, this seemed to work, but their 'success' did not last. It soon became apparent that the golem was not the Dwarf in stone form, it simply believed itself to be the Dwarf it was 'copied' from. Before long, the fundamentally incompatible golem and Dwarven minds unravelled, and the experimental golem descended into insanity, becoming a renegade monster that rampaged until its mind finally came apart, and its core imploded, killing it. The records of the Scriberfolk end soon after, although it is unclear if they were killed by the Drakes that would later drive the modern Dwarves from Karik, or if they were wiped out by another monstrosity of their own creation.
In Aegis, the method of golem creation was uncovered by the Braveaxe family. After generations of research into the Anvil of Kal'Urguan by the Braveaxe family, and much experimentation and failure, Thorik Braveaxe, Gotrek Firemane and Hiebe Irongut (two of which would go on to be Grand King) managed to create a golem. The golem, known as Grey Vigil, was unstable at first but proved to be a loyal ally of the Dwarves ultimately. It fought by Thorik's side in many battles such as Crimson Vale and Wrath's Clutch, until Thorik was forced to hand it over to the Undead Prophet Fyrste in exchange for the life of the nephew he was sworn to protect.
Grey Vigil went on to serve Fyrste as loyally as it had once saved the Dwarves, turning violent as a result of being taken into the Undead realm of Drauchreich and soon became a thorn in Lord Marshall Thorik's side. During this time, the golem slew many Aegisians in the belief that it was serving its new masters. However, many survived Grey Vigil's powerful but inept attacks. One man, in particular, named Floop Lightforge, survived repeated attacks, but rather than being traumatised, he was inspired by the construct, vowing that one day he would have the skill to craft such an entity.
Thorik couldn't afford to send the Dwarven Legion after one renegade golem, but he knew Grey Vigil had to be stopped. With the master smith Gotrek being the new Grand King, he commissioned Arbrek Starbreaker to forge a golem to defeat Grey Vigil. Arbrek was eager and soon got to work on the arduous task of creating a new, superior golem. Realising he needed a mage, and with Hiebe Irongut off battling the Undead, Arbrek sought the aid of a young Human mage and blacksmith called Merrigan. Merrigan was ambitious and realised that, by being adept in both blacksmithing and magic, he could craft a golem, albeit an inferior one, without Arbrek at all. Merrigan constructed a golem body of his own without Arbrek's knowledge and orchestrated the secret creation of two soulbound cores. Then, one night, Merrigan struck. He knocked Arbrek unconscious at the golem forge and using the cores brought both golems to life. Naming them Amipher and Maldeo, Merrigan left, with both golems loyal to him and him alone.
Eventually, Thorik decided the new golem was taking too long and sent the Dwarven bounty hunter Rohgan Greyhammer to find and destroy his creation turned enemy. After a long hunt and several encounters, including a battle at a coronation of the now Grand King Thorik Braveaxe, Rohgan trapped the golem atop the ruins of Wrath's Clutch. Rohgan was unable to match Grey Vigil's strength and resilience. Bloodied, bruised and near-death and defeat, he threw himself at the golem, unbalancing it. The golem lost its footing, and they both fell from the tower. The fall killed Rohgan and shattered the golem's body. With his sacrifice, Rohgan regained his family's lost honour and destroyed a dangerous threat to Aegis. Or so it appeared. Meanwhile, Arbrek was determined that he would not fail in creating a golem. Unable to do so alone, he sought out a new mage, the enigmatic Salamandra. Salamandra was no blacksmith, and thus together, they forged a fourth golem, Raiga. However, not long before they completed the new golem, news of Grey Vigil's destruction reached them. With Raiga no longer needed to destroy Grey Vigil, Salamandra and Arbrek parted ways. The new golem seemed intent on going with Salamandra, and once again, Arbrek gave up the golem to the mage.
Grey Vigil's core survived the destruction of its body and was salvaged by Gideon Silverblade, a noble of Galahar with a keen interest in golems. He repaired the golem, and after discovering its violent nature used it to keep his enemies in check. Gideon's use of Grey Vigil was short-lived. Gideon instructed his golem to obey all members of his family. Grey Vigil interpreted this literally and proceeded to attempt to slaughter Gideon's household when Gideon's infant son, Joel, shouted 'Klomp!' at it.
The golem was severely damaged in its escape from Galahar. It eventually encountered and attacked two bandits, who easily overpowered it and disabled it. The bandits were servants of the Undead Sorceror, Wrath, who, using his Undead magic, restored the golem to full strength and returned to it its knowledge of its Undead masters. Grey Vigil went on to fight on the Undead side in many battles. It was finally and permanently destroyed by the Orcish golem hunter, Dretus, in the dying days of Aegis when the Orc and his allies managed to smash Grey Vigil's core. The golem crumbled to dust before him, and the trapped soul within was freed from its torment at last.
Modern Asulon Only Amipher and Raiga remained by the end of Aegis. Both were transported to Asulon, but Amipher fell from the ship en route and spent the next fifty years walking along the seabed to Asulon. Raiga travelled with Salamandra, but before long was damaged. Merrigan repaired it, but before long, Merrigan was gone, and Raiga sought Salamandra once more.
When the Dwarves found Karik, they did not initially realise that the Anvil of Karik shared the powers of the Anvil of Kal'Urguan. When they abandoned Karik to the Drakes, the Anvil was left behind. Eventually, Arbrek Starbreaker managed to decipher an ancient Scriberfolk tome found in Karik and learned of the Anvil's real power. In a daring and dangerous attempt, Arbrek retrieved the Anvil from Karik, deciding to use it to cement the power of the Starbreaker clan. But before he could do so, he met his end. Arbrek had also partially uncovered the scriberfolk resurrection ritual, and not long after his death, his most loyal followers planned to restore him to life in a golem body. In the Anvil's new hiding place in the dwarven city of Khaz'A'Zhar, they forged another golem according to the ritual, and when it awoke, it spoke with Arbrek's voice. After one, possibly two previous misuses by the scriberfolk, the Anvil could take no more. The enchantments collapsed, leaving a roughly anvil-shaped black rock where the anvil once was. 'Arbrek' attempted to resume his place as a master smith and head of the Starbreakers, but the Dwarves were hugely resistant to what they saw as a subservient construct trying to take place in Dwarven politics. 'Arbrek' was opposed at every turn, and found himself prone to uncontrollable fury and irrational actions, which he believed was due to stress.
Eventually, 'Arbrek' encountered a golem known as Ark. Ark was unlike any golem he had seen before. Its craftsmanship looked ancient, and it was far more passive than Grey Vigil or Raiga had been. It claimed to be the last golem of the scriberfolk, their saving throw in the event of their destruction. Through Ark, 'Arbrek' learned of the flaws in the scriberfolk rituals, and of how his mind was unravelling. Immediately, 'Arbrek' began working to find a way to return to a mortal vessel before his mind became too degraded, eventually managing to transfer Arbrek's knowledge and personality to another dwarf, destroying the 'Arbrek' golem in the process. Ark remained for a while, continuing its mission of passing on knowledge to those whom it viewed as akin to the scriberfolk. Eventually, it had the misfortune to encounter a Wihun, a band of merciless hunters of all things magical or of mysterious origin. One particularly zealous Wihun, Kilross, attempted to bring down Ark single-handedly. While his fellow Wihuns brought down and killed Ark, the golem's collapse buried the Wihun under a pile of rubble. His injuries from the battle and the rubble would damage his mind and change the course of his life.
The Anvil remained destroyed, but its tale had not yet ended. Floop Lightforge, determined to forge golems, sought to purchase it from the Dwarven Paragon, Kjell Ireheart. Ireheart knew it was unusable, but neglected to inform Floop, who was paying in vast amounts of raw diamond. Floop soon discovered Ireheart had tricked him but was determined that the Anvil could be repaired. He was right: a few years later, a Dwarven smith named Rohgar that also sought the anvil teamed up with Floop to return it to its former glory. Rohgar discovered that whilst the outer layers of the Anvil had been reduced to black rock, a small amount of the original anvil was still useable. Rohgar dug it out of the rocky mass, melted it down, and using the enchanted molten metal, forged it anew. The White Anvil, as it would soon be known, became an artifact of discord; the golem anvil worked once more, and now everybody wanted it for themselves. Reunited with Raiga, even Salamandra sought to take the anvil for himself. Ireheart refused to give up the Anvil now he knew that it worked, and tried to fool Floop with a decoy. When Floop saw through the disguise and stole back the Anvil, Ireheart had his men hunt him down. Using political connections, secret vaults and stealthy timing, Floop managed to transport the Anvil to Holm. Rohgar followed him, and Floop soon moved the Anvil to a new forge he had constructed.
Rohgar prepared to work the forge, but things did not go as planned. When he had reforged the Anvil, Rohgar had been exposed to the enchantment directly, and as he stayed near the Anvil, its magic ravaged his mind and body. Soon, his personality was destroyed, replaced with the identity of the Keeper, a slave to the Anvil that followed it wherever it went. From his, he gained the knowledge of how to use the Anvil. As the Keeper and Floop prepared to use the Anvil for the first time since its reconstruction, they were attacked by Dwarven forces. Holm had been under pressure from the Dwarves of Mount Ire for a while, and in an attempt to avoid war they sold out Floop to the Dwarves. They took the Anvil and its Keeper by force, taking it to their strongest bastion, a mountain fortress.
The Keeper remained with the Anvil in the fortress for several months. Eventually, a Dwarf sought him out and volunteered to give his soul to make a golem to help the now besieged and fractured Dwarven Empire. With the aid of Hodor Grandaxe, a relative of Thorik, the Keeper built Ferrous. The Keeper took the newly forged golem to the Asulon Markets, and trained it the basics of the world, before entrusting Ferrous to a temple monk.
Raiga became damaged and crazed soon after Ferrous's forging. Perhaps it believed the best way to protect Salamandra was to kill everything else, or perhaps it was simply murderous. Faced with a possible second Grey Vigil, Salamandra was forced to destroy his own creation. He fought Raiga and smashed the golem's core, freeing the trapped soul and bringing the dread golem to a permanent end. As Raiga crumbled to dust before him, he vowed to claim the Anvil and use its power once more.
When the races travelled to Anthos, the anvil stayed in possession of the Dwarves. Deep in the halls of Kal'Azgoth, in a room only accessible by the Master Smiths, it waited to be used once more.
This opportunity came about through the clumsiness and curiosity of a scientist by the name of Aisu Swain. Aisu was in the employment of the VonSchlichten Engineering Company, and as such was very interested in Dwarven mechanics and the like. Because of this interest, he often visited Kal'Azgoth to learn hands-on. On one of these trips, in particular, Aisu was studying a restricted Dwarven lift mechanism, when he suddenly lost his footing and fell to his doom. Landing on the stone below, the life escaping him, Aisu reached out to the only object he could see in the darkness. This item happened to be one of Farren Starbreaker's life gold soul gems. Upon dying with the life gold in hand, Aisu's soul was transferred into the gem. It was discovered a few days later by Barvek Grandaxe, who brought the corpse and the gem up into his forge. Many weeks passed as the trapped soul lay unused in the forge, until one day when the merchant Toveah Goldman came to the Dwarven Smiths requesting a golem be made for him. The Smiths accepted, having been promised immense amounts of gold, and began the process with gusto. After a few more weeks of preparation, a team had been assembled of smiths and golemagi consisting of Farren Starbreaker, Barvek Grandaxe, Kalen Forseth, and Tortek Golemforge. This group descended into the chasms of Kal'Azgoth where the mighty anvil lay dormant. After hours of labour, Farren uttered the words of life, and the mighty golem Apex was created.
Apex was promptly taught basic commands and then sold to Goldman for the sum of 10,000 minas. Apex stayed with Goldman for two years before the merchant perished and Apex returned to his Impera, Farren.
Golems must be forged on the enchanted Anvil of Karik, or, in Aegis, on the Enchanted Anvil of Kal'Urguan or in the Golem Forge below the Braveaxe Manor. A golem forged anywhere else will be nothing more than an inanimate body with some gold in the middle.
To create a golem, a master blacksmith and master of magic use must work together. The blacksmith must forge the body, which is often even more complicated than the highly advanced enchantment and magic the mage must perform. A golem made entirely by a mage will have physical difficulties due to inept blacksmithing, and a golem made purely by a blacksmith will suffer from a weak mind and weaker life force due to poor magic.
The body is hand-forged by a blacksmith. The more work the blacksmith puts into the body, the stronger the core seems able to animate it, and the better and stronger the golem is. Golem bodies are always slow and loud, as they are made of stone. The golem core does not seem to animate other materials. Clay has been proven to work, but materials such as iron, gold and obsidian do not animate. The core cannot animate huge bodies, and for this reason, golems rarely are more massive than an Orc. The creation of the core is complex. Magegold, the material the cores are made from, is rare, and charging it with the life force needed for a golem, turning it into Lifegold (also known as Black Magegold, for reasons detailed further on), is harder still. Binding a soul can turn base gold into Lifegold instantly, or an existing piece of Magegold can be turned into Lifegold when directly struck by conjured lightning while being held aloft, usually by the blacksmith. As the Magegold absorbs the lightning (or, more correctly, absorbs the elemental spirit used to conjure it), this is non-fatal. A golem core made with a mortal soul rather than a spirit results in a Soulbound golem, a core made with a lightning spirit results in a Lightningbound golem. There are almost no differences, save for Soulbound golems being slightly more intelligent and more prone to instability and corruption.
Lifegold is widely referred to as Black Magegold. This name is a misnomer, as Black Magegold looks like gold-tinted, slightly frosted glass with a coloured mist (the golem's mind and 'soul') swirling within, and unlike actual gold, is extremely fragile. The name comes from Black Magic, the old methods of golem creation in Aegis, where a soul had to be magically bound to gold to form the magegold core, were considered to be skirting the boundaries of morality by some and thought of as outright evil by others. The Orc known as Dretus used to hunt golems for this reason.
Many attempts to create golems to make their mind and soul immortal. A mortal soul can power a golem via soul binding, but the soul's owner does not become a golem, their soul is simply prevented from leaving the world and is used as a power source. Despite the ability to use mortal souls in golems, golem minds and mortal minds are not compatible with each other in any way, shape or form. A mortal mind cannot work in a golem body. It is thought that they work on completely different principles, but as nobody understands the golem magic, nobody is wholly sure — a telepathic struggle to read the mind of a golem for this reason. Attempting to mesh golem and mortal minds usually are temporarily successful, but before long the mind collapses, the golem goes on a path of destruction, and then its core physically and fatally implodes. In the event of a core's destruction, the golem's body slowly and dramatically crumbles to dust.
Every golem has a master, referred to by the golem itself as the Impera. The golem knows this word from its creation, but it has no knowledge of the world beyond that. It has no vocabulary, and only one drive, the compulsion to serve. For this reason, a golem cannot be 'its own master', as a golem would never want this. For a golem, it would be an unfulfilling life. Golems usually decide to serve the first person they see, but also may serve others who they are frequently around or those whom their master tells them to obey. A golem's memory is at its strongest when the golem has just been created, and the first instructions they hear they often remember for their entire lives. Training a golem can be a slow and tedious process, but they are fast learners in their early days.
With the exception of the initial lightning binding, being struck by lightning plays havoc with the golem core and thus the golem. In the case of Grey Vigil, an Undead lightning strike disabled it for several days, and it was unable to recall whom it served when it recovered. This resulted in it serving whomever it could find, including the Iblees worshiper known as Lord Arbelas, until the Braveaxes finally found and repaired it.
Golems do not heal like mortals; thus, any damage to their bodies is permanent until repaired. While any damage to the body is detrimental to the golem physically, to kill the golem, the core must be shattered. While the core is safe within the body, if the body is opened, the Lifegold is very, very fragile. Any magical or physical attempt to repair it or interface with it damages it further, and the worse the damage gets, the worse the golem is impaired, as the interna 'mist' gathers around the cracks in the core. Just physically touching a golem core can cause it to fracture like a bullet through the glass at the point of contact. Golems do not have joints, so to speak. The limbs are attached to the body via magic and occasionally simple sockets. Regardless of the method, the connections between parts are in physical contact with each other. The friction of this makes golems very loud, giving them no stealth capabilities. Golems often make thunderous cracking or creaking sounds when moving after a long period of inactivity.
Golem minds are, in a word, simple. They are not necessarily stupid, but their mental capacity is low, their drives are simple, and those golems that can talk have an elementary vocabulary. A golem rarely understands metaphors and implications, taking things literally most of the time. Many philosophical concepts go entirely over their heads. They exist to serve, enjoy serving and prefer to leave complex thought to their masters. As a result, golem leaders are almost unheard of, unless they are directing other golems.
What is a Golem
Golems are sentient constructs, comprised of a stone body animated by a magical core.
Golems can be created using Enchanting or Runesmithing. They also require one skilled in the use of the material from which they are made to make all of the parts. Usually, two are required to make a golem, as it is incredibly difficult to make the part and apply the magic to it simultaneously.
The Primary Lore
Golems obey every command of the being they view as their “Impera”. Impera appears to mean “master” at first glance, but there appears to be far more to its meaning. Impera is a word ingrained into the golem. It is incapable of referring to anyone as Impera save its Impera, and cannot view itself as its own Impera (if it did, it would become locked in an eternal loop of waiting for orders from itself.)
A golem’s first Impera tends to be the first person it sees upon its creation. While people tend to view the golem’s Impera as some sort of specific magical attachment, the concept is entirely in the golem’s mind. If a golem’s Impera dies, goes missing, or consistently fails to command the golem, the golem will seek out a new Impera. The only other way to change a golem’s Impera is for the current Impera to command the golem does such.
A new golem knows very little apart from how to operate its body and the concept of Impera. Occasionally they also seem to possess a very basic vocabulary, but often they know no words beyond “Impera.” Golems usually need to be taught almost everything, but, as a child, they are capable of learning very quickly when they are new. In the first few days of their existence, a golem is capable of understanding an Impera’s meaning even if it cannot understand their speech. This could be how they are capable of picking up the Impera’s language so quickly.
A golem mind is a simple one. A golem takes what is said; literally, metaphors and implications are beyond its comprehension. If ordered to carry out a task, it is not unheard of for them to continue to do so until told to stop. They are not creative. If ordered, for example, to build a house, a golem will either attempt to badly copy something it views as a house or simply pile materials on top of each other. It is incapable of designing.
Golem speech is slow, monotonous, and devoid of harmony. They are incapable of intonation. ((The convention for golem speech is never to use exclamation or question marks, capitalise every word and separate syllables with hyphens. An Ex-am-ple Is This. Sometimes full stops are used for every word. An. Ex-am-ple. Is. This.))
Research into golems has defined two primary personality stereotypes, known as Blue and Red, from which golems seem to deviate surprisingly little. A Blue Golem is one that seems content to serve and carries out commands to the best of its ability. A Red Golem is one that seems compelled to serve. While they are very similar in mannerisms, a red golem is likely to misinterpret commands to their Impera’s detriment willfully. Red golems are also far more likely to go berserk.
The body is composed of several parts, held together with magic rather than mechanical interfaces. Motion is achieved by pairs of runes or enchantments within the material which operate in a similar manner to muscles and allow the golem to move its limbs.
The most complicated part of a golem limb is the hand, as it involves so many parts. Unlike the larger joints, golem hands do tend to have some physical interlocking, and exterior runes are worked into the fingers to give the golem a rudimentary sense of touch. While the golem seems to manage without these touch runes on the rest of its body, it seems to need them on its fingers, or it crushes anything it attempts to hold.
While in theory, any material could be used to create a golem, there are limitations. Any metal seems to cause problems for the runes or enchantments, and the golem will either not animate at all, or the core will shatter. Obsidian is too heavy for the golem enchantments or runes to move.
Golem size is limited by the strength of the core. While a golem is powerful, golem cores cannot effectively animate a golem larger than a common Uruk orc (7 to 7.5 ft). 9-foot tall golems are possible but suffer from defects such as arms dropping off without warning.
The golem head contains many intricate runes required for the golem to sense and speak. The eyes of a golem are one of the few runes that need to be exposed, and they glow brightly when the golem uses them.
The core of a golem is a complex runic artifact made of inscribed arcaurum. A golem core is almost invariably a cube. Five of the six faces are inscribed with the intricate runes and symbols that that power the golem, the sixth is always completely blank. It is believed that the golem's memories are written upon the sixth face, in words invisible to mortals.
Creating a golem is a rather simple but very involved task. With a steady hand and precise stonework, a golemancer may carve and forge the desired body shape out of stone. Once the body has taken shape, the golemancer lays out the necessary runes along the body. Once all the runes are in place, the golemancer moves to the last and most important process. Creating and inserting the golem core.
Golems are incredibly hardy, being made of rock, and sledgehammers and warhammers are usually needed to damage them (pickaxes are far too unwieldy for fighting a moving target). However, the core is very fragile, like glass. Damage to the core can turn a golem red and leads to it going berserk and insane if the core is destroyed while in the golem, the body turns to dust. The golem is destroyed. While this is usually a permakill (the golem player technically should PK if this happens through RP but cannot be forced to), golem characters are all very similar, and thus the character can be “resurrected” by building a new golem. The setback is the loss of all memories.
Bound Beyond Death: Soulbound Golems
A golem core is both power core and mind to a golem. A golem's body is little more than a rune-operated puppet and periscope for the core. The core itself is a relic of a bygone age. Knowledge of the principles of operation are long gone: golem core forging is simply following a set of instructions handed down from golemancer to student perfectly. A golemancer understands the mechanics of the core no more than an orc understands the molecular chemistry within the boar he's roasting on a stick.
Golem cores are made of perfect arcaurum, heated to molten and then cooled through a very precise process involving runic magics such as to create a solid cube of pure arcaurum without defects. Basic alchemy is often involved in the process. Damage to cores introduces defects to the golem core, impeding its function irreversibly, and severe damage can drive a golem beserk or cause it to misinterpret instructions to destructive effect creatively.
In a thanhic golem, at the heart of the core is a blue crystal of the magical material thanhium. Thanhium converts heat into an internalised form of mana and serves the magical power source of the golem.
Before thanhium was rediscovered by the modern descendants in Anthos, there was another way to power golems. With a few slight alterations to the forging process and the omission of thanhium (often instead incorporating some of the red stone material known as eruthium), a golem core can be made into a soulbind core. If in physical contact with (usually by being hammered into the chest of) a Descendant or Kharajyr when they die the soul is unable to pass on to the next world and is intercepted by the core and trapped within. The soul's link to the Void and the realms beyond serves as a mana source for the golem much as thanhium does, powering its body and mind.
The unnatural process is excruciating for the soul. Sometimes the individuality, personality and mind are completely annihilated by the process, resulting in a creature very similar to a thanhic golem, if a little more unstable. This not, however, always the case.
The Soulbound Golem
A soul bound to a golem core remains conscious. Thanhic golems appear to form their own consciousness or at least respond as if they are sentient: soulbound golems retain the consciousness of those killed to create them. The experience is hellish: the consciousness can submit to the oblivion and its personality and memories be annihilated entirely in the process. Those who survive the binding process often remember very little of it: those soulbound golems that fully recall the agony of the binding go insane and usually must be destroyed.
The forging process of making a golem core changes the nature of arcaurum: it ceases to behave as metal and becomes much more glasslike. A standard golem core appears as a brilliant translucent golden cube with intricate runic carvings both on the sides of and somehow within the material, with a crystal of thanhium elegantly fused into its centre. A soulbound core lacks the crystal. When empty it appears as a thanhic core would without a crystal, but when filled, the core is filled with a murky red mist, like blood suspended in water.
An individual with the will or luck to suffer through the soulbinding retains their memory and personality. Deprived of all sensory input while trapped in the core they enter a sleep state, and the longer they are in it, the more their memories fade away like forgotten dreams.
Upon being placed into a golem core, the first thing a soulbound golem usually does is a scream. The second thing they usually do is try to move and fall over. Used to have a mortal body, the clunky movements of a golem form take a lot of getting used to. Upon realising what has happened to them, a soulbound golem can also go insane in horror, and it usually has to be broken to them carefully. It cannot be kept from them, however. An awakened soulbound golem knows something is wrong: they feel completely numb and have no sense of temperature: deprived of the sensations of a mortal body everything feels wrong.
Soulbound golems, like normal golems, cannot feel pleasure or pain. Their emotions are dulled, they have no concept of adrenaline, they can only sense touch where touch runes are fitted (usually fingers), and they lack the senses of smell and taste. (Keep these in mind when roleplaying them: you are not playing your old character completely intact). This total numbness combined with the strength of the golem combined with its clunky, nonfluid movements take some getting used to, and soulbound golems often take a few elven days to become fully in control of their bodies.
A soulbound golem retains its previous personality, albeit probably broken, and any memories that survived the binding process. This mortal consciousness is not truly compatible with the golem core: soulbound golems all have a split personality between their own mind and the placid, naive and subservient thanhic golem-like persona. The mortal mind remains in control by force of will, in times of stress or distress the mortal consciousness can withdraw, and the basic thanhic golem personality takes over until the mortal one can reassert itself. This persona lacks the personality and memories of the individual bound to the core and takes on the Bro-ken. For-mal. Spee-ch. Of. The. Go-lem. It is not unheard of for a soulbound golem to mimic a thanhic in order to put others at ease or in order to deceive.
Soulbound golems retain memories and personality, but they are not the old individual "ascended" to the stone form. Life as a soulbound golem is a hellish experience: they have lost their free will: they are still forced to obey commands they are given and suffer from an inability to create a direction of their own effectively.
Soulbound golems still have Imperas and are compelled to obey their commands: if they resist they are overwhelmed with psychological pain until they break, the "thanhic persona" takes over and they act like a normal golem. Like thanhics, it is not possible for a soulbound to successfully resist a command. Soulbounds also suffer from a lack of initiative: they require a direction from their Impera and struggle to create the purpose of their own. If a soulbound golem were to run from its Impera to avoid being commanded it would soon find itself not knowing what to do with itself, unable to think, and would soon find itself returning to its master as if in a trance.
Soulbound golems do not speak like mortals. They still speak mostly in the golem's voice and pronounce syllables as individual words (U-sing th-is t-yping con-ven-tion), but they add much more accent, colloquial and personality to their speech. They retain their old understanding of language and can make jokes, throw insults and use sarcasm although they do so in the golem's voice and still suffer from the speech rune's inability to inflect (they cannot use ! or ? marks)
Like a thanhic, a soulbound cannot be its own master: it is shackled to its Impera. For the character, being a soulbound golem is an unliving hell. They have lost their free will, their body feels numb and wrong, and they are doomed to this state of potential undeath for as long as their master keeps them that way: a soulbound golem cannot kill itself if its master orders it not to. This is dark magic of enslavement, and while soulbound golems may be enjoyable characters to play, they are not happy ones.
The Golem Anvil And Golem Types
The dwed of old were capable of astounding feats. Caverns hollowed out in minutes, runes that could conjure mighty spells, forges hot enough to melt the very earth we stand on. None of this compared to the prized creation of the dwarves: Golems. In modern times the descendants know only of one kind of Golem, but in times past there were many. How did they accomplish such a feat? With one brilliant creation: The Golem Anvils.
In older Golem lore Golem anvils were a means to restrict the magic and creation of Golems. This is not so now. That is not to say that this is rewriting the old lore, no, but rather that these are a separate kind of anvil altogether. The purpose of these anvils is quite simple: to prepare golem cores for use in other types of golems. There is no other function to the anvils.
If a golem can be compared so closely to a man, then the core would be both the beating heart and the thinking brain. It is the most vital piece of a golem, for, without it, the golem could not function at all.
Golem cores serve only two primary purposes. To think for the Golem and to power the Golem. However, the exact way the core thinks and powers a golem can be altered by a golem anvil. This is not to say that it can be altered freely, but rather it can be shaped into one of several “pre-set behaviours”. These different “behaviours” are utilised in the different types of Golems that can be created. There are 5 primary core types:
- Normal Core: This core requires no changes. It is the base core for regular Golems
- Command Core: This core is the main core of the “Multi-Cored” Golem. It is altered to allow interaction with slave cores, as well as the ability to command and receive information from said cores.
- Slave Core: A slave core is a core that lends its cognitive capabilities to a Command Core. It cannot perform actions on its own and must have a Command Core to, well, command it.
- Swift Core: A Swift Core is made for use in, obviously, the Swift Golem. Swift Cores primary changes are an alteration in the sphere of influence and to the Golems cognitive capabilities itself. A Swift Core limits the size of the Golem to around a 5 ft maximum but increases its ability to process its surroundings (an enhanced spatial awareness if you will.)
- Brawn Core: Brawn Cores are entirely the opposite of Swift Cores. They make for incredibly large, and terrifyingly strong, golems. The only downside is that these golems are terribly stupid. So stupid, in fact, that they are entirely incapable of combat.
It is important to note that the only type of core capable of communicating directly with others is a Command Core. This is also to say that the only type of core that accepts commands from another core is that of the slave core.
Swift Golems, as directly translated from the ancient dwarven “Vlokon Khoren”, is a fascinating evolution in the line of Golemancy. While many of the original golemancers were concerned with creating the strongest, sturdiest, and biggest golems, one dwarf, in particular, took Golemancy in an entirely different direction. Believed to have initially ridiculed for his fascination with grace and fluidity achieved by elves, he instead translated this fascination from the point of mockery to that of triumph. And a triumph it was, for a work of excellent engineering was an accolade higher than any other to the dwarves of old.
Through much effort, the Golemancer was able to use a Golem anvil to carefully alter the core of a Golem into a much more intricate state. The resulting core allowed for the creation of a Golem that was much quicker than that of a normal one. Not only were the new breed of Golems physically quicker, nearly rivalling the speed of an average member of one of the descendant races, they were also mentally quicker. While not particularly smarter, they were capable of reacting to scenarios and making decisions far faster than an ordinary Golem. There were, of course, some drawbacks. Due to the increased focus on the speed and agility of the golem, the cores “sphere of influence” was significantly reduced. A Swift Golem core could only support a Golem with a maximum height of around 5 feet. Not only was the height of Swift Golems reduced, but so was the overall strength of them, and in more ways than one. A Swift Golem was physically weaker, being about as strong as an average dwarf. However, they were also far more delicate due to the focus on agility. This meant that a Swift Golem could be rendered incapacitated by a few quick blows to crucial locations on the body, thus dislocating its limbs entirely. In the end, Swift Golems became a popular alternative to regular ones due to a much lower manufacturing cost, and they were much better suited for daily tasks required of a common dwarf.
Multi-core golems make use of the unique properties of the Command and Slave Cores. Through these two core types, Multi-core golems gain much higher cognitive skills, as well as additional motor skills.
Multi-cored golems have little to no advantaged physical features. Most of the work is kept inside of the golem, to assure that no damage is done to the extra cores. A multi-cored golem can possibly go red if it loses one of its 6 cores (excluding the main one). A golem with two or more cores has better motor skills. To make a multi-cored golem, you need the proper tools and knowledge to do so. A multi-cored golem must be soulbound, as a thanhic golem would absorb too much heat and overcool. Using soulbound cores is very costly (since it is tough to find people to PK). The alignment for golem cores and to allow them to communicate must be performed/created on a golem anvil. Even if you are a highly skilled golemancer, it doesn’t mean you’re able to make a multi-cored golem. Golem cores must be aligned properly with each other to allow easy communication with each other. If a golem core can not communicate with the next, they will not function properly. The cores would argue with one another if it was lined incorrectly, having no way to contact with one another, even when they are lined, the cores would still argue; however, if the Impera in question gives the order for them to cooperate - that is when the multi-cored golems are created and fully functional/efficient.
The main core is what processes all the information obtained from the cores. The said core then uses the acquired information to complete its action, and if the slightest mistake occurred in the core line up, the communication would be slower than usual, as would the action it was in. With multiple cores, the golem can make more intelligent actions, decisions, and store more information than a standard golem would. The main core controls bodily functions. Despite increased cognitive abilities, a multi-cored golem can not retain a free will.
To clarify, there are drawbacks to a multi-cored golem. It can only be soulbound. Soulbound cores are very costly, as finding a soul willing to be trapped inside of a core isn’t common. A soul can retain its memory and can cause the core to be miserable. Soulbound cores have a higher chance of becoming red, unlike thanhic golems. If one core becomes red, it will create a bad influence on the rest of the cores. Slowly, the cores will become red. You then have a multi-cored golem with high motor skills rampaging on the world. This means multi-cored are a high maintenance ordeal. A golemancer needs to watch for red cores commonly, and replace them when needed.
These cores give birth to something that can be seen as the exact opposite of the Swift Core. This breathes life to golems that are considerably taller than a normal golem and grants them sturdier ground and strength. This Golem was another of the lost Dwarven Inventions—as many golemancers sought to make the sturdiest, the largest, and the strongest golems—An aspiring golemancer found the way for achieving such a creation. By endless labour, careful precision, and using one of the Golem Anvils of old—he created a modified core known as the “Brawn Core”, or “Larkhon Khoren” In ancient Dwarven. These Golems were widely used, much like the Swift Golems; however, they were mainly used for heavier lifting, and more domestic/labour affairs, for with brawn in golemancy comes impotence in two fields: Speed and Intelligence. The golem core places more focus into brawn, causing the constructs to be extremely slow, and unable to attack others without them being able to move away. Their intelligence severely lacks, making them completely rely on their Impera. Although, in time they may become more intelligent than what they once were, though these golems will ultimately be cognitively lacking than their mechanised brethren. Due to Brawn core golems being far taller than the normal golem, its body hunches somewhat and uses its arms as support—else the weight of its being will cause it to topple.
- Brawn cores can max at 10 feet; however they slouch if they are anywhere above 9 feet, giving them the appearance of being shorter.
- A brawn core has the equivalent strength of two Ologs and cannot exceed that strength cap.
- The brawn core is by no means fast. They move far slower than any other golem; each step they take is three steps slower than the average person. That being said, each action they make is three times actions slower than the average person.
- Brawn core golems are by no means combative, they are unable to directly harm others (meaning if they smash something, and someone is below it, that’s their fault for not moving out of the way).
How Golem Cores Work
Ever since the days of yore when the ancestors of the dwarves toiled endlessly away in the heart of the mountains, carving vast halls from naught but glittering gems and rough-hewn stone, have the earthen beings known simply as “Golems” existed. It is quite true that the dwarves are the creators of these marvels of engineering and magical prowess, but even as the mightiest of men cannot weather the passage of time neither can knowledge itself. Despite what they have lost the dwarven folk stay very true to the nature of their ancestors, for even the dwarves of yore were a secretive untrusting people. Much knowledge was held by the very few, and the very elite, among the dwarves. This proved to be a grave error when the Ironborn took power. During the blood age and the purging of dwarven knowledge, a majority of these close kept secrets were destroyed forever, those who held them slaughtered mercilessly. Amongst the plethora of knowledge lost was something invaluable; how golem cores functioned.
Indeed it is true that we might know how to create golems, but we do not know how they function. We are but mere workers, blindly following the blueprints to a grand machine without truly knowing what makes it tick. Tick it does, however, and thus we continue to make more and more of these stone behemoths. But, as they always say, “what goes up must come down.” I like to say something quite similar, “what is lost can be found.” Would you believe it if I said that I might have found the reason for the tick?
Golems are rather peculiar creatures, created from stone, precious metals, and nothing else. The purpose of the runes on the outside of a golem is known, from the runes that provide the many senses (touch, sight, etc.), to the runes that run the length of the golem's body (they provide the information and instructions to and from the core). What has not been known, however, is what the runes on the surface of the core do. A golem core has six sides, five of which are required to have very specific runes on each else the golem will not function. It has been the general assumption that these runes served as the “brain” of the golem. While this may still be, and likely is, true for three of these runes, I believe I have found something rather extraordinary regarding the remaining two.
These two runes must always be created in a specific order, and up until now, no one has known why. The rune that is created first acts as a sort of “storage” for the information that the second provides. The reason for needing to create these runes in a particular order is because the second rune only works once. Upon the completion of the second rune, it activates instantly, gathers the necessary information, and then burns out in a manner of milliseconds. The information gathered is then stored via the first rune and utilised in the golems overall function. What is the information gathered then, exactly? It is my belief that the rune examines the golems creator and, more specifically, their soul. It then takes the so-called “blueprint” that it observes from its creator's soul and applies it to the golem's core in the place of the first rune. I have dubbed the examining rune the “transcribing” rune and the other the “transcribed” rune.
This explains a lot of things, like why a golem has to be humanoid, or why a golem cannot be created by a soulless being such as a homunculus. Furthermore, it explains how thanhic golems achieve sentience. The soul taken from soulbound cores is simply a power source, just as the thanhium is in thanhic golems. The small amount of lingering memories from soulbound golems are just a side effect of using this form of the golem. The actual sentience and intelligence of a golem are spawned from the information that the core rune draws from its creator. The implications of this discovery are massive. I cannot let this knowledge be forgotten again.
- Excerpt from the field journal of Dizzy Irongrinder; Golemancer
The Disrupter Spike
With the discovery of the purpose of the transcribing and transcribed runes, I have begun to hypothesise on a certain matter. I am worried what doors I might open even by considering this, but I have a morbid curiosity, to say the least. The revelation that a golem must take from the so-called “soul blueprint” of its creator has piqued my interest. I must remain adamant in my convictions; this is purely an academic curiosity, nothing more.
Since soulless beings are unable to create golems, as they lack the required soul blueprint, I have begun to hypothesise upon a very peculiar conundrum; what if someone possessed a “damaged” soul? One would imagine that if someone who possessed such a soul attempted to create a golem, they would fail utterly. Furthermore, could there be a way to conceivably damage another person's soul in order to prevent them from being a golemancer themselves?
Interestingly enough, I now believe golem limbs work in a very similar fashion to golem cores. Golem limbs are quite handy replacements, but they come at a cost. The life span of the user of a golem limb will oft be shortened by several years. It was unknown what caused this, until now. I believe that a golem limb leeches off of the users “soul blueprint” in order to animate itself and function properly. If this hypothesis is correct, that may also explain why the users' life is shortened. By tapping into the “soul blueprint” the user of the golem limb is creating somewhat of a leak, a “soul breach” if you will.
I wonder if it would be possible to create an object which would forcibly cause a “soul breach” so large that it would disrupt any attempt at creating a golem?
- Excerpt from the lab journal of Avenel; Golemancer
Miscellaneous Golem Tech
Variations in Optic Runes
A pleasing aesthetic, by fiddling with the Optic runes, they could find the colours to change to something other than blue and yellow. Now, all the colours are possible, aside from Red (reserved for Red Golems).
- Unless the golem is a red state golem, their optic runes cannot be read.
- No rainbow optic runes.
Used in the ancient days to disable Red-state golems, these were highly sought for in ancient dwarven society. The most prominent anti-golem weapon is the Hammer of Ardol, crafted by an ancient golemancer. Although he never shared the full extent of his research, other dwarven golemancers sought to create a weapon of the same effect. Although their research proved fruitful, it would not be of the same strength as the hammer of Ardal; instead, these weapons would temporarily disable the runes on areas where the weaponry struck. The golemancers were odd in making their golem-destroying arsenal, believing the core of the golem would be its own folly, and using the anvil—they forged the “Disruption core” which oddly did not have a spherical or cubic shape. In fact, this core frame was more like a shard, a larger one. The core was too large to install itself in a weapon like a sword safely. Thus the golemancers inserted these cores within blunt force weapons, like hammers and maces. Another thing that is noted is the durability of the anti weapons. While serving well against golems, these items will eventually see to their cores shattering, and will require a golemancer to repair… if it even can be.
- The disruption core can only be put in larger weaponry that deals blunt damage.
- The weapon disrupts the runes on the struck area, and only that area—this means you can’t hit a golem on the arm and say “Sorry, you shut down entirely.”
- The disruption only works for one to two emotes on the given area before the golem recovers. The only exception is being struck on the core area, where the Golem will be immobilised for longer (3-4 emotes, if not longer [depends on the Golem’s preference, or gives consent to being permanently immobilised.])
- These weapons will break max after taking down two golems.