Work In Progress
This article is still being written. Please consult the other authors working on this project before editing.
|“||They shall not fear fire nor lightning nor any weapon possessed by beast or man.||”|
In times long past, before the Sundering of the South and the fall of the God-Kings, magicians and enchanters were privy to arcane knowledge that we can only dream of. Hidden formulae and diagrams that could alter the very fabric of reality, esoteric words to move objects with one's mind, and alien beings from hidden worlds, bound to serve man. One of the most public and prominent examples of this power, and one that has long been lost to the sands of time, is the secret of making golem.
Golem were powerful creatures made from inanimate materials and the delicate application of magic. They were simple creatures, following orders that they were given by rote, but they were tireless, incredibly strong, and a visible display of Southern might. Visitors to Maram or Hakeshar would gape in awe at these men of earth, stone, or metal, who could shift a whole barge's worth of goods without any apparent effort. And the enemies of the Pharoah, those who dared to oppose the divine right of kings, would run in fear from these killing machines as they barreled right through their lines. Not even the western abominations, whose cries are known to drive men insane, can stand against golem: how can you drive something insane if it does not think?
Each golem was different, as each was made at a different time by different men, but they appear to have had a few elements in common. They were always made of inanimate material, typically sun-baked clay, hardened to be like rock, although golem chiseled out of rock or even made from iron have also been documented. They typically are roughly human in appearance, albeit much larger, standing anywhere between 9 to 15 feet high, with thick trunk-like legs and long arms end in large hands with three or four fingers. Most golem had thick, squat heads with almost no neck, with two empty holes for eyes and a thin, open slash for a mouth. The mouth appears to have been the crucial component, as all golem contained within their mouth an inscription of some sort that gave them power. The precise nature of the inscription remains unknown, though it was always written on paper or a linen strip. This inscription, whatever it was, gave the golem its life. Some ancient records tell of how a golem would lose its inscription and stop working, although just placing it back into the mouth would give it life again.
Although Marami scholars have been trying to learn how to construct golem to aid them in their industry, they have been roundly unsuccessful, and so most of our knowledge of the golem comes from ancient texts and from what remains or intact specimens we have found. Many golem were destroyed in the dark times after the fall of the Pharoahs, and many more were lost when they could no longer carry out their orders due to the breakdown of society. Those that remain are either tasked to guard ancient tombs in some gods-forsaken corner of the land, or have gone rogue when they could no longer complete their orders.
If you should encounter either case in your travels, run away. More than likely, the golem will grind you into dust without a thought. If you're determined to fight it, there are a few ways to destroy one, although the chances of you doing so are incredibly low. Don't bother with most conventional weapons, as they will probably not leave a mark on the golem's hard skin. Fire is similarly useless. Some scholars theorize that magical weapons may be effective, although the odds of you finding one AND a rogue golem are so incredible as to be not worth discussing. The surefire way of defeating a golem is to remove the animating parchment from its mouth. To do so, you must avoid its massive swinging arms and stomping feet, climb up its humongous body whilst avoiding being crushed into a pulp, reach into its mouth, and pull out the parchment scrap. The golem with then be deactivated. Failing that, luring the golem into a rockslide may trap it long enough for you to escape. You can also lead it into a river or lake, as the creatures cannot swim.