Golems are beings created from a certain substance through magical means (e.g. through the Xeuá spell "Create Golem"), which exist in many forms and shapes. Mostly they appear as sculptures of statues, endowed with animation and purpose. They do not exist in the wild by themselves; every Golem has to be created first, by either a mage or a priest. The Golems have little intelligence, and are thus capable only of very limited tasks, often connected with the material used to create the Golem. On the other hand, this is matched by the unique abilities most Golems possess, ranging from superior strength (Golems created by and of the Element of Earth) to the ability to reflect magical attacks (Golems made directly of magic/things with magical properties). Nevertheless, Golems are sentient beings, a certain minimalistic form of intellect is granted to them by the magic used in their creation, but usually only enough to do the tasks their creator had in mind for them. Depending on the spell used to create the Golem, the creature may last hours or days and if further enchanted with additional spells even years or centuries.
|Image description: A wizard creating clay golems to assist him in his machinations. Picture from the game Magical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Illustration drawn by Faugar.
Appearance. Golems come in a multitude of shapes, as their creator can give them any shape he wishes. The size depends on how much material the creator uses to form the Golem, and can technically be as big as the caster intends. Usually, however, probably mainly for practical reasons, Golems have a shape similar to their creator, meaning it is usually like one of the four races of Aér'aí'chán. In general there are no limitations on a Golem’s form, providing its form has to suit the purpose of the Golem. For example hands are quite helpful if the Golem is meant to do work that requires them etc. The color and its properties in general are dictated by the material/materials used in the creation process.
Golems do not have anything “inside” them, e.g. heart or lungs like other living beings we know of. They are either solid or, more rarely, hollow inside. Some wizards are known to even hide treasures inside Golems, creating an excellently protected vault for their artifacts. The only exception from this rule is the Bone Golem, which is created from a corpse, and has everything that corpse had. Short interesting side-note: Unlike other Golems a Bone Golem for example is also able to eat, assumed to be some sort of reflex from the past, when the being was still alive; however it does not need food.
Below you will find a listing of the most common Golem types, as well as any special abilities those particular Golems possess.
The Rock Golem
A Golem made of rock; this type is usually feared for the abundant strength it possesses.
The Clay Golem
Similar to the Rock Golem, the Clay Golem has abundant strength, (though less than the Rock Golem) and also the ability to change the body shape to suit whatever needs the Golem sees favourable.
The Wood Golem
A Golem rarely created, the Wood Golem can be quite useful. Among other things it can for example float in water.
The Bone Golem (also known as the Flesh Golem)
One of the most fearsome Golems, this thing is created from a dead corpse. It has the attributes of that corpse, and may also have small magical properties (in case the dead body was a mage and still contains some of its original cár'áll). An interesting ability of this Golem is the ability to eat, even without requiring food. Depending of the state of decay of the corpse(s) used either a Bone Golem or a Flesh Golem results from spellcasting. Usually a Bone/Flesh Golem is the product of the joining of several corpses.
The Iron Golem
A Golem widely used by dwarven mages, the Iron Golem has abundant strength as well as the durability of iron.
The Statue Golem
A rather interesting thing, this Golem is made from a statue, and can be used as a trap, set to spring at a certain event.
The Spectral (also known as the Spectral Golem)
No one has ever seen one of those; it is by most people considered a legend originated and maintained at the Magical Academy of Ximax. This "Golem" is said to have the powers of the four elements.
The Ice Golem
The Ice Golem is only commonly made by the Cyhalloian mages because it is composed of snow and ice. Unlike most Golems they are created to about 4 peds of height and take a strange shape which looks like loads of rocks forced together to create a bulky humanoid shape.
Special Abilities. Most Golems have some sort of special abilities, dictated by the materials used in their creation. One can usually understand what abilities a Golem is likely to have by simply looking at what it is made of. E.g. Golems made of iron are likely to be extremely strong, while a Golem made of wood is likely to be vulnerable to fire etc.
Territory. Golems tend to stay where their creator lives, or lived. Usually the bond they have with their creator doesn't allow them to move any further away than approx. one stral. As they are artificial beings, they do not have any permanent territories. Yet, places where mages reside/did reside may very well house a Golem or two.
Habitat/Behaviour. As Golems have little intelligence (to be more precise: have borrowed the little intelligence they have from the caster), they do not have the mind to do much on their own. If the Golem serves someone, he does as its master wishes. If the Golem is "freed" (e.g. if its master is killed and the mind bond will break), it will likely be doing something he was set to do the moment he was released from the connection. If this is not possible anymore and no further instructions are received a Golem may be reduced to its primarily function: to keep itself alive, either by seeking new tasks or by defining the little energy that is left as its life's purpose. The Golem then may react very unpredictable. What will he do? Guarding its territory, never moving again? Walking in circles searching desperately for its master? Who knows?
Diet. Golems generally cannot eat, except the Bone Golem, who can eat anything, though it has no obivous purpose. However, Golems do not need food to survive.
Mating. Golems, being artificially created, cannot mate. Yet, some Golems have been observed trying to perform mating acts, probably imitating something they have seen their master do, or seen animals in the wild do. Bone Golems (created from former living beings) may still have these instincts reactivated.
Origin. Golems are magically constructed creatures, widely used by mages proficient in the art of Xeuá Magic. With the help of spells Golems can be made from nearly any consistent material. The Golem is bound to the caster, and will serve him without question as long as the mage can keep control. Note: This bond does not allow a Golem to move more than a 1000 peds away from its master. If the Golem is forced to go beyond the limit, the bond breaks and the created Golem will crumble to dust.
There are a number of limitations on what materials this spell can affect, defined as follows:
Important Notes. Golems should be discerned from elementals. Although often similar in shape and material, there are a number of crucial differences. Confusing a Golem with an elemental may have tragical consequences, so it's better to know exactly how they differ from each other:
While a Golem receives its life's energy directly from the caster when it is created (and still holds a bond to the mage's cár'áll afterwards), an elemental is the product of the focussing of magical energy on a certain element (e.g. a campfire) to intensify a special kind of connection within the targeted cár'áll (in this case fire) and thus create life on its own from the element itself. This means: While Golems can be controlled more or less easily by the caster, creating an elemental is a very dangerous thing, as free will is created powered by the inherent energies of the element itself, which the caster may not be able to control. Elementals therefore will soon "burn out" (unless strengthened further temporarily and controlled by a mage) while Golems last much longer and powerful enchantments are said to keep them alive for years and even centuries. Elementals also only exist in four different kinds, which (not very surprisingly) are: Wind, Earth, Water and Fire Elementals, while Golems can come in a multitude of substances.