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Thu, Jan. 5th, 2006, 06:35 pm
barrowhound: On Golems

Golems are spirits bound to some physical shell. Their bodies can be made out of anything, usually stone, metal, or some fasmat material. It can be virtually anything. Their brains are crystals specially sculpted to house their spirits. Depending on the skill of a golem's creator, and the power the proto-golem possessed as a free spirit, it might be quite intelligent, or barely sentient. Some golems, mostly immobile devices, are inhabited by lesser spirits - perhaps this is their first incarnation - which aren't sentient at all.
Intelligent golems have usually been incarnated so many times that they don't remember anything more of their spiritual selves than any other person. Their ties to their true nature, however, are a bit stronger. They can sense the presence of all types of magic, and have a basic empathy with all fellow spirits, mortals included. The sensations with which they perceive the presence of a spirit vary. Most perceive it by sight, but this isn't universal. Magical energy of an opposite elemental alignment causes a golem discomfort, varying in intensity depending on the strength of the energy. Some golems can sense basic emotions.
A golem's quality of life depends on the purpose for which it's created. It might be a guard, a clerk, a librarian, a child's companion, a gladiator, a knight, an adviser, a house servant, even an automobile. Some golems are granted something akin to freedom by their owners, but, by Anseronian law, golems cannot be legally free. Any protection they have under the law protects their owners from loss of property. Unlike zombies and vosk, a golem's owner is easy to mark and trace within the structure of the crystalline brain.
Golems do tend to be respected, however. Obvious artificial constructs are something of a mystery to most of the population, who cannot otherwise afford regular contact with magic. Unlike a mistreated mortal servant, the spirit inhabiting a golem could very well come back to enact vengeance on a cruel master, after being "killed", so their status is usually high, as far as valued and dangerous property goes.
Golems are dependent on their creators. They must consume magical energy daily, in order to survive. Otherwise, their control over their physical shells deteriorates, and they go berserk, attacking any source of magic they can sense, before finally abandoning their physical shells. To some constructs, this is a great shame.