A Short Guide to Golems


“An Old Statue” by AvertedVision (2007)

It seems clear to me that not enough people know the truth about golems, therefore I wrote this short piece today (22nd May 2016) in an effort to educate people on the distribution of these wonderful creations in today’s world.

A Short Guide to Golems

Have you ever met a dormant golem? No? Well I have. Despite insistences to the contrary, the great living-yet-soulless constructs cannot be killed in any other way than by simply running out of juice (that is, magic). I’ve also heard that they die when their masters do likewise, though I’ve never been able to verify this. I thought I’d come close once, but it turned out that the man concerned was merely a potter who’d had a heart attack and landed on his largest gnome, smashing it to pieces. No, I believe that a golem will simply cease up and fall into a state of suspended animation as soon as the magic that powered it has run its course.

You probably don’t know it, but you’ve most likely met a dormant golem before. Several in fact. You see, for every statue out there in the world, around 25 percent of them are actually idle golems. They are all around us, in our streets, in front of our castles, along our seawalls. Yet despite this, very few know of their existence. Is it simple ignorance? A well-executed conspiracy? Or is it nothing more than people not caring about real magic in the modern era? Whatever the reason, I feel that more people should know what they’re really looking at when they go sightseeing.

As we are all aware, golems come in many shapes, sizes, colours and degrees of flamboyancy. Take the humble slate golem of Hatchet Castle for example, this particular effigy of an eight foot anthropomorphic being is in stark contrast to the two foot, sparkly orange amber golems of the subterranean cave systems of Outer Pagwei. Though rare today (so much so that few believe they actually exist at all), there was a time when golems were the most common expression of magical ability. More so than even self-immolation and instant ice cube making.

Most common are of course stone golems, also referred to as rock golems. These constructs account for more than 90 percent of all dormant golems left in the world today. Considering that stone is by far the easiest element to infuse with magic (after mort flesh), it should come as no surprise that this is the case. When I explain this, people often ask why mort flesh golems are not the most common. The reason is simple, as easy as it is to imbue dead flesh with a magical charge, it loses its potency very quickly (I believe its half-life to be quite pathetic in comparison to all other infusible elements), and therefore it is quite pointless even bothering to take the time and effort to create one at all. Besides, we all know what happened in Vanz City in the 12th century. The smell still lingers to this day.

Besides stone golems, there are of course timber, gold, magma, fire, ice and excrement ones. These are not as common as stone golems, especially in their dormant states, as the utter depletion of magic renders them susceptible to external influences. Wind for example, will blow a timber golem over, if it is small and light enough. Magma golems will solidify and eventually become fodder for tourists with small, rentable pickaxes. Fire will extinguish in the rain, ice will melt and excrement will eventually become fertiliser for plants. In fact, the great excrement golem army from the Ghaust Dynasty, once the 50 year War of the Foul was over and the royal mages no longer had any use for their pungent creations, became the unwilling underlay for the carpet of oak trees that now occupies the foot of Mount Graug.

What is even rarer however, are precious golems. And by that I mean ones formed out of expensive gemstones. Topaz, emerald, onyx, etc. These precious stones are usually turned into very small golems and given as playthings to rich folk’s children. Once their magic dies, they usually get turned into watches or broaches. A lot of them also get stolen and wind up on the black market. When he was finally incarcerated at the turn of the 15th century, the infamous head of the Voss Bargas crime syndicate, Earl Grimm, was found to be in possession of over 10,000 dormant precious golems. They were later broken down and used to decorate the Argnen Chapel in Valborg.

So there you have it, a short guide to dormant golems. The next time you find yourself staring at a lovely statue of a long-dead nobleman, consider this: are you staring at him, or is he staring at you? The remnants and evidence of age-old magic is all around us, all we have to do is look.

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