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Image:Scroll2.png "Admittedly, the day I learned how to make golems was the day I lost interest in people."
- Zarik Mashaen, Archwizard of Sahova

A golem is a construct given intelligence with the magic discipline of Animation. Depending on its maker's skill, a golem can range from a stupid automaton that can only perform simple, mindless tasks to a near-perfect emulation of life that might, in a few cases, even blend with people undetected. Golem-making knowledge is quite rare in the post-Valterrian world and most qualified Animators are found on the undead island of Sahova.


While the knowledge required for making golems is ancient, actual widespread use of golems as workforce was a relatively new pre-Valterrian concept first devised as the Suvan and Alahea Empires formed. In earlier times, Animators were a much more obscure lot who were believed to pervert the flow of life; of course, the fact some of them did indeed animate corpses as servants did little to improve their reputation. The craft became popular and suddenly gained acceptance when the two main Empires of the world, especially Alahea, realized its potential.

The so-called Rebirth of Animation was made possible by several generations of gifted wizards that completely rewrote the philosophy of the craft, departing from illogical traditions and developing new theories and applications. For example, it was noted that antropomorphic golems were unnecessarily complex and difficult to move around, and new body shapes were designed, using wheels and other devices decreasing production costs and technical problems.

Of course, this was mostly lost with the Valterrian. Golems were hit especially hard, and most of them simply stopped functioning due to the cataclysm. For many decades after the event, the very air became so saturated with wild Djed that golems behaved erratically or not at all. That was also the most chaotic period, with the collapse of civilization and the rise of brigands and barbarians. While other wizards could defend themselves, Animators were crippled by the environment and many of them found death at the hands of thieves and assassins. On the other hand, Animation was believed to have become useless and was largely forgotten outside of Sahova.

Since Sahova hosted hundreds of undead wizards that were themselves a product of Animation, knowledge survived intact, and the island had more defenses in place than just golems, not to mention its ideal location. Now that golems are functional again, the rest of the world has slowly started to make a few specimens, but Sahova is estimated to produce about half the world's golems - outputting about two hundred or so a year. Many of those will not last much longer than a year, either.


A golem is an intelligence that does not have a soul, meaning that it will stop existing upon destruction. There are tales of exceptional golems striving to acquire a soul and succeeding in the end, but such cases, if confirmed, would be unique. Almost anything can serve as a golem's body, though not everything will allow movement. In many applications, movement is not even a desired feature, for example because the golem's voice or senses is all that is needed. For example, Sahova hosts a citadel-wide Controller golem called Drainira that monitors the place and answers questions wherever they are asked.

If movement is desired, corpses are the easiest thing to animate, though also the least reliable and also one carrying a lot of ethical stigma. Sahovan Animators will not animate corpses - which is ironic because they are themselves Nuit undead housed inside Animated corpses; in fact, the main difference is that they do have a soul.

Metal and wood are the favorite material for serious golem-makers. Stone is much more rare than one would think, both because of high production times and costs, and because of its massive weight making golems extremely sluggish and prone to incidents (it is never advised to stand near a moving golem).

Fully humanoid golems are rare. For one, joints are a designer's nightmare that only skilled machinists are able to overcome. Second, in a lot of practical scenarios walking is not a necessary requirement, and things like wheels are much simpler and more effective than legs and feet. Indeed, many golems only have as few joints as possible and tend to resemble "boxes on wheels". Depending on its shape, an antropomorphic golem can easily cost ten or twenty times more than a stylized one. Seeing as even a normal non-humanoid golem is a very expensive item that can cost thousands of Miza, the price of antropomorphic golems is usually exhorbitant.