At first glance, the iron colossus seems like the perfect ancient guardian—the Colossus of Rhodes or Ray Harryhausen’s Talos from Jason and the Argonauts statted up for your gaming table.
Then you notice the tank treads. Those speak of something else—infernal engineering, a god of smiths sneaking anachronistic technology into the world, the pollution of two timelines running together…or maybe just some really inventive and pissed-off dwarven artificers. Whatever the reason, there’s a story there. The iron colossus is a literal engine of destruction…and engines don’t happen by accident.
A colossus has stood inert upon an island in Pelican Bay for all of recorded history. When the sound mysteriously dries up, the giant statue grinds to life, suddenly trading its legs for tracks as it heads inland. The colossus was actually an iron colossus trapped by the rising water millennia ago. Suddenly freed, it intends to finish its ancient mission no matter what else gets in the way.
The bride of a god has been abducted on her wedding day. A deity of smiths is responsible; a once noble and kindly god, his spirit long ago turned black after his maiming by the original Oinodaemon. Would-be rescuers will have to face a mixture of mortal, monstrous, and mythic traps set by the divine smith, including an iron colossus that leads a troop of firearms-trained devils into battle.
Many rural lords ceremonially marry the land in order to guarantee its fertility and prosperity—often in occult rites, in the course of mystery plays, or in actual sexual consummations (if fey powers are involved). Now an urban lord has “married” his city and its machinery, spurning the powers of the land for the power of blazing boilers, belching smoke, and the clatter of wheels. When the lord is attacked, his “bride” animates to defend him, the state-run central manufacturing plant arising in the cobbled-together body of an iron colossus to crush his enemies.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 4 36
You know how every bad fantasy novel from the ’70s turned out to be set on a far-future, post-apocalyptic Earth? That might also explain the tank treads.
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