Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clay Golem

Iron and stone golems may be more in fashion, especially among the wizarding set.  But clay golems are the original automatons.  Use clay golems to suggest age, ritual significance, and ancient power come to life.  Their ability to haste themselves—and their propensity to go berserk—adds extra spice to the encounter.

On the world of Helm, the first golems were created to defend fledgling human tribes against the theocrats of their giant overlords.  Clay golems dating from that era therefore resemble cyclopes, stone giants, and sleeping monks.  The drow of Helm, similarly enslaved and resentful of the humans’ unwavering spirit of independence, have since crafted a society that boasts as many construct-wreckers as it does giant-killers.

The evil Worrick the Boy-King was tricked into commanding his clay golem shield guardian to defend his line forever, and was immediately thereafter killed and buried with the command amulet.  The pall that hung over the House of Sturbridge was lifted, and Worrick’s far more benevolent family members prospered, defended for generations against all challengers by the golem.  When adventurers accidentally raise the Boy-King, his first act is to see if the amulet he wears still controls the golem he once commanded.

The ancient clayworks of Bez’lel are staffed by clay golems, who have tended the great kilns from time immemorial.  The priests who oversee them claim to instruct them, but if pressed they will confess that the golems, while accepting their commands, seem largely free-willed.  The constructs occasionally observe rituals that priests cannot explain or expedite—and the frequency of these strange events is increasing.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 159


  1. How cool are the stories of the Golems of Chelm and Prague? Very cool—Google them (or see the link above). Especially since we’re talking late 16th century—practically the present day as legends go. And any setting pitting drow vs. giants must tip its hat to Wizard of the Coast’s Eberron.

  2. Also, notice our first return visit to a location mentioned in the Daily Bestiary: Bez’lel, from the Adamantine Golem entry.