Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ice Golem

Ice golems are interesting, if somewhat limited, constructs.  They don’t risk going berserk like so many other golems do, but they are vulnerable to the energy type most spellslingers rely on more than any other: fire. Also, while their construction costs are low, their required caster level cost is high, especially for a CR 5 monster.  The end result is a servant that works best for a specific and somewhat eccentric subset of casters—particularly those that can bolster the golem with cold effects, especially water and certain air elementalists and evokers—or in situations where ordinary golems just won’t do.

The garden parties of Princess Anastasia are known for their ice sculptures, miraculously present even in the hottest summer months.  At least two of the sculptures in each display are secretly ice golems, typically in the shape of paired swans. The guards rely on these as a last line of defense for the princess, while still being easy to control and easy to dispose of if necessary (thanks to a healthy supply of flaming sphere scrolls).

The Carouwak halflings hunt and fish the frozen north, spending much of the winter in carefully constructed igloos.  The entrance to such an igloo is almost always a disguised ice golem, ready to defend against winter wolves, ice trolls, and the like.  Control over the golems is matrilineal; the headwoman in each family bears a token that marks the family golem as hers.  This provides a counterpoint to the largely male-dominated clan and tribal leadership roles.

It’s a classic locked room mystery—a prelate bludgeoned to death while shut up in the sacristy, blood spatter and an possible footprints obscured by a puddle of water (presumably from a leak or overturned vessel), and no possible means of escape beyond truly extraordinary means (e.g. ethereal travel).  But will the young friars investigating realize the victim shows signs of frostbite in midsummer, or note the unusual number of visits to the temple logged by a certain gnomish wizard?

Pathfinder Bestiary 161

Also, check out the Tumblr version of this post and yesterday’s for a discussion re: the Inner and Outer Planes.

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