Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wood Golem

The wood golem is journeyman work—not the crude mishmash of the carrion golem, but not a polished product of stone or brass either.  Even the wood is unfinished (though this likely aids in the golem’s splintering attack…plus, since the woods involved are expensive and rare, it's probably easier to find castoff and reclaimed lumber than carve or commission a proper statue out of teak, mahogany, and whatnot).  Nor are its weaknesses—magical fire and spells that affect wood—any sort of surprise, unlike some golems.  So all in all, the wood golem is likely a hasty effort, made from what is on hand when you need a construct to get the job done.

When the mage Avril was captured by druids for the crime of writing down their lore, he had to think fast before his sentence went from prison to death.  Using the materials on hand—including spices he traded away a jeweled dagger to obtain—he crafted a wood golem out of the very bars of his prison.  As the golem smashed its way through the druid circle’s camp, Avril fled in the opposite direction.  Warped but not destroyed, the wood golem is said to still wander Tarfell Forest—and some of the forbidden lore Avril recorded may still be inked on his body.

“Honest Jonathan” is the wood golem servant of the inquisitor Tav Relus.  When criminals go to ground, Honest Jonathan smashes a way in for Relus.  The inquisitor is a bit of a sporting fellow, however, and he will sometimes agree to let defendants not suspected of a capital crime attempt to win their freedom in a wrestling match against the golem.

Bayeux wants to be a real boy.  Its creator used an intelligent magical mace in the golem’s construction, and the weapon’s sentience transferred itself to the construct.  Hence Bayeux’s discomfort: The mace’s original compulsion was to fight undead, and the conjoined weapon/golem is disturbed by the similarities between its construct body and the zombies it was enchanted to pulp. In fact, Bayeux has killed several innocents when his frustration at not being human has grown too strong.

Pathfinder Bestiary 164

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