A Report on the Practices of Golem Creation in the Northern Frontier.

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David of Shea
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A Report on the Practices of Golem Creation in the Northern Frontier.

Post by David of Shea » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:23 am

University of Hoch Katheder Faculty Publishing

A Report on the Practices of Golem Creation in the Northern Frontier.

Authored by Professor Ult Ramarine, with input from Research Assistant Iza Prussian
Data Gathered by Professor Ult Ramarine and Research Assistant Iza Prussian


While spending time in J-724, we have been exposed to many quaint local customs and traditions, as well as techniques of magic, science and alchemy currently unknown in Hoch Katheder. Therefore a chance to conduct a comparative analysis is useful. Hoch Katheder makes excellent use of Golems in commercial interests throughout its docks, and we have now encountered Golems built on the Northern Frontier from locally sourced materials. As such, we will endeavour to perform a side by side comparison of the materials, techniques and engineering outcomes to provide a comparative analysis of the two regions knowledge bases.


Golems in Hoch Katheder are nothing new (1) and are a well understood part of local life. Many promising artificer graduates from the university build a golem as their final thesis, ranging from the solid and workmanlike (2) to the strange (3) and even the artistic (4). The golems encountered on the northern frontier are just as fascinating as the most auteur offerings of the faculty, while making use of bizarre and forbidden (in Hoch Katheder) techniques. Myself and Iza where able to perform an autopsy on a Golem Iza recovered from a field expedition, Sample 1. We also observed a refined version, deployed in pairs, Sample 2 and 3. In this report we will provide a brief summary on the already familiar Hoch Katheder golems, and then a summary of our findings on the Northern Frontier. Finally, we will compare these two different branches of Animating Magic, looking at ways the techniques of the Frontier could be incorporated into the teachings at the University.

It is imperative for me to say that this paper would not be possible without the input of Iza Prussian, who was instrumental in recovering Sample 1 and dissecting it.

The Hoch Katheder Model

Golem techniques were introduced by the invasion of Warlord Razzak Worldeater, who butchered his way across the continent with his retinue of Slaughterpriests to become the 54th conquerer of Hoch Katheder. Razzak would come to a terrible end, choking on a chicken bone at his victory feast, but his Slaughterpriests would survive for many years in charge of the university. (1) They demonstrated (mainly on students who didn't pay their library fees) the creation of 'Scourge'. By ritually flaying the chest from a humanoid, and filling the resulting cavity with magical molten metal, a soul could be bound to its body. The metal could then be inscribed with runes of control, giving the Slaughterpriest command of the zombified corpse. While the descendents of the Slaughterpriests would go on to form the Universities Budgetary Review Committee, the surviving members of the original faculty would develop a more humane way of creating golems. A Hoch Katheder Golem is controlled and powered by a rune inscribed clay urn, which is filled with magic from the ritual circle to function as a battery. The runes, made of starmetal, determine the golems behaviour and responsiveness to commands. The golem is then built around this central urn. All modern Golems are of this type, and are well suited to mining, heavy lifting and other manual labour. Slow, somewhat clumsy and dimwitted, they are poor weapons, but are practically invincible to normal weapons. (5) Golem production is limited to well trained arcanists, who can replicate the complex magical runes that program the golems behaviour. This limits Golem production to artisinal construction, with a handful produced every year.

The Northern Frontier Model

The development of Sample 1 remains something of a mystery. Encountered in combat and salvaged from the field, it showed standard golem construction from the outside, with a jeweled 'battery' in the centre of its torso, functioning as a centralised magical power core. This battery produced a static field that attracted fulgurites, a type of lightning elemental, though whether this was a deliberate design choice or a design flaw was difficult to ascertain. As the fulgurites fought to defend their food source, this was likely intentional in later models. The Golem was controlled not with runes, but with a modified human brain taken from an adolescent humanoid, modified with precious metal contacts attached to wires and that provided control to the rest of the body, which was the more standard magically animated stone. Upon critical damage, the central power core would release a burst of magical radiation, similar to an explosion spell in intensity and radius. Sample 1 had a key flaw, a burst of elemental magic would seemingly disable the golem, before it would then become resistant to that attack and vulnerable to a new elemental attack type. We hypothesise that the primitive jeweled powercore and wires could be be knocked out of magical phase by a concentrated elemental blast, resulting in the stunning effect, before triggering some kind of adaptive response in the brain to work around the damage.

The Sample 2 and 3 Golems where deployed as a pair, with a powerful magnetic field. Upon activation the Golems magnetic field would draw in waves of fulgurites from the upper atmosphere, their normal home, and provide a key vulnerability. Elemental damage could be used to do internal damage to the Golems systems, again on a cycling pattern like Sample 1. While these attacks did not disable the golem, possibly due to refinments in the design, they did provide a way to seperate the two and deal with them apart rather than together, which considering their prodidgous strength, was vital to victory. Each Golem self destructed on death in a far more violent manner, leaving no wreckage for study, but considering their appearance, we can assume these are refined versions of the previously encountered Sample 1.

All Golems encountered where combat capable, with solid reaction times, manual dexterity and the typical sturdiness you would expect. With their 'battlefield' effects, the Northern Frontier Golems were clearly built for combat rather than manual labour.

Comparision and Conclusion

Hoch Katheders Golems and the Northern Frontiers Golems are built for different purposes, but the advances and capabilities of the Northern Frontier Golems should put the wind up any Golem Artisan of Hoch Katheder. Their ability to sustain and project powerful magical field effects with no access to a ritual circle is unprecedented. However, we can take heart in that their creation required the sacrifice of life and was occurring only in small numbers, while Hoch Katheder has over 200 golems serving peacefully that required no murders to build. This should limit the Northern Frontiers evolution of Golem sciences for the foreseeable future. Perhaps, we can look at the creation of Golems that project powerful fields that serve, rather than destroy, if we can harness this new technology.

1: Historical Automata, 2nd Edition. Hoch Katheder University Press
2: MKIII Labour Golem report, Proffessor Gene Rick
3: Prototype childcare Golem investigation, Internal Affairs
4: Wonders of Hoch Katheder “The Stone Peacock”, 3rd Edition
5: Riot Report, Hoch Katheder Watch
Now playing: Ult Ramarine, Professor of Unusual Geography, University of Hoch Katheder.

"To say we cannot is lazy. We cannot do this, we cannot do that, we cannot know this. I know that we can."

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