Life and the Animate

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Infragris
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Life and the Animate

Post by Infragris » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:21 pm

Scholarly work on the making of golems in High Rock. Maybe more useful for SHOTN.
Life and the Animate: the key to Bretonnic Golemworking

By Saer Vacerit

Though the making of magical statues and other such animated servitors has been part and parcel for the magically inclined societies of Tamriel, the fashioning and bringing to life of golems is an art-form unique to the Bretons, and has found little ingress elsewhere on the continent. Visitors to High Rock oft mistake these lumbering shapes for Atronachi - indeed, this misapprehension is common among the Breton mages themselves, as the properly fashioned Golem does indeed share some characteristics with Outsider Elementals.

The making of a simple golem is by no means a complicated magic, and has been practiced by the various Breton peoples since time immemorial. The practitioner is to acquire a low-level conscious entity (a beast animus, or one of the more simple Daedricules), and binds it through incantation to a construct, in the same way as one would enchant a sword or a tool. The trick is to enhance the construct, through a patchwork of incantations, amulets, scrolls and alchemicals, in such a way for the various magical essences to allow and promote the transference of living energies. In this way, a simple being is produced that is, by all conventional definitions, alive.

Of course, an effective golem will require much more care and resources than this simple manikin. Most creatures will need a set of sensory receptors, eyes and ears (never mouths!) to receive orders. Directives of vigor and aggression are necessary for a creature of hard labor or guarding, while a personal assistant may need a mind to think, and a will to act on the creator's behalf. Directives of loyalty and devotions are essential in any golem, as creations that lack these are dangerous and untrustworthy. Last but not least, a golem will need a spark or flame of life to give it ambulatory qualities.

The materials from which a given golem is constructed are a clear indication of the caster's skill. First among these is the well-known "chilled" golem, usually made from frozen mud. Its supernatural ice is not so much a sign of its maker's aptitude as an easy way of sapping excess cold buildup in the creatia condensers. The very oldest golems were of this type: the creations of Bjoulsae shamans, who, according to folklore, fashioned miniature servants from horse dung and sent out to enemy encampments. These small interlopers would spoil food and poison water supplies, only to melt away in the morning heat.

While well-crafted chilled golems most certainly exist, most show the signs of cracking and weight shifts that indicate that they were at one point partially heated and then frozen again, when helping their master at the alchemy stand for example. Cold golems are also liable to break and lose limbs, and are functionally useless in the warm climates south of the Iliac Bay.

A superior kind of golem is the one made from clay or stone parts, as first employed during skirmishes with the Redguard invaders. While these servitors still employ a "soft" core of mud in which their directives can be embedded, their outer shell is composed of cleverly interlocking stone or clay parts, giving them more protection and efficiency in warm climates. Indeed, the polarity of these machines is completely reversed as opposed to the cold golems, meaning that they radiate heat. This also makes them more durable, as any cracks in the outer shell are quickly filled by hardening seepage from the soft interior.

The most recent type of golem are those made of iron or other kinds of metal. The first iron golems were fashioned by Anton Demerax, scholar at Gwylim University, who was inspired by the workings of the Dwemer Animunculi whom he observed during his sojourns in the south. While he did not succeed in replicating these automatons, Demerax's research did lead to the creation of a new kind of golem. At first little more than an animated suit of armor, these servitors showed their use in the Fourteenth Battle of Northmoor.

A special note on the servitor known as the Haemonculus, which is of a different nature. Pioneered by the witch covens of the southern coast, these rag-tag creatures show all the signs of their hedgery-magic and unseen purpose. They function more or less the same as other golems, with the addition of select Daedric matter to the design, such as hearts, skin, limbs, and any other aspect that can be harvested from a dissipating summons. This imbues these creatures with a much more focused and malicious will, which often escapes its creator's control and turns against them. Homonculi have been used as guardians since time immemorial, often praised for their tireless vigilance, their self-sufficiency, and their single-minded aggression. It goes without saying that the making and employing of such artifacts falls outside of the purview of any self-respecting practitioner of the magical arts.

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TerrifyingDaedricFoe
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Re: Life and the Animate

Post by TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:38 am

I like this a lot. Just got a few grammar suggestions.

act on your behalf --> act on the creator's behalf (this was the only instance of the second person, which is often frowned upon in academic texts)
Demerax' --> Demerax's

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Infragris
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Re: Life and the Animate

Post by Infragris » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:00 pm

checked, thx

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