25 October 2010

Golems

File:Golem by Philippe Semeria.jpg



I should probably be following up my post on destroying Italy with something more concrete about what consequences such an explosion had on the world.  And, dear Lord, I need to make a map.  But for some reason this weekend I was thinking about Golems.  There are likely all sorts of posts I need to write before I even write a full-on post about golems -- another inspiration one about Michael Chabon, a post about magic, a post about alchemy, and a post or seven about religion.  But here's a brief post about golems.

I love the idea of the golem and plan to have them in the world.  Note, I am talking about the classic Jewish golem, not the 189 types of golems now found in D&D.  I just find the idea fascinating -- a creature, made to serve, carved out of clay and brought to life by magic.  What I really dig is the importance of words or language to the golem's creation.  You either have to carve a certain word into it's forehead to animate it or write down the holy-magical words on parchment and then place the paper in it's mouth.  Many accounts have the word being the Hebrew word for truth ("emet"); to deactivate the golem, one letter must be changed so that the word reads "met", which is Hebrew for dead. 

Likely, they will be very rare to the point of virtually mythological.  But imagine the game possibilities!  Players may have to help build the golem by finding the scripts to animate it.  Players may have to help stop a golem that's run amok.  Or players may even be unwittingly transporting a golem in their ship when, of course, it comes to life and poses all sorts of problems.  This is to say nothing of the powerful thematic elements golems present -- life/death, hubris, the unpredictability of magic, soullessness, creation. . .

This is exactly the sort of thing I want to have in this setting.

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