Golem | E. Christopher Clark

Golem

Golems are a species of artificial life, sculpted from clay or stone, who are given life when the name of a deity is etched onto the underside of their tongues. Because the tongue is the source of life for golems, and because the tongue is such a fragile thing, these beings do not speak aloud—except under rare circumstances. Instead, they speak the silent languge of Fitshpïndshü—communicating with facial expressions, body language, and deep, prolonged eye contact.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Golems are four-limbed bipeds modeled after their dwarven, human, or kíndallan creators. Though their features may be exaggerated—taller, more elongated heads, for example—they could almost pass as a member of their creator’s species, if not for their muddy or rocky skin.

Genetics and Reproduction

Golems are just as capable of creating golems as any other species, and do so in the same fashion. First, a body is sculpted—sometimes by one parent, sometimes two, and sometimes even more than that. Then the name of their patron deity is decided upon. Finally, in a solemn and austere ceremony befitting these children of stone and earth, the god or goddess’s name is scratched into the bottom of the tongue and an incantation is spoken to awaken the new being.

 

Because the incantation must be spoken aloud, and because golems tongues are so delicate, the species rarely conceives more than one child per individual.

Growth Rate & Stages

Golems are born fully formed, though some have been known graft additional material onto their bodies—or even to cut parts away—in an effort to make more pleasing shapes for themselves.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Golems do not eat. To begin with: their tongues are delicate. Secondly: they have no stomachs—no digestive systems at all, in fact. And third, they have no holes in them with which to eliminate waste.

Biological Cycle

Though theoretically immortal, golems are strongly affected by time and seasonal changes. Because they are made of stone and earth, they are subject to erosion. And because they live only as long as the name under their tongue does not wear away, they must take extra care to protect their mouths and everything inside.

Behaviour

Golems are not especially intelligent—at least not to begin with. The incantation which brings them to life was originally intended to create obedient manual laborers, after all. Because of this, many golems move through their lives with naught but one or two simple instructions in their heads. But in the modern day, golem creators have taken to giving their creations more open-ended and abstract commands—things such as, “Go forth and learn all that you can about the world” or “Leave every place you travel happier than you found it” or the simple (but profoundly difficult) order to “Do whatever makes you happy.” And this has led to the proliferation of far more worldly and wise people of stone.

Scientific Name
Homo fictilis
Lifespan
Theoretically Immortal
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Average Height
5' 8"
Average Weight
560 lbs
Geographic Distribution
Related Technologies

Comments

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Jul 27, 2023 00:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Aww, I like them. Normally golems and the like make me uneasy, but I quite like yours.

Jul 27, 2023 01:45 by E. Christopher Clark

Aw, thank you! Yeah, I needed a palate cleanser after the White Mages, so I made these guys nice.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Jul 29, 2023 13:11 by Chris L

Nice take on golems! The bit where they make offspring just like everyone else is funny because no one else does it like that! (Unless I'm doing it wrong.)


Learn about the World of Wizard's Peak and check out my award winning article about the Ghost Boy of Kirinal!

Jul 30, 2023 12:54 by E. Christopher Clark

Hahahaha. Your comments are giving me life this morning. Thank you!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Aug 4, 2023 02:58 by Marjorie Ariel

Interesting direction you've taken the golem myth. Reading this actually reminds me a bit of Alice Hoffman's novel The World We Knew, especially as part of that story is a golem developing more humanistic traits, pursuing her own interests and longing for a life beyond the duty she was created for. I think it's interesting how people have started creating golems with the instructions to pursue deeper meanings in the world.

Check out Natural Magic : a coming of age fantasy novel, because life is hard enough when you're fourteen, even without saving the world. Or listen to it in podcast form .
Aug 4, 2023 10:33 by E. Christopher Clark

Thank you for reading, and for the thoughtful comment. I'll definitely have to check out that novel!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
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