It is generally known that Goliaths were created by the Mages in the early days of the Age of Emancipation. They were the product of a cross between Giants, Humans and Golems. Goliaths are large humanoids, usually between 7 and 8 feet tall and weighing between 350 and 400 lbs. Their skin is generally gray with some variation and their eyes are almost completely white. They are almost always have impressive builds. Their cognitive capabilities are similar to that of humans though they tend to demonstrate a narrower range of emotion.
Originally, each Goliath was individually crafted by a Mage. However, the process was refined and scaled up. For the last two centuries, Mages could count on Goliaths, their numbers nowadays mostly limited by their capacity to feed and pay them. Goliaths have an innate compulsion to serve Mages. That compulsion is not perfect and a severely mistreated Goliaths can harm a Mage. However, a Goliath will put up with considerable abuse before it even raises its voice. The compulsion is subtle enough that a Goliath will instinctively trust a Mage that hides his true nature without even consciously knowing why. Most Goliaths serve in the Tasnican (or Shiman) military, mostly as warriors, but also as spellcasters (mainly pseudo-clerics and wizards), engineers and laborers. In part because of their natural frugal nature and because of their undying loyalty to the Mages, Goliath do not expect much in terms of payment for their military service, meaning the Mages can maintain a large military force for cheap.
A small proportion of Goliath have left the Republic over the years. These, Ronin Goliath, usually end up forming or joining mercenary outfits working in the former Imperial territories. Their compulsion prevents most of them of acting against the interest of the Mages though some have taken indirect actions against the Republic, demanding very generous payments of course. Ronin Goliath have no special loyalty to non-mages and they quickly understand the value of their skills. Thus Goliath mercenaries are never cheap.
Genetics and Reproduction
The Goliath creation process starts by growing a crystal from a magical mixture, called the Mother Solution, to about the size of an index finger. The Mother Solution requires several exotic ingredients and a Mage will need to cast various spells on it to get it in a fertile state. Mother Solutions begin as dark opaque viscous liquid. As it moves toward the Fertile state, the solution will become translucent and will take a unique color which is believed to be tied to the characteristic of the future Goliath.
A Fertile Mother Solution must be left undisturbed for months or even a couple years before the crystallization process starts. A fleck of dust, a breeze on the surface or simply moving the container will reset the clock on the process or worse, lead to a failed crystal. Fertile Mother Solutions are thus stored in sealed containers and stored in mechanically stable caves or basements.
Once the crystallization process is started, a single month should be enough to complete the growth. During this second phase, mechanical movement will no longer impede the process, although the introduction of foreign particles will likely lead to a failed crystal.
A fully grown Goliath crystal is then transferred to a large container filled with a brown sludge made from enchanted fermented organic material. This sludge was historically referred to under many names but the modern terminology is simply the Soil. This part of the process is very resilient to mechanical shock and addition of foreign material. Little short of dumping the Soil solution on the ground will stop the third step of Goliath creation. The organic matter will coalesce and harden around the crystal over a period of about a year. The result is a six foot long hard shell containing an almost fully grown Goliath.
The fourth and final step is hatching the Goliath Shell. This involves a few additional incantations which will awaken the Goliath which can then break free on its own. Such incantation also infuse the Goliath with basic language and fighting capabilities. It also establishes a positive social bond between the Mage and the Goliath. A properly “birthed” Goliath will grow to its full size within about two years and would have an expected lifespan of about five decades, barring a violent death.
Destroying the shell without first awakening the Goliath will have adverse effect on its health but is seldom fatal. Such Premature Goliaths will require up to a year of care before its cognitive capability reach that of a properly birthed one.
As mentioned above, the Goliath creation process was improved and made significantly quicker. The first improvement was the discovery of Goliath Seeds. During the second step, the Goliath crystal will dissolve partially and form the actual heart of the Goliath. Upon death, a Goliath’s heart can be retrieved. Among the muscle tissue can be retrieved a couple dozen small crystals, about the size of a grain of rice and the same color as the original Goliath crystal. If placed in a Fertile Mother Solution, a Goliath Seed will immediately begin to grow into a full size crystal, skipping the initial sensitive step all together. Furthermore, it is believed that the qualities of the “father” will be passed on to its “children”. For this reason, the bodies of heroic or otherwise renowned Goliaths are sought after by their peers and the Mages to improve the next generation of Goliath. In fact, this has led to the creation of various “lineages” of Goliaths which are perceived to be better suited for certain roles.
Improvements in the preparation of the Soil have reduced the amount of time required for the third step. Originally, a Mage would have to wait up to five years for the sludge to fully coalesce around the Goliath crystal. The awakening process was also improved to the state where skills can be infused prior to the birth.
The most recent improvement was discovered in the first decade of the Great War and modified the third step of the process. Instead of coalescing into a six foot long shell, the sludge would be compressed into an ingot (18x9x6 inches), weighing over 350 lbs, hard as granite. These Goliaths Slabs could be imprinted with the basic linguistic and fighting skills but kept in this compressed state indefinitely. A simple incantation could activate the decompression process which would generate a fully grown, fighting-ready Goliath, within 8 hours. Tasnican fortresses could keep entire regiments in storage, requiring no food or money, in case of Thamasan attacks.