The Rothwald School of Ethical Golemancy
Golems were never intended to be weapons. It goes against every instinct the Gods imparted to their Shem. To forget this lesson would risk repeating it, and putting our entire world at risk. We must treat them with love and respect, for in many ways they are more Godly than us.
A Brief HistoryThe Rothwald School of Ethical Golemancy was created by the original members of the Golem League, soon after the end of the Great War. While a handful of golems were present on Adin before the discovery of the vault of technology left behind by the Gods, most Adinites had never seen one in person. They existed only as legends and in ancient art. The vault contained dozens of pristine golems kept in storage since the dawn of Adin, and these were the first golems to be successfully duplicated. The golems were used by the Gods for labor, building houses and gathering resources until their newly created peoples could be taught to use their abilities and work for themselves. Golems had an immutable code to prevent causing harm to any creation of the Gods, and this protection would soon be realized to extend to the Sherdasans. Just after the discovery, the orphaned species of Sherdasa made first contact with the Adinites, and war ensued. Desperate for any edge over the battle-hardened Udug and the other strange peoples they controlled, the shapers of Ednimuru copied and reworked the Shem of their new golems. Some stauchly refused to alter the golems, and walked away from the project. After many failed attempts, the others were able to pervert the code enough that the golems would recognize the Sherdasan species as enemies threatening the Godly lands of Adin. They marched fearlessly into battle, and prevented the loss of many Adinite lives with their durable frames and integrated weapons, tearing the fleshy Sherdasan enemies apart with ease. They provoked terror on the battlefield, on both sides.
Moving Forward With CautionGolems undeniably changed the course of the war, but afterward the Adinites still feared them. Every golem with the errant code that allowed them to kill was recalled to Ednimuru and decommissioned, their Shem divided into its component metals so there would be no remaining trace of their programming. New golems were created, now for their original purpose - to labor in place of the people, with tireless strength. Most Adinites refused to use the new golems, despite reassurances. They were all based on the fundamental technology of the Shem, and if the golems used during the war could be altered to kill, someone with that knowledge could turn any golem against its master.
Establishing a New NormalThe shapers at Ednimuru who succeeded in copying and altering the Godly creations now had a new task, altering the perceptions of the people to accept the coming age of golems. Several of the original researchers formed a group called the Golem League, and established their first school and an exhibition ground at Ednimuru. Roderick Rothwald, the mysterious shaper who was credited with altering the golemic code, was put in charge of the new school and given the difficult task of convincing people to come to Ednimuru to learn the new art of golemancy. The other members of the League travelled across Adin with companion golems, showing people that the previously murderous machines could be trusted. They tested shapers and recruited them to travel to the school, and performed public demonstrations of their auditing interviews to prove that the golems were incapable of lying or harming others.
The Catalyst of ChangeMembership in the Rothwald School quickly grew, and many of those who graduated Roderick's rigorous training became golemancers, many of them joining the Golem League or staying in Ednimuru to teach the ever-increasing body of students that were arriving. The school grew, and the exhibition grounds became a more elaborate and permanent structure, the first golem arena. Here, golemancers could show off the latest design improvements or new models they wanted to sell, and the stands were filled with some interested buyers, and many others curious to see golems for the first time. Some demonstrations included durability testing, where people could try to smash a patient golem with an assortment of tools and weapons. Roderick's adopted daughter, P'oa, had the idea to pit two new golem models against each other in the arena, to see which surpassed the other in strength and durability. The crowd went wild, and demanded more. Golem arenas began popping up all over Adin, and became an immediate sensation. Demand to enter the Rothwald School spun out of control, with a waiting list measured in years. Roderick and the other League members who had opted to stay in Ednimuru were soon helping others establish their own schools across the land, but The Rothwald School of Ethical Golemancy is still the pinnacle of these institutions.
Bringing Light to All the Gods' CreaturesThe school today is no longer just about golemancy. While that remains their primary focus, the Rothwald School offers education for many disciplines of shaping, as well as more mundane classes. Applicants are taken in from all over the world, including Udug and other orphaned species. The school provides a way for these previous enemies of the Five Nations to integrate into a worldwide society, and provides them housing and basic necessities until they can do so for themselves, not just for the students but their families if they wish to come along. These people are taken in regardless of their shaping abilities, as many of them are now born without any. There is no word for tuition in the Adinite language. Students are not expected to do anything in return for the first two years of study. While money is not much of a concern in Adinite society to begin with, the League has gained immeasureable wealth between their copied Godly artifacts and ongoing income from the arenas across the world. Those students who surpass their studies and stay on for a third year contribute by gathering materials, assisting teachers, and tending to the school for the younger classes.
Passing the TorchRoderick Rothwald and his wife Rosa of Gibila stepped down from running the school after several years, and handed over control to their adopted daughter P'oa, an elf orphaned in the war. While P'oa had never exhibited any shaping abilities, and perhaps because of that fact, they decided her sharp mind and compassionate personality were a good fit for the school. P'oa and her husband Jerah, who assumed the Rothwald name, took over seamlessly. P'oa opted to take on the role of an art teacher, something she was adept with, and allowed Jerah to run the school officially as he was a talented golemancer. They make their decisions together, but Jerah is the official face of the school now. Roderick and Rosa mostly retired from public life, but kept working with the arena in Ednimuru for their idea of leisure.
StatisticsEnrollment at the Rothwald School stays just under their set capacity of 600 students. There are around 40 teachers in various disciplines at any given time across 36 classrooms and a dozen material labs, with some teachers switching between classes to provide different insights into their professions. Third-year students perform most of the other faculty work, assisted by a variety of golems, as well as families of students who volunteer their time to repay the school in some way for their child's education. The shapers produced by the Rothwald School, particularly its golemancers, are held in high regard throughout the world. Shems made here for the creation of new golems are in high demand, even those created by students after a thorough inspection by an advanced golemancer. Although no different functionally than any other shem, the school's reputation adds value to the ones crafted here. The Rothwald School of Ethical Golemancy has been instrumental in bringing about the golden age of golemancy on Adin. Their continuing commitment to the safety and acceptance of golems, and the advancement of people from all over the world, serves as an inspiration for all of Adin. *Note: Each year on Adin equates to around 6.2 Earth years. Adinite species develop at about the same rate as humans, so students that are accepted as young children to develop their budding abilities graduate their second year near the point of being an adult.
College / Academy
I love the detailed history of the school and how it dealt with the consequences of the war. Overall, it sounds like a really admirable institution. Great work!
Creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source. My pledge for WorldEmber 2022 turned Worlduary 2023