Dyrl, and his older brother Hyrvu, were two down on their luck explorers always willing to take risks in hopes of finding that one lucky strike.This time, their luck not only turned bad, it came up aces and eights, the deadman's roll! "Hey, Hyrvu," Dyrl called out to his brother. "Look at this statue! It's got joints that might work if they're still greased." "Must be a fancy statue you can pose," Hyrvu replied as he mosied over and looked at the tall statue. He squinted up at the head, then blinked as he realized something glittered back the light of their lanterns despite the dust. "Think its got a jewel up there on its forehead." He set down his lantern. "Get up on my shoulders and pry it off." "Me?" Dyrl squeaked. "You know I hate heights." "You're a scrawny pole, Dyrl, you cant hold me. 'Sides' it ain't that high." Hyrvu argued back. "Now quit you're whining and climb."Squeaking under his breath, Dyrl shakily climbed up onto Hyrvu's shoulders and cleaned the dirt away from the lump on the statue's forehead. Sure enough, it was some sort of red jewel. With his dagger he began to pry at the setting which was still holding the jewel firmly in place after what had to be ages. Frustrated, he struck the gem with the pommel of his dagger. Light flared within the gem and a hum rumbled from within the statue. A leg kicked out, knocking Hyrvu back against the far wall. Dyrl tried to hang on but a metal arm slapped him aside into another wall. Then, it began to walk. "Run!" Dyrl screamed as he staggered to his feet. "It's alive!"
ORIGINGolem craft was a magical study art over five thousand years ago during the Hrokentorm Empire. The Hrokentorm were the largest of giants who also knew all the forms of magic. They ruled their empire, which spanned the world from their mountain top citadels. Lesser giantkin were assigned as governors who ruled over their domains from cloud cities. These domains covered regions of lesser giantkin. Elves, dwarves, and other 'small' races were seen as nothing more than fodder and playthings for all giantkin and barely survived in the few places giantkin could not comfortably traverse. Rivalries between governors often led to raids and warfare. Regions were weakened by conflicts many times then ignited in rebellion from the lesser giant folk. Some of the Hrokentorm, those not privileged enough to rule, turned to finding other ways to attain prestige within their empire. Their greatest way was the crafting of golems. Golems were mechanical servants, at first capable only of doing simple tasks. As these Hrokentorm honed their craft, they created golems capable of carrying out more complex orders. This was achieved by taking the soul of a living person and trapping it within an enchanted gem. This gem then forced the trapped soul to comply with whatever orders it could comprehend.
DOWNFALLIt was this use of souls that led to the eventual end of golem craft and the Hrokentorm. The soul-empowered golems became all the rage amongst the Hrokentorm. The harvesting of the vermin races, any race not of giant kind, reached terrible heights to meet that demand. As the numbers of souls going to Godsheim slowed, the gods became concerned. Souls were, after all, key to their own powers. Back down on Pangorio, battles and warfare changed into massive destruction beyond the battlefield. Whole cities could be reduced to rubble with civilians as dead as the fighters. Entire races, vermin and giant, were exterminated. It was then the gods left Godsheim and fell upon the Hrokentorm. Golems were shredded, the soul trapping gems undone, releasing the souls to Godsheim. That was not enough for the gods. To ensure the Hrokentorm would never, ever make such a thing again, they turned every Hrokentorm, a giant averaging eighteen feet tall, into a two foot tall creature dedicated to peaceful coexistence with other races. This new race they named brownie, a near fey mortal race. The other giant races had their every memory of the golems erased and the thought of crafting anything of magic that was not something they could use in hand or wear was so adhorrent as to be painful. All written knowledge of golem craft was destroyed or taken and later placed within The Vaults.
Without the Hrokentorm Empire, the other giant races fell to warring with each other for territory. Gone forever was the giantkin's ability to be an empire. The Unhallowed gods were not as convinced as their Hallowed rivals, and temporary allies, that golem craft should be completely eliminated. Hidden places with a dormant golem were spared and cloaked from other gods noticing them. Instead of destroying written works about golem craft, they fragmented them, and scattered the fragments about the world. Someday, they just might find it useful for THEIR believers to discover golem craft.