Crystals and Golems


Taking a leaf from Ars Magica and classical philosophy (not to mention Earthdawn), there are some islands in which crystals and gemstones are genuinely alive. Most theorists believe that they are a form of life that is closer to Order in its nature than most biological life.

There are some multiphase life forms involved in such ecologies. Jewel snails are snails that digest minerals that go to nourish the crystalline being on their back that protects them. Over many years, the jewel and snail grow larger, until the snail eventually experiences the urge to travel to a cluster of other jewels, secrete a glue to bond itself to the cluster, and expire. The jewel then takes part in the life of a crystal spire, a living spire of multicolored semiprecious gemstones.


Magicians sometimes find it efficient to create artificial servitors by infusing an artificial body with animating energy, usually using Summoning II and appropriate spheres for the body. Golems usually have a limited intelligence, but some also have a spirit summoned into them... or await any passing spirit to possess them. (Some are explicitly designed with wards against all spirits save for a certain type— temple statues that can be animated by any passing angel with the appropriate allegiances.)

Golems of Life and Unlife

Wood golems are carved statues of wood, most commonly animated through Ecos or Nature.

Flesh golems are assemblages of well-preserved body parts, most commonly animated through Necros or Unlife.

Clay has a mystical relationship with flesh, for in mythology, living beings are often formed initially of clay. Clay golems are particularly susceptible to being animated through forces of Ecos or Nature.

Elemental Golems

Bronze golems are modelled after the classical Talos, and are animated through elemental power: they contain a fiery “blood” within them, which they can use to breathe fire...

Iron golems are a step up from bronze golems, and can shoot bolts of lightning...

Stone golems contain magma for blood and can exhale blasts of superheated steam...


Gargoyles are stone statues animated by minor elementals of Earth.

Silicon-Based Life Forms

Theks are sentient creatures that appear to be made of amorphous granite, with crystalline cores and spherical quartz orbs for eyes. They move quite slowly under most circumstances, travelling between mineral deposits and aesthetic vistas at slightly better than a snail’s pace. They communicate through chi manipulation, are highly sensitive to the flows of chi, and are extremely good at cancelling magics that are not harmonious with the local environment. When given incentive, they expend stores of energy to become red-hot and capable of moving at human speeds in combat. Thek aesthetics are hard to understand, and they can spend years in a spot if they like it; they don’t seem to mind children playing on them. (Name stolen from Anne McCaffrey.)