The Golem moss is an amazing lifeform, and is able to survive in nearly any environment. Its evolutionary rate is far higher than any other creature on the planet, enabling them to adapt.
For generations, golem crafters and enchanters alike have been able to create golems and leave them to perform their set tasks without fear. But recently, there has been a reason for regular maintenance of golems - cleaning and scrubbing is now essential, lest the crafters lose control of their mechanical creations. A new lifeform has been spreading in the wind of late, and though it is more Fauna than flora, people have dubbed this lifeform 'Golem Moss' due to its habits. This organism, drawn by the magical energies which give a golem its life, attaches itself to the material the golem is made of. The Golem moss then releases an acidic substance, eroding and breaking down the metal or stone which the golem is made of and using the chemical reaction as energy to sustain itself. In early stages, this material DOES look little more than moss or fungi, but in later stages, it is obvious that it definitely IS something more.
The Golem moss, fueled by the chemical erosion, grows at an alarming rate, the cells split and reform rapidly, then attach to each other, working together symbiotically and creating a Multi-cellular organism. Given a weeks time, this moss may decompose and reform an entire limb, or head into flesh, blood and bone. This limb will be connected to the rest of the golem by the magical ties which allow the golem to be mobile, although this limb is not bound by the guidelines magically set which allows the golems to perform their normal functions. Given a month or perhaps as much as two months, the form of the golem will usually be completely consumed, and the magical energies transferred to the golem moss, allowing it to sustain life, so long as energy is consumed. The completion of this erosion of the golem leaves an organic creature in its place, which the Golem crafters have dubbed "Dul'Gholam", which is translated to 'Damned golem'. These creatures are always the same basic shape as what the golem originally was, but they can alter slightly. For example, A humanoid golem may turn out to be an ape-like creature, or a werebeast of some sort, whereas a four-legged golem may turn out to become some wolven creature. They can be scaled, furred or otherwise depending on their surroundings. In warmer temperatures, a Dul'Gholam may be cold-blooded and scaled, but a colder climate might end up creating a furred, warm-blooded creature.
The Golem moss is drawn to golems not because of the materials, but because of the magic which it requires to be able to group together to work collectively.
Every Dul'Gholam is unique - Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, looks and habits. One thing common about them however, is that they are all omnivorous. Once they have consumed the material of the golem, the Dul'Gholam then seeks life to give them energy. They will eat most plants since plants have energy derived from the sun, but they prefer warm flesh which contains more energy than plants. All of these creatures are immune to poisons and acids, and their own stomach acids are particularly volatile.
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? Responses (8)-8
Actually, something of note to the ending: flesh actually has less energy than plants. Life within an ecosystem tends to not get beyond the fourth or fifth tier if I remember right, simply because there isn't enough energy within the last tier to support another. 3.5/5 - Good, but has some flaws.
The post itself could have gotten a 4 had it not been that I really do not like the Dul'Gholam function. It seems too silly, even for a fantasy setting. Too bad really because, like all your work, this one is well written and interesting. The beginning is very promising and I WILL definitely use some kind of eroding Golem Moss in my setting. It is highly unlikely that it will create any Dul'Gholam though :)
You get a .5 bonus for the wonderful idea at the bottom of all this.
I think the consensus here is that it's a cool idea, but didn't quite live up to its potential.
What AG said. The concept itself, golem moss is fascinating! Will find a way to use it.
So untended golems turn into monsters?
Now for how long has our party's wizard left that stone golem alone in the basement?
I generally find lifeforms that count on magic creatures like golems or the like common enough that things evolve to prey on them rather unlikely. A better explanation is this a weapon built to destroy such creatures, which opens up the Who and the why questions.
So accepting this is a magic weapon to destroy golems, having a side effect of conversion into monsters is somewhat more plausible, but simply leaving a patch of green where once stood a golem, or a half-consumed golem lashing out blindly are less odd to me :)
This is a great idea, but it needs to be fleshed out a little more. Unlike our esteemed ancient friend, I think the Dhul'Gholam are actually the prime interest here. I think they have the potential to effect greater influence on the lives of the golem's creators (and certainly are the more likely candidates for player interaction. I think this may be better off as a post about the Dhul'Gholam themselves - the moss simply being their noted genesis.
(Yes, I know I'm super late to this party.)