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Golem, Red Steel

by James Mishler

WARNING: Yes, this IS the "Golem with No Name". If you feel this creation is inappropriate for your campaign, by all means, don't use it. However, if your Inheritors are getting "Too big fer their britches", maybe you can dust this feller off, and give your "Superhero Swashbucklers" a run for their money...

Golem, Red Steel "The Golem with No Name"

Clim/Terr. : Savage Baronies
Freq : Unique
Organize : Solitary
Activity : Any
Diet : Nil (?)
INT : Average (10)
Treasure : O, R
Align : Neutral
# App : 1
AC : 2
Move : 12
Hit Dice : 15 (90 Hit Points)
THAC0 : 5
# Att : 1 or 2
D/A : By weapon +6 or 1-10*/1-10*
S/A : See Below
S/D : See Below
MR : Nil (Special)
Size : M (6'6")
Morale : Fearless (20)
XP Value: 12,000

The red steel golem is very humanlike in appearance; on a dark night, it would be difficult to distinguish it from any mortal adventuring duelist who might be wandering the Savage Baronies.In the light or a fire, or during the day, the golems nature is quickly apparent. In form, the golem resembles a pistoleer duelist from Cimmaron: wide-brimmed hat, tall boots and heavy rain slicker... but all these accoutrements, as well as the body and workings of the golem, are made of burnished red steel (oddly, the golems hat and slicker seem to move with the breeze). It's face is very humanlike, with a grim and fearsome expression; it's eyes are made of rubies, and glow red when it is in combat, or anticipating action. When it readies itself for combat, objects resembling odd-shaped wheellocks emerge from it's wrists and slide into it's hands with an audible click (these cannot be removed, BTW; they are integral to it's body).

The golem can understand Common and Espa; it can also speak them, as well, though it rarely chooses to do so (it's common has a distinctive Cimmaron twang). Unlike most golems, it has a good level of intelligence and creativity. It seems to travel at random, and apparently at will, though it does have a definitive mission: it seeks out and destroys Inheritors and others with legacies who attempt to gain power through use of their curse-derived "gifts". While it particularly concentrates on members of the Ruby and Flame Orders, members of the Crimson order have also found themselves on the business end of it's pistols. From time to time, it has been known to take part in struggles which have no powerful Inheritors involved; how this fits into it's mission, and even what the full scope of it's mission is, is unknown.

Combat: While the golem prefers to use it's pistols, it is quite capable of handling itself on a melee front. It may use any weapon as though it were proficient; swords, daggers, maces, axes handles, and so forth. It is +3 to hit and +6 to damage with any melee weapon; it may also use any form of unarmed combat except for martial arts. It has an 18/00 strength for gripping and combat purposes; due to it's frame, it has a max press of five times normal (i.e., it can lift 2400 pounds, slightly over one ton).

While it is more than capable of handling itself in close combat, it much prefers to use it's pistols, as Inheritors have a disadvantage when smokepowder weapons are concerned. It may make two attacks per round with it's pistols; it may attack with them in the same round as it "draws". The pistols have a range of 3/5/7; these attacks recieve all considerations given to wheellocks concerning extra damage from 8's and 10's, as well as armor piercing abilities and range penalties. Due to the magical nature of the creature, it's pistols never jam, and it never has to worry about a reload. It has been noted that the golem apparently "prides" itself on being a sharpshooter, as it is fond of using called shots to embarass an opponent before finishing him off.

The red steel golem is immune to all forms of poisons and cannot be affected by any form of hold, fear or slow spells (it may be immune to timestop, as well; as yet, no one knows if anyone has tried such a tactic). It is also immune to any spells of the enchantment/charm, illusion/phantasm and alteration schools (clerical versions as well as wizardly). The golem is immune to weapons of less than +1 enchantment; it is immune to any red steel weapon (including all magical sorts). It is immune to all forms of natural and magical fire and cold, and takes only half damage from electricity and acid (if a save is allowed and it makes it, it takes no damage). The golem regenerates 1 hit point per turn. It may consume undepleted cinnabryl to heal damage; 1 ounce of cinnabryl will heal 1 hit point (the cinnabryl is instantly depleted upon consumption, and the resultant red steel is used to heal the body, fill in dents, etc.).

Habitat/Society: It is most commonly believed that the red steel golem was created by a wizard or a priest who had (or has) an extreme antipathy against those with legacies, and a particular hatred for Inheritors. The golem first recorded appearance was in Saragon in 1003, when it suddenly "involved" itself in an altercation between two feuding groups of Inheritors (there were no survivors; the report came from some local peasants who winessed the combat). since then it has been encountered at irregular intervals in every barony in the region, destroying several Inheritor groups and generally attempting single handedly to wipe out the Inheritor population. Naturally, all three Orders have sent out posses to bring the creature down; there were even several cooperative attempts between the orders. No member of any one of the posses has ever returned to report on their efforts...

While the Orders all are actively hunting the golem, the creature has become somewhat of a folk hero to the peasants, especially those who have suffered at the hands of those who abuse their legacies. If the golem notices this, it has made no indication. It never stays in one area long; it finishes it's work, and rides off into the sunset.

Ecology: There is another theory, or rather belief, concerning the red steel golem. The peasants saw that the golem is a force created by the Immortals to counteract the power of the Inheritors. After all, they say, the golem appeared after the Inheritors came into being; there were people abusing their legacies for generations before the Inheritors came on the scene. Whether there is any truth to the belief in an Immortal origin for the golem, only the Immortals may know, and of course, they are as inscrutable as ever.

The golem does not appear to need to eat or sleep, though it has been known to affect both habits from time to time (and witnesses have seen it consume cinnabryl). It has thus been hypothesized that it is somehow powered by cinnabryl; it is also believed that it may need to consume smokepowder, or perhaps steel seed and vermeil, to power it's pistols. In either case, it has yet to offer up any corroboration....