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Iron Golem

Type: Iron Golem
Environment: Any
Attack: Slam
Special Qualities: Breath weapon, damage reduction, magic immunity
Organization: Solitary
From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard, as dictated to Senna, Human Fighter:

17 Dravago, 998:

The halflings of House Jorasco are, as expected, the finest healers in Stormreach. Senna is recording my thoughts, as I am still too weak to write after our ill-fated expedition.

The ogres assured us that there was nothing living or dead in the ruins and that we could explore them to our heart’s content. They neglected to let us know that there might be things neither living nor dead guarding the treasures within. It is possible that they had no idea, but I question whether they sought to have us eliminated by the guardians of the site.

The ruins appeared to be a tomb of some sort, and the absolute quiet within was unsettling. No vermin crawled about the corridors, and the architecture was in surprisingly good repair. We pressed onward, on guard, but pleased by the apparent lack of opposition, until we entered a large central chamber.

The cylindrical opening in the ceiling let the sunlight shine into this room, refracting off of a crystal atop a pedestal. The scattered light created beautiful rainbow patterns, and it was only when I heard Zarn’s greataxe fall to the floor that I realized the magical nature of this trap. Averting my gaze, I shouted a warning to the others - Khovis’ natural resistance to magic and Senna’s iron will allowed them to resist the enchantment, but Zarn and Kleija were helplessly shuffling toward the crystal.

The warforged placed a hand on the crystal, and the rainbow patterns suddenly stopped. Stone doors slammed down, blocking the only apparent exits, and rumbling filled the room as a twelve foot tall metallic construct rose from a hole in the floor.

Iron golems are nearly invulnerable to harm. Nearly impossible to damage with most weapons, immune to most spells and healed by flame; we gazed at the automaton in horror as it lumbered at us. Senna and Zarn attempted to block the construct’s advance, glancing at me for instructions. I had no advice to give.

The golem’s giant fists pounded Zarn, who was barely nicking the creature with his greataxe. Senna’s longsword could not damage the golem at all. Khovis cast spells of healing, and I hurled a Lightning Bolt into the construct, slowing it for a few moments. Kleija was the only one of us to have the foresight to acquire weapons made of adamantine, and her arrows punctured the construct’s armor plating with ease, but inflicted only minimal damage to the automaton.

Zarn fell before the golem’s onslaught and the construct pushed past Senna to turn to me. I looked into soulless eyes for just a moment before being engulfed by a poisonous cloud that spewed from the thing’s mouth. All went dark.

I awoke here in the Jorasco infirmary. Senna refuses to tell me what happened after I fell, other than to assure me that they all managed to escape through the hole in the ceiling, though Zarn will require extensive repairs.

Before we return to that ruin, we will have to find adamantine weapons for both Senna and Zarn. Golems are terrifying opponents to face when you are not ready for them, but still difficult fights even when you are.

The iron golem, most powerful of constructs: fearless, unrelenting, well nigh indestructible. Standing over 12 feet tall, this lord of metal towers over pretenders at that title. It is almost totally immune to magic and essentially immune to weapons and physical attacks that are not made of adamantine. It is an unstoppable juggernaut. The warforged can claim sentience, even cherish a belief in their own souls and the possibility of an afterlife. The iron golem has neither of these things, and cares not at all. Indeed, should a warforged encounter an iron golem one-on-one, the warforged should expect to quickly put his belief in an afterlife to the test.

To fight this creature - if you absolutely must - adventurers must come prepared. Fighters require adamantine weapons, lest they prove entirely ineffective. Archers need adamantine-tipped arrows. Without such tools, the best that can be done is to swing the most damaging weapon possible, and don't worry too much about where you hit the golem. The golem has no delicate parts, no physical vulnerability, and no Achilles heel. For rogues, this is especially problematic. The best thing a rogue can do against a golem probably involves using a magic wand or scroll - not to damage the creature, since it would be immune to that also, but either to heal or to enhance the abilities of companions. Arcane spellcasters face a similar choice. Though every arcane caster should bring along a collection of electricity spells. They won't deal any damage, but they can slow down the metallic creature. Needless to say, leave the fire spells at home.

Disturbingly, of late iron golems have been seen with arcane casters of their own, probably their creators. These sorcerers toss around fireballs and other fiery area-of-effect spells with impunity, knowing that any iron golem caught in the area of effect would be healed, not wounded. And then there are the darker rumors, that certain winged spellcasters have used iron golems as guardians... and these creatures do not even need to use sorcery to bathe a golem in flames. 

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