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A blood golem was a horrific golem fashioned from the coagulated blood of beings sacrificed to dark gods by evil priests and intended to deliver death and destruction to their foes.[1]

CreationEdit

Making a blood golem was a costly, difficult, and above all bloody process. The creator needed to be capable of a high level of divine magic, and required the spells animate objects, bull's strength, gentle repose, and heal. Materials and components costed a total of 50,000 gp. But most of all, they needed blood, a lot of blood. This had to come from no less than sixteen humans or humanoids of similar size who had been sacrificed to their deity. Draining this blood efficiently, rather than spraying it everywhere, required some surgical knowledge.[1]

While the blood golems' original creators were content with their crude, raw forms and the mess they made, later creators added an extra step. They sealed their blood golems in custom-made, large-sized suits of +1 full plate armor (costing 4,150 gp) and fused masterwork weapons (typically heavy flails) to their arms, and even equipped them with fuel tanks to store extra blood. More magical or special armors or weapons could also be employed. Blood golem armor could be reused for another blood golem, but was no wearable by others; the magic armor did not change size to fit. If the armor and reservoirs were removed or destroyed somehow, the blood golem reverted to its raw form.[1]

DescriptionEdit

In its raw form, a blood golem was a vaguely humanoid mass of coagulated blood that was thickened and semisolid, colored red and black. It continuously leaked blood, especially when it moved, and this attracted swarms of flies and other flying pests.[1]

When encased in armor, the blood golem was a strange, seemingly mechanical figure, girded all over in metal plating and with heavy flails fused to both arms. It had two spherical reservoirs mounted on the shoulders that held extra blood for fuel, and these were connected to the golem via metal pipes and valves. These were not perfectly sealed, so they still leaked blood through the pipes and seams.[1][2] The unholy symbol of their faith could be etched into the armor plating, but this would soon be obscured by blood both fresh and crusted. They emitted disturbing grinding and whirring noises.[2]

CombatEdit

The blood golem was a direct but brutal combatant, targeting the nearest enemies and at random otherwise and simply hitting them with whatever weapon it was equipped with: slamming with its limbs in its raw form, or lashing with the heavy flails attached to its armored form. However, it could also spin its entire upper body around at shocking speed for several seconds, unleashing a whirlwind of death as it attacked all foes within a radius of around 10 feet (3 meters). In the several seconds after this, its actions were limited, being only able to move or make one plain attack. It was slow even for its size, and unable to run.[1][2]

AbilitiesEdit

Due to its sloppy construction, a blood golem continuously leaked the very fluid that comprised it, losing a little of its resilience each day whether it was standing still or exerting itself in combat or labor. Armor would halve, but not eliminate, the rate of blood loss. A fully fueled blood golem was quite robust but would run down in only thirteen days, or twenty-six days if sealed in armor, after which it was destroyed, leaving only the armor.[1]

To counter this and keep functioning, a blood golem could absorb or suck the blood from other creatures, either alive or slain no more than an hour previously. Both blood golem and victim needed to be immobile; a living creature was typically restrained, unconscious, or otherwise helpless. If freed before siphoning was complete, the victim was weakened by blood loss. It took around one minute to drain an ordinary human and this would fuel an unarmored blood golem for only five days, or an armored one for ten.[1]

To extend fuel reserves, an armored blood golem was equipped with two spherical reservoirs, which could together hold the blood of two average humans. The blood golem could freely draw from this to make up for daily blood loss or damage sustained in combat.[1][2]

Being a golem, it was immune to all magic, including all spells and similar powers and other supernatural effects. However, certain spells had unexpected effects due to the blood golem's unusual organic composition. A gentle repose spell (which prevented decay in dead flesh) slowed it for around 18 seconds and horrid wilting (which evaporated moisture from living matter) caused some damage to the clotted blood body, while a regenerate spell repaired a little damage.[1][2]

ActivitiesEdit

Blood golems were intended to guard temples to evil and slaughter enemies of the faith, either alone or in groups of up to four. While these mindless, tireless constructs could stand unmoving for days on end, their need for fresh blood and resupply made them unsuited for isolated locations where few victims visitors could be expected. Where they were kept, their priests gave them prisoners and fresh corpses with which to refuel themselves.[1]

PersonalityEdit

While lacking any true intelligence, a blood golem was yet cruel and spiteful in battle. They seemed to gain some satisfaction from killing opponents.[1] They couldn't speak.[2]

Notable Blood GolemsEdit

The Cyricists under Skull Servant Bineera Ethar once obtained a blood golem, among other constructs and monsters, and gifted it to their Sharran allies in Despayr's plot to tear apart the Weave. In the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, the Sharrans had it stationed in the North Tower in the Black Rift in the Plane of Shadow, where it attacked all intruders (identifying and ignoring those displaying symbols of Shar and Cyric, shadar-kai, and shadowslain lizardfolk. It drained corpses of blood and tossed their bodies onto the surrounding plateau.[3][2]

AppendixEdit

BackgroundEdit

First appearing in Dragon #292: "Living Greyhawk Journal" and Fiend Folio (3rd edition), this construct is originally known as a "blood golem of Hextor", being made by priests of Hextor, a god of tyranny of Oerth in the Greyhawk setting. Hextor has no known presence in the Forgotten Realms setting, but Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave included this construct under the generic name "blood golem", making its Realmsian origins unclear. Accordingly, this article adopts the latter name, preferring the later, Realms source, and ignores the Hextor and Greyhawk connections. It is assumed that blood golems can be created by priests of any evil god who accepts blood sacrifice and doesn't mind a mess.

It is unknown if the Cyric worshipers in this adventure module created the blood golem themselves or if they obtained it elsewhere, before giving it to the Shar worshipers. The suggested counterparts of Hextor in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, page 9, are Loviatar and Bane, whose tyranny-focused church was partially supplanted by the Cyricists, suggesting a possible creation among the church of Bane, but this is only speculation.

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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