A typical emerald golem resembled a heavily muscled human standing 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall and could easily weigh thousands of pounds. Their surface glittered when light hit the emeralds used for their construction.
As of 1372 DR, emerald golems were observed to slowly transform into the shape of a female human wearing an ancient dress and headpiece no matter what their original appearance was. Some wizards, as a result, began to build them in that shape, while some others would use the transformation to track the time and make guesses as to their reason. 
Magical weapons were needed to cause harm to an emerald golem. They possessed considerable immunity to any nature-based magic, making them particularly dangerous when facing witches of Rashemen. Emerald golems were completely immune to harm from acid or heat-based attacks and were partially resistant to electricity.
A shatter spell cast upon an emerald golem caused them physical harm. Crystalbrittle removed their resistance to magic and allowed weaker magical weapons to penetrate their gemstone hide. A mending spell would partially heal an emerald golem while a glassteel spell would fully heal them.
Emerald golems were formidable opponents in battle. The easiest way to combat them was to disrupt the circle of wizards that controlled them. Any disruption to the circle caused the emerald golem to wander aimlessly.
As of 1372 DR, emerald golems were more likely to be free-willed. These golems had none of their usual spell-like abilities, and instead gained the ability to create a special gate up to twice a day. Such gates often lasted 30 seconds or less, but some gates endured six hours, curiously. An emerald golem could create a gate to anywhere any other emerald golem had ever been. Though the gates tended not to lead to hazardous locations, safe endpoints were not guaranteed.
Emerald golems were used by the Red Wizards of Thay. A circle of at least a dozen wizards, led by a superior, was needed to control them. By 1372 DR adventurers were more likely to encounter an emerald golem operating without such direct control; these constructs were more likely to be operating on their own initiative and on some interpretation of ancient orders than they were to actually fulfill their creators' orders.
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- James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 53–56. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
- Richard Baker and James Wyatt (2004-03-13). Monster Update (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 4. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-10.
- (1998). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
- Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Monstrous Compendium”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 978-0786901395.
Flesh (Blood • Brain • Demonflesh • Fiendish flesh • Nyraala) • Gemstone (Diamond • Emerald • Ruby)
Gloom • Hammer • Ice • Iron (Furnace) • Lightning • Magic • Minogon • Necrophidius • Sand • Scarecrow • Siege golem • Snow
Stained glass • Stone (Spiderstone • Stone guardian • Stone juggernaut) • Thayan golem • Vault guardian