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Golems

Golems

Postby Yu Rei » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:03 pm

I'm curious, how do the golems in the DT universe function? They look much like sci fi robots on the outside, yet we all know they are built around the use of mana and magic. What kinds of material are they made from? How does one control a golem? Is it willpower alone, or is it a special kind of spell? (Forgive me, I am very ignorant when it comes to the use of magic in DT).

We know that robots are made from wires, circut boards...what about golems?
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Re: Golems

Postby Jiharn » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:39 pm

Hmmm...while I can't think of much that gives great detail about it, I'll give my basic impression of things.

Golems aren't nearly so intricately built as sci-fi robots, which would have a multitude of moving parts, gears, wires, individual pieces, etc. If I had to guess, the only pieces that are really moving parts are the joints themselves themselves, which are probably more like basic ball or swivel joints if anything. To show what I mean by contrast (and forgive my terrible display of engineering ignorance), a normal tanks probably has a lot more separate pieces than it might seem, since it would need pistons from the engine, many gears to transfer the push, and so forth...just to make that top of the tank rotate a bit. A golem would probably just have the swivel joint itself. So in terms of construction, it resembles more large, well-crafted pieces of metal armor joined together. Fewer moving parts means fewer ways it can go wrong or get jammed, too.

As for energy and other construction materials, golems require a mana core as the primary power source. Without a management core with power, it is worse than a tank without gas: with a tank you could could still have something to cause an explosion, or you could use its machine gun. Given how it uses a mana core, I'm willing to bet there is both a socket for it and some kind of conduit to transfer the energy to a part that moves or fires it as ammo. I don't think the mana just..."jumps" across to a part that's needed. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the most expensive part of a golem: a small skeleton of sorts of material capable of holding or transferring mana.

When it comes to controlling a golem, there is no special "spell" to manage it, nor is it done by willpower alone. A pilot needs to utilize his own mana for operating a golem. This is what makes it so tiring for inexperienced pilots: they need to learn accurate mana management or else they burn up too much of their mana. Ariel, for example, looked fairly drained next to the golem instructor. Not because she necessarily has less mana reserves, but because she isn't conditioned for that kind of steady drain nor knowledgeable of efficient usage. And pilots have died because they didn't realize how much of their management they were using.

As for why pilots need to use their management when there is already a mana core...well, I can just make some guesses. Probably just having a mana core isn't enough, and the pilot has to expend some mana to direct the power to its destination, measure how much is needed, and control how the golem part uses that energy. I wouldn't be surprised if much of a pilot's training is not only how to control energy flow like that, but also manage multiple uses simultaneously and instinctively. The presence of copilots in the larger golems probably serves to handle some of those functions and thus reduce the drain on the main pilot from having to manage everything at once which result in too much distraction to be efficient (or forgo some functionality), and to spread out the raw mana usage burden. The fact that she's having to pilot the thing without her copilot--on top of not being in a focused state of mind--may come to bite the woman piloting the golem in the current strips and cause her to "burn out".

Please note that the third (long) paragraph is the least speculative. Other posters may show evidence that is much to the contrary.
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Re: Golems

Postby Yu Rei » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:16 pm

Yes, most of that makes sense.

I've also noticed a couple different types of golems; one where there are slaves on the inside, powering it with their life force, and another kind, which I understand is considerably more expensive, that only requires one pilot...lemme find and link these two.

http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5916

http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4284

I'm still a bit confused as to -how- exactly pilots are able to make the golems move. Do they channel mana to different parts? Or...okay, in the second link, the foci on her body, do they serve as a sort of..."link" to her nervous system?

I'm sorry, I REALLY don't know how to word this. *upset*
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Re: Golems

Postby Jiharn » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:03 pm

Yes, the golems in the two pages you linked to were a bit different, but I think they were both really old models as well. The setting isn't quite technologically stagnant, as evidenced by how the Sarghress recently moved to small, cheaper, and more mana-efficient designs. It's possible that a two-pilot approach came about later than the construction of those older models to alleviate the strain those large golems could place on a single pilot.

As for your other questions...well maybe those foci are for focusing or drawing out the pilot's mana? I can't give any real, definitive answers beyond that. Really, the most I remember that has been explicitly stated or demonstrated is that golems can be damaged in ways that are repairable, some golems can take a lot of abuse, golems require mana cores, pilots use their mana in operating golems, and pilots need to manage their mana usage. Much of the remainder of what I said (and a sizable remainder it is) comes from inferences drawn by seeing the golems in action, comments by other posters, basic knowledge of how things work in this setting, and filtering all of that through some logic about what would be the most sensible for filling in the gaps.

I hope that some other poster may point you to something I've missed or share knowledge that was divulged in sections where I am not a participant, like PtP or Daydream.
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Re: Golems

Postby Eltharrion » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:36 pm

Hmm, personally I believe that "how golem moves" depends a lot on its core structure, style of build and main power foci.
Take some crude earth golem for example. It's made out of rocks, sand and mud. Mostly you could think that pilot requires some earth affinity or very powerful earth foci to move it, as it's movement is just controlling the ground and earth that holds rocks. In other words, it's basicly a very large spell that just doesn't break down when you end your concentration.
On other far side, we have the "high-tech" golems that are made out of metals and have clear armored look in them. In these cases, it seems most logical that they utilize similar mana systems as smaller golem equipment, from raider masks to biogolem weaponry. You flow a certain kind of mana wave into joint or "muscle", and it moves accordingly.
There comes the question "why they need the armbands to lock them in?" Answer has two points: one, they lock the pilot in spot so that the mana flow isn't interrupted even if the golem shakes, and two, they allow "Power rod effect" to step in.

Power rod effect: as we have seen up to this point, Drow have tendency to use their hands when controlling mana, even if they are forming a bubble shield or similar non-directional spell. As many might know, controlling the direction of any energy in general is hard in itself, be it movement, lightning or sound. Unless we add something to direct the energy with. Mana is no different, and thus adding anything to conduit it trough makes it easier to control, as it is automaticly given the direction it needs to go into. But, as conduit changes, so does the energy flow. Even minimal changes in conduit alone can cause drastic changes in the energy flow.

Now, let's imagine Drow's hand as a conduit to mana, with palm open and straight forward, fingers together. It's simple flow. Then, let's split fingers apart. This causes dramatic flow change as one becomes five. Bend one finger, and one of the flows changes direction a bit. And so the part continues. These minor microchanges are, at least in my mind, what some delicate controls use. Of course, as you still have limited movement range with hands, controlling everything freely with them alone is a draining task. This might the main reason why there exists co-pilots: they take care of some of the joints and limbs in similar fashion.
Now, one-manned golems are bit tricky with this theory, as imagining you to control both arms AND legs with your arms alone sounds impossible. So, we add up the "willpower", the original mental image needed to cast a spell. It is proven that drow CAN cast spells without hands, it just seems a bit tougher or draining. That is understandable, because to control energy without conduit you need more energy. This might be a reason why Ariel was so drained after practice...

The foci in this theory is, well, a battery. It is simply meant to amplify the faint mana flows pilot causes, as creating enough mana flow to actually activate that size of mana machinery would drain you nearly in instant.
Now, here's some thoughts of mine, written down near midnight just before falling asleep. Hopefully someone catches something out of it...
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Re: Golems

Postby Junglefowl26 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:50 am

I don't think Golems are quite so simple. The people who work on them are mechanics after all, and have a wide array of torches and wrenches to work with, which think suggests some kind of moving mechanical parts.

Heck, there is at least one instance of a dwarf fixing a golem, so mechanics have to be important.

The foci, I think, are multi-role: power sources, control mechanisms, and even computers in those golems that don't have pilots (though the world setting page suggests that currently independent golems are too stupid to be reliable weapons)
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Re: Golems

Postby DeadPigeonGolem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:53 am

Additionally, it seems likely that mana causes a force when it flows. If I had to guess, the Mana Force is probably perpendicular to the direction of flow. Hence, mana flowing across two conducting plates causes a force sideways, depending on whether it's flowing from left to right or right to left. Using this principle, simple joints can be created, allowing for two-dimensional motion.

I think I've also mentioned before that golems also must have an anti-dispelling feature in order to function. This has to exist, because being able to dispel a golem would make them completely useless for an army. Hence, golems, especially military golems, must be "hardened" against that sort of attack.
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Re: Golems

Postby Jiharn » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:18 pm

Junglefowl26 wrote:I don't think Golems are quite so simple. The people who work on them are mechanics after all, and have a wide array of torches and wrenches to work with, which think suggests some kind of moving mechanical parts.


Sure, they have some moving parts. I just don't think they would have near as much as a modern vehicle. The use of mana probably cuts away a lot of the "middleman" gears.
Nice idea regarding the foci, though. But I haven't heard about the potential for autonomy, though.

DeadPigeonGolem wrote:I think I've also mentioned before that golems also must have an anti-dispelling feature in order to function. This has to exist, because being able to dispel a golem would make them completely useless for an army. Hence, golems, especially military golems, must be "hardened" against that sort of attack.


Perhaps most of a golem is not enchanted? It just reacts to mana flow along certain conduits, but otherwise any moving parts (and the conduits) are inert. So there's nothing to dispel near the exterior. Alternately, perhaps the armor is too thick for someone to..."reach through" in order to disenchant anything?
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Re: Golems

Postby Eltharrion » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:27 pm

DeadPigeonGolem wrote:I think I've also mentioned before that golems also must have an anti-dispelling feature in order to function. This has to exist, because being able to dispel a golem would make them completely useless for an army. Hence, golems, especially military golems, must be "hardened" against that sort of attack.


While at the same time it's proven that demons and nether beings can eat the mana out of golems/their foci and make them useless pieces in the end. Of course, these scenes have been shown from nidra wars, so most logical explanation would be "nobody even thought about eating mana". So, even modern day golems may be extra reinforced against mana drain. Thought about counter-dispelling is also interesting: maybe golems themselves interact with the manaflow around them, causing "dispelling" the mana to be hard? (as visual image, pour some oil into jar of water and then try to scoop it out completely with a spoon. Difficulty to do it completely might be on similar degree.)

Another thing that steps up to golems being harder to dispel is their mechanics (thanks Jungleflow for reminding). Sure, there are simple ones, but even then mechanical parts exist. Drows have shown their skill in crafting different kinds of tools & mechanical instruments (I think most of the water system was mechanical, only enhanced with magic, for example). I have nothing to say about self-controlling golems as I always understood they were more like "remote-controlled" than self-acting war machines, no matter how dumb...

In the end, there are different kind of golems around everywhere, and after bit of thinking I personally fail to be able to create some broad idea of how they work. Heck, there might be even one that gets it's power from giant wheel that tiktikki run in!
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Re: Golems

Postby DeadPigeonGolem » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:44 am

It's probably reasonable, in the end, to assume that golems aren't just enchantment, they must use the inherent properties of mana to function. Enchantment might be used to make it possible to do, for example, enhanced targeting or whatever, but the basic motor functions of a golem should be based off of mana's nature.
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Re: Golems

Postby Doom Chinchilla » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:16 pm

Do you people think that the chelian great clans used to rely a lot more on golems before the rediscovery of nether summoning? Some of the great clans are VERY rich, and seeing how powerful golem tech is, I find weird they didn´t spend more resources into giving themselves more giant golems with cannons and iron man power armors...

Maybe the reason the golem tech is barely visible after the Nidra´chaal war is that is was considered to have been made obsolete by nether summoning?
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Re: Golems

Postby MEK1724 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:14 am

Doom Chinchilla wrote:Do you people think that the chelian great clans used to rely a lot more on golems before the rediscovery of nether summoning?

yes (relevant part : "With Nuqrah’shareh as an opportunity to explore advanced technology further without the whole “nether weakness” to hold advances back) , there's also some stuff in the old world setting pages (quote : once rare were those who would dare to attack the Val Sharen knowing that they possess golems in every important location of their fortress .... recent events have changed this tainting magic and demons can drain mana very easily out of golems) , and the light elves in Van'heimir also didn't use much mana-tech or sorcery to try and avoid attracting demons .
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Re: Golems

Postby Whispering shadows » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:31 pm

Can golems be possessed by demons? Just wanna know out of curiosity cause I remember hearing somewhere that they can inhabit anything that can store mana.
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Re: Golems

Postby Jiharn » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:05 pm

Whispering shadows wrote:Can golems be possessed by demons? Just wanna know out of curiosity cause I remember hearing somewhere that they can inhabit anything that can store mana.


I don't think so. The only times we've really seen golems and nether energy/demons in action simultaneously were the prologue and chapter 19 (ignoring that big hulking behemoth that attacked the Sarghress fort). All evidence points to the demons trying to devour mana, which would eliminate the power source for a golem. The only instances of possession, following encounters with demons and nether energy, have been with living creatures that possess an aura. Golems have mana, but not an aura.
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Re: Golems

Postby Whispering shadows » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:11 pm

But what holds the mana in the golem? Can't have gas without a gas tank. Can't they possess the gas tank?
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