Monster Hunting: G is for Golem
July 12th, 2018
I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff doing this job. When Alfred said his scarecrow was walking around his field, I took it at face value. He’d made some weird approximation of a human out of old clothes and straw and it’d hopped off its stake and taken to walking around.
Not necessarily a first, see my entry about a poltergeist inhabiting a suit of armor (Disney’s Haunted Mansion got some things right), and not terribly uncommon. I figured, while on the road here, this would be a torching session with a side of grave digging.
I was a bit on the wrong side of that assumption. Alfred’s Harold (he named the damned thing) was way more put together than straw and clothing. It was put together out of mud and clay and Alfred’s partner Thomas worked some magics, unbeknownst to Alfred, over it.
At least that’s the way Alfred told the story. Thomas isn’t around, murdered by the doll, to provide a different account.
I can vouch for the sturdiness of Harold. He’s crafted of more than just straw and burlap, but there’s only so much I can discern through binoculars.
Harold wanders Alfred’s field still while Thomas has been placed on the stake that once served as the scarecrow’s home. Needless to say, I’ll need to get a closer look to find out what I’m dealing with.
July 13th, 2018
Definitely faster than I expected it to be. I got close enough to the field that I drew its attention to me.
I shot it with rocksalt, just in case it was a ghost possessing the form, and followed that with iron and lead shavings. It shrugged both blasts off as it went from jogging at me to a full on sprint. I stuck it with my iron knife.
When none of that seemed to slow it down, it just oozed a grey-brown clay, I deemed it a suitable time to retreat and collect myself. I’ll need a new shotgun and I’m hoping I can retrieve my knife after putting this thing down.
Of note: if I didn’t know better, before getting up close and personal with it and knowing it wasn’t human, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to tell from a distance. It’s a mighty fine simulacrum, but the eyes are little more than glass marbles in a slack face.
July 14th, 2018
Magic sucks. I don’t mean that in some harsh way either. Magic sucks something out of something else whenever it is used which is a fancy way of saying that everything has a cost. Depending on what you want, something may require a blood sacrifice or the burning of an idol. Harold is definitely magical in nature, any walking, grunting, violent scarecrow that’s not possessed by a spirit would be, but nailing down just the specifics of the magic is where it gets tricky.
There’s lots of “magic” out there to research and precious little that is actually useful. When sifting through the schlock out there. I’d blame roleplaying games, but everyone who’s actually touched one knows well that there’s not real magic in those books. At best, the spells described within were inspired by legends of the real stuff and idle imaginations of the creators.
July 15th, 2018
Okay. After chatting with Charlie way later into the night than I’d intended to, I have a few leads on what this might be:
Promethean: a creature blessed with life by a local god. She recommended I get out of dodge if this is the case. Those tend to try and isolate and can speak though. Think something more akin to Frankenstein’s Monster.
Demonic possession: the man-sized doll is being possessed by something of the netherworld. An exorcism performed by someone of true faith should do the trick. If this is the case, holy water will be the identifying concoction and it’s time to give Father Julian a call. Would be a drive for him, but maybe he knows someone in the area who could help.
Golem: a construct typically of clay and dust. Originates from the Hebrew faith, but Charlie said it’s actually older than that. Pretty tough to identify if you’re not around for the creation. She said to look for an activation or controlling scroll on the creature’s forehead or in its mouth. Fortunately, this is also easy to handle: add a scrap of paper that would change the “coding” from life to death.
Tomorrow is another trip out to Alfred’s farm.
July 16th, 2018
Good news: it’s not demonically possessed. Bad news: I have brushed past the point of not remembering what a broken nose felt like. I’m probably lucky the clay fist to my face didn’t do more damage. Alfred was surprisingly adept at straightening it back out. Wonder if he’s done that sort of thing before.
While he was fixing me up, we talked about his errant scarecrow. He told me that it was modeled after someone he and Thomas didn’t particularly like. He elaborated that this individual had been scoping their land out for some time now and was generally obnoxious to boot.
I redirected the conversation to the scarecrow to try and pick out if there was anything else he could tell me about it.
Being the every flowing font of information, he wasn’t able to further elaborate other than he didn’t think some local god granted it life as Thomas had worked magic over it.
July 18th 2018
Who knew that my darts game would actually save my ass? I printed off a few copies of the kill code that Charlie sent me and stuck them on a bunch of steel darts. It took a couple of throws, hitting a moving target is much harder than a stationary trip-20, to sink one in its forehead, but the moment I did the creature froze then crumbled away to dust.
I was able to recover my knife and Alfred had a shotgun he was willing to donate to my cause after the destruction of my old one. He also let me look through his farmhouse and I came across an interesting book written in, I think, Aramaic. Definitely not something I can read.