Golems 201 -- A Historical Reference
Part Two: The Legend of Ruby
By Mark A. Jindra

The gaming session started as they usually did ("Weary from your travels, you have found an inn where you can spend the night"), but would quickly take a turn for the worse. The party was preparing for the next day’s ride when suddenly an explosion shattered the tavern wall. The heroes found themselves in the middle of a city under siege, a situation that would end with the last of the party standing over the corpse of a fallen warlord. It was in this battle that the PCs met "Ruby," and it was in this battle she was destroyed.

Part Two

Good morning, class. I would like to start by saying that all of your papers were excellent. It was impossible for me to choose only one to read to the class, so I chose instead to read excerpts from them that best described our subject.

The Legend of Ruby

Our story starts over a hundred years ago in a small family jewelry shop. Founder William Runnymede was a fine jeweler and gem cutter who became quite wealthy applying his trade. Shortly after founding the jewelry store, William began collecting uncut rock crystals (clear quartz) of varying sizes. He cut and polished these crystals, fashioning them into various odd shapes, then locking them in a special hidden safe. Upon his death some forty years after founding the store, his grandson Jacob took over the business.

Once William died, Jacob was the only person who knew of the secret safe. He opened it a few weeks after his grandfather’s death. Inside he found hundreds of crystals, a silk pouch with a large ruby, and a tome containing diagrams for constructing a gemstone statue of a female warrior. Apparently, the crystals William had spent his lifetime carving were to have been the building blocks of the statue.

Jacob studied the plans and continued where his grandfather had left off. Thirty years passed as he worked to complete the statue. Finally, per the plans, Jacob cut the ruby into the proper shape and inserted it into the chest of the statue, sealing it in with the last piece of crystal.

The statue was a marvel to behold. It stood slightly more than three feet tall, fully clad in armor, wielding a sword and shield. When placed in the light, the ruby radiated a rosy red glow though the entire statue, giving it an almost heavenly aura.

Having fallen on hard times Jacob closed the jewelry store and shopped the statue around among the city’s noble families, He was soon contacted by a mage, who called himself Vollus, from a nearby town. They struck a deal and Vollus took possession of the statue.

Vollus had spent many years crafting golems and had perfected a ritual that included permanently enlarging the golem to nearly twice its size; this technique made it cheaper and easier to craft golems. In the past, Vollus had added gems to stone golems as decoration, but he had never tried creating a golem made entirely from gemstones.

The animation ritual proved longer and much more taxing than Vollus had anticipated, and he had to start from the beginning more than once because of exhaustion. When he at last completed the ritual, the crystal golem stood before him, just over six feet tall and brandishing a sword and shield. The ruby red glow emanating from the golem lit the entire room.

Vollus named the golem Ruby. She stood guard over his keep for many years, until it was overrun during an attack on the city. Vollus was killed and the golem destroyed in that battle. Some say that Ruby single-handedly saved the city and destroyed over a thousand attackers before falling. Rumor has it the townspeople gathered Ruby’s remains and buried them in the town square beneath a stone statue of her. The large red ruby was not among the stones.

Gemstone Golem (Ruby)

"Ruby"

Large Construct

Medium-size Construct

Hit Dice:

10d10 (55 hp)

8d10 (44 hp)

Initiative:

+1 (Dex)

+1 (Dex)

Speed:

30 ft. (can’t run), burrow 10 ft.

30 ft. (can’t run), burrow 10 ft.

AC:

25 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +15 natural)

33 (+1 Dex, +5 large shield, +15 natural)

Attacks:

2 slams +12 melee

+5 longsword +16/+16/+11 melee

Damage:

Slam 2d10+11

+5 longsword 1d8+10

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.

5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:

Spell-like abilities

Spell-like abilities

Special Qualities:

Magic immunity, damage reduction 30/+1, construct, regeneration 10

Magic immunity, damage reduction 30/+1, construct, regeneration 10

Saves:

Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4

Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3

Abilities:

Str 23, Dex 12, Con --, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 1

Str 21, Dex 12, Con --, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 1

Climate/Terrain:

Any land and underground

Any land and underground

Organization:

Solitary, pair, or troop (3-5)

Unique (1)

Challenge Rating:

11

13

Treasure:

None (except heart)

None (except heart)

Alignment:

Always neutral

Neutral

Advancement:

11-20 HD (Large); 21-30 HD (Huge)


Ruby Golems

(Base creature description by Rob Heinsoo, from Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn)

Ruby golems stand 9 feet tall. Their gemstone-faceted skin varies in color from light red to nearly black. Ruby golems’ facets tend to be softer and more malleable than those of the other gemstone golems -- their heads are frequently carved to resemble lions, dragons, or screaming gargoyles.

Ruby golems’ natural gem magic affinities link them to the healing powers of the earth. They can burrow through rock and soil, and they nearly always choose to travel long distances underground even if overground travel would be faster. Ruby golems’ healing properties enable them to regenerate from most damage, but their flaw is that they are more vulnerable to sonic damage than are the other gemstone golems.

Combat

Ruby golems frequently interpret orders to attack as orders to grapple, even if their master would prefer that they remain standing. They sometimes prefer not to recognize that a foe has been pounded flat, often continuing to attack a foe who has fallen.

Regeneration (Ex): Sonic attacks deal normal damage to a ruby golem.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Ruby golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural effects, except as follows. A shatter spell affects the ruby golem per the spell’s standard effects. A mending spell heals 2d6 points of the damage the golem has suffered. Sonic spells, sonic spell-like abilities, and sonic effects affect the ruby golem normally.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Construction

The heart of a ruby golem is a great ruby that must be worth at least 10,000 gp. The golem costs an additional 55,000 gp to create, which includes 2,000 gp for the semiprecious stones that make up the body. Assembling the body requires a successful Craft (gemworking) or Heal check (DC 15).

The creator must be 16th level and able to cast arcane spells. Completing the ritual drains 1,500 XP from the creator and requires limited wish, move earth, polymorph any object, and stone shape.

Treasure

A ruby golem possesses no treasure, but if the golem is killed, it crumbles into a pile of worthless powder surrounding its unscathed ruby heart. The heart has the same gold piece value that the ruby had when the golem was created.

"Ruby"

Ruby's healing properties enable her to regenerate from most damage, but she is more vulnerable to sonic damage than are other golems.

Combat

Ruby carries a +5 gemstone shield the size and shape of a large steel shield. The crystal sword resembles a standard longsword with a +5 enhancement bonus and the special ability of Speed (see page 187 in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).

Regeneration (Ex): Sonic attacks and bludgeoning weapons deal normal damage to Ruby.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Ruby golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural effects, except as follows. A shatter spell affects the ruby golem per the spell’s standard effects. A mending spell heals 2d6 points of the damage the golem has suffered. Sonic spells, sonic spell-like abilities, and sonic effects affect the ruby golem normally.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Unlike other constructs, Ruby is vulnerable to subdual damage.

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