The Crystal-Core Golems are a scattered race of artists, artisans, scholars, and all-around vagrants who wander the world seeking to master their inborn disciplines.
Roughly [arbitrary number] years ago the Crystal-Core Golems were created by a cell of Imperial Dwarven golemcrafters as an experiment in using magic crystals to create golem intelligences capable of storing more complicated programming, learning, and being transplanted between bodies.
The golemcrafters were aware that sapient servants, especially those designed to learn and overcome problems, posed a significant risk of insubordination if not outright rebellion. For this reason they performed their experiments in a remote facility far away from any civilian settlements. They also made sure not to create any golems programmed for combat, instead limiting prototypes to such low-risk activities as cooking, cleaning, and routine maintenance.
As time went on and the older golems stayed pliable slightly more risky functions were inserted into new cores. Golems designed for assisting research were created, as well as a few designed to test the crystal cores' capacity for creative thought.
In spite of the golemcrafters' confidence, problems soon began to arise. The older golems were growing eccentric and intractable, where their drive to excel in their function was beginning to conflict and often override their willingness to follow orders. Routine meals would take hours upon hours to finish as the cook golems strived to create gourmet meals, loudly complaining all the while about the ingredients and facilities available to them. Research assistants grew so engrossed in their studies that they began delving into subjects far in excess of what their supervisors needed them to, and would often forget to stop reading in order to actually deliver the information they'd gathered.
The golemcrafters realized that the inevitable endpoint of the crystal-core experiment was a legion of temperamental artists and perfectionist crafters unfit for the sort of consistent labor the golems were intended for. The project was scrapped and the facility - along with all the golems within it - were abandoned.
Many of the golems barely noticed, and those who did largely took it as an opportunity to go out into the world and stretch their proverbial muscles. While a few stayed behind at the facility to maintain it, most scattered across the world seeking adventure and mastery of their function.
Anatomy and physiologyEdit
The only constant between different crystal-core golems is the core itself. Due to the flexibility of form that the transplantable center of intelligence offers them, most golems engage in considerable body modification to help them become more effective at their discipline (and sometimes to just change their appearance to how they feel they "should" look), often creating new bodies entirely to transplant their cores into. This results in a race of people who often barely look alike at all.
The cores, however, function rather consistantly. As a golem learns and masters their discipline their core grows larger and more complex. While this rarely results in a core so large that the golem has to massively modify their form in order to accommodate it, the growth does form the basis of the golem life cycle.
When a core becomes sufficiently large (a qualifier that differs wildly from core to core) it shatters into several smaller cores. Each of these cores have a similar - but not identical - function to the original, with a small possibility of being radically different. The new cores contain a small portion of their "parent" core's experiences, but for the most part are fresh minds. Because the golems' sapience is something that develops over the course of a few years as they learn and grow, these young cores are often relatively robotic in their behaviors. This makes them extremely good at the sort of simplistic labor that forms the foundation of their eventual mastery. It also results in young crystal-core golems being kidnapped and sold to unwitting buyers who don't realize that their obedient servant is destined to grow too willful to control.
Of course, that all leaves out a vital early step of the golem's life: being put in an actual body, which will be addressed below.
Culture and psychologyEdit
While the minds of golems are almost as diverse as the bodies, they do share some constants. While the drive to master their discipline drives most golems to travel the world seeking out opportunities to learn and grow, some never see the need to leave the place of their "birth." Golems inclined to mechanical, magical, and artistic pursuits often stay for extended periods in small, secluded communities called "conclaves" where their proximity to their own kind allows them to develop their skills through the medium of golemcrafting.
These conclaves are often built far from populated areas, where a random traveler will be unlikely to stumble upon the communities. They are also often built underground in tunnels dug out by mining golems and shored up by golems inclined towards engineering or architecture. These places are safe havens for golems seeking to develop their skills before going out into the world.
When a golem senses that their core is about to fragment they travel to a conclave. Not even the golems themselves entirely understandhowthey are able to sense their own kind, but nonetheless they are almost unerringly capable of locating these places before their end. When the golem completes their journey they allow themselves to shatter. When this happens the golems of the conclave quickly gather up the new cores and place them in bodies - the drive to protect other cores being an automatic and unprogrammed trait of all golemkind.
If a golem dies away from a conclave the cores may sit dormant for months or even years at a time, waiting patiently for one of their own kind to come by and return them to a conclave.