Underworld Lore | Golemic Chassis for Ghosts and Other Incorporeals

Golemic Chassis (n.)
A physical framework designed to be a conveyance for an incorporeal being (or group of such beings) as well as a means for them to interact directly with the material world. Often powered by a magnetic engine. Some chassis are created as a means of defense, posted at the gates of certain ghost-cities or deposited in some treasure-filled vault not found on any extant map of the Underworld.


Dead Lord Fylthie's Iron Juggernaut
(450 hp | AC = iron golem | attack: pummel 2d6)
Conceived by the former lord of long-vacated Weddowgwib as a means to defend his familial keep from mortal incursion, the Juggernaut is an iron sphere the size of a small cottage. Numerous shadowy holes of varying size dot its surface -- these are housings for a variety of mechanical limbs and sensory apparatus, including articulated tentacles, glass-tubed material collectors, and adamant-tipped drills for boring into the earth beneath Weddowgwib's burial grounds. Fylthie operates the construct from within a pear-sized emerald phylactery-cockpit that he may enter and exit at will.


Let's do a series of these & I'll attempt to gather art for each entry.


  1. You have so many of these going, you might want to have a sidebar linking to the open projects.

  2. I came back to check on this today and was expecting some entries in the comments. none? Then I noticed you don't explicitly direct folks to post their chassis in the comments. Was that your intent?

    1. oops, ambiguously stated questions get ambiguous answers. Your intent was to have people leave chassis in the comments or your intent was to not? (because you didn't explicitly say so in the post)

    2. Yes, sorry -- You can post your entries here :)

  3. The Fossil Skull of Cnar
    150 hp torso, 100 hp legs, 100 hp shroud, 100hp skull, 75hp each bracelet
    AC = limbs: green slime, bracelets: iron golem, head: stone golem
    slime punch 2d6 + Slime Splash

    Cnar the Mighty served as the last High Priest of The Uberous Slime and the principal in the downfall of the pre-human city of Bormakarthainilek. Cnar plotted the takeover of the city with his fellow high priests on the Council of Four and managed to play them off each other, eliminating them and his rivals in one fell swoop. Cnar used the destruction and chaos as fuel for a ritual that would make him an immortal servant of his god.

    Today Bormakarthainilek is a ruin, half sunk into a vast swamp. Cnar's sanctum sits deep under the old Shrine of The Uberous Slime. Cnar's spirit has spent the eons contemplating the glories of the outer plane of ooze, but when his lair is invaded, his spirit returns and animates The Fossil Skull. The Fossil Skull is the large petrified skull of a forgotten fire giant king. It rests on a stack of four huge iron rings. When animated the skull and rings are enveloped in living slime creatures, creating a huge humanoid slime with the skull encased in a globe of pink slime that floats above the body. The torso and arms are formed of green slime and legs of ochre jelly. Cnar's spirit has come and now inhabits the skull and animates the thick limbs of the slime giant. The rings form bracelets at the wrists and ankles and are part of the control magics. The skull and bracelets are immune to fire. Invaders are pummled with his green slime fists, coating victims in the horrible stuff. Attacking the slimey bits only slows Cnar down, to truly disable him, the bracelets and skull need to be destroyed. If Cnar feels truly in danger he will resort to his extensive knowledge of grisly flesh rending spells, his catalog of 101 names of greater slime demons or simply teleporting intruders to the outer plane of ooze.

  4. The Zuru Wall
    The Sages of Zuru hate wizards, but they need them. Hundreds of years ago the God Monster Zuru was slain by a company of wizards and his secrets were plundered. The once priests of Zuru, now powerless, hid and plotted. Over the decades they have enacted their revenge by tracking down and slaying any wizard who has learned and used a spell that came from the knowledge stolen from Zuru. The sages bring the skulls of the wizards to their grave shrine, where they are mortared into walls that surround Zuru's tomb. Although Zuru is dead, he is not gone. He enslaves the wizard's souls, bound in the skulls, and uses them to instruct his mortal followers, the Sages of Zuru. The Sages can no longer cast divine spells, but they know things. Things that only Zuru knows.

    If one were to steal into the grave shrine and listen to the whispers there is a random chance of the following information being gathered. If the listener is a wizard, there is a small change (10%) that he knows a spell that contains some fragment of Zuru's knowledge and may add +2 to their chances.

    Roll 1d4
    1. Zuru speaks his true name. The listner dies instantly.
    2. The listener is told of Zuru's lineage and goes insane.
    3. Zuru tells the listner the location of a power artifact. Zuru is a liar.
    4. Zuru slips and reveals the hidden location of one his templates. What secrets lie within?
    5. Zuru is feeling generous. The listner may ask a question and Zuru will answer.
    6. Strange mumbles, Zuru must be sleeping. The listener learns a new spell ripe with the power of Zulu. The spell is powerful but using it will allow the caster to be tracked by the Sages of Zuru.

  5. no more ideas submitted?! I love this concept. Shall I submit some more?

  6. The Scar of the Widow Hesper

    The small town of Burg is a depressing place. Nobody can put their finger on it but nothing ever seems to work out well here. Events seem constantly disappointing, but never downright disastrous. The cause of all of this is the Widow Hesper, who died over fifty years ago and who most of the town don't even remember.

    No one could remember where the Widow Hesper came from, or even who her husband had been. She just seemed to be a fixture of the town that folks took for granted. She seemed nice enough, her only vice a penchant for gossip and noseyness. In reality the Window Hesper was a powerful witch, one who was pathologically delighted in malicous mischief. She would cast love spells on ill matched youths, dooming those involved to a life-time of miserable matrimony. She would send dreams to a brother that his sibling was plotting against him. She cast spells of forgetfullness to cause businessman to neglect important transaction details, resulting in lost contracts and poor reputations. She would spoil the crops just enough to delay prosperity but not enough to starve local families. Favorite pets and toys would disappear over night, old folks would remember fantastic lost opportunies and the milk and eggs always tasted a bit off. She kept her town quite depressed without actually killing it off.

    As she advanced in age she couldn't stand the thought of her town moving on and finding happiness and prosperity after her death, so she prayed to her goddess of petty evils and was granted a boon. Shortly before dieing, Hesper stole into the homes of several local families during the night and inscribed runic scars on the shoulders of the teen-age children. When she passed away, these children inherited her selfish and malicious traits, and the ability to cast minor cantrips as long as the child was doing it in secret. They discovered that they could inscribe the runes on their friends and pass on those traits, though they themselves would loose the powers and inclinations the day they turned 17. As the chilren get closer to their 17th birthday, their tricks get more and more mean-spirited. They have nightmares and sometimes feel they can see a wickedly grinning hag in the corner of their vision. The adults who find themselves free of the influence of the scar have no memory of the specific powers and tricks they used, only a feeling that they have grown out of a difficult phase of life.

    And so the scars are passed down from year to year as an illicit and seemingly innocent rite of passage. The bearers have no inkling of the true nature of the scars, only that they are something that brings "a bit of fun" where "no one gets hurt". Hesper herself lives on in spirit form as long as the young people of Burg bear the marks. She can affect the wills of those bearing her mark and visit dreams upon those in the same household, which is nearly every home in Burg which has children between the ages of 13 and 17.

  7. The Palace of the Crystaline Mind

    The Wizard Granjean is one of the more prosperous merchants in the city of Xerebus. He has out-manuvered and out-witted his business opponents for the past 270 years and no one is sure how he does it or how he has lived so long. For the past 200 odd years, only his most trusted employees have seen him. His palace near the heart of the city sees few visitors and never hosts social events, yet the grounds are kept immaculate and deliveries of supplies come and go at all hours.

    The secret to Granjean's success is knowledge. Long ago he discovered the secrets of astral projection and used it as a way of spying on his competitors. He used his knowledge in a thousand ways to outwit the other merchants of the city and was not above a little clandestine sabotage now and then. As he ammased more and more wealth and power he had to spend more and more time in the astral plane. He because impatient with the demands of his physical form and so sought a way to permanently stay in the astral plane. Granjean spent years researching his solution and managed to spend a significant part of his fortune in the process. His enemies believed him to be spent, or better yet, dead. Granjean finally stumbled onto a ritual that would give him the powers he craved. With the favor of the god of merciless merchants, Granjean completed the ritual and attained a true astral form. His fortunes rose once again, much to the distress of the merchants of Xerebus. His "employees" are little more than families of mindless slaves that carry out his will from generation to generation.

    Deep under his city palace lies the center of Granjean's astral power and the material repository of his mind. If one can pierce the secret entrances to the uppermost sub-basements and pass the devious traps, they will find strange pink crystaline viens growing on the stone walls. The deeper they go, the thicker and more numerous the veins become. On the deepest level they will find a large open room, in the center of which is a large pink crystal cube which pulsates softly with light. The veins all grow out from this cube and grow through an opening in the ceiling to the corridors above. Off to one side, a dessicated corpose kneels face down over a stone slab carved with alien markings. The skin from the top of the skull has been peeled back and fixed in place with silver pins. The skull underneath features a wide clean cut hole, allowing the empty brain case to be clearly seen. Clusters of tiny pink filaments flow from the inside eyesockets and out to the large crystal tube.

    Intruders' minds will be blasted with psychic warnings to turn back the moment they breach the secret sub-basement. If they can fend off the psychic assaults and reach the inner chamber, they will be attacked by a pair of large crystal golems that extrude from the giant cube. The golems are directed by Granjean himself and can send forth blasts of psychic force from their fists. If the first two are defeated, Granjean can form another pair. If those are defeated he will attempt to bargain, but will ultimately betray any deals struck. The only way to hurt Granjean is to attack the cube itself. Once the cube is destroyed, Granjean's spirit is marooned in the astral plane, alive, but with little ability to affect the material plane.

  8. We just posted another 6 Golemic Chassis up at the Hereticwerks blog.

  9. Wodden Shrouds of Aeletilan
    HP: 75, AC like a living tree, slam 1d6, with clockwork parts and a pair of bellows to emulate speech

    These shrouds where made in the forgone age of Atlantis, before that empire's fall into degeneration. Originally build for an elfin prince of the familliy of the same name, to watch about the masouleums he built as an architect even after death, this custom later was used a lot and it was considered a great honor to be chosen to be made by certain, luckily long forgotten, potions into an incorpereal undead of some kind. Sadly, a lot of the chosen ones turned into evil charades of their former selves, or maybe the degeneration of the empire into petty infighting was having it's influence, so that Shrouds made in later time often were blackened and decorated ghastly by vile magic or the will of it's owner in stark contrast to the plain beauty of the first one and it's direct successors. Only a few of this items survived the final deludge of the magical island and as such they are quite a curiosity. Although, should it be inhabitated by it's original posessor, that would be most certainly one quite old and dangerous foe to encounter.