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October 18, 2007

O - The Opium Gore Golem

by sven at 8:00 am

Reprinted with permission from Professor Ichbonnsen's Monster Month blog.

[click to enlarge]

The story as it's told is this: The most powerful and vicious drug lord in Afghanistan captured and enslaved a wizard. After suffering hideous torture, his body and will broken, the wizard finally consented to do his captor's bidding -- to summon up a commando of demon soldiers. The Gore Golems' bodies were constructed from the entrails of a hundred slaughtered enemies, and then animated by each being fed a portion of the wizard's own soul. The grizzly monsters now serve as the drug lord's personal body guard. They are unstoppable in battle; even the bravest man is paralyzed with fear when confronted by their demonic visage.

The truth of the matter is more mundane -- yet no less strange.

The "Gore Golem" is a semi-intelligent, quasi-insect species imported from the deep caverns of Mars. It is believed that six are currently on Earth, and it is true that they are in the possession of an Afghan Opium cartel.

The creature -- whose proper name is unknown -- is a horrid sight to behold. It stands between eight and nine feet tall. The barrel chest has two overlapping ribcages, and an exposed double-stomach digestive system. The thing is covered in grizzly, glistening shell armor -- which sweats blood, so that it's constantly coated with a wet red sheen. It is bipedal, walking on skeletal legs that somewhat resemble those of a grasshopper. The arms are dangerous whipping tentacles. The mouth is concealed in a thick, stump-like neck -- which is guarded by four miniscule eyes at the ends of long, prehensile stalks, that look quite like writhing worms.

"Gore Golems" are not intelligent enough to act as independent mercenaries; their mental capacity is similar to that of a trained horse. However, the animals are deeply susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. By entering a drug-enhanced meditational state, human handlers are able to command the "Golems" almost as if they were extensions of their own mind.

Indeed, over time as the telepathic bond between handler and animals increases, the human becomes able to control them from great distances -- even when they are miles away and out of sight. Given the tactical advantages this presents, drug lords are prone to choose their best and brightest soldiers to manage the Martian beasts. But, the power that the "Golems" grant is not without a price. Human beings who attempt to control these terrifying instruments of death are quickly drained of their mental and physical strength; no master has ever lasted more than six months.

When the handler dies -- eyes wide open, mad and staring -- the "Golems" go into a wild frenzy, killing and destroying everything in their path. Recapturing them and putting them under human control again is a difficult feat, always accompanied by loss of life.

Among certain opium-trafficking drug lords, possession of the "Golems" has become something of a status symbol. More than once, one of these men has ruthlessly executed a rival and tried to steal the beasts for himself. It is rumored that during a botched attempt at theft, one of the six animals escaped, and has since been running amok somewhere in the Hindu Kush mountains.

Cartel use of these creatures violates both international and interplanetary law (United Nations special code). My "foreign contact" has hinted that a mission may be afoot on his end of things to deal with the problem -- but details beyond this are not forthcoming.

A last detail, which I am reluctant to mention. Beyond the sheer physical power of the "Opium Gore Golems", and the undeniable psychological impact that they have on their foes, the creatures are also valued for their detachable shadows. When commanded to, the animal goes into an inscrutable dormant state, and its shadow rushes off from battle to report to its human master. I have witnessed this with my own eyes... And while I have no explanation as yet for how such a thing is possible, I continue to insist that it cannot be "magic."

posted by sven | October 18, 2007 8:00 AM | categories: bestiary