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Alter Aeon The Great Library

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Note - as with any topic, researchers should question the reliability
and veracity of these texts.  The library's aim is to preserve
documents, not verify accuracy.

AABN:  10196
Title: a book entitled "A Magic Primer: Constructs"

"Construct" is a catch-all term for non-living matter that has been
animated by magic. The term is somewhat misleading -- not all constructs
were constructed. Some arise purely by accident.

In magical parlance, there are several types of constructs. They are
decoys, golems , simulacrums, homunculi, and animated undead.

Decoys come in two types. The most well known are shadow decoys. These are
vague shapes formed by shadow magic. They have almost no substance and only
last a short time. They are primarily used as distractions. Mages can
create convincing illusions using a combination of light bending and force
fields. These realistic decoys have substance and react to stimuli. They
require an elaborate magical setup to run, involving crystal projectors and
complex runic programs.

Golems are a type of construct created primarily through magecraft. There
are a wide variety of golems -- some are crafted from wood, clay, earth or
stone. Others are forged from metal, resembling huge suits of armor. The
most complex are filled with intricate magical machinery, ranging from
steam engines to crystals that serve as internal memory storage. Golems
range in intelligence from barely aware to fully sentient, depending on
their complexity. To activate a golem, it must be infused with elemental 
energy, either from a living elemental or through ritual processing of
channeled elemental spells. Creating a golem is a labor-intense process,
both to construct the body and to animate it. Few mages undertake the
challenge anymore. Those that make golems are sometimes called Artificers.

Simulacrums are made by druids. They involve brute force manipulation of
physical matter, usually water or earth. Simulacrums have no consciousness.
They are operated by their creator like puppets. They require constant
infusions of matter and magic to keep from crumbling. Some druids have
compared learning to control a simulacrum to learning how to juggle -
difficult at first, but once mastered it becomes almost automatic.

A second variety of simulacrum has been also been described. These entities
are permanent constructs powered by druidic rune magic, somewhat resembling
golems. Descriptions range from animate straw-stuffed mannequins to mobile
stone statues. They are said to be used as watchers along borders and as
bodyguards for powerful druids. Reports of this nature come invariably from
the far eastern mainland, in regions where powerful fairy-kinds have sway,
as well as in the traditions of certain murlock tribes.

Homunculi are a special class of construct made by necromancers. They exist
as extensions of their creator's will. In essence, a necromancer extends a
portion of his own soul into the dead matter. The host material is then
quickly reshaped by brute magical bludgeoning into a crude body. This type
of soul magic is distantly related to the free spirit and possession
spells. Due to the nature of this magic, a single necromancer cannot safely
control more than one homunculus at a time. 

Animated undead are a very controversial class of construct. Many cultures
find the practice of creating undead to be at odds with their burial
traditions and sacred beliefs. To create one requires an intact body,
special preserving magic, ritualized preparations and the infusion of
life-force energy via soulstones. The resulting undead are highly
autonomous and sometimes self-aware. Because many naturally occurring
undead are hostile to living creatures, animated undead have an undeserved
reputation  for being dangerous. However, such creatures are bound to their
creators, and are as benevolent, or wicked, as he directs them to be.

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