World Building / Collosi

In-Universe: ...Realizing that Collosi are shaped by a human will from the moment they are animated from the Iailb mud is key to understanding their behavior. The animation magics themselves do not necessitate any particular shape for the Collosi to take; however, as most Collosi are animated to act as warriors, they take human form so as to fit their animator's perception of their role.

While occasionally a wizard will attempt to create a more monstrous Collosi for the purpose of combat, such efforts have tended to be failures. A Collosi knows only what its creator knows; thus, unless the creator is also an experienced shapeshifter, any non-human form will be extremely clumsy. Nonetheless, many Collosi are created as beasts of burden, where brute strength is more important than coordination.

The connection a Collosi has to its creator applies beyond instincts. The creator has a subconscious control over the Collosi's actions- useful, as Collosi are incapable of understanding language. Collosi also return to slime after the death of their creator.

Collosi have several documented weaknesses. The most reliable way to defeat one is through fire; Collosi are quite flammable. Stabbing is of little effect, as a Collosi has no internal organs, but complete dismemberment is an effective method of neutralizing one. While often difficult to achieve, their general inability to maintain form after their creator dies is also an important weakness; it was this strategy that would become key to ending The Second Collosi War.

All Collosi known to Daines are dumb- they mirror their creator's tactics and routines, but do not act for themselves. Nonetheless, accounts from the edges of the world tell of intelligent Collosi. These accounts agree on several important differences of intelligent Collosi from dumb Collosi:
  • They are fully capable of speech and understanding.
  • They have a weaker link to their creator, but their link persists through the creator's bloodline. As such, they do not die with their creator, and live as long as a descentant survives.
  • They still have a strong human instinct; thus, they remain in human form typically. Additionally, they can feel hunger, though they can't actually starve.
  • They can reassemble their body upon dismemberment; this presumably results from an interaction between their intelligence and their animation magic. If their body is completely destroyed, they can shape another mass of Iailb mud into a new one.

—Sax London, Getae Survey


The above was written by a scholar of Daines about two decades after the empire's establishment. It is reasonably accurate.

Collosi are essentially golems, but formed from a magically-strong variety of algae/scum known as "Iailb mud". Iailb mud is native to the interior of the planet, but is plentiful- more tedious to collect than difficult. About half of fully-trained wizards can create a dumb Collosi; far fewer can make an intelligent one. (Less than a dozen existed at the time the above was written.)

Intelligent Collosi can think and act on their own, and are essentially human from an ethical standpoint. While capable of independence, they feel honor-bound to serve their creator's family.

Collosi are stronger than all but the best-trained humans, but differ little among themselves. Thus, in the rare case of an intelligent Collosi duel, the competition is more mental than physical. (Sort of a "see who's made better"-type affair.) These duels at first take the form of riddle contests, but in more industrial eras become battles-by-proxy of machines, eventually leading to mecha fights.