An Account of Semius the Golem Hunter

  • This started out as a response to the Mage Machaon conversation, but I decided to split the conversation because I'm overdue for a new Cythera Book Club topic anyway.

    Here's the text from the book, taken from Fiery's website:
    And in this day, given the problems of golems that survive their master's death, they must be tracked down and destroyed, lest they wreak havoc and bring greater damage to the population as a whole, and thus distrust to the mages themselves.
    Semius went forth, wearing the legendary cloak of hero Herakles, to slay these threats to society, to reduce them to the meat of earth.
    And so the fate of Semius is unknown, last rumored to be in the city of Cademia, though that is but a rumor. It is said that he was last seen purchasing a lyre, saying something about the 'key to opening being SGD', though we, of course, discount this as nonsense.

    Here's what Anisa has to say about Semius:
    Semius, the self styled 'Golem Hunter', disappeared here in Cademia in 742 A.T.
    Legend has it that he found one of the secret workrooms of Mage @Machaon, and was defeated by the golem there.
    Then again, he may have simply slipped in the sewers and broke his neck - you know how stories get.
    If I remember correctly, the predecessor of Judge Metopes in Catamarca was a bit of a Semius buff.
    You might be able to find some of his old books still in Catamarca.

    A discussion of Semius very much overlaps a discussion of Machaon, so I apologize if I should have kept the discussion to one thread.

    Still there's a couple of points to this book that puzzle me, and they may not have anything to do with Machaon.

    1. Why did Semius think the key was SGD? We know that the key is really PMG, but I'm not sure how Slayer originally figured that out (random guessing?). And since Semius did not know the proper key, how'd he get into the workroom where he was ultimately killed? What happened to his lyre then, which isn't on his body? Then again, nothing is on his body but the fur cloak, and I assume he had some kind of weapon. Maybe a lack of weapon is why he was killed by one measly golem though. Is it possible that Semius' lyre played different notes than Machaon's, and his SGD was close enough to Machaon's PMG? I don't know much about music...
    2. It says Semius was wearing the legendary cloak of the hero Herakles. Some legend - absolutely no one in Cythera seems to know anything about it or Herakles. Who was Herakles? What did he do to be called a hero? We know the fur cloak is magical, at least Timon says it is, was Herakles a mage? And how'd Semius get his cloak?

  • Herakles is an archaic spelling of Heracles, who is better known by his romanized name of Hercules ; the garment is purportedly his famous lion skin cloak.

    Anyway, if Semius was modeling himself after Hercules, he might've been using a wooden club, which was the mythological hero's favored weapon. If so, its absence could perhaps be attributed to decomposition. But even a metal weapon could just as easily have been claimed by rust.

    As for the circumstances of the golem hunter's death, I'm wondering if it had anything to do with the conspicuous trap in the entryway downstairs? Mayhap he carelessly triggered the tripwire, expecting his magic cloak to protect him, and was hit with a dart envenomed with a potent, fast-acting poison?

  • I like your imagination, City! You totally need to write a Semius Chronicle ^_ ****^ I also considered the trap downstairs, but wondered how it attributed to his death upstairs.

    I started to look up Herakles/Hercules after I submitted the first post, but quickly decided it was boring : ****\ I guess it's not the first time Cythera's overlapped mythology, but it always confuses me!

    How fast would metal rust into nothing? Semius died ~176 years before the game, and remember our best guess is that a Cythera year is about half the length of a real year.

    This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 15 June 2011 - 02:09 PM

  • The Golem ate it.

  • Heehee. Okay, the absence of a weapon is accounted for. What about the lyre? Has that decomposed, do you think?

    I wonder if the original key was SGD, and Machaon changed it to PMG after Semius found it? This though, would imply that Machaon was still around in 742.

    This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 18 June 2011 - 09:11 AM

  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 18 June 2011 - 09:09 AM, said in An Account of Semius the Golem Hunter:

    Heehee. Okay, the absence of a weapon is accounted for. What about the lyre? Has that decomposed, do you think?

    I wonder if the original key was SGD, and Machaon changed it to PMG after Semius found it? This though, would imply that Machaon was still around in 742.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 14 June 2011 - 06:47 PM, said in Mage Machaon:

    I did not think the shield-ring had anything to do with Undine. But now that I think about it, there's only three magical rings in the game, and the other two are definitely associated with Undine. That's suspicious. If Machaon was involved with the Undine, that may explain his lack of obvious death.

    (Emphasis added)
    All of which brings us to the question, "Who are the liches in the First Stronghold?" ;)

  • If he was hit with a fast-acting poison dart from the small tube in the wall, this would account for his death upstairs and also his death at the hands of a single golem (having been weakened by the poison). If Machaon had indeed found Semius’s corpse, then the lyre he used is probably the one in the dresser in Machaon’s other workshop, and the staff on the corpse outside it could have been Semius’s weapon (although I doubt this—I find it more likely that the staff was a possession of Machaon’s). Not sure why Machaon wouldn’t steal Semius’s incredibly awesome fur cloak though.

    This post has been edited by Buzzzzy : 18 June 2011 - 11:13 PM

  • If that lyre was Semius', then how did Machaon get in and out of that workspace before Semius came along?

    Shorty- My impression was that the first stronghold was the "Inner Brotherhood" of the cult of the Scylla, and that the liches there were the people (mages?) of the Inner Brotherhood. Although this ought to be before Machaon's time, I do wonder if Machaon turned himself into a lich.

  • I had always assumed that Semius's lyre was the one in Machaon's dresser; however, it is a valid point that Machaon would have needed a lyre of his own to access the workshop. It is possible that Semius's lyre did decay.

    Perhaps, the golem had a dislike of music and destroyed it, although this wouldn't explain what happened to his weapon. However, the weapons used by Semius are not described. It is possible that he might have used a club or some other non-metallic weapon that was ultimately devoured by ratilizards.

  • Or Magic

  • That's a possibility, but I think the fact that Semius wore the heavy fur cloak tends to suggest that he was probably a more melee-oriented character.

  • It's a magical fur cloak.

  • True, but it is described as being the Cloak of Herakles, who was famous for his feats of physical strength. Thus, I think it likely that Semius was also a melee fighter.

    One wonders what started Semius on the path of hunting golems or of how he came by such a famous artifact. The book describes him more as a noble hero than a mercenary but does not mention what might have motivated him to target golems in particular.

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