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So in a world where giant rock and metal golems 'spawn' naturally. These golems are the kind with a power core hidden inside their bodies, their body and limbs are held together by invisible mana threads naturally with the core's help. The golem consumes mana to move which is why they are a bit on the slow side, but can absorb the mana from the surroundings to replenish their supply.[mana exists naturally on the planet and in everything, it's invisible and highly abundant in places with much nature, humans can't manipulate nor sense the power at all]

This golems aren't exactly the brightest, they won't go like 'oh look a giant city is in my way, might be a good idea to move out of the way.' and just plow through the city, they do try not to crush too much stuff but that's like a low level priority. However they have enough intelligence to identify hostiles and non-hostiles, they will crush any that try to harm them. They are have a strictly non-aggressive[they don't really mean to destroy anything] attitude until some fool tries to do something to them.

They do have a form of mana eye that allows vision and a natural regeneration ability in the presence of mana[which is everywhere] for when they drop off cliffs and mountains in their wander. These golems have something like wanderlust but are not against settling down for a few thousand years at places with high mana density, they also don't mind walking across the Pacific Ocean.

These golems are around 5 meters tall and wide when first 'birthed' and get reach heights around 80-100 meters tall and 110-120 meters wide when full grown at around 500 years old[they grow by absorbing mana], they also have about a lifespan of about 100,000 years which means that there are around 5000-maximum 10000 golems at any given time provided 100,000 years have past since their first birth as they spawn about once or twice every 20 years or so.

They are assumed to have been made by nature to combat corrupting monsters[these are much more hostile to life and they spread corruption that is something like a deadly plaque which can be cured eventually by mana, the monsters are only on the level of fearsome wolves and saber kitties that a squad of knights can handle]

Now what methods and strategies can medieval people carry out to cope with this wandering golems to prevent them from 'accidentally' making a road through their towns and cities? What kind of adaptations does humanity need to cope with these golems? They are considered to be something akin to natural calamities.

They look something akin to this without that strange thing on its back. what a golem might look like

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  • $\begingroup$ Is that script on the golems' arms inspired by a real world script? $\endgroup$ – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Jul 31 '16 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Are golems actually invested in fighting corrupted monsters, or is it merely a humans' assumption/legend? $\endgroup$ – user8808 Aug 1 '16 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, I found this pic off the internet. @Fiksdal $\endgroup$ – Skye Aug 1 '16 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Roux they don't actively search for it but it's more like they can sense it within a 3 km radius of themselves and then they conveniently wipe out those monsters and go off on their way again $\endgroup$ – Skye Aug 1 '16 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Can these golems regenerate from everything, or is it possible (albeit difficult) to destroy one? $\endgroup$ – Sean Apr 4 '18 at 23:42
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Actually with the size of the golems, I'm quite sure that any respectable town with sentries would spot them from miles away. Leading to...

Kiting

Provided that you're not going try harm the golem seriously. After those sentries ring the bell, a small squad of knights or hunters armed with bows can set off to lure the golem off from the city. Once the city's safety has been assured, they can scramble off to lose the golems pursuit in forests.

Killing

I don't find much of a reason to kill these guys since they guard against the corruption but say that the humans need some raw metals and minerals or maybe the golem core can be made for something. I'm not sure whether your medieval era has cannons but placing them on large horse drawn carriages and having extra horses to replace them when the horses on duty get tired might be a good idea. I'm not sure how much damage iron cannonballs can do against a rock/metal golem but I'm sure that if you can take out the legs then your victory is guaranteed unless their regeneration ability is ridiculous. Just be careful of raining rocks and trees.

Now certain adaptations in lifestyle might happen

Mining

As you have said that the golems can be made of metal, humans could possibly find a way to 'mine' the golems for their metal. Not only is it inexhaustible due to a golems inherent regeneration, it's a mine that is only 'exhausted' after 100,000 years. I'm sure that if the golems don't take the mining as hostile actions, certain golem mining groups might travel with golems across countries and then sell the metals at towns and cities that the golem passes by.

Golem Biospheres

With its inherent size, I'm going to say that plants and animals will find a way to have symbiotic relationships with golems. They could have evolved to depend on golems to live and breed on the golems. Plants could have evolved roots that sink into the rocks and many different species of birds , lizards, snakes, bats and insects can live on them. With the golems wandering around, I'm sure that they will affect the plant life and animals on the ground and sea itself, trees could evolve to be tall and spaced out to reduce casualties from walking golems and the golems footsteps can create mini ponds and lakes. Corals could evolve to grow on golems and breathe oxygen in the air when golems rise onto land.

Golem Sports

Humans could have evolved a sport similar to bull fighting but with golems, taunting and provoking the golems to chase them around. Humans could also have developed hunting seasons based off golems, say there was a species of flying chickens that live on the golems, humans can go hunt them down while the golem harmlessly passes by. Golem climbing can also be a dangerous activity, won't it be entertaining to see your buddies scaling a walking hill? Or fall and become a measly blood splatter on the ground?

How fast are they btw? I'll be worried if these massive golems can move as fast as trucks. A 120 meter wide golem could probably move slightly over 40 m in one step and that's if they are walking. Provided one step took five seconds... 28.8 km/h or 17.9 miles/h. If they start running then maybe about 60m per step in about three seconds... 72km/h or 44.7miles/h. 8 km/h away from my country's road speed limit. And if they start jumping...........

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    $\begingroup$ Now if those golems actually float in water, we will have moving islands XD $\endgroup$ – Skye Jul 31 '16 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ Aggressive kiting might be even more interesting - leading them to enemy cities. Reminds me of old MMORPGs, with griefers kiting high level monsters to player spawn zones. $\endgroup$ – Artur Biesiadowski Aug 1 '16 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ I'd add one more option, if it is available: Draining mana from the area. The Golems appear to be attracted to areas rich in mana, so they may alter course away from areas low in mana. If humans have no way to do this, perhaps they could dig a massive pit trap for a Golem, entombing it in the city center, where it will drain the mana, protecting the city from other golems. For the rest, this answer has it all, so +1. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Aug 1 '16 at 8:55
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    $\begingroup$ 0_0 that sounds scary, horses gallop averages 40 to 48 kilometres per hour (25 to 30 mph) and the world record for a horse galloping over a short, sprint distance is 88 kilometers per hour (55 mph). $\endgroup$ – Skye Aug 1 '16 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder how they would react to people attaching carts or sleds with some ropes, to hitch a ride to wherever. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Aug 1 '16 at 14:23
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I think the best way is to repel golems from cities. Or make cities hard to enter for golems. As you say, there is very few mana in people inhabited places, and golems has no interest in staying in this places for long.

We can build moats with water around cities with high and slippery inner coast and gentle and easy to climb outer coast.

Even if the moats are 20 meter deep, we can build a 50 m mount on the inner coast of the moat. We can use the excavated ground for it.

Building this things is quite possible even with Bronze Age level tech.

When golem enters the moat, it tries few times to climb the inner coast mound. But surface of inner coast is too slippery (maybe defendants of city spill oil on it too) and after some time golem stops attempts and roams around the city. It is worth notice that golems are not so clever to become angry on people. They do not see the link between small meatbags hanging around and the river with unsloppy coast they have to cross.

And, with high probability golem will roam aside from city - because the outer coast of the moat is sloping and easy to climb.

BTW, watching golem struggling to climb the inner coast is a great entertainment for townsfolk.

This moats can help greatly against human invaders, outlaws, "saber kitties and loathsome wolfs" carrying the corruption.

Also we can build floating cities on boats on lakes, build cities on hard to climb rocks like Meteora Monastery in Greece:

Meteora Monastery in Greece

Other way is to make golem movement too hard. For example, make some anti-tank constructions. Probably golem is intelligent enought to pass it by. Because it can spend to much time breaking it, and even get hurt from it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Was just thinking that if the golem starts going bob the builder, the city might be finished XD. Anyways as long as the golem doesn't go ham and keeps trying to climb it should be fine. :D $\endgroup$ – Skye Jul 31 '16 at 12:19
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There are quite a few ways how to deal with this.

Just Accept Some Destruction

You have maybe 10.000 slow moving natural disasters that create some chaos. That is not unlike some thunderstorms or hurricanes and tornadoes. Maybe develop some religious ritual, pray you don't get hit and live your life.

Settle inside mountains or underground

There are quite a few real world examples where people dug their homes, churches or other structures into mountain sides. Examples include Cappadocia, China, Tunisia, America, Mali. (see for example http://www.touropia.com/cave-dwellings/)

Nomadic tent cities

Maybe most parts of the cities are actually moveable? Nomadic tents, ships or wagoons could make it possible to move out of the way. That would have been the case for Karakorum in ancient times.

One could even be so daunting to build onto those moving giants, like you build castles to sit in on elephants.

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We're smart. The kiting method cited above would be a great idea. However, combine that with:

Bait/Kiting While we might not be able to sense what attracts them, we would be highly motivated to find out and use that as bait. This can be combined with kiting, that is, once one is spotted, attack and get it to change course enough to miss your city. Or open the gates and set up a wide "golem road" so that they just pass right on through. Non combatants get inside.

Wide Roads Though settlements there are golem roads, or wide pathways used to herd golem on to them, and prevent too much property damage or accidental death. Because unless they sense life (which it seems like they would, what with the mana thing) they'd go right through dwellings, which would kill some inside, even if they didn't fight. If you want to retcon it so that they don't destroy the homes of living creatures because they sense them being there, then everyone will definitely be inside in case of a golem passing through, if only to guard it because they know golems don't do that.

Travelling with Golems So these guys are attracted to areas of abundance? And they are huge? If I were a traveller, I would definitely say "I'm with that guy." Even if they don't know it and don't care about the people who travel with them, they could be a source of protection for travellers. This really depends on how fast they move (which will vary according to their size) and if they ever stop. It's pretty unlikely that someone will fire an arrow at you if you are right next to a giant engine of destruction. They might miss and hit the golem. I imagine too, that there are some people who follow them as a sort of pilgrimage or to lead them to a place of abundance. Ships or boats might even tie line to them to get them out part of the way on the ocean--who needs the wind? It's golem-powered! (But be ready to cut the line when it gets too deep or you'll be dragged under!)

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  • $\begingroup$ Anchoring onto golems might be nice, but then a problem comes up in that why would people board a ship not knowing where they are going? $\endgroup$ – Planarian Aug 1 '16 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ You know what general direction he's going in, as they travel in a straight line, hence me saying "part of the way into the ocean." When the heading changes away from where you want to be going, cut him loose. That was why I was thinking just to get out to sea before the sea floor drops out too far. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Aug 1 '16 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah would be a problem if he walked into the Mariana Trench $\endgroup$ – Planarian Aug 2 '16 at 12:10
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It sounds like the best way to defend against these golems is to attack them when they come near a city, flee around the city to the other side (the golems are slow so this should not be a problem), lead them away a bit and then hide or run away.

Not finding the hostiles anymore the golem will (presumably) sart wandering again.

Even if the golem doesn't preserve the same direction after the attack it is unlikely that it will choose one that intersects the city. Even if it should, they can just lure it away a second time.

If for any reason they have to kill a golem they'd probably use big ranged weapons (like a trebuchet) to stay out of its range and ride in on horses once it's down to retrieve the core (and destroy it or, if that's impossible, hide in a cave too small for the golem to regenerate in/with an exit too small for the golem to exit).

Traps would also be used, given that the golem can easily be lured and doesn't have the intelligence to go around them.

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Depending on how much it is likelly that a golem moves to the side one solution would be to have no big cities. If instead there was a cluster of 250 m radius settelments/buildings/keeps spaced by 500 m or so then the goolems could pass straigh through. The space inbetween could serve ass plazas suporting market stands and other quickly movable struktures. or fields to feed the population.

another strategy is living in movable struktures, carts or boats come to mind.

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