Here’s one of my current newer projects – building a new world based on a foundation of high fantasy combined with concepts from Altered Carbon.
This world, Stoneghar, is controlled by a number of golems, constructs made of iron, wood, crystal and other materials. Each of these golems were once mortal rulers who have undergone a transformation to gain immortality and tremendous power. They no longer have normal flesh bodies but are mostly just suits of armor, animated by sheer willpower and magic. Some of them have contents within their armor but it is not a weight-bearing body, just an occupant. While they all achieved their transformation in similar conceptual ways, they are each unique in their capabilities and power levels.
The ambient struggle that is the theme of global conflict is natural-life versus life-without-flesh (e.g. creatures vs constructs). This also extends into transferring life between flesh vessels (aka sleeving). While the “Golem Kings” are the most prominent examples of this, there are others. Overall, it’s a stigmatized ability due how against nature it is.
The creator of the soul gems was Maldagon. He was not the first test subject, but he was the only survivor among the first test subjects. It is rumored that he lives still, having changed bodies many times over the centuries, but remaining anonymous and secret in his movements. He was a famed alchemist, tinkerer and magi.
Maldagon was the personal mystic for the most powerful king of his time. His goal was twofold – elevate the king to immortality and benefit himself. Several other kings were elevated at the behest of the Lord King before war broke out and Maldagon disappeared into obscurity. His research was eventually uncovered and successfully reproduced, but less perfectly. This is the basis for the soul gems of the current day, and has limitations and drawbacks. The crystals are called “kruos” which is derived from Ancient Greek “kruos” meaning “icy cold”. The sensation of acclamating to a new sleeve is like coming out of hypothermia.
There are cults and organizations that are built on the use, creation and trade of kruos, some of them owned by golem kings. There are fighting pits, assasins, bodyguards, soldiers, trans, spies, and all manner of users.
I have a vast collection of ideas for this world to expand into and look forward to the building of the world!