Another of Ardessia's companions, and a male (sorta) character in top! Again, the desc is thanks to my personal writting genius
Toledo, "The Tin Soldier." - Toledo is a heartless individual who has never understood emotion or the importance of life. For one thing, as a golem, it can always be repaired or rebuilt if destroyed. Secondly, it is emotionless
and doesn't quite understand the idea of empathy. As time passes, however, it grows more and more empathic and starts to understand emotion and the
value of life. Its journey leads it from a cold, heartless machine to a caring, loving individual.
A battle golem used by the Shadow Lords in battle, Toledo was originally created to do nothing but fight for its master until it was destroyed.
However, Toledo wasn't quite like the other golems; there was a flaw in its chem that led it to question its purpose as cannon fodder and leave the army. On the other hand, it soon discovered that it was hard to desert an
army when one is a seven-foot tall battle golem: it kind of stands out. Instead, it found a quiet cave and shut itself down, waiting for a time in
the future when its kind would be forgotten. That was the state it was in when a certain hapless scarecrow accidentally awoke him and triggered all
his combat habits. Once calmed down, he decided to search for the reason of its creation, its purpose in life. As such, it is a steadfast and calm companion, a stalwart defender in times of danger.
It was a creature made of steel and magic, its armor still shining despite the long years it had lain in wait in the cave. "HOLD AND STAND!" the thing roared, brandishing its axe, its steel plates wreathed in blue fire. "NONE SHALL PASS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION!"
Bridget screamed and backed away as the massive steel golem advanced menacingly towards them, its huge steel feet striking loud thuds against the cobblestones. "Oh my GAWD!" the scarecrow wailed. "We're all going to die!"
"ACK! Vladimir. . . D. . . DO SOMETHING!" Ardessia squawked. She grabbed the little pumpkin-headed ragamuffin that had once been her boyfriend and hurled the little thing at the steel figure's head.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Vladimir screamed
"THUD!" went the ragamuffin against the steel golem's head.
"OW!" shouted the tin man. It stumbled over just a bit. "Right, you're really going to get it now!" it shouted.
Bridget screamed and grabbed the waterskin from Ardessia's pack and threw it at the golem, who raised its axe and clove the goatskin in twain. Water splashed all over its body. "That's two!" it roared. "I will now proceed to terminate with extreme prejudice. . . ERROR ERROR ERROR, EMERGENCY SYSTEM SHUTDOWN IN SEVEN. . . SIX. . . FIVE. . . FOUR. . . THREE. . . TWO. . . ONE. . " Its eyes went black, and the blue flames ceased, and then the steel golem was silent.
"Wow," Ardessia said, impressed. "You used water to shut down the battle golem's flame, overriding its combat spells and sending it into sleep mode. That was . . . wow, that was pretty smart of you."
"I did?" Bridget asked, perplexed. "I thought I was just throwing water at it because I was scared."
"That too. . ." Ardessia climbed up the back of the now-silent steel man and opened up its head, putting its morion helmet aside. "Good work. Now I can see if I can re-write its spell so it won't be so hostile to us any more. That was very brave of you, Bridget, thanks."
Awwww, shucks," the scarecrow said, rubbing her hair, sticking out her tongue shyly. "It was nothin'."
"Oh, sure," Vladimir pouted. "Praise HER, why don't you, when all she did was throw a little water on it. And here I was, using my head in a far different manner. Where's my praise? Damn it, I want some appreciation here, I'm so unloved. . ."
"Can it, love, and bring me a quill pen," Ardessia said, extracting a rolled-up piece of parchment from the golem's head.
"SYSTEMS ACTIVATING," the golem intoned, as Ardessia closed up the top of its head again. "REACTIVATING ALL MOTIVE SYSTEMS, ENGAGING CHEM. . . COMPLETE." The golem's eyes flared with flame again, this time a pale yellow instead of the cold blue of its old flame. "Please identify yourself, master."
"My name is Ardessia," Ardessia said, "And no, I'm not exactly your master. What is the last thing you remember?"
The tin man put its gauntleted hand to its head, its yellow eyes burning intently in concentration. "I'm afraid I don't remember much of anything," it admitted. "What and who am I?"
"You're a steel golem," Ardessia explained, "probably built by a sorcerer as part of his private army. We found you in this cave. . . do you remember how you got here?"
"No, not at all," the golem admitted. "I. . . I don't understand anything. I am a soldier? A warrior? I killed people?"
"You probably cut them to pieces," Vladimir snickered. "Probably chopped them up like cordwood."
"Hush, Vladimir," Ardessia sighed.
The golem sat down and buried his head in his hands. "I was a killer," he moaned. "I attacked people again." He looked up at the others standing around him. "I should be a killer, right? I am made for such a thing. But why do I feel it is wrong? I am starting to remember some things now. . . I killed many men. I murdered them all. . . for what reason? There was no reason for me to fear them, because I cannot die. And country, money, food. . . none of this matters to me. So why did I do all these things?"
"Ummmmmm. . . maybe the warlock can help you out?" Bridget said, pondering.
"I'm traveling to a warlock to get my boyfriend turned back into a boy," Ardessia explained, gesturing to the hovering ragamuffin standing overhead. "And we were thinking that perhaps he could help Bridget here get a brain in her head in the process. Maybe he can answer your question while we're at it."
"Your purpose in life," Ardessia said. "Why you were made." The witch smiled. "A question like that should be easy for a powerful warlock like him."
"Very well, then." The steel man got to his feet and extended its gauntleted hand. "You may call me Toledo, for that is the name I was known by in the past. My axe will defend you, master, and I will see you safe and sound to your destination, and, perhaps, find what I am looking for there."
"I'm sure you will," Ardessia agreed...