Excerpt from Sam's journal

Journal Entry 523

It’s alive! I did it! My ultimate invention (so far!). I’ve bound a soul to a machine. A proper familiar soul! Not since the age of Selidor has anyone created a properly functioning golem! And even their golems were run by code. They couldn’t learn! Mine can! The Soul Core’s designs emulates the Ethereal Spirit Jars (On which the Magic Jar spell are based). It is alive, in the simplest definition of the term. This is a historic moment!

Erwin seems very concerned about the Orb. I think he’s just jealous of my success. Unlike his creations, mine are timeless and less smelly. Sure, it’s jumping around the hold right now, but it’s barely calibrated to Oerth’s physical parameters. Nothing a few hours of tinkering won’t solve.

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It just calmed down. Erwin and I just translated the first thing it tried to say. I think there is a human soul in there. A child. This is not right. I was raising a familiar, not a dear person’s soul. There must be something wrong with the parameters.

Journal Entry 524

I’ve just reviewed the paremeters of the spell I used. I had borrowed it from Erwin. I know he talks a lot but says a little, but it’s an even bigger problem with his spells. Ugh, I wouldn’t have wanted to be his professor at university… less is more. No matter, basically, the spell simply pulls an appropriate soul to fill an appropriate container.

I think since the container I made is not a corpse, but a clean slate, the result was a human child. Bad luck. Ugh… It’s been… uncooperative. I can’t communicate with it. It doesn’t even listen to my translated commands. I’ve been trying to play with it as a child, teaching it about its features. No dice. Maybe I should just wipe it out and start anew.

Journal Entry 525

Keevee found out today. It was tough. She chewed me out. She said that Emily, the name of the child, is here because of me, and was horrified because of her “ordeal”. She said that I need to take responsibility for it. Of course I would! It’s my own creation. What sort of creator would I be if I discarded my accidental failures?

I told her I would take care of it. And I will. I need to learn more about this. Tomorrow, Erwin and I will go to the Mage’s Guild and then to the library. See what we can dig up.

Journal Entry 526

I took Emily to the park. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Human children love parks. I thought it’d be a good chance to teach it some of it’s features. It didn’t work. It was bleak, it looked dejected and unexcited. Almost like a moving corpse. To be honest… I don’t even feel like it belongs with the rest of my inventions. Or… with the rest of the world. Like it was some sort of… unnatural being. I hope we find something at the library. A clergy man on a horse stopped by and asked us some questions. He seemed aggressive. I prefer Keevee.

Journal Entry 527

My God… what have I done! I was right… What I made hasn’t been done since the age of Selidor. What I made has once brought an end to that golden age. A soul strapped into a suit of metal… A Brainburner… How could I have not seen it. No one must know. I need to think on it. This is not fun anymore.

Journal Entry 528

I was thinking. I’ll just purge the soul out. Scrap it all. Be done with it and forget it. But… when I see… her playing with Keevee, and sleeping to Nina’s lullabies… There I see, life… a living child. I said it before, the core parameters are there. She is alive. I can feel it. I can’t do it. It’s not fair.
So what should I do? I asked myself. I don’t know. If I was in her shoes I’d… actually revel it in. An ageless body far more durable and versatile than any meatbag can ever hope to be. But then again, I’m admittingly a little nuts (Ha! Get it? As in bolts!), even for a Gnome. I mean a gnome explorer! Crazy. I was always the crazy one in the family.

But I digress, Emily is not a crazy gnome like me. Emily is a four year old child born into slavery. She had no real education and can only speak Theocritan. Her life was cut short when those bastard slavers killed her, and Claire, and maybe even her family. And then she wakes up and finds herself with 360 degrees field of vision, no sense of smell or touch. Her body is a ball, and has four arms with full degrees of motion and modular appendages. I’d hear two nonhumans talk in a language she doesn’t understand and doing strange things to her. It’s just… horrifying. I just… can’t do it.

Keevee is right. I did this to her, and it’s my responsibility to gnome up and take care of the problem. Even the lie that we intend to tell Emily about her origins might have a hint of truth in it. She has another chance on Oerth. It our job to make it a better one than the last.

First, she’s no longer an It. She’s Emily, she is a four year old child who is here due to my screw up. I must take care of her needs. To that end, I must learn Theocritan. She needs to feel safe and taken care of, I can’t do this alone but I have Keevee and the others with me. She is in a body alien to her, and more so she is a child. She will need an education. Keevee, bless her heart, seems to have good aptitude for education but… she lacks knowledge, both in the general sense and the specifics regarding Emily’s body. I must fill in those shoes. And lastly, she is weak. I know I’m not a good fighter, but I must stand my ground and protect her against those who would do her harm, like maybe that priest on the horse! I must study more about the brainburners. I’ve seen municipality golem in the garden district shut down when it interact with Emily. Is it possible that, since her soul was pulled from another plane, that a residual essense of the actual brain burners came with her? I must know more.

One more thing, this shouldn’t be repeated again. Magic… is not a game.



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