In a current WIP, I have a race I created that are essentially golems, just in modern form. I thought I had everything pretty well planned.. The outline is created, the characters and world is created, and the first chapter has been written. But I've been thinking a little about my golems, and I'm worried they are too complex and/or unbelievable. So I wanted to give you a rundown of them and see what you think. The Basics: The story takes place in Colorado, in an undisclosed time in the future. The world has been ravaged by war and global warming, so much of it is destroyed or majorly damaged. All the creatures of myth (faeries, vampires, werewolves, etc.) have come out of hiding and live among the people. Many of the people are afraid of them, though, so these creatures are forced to live in Containment Zones, which are just heavily patrolled cities, essentially prisons. They are forbidden to change humans into them (like vampires) and from having romantic relationships with humans. To add: I know there's a TV show (True Blood, maybe?) where creatures of myth live among humans. But since my story focuses solely on these golems I've created, I'm confident the story is much different. The Golems: I have given them several new elements, and I worry there are too many. I'll lay them out here and you can let me know which to get rid of or keep. The story won't really suffer if I have to change many of these elements, since it's heavily plot driven, so feel free to rip them apart. 1. There are many types of golems, but I focus only on golems made from clay in this story. The clay golems are created by taking clay from an ancient golem that I call the Stele. He is a massive (at least 10 feet tall) being that is so old, he cannot move or speak. He is essentially a statue. The only way he can communicate is through Acolytes (possible name change), who are golems that can read his thoughts and relay them to others. To create new golems, these Acolytes take clay and blood from the Stele, form a body, then recite an ancient incantation to bring them to life. 2. Because they are made of clay, they are essentially shape-shifters, although they are only able to shift into other humans and not animals. In their natural form, they look a little like Gollum from LotR. Gray bodies, pointed ears, wide mouths, and yellow eyes, often walking on all fours. But because so many are afraid of them, they often choose to appear as humans and just blend in (thought their yellow eyes give them away). 3. They have several defense mechanisms, which is one of the areas I think I overcomplicated. Their blood in poisonous, and they have sharp claws and shark-like teeth. I gave them the poisonous blood because they are very peaceful creatures. They don't want to cause or engage in any type of fighting. I gave them sharp teeth and claws because their main source of food is metal, and it's obviously easier to shred metal with sharp body parts. To add: their sharp teeth and claws is something I cannot change. I need them to appear menacing, because they are highly feared throughout the story. I can, however, lose the poisonous blood if needed. 4. Since they are living creatures, they require food to stay alive. I chose metal, with the logic being, metal comes from ores, which is in the ground, and clay also comes from the ground so... there you go. I thought about having them eat trees or bark or rocks instead, but... I liked the idea of my golems being the world's garbage disposals. Since the world is falling apart, there are many buildings or abandoned cars that need to be destroyed. Why spend money to demolish buildings when you can hire golems to just... well, eat them? So they use their claws to scale buildings and their teeth to eat away at them so something else can be built there. I also needed them to have a reason to be scary looking, and a scary looking golem eating a tree just kind of takes away the scariness to me... Anyway.. Moving on. 5. This is where it starts getting complicated and another area I know I need major reform. The second thing they need to survive is magic. The original incantation animates them, but it only does so much. Eventually, they have to return to the Stele, who lives on an island off the coast of Florida. Since he is the "original" golem (I haven't really hammered out his origins yet -- that's book two), he's essentially pure magic. Just being in his presence refreshes their magic. So golems have to occasional come back to the Stele, or else they'll die. However, there are ways to delay their return trip. Eating regularly helps this, but being around other golems also helps. I think of it kind of like warmth. If you're standing in the freezing cold alone, you'll get really cold really fast. But if you stand in a group of people, you feed off their warmth as well and collectively, you can all stay alive longer. So the more golems that are together, the more magic is pooled together and the less they use. May not be the best logic, but it's all I got. lol 6. Acolytes, however, are different than clay golems. They are humans-turned-golem who sometimes develop weird abilities during the changing process. They are able to have visions, telekinesis, psychometry (basically any psychic power), and can always read the minds of other golems. As such, they use and require more magic, so they are directly tied to the Stele and will die if they are away from him for just a short amount of time. They are also directly tied to the person who changed them for the rest of their existence. They can communicate long-distance and can feel if the other is in danger or something. That's what my story is about. A human girl is changed into a golem, and she is an Acolyte. They have very little time to get her from Colorado to Florida before she dies. Note: there are only three Acolytes in the story before my character becomes the fourth. They are very rare. I think that's basically it... Turned out a lot longer than I thought it would. Anyway. ANY and ALL advice is appreciated! I want to get this hammered out. And like I said, I can change nearly anything, so feel free to be open about the issues. All I need is their appearance to stay the same (their scary look is important to the story) and for them to have to return to the Stele or else they die. Thanks for reading!