I had a lot of fun writing out this one.
Especially considering the fact that it wasn't originally part of my plan.
All I knew for sure was that I wanted something big to be the obstacle for the chapter. This was going to be the group's first encounter with a real-deal monster (they faced the Shade before this, but that was not the complete group). I wanted their foe to be a behemoth, for the earth to tremble as it trudged forth to attack them. I wanted something that would shake the naivete right out of them (even if that didn't exactly happen...)
I just wasn't sure what it would be back then. Even by, I think, Chapter Nine I wasn't sure what they'd face at this point.
A troll? A giant? A giant troll?
It took me a little more thinking, but I eventually came to the thought of using a golem. It happened to fit.
In my mind, I know a lot of details about this world and its inhabitants, whether or not those details make it to the page right away, far later, or not at all. I had known that golems were Ancients, and they were extinct. I had known that in this world the golems that were still around were artificial, created by adept magic-wielders. I had known they were meant to be formidable.
So, it became the perfect demonstration.
It served to both establish Tala's powerful abilities (resurrecting/recreating one of her own extinguished brethren) as well as expand the story of the world.
An idea that I liked to touch on every now and then within Prince of Azra (and now The Sworn Defender) is the concept of man vs nature.
Or, I suppose in this realm it'd be mortalkind vs nature, if we're to include the elves.
Anyway, introducing the golem and revealing that they'd been killed off also helped feed into that theme of humans desecrating the natural world— which is something that Tala herself would bring up later...
All in all, I can't imagine the overall direction that section of Prince of Azra would have gone in had I not ultimately decided on the golem as the foe of the hour.
Also, to any Marvel fans out there, my intention behind naming the golem "Grim" was very much a nod to the Fantastic Four's "The Thing," Ben Grimm.
The golem was originally named Grimm, then Grimme, before I settled on Grim, and having Lyla establish it as being an insult.