Golem, Rune (CR 8)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +2 (Dex); Senses: Listen +10 and Spot +10
Languages: understands Common, Druidic, and Sylvan; cannot speak
AC: 20 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +9 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 18
Hit Dice: 12d10+30 (96 hp)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +4
Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Space: 10 ft./10 ft.
Base Attack +9; Grapple +19
Attack: Spear +14 melee
Full Attack: Spear +14/+9 melee
Damage: Spear 1d8+9
Special Attacks/Actions: Runecast, splinter death, woodrune
Abilities: Str 23, Dex 14, Con -, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 16
Special Qualities: Construct traits, meld into wood, SR 20, tree stride
Feats: Dodge; Mobility; Power Attack; Spring Attack; Track
Skills: Climb +16, Listen +10, Spot +10, and Survival +8
Advancement: 13-18 HD; 19-36 HD (Huge)
Climate/Terrain: Cold and temperate forests
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4)
Runecast (Su): A rune golem can hurl a charged rune of invoked energies at its enemies. This acts a 60-foot ranged touch attack; any creature struck by the ray is marked by runes from head to toe and loses both sight and hearing for 1d4 rounds. The runes themselves are permanent and mark the victim as an oathbreaker, corruptor of sanctuaries, defiler of the sacred groves, and outcast. These runes impose a -6 penalty on Charisma-based skills and can only be removed by remove curse.
Splinter Death (Su): When a rune golem is destroyed, all its magical energies are used to power a tremendous explosion of wooden spikes. All creatures within 30 feet of the golem take 6d6 points of piercing damage. A DC 19 Reflex save results in half damage. This save DC is Charisma-based.
Woodrune (Ex): A rune golem can cast one of its runes to create a web of eldritch power. This attack functions just like the web spell, except that the duration is 12 minutes and the webs are made of energy and cannot be burned away. A DC 19 Reflex save avoids complete entanglement. This save DC is Charisma-based.
Meld Into Wood (Su): As a swift action, a rune golem can meld into any large wooden object, from temple pillars to live trees to the keel of a ship, three times per day for up to 2 hours. The wood need not be large enough to accommodate the golem's body in all three dimensions, but the total volume must be larger than the golem.
The golem and up to 100 pounds of nonliving gear can merge with the wood. While in the wood, the golem remains in tenuous contact with the face of the wood through which it melded. It remains aware of the passage of time and can cast spells on itself while hiding in the wood. Nothing that goes on outside the wood can be seen, but the golem hears what happens around it. Minor physical damage to the wood does not harm the golem, but any attack that deals more than 50 points of damage to the wood expels the golem and deals 5d6 points of damage to it. The wood's complete destruction, such as through disintegration, expels the golem (as noted above) and slays it instantly unless it makes a DC 18 Fortitude save.
Any time before 2 hours pass, the golem can step out of the wood through the surface that it entered. If the a hours pass or the effect is dispelled before it voluntarily exits, the golem is expelled and the effect ends.
Tree Stride (Su): A rune golem may tree stride as a 20th-level caster once per day.
Rune golems are often grove guardians for Norse or druidic shrines. They invariably are kept in the branches of sacred trees or on the roof of a shrine when not in use, leaping into combat against their makers' enemies.