Goiglo

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Goiglo (pronounced /ˈgɔɪgloʊ/) is a bonelord of Varra who has been likened to a giant living (or rather unliving) charnel castle. It is sometimes called the "Mote", an archaic word for castle that doubles as an antiphrastic reference to Goiglo's size. In truth, while Goiglo does look like a castle made of bone—complete with spires and towers and even windows—it is not hollow, and contains no chambers within. Actual castles built to resemble Goiglo dot the bonelord's territory, however, and Goiglo is able to project a part of itself into those doppelgängers to effectively turn them into temporary extensions of itself.

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Appearance

Physically, Goiglo is one of the largest bonelords, second only to Liiran in sheer size. Covering an area of nearly thirty thousand square meters and rising to a height of more than seventy meters at the tallest point, Goiglo looks from a distance like an ornate castle or cathedral, shaped roughly like two squares overlapping at a corner. One especially tall tower rises near one of the side corners, and four other towers that are close seconds loom above the rest of the castle. Smaller towers, buttresses, and other adornments abound all over the castle's walls and roof.

On closer approach, Goiglo still bears a fair resemblance to a castle, but one made of bone rather than stone or other conventional building materials. Skulls line its windows; its walls are of serried femurs or of interwoven ribs; its decorations are made up of phalanges and patellas. On still closer inspection, the imperfections of the resemblance are discernible: behind the windows are no rooms but only shallow hollows, and no doors or portals grant ingress to the seeming structure. By the time one gets this close, though, it is likely too late to do anything. Goiglo's mobility is limited, but not nonexistent; some of its apparent decorations can fold and extend to seize and crush intruders. More importantly, it has potent magical abilities that ensure that it is a force to be reckoned with for reasons well beyond its sheer immanity.

Domain

Goiglo's domain is called the Slotfell, a rolling area bordering the Smeltery. Compared to the domains of the other bonelords, the Slotfell seems at first glance almost pleasant. Unusually for part of the deathfields, it appears to even have vegetation, with trees growing on the hillsides and in the intercolline folds, albeit unusually pale trees, mostly leafless. Like the "castle" that is Goiglo, these "trees", and the other seeming plant life in the Slotfell, show their true nature on closer inspection. They are Goiglo's creations, made entirely of bone, fashioned to decorate the landscape according to the bonelord's ghastly tastes. The most common of the bonetrees of the Slotfell is a graceful thing called a tsafthant, with its trunk principally composed of stacked pelves and its branches of spines, some with leaves made of carpals and other smaller bones. At least a dozen other kinds of bonetree exist, however, along with smaller ossey flora.

Scattered about its hilltops of the Slotfell are numerous castles, made of bone and built in imitation of the form of Goiglo itself. While the castles aren't exact imitations of Goiglo (most, for one thing, being considerably smaller than the bonelord), someone who hasn't seen the Mote itself won't, of course, know the difference. Unlike the actual bonelord, most of these castles are functional with full interiors, some of them even mipped to make their interiors still larger, and they may serve as the lairs of some of Goiglo's underlings.

Powers

Like all the bonelords, Goiglo has formidable magical powers. Aside from the powers common to all bonelords, Goiglo has developed some special powers of its own. It especially relishes powers related to translocation and to warping space, powers it puts to use making its territory deceptively difficult to navigate. These powers also enable it to act at a larger distance than one would expect; Goiglo can, and frequently does, create small temporary portals just large enough for it to reach through, or cast a spell through, at some distant target.

In the hollows of the hills of the Slotfell and among the bonetrees can occasionally be found lifelike metallic statues. Anyone familiar with the bonelords' notorious misobiosis would not be surprised to learn that these statues are in fact ænified humans, or other (formerly) living beings, this being one of Goiglo's favorite ways to dispose of enemies and annoyances, especially those it thinks would make æsthetically pleasing statuary. It doesn't let their bones go to waste as raw material for new servants, however; Goiglo has developed a [[spell] to ænify all of a subject's soft tissue while leaving the bone unchanged, and then another to translocate the skeleton out of the ænified body. (Why it didn't simply combine these two effects into a single spell is probably because it wished to leave open the option of leaving the skeleton in the statue for some time, rather than always having it translocated out immediately.) The teeth, too, are left intact, and go with the skeleton, but the statues' edentulosity is noticeable only in those that happen to have been ænified with their mouths relatively wide open. As is usually the case with agalmatation, the victims' clothing and possessions are not transmuted; Goiglo or its servitors generally collect anything of value and either leave the rest to rot on the statue or remove and discard it.

Despite the bonelord's size and edificial appearance, Goiglo is not as immotive as it appears. Though it can slowly inch its ponderous bulk across the ground, it rarely has reason to do so, as it has the power to translocate itself instantaneously many kilometers away. Moreover, it can invest a part of itself in one of the bone castles elsewhere in its domain as well, effectively animating it and using any of its other powers from there. It's even possible, though unproven, that it can inhabit more than one castle at the same time. Needless to say, this makes the bone castles of the Slotfell even more dangerous to visit than they would otherwise be.

Servants

Goiglo is served by a host of minions, some of them simple skeletons, or partial skeletons, but some of much more exotic form. Among its best known minions are the pale knights, humanoid things that resemble ambulatory suits of plate armor but which are in fact made not of metal but of bone. The pale knights are not, however, the largest or the most powerful beings in Goiglo's service; surpassing them in both respects are the buzebagr, great floating tentacled spherical creatures.

Other servants of Goiglo include the batlike ghesrad; the spiny bone urchin; and the umzire, a heaving, vaguely humanoid mass of bones to which Goiglo has granted his ænifactive power (along with the corresponding power of translocation of the skeleton). Particularly dangerous in the Slotfell are the darnagh, entities that resemble bonetrees and can hide themselves among them but when victims approach can move and strike with alarming rapidity. More so than any of the other bonelords, however, Goiglo enjoys fashioning one-off creations, different from any other being in its service, and a fair proportion of its forces comprise such unique entities.

Goals and personality

Though Goiglo may share his fellow bonelords' goal of dominion over the world of Varra, it has other interests as well. Goiglo considers itself to have a passion for art, though its sense of art may not sit well with that of the average Varran. The bony flora of the Slotfell, the statues it leaves strewn across the hills, perhaps even Goiglo's own castellar body it thinks of as expressions of its artistic impulses, and arranges to best suit its macabre tastes. Occasionally, Goiglo may collect artworks from elsewhere, to display in the castles of the Slotfell or elsewhere in its domain, but this is relatively uncommon as it prefers its own work. Still, occasionally it seeks out some grotesque objet d'art that appeals to it; works imitating or, better yet, made of parts of dead or immobilized bodies are particularly likely to suit Goiglo's artistic palate.

Occasionally, Goiglo opens a portal to some distant part of Varra, far from the Slotfell, only to use it to alter events or conditions there in some seemingly trivial way, perhaps moving a seemingly insignificant item or casting a spell on an individual of no obvious importance. Some see this as only another manifestation of the bonelord's artistic eccentricity, and assume that the action it performs satisfies some bizarre æsthetic impulse. Others, however, suspect that these odd actions may in fact be part of some elaborate plan Goiglo has contrived—or at least that some of these actions may be part of such a plan, the rest perhaps only setting up a sort of a smokescreen to divert attention from the actions that are really meaningful.

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