Mythology Buffs, looking for an example of....

Some kind of mechanical being, crafted by a god. Not magically birthed from their foreheads or anything like that, but something that was designed, and crafted, with the intent of being a person/human. I can't think of any offhand, but then I'm not a huge mythological history buff, so that's not a surprise.

I can think of several from pop culture, but I don't know how accurate they are, within mythology.

So any examples would be great so I can do a bit more direct research. Also, any pantheon is fine, greek, loa, aztec, etc. Origin doesn't matter, just some examples of a god, or god-like being, having a story where they built a person from parts.

Well, our god, you know, the abrahamitic one, is said to have created Adam out of clay.

Well, Talos was a giant man made of bronze by Hephaestus to guard Europa. Or not, depending on the story.

Whether he was a person, or a guard monster that happened to have the shape of a person (but bigger).

You may remember him(it?) from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen, using his Dynamation technique. Took some liberties with the original myth, though.

PsychedelicDiamond:
Well, our god, you know, the abrahamitic one, is said to have created Adam out of clay.

Making a lot of assumptions there :P

Thaluikhain:
Well, Talos was a giant man made of bronze by Hephaestus to guard Europa. Or not, depending on the story.

Whether he was a person, or a guard monster that happened to have the shape of a person (but bigger).

You may remember him(it?) from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen, using his Dynamation technique. Took some liberties with the original myth, though.

No I don't really remember that film very well, other than vague images of a scene here or there. Stuff like that is what I meant when I sai I had some vague ideas from pop culture. I had no names or pantheons to tie the images to for further development, but I'll probably go with that for now, as it will be fitting for the setting. Thanks.

How about Kvasir from Norse mythology? After the two warring god families, the Aesir and Vanir, made peace they all spat into a big bowl. Then Odin turned it into a dude. Then the dude gets killed by some dwarves, who turn his blood into magic mead

EDIT: Oh, wait, you said mechanical. Bugger, ignore me for now then

Bubo the mechanical owl, crafted by Hephestus as a replica of Athena's maybe?

Silentpony:
Bubo the mechanical owl, crafted by Hephestus as a replica of Athena's maybe?

It should be pointed out, for those not familiar with the 1981 film "Clash of the Titans" (also featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen), that that movie also took some liberties with the original myths. Bubo the mechanical owl was made up for that film, and is thus not part of any mythology older than about 40 years.

EDIT: Otherwise, yes. I mean, sure, technically an owl, but you can definitely argue a person.

Does the Golem fit your description? Not mechanical per se, but a construct meant to (in some stories) resemble a human and mimic life? Though most are constructed by man, some are supposedly created more or less directly by God or God's chosen messengers.

It will be difficult to find because the concept of a mechanical man or homunculus is a far more "recent" mythological concept. We're talking 1600s where gods moved away from polytheistic or pagan bases into more monotheist theology.

The golem is probably the classic example, from Hebrew mythology.

Gethsemani:
Does the Golem fit your description? Not mechanical per se, but a construct meant to (in some stories) resemble a human and mimic life? Though most are constructed by man, some are supposedly created more or less directly by God or God's chosen messengers.

It could theoretically work yes, but I'm running a game of SCION, the new version if anyone was curious. So I'm trying to find an NPC who is the Incarnate of a god (doesn't matter who), who was known to tinker and build, and preferably, had a story in mythology about building a human automaton. Golems, as I understand them, are traditionally a creation of human hermetic magical traditions, and while very cool, don't exactly fit what I need. I do enjoy Golem stories though xD

Abomination:
It will be difficult to find because the concept of a mechanical man or homunculus is a far more "recent" mythological concept. We're talking 1600s where gods moved away from polytheistic or pagan bases into more monotheist theology.

Yeah I know it's a fairly specific request, but it's something I wanted to actually have as a reference to actual mythology if possible. My first though was Vulcan/Haephestus, as mentioned above, and I will very likely go with that one, as it's thematically very fitting. But I wanted to see if there were any other viable candidates to use as well if possible.

Well, Frankenstein is a god to his monster...

Hephaestus has his automatons. Automaton is actually a pretty good keyword to search if you are looking for attempts throughout history to create robots, fraudulent or otherwise. Not necessarily mythology specifically but if you are simply looking for something to make reference to that could potentially be a good alternate source that may be less on the nose as Hephaestus.

If you want to move outside of real world mythology and into fiction, the Church of the Broken God of the SCP universe has all sorts of cool mechanical stuff, ancient or otherwise, to draw inspiration from.

What about Enkidu? Sculpted out of clay and water by Aruru to be a rival to Gilgamesh, and ultimately killed by the gods when he and Gilgamesh slay the Bull of Heaven.

First thought was Pinocchio- do fairy tales count as a mythology of sorts?

Also was Pandora made? Or just gifted to someone?

In some versions of the myth Pandora was the first human woman, made by the gods as essentially a punishment in and of herself, in addition to her box of misery (because women are trouble, get it?)

Asita:
What about Enkidu? Sculpted out of clay and water by Aruru to be a rival to Gilgamesh, and ultimately killed by the gods when he and Gilgamesh slay the Bull of Heaven.

This was who I was gonna say, curse you! :p

Silent Protagonist:

If you want to move outside of real world mythology and into fiction, the Church of the Broken God of the SCP universe has all sorts of cool mechanical stuff, ancient or otherwise, to draw inspiration from.

I want to stick to real world, but I am curious about this SCP thing you are talking about. I did a quick check of it, and it was all just talking about the organization itself, but not the SCP. What is the SCP? Some gaming universe? A book series? I has a curious as the concept of the church intrigues me on a personal level.

Happyninja42:

Silent Protagonist:

If you want to move outside of real world mythology and into fiction, the Church of the Broken God of the SCP universe has all sorts of cool mechanical stuff, ancient or otherwise, to draw inspiration from.

I want to stick to real world, but I am curious about this SCP thing you are talking about. I did a quick check of it, and it was all just talking about the organization itself, but not the SCP. What is the SCP? Some gaming universe? A book series? I has a curious as the concept of the church intrigues me on a personal level.

It's a wiki where all the bits and pieces are fan-submitted fiction all concerning the Foundation, an organization dedicated to guarding the human race by Securing, Containing and Protecting strange things which defy normal scientific explanations.
http://www.scp-wiki.net/

It consists of several parts. One part is a database of "SCP"s. Which are anomalous objects/creatures/etc., which the Foundation has locked up and is studying. There are thousands of entries (they're just shy of 5000 of them so far), each created by different fans of the site, submitted for approval to the organizers of the wiki for quality who then put them up for public enjoyment.

Another section is a collection of fan-made short stories and tales concerning the SCPs, persons of interest, and other things within the shared Foundation/SCP universe. Many of these stories are of very high quality. I certainly expect more han a few names associated with them may end up being published authors in the future.

One of the entities/organizations in the Foudnation universe is the Church of the Broken God. A pretty good summation of them was done by the Exploring Series guy on youtube.

In all honesty, this guy's channel has a lot of good videos describing/explaining elements of the Foundation universe. I highly recommend looking through his stuff and the wiki. Both are great resources imaginative GMs can draw on for their games.

Silent Protagonist:
Hephaestus has his automatons. Automaton is actually a pretty good keyword to search if you are looking for attempts throughout history to create robots, fraudulent or otherwise. Not necessarily mythology specifically but if you are simply looking for something to make reference to that could potentially be a good alternate source that may be less on the nose as Hephaestus.

If you want to move outside of real world mythology and into fiction, the Church of the Broken God of the SCP universe has all sorts of cool mechanical stuff, ancient or otherwise, to draw inspiration from.

Hephaestus was what I was thinkin of, though on the subject of Automatons, I have always loved these things and have a collection of them. My grandmother had a mechanical bird Automaton and after seeing this one:

https://www.fi.edu/history-resources/automaton

I actively started seeking them out to collect. My grandmother left me her bird, but I also managed to get a weird cat, two clocks, one with people and one with a bird, a monkey and a strange mechanical robot, all of them are mechanical. I also have a variety of music boxes and some electric ones, but I don't find those nearly as interesting.

Humanities professor here, you're kind of out of luck on this one. There are various gods of crafting and metallurgy you can certainly use, but none of them have any historical myths that speak to a sort of steampunk, copycat creation of man in a mechanical sense. The closest you get are magical constructs like the golem or Talos. There are instances where people are made from various items, but it's inevitably just a foundation that is transformed when they are brought to life, like the Spartoi or I believe there's a nation in Africa that had people made from ivory.

irishda:
Humanities professor here, you're kind of out of luck on this one. There are various gods of crafting and metallurgy you can certainly use, but none of them have any historical myths that speak to a sort of steampunk, copycat creation of man in a mechanical sense. The closest you get are magical constructs like the golem or Talos. There are instances where people are made from various items, but it's inevitably just a foundation that is transformed when they are brought to life, like the Spartoi or I believe there's a nation in Africa that had people made from ivory.

True enough, but the transformation route can be quite useful for these purposes with a little creative liberty. Take for instance the story of Pygmalion and Galatea. Strictly speaking, the name Galatea itself is a bit of creative liberty, as the story never actually names her, but that's beside the point right now. Basic story is well known enough, master sculptor Pygmalion creates an incredibly beautiful statue of a woman and falls in love with it. Aphrodite responds to Pygmalion's prayers and brings it to life so they can be a true couple.

Here's where creative interpretation gets interesting. Imagine how you could use the character of Galatea...if you assumed that Aphrodite had turned her into a living statue rather than a mortal human. Perhaps she's timeless and as beautiful today as she was when she was sculpted. Perhaps her body has started chipping over the millennia. How would either of those affect her mental state? For that matter, considering that she was modeled after mortals, how would she cope with being so much longer lived than them? There are so many hooks for the character that arise from that one little tweak that would allow modern characters in Happyninja's RPG to meet her.

 

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