Homunculi are artificial beings, mostly either doll-like or humanoid. Most of them are mindless, acting on instinct, but like golems, can be programmed with a specific set of commands. Functionally, what distinguishes homunculi from golems are their speed and agility.
During their war with the Leir Empire, the Heilinthar created a direct counterpart to golems (which later became known as automatons as technology improved). Unlike Leir's automatons which were made of metal and mechanical parts, homunculi were made of fabrics, cloths and other interwoven, flexible materials while an animation spell brought them to life. Being incredibly flexible, they could move much faster than regular automatons. The Heilinthar's highly advanced skills made homunculi highly independent and able to act on their own will without being directly controlled by an enchanter. As a result, they're incredibly dangerous to both mortals and automatons alike. Most often, they do not have faces, as their ekati gem allows them to sense their environment using residual magical energy in the air. Their movements, including twitching as well as a limp similar to a reanimated, decaying corpse, have struck fear into the hearts of Leirian citizens.
Leirian soldiers commonly fought homunculi on the battlefield as most Heilinthar preferred to command their armies from remote locations. Defeating a homunculus was tricky. The only way to destroy one was to remove the ekati gem inside of it, usually located inside its head, but not always. While most homunculi can be defeated through beheading, those with ekati gems located deeper within their bodies would need to be defeated with an area of effect attack such as an artillery round or a burst of flames.