"the word inscribed on his forehead meant life."

The tall man with skin the colour of Polish clay is a Golem and the small dark bearded man with him is probably Judah Loew ben Bezalel, a Jewish rabbi who legend tells built the 'Golem of Prague'.

Golems are animated beings, often human shaped, created from inanimate matter, e.g. clay. Golems cannot speak and are activated by Hebrew words, often the word emet meaning truth or similar. Some stories suggest writing particular letters on parchment and placing it in the Golem's mouth, will cause it to come to life.