This article describes warforged in the general sense. For a list of warforged characters, go here.Warforged are an extremely young race, with abilities and characteristics that differ significantly from those of humanoids. Most inhabitants of Khorvaire are most familiar with warforged based on their status during the Last War, wherein they were little more than advanced materiel.
General information on warforged is available in the Eberron Campaign Setting sourcebook. This article is focused on where the UOGC E6 version of Eberron diverges from the source material.
History of Warforged in the WorldEdit
The first modern, sentient warforged were created 33 years ago, in 965 YK, by House Cannith. Gripped in a decades-long war, the Nations saw warforged as ideal soldiers with a variety of advantages: fearless, remorseless, perfectly obedient and lacking the need for supply lines or logistical support. Although none of these qualities were entirely accurate, and no nation ever acquired enough warforged to effectively replace their humanoid forces, they were nonetheless invaluable for many military operations.
Prior to 965 YK, combat constructs existed, but contrasted sharply from the warforged of today. They were "true" (nonliving) constructs, and despite being much larger and stronger than modern warforged, were not nearly as effective as their descendants. Although they followed orders to the best of their ability, their extremely limited intelligence made them unreliable and dependant on constant supervision, and were rarely used outside the context of sieges or transport. Although they were called "warforged" in their time, they are rarely referred to as such today; there is no official modern term, but "pre-warforged" or "proto-warforged" are commonly accepted.
The development of the "living construct" was such a revolutionary breakthrough that the design, including the intelligence, wisdom and charisma, of the warforged remained almost unchanged throughout most of the war. The earliest warforged were basically copies of one another, to the extent that their physical abilities were almost identical, though their mental abilities still varied as much as warforged today. After about a year, when House Cannith realized they weren't going to nail down the intricacies of the warforged mind, they relaxed slightly and provided more variance in their warforged, allowing for the variety in physical ability between different warforged.
For most of the subsequent decades, warforged were largely standardized. Close to the end of the war, Merrix d'Cannith began to experiment more boldly with warforged designs, mostly altering the metallic makeup of their construction. In addition, House Cannith began to expand their warforged training beyond their familiar front-line infantry regimens. Weld is one warforged that recieved the benefit of both adamantine construction and clerical training. However, the end of the war put an end to these experiments, and such warforged remain the minority.
Treaty of ThroneholdEdit
Although there were many conditions in the Treaty of Thronehold, just about everyone knows two things: it ended the Last War, and it recognized the warforged as legal persons. Prior to the treaty, warforged had no rights and were treated as property to be bought, used, sold and destroyed. Individual officers, of course, varied in their treatment of warforged; some immediately recognized them as sentient and treated them the same as they would any soldiers, while others would spend their lives like water to protect their humanoid subordinates. Most settled somewhere in between. As a result, many warforged internalized this attitude and, even today, have trouble recognizing themselves as people with the right to self agency.
The Treaty of Thronehold, signed by Aundair, Breland, Karrnath and Thrane, emancipated the warforged and gave them full rights as sentient persons. This gave warforged the right to seek employment, defend themselves in court, form and break contracts, and generally everything one would expect a person can do in the nations. Obviously, this was a controversial decision among many humanoids, but some elements of the decision were also criticized by some warforged - specifically, the destruction of the Creation Forges. As long as the Forges exist, said the treaty, it would be possible for House Cannith to create warforged in secret, indoctrinate them as willing slaves and sell them on the black market to wealthy patrons or use them in-house. In order to preserve basic rights of the warforged, the forges were outlawed and dismantled, preventing the creation of any more warforged.
House Cannith complied amicably to the new law (probably since there was no market for warforged anymore) and dismantled their Forges to the satisfaction of multiple government inspectors through the Nations. However, the prospect of hidden, surviving Forges is a favourite of conspiracy theories. Rumours run the gamut, including:
- House Cannith secretly preserved or rebuilt one or more Forges, and is still creating custom-ordered warforged to this day,
- House Cannith continues to operate Forges in non-signatory nations such as Droaam or Zilargo,
- The government (any government) seized or built a Forge and are secretly producing warforged,
- The Lord of Blades seized or built a Forge and is secretly producing warforged,
- A remote Forge, assumed destroyed or simly forgotten during the war, survived the destruction and is just waiting for some explorer to find it,
- Et cetera.
Note! While Andair, Breland, Karrnath and Thrane signed the treaty, other nations such as Droaam or Zilargo did not, and therefore do not necessarily see warforged as sentient people.
Many issues have made it difficult for warforged to integrate into post-war society. However, none are greater than their introduction into the workforce. Like humanoids, warforged grow restless and ennuied without something to occupy themselves; like humanoids, they have wants and needs that require money to resolve; like humanoids, they may be too proud to accept charity or live as nonproductive members of society. Unlike humanoids, however, warforged require very little to survive. Warforged need not eat. Warforged need not drink. Warforged need not, in some cases, even be "merry" in the usual sense - though they are not emotionless, many warforged are so accustomed to their former, all-business military life (and being treated like mindless equipment) that the idea of leisure or indulgence is anathema to them. Warforged do have necessities - occasional repairs and (very modest) shelter, among others - but their cost of living is extremely low compared to humanoids, and while many warforged don't have much use for money, virtually all of them know how to make the most strategic use of their advantages.
As a result, warforged are able to take on jobs for far less pay than any humanoid, as well as work longer due to their statistically hardier constitutions and lack of need for sleep, making them far more profitable employees than humanoids. This has had little adverse affect on skilled trades, due to the relative lack of warforged trained as anything other than basic infantry. However, it had a profound effect on the market for unskilled and semi-skilled labour. In most nations, this market was already glutted by the end of the Last War, making the warforged yet another obstacle for war veterans struggling to eat. In addition, many humanoids still fail to see the warforged as citizens, even if they are nominally aware of the laws. Because of this, it's easy for unskilled workers to see their jobs as being "stolen" from "real people".