Forged in War Book 1: Reforged
Reforged – A Forward
(I know normally I don’t put a special forward, but this one seemed to warrant it. Feel free to skip, though if you’re not familiar with Eberron (or are, for that matter) I’d at least advise skimming down to the Notes part below for a few terms and explanations.)
In every author’s career I believe there are some characters who possess such a vibrant and forceful personality that they take on a life of their own, even if they weren’t intended to do so. These characters invite their authors to look deeper, to peer into their pasts and find their histories. They take the stage like supernovas. For a famous example, R.A. Salvatore found this when he discovered Drizzt running across the snowy plains of Icewind Dale (pick up a copy of the Collector’s Dark Elf Trilogy – or was it Icewind Dale Trilogy, I’ve got both and can’t remember – if you don’t believe me). I myself have found a few of these, all non-main characters. Zentor and Dregan notably have urged me to look into their pasts.
The star of this story is another. Originally I created him as an NPC (non-player character) in my gaming group’s Eberron campaign, but from the moment he first appeared he shone as more than a regular NPC. Something about him captured my attention, and since then he’s gone from NPC to the source and focus of several of their most memorable adventures, and has secured a place in my heart. And as it happened I read a line in a supplement book speaking of soldiers standing in their units on the parade grounds for days, simply because no one gave them orders to move. An image appeared in my mind of a unit of soldiers, standing at attention in the rain, waiting for orders that would never come. One spoke his name to me, and I knew this was my Maximillian, before I first encountered him. This was his story, of a Warforged searching for his place in a world of peace, and he was asking me to tell it, to see for myself the events that had shaped his life.
And I was more than happy to oblige.
So I invite you to look with me, and see how one Warforged, born into war and knowing only battle, grew into a character that became my supernova in Eberron.
Warforged – A race of living constructs (like sentient golems; fans of Transformers, Mega Man (any variant) and Full Metal Alchemist (think Al) especially should get the idea); Created for combat (hence the name) in the Last War, but afterwards declared a free race.
Last War – A war lasting 102 years that engulfed the Five Nations of Khorvaire, Eberron’s primary continent.
The Five Nations: (as viewed by my gaming group, all opinions are subjective)
Breland – kinda like America in that its people enjoy great personal freedom and civil liberty.
Aundair – flamboyant and extravagant, and love their wine and high living, very fancy
Thrane – a religious theocracy (run by a little girl, no less)
Zilargo – the Gnomish nation (and in Eberron, gnomes are not the mischievous pranksters and ‘mad scientist’ tinkerers that some other campaigns make them out to be. They’re friendly, cunning, clever, and to an extent even manipulative. They got through the war virtually bloodlessly by just surrendering to Breland, as long as Breland agreed to let them continue to run themselves.)
Cyre/ The Mournlands – Once the ‘Jewel of Galifar,’ now devastated by a magical assault of unknown origin that began in Metrol, its capital, and spread in a killing fog which now lines the boarders with eerie accuracy. All within is now barren and what life remains is sickly, mutated, and twisted, and those that lay die or died within do not decay,making the battlefields of Cyre truly freaky; the dead look like they just died, moments ago, rather than years ago. The Cyre Refugees now live in Breland for the time being.
Notes on Warforged
This story is written using my (and thus my gaming group’s) interpretation of Warforged, based off information presented in the Eberron Campaign setting. However, some things (that might be debatable) warrant explanation:
Warforged do not sleep. However, we decided they could go into a state of rest like when a human ‘rests their eyes,’ because it’s either expected of them, they have nothing better to do, or simply have a personal desire to. This dormancy does not leave them insensate to the world around them; they simply choose to be still and quiet for a time, and thus are not disorientated or groggy if ‘awoken.’ When I refer to ‘sleep’ in context with Warforged, this is what I mean.
Warforged do not eat, drink, or breathe, though they can choose to do either if they want. Typically a ‘Forged will eat to gain the benefits of a helpful spell (such as with the Goodberry or Heroes’ Feast spells) or to keep their non-‘Forged friends company. As they don’t breathe, they are not subject to drowning, suffocation, or inhaled substances, though they can take in and exhale breath such as to sigh or to play a wind instrument.
‘Forged are made mostly of adamantine. Some have varied colorations, such as copper or silver, but this does not change their composition. It is just cosmetics.
Being made of metal, ‘Forged cannot form facial expressions, nor, technically, can they blink. However, we judged that they could shut down their sight when needed (such as dealing with a basilisk or Medusa) and thus if I say ‘blink’ I am referring to this ability. Most of their emotions are also displayed in their eyes (ie smiling, frowning, or being startled) though I will term it in a regular way (‘The ‘Forged smiled.’)
Although genderless, ‘Forged take up male of female personalities which is reflected in their voices (female-personality ‘Forged having higher-pitched voices than male-personality ‘Forged) and sometimes in their behaviors and/or appearance (a male less likely to wear jewelry than a female). Their voices are not robotic or synthesized-sounding, but like a human’s.
‘Forged are given their names oftentimes based off of their abilities or weapons/fighting style, and can act as clues to this (Ironfist, for example, is an unarmed fighter, while Shadow is a rogue who is good at stealth). Later on, some change their names or are given new names by their allies due to any number of reasons, such as a particular deed or habit, or just for the fun of it.
A ‘Forged oftentimes picks up hobbies of sorts, things to keep them busy when not applying themselves to specific tasks (often repetitive, like counting nearby objects). Some ‘Forged also have unique ‘traits’ that tend to tie in to their abilities and hobbies (an archer with this might be able to judge angle and distance with his eyes to a high degree of accuracy, and for a hobby create arrows, which would have a greater chance to hit their target as a result of being naturally straighter).
OK, enough blather from me. Go on to Chapter One. 😉