The triumph of magic, the mystery of life, and the horror of war personified.
- Average Height: 6´ 0˝–6´ 6˝
- Average Weight: 270–300 lb.
- Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 6 squares
- Vision: Normal
- Languages: Common
- Skill Bonus: +2 Endurance, +2 Intimidate
- Living Construct: You are a living construct. You do not need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. You never make Endurance checks to resist the effect of starvation, thirst, or suffocation. All other conditions and effects affect you normally.
- Unsleeping Watcher: You do not sleep and instead enter a state of inactivity for 4 hours to gain the benefits of an extended rest. While in this state, you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.
- Warforged Resilience: You have a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage. Also, when you make a death saving throw, you can take the better result of your die roll or 10.
- Warforged Mind: You have a +1 racial bonus to your Will.
- Warforged Resolve: You have the warforged resolve power.
A warforged is a bulky humanoid with a skin of plates made of metal and stone, supported by a skeleton of similar material and a musculature of leathery, woody fiber bundles. An internal network of tubes filled with bloodlike fluid nourishes and lubricates warforged systems. Powerful warforged arms end in two-fingered, thumbed hands, and warforged feet each have two broad toes.
Simple humanlike features—heavy brows, hinged jaws with no teeth, no nose—make up a warforged’s face. Its eyes sometimes glow when it experiences intense emotions, and its forehead and pate bears runic whorls. Each warforged has a unique rune on its forehead, much like humans have distinctive fingerprints. This rune is known as a “ghulra,” a word that means “truth” in Primordial.
Warforged have an obviously artificial and sexless shape. They can’t reproduce themselves like other humanoids. However, their sense of pain seems limited to actual injury, allowing them to modify their own bodies more easily. Such physical modifications allow warforged to be as varied in appearance as other races.
The mighty human empire of Nerath once spanned hundreds of thousands of square miles. Within its borders, culture and learning flourished, including the study of magic. Wizards and artificers began to advance in the study of constructs, especially homunculi and other responsive creatures.
More than three centuries ago, King Eothyr III opened imperial coffers to the Society of Imperial Artificers, an organization of learned arcanists honored by, but independent of, the king. He set their goal as an adaptive artificial being—one that didn’t imprison another creature, such as an immortal spirit or elemental being, as the spark for sentience. This new being had to be autonomously capable of its tasks and able to learn.
Eothyr’s son, Elidyr ascended to the throne upon his father’s death, before the artificers had succeeded at their work. Rumblings of unrest among savages within the empire led Elidyr to turn the work in the direction of war. He wanted a soldier, not just a utopian construct.
Soon after, the Society of Imperial Artificers completed the first creation forge, along with the rituals that led to the birth of the first warforged. But Elidyr’s desires split the society along ideological lines. Some of its visionaries wanted the constructs Eothyr had envisioned. Renegade artificers split from the society, taking with them copies of the techniques used to create warforged.
However, Elidyr’s preparations for war turned out to be precognitive. Nerath soon found itself in a massive campaign against savage humanoids and demons. The king allowed nobles to eschew battlefield duty if they could pay for warforged to be built to take their place. Nerath’s treasury financed even more artificial soldiers. All over the empire, even turncoat artificers used their creation forges to build warforged for the war effort.
Never numerous, warforged still played a significant role in the hostilities. With them, Nerath emerged victorious. Decapitated by the deaths of its king, its heirs, and some of its most influential leaders, the empire crumbled quickly into factional war and territorial squabbling. Creation forges were sometimes turned to the service of petty nobles, among other, stranger uses. Surviving warforged were conscripted into new armies, enslaved, or left to their own devices.
After a few decades, regional wars subsided as trade dwindled and local nobles consolidated power. Nerath ultimately disintegrated into independent states separated by vast swaths of wilderness. Even so, the warforged endured, though most of their older generations died in battle.
Even though Nerath is no more, several creation forges still exist and continue to produce new warforged. Those run by the Society of Imperial Artificers, which thrives still under its old moniker, produce warforged for sale to military forces, as well as for the society’s own employment. Such warforged are the most common, and the society enforces a tour period, after which these warforged are supposed to earn their freedom. Renegade artificers run a number of independent forges, building and releasing warforged as free creatures, or enslaving them to nefarious ends. Veteran warforged run at least one other forge in a remote location, propagating their species and teaching new warforged the ways of battle. Fearful commoners whisper that, one day, these warforged—or others like them—will come to conquer. Similar rumors of other extant creation forges, being run for good or ill, surface regularly, even outside the boundaries of fallen Nerath.