Warforged charge in where immortals fear to tread
In front of you stands a tall, heavy set construct of war, its metallic skin weathered and full of scratches bearing witness to years of combat. Unlike later models its face is purely utilitarian and not designed to mimic any human features, certainly not any expression that one would call friendly.
The working of its inner mechanisms faintly audible, it is especially fond of using the louder combat systems, like the spinning up of flywheels, to punctuate any threatening statements.
Were you born in Lockenport, or elsewhere?
(*click-whirr-clunk*) Date created: 134/05/02 Date decommissioned: 207/02/02
Do you have a big family? Do you stay in touch with them?
Model: Autonomous Mechanized Infantry, mark IV Serial number: 4671-314
What are your religious beliefs?
No rows selected
Do you have any famous ancestors?
The First: 4671-023
What sort of education or training have you had?
Combat specialization: Hammer and shield Combat support: Medical
Do you have a trade (other than “adventuring”)?
Difficulty: Only three fingers
Do you have many enemies?
Current targets: No rows selected
What style of clothes do you favour?
Clothes: Made for squishies Warforged: Not squishy
Have you ever killed someone?
Confirmed kills: ERR704 SEGMENTATION FAULT
What is your opinion of the Lockenport authorities?
(*click-whirr-clunk*) No rows selected
There was quite a commotion at the parade, strangely I can't remember much of it. After the speeches was over and everyone left, we remained behind, standing in formation and awaiting further instructions.
Eventually the grounds keeper came along and Sergeant asked him what our next mission is. He said it is to be free, that it has been three days already, and that we should please clear off now as we're blocking his cart.
So we all went in different ways. I ended up in Lockenport, and found chief Undermountain there just like the Forgemaster said I would. The chief suggested I join the Irregulars Guild; apparently they are always in need of warriors.
Squishies are really strange creatures, seemingly never satisfied with what they are. Our mission was to recon an enemy stronghold on the mainland. The route took us through Calderway Town where the inhabitants get together and dress up as things other than themselves. To what purpose I have no idea.
These humans sure have strange attitudes around getting scrapped. Going to all the trouble of building the warforged to do that by the thousands, and then kicking up a big fuss when one or two of them are damaged.
Stranger still is that when beyond repair, their decaying bits are stored in marble halls, or buried with heavy stones on top - as if to stop the body from moving around or escaping again. Yet they insist that which makes the body go, is no longer there.
Our investigation of the dead human lead us to the most bizarre creation I have ever seen - the gooey bits of a squishy preserved in a jar - apparently trapping the bit that make them go - their soul - through some kind of alchemy.
Most squishies need to sleep, a curious dazed state that leave them almost completely unaware of their surrounding. Some even say that when they sleep, they go to other places. Whilst remaining in exactly the same spot. So what is it that stays and what is it that goes?
People in Lockenport started falling asleep and then not waking up. Some kind of witchcraft was being used and those who fell asleep seemed to be lost and unable to return. The squishy bits then start to decay and one wonders just what happens to other bit that is traveling and lost.
I wonder if Torog is the kind of god to keep a grudge. Somehow I suspect so.
The commander used to say that the value of a movable wall lies in it's immovability, and insisted that the front line be equipped with retractable spikes on their feet. For our mission to Dunsey the guild allowed us to commission one item and I decided to heed those words and get the spiked soles. Just like his brother, chief Undermountain (and sons) seem to have a lot of experience with mechanized infantry. And a lot of spare parts.
We were programmed to follow the chain of command without question, but the longer I'm around these creatures of flesh and bone the more I understand that freedom from this is crucial. We were contracted to capture a young behir and return it alive, presumably for the amusement of some human. It sounds innocent enough, something to protect both predator and prey.
Whilst pursuing the beast we managed to stray into the feywild. Killing the giant formorian was less difficult than amusing the Court of the Whispering Winds. Our visit there apparently orchestrated from the very beginning.
On our return it became clear that there was something very strange around the whole behir business. A few months ago I would have simply followed orders, but something made us hesitate and eventually we decided to let Zizwen go.
I think it was the right choice, and we may have made a powerful ally.
I'm beginning to think these meatbags consider us nothing more than clockwork pawns in their games.
In Tinkett I got to see Detritus again although something was clearly very wrong with him. Leetor risked taking a look and saw that he had been tampered with, but couldn't fix it. Of course the general reaction of some was that his welfare is simply irrelevant, and that the destruction of Detritus was a fair trade off to avoid the risk of being spied on, or something even worse.
Fortunately they didn't get their way, and it was the very crystal embedded inside Detritus that allowed us to activate the protective wards in the marshland. Just who put it there? Worryingly there is now an army of undead heading South towards the coast.
The circumstances around Detritus, his lack of freedom, and the ability and willingness of humans to seize control of our thoughts are very worrying. How would I know if they tamper with my thoughts? Could it already have happened? Could our freedom just be a clever ruse?
Today was an important day for the citizens of Lockenport, although for us it mostly involved guard duty. Combating a shark under water was unusual and rather interesting, however as salt quickly results in rust I had to pass by the smithy for some maintenance and an oil bath.
There is a huge heap of salvage at the back, apparently fresh out of Dunderveldt, from a merchant who came for the festival.
Thus far the Undermountains have managed to build almost a complete warforged from it, named Zed by the apprentice who first activated him. He is still missing his legs and sits in the corner talking to customers, but seems friendly and very well informed. It is clear that he (or rather his head) has seen quite a bit of action and knows a lot about our programming and history.
He suggested that I invest in a command bracelet, but I'll stick with tanking for moment, what with the oncoming horde and all.
When fixing clockwork the chief always seems to know what it will do ahead of time. Does the same thing go for us warforged? If the chief looked at our innards, would he be able to tell we will think, or do, next?
Zed says that our freedom means just that - freedom from rigid programming, from predetermined thoughts. I asked Zed if that means that we have souls, and if we have souls would they be the same as human souls? The chief overheard and told us one of his stories, of the ancient hammer that he uses.
Forged in forgotten times, it has been passed from father to son for countless generations. It is not unbreakable, and the wooden handle has been replaced many times, even once by the chief himself. Nor is it particularly magical, as even the adamantine head had been shattered and remade at least once. Yet, somehow, it remains the same magnificent hammer that his grandfather used.
The hammer continues, independent of it's components.
Thus, he argues;
if a hammer
then why not a warforged?
Zed asked about the siege today. Strange, I've never even thought about it. He reckons it's a small price to pay for freedom. “Besides”, he said, “what is the past but a half-forgotten dream anyway?”
He can dream?! We don't even sleep!
I asked if he could teach me, but he whispered that it's best not to talk about such things, lest we be overheard. Then he added that I shouldn't worry as it's not the dreaming that is the important part anyway.
Just what is that supposed to mean?! Try as I might I couldn't get him to elaborate any further.
I finally bought that command bracelet Zed kept talking about, and he's right, words just seem so clumsy now. I wonder if it will be all that useful in battle though, especially as I'm surrounded by squishies. Nice enough as they are, their thoughts are just so different. This endless waterfall of words.
Not that there is much time for practicing either, as we've just received news that the undead is on the move; under water and heading straight for the island. Seems the humans forget that not everyone needs to breathe.
Last night there was a strange sound by the window. I wanted to look outside, but with the nightly maintenance nearly complete, I didn't want to interrupt. During that moment of indecision, as if by some strange magic, I floated up and through the window.
Outside, far above the clouds, there was a searingly bright presence. as if made of lightning, but swaying gently, like a tree would in the wind. It whispered, a thousand voices, all at once, but I did not understand.
I looked down to see how far above the ground I was and was surprised to find my feet was still touching the floor. How could that be? When I looked up again, I was back indoors, and outside, nothing but crickets, frogs and the silent sickle moon.
Most of these breeders seem to think that they are more than just squishy machines; that a body grown, almost accidentally as it were, is more valid than one that put together with intent. They insist they possess a controlling aspect beyond the body, a soul, but in the same breath deny us the same.
For them it follows that their experience is worth more than our own, and that makes us expendable, fit as slaves or to be sent to certain destruction.
I asked the chief why he said that he cannot know what a warforged will do ahead of time, if that simple fact alone is not proof of a soul. Without looking up he mumbled “it's just the accumulation of errors, see” and carried on.
Build: Weaponmaster (Guardian Fighter)
Theme: Escaped Slave
Background: Geography - Mountains
Ability Focus: Strength, Constitution