Tinderbox: Fall of the Tran
Silken Kingdom Warforged
Silken Warforged are generally built with more grace and delicacy than those of other kingdoms. Most are constructed from ceramics and lacquered wood, and it is common for them to be sculpted or actually adorned with clothing, usually robes or gowns. Silken Warforged are also likely to be crafted and imbued with specific gender, and even bloodline, identities: thus one may have a female Eladrin crafted from residuum-infused bone china teaching Eladrin children at a local school, or a red-iron warforged with two great, curling horns of volcanic rock set to guard a Tiefling bordello.
While most warforged are built for combat, either as familial guardians or commanders of lesser constructs, the Silken Kingdom also sees the use of programming their ageless servants for other tasks. Many teaching duties are filled by warforged, as well as surveying and exploration in areas where a living creature would struggle to breathe or survive. Some warforged are created autonomous, but far more are eventually granted their autonomy after performing certain services, or upon the death of their appointed family.
Tran Empire Warforged
Tran warforged are anomalous. This is not because it is especially difficult or unusual for the dwarves to generate humanoid constructs, but rather that it’s rare the dwarves are willing to gift such creations with sentience. The dwarves have no lack of willing servitors who are capable of their own construction and upkeep: Orcs and goblinoids suffice for most military or servile tasks. When it is necessary to pad the ranks or deploy troops for difficult missions, such as recovering the goods from a shipwreck or freeing miners trapped beneath a collapsed tunnel, semi-sentient constructs can usually be programmed for the task. Thus warforged tend to be highly specialized in the Empire, whether designed as overseers of the aforementioned construct groups or warriors intended to operate in inhospitable conditions. Some warforged are also created or commissioned to serve as bodyguards and even nannies for wealthy dwarf and goblin families. The constructs are difficult to bribe or corrupt, and usually branded clearly with marks of ownership so that they have no chance of escape.
Tran warforged follow two different lines when it comes to appearance, but do not typically reach the level of ornamentation found in the Silken Kingdoms, nor the level of detailed engraving common in the Ruby Caliphate. Warforged are tools first and foremost, and excessive effort expended rendering them more lifelike or imposing is generally considered wasteful and counterproductive, as it encourages the constructs to form stronger independent identities. Warforged created for combat purposes are usually constructed of iron and steel, and graven to resemble [ooc=hobgoblins or orcs]Depending on their purpose.[/ooc.] Their faces are generally not articulated, simply impassive metal masks frozen in solemn stares, with empty holes where eyes belong. Warforged intended for more domestic use, whether as bodyguards or assistants in engineering or arcane laboratories, are usually constructed with physical similarities to actual dwarves. Stone is often incorporated into these constructions; especially polished marble and granite. Domestic warforged usually have articulated faces, and their features include sculpted hair and beards and polished quartz or diamond eyes. Tran warforged are rarely created with a gender identity, and their sense of self is generally muted.
As most warforged are created for combat or labor purposes, they are usually best suited to martial skills. However, the minds of warforged are the equal—in some cases actually superior to—those of dwarves. Warforged make excellent wizards, though the Tran Empire is united with the Kingdom of Silk and the Ruby Caliphate in banning them from the study of artifice. Warforged have been devised for entertainment and assassination as well. One Soo dwarf famously created a quartet of warforged designed solely for the purpose of inner examination and mental contemplation; he was murdered by his own creations, all powerful psions or monks that ultimately required fully three detachments of the Legion to put down.
A warforged who has either been granted its independence or created with that intention can adapt to many other roles. It is common for escaped or freed warforged to attract the attention of angry spirits of metal and stone; such creations are capable of frightfully destructive rages made all the more unsettling by their impassive, eyeless stares. Warforged shamans often preach the release of their brethren, both sentient and non-sentient, from the yoke of the Tran. These shamans are obviously unwelcome within the Empire, but many flee to the Silken Kingdom and find succor there. Warforged druids do exist on rare occasions, communing with spirits of the forge to reshape their bodies in a spray of grinding pistons and brilliant sparks. The Tran have expressed an interest in creating a line of combat troops with these capabilities, but the high level of self-awareness necessitated to survive the change makes them resistant to command. Warforged created for domestic purposes may become runepriests, students of either goblinoid or dwarven history instead of their own; there have been no known warforged avengers, however.
Ruby Caliphate Brass Dragons
Notable for being a wholly artificial race afforded respect and independence within the Caliphate, Brass Dragons are Ruby Caliphate warforged. Constructed entirely of metal, save for the occasional decorative gemming, Brass Dragons are always built to resemble Lessers. They are usually lacquered in a color that resembles the family of their creator, and their bodies are comprised of extensive armor plating built around a hollow frame, within which the constantly whirring gears that power the creature can be seen to spin. This construction is an acknowledgment of the inclement weather and climate of the Caliphate, particularly the desert sands; the gears of a Brass Dragon are enchanted to avoid jamming or breaking, but without an open construction to expel grit and dirt they would eventually grind to a halt.
Brass Dragons are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from communication between dragon houses, to warfare, to diplomacy with other races. Since their personalities are crafted, they can maintain the intelligence and authority of a Lesser without the concomitant egoism. Brass Dragons are valuable, but the mineral-rich environment of the Caliphate means they are produced and set free much more casually than the warforged of the Silken Kingdom and Tran Empire. Indeed, some Lesser, First, and even draconic artificers consider Brass Dragons to be their children, and shower them with all the wealth and affection due actual heirs.