The warforged are a race of living, sentient constructs, superficially similar to golems. Warforged are composed of a blend of materials: predominantly stone, wood, and some type of metal. In Eberron, they were created by House Cannith in magical ‘creation forges’ to fight in the Last War, based on technology recovered from Xen’drik. When the Last War ended, they were given their freedom at the Treaty of Thronehold. Though they have free will, whether they have a soul is not known with certainty; they can be resurrected by spells designed to restore human souls to life, but, unlike humans, never remember anything of their experience in the afterlife after such an event.
While they have no biological sex, warforged may adopt a gender role as part of their individual personality. They do not age as the other races do, and it is not known what effects time will have on them. It is generally assumed that, like all living creatures, their bodies must experience degradation over time. Like other races, warforged may take levels in any character class.
Warforged are produced with their own armor and have various immunities, including to poison and disease. Healing spells have reduced effect on warforged, but a series of repair spells work fully on them.
The origins of the warforged on Eberron are not clear. According to a “docent” (ancient and sentient memory-containing magic item) found in Secrets of Xen’drik, the very first warforged were created as “host bodies” for a group of Quori (which were very different from Quori of 998 YK). The giants of Xen’drik created their own versions for their wars against the Quori, because the warforged are immune to many Quori tactics. However, according to Tales of the Last War, the giants invented the warforged, after which the Quori stole the secrets of their creation from the dreams of giants and created their own.
Either way, the secrets of warforged creation seem to have originated on the continent of Xen’drik. The ability of ancient Xen’drik docents to meld with modern-day warforged supports this theory. The existence of Xulo, a huge and powerful warforged found in Xen’drik, also supports this theory.
Near the halfway point of the Last War, Merrix d’Cannith, of the Dragonmarked House Cannith, was commissioned to build a great army of golems, to serve as untiring warriors. Not satisfied with the lifeless, unintelligent hulks his forges produced, nor with the prohibitively expensive process of creating golems one-by-one, Merrix began experimenting with magic to instill some spark of life in them that would enable them, like living things, to direct their own actions and to be grown by a self-sustaining process. After many unsuccessful attempts, Merrix’s son, Aarren d’Cannith, finally invented the process used in the creation forges. The warforged that Aarren’s creation forges created were fully sentient, with the ability to have emotions, relationships, even to experience death; each new generation increased in sophistication and intelligence, ranging from the barely-sentient titans to the youngest versions of warforged who were fully capable of achieving advanced education and ability in magic. However, Aarren and Merrix had a disagreement over their use. Aarren felt that House Cannith had created life, and refused to see his creations used as tools. Merrix ignored him, and Aarren, feeling powerless, left. Powerful divination magics used to this day have only been able to confirm that he is still alive, not where he is. At the end of the War, two important rulings regarding the warforged came down:1. All warforged were declared ‘people’, and not possessions. 2. The House Cannith creation forges were to be shut down, never to produce any more of the living constructs.
Despite the rulings, many warforged are still regarded as outsiders, and many are still employed as indentured servants.
There are also rumours that Merrix d’Cannith, (the grandson of the original Merrix) still produces illegal warforged in a lost creation forge. Even more disturbing are the rumors that the Lord of Blades, a rogue warforged, has stumbled onto an undestroyed creation forge in the Mournland and has begun creating an army.
The Lord of Blades, a figure of near-messianic significance to the warforged, took advantage of the Day of Mourning to establish an independent warforged outpost within the Mournland; operating from a philosophy that the existence of organic life will always pose a threat that his people will be returned to servitude, he wages a guerrilla war with the eventual goal the elimination of human dominance in Khorvaire; his agents thus serve as reliable antagonists for many Eberron campaigns. One of the biggest mysteries in the setting is the nature of the Lord of Blades’ identity and to what extent he actually exists or has been mythologized.