The Ironforged: Seekers of Purpose

We were the end. Of the Dwarves, and of the idea that everything worth knowing was known. I am ashamed of the first. I am proud of the second.

Speaker 4, One of the Founded

ironforged-borderThere were two events that fundamentally changed the 13th Age. The first was the Descension of the Erembiel, the Floating City and the Home of the Aasimar and the Tiefling. The second was the discovery of the Ironforged in the Vault, an event that brought about the War of the Gate. But before the War cast the Dwarves out from their primordial home of Underhome, the Ironforge dealt with the races. The Founded were the first of the Ironforge to awaken, and so they took it upon themselves to negotiate. The Founded created with the Dwarves the Iron and Earth Dilation, a series of treaties and agreements that garaunteed the Ironforge specific rights that recognized their sentience.

It was right in the middle of these negotiations that the War of the Vault began. The Dwarves were attacked on two fronts: the first was the actual war. The second was the world’s expectations. The kingdoms of the world were watching how the Dwarves dealt with the Ironforged. As much as King Dmitri would have preferred to focus his attention absolutely on the warfront he had to divide his attention with the Ironforged. Politics, you understand.

The Founded themselves were split. The world had just as much of its eyes on the Ironforged as it did on the Dwarves. The Dwarves discovered them, freed them, and willingly went in conversations with them. In a way they were indebted to the Earthsunken People. But it was obvious that they were way over their heads with the politics surrounding the War. Despite the savagery the Dark Elves exhibited towards the Dwarves, it was also just as evident that they were still in good standings with the Queen of the Elves. If they marched against the Dark Elves they could very well ostracize one of the great rulers of the world.

And all the while, Dwarves died over the Vault that held the rest of their race. And the Dark Elves crept ever closer. The ferocity of the debate equaled that of the War.

At first the Ironforged were split. There was also the concern of those Ironforged that were not of the Founded and still slumbered within the Vault. They had no idea what the Dark Elves would do to them if they got their hands on them. But as the War and debate raged on more of the Ironforged awoken, and the need for the Founded to intervene shrunk.

Some wonder how the War would have turned if the Ironforged did not awaken before the Founded came to a decision.

The deal was struck, hands were shaken, and the Ironforged left the Mountains into the bright world. All of them went out to answer a single question: “What is my purpose?” Very few of the Ironforged had any the foggiest recollection of their lives before they awoke, and even those had nothing concrete.

The Elves? Well, most of the Elves are not immortal, and those Elves that are a part of the Eternal Ballad are still not old enough to recall the Ironforged. The Queen might…but she isn’t talking.

What about the Dwarves? They weren’t on the continent since the begging to be sure, but they are still a very old and persistent race. They do a very efficient job of keeping track of their long, sprawling history. One would think that they would have an idea. One would also be quite wrong. Or maybe they have a grudge against the Founded for not jumping into the War of the Vault.

No point in asking the Dragonspawn. They have enough trouble trying to figure out their history, let alone that of a bunch of sentient constructs.

Much like how every Captain is a King on his ship, every Ironforged is his/her/it’s own nation. Each Ironforged has decided on their own path. Some actively seek out their destinies, using their durable bodies to their advantage as they plunge into ruins and the forgotten realms of the world. Others have completely abandoned their past and just seek out an existence amongst all the soft skins.

Meanwhile the Kingdoms keep a close eye on the Ironforged. Because one way or another, intentional or otherwise, they have changed a great deal. And change can be dangerous.