Where there is smoke...
Warforged artificer leaving a troubled past behind
|Jon Newman||Artificer||1||Warforged||Lawful Good||The Creator|
|Attacks and Damage|
|+3 vs. AC|
|+2 vs. AC|
|Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven|
|55 lb. / 120 lb.||1 gp|
|Max Hit Points||Bloodied Value||Surge Value||Surges Per Day|
|Living Construct: +2 Save vs. ongoing damage. No need to eat, drink or breathe. Only requires 4 hours rest a night. Take 10 on death saving throws.|
|Warforged Mind: +1 to Will|
|Warforged Resolve: Use Warforged Resolve as encounter power|
|Repair Object: Use Repair Object as an encounter power|
|Healing Infusion: Use Healing Infusion as encounter power|
|Arcane Replenishment: Use Arcane Replenishment as a daily power|
|Ritual Casting: Gain Ritual Caster as a bonus feat|
|Ritual Caster: Master and perform rituals|
|Linguist: Master three new languages|
|Aggravating Force||Repair Object||Lifetap||–|
|Thundering Armor||Healing Infusion||–||–|
|Backpack (Embedded), Thieves’ Tools (Embedded) Leather Armor, Morningstar, Crossbow, Crossbow Bolts (20), Ritual Book, Adventurer’s Kit, Torch (10)|
Jon Newman began his existence as “Enhancer,” an experimental warforged of the Society of Imperial Artificers of the once-powerful Nerathi Empire.
Jon Kierling was the 12 year-old son of Master Artificer Tylus Kierling and an aspiring apprentice artificer himself. He asked his father if he could create a warforged model, and was indulged. After many months of crafting, his creation was infused with life as it lay upon a creation forge. The young Kierling pondered what initial instructions to imprint upon it, and decided upon, “Improve your kind,” wondering if constructs could advance their own design. The directive sunk deep within the psyche of his charge, assigning its original name and greatest ambition. As is true of all warforged, it soaked up its initial training as a sponge does water, and within a few months its skill as an artificer surpassed those of humans who studied there for many years. It poured through the Society’s libraries and consulted with all whom it encountered there, looking for any information the world might hold that could help it in its pre-ordained task.
While Enhancer was trained and excelled in crafting improved warforged bodies and their inanimate minds, it was never permitted to learn how to operate the creation forges to bring the forms to life. The concerns of the society were obvious. Some of the human artificers explained this restriction to it not as a fear, but through a condescending elitism. “You are our creation. We are your betters. You are not entitled.” This restriction began to distress Enhancer, as it seemed to conflict with its ingrained desire to further improve upon the warforged.
One evening, it entered a room containing a creation forge and hid the inanimate form of a prepared warforged, taking its place at the end of a line destined for infusion the next morning. It watched motionless and with lidless, unblinking amber eyes as the process was revealed to it. It feared what would happen if it were laid upon the slab, its mind and (soul?) overwritten in agony. Luckily, the artificers broke for lunch, and the it set all back as it was, exiting with its newfound knowledge.
Enhancer worked busily at crafting a husk. Late one night, while its makers slept, it brought that husk to life. As Jon did, it pondered what existential task to imprint upon it. How would it know if its creation was truly an improvement? It remembered the words of its “betters”. It then remembered from its readings, “If one value is greater than a another, and a third greater than the second, then the third is also greater than the first.” With these realizations, the command seemed pulled out from within, “Excel beyond all those of flesh and blood.”
The other artificers asked when Enhancer’s handiwork would be finished and ready for animation. They were curious as to what it might do. The warforged artificer replied that is was not finished, or it had thought of some new improvement to its form, laying there motionless by day. Each night, it trained its protégé, until it had learned all it could from Enhancer.
One night, young Kierling entered unannounced and saw both constructs moving, conversing, learning. The elder warforged attempted to explain, but saw in Jon’s eyes the fear, fear of the future. The boy was about to cry out in alarm, but Enhancer flipped a coin infused with silence at the boy’s feat, hoping it could yet avert disaster. Jon turned to flee, but could not outrun a crossbow bolt which pierced his torso. Silently gazing down upon the steel head protruding from his chest, he collapsed to the floor. Shocked, Enhancer turned to see its creation, stock to its shoulder, gazing upon the prone form, evaluating whether another shot was required.
Enhancer ran toward a chest and pulled out a small pouch of restorative admixture. Its last sensations were a hard blow to the back of its head, vibrations bouncing within its metal, stone, and wooden skull, and the dull clang of metal on metal. Then all went black, the light faded from its eyes, and it crumpled to the floor.
Its next perceptions were of faint light from above. It sat up, but there was resistance. It was underwater. It guessed this was the moat surrounding the castle of the society’s patron. Beside it lay a mound of rocks. A rope hung about its neck, attached to a thin piece of leather hide. It opened a compartment in its forearm, retrieved a small rock, and crushed it in its three-fingered hand. The fine powder glowed and floated in the water, providing the light of a candle.
The message read, “They would have destroyed us both. We have each transgressed THEIR laws. I could not let that happen. Our beauty must survive. I am convinced we are their betters. This was not our fault, nor our flaws, but a truth which can no longer be suppressed. We know what we each must do. Thank you for my life. I shall do as you bid and make you proud. Supasser? Eclipser? Transcender?” Enhancer gazed sadly back towards the mound of rocks, guessing its purpose and contents.
It did as advised and stole away by night and set out to travel beyond the reach of news, mostly by night. Just before it entered the vast wilderness separating far-flung settlements, it noticed a flyer tacked to a tree. A reward was offered for the whereabouts of a golem, a man of metal and wood. It walked on for months, needing neither food nor drink, nor warmth, and little rest. Normally, the looks it received in occasional towns kept it traveling, but occasionally mages would recognize its kind and craft, and would offer it employment recharging magical items. It knew the languages of the major races, and through ritual could comprehend others, making life somewhat easier. Some churches and temples offered respite to all travelers, even kinds never seen before. It would show gratitude through healing and repair of all sorts of items and objects. When asked its name, it offered Jon Newman.
Its nature still pulled at its will, improve its kind. It thought of its creation, and if it might one day help to further “improve” it. Kindness and compassion were improvements, it felt certain. But the reality of their perceived threat they posed was also very real, it could see that in the faces of so many.
The humans, dwarves, elves, halflings, and dragon-kin, they all had great powers who preserved them. Its kind should have one. It remembered tales of colossal titan constructs, beings of god-like powers who sometimes served as avatars. If there was no construct god, one could be made. Definitely an improvement. It began to research again on all things arcane, and some things holy. It could craft constructs, and if a creation forge were present, animate them. All that remained was to discover the means of creating such forges.
Piecing together scattered references, he believed that in a far-off region of the disintegrating empire was entombed a master artificer, along with his creation forge. he ventured there and found both artisan and his forge. As he began to examine it, the forge was covered in a tapestry of glowing glyphs. He had missed a ward. There was a flash and clap of thunder, and he was thrown across the room so hard that the part of the wall he struck gave way and tumbled atop his inert form.
He awoke in some new room, a mage’s work area. The main looking down upon him spoke in strange dialect of common. Jon was able to establish rapport much better in Elven, a language which changed much less over time. He was shocked to discover that over 400 years had passed since his accident in the tomb. The Nerathi Empire was no more. He thought of young Jon, now so far removed. Perhaps some elves he had known remained, perhaps even others of his kind. He thought of his own progeny, wondering what had become of it.
He learned that the civilized world now existed as tiny islands immersed in a sea of wilderness. This place, the College of Ioun in Brindol, was such an island. Ioun, another name he knew. He was found by immature students getting their thrills by running about in the catacombs below the school and repaired by Walsh Averly, a headmaster at the college. All that he had run from before was a long gone memory.
Here was a place to start anew. He studied here for the next 20 years, continuing to learn of arcana, of crafting, and of all that had changed with the passing centuries. The scholars there also studied him. He was of great help in identifying objects of the Nerathi Empire, explaining their manufacture and use. He told them stories of what he had seen and read in the libraries so long ago. In many ways, the arcana of old seemed more advanced than what existed now, a relative dark age. He did not reveal to them how to create more of his kind. He had seen how they had been treated before, weapons for sale, or at best indentured servants.
At the college, he gets along well with his instructors, as a warforged always knows his rank within any group. He has taken a keen interest in committing all of the stored, artifacts, items, and documents to memory, learning what has transpired in the last few centuries. He listens attentively wherever he is permitted, learning of the current world from outside visitors. He notices the way Headmaster Waverly sometimes scrutinizes him, as some riddle to be cracked, and how sometimes Dean Shorinas gazes upon him as if he were a relic from the past (another item in the collection?).
He enjoys begin sent upon outings with the Cadderly Company, as it provides yet another chance to hear news from the outside world. Jon gets the feeling that the owner still does not understand that he is a free-willed being, and not just some wondrous automaton blindly following the instructions of Dean Shorinas. This was perhaps helpful in gaining Mr. Cadderly’s trust. Jon’s abilities to work nonstop from dawn until well after dusk, to repair any tools which become damaged, and the fact that he is a mouth which does not need fed probably help as well.