Thursday, September 17, 2009

Runeforged; Races of Sarterra

The Runeforged are a race of living, sentient constructs, superficially similar to golems and automatons. Runeforged are composed of a blend of materials: predominantly stone, wood, and various types of metal. 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. They do not age as the other races do, and it is not known what effects time will have on them. Being constructs, they have no need for sleep, atmosphere, food, or water.

The latter is why they were brought into existence to begin with. When the Dwarves of Sarterra expanded their knowledge of engineering, mining, and Rune lore; the creation of the sentient Runeforged wasn't far behind. The industry of Sarterra's Dwarves knows no bounds, and when it came to tunneling out and mining the mineral rich moon of Lerrah, as well as the asteroids of Sarterra's planetary ring, the [COOL ASS RING NAME], necessity dictated the creation of the Runeforged. The Dwarven Runesmiths created the Runeforged as a servitor race to endure the rigors of mining in an airless vacuum.

As Runeforged numbers grew and they developed over the centuries, they also slowly formed sentience. Soon after this pivotal moment, a resistance movement began among the Runeforged workers. A bloody revolt took place between the Runeforged uprising, a highly advanced sect calling themselves the Starbourne, and their former masters, the Dwarves. In an act of desperation, the Starbourne fashioned ancient arcane engines to the poles of Sarterra and disrupted the electromagnetic fields that held Sarterra's elaborate ring system in orbit causing it to crash to the surface. Continued fighting would eventually see the Runeforged gain their freedom.

Once the arcane engines were destroyed, a very unique and anomalous side effect happened with the asteroids that had crashed to the surface. Once the magnetic poles realigned themselves, the larger asteroids rose from their craters and became suspended in the air to form giant floating islands. These giant hunks of rock are infused with unknown metallic ores and minerals, and it is thought that it is the relationship of these ores with the magnetic belts of Sarterra itself that hold them aloft.

Some say the Dwarves did not create the Runeforged entirely on their own, that they had help thanks to technology that was engineered from artifacts recovered from Lerrah and since selfishly guarded by the Dwarves. Thousands of years have passed since the falling of the rings and the subsequent freedom of the indentured Runeforged. Dwarf/Runeforged relations are tenuous in the present day, but tolerable. The Dwarves regard the creation of the Runeforged as close secrets and will only create more in exchange for Runeforged labor in orbit. In this way, the Runeforged as a race can perpetuate itself, but at a heavy cost of servitude.

Runeforged fill all manner of roles and niches on Sarterra. Runeforged adventurers are highly adaptable and can be found in the roles of many different classes. Depending on their individual manufacture, Runeforged might be composed dominantly of one material type or another; such as an all metallic Runeforged, or one whose body surface is covered in intricately carved wood. Regardless of which material is used, like their namesake, their bodies are covered in runes. The head of the Runeforged is most distinctive in that no semblance of a nose or ears are present. They stand between five and seven feet tall and require specially tailored armor and clothing to fit their bodies.

It has been well documented, much to the chagrin of the Dwarves, how the Runeforged gained sentience, rebelled against their masters, and won their freedom. This was in no small part to a group of militant Runeforged guerrillas that would later form into their own faction called the Starbourne.

The Dwarven Runesmiths, still to this day, hold the secret to the creation of the Runeforged, however, race relations have eased since the rebellion, and in the present day Runeforged openly ally themselves with the Dwarves. The creation of more Runeforged is the usual payment the Dwarves use when attracting Runeforged to their cause.

Not the Starbourne however, they have cut all ties with the Dwarves and declared them as eternal enemies. They go as far as to ostracize their Runeforged brethren who are allied with Dwarves, looking down on them with disgust and pity. They constantly bombard these "Turnbolts" with propaganda and literature, trying to convince them to see the error of their ways. Upon looking at a member of the Starbourne, or talking with them, you get the impression that they have become more than a select order of Runeforged, but are trying to become a separate race altogether.

Members of the Starbourne have extensively had the runes of creation removed from their armored plates, this has caused great fuss among scholars because the runes are the lifeblood of the Runeforged, without them, they would cease to function. The Starbourne claim to have technology "from beyond the stars" coursing through them and they no longer need the runes of their former masters to survive. The only symbol they wear now is the stylized hammer inside a cog. The Starbourne maintain a stronghold city on the tertiary moon of Capsalon. Here, in deep underground laboratories, it is rumored that, with the aid of uncovered technology not Sarterran in design, they are on the verge of learning their own secrets of creation. Only their small numbers have kept them in check up until now.

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