Last week I gave you a small glimpse into Telia, my D&D campaign setting. I spoke of the region of Almun, home to the City of Magic and many magical anomalies. I won’t lie, it’s one of my favourite places in the world, with the Mystelune Kingdom being close behind, but the Castinians are a story for another time.
Every setting has its version of classic races, with variations in mechanics and lore and its fair share of new races. So, I thought it would be good to write about one of the races that make up Telia. This one will be familiar to D&D players, but we’ve given it the old Telian spin.
Soulforged: At its core and mechanically, the Soulforged are merely Telia’s version of the Warforged, a race of sentient automatons. What separates Soulforged from their Forgotten Realms counterparts is that Soulforged were once members of other races, their spirits taken and reprocessed to power the automatons, as they are a powerful source of magic.
An organisation nicknamed the Toy Factory sells Soulforged units, of different models, to people around Telia for any number purposes. Soulfoged make obedient soldiers, powerful guardians for valuables, hunters and even librarians and instructors. Units sold by the Toy Factory have no identity or personality, they are merely machines.
But the side-effect of carrying a soul is that, occasionally, a Soulforged will awaken and something in their environment, or their situation, triggers a flood of memories of their past life and they manage to regain a fragment of their former selves. Some of these Soulforged even manage to re-establish their connection with their patron deity.
These awakened Soulforged roam the land, some embracing their new life and trying to find a home or simply rediscovering Telia. Some seek revenge against the Toy Factory or those responsible for their first death. And others simply seek to piece together their former identity, desperate to recover that former life. Some of them had their souls captured after death and handed over to the masters of the Factory. Others are less fortunate and simply disappear, just one of hundreds taken and sold to the Factory, their bodies and souls becoming the Toy Factory’s raw material. It’s not a painless process in any way.
Sadly, for them, even the most powerful resurrection magic is ineffective, at least in terms of restoring them to their original form. Whatever the Factory does, it changes the soul and binds it to the Soulforged unit.
The credit for the Soulforged goes to one of my players, Edgar Schmidt. He also had the basic idea for the Toy Factory. My job’s been to make adjustments to his original ideas, particularly in the balance of their mechanics—which I’ve omitted here but might post in the future, perhaps once we’ve tested them in-game to make sure they’re properly balanced—and the core concepts, then add a few of my own and set up the world lore.
Next time I’ll talk about one of my new races, the Bonded Folk, The Thelomir. To give you a peek, they’re descendants of Dwarves and Drow, but not true hybrid, instead members of the race are born looking like Elves or Dwarves, but sharing common traits among them.