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Gearforged

The gearforged are the children of Rava, the Gear Goddess of Fate and Industry. Her priests were the first to forge bodies of brass and copper with cunningly wrought gears and well-balanced mechanisms to support thought and action. Each such body is the safe harbor of a soul that once lived in flesh; a special ritual transfers a living creature’s soul into the housing that makes it gearforged, and attunes it to the soul gems and memory gears that preserve a soul in a mechanical body. Once created, a gearforged can in theory live forever, though in practice most wind down or are destroyed by the ravages of time and the diffculty of surviving as a well-crafted machine. All gearforged were once other creatures that now inhabit standardized bodies with cylinders, springs, and articulated joints of varying quality. Each is made of iron, brass, and steel and as distinctive in appearance as other people differ by their hair and eyes. The gearforged are thinking creatures and can serve as city guards and soldiers. Gearforged have free will that separates them from other mechanical devices, which are no more than simple servants responsive to orders and capable of little more than a limited amount of memorization. Gearforged mechanisms are more than mechanical, because all gearforged are machines with a soul. Their arms and legs depend on actuators powered by everwound springs. Their minds depend on memory gears, transverse cognition gearing, and the marvel of a soul gem connected directly to a maze of silver and mithral steam, spark, and magical conduits. These elements are all held in a shell of iron, brass, and steel, and the bulk of the entire construct is remarkable. A large and heavily armored gearforged can weigh 400 pounds, since its armor is built in.

Clockwork Magic

Gearforged are the product of a specifc ritual of soulforging, using components such as memory gears and everwound springs. In addition, their creation is the apex of a school of magic called Clockwork Magic, which offers mastery of machines, time, and constructs. It is especially common in the Free City of Zobeck and in some of the Seven Cities, but rare elsewhere.

 

Least of the Major Races?

Unlike the other major races, gearforged do not have a homeland of their own, instead existing primarily as an influential minority in Zobeck, the Seven Cities, and Nuria Natal. Tey are not welcome or actively dismissed in many places. Te elfmarked of Dornig consider them crass mechanisms and think of them as “vaguely dwarven,” while the nomads of the plains believe them much too delicate for constant travel, and the dragon morza judge them a waste of good metal and potentially sources of discontent, since they do not ft neatly into the empire’s hierarchy. Te Northlands regard them as interesting but hardly paragons of raider courage, and likewise lump them under the category of creation of the dwarves, not a people with a unique and history.


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