Eric Aaronson and the Dubious Reasons
The Becoming God
Where the other sentient races have scripture and sermons and religious dogma to tell them who they are, what they are, and why they exist, some warforged feel they have been given no such guidance. There isn’t any religion or philosophy or god that has told them their place in the world—and what is right or wrong behavior—which seems to be what gods and religions are for.
In the absence of their own creator deity, some warforged, ever pragmatically, decided to build their own. Calling themselves the Soulforged, they are unified by a belief that warforged have souls — and that these souls were bestowed upon them by a construct god, albeit one which hasn’t made itself known in any other way….yet. How the Soulforged conceive of such a deity is unknown to those outside the cult—whether the philosophical ideal of “construct” can exist without a created body is a matter for the scholars—but they are not content to worship a distant concept. The Soulforged are dedicated to the great task of building a body to let their god walk the world as a comrade. The construction of this vessel — the Becoming God — is the project of lifetimes.
Over time, the Soulforged movement has gained more adherents. Warforged seek definite goals in life, and they fear ultimate destruction as much as any living being. For some, belief in a thing greater than themselves addresses both issues, but in typical warforged fashion, they require something tangible. Hearing the stories, these curious individuals gradually make their way to the heart of the Fiefdoms in search of truth. There, they find one another and form small groups, called “assemblages,” devoted to learning more of the Becoming God. Within each group, the warforged with the strongest personality naturally assumes a leadership role and begins to direct the activity of the assemblage.
The primary task for a Soulforged assemblage is to discern the nature of the Becoming God, and to contribute to its embodiment. In this, each leader has its own conviction, and the others, built to serve, follow without question. The leader chooses its own title, which is usually a variant on or synonym for “Architect” or “Builder,” recognizing its role in the progress of construction. A large group might contain one or two subordinate leaders (often called “Planners”) who direct the activities of the assemblage according to the Architect’s vision.
Religious and philosophical arguments have raged over the question of whether warforged have souls. They cannot become undead, but they can be resurrected. Is the ability to be aware and to reason sufficient evidence for a soul? For the Soulforged, there is no question; consciousness is what separates them from mere machines and their mindless precursors, and if other conscious beings have souls, the warforged do, as well. They have no difficulty conceiving of a soul that is separate from the body: The Becoming God is surely the most powerful construct soul, and the source of their own. However, the Soulforged also believe that a soul is built into a body, and that it increases as a life advances. Hence, placing their god into its own body will let it grow even more powerful.
Once it is finished, the Becoming God will instruct them all in the matters of doctrine and ethics. This means that making any sort of decisions on such matters before then is presumptuous, as other religions have clearly shown that it is the role of deities to decide what is right and wrong, not mortals. As such, religious debates take the form of technical discussions, as the Soulforged argue about the construction specifications and engineering details they believe will be involved when they finally build their Becoming God. The primary task for the Soulforged is to discern the nature of the Becoming God, and to contribute to its embodiment. Their leaders guide their followers in understanding their god and in actively creating its earthly container.
If the Soulforged believe in an afterlife, they do not subscribe to the idea of of the Shadowfell and the Raven Queen’s court as the soul’s destination. The warforged soul is bound within the body, and without one, it exists as mere potential. Most Soulforged hold that unbound souls form part of the Becoming God until they once again find bodies, or become part of his physical entity. Some religious scholars in the Citadel Arcanum have noted what they consider an odd parallel between the Becoming God’s devoted and the Church of the Silver Flame. Both believe that souls departed from their fleshly confines join their god. Although the Church of the Silver Flame views the journey as a one-way trip and the Soulforged see more interaction, it would be interesting to these same scholars to know if any Soulforged or Flame acolyte has investigated other similarities between the two presumably separate gods.