Editorial for Zarantyr 15th, 998

There comes a time in the life of every worldly warforged when he must take a stand on the Lord of Blades. This single figure assumes a place in the public life of a warforged at the conjunction of religion and politics, evoking all the passions of a king or demigod. Even if one avoids it, the question will come to him.

Some see the Lord of Blades as a great prophet, one who has founded a new religion for our fleshless race. He brings us to a clearer understanding of ourselves, as some changelings seek the Perfect Form. For a people left rudderless by the end of the Last War, the reason for our very existence, he provides a new cause for which to exist and fight.

Some see the Lord of Blades as a god himself, not just the prophet. These warforged have seen their Perfect Form, their final cause, their great destiny in the world. This destiny has a voice, and they long to be his mighty arm. There is dispute amongst those in this camp about whether there is a physical person of the Lord of Blades. Is he a divine figure like Dol Dorn? Perhaps something similar to the Silver Flame, present but not incarnate?

Perhaps the most interesting variation on these beliefs is that the Lord of Blades is the avatar of some forgotten power. Our designs lay inert on Xen’drik for millennia, and so perhaps a god of our own has lain in wait for us. Does a reawakened deity who granted our divine spark now seek to guide our paths?

Some see the Lord of Blades as a myth. There is no hero, they say, there is no god. There is just a story. The warforged lack a history or legends. The rudderless are simply pretending that someone is steering the boat. Perhaps the myth was well-intentioned, perhaps it is someone trying to manipulate the warforged, but there is no metal messiah in the Mournland.

Some see the Lord of Blades as an emerging leader. The most earthbound perspective, they believe that someone by that name is clearly out there in the Mournland, and he is trying to form a nation on the ruins of Cyre. The warforged are just as likely to have charismatic leaders as anyone else, and this happens to be the one of the moment. He could build a nation to rival the Five Kingdoms, or perhaps he will just turn out to be another bandit lord.

Some see the Lord of Blades as a rising tyrant. He is a racial supremacist, drunk on the delusion of his own divinity; he has gathered a cult of impressionable warforged in a gambit to forge an empire of physical might. Under whatever philosophy he espouses, his goal is nothing less than the subjugation of the living races. He hopes to rule as an immortal tyrant over the people who were so foolish as to build him and his metal army.

Some see the Lord of Blades as something far worse. Something caused the Day of Mourning, and who has benefited more than the one who has built his empire in its unending shadow? What if the Lord of Blades can do it again, bringing Mourning to each of the Five Nations and leaving the world fit only for the warforged? This view tends to be long on speculation, since no one really knows what caused the destruction of Cyre. It is that fear of the unknown that perhaps gives the conspiracy theory is strength.

Our guest columnist, Freeman, is one of the defining warforged philosophers in the post-Last War age. We at the Sharn Inquisitive thank him for his contribution of prose and time.