Channa could never say life was easy, but before it had direction. She knew her place and what was expected. She had some of the best education available and was an apprentice to one of the most notable members of House Cannith. Assuming she survived, Channa’s future was secure.
And survival was an issue. House Cannith had a habit of lending her services to Cyre. Mostly to maintain their equipment and warforge, Cyre was always short on manpower. So Channa learned to fight. Not nearly as well as the warforge she maintained to be sure, but well enough to make her old fencing instructors happy and her alive.
Then came the Day of Mourning and Channa’s life changed forever. Cyre had attacked North in a bold raid. Some enemies took the opportune time to strike and attack from the West. Cyre had planned for this and had paid Cannith for more Warforge to shore up the gap. Channa had been sent to maintain these forces for the time being. Then a fog rolled in. It moved fast and tick. It took a moment to figure out what was going on until people started to flee. A mass rout, not of one army but of every soldier on the field of battle. Channa tied to get to her horse, but it was swallowed by the fog before she could reach it. What was worse was the silence. No sound came out. No people came running out either. Nothing came out at all.
The years that came next where a blur. Channa bounced from job to job. Becoming a jack of all trades. Channa made things that where unmentionable in polite company. Traps, cheesy jewellery and all manner of alchemic gimmickry. She still made things well out of habit, but had lost her drive when she lost every one she knows. Even House Cannith did not come looking for her. They probably thought she was dead.
Swimming in faces without names.
“Names”, shrieked the High Crafter with spittle flying from his mouth. “They need no names. Does a sword need names to cut? Must a mace have feelings to kill? Do not let their appearance deceive you. We crafted them, yes you and I, to look fearsome to the enemy and to use the tools man has created. That is all. They are no more beings than this wand at my belt. A tool to be used until discharged”. His face melted then, dripping flesh like honey on a hot summers day. Beneath, the metal mask of death worn by the Warforged somehow managed to grin.
Shivers awoke her, a cold sweat rolling uncomfortably off her body in the close, dank room. A dream, no more, yet still. She remembered her encounter with unit 8546 the day before. Magnus he had named himself. So it had said on his armoured plating, hastily scratched into the living wood of his breastplate. “Here lies Magnus. I died as I lived. In war.” If not for these last words, the mangled husk would have been unrecognizable. Greater still though were the number of skeletons surrounding him. Cannith was nothing if not efficient. And they had crafted efficent killers. She knew for her skills were the whetstone that kept them sharp.
She was lost now. She remembered the Old Man in her arms before the madness of the Day of Mourning, blood flowing from everywhere it seemed. His eyes has locked on hers, boring deep, “Find him child. For the love and devotion we have shared, do not fail me.” With his last breath he had pushed the artefact into her hand.
She drew it forth now, lighting a smoky tallow candle to examine it. A perfect pattern laid out in adamantine. A tool she was sure or mayhap a key. But what it might do she couldn’t say. She had sought all the members of the squad as the Old Man bid. Each a sad but ultimately futile endeavor.
There was only one left now. Most like she would die in this bloody war, a prisoner in Brindol to the horde of the bloody hand. Perhaps she would never know the answer to this mystery or finish her last duty to her dead me