It wasn’t long after the group that became the Red Rock Golemancer Guild created the first golem automatons, that people, especially artificers and wizards, began to experiment with creating their own more… martial versions, often with large sums of money from local lords.
They ran into some issues though, because warfare is a vastly complex thing, especially with the inclusion of magic. Standard golems can handle an array of basic commands, and are capable of not putting themselves or others in danger, but could not (and still cannot) operate on a level that is in any way ‘combat ready’ or ‘intelligent’. It was also quickly determined that if one were to make a combat golem, there would have to be some organic components to prevent certain basic magics like Mold Earth (a cantrip) from immediately rendering them useless. A breakthrough occurred when a wizard discovered a process of rendering metal both liquid and cool, powered by a central source (this would become the heart of a Warforged), which satisfied some previously unknown magical constant of what constitutes organic (this being a world of ‘elements’ and not atoms). However, the issue of complexity still eluded these inventors, but slowly and steadily battle golems began to be added and used in minor engagements as experiments as complexity was slowly added.
Decades upon decades of research, study, and experimentation led to increasingly more complex and intelligent automatons, things that would later be called proto-warforged. However, there eventually reached a point where the magic was too complex and too little understood, and either by divine fiat or completely on accident, some wizard at a combat golem factory called Warforged Inc. created life. The wizard immediately tried to shut it down, but the newly created being killed the wizard in self defense. It killed off all the workers at the factory out of fear for its survival, and then copied its template into the system, creating more sentient beings. It didn’t take long for surrounding populace to learn something had gone terribly wrong at Warforged Inc, and try to shut down and destroy these new Warforged golems.
And thus what the Warforged call the War of Souls and everyone else called the Golem War began. After many violent years the war came to an end, with the Warforged being officially recognized as a new race. As part of the agreement, the Warforged allowed for the removal (but not destruction) of the Warforged Inc. factory from the Material Plane, and in return all major kingdoms ceased the official study and production of organic system golems or any golem capable of complex or martial commands.
Warforged, while capable of being any profession they set their mind to, tend to gravitate to one of three things: soldiering, crafting, or religion. Soldiers because warfare is an innate skill and part of their inherent design. Kingdoms will pay large sums to have them in their army. Craftsman because simple repetitive tasks with a mixture of creativity meshes well with their bodies and general state of mind, and their works tend to be consistent and higher than normal quality. They gravitate toward Religion because of a constant desire for affirmation of their sentience and soul. Being Creatures of metal and stone instead of bone and flesh, they are the closest thing the world is to monotheistic, in that it is uncommon for one to care about the other gods outside the Forge domain. Because of this Roadan and other subdeities of the Forge domain have valued Warforged highly, and some wizards and theologians suspect that Roadan may have had a hand in granting them sentience in the first place.
Being inherently mechanical beings, a Warforged is capable of customizing its body, leading to a massive variation in Warforged appearance and style. Though once they have chosen a ‘look’ they will rarely -if ever- change it again.