The Runesworn Brief (overview)

To: HRH Prince Muradin Bronzebeard
CC: HRH Prince Brann Bronzebeard, High Explorer Muninn Magellas
From: Olga Runesworn, Titan Research Division, Assistant Director

Your Highness,

Per your request, here is a brief overview of our understanding of the Titan constructs that we’ve encountered over the years:

  • The earthen were designed to assist the Titans in excavating and maintaining their subterranean works. The Curse of Flesh impacted the earthen in various ways, leading to the evolution of the dwarven race, but also a devolved and warped iteration, the troggs.
  • The giants were created to assist in broad landshaping, with specific sub-types dedicated to different environments: sea giants shaped underwater ridges, fire giants worked in volcanoes, stone giants shaped mountains, and frost giants were specialized for very cold climates. As with the earthen, the Curse of Flesh impacted some (but not all) of these giants, but did not seem to fundamentally alter their nature.
  • The original Titanic purpose of the vrykul is largely unknown; however, the Curse of Flesh impacted them similarly to the earthen, resulting in both fleshy vrykul and a more diminutive iteration: humans. (I should note for Your Highness that a few League members have already been censured for asserting that the humans have any common qualities with troggs given this knowledge of their evolution. The humans are our allies, and as I’m certain you’ll agree, they deserve our respect especially during a time of war.)
  • Mechagnomes were created chiefly for maintenance and research purposes in lieu of physical labor; they lack the durability of the earthen or the elemental versatility of the giants, but excel in detail-oriented work. The Curse of Flesh naturally resulted in the evolution of modern gnomes.
  • The tol’vir were purportedly built as lorekeepers, specifically intended for protecting and maintaining Titanic information repositories and artifact vaults. It’s a mystery to everyone why they were built as an amalgam of various animal races. The Curse of Flesh has not dramatically altered their nature (aside from the fleshiness, of course) and the Ramkahen, at least, still seem to have maintained the bulk of their Titanic purpose. (This could be attributed to the Uldum Keepers remaining an active and uncorrupted presence in tol’vir society.)
  • The mogu seem to have been built predominately as guardians for all the Titanic facilities located in Pandaria. Like the earthen, the mogu are exceptionally single-minded about their purpose; their efforts throughout the ages to protect the Vale of Eternal Blossoms from the incursions of the mantid speak to their dogged pursuit of their duty, but when they were altered by the Curse of Flesh, the destruction of their derelict keeper Ra-den separated them dramatically from their original intent. Regardless of their methods, though (and due, perhaps, to their own flesh-shaping magics insulating them from the Curse’s more corrupting/degrading influences) they did successfully protect the Titans’ holdings until they were overthrown by the pandaren. (That the pandaren then unwittingly continued this guardianship is really little more than happy chance.)

There are certainly a number of radical elements to this process that we don’t fully understand. While our research in Uldaman revealed the connection between the earthen, the dwarves, and the troggs, the existence of stone troggs within Deepholm seems to run counter to that assertion. The fact that the tol’vir and the mogu did not have any deviant sub-races develop after being infected with the Curse is also an anomaly, just as the Storm Giants and the vrykul are also unexplained.

What we can assert safely, however, is that the fleshy descendants of Titanic progenitors have an undeniable tendency to adhere to elements of their original “programming.”

Dwarven Independence (or why the Wildhammers are a bunch of hillbillies)

As I’m sure Your Highness would agree, dwarves are inherently single-minded in all their pursuits, and as a culture we are centered around the act of creation and the pursuit of perfection, whether it’s in construction methods like the Stonewrought technique or in our cultural obsession with beer. These are respectable qualities to have when the earthen’s prime directives were subterranean excavation and maintenance, as the perfect construction would require little maintenance and also perform its designated function well. One could also infer that the earthen had a naturally decentralized command structure across many autonomous cells, which is what leads to the stubborn independence that rests at the center of all dwarven culture.

  • As an aside, I take this opportunity to single out the present state of Ironforge as an example of this independence. Throughout the various dynasties that have ruled Khaz Modan, the Senate has always been a component of the government, which echoes the earthen concept of individual autonomy. This democratic construct still makes itself technically subordinate to a single individual will (in our case, the High King) but as Your Highness is well aware, a king who defies the will of the Senate too often or too forcefully does not often stay king for long.
    • This is what makes the event of King Varian Wrynn’s insistence on the Council of Three Hammers so interesting. Seemingly without any inkling of this subconscious facet of dwarven thinking, King Varian enforced something that was even MORE democratic than our existing Senate/Monarch dynamic. The Senate answers to the Council as the kingdom’s ultimate authority, but the fact that this authority is now a triumvirate instead of a single monarch is actually more in line with the earthen precept of semi-decentralized leadership.

The Persistence of the Gnomish Pseudo-Monarchy

It’s unclear whether Keeper Mimiron created the mechagnomes specifically for his own purposes or if they were created beforehand, with Mimiron himself merely being an exemplar. Regardless, the drive for innovation and invention that characterizes our gnomish allies can clearly be traced back to the mechagnomes, while their own governmental structure (i.e. the method by which the High Tinker is selected) seems to merely be a method of designating a surrogate for an executive power.

  • To put it more bluntly, gnomes are more interested in the advancement of scientific thought than they are about how that advancement is deployed or what underlying will is driving the research; those are facets that are naturally the responsibility of whoever is running the lab, which for the mechagnomes would be Mimiron and for modern gnomes would be whoever is designated High Tinker. Given that the gnomes are not machines and have an independent will, it makes sense why you’d have someone who’d insist they could run the lab instead of merely falling into line; the most horrific example of this is Thermaplugg’s betrayal at Gnomeregan.

Humans Can Survive Anywhere

There’s some evidence that draws a line between the giants, the vrykul, and the humans. Given the various iterations of giants, and that the vrykul have shown a certain degree of adaptability to their surroundings (the kvaldir and the frost vrykul being prime examples) there’s a possibility that humans possess an extreme aptitude for adaptation without having to take on divergent physical properties to do it. No matter what environment, humans are generally still the same. You don’t see them living underwater or in the Elemental Planes, but they’ve got a degree of versatility that many other Titanic-originated races lack.

  • It’s important to point out that while trolls and elves have expressed similar versatility, that seems to come with a physical evolution. Trolls take on coloration that adapts them to their surroundings. The high elves changed everything about their coloration in a relatively short time frame after leaving their kaldorei progenitors behind and embracing the energies of the Sunwell. Even orcs have demonstrated a certain susceptibility to dramatic physical change upon even limited exposure to new environments, as evidenced by the shift from brown to green skin within a single generation. That humans are so adaptable and yet so static in their form is really quite uncanny in comparison to other races on our planet.

Upgraded Models

Certain interpretations of some data we’ve collected so far (thanks in great part to the efforts of your royal brother, Prince Brann) indicates that the Titans seeded the world with some of their creations, departed, and then returned to find their creations corrupted by the presence of the Old Gods. After defeating and imprisoning the various Old Gods and their servants, the Titans created servants immune to the Curse of Flesh authored by the Old Gods, allowed the original corrupted constructs (i.e. the dwarven, gnomish, and human ancestors) to persist, and departed once more.

One theory that some of our researchers have floated is this: the tol’vir and the mogu are examples of this second generation of constructs, which explains both the absence of devolved iterations and the greater facility with which both races have been able to tolerate the Curse’s effects. Reports from Uldum indicate that it was a trivial matter for the Neferset tol’vir to be reverted back to their construct state, while the mogu’s flesh-crafting practices (purportedly stolen from the Pandarian Keeper Ra-den) resulted in a culture that was exceptionally resilient against the corrupting force of the Old Gods but was also incessantly abusive of the races that the mogu and Ra-den had arguably been empowered to defend.

The Truth Remains Hidden

I will endeavour to continue my efforts at collecting the works of the League’s researchers on this subject for your review.  Please consider this the first of several reports, and if it pleases Your Higness, do inform me if there are any details you’d like me to investigate further.

Your servant,

Olga Runesworn

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