Secrets of the Mournland
The master magewrights of House Cannith constructed the warforged as soldiers for the Last War. Warforged are unliving golem-like constructs, however unlike other arcane constructs they have their own intelligence, personality and memory. Warforged don’t require a mage to control or order them around, they can learn like any other sentient being.
In the aftermath of the Last War, construction of Warforged was made illegal in Khorvaire. Warforged were given the same rights accorded to any other sentient race, and allowed to own land, property and in some cultures slaves… in theory. The reality of the situation is a little more complicated. Many believe House Cannith, in creating the Warforged, brought down the mourning on humanity. Even those less supersticious, may see warforged as a reminder of what is lost, and what was lost in the Last War.
In many areas, while lip service may be paid to the idea that the Warforged are a people, the reality is that they are a despised underclass, deemed subhuman by many commoners. In some areas, Warforged are actively preyed upon, as a source of arcane components now deemed illegal, or simply for scrap parts.