View Full Version : Ask a Loremaster (v. 2.0)

09-26-2007, 10:49 PM
(from the original Ask a Loremaster thread)

It's come to my attention that there are many people playing DDO who know almost nothing about Eberron. Moreover, many of those people don't want to shell out forty bucks for a new book that they may never use. While I can't honestly blame you for that, Eberron is a fantastic setting and so to cut yourself off from all of the amazing information that surrounds this game we play is an unfortunate occurance.

Therefore, I've decided, along with some other knowledgeable fellow players, to create a place where people who want to know more about Eberron can come to ask questions about the setting. I'm going to kick us off with a few frequently asked questions, but from there on, you can ask anything you want about the campaign setting, and I'll do my best to answer it.

To keep things pretty streamlined, and to avoid having a whole bunch of answers, or long discussions about topics, I'm going to ask that for now we leave the answering of questions to me and a few other designated people. Obviously, I have no moderating powers, so I'm going to have to rely on your own good natures to keep the thread nice and clean, so that it makes a good resource for people who genuinely want more information about Eberron. If anyone else feels like they're well versed in the setting background and wants to pitch in with answering questions, just throw me a PM and we'll talk about it. Also to this effect, if you feel the need to get into a really serious discussion about a topic that might involve a lot of back and forth, I'm going ask that you take it to another thread.



Q. I'm interested in naming my character something Eberron appropriate. Could you help me out with some suggestions?

A. Why of course I could. First I'll address a few naming conventions and then move on to some specific suggestions for various races.

The d' Prefix: The d' prefix on a last name is reserved for members of a Dragonmarked House. There's some internal debate about who exactly uses the d' prefix. Certain sources suggest that the d' prefix can be added to any surname if one is a member of a House. Others (which I find more reliable, being that they're the setting's creator) suggest that the d' prefix is reserved for members of a Dragonmarked House who actually have dragonmarks, and are always added to the House name. Either way, the d' prefix definitely means you're connected in some way to one of the Houses.

The ir' Prefix: All of the current Khorvaire Monarchs are named Something ir'Wynarn. The ir' prefix is indicative of royalty or nobility. The ir'Wynarns are the royal line of Galifar and other ir' families tend to be offshoots of that line. Some other well known families are the ir'Tarkanans, though that line is somewhat less reputable due to their connection to Aberrant dragonmarks, and the ir'Tains, one of the most influential families in Sharn. In general, if you'd like to play a character with a noble background, such as a younger son exploring the wilds of Xen'drik, you can add ir' to pretty much any last name you want. This is mainly a human practice, though the tradition has extended to the Dwarven lands of the Mror Holds (and the gnomish nation of Zilargo) as well.

Human Names: As usual, Human names run the gamut. There's no real pattern here, just use something creative and fantasy sounding.

Elf Names: All the Elves place a great importance on their ancestry and many are often named after influential ancestors. The Valenar Elves in particular choose a Patron ancestor and are often attempt to emulate them, sometimes including taking the same name.

The elves of Aerenal often belong to adoptive families known as Lines. The Line of Jhaelian produces some of the nations most powerful clerics. Other Lines include Melideth, Mendyrian and Tolaen. The current Sibling Kings are of the Line of Mendyrian. The Line is not the same as your family surname, since the Lines are made up of a number of different families, though there is a noble house which gives each line its name.

Aerenal and Valenar names tend to use the same patterns. Vowel sounds tend to predominate, with fewer consonants. Common names include Belareth, Tezaera, Syraen, Aeren, Allais, Dailan, Kylaer, Maellas, Thalaen, Vylae, Fianan, Kaelan, Lia, Niath, Shearan, Tairil, Thail, Vaelas, Vaelin, Xael (elven names don't tend to distinguish between male and female).

Khorvaire Elves, those who no longer consider themselves part of the Aerenal or Valenar nations, tend to use the same conventions as well, though their names are often shorter and have some distinction between male and female names, though there is some overlap. Example male names include Aesha, Daellin, Marrath or Tellian. Some female example names are Innae, Paela, Phaeani, Sailla or X'ennia.

Dwarf Names: Most Dwarves hail from the Mror Holds in northeastern Khorvaire. The Holds were originally made up of thirteen clans. The clans are Mroranon, Doldarun, Droranath, Kolkarun, Laranak, Londurak, Narathun, Noldrun, Soldorak, Soranath, Toldorath and Todrannon. House Kundarak, makes up the last clan, though in the present day most Kundarak dwarves associate themselves more with the dragonmarked community than with their nation. Most dwarves use their clan name as their surname, though obviously each clan is made up of a number of individual families.

Dwarven first names tend to use heavy consonants and be several syllables long. Some example dwarven names are (male) Bruennan, Durunnam, Greddark, Kellark, Tuaranak, (female) Annaka, Gerthin, Karkanna, Menna, and Zranakarak.

Halfling Names: Halflings fall into one of two groups. Those native to the Talenta Plains who come from the old tribal traditions of the halflings and those who have moved beyond their tribal origins to live in the cities of Khorvaire. Most Khorvaire Halflings use the same conventions as the rest of the five nations, though a few do still use the old Talenta names. Most Talenta halflings use a single name, though when among people who are not members of their tribe, they may use their tribe's name as a surname. Within a given tribe, two halflings seldom share a name, in order to avoid confusion, however when they do, they are often given some other appellation based on mannerisms, personality or physical appearance to distinguish them from each other. Example names include (male) Gagi, Kabelund, Lanudo, Mabu, Rathan, Toebo, (female) Dovi, Hebblu, Mebsa, Shenta, Studa, and Tatha.

Warforged Names: Warforged names make no distinction between male and female Warforged. In fact most Warforged were not born with names, or even given names at creation. Warforged names are often not so much names as words (nouns, verbs or adjectives) that describe the warforged in some way. Bulwark, for instance, is the famous Warforged protector of King Boranel. Other examples might be names like Pierce, Aegis or Barricade. Some warforged names are nothing more than nicknames given to them by their comrades-in-arms, and as such can vary significantly.

Drow Names: Drow have personal and family names, though they are very secretive with their family names. Among the drow it's considered an insult to inquire about a family name and conversly sharing your family name with someone is considered a sign of friendship and trust. Most drow still use naming conventions that date back to the giant empire, including multi-syllable names with hard consonants and glottal stops (represented by the apostrophe). Some example Drow names include Ek'ann, Kaxxar, Xen'kar, (male) Curra, Kas'asar, Xen'va, (female) Gen'thac, Torkak, Xar'cha (family).


Q. Who put robots in my D&D?!

A. Warforged aren't robots. They're living constructs. This means they are, for many purposes, intelligent golems. Constructed by House Cannith to serve as troops in the Last War, the true origins of the Warforged race is uncertain. Much of the populace believes them to be a creation of the House of Making, but many within the House know better. Aaren d'Cannith returned from Xen'drik with the schema that allowed House Cannith to build the Creation Forges that actually birthed the warforged.

It wasn't until the Treaty of Thronehold that Warforged were given the status of "free and living beings." For much of the Last War they were considered property, and there are many who believe that they should still be considered property. Others continue to associate the race with the ravages of the last decades of the War and fight their inclusion in society.


Q. You said that the Warforged are "intelligent golems", but that means that they all are sentient? I mean "they think therefore they are"? Or there are some that are simply intelligent on the AI method, compute and solve?

A. Every modern day warforged is fully sentient. They have personalities and thoughts just like everyone else, though their true nature is a matter of much debate. One of the big controversies at the Treaty of Thronehold was whether Warforged would be given the status of beings of if they would continue to be property. Agents from House Cannith were joined by Advocates from Thrane (which is currently a Theocracy run by the Church of the Silver Flame) argued against Breland in hopes of keeping them as they were. House Cannith obviously wished to retain the rights to produce and sell warforged, but Thrane argued for a different reason. Some within the Church of the Silver Flame believe that Warforged don't have souls and therefore shouldn't be considered living creatures.

Warforged psychology is an interesting topic and one that could go on for a very long time. The main gist of it is that these are beings who know they were created for war, have known nothing but war for their entire lives and now find themselves in a world where war no longer has a place. In many ways, particularly those outside of the role they played in the Last War, warforged are almost childlike. In others, such as combat, discipline and the like, they are like highly trained soldiers.

There are other warforged-adjacent creatures which have very limited intelligence. The Warforged Titan is an example of this. Titans were produced by House Cannith during the last war as well, as living seige engines. Cannith created the Titans before they refined the creation of the warforged, so you could consider the Titan a sort of prototype warforged. The Titan has very limited intelligence and you or I might consider it "AI." It has the ability to follow simple commands and make basic decisions, but it doesn't have the full thinking power of the Warforged.

There are also suggestions of ancient warforged that date back to the Giant Empires, and were created by the Quori to serve as hosts for those spirits on Eberron. This would make them predecessors to the modern day Empty Vessels (humans who allow Quori spirits to possess them, the result of which are called the Inspired and rule over Riedra). The early warforged might've been little more than bodies for the Quori to use while in the material plane.


Q. Alright, but how do Warforged work?

A. (New) Unfortunately, there isn't much of an answer to this question beyond "Magic." Like any other Golem or Homonculus, Warforged operate primarily through magical means. The exact nature of the Creation Forges, and the details behind the birth of the Warforged race are secrets known only to a select few members of House Cannith. It is also likely that even they only have a rudimentary understanding of the theories involved and that the true minds behind the creation of the first Warforged is lost to the ages.


Q. Warforged are made primarily of wood right? That wood is different from ordinary wood? If not, would the warforged be extra-vulnerable to fire? Or worst, would they decompose, and eventually die of age?

A. The wood that makes up the majority of a warforged's body is Livewood. Livewood, much as its name would suggest, is a type of wood that doesn't die when cut off from its tree, but continues to function and grow like a normal plant. As such, warforged are no more vulnerable to fire than humans; a living tree has a lot of moisture in it.

The warforged are a very young race on the whole, the old warforged being less than 30 years old. It remains unclear as yet whether they'll die of "old age," though much suggests that they won't (such as the presence of warforged from the ancient Giant Empires). However once a warforged does die, the magical energies and the life force that animated its form leave and the body does decompose at approximately the same rate as a human.


Q. Warforged are created mostly out of living wood. Do they have any weakness to fire? Or does the magical nature of the wood make it non-flammable?

A. Warforged don't have any special vulnerability to fire, though it has more to do with the fact that's it's living wood than some other magical nature. Living plants (and therefore the Livewood that makes up a large part of a warforged's body) are generally full of water and don't really burn any better than, say, human flesh.

Warforged are vulnerable to certain other spells though, such as rusting grasp (and a rust monster's rust ability), heat and chill metal, or repel metal or stone.

Some other spells that you expect might affect them, such as Warp Wood or Stone to Flesh, explicitly affect "objects" only and therefore won't affect warforged (who are creatures).


Q. If Warforged are mostly wood, why do rust monsters find them so tasty?

A. While much of a warforged's body is made up of wood, those portions are mostly internal. Every warforged is covered in plating of some sort (base warforged get composite plating, mithral and adamantine warforged get plating of the appropriate type). And while warforged are largely wood interally, they do have some metal parts. As such warforged take HP damage from a rust monster, just as human-types take HP damage from acid attacks (which is probably the closest analogy to the breaking down of a substance caused by the rusting effect).


Q. Why are there warforged females?

A. Gender is slightly different for warforged than the way most people think about it. Warforged technically don't have a gender, so much as a gender-identity. In physical terms, all warforged are built with the same parts, and those parts lack any reproductive organs. This means that they are without gender. However, each warforged has an individual personality, just like anyone else. There are a few warforged who are comfortable considering themselves as genderless, but many have a gender-identity that gravitates towards male or female. (While we, as humans, often connect gender-identity with physical gender, they aren't always the same.) Whether this gender-identity is something that the warforged has adopted to better interact with other non-warforged, or if it's something that was born into them with their personality is something that varies from warforged to warforged.

It's technically incorrect to refer to male and female warforged. Rather the more often used term is male-personality and female-personality warforged.


Q. You said there is a Warforged religion, tribe or city. Are they bitter against there old masters? Are they hostile to non-Warforged? Could you tell us more?

A.There are rumors that the Lord of Blades is organizing a "tribe" of warforged, so to speak, in the remnants of old Cyre. The Lord of Blades is the posterchild for warforged who are bitter to their old masters and hostile to non-warforged. The Lord of Blades and his followers believe in warforged supremacy, considering "fleshbag" "meatsack" people like us to have many flaws, such as our need for food, sleep, shelter and our vulnerability to poisons and disease.

They are something of a splinter group, though; there are plenty of warforged around today who believe in peaceful coexistence with non-warforged. Many consider Bulwark, the warforged body guard of King Boranel of Breland, to be something of the anti-Lord of Blades. Though he hasn't been seen since the Treaty of Thronehold (and some wonder if in fact he has since gone on to become the Lord of Blades, for the Lord's true identity is something of a mystery), many warforged consider him to have been instrumental in convincing Boranel to fight so hard for warforged freedoms, and thus give him credit for the earliest example of good warforged-humanoid relations.


Q. In Eberron, Dryads can be bound to Livewood trees as well as traditional Oaken trees. Livewood is an integral part of the Warforged. Purely academic here, but would it be possible to have a Warforged with an attached Dryad?

A. Using a strict interpretation of the rules it would seem possible. However, there's a whole lot that happens to a warforged's component parts before they end up in their final state as a warforged. The exact process that a creation forge performs is entirely undocumented. It seems unlikely that a dryad would survive the process.

It would certainly make a very interesting campaign concept and/or twist, though. And as such, I'd suggest that a DM do such a thing if they wish to, but I'd avoid making it too prevalent.


Q. I would like to know more about elves and the Undying Court.

A. (answer by Thanatos) The original elves were living in very primitive tribes when the Giant Empire began to capture and enslave them. They did benefit in some ways from the accelerated pace of their civilization and magical development, but ultimately they were still slaves, and the giants used them both for suicidally dangerous work and even sacrificed them to power magic rituals. One elf, Aeren, managed to pick up on the principles of the necromantic blood magic from observing his giant master. Over time, he secretly taught other elves, and they planned a revolt. They succeeded enough that they were able to flee to the subcontinent that is now known as Aerenal. Aeren actually sacrificed himself with his own blood magic, but was able to use that power to provide protection for his people, and to transform himself into the first Undying. Over time, a city was built on a manifest zone to Irian (positive energy), where more Undying were created. The Undying councilors as a collective make up the Undying Court, and are the spiritual center of the Aerenal elves. It is the highest dream of most to become Undying, even if it's just as an undying soldier to protect the City of the Dead. Some even use alchemical treatments to give themselves deathlike looks in life, including pale grey skin or skull-like tattoos over their faces.

The Valenar elves are an offshoot that believe it isn't those who effected the escape that should be venerated, but the warriors who stayed behind and died to allow the others to live. Each Valenar elf has a ancestor that she tries to emulate and honor in valorous combat. They live the life of horse nomads in the deserts of southeast Khorvaire, and in fact their horses are considered to be spiritually connected to them as well - they've even declared eternal war on House Vadalis for an attempt to steal a few of the fine Valenar steeds to use as breeding stock. Valenar prefer shortbows to long, as they may be fired from horseback, and prefer scimitars and other curved blades over longswords or rapiers.

Khorvaire elves and "Urban" elves are those that have lived in the human nations so long that they identify more with their nation than they do with their racial history, and are integrated with the cultures of those nations. House Phiarlan left Aerenal after the destruction of House Vol, because they felt it was in their best interests to distance themselves from the culture that had just turned on the other dragonmarked elves. House Thuranni is a recent offshoot of Phiarlan, so they are Khorvaire Elves as well.

The Drow may be considered elves or a seperate race. It is not known for certain if they occured naturally; some evidence suggests that they were created as a result of giants trying to perfect the elves to serve as better troops. There are different drow cultures, which MysticTheurge has covered already. They tend to view other elves as weak for fleeing their homeland instead of attempting to stand and fight the giants until one or both were destroyed.


Q. Aren't dark elves supposed to be evil-ish?

A. One of the changes that Eberron brings to the table, so to speak, is that most of the alignments are more mixed up than in other settings. Eberron pretty much assumes that intelligent creatures can make their own decisions about these things, and they do, leading to a variety of alignments for most races. So where drow might be labeled "Always Evil" in the monster manual, Eberron says "Drow can be whatever they want to be."

(As an aside, one place where this gets particularly interesting is with Dragons. So many people are used to Chromatic Dragons being evil and Metallic Dragons being good, but in Eberron you can have a Good Blue Dragon and an Evil Silver Dragon.)

There are a few exceptions to the rule. Creatures of the Outsider type usually tend towards specific alignment. This is because they aren't actually free and independent thinkers, so much as physical manifestations of a given idea, concept or philosophy. So pretty much all Demons are evil and pretty much all Celestials are good. There are, however, exceptions to the this rule as well, and you occasionally get an Angel that goes bad, or a Devil that's trying to help out.

As for the Drow in particular, like the other elves, they were enslaved by the Giants during the height of their Empire. During the fall of the empire, when many of the other elves took advantage of the chaos to revolt and escape, most Drow remained faithful to their giant masters. Thus, while light-skinned elves escaped to Aerenal, the Drow remained behind in Xen'drik.

Once the Empire had completely crumbled, the Drow were left to their own devices. Most fell into primitive, tribal cultures and now roam the jungles, but a few tribes stand out.

The Sulatar are a group of more civilized Drow who bind Fire elementals and have retained some of the knowledge and magics they had while they served the giants. Their religion centers around a return of their Giant masters and a promised land of fire. The exact number of Sulatar is unknown; there may be only one city of them, or they may stretch across the continent. The Sulatar play a large role in Keith Baker's second novel, The Shattered Land.

Vulkoor is the scorpion god of most of the drow, and we meet more of his worshipers in the sands of Menechtarum. Vulkoor is an evil god who enjoys those sorts of dark rituals you mention, and thus many of his worshippers are evil as well. Though, again here Eberron changes things a bit. There can be good people who worship evil gods and evil people who worship good gods. (Some high ranking members of the Church of the Silver Flame are corrupt individuals, for example.) The Vulkoorim revere scorpions and live scattered across the continent in jungle tribes and dark caves.

The Umbragen are a reclusive group of Drow. They survived the fall of the Giant empire by fleeing into Khyber (Eberron's version of the more common 'underdark'). They battled with dark abberations and other vicious monsters that inhabit those caverns, and soon found themselves in desperate need of a more potent defense. Stumbling across some unknown source of magic, they managed to forge a bond with a mysterious force of shadow and darkness. Unlike the Vulkoorim, the Umbragen have a more developed culture, sophisticated magic and advanced metal-working skills. They make an appearance in the RTS game Dragonshard, but the primary source of information is an article in Dragon Magazine 330.

There are likely other, specialized tribes of Drow out there. Xen'drik is a big place, and it has yet to be (and likely never will be) fully described. The drow that we dealt with prior to Module 3, namely those we play, are likely to belong to a jungle tribe who do not worship Vulkoor, but have a more well-intentioned nature.


Q. Can you give us information on the Mror holds and the 12 dwarf clan/kingdoms that comprise it; are they at war with one another or are they all in peace?

A. The clans of the Mror Holds have (relatively) recently declared their independence from the Galifar Crown though their independent nature extends back centuries. While they have each become powerful merchant clans, they were warriors first. Dwarves of the Holds are still trained in the art of war, but gold has become their weapon of choice.

Generally speaking, the dwarven clans are not in any sort of open battle, at least not with each other, though they do compete in other subtler ways, generally political and commercial. The clans of the Mror Holds do have some problems with the nearby orc and goblinoid clans.


Q. What's the relationship, or how strong is the relationship, between Kundarak house in Stormreach and the dwarven Kundarakhold in the Mror holds?

A. House Kundarak originated in Kundarakhold, before joining the other Dragonmarked Houses in a more worldwide community, and much of the House's operations are still based out of Kundarakhold. The House Kundarak that is present in Stormreach is that same House Kundarak, though, as I've said elsewhere, the members running the House in Stormreach probably aren't the most powerful or popular members of their House.


Q. Do Dwarves in Eberron have the same relationships to their beards as "normal" Dwarves? It seems TONS of the options for the little guys are clean shaved and mustachioed. Not complaining, mind you, but is this true to lore?

A. Generally speaking, no. D&D dwarves don't tend to have the same attachment to their facial hair that Tolkein's (the original source of this personality quirk) dwarves do. Of course, as always, this may vary greatly from player to player and if you want your dwarf to have a close affinity to his beard, then by all means do.


Q. Can you tell us something about the Dream Dwarves and the Duergar? Just who are these Dwarves?

A. (New) The precise origins of both the Dream Dwarves and the Duergar are shrouded in mystery. Legends of the clans in the Mror Holds tell of an ancient kingdom of dwarves which fell during the Daelkyr wars. Some say it was these dwarves, corrupted by the Mind Flayers and their Daelkyr overlords who were the ancestors of modern day Duergar. Others suggest the now-lost Clan Noldrun, which disappeared some four hundred years ago, developed into these dark dwarves. And the remnants of the Sarlonan Akiak clans tell of their near-fatal bargain with the Riedrans and the Night of the Razor Dreams. It is possible some duergar fled from Sarlona to Xen'drik hoping to escape this genocide.

Dream Dwarves are even rarer, and often blend in with their more normal cousins. No one knows how or where the Dream Dwarves came from, nor does there seem to be any sort of organized Dream Dwarf nation. What few dream dwarves there are mainly keep their talents hidden and pass for normal dwarves.


Q. I'd like to know more about "Shifters."

A. Shifters are one of the new races introduced with the Eberron Campaign Setting. Sometimes called the "Weretouched," they are the result of Lycanthrope/Human interbreeding far back in the line. Current Shifters "breed true," that is Shifters come from other shifters, not from a Lycanthrope/Human pairing. (A curious aside is that many of the half-elves in Khorvaire are this way as well, particularly the bloodlines of the half-elf Dragonmarked Houses.)

Shifters are unable to completely alter their form, the way their lycanthrope ancestors could, but each one is able to "shift." While shifted, a Shifter takes on a more animalistic appearance and is more powerful than his unshifted form. There are six main types of shifters distinguished by their "Shifter Trait." These are Beasthide, Longtooth, Cliffwalk, Razorclaw, Longstride and Wildhunt shifters. (Further Eberron supplements added additional shifter traits such as Dreamsight, Gorebrute, Swiftwing and Truedive.)

Each different trait dictates how the shifter's abilities improve while shifted, as generally described by their shifter trait. Longtooth and Razorclaw shifters gain bite and claw attacks respectively. Longstride shifters move faster. Beasthide shifters gain a thicker skin.

Even when they aren't shifted, Shifters bear some animalistic qualities. Their bodies often have a lithe nature to them, and the bearing of a large predator. They often move like animals, crouched and springing ahead or around their companions as they travel. Their faces often have animalistic undertones, large, piercing eyes and wide, flat noses. They are also, on average, hairier than humans. They don't have fur, but their body hair is thicker than a humans and grows longer.

As befits their animalistic nature, many shifters avoid highly civilized areas, preferring to dwell in the wild areas of nations such as the Eldeen Reaches. Many also continue to blame the Church of the Silver Flame for the atrocities heaped upon the shifter race during the Lycanthropic Purge by certain fanatics.


Q. I've noticed in the art for Shifters that they vary *greatly* in how 'feral' they appear - and I'm wondering... just how 'humanlike' could a shifter be, presumably?

A. Nicely enough, this is one of the things that's left up to individual DMs and groups.

On minor distinction though. A shifters appearance will actually alter when they Shift, tending to grow more animalistic at that time. In fact, it's highly likely that you wouldn't display any outright animal characteristics (ears, claws, fangs, etc.) except while you were shifting. Most shifters, while unshifted, appear essentially human-like, though perhaps with more faint animal-like qualities (hairier than average, predatory eyes and especially a hunter-like bearing). When unshifted a shifter is just as likely to be recognized by the way they carry themselves than by actual physical characteristics.

That said, there's also no reason that you couldn't play a shifter with some animal features that were always visible, but I would suggest that you explore exactly how your Shifting makes you more animal-like (since it should).

There also aren't, to my knowledge, shifters with tails. (But again, there's nothing stopping you from making one, provided it doesn't give you an in-game advantage.)


Q. What‘s a Kalashtar?

A. To understand the Kalashtar, you first have to understand the Quori. But this is slightly complicated, because there are essentially two different types of Quori. There's a concept on Dal Quor called the turning of the Age, where the residents of the plane are utterly eliminated and replaced by all new residents. When the Giants managed to affect the cataclysm that threw Dal Quor out of orbit they cause a turning of the Age. So the present day Quori are not the Quori who fought the Giants eons ago.

Modern Quori are the nightmare spawn of what they call il-Lashtavar, or the Darkness that Dreams. Sometimes called the Heart of the Darkness or the Dreaming Dark, il-Lashtavar is the literal and metaphorical darkness at the heart of Dal Quor. It is il-Lashtavar that guides the current machinations of the Quori and shapes much of the plane of Dreams.

At some point, sixty seven Quori, led by one named Taratai, rebelled against il-Lashtavar. Seeking to escape it's control, they fled Dal Quor and ended up bonding themselves to monks in Adar. As these monks reproduced, a strange thing occured. Rather than remaining bound to their original host, the Quori found their consciousnesses being divided up by all those who carried the blood of the first monks. These offspring, over generations, would become the Kalashtar.

To understand the next part, it's important to understand how Outsiders interact with death in Eberron. Every plane as a given number of outsiders (or powerful outsiders) who reside there, and when one is destroyed, a new one is spawned fresh from the energies of the plane. Thus, all the Quori would have had to do in order to quash the rebellion would be to destroy the rebels, and allow il-Lashtavar to spawn new Quori to replace them.

Now, the spirit of each rebel quori is spread out over dozens or even hundreds of individual Kalashtar. The Quori remain undaunted, however, and continue to seek the extermination of the Kalashtar lines, which will in turn strengthen their own numbers. In fact, one of the greatest Holidays of the Kalashtar is what's called the Void of Taratai. These are days of rememberance, where the Kalashtar mourn the loss of the line of Taratai, for the Quori finally succeeded in destroying all Kalashtar who bore portions of Taratai's spirit.

The Quori are generally incapable of traveling physically to Eberron, due to the remote nature of Dal Quor (thanks to the Giants) and so are forced to act through mortal agents. In Riedra, the nation the Quori have managed to take control of, they raise a certain class of humans to be Empty Vessels, hosts for their possession. A Quori-inhabited Empty Vessel is known as one of the Inspired, and to be selected to become one of the Inspired is a great honor among the people of Riedra.

One might imagine that the Kalashtar's struggle for survival is a battle they cannot help but lose, given that any time they destroy one of the Inspired, the Quori can simply inhabit a new Empty Vessel, and even worse, if they do manage to destroy one of the Quori, il-Lashtavar simply spawns a new one. However, the Kalashtar don't seek the destruction of their enemy, but rather the Turning of the Age, a feat they hope to accomplish through peaceful meditation and a philosophy they call il-Yannah, the Path of Light.


Q. One half of my friends say that the Orcs (and Half-Orcs) are in Eberron and the others have said that they are no longer in Eberron. Can you clear this up please?

A. There are most certainly orcs and half-orcs in Eberron. (Though they aren't, yet, in DDO.) The House of Finding, House Tharashk, is made up of Humans and Half-Orcs. Orcs, pure-blooded Orcs, (like the Goblinoids) have a long and rich history in Khorvaire. They founded the Gatekeepers, a sect of druids, some say the first, which were taught their craft by the black dragon Vvaraak. The Gatekeepers were directly responsible for the planar seals that ended the Daelkyr invasion. (The guy who hires you to recover the Xorian Cipher is a Gatekeeper.)

Present day orcs live predominantly in the Shadow Marches, a marshy nation far to the west of Khorvaire. Orcs, Humans and Half-orcs make up the majority of the population. Some likely also live in Droaam, the nation of monstrous humanoids established by the Daughters of Sora Kell.

Unlike most other settings, Orcs in Eberron aren't roaving hordes that border towns need to fear, and which (low-level) adventurers are hired to wipe out. Orcs, like most other humanoids, live lives like anyone else. It wouldn't be out of place to see a family of them in Sharn, a village of them in the Eldeen Reaches, or even a single one in most other metropolitan areas of Khorvaire.


Q. What role do Orcs and Half-orcs play in the Eberron setting?

A. (New) Orcs and Half-orcs have played an important role in Khorvaire's history. The original Gatekeepers were orcs, taught by the black dragon Vvaraak, who managed to bring about the end of the Daelkyr war. Present day orcs have fallen somewhat from those gloried heights and dwell almost exclusively (on Khorvaire at least) in the Shadow Marches. More cosmopolitan citizens of Khorvaire tend to view the Marches as a backwater land filled with illiterate humans and savage orcs. And while those stereotypes may be true, to a degree, the Marches have a strong history of independence. Many of the tribes in the Marches remain entirely Orc, though some have mingled and interbred with Sarlonan refugees who arrived on the Marches' western shores nearly a millennium and a half ago.

The Shadow Marches are also home to vast fields of Eberron Dragonshards, and it was in search of these Dragonshards that the Gnomes of House Sivis first came to the Marches for. While the tribes of the Marches weren't willing to allow the outsiders to strip her fields bare, House Sivis discovered something which was, to them, more valuable that the shards themselves: The Mark of Finding. The descendants of the Sarlonan refugees, both human and half-orc alike, had developed a Dragonmark. It's relatively recent discovery makes House Tharashk the youngest of the Dragonmarked Houses, but one that has grown to be a significant power, both in the region of the Shadow Marches and across Khorvaire as a whole.


Q. What happened to Gnomes and Half-orcs? Do they not exist in this world?

A. They most certainly do, and play quite significant roles in both present day and historical Eberron. The reasons we can't play them in DDO are likely more rules-based (and/or a question of animation costs/time), than a setting-based.


Q. Tell me about these "changelings." What are they and how do they fit into the setting?

A. (New) Changelings are the fourth (and final) race introduced with the Eberron Campaign setting. Somewhat like Shifters, they're rumored to be the result of human interbreeding, this time with Doppelgangers, long ago. Also like shifters, they now breed true (which, again, means that changelings are born to other changelings, not to a Human-Doppelganger pair).

They retain some of their alleged ancestor's shapechanging abilities and are able to alter their form to a significant degree. Changelings can appear as almost any generally bipedal humanoid, altering the specific details of their appearance at will. While making them ideal spies and infiltrators, this has also contributed to the general populace's distrust of Changelings and the rise of aphorisms such as "Never trust a Changeling."

The psychological response to this reception from the world at large, and to their own natures, varies from changeling to changeling, though they can generally be divided into three main categories: Passers, Becomers and Reality Seekers. The Passer seeks to hide his nature, attempting to avoid the conflict and mistrust that comes when others know who he really is. A Passer generally adopts a single identity and maintains it, hoping to live out his life as a member of another race. Becomers are somewhat opposite, reveling in their ability to take on different forms. A Becomer seeks to explore who she is by taking on as many roles as she can; one day she may play an old gnome male and the next a young female half-elf. Some of these personae will come to be favorites, to be adopted again and again, while others will be discarded after only one try. Unlike either of the other two, a Reality Seeker views his natural form as his ideal, attempting to find truth and acceptance as a changeling. Reality Seekers are the most likely of the three to be found fighting to change others' views of him, hoping to shatter the general notion of changelings as untrustworthy.


Q. Which race is the most populous on Eberron? The least?

A. (New) While there probably isn't an exact answer to this question, it's fairly well accepted that Humans are the most populous race both on Khorvaire and Sarlona. How they compare in numbers to the Dragons on Argonessen remains to be revealed. Xen'drik, being the wild jungle that it is, is probably entirely up in the air, though the drow and the giants certainly both have significant numbers on this continent. And of course, the population of the Aerenal subcontinent is almost entirely elven.

As for which race is least populous, the answer is probably closer to "none of them" than anything else. Unlike some other settings, every player race has a thriving community, and often nation, of its own on Eberron. No single race has population numbers which are significantly lower than any other. At least among the player races, when you expand out to monster races, there are undoubtedly some rarer specimens, but which, exactly, these might be is largely up to the DM.


Q. What are race relations like? Are there races that simply despise each other? Do elves and orcs have their traditional ages-long fued going on?

A. (New) In general, race relations are pretty good. There aren't any racial feuds, such as one might find in other settings (though races retain their standard bonuses meaning Dwarves are better at fighting orcs and goblinoids and both Dwarves and Gnomes gain bonuses when fighting giants). In general, these kinds of hatreds are replaced by ones more national in origin. Thranes are likely to hate Karnns, Aundairans and the Brelish don't particularly get along, the Valenar hate the Karnns and the Brelish hate the Droaamites. Farmers from the Eldeen Reaches don't like Aundairans. And so on.

This occasionally mimics racial stereotypes as well. Nobles from Sharn are likely to think less highly of an Half-Orc since they generally come from the Shadow Marches, considered a fairly backwater place. Talenta Halflings might be wary of any Elf because of their rivalry with the Valenar. And of course, very few people feel like they can trust a Changeling (but fortunately for them most people won't ever know if they met a Changeling).

The few exceptions to these rules tend to be personal. A Knight of the Silver Flame might dislike Shifters because Werewolves killed his Great Grandfather. A widow might hate warforged because her husband fell to a brigade of them during the Last War. There are, perhaps, more people who might fall under the purview of that second category, and the anti-warforged movement seems to be growing in the years since the Last War.

09-26-2007, 10:49 PM

Religion and Myth

Q. Tell me about the Religions and Guilds.

A. The main religions in Eberron are the worship of the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six, which often go hand in hand, the Church of the Silver Flame, the Blood of Vol, the Priests of Passage who worship the Undying Court, and the philosophy/religion followed by the Kalashtar called the Path of Light. There are also a variety of cults who worship the darkness under the world collectively called the Cults of the Dragon Below.

There are, of course, a wide variety of variations in how people worship these things, and even some other lesser known religions such as the drow worship of Vulkoor, or warforged who revere the Becoming God.

Adherents of the Sovereign Host like to enfold other religions into their own, believing that other religions are simply a different view of the same Gods. For instance, many among the churches of the Sovereign Host believe that the Silver Flame is simply a manifestation of Dol Arrah.

As for Guilds, aside from the Dragonmarked Houses, there aren't really many. The Houses have a sort of monopoly on much of the economy. There may be other, unaffiliated craftsmen, but the Houses are the only real organized economic force.


Q. What about the Gods?

A. (New) Several of the religions of Eberron don't have "Gods" per se. Worship of the Silver Flame, for example, venerates both Tira Miron and the Coutls who first formed the Flame, but moreover the religion is based on personal purity and the belief that the world can be made better through the Flame and its followers.

Likewise, the Path of Light is more a personal mantra and way of thinking that a Religion with Gods. The Kalashtar who follow il'Yannah spend much of their time meditating and taking small but positive actions to reinforce the good in the world. Some extend the religion to more a more physical level, training in the martial arts for what they see as the inevitable battle with the Quori.

The Aereni faith, which worships the Undying Court, is even less formal that this. It relies more on the simple veneration of ones ancestors, both dead and Undying, and less on a specific set of doctrines or codices. Their "gods" are elevated from the ranks of their wisest and most powerful worshipers.

Similarly, followers of the Blood of Vol believe in the divinity inherent in each living thing and seek to find and capture that divinity in themselves. Seeking this divinity, they hope to conquer their own mortality and overcome death. But there are no "gods" of the Blood of Vol.

In fact, the only religions on Eberron with what you might consider a typical pantheon are the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six, often seen as two sides of the same coin.

The Host is made up of Aureon, the god of Law and Knowledge, Balinor, the god of Beasts and the Hunt, Boldrei, the god of Community and the Hearth, Dol Arrah, god of Honor and Sacrifice, Dol Dorn, the god of Strength at Arms, Kol Korran, god of Trade and Wealth, Olladra, god of Feast and Good Fortune, and Onatar, god of Artifice and the Forge.

The Dark Six are The Devourer, lord of the deep waters and master of maelstrom and reef, The Fury, lady of passion driven to madness, The Keeper, lord of death and decay, The Mockery, lord of treachery over honor, The Shadow, literally Aureon's shadow and lord of dark magic and the corruption of nature, and The Traveler, trickster god of cunning and deception, subtlety and careful planning.


Q. If the Sovereign Host (also referred to as The Nine) is a pantheon of nine gods and goddesses, why does the holy symbol have eight points and not nine?

A. The symbol is sometimes referred to as the Celestial Crown or the Octogram and its meaning is often the subject of scholarly debate.

Kol Korran, the only second generation deity not found in the Dark Six, may not be represented by the Octogram. That is, the eight points may represent the eight gods before his "birth."

Another theory suggests that the Octogram actually refers to the entire pantheon made up of both the Hose and the Dark Six. Since the Octogram is made up of two colors and has eight points, it could, in fact, refer to sixteen deities. According to this theory, the Octogram refers to the original pantheon of "the Nine, the Six and the One."

Which of course begs question, who is the One, and again there are many theories. Some scholars believe the One is one of the Progenitor Dragons, mostly likely Eberron, but perhaps Siberys as well. Others say the One refers to the pantheon as a whole, and proponents of this theory translate references to the Nine, the Six and the One as "the Nine and the Six in One."

Some believe that the One refers to a now-forgotten deity, though many scholars believe this to be a ridiculous claim. Those opposed to this their point out that the Dark Six were actively banished from the Host, but were not destroyed or forgotten. To them this makes the idea of a deity being lost from the Host nigh impossible. However, there is some evidence that the goblinoids of Dhakaan worshiped a deity whose name has since been erased from history, so perhaps these scholars are correct.


Q. How did Eberron come into existence? What is the "story of Genesis" for Eberron?

A. The most commonly accepted creation myth is the legend of the Progenitor Dragons and the Age of Fiends.

According to this legend, the world was originally three all-powerful dragons, Siberys, Eberron and Khyber, that co-existed peacfully for some indeterminate length of time (though that likely doesn't matter at all when you're a progenitor wyrm). It is said that, as they flew through the cosmos, Khyber ate all the stars, consuming them faster than Siberys could place them in the sky. As the two waged this race, it is said Eberron sang and created the first life.

Finally, Siberys tired of attempting to outrun Khyber and turned on him in hopes of stopping him from devouring everything she created. And the two fought a cosmos-shaking battle. In the end, Siberys was defeated, and Khyber shattered her into a million pieces.

Now thirsty for blood, Khyber turned to attack Eberron, but she was too fast for him. As he lunged she dodged aside and enfolded him in her coils. No matter how much Khyber struggled, Eberron just kept wrapping him tighter until he was completely enveloped.

After their long struggle, Eberron and Khyber slumbered, their bodies hardening into the earth. The fragments of Siberys body encircled the pair, becoming the Ring of Siberys. Thus the dragons got their names, Khyber the Dragon Below, Siberys the Dragon Above and Eberron the Dragon Between.

Drops of Siberys' blood fell to earth and became the first of the Dragons, who lived in peace for a long Age. Deep below the surface, Khyber's blood festered and seeped from between Eberrons coils, spawning the first of the Fiends: Rakshasas, Night Hags and other terrible creatures. Slowly, these Fiends found ways to escape their underground prisons, finding their ways through cracks and crevices in Eberron's surface. It wasn't long before they began to threaten the peace of the Dragons.

In an echo of the ancient battle between the Progenitor Wyrms, the Fiends quickly triumphed over the Dragons. The Dragons were driven back, and retreated to Argonessen, while the Fiends divided the rest of the lands among themselves, and this was known as the Age of Demons.

For millions of years, the Fiends ruled Eberron, driving the Dragons back to Argonessen any time they attempted to venture forth, until the Dragons finally discovered The Prophecy. It was through the prophecy that they discovered their greatest allies, the Couatl.

Like the Dragons and the Fiends, the Couatl were spawned from the Progenitor Wyrms. During Eberron's primordial song, they had sprung into life, adding their rythyms to the music. Like the Dragons, they had long since been driven into hiding by the Fiends, but once they joined forces with the Dragons the two races discovered they had enough power to challenge the ruling Fiends.

War rages for eons, as the Couatl and the Dragons clashed with the Fiends all across the face of Eberron, until the Couatl would make the ultimate sacrifice. Only bonds of pure spirit could bind the Fiends in Khyber and so the greatest of the Couatl gave up their physical forms to trap the Fiends once more.

Weakened from their long battle, most of the Dragons retreated back to Argonessen, leaving the rest of Eberron a mostly barren wasteland. But a wasteland ready for new life.


Q. Are there any Apocalypse myths? Does Eberron have a “Judgement Day” sort of prophecy?

A. Presumably there are some that are inherent in the Progenitor Dragon Creation Myth. If, somehow, Khyber were to get free it would likely spell disaster for the children of Eberron and Siberys (humanoids and Dragons). Scholars might even debate whether such an unleashing of Khyber would be a true dragon reborn (akin to the Norse Ragnarok) or if it would simply be a matter of a massive freeing of demons. Either one would probably spell equal doom for humanity.

Likewise, there are enough semi-historical accounts of apocalyptic disasters that whether or not such philosophies are "myth" might be the real question. Given the disasters that accompanied the end of the Giant Empire and the Daelkyr Invasion, the possibility of another "Cataclysm" is very real to some. There's even a cabal of mages who study past Cataclysms in order to glean arcane knowledge from their results.

Additionally, though one might never know for certain, the Draconic Prophecy is likely to hold some closely-guarded foretellings of disaster. Much of the Prophecy is structured in an "If this, then that" fashion. Thus one might never know whether some small set of events set into motion (or prevented from happening) by an agent of the Chamber, such as the reforming of a certain band of thieves or the destruction of a specific bank vault's guardians, will prevent some other, more disastrous set of events from occurring.


Q. Who or what created the various races?

A. Unlike many other settings, there are no racial pantheons, meaning individual races' creation myths share much of the same general story as the one above. Some individual races have their own myths on their own creations, though they vary based on religion. Followers of the Sovereign Host often believe that Onatar, God of the Forge, created the Dwarves, while the trickster god The Traveller created the Changelings.

Other, less religious folk might say that the Changelings were instead the product of ages of interbreeding between Doppelgangers and Humans.

One of the nice things about Eberron, in my opinion, is that much of the religion and myth is uncertain. Other settings say "For sure, this is exactly how this race was created and exactly where they came from." Eberron doesn't do that. Much like the debatable nature of the Gods, the origins of most races is simply a matter of opinion or faith.


Q. Could you tell us about some of the holidays in Eberron? What are they? How are they celebrated?

A. Holidays in Eberron can be divided into two categories, Holy Days and Secular Festivals. Obviously Holy Days will vary from religion to religion, while Secular Festivals can be very dependent on a number of other factors, such as race or location.

Holy Days of the Sovereign Host
Aureon's Crown is a celebration of knowledge and wisdom in honor of the God of Law and Knowledge. Generally, elders among the community gather together with younger folk to share tales, stories and other wisdom. For many, especially among the academic communities, Aureon's Crown has become a secular holiday, which requires no particular devotion to Aureon or the Host to celebrate.

Boldrei's Feast is a time to honor community and strengthen the bonds between neighbor and friend. Generally taking the form of a true feast, celebration of Boldrei's Feast can range from a simple, but abundant meal in smaller communities, to lavish parties thrown by nobles in larger cities such as Sharn. Boldrei's Feast is also traditionally the time to hold elections and announce government appointments, for Boldrei represents all those forces with make a community work together.

Brightblade is the Holy Day of Dol Dorn. During Brightblade, prizefights, wrestling matches and other contests of skill at arms are held in honor the God of Battle.

The Hunt honors Balinor to celebrate his aspect as Lord of Horn and Hunt. To celebrate how Balinor protects the faithful from marauding bests, The Hunt generally consists of a wild beast being set loose, usually under controlled circumstances. Then, for a small donation to Balinor's clergy, anyone who wishes can participate in tracking the beast down. Generally there is a prize for the hunter who can return with the beast's head.

Sun's Blessing is a Holy Day of Dol Arrah, Goddess of Honor and Light. It is traditionally a day of peace, a day on which enemies can set aside their conflicts, and their arms.

Holy Days of the Dark Six
Long Shadows is a time of darkness and danger. According to legend, The Shadow was spawned from Aureon's own shadow, when he casts the first spell. Long Shadows is a time when the power of dark magics is at its peak, and most law abiding citizens stay indoors at night, huddled away from the darkness.

Wildnight is a celebration of passion and raw impilse. The Fury, Goddess of unbridled emotion, is the patron of all things uninhibited. When the sun sets on Wildnight, and often for several nights before, emotions boil forth. Reserved folk tend to stay away from public places, but many see Wildnight as an excuse to unleash their inner passions. The streets are filled with revelry and other more lurid events. Fights break out, lusts are fulfilled and crimes of passion abound.

Holy Days of the Silver Flame
The Ascension is the most holy of days, for followers of the Flame. In honor of the sacrifice of Tira Miron, who gave her life to give voice to the Flame, members of the Church gather to reaffirm their faith in the Flame and give thanks for the light it brings to their lives. In addition, it is a day to give back to the community, sacrificing of yourself in memory of Tira Miron.

Fathen's Fall is a holy day which memorializes one of the great heroes of the Silver Crusade (The Church's name for the Lycanthropic Purge). Fathen was a great inquisitor in Sharn, and as a result the festival is more prevelant there than elsewhere, and Fathen's Fall is a day of rememberance. It marks the day he was killed by a pack of wererats who tore him limb from limb.

The Silver Flame, more than most other religions has a slew of minor holidays and rites throughout the year including the new year Rebirth Eve, a memorial for the year's dead Bright Souls' Day, a celebration of Tira Miron's birth known as Tirasday, a celebration of nature's bounty known as Promisetide, and several more.

Holy Days of the Blood of Vol
Revelations Day is a day of self-examination for the followers of the Blood of Vol. It is a time to look back on the past year and determine what spiritual progress one has made.

Secular Festivals
The Day of Mourning was something no one could have been prepared for, and members of the Five Nations continue to mark the day as a time of grief and passing. Often people gather together to tell stories of the dead, or remembrances of the Last War. For former citizens of Cyre, the Day of Mourning is an even more poignant day, for it marks the day on which they lost their homes. Every Cyran knows exactly where he was on the Day of Mourning, and why he didn't die with the rest of his nation. Some are tales of narrow escapes, soldiers who had just marched across the border, while others are almost regretful tales of years spent away from home.

Crystalfall is a Sharn specific holiday which marks the most devastating tragedy to occur in the city during the Last Way. In the early years of the way, some magical attack severed the enchantments holding one of the cities oldest floating towers aloft. The Glass Tower plummeted to the ground killing nearly everyone inside it and many in the districts below. Since then, artists and sculptors fashion replicas of the tower in miniature and fling them into the Dagger River. Some find this offensive, but for most of the participants it's a way to memorialize what was lost.

Brightfest is a unique holiday that occurs in the Shifter communities. It is a celebration of the end of winter and preparation for the hard work to come. It is often accompanied by revels that go late into the night as well as athletic competitions.

The Reachrace is a week-long athletic competition held by Shifter communities, which culminates in a day-long marathon. Communities vary in exactly how they hold these competitions, but generally the week begins with tests of strength and agility and ends with tests of endurance.

The Days of Remembrance and the Void of Taratai are Kalashtar holidays. Sixty-seven quori spirits reached Eberron to form the Kalashtar race and each spirit has a five day period each year during which it is honored. A given kalashtar celebrates the Days of Remembrance which are appropriate to his spiritual lineage.

The Void of Taratai is the period which was once the Days of Remembrance for the spirit Taratai, leader of the quori who escaped to become the kalashtar. However, the lineage of Taratai has been completely eradicated, and the Void is a time for all kalashtar to reflect on the exodus from Dal Quor and to ensure that another line is never lost.


Q. Could you give more information on what churches and deities a dwarf Cleric or Paladin would follow? You hinted in another response to a question about the deity Onatar, but I thought most dwarves actually followed another deity?

A. Religions in Eberron aren't race-specific for the most part. Most of the modernized races of Khorvaire follow the same major religions with worship of the Sovereign Host being the most popular. Dwarves might gravitate more towards Onatar, as god of the forge, artifice and crafting, or towards Kol Korran, as the god of commerce, mercantilism and such. But, that said, a dwarf might just as easily devote himself to the Silver Flame or one of the Host's other deities.

09-26-2007, 10:50 PM


Q. Tell me about the Last War?

A. Over a century ago, King Jarot ruled the Kingdom of Galifar on the continent of Khorvaire. His five children, Mishann, Thalin, Kaius, Wrogar and Wroann, rule what are known as the five nations, Cyre, Thrane, Karnnath, Aundair and Breland, nation-states that made up the core of the Kingdom of Galifar. Mishann being the eldest stood to inherit the Galifar Throne, but three of her brothers ans sisters refused to acknowledge her claim, and so a war for the crown broke out.

This war lasted for 102 years, until a catastrophic event of unknown origin literally destroyed the entire nation of Cyre. This event, and the day it occured, became known as the Mourning and the devastated ruins of Cyre have become the Mournland. The suddenness of this presumed attack, and the threat that it might happen again, drove the present day rulers of the five nations, along with representatives from many nations that had fought or bought their independence over the course of the century-long war, to meet at the ancient seat of Galifar, the island of Thronehold to sign a Treaty ending the war.

The Treaty of Thronehold recognized new nations, including the Talenta Plains, home to nomadic halfling tribes, Zilargo, a nation of gnomes, Q'barra, a swampy rainforest inhabited mainly by lizardfolk and some brave fronteir dwellers, the Lhazaar Principalities, a loose confederation of island nations ruled by pirate princes, the Mror Holds, home to the mountain clans of the dwarves, the Eldeen Reaches, forest wilds inhabited by some hardy farmers and a wide variety of druid sects, Darguun, the remnants of the ancient Goblinoid Empire of Dhakaan, and Valenar, a desert nation of warrior elves.


Q. Is it true that the war ended around two years or so ago?

A. The suggested starting date for an Eberron campaign is 998 YK. The Treaty of Thronehold was signed in 996 YK. So yes, generally the war eneded "two years ago."

That said, any DM can set their campaign in any year they'd like, and it's unclear from what I've seen in DDO exactly when our "campaign" is set. It remains likely however that we're using the suggested starting date and so the war would have ended two years ago.


Q. Did the elves and dragons go to war? Could you tell us a little of what happened?

A. The Elves and the Dragons have clashed on a number of occasions. The first would be at the end of the Giant/Quori war. As the Giant Empires spiraled out of control following the cataclysm the threw Dal Quor out of orbit, it became ever more clear that the Giant Warlocks would turn to the same magic again in an attempt to restore their empire to its former glory. However, the Dragons, ever watchful of the Prophecy, forsee the terrible result and attack the now-weakened Xen'drik. Though this war is not entirely one-sided, the Dragons clearly have the upper hand and in the end the Giant civilization is shattered. Those Elves who still remained slaves to the Giants at the time would certainly have battled the Dragons alongside their masters.

Shortly after the Undying Court was formed in Aerenal (relatively speaking), the elf-dragon wars began. The first of the battles between the new Elven nation and the Dragons occured almost 26 thousand years ago and would kick off a centuries-long period of alternating peace and war. Long periods of peaceful coexistance would be shattered by sudden devastating battles. Not much is known about these battles, though it is commonly believed that they have stopped only because the Undying Court has amassed enough power to truly challenge the Dragons, creating a precarious balance of power.


Q. Aeren actually sacrificed himself with his own blood magic, but was able to use that power to provide protection for his people, and to transform himself into the first Undying. Could you maybe please go into a lil more details? Is Aeren still around?

A. The legends of the birth of the Aereni nation are many. One goes as you describe. An Elven apprentice by the name of Aeren Kriaddal served a Giant Warlock intent on unlocking the secret power of blood sacrifice. Over time Aeren came to realize that the true potential lay in a willing sacrifice and so banded together with 100 other conspirators to create an opportunity that would allow the Elven people to escape their captivity.

He and his conspirators, on a predetermined day, approached their Giant masters, uttered the final words of a ritual that took their lives and brought destruction down on the heads of the Giants in a cataclysmic first strike. The Elves, led by agents of Aeren and the conspirators, fled to the shore where they found a journal describing what Aeren had done as well as the process to create the Undying. This legend claims that Aeren himself became the first of the deathless and predecessor to what would become the Undying Court.

There are flaws with this legend however. Much of what makes the magic of the Priests of Transition possible is the manifest zone to Irian on present day Aerenal. If this special connection to the plane of positive energy is needed to create an Undying, how then would Aeren have become one on Xen'drik? Proponents of this legend point out that there were other magical forces involved and this might have allowed for Aeren's conversion to an Undying despite the lack of the manifest zone.

Another legend claims the Elves and the Giants had been at war for sometime, as the Elven uprisings sprang up amidst the Giant/Quori war. In this legend, Aeren is an elven visionary who forsees the cataclysmic end to the Quori/Giant/Elven war and convinced a number of Elves to flee the collapsing empire and seek out a new home. As dragonfire shattered the continent of Xen'drik, these Elves landed on the island nation that would become Aerenal. Aeren, however, is said to have died of a wasting disease over the course of the long sea voyage, and never saw the new nation. The Elves who would become the Aereni buried their prophet in the soil of this new land and named it "Aeren's Rest."

The mere fact that legends are unsure of whether Aeren was male or female, seem to suggest that, even if Aeren was one of the first deathless, he or she is no longer among even the Undying.


Q. What historical (or semi-historical) information is there on the other races of Eberron?

A. (New) What we know of the early history of the Dwarves of the Mror Holds is fragmentary, passed down through the ages through oral histories. Legend says the dwarves originated in a land of ice and snow; many modern scholars speculate that this is a reference to Frostfell, though to date no explorers in that frozen land have found evidence of an ancient Dwarven civilization.

Tales of more recent age, though long enough ago that it remains difficult to separate legend from history, tell of Stone Kings and Dragon Keepers and rune smiths forging mighty blades beneath the mountains. This age came to an end during the age of the dwarven lord Kordran Mror. A number of warriors and heroes of the dwarven realm had been foment unrest and rebellion against the Lord and Mror banished them from the deep realms. Twelve of these leaders fled to the surface realms with their followers. The remaining dwarves sealed the depths with wards and sent a clan of wardens to the surface to maintain them.

Many of the banished lords worked in an attempt to regain favor with Lord Mror, and some say the great stone face of Lord Mror was carved at this time, but none of these efforts swayed the Lord. Over thousands of years the cultures of the surface dwarves slowly devolved, slipping into clan warfare and embracing violence, each clan seeking to become master of the surface kingdoms. When Galifar united the nations, he turned his eyes toward the Mror holds, frowning on several of the practices that had since arisen including the enslavement of captured members of other clans. He stopped the clan warfare and encouraged the dwarves to develop themselves into a true nation.

Decades passed and the dwarves abandoned their old ways and spread across the face of Khorvaire, though those who remained in the mountains often complained of the taxes and tributes they paid to the Kingdom of Galifar. Things seemed to be settling into a regular routine, but then the summons came. The dwarves of clan Kundarak, keepers of the ancient wards, called the lords of the twelve clans to the halls of Korunda Gate. There, the twelve lords spoke in peace, discussing the future of their nation and concerns with their liege lord in Galifar. After days of talks, the patriarch of of Kundarak led the lords down beneath the hold to the ancient wards. "At long last, you have set aside your differences," he said. "Step forward, and open the gate to the kingdom below." The twelve lords touched the seal and it faded away.

But what lay beyond was a shock to them all. While the lords on the surface had battled each other, the dwarves in the depths had battled the Daelkyr and their minions. A battle they ultimately lost. The glorious kingdom of the dwarves beneath the mountains has been crushed under the heel of the Lords of Xoriat. Amidst the ruined halls and lost treasures, twisted monsters prowled the halls.

House Kundarak, having discharged their ancient duties, went on to join the greater community of Dragonmarked Houses, and the surface dwarves have slowly begin to reclaim the lost depths from the minions of the Daelkyr. But largely, the lost kingdoms of the ancient Dwarven Lords remain in the hands of creatures of Xoriat.

(More on other races to come. Let me know if you'd like to know about a specific one.)


Q. What do YOU think happened on the Day of Mourning?

A. Well isn't that the million dollar question. Personally, I'm very happy that the Eberron team at WotC seems committed to not revealing the true answer to this mystery. I enjoy that it remains up to any given DM to answer the question (or not) however they choose.

That said, I've seen some very interesting theories around. One, in particular, that springs to mind was one that involved Truename Magic from Tome of Magic. This explanation has some particular appeal to it, given that the effects were limited to the very borders of Cyre, the nation (or perhaps more appropriately, the concept). It seems strange that any other type of magic or catastrophe would limit itself to political boundaries, but if it were a Truename catastophe, involving the Truename of Cyre... well it would explain why the effects stop at the border.

It seems likely that the source of the disaster lies with House Cannith, if one chooses to believe that the Mourning was the result of an error or accident within the boundaries of Cyre. Cannith is a House of innovation, but innovation never comes without a cost. A magical experiment gone awry or a new, powerful weapon that misfired might lead to a result such as the Mourning. However, there's always the possibility that the Mourning was some attempt at attack, perhaps either unrepeatable or accidental, thus explaining why there hasn't been a repeat performance. The question in this case seems to be which of the other nations would resort to such a tactic, and do they still seek to be able to regain the weapon they may have lost? Alternatively, one might look at who benefited the most from the Thronehold Accords. Many new nations were able to establish their sovereignty at Thronehold and some, such as the Daughters of Sora Kell in Droaam, though unrecognized by the Accords may have hoped to gain more than they did.

Though, the possibility that some other force caused the Mourning not as an attack on Cyre, but rather as an attempt to end the war or prevent some other, worse catastophe from occuring certainly exists. One might, if one so chose, see parallels between the Mourning and the catastrophe that caused the eventual destruction the Giant Empire. Perhaps the Draconic Prophecy dictated that Cyre be destroyed, or perhaps the Dragons foresaw some greater disaster nearing as the Last War labored on. Either way, one must consider the possibility that a force such as the Dragons, intelligent, mysterious, magical and powerful, could, in all likelihood, cause such an event.

And there remains the possibility that Mourning was, in fact, not caused by anyone. A strange conjunction of planar orbits, or a misalignment of manifest zones might have unforseen repercussions in the material plane. A particularly powerful natural disaster, combined with nearby magical laboratories or workshops might result in a nation-wide catastophe.

In the end, the source of the Mourning remains something for scholars (and DMs) to debate at length, and will likely remain so for some time to come.

09-26-2007, 10:51 PM

The World of Eberron

Q. So what is “Khorvaire?” I thought we were on a continent named Xen'drik.

A. Khorvaire is the continent where the majority of Eberron D&D games take place. It's one of Four (and a half) continents that make up the world of Eberron. It's the most similar to what most people might expect from a campaign setting. Nations, kings and queens, wizarding colleges, cults and evil masterminds of various shapes and sizes attempting to upset the status quo.

Aerenal is its closest neighbor and is home to a nation of Elves who migrated there following the fall of the ancient Giant Empire. The Elves of Aerenal preserve their revered ancestors as members of the Undying Court, a sort of undead powered by positive, rather than negative, energy. The elves worship their anscestors, and the priests of the island continent draw their spells from the combined power of the Court.

Xen'drik, the continent that DDO is set on, is the home of the aforementioned Giant Empire. Centuries ago, the Giants of Xen'drik were brilliant mages who ruled over the entire continent. They civilized the Elves, enslaving them to do many of the things the large giants couldn't. Their civilization thrived, until the residents of the Plane of Dreams, the Quori, attempted to invade Eberron. A long, drawn out war ended when the Giants accomplished some arcane feat that managed to throw Dal Quor permanently out of orbit around Eberron and turn back the invasion. Unfortunately, the same feat began the downfall of the empire, shattering the continent and eventually leading to the ruined lands we currently adventure in.

Sarlona was the cradle of Human civilization. The first humans migrated from Sarlona to Khorvaire led by Lhazaar. Centuries later, events on Dal Quor (yes, the same Dal Quor) led to a number of Quori seeking to escape the plane, through a series of strange events, these Quori managed to find their way to Eberron and bound themselves to a number of human monks living in Riedra. Always seeking to destroy the Kalashtar and restore their people, the Quori followed them, eventually managing to take total control of Riedra and take over the rest of the continent, except for Riedra which became the mountain refuge of the Kalashtar.

The last continent, Argonessen, is home to a nation of Dragons who devote themselves to interpreting the Draconic Prophecy, a series of foretellings that are written all across Eberron (and some speculate even in the Dragonmarks of the "new" races). The island of Seren lies off the northwest coast and is home to tribes of barbarians who worship the dragons. Some members of these dragons travel to the other continents, forming a group called The Chamber, to study the prophecy. Most of the dragons of Eberron call Argonessen their home, and act as one might expect from incredibly intelligent creatures. There are, however, a few "rogue" dragons who fulfill the role one might expect from their D&D dragons.


Q. One of the moons was destroyed? How'd that happen?

A. There are currently twelve moons that orbit Eberron, with one additional moon having been lost or destroyed.

Exactly how the thirteenth moon was destroyed is unclear, but it likely occurred in one of the great cataclysms that ended an age, most likely the Age of Giants.

One interesting thing to note, is that on Eberron, a Lycanthrope is affected by the full state of all twelve moons. Meaning there are months where she's never unaffected and others where she's only unaffected for 3-4 days. This is a large part of the reason for the Lycanthropic Puge, an inquisition led by the Church of the Silver Flame in an effort to wipe the disease of Lycanthropy off the face of Khorvaire.

Certain fanatics in the time of the purge also sought to wipe out the Shifter race, who, while seemingly descended from Lycanthropes, are incapable of passing the disease though wounds or bites and therefore pose no real threat. This resulted in some very real discord between many Shifters and the Church of the Silver Flame.


Q. Can you tell me more about the Mournlands? I heard somewhere that healing magic don't work there.

A. That is correct. Neither natural nor magical healing works in Mournlands. This does not include, however, the magic used to repair Warforged, making it the perfect location for the Lord of Blades to begin his nation.

The Mournlands is the entirety of what was once Cyre. The Mourning affected Cyre and Cyre only. You could have be standing twenty yards outside the nations borders on the Day of Mourning and you would have been totally unaffected.

While this certainly points to magical causes, the exact cause of the Mourning will likely never been known. But whatever it was it utterly destroyed the former Jewel in the Galifar Crown.

Now the Mournland is bounded by a dead gray mist that follows its borders and stretches up over the region to create a canopy above it. This barrier provides the first obstacle for those attempting to enter the Mournlands. Visibility is almost nil within the mists, often hiding falls or other hazards. The mist is thick and cloying and seems to suppress sounds within it, leading to an even higher likelihood of getting seperated or lost.

Once you make it through the mists things don't get much better. The land beyond is scarred and broken. The sun, when it's up, fails to pierce the dead-gray mists, leaving the land in a state of perpetual twilight. Almost nothing natural remains. Plants and animals are twisted, even magic has become unstable. Many spells that were active or cast at the time of the Mourning have become Living Spells, actually oozing about the broken landscape seeking prey.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, the natural process of decay seems to have been halted by the Mourning, leaving fields of warriors in the exact state in which they died. The largest collection of fully preserved corpses can be found at the Field of Ruins, the site of a massive battle between Thrane, Breland, Cyre and Darguun that was in progress when the Mourning occured. Every single soldier exactly as he was the day he died almost four years ago.

Despite the dangers of the Mournlands, or perhaps because of it, expeditions are often sent to explore the ruins of Cyre by a wide variety of groups. The dangers of the area have, until now, kept most treasure-seekers out, ensuring that there's a wealth of goods, both magical and mundane, to be had for those able to find them. And survive the trip home.

09-26-2007, 10:51 PM


Q. Who runs or is in control of Stormreach?

A. Stormreach is very much a frontier town, so the question of who is in control of it, if anyone, is a little bit tricky. Stormreach was originally built as a pirate haven, and existed as such for quite some time. Finally, the Dragonmarked Houses petitioned the King of Galifar to put an end to their reign and root the pirates out of Stormreach in 800 YK. Two years later, through a combination of diplomacy and naval action, the feat was accomplished. Sort of. The city was then given over to the control of five hereditary nobles known as the Storm Lords, the first of whom were promoted from the ranks of the pirate captains.

The present day Harbor Lord oversees the docks, trade and comings and goings, while the four Coin Lords oversee the maintenance of the city, as well as the city guard. However, to say that they control the city is something of a misstatement. To say anyone controls the city is really untrue. Stormreach close to a lawless city and the analogy to a frontier town is most applicable. Consider the typical Wild West town. A sheriff is technically in command, but his actual control extends about ten feet away from his person.

The other factions who wield some significant influence in Stormreach are the Houses. Stormreach is very much a trade town, and as befits their station as Barons of Industry, the Dragonmarked Barons have some considerable power in the city. While all of the houses have agents in the city, and many have enclaves, House Lyrandar, House Kundarak, House Deneith and House Tharashk have deep roots in the city and the Storm Lords often go out of their way to accommodate those Houses.


Q. Now I'd like to know more about the Giant Empires.

A. There isn't a whole lot that's known about the Giant Empires except what scholars have been able to glean from the ruins left behind and the legends of the elves.

Scholars estimate the Giant Empire first arose about eighty thousand years ago, becoming one of the first true civilizations in Eberron. They arose into a world that seemed ready for the rise of civilization. According to legend, the Age of Fiends had recently ended as the fiends, rakshasas and their ilk had been destroyed, driven back or bound in Khyber by the Couatls with assistance from the Dragons, in an ages long war.

Many scholars suspect that the Giant Empire arose much as human civilization has, with various tribes being consolidated under the command of a number of warlods, then developing into nations and finally joining together to form the larger empire. Some scholars believe that the individual giant races (Hill Giants, Storm Giants, Fire Giants, et al.) existed at this time and made up the various tribes, but more the commonly accepted theory is that giants during this time were a sort of primordial giant race, and it wasn't until after the fall of the empire that this race split into the races of giants we know today.

Additionally, some scholars question whether the Giant Empire was ever actually a single empire or if, even at the peak of their civilization, the giants dwelt in a number of seperate nations or empires. Proponents of the theory that the various giant races existed during this age often favor the latter theory as well, believing that each race of giant likely had its own nation and that a number of these empires coexisted during the Age of Giants.

Two things are known for certain about the Giant Empire, they enslaved the elves and they were powerful mages. Much of the rest is speculation based on oral history, legend and what can be determined from the ruins the giants left behind.


Q. I’ve heard tell of floating castles above the continent of Xen'drik. What are the significance to these castles?

A. They are likely Giant ruins. Many of the ancient giants would have had the magic to create floating castles and some might still remain. Storm Giants in particular might find the appeal of living in the sky impossible to resist.

The Explorer's Handbook makes mention of a ruined city Pra'Xirek. Most the city is built on the ground, and much of that is now underwater, but over it all floats a castle, which used to be accesible by now-shattered walkways.

There are however some "floating castles" on Khorvaire as well. Sharn, the City of Towers, is built in a manifest zone of Syrania, meaning flight and levitation are greatly enhanced. This has allowed the city to grow up, literally in dozens of huge towers that stretch from the bottom of the cliffs the city is built on, up into the very clouds. One of the most presitigious neighborhoods in Sharn is Skyway, which literally floats over the city.

Likewise the mobile fortress of Argonth was developed by Brelish mages during the Last War, with the help of Cannith Makers. Literally a flying military outpost, Argonth traveled along Breland's borders assisting throughout the final years of the Last War. Now it follows a steady patrol around the nation, protecting the Brelish Citizens from raiders and other potential threats.

Arcanix, the college of mages in Aundair, also resides in a floating castle.


Q. What is known about Dar Qat and Riedran motives in Xen'drik generally?

A. Not much, in truth. Dar Qat is generally closed to outsiders, and the Riedrans view the "barbarians" of Stormreach with no small amount of contempt.

One can pretty safely guess that the Inspired lords have turned their sights on Xen'drik for much the same two reasons anyone else goes: Siberys Dragonshards and the lost lore of the Giant/Quori war. The latter is likely of quite some interest to the present day Quori. Keep in mind that, due to the Turning of the Age, the modern day Quori are not, in fact, the same ones who fought the giants. Given that the Quori seek to prevent another Turning of the Age, and the ancient Giants somehow managed to bring one about, they likely seek to determine what exactly the Giants did, and how best to prevent it.

They may also seek a method to undo what the Giants did to Dal Quor itself. If they could manage to get Dal Quor orbiting again, their work on Eberron would only get easier.

They likely also seek out the great falls of Siberys Shards that are scattered across Xen'drik. Inspired (and Kalashtar) can use Siberys Shards to make what are known as Quori Imbedded Shards, psionic items that allow them to heighten their connection between humanoid shell and quori spirit. These shards can provide them with a number of new powers from hiding their alignment, to providing psionic armor, to heightening their skills and abilities.

In terms of relations with others, they're nearly non existant. There's little, if any, political contact between Stormreach and Dar Qat. Most of the interactions with Riedra take place in the Riedran Embassay in Stormreach, rather than in Dar Qat itself.

The city itself is said to be made up mostly of humans, with a scattering of Inspired to lead them. There is also rumored to be a slave force made up of half-giants and the strange, insectoid Dromites.

Save for their war against the Kalashtar, the Riedrans are generally content to go about their work without posing much overt threat to anyone else. As to what their more covert plans might mean for Stormreach and the adventurers living there, it's anyone's guess.


Q. My party and I were on our way to the ruins of Threnal and I was surprised to see so many giants gathered outside the western gates of the city. Why are they out there? Is it safe? Aren't we at war with the giants?

A. The resident giants of the Tents of Rusheme are some of the more peaceful giants in Xen'drik. They've come to the city for trade, knowing that adventurers like us make some of the best customers for lost artifacts and information. The Stormreach Guard leaves them alone for the most part, meaning that the giants of Rusheme police themselves, so make sure you keep a civil tongue as you pass through.


Q. As we sailed to Xen'drik aboard The Stormrider, I couldn't help but notice that Captain d'Lyrandar kept talking to a sort of fish-man. He was covered in scales and had a dangerous look about him. Who, or what, was he?

A. The sahuagin of Shargon's Teeth, north of Stormreach in the Thunder Sea, are a dangerous lot. Divided up into tribes, they war amongst themselves and occasionally raid ships sailing over their realms.

Many ships seeking passage from Khorvaire to Stormreach hire sahuagin guides. Though this can't guarantee safe passage, if the ship passes into another tribe's territory for instance, a guide can generally get a ship through safely.

The sahuagin are only one of the many dangers on the Thunder Sea, not the least of which are the vicious storms which give the sea its name. The sahuagin worship the Devourer as Mistress of the Waves and have been known to give ships up to particularly bad storms, claiming it to be the will of the Devourer and therefore unavoidable.

Giant octopuses, huge sharks and the occasional free roaming elemental can also pose significant threat to an unprepared vessel. House Lyrandar's Wind Galleons can outrun the former two, though the elementals of the Thunder Sea can take particular offense at such vessels, given their use of bound elementals for propulsion.


Q. I was just outside of the House Phiarlan enclave, examining a ring of standing stones when an image suddenly appear in the sky over the stones. It was a strange ziggaurat surrounded by jungle. Does that mean something? Why would that happen?

A. There are twelve rings of stones like the one you found throughout Stormreach, and as of yet no one's been able to determine their true function. Known as a Circle of Visions, the ring will project an image approximately once a month. They vary in scope from the simple to the bizarre. Some sages speculate that they might simply be works of public art, left over from Stormreach's time as a city of Giants. Others wonder if the images aren't the continuation of some communique or prophecy left over from that time period.


Q. Last week, several of my friends and I began an expedition into the Jungles to search for a missing drow. Though we knew where we were headed, it took us almost three weeks to arrive. Once we had completed our mission, the return trip to Stormreach took a mere three days. What's going on?

A. You've experienced what's become known as the Traveler's Curse. The Curse seems to twist both our perceptions of time and space, as well as perhaps actually bending both. Trips into the interior may take more or less time on any given day. Two parties could both leave Stormreach headed for the same destination and one party might arrive long before the other. Or you might leave on an expedition, feel as though a short time has passed, but, upon returning to Stormreach, find that it has been months.

Most sages agree that this is a remnant of the magical energies that caused the great cataclysm, but the first humans to reach Xen'drik attributed it to the mischievous Traveler, giving the effect its name.

The Curse seems to most greatly effect explorers who are from other continents. Thus, having a native guide can help to prevent its effects. Likewise, it is said that having a good sense of your destination will help keep your trip stable.

Some suggest that, in fact, it's need which helps speed a person to their destination, or keep them from it. Alask d'Jorasco, proprietor of the Last Chance, often claims that the Traveler's Curse brings those most in need of his services right to his door.


Q. What is known about the Cerulean Hills and Gianthold? Are these simply a DDO creation or do they tie into the macroscopic Eberron storyline?

A. To my knowledge they aren't written up anywhere. Obviously there's some tie in between the ancient Giant civilizations and a place called Gianthold. And personally, I speculate that the "Reaver's Bane" in the module's title refers to the Stormreaver, who we know from Tempest Spine to be an ancient giant legend. Given the destruction of the ancient giants at the hands of the Dragons, it's entirely possible that the "Reaver's Bane" would be a dragon, or a few...

I'll be able to give a better interpretation of the story and how it meshes with Eberron cannon once the module is released and I get in to look at the adventures and plots therein.


Q. Alright, so I'm looking at a map of Xen'drik, I see Stormreach, the desert, and so forth, but where about is Gianthold?

A. All maps of Xen'drik are actually mere approximations. Due to the cataclysms that ended the Giant-Quori war, travel and time often fluctuate oddly in Xen'drik. It's known as the Traveler's Curse. (And I've actually already done a little blurb on it.)

But that said, since they essentially made up Gianthold, they can put it where ever they want.

09-26-2007, 10:52 PM

The Planes

Q. Could you elaborate a bit on the cosmology? The Quori come from a place that the Giants "knocked out of orbit.” What does that mean?

A. The planes of Eberron do actually Orbit the material plane, traveling through the Astral Plane. There's an image of this posted on the Wizards site gallery for the campaign setting.

This has some rather unique effects. When planes are close to Eberron or "coterminous" they cause certain abnormal effects. When Fernia, the plane of fire, is coterminous for instance, volcanos are more likely to erput and fire magic is more potent. Likewise, ice or cold magic is less effective, and it's less likely to rain.

Conversely, when a plane is remote it affects Eberron in the opposite direction. When Dolurhh, the plane of the Dead, is remote, it's hard to cast speak with the dead. When Kythri, the plane of Chaos, is remote, nations are more likely to adhere to their treaties.

Each plane has its own orbit, and therefore it's own frequency of being coterminous and distant. Planes can also be considered to be waxing and waning, indicating whether they're moving toward or away from Eberron.

Most relevant to this particular discussion, travel to or from a given plane is much easier when it's coterminous and much harder when it's distant. The Quori invasion of the Giant Empire occurred when Dal Quor was coterminous, and the final defense of the Giants was to knock it out of orbit, causing it to be perpetually distant.

The thirteen planes are:

Daanvi, the Perfect Order.
Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams.
Dolurhh, the Realm of the Dead.
Fernia, the Sea of Fire.
Irian, the Eternal Day.
Kythri, the Churning Chaos.
Lammania, the Twilight Forest.
Mabar, the Endless Night.
Risia, the Plain of Ice.
Shavarath, the Battleground.
Syrania, the Azure Sky.
Thenalis, the Faerie Court.
Xoriat, the Realm of Madness.

In addition to a plane being coterminous or remote, there are also what are called Manifest Zones. These are areas in Eberron that have a connection to one of the other planes. This connection enhances elements or effects that are related to the plane that is Manifest. For example, Sharn, as I mentioned, is in a manifest zone of Syrania, a plane of endless sky and flight, which causes flight related magic to be enhanced within the zone. Deep forests might have manifest zones to Lammania, where the natural plant growth is accelerated and wild animals are just a bit more wild.


Q. So Dal Quor has been knocked out of orbit. Does that mean that the Quori can't travel to Eberron? I know there was some planar business with Xoriat and the Daelkyr too. How does that affect them and their creations (such as Beholders and Mind Flayers)?

A. (New) Dal Quor was knocked out of orbit by the Giants of Xen'drik thousands of years ago. In general, yes, that means that travel between Dal Quor and Eberron is very difficult. It is not, however, impossible. When the Quori progenitors of the Kalashtar race sought to escape Dal Quor, they were able to flee that plane. Some suggest that it was through the dreams of powerful beings, which eventually led them to the dreams of the monks in Adar. There they were able to communicate with the monks and form the bonds which would lead to modern day Kalashtar.

Following their lead, some of the remaining Quori have developed a method that allows them to usurp the bodies of properly prepared humans in Riedra. These entities are known as the Inspired. But, in truth, neither type of Quori is able to physically travel from Dal Quor to Eberron. (As a side note, the main plot of Keith Baker's third book, The Gates of Night, involves the journey through the planes in an attempt to reach Dal Quor.)

The incursion from Xoriat by the Daelkyr is actually a different matter. Happening long after the Giants' war with the Quori, the Daelkyr invasion happened during the time of the Goblinoid empires. The Daelkyr ravaged much of Khorvaire, bringing many of the Aberrations we face today with them and creating others from the local residents of the plane. Like the Quori invasion, this took place largely because their plane was coterminous with Eberron, weakening the barriers between planes and facilitating travel between the two. However, when the Gatekeepers managed to fight back the forces of the Daelkyr it was not by throwing Xoriat out of orbit like the Giants had done. The Giants response had had such a cataclysmic result that the Dragons sought to prevent that from happening again. When the green dragon Vvaraak taught the gatekeepers the druidic craft, he gave them the skills necessary to drive back the Daelkyr's hordes and seal the gateways to Xoriat. But this is merely a temporary solution until the planes once again come into alignment.

Once their Daelkyr masters were defeated or driven back to their home plane, many of the the Aberrations fled into Khyber, no doubt drawn there by the dark presence of the bound Rakshasa. From there they spread out across the planet, traveling far and wide, some presumably ending up on Xen'drik. However, the powers of the Daelkyr's minions are not tied to their masters but rather to their new and twisted forms. Thusly, they retain their strength despite the Gatekeeper's success against their Daelkyr lords.


Q. What kind of inhabitants live on each plane? Where do familiar creatures like Demons, Devils, Archons and Eladrin live?

A. (New) Prison of the planes actually gives you a good idea what sort of creatures you might find on various planes. But in general, it's the sorts of creatures that would make sense. Formians and Inevitables live on Daanvi. Dolurrh, the realm of the dead, is inhabited by Nalfeshnee and Lemures as well as the occasional Marut. Fernia is home to many fire-related creatures such as elementals, fire and magma mephits, but also Pit Fiends and Balors. Irian, the eternal day, is home to positive-energy creatures such as Lantern Archons and Ravids. Kythri houses Chaos Beasts, Slaadi and Githzerai. All animals, both fiendish and celestial, can be found on Lamannia, along with a wide variety of forest-dwelling creatures. On Mabar you'll find shadows, succubi and other creatures that enjoy the dark. Risia gets you ice creatures such as mephits and frost salamanders. Shavarath actually houses most of the Demons and Devils along with the more militaristic Archons. Syrania is home to Angels. As one might guess, Thelanis is mainly populated by the Fey including the Eladrin. Xoriat is ruled by the Daelkyr, and the madness of the plane (or its lords) creates creatures such as Mind Flayers, Far Entities and Pseudonatural creatures.

In general, when determining whether a creature would be an appropriate inhabitant for a given plane, use your common sense. Examine the creature's qualities and determine which of the planes it fits best, theme-wise.


Q. What is the relationship of Eberron to the Forgotten Realms and the World of Greyhawk? What about other worlds like Ravenloft, Athas, Krynn or any variety of others? Can you travel from one to the other? Is Eberron connected to the “Great Wheel?” Are the "spelljammer" crafts are a part of Eberron and might be in game as well?

A. In general, no. The longer answer here, of course, being "If the DM wants."

Spelljammer (and Planscape to a lesser degree) were second edition constructs that attempted to bind together (and, one assumes, sell more of) the various campaign settings produced. And even then there were some problems, such as with a setting like Dark Sun or Ravenloft, where allowing people to come and go essentially ruins the flavor of the setting.

Third edition has, for the most part, done away with this rather clumsy goal. Eberron has completely different cosmology than Faerun and Oerth. You can't just hop from one "prime" plane to any other plane then back to a different "prime." Likewise, you can't just hop on your spelljammer and travel the phlogiston to a different crystal sphere.

Much of what makes various campaign settings unique is dependent on them being independent from other campaign settings where things work differently. Eberron has, for instance, a noticeable lack of "Helpful" or "Good" NPCs. This is lost when Elminster (or whoever) can just hop on over.

Part of the reason Spelljammer doesn't tie into Eberron is no doubt due to the simple fact that Spelljammer is no longer supported by Wizards of the Coast. But the independence and uniqueness of campaign settings makes a good argument that leads to the same results.

To touch, briefly, on Ilithids, who are often fairly closely tied to Spelljammers. Ilithids were subjugated and/or created by the Daelkyr and dwell in or have ties to the Xoriat, the plane of madness. The ilithids currently in Eberron likely came with the Daelkyr during their invasion of Khorvaire. (If one chooses to include Neogi, another race closely tied to Spelljamming, their origin is likely to be similar.)



The Plot

Q. Can you provide some more in depth background data, story or information regarding some of the more popular/infamous quests of DDO?

A. I've decided to treat this rather daunting question in a series of answers, rather than trying to collect them all in one big answer. I'll try to address one or two quests a week as we go through. Some I may skip as they don't really have too much backstory.

The Vault of Night

As you may know from reading the in-game conversations, the Vault of Night is a extra-dimensional bank space built by House Kundarak and designed by Arach d'Kundarak. The vault uses an pocket-dimension known as the Plane of Night to hold items which need extra security.

You are first approached by Barrow d'Kundarak when it is discovered that the Aurum has broken into the vault, led by the red-haired sorceress Velah who seems to have seduced Arach into revealing the vault's secrets. Barrow suggests that you acquire the assistance of the Laughing Knives, renowned band of thieves and adventurers. However when you approach Marek Malcanus, leader of the Knives, he informs you that the band has split up and gone their seperate ways. Your task is to enable each of the former Knives to return to active duty and assist you into breaking into the Vault of Night.

This task first sends you into the Tharashk Arena, an underground fighting club populated mostly by monstrous humanoids and other socially outcast types. House Tharashk operates a mercenary force of such monsters, mostly from Droaam, and likely runs the Arena to keep them entertained. Your task, however, is to recover the fabled axe the Oath of Droaam and return it to the Dirge of Karnnath. Unfortunately, the Oath resides within the arena itself, forcing you to find away into the competition and defeat some of Stormreach's most powerful gladiators.

The second member of the Knives you seek to hire is Mistress Orphne, a master of poisons. I'm not entirely clear on what it was that Orphne did, but she somehow upset a number of Quori, who have since trapped her in her own mind. Speaking to her companion, Shen Kulle, you are told that he has prepared a potion which should allow you to enter her dreams and attempt to rescue her. Once there you find that the Quori have scattered her memories and your task is to recover them from the various parts of her fragmented mind.

Your third quest takes you deep into the jungles of Xen'drik in an attempt to sway the drow Veil to your cause. Veil, however, has become a vampire and has attracted the attentions of minions of Daanvi, the perfect order. Maruts are inevitables who hunt down those who seek to cheat death and attempt to restore things to their natural order, generally through the final death of their target. Veil's band of drow, the Luridae, seem to have joined forces with the Blackheart Trolls and a group of Beholders in an attempt to stop the inevitable from reaching Veil. Unfortunately, this also makes your quest to find the drow vampiress equally difficult. Still you must fight your way through Veil's defenders, delve deep into the caverns of Khyber and convince the vampiress to return to the Laughing Knives.

The last of the Knives is Haywire, a brilliant, if slightly unhinged, dwarf who has a knack for magical creation. Rumor has it that, after leaving the Knives, Haywire has attempted to recreate one of the warforged creation forges, despite the outlaw of such under the Treaty of Thronehold, and actually met with some success. You must seek out Haywire's new foundry and find a way to gain access. Once there, you make the unfortunate discovery that Haywire's warforged creations have been coopted by some outside force, a parasite from another plane, and have taken over the foundry. Haywire has retreated to a sanctum which he hopes the warforged will not be able to breach. Your task is to restore control of the foundry to Haywire by defeating the Master Control Unit, a golem designed to maintain the foundry. Haywire then plans to destroy the foundry, hopefully destroying the parasite as well.

Once you've gathered the Knives together, you delve into the Vault of Night itself. You must face and overcome a variety of the Aurum's agents in an attempt to restore some control of the vault and gain access to the portal to the Plane of Night. This culminates in a battle with Arach d'Kundarak, or rather with a number of his construct defenders.

Once you defeat them, you can pass into the Plane of Night itself. Once there you make a startling discovery. Velah, the sorceress who seems to have orchestrated the theft of the Vault of Night is no sorceress at all, but rather a Dragon. Velah has managed to set up some defenses which prevent you from reaching her for a time. It becomes clear that she doesn't expect to leave the Plane of Night, however, her sacrifice, she claims, is not in vain. She has set this entire series of events into motion so that she might gain access to the dragonshards used to create the Vault of Night and to bind the Plane of Night to it. She claims that these dragonshards hold some crucial aspect of the Draconic Prophecy, and, one suspects, once she has interpreted them she passes the information on to her companions in the Chamber through some magical means.

The answers she provides only serve to pose more questions. What could be so important that a dragon such as Velah would give up her life in order to discover it? What end will this information serve? Who were Velah's companions in this venture, which is to say, who are the other Dragons and what will they do with the information gleaned from the Vault of Night's dragonshards? All these questions remain, as yet, unanswered.


Q. Who is The Stormreaver and why does he keep popping up in the game? Can you tell me a bit more history about him?

(Additional plot answers are going to be delayed a bit.)

09-26-2007, 10:53 PM


Q. You say the warforged were constructed by House Cannith. What exactly is House Cannith?

A. House Cannith is one of the twelve Dragonmarked Houses of Khorvaire. Each of the twelve Houses is made up of what amounts to an extended family, or bloodline. Select members of each house develop Dragonmarks, mystical symbols that give them limited magical powers. Each House has developed a niche industry centered around the effects of their Mark. House Cannith, who's Dragonmarked Scions bear the Mark of Making, run the Tinkers' and Fabricators' Guilds. Given that each mark is tied to a bloodline, most Dragonmarked Houses are made up of a single race. The exception to the rule is House Tharashk, whose members come from both the Human and Half-Orc races, though the reason for this is uncertain. The remaining Houses are as follows:

Mark House Race Influence
Detection Medani Half-elf Warning Guild
Finding Tharashk Human Finders Guild
Handling Vadalis Human Handlers Guild
Healing Jorasco Halfling Healers Guild
Hospitality Ghallanda Halfling Hostelers Guild
Making Cannith Human Tinkers Guild
Fabricators Guild
Passage Orien Human Couriers Guild
Transportation Guild
Scribing Sivis Gnome Notaries Guild
Speakers Guild
Sentinel Deneith Human Blademarks Guild
Defenders Guild
Shadow Phiarlan Elf Entertainer and Artisans Guild
Thuranni Elf Shadow Network
Storm Lyrandar Half-Elf Windwrights Guild
Raincallers Guild
Warding Kundarak Dwarf Banking Guild
Warding Guild

Dragonmarked Houses are made up of three teirs of members. Marked and Unmarked members of the familial bloodline and unrelated members of the house guilds or affiliates. Marked members hold a place of esteem within the House, but all members of the bloodline follow certain protocols. Members of the House bloodline append the house name to their own, and those with a mark preceed it with the d' prefix. So Elaydren Vown d'Cannith is a member of House Cannith who bears a Dragonmark, while Kemellik Kundarak is an unmarked member of the Kundarak bloodline.


Q. Are there any other dragonmarks that are known about?

A. There are two other dragonmarks worth mentioning. The Mark of Death, which once belonged to the Elven house of Vol is now lost, or perhaps destroyed, depending on who you might ask.

The other Dragonmark is, perhaps, a category of Dragonmarks instead. Aberrant marks, which is the name given by the Houses to any mark other than their own, can sometimes develop spontaneously on those with some Dragonmarked blood in their background. The Houses fought to eliminate the bearers of the most powerful Aberrant marks decades ago in what is now known as the War of the Mark. Periodically, Aberrant marks will still crop up every once in a while. The Houses have managed to spread fear of these marks among the populace of Khorvaire, generally by attributing terrible madness and psychoses to those who bear them.


Q. Warforged were created by House Cannith, but after the "technology" was brought by them, did that "technology" spread? I mean, did the other houses produce their own warforged later, or it was exclusive of the Cannith House?

A. No, the warforged "technology" has not spread. In fact, since the Treaty of Thronehold declared warforged to be independent and living beings, the creation of warforged has been prohibited. Some people (such as Haywire) continue to attempt to create them, but all Creation Forges were in the custody of House Cannith and have all supposedly been shut down. There's some suggestion that Baron Merrix d'Cannith continues to operate a Creation Forge in secret.

The Warforged were one of House Cannith's main products for sale during the Last War, and like any mercantile enterprise protects the things that are making it money, they jealously guarded the secrets of Warforged Creation from everyone else.


Q. Why are there two houses with the same mark?

A. (New) When the Last War began, there were twelve dragonmarked houses. By the time hostilities ended with the Treaty of Thronehold there were thirteen. For many members of the Houses, the Shadow Schism and its resulting two Houses stand up as an example of just how drastically the Last War altered the face of Khorvaire.

When the Mark of Shadow appeared on the Elves of Aerenal, it didn't manifest on members of one family, but on many. By the time of the Last War, House Phiarlan was dominated by five powerful family lines: Tialaen, Shol, Elorrenthi, Thuranni and Paelion. Each family cultivated it's own set of favored clientèle and maintained moderately independent espionage operations. In 972 YK, Knight Superior Kadrath ir'Vardikk, a high-ranking member of the Emerald Claw (at that time an extension of the Karnnathi Government and favored client of the Thuranni family) came to Lord Elar Thuranni d'Phiarlan with information on a Brelish plot to assassinate the young king of Karnnath and his Regent. The plot relied, or so the information suggested, heavily on the talents of House Phiarlan's Paelion family, renowned (at least amongst those in the know) as some of Khorvaire's most skillful assassins.

Lord Elar was, understandably, reluctant to strike against his own house and so first turned his family's extensive resources to verifying the information he had been provided. Thuranni agents soon discovered and reported that the information was merely the tip of an iceberg. Lord Tolar Paelion d'Phiarlan had apparently hatched a scheme by which he would end the Last War and gather Khorvaire's reins of power not in the hands of one of Galifar's descendants but in his own. Further, it seemed, a necessary portion of the plan was the elimination of the other families of House Phiarlan.

While this information might have been dismissed as megalomaniacal or far too ambitious to ever come to fruition had they come from anyone else, with the Paelion family behind them, and their significant talents as spies and assassins, this threat seemed quite real. And so Lord Elar ordered an immediate strike against the Paelions. Lord Elar personally infiltrated the Paelion compound in Lhazaar and killed Lord Tolar and his family himself. Simultaneous, Thuranni agents wiped out every Paelion present in the Lhazaar compound and struck against Paelion family members and agents at Phiarlan holdings across Khorvaire.

In one carefully calculated stroke, the Paelion family was entirely decimated. Shocked at the apparent betrayal, Baron Elvinor Ellorenthi d'Phiarlan declared the entirety of the Thuranni family excoriate, casting them out of House Phiarlan. Unwilling to accept this, and insistent that he had worked for the good of all Houses and even Khorvaire itself, Lord Elar declared the Thuranni family independent of Phiarlan and established the new House Thuranni. Taking most of his clients with him, and even managing to secure some of the clients formerly served by the Paelion family, Lord Elar quickly established his house as a significant force.

Lord Elar d'Thuranni maintains, to this day, that his actions were motivated by the greater good and he only hoped to stop a plot which would have thrown all of Khorvaire further into chaos. But the truth of his claims are, since the death of the Paelions, impossible to verify. Rumors and conspiracies which offer other versions of events continue to be told and formulated in the darker places of Khorvaire. Some say that the Order of the Emerald Claw fabricated the evidence incriminating the Paelion family. Advocates of this tale point to Regent Moranna's outlawing of the Order a mere four years after the Shadow Schism as evidence that more was going on that appears at first glance.

Other, wilder theories suggest that agents of the Chamber orchestrated the Schism to restore some sort of "proper" number of Dragonmarked Houses. (These proponents of a "Thirteen Houses" theory also say that agents of the Chamber work to prevent House Cannith from splitting for the same reasons.) Some hint of an alliance between Lord Elar and Baron Elvinor, suggesting that the split was amicable and that they used the Paelion line, their mutual enemy, to justify the Schism.

While there has been some evidence that the postwar Thronehold Tribunal held several hearings on the Shadow Schism, both the details and the results of those proceedings remain shrouded in secrecy. But perhaps one should expect no less from a split between Khorvaire's two most secretive Houses.


Q. What exactly do dragonmarks do for their bearers.

A. There are four different "levels" of Dragonmarks: Least, Lesser, Greater and Siberys. In mechanics terms, a mark gives you a small bonus to a certain skill (usually related to the type of job your house performs) and the ability to use a spell-like ability a given number of times per day, with each higher level of mark giving a more powerful ability. With the exception of Siberys Marks, which I'll discuss in a second, the Marks are a progression. A fraction of the members of the house will develop a Least Mark, then a fraction of those with Least Marks will develop Lesser Marks, then a fraction of those with Lesser Marks will develop Greater Marks. As a scion progresses up this path, developing more powerful marks, she retains the abilities granted by her lesser marks.

Siberys Marks are extremely rare, and always develop on persons who have displayed no other mark. They provide extremely powerful abilities, usually emulating a ninth-level spell.

Most Dragonmarked scions use their abilities in the service of their House, offering them up to those who can pay the price. For example, the gnomes of House Sivis use thier mark to offer services like translation or mediation, as well as providing long-range communication. A Least Mark of Scribing gives might allow a scion to use the Comprehend Languages spell, or send a message using the Whispering Wind spell, while a Greater Mark allows the scion to perform a Sending.

House Orien uses its marks to provide courier service as well as to transport people over great distances instantaneously, if you can afford it. The Least Mark of Passage might allow you to use Expeditious Retreat, to speed up your travel, or the Mount spell-like ability to provide yourself with an ever-present steed. Meanwhile the Greater Mark of Passage allows its bearer to Teleport or use Overland Flight.

A note about these effects. Any given person can only ever perform a single one of these tasks. That is, a gnome with the mark of scribing can't choose to use Comprehend Languages one day and Whispering Wind the next. The spell-like ability is determined when your mark develops and never changes from then on.

Additionally, some of the more impressive benefits of having a Dragonmark don't actually come from the Mark itself but with the effects it has on other items, especially those crafted with Siberys Dragonshards, which tend to enhance the powers of Dragonmarks. For instance, a wheel of wind and water allows a Lyrandar captain with the Wind's Favor variety of the Mark of Storm to pilot both the Airships that the House owns and its Wind Galleons (elementally powered sailing ships), while the Speaking Stones that make up House Sivis communication network spread across Khorvaire are only usable by gnomes with the Whispering Wind type of Mark of Scribing.


Q. Could you tell us anything about the Draconic Prophecy or how it relates to the Dragonmarks?

A. (New) The true nature of the Draconic Prophecy is largely a mystery to humanoids. The Dragons carefully guard the exact nature and text of any parts of the prophecy they discover, utilizing the knowledge to their own ends. In this situation, Knowledge really is Power.

Some scholars have suggested, however, that the Dragonmarks actually play an intricate role in the Prophecy. According to these scholars, Dragonmarks are, in fact, part of the prophecy written on the flesh of, what the dragons would consider, the lesser races. While the truth of this theory may never be known, it certainly seems possible. Those places where portions of the prophecy have been discovered it is often written in a style that bears some visual similarities with the appearance of Dragonmarks, at least superficially. It may be that only the Dragons will ever know for sure.


Q. What about the missing Dragonmark? Why is the Blood of Vol looking for the bearer of the mark?

A. The Mark of Death was one of the first Dragonmarks to develop, along with the Mark of Shadow, among the Elves of Aerenal. Found in the House of Vol, the knowledge of what powers the mark granted have long since been lost to time. Several things are known though, to modern day sages.

After ages of war between the Dragons and Aerenal, the House of Vol sought a solution. And though in the end they succeeded in ending the wars, it was likely not in the way in which they had hoped. The House of Vol joined together with a green dragon (whose name I can't recall at the moment) in an attempt to blend the lines of Elves and Dragons. The result was Erandis d'Vol, a dragonmarked scion, half-elf, half-dragon. For years she was raised in secrecy, House Vol's hope for a peaceful future.

However, when Vol was revealed to the world, the reaction was not as the leaders of House Vol had expected. Both Elf and Dragon turned against the House for creating what they viewed as an abomination. The Dragons and Elves sought to destroy the Line of Vol, starting with Erandis and her parents. The initial assault caught House Vol offguard and it was only through a combination of necromantic magics and, likely, the power of her Dragonmark that Erandis' mother was able to save her daughter. Through some unknown ritual or sorcerery, Erandis was spirited away from the slaughter, and converted into a Lich, likely in hopes of preventing the Dragons from tracking her. In the years that followed, all other members of the House of Vol were tracked, hunted and killed, thus ending the Line of Vol and removing the Mark of Death from the face of Eberron.

However, what is known to very few is that Erandis d'Vol survives to this day. And leads the religion known as the Blood of Vol from the shadows. For most practioners of the Blood of Vol, Erandis and her kin are legends. They instead simply follow the ancient ways of the House, seeking to find an alternative to the dismal afterlife that faces those who travel to Dolurrh. They see the gods of Eberron, both the Host and the Silver Flame, as selfish beings who seek to keep immortality for themselves while sacrificing their followers to the fading eternity of the Plane of Death.

All followers of the Blood of Vol seek to find a means to become immortal, and some accept the path of Undeath as a viable alternative to death. Though the Undead aren't the ideal that is truly sought, it is a step in the right direction. Ageless, immune to the ravages of time or disease, the undead are as near to immortal as any living creatures has been able to come, as yet. The Blood of Vol continues to search for another means, a means to remain alive forever.

Some practioners of the Blood of Vol know of Erandis, though. Generally those higher ranking members of the church and those close to the lich herself. These agents, and their followers by extension, seek to find a means to restore the line of Vol, and the Mark of Death. Rumors that a living elf might have manifested the Mark would be of great interest to Erandis, and her followers would bring word of such an elf in all haste. The exact nature of Erandis' interest in offspring of her House is unclear, though one must wonder whether she hopes to use fell magics to transfer herself into a living body which bears the Mark she once bore in life.

There are other forces who would take great interest in such an elf as well. The Undying Court and the Dragons of Argonessen are unlikely to look favorably on the reemergence of the Line of Vol, and might seek to destroy an elf who manifests the Mark of Death, just as they have destroyed all the others. The other Dragonmarked Houses might also harbor some significant interest in the reappearance of the Mark of Death, though whether they would seek to wipe out a potential competitor or welcome such an elf as an equal is uncertain.


Q. Are there any dragonmarked warforged? Or is this simply a "humanoid" trait?

A. Each Dragonmark is tied to a specific race (or in the case of the Mark of Finding two). Only members of that race, who are also members of the Dragonmarked family or bloodline have the possibility of manifesting a true Dragonmark.

You never see a Mark of Scribing on a Human, or a Mark of Handling on a Halfling.

Any member of a Dragonmarked race (Elf, Human, Halfling, Gnome, Dwarf, Half-elf, Half-orc) has a chance of manifesting an Abberant mark, though it is more likely among those who have Dragonmarked blood somewhere in their family tree.

This means there are no Warforged, Shifters, Changeling, Kalashtar, Gnolls, Bugbears, Goblins, etc. with any kind of Dragonmark.

An interesting note. Eberron avoids using "subraces" in many cases, the argument being that a dwarf is a dwarf is a dwarf. There are however, a few instances where subraces do come into play, most notably the Drow. Technically speaking a Drow is an Elf and therefore has the potential to manifest a mark, however given that the bloodline of the Mark of Shadow is not a Drow bloodline, it's unlikely you'll see Drow with a True Dragonmark. They do, however, have the possibility to develop an Abberant Mark.

Likewise, Half-elves who are Human/Elf offspring (which are rare, most half-elves are born to two other half-elves) cannot develop any of the Half-Elf dragonmarks, because they won't belong to the appropriate families. Nor will they be able to manifest one of the Human or Elven marks because they are of the incorrect race. (The novel, the Crimson Talisman gets this particular point wrong, giving its half-elven protagonist the Mark of Passage.) Like the Drow, a Half-Elf like this could certainly develop an Abberant Mark, though, especially if both of his parents belonged to Dragonmarked bloodlines.


Q. Can a dragonmark manifest itself in a race not "native" to the house? That is, can the Mark of Finding possibly manifest itself in an Elf, or the Mark of Healing manifest itself in a Gnome?

A. No. In fact, a mark can't even really manifest itself on a person who is the right race, but not a member of the Dragonmarked family. Of course, given that the Houses have been around for, in some cases, millenia, you might have the blood of a Dragonmarked House in your veins and not really know it.

However, this brings up a good point. The Dragonmarked Houses carefully monitor known members of their bloodline, particularly when it comes to interaction with members of another House's bloodline.

Occasionally, a member of a Dragonmarked race, especially one with the mixed blood of two or more Houses, will develop what's known as an Aberrant mark. Aberrant marks vary in shape, size and power, and do not match any of the more common marks. Long before the start of the Last War, another long and bitter conflict shook the nations of Khorvaire. The more powerful Dragonmarked Houses saw these developing Aberrant marks as a threat to the economic control and power, and so they began a campaign of cleansing.

In the third year of this campaign, Lord Halas Tarkanan began to gather those with Aberrant marks into a more organized force. Tarkanan and his new queen, the Lady of Plagues, used the powerful abilities granted by their marks to take control of Sharn and make it a base of operations for their defense. However, in the end they simply didn't have the numbers to withstand their enemies' assault.

Present day House Tarkanan continues to be a force for organized crime in the City of Towers, but the strength of modern Aberrant marks doesn't come near to the power that Halas Tarkanan and the Queen of Plagues possessed. Still, the Dragonmarked houses continue to seek out those with Aberrant marks and destroy them before they can develop into a legitimate threat.


Q. What about a half-elf with an elf and human parent. Can he or she manifest either a human or elf dragonmark, assuming one of the parents is from the appropriate line?

A. Technically speaking, they shouldn't be able to. Dragonmarks are tied both to the bloodline and to the race of the Mark. Therefore, someone with a Marked Human parent and an unmarked Elven parent shouldn't manifest the Mark of their Human parent. However, if you read The Crimson Talisman you'll find the main character is a half-elf with the Mark of Passage, but by all rights, that shouldn't happen. Of course, as a DM (or author) you're free to bend these rules a bit, even going so far as to allow one of your players to play just such a character.

But it would be far more likely that a half-elven child of Marked parentage would manifest an Aberrant mark. In fact, Dragonmarked Heirs are strongly discouraged from breeding with members of other Houses (marked or not) because of the mere possibility that such breeding could result in Aberrant Marks. It seems likely that a similar taboo is placed on interracial breeding among members of the Dragonmarked Houses.


Q. Since subraces can manifest aberrant marks, could an empty vessel, and by extension an Inspired, have an aberrant mark?

A. The answer here boils down to bloodlines. Theoretically, yes it would be possible for an empty vessel to manifest a mark, but Aberrant marks usually manifest on those members of a subrace who have a dragonmarked ancestor somewhere in their past. Since the Human Dragonmarks didn't manifest until long after Lhazaar and her people emigrated from Sarlona, it would take a member of one of those dragonmarked lines returning to Sarlona and then interbreeding with the empty vessel lines somehow. Given the overt xenophobia of the Sarlonan people this is unlikely to begin with. Add on top of that, the fact that the quori carefully monitor the breeding and reproduction of the Empty Vessels and it becomes even less likely.

As for an Inspired having the mark, no, that shouldn't be possible either. It seems likely that the manifestation of the mark would alter the Empty Vessel is such as way that they would no longer be a suitable candidate for Quori possession. If a Quori did manage possess an Empty Vessel with a mark, it seems likely that the result either wouldn't be one of the Inspired or that the process would somehow interfere with the magic of the Mark and thus prevent its use.


Q. The Twelve united and fought a war/crusade against what are called Aberrent Dragonmarks, some of which included intermarried members of the Twelve Houses. Sounds interesting. Can you tell us more?

A. The War of the Mark, as this crusade is commonly known, occured a relatively-recent sixteen hundred years ago. The body of arcane mages known as the Twelve, wasn't actually created until the end of the War of the Mark. Hadran d'Cannith suggested, during talks to end the war, that the houses work together to create a place where magic could be studied cooperatively, with a focus on dragonmarks and their application in the world.

As for the for the War of the Mark itself, it was mainly a crusade to eradicate Abberant marks, though whether the impetus was the Houses' desire to consolidate power to themselves or if they truly believed those with Aberrant marks to be evil, none know for certain. In the third year of the war, Halas ir'Tarkanan and a woman known only as the Lady of Plagues took control of the city of Sharn and transformed it into a haven for those seeking to escape the Houses' persecution. History shows that the powers of Aberrant marks were once far greater than those seen today, and few displayed more power than Tarkanan and his Lady. However, in the end, those with Aberrant marks and their allies simply didn't have the numbers to withstand the Houses' assault, and it soon became clear that Sharn would fall to the forces of the Pure Marks. Unwilling to accept defeat, Tarkanan and the Lady of Plagues called on the full force of their marks and unleashed forces that would devastate Sharn. Earthquakes rocked the city, causes portions of it to collapse and rivers of lava to flow up from far below the city. Those who died in these catastophes were the lucky ones, however, as vermin and disease ravaged the rest of the city.

In the end, the Dragonmarked Houses were victorious, but Sharn paid a terrible price. For centuries, people refused to resettle in the city, until Galifar the First sent House Cannith forces to rebuild the city. Even today, though, there are some who claim that the curse of the Lady of Plagues still fells the occasional resident of the deeper parts of the city.


Q. Are the “Twelve” in Stormreach actually the same twelve mages that fought against the Aberrant Dragonmarks? How long ago was that and do they actually live in Stormreach?

A. The Twelve is an arcane college of sorts funded and developed by the twelve Dragonmarked houses. The number twelve in "The Twelve" refers to the number of the houses, however the title itself refers to a separate institution and not the Houses themselves.

The Twelve wasn't actually around during the War of the Mark. It was, rather, formed immediately following the end of the war. The Twelve isn't twelve actual people, but rather a whole bunch of different mages. (Different mages now than would have been around at the time of the Twelve's founding.)

Members of the Twelve in Stormreach will have various reasons for being there. For some, being sent to Stormreach is likely a punishment, since it's very much away from the cosmopolitan areas of Eberron. Others might be there on research missions. Xen'drik is one of Eberron's main sources of Siberys shards, and House Tharashk in particular sponsors a large number of expeditions into the interior of the continent in an effort to harvest these. Additionally, the Giants of the Age of Giants were extremely skilled in arcane magics, so many members of the Twelve might be in Stormreach in order to seek out artifacts from that Age.

I feel it necessary to point out, that while the Twelve did assist in developing the first Airships, House Cannith is not actual producing them. The secrets of elemental binding are a crucial element in many of the modern wonders but most notably elemental-bound vessels such as the Lightning Rail, Airships and Wind Galleons. And those secrets are jealously guarded by the Gnomes of Zilargo. The great drydocks at Trolanport and Korranberg are responsible for the majority of the Airships produced today, and most of the rest are produced by smaller workshops elsewhere in the Gnomish nation.

Additionally, the Twelve should be thought of more as an independent R&D department for the Houses, than as a tightly controlled arm of them. They take some direction from the Barons, but for the most part they do their own work to advance their magical knowledge and find practical uses for it, which are then shared equally with all the Houses. This however can't stop the rumors of this House diverting funds for secret projects or that House attempting to conceal some incredible new discovery.


Q. What sort of powers can an aberrant dragonmark give its possesor? Do they give a sort of "multi-class" Dragonmark power, I.E. If an aberrant dragonmarked had lineage from House Jorasco and House Cannith, can the aberrant marked heal and repair both, just to a lesser degree?

A. While the Aberrant marks do often result from inter-bloodline breeding among the Houses, their effects are always very different. The dragonmarked half-halfling in your example would not gain powers from his mark like those you describe. Most often Aberrant marks give wild and dangerous powers, what we would likely consider "combat" spells, such as burning hands or color spray.

The only modern day Aberrant marks are roughly on the same scale of power as the Least Dragonmarks among the pure blooded Houses, though history shows that more powerful marks were once present. Halas ir'Tarkanan and the Lady of Plagues likely had marks of similar power to Greater or even Siberys marks.

On that note, there are some who consider there to be three levels of marks which mimic the three Progenitor Dragons. The most powerful of the Pure Marks are known as Siberys marks. The would then consider the rest of the Pure Marks to be "Eberron" marks and Abberant marks to be "Khyber" marks. This theory has some slight flaws in that, as we've discussed, there are multiple levels of power within the Aberrant Marks as well, and if all Aberrant Marks are "Khyber" marks, what would the significantly-more-powerful Marks of Tarkanan and the Lady of Plagues be considered?

09-26-2007, 10:53 PM

People and Groups

Q. Who are some famous people that my character ought to know by name?

A. That's a pretty open-ended question, and of course will vary a bit from character to character, but I'll try to name a few.

King Boranel ir'Wynarn rules Breland and was a major force for peace and advocate of the warforged at the Treaty of Thronehold.

Queen Aurala ir'Wynarn rules Aundair and though she advocates peace as well, she still longs to unite the former nation of Galifar under her rule.

King Kaius ir'Wynarn III is the current ruler of Karnnath, he regrets having forged an alliance with the Blood of Vol and seeks to regain control of his nation.

Oargev ir'Wynarn is the last remining member of the royal house of Cyre, and leads his former nation in exile from New Cyre, in Breland.

Queen Diani ir'Wynarn rules Thrane in name only, the nations is truly ruled by the Church of the Silver Flame

Jaela is the twelve-year-old Keeper of the Flame, leader of the Church of the Silver Flame. She seeks to reform the church to be more modern and accepting, but there are factions within the church, namely led by the Cardinal Krozen who wish to keep to more traditional ways.

House Cannith is currently split, since the main leaders of the House were in Cyre on the day of Mourning. Barron Merrix d'Cannith leads Cannith South based out of Sharn, while Baron Jorlana d'Cannith leads Cannith West from Fairhaven in Aundair and Baron Zorlan d'Cannith leads Cannith East from from an enclave in Korth.

House Tharashk is lead by a triumvirate of leaders, representing the old clans, Daric d'Velderan, Khundar'aasta and Maagrim d'Tharashk.

The other Barons are Baron Kwanti d'Orien, Baron Trelib d'Medani, Baron Morrikan d'Kundarak, Baron Elar d'Thuranni, Baron Yoren d'Ghallanda, Baron Breven d'Deneith, Baron Ulara d'Jorasco, Baron Esravash d'Lyrandar, Baron Elvinor Elorrenthi d'Phiarlan, Baron Lysse Lyrriman d'Sivis, and Baron Dalin d'Vadalis.

The leader of the Wardens of the Wood, a sect of druid that essentially leads the disparate farmers and fronteirsman of the Eldeen Reaches, is the Great Oak Oalian. And yes, he really is an Awakened oak tree.

The Circle of Night is made up of the up the most powerful of the Inspired and is led by the Devourer of Dreams who leads the agents of the Dreaming Dark.

The ancient lich Erandis d'Vol is the last, well not living, but active member of the House of Vol, and now leads the the religion the Blood of Vol, from behind the scenes.

The Daughters of Sora Kell are three powerful Hags who rule of the monster-nation of Droaam. Sora Katra is a green hag who acts as the voice for the trio. Sora Maenya is a annis hag who leads the sisters troops in battle. Sora Teraza is a dusk hag prophet, who dispenses cryptic advice even when dealing with her sisters.

Mordain the Fleshweaver is an outcast elven wizard. Once a member of the Twelve he was cast out for the unorthodox experiments that gave him his name.

The Lord of Blades is a mysterious warforged who believes in warforged supremacy and seeks to create a nation of living constructs in the remnants of Cyre.

The Lhesh Haruuc hopes to return the tribes of Darguun to the former glory of the Dhakaani Empire.

The Sibling Kings of Aerenal, Belaereth and Tezaera, hold temporal power over the island continent, while the Undying Court shapes the destiny of the elves, by selecting, advising and empowering the rulers.

Lathon Halpum leads one of the largest Halfling tribes in the Talenta Plains and so many of the other Laths defer to him, that he was selected to represent the Plains at the Treaty of Thronehold.

King Sebastes ir'Kesslan rules Q'barra in a fuedal system like old Galifar. The grandson of the nation's founder, Sebastes rules from Newthrone, though in many places the dispensation of justice falls to the local lord or magistrate.

One thing to note about Eberron is the setting is designed to allow the PCs to be the real heroes of the story, which means there aren't a lot of very powerful hero-types. Most of the more powerful good guys are very limited in some way, from Oalian who is a high powered druid but utterly immobile, to Jaela who is a low-level cleric except within the confines of Flamekeep where she's empowered by the Silver Flame. This leaves the PCs free to actually fulfill the role of Heroes, rather than being sent to perform (apparently menial) tasks by other more powerful (epic level) good guys.


Q. Here's a question I thought of while dying on the demon sands, Loremasters. Who are the Wayfinders, and what do they do exactly? Are there any famous Wayfinders?

A. The Wayfinder Foundation is an organization devoted to the philosophies of exploration and discovery. Founded, as has been mentioned, by the famed explorer Boroman ir'Dayne, the Wayfinder Foundation is partly a place for professional explorers and those in related fields to network and partly a philanthropic source for funding. The Foundation sponsors two expeditions a year. The first, Spring, expedition always sails for Xen'drik, the second heads for a variety of locations selected each year by the trustees.

Lord ir'Dayne himself never travels as the wasting sickness which ended his career keeps him confined to his home in Sharn (and some rumors about his motives for founding the organization do suggest that he hopes to find a cure for the disease which is slowly sapping his life) but any other members of the Foundation are welcome to participate in the expedition. Organization and gathering of all the requisite members can take quite some time, and cities and towns vie for the honor (and economic boom) of hosting a Wayfinder Expedition Launch. Foundation trustee Vikan Buristal, one of Lord Boroman's early adventuring companions. is in charge of the logistics for each of the major expeditions. The other trustees are Shensari Damilek, head of the Relics and Antiquities arm of the Foundation, Dorein Rauthevvit, who is responsible for selling shares in the Expiditions, Giff Rapelje, editor of the Foundation newsletter, The Rope and Piton, Imre Levalle, the Foundation's Curator of Acquisitions, and Lord Boroman ir'Dayne himself.

Individual Wayfinders, such as Wayfinder Dael, often travel on smaller missions, hoping to explore lost ruins, forbidding jungles, frozen wastes, parched deserts or any other area that calls out to those hungry for adventure.

Membership in the Foundation is by invitation only. One of the Trustees must extend a personal invitation for a candidate to even be considered. Generally, impressive feats of exploration are enough to get a character invited to the Foundation, unless one has managed to get themselves blacklisted by one of the Trustees.

09-26-2007, 10:54 PM


Q. Eberron is a world full of magic, therefore is implied that magic affects the normal life of the Eberron denizen (the same way technology affects us in the planet Earth). So its implied as well that there are laws or rules to control its use. So the questions are, there is a common law that regulates all magic use, or an institution that enforces it? And if yes, is magic use prohibited somehow, in a way that you need authorization to practice it?

A. Your question is a good one, and the answer varies from area to area.

There is no overall governing body that regulates magic all across Khorvaire, however most of the more civilized nations do have "police forces" that attempt to protect their citizens from magical dangers.

During the height of the Galifar empire the King of Galifar was advised and assisted by the Arcane Congress. It is likely that during that time the Arcane Congress also regulated the use of magic throughout much of the nation, especially the more civilized areas. And during that time they wrote the portions of the Code of Galifar justice that governed the use of magic in civilized society. Since the fall of Galifar, the remnants of the Arcane Congress survive in Aundair and answer to Queen Aurala.

Sharn has an arm of the City Watch known as the Blackened Book who are responsible for persuing magical criminals as well as dealing with any side effects of magical crimes in the city.

Sharn's laws on the use of magic are the best example we currently have of how these kinds of laws are worded. Based on the Galifar Code of Justice, Sharn's Misuse of Magic laws prohibit the use of any spell to inflict physical harm on another being (including any spell that permanently incapacitates a target such as blindness or flesh to stone), spells that incapacitate a target (such as sleep), spells that tamper with the thoughts of another (such as charm person or confusion), as well as a few other more obscure laws that protect the Dragonmarked Houses' monopolies or limit certain spells to only being used in private. The Blackened Book looks particularly harshly on careless use of Fire magic within city limits.

Additionally, the Dragonmarked Houses tend to police their own. If a member of the House is abusing magic (or really doing anything that will reflect poorly on the House), the House is quick to put a stop it. The Twelve is the arcane arm of the Houses and therefore would likely be responsible for dealing with members who misuse magic.

As for being accredited or licensed to practice magic, this isn't required in any way. There are several schools of magic throughout Khorvaire and many new mages will learn their first skills there. However, there are a number of renegade mages, such as Mordain the Fleshweaver, or simply hermit mages who might take on apprentices.


Q. Could you tell us more about Dragonshards? What are they? Where do they come from? What do they do?

A. Dragonshards come in three varieties, named after the progenitor wyrms: Siberys, Eberron and Khyber. Each one can be found in a different place, and generally serves a different purpose.

Siberys shards fall from the sky, presumably from the Ring of Siberys, the glowing ring that surrounds the planet Eberron. They tend to fall more in certain areas, and Xen'drik seems to be one of the places where Siberys shardfalls are most prevalent. They're quite rare in Khorvaire. In fact, prospecting for Siberys shards is one of the most common reasons that expeditions travel to Xen'drik.

Siberys shards can be used to great effect to enhance the powers of a dragonmark. They are utilized in nearly every dragonmark item from the Speaking Stones of House Sivis which allow for long distance communication to the Wheel of Wind and Water that allows heirs of Lyrandar to steer their Airships and Wind Galleons. They can also be used to create some more generic dragonmark-enhancing items such as a Dragonshard Reservoir, which allows an heir to use the ability of their mark more frequently, or Metamagic Channeling Rods, which allow heirs to apply the results of a metamagic feat to their dragonmarked ability.

As I mentioned before, the Quori and the Kalashtar can also use Siberys shards to craft Embedded Shards.

Eberron shards are often found inside geodic rock. These seemingly normal stones can generally be found anywhere, though a large number seem present in the Shadow Marches. When broken open, the hollow interior reveals a collection of Eberron shards.

Eberron shards can be used to craft a number of items that alter or enhance magic and spells. The everbright lanterns that light Sharn and a wizards spell book of choice, an Aureon's Spellshard, are both made from Eberron shards. Eternal wands (which function like normal wands but have 3 charges per day) were commonly used in the Last War to allow magewrights to replace their fallen war-wizard comrades on the battlefield. An eberron shard is central to the craft of such an item.

Psionic characters (whether they're Quori, Kalashtar or some other race), can also use Eberron shards to create power stones (essentially the psionic version of scrolls, see the psionic rules for more information).

Khyber shards are found deep within the earth, in the caverns below the planet's surface known collectively as Khyber Below. The crystals seem to grow from the ground and what causes such growth remains undetermined. Prospecting expiditions into the depth of Khyber are fairly common as well, though the dangers there may be even greater than the ones faced by Siberys-seeking expeditions to Xen'drik.

Khyber shards hold the power of binding, and some speculate the Gatekeepers harnessed some of this power to bind the Daelkyr lords (and many of their minions) in Khyber Below. In more present-day applications, Khyber shards are used in elemental binding. They crucial to the creation of elemental-bound vessels, such as the mighty Airships of House Lyrandar or the Lightning Rail of House Orien. Additionally, the gnomish enchanters who discovered (and jealously safeguard) the secrets of elemental binding, have discovered methods of binding elementals to weapons and armor as well.

If there is some psionic use for Khyber shards it remains to be determined.


Q. You mention the Draconic Prophecy often and call it "a series of foretellings that are written all across Eberron," but what more can you tell us about it?

Q. (New) Only in the most general of terms. Portions of the prophecy have been found all across Eberron, written in such varied forms as the patterns of tree growth, veins of ore in the mountainside, and some would even say on the skin of the Humanoid races. There is an group of Dragons on Argonessen called the Chamber who are devoted to discovering as much of the prophecy as they can and then molding events to ensure the best outcomes. The truth of the prophecy, and what it says will probably be something that is only ever known to the Dragons. They carefully guard the knowledge they glean from the prophecy and often times it's only by putting many pieces of the prophecy together that any conclusions can be drawn from it.

What we do know of the prophecy though is that it seldom speaks in absolutes. "King Jarot will be killed on Wednesday" is not the sort of prophecy that one finds in the Draconic Prophecy. However, a passage such as:

Six times four will come to bear,

bringing with them dark despair.
If the fallen angel sleeps,

and the ancient promise keeps,
send word to those who wear the rings,

or death shall come to all lost kings.
Tragic mirth will soon be known

amidst the ones upon the throne
Lest this tragic fate unfold,

call them all, both young and old
to the fountain of the night

so all may find their own delight.

Are far more common, leaving anyone without additional knowledge wondering what much of it means. Some even suggest that the Dragons themselves only understand a mere fraction of what they've uncovered (itself only a fraction of the entire prophecy), leaving them to puzzle out the truth to the best of their abilities. These people suggest, that, lacking better guidance, the Dragons sometimes interpret the prophecy to their own best interests, sometimes not realizing they've misgauged a passage until the time has come and gone that it would matter.


[B]Q. I see that many responses are limited to "what explorers could find" or "what scholars could determine." Since this is a high magic setting, is there anything stopping mages from simply divining these answers?

A. This is a question with a slightly complicated answer. And it's an answer which somewhat begs the question.

Eberron isn't, really, a "high magic" world. Eberron is more of, what a number of people have coined as, a "wide magic" world. Hopefully I can explain the difference. One would expect, on a high magic world, for there to be a cadre of powerful wizards, mages and sorcereresses who could do just what your describing. However, Eberron is generally lacking in very powerful NPCs, especially ones who would fall into the "good guys" category.

Eberron replaces this idea with a lot of low level, less powerful magic that takes the place of technology in our society. The ubiquitous Everburning Torch, the various Dragonmark technologies and so on. These are often created by Artificers who lack the access to more powerful magics that Wizards do. And in the case of some of the more powerful devices the artificers even require Schema or access to older magics which they can then copy for their own use.

That said, there are certainly people out there who should know the answers to many of these questions more definitively. The Dragons, Sora Kell, even some of the Primordial Giants of Xen'drik, surviving Demons, Rakshasa Rajahs, Erandis d'Vol herself, and so on. The distinction is that unlike in other settings where someone like Elminster stops in to chat with the PCs and you're left wondering "If he's so powerful why doesn't he just fix this problem?" all of those folks either aren't telling or are the kinds of folk that the PCs don't really want to hang out with.

There are a few powerful "good guy" NPCs but they are all restricted in some way. Jaela, the keeper of the flame, has the stats of a 17th level cleric, but only within the confines of Flamekeep itself. Beyond it's walls she's a mere 12 year-old 4th-level cleric. Similarly, Oalian the Great Pine is a druid of immense power (also in the high-teens in level), but is, in fact, an Awakened tree and thus bound to one place. The Undying Court is quite a powerful force, on the whole, but individually their power is much less. Further, many of them can't travel beyond the manifest Zone to Irian that enables them to exist.

Eberron leaves room for the PCs to be the heroes, and also attempts to leave some mystery for them to discover. As such, many of the things that are "known" are presented as things which may or may not be, and it's up to the PCs (and the DM) to determine if they're true.


Q. Why is it that life unnaturally sustained by raw negative energy (i.e. necromancy) seems much more prevalent than that sustained by positive energy (e.g. the Undying Court)? Is "normal" life considered positive by default? If an arcane caster can channel death energy into a corpse and create a neutral evil zombie, can he also channel positive energy into a corpse and make a neutral good... zombie...?

A. Some of this is kind of out of the scope of Eberron lore, but I'll try to address it from that perspective.

Yes, "regular" life is "positive." This is evidenced by the fact that Cure spells (which channel positive energy) heal living creatures. Additionally, the Deathless have surpassed their mortal frames, continuing in state which is nearly pure positive energy, what some might call a soul. Many of the Deathless in Aerenal continue to be wrapped in their mortal remains, but this isn't true for all Deathless.

Clerics, not wizards, tend to be the true masters of positive and negative energy, especially when it comes to the Undead and the Deathless. Certainly some wizards choose to focus their attentions to the Undead and their creation, but the control and manipulation of the forces of positive and negative energy comes as second nature to a cleric.

It is, therefore, mainly clerics, known as the Priests of Transition, who ferry the venerated Elves from their deathbeds to join the Undying Court as Deathless. The precise magic required is known to few outside this order, though many speculate the continued strength and presence of the Undying Court relies heavily on the manifest zone to Irian which surrounds Shae Mordai. Few Undying Councilors leave Shae Mordai and the precise effects of prolonged withdrawal from the manifest zone remain uncertain.

As a side note, pertaining to the Faithful Departed. The Venerated are not, in fact, Deathless, but rather Undead. I believe I cover this somewhat more in detail earlier in the thread, but it seems unlikely that the Elves learned to create Deathless while still residing on Xen'drik. Most scholars believe that the first Deathless appeared after they reached Aerenal, supporting the belief that the manifest zone plays a crucial role in the process.


Q. Does Eberron have any iconic artifacts? Something like the Rod of Seven Parts or the Mace of St. Cuthbert?

A. (New) There are certain items which stand out, though some are not what you'd consider traditional adventuring items. The creation forges that birthed the warforged, for example, one might consider an artifact. The magnificent Orrery of the Planes on Argonessen (which the Prison of the Planes in Gianthold bears some slight resemblance to) might be another.

As for more traditional items, there are a few of those as well, many from the more powerful empires now lost. The Dhakaani empire saw several artifacts forged for their battle with the Daelkyr. The Ash Spear of Thakash Rin was a spear which belonged to one of the earliest Gatekeepers. Bloodied against the aberrant hordes of the Daelkyr, it retains much of the power of its original wielder to battle those creatures. Ghaal'dur, the Mighty Dirge, was the battle horn of Jhazaal Dhakaan, and remains one of the most powerful relics of the lost Dhakaani empire.

Though no one knows it's source, the Tauric Belt is a warforged component woven of mithral and studded with dragonshards that allows it's bearer to take on the lower body of a powerful warforged lion.

The lost Giant Empire of Xen'drik is perhaps one of the most plentiful sources of Artifacts, though, even to this day. The Blade of the Burning Promise is one of the most treasured artifacts of the Sulatar Drow. It is said that the one who be will lead the Sulatar through the great cleansing of the world (an apocalypse of fire and blood) will bear this blade at the head of a vast Fernian army. The Destiny Arms, four weapons used by the Giants in their battles with the Quori, are said to have once had far more power than they do. Someone who could unlock the true potential of the Glaive of the Darkest Depths, the Maul of the Glacial Heights, the Spear of the Desert Winds or the Staff of the Magma Falls, would find himself the owner of a powerful weapon indeed. The Ingot Libertatis, Ingot Aperintis and Ingot Venenantis (whose lesser cousins the Silver, Bronze and Copper Ingot Arcanum you may be familiar with) were ancient spellcasting tools of the Giants. The Sanguineous Tome, an ancient text which once belonged to the Shapers of the Night, was in fact the source of many of the practices of the modern day religion, the Blood of Vol. The Shard of Arcane Endowment, once used by the Giants to bestow spellcasting ability on their elven servants, is a massive Eberron Dragonshard over two feet in length. Now thought lost, and shattered, a person who could reunite the halves of this ancient tool would find himself granted immense magical power.

Shira, though not widely known, is perhaps one of the most interesting Artifacts left over from the ancient giant empires. The intelligent docent claims to be the only survivor of an ancient program of the Quori. She claims that docents were first created to allow Quori spirits to inhabit the bodies of the Quori, sheltering their spirits from the cataclysmic change on Dal Quor known as the Turning of the Age. Whether she's telling the truth, or lying to serve her own purposes may never be revealed. Either way, she offers a wide variety of powerful abilities and lost knowledge to the Warforged who would bond with her. She is, perhaps, one of the only surviving beings from the Age of Giants who might share their knowledge of what happened during those times. Though, as an intelligent magical item, she may not be able to be trusted.

09-26-2007, 10:55 PM


Q. I see you mention the Quori often in the history of Eberron, what are/were they?

A. (Answer by Thanatos) The quori are the natives of the plane of dreams, Dal Quor. They are highly psionic, and the majority of them are evil in the current age. In spiritual form, they are capable of inhabiting and possessing the minds of most humanoids. The more common dark ones have essentially taken over the continet of Sarlona, and the populace there view it as a high honor to host one of these spirits. They believe (because they have been lied to) that the quori are wise and benevolent, but by the time one of the specially bred "Empty Vessels" has a quori in his head and becomes one of the "Inspired", he's totally brainwashed and dominated. The quori are using their subjects to build massive psionically charged monuments at various locations around their empire of Riedra, which some suspect to be a type of planar magnet or anchor. If it is, they may be able to drag Dal Quor back into it's original orbit, and allow the plane to become coterminous with Eberron once more.

Opposing them are the Kalashtar, who were actually the first quori-inhabited humans. These quori believe that it is wrong to possess their host unwillingly, so instead they have formed a symbiotic system with them where their minds have merged and share their strengths. The Kalashtar appear to be "perfected" humans, and they can interbreed with humans and half-elves. because of the way the quori spirit is inherited, the offspring will only be Kalashtar if it is the same sex as the Kalashtar parent.

Naturally, the Kalashtar are some of the world's greatest psionicists. There aren't many of them in the first place, so they are nearly all combat-trained, not "commoners". Psion (psychic mage, essentially) is their most favored class, but they have Psychic Warriors, Soulknives, and Wilders among them in significant numbers as well as various prestige classes such as the Quori Mindhunter.

They use their powers to combat the Inspired where they can, but on the continet of Sarlona they are too outnumbered to do much beyond protecting their haven, Adar. In Khorvaire and elswhere in the world, they seek out and combat members of the Dreaming Dark, hidden Inspired spies and assassins that seem to be working their way into the power structures of many powerful governments and organizations. In a very "X-Files"-ish fashion, the Kalashtar may be all that stands between Khorvaire and a shadow coup engineered by aliens of a nightmare world.

Here's a good link on the subject.

Just imagine, an expansion with Kalashtar, Psions, and maybe the other three psionic classes, with some mysery adventure where you have to discover who are the Inspired agents of the Dreaming Dark and who are innocent humans... and each time you play it, different NPCs are part of the conspiracy.

(Additional Comments by Mystic Theurge) One thing I'd like to add is that the interpretation of Quori as this terrible force for evil is certainly debatable. The Quori and the Kalashtar are in direct opposition because the Kalashtar seek the Turning of the Age and the Quori hope to avoid it at all costs.

There are shadows of the Jedi/Empire conflict. Much of what the "bad guys" did might be considered good. They bring a sense of order and stability, but at what cost.

I think it's difficult to argue that the Riedrans have been duped into doing something that's not good for them. They may have been manipulated into handing power over to a force that doesn't really care for them beyond their use as tools, but that's a trap that's all to easy to fall into.


Q. What are mind flayers doing in Eberron and how do they relate to the Quori?

A. They don't actually. The mind flayers, along with most other creatures of the Abberation type were created by the Daelkyr, extra-planar lords of madness who inhabit Xoriat.

At some point in the relatively-recent past (at least compared with the Giant Empires), the Daelkyr attempted to invade Eberron as well. The Daelkyr possess immense power to reshape the world around them, and many delighted their insanities by experimenting on the local populace. Chokers, for instance, were halflings before the daelkyr got their hands on them.

The Mind Flayers were some of their more powerful lieutenants during the war.

Eventually, the invasion was turned back by the Dhakaani Empire, a powerful nation of goblinoids, in coalition with the Gatekeepers, a sect of then-orcish druids who had been taught the magic needed to seal the planar gateways by the black dragon, Vvaraak. However, many of the Daelkyr, and their creations remained trapped in Khyber, sealed away through a series of spells and the power of Khyber Dragonshards, which are associated with the powers of binding.

Psionic power in Eberron generally comes from powerful emotions or untapped subconcious potential. The main places we see this is in those related to Madness and Dreams, namely the Daelkyr and their creations, and the Kalashtar and the Quori.


Q. Who were the 7 Daelkyr generals? Specifically, what races were they, what sort of classes, and the like?

A. The Daelkyr are a race unto themselves. They are powerful outsiders from Xoriat, the plane of madness. In terms of power, the weakest of the Daelkyr would be roughly on par with twentieth level characters.

Present day scholars know the names of a few of the more powerful Daelkyr who were present in Eberron during the Daelkyr/Dhakaani wars.

Orlassk was known as the Master of Stone and is credited with creating many of the present day creatures with petrification powers, such as Medusas or Basilisks. Though the Medusas of Droaam deny this is their origin, it is known that they fought on the side of the Daelkyr in the battle for Orlassk's citadel, Cazhaak Draal.

Belashyrra was known as the Lord of Eyes and is said to have created the Beholders to be living artillery during the war. It is rumored that his citadel contained a room covered in eyes that allowed him to see through the eyes of any living creature.

Even the weakest daelkyr is a force to be reckoned with, its mere presence bringing madness with it, and its touch corruption. The more powerful ones such as Belashyrra or Orlassk were nigh unstoppable. Orlassk is said to have been able to turn legions of goblinoids to stone on a whim.


Q. Wandering around the world we see quite a few of 'critters' that normally upon sight we slaughter first then ask questions. Is there a viable reason for the co-existence of kobolds, minotaurs, vampires, etc? Especially the ones that are freely exposed within the city limits of Stormreach?

A. (Answer by Thanatos) Here's one of my favorite quotes from Races of Eberron, as spoken by the leader of the goblinoid kingdom of Darguun:
"We goblinoids are just like you humans, except our empire lasted eleven thousand years." -- Lhesh Haruuc

Goblinoids in particular usually mix freely with the other "player race" humanoids. They have a history of military might, and often work as mercenaries.

Orcs are also not the near-mindless brutes they're portrayed as in some other settings. In fact, they were some of the first druids, and in ages past they saved the world from a planar invasion from Xoriat. To this day, they guard and reinforce the wards to keep the Daelkyr trapped in the depths of Khyber and seal the connections to the plane of madness.

While it's not generally liked by it's neighbors, there's even a "nation" of mixed monster types; particularly ogres, trolls, and gnolls. This nation of Droaam is ruled by a trio of hags called the Daughters of Sora Kell.

The Blood of Vol is a popular religion in the nation of Karrnath, and some temples see undead as the embodiment of victory over death. Note that the common folk don't know that the main branch of the religion is still run by the lich, Lady Erandis d'Vol herself. As far as they are concerned, the religion is more of a philosophy that death is the ultimate evil, because a soul will go to Dolurrh and fade away into nothingness over time, and Undeath is a path to defeating that evil.

My own cleric Lillin is a priestess of the Blood, but she's from a minor sect (of my own creation, not official) that knows the truth about Erandis and avoids the lich's influence. She is trying to find a way to incorporate a balance of positive and negative necromancy - Undead and Deathless - and since Xen'drik is the origin of the giant blood magic which the elves took and developed into both the Vol and Undying religions, she's here to find out more. Is she a villain, simply because of her religion?

Stormreach has a "kobold problem" to be sure, but as you can see, individual kobolds who don't mind respecting the lives and property of other Stormreach inhabitants are allowed to live in relative peace. The Catacombs quests are an example of a situation in which you can't always trust the so-called "good" races and religions, and on the isle of Sorrowdusk, you help a mostly-agreeable tribe of ogres recover their home and drive out the Cult of the Six.

Basically, unless it's a creature that essentially has no mind (lesser undead, oozes, vermin, etc.), you can't really assume you know what it's behavior will be, because in Eberron alignments are not dictated by race, and alignment itself doesn't necessarliy dictate that something is a threat.

Even if you're a paladin or cleric that can use detect evil, the law in most places isn't going to put much stock in your claims about some cheating merchant's "aura" or excuse you for putting your sword in his gut. After all, no one can prove the existence of most gods, and divine magic may just be a manifestation of personal faith, not so different from psionics or sorcery.

It wouldn't be too far off the mark to say that Eberron has a lot of social parallels with Earth. The more civilized nations have come around to the idea that racism is a harmful thing, and that spirituality is essentially unprovable and thus left as a personal matter. Evil is most often defined relative to it's context, and human flaws can screw up even the most noble of philosophies.

Anyway, if you think Stormreach is cosmopolitan, you should see Sharn (I hope we do in DDO someday), and in fact your character probably has, since most expeditions to Xen'drik leave from there. Try to drop some of the predjudices that you're used to roleplaying in worlds like Forgotten Realms, because unless your character is from somewhere pretty remote, they've probably been exposed to and dealt peacefully with civilized "monsters" before.


Q. As it doesn't seem that all of the Rakshasa were sealed away in Khyber (since we are to fight them in the Demon Sands), does this mean, too, that the Couatl all aren't gone from Eberron? If so, where do the Couatl reside, and are they as interested in the prophecies as the Dragons?

A. (Answer by Thanatos) The rakshasa rajahs were sealed away. The difference between a regular rakshasa and a rajah is like the difference between just "a demon" and the likes of Orcus, Demogorgon, Baphomet, and so on.

It's likely that there are still some couatls around, but they are very reclusive. The ones that sacrificed themselves to bind the rajahs were likely more powerful than the monster manual version.

The Silver Flame is a combination of the souls of a couatl, the paladin it was guiding named Tira Miron, and the escaping rajah that they fought. Tira's sword had a Khyber dragonshard in it's pommel, so that probably had something to do with them all being bound in the silver flames. The Flamers believe that good and faithful souls join the flame upon death, instead of fading away in Dolurrh.

Some say that the demon in the flame can speak to corrupt the unwary, and that the overzealous purges, inquisitions, and crusades are fueled by such counsel that sounds just and holy, but ends up spreading evil and destruction of it's own. Of course, you shouldn't mention that to a Flamer, as they consider it heresy.


Q. I thought gnolls lived in Droaam (on Khorvaire). What are they doing in the Menechtarun desert?

A. (New) Gnolls on Khorvaire live mostly in Droaam. Like many races, they're represented on other continents as well. Many of the Gnolls of Xen'drik live in Menechtarun.


Q. Are the Undying undead? If so what types?

A. The Undying are not undead, but rather Deathless, a form of creature quite similar to undead. However, where undead creatures are animated and sustained by negative energy, the deathless have the same relationship with positive energy.


Q. I have noticed there are drow scorpions and scorrow. What's the difference?

A. I suspect this is an artificial difference. Scorrow didn't actually have the name "scorrow" until Secrets of Xen'drik came out in July. Since a drider-like scorpion/drow hybrid is an obvious choice, DDO implemented them before they had a real name, simply calling them "Drow Scorpions."

I suspect you'll find that from now on, they're all called Scorrow.


Q. What's the origin of drow scorpion?

A. Unlike the more familiar Driders, Scorrow (or drow scorpions) are a true breeding race. That is, while Driders are created either by Lloth or her priestesses as a punishment, Scorrow are born to other Scorrow. Though the truth of their origins is lost to the mysteries of time, the Scorrow themselves claim to have once been the most skilled tribe of drow hunters in Xen'drik. According to the legend, their god Vulkoor looked down upon their skill at the hunt and sent them a blessing in the form of a giant scorpion. The scorpion stung every member of the tribe and though the poison caused them excruciating pain it also transformed them into the first Scorrow.

The Scorrow still worship Vulkoor and the Great Scorpion, and some believe that it still resides deep in the jungle ready to bless those who are worthy of Vulkoor's gifts. However, there's no record of Drow becoming Scorrow through the work of the Great Scorpion within recorded memory.


Q. Does Eberron have creatures such as unicorns, wemics, centaurs and the like?

A. Absolutely. One of the things that's said right at the front of the Eberron Campaign Setting book is "If it's in D&D it has a place in Eberron." Which isn't to say a DM has to put in everything, just that a place can be found if the DM does want to include it.

Unicorns and centaurs are probably present in the Eldeen Reaches, a forest in northwestern Khorvaire that has many manifest zones of Thelanis and Lammania. Unicorns undoubtedly are also present on Thelanis itself, given the plane's nature as "the Faerie Court."

Wemics, unless I'm misremembering live in deserts and plains, thus probably placing them largely in Eastern Khorvaire, in the Blade Desert and the Talenta Plains. Given that both they and the Talenta halflings dwell in nomadic tribes, you could make quite an interesting inter-species dynamic.

09-26-2007, 10:55 PM
Other Matters

Q. Could you also be pressed into answering differences between Eberron and the old PnP ways - I haven't played since ADnD 2nd edition, and several things are different - some are logical, others, not so much.

A. This thread isn't the place to discuss the differences in rules between first, second, third or fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons. I'm sure there are people who would be happy to answer questions about the rules, but this thread is about the Eberron setting.


Q. What are some good Eberron novels to read?

A. While more closely related to the topic of this thread, I do want to keep the questions focused on the setting itself. That said, a search on Amazon for Eberron Novels turns up These Results (http://amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-7416800-6588064?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=eberron+novel&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go).

09-26-2007, 11:10 PM
Welcome back!!:)

09-26-2007, 11:13 PM
Welcome back!!:)


But to anyone else thinking to wish me similarly, perhaps you might do so in a thread in the general forums. (Heck, I'll even go start a thread for it.) I just don't want to turn this thread into a big Welcome-Back-Fest. ;)

10-02-2007, 09:21 AM
I searched and it hadn't really been answered in this thread (one mention, in passing, but I know it's been discussed a lot in other threads, perhaps just a matter of pulling the discussion into once place...), but considering it's relavance to DDO, here goes:

Q. Who is The Stormreaver and why does he keep popping up in the game? Can you tell me a bit more history about him?


10-02-2007, 04:31 PM
First off, welcome back MT, and good luck in the contest. My question is:

You mention the Draconic Prophecy often and call it "a series of foretellings that are written all across Eberron," but what more can you tell us about it?

10-04-2007, 06:24 PM
What kinds of inhabits are in each Plane? Are there any Baatezu type devils?

10-10-2007, 12:15 PM
If Warforged were made and can not reproduce, and are no longer being made, you part question. 1. About how many of them are running around?
2. Doesn't that mean that there will be a time when they are exticnt?

10-27-2007, 02:15 AM
What is the difference between this lore and the lore that can be found in the D&D 3.5 player handbook. There are some different gods in the handbook than what you put down.

10-27-2007, 02:09 PM
If Warforged were made and can not reproduce, and are no longer being made, you part question. 1. About how many of them are running around?
2. Doesn't that mean that there will be a time when they are exticnt?
A couple points, on the bit of Eberron lore I recall.

1) However many made it through the Last War, and however many keep getting made by illegal forges.

So, yes, more are being created. Not legally, however. Haywire still runs a forge (illegally). It's rumored that the Lord of Blades also runs one.

2) They do not age, and their "lifespan in years" is unknown. For all we know, they'll live forever.

10-30-2007, 03:45 PM
Q. I hear a lot about the importance of the patron associated with Valenor(SP?) Elves, however I can't seem to find a listing of any of the potential patron's, do you know any? If so could you share a bit about some specific patron's?


05-20-2008, 05:13 PM
What monster type are Sahaugin?

Do they exist in Eberron lore too? I always thought of them as Greyhawk bad guys.

05-20-2008, 10:07 PM
What monster type are Sahaugin?

Do they exist in Eberron lore too? I always thought of them as Greyhawk bad guys.

Monstrous Humanoid. And yes, they are quite prominent in Eberron lore.


05-20-2008, 10:11 PM
And yes, they are quite prominent in Eberron lore.

In fact, there's a significant population of Sahaguin just north of Stormreach in Shargon's Teeth. Ship Captains often have to make a bargain with the local Sahaguin in order to be guided through the reefs (and to ensure they're not attacked... or to come as close as possible to ensuring it anyway).

07-22-2008, 10:47 AM
This excellent guide has been added to the DDO Compendium. Because of it's length I had to add it in 3 parts and it even has it's own category. Please feel free to check it out here!



02-17-2011, 05:36 AM
One of my favorite threads. Bumping it for the newbies. Enjoy!

02-17-2011, 07:38 AM
Q. Last week, several of my friends and I began an expedition into the Jungles to search for a missing drow. Though we knew where we were headed, it took us almost three weeks to arrive. Once we had completed our mission, the return trip to Stormreach took a mere three days. What's going on?

A. You've experienced what's become known as the Traveler's Curse. The Curse seems to twist both our perceptions of time and space, as well as perhaps actually bending both. Trips into the interior may take more or less time on any given day. Two parties could both leave Stormreach headed for the same destination and one party might arrive long before the other. Or you might leave on an expedition, feel as though a short time has passed, but, upon returning to Stormreach, find that it has been months.

Ahhh, so this is happening when Im stuck on loading screen. That make sense :D

Thnx for the thread.