A Guide To The World Of Eberron

Excerpts from Eberron: A World in the Shadow of War, by Jhanor Jastalan Dolas, Provost of Korranberg

The oldest myths say that our world was born in war, born of the struggle between the first dragons. The Seren Tablets describe this battle, how the dark wyrm Khyber tore her brother Siberys into pieces before being bound within the coils of her sister Eberron.

In these enlightened times, we can see this as metaphor. Looking to the sky, it is easy to understand how the ancients could see the ring of Siberys as a great gold dragon stretching across the horizon. Eberron is the world on which we walk, the mother of all that is natural. Khyber is the darkness that lies beneath the surface of the soil, giving birth to horrors that haunt the night and things that should not be. Today, we may consider ourselves too wise to believe in such tales, but the ancients believed that Eberron was formed from magic and from war—and these forces have certainly shaped the world in which we live in today.

Magical energy is all around us, invisible and unknown. It is a force we are slowly learning to control. The wizard can draw on this power to reshape reality with a gesture and an incantation. The priestess calls on gods to work magic on her behalf. The artificer crafts tools that can produce the same effects as either. And then there are the dragonmarked, who carry mystic power in their very blood. As we have learned to control the powers of magic, we have created many wonders that have changed the world in which we live. There was a time when a journey from one edge of Khorvaire to the other would take months. Today the lightning rail and the airship allow the wealthy to traverse the continent in comfort and safety. The message stones of House Sivis send words across the world with the speed of the wind. Communication, entertainment, the healing arts … magic touches them all.

Over the course of the last century, we have created horrors far worse than any monster of legend. We have harnessed the power of fire and storm and turned them against our enemies. We have given birth to an army of living weapons. And in so doing we have destroyed the heart of our realm. Chroniclers are calling the recent conflict “The Last War,” claiming—or at the very least hoping—that no one who has seen the destruction could thirst for war ever again. Perhaps they are correct. Surely, if we continue to toy with powers that we do not understand, with forces that can destroy an entire nation, our next war will be our last.

Khorvaire, Galifar, and the Last War

Though much of this world remains shrouded in mystery, scholars have kept records for thousands of years and many other secrets have been unlocked through exploration. The continent of Sarlona gave birth to humanity, but for the last millennium the people of Riedra, that continent’s largest nation, have restricted contact with the outside world. Tales say that Xen’drik was once home to a civilization of giants who possessed mystical secrets far beyond anything known in the modern age, but this society vanished tens of thousands of years ago. The dragons reputed to live in Argonnessen, if they exist at all, hide their secrets. To date no one has penetrated the interior of this dark continent and returned to tell the tale.

Only one continent is known to us—Khorvaire. Human and elf, dwarf and gnome, we all have our homes here. According to the legends, many of these races traveled to this land—human settlers from Sarlona, dwarves from the frozen north, elves from Xen’drik by way of the isle of Aerenal. Though they were last to arrive, it was humanity that reshaped Khorvaire in its own image. Those who opposed the humans were conquered or driven from their lands. In time, one man managed to unite the budding human nations with sword and word—King Galifar I, founder of a kingdom that would last almost nine hundred years.

Galifar had five children, and he divided his kingdom into five provinces, one for each of his heirs. Each region had its own customs and strengths, and these would continue to develop over time. Aundair was renowned for wisdom, both mundane knowledge and the study of the mystical arts. The people of Karrnath were known for stoic temperaments and military skill. Breland was a center for innovation in philosophy and industry. Thrane soon became the seat of the Church of the Silver Flame, and its people were devoted to this altruistic religion. Cyre was the heart of the kingdom, a center of art and culture. While there were other outposts of culture in Khorvaire—the gnomes of Zilargo, the people of the Shadow Marches, the Lhazaar Pirates—the provinces were seen as the primary repository of civilization and culture. Collectively they were referred to as the Five Nations, and this phrase became so engrained in the psyche of the kingdom that it remains in use to this day, even though Cyre is no more.

The Kingdom of Galifar worked hand in hand with the dragonmarked houses, and for centuries civilization flourished across Khorvaire—until the death of King Jarot in 894 YK.

In accordance with the customs laid down by the first king, Jarot’s children had been appointed as governors of the Five Nations. As the eldest child and governor of Cyre, Lady Mishann d’Wyrnarn was the rightful heir to the throne of the Five Nations. According to the ancient laws, her brothers and sisters were to step down from their posts and install Mishann’s children as governors.

It was a precarious system, and there had been upheavals before—times when a governor refused to relinquish control. But a rightful heir to the throne had never had to contend with three rebellious siblings, as Mishann did. Lord Thalin of Thrane, Lady Wroanne of Breland, and Lord Kaius of Karrnath rose together to challenge Mishann and the traditions of Galifar. When Mishann fought for her claim, the three governors broke from the old throne, declaring themselves kings and queens. The Last War had begun.

The war lasted for over a century—far longer than the alliance of the three rebel rulers. Over the course of the conflict alliances shifted more often than the sands of the Blade Desert. Cultures long held in check by the power of Galifar shook off the yoke of old. Aundair was shattered by an internal rebellion. The strange creatures of Droaam rose up to declare their own nation. The goblinoids came down from the Seawall Mountains to claim the kingdom of Darguun. The elf mercenaries brought in to fight the war seized a territory of their own, creating the nation of Valenar. But even as the old kingdom crumbled, many advances were made. War encourages innovation, and across Khorvaire wizards and artificers crafted new tools of destruction. Greatest among these were the spellworkers of House Cannith, and their greatest creations were the warforged, tireless soldiers of steel and stone, born with the skill of elite soldiers and able to fight without rest or food. The first warforged soldiers were produced in 965YK, and today each of the Five Nations has its own army of armored warforged. Some question the morality of this practice, for the warforged seem to have the sentience of living creatures, and priests still debate the question of the warforged soul. But most generals see the warforged as weapons. They may be able to think and to speak, but they are tools to be used, nothing more.

Today it seems that the war is finally coming to an end. At the time of this writing, ambassadors have gathered at the isle of Thronehold, and while the conflict continues on the borders, the thirst for bloodshed has surely dimmed. All it took was the destruction of Cyre, the heart of the ancient kingdom. No one knows what force was unleashed in Cyre in 994 YK, and many would say that is the primary reason the nations now discuss the terms of treaty—fear, pure and simple. Was House Cannith working on a weapon in the depths of Cyre, something that went horribly wrong? Or was the devastation the result of the aggregation of magic used in the battles—a slow building of energies that finally reached a breaking point? Is it something that can happen again, and what nation will be next?

The kingdom of Galifar is no more, and even if a treaty of Thronehold brings peace, we can never recover what has been lost. The fertile realm of Cyre has been transformed into a warped wasteland, a place filled with all manner of unnatural horrors. Survivors have taken to calling this region the Mournland. Only time will tell if there is a way to reclaim this lost land—or if the destruction of Cyre is a harbinger of what lies ahead for all of Khorvaire.

The Currency of Galifar

In the modern age, merchants have begun to use letters of credit to handle large transactions, drawing on the reserves of the dwarf banks of the Mror Holds. But most day to day transactions are dealt with through the use of coins made from precious metal. Once all coins were minted under the authority of the King of Galifar. With the collapse of the old kingdom, each of the Five Nations began to mint its own currency, as did the Mror bankers. However, while the designs imprinted on these coins vary based on the source, each of these forces has continued to use the same metals, weights, and denominations set forth in the days of Galifar, maintaining a simple standard for commerce across Khorvaire.

The crown is made from copper and traditionally depicts the crown of Galifar on one face. The crown is the lowest denomination of coin minted under the rule of Galifar. Ten crowns are worth one sovereign.

The sovereign is made from silver and bears the face of a living or recent ruler. An unskilled laborer can expect to earn a sovereign for a day’s work. Ten sovereigns are worth one golden galifar.

The galifar is made from gold. It bears the image of Galifar I, the founder of the old kingdom. Ten golden galifars are worth one platinum dragon.

The dragon is minted from platinum and bears the image of one of the dragons of legend. With a value of one hundred sovereigns, these coins are used only by the wealthiest citizens of Khorvaire, and the average peasant may never see such a coin.

There are a number of other coins in circulation, such as the double crown of Breland or the silver throne of Cyre, which has a value of five sovereigns. However, all of the major nations make use of the four basic coins described above.

To summarize the values: 1000 copper crowns = 100 silver sovereigns = 10 golden galifars = 1 platinum dragon.

The Calendar of Galifar

The most common method of marking time is the calendar established by King Galifar III. The calendar tracks the years since the kingdom was founded, using the abbreviation YK. The week is divided into seven days; there are four weeks to a month and twelve months to a year. Despite the fall of Galifar, the nations of Khorvaire have continued to use this calendar.

The seven days of the week, from the first day to the seventh, are Sul, Mol, Zol, Wir, Zor, Far, Sar.

The twelve months are named after the twelve moons that orbit the world. The twelve are Zarantyr (mid-winter), Olarune (late winter), Therendor (early spring), Eyre (mid-spring), Dravago (late spring), Nymm (early summer), Lharvion (mid-summer), Barrakas (late summer), Rhaan (early autumn), Sypheros (mid-autumn), Aryth (late autumn), and Vult (early winter).

King Jarot ir’Wyrnarn died on Therendor 12, 894 YK. The Day of Mourning—the mysterious event that destroyed the nation of Cyre—occurred almost exactly a century later, on Olarune 20 994 YK.

The Dragonmarked

Dragonmarks are one of the greatest mysteries of the age, and they have had a tremendous impact on the cultures of Khorvaire. A dragonmark is a design that appears on the skin, similar in appearance to a complex tattoo. The bearer of a dragonmark can call on the powers of this mark to perform a specific act of magic. Twelve different dragonmarks are now known to exist, each bound to a particular bloodline.

Over the course of two thousand years, these families have evolved into powerful dynasties. When Galifar I laid the foundation of his kingdom, he set severe limits on the dragonmarked houses to prevent them from becoming a threat to his realm. Aside from House Deneith, the houses are prohibited from maintaining armies or holding an office of the crown. But while the houses may have limited military might, they have developed considerable economic power and an infrastructure stretching across the length of Khorvaire. With the collapse of the kingdom of Galifar, many believe that the dragonmarked houses are now the greatest power in the land, and that the mercantile and magical power of the houses is a deadlier weapon than the armies of the Five Nations.

Although the dragonmarked families have no ties to the royal lines of Galifar, out of respect for their power and wealth, the heirs of a dragonmarked house are generally accorded the title of “lord” or “lady.” The leader of the regional enclave of a house holds the title of “baron.” Those who possess a dragonmark may add the suffix d’ to the house name. Thus, Baron Merrix d’Cannith carries the Mark of Making, while Lord Heldoran Cannith does not.

With the sole exception of the Mark of Finding, each dragonmark can only be passed to members of a specific race. Heirs of a house are forbidden from breeding with members of other dragonmarked bloodlines, as this is said to produce aberrant dragonmarks.

The size of a dragonmark determines its power. A bearer of the smallest Mark of Healing might be able to mend a minor wound, while the bearer of a larger mark might be able to cure disease or negate the effects of poisons. The abilities of a mark can be enhanced using a specially designed dragonshard focus, allowing a healer to use his power many times each day.

Currently there are thirteen dragonmark houses.

House Cannith carries the Mark of Making. The artificers and magewrights of House Cannith are responsible for most of the magical innovations of the past millennia. The house made tremendous profits during the Last War through sales of arms and armor, including warforged soldiers. However, the leaders of the house were based in Cyre and died in the Mourning. As a result, House Cannith is suffering from internal strife as the barons struggle for control. The heirs of House Cannith are human.

House Deneith carries the Mark of Sentinel, which grants powers related to personal protection. The Blademark of House Deneith is the most respected mercenary force in Khorvaire, while the Defender’s Guild provides bodyguards to anyone who can pay. The Sentinel Marshals are law enforcers with the authority to pursue criminals across the nations of Khorvaire. The house has a hard-earned reputation for neutrality, and a Deneith guard can be trusted to protect his charge or fight for his employee regardless of his personal feelings. The heirs of House Deneith are human.

House Ghallanda carries the Mark of Hospitality, which allows its bearers to provide shelter and sustenance. The mark first appeared among the nomadic halflings of the Talenta Plains, but the Ghallanda line has spread throughout Khorvaire and dominates the inn and tavern trade in the Five Nations.

House Jorasco carries the Mark of Healing. House Jorasco has established houses of healing in all of the major cities of Khorvaire, and during the war many nations hired Jorasco heirs to accompany their soldiers into battle. The heirs of House Jorasco are halflings.

House Kundarak carries the Mark of Warding. This mark allows its bearers to lay magical alarms and traps. By combining the powers of its mark with the vast mineral wealth of the Ironroot Mountains, House Kundarak has established itself as the greatest bank of Khorvaire. Only dwarves can hold the Mark of Warding.

House Lyrandar carries the Mark of Storm. This grants power over wind and weather, and in addition to selling their services as raincallers the Lyrandar have long dominated the shipping trade. A recent alliance with House Cannith allowed the Lyrandar to produce elemental airships. Only a storm heir can control the elemental that provides propulsion for one of these flying vessels. The ships themselves are rare and expensive, but already the airship is beginning to revolutionize transportation in Khorvaire. The heirs of the Mark of Storm are half-elves.

House Medani carries the Mark of Detection, whose bearers can sense hidden threats. Medani is a small house that sells its services to nobles and others in need of security. Where House Deneith specializes in physical protection, House Medani defends its charges from subtle attacks—poison, magic, and other hidden threats. The heirs of House Medani are half-elves.

House Orien carries the Mark of Passage, providing powers of motion—speed, flight, and even teleportation. Members of the house serve as couriers and scouts. Orien also dominates the trade of ground transportation, including mundane caravans and the elementally charged lightning rail, a form of swift transport that links the major cities of Khorvaire. The heirs of House Orien are human.

House Phiarlan carries the Mark of Shadow, which holds powers of illusion, deception, and scrying. The house has turned these powers to the art of entertainment, and the skills of actors, musicians, and acrobats of Phiarlan are legendary. However, there are rumors that the house is involved in espionage, using its powers of shadow to move unseen and spy upon the unwary. The heirs of House Phiarlan are elves.

House Sivis carries the Mark of Scribing, with power over the written and spoken word. The gnomes of House Sivis are renowned as translators, barristers, scribes, and mediators, but their greatest achievement is the network of message stones. Imbued with precious dragonshards, these stones can carry the words of an heir across great distances, and this system is the key to long-distance communication in Khorvaire.

House Tharashk carries the Mark of Finding. Heirs of the house serve as prospectors, bounty hunters, and inquisitives, using the powers of the mark to find things that are lost or hidden. Tharashk is a young house that has recently emerged from the Shadow Marches. The house includes humans, orcs, and their halfbreed offspring. Both humans and halfbreeds can manifest the mark.

House Thuranni first appeared in 972 YK, when a group of elves split off from House Phiarlan. The fledgeling house also carries the Mark of Shadow. While its members are skilled artisans, they are also said to be deadly assassins and spies, and they are considerably more aggressive than their Phiarlan counterparts.

House Vadalis carries the Mark of Handling, which allows an heir to influence the behavior of animals. Vadalis trains and breeds all manner of creatures, from simple livestock and mounts to hippogriffs and other exotic beasts. For centuries, the heirs of Vadalis have been working to enhance mundane creatures with the power of magic. These magebred creatures are superior to their traditional counterparts in many ways. The heirs of Vadalis are human.

The City of Sharn

Sharn is the largest city in Khorvaire and one of the wonders of the modern age, a symbol of what can be accomplished with magic and skill. Little useable land exists on the edge of the Dagger River, but Sharn stretches up into the sky. The tips of its tallest spires are over a mile in height. Only magic could support the columns of Sharn, and the spells woven into the stone are unique to the city. Sharn is built on a manifest zone, where the wall between physical reality and the mystical domain of Syrania has worn thin. The energy of Syrania lends power to spells of flight and levitation, and it is this that keeps the towers from tumbling. Skycoaches, levitating disks, and flying beasts are all used to support commerce and communication within Sharn. It is truly inspiring to see the hippogriffs circling the glittering spires of Daggerwatch as the last rays of the sun fall over the towers.

Sharn is divided both horizontally and vertically. Along the base of the city, it is split into five regions called quarters. The five quarters of Sharn are Dura, Central Plateau, Tavick’s Landing, Northedge, and Menthis Plateau.

Vertically, these clusters of towers are broken into three distinct levels or wards. Thus a citizen of Sharn may refer to Upper Central, Middle Dura, or Lower Northedge.

Each Ward is subdivided into a cluster of neighborhoods known as districts. Each of these districts often caters towards a particular segment of the population or a particular field. The Bazaar of Middle Dura is a mercantile district, while the Daggerwatch district of Upper Dura is a garrison.

In addition to the system of quarters, wards, and districts, Sharn extends farther above and below. The district of Skyway actually floats above Sharn, supported by a vast disk of magical force. Below the streets of the lower wards lie the twisting tunnels of the Cogs and Khyber’s Gate, home to the sewers and foundries that maintain the city. Deeper still are the remnants of human and goblin settlements buried by shifting stone and ancient wars.

Sharn has been a center of trade and communication for centuries. When this Last War began, the population of Sharn included people of all of the Five Nations along with Zil gnomes, Mror dwarves, Talenta halflings, goblins, and others. Many of the nationals fled and returned to their homelands, but others had been established in Sharn for generations. While they still held to the customs of their homelands, they nonetheless had deep roots in the city. Over the course of the war, many of these foreign nationals were relocated into secured districts, such as High Walls. Nonetheless, the population remained. In the wake of the destruction of Cyre, many refugees from that ruined land have traveled to Sharn in search of relatives still living in the City of Towers.

The Outer Planes

Twelve moons circle Eberron, but in addition to these physical satellites, the world has spiritual satellites—mystical shadows that move in and out of phase with physical reality. These planes are ideas made manifest, realms governed by a single concept. Death, darkness, ice, light—all have their place in the outer planes.

There are many fanciful tales of people who have managed to visit one of the outer planes, either through powerful magic or bizarre circumstances. The halfling hero Calazar Tash is said to have dived into the mouth of a fire-breathing dragon only to find himself in Fernia. But travel between Eberron and these spiritual shadows is a rarity. Instead, people typically perceive the planes through the effects their motion has on Eberron itself. Just as moons shape the tides, the strange motion of the planes influences reality. When the plane of Lamannia is remote, crops fail and animals become infertile. When it comes into close alignment with Eberron, all life seems to be more vibrant and fertile. In addition to these shifting influences, there are a few places where the spiritual walls are unusually thin. In these manifest zones, the laws of nature and magic may be twisted. One of the best-known examples of this is the city of Sharn, which is located on a manifest zone tied to Syrania. This connection to the Azure Sky enhances magic of flight and levitation, and this in turn empowers the enchantments that support the massive towers.

To date, mystics have identified thirteen distinct planes of existence.

Daavni, the Perfect Order, is a realm of absolute structure and law.

Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams, is a realm touched by mortal spirits when they sleep. It is a place of nightmares and wonders and is said to be the source of the spirits of the kalashtar.

Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead, draws in the souls of those who die on Eberron. It is a bleak and dismal place, but in time, all memory fades. Many sages and priests believe that when memory fades away, the spirit passes on to another form of existence. The Church of the Silver Flame says that noble souls join with the Flame, increasing its power and purity. Some followers of the Sovereign Host believe that when souls pass beyond Dolurrh they join the Sovereigns in a higher realm, while others believe that the Sovereigns send souls back to Eberron to be born again. The true answer—if there is one—remains a mystery.

Fernia, the Sea of Fire, is an ocean of lava interspersed with firestorms and plates of compressed ash. Legends speak of vast cities of brass, powerful spirits formed of living flame, and glorious treasures waiting to be plucked from the depths of the fire.

Irian, the Eternal Day, is a realm of pure light. A brilliant white sun bathes a crystalline landscape broken by rivers of liquid glass and mountains of quartz. Healing energies suffuse this realm, and when it is close to Eberron the world is filled with color and life.

Kythri, the Churning Chaos, is a realm in constant flux. All things can be found there but nothing remains stable.

Lamannia, the Twilight Forest, is the plane of primal nature. Elemental spirits, exotic animals, werewolves, and strange creatures inhabit the primordial groves and plains of Lamannia, and when it touches Eberron nature reaches its peak.

Mabar, the Endless Night, is a region of pure darkness. It devours the life and light of anyone unfortunate enough to be drawn in. When it touches Eberron the nights grow long and cold, and the forces of darkness reach the height of their powers.

Risia, the Plain of Ice, is an endless field of ice and snow. Stories speak of giants, dragons, and fantastic treasures buried beneath the ice, frozen and trapped until the end of time.

Shavarath, the Eternal Battlefield, is the embodiment of war. Armies of fiends and celestials engage in endless battles over these barren plains. Whirling storms of blades sweep across the region, deadly manifestations of pure violence. When the realm draws close to Eberron, these blades can spill into areas of great violence. During the Last War, a few battles were ended by the whirling blades of Shavarath.

Syrania, the Azure Sky, is a realm of silver towers floating in an endless sky. It is a place of perfect peace and beauty, as well as being the plane that gives strength to the magic of Sharn.

Thelanis, the Faerie Court, is a sylvan realm filled with all manner of mischievous and elemental spirits. Naiads, dryads, and sylphs watch visitors with curious eyes, while in the great citadels the fey lords engage in eternal revels and cunning games. It is a place of powerful magic, but bargaining with the fey can be dangerous for mortals.

Xoriat, the Realm of Madness, cannot be tied to a single description. Each visitor sees it differently, and it is the rare traveler who looks upon Xoriat and returns with his sanity. It is the home of the Daelkyr, malevolent spirits who destroyed the goblin empire of Khorvaire and sought to shatter the world itself. The Gatekeeper druids stopped these fiends, and those trapped on Eberron were bound in the depths of Khyber. The magic of the Gatekeepers prevents Xoriat from moving into alignment with Eberron, but the Cults of the Dragon Below have long sought to counter the druidic magic and pull this realm back toward reality.

The Religions of Eberron

The primary religions of Eberron draw on a system of shared beliefs. The creation myth of the three dragons forms a common foundation for all of the common religions. Both the Sovereigns and the Silver Flame arose after the world was created, as opposed to shaping the universe through divine power. Likewise, few people question that the souls of the dead go to the plane of Dolurrh, but spirits only remain in Dolurrh for a few decades, and there is a considerable difference of opinion as to what lies beyond. The Church of the Silver Flame believes that true followers join with the flame beyond Dolurrh, while those who worship the Blood of Vol claim that oblivion is all that waits after the plane of death.
The most influential religions on Khorvaire are the Church of the Silver Flame and the Sovereign Host.

The Sovereign Host and the Dark Six

The worship of the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six is the oldest known religion in Khorvaire. Each of the Sovereigns embodies a particular concept, and slight variations of the Sovereigns can be found among many different races and cultures. Some say that even the dragons worship the Nine, and in some of the oldest images the Sovereigns are depicted as dragons themselves.

Worship of the Sovereigns varies by culture. While there are churches and shrines dedicated to each deity, it is largely a matter of personal devotion. A merchant will call upon Kol Korran to guide him through a trade, offer a prayer to Olladra when he goes to gamble with the proceeds, and beg Dol Dorn to guide his hands when he’s mugged later that night.

There are a total of fifteen deities associated with this mythology. The nine Sovereigns embody positive and benevolent ideas and are called upon for guidance and protection. The Dark Six are sinister and malevolent, and their names are not spoken. The followers of the Host rely on the Sovereigns to shield them from the powers of the Six. Different races often have different names for the Sovereigns. The names presented here are those used by the people of Galifar.

Arawai is the Sovereign of Life and Love, and she brings good harvest to the land and fertility to the living. Nature is her domain, and she also holds influence over the weather. Farmers and sailors alike ask for her blessings on their endeavors.

Aureon is the Sovereign of Law and Lore, the source of order and knowledge. He gives guidance to rulers and those who pass judgment, guides the scribe and the student, and is said to have devised the principles wizards use to work their spells.

Balinor is the Sovereign of Horn and Hunt. He is the lord of the wild world and those who venture within. The hunter and the hunted are both his charges. He is seen as a protector of the natural world but gives guidance to the hunter who acts in moderation and takes only what he needs.

Boldrei is the Sovereign of Home and Hearth. She lends her strength to the family and the community, bringing people together in times of need. Boldrei is the patron of marriage and mediation, and her wise words can help her followers set aside their differences and become part of a greater whole.

Dol Arrah is the Sovereign of Sun and Sacrifice. She is a patron of war, but she fights her battles with words and cunning strategy as well as steel. She is a god of light and honor, and her holy paladins seek to bring her sunlight to the darkest places of the world. In addition to soldiers, she is seen as the patron of diplomats, generals, and those who make sacrifices to serve the greater good.

Dol Dorn is the Sovereign of Strength and Steel. He is the lord of war and patron to all who raise their arms in battle. He is the patron of physical arts, and the greatest sporting events of the year are held to mark his holy days. His followers are not held to the same standards of nobility and sacrifice as those of his sister, Dol Arrah, but he still encourages honorable conduct. Those who rely on treachery to win their battles must turn to the Mockery for aid.

Kol Korran is the Sovereign of World and Wealth. Merchants, miners, and any who desire to improve their lot in life trust that Kol Korran will help them achieve their dreams, while the wealthy often sacrifice to the Sovereign in the hopes that he will maintain their fortunes.

Olladra is the Sovereign of Feast and Fortune. She is the bringer of luck and joy, and her priests are skilled entertainers and healers, who can salve the wounds brought by misfortune and spread cheer with song and music. She is the patron of bards, gamblers, and others who live by their wits and their words, though those with only malice in their hearts should look to the Dark Six for a patron.

Onatar is the Sovereign of Fire and Forge. He is the patron of both smith and artificer, lending skill to those who follow the traditions of old and wisdom to those who seek to develop new ideas.

The Dark Six are not named and are known only by their titles.

The Shadow is said to be the literal shadow of Aureon, stripped away and given a life of its own as a price for Aureon’s study of magic. It represents the darkness that lies within magic, and its power corrupts both life and soul. Most worshippers of the Shadow are wizards or sorcerers who are willing to make any sacrifice for arcane power, but it also has a following among many of the monstrous races, some of whom see the Shadow as the founder of their species.

The Devourer represents the destructive power of nature. He is strongly tied to the sea and the mystery of the deep waters, but earthquakes, avalanches, and tornadoes are all his children. Once a member of the Sovereign Host, he was cast out after raping his sister Boldrei and thus fathering the Fury.

The Fury is the embodiment of passion and madness. While she can bring love and joy, her touch all too often leads to despair and murderous rage. Nonetheless, some artists seek to draw on the Fury for inspiration, and there are those who are willing to risk madness to bring passion into their lives.

The Keeper is the embodiment of greed and decay, hunger so great that it lets all else fall to rot and ruin. While he amasses gold and jewels, the Keeper covets the souls of the living. He seeks to snatch the spirits of the dead as they pass to Dolurrh, hoarding these souls and gloating over his treasures.

The Mockery is the lord of terror and treachery, patron to thieves, assassins, and tyrants. He is said to be the brother of Dol Dorn and Dol Arrah, but he was flayed and driven from the Host after he betrayed his siblings. The Mockery has one of the largest followings among the Dark Six, as many criminals and warriors seek his blessing on their endeavors.

The Traveler is the most mysterious of the Dark Six and cannot be tied to a single form or gender. It is the embodiment of deception but also of cunning and wit. Both bards and artificers may call upon the Traveler for inspiration. Its followers include changelings and doppelgangers who wander the world in a thousand shapes, carrying out strange and subtle plans that often seem benevolent but bring harm in the end. This has spawned a number of proverbs. When dealing with strangers, one is warned to “beware the gifts of the Traveler.” Someone who is argumentative for no reason is often said to be “taking the side of the Traveler.”

The Church of the Silver Flame

The Church of the Silver Flame was founded in 299 YK. When an ancient evil rose from Khyber, an army of fiends threatened Galifar itself. This darkness seemed unstoppable, until a woman named Tira Miron challenged the demon king and gave her life to bind him below once more. Tira was guided and empowered by an ancient force of spiritual energy—a silver flame that had been forged to bind the demons. In death, she became a conduit for that force, allowing other noble warriors to touch the Silver Flame and use its power to drive evil from the world.

The Church of the Silver Flame has grown exponentially since that time. It is based in Thrane, where a font of silver fire rises from the point of Tira’s sacrifice, but it has spread across all of Khorvaire. Only the Sovereign Host has more worshippers, and the followers of the Flame are typically more fervent in their beliefs.

In principle, the Church of the Silver Flame is a benevolent entity, a powerful force for good. Village priests seek to spread humanitarian values, while the knights of the Flame battle the physical manifestations of evil. However, as the church has grown in size and influence, some of its followers have strayed from the path. Many truly believe in the nobility of their actions but allow their zealotry to justify acts of ruthless brutality. Others—particularly in the Brelish branches of the Church—have allowed the lure of gold and power to draw their eyes from the true path of the Flame. While the ideals of the Silver Flame are noble, all too often its followers fail to live up to them.

Traditionally the militant warriors of the Church are sworn to protect the innocent against supernatural threats—werewolves, demons, ghosts, and other monsters. During the Last War the forces of the Church of the Silver Flame played an integral role in the nation’s defense, and ultimately the people of Thrane set aside the monarchy in order to place the rule of the land in the hands of the Church. The Silver Flame has worshippers in many other nations, but Thrane is the seat of its power.

The Blood of Vol

Those who worship the Blood of Vol refuse to bow to the power of death. Drawn from the traditions of an ancient line of elven necromancers, the Blood of Vol seeks to abolish death. They revere vampires and other undead creatures as champions in this struggle. This tradition is especially strong in the nation of Karrnath, and while it is not inherently evil, there are subsects—notably the infamous Order of the Emerald Claw—that have turned the battle against death into a struggle to dominate the living. As a result, throughout most of the Five Nations the common image of a follower of the Blood is that of a crazed necromancer leading an army of zombies as part of some mad scheme. As a result of the actions of extremists, the Church of the Silver Flame takes a particularly hard stand against followers of the Blood, and knights of the Flame may assume the worst when dealing with acolytes of Vol.

The Cults of the Dragon Below

According to ancient legend, the dark wyrm Khyber was bound within Eberron and became the underworld, giving birth to fiends and demons. Later, the fiends known as the Daelkyr were bound in the depths of Khyber, adding to the dark legend of the subterranean realm. Over the millennia, many have come to worship the darkness that lies beneath the world. These cults have little in common, save that they are dangerous and prone to madness. Some believe that a promised land lies beneath the earth, but that pilgrims must earn their passage with the blood of the innocent. Others ally themselves with one of the malevolent forces bound beneath the earth, forming a bond with the rakshasa or servants of the Daelkyr, gaining power in exchange for unholy service. The cults are most often found in the Shadow Marches, where different cults fight one another as often as they battle the forces of light, but they can appear anywhere where there is greed or madness—and in the wake of the Last War, both of these things are easy to find.

The Undying Court

Although the elves of Aerenal live far longer than humans, they were not content with this span, not willing to let their heroes slip away into Dolurrh and the mystery of death. In time, the elves found a way to preserve their ancestors beyond death, anchoring them to the world of the living through devotion and spiritual sacrifice. These deathless elves inhabit Shae Mordai, the vast necropolis in the center of the island of Aerenal, and from this city of the dead they continue to guide their nation. Unlike the vampires of the Blood of Vol, the elves of the Undying Court are not undead in the traditional sense. They are sustained by the devotion of their descendants and have no need of blood or life energy. Followers of the Undying Court despise the Blood of Vol and those undead creatures that prey on the living, seeing these as abominations and perversions of the ways of the Undying Court.

While the members of the Undying Court are not gods, they are ancient, wise, and powerful. Just as a paladin can draw on the pure essence of the Silver Flame to lend strength to his sword, the members of the Undying Court can lend their power to those priests who honor their memory.

The Druidic Sects

The druids worship Eberron itself, as the embodiment of the world and nature. While they share certain common features—reverence for the creatures of the wild and the natural order—there are a number of different sects, each with its own unique beliefs. The Gatekeepers seek to defend Eberron from unnatural forces, such as the Daelkyr and other fiends of Xoriat. The Wardens of the Wood fight to preserve the balance between nature and civilization, protecting each from the other. The Greensingers have a strong bond with the fey of Thelanis and are typically seen as tricksters. The Ashbound believe that arcane magic is a violation of nature and often use violence to stop its use. The Children of Winter embrace death as a natural part of the cycle of life. They believe in a coming apocalypse that will cleanse the world, and many actively seek to bring about this devastation.

The Path of Light

The kalashtar are a mysterious race—humans touched by spirits from another world, and are an enigma to the people of the Five Nations. They believe in a celestial force they call il-Yanna, “the Great Light.” The followers of the Light engage in meditation and strict physical discipline, preparing mind and body for battle against a force they call the Dreaming Dark. However, the nature of this conflict is difficult for outsiders to understand. While the kalashtar occasionally engage in physical combat with their foes, the true struggle is one based around philosophy and dreams-something that cannot be seen with the eye.

The Paths of Magic

Magic permeates Eberron. Its energy is all around us. The Seren Tablets say that it is the breath of Siberys, released when that great dragon was slain by Khyber in the battle that formed our world. Skeptics and scholars claim it is a natural force like the lightning and the wind. Regardless of its origin, its presence cannot be questioned. The force is there, and there are many ways it can be shaped and controlled.

The oldest road is that of faith, the adept and the cleric. Those who believe claim that the gods and their celestial servants work miracles on behalf of their chosen, allowing the priest to minister to the wounded, protect those in need, and smite the enemies of his faith. Skeptics say that the cleric works his miracles through will alone, the pure strength of his belief reshaping reality to meet his desires. Whatever the truth, it is a path that requires no knowledge of esoteric laws and formulae. All that is required is faith and will, but in such quantities that few men possess.

However, those who lack faith can make up for it with cunning and skill. Scholars and sages saw the powers of the pious priests and were determined to unlock the secrets of this force that granted miracles. In time, they succeeded, decrypting the codes of the universe itself. This arcane magic still requires willpower above all things, but where the priest calls upon his god to smite his foes, a wizard visualizes a force of fire, speaks an ancient word embodying the flame, and flings a pinch of sulfur into the air. This combination of gesture, incantation, thought, and substance summons the fire from the air, drawing on the invisible energy to make thought reality. The true wizard can master any spell he can find, but these gifted sages are few. The most common spellworker is the magewright, who may only master a single spell or two over the course of his life—the augur, the mender, the blacksmith who shapes his steel with magic. Between these two extremes lie the bard and the sorcerer, both of whom possess more power than the magewright but lack the wizard’s talent to master every spell.

In recent centuries a new path has arisen—that of the artificer. She cannot pull fire from the air or heal with a touch. Her talent lies in binding magical energy into objects, creating tools that mimic the powers of wizard and cleric. The artificer excels at creating mystical treasures, wondrous elixirs, amulets, enchanted weapons, and many other fantastic items. Given time and access to rare and exotic materials—notably dragonshards—an artificer can make such items permanent. Otherwise, their powers quickly fade.

Regardless of the path a spellcaster follows, the act of performing magic takes a toll on mind and spirit. Only so much energy can be channeled each day, and once a spellcaster reaches this limit he must rely on his mundane skills until he can rest and restore his spirit. Each path has its own rituals. The cleric prays while the wizard studies musty tomes and prepares the formulas he wishes to use the following day.

Some say that the kalashtar follow a different path to power, drawing on the power of mind and dream to produce effects never seen. But this tradition of so-called “psionics” is still a mystery to the people of Khorvaire, and its powers and limitations remain to be seen.

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