Jewels of the Crimson Moor
Overview of Eberron
As the campaign begins, Eberron emerges from a long and devastating war. The nations of the continent of Khorvaire were once part of a great kingdom of legend, the mighty kingdom of Galifar. When King Jarot died, his five heirs, each in command of one of the Five Nations that comprised the kingdom, refused to bow to tradition. Instead of allowing the eldest son to take the crown, the siblings rallied their vassals and each vied to take control of the kingdom. Over time, this decades-long conflict became known as the Last War, for everyone imagined that when it finally ended the taste for bloodshed and battle would be wiped from the face of Khorvaire.
The Last War continued for more than a century, with each of the Five Nations alternately fighting against or alongside one or more of the others as alliances and animosities shifted as fast as the wind in the Shargon Straits. In time, other nations formed as deals were made and opportunities presented themselves. After 102 years of fighting, the leaders of the recognized nations of Khorvaire (which now numbered twelve) met at the ancient capital of Galifar to draft a peace. With the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, the Last War came to an end.
Today, the nations of Khorvaire seek to rebuild and prosper as the new peace spreads across the land. While technically at peace, the nations continue to vie for economic and political supremacy. Minor skirmishes break out every so often, especially in the more remote sections of the continent and on the most hotly contested borders. Espionage and sabotage are the preferred method of diplomacy, as the nations engage in trade and discussion in public while working intrigues and double-crosses in the shadows.
In Eberron, most people identify not with a specific patron deity but with the church to which they belong. The faithful of the Sovereign Host, for example, usually revere the nine deities together in a single temple, though shrines devoted to the individual deities appear in major towns and cities across Khorvaire. The faithful may give particular reverence to one deity, usually the one whose sphere of infl uence coincides most closely with their profession or situation in life, but they collectively view themselves as loyal followers of the Sovereign Host.
A paladin devotee of Dol Arrah and a rogue who prays to Kol Korran are members of the same religion. They may differ in many respects, certainly in alignment and ethics, but they do not see religion as one of the lines dividing them.
A paladin who serves Dol Arrah and a paladin who serves the Silver Flame, however, are members of different churches and different religions. They are united in their ideals and their devotion to law and good, and they might work together extensively in pursuit of common goals, but they are likely to hold endless discussions or even heated arguments concerning theological issues and fundamental beliefs about the nature of the world.
THE SILVER FLAME
The lawful good deity called the Silver Flame is an abstract, disembodied force closely associated with a once-human woman named Tira Miron. Herself now immortal, Tira (now known as the Voice of the Silver Flame) serves as the intermediary between the holy Silver Flame and the mortals who can never attain suffi cient purity to communicate with the Silver Flame directly. The Church of the Silver Flame is dedicated to protecting the common people against supernatural forces of evil, and thus it attracts a great number of paladins to its cause. The Silver Flame grants access to the domains of Exorcism, Good, Law, and Protection. The deity's favored weapon is the longbow, and archery is an important tradition within the church.
THE SOVEREIGN HOST
The Sovereign Host consists of the deities most commonly worshiped by the majority of Khorvaire's population. Most people revere the Host as a whole pantheon, offering prayers to different deities in different situations. Even clerics are often devoted to the entire Host rather than to a specifi c patron (see Following a P antheon, p age 35) . Taken as a whole, the pantheon is neutral good, and its favored weapon is the longsword-the weapon of its martial champion, Dol Dorn.
Arawai – God of Agriculture
A deity of fertility, plant life, and abundance, Arawai is neutral good. She claims many druids and rangers among her followers, as well as farmers, sailors, and any who are significantly concerned with weather or fertility. She is usually portrayed as a half-elf woman, sometimes as a halfling or a human, and occasionally as a bronze dragon. The sister of Balinor and the Devourer, and the mother of the Fury (as a result of her rape at the hands of her evil brother, according to the holy texts), she oversees the domains of Good, Life, Plant, and Weather. Her favored weapon is the morningstar.
Aureon – God of Law and Knowledge
A deity of lore and magic, Aureon is lawful neutral. The patron of all arcane spellcasters, as well as sages, librarians, and scribes, he often appears as a gnome or human wizard in ancient texts, and occasionally as a majestic blue dragon. He is the brother of Onatar, the husband of Boldrei, and strangely related to the Shadow. Associated with the domains of Knowledge, Law, and Magic, he favors the quarterstaff.
Balinor – God of Beasts and the Hunt
A neutral nature deity associated with hunting and animal life, Balinor claims hunters, druids, barbarians, and rangers among his followers, since he appears as both a protector of nature and an exemplar of gently taking what one needs for sustenance from nature's bounty. Usually portrayed as a burly human, sometimes as a crude but good-natured half-orc, and occasionally as a stalking green dragon, he is brother to Arawai and the Devourer. Associated with the domains of Air, Animal, and Earth, he favors the battleaxe.
Boldrei – God of Community and Hearth
Boldrei, the lawful good deity of community, is invoked as a protector of villages and homes, to bless marriages, and to confi rm government appointments. Usually depicted in ancient texts as a commoner of any race, or sometimes as a copper dragon brooding over a nest of eggs, she is Aureon's wife. The domains under her infl uence are Community, Good, Law, and Protection. Her favored weapon is the spear.
Dol Arrah – God of Honor and Sacrifice
Dol Arrah, the lawful good deity of honorable combat, self-sacrifi ce, and sunlight, manifests as a peacemaker, a careful planner, and a strategist. She serves as the patron of paladins, generals, and diplomats who fi ght their battles with words. In addition, in her role as a sun god, she brings light to pierce the darkest places of the world. She is commonly represented as a human or half-elf knight shining with holy radiance, and sometimes as a red dragon perched on a cloud. Said to be the sister of Dol Dorn and the Mockery, she is associated with the domains of Good, Law, Sun, and War. Her favored weapon is the halberd.
Dol Dorn – God of Strength at Arms
The chaotic good deity of war, Dol Dorn appears as a paragon of physical perfection who promotes bodily strength as well as martial training. Most often depicted as a heavily muscled human, sometimes as a dwarf or a half-orc, and occasionally as a silver dragon, he is said to be the brother of Dol Arrah and the Mockery. Associated with the domains of Chaos, Good, Strength, and War, he favors the longsword.
Kol Korran – God of Trade and Wealth
Merchants, traders, and thieves revere Kol Korran, the neutral deity of trade and money-as might anyone who has money or wants more. He is depicted as a fat, cheerful human or dwarf in fi ne clothes. A few ancient representations of him show a white dragon lying on a bed of ice-blue gemstones. Said to be the son of Olladra and Onatar and the twin brother of the Keeper, he oversees the domains of Charm, Commerce, and Travel. His favored weapon is the mace.
Olladra – God of Feast and Good Fortune
Gamblers, rogues, bards, and hedonists invoke the favor of Olladra, the neutral good deity of luck and plenty. She is often depicted as a young halfl ing, sometimes as an elderly human, and occasionally as a black dragon. The wife of Onatar and the mother of Kol Korran and the Keeper, she is associated with the domains of Feast, Good, Healing, and Luck. Her favored weapon is the sickle.
Onatar – God of Artifice and the Forge
Onatar, the neutral good deity of crafts, industry, and fi re, is the patron of artisans and artifi cers, smiths and smelters, and all who make things. Dwarves in particular revere him; he commonly appears as a dwarf smith in holy texts, and sometimes as a brass dragon. Wizards and psions who specialize in fi re also place their faith in him. The husband of Olladra and the father of Kol Korran and the Keeper, he watches over the domains of Artifi ce, Fire, and Good with his favored weapon, the warhammer.
THE DARK SIX
In some ways, the Dark Six can be considered a part of the pantheon of the Sovereign Host. It would be more accurate, however, to say that these deities have been cast out of the pantheon because of their evil ways. The Dark Six are the patrons of criminals, outcasts, and villains, as well as of various kinds of monsters. The holy texts show them scheming against the Sovereign Host at every turn for reasons that vary from deity to deity, and their dark minions likewise plot against the followers of the Sovereign Host.
The brother of Arawai and Balinor, the Devourer is neutral evil. Stories say that he raped his sister Arawai and thereby fathered the Fury. As lord of the deep waters and master of maelstrom and reef, he represents all the destructive power of nature. The sahuagin worship him, while sailors fear him and seek to appease him. He is portrayed as a human or merfolk with seaweed in his hair and beard, as a sahuagin, as an enormous shark, or as a dragon turtle. The domains associated with him are Destruction, Evil, Water, and Weather. His favored weapon is the trident.
The Fury is the neutral evil deity of passion driven to madness. Revered by those whose passion consumes their lives, she is commonly portrayed as a half-elf, sometimes as a drow, and occasionally as a snakelike wyrm of Khyber. Associated with the domains of Evil, Madness, and Passion, she favors the rapier.
The neutral evil lord of death and decay, the Keeper is the twin brother of Kol Korran. As Kol Korran represents the acquisition of material wealth, the Keeper embodies greed, hungry for the souls of the dead. He lurks in the darkness, hoping to snatch wayward souls as they pass to Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead. He is portrayed as a gaunt or grossly fat human, as a lich or a ghoul, or sometimes as a skeletal dragon. Associated with the domains of Death, Decay, and Evil, he favors the scythe.
The neutral evil deity of treachery over honor, the Mockery betrayed his siblings, Dol Arrah and Dol Dorn, and was subsequently fl ayed and banished from the Sovereign Host. A skilled warrior, he claims evil fi ghters, rogues, monks, and assassins among his followers. He is portrayed as a ghastly human warrior with the skin stripped from his body, cloaked in the skins of his enemies, and sometimes as a half-fi end red dragon. He is associated with the domains of Destruction, Evil, Trickery, and War, and the kama is his weapon of choice.
The Shadow, the literal shadow of Aureon, gained a life of its own as the price of his arcane mastery. Chaotic evil, it devotes its energy to dark magic and the corruption of nature. Many evil wizards and sorcerers revere the Shadow, and many of the monsters of Droaam invoke its name as well. It is usually depicted as a shadow, but sometimes (particularly in Droaam) as a shadow dragon. It is associated with the domains of Chaos, Evil, Magic, and Shadow, and its favored weapon is the quarterstaff.
The most mysterious of the Dark Six, the Traveler is chaotic neutral and seems to have no connection to the other deities of the pantheon. A consummate shapeshifter, the Traveler is said to walk the land in a thousand disguises. A master of cunning and deception, it emphasizes subtlety and careful planning. In some places the Traveler is known as the Giver of Gifts, but proverbs warn, "Beware the gifts of the Traveler." Revered by doppelgangers, lycanthropes, and a number of changelings and shifters, it is associated with the domains of Artifi ce, Chaos, Travel, and Trickery. Its favored weapon is the scimitar.
THE BLOOD OF VOL
The Blood of Vol cult attracts followers fascinated by death and the undead. The most dedicated of these revere an ancient lich who calls herself Vol, Queen of the Dead. The Blood fl ows into the distant past, through the earliest days of human civilization on Khorvaire, to the elf kingdom of Aerenal, and even to Xen'drik, the continent of secrets. Vol and her followers see undeath as a path to divinity, invoking negative energy in contrast to the positive energy that powers the Undying Court. They are captivated by the fi gurative and literal meaning of blood and by heredity, seeking to manipulate bloodlines to accomplish some fi endish purpose. Vol herself is a powerful necromancer who has unlocked the secrets of undead creation. Clerics of the Blood of Vol are lawful evil. They have access to the domains of Death, Evil, Law, and Necromancer. The cult's favored weapon is the dagger.
THE CULTS OF THE DRAGON BELOW
The Cults of the Dragon Below consist of a di verse group of fanatical sects that revere the power of the subterranean realms. Some of these cults seek to draw Khyber, the Dragon Below, up from the depths of the world, while others traffi c with demons conjured from the deep regions. A few seek a promised paradise in some lost cavern far below the surface, purifying themselves with blood sacrifi ce to make themselves worthy to fi nd it. Though little unites these mad cults beyond their reverence for the forbidden powers of Khyber, they are generally neutral evil, and all choose their domains from among Dragon Below, Earth, Evil, and Madness. Their favored weapon is the heavy pick.
Dragonmarks are physical manifestations of the Draconic Prophecy. They have appeared on seven of Khorvaire's common races. They are more intricate than a birthmark and more distinct than a tattoo. There are twelve families of dragonmarks, originally there were thirteen, but no living creature on Eberron possesses the destroyed mark of House Vol. In addition to being a status symbol in Khorvaire the dragonmarks provide the bearer with magical talents.
If the countries are the political powers in Eberron, the dragonmarked houses are the economic power in Eberron. The Houses have major business interests throughout Khorvaire, and even more they are a source of price¬reduction and quality assurance. The cheap services of many of the dragonmarked houses is responsible for such things as cheap medical care, freely availble magic items, expedient transportation and a multitude of other services.
Due to their strong family ties, the dragonmarked houses are more loyal and enduring than would otherwise be possible for business conglomerates; their (in some cases extreme) age gives them a large amount of political power in governments across Khorvaire.
Not all members of the dragonmarked families actually manifest dragonmarks; in fact, only small portions possess the marks that define their House. Moreover, the Houses have a multitude of retainers and hirelings who are involved in the House businesses. Thus, dragonmarked individuals are highly prized by the Houses and are usually marked for great things
House Cannith is a human dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, although they once were strongly based on Cyre. House Cannith possesses the Mark of Making. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to make various items, giving Cannith a advantage in the manufacturing arena.
House Deneith is a human dragonmarked house based in Khorvaire. House Deneith has its headquarters is in Karrlakton, and has deep roots in Karrnath.House Deneith possesses the Mark of the Sentinel. This mark has allowed Deneith to become a mercenary powerhouse.
House Ghallanda is a halfling dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, although their primary enclave is in The Talenta Plains. House Ghallanda possesses the Mark of Hospitality. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers control over food and shelter, giving Ghallanda an advantage in all areas related to hospitality.
House Jorasco is a halfling dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, although their house enclave is located in Karrnath though the mark originated among the nomadic tribes on the Talenta Plains. House Jorasco possesses the Mark of Healing. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to heal and cure diseases making Jorasco a vital part of the struggles of the Last War and throughout Khorvaire in general.
House Kundarak is a dwarven dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, though their most preciously guarded vaults like beneath the bedrock of Eberron itself in the Mror Holds. House Kundarak possesses the Mark of Warding. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to protect things of great value, giving Kundarak a distinct place among the noble and elite of Khorvaire society.
House Lyrandar is a half-elven dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire with its enclave located on Stormhome an island city-state just north of Aundair. House Lyrandar possesses the Mark of Storm. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to control winds and waves.
House Medani is a half-elven dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire however most of its activity is centered in Breland. House Medani possesses the Mark of Detection. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to detect threats making Medani sentries an invaluable asset to nobles and royal families across Khorvaire.
House Orien is a human dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, with it's major enclave located in Passage, Aundair. House Orien possesses the Mark of Passage. This mark grants various magical benefits that allow its bearers to control travel and teleportation.
House Phiarlan is an elven dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire, although they are now based in Sharn, Breland their former base of operation in Cyre having been destroyed in the Day of Mourning. House Phiarlan possesses the Mark of Shadow. The oldest living dragonmark the Mark of Shadow first appeared on Aerenal.
House Sivis is a gnome dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire though they remain strongly based out of Zilargo. House Sivis possesses the Mark of Scribing. This mark grants various magical benefits related to written and oral communication.
House Tharashk is a human and half-orc dragonmarked house that has just recently begun spreading throughout Khorvaire it is still heavily based in The Shadow Marches. House Tharashk possesses the Mark of Finding. This mark grants various magical benefits related to locating people and objects.
House Thuranni is an elven dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire they were once part of House Phiarlan but broke away from them during the Last War. House Thuranni possesses the Mark of Shadow. Though still weaker as a house than Phiarlan, Thuranni is still a competent player in the game of espionage, sabotage and intrigue especially when one wants to dig up information about Phiarlan.
House Vadalis is a human dragonmarked house throughout Khorvaire though their main operation is centered in the Eldeen Reaches having migrated there almost 2,000 years ago. House Vadalis possesses the Mark of Handling. This mark grants various magical benefits related to calming and controlling animals.