Chapter 2: Welcome to Khorvaire
Just one century ago, Galifar was synonymous with Khorvaire. This map showed one great nation, harmonious and united. Perhaps that’s overstating things. Humanity never crossed the Graywall Mountains or explored the jungles of the east. The Five Nations always had cultural differences and those who yearned for independence. But still, the map showed us at our best: one nation, united in a common cause.
Now I look at the map and I don’t recognize my world. Galifar has been shattered. The Five Nations are irreparably severed. There are so many new realms — kingdoms of elves and goblins, even this so-called ‘nation of monsters.’ Can it possibly last? And if not, will it be another war that brings it down, or will the Mourning consume us all?
— Lyrian Das, Morgrave Historian
Xen’drik is a land of ruins and mysteries. The dragons of Argonnessen have no love for lesser creatures. The psychic tyrants of Sarlona maintain strict control over their borders and their people. So, most player characters begin their adventures on the continent of Khorvaire. While humans make up the majority of the population in the civilized nations of Khorvaire, the continent is home a wide range of peoples and cultures. Once largely unified under the Kingdom of Galifar, today Khorvaire is split into many nations — some old, others newborn from the crucible of war.
This chapter provides an overview of the nations of Khorvaire, along with a glimpse of common life, magic, religion, and the world — and planes — that lie beyond it.
Nations of Eberron
This section provides an overview of the nations of Khorvaire. The focus is on what you need to know to create characters and NPCs from these places. If you want more details on the culture, history, and geography of the nations, you can find additional resources in appendix A. As you go forward, here’s a few useful things to bear in mind.
The Five Nations. Aundair, Breland, Cyre, Karrnath and Thrane are collectively referred to as the Five Nations. These nations formed the heart of the Kingdom of Galifar, and while each has a unique cultural identity they are built on this shared foundation. Families are spread across the Five Nations; the rulers of the Five Nations are tied to the Wynarns, the royal bloodline of Galifar. Despite their differences, an Aundairian has more in common with a Thrane than they do with a Zil gnome or a Lhazaar pirate.
Aside from Cyre — which was destroyed in the Last War — the Five Nations remain the largest and most powerful countries in Khorvaire.
The Treaty of Thronehold officially ended the Last War. The treaty recognized the following nations as sovereign states: Aundair, Breland, Darguun, the Eldeen Reaches, Karrnath, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, Q’barra, the Talenta Plains, Thrane, Valenar, and Zilargo. These nations abide by a common set of laws and maintain diplomatic relations. The Demon Wastes and Shadow Marches are regions that have no unified government, while Droaam has declared itself to be a nation but has yet to be recognized by the others.
Getting Around. The Five Nations are connected by an excellent system of roads, and travelers can always make their way by horse or coach. Major cities are tied together by the lightning rail of House Orien, which allows you to avoid the perils — and tedium — of the roads. If speed is an issue, you can book passage on a Lyrandar airship. This is the fastest way to travel, but also the most expensive. Refer to the “Magic in Khorvaire” section for more travel options.
Noted for Arcane magic, cheese, education, fashion, grains, wine
Aundair is a realm of grand cities surrounded by fertile farmlands. Its legendary founder was devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and the study of magic, and the floating towers of Arcanix are the finest institute for mystical study in Khorvaire. Magic is a part of daily life throughout the Five Nations, but it is especially common in Aundair; the nation produces more magewrights and wandslingers than any other.
From the nobles in the towers of Fairhaven to the common folk working the vast vineyards of Bluevine, Aundairians value wit and wisdom. Aundairians prefer finesse to brute force and appreciate cunning wordplay and fine fashions. The Sovereign Host is the dominant faith of Aundair, with a particular devotion to Aureon. However, the Silver Flame also has a deeply devoted following — some might say overzealous or extreme.
Aundair is ruled by Queen Aurala ir’Wynarn. Aurala is a just ruler, but she has never abandoned the dream of a Galifar reunited under her rule. While Aundair is a small nation, its arcane superiority allowed it to hold its own during the Last War. Many believe Aurala is pressing Arcanix to develop battle magic that will ensure Aundair’s victory in whatever conflicts lie ahead.
Interesting Things About Aundair
- The floating towers of Arcanix are a center for mystical research. Bear in mind that many of its sages specialize in ritual magic and abstract theory; it’s not filled with high level wizards.
- Arcane magic is tied into many aspects of Aundairian life — more so than other nations. There’s a cleansing stone in every village, and you might encounter animated farming equipment in the fields. The Knights Arcane are an elite unit of eldritch knights, and the Royal Eyes of Aundair are spies that specialize in divination magic.
- House Lyrandar is based on the island of Stormhome, and House Orien has its ancestral seat in the city of Passage. Aundair is also home to Baron Jorlanna d’Cannith of the House of Making.
- Some Aundairian nobles are bound by arcane pacts handed down through the generations. Only remarkable heirs — such as player characters — develop the full powers of a warlock. Most such lines are tied to archfey, but you could explore other paths.
Regardless of your Intelligence score, if you’re an Aundairian you’re sure you’re the smartest person in the room. Consider the following things.
Arcane Talent. If you’re not going to play a magical class, consider being a high elf or a variant human with the Magic Initiate feat. Whether you learn offensive cantrips and fight as a wandslinger or pick up a few practical tools (prestidigitation, mending, mage hand), every Aundairian should know a little magic.
Magic Beats Mundane. Why use your hand when you could use mage hand? Who still uses a bow when you could use a wand? “Sovereigns above, Wyllis. We’re days away from the Eleventh Century and you’re still shooting people with pointed sticks?”
Show Some Style. Don’t settle for common clothes and a squalid meal when you could wear fine glamerweave and drink the best wine. If you’re a fighter, focus on finesse and Dexterity instead of crude strength. And never miss an opportunity for a clever quip.
Noted for Industry, manufactured goods, metalwork, processed ore; organized crime, subterfuge
In the wake of the Last War, Breland is one of the most powerful nations in Khorvaire. Possessing a large population and abundant resources, Breland leads the Five Nations in industry.
The Brelish are known for their pragmatism and independence. They lack the discipline of Karrns or the faith of the Thranes, but they excel at finding new and innovative solutions to problems. The Brelish also have a talent for intrigue and subterfuge. The King’s Dark Lanterns are one of the finest intelligence agencies in Khorvaire, rivaled only by House Phiarlan and the Trust of Zilargo. The dark side of all of these things is a strong streak of cynicism, which allows crime and corruption to flourish in Brelish cities and churches. The Sovereign Host is the dominant religion of Breland, but in general the Brelish aren’t as devout as their cousins in other nations.
King Boranel ir’Wynarn of Breland rules in conjunction with an elected parliament. Boranel is a popular leader celebrated for his exploits during the Last War. But his children have yet to prove themselves, and there is a growing movement that advocates abandoning royal rule when Boranel passes.
Interesting Things About Breland
- The great city of Sharn is the largest metropolis in Khorvaire. The City of Towers is almost a nation in its own right and is a hub for commerce and intrigue. Chapter 6 provides more information on Sharn.
- The Boromar Clan is the oldest and most powerful criminal organization in Breland. The Boromar leadership are halflings with ties to the Talenta Plains. Other notable criminal organizations include the monsters of Daask and House Tarkanan, an alliance of assassins and thieves with aberrant dragonmarks.
- Breland’s major cities are especially cosmopolitan. Due to its proximity to Droaam, its cities include more monsters — ogres, orcs, goblins, and even sahuagin, harpies, and gargoyles — then are seen elsewhere in the Five Nations.
- Breland has accepted more Cyran refugees than any other nation. The largest refugee camp, New Cyre, has a population of over four thousand and is being converted into a town. Prince Oargev of Cyre considers himself a king in exile, but effectively he’s the mayor of this town.
As you develop a Brelish character or NPC, consider the following.
Slightly Shady. Many Brelish have a loose relationship with the law. Even if you’re a hero, you may have a few questionable connections or friends in low places. Backgrounds such as criminal or charlatan/spy are a way to reflect this, regardless of your class. You could also be a folk hero who’s challenged the laws to protect the innocent, or an entertainer who’s played in every dive in Sharn.
Innovative and Independent. Find your own path in the world; don’t simply follow. As a cleric you might challenge your church and follow your own divine revelations. As an arcane caster you could search for new techniques or to unravel forgotten secrets.
Practical. Whether it’s about fashion, food, or conversation, the Brelish tend to be practical and pragmatic. Why spend a fortune on a fancy meal when a simple one will do? You’ll use whatever tool gets the job done, and you don’t see a need for unnecessary flair.
Cyre (The Mournland)
Capital: Metrol (destroyed)
Noted for Artifice, art, jewelry, music, oratory, philosophy; creativity, versatility
Destroyed at the end of the Last War, Cyre now only exists in the hearts of the refugees scattered across Khorvaire.
Before the war, Cyre was the seat of the kings and queens of Galifar. The wealth of the kingdom flowed through Cyre, and it was a nexus for commerce and culture. By tradition, Cyre’s Princess Mishann had the rightful claim to the throne of Galifar. While Cyrans take pride that they alone were in the right in the Last War, they unquestionably lost more to the war than any other nation. As a Cyran, you stand on the moral high ground, but that may offer little comfort.
Cyrans like to say that their culture represents the best that Galifar had to offer… which is to say, a little bit of everything. Cyrans value diversity and versatility, both in talents and thought. Cyre couldn’t match Karrnath in martial discipline or Aundair in the arcane arts, but as a nation it was characterized by the flexibility of its forces.
While the Sovereign Host was the dominant faith of Cyre, the Silver Flame had a significant following. Many survivors have questioned their faith in the wake of the Mourning, but some believe that this is a divine trial and a time when faith is needed more than ever.
Queen Dannel ir’Wynarn was in Metrol on the Day of Mourning and is presumed to be dead. Her son Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn holds court in New Cyre, a massive refugee camp set up in Breland. Some refugees support Oargev and the dream of a restored Cyre, while others prefer to focus on the future instead of trying to reclaim the past. As a Cyran you should decide whether you hold tight to your national identity, or whether consider yourself to be an adventurer without a nation.
Interesting Things About Cyre
- Cyre was the ancestral seat of the dragonmarked House Cannith, the house of Making. The house maintained arcane workshops across Cyre. Who knows what treasures wait in Cannith vaults for those who brave the dangers of the Mournland?
- Stories say communities of warforged live in the Mournland, including the insurgent called the Lord of Blades.
- While not as flamboyant as Aundair, Cyran fashions involved bright colors and glamerweave. Some have made a point of continuing this custom. Others wear clothing cut in the Cyran style, but entirely in black; this is generally known as “Mourning wear.”
When creating a character from Cyre, consider the following.
What Have You Lost? Did you lose wealth or status? Did you have family or loved ones lost in the Mourning? Did you lose something you could one day recover from the Mournland — arcane research, an heirloom artifact? Consider the impact this has on your background. As a Cyran noble or soldier, your estates have been lost and your army scattered; but you still have the respect of your comrades or peers.
What Do You Hold Onto? Do you have a trinket that embodies Cyre for you? Is your wand or weapon an heirloom of your family? As an entertainer or guild artisan, are you preserving a particular Cyran tradition?
What Drives You? Are you determined to solve the mystery of the Mourning? Do you want to help other refugees? Or are you only concerned with your personal survival? Is there something you want to recover from the Mournland, or would you prefer to never set foot in it again? Do you hold a grudge against the nations that fought against Cyre in the war, or are you only concerned with the future?
Capital: Rhukaan Draal
Noted for Goblinoid mercenaries
Goblins and their kin have always been part of Khorvaire. Their ancient empire spread across the lands now held by the Five Nations, and many human cities are built on goblin foundations. This empire collapsed into savagery, and when humanity arrived, goblins were driven from their ancestral lands or enslaved. Galifar ended the practice of slavery. But goblins have long been a disenfranchised people, living in the shadows of the Five Nations or in wild lands shunned by humans.
The land that’s now Darguun was once part of Cyre. The hobgoblin clans known as the Ghaal’dar were based in the Seawall Mountains, but during the Last War the demand for mercenaries drew an ever-increasing number of goblins out of the mountains to fight for Cyre and Breland. Late in the war a brilliant hobgoblin named Haruuc recognized that the goblins had become the dominant power in the region. Uniting the Ghaal’dar under his banner, Haruuc seized the territory he was supposed to protect. The Five Nations were unprepared, and Breland quickly negotiated an alliance with Haruuc to secure the border. Cyre fought the goblins until the Day of Mourning, but when the Treaty of Thronehold was forged the majority of delegates chose to recognize the new nation of Darguun to ensure peace.
Darguun is a young and volatile nation. It is ruled by the hobgoblin Lhesh Haruuc Sharaat’kor. Haruuc remains a brilliant strategist and tactician, but many wonder if he can maintain the web of alliances that hold the Ghaal’dar together, and whether he or his people will be content to abide by the terms of the treaty. And there are stories of other goblins still hidden in the mountains — the enigmatic “Heirs of Dhakaan,” who could pose a threat both to the goblins and Khorvaire itself.
Traditionally, the Ghaal’dar worshipped a form of the Dark Six. House Deneith introduced the Sovereign Host to the region, and some goblins have embraced this faith, especially Dol Dorn, Dol Arrah, and Balinor.
Interesting Things About Darguun
- Rhukaan Draal is the largest city in Darguun. As the goblins have little interest in the laws of the Five Nations, Rhukaan Draal is a haven for fugitives and smugglers.
- House Deneith has a strong presence in Darguun. While no one will employ goblin armies in the wake of Haruuc’s betrayal, smaller units of goblin mercenaries are valued for their ferocity and skills.
Darguun is a logical point of origin for goblin, hobgoblin, or bugbear characters. When creating a Ghaal’dar character from Darguun, consider the following.
Constant Struggle. Among the Ghaal’dar, you are constantly forced to prove your strength and skill or to cede dominance to others. Ghaal’dar rarely kill in a casual battle; you may fight to prove a point, but you’ll only kill when it is called for.
Loyal to Your Clan. While you may challenge your peers in times of peace, when blades are drawn you stand by your clan — or those allies you have bonded with — until death. Note that the Ghaal’dar are an alliance of clans: this loyalty doesn’t extend to warriors of other clans.
Muut and Atcha. Your ancestors once forged an empire even greater than Galifar. Perhaps you believe that your people can reclaim this lost glory. The Dhakaani were renowned for their martial skill, but also for their discipline. Muut roughly translates to “duty” — your duty to your empire, your clan, your commander. Muut is expected; if you have no muut, you have no place in battle. Atcha is closer to “honor”; it is your personal honor, gained by doing virtuous deeds that go beyond the expectations of muut.
The Demon Wastes
Noted for Fiends, pestilence, violence
Rivers of lava cut across plains of black sand and volcanic glass. The only vegetation you can see is blood-red moss and a thick layer of slime, and that appears to be moving. A jagged rock formation might be a piece of an ancient wall… or perhaps that’s just your imagination.
This is the Demon Wastes. Tens of thousands of years ago, fiends ruled Khorvaire. This region was the seat of power of some of the mightiest archfiends, holding cities of rakshasas and demons. These foul spirits were bound long ago, but their power still lingers in this place. Vile creatures continue to crawl up from the depths of Khyber. And there are a handful of primordial ruins sustained by dark magic… ruins that may still be home to fiends and their treasures.
A mountain range known as the Labyrinth separates the Demon Wastes from the Eldeen Reaches. Due to ancient warding magic, any foul thing that wishes to leave must pass through the Labyrinth. These passes are guarded by the Ghaash’kala, tribes of orcs sworn to contain the evils of the Waste. The Ghaash’kala worship a version of the Silver Flame that they call Kalok Shash; they consider the people of the Five Nations to be soft and naive.
The Carrion Tribes are savage barbarians who dwell in the Wastes. Each tribe is devoted to one of the archfiends and they engage in endless battles against the Ghaash’kala and the other Carrion Tribes. These people are mostly humans, but there are corrupted orcs, half-orcs, and tieflings mixed in, along with a handful of other races represented. The Carrion Tribes are savage and cruel, and know almost nothing about the world beyond the Labyrinth.
Interesting Things About The Wastes
- Stories tell of the lost city of Ashtakala, a citadel of fiends still populated by rakshasas. The libraries of Ashtakala contain arcane secrets and details about the Draconic Prophecy and its vaults hold untold treasures.
- The Demon Wastes contain portals to Khyber — specifically, to demiplanes within Khyber. These are similar to the layers of the Abyss in the core cosmology, unearthly realms populated by demons. The Ghaash’kala raid these demiplanes to get the supplies they need to survive.
Characters from the Wastes
If you’re from the Demon Wastes, you likely fall into one of two categories.
Ghaash’kala. You’ve been raised in one of the harshest lands in Eberron and spent your entire life battling fiends. Why have you left your post? Have you had a vision from Kalok Shash? Are you pursuing a rogue demon? Have you been given a quest by the leader of your tribe?
Most of the Ghaash’kala are orcs or half-orcs. They’re deeply devoted to their faith and might be paladins (Vengeance or Devotion), clerics (Life, Light, or War) or Zealot barbarians. Hermit and outlander are logical backgrounds: you know little about the ways of civilization, but you have have insights and the skills to survive in the harshest environments.
Carrion Tribes. Why have you left the Wastes? Have you turned your back on the vile traditions of your demon-worshipping clan? Or are you the champion of one of the fiendish Overlords — but sworn to hunt down and destroy the servants of a different archfiend, who poses a more immediate threat to Khorvaire? Either way, you are a stranger in a strange land: a savage used to a constant battle for survival in a world shaped by demons.
Capital: The Great Crag
Noted for Monstrous mercenaries, byeshk
Droaam is a nation of monsters. It is ruled by the Daughters of Sora Kell. Each of these three hags is a legend in her own right, the subjects of tales used to frighten children. Eleven years ago they laid claim to the lands west of the Graywall Mountains and founded the nation of Droaam.
While these barren lands were claimed by Breland, Galifar had never tamed this wild region. It had long been a haven for host of creatures. Gnolls, orcs, and goblins are the most common, but ogres, trolls, harpies, minotaurs, medusas, tieflings, changelings, lycanthropes and many more dwell in this region. In the past these creatures fought one another more often than they raided human settlements. Under the leadership of the Daughters of Sora Kell, they have been given new purpose… and the Daughters use an army of ogres and war trolls to maintain order. To date, the other nations of Khorvaire have refused to recognize Droaam, and it was not part of the Treaty of Thronehold. Most people believe that it can’t last — that even the Daughters can’t hold this disparate alliance together — but currently it is stronger than ever.
Droaam works closely with House Tharashk, selling the services of monstrous soldiers and laborers and bysehk ore, a form of metal with magical properties. Beyond that, it is a frontier nation that is still expanding. As Droaam isn’t bound by the Treaty of Thronehold, it’s become a haven for war criminals and deserters, along with other criminals and mages pursuing forbidden paths of magic.
Many of the monsters that make up Droaam have their own unique subcultures. Most worship the Dark Six, but there are other religious traditions as well.
Interesting Things About Droaam
- The city of Graywall lies on the border between Droaam and Breland. The second-largest city in Droaam, it is a center for trade, a haven for Brelish criminals, and a place where monsters and humans can meet on largely neutral ground.
- The Venomous Demesne is city of tieflings on the western shore of Droaam. It is the largest tiefling community in Khorvaire, with arcane traditions developed over the course of thousands of years.
- Droaam uses the supernatural abilities of its citizens as tools, just as the Five Nations use arcane magic. The Daughters of Sora Kell keep their people fed with troll sausage and use harpy’s song to quell brawls. Think about how a monster’s natural powers could be put to practical use.
Minotaurs, orcs, gnolls, tieflings, changelings, and other monstrous species all have a place in Droaam. Consider these when making a Droaamite character.
What Makes You Different? The people of Droaam aren’t just humans with horns or green skin. Think about the strengths of your people and what makes you different from humanity, both physically and culturally.
Are You Proud? Many citizens of Droaam are proud of their nation. You know that the rest of Khorvaire considers you to be a “monster”. In Droaam, you are going to prove to them that you and your kind are capable of things humanity can’t even imagine. Or you might ignore this big picture and be driven solely by your personal desires or the goals of your family or warlord.
Backgrounds. The creatures of Droaam are very diverse. A Droaamite kobold might be an urchin rogue. A minotaur could be a outlander barbarian with little knowledge of the outside world, while a tiefling warlock could be a sage well versed in history and arcana.
The Eldeen Reaches
Capital: The Greenheart
Noted for Agriculture, animal husbandry, druidic magic
A stretch of fertile farmlands borders a vast, untamed forest. Farmers tend to the fields, while tribes of shifters and circles of druids and rangers roam the woods. These are the Eldeen Reaches.
Druids and shifters have dwelt in the Towering Woods for thousands of years, but the eastern farmlands of the Reaches were part of Aundair until the Last War. The lords of Aundair focused their resources on the war effort, ignoring banditry and other problems faced by the farmers of the east. The Wardens of the Wood — largest of the druid sects — came to the aid of these farmers. Fifty years ago, the people of eastern Aundair seceded and formed the Eldeen Reaches. The Reaches were recognized as a nation by the Treaty of Thronehold, but many fear Aundair will try to reclaim the region.
Druidic magic is a central part of life in the Eldeen Reaches. Most of its people seek to live in harmony with the natural world, and communities have a druidic advisor who helps with planning and planting. The Towering Woods are also home to tribes of shifters, who maintain a nomadic existence. The Wardens of the Wood maintain order and settle disputes, and the Great Druid Oalian — an awakened greatpine — is the spiritual leader of the Reaches.
Interesting Things About The Reaches
- The fey have a strong presence in the Towering Woods. The region with the strongest ties to the Faerie Court is called The Twilight Demesne.
- The Gloaming is a region with strong ties to Mabar. It’s charged with negative energy and filled with sinister things.
- Varna is the largest city in the Reaches and the seat of the dragonmarked House Vadalis.
Druidic traditions are important to the people of the Eldeen Reaches. Even if you’re not a druid, you may follow one of these five paths. As a variant human, you could take the Magic Initiate feat to learn a little druidic magic.
Most of these traditions work with the druidic Circles of Land, Moon and Shepherd; Beast Totem barbarians; clerics with the Nature domain; or rangers with the Hunter or Beast Master archetypes. Other classes or archetypes especially suited to a path are called out below.
The Wardens of the Wood seek to maintain the balance between nature and civilization, protecting each from the other.
The Greensingers see the magic of the fey as a part of nature. They honor the archfey that have influence in their regions and try to live in harmony with other fey creatures. Bards and archfey warlocks are often found among the Greensingers, and the Circles of Dreams works well for Greensinger druids.
The Gatekeepers protect the natural world from unnatural threats, such as aberrations and fiends. They maintain ancient wards that bind the daelkyr in Khyber. Horizon Walker rangers and Ancestral Guardian barbarians fit in here.
The Ashbound are champions of the natural world and fight anything that threatens it. Many of them consider arcane and even divine magic to be such a threat. Ashbound sometimes attack the holdings of dragonmarked houses and seek to release bound elementals. Barbarians are often found among the Ashbound, and Berserker and Storm Herald are logical paths.
The Children of Winter believe that death is a natural part of life. This leads them to fight undead, but also to take actions that cull the weak and strengthen survivors. Extremists have spread plagues, especially in large cities. Warlocks and Gloom Stalker rangers can be a good fit.
Noted for Ale, dairy, glass, livestock, lumber, paper, textiles; undead, martial discipline
The people of Karrnath are stoic and grim. Karrnath is a nation of storms and long winters, and Karrns are accustomed to enduring hardship without complaint.
First and foremost, Karnath is known for its military tradition. Strength, strategy, and discipline are the core values of Karrnath. While Karrnath’s soldiers may be the finest in the Five Nations, they lack the magical support of Aundair or Thrane, which evened the odds during the Last War. Nonetheless, Karrns are proud of their martial history, and most are convinced that they would have eventually won the Last War.
Karrnath suffered a series of severe food shortages and plagues early in the Last War. This caused the king to embrace the Blood of Vol as the national religion. The priests of this faith bolstered Karrnath’s forces with undead. The current King, Kaius ir’Wynarn III, broke ties with the Blood of Vol and has stopped creating new undead, but Karrnath still has a significant number of skeletons and zombies in service. Many Karrns still follow the faith of the Blood of Vol and approve of the use of undead, but just as many feel that this disgraces Karrnath’s proud military history… and that the necromancers themselves might have been responsible for the famines and plagues.
Interesting Things About Karrnath
- Rekkenmark Academy is the premier military institute in Khorvaire; prior to the Last War, all of Galifar’s officers trained at Rekkenmark.
- The Sovereign Host has regained its place as the dominant religion of Karrnath, but there is still a strong following for the Blood of Vol. Atur, the so-called “City of Night”, is the faith’s stronghold in Karrnath.
- The Nightwood is a massive forest with a close tie to the Plane of Mabar. Monsters and undead sometimes slip out of the Nightwood to threaten the surrounding regions.
- The laws of Karrnath are harsher than those of the other Five Nations, closer to a state of martial law.
- King Kaius III is a strong proponent of peace, but many of the local warlords are certain Karrnath could and should unite Galifar, and there are whispers of a coup.
Karrns are somber folk, and generally disapprove of extravagance or excessive shows of emotion. As you develop a Karrnathi character or NPC, consider the following.
Military Service. Karrns have a strong tradition of military service, and soldier or sailor are appropriate backgrounds for any character. The laws of Karrnath are harsh, and criminals and charlatans have a difficult time here. The Martial Adept feat is a way to give a character a strong sense of military experience.
Martial Tradition. Karrnathi tradition emphasizes teamwork, focus, and force. Heavy armor and weapons are prefered. Battlemasters and Champions are both sound archetypes for fighters, while Karrnathi wizards are typically Evokers or Necromancers. Heavy Armor Master, Sentinel, and Tough are all logical feats for Karrnathi warriors; Polearm Master or Shield Master are also appropriate, depending on personal preference.
The Dead. Undead soldiers have served in Karrnath’s armies for decades. How do you feel about the undead? Are you a follower of the Blood of Vol who considers the undead to be a practical tool? Do you have a relative or friend currently serving? Or do you despise the Blood of Vol and the use of necromancy?
The Lhazaar Principalities
Noted for Ships, fish, mercenaries, merchants, pirates
This loose confederacy of pirate lords, merchant princes, and sea barons holds the northeastern coastline of Khorvaire and the many islands scattered across it. While they were recognized as an allied nation under the Treaty of Thronehold, the Principalities are a loose alliance. Each island domain has its own traditions, values, and goals — and each has a long list of vendettas and feuds with other princes. Beyond this, anyone who can win the support of enough ships and people can claim a principality; if you want to establish your own tiny kingdom, this is the place to do it.
The Lhazaar are the finest sailors in Khorvaire. During the Last War, they served all nations as privateers and engaged in piracy on the side. With the end of the Last War they’ve largely returned to the merchant trade, but there are still pirates on the open seas.
The Lhazaars value their independence. This is a place where anyone can rise to captain a ship or even seize a principality. Leadership is something earned, not given. High Prince Ryger ir’Wynarn of Regalport seeks to forge the Principalities into a unified force. He has the finest fleet, and it was his efforts that saw the Principalities recognized at Thronehold… for which he gave himself the title of “High Prince.” But so far, the other princes have rejected his proposals for a greater union.
There are principalities devoted to the Blood of Vol and a few that favor the Sovereign Host. Beyond this, the Lhazaar show little enthusiasm for religion, though many will curse the Devourer when a storm comes.
Interesting Things About Lhazaar
- The Lhazaar Principalities have the largest changeling population in Khorvaire. Many of these are concentrated in the Gray Tide, a domain founded by changelings. However, changelings are found across the Principalities and the Lhazaar are generally used to them.
- The Wind Whisperer principality includes a number of half-elves with the Mark of Storm — excoriates and foundlings with no tie to House Lyrandar. The Wind Whisperers want to obtain airships, by any means necessary.
- Dreadhold is an infamous island prison maintained by House Kundarak. Said to be inescapable, Kundarak houses both infamous criminals and mystical threats.
As you develop a Lhazaar character or NPC, consider the following.
Seafarers and Swashbucklers. Most Lhazaar spend more time at sea than they do on land. Sailor is an appropriate background for any Lhazaar, but you can also ask your DM if you can switch a tool proficiency for vehicles (water) proficiency. Lhazaar are flamboyant people with little concern for the law, so charlatan, criminal, entertainer, and folk hero are all strong backgrounds.
Local Customs. Each principality is unique. Each has its own martial traditions, fashions, and slang. Think about how your choices reflect your principality. Your dwarf barbarian could be one of the savage Cloudreavers. Your dashing swashbuckler rogue could be a colorful Wind Whisperer. The Bloodsail elves have a strong tradition of necromancy… an excellent match for your elf wizard. There are many principalities, and you can always work with your DM to develop one that fits your character.
Big Dreams. Whatever their circumstances, the people of the Principalities are always looking to the future. What is it you want? To find a forgotten treasure hoard? To command your own ship? To take your place as a prince? Think big, and chase your dreams.
The Mror Holds
Capital: Krona Peak
Noted for Dwarves, banking, mining (precious and nonprecious metal), metalwork
Long ago, the Mror Lords were forced to swear fealty to Karrnath and Galifar. In the early days of the Last War, they declared their independence and the sovereignty of the Mror Holds. That declaration was less than a century ago and that makes it fresh in the mind of many dwarves. The Mror are proud of the wealth of their nation and the talents of their smiths, of the skills of their warriors and the strength of their impregnable fortresses. The Mror star is rising.
When humanity first came to Khorvaire, the dwarves were locked in endless feuds. Over the centuries, they turned their energies to harnessing the astonishing natural resources of their mountain home. The dwarves were reborn as merchant princes. And along the way they made a remarkable discovery: ruins of an ancient dwarven empire. This forgotten realm was destroyed by the daelkyr and its vast halls are held by aberrations and other dark things. Nonetheless, these ruins are another source of pride for the Mror. They’re heirs of a mighty empire that may one day rise again.
The Mror Holds are a loose confederation. Twelve noble clans each govern a hold and have a representative on the Iron Council, which resolves disputes and issues affecting the entire nation. Each hold includes a number of lesser clans, who owe fealty to the noble line.
The Sovereign Host is the dominant faith of the Mror Holds. Kol Korran is the most beloved of the Sovereigns, but Onatar, Olladra, Boldrei, and Dol Dorn are also revered.
Interesting Things About the Holds
- The Mror Holds have deep reserves of gold, silver, and other rare and precious metals, along with iron and other ores.
- The Ironroot Mountains have long been home to the Jhorash’tar, a clan of orcs. The Jhorash’tar have been slowly driven into the least hospitable regions of the mountains. A few of the clans are seeking to incorporate the Jhorash’tar into Mror society, while others wish to drive them out once and for all.
- There used to be a thirteenth royal clan. Four hundred year ago, the dwarves of Noldrunhold were wiped out; no one knows if this was the work of the Jhorash’tar, a rival clan, or some force from below the mountains. Other clans have tried to claim the Noldrun lands, but this has always met with disaster.
As you develop a Mror character or NPC, consider the following.
Clan Focus. Is your clan known for mercantile power or martial skill? Are you a noble — even if you’re a few steps removed from true power? Or are you a simple guild artisan or soldier? Most Mror have embraced modern martial techniques, but there are a few minor clans that still cling to the barbarian traditions of the past.
Holding onto the Past. Do you treasure the legends of the ancient dwarf empire? As a Mror artificer, you could be a sage determined to reclaim the lost techniques of the past. And how do you feel about the Five Nations? Do you still hold a grudge for the indignities suffered by your ancestors, or do you feel pity for this broken kingdom?
Pride in Possessions. From the wealthiest clan lord to the simplest miner, the Mror take great pride in their possessions. Quality is more important than appearance, and you are also interested in the history of the things you carry; if you find a magic weapon, you want to know the battles it has seen and the warriors who have wielded it before you.
Noted for Eberron dragonshards, rare herbs
Q’barra is a young nation on the edge of Khorvaire, an untamed frontier filled with danger and opportunity. During the golden age of Galifar, no human ever bothered to cross the Endworld Mountains to explore the vast jungle beyond. When the Last War broke out, a fleet of settlers came to Q’barra in search of a new home far from the war. As this settlement expanded, the settlers discovered massive deposits of Eberron dragonshards. Over the last decade, a wave of prospectors, wandslingers, refugees, and fortune-seekers have descended on Q’barra, along with brigands, deserters from the war, and all manner of criminals and opportunists.
There’s one small complication: Q’barra is home to a number of ancient civilizations humans know nothing about: the lizardfolk of the Cold Sun Federation, the dragonborn of Ka’rhashan, and the confederacy of the Poison Dusk. Most settlers know very little about these cultures, and collectively refer to them as “scales.” King Sebastes ir’Kesslan of Newthrone has established a treaty with the Cold Sun Federation, but communication has always been difficult. The prospectors of Hope regularly break the terms of the treaty. There have been a number of clashes with the scales and many here fear that a greater conflict is on the horizon.
Q’barra is split into three main regions. New Galifar is the original colony; it has a feudal structure and holds to the laws of the Five Nations. Its capital city of Newthrone is the largest city and port in Q’barra. To the north, Hope is a collection of small mining towns. In Hope, the law goes only as far as the people willing to enforce it. And beyond these human regions lie the unexplored lands of the scales.
Interesting Things About Q’barra
- There are ruins in Q’barra tied to the Age of Demons. So far the settlers know little of the history of this region, but the Poison Dusk has ties to fiendish powers.
- House Tharashk has a strong presence in both Hope and New Galifar. Tharashk is the primary buyer of Eberron dragonshards, and also runs its own largescale mining operations.
Q’barra is home to the settlers and prospectors from the west — mostly humans but including members of all races found in the Five Nations. It’s also a possible origin for dragonborn and lizardfolk characters.
Settlers. Q’barra is an excellent place to explore some of the traditional archetypes of the classic Western. As a paladin, you could be a lone sheriff seeking to protect your newly formed mining village. Your cleric could be the town preacher. As a sorcerer or bard with a criminal background, you could be a dashing wandslinger looking for trouble and gold. Q’barra can be a land of opportunity for newly freed warforged and Cyran refugees in search of a new home.
Lizardfolk. The lizardfolk have a primitive culture that blends druidic traditions with the beliefs of the Silver Flame. You may have been sent to study the softskins — to learn about them and potentially serve as an envoy for your people. Alternatively, you could be following a personal vision.
Dragonborn. The dragonborn live amid the remnants of ancient glory. They have a proud martial tradition, and a number of dragonborn have ventured west in search of worthy challenges. If you follow this path, you might have served as a mercenary in the Last War.
The Shadow Marches
Capital: Zarash’ak (unofficial)
Noted for Eberron dragonshards, herbs
When most people think of the Shadow Marches, they imagine a fetid backwater where illiterate humans mingle with orcs and other foul creatures, practicing strange rites by the light of the moons. While flawed, this vision isn’t entirely inaccurate. The Shadow Marches are a desolate land of swamps and moors. The homeland of the orcs, it was scarred in the ancient conflict with the daelkyr. These fiends left twisted creatures and aberrations in the swamps, and sowed seeds of madness that linger to this day. There are indeed moonlit rituals in the Marches: some to honor the daelkyr, others to maintain the wards that keep them trapped in Khyber. Humans came to the Marches long ago, refugees fleeing a war in the distant land of Sarlona. Over time the two cultures merged, forming the Marches as they exist today.
The Marches had little contact with Galifar or the east until a few hundred years ago, when a House Sivis expedition made two discoveries: the region contained valuable dragonshards, and a number of clans had manifested the Dragonmark of Finding. This led to the foundation of House Tharashk, as these clans joined together to master the economic potential of their mark and leverage their mineral wealth.
The Shadow Marches aren’t a nation. No one voice speaks for the clans and tribes, and most of the tribes have no interest in dealing with outsiders. House Tharashk is the largest faction in the region, and their city of Zarash’ak is the center for commerce.
House Tharashk is the main point of contact between the Shadow Marches and the outside world. Tharashk aside, it remains a collection of tribes and cultists following their ancient traditions in the shadows of the swamps.
Interesting Things About The Marches
- The Gatekeepers are a druidic tradition that began in the Shadow Marches. The defeated the daelkyr in the past, and they are sworn to protect Eberron from unnatural and extraplanar threats.
- The Cults of the Dragon Below are wildly diverse, and often driven by madness. Many worship daelkyr or have ties to aberrations.
As a character from the Shadow Marches, you could choose to carry the Mark of Finding regardless of whether you have ties to House Tharashk.
As a Marcher, a critical question is whether you have ties to one of the orc tribes or the integrated clans.
The Clans blend the traditions of human and orc, building towns and working with steel. They still rely on skilled hunters, and they have their own unique traditions of art and music. Rangers, rogues, and bards all have a place in the clans, and there are gatekeeper druids among them. Some in the clans worship a limited form of the Sovereign Host focused on Balinor, Boldrei, and Arawai; this is a sound path for a Nature cleric.
The Tribes maintain traditions that predate humanity. They’re nomadic hunter-gatherers, and don’t work metals; they make their tools from stone, hide, wood, and bone. Tribal Marchers are mostly orcs, but there are a few humans and half-orcs among them. Tribal Marchers are fierce warriors and skilled hunters with a close bond to the natural world; barbarians, druids, and rangers all have a place here. Outlander and hermit are both appropriate backgrounds for a tribal Marcher.
The Talenta Plains
Noted for Halflings, livestock, dinosaurs
The halflings of the Talenta Plains live a simpler life than the people of the Five Nations. They have no cities, no industrialized magic. But they do have dinosaurs. The halflings have domesticated the dinosaurs of the plains, and use these creatures as mounts, livestock, and beasts of burden. There is a sacred bond between a hunter and their mount, and few people are prepared to face a raging halfling barbarian riding a furious clawfoot raptor.
Talenta religion is based around reverence for spirits, both departed ancestors and the spirits of the natural world. Each nomadic tribe has a lath — a chieftain who guides and protects the tribe — but it is the shamans who consult the spirits and choose the paths of migration.
In the past the tribes have stood alone, but during the Last War many halflings came together under Lathon Halpum to defend their land, and it is Halpum who won recognition for the Plains as one of the Thronehold nations. The Plains have only been considered a nation for two years, and it’s still unclear what this means; however, it has resulted in more traffic between the Plains and the outside world.
Interesting Things About the Plains
- Gatherhold is one of the only cities in the Talenta Plains. All tribes come to Gatherhold to trade, hold councils, and settle disputes. House Ghallanda maintains Gatherhold, but it is understood that Gatherhold belongs to the people, not the houses.
- House Ghallanda and House Jorasco both began in the Talenta Plains and still maintain connections to their ancestral homeland. The dragonmarked bloodlines are spread throughout the tribes, and you can play a dragonmarked halfling from the Plains who doesn’t work for the houses.
- Stories speak of ancient ruins that date back to the first age of the world, and of a vast graveyard holding the bones of dragons.
Review the halfling section in chapter 3 for quirks and other things relevant to characters from the Plains. Also consider the following.
Wild Warriors and Tricksters. You were born in the wild, and your wits and your weapons helped you survive. Talenta warriors are often barbarians or rangers, relying on speed and skill. However, cunning and charisma are equally important, and bards and rogues certainly have a place on the plains. Outlander is a logical background, but you could easily be a bold folk hero, a dashing entertainer, or a clever charlatan. You could even be an urchin who was stranded in a great city at a young age and adapted to hunting in this stone jungle.
Surrounded by Spirits. Fey, fiends, the ghosts of ancestors; these are all part of the spirit world, and they’re all around you. Do you believe that the spirits guide your actions? Do you show respect to the spirits of a location? Talentan shamans tend to be Shepherd or Moon druids, often assuming the form of dinosaurs. However, you could reflect a strong bond to spirits by playing an Archfey warlock, Nature cleric, Oath of the Ancients paladin, or a Beast Totem or Ancestral Guardian barbarian. Hermit and Outlander are sound backgrounds, but you could be an acolyte or a sage who consults with spirits instead of reading books. Warriors and shamans alike often wear masks in order to present a particular face to the spirit world.
Noted for Divine magic, the Silver Flame; fine crafts, wool, textiles, fruit, livestock
The modern Church of the Silver Flame was founded in Thrane, and most of the people of the nation are devout followers of this faith. During the Last War, the people of Thrane chose to set aside the rule of the monarch and to embrace the leadership of the Church. For the last seventy years Thrane has been a theocracy. The head of the state is 11-year-old Jaela Daeran, the divine selected Keeper of the Flame; however, Jaela looks to the Council of Cardinals to perform the practical work of running the nation.
The primary purpose of the Silver Flame is to defend the innocent from supernatural evil. The faith has always had a militant aspect, with battalions of templars and peasant militias prepared to face undead, lycanthropes, or other monstrous threats. But compassion and charity are core values of the church, and the templars are tasked to defend all innocents. Even during the Last War, if a fiendish threat were to arise in a Brelish village, Thrane templars would ally with the locals to bring an end to the threat. With that said, this is the ideal. There are zealous Thranes who believe the Church is destined to reunite Galifar under the Silver Flame, and corrupt priests interested only in power and wealth.
Not all priests are divine spellcasters, and the typical templar is a mundane warrior; however, due to the deep faith of its people, Thrane has more clerics, paladins, and divine spellcasters than any other nation in Khorvaire.
Interesting Things About Thrane
- Flamekeep is the capital of Thrane and the seat of the Silver Flame. The Keeper of the Flame dwells in the great Cathedral of the Silver Flame, which holds a pillar of fire born when Tira Miron sacrificed herself to bind the demon Bel Shalor.
- Faith is a part of daily life in Thrane, and divine adepts provide many important services. However, arcane magic is still a part of life in Thrane. The streets are lit with everbright lanterns, and there are magewrights and even wizards, just not as many as in other nations.
- The feudal system of nobility remains in place; it’s simply that ultimate authority rests in the hands of the church. Queen Diani ir’Wynarn is the “blood regent,” serving as a symbolic advisor to the Keeper of the Flame. There is a small fraction of the population who would like to see the traditional monarchy restored to power.
As you develop a Thrane character or NPC, consider the following.
The Impact of Faith. Are you a follower of the Silver Flame? Faith doesn’t require divine magic, but if you want to reflect a close bond to the Flame, you could gain a few divine spells by taking the Magic Initiate feat. Archery is a devotional practice of the Silver Flame, so as a martial Thrane you might focus on archery-related combat styles and spells or take the Sharpshooter feat. Any Thrane could take the acolyte background to reflect a strong connection to the church, or the soldier background based on service with the templars.
Church or Crown? Do you fully support the theocracy? Or would you like to see Queen Diani restored to the throne? There are many people of faith who believe that miring the church in politics distracts it from its true mission and invites corruption.
Dealing with Darkness. The Shadow in the Flame can tempt even the most virtuous soul. How do you react when you encounter corruption and greed? Are you a compassionate person who seeks to lead people to the light, or a zealot determined to crush all darkness? How will you react when you encounter monsters — minotaurs, ogres, gnolls — in a civilized setting?
Capital: Taer Valaestas
Noted for Elves, mercenaries, horses
In the midst of the Last War, an army of warrior elves seized this region from Cyre, invoking a claim to the land from long before humanity’s arrival on the continent. The elves of Valenar are utterly devoted to the arts of war. Their cavalry has no equal in Khorvaire, and they combine a talent for magic with stealth and swordplay. Cyre employed the Valenar as mercenaries and was entirely unprepared for betrayal. When Cyre was destroyed in the Mourning, no one wanted to challenge the Valenar; in the interests of peace, this elf kingdom was recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold.
The elves are already pushing the limits of the treaty. The Valenar constantly search for worthy challenges. While some venture into the Mournland or the untamed jungles of Q’barra, Valenar warbands have launched raids into Darguun and even Karrnath. While High King Shaeras Vadallia has promised to rein in his warriors, some believe that the elves will continue this provocation… that their main interest is conflict with a worthy foe, and that they want Darguun or Karrnath to declare war.
Valenar is a feudal kingdom. The elves are warrior princes, but they spend little time at rest. They operate in small units called warbands, and those that aren’t patrolling the kingdom are abroad seeking adventure. Most of the civic administration is handled by half-elves. Some of these are the children of Valenar elves, but most are immigrants who’ve come from the Five Nations in search of opportunity. Below this are the natives. Once vassals of Cyre, now they’re vassals of Valenar. Some hated the Cyrans and welcome the elves. Others despise their new leaders and are plotting against them. But life hasn’t changed much for the commoners, and most don’t actually care who wears the crown.
Interesting Things About Valenar
- The dragonmarked House Lyrandar has helped the elves build the infrastructure of their kingdom. The half-elves have no homeland, and some believe that the halfelves of Lyrandar hopes to make Valenar a haven for their people.
- The ancestors of the elves fought the ancient goblins for control of this region many thousands of years ago. Relics of that struggle can still be found scattered across Valenar and the Blade Desert: ruins, haunted fortresses, battlefields that have slipped out of alignment with time.
The elf section of chapter 3 provides additional information about creating Valenar elves. Whatever kind of character you’re creating, consider the following.
Martial Role. Valenar has always been on a war footing. As an elf, consider your role in a warband. Are you a simple soldier? An outlander scout? An acolyte devoted to the elven ancestors, or a sage familiar both with Valenar history and the lore of potential enemies? As a half-elf you might be an entertainer, a sailor, or a guild artisan working to support the elf army… or a charlatan seeking seeking intrigue and opportunities. As one of the vassals, you could be a guild artisan working for the elves, an urchin born in Taer Valaestas, or even a folk hero fighting to protect the common folk.
Dreams. What is it you hope to achieve as an adventurer? Have you left Valenar behind, or are your aspirations tied to the kingdom? As a half-elf with Valenar blood, do you want to be recognized as a true Valenar — granted a bond to a patron ancestor, a place in a warband, and a chance at immortality? Or are you more interested in building a homeland for your own people? As a native, do you want to work with the elves or do you want to drive them out — and if so, who do you want to replace them?
Noted for Gnomes, alchemy, education, elemental binding, entertainment, precious stones
Zilargo is the homeland of the gnomes, and at first glance it appears to be a paradise. The streets are bright and clean. The universities and libraries are the finest in Khorvaire. Everyone seems happy and helpful, and crime is all but unheard of. But Zil society is filled with layers of intrigue and blackmail that are often invisible to human eyes. And below that lies The Trust, a ruthless secret police force that eliminates any threat to society.
Zilargo isn’t a tyranny. Each major city has a democratically elected ruling council and a seat on the Triumvirate that governs the nation; the Trust reports to the Triumvirate. The Zil gnomes built this system, and they are quite happy with it. Their streets are safe, and as long as you play by the rules of the game, the Trust won’t target you. Outsiders find this casual acceptance of preemptive assassination to be terrifying, but the Zil actually trust the Trust.
Every Zil gnome is in a web of intrigues. This is condoned by the Trust, as long as no laws are broken and the state itself isn’t threatened. It’s fine for a gnome charlatan to connive another gnome out of a jewel mine — as long as this is accomplished through cunning, negotiation, or deception rather than violence or outright theft, and as long as the mine stays in Zil hands. The same applies to adventurers planning schemes in Zilargo: violence will get one targeted by the Trust, but intrigue is perfectly acceptable.
The Trust itself is a network of spies and assassins. Most agents of the Trust simply pass information through dead drops; some estimate that a third of the nation works for the Trust in this capacity. When the Trust identifies a threat, it acts preemptively. If a problem can be solved without violence — by sharing a piece of information, or a whispered warning sent via message — that’s what they’ll do. But the Trust won’t hesitate to eliminate a threat, whether with poison, spell, or a blade. Typically, a target will never even see the agent that kills them.
Interesting Things About Zilargo
- The Library of Korranberg is considered to be the finest repository of knowledge in all of Khorvaire.
- The Korranberg Chronicle is the leading source of news in the Five Nations, and gnome chroniclers travel across Khorvaire in search of stories.
- The major cities of Zilargo have temples and shrines dedicated to every religion. Most Zil explore a few faiths before settling on one; others practice multiple religions.
As you develop a Zil character, consider the following things, along with the suggestions in the Gnome section in chapter 3.
Family Ties. In a nation shaped by intrigue, you have to have someone you can rely on… and for the Zil, that’s family. Unless you’re an orphan, discuss your family with your DM. What’s their business? Who’s your favorite relative? Are you currently involved in any family schemes? Family members may call on you for help over the course of your adventurers, but they can also be a resource for you.
Knowledge and Power. The Zil prize knowledge above all else. Sage is a suitable background for any Zil; charlatan and spy are also appropriate, reflecting their love of intrigue. Classes that specialize in melee combat are rare among the Zil. Rogues, bards, wizards, and artificers are the soldiers of Zilargo.
One unusual option is to play a warlock whose pact is with the Trust itself. You receive your orders telepathically. Your class abilities can reflect specialized training or granted abilities — the magical equivalent of super-spy gadgets!
There are details you don’t need to know, but that you might want to know. When something costs 1 CP, you can just say “one copper piece” but do the people of Khorvaire have a name for their coins? Is there a convention for naming characters? This Wayfinder’s Guide is an overview. If you want more information on a particular subject, refer to the sources in the Appendix. But for now, here are a few useful facts about everyday life in Khorvaire.
The Calendar of Galifar
The Galifar calendar tracks the years since the Kingdom of Galifar was founded, using the abbreviation YK. The week is divided into seven days, with four weeks to a month and twelve months to a year. Despite the fall of Galifar, the nations of Khorvaire still use this calendar.
The seven days of the week, in order, are Sul, Mol, Zol, Wir, Zor, Far, Sar. The twelve months are named after the twelve moons that orbit the world:
- 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)
- Vult (early winter)
King Jarot ir’Wyrnarn died on Therendor 12, 894 YK. The Day of Mourning occurred almost exactly a century later, on Olarune 20 994 YK.
By default, a new Eberron campaign begins on Zarantyr 1, 998 YK.
The Currency of Galifar
Merchants and nobles often use letters of credit to handle large transactions, drawing on the reserves of the dwarvish banks of the Mror Holds. But most day-to-day transactions use coins of precious metal. With the collapse of the Kingdom of Galifar, each of the Five Nations began to mint its own currency, along with 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 (CP) 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, which spawned the saying “In Galifar, even the beggars have crowns.”
- The sovereign (SP) 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.
- The galifar (GP) is made from gold. It bears the image of Galifar I, the founder of the old kingdom.
- The platinum dragon (PP) 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. Still, all of the major nations make use of the four basic coins described above.
Languages in Eberron
In Eberron, languages are tied to culture and geography as opposed to biology. A dwarf raised in Breland might not actually know Dwarvish, while the language of the giants is closely tied to the distant land of Xen’drik. The following optional rules are a way to explore this aspect of the setting.
Optional Rule: Common Languages
Common is the language of the Five Nations. The Mror dwarves speak Dwarvish and the Aereni elves speak Elvish, but they know Common as the language of trade.
In Eberron, there are a number of other languages that serve this role in different regions or cultures. The DM may change the languages assigned to a monster or NPC to reflect this.
Giant is the common tongue of Xen’drik. It is rarely encountered on Khorvaire. Monsters in Khorvaire usually speak Goblin.
Goblin is the common tongue of Darguun, Droaam, and the Shadow Marches, along with most “monstrous” creatures in Khorvaire. It was the language of the goblin empire that dominated the continent before humanity arrived. Orc is a dead language; it may be encountered in ancient inscriptions, but modern orcs speak Goblin.
Infernal is spoken by spirits that embody evil. This incorporates Abyssal; all fiends speak a common language. Infernal is sometimes called “Khyber’s speech,” while Celestial is “the tongue of Siberys.”
Riedran is the common tongue of the continent of Sarlona. Quori is spoken by the kalashtar, spirits native to Dal Quor, and the Inspired lords of Riedra.
Optional Rule: Swapping Racial Languages
This optional rule allows you to exchange a language granted by your race for a different standard language. Your DM must approve the language you select. This is a way to reflect a character with no ties to the culture of their race. Halfling is the language of the Talenta Plains; if a halfling was raised in the Mror Holds, they might replace Halfling with Dwarvish to reflect this.
Names in the Five Nations
Naming conventions vary by nation. The Zil gnomes always use three names — a given name, a family name, and a clan name. Warforged often use a single name. Within the Five Nations, most citizens have a given name followed by a surname. This surname is either a family name or related to an occupation or region of origin. So Sorn Fellhorn, Kara of Windshire, and Tellan Magewright are all names you might find among the common folk of the Five Nations.
The noble families of Galifar — along with those granted land and titles by one of the sovereigns of the Five Nations — add the prefix ir’ to their surname. So the name Darro ir’Lain tells you that this individual is a landed noble. The Wynarns were the royal line of Galifar, and the current rulers of Aundair, Breland, and Karrnath are all heirs of the Wynarn bloodline. Thus, Queen Aurala of Aundair is Aurala ir’Wynarn.
Another common prefix is d’, used by any heir of a dragonmarked house who has manifested a dragonmark. So Merrix d’Cannith is a member of House Cannith who has manifested the Mark of Making.
Magic in Khorvaire
Your airship soars through the skies, approaching the mile-high towers of Sharn. You disembark, walking down a street lit by everbright lanterns, and make your way to your favorite Ghallanda tavern. Inside, the halfling bartender uses prestidigitation to chill and flavor an array of exotic beverages. A Phiarlan bard entertains the crowd with song and a dazzling display of illusions. An argument between two veterans escalates into violence: the Brelish tough produces a knife, but the Aundairian duelist already has a wand in her hand.
Magic is a part of life in Khorvaire. Arcane magic is a form of science, and the Five Nations are built on this foundation. Magewrights are professional spellcasters who use rituals and cantrips to provide a host of services. The Dragonmarked Houses provide magical services that are beyond the powers of a common magewright. And manifest zones are specific locations where the energies of the planes bleed into Eberron; these allow dramatic effects that can’t be replicated elsewhere, such as the colossal towers of Sharn.
Wide Magic, Not High Magic
While magic is widespread, the scope of magic is limited. Low-level spells are a part of everyday life, but high-level magic remains remarkable.
Common Magic. Cantrips and 1st level spells are commonplace. Magewrights, wandslingers, and dragonmarked heirs can all produce these sorts of effects, and you’ll see the impact of this magic as part of everyday life. Common magic items can be found in any community and purchased in any major city, provided you can find a shop or Dragonmarked enclave that deals in what you’re looking for. Common magic items generally range in price from 50–100 gp.
Uncommon Magic. There are magewrights and dragonmarked heirs who can cast 2nd and 3rd level spells, and such services can be bought… but not cheaply. You’ll find houses with arcane locks on their doors, but that’s a sign of a wealthy owner. The same is true of uncommon magic items. It’s possible to purchase these in a major city, but selection and quantity will be limited; in a smaller town, they’ll be more limited still. Uncommon magic items typically cost between 100–500 gp, though costs can be higher based on scarcity.
Rare magic. Spells of 4th through 5th level are beyond the reach of most people. People are familiar with the concept of spells like teleportation or raise dead, but few people have ever seen either of these things actually performed. Only the most remarkable magewrights have access to such magic, so these services usually come from the Dragonmarked Houses — specifically heirs with Greater Dragonmarks and dragonshard focus items.
In theory, rare magic items can be purchased, with prices ranging anywhere from 2,000 gp–20,000 gp. In practice, these things are rare. A rare magic item might be the prize of a collection in a Sharn emporium, or the showpiece of a House Cannith forgehold. It’s more likely that such items will be acquired as rewards for working with a powerful organization than simply found for purchase in a store. Of course, should you have a ridiculous sum of gold burning a hole in your purse, you might be able to commission House Cannith to create a rare item for you… though this would take time.
Very Rare and Legendary Magic. Spells of 6th level and above are largely the stuff of legends and folktales. The few people known to wield this sort of power are themselves legends: Mordain the Fleshweaver, the Keeper of the Silver Flame, the Daughters of Sora Kell. If encountered in the Five Nations, such magic will likely be tied to an eldritch machine or a manifest zone.
Legendary magic items are generally the work of dragons or demons, or relics found in the ruins of Xen’drik. Very rare magic items could be tied to similar sources, or they might be masterworks of the elves of Aerenal or Valenar heirlooms. It’s unlikely that such a treasure would ever be sold.
In Khorvaire, magic is a tool that’s incorporated into many jobs. There are entirely magical careers, such as the medium or the oracle. But much of the time, mundane skill and magic are combined together. A lamplighter can work with mundane lanterns, but also learns continual flame to create and maintain the everbright lanterns that light the streets. A chef can heat and flavor food with a cantrip.
A magewright knows one to four cantrips or spells. Magewrights don’t use spell slots. Cantrips can be used casually, but their spells are usually cast as rituals — even if the spell doesn’t normally have the ritual tag. When converting a spell to a magewright ritual, it can have a casting time of up to one hour. It’s also common for a magewright’s ritual to have an additional component cost in dragonshards, the fuel of the magical economy. A typical cost would be 25 gp for a 1st level ritual, 50 gp for a 2nd level ritual, doubled for each subsequent level; but this is only a basic guideline. The point is that the limitations on a magewright are time and money. A locksmith can cast more than one arcane lock in a day; but it takes an hour and 50 gp for each lock they want to create.
While the common spell list is a starting point for magewright spells, you can modify these spells to fit the job. Spells used by adventurers are often quite versatile. Prestidigitation can heat or chill an object, light or extinguish a flame. Both the lamplighter and the chef may know prestidigitation, but the chef’s version may only work on food, while the lamplighter can only light or extinguish flames. An actor may know a version of thaumaturgy that helps project their voice but doesn’t provide any of the other benefits. Artisans often know a version of guidance that only helps with their particular art. This could also result in a magewright having a spell that’s superior to the usual version of a spell, reflecting their tight focus. An oracle’s version of augury might be able to predict outcomes up to a week in advance, as it’s hard to make a business out of predicting events that occur in the next 30 minutes.
In dealing with a magewright, think about the form their magic takes. A locksmith can perform knock as a ritual. But they don’t just snap their fingers. They may use lengths of wire or iron rods, tracing patterns around the lock they’re dealing with while murmuring incantations. An oracle might work with cards or dice, or study charts of planar conjunctions. The magewright performs magic as both a job and a science.
- Chef. Prestidigitation (food only), purify food & drink (ritual), gentle repose (ritual, food only). Familiar with cook’s tools.
- Healer. Proficient with Medicine and herbalism kits. Spare the dying, detect poison & disease (ritual), lesser restoration (1-hour ritual, 50 gp component cost).
- Launderer. Mending, prestidigitation; both only affect fabric.
- Lamplighter. Light, continual flame (1-hour ritual, 50 gp component cost); uses tinker’s tools to create and repair lanterns.
- Locksmith. Arcane lock (1-hour ritual, 50 gp component cost), knock (ritual, 50 gp component cost); proficient with thieves’ tools and tinker’s tools.
- Medium. Speak with dead (ritual, 100 gp component cost). Some mediums use a form of minor illusion to conjure an image of the deceased. A medium might be proficient in Insight to help mourners deal with grief — or in Deception.
- Oracle. Augury (ritual, 50 gp cost); divination (1-hour ritual, 200 gp cost).
The term magewright specifically refers to an arcane spellcaster. In religious communities (such as those in Thrane) adventurers may find divine casters performing these same functions. Such a divine caster is called an adept. Divine magic is a gift instead of a science, and adepts typically work on behalf of their faith rather than selling their services.
The Last War saw a dramatic increase in the use of magic in battle. Aundair was the first nation to field units of arcane dragoons, but as the war continued cantrip specialists could be found in the armies of most nations. Due to the considerable training required to master magic, this has remained an elite specialty. The common soldier wields a spear or crossbow but it’s not unusual to see a warrior with a sword on one hip and a wand on the other. Within the army, such a soldier is referred to as an arcaneer.
On the streets, they are called wandslingers.
A wandslinger is defined by the ability to cast at least two cantrips, typically drawn from the sorcerer or wizard spell list. A common wandslinger also knows a single 1st-level spell, which they can cast once per long rest. An exceptional wandslinger may know up up to three spells of up to 3rd level. A wandslinger’s spells and cantrips are almost always combat spells with an immediate effect, such as fire bolt, ray of frost, burning hands, or shield.
The critical limitation of the wandslinger is a dependence on an arcane focus. A wandslinger must have an arcane focus — a wand, rod, staff, orb, or crystal — to perform magic. Some wandslingers use different focuses for their various cantrips, such as a wand for fire bolt and a rod for burning hands, but wandslingers can use any arcane focus they get their hands on. As a result, arcane focuses are regarded as weapons throughout Khorvaire.
If you’ve got a wand tucked into your belt, people may assume you know how to use it.
PLAYING A WANDSLINGER
“Wandslinger” isn’t a class. Anyone who can perform arcane magic could be considered a wandslinger, and any character could acquire a wandslinger’s spell set by taking the Magic Initiate feat. As such, whether your character is a wandslinger is really a question of style.
- Did you serve in the Last War? If so, who did you fight for? Did you learn or hone your magical skills as part of your military training?
- Do you primarily view your magic as a weapon, or do you hate being forced into combat? Do you have a diverse range of spells, or is your magic largely oriented around combat?
- A player character is never required to use an arcane focus when casting a spell. But if you’re a wandslinger, you’re more comfortable with a focus in your hand. Casting a spell without a focus takes effort. There’s no mechanical penalty associated with this; it’s just something to consider when describing your actions.
As long as your DM approves, you could justify the abilities of an arcane class as being derived from wandslinger training as opposed to the usual source. If you’re playing a sorcerer or warlock, you could say that your choice of Sorcerous Origin or Otherworldly Patron reflects specialized military training. This doesn’t change the way these features function; it means that instead of making a pact with a fiend, your warlock has a connection to an elite order of arcaniers that share these abilities. Instead of dealing with the demands of a patron, you might receive requests from your former commander or your comrades from the war. Ultimately, it’s about the story you want to tell with your character. Are you an impetuous duelist, quick to draw your wand at the first provocation? A former soldier trained to use magic as a weapon? Or an arcane scholar who despises hotheaded wandslingers who know nothing about the science of magic?
Identifying your character as a wandslinger doesn’t change your class features. Chapter 3 offers a wider selection of arcane focus items that can add color to your character.
The Magical Economy
With this general understanding of the sort of magic that’s found in the world, here’s a closer look at a few particular fields of industry.
The Couriers’ Guild of House Orien runs a standard postal service, delivering messages by horse and lightning rail. Sending a letter to a central station in a major city costs a few copper pieces. A direct delivery within a city could run up to 5 sp. Sending a large or unusual package — or a rushed delivery — costs considerably more.
Should you need to send a message more quickly, you’ll turn to the message stations of House Sivis. The basic tool is the speaking stone, which allows a dragonmarked operator to send a short message to any other speaking stone. Sending a message through the stones costs 1 gp for every five words in the message and takes one minute for every ten miles between the station and the destination. The gnomes at the receiving station will transcribe the message; for an extra gold piece, they’ll have a courier deliver it to the intended recipient. Most large communities will have a message station, but small villages or frontier towns may not.
The speaking stone network is the backbone of communication, but if it’s not fast enough, there is one more option. A Sivis enclave might have a heir who can perform sending, which can send a message instantly to any Sivis station — and even allow a response, if the recipient is present and waiting at the target station. If available, this service generally costs 200 gp.
While true bards are uncommon, magewright entertainers learn to weave magic into their performances. Illusion is a common tool, used both to enhance a mundane performance or as an art form in its own right. A gymnastic performance might incorporate jump or feather fall. The effects of the thaumaturgy cantrip — booming voice, influence flames, spontaneous sounds — are a boon for any actor. In general, think of ways that such low-level effects might be incorporated into a performance.
The Dragonmarked Houses of Shadow dominate the entertainment industry. House Phiarlan operates west of the Mournland, while House Thuranni is based in Karrnath and the Lhazaar Principalities. Each house has its own theatres, companies, and star performers, but you don’t need a dragonmark to get into show business; the houses train and license all manner of artists and entertainers.
When it comes to fashion, the most common manifestation of magic is glamerweave: clothing imbued with illusion. This can involve concrete images, such as a cloak lined with glittering stars or a gown with a pattern of flames; the wearer might even be able to adjust the intensity of these flames with a word. More elaborate (and expensive) glamerweave could even produce the effect of being wreathed in flames. However, glamerweave can also have more abstract effects: slowly shifting colors or a shimmering glow, for example. Glamerweave can cost anywhere from 10 to 200 gp depending on the effect; it’s stylish, but certainly a sign of wealth. Zilargo and Aundair are the primary sources of glamerweave, and competition between designers has grown in recent years.
The halflings of House Jorasco have long dominated the business of healing. Most large communities have a Jorasco healing house, and even smaller communities often have a lone Jorasco healer. The basic services provided by Jorasco involve use of the Medicine skill and herbal remedies. The next tier of treatment is lesser restoration, offering immediate recovery from disease for those willing to pay the price. Greater restoration is possible if the house has an heir with the Greater Mark of Healing, though this gift can only be used once per day. House Jorasco is also the primary source of healing potions; the quantity and quality available will depend on the size of the healing house.
House Jorasco demands payment before it renders any service. The Church of the Silver Flame and priests of Boldrei often maintain charitable clinics, but most of these facilities only provide mundane healing.
Resurrection is possible in Eberron, but it’s rare. House Jorasco has a handful of altars of resurrection, and someone with the Greater Dragonmark of Healing and 5,000 gp worth of dragonshards can use one of these altars to perform raise dead. Beyond this, there’s a few divine healers with the power to raise the dead. But no one uses this power lightly. Regardless of the method used, it’s hard to pull someone back from Dolurrh, and it grows more difficult with each day that passes after death. Opening a channel to Dolurrh can potentially result in a malevolent spirit taking possession of the body; in a general release of hostile ghosts; or even a marut inevitable manifesting and attacking the spellcaster. All of which means that resurrection is possible for player characters and exceptional NPCs, but it’s not a reliable service for the general public. Most of the time, when someone dies, they stay dead.
All the standard modes of transportation can be found in Khorvaire. People use boats, barges, horses, coaches, and more. If something moves over land it’s likely run or licensed by House Orien. If it moves along the water or through the air, it’s likely connected to House Lyrandar. Both houses license independent agents, so the captain of a mundane galleon won’t necessarily be a Lyrandar heir, but the Lyrandar seal on a licensed ship assures you of the quality of the vessel and its crew. Eberron also features some unique modes of transport.
Elemental galleons use bound water elementals to increase the speed of the vessel. These have long been the mainstay of House Lyrandar; an elemental galleon can maintain a speed of 20 miles per hour, more than twice the speed of a mundane ship of similar size. The cost of such travel is likewise twice the cost of a normal journey.
The lightning rail of House Orien is the gold standard for overland travel within the Five Nations. An elemental engine pulls a train of linked coaches over a path of conductor stones, maintaining a speed of 30 miles per hour. The rail links most of the major cities of the Five Nations, though the destruction of Cyre has made travel between eastern and western Khorvaire more challenging. A journey on the lightning rail generally costs twice as much as an inn stay of the same duration, with quality ranging between the modest coaches shared by most travelers (1 gp/ day) and the wealthy luxury coaches (4 gp/day). People satisfied with squalid accomodations can try to stow away on a cargo car, but Orien guards discourage such behavior.
Elemental airships are the pride of House Lyrandar, using bound air and fire elementals to propel a vessel through the sky. Airships travel between 20 to 40 miles per hour and have the advantage of being able to cross any terrain. Airships have only been in service for eight years, and as a result many cities don’t yet have the facilities required for docking or maintaining an airship. However, airships are quickly becoming the prefered method of travel for those who can afford them. Airship travel generally costs five times as much as an inn stay of the same quality and duration.
Teleportation is the swiftest form of travel, but also the most limited. An Orien heir with the Greater Mark of Passage can cast teleportation circle once per day; most major Orien enclaves have permanent circles and can be used as destinations. When this service is available, it generally costs 1,000 gp. All of these forms of advanced travel require someone with the appropriate dragonmark — the Mark of Storm for elemental galleons and airships, or the Mark of Passage for the lightning rail — to control the vessel. While it may be possible to develop an airship that doesn’t require a Lyrandar pilot, the Dragonmarked Houses are quite protective of their monopolies.
Magic plays an important role on the battlefield. House Cannith produces a wide range of siege equipment and mystical weapons and made a number of breakthroughs during the Last War. Massive siege staffs fill the role of artillery. Semi-sentient warforged titans scatter squads of infantry. Kundarak sappers spread glyphs of warding to deny a region to an enemy. Wands and rods haven’t replaced the swords or bows, but elite arcaneers are becoming more common.
The armies of Aundair specialize in the use of magic and have the greatest numbers of wandslingers. Karrnath has long been known for its military discipline, but also became infamous for its widespread use of undead soldiers. Thrane is renowned for its peasant archers and use of divine magic, thanks to its fierce devotion to the Church of the Silver Flame. Cyre relied heavily on mercenary services — including the Valenar elves and the goblins of Darguun — and fielded the greatest number of warforged troops. Finally, Breland had the best intelligence and industry of the nations; it was also noted for the use of Zil elemental weapons and for its floating fortresses.
Creating Magic Items
House Cannith has an enclave devoted solely to wand production. This facility is equipped with tools that amplify the Mark of Making and channel planar energies; the artisans also have access to a vast array of exotic woods and materials. You can also create a wand, but you’re starting from scratch and creating the tools you need. Essentially, when House Cannith creates magic items, it’s using factories; while your artificer is the equivalent of the tinkerer working in the garage. You can create magic items, and you can potentially create items that House Cannith can’t make… but it’s going to take you more time and gold than it takes for them. Here’s an overview of the process.
The Schema. The first step in creating a magic item is to acquire a schema for it. This is the equivalent of a recipe or a blueprint; it explains the process and components required to create the item. If you can obtain a schema — from House Cannith, the mystical library of Arcanix, the collection of an experienced artificer — you’re ready to move on. Otherwise, you can create a schema, but this takes time and skill. An arcane spellcaster uses Arcana to create schema. A divine caster uses Religion, while a druid or ranger relies on Nature. You must have a minimum skill bonus — your proficiency bonus plus your ability score bonus — in order to develop a schema. You must maintain the minimum skill bonus for the duration of your work, so an effect that increases an ability score for a few minutes won’t help you.
Schema Creation Requirements
|Item Rarity||Work Weeks||Minimum Skill|
This ability to develop a schema represents remarkable talent. It could take House Cannith years or decades to develop a particular schema; the fact that you can accomplish this in weeks reflects the idea that player characters are innovators. However, it is always up to the DM to decide if you can create a particular schema. The DM can always choose to exclude a particular magic item from a campaign.
Rare Components. Any magic item requires specialized materials — Eberron dragonshards, rare woods or metals, exotic herbs or other substances. While exotic, these things can be purchased or obtained in any major city. But creating a magic item from scratch often requires rarer components that can’t simply be purchased. You might need a flower from Thelanis, a feather from a couatl, or the scale of a dragon. More often than not, such this will require an adventure. You may not have to kill something to obtain what you need, but you’ll surely have to overcome a challenge. The Magic Item Ingredients table suggests how difficult that challenge could be.
Magic Item Ingredients
|Item Rarity||CR Range|
It’s possible to find a rare component even when you’re not looking for one. You could discover an exotic Khyber crystal in the ruins of an artificer’s workshop. Time and study could yield suggestions as to what items could be made with the component; for example, that Khyber shard could be used to create an iron flask or dimensional shackles.
Creation. Once you have your schema and any rare components, you’re ready to begin. The DM can assign skills or tools that are required for this act of creation, so that it requires both proficiency and access to these tools. You must pay the basic costs of materials and services required to make the item. And you must spend a significant amount of time working on it; creating a legendary item can take a year of effort!
Magic Item Crafting Time and Cost
|Item Rarity||Work Weeks*||Cost*|
|Very Rare||25||20,000 gp|
* Halved for a consumable item
The Magic Item Crafting Time and Cost table provides a basic framework, but various factors could reduce time or cost. Eberron dragonshards are a significant amount of the cost of materials. A remarkable dragonshard could reduce the cost of creating an item by 10 percent. A planar convergence could reduce the time or cost required to make an item with an effect tied to that plane. Ultimately, this is a story, and there are exceptions to every rule.
Complications. These rules for magic item creation are derived from the system presented in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. This also offers the idea that the creation of a magic item is a complex procedure and that complications can arise. If you use this rule, there’s a 10 percent chance of a complication arising for every five workweeks spent on crafting the item. Xanathar’s Guide presents a number of possible complications. Here are few tied to Eberron.
|1||A Dragonmarked House takes an interest in your work. Do they view you as a threat, or are they impressed by your techniques? Do they want to buy the item, and what will happen if you refuse?|
|2||A mishap creates a temporary manifest zone.|
|3||You need to acquire an additional rare component.|
|4||The shifting balance of the planes interferes with your work; you must wait for the current planar alignment to change.|
|5||Your efforts draw the attention of one of the conspiracies of Eberron — such as the Chamber, the Aurum, the Emerald Claw, or the Lords of Dust.|
|6||Your item unexpectedly becomes sentient.|
Faiths of Khorvaire
Religion plays an important role in Eberron. While gods don’t physically manifest as they do in other settings, people of faith believe that divine forces play a role in everyday life. Beyond this, shared beliefs help to unite communities and to provide hope in difficult times.
Appendix B of the Player’s Handbook provides concrete details about the primary religions of Eberron, including holy symbols and domains. This section provides a more direct look at what your faith means to you and how to reflect that devotion through your actions.
In creating a devout character, it can be useful to think about the source of your faith. Were you brought up in your religion, or did you come to it later in life? Are you primarily devoted to the principles of your religion, or have you had a personal, transcendental experience? Do you believe that you have a divine destiny to fulfill, or are you still waiting for your purpose to be revealed?
While the Player’s Handbook provides a baseline for domains, it doesn’t include paladin oaths or archetypes from other sources. As new options are always emerging, there’s no way to create an absolute list, and beyond that this is something driven by a character’s story. The Oath of Devotion is a logical archetype for a paladin of the Silver Flame, but a zealous paladin specifically devoted to pursuing evil could easily take an Oath of Vengeance. Likewise, the Forge domain should be an option for priests of Onatar or the Traveler. Consider your beliefs and your story and choose an archetype that works with both.
The Church of the Silver Flame
- The Silver Flame is force of light holding foul demons at bay. Those who seek to defend the innocent from evil may draw on the power of the Flame.
- Battle supernatural evil with steel, fire, and magic. Every mortal soul can be guided to the light. Inspire and guide others to virtuous behavior; force is a last resort.
- Listen to the Voice of the Flame but beware the deceiving whispers of the Shadow in the Flame.
The Church of the Silver Flame has a disciplined hierarchy with a martial aspect. Friars and ministers seek to guide people to the light, while templars defend them from evil.
Eberron is a place where supernatural evil is a very real threat. Demons possess the innocent. Vampires lurk in the shadows. Aberrations can emerge from Khyber at any time. Zealots may go too far in the pursuit of evil and priests may be more concerned with mundane power than faith. But the majority of those who follow the Silver Flame stay true to its principles. They seek to lead virtuous lives, to protect the weak, and to guide the wicked to the light.
The Church is based in Thrane but its followers are spread across Eberron. It’s up to you whether you support the theocracy of Thrane or whether you feel that it’s a mistake to draw the Church into politics. A number of variant sects worship the Silver Flame; you can always find your own path.
Archery is a devotional practice of the Silver Flame, used both as a means of meditation and a martial art.
The Sovereign Host
- The Sovereigns are with us at all times. Onatar stands at every forge and Dol Dorn is with you whenever blades are drawn.
- The Sovereigns shape the world. They offer us guidance and strength, but we must learn to listen.
- Honor each Sovereign in its place and time. If you hear one voice clearly, embrace their path and embody their values.
As a follower of the Sovereign Host, you believe that the hand of the Sovereigns can be seen in all things. What others take to be intuition or instinct, you see as the voice of the Sovereigns offering guidance. You don’t need absolute proof: the fact that there is a bountiful harvest is proof enough of Arawai’s benevolence.
The Sovereign Host has a looser structure than the Church of the Silver Flame. Many variations and subsects of the faith exist. Many temples are only loosely aligned — in a small village, a skilled smith might double as the priest because people believe he’s close to Onatar. A midwife might be seen as speaking for Arawai and Boldrei.
You may feel a particular connection to one Sovereign and, as a divine spellcaster, this could drive your choice of domain or oath. But as a vassal (the common term for a follower of the Host), you are expected to respect and honor all of the Sovereigns.
The Dark Six
The Dark Six and the Sovereign Host are opposite sides of the same coin. If you believe it one you inherently believe in the other; the only question is whether you fear or revere the Dark Six. The principles of the faith are the same: just like the Sovereigns, the Six are with us at all times. They shape the world and speak to those who will listen.
In general, the Sovereigns represent values tied to civilization: Law, community, trade, industry, agriculture, honor in war. The Dark Six embody dangerous concepts: Death, chaos and change, the destructive powers of nature, treachery in battle, dark magic and monsters, passion and madness. Those who worship the Sovereigns fear these things; those who revere the Six embrace them and don’t consider them to be evil. If you’re a barbarian, it’s the Fury who unleashes your rage. If you’re an assassin, you walk the path of the Mockery as opposed to that of Dol Arrah.
The creatures of Droaam generally revere the Dark Six. Humanity sees the Shadow as a villain who gave the harpy her voice and the medusa her gaze; to the harpy and the medusa, this makes the Shadow a hero.
The Blood of Vol
- Each one of us has a spark of divinity within our blood and our spirit. Find that power within.
- Death is the end, Dolurrh is oblivion, and if the gods exist they are cruel. Stand with those you care for; all we have is this life and each other.
Because of its association with necromancy and the undead, many people believe that the Blood of Vol embraces death and that its followers wish to become undead. Neither of these things are true. The Seekers of the Divinity Within (as the faithful call themselves) don’t revere the undead; they believe that once someone has died you might as well put the corpse to use. But the spark of divinity is tied to both blood and soul, and the Seekers believe that the undead can never fully harness its power. The vampires and mummies of the Blood of Vol have sacrificed their chance at divinity in order to guide and protect the living. They’re martyrs, not something to envy.
Public opinion of the Blood of Vol is often colored by the actions of the Order of the Emerald Claw. This extremist sect serves a lich known as the Queen of Death, and employs undead and necromancy in acts of terror. Most Seekers have no love for the Emerald Claw and don’t support its actions.
The Path of Light
- We live in an age of darkness. We must find the path that leads to the light.
- Act with compassion and courage. Each noble act is a step on the path.
- Hone your body and your mind. You are the tool you will use to change reality.
The Path of Light is the faith of the kalashtar and has few followers in Khorvaire. A Lightspeaker seeks to change reality — in the big picture by ushering in an age of light, while on the small scale by excising negative influences and performing good works.
While compassion is important, there are those among the followers of the Path of Light who believe in taking surgical action to eliminate sources of evil. Where followers of the Silver Flame believe that all mortals can be brought to the Flame, some who follow the Path of Light believe that it’s more expedient to eliminate an infection and to allow a soul to find the light in its next incarnation.
The Undying Court
- Our greatest champions and sages will never be lost to us. Their wisdom guides us, and their power protects us all.
- Honor our past. Respect our traditions. Perfect your skills and you may earn your place among the Deathless.
- Destroy those foul creatures that channel the power of Mabar, for they consume the essence of our world.
The elves of Aerenal refuse to allow their greatest souls to be lost to Dolurrh. Using powerful magic, they raise these champions as deathless, a form of undead imbued with positive energy. The Undying Court is a council of the deathless, ancient elves who have guided their descendants for twenty thousand years. As individuals, a deathless councilor is no more powerful than a traditional lich. But working in concert, the Undying Court creates a pool of energy that empowers their divine spellcasters.
Of all of these religions, the Undying Court is the most grounded in reality. You can go to Shae Mordai and seek an audience with the Court. As a follower of the Undying Court, consider why you are so far from home. Were you sent from Aerenal with a mission? Is it for the Court as a whole or are you acting as an agent of a specific counselor — perhaps your own ancestor? Followers of the Undying Court despise negatively charged undead, so without a concrete mission, one should seek to destroy the undead and the necromancers who rouse them.
Cults of the Dragon Below
- There is a paradise within the world, a vale bathed in the light of the Inner Sun. Earn your passage with the blood of worthy foes.
- Our existence is a chrysalis state, preparing us for transcendent immortality within the bowels of the Gibbering Mouther.
- The Lord of Eyes sees all secrets. His gaze elevates the worthy and slays the unbeliever. Drive all doubt from your heart and you will see reality through new eyes.
The Cults of the Dragon Below are wildly diverse. The tenets above describe the beliefs of three different cults, and the image of the holy symbol is one common example — a piece of volcanic glass — not something shared by all cults. There are warlocks who draw power from demon overlords and daelkyr cultists who serve mind flayers and beholders. Others are simply driven by deep convictions that others see as madness. Outsiders use the term “Cult of the Dragon Below” as a blanket term to describe all of these things, but the cultists themselves don’t use this name or see themselves as part of a greater whole. New cults can spring up anywhere at any time, as a seed of madness takes root and spreads.
If your character is part of a cult, work with the DM to define your personal beliefs, along with the size and scope of your cult. Does your faith have wide support across the Shadow Marches? Or are you and your family the only people who share your particular beliefs?
This Wayfarer’s Guide focuses on the continent of Khorvaire and the city of Sharn. But Khorvaire is only one continent of many, and in time adventurers may wish to explore distant lands. Here is an overview of the other regions of Eberron. If you wish to know more, refer to the sources presented in the appendix.
In Aerenal, you might…
- Consult an elven archmage who’s been dead for twenty thousand years.
- Battle sinister forces that have crawled into Eberron from a realm of eternal night.
- Learn secrets of arcane magic unknown on Khorvaire.
The massive island of Aerenal is the ancient kingdom of the elves. Its jungles are a source of strange and valuable lumbers: the soarwood used for the hulls of airships, tough bronzewood, even trees that remain alive after being felled. Beyond this, the island is close to the planes of Irian and Mabar… allowing the lines between life and death to become blurred. This can be dangerous, with dark forces creeping in from the plane known as the Endless Night. But it’s also allowed the elves to perform feats of necromancy unmatched in Eberron. Among the Aereni elves, the honored dead walk among the living. Heroes who died in glorious battle return to serve the Sibling Kings. And in the depths of Shae Mordai, the deathless lords of the Undying Court study the shifting balance of the planes and the path of the Draconic Prophecy.
While necromancy is a pillar of Aereni society, it isn’t the dark force you’re used to. The deathless undead of Aerenal are sustained by positive energy — the light of Irian and the devotion freely given by their descendants. The elves of Aerenal despise necromancy that draws on the negative energy of Mabar, and agents of the Undying Court are charged to seek out and destroy vampires, liches, and other such undead.
Aereni civilization is over twenty thousand years old. They’ve watched nations of goblins and humans rise and fall, secure in their island sanctuary. The Aereni possess many secrets and powers the Five Nations have yet to discover. But the elves are more interested in practicing and perfecting these ancient traditions than in innovation and discovery. An Aereni wizard might spend a decade refining the pronunciation of a single spell’s incantation. For now humanity can’t match the power of the elves. If that balance begins to change, will Aerenal take action?
In Argonnessen, you could…
- Clash with tribes of dragon-worshipping barbarians.
- Explore an ancient city of dragons.
- Discover mighty artifacts and epic spells.
Argonnessen is home to the oldest civilization on Eberron. The dragons wield epic magic, and their homeland is shielded against divination and teleportation. Tribes of barbarians roam Seren Islands and the coastlines of Argonnessen; these include members of almost every humanoid race, perhaps collected by dragons in ages past. These Seren barbarians worship the dragons and protect the coasts from invaders. To date, no one from the Five Nations has ever ventured into the interior of the continent and returned to speak of it.
No one knows just how many dragons there are in Argonnessen, but people tell stories of vast cavern complexes filled with the treasures of fallen civilizations, of prisons holding bound demons, of cities made from diamond and adamantine. Is there any truth to these tales, or is it all myth?
Everice and The Frostfell
In Everice or the Frostfell, you might…
- Discover an ancient civilization hidden beneath the ice.
- Search for the survivors of a lost expedition.
- Find the source of a mysterious mystical signal.
The poles of Eberron are almost as mysterious as Argonnessen. Some dwarves believe that their ancestors originally came to Khorvaire from the Frostfell, but there’s been no contact with Frostfell dwarves in modern times. Legends speak of undead hordes, free-roaming fiends, and terrifying monsters in these arctic lands.
In Sarlona, you could…
- Infiltrate an empire ruled by psychic overlords.
- Defend an ancient mountain monastery.
- Disable a monolith used to control the dreams of a city.
Tens of thousands of years ago, the vast continent of Sarlona was the cradle of human civilization. Three thousand years ago, the first human colonists set forth from Sarlona, setting in motion the events that would shape modern-day Khorvaire. Once Sarlona was home to over a dozen distinct kingdoms, but today only two established nations remain: the mighty empire of Riedra and the mountain sanctuary of Adar. Riedra is ruled by the Inspired, humans tied to extraplanar spirits and imbued with psychic powers. Adar is the homeland of the Kalashtar. Riedra maintains an endless siege of Adar, and both nations have little contact with Khorvaire.
- Seek to destroy ancient mystical weapons before they fall into the hands of villains.
- Battle savage giants in the ruins of their ancient cities.
- Match wits with cunning drow in the depths of a primordial jungle.
In the distant past, Xen’drik was home to the civilizations of the giants. Now it is a place of mysteries and ruins. The giants were destroyed by the dragons of Argonnessen, and the epic magics unleashed in that battle warped the land. Space and time are unreliable in Xen’drik. But it is a land that holds untold treasures, and the richest source of rare Siberys dragonshards. In addition to savage giants, Xen’drik is home to the enigmatic drow and many other races and creatures never seen in Khorvaire.
The port city of Stormreach serves as the gateway to Xen’drik. It’s proven difficult to maintain colonies within Xen’drik, though the end of the Last War has created a new interest in exploration.
One idea suggested in this chapter is that explorers can discover mystical secrets in distant lands. But what does that mean? How do you give the Aereni elves or giants of Xen’drik spells no one has seen before?
Spells and magic items are constantly being introduced in new sourcebooks and online content. One option is for a DM to limit access to some or all of this new material. If a player wants to use a spell from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, they have to find it. When a character has an opportunity to learn new magic — whether by studying with a member of the Undying Court or reading the crumbling pages of a giant’s spellbook — the DM can allow them to exchange an existing spell for a new spell.
This applies to arcane magic as well as divine. The Silver Flame is worshipped in many different ways around the world, and the giants had their own form of the Sovereign Host; while exploring an ancient temple, a cleric could learn new ways to invoke the power of the divine.
Eberron: Above and Beyond
While planar travel is uncommon, it can help to have an understanding of Eberron’s cosmology and how the influence of the planes can affect your story.
The Material Plane
Eberron is the heart of the material plane. It is surrounded by the Ring of Siberys, a band of golden dragonshards. Beyond this, twelve moons orbit the world. To date, no creature from Eberron has ever explored the moons. None can say whether they are lifeless rocks or thriving worlds in their own right. Some sages believe that the moons are actually connected to the planes, or that they might even be physical extensions of the planes, but this remains a mystery.
To date, no other planets have been discovered within Eberron’s material plane. However, the underworld of Khyber contains a host of demiplanes: tiny pockets of reality that exist within the underworld. As such, venturing below the surface of Eberron can lead you to a network of caverns and passages… but if you find the right passage, it can take you to fantastic and deadly worlds inhabited by fiends, aberrations, and other children of Khyber. This is one way to adapt material from Out of the Abyss and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes to Eberron. There may be realms of demons and devils deep within Khyber, long held at bay by the influence of Siberys and the Silver Flame.
The Planes of Eberron
The material plane is enfolded by thirteen planes of existence. Many of these have aspects of both outer and inner planes. All of the planes overlap with Eberron in some way, and they influence and are influenced by the material plane. This influence waxes and wanes; scholars often depict the planes as orbiting Eberron, though this purely a metaphor for their shifting influence. When the influence of a plane is especially strong it is said to be coterminous. When its influence is weak, a plane is remote. These states can be important for epic rituals, the creation of eldritch machines or interaction with extraplanar entities. There are also manifest zones: places in the material plane where the barriers are thin and where some aspects of a plane can bleed through. Ghosts may linger in a manifest zone to Dolurrh, while a manifest zone tied to Lamannia might have wild vegetation and enhance druidic magic.
Daanvi: The Perfect Order. Daanvi embodies the ideas of law and order, civilization and discipline. It is filled with perfect cities and carefully ordered fields, with immortal courts and endless archives holding every law ever imagined.
Dal Quor: The Region of Dreams. With a few exceptions (such as elves, kalashtar, and warforged), mortal creatures touch Dal Quor when they dream. The outer fringes of the plane are morphic and shaped by the memories and experiences of dreamers. There is a dark core at the heart of the plane, shaped by the nightmare force known as the Dreaming Dark. For reasons unknown to the general populace, Dal Quor is always remote and only touched in dreams.
Dolurrh: The Realm of the Dead. When a mortal soul dies, it is drawn to Dolurrh. It is a place defined by despair and apathy; over time, memories are leached out of the trapped spirits until only a husk remains. While this seems bleak, most religions maintain that Dolurrh isn’t the end; it is a gateway to whatever lies beyond. Such faiths assert that what appears to be dissolution is the natural process of the soul moving to a higher plane of existence that mortals can never touch: joining with the Sovereigns, merging with the Silver Flame, or simply rejoining the cycle of life in a new form. Nonetheless, Dolurrh is a gloomy plane filled with the lingering traces of the dead. When Dolurrh is remote it is impossible to resurrect the dead. When it’s coterminous ghosts become more common. Resurrection spells are easier to perform, but carry the risk of bringing back unwanted spirits.
Fernia: The Sea of Fire. This plane encompasses both the raw elemental force of fire and the idea of fire: flame used as a weapon, as a force that holds darkness at bay, as a destructive power and force for change. It is home to all manner of fire elementals and also to celestials and fiends that embody these ideas.
Irian: The Eternal Dawn. A plane of light and hope, Irian is the source of positive energy in Eberron.
Kythri: The Churning Chaos. The plane of chaos and change, Kythri is a morphic realm in constant flux.
Lamannia: The Twilight Forest. While it is called a “Forest”, Lamannia embodies primordial nature, and contains every possible natural environment. It is home to massive beasts, lycanthropes, elementals, and other things that reflect the power of nature.
Mabar: The Endless Night. Mabar is the darkness that hungers to consume light and life. It is the source of negative energy in Eberron, and largely serves the same role as the Shadowfell in the core cosmology.
Risia: The Plain of Ice. The counterpart of Fernia, Risia embodies water, winter, and all the ideas that can be embodied by them.
Shavarath: The Battleground. This is the plane of war, and it is gripped by a conflict that will never end. Armies of fiends and celestials have fought in Shavarath since the dawn of time, asserting that their struggles are reflected in the balance of good and evil across all reality.
Syrania: The Azure Sky. Crystal spires float in a perfect blue sky. Farms and calm communities stretch across clouds. This is the plane of peace and all things that flourish in times of peace. This includes commerce; the Immeasurable Market of Syrania draws merchants and travelers from across reality.
Thelanis: The Faerie Court. Similar to the Feywild of the core cosmology, Thelanis is the plane of stories and the home of the fey. It is one of the easiest planes to reach, and many tales begin with a hero unintentionally crossing into Thelanis.
Xoriat: The Realm of Madness. Xoriat is alien, the plane of things that are fundamentally unnatural. It challenges ideas of what is possible. Some can look upon Xoriat and see it as a place of revelations; but most mortals who come to close to Xoriat fall prey to madness. Xoriat is the source of many aberrations, along with the terrifying daelkyr.
Astral and Ethereal
The planes of Eberron are bound together in their own cosmology. But the astral and ethereal planes surround and enfold them, functioning exactly as they do in the core cosmology. If you wish to facilitate contact between Eberron and other settings, passage through the Deep Ethereal is the simplest way to accomplish it. The potential impact of contact between Eberron and other realms is discussed in chapter 1.
Celestials, Gods, and Fiends
Eberron has no parallel to the gods of other settings. It’s possible that the Progenitor Dragons were such beings, but many assume that the Progenitor Dragons are entirely metaphorical. As an Eberron DM, you decide the truth of this.
The people of Eberron believe their gods are omnipresent — not bound to a single coherent form but rather present in all places at all times. If you revere the Silver Flame, its power is always with you. The Sovereign Onatar guides the hand of every smith if they know how to listen for his voice, and Dol Arrah and Dol Dorn are present on every battlefield, guiding every soldier.
This means religion is driven by faith as opposed to the concrete actions of deities. The faithful believe that their triumphs reflect the hand of the divine. They don’t expect a god to physically show up and solve their problems.
Fiends and celestials certainly exist, however. Some have powers rivaling deities in other settings. Extraplanar immortals are generally invested in the own planes and have little interest in Eberron. There are demons and archons battling in Shavarath, but they’ve been fighting one another since before humanity existed and they can’t leave their posts to fool around in Eberron. Rare exceptions occur, such as the Daelkyr or the Dreaming Dark, but extraplanar immortals are mostly concerned with their planes.
As such, player characters are more likely to encounter native immortals on Eberron: spirits spawned by Khyber or Siberys.
The Overlords are the most powerful native fiends. A few of the best-known Overlords:
- Bel Shalor, the Shadow in the Flame. A spirit of corruption, Bel Shalor is said to be bound in the temple-citadel of Flamekeep. It whispers to all those who follow the Silver Flame, trying to lead them astray.
- Rak Tulkhesh, the Rage of War. The embodiment of aggression, Rak Tulkhesh feeds of hatred and drives mortals to battle.
- Sul Khatesh, the Keeper of Secrets. A spirit of forbidden knowledge, Sul Khatesh possesses a wealth of arcane secrets and hidden knowledge… but her secrets inevitably lead to tragedy.
When adapting evil gods or archfiends to Eberron, one option is to make them Overlords. For example, Tiamat could be an Overlord embodying the pride and potential for evil within dragons, while Lolth could be an Overlord who preys on the elves.
The rakshasa are the most common native fiends. They still scheme in the shadows, seeking to free their Overlords. However, any fiend — any devil, demon, or other evil immortal — could be a spawned by Khyber if it suits your story. Such fiends may be bound to an Overlord, or they may be independent incarnations of evil unleashed on the world. The most powerful fiends are bound by the same powers that hold the Overlords at bay, and interacting with or summoning such a creature requires the use of magic.
What about native celestials? The primary celestials of Eberron are the couatl. However, in the dawn of time the vast majority of Eberron’s celestials sacrificed themselves to bind the overlords. This is why Eberron needs heroes. The Silver Flame holds the essence of this power, but it takes a mortal champion to wield it.