You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Eberron  (Read 24272 times)

herkles

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2015, 07:31:49 PM »
Expanded information from Eberron Bruce's post here
House Orien - Part 2


History

House Orien began as a collection of merchants and teamsters, forming caravans that moved around pre Galifar Aundair and beyond. They manifested the Mark of Passage nineteen hundred years ago, enhancing their skills with supernatural abilities that swiftly allowed them to dominate the roads of central Khorvaire. The dragonmarks were a celebrated phenomenon by this point, and the extended Orien family established itself as a dragonmarked house in short order.

 In the days before Galifar, few except the couriers and caravans of House Orien could cross the boundaries of nations and the holds of minor warlords in safety. With the help of the Mark of Passage and a knack for diplomacy, it became possible for Orien messengers to send information and packages from one end of Khorvaire to the other, with an excellent probability that the goods would arrive intact and in time. Orien caravans also carried human cargo, and as workers and explorers moved across the continent, the house became one of the primary forces driving the commonality of culture that marks Khorvaire today.

Even as Orien’s mundane transportation services connected the Khorvaire of the common folk, the Mark of Passage provided the house with services so exclusive—and so  expensive—that few but kings and queens could afford them. In a united Galifar, nobles who might once have fought each other were forced to curry diplomatic favor and entertain their peers at court. However, the vastness of Khorvaire (not to mention the land’s many dangers) made mundane travel for a royal retinue impractical at best. As such, the teleportability of the greater Mark of Passage quickly became Orien’s most requested (and most profitable) service. Effortless and instantaneous travel between the courts of Galifar helped establish the foundation of communication and trust among the nobility that allowed the new kingdom to thrive.

As its routes stabilized and Galifar grew, Orien took on a royal commission that seemed like little more than a dream at the time: to connect Galifar’s cities with highspeed transport that would allow travel across the kingdom in a matter of days. In 811 YK, the first lightning rail line was established between Fairhaven and Flamekeep. In 845 YK, King Jarot announced his intention to see the lightning rail connect every corner of Galifar, a task that Orien completed in less than twenty years. With lines of conductor stonesspanning the Five Nations, Orien controlled three crown-subsidized lightning rail routes, all running through the heart of the nation in Cyre. From its humble origins on the trails and trade roads of Aundair, Orien had grown to the house that held a kingdom together.

What Orien had built over a lifetime, the Last War shattered in two terrible events. The first of these was in 899 YK, when the White Arch Bridge across Scions Sound was destroyed, most likely by order of King Kaius I. The bridge, which connected the city of Rekkenmark in Karrnath with Thaliost in Thrane, was an indefensible liability for both nations, but when it fell, Orien’s primary east–west link across Khorvaire fell with it. In the aftermath of the war, many have spoken of the need to rebuild the bridge. However, Orien cannot afford the expense of reconstruction, and Thrane and Karrnath have little reason to want their kingdoms linked across the sound once more.

The second and more devastating loss happened on the Day of Mourning. Orien’s three routes met at Metrol, the crossroads of Khorvaire, which was destroyed in the cataclysm that razed Cyre. Orien still maintains that the Cyre lines are intact, but the house has yet to send a commercial coach into the Mournland. Reports from explorers in that wasted land hint that many conductor stoneshave been stolen, leaving gaps large enough to derail a coach.

Since  the  war’s  end,  Orien  has  managed  to  go some distance toward offsetting the loss of its profitable lightning rail runs with its other courier and transport services. At the same time, the viceroys of the house are determined to reclaim their former wealth and status, but they know that doing so will require allies. The Five Nations might never again be one, but the house hopes that the leaders of those nations can be convinced of the need to reforge links to each other’s lands.


Organization

Though House Orien follows the standard hierarchy of the dragonmarked houses, significant differences exist at the top levels. On the patriarch’s council, each guild has three representatives (two elected by guild members, one appointed by the guildmaster) while the house has another three representatives appointed by the patriarch. Protocol is fi rmly followed at the higher levels. Decisions are rarely made without a quorum present, and a two-thirds majority vote is required for most resolutions. The patriarch almost never makes a decision alone, but presents issues to his council and casts the deciding vote when necessary. It is no surprise, then, that the other houses look at Orien and wonder who is in charge.

Among the middle to lower ranks of the house, the full acceptance of children born out of wedlock (and halfbreed children at that) throws a twist into the traditional dragonmarked sense of aristocracy. Birth order and blood ties to the house are the primary determination of social status. Within the guilds, more upward mobility is possible, since family ties are less important.

The current patriarch of the house is Baron Kwanti d’Orien. Though the house enclave in Passage is his primary residence, he spends much of his time on a private lightning rail coach, checking up on enclaves and stations throughout the Five Nations. His current goal is to fi nd a source of income to allow Orien to reroute the broken lightning rail around the Mournland.

Guilds

The day-to-day issues of coordinating lightning rail traffic, hiring and paying caravan crews, and overseeing the movement of goods and passengers are handled by the Couriers Guild and the Transportation Guild. The house acts as a managing company, keeping its share of the profits and  overseeing  the  guilds’  decision-making  processes. Most members of House Orien work for one guild or the other. Nonguild members of the house typically deal with the other houses or the governments of Khorvaire.

Couriers Guild

The Couriers Guild serves both the rich and poor of Khorvaire, though the common folk arguably benefit the most from it. For a reasonable fee, the guild arranges safe transportation for letters or packages. Lightning rail cargo runs cover Khorvaire’s major centers and the smaller settlements en route, while Orien caravans serve more remote areas. In addition, the Couriers Guild can arrange express shipping, guaranteeing the fastest service and personal delivery at the recipient’s end. For its most exclusive clients (and at its most expensive rates), the guild guarantees safe, nextday delivery of any parcel small enough to be carried by the courier charged with teleporting to its destination.

As a side service, the guild also employs an elite group of agents who specialize in secure and high-risk delivery scenarios. If the destination is dangerous or remote, or if the item or information to be shipped cannot be entrusted to the rail or the open road, the Couriers Guild has options for those who can afford them. Couriers typically undertake a good number of low risk assignments before they are entrusted with sensitive documents or goods. All couriers undergo a thorough investigation of their character before becoming members of the guild. Those who have proven their worth and are of sufficient level (usually at least 5th) can become special couriers, taking on high-profi le assignments.

Transportation Guild

The Transportation Guild is responsible for lightning rail, caravan, and coach routes throughout Khorvaire, including the maintenance of trade roads and courier posts. Tariff agreements made with the nations through which its lines run fund the guild. Taxes paid by the settlements where stops are located go toward station maintenance. Passenger fares and shipping fees on the lightning rail, coaches, and caravans are used for general maintenance, salaries, and overhead, and to boost House Orien’s bottom line.

While the Couriers Guild is a valuable part of Orien’s business, the Transportation Guild is the house’s financial  foundation.  Nearly everyone involved with house operations works in the Transportation Guild at some point. Piloting a lightning rail is the most glamorous and prized job in the guild, but beneath every pilot are hundreds of guild operatives whose work keeps the rail running. Orien does not make its employment numbers public, but it is widely surmised that the Transportation Guild is the largest guild in Khorvaire.

The Transportation Guild’s teleportation services are typically available only at house enclaves. Once the province of nobles and the dragonmarked viceroys, teleportation has taken on a new significance for Orien in the aftermath of the Last War. In the age of exploration, a new class of adventurers and mercenary heroes often has the need (and the coin) to hire those Orien heirs with the greater or Siberys Mark of Passage. In particular, the greater teleportability of a Siberys heir allows instantaneous travel from mainland Khorvaire to the wilds and riches of Xen’drik. Faced with the prospect of a dangerous, monthlong voyage across the Thunder Sea, many an adventuring party is willing to cobble together the 5,000 gp required to teleport directly from Sharn to Stormreach.

As they did all through the Last War, Orien teleporters continue to do a steady trade with the nobility and the dragonmarked houses. The politics of Khorvaire have never been in greater flux, and the ability to instantly meet with one’s allies—or just as instantly send spies into the court of one’s foes—is the foundation of the alliances and intrigue that make up the modern age.

Playing a member
For you, the claim that the time of Galifar was a golden age for Khorvaire is more than a matter of opinion. Before the Last War, Orien’s influence blanketed the continent, and its trade roads and lightning rails were the lifeblood of a kingdom. The war cut those arteries, however, leaving Galifar dead and House Orien bloodied but unbowed. The loss of Cyre was as devastating for Orien as it was for Cannith, but you know that someday your house will regain its losses. It’s just a question of when.

herkles

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2015, 07:49:00 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Phiarlan - Part 2


History

The roots of House Phiarlan can be traced back to the ancient conflict between the elves and the giants of Xen’drik. The elves of that lost age were not a single, monolithic culture, and in the dying days of the giants, the former slaves among them fought alongside the warriors of a dozen different unconquered elf tribes. A corps of bards and scouts traveled from front to front, carrying news and intelligence that helped coordinate the elves’ attack.

These couriers also struggled with the impossible task of maintaining morale and preserving the fragile alliances between the elven tribes. They called themselves phiarlans, a word meaning “spirit keeper.” As the end drew near, the prophet Aeren called on the phiarlans to help him gather elves from across the continent, creating the refugee fleet that would ultimately found the nation of Aerenal.

Before the rise of the Undying Court, Aerenal was a loose alliance of tribes and city-states. Members of the phiarlan bloodlines continued to serve as liaisons and troubadours, traveling from court to court bringing songs and news. Phiarlans worked to maintain peace and order through open mediation, but they also began to collect clandestine knowledge on their travels—knowledge that they would anonymously pass to competing tribes and leaders when doing so served the greater good. Gradually, intelligence-gathering became a secret industry for the phiarlan families, even as their skill with art, song, and dance became a shield against detection.With the rise of the undying court, the phiarlans came into their own as spies, serving the nation of Aerenal as a whole. Their task was a noble one—bringing the light of observation to bear against the shadows of deception so that justice could be served.

Some thirty-two hundred years ago, two of the first three dragonmarks appeared among the Aerenal elves. The Mark of Death was limited to the line of Vol, but the Mark of Shadow appeared within a number of elf bloodlines, all tied to the phiarlans. Though the nature of the marks was a mystery, the elves were quick to recognize their connection to the Prophecy of the dragons—the great wyrms against which Aerenal had intermittently fought for thousands of years. Suspicion was brought to bear against the dragonmarked, and in the end, the very real schemes of the line of Vol were uncovered. The civil war that ensued saw that line and the Mark of Death destroyed, and sent waves of fearful refugees from Aerenal to Khorvaire.

This exodus included the vast majority of the phiarlans, fearful that the fury that had destroyed the Mark of Death would be turned against them. A few remained behind and were absorbed into other lines; today, the Mark of Shadow is found among the Aereni from time to time. In Khorvaire, the majority of those elves with the Mark of Shadow set out to create a new life. To mark their departure from Aereni society, they formally joined their lines into a new alliance: House Phiarlan.

The people of Khorvaire had never seen anything to compare to the artistic skills and talents of the exiled elves, and a renaissance in culture quickly spread across the land. Elf entertainers were welcomed in every village and city, allowing Phiarlan’s knowledge and contacts to grow. In time, the leaders of the house parlayed Phiarlan’s reputation into secret contacts with the nobility, and they began to sell the intelligence-gathering skills they had honed over thousands of years while serving as the eyes of the Undying Court.

Today, House Phiarlan lives in two worlds. Its performers can be found on the greatest stages and in the humblest taverns, and its eyes watch Khorvaire even where no elf is ever seen. Few people realize the true reach of the house, but kings and queens respect its power.  In 972 YK, House Phiarlan was torn asunder by a confl ict that had festered within its ranks for centuries. In the end, the Shadow Schism saw the creation of House Thuranni and the loss of most of House Phiarlan’s holdings in Karrnath and the Lhazaar Principalities.

Guilds

Entertainers and Artisans Guild

Phiarlan’s Entertainers and Artisans Guild is the foundation on which the house’s reputation is built. Any business associated with the guild (theaters, music halls, circuses, and so on) only employs licensed talent. A character who has at least 8 ranks in an associated skill can earn a place with one of the bound businesses of the house, including the famed Carnival of Shadows: a traveling Phiarlan circus combining illusion, physical arts, and exotic beasts from across Eberron. A character with such credentials can fi nd employment in any major city of Khorvaire.

Entertainers and Artisans Guild

The Serpentine Table is the espionage arm of House Phiarlan. It is not a guild in and of itself; few people outside the house even know of its existence, and hardly any of its lower-level operatives realize the full implication of their service. They simply collect and pass along information, never knowing how it is used. Members of the house who wish to operate their own independent intelligence agencies can be licensed by the Serpentine Table, though the house keeps a close watch on such endeavors.

While it is a simple matter to deal with the Entertainers and Artisans Guild, the Serpentine Table does not advertise its presence. A character seeking to employ the shadowy services of the house can inquire at a main enclave. If the request is worthwhile, it is passed to the Serpentine liaison. When the time is right, an agent will approach the prospective client to discuss the job at hand.

Playing a member
Though you have seen wealth, fame, and beauty as a child of Phiarlan, you know that knowledge (and the power it brings) is the greatest treasure of all. However, the path you take to claim that power is very much up to you. As a scion of the house, you might choose to be a socialite, taking pride in your house’s works and enjoying the fame that goes with them. As an adventurer, you likely seek inspiration for some epic work you have in mind. Performance is in your blood, though, and between adventures you are never far from the theater, the tavern, or any other place where you can regale friends and strangers with story or song.

If you choose the path of the agent, you serve the will of the Serpentine Table. Though some who know of Phiarlan’s intelligence services might call you thief or spy, you know better. The Serpentine Table chooses each assignment with care, and through your work in the shadows, you shape the future.

A third path is that of the nomad. You respect the traditions and methods of your house and wish to hold influence within it, but you have no intention of working your way up through standard service. Instead, you create your own power base, starting with the members of your adventuring party. You will weave your own web of infl uence, and the Serpentine Table will accept you as an equal in the end.

herkles

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2015, 08:07:34 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Sivis - Part 2


History

The society of Zilargo has long revolved around houses: alliances of families wielding great social power. Sivis was an established house even before the Mark of Scribing appeared among its members. Though the mark originally manifested in only a few of the bloodlines within the house, it has since spread to all the Sivis families. The gnomes are a race touched by magic and driven by curiosity, and the bards and sages of Sivis worked quickly to unlock the mark’s full potential. Recognizing the risk of being ostracized for the power they held, the Sivis dragonmarked also sought to make themselves useful to Zil society, even as they distanced themselves from the politics of those they served.

In this, they laid the foundation for what would become the standard for the dragonmarked houses: mercantile forces whose neutrality increased their commercial power. Within a few centuries, House Sivis spread to other lands, where its heirs’ skills as translators and linguists proved invaluable to the young nations of Khorvaire. Many Sivis gnomes claim that their house was responsible for the refinement and spread of the Common tongue from the Old Common of the earliest Sarlonan migrants.

As House Sivis spread beyond Zilargo, it made contact with the leaders of the newly created dragonmarked houses,  helping  to  establish  the  common  traditions shared by the houses to this day. As time passed, Sivis would play a critical role in discovering new dragonmarked  bloodlines  and  helping  the  younger  houses establish a foothold in the world. Of all the houses, Sivis has historically had the most interest in the draconic Prophecy and the role of the dragonmarked houses within it. Ever since Alder d’Cannith’s assertion that twelve contemporary dragonmarks would one day be found in Eberron, the sages of Sivis searched for the missing marks.

Despite its influence, House Sivis has never sought to dominate the houses, instead working to be a friend and ally to all. Of course, the gnomes are a subtle people, and many dragonmarked wonder if the vaunted neutrality of House Sivis is not in fact a mask shrouding a far-reaching hidden agenda.

Though the sending ability of the Sivis heirs has always been treasured, the house’s greatest turning point was the development of the speaking stone in 783 YK. Conceived by Tasker Torralyn d’Sivis and developed by the Twelve, the speaking stoneallows Sivis heirs who carry the least mark of the house to transmit messages between stones. In 789 YK, the first Sivis message stations appeared in the capital cities of the Five Nations. Since that time, they have multiplied and spread across Khorvaire.

Today, the hous e continues as it always has, doing its part to stabilize a world torn apart by war. Though some are quick to write off the importance of a house of scribes, Sivis is an invaluable, integral part of modern civilization.


Guilds
House Sivis controls both the Speakers Guild and the Notaries Guild. The guilds’ bookish reputations (and the insular nature of the house as a whole) means that many of  those  outside  the  other  dragonmarked  houses  have little sense of where one begins and the other ends.

The Notaries Guild
The Notaries Guild oversees a vast range of services relating to the written word. In addition to its vital work producing legal documents and authenticating letters  of  credit,  the  guild  licenses  cartographers, bookbinders, and scribes, including those whose specialty is copying magic scrolls. Sivis bookkeepers work with numbers as well as words, and guild appraisers are trained to spot all manner of forgeries. One of the more interesting branches of the guild is the Hidden Word. This arm of the house sells both codes and codebreaking services, along with magical tools such as secret pageand illusory script.

Speakers Guild
Sivis message stations and their speaking stonesare the most well-known service of the Speakers Guild, but the guild also oversees a number of professions concerned with the spoken word. The guild licenses barristers, interpreters, mediators, heralds, and similar professions, occasionally overlapping with the spoken arts of House Phiarlan. As a rule, House Sivis handles practical and mundane matters, while artistic endeavors belong to the elves.


Organization

House Sivis goes to great lengths to preserve its position as an impartial force in the world. As a result, adventurers are more likely to encounter the house when they need its services, not because they have been caught up in its schemes. At the same time, the gnomes are driven by a thirst for knowledge, a desire for order, and their own maze of internal intrigues—any of which could draw House Sivis into an adventure.

 House Sivis was instrumental in standardizing the system of viceroys, ministers, and seneschals that forms the backbone of dragonmarked hierarchy. Beneath this, the house employs a dizzying array of titles and offices that are largely cosmetic in nature. When two viceroys meet, the Bearer of the Thirteenth Word has a slight social advantage over the Bearer of the Fourteenth Word, but both are still viceroys. Some of these honors can be granted or transferred by a viceroy, some require the intervention of the matriarch, and some are based entirely on social custom. For example, any heir who invents a new idiom is entitled to the honorific “Wordsmith.”

House Sivis is composed of twelve families,  including  the  Torralyns, Severins, Lyrrimans, Syrralans, Corralyns, and Santors. Political games can be found at all levels of the house, and even a house matriarch can be replaced if a sufficient number of viceroys stand against her. The stability of the house takes precedence over personal ambition, though, and the current matriarch, Doyenne  Lysse  Lyrriman d’Sivis, has held her post ably for some ninety years. In addition to the Speakers Guild and the Notaries Guild, a number of  other important agencies operate within the house. Oversight is the security arm of house Sivis, and defends the house’s reputation  for  absolute  confidentiality  and impartiality.

Oversight protects Sivis from spies and scrying eyes, but also polices the house membership, swiftly punishing those who threaten the stability of the organization. In addition to its own highly skilled operatives, Oversight  often  works  with  operatives  of  Phiarlan  and Thuranni, House Kundarak, and the Trust, creating the tightest web of secrecy that gold can buy. As with Zilargo and the Trust, Oversight is allowed a great deal of latitude in its methods: Gnomes who leak house secrets have a tendency to simply disappear.

The Hidden Word is a division of the Notaries Guild that develops codes and code-breaking techniques, in addition to its work concealing information by magical
means. It did a brisk business during the Last War.

Tasker’s Dream is a think tank. Though Tasker Torralyn d’Sivis worked within the Twelve when he invented the speaking stone, Tasker’s Dream is a private arm of House Sivis dedicated to the development of new forms of magical and linguistic communication. Though House Sivis remains a vital member of the Twelve, its current inhouse projects include dragonshard focus items designed to enhance the sending ability of the greater Mark of Scribing, and exploration of the potential of telepathy.

Playing a member

For nearly thirty centuries, your family has worked to maintain order. Communication is the cord that binds civilization together, and your ancestors have settled the disputes of kings and helped the dragonmarked houses find a place in the world. Few people realize the influence House Sivis has had on the shape of the modern age, just as few know how often a royal advisor holds more power than the king himself. Let Cannith and the others fight for fame and recognition. You know that the greatest work is done in silence.

Your upbringing has taught you to see life as an extended game. As an adventurer, you might be playing a long game, building influence only usable in years to come. On the other hand, you might simply enjoy the challenge of the moment, and the thrill of pitting your wits against the world as you unravel the most difficult puzzles. Your family has always found a way to cut through chaos and produce order, and you endeavor to do the same. Never reveal your full strength or your true goals. Always watch for ways to gain an advantage over your enemies.

Of course, not every member of your house follows these traditions. A number of excoriates in the annals of Sivis have taken joy in causing chaos and confusion, and this dark path might call to you more than you care to admit.


herkles

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2015, 09:47:26 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Tharashk - Part 2


History

For thousands of years, the Shadow Marches were the domain of the orcs. It was a land scarred by the ancient conflict with the daelkyr, where the descendants of the first Gatekeepers and those corrupted by the touch of Xoriat continued to battle in the darkness. Fifteen hundred years ago, humans came to the Shadow Marches: refugees from the distant land of Sarlona fleeing the growing power of the Inspired. Though many of the orcs of the Marches met the first waves of settlers with hostility, a handful of tribes welcomed these strangers. Over time, this union of cultures produced both the clans of the modern age and the jhorgun’taal: “children of two bloods,” or half-orcs.

When the Mark of Finding appeared among the clans five centuries later, it was carried by humans and half-orcs alike. Some considered this to be a divine gift to the humans and half-bloods to make up for their physical frailty—a magic mark in lieu of the great strength and dark-piercing eyes that Eberron had granted the orcs. The mark appeared among three clans—Aashta, Velderan, and Torrn—and over the next five centuries, the hunters of these clans would become legends within the Marches.

In 498 YK, expeditions from central Khorvaire reached the Shadow Marches. One such expedition was led by Zil gnomes, who had calculated that the distant land might hold rich deposits of dragonshards. In this, they were correct, but the discovery of the Mark of Finding was an even greater treasure. The clan leaders were cunning and capable, but the Sivis emissaries were intent on working with the Marchers, not exploiting them. With the assistance of the gnomes, the three great clans and their lesser kin joined together to form House Tharashk, an Orc word meaning “united.” For the symbol of the house, the first Triumvirate chose the dragonne, touched with the power of dragons and a fierce hunter in the legends of both Marcher orcs and Sarlonan humans.

Tharashk was founded on the dragonshard trade, its dragonmarked heirs employing the Mark of Finding to locate shard fields while their unmarked kin extracted those shards. The clan leaders were ambitious, however, and not content to remain in the shadows. Over the last three centuries, the house has spread across the world. Tharashk  prospectors  explore  the  darkest  corners  of Eberron, drawing dragonshards and other valuables from Q’barra, the Demon Wastes, and Xen’drik. City-dwellers sell their services as inquisitives and bounty hunters.

Since the rise of the Daughters of Sora Kell in Droaam, members of House Tharashk have served as intermediaries between the realm of monsters and the east,  bartering  the  service  of  monstrous  mercenaries across Khorvaire. The house takes great pride in having forced mainstream Khorvaire to recognize that orcs and half-orcs are worthy of the same courtesies and opportunities as the races already established in society. Now, house members have used their status to do the same for Droaam’s monstrous races, who can be found living and working across Khorvaire. Not all are pleased with this turn of events—particularly House Deneith

Today, Tharashk is said to be working with the Inspired to locate crystal wastes in Xen’drik that are key to the creation of Riedran crysteel, and even sending expeditions to the Frostfell. Tharashk might be the youngest of the houses, but it is filled with fire. Its leaders intend to make their mark on Eberron, and the house is always searching for new opportunities to do so.

Guilds
For all its short history, House Tharashk has been synonymous with the Finders Guild, and the operations of house and guild are common throughout rural and urban Khorvaire.
Finders Guild
The Finders Guild oversees a wide range of activities, from dragonshard prospecting in the wilds to inquisitive work in the larger centers of the Five Nations.  Within the guild, a group known as the Dragonne’s Roar coordinates the sales of monstrous mercenaries and laborers. Members of the Roar work with clients or serve as recruiters in the wild. Agents of the group must excel at diplomacy and have a good grasp of monstrous customs and language. Accidentally insulting a fl ight of harpies is generally a bad idea.

Organization
The services of House Tharashk can prove useful to adventurers as well as their enemies. Explorers, bounty hunters, inquisitives, and ambitious merchant princes can all wear the mark of the dragonne, and each serves a different role in a campaign.

Due to the guidance of House Sivis in the formative years of the house, Tharashk uses the traditional dragonmarked structure of viceroys, ministers, and masters. In addition, family plays a central role in House Tharashk, in the form of the alliance of three great clans: Aashta, Torrn, and Velderan. Eac h c lan controls its ow n dis tinct territory, so that challenges within that territory must come from within the ruling clan. Instead of having a single matriarch or patriarch, the house is controlled by the Triumvirate, consisting of one leader (known as a triumvir) from each clan. The current triumvirs are Daric  d’Velderan, Khundar’aashta, and Maagrim Torrn d’Tharashk. Humans and half-orcs often hold the house’s leadership, though there have been orc triumvirs and viceroys in the past, especially among the Torrn clan.

Tension is acute within the house, especially between those Aashta heirs who revere the Dragon Below and the Torrn Gatekeepers. Feuds between clans occasionally have deadly consequences, but the house’s leaders have largely managed to keep their kin focused on common goals, and dedicated to maintaining the strength of Tharashk.

Unknown even to most house members, the Valshar’ak Seal is a union of dedicated Gatekeepers who have vowed to use the resources of Tharashk to fulfill their ancient duties, and to prevent the Dragon Below from doing the same. Maagrim Torrn supports the Seal, but her position as triumvir prevents her from taking an active role with the group. Currently, the Valshar’ak Seal is led by the venerable Urlev Torrn.

Playing a member

Whatever your chosen profession, you are a hunter. Heirs of other houses lead lives of luxury, but not so the heirs of House Tharashk. As a child, you might have been stranded in the wilds or left to fend for yourself on the city streets. You would play games of hunter and prey, sometimes using real weapons. It is a harsh life, and not all heirs of the house survive it. You did, and it made you strong.

Your house is young, but what you lack in resources, you make up for in spirit. Tharashk has a destiny to fulfill, and you have a destiny in the house. Your pride is not the cultured arrogance of a Cannith dandy or the blind ambition of a toothless Deneith lord. It is calm assurance, based on skill and the will to succeed.

You are loyal to the house as a whole, but you also have a bond to one of the three great clans within the house. The Torrn and their allies have the s trongest druidic tradition and the greatest number of full-blooded orcs. The Aashta and the lesser clans bound to them produce the sorcerers of the house, and have ties to the Cults of the Dragon Below. The Velderan clan is largely human, and is known for its altruism. Torrn Tharashk are typically neutral, while the Aashta often take opportunism to dark extremes.

Surnames
All blood heirs of House Tharashk are entitled to use d’Tharashk as a surname, or to add the d’ prefi x to their clan name. Tharashk heirs often ignore this custom, however—some as a sign of clan pride, others as a form of rebellion against established traditions. A Tharashk heir is just as likely to introduce himself as an Aashta or a Velderan, and people are familiar with the names of the three great clans.While Torrn, Aashta, and Velderan are the primary clans of House Tharashk, each of these three is allied with a number of smaller clans. Consider clan alliance when creating a Tharashk, but also feel free to devise your own surname for the character.

the Monsters of house Tharashk

The alliance between House Tharashk and Droaam is one of the more colorful aspects of the house, and an aspect Tharashk continues to expand. Monsters attached to the house are evaluated, licensed, and monitored by the Dragonne’s Roar. Monsters working for the house are all capable of having basic interactions with humans without resorting to violence. Gnolls, ogres, and minotaurs work as mercenaries or laborers, while gargoyles and harpies make useful couriers, scouts, and messengers. As a rule, Tharashk sells monstrous services only to established clients with good credentials, including house heirs. A person cannot simply walk in off the street and hire an ogre as a houseboy. Services are often limited to a particular area; ogres in Sharn work in Sharn, and cannot be taken on the road. Double the indicated cost to employ a flying creature. Monstrous mercenaries are hard to come by except in large communities, and most monster types cannot be hired.

Tharashk’s financial success with its monstrous mercenaries is largely dependent on volume. Though the services of a smaller band of mercenaries can be obtained by special favor the Dragonne’s Roar normally will not hire out groups of fewer than twenty monsters, even to house heirs. The house also does not contract mercenary bands for less than one month’s full service, paid in advance. Monstrous mercenaries and laborers must be paid full rate for travel time to and from an assignment. Obviously, dangerous assignments demand double the standard fees or higher, and illegal assignments from non-Tharashk are not accepted.