Author Topic: Eberron  (Read 24038 times)

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2012, 01:41:12 AM »
The Dark Six


he Dark Six is a pantheon of six gods cast out of the Sovereign Host during the Schism. Though individual deities are typically singled out and worshiped a few (especially schismatics) worship the whole of the disparate deities. The Dark Six represent evil, destruction and other insidious forces of civilization and nature and members of the pantheon are worshiped by only the most debased of the civilized races and monsters. The holy texts of the Dark Six show them schemeing and plotting against the Sovereign Host at every turn and followers of the Dark Six typically scheme against vassals of the Sovereign Host.

Some believe that the Dark Six were originally Dhakaani gods, that the humans adopted as a counter to the gods of the Sovereign Host, belief in which they brought with them from Sarlona.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2012, 01:45:45 AM »
Lords of Dust

The Lords of Dust are devoted servants of the Overlords, demonic fiends trapped in the Khyber. Over the last hundreds of thousands of years, the Lords of Dust have infiltrated the various organizations of Eberron. Their goal is to manipulate events to two ends: release their Overlord masters from their bonds, and gain revenge against their ancient enemies, the dragons and the couatls.

History

The Great War

During the Age of Dragons, the great dragon Eberron trapped the evil dragon Khyber within itself, after Khyber slew their brother Siberys. Khyber's last act of defiance was to give birth to a host of fiends. It was Khyber's last hope that these fiends would destroy the descendants of Siberys and Eberron. 10,000,000 years ago, the fiends succeeded, overran the world of Eberron. Led by the rakshasas and the night hags, the Age of Demons began.[1]

Not completely obliterated, the dragons hid from their demon rulers, living in a primitive state. However, 1,500,000 years ago, the dragons discovered what would be called the Draconic Prophecy. They began to build upon this knowledge, and began to fight against the demons. They found other allies that had also survived; most importantly: the couatls. Once they became powerful enough, the dragons and couatls joined forces and attacked the fiends that inhabited Eberron.[1]

The couatls sacrificed themselves to send the Overlords and the majority of the fiends back into the Khyber, where they are trapped. [1]

When the great war ended, the fiends that were not imprisoned in the Khyber retreated back to a land they called Fah'lrrg in the infernal tongue; the land now known as the Demon Wastes. From behind the Shadowcrags and the Icehorn Mountains, the fiends continued to live within their ruined fortresses and amongst the various pits that still lead into the Khyber.

Within the Demon Wastes, the remaining rakshasa made plans to free their trapped masters. They formed a secret society which they called the Lords of Dust. Led by the Bleak Council, the rakshasas of the Lords of Dust organized their other Khyber-spawned brethren and led them to infiltrate the rest of the world. The goals of most of the Lords of Dust are to gain revenge on their age old enemies: the dragons and the couatls, and their descendants, especially the Church of the Silver Flame. However, some members' only goals are to gain power for themselves.[1]

Most of the Lords of Dust also seek to free the imprisoned Overlords, the rakshasa rajahs, from their bonds. They use prakhutus, or speakers, that can communicate with their masters. The prakhutus then carry their rulers' wishes to the rest of the Lords of Dust.[2]

The rakhsasas amongst the Lords of Dust use their telepathy and shape-changing abilities to infiltrate every organization in Eberron. No one is entirely sure what their schemes are. Since the rakhsasas are immortal, their true end goals are hard to decypher. A rakshasa agent might wait an entire human lifetime before making a move to further its schemes. It is thought that the Lords of Dust have managed to infiltrate most organizations, including the Aurum, the Cults of the Dragon Below, the elves of Aerenal, and even House Phiarlan.[1][2][3]

The Lords of Dust also prefer to use the Draconic Prophecy against the dragons. They will manipulate events to resemble events foretold by the Draconic Prophecy, then manipulate the dragons to perform acts they think are part of the prophecy, but are actually detrimental to future events.[4]

Organization
The Bleak Council

The Lords of Dust are led by the Bleak Council. Most of the Bleak Council directly speak with the thirty or so Overlords that are still bound. There is approximately 90 members of the Bleak Council that operate across the world.[2]

The Claws of Khyber


Below the Bleak council are the Claws of Khyber, those fiends and their allies that act as the arms, and swords, of the Council.There are hundreds of Claws out in the world, acting as spies within most of the organizations of Eberron.[2]

The pawns

In addition, the Lords of Dust use a lot of pawns to move their schemes forward. These pawns could be kings of nations, or an adventuring party. None of them know that they are working for the Lords of Dust, or even that the Lords of Dust even exist.[2]

Bases of Operations

The Lords of Dust ostensibly operate out of the ancient city of Ashtakala, the "capital" of the Demon Wastes. There, they are members of the Council of Ashtakala, the rulers of the Demon Wastes.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2012, 01:46:50 AM »
The Cult of the Dragon Below
The Cult(s) of the Dragon Below have existed since the beginning of time in one form or another. There have always been those, who chose to worship the Dragon Below (Khyber) in order to gain power or in hopes of some dark promise fulfilled. In modern times, cultists seek to release beings (e.g. daelkyr, rakshasa rajahs, or demons) or gain power from those same beings through sacrifice or devotion.

Worship of the Cults of the Dragon Below are strongest in the western regions of Khorvaire, especially the Shadow Marches. These regions suffered most during the Daelkyr War, and bear the greatest scars from that ancient conflict, physically and psychologically.

Most cultists practice in secret as society at large shuns such worship. The cults are illegal in all of the five nations.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 01:50:31 AM »
Elves of Eberron

In Eberron, modern elves are split into many distinct cultures: the Aerenal, the Valenar, the Khorvaire elves, and the drow of Xen'drik. Each of these distinctive cultures have a common shared belief in ancestor worship but each with a unique twist.

The Aerenal elves worship their ancestors as Deathless, lifeforms much like undead but kept alive by the positive energy of Irian. These Deathless serve as advisors and defenders and are considered by those who worship them to be divine as a whole, in the form of the Undying Court.

The Valenar elves worship only their warrior ancestors. By emulating the deeds of their ancestors, they believe the spirits can live again. They do not resurrect their fallen or beloved as Deathless.

The Khorvaire elves are as diverse as the elf race as a whole. They divide themselves by nation or by Dragonmarked House and often follow the local customs. A few still hold their own race's beliefs in ancestor worship, but not to the same degree as the Valenar or Aereni. Their half-elven descendents, the Khoravar, have formed a separate community.

The drow themselves don't worship ancestors are much as they hold the preservation of their traditions. They view themselves as holding true to their ancestors more then any other by living as they did. The drow also worship the scorpion god Vulkoor, though some Khorvairian scholars suspect this god to be an aspect of the Mockery, one of the Dark Six.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2012, 01:54:18 AM »
Aerenal

Aerenal is an island continent inhabited by elves that lies to the southeast of Khorvaire. After the fall of the giant civilization in Xen'Drik much of the elven race fled to Aerenal. Here they have established their own nation where a court of Undying rules over the living.

Location

Straddling the Thunder Sea and the Dragonreach Sea, the island nation of Aerenal lies between the continents of Khorvaire and Argonnessen roughly at the equator of Eberron.

Society

Aerenal is the ancient island kingdom of the Aereni elves, who take their name from Aeren, a mythical hero said to have freed the elves from the giants of Xen'drik. It is also home to the deathless Undying Court. Aerenal is ruled by both the Sibling Kings, a brother and sister pair that serves as the temporal authority of Aerenal who rule from Shae Cairdal, and the Undying Court, the religious leader of the elves, which resides in Shae Mordai, the City of the Dead. In addition to the Aereni elves, a small group of Tairnadal elves inhabits the northern steppes of Aerenal, though many have since migrated to Valenar. Due to fear of the "walking dead" and the isolationist nature of the Aereni elves, few non-elves ever visit the small continent. While the Aereni despise the creation of the undead, the deathless of Aerenal, unlike the undead, draw power from positive, rather than negative energy, and are generally good in alignment. A manifest zone of Irian is thought to make the existence of The Undying Court possible. Aerenal is heavily forested, and many exotic plants grow there, such as the soarwood tree, whose wood is used to build airship hulls, and the necromatically charged Covadish plant.

Aerenal is made up of different elven lines. Each line is descended from one of the tribes that followed the prophet Aeren from Xen'drik. Lines are not a single family it is more like a city-state with lots of different familys bound together by common history and lead by one noble family. The noble are allowed to be raised as deathless. But membership in a noble house is not hereditary. A elf becomes a noble by what the elf does. Aereni nobles do not even breed among their house; instead, they breed with other members of the line, keeping the noble blood spread throughout the community. Unlike humans the Aerenal marry for love. Any one can become a member of The Undying Court if they become great in life.

The elves have perfected the art of embalming, and some practice this trade in the great cities of Khorvaire. When a elf is being prepared for burial two chronicles of the elf's life are written and one is put in to the tomb and the other in the great libary in Shae Mordai. The tomb are in catacombs that stretch deep beneath the cities of Aerenal.

History

Elven civilization began on the continent of Xen'drik. The elves were slaves to the giants of Xen'drik for thousands of years. Thirty-nine thousand years ago the elves went against their giant masters and started a war for freedom. But both side lost. The giants were destroyed and the elves had to leave or they would have been destroyed with the giants. A visionary named Aeren lead the elves away and to the island of Aerenal, which was named in commemeration of their leader (who died shortly after arrival). With the giants dead and no need to fight the elven tribes started to seperate but unlike before they stayed in contact with each other. The elves shared a common reverence for their ancestors and with the war ended and arcane knowledge they gained from their former masters most elves set the sword aside and took up the path of the book. The elves dedicated themselves to the study of magic, mysticism and a way to avoid loosing their eldars. The art of necromancy became very interesting to the elves. In time, two schools of thought came to dominate the field of necromancy: the techniques of the line of Vol, which many blame for the spread of vampirism into Khorvaire; and the traditions of the Priests of Transition, which focused on positive energy and the power of Irian. The way of the Priests of Transition won out and the tribes united in support of the cult of The Undying Court. The Tribes became the noble lines of the elves. To this day the The Undying Court rules the land.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2012, 02:01:12 AM »
Valenar

The nation of Valenar is primarily inhabited by the elven Valaes Tairn, and secondarily by human beings that were formerly citizens of Cyre but had very little loyalty to their parent nation. Society is very fluid in the extremely young nation, and with the exception of the crown few groups lay significant claim to the politics of the region, although House Lyrandar and the Valenar priesthood known as the Keepers of the Past exert some influence on burgeoning Valenar society. Any individual willing and able to handle a weapon for Valenar is likely to find some kind of welcome and/or employment somewhere in the country, although overly bold or well-armed visitors may be challenged by young warriors seeking to prove themselves.

Refugees fleeing from Cyre during the Mourning attempted to turn to Valenar as a haven, but were slaughtered by a mixture of human and elven inhabitants of Valenar out of fear of overwhelming their claim to the region.

The nation has tense relationships with the Talenta Plains and Karrnath.

Power Groups


The Khoravar race and House Lyrandar originated in the land of Valenar, and the house still maintains extensive property holdings there, in violation of the Korth Edicts. House Lyrandar also uses the plains of Valenar to test new airship designs. The influence of the House of Storm is even felt in the government of the nation as Lyrandar appoint the justiciars, the judges and arbiters, in Taer Valaestas, the Valenaran capital, all of whom are half-elves.


The Siyal Marrain, or Horse Watchers (in the common Galifaran tongue), are a Valenaran druidic order charged with keeping the Valenaran steeds, believed by the elves to be the descendants of elven warriors who fought against the Su'lat League to free the elven people from slavery, but were cursed to remain in the equine forms they had taken to carry their comrades into battle.

The druids of the Valenar serve two roles. Firstly, they are charged with preserving the bloodline of the elven horses. The druids protect the breeding grounds, tend to injured horses, and help raise the young. These blood guardians mingle with the herd using wild shape and speak with animals, forging the bond between horse and elf from the beginnings of the horses' lives. They also help to match elf and rider, working to forge the bond between rider and mount, which is considered sacred. Beyond this, the Siyal Marrain are warriors. Just as their ancestors fought the giants with lightning and flame, the druids of the modern day may ride with a warband, turning the power of nature against their enemies.

House Vadalis would love nothing better than to obtain some of the Valenaran steeds from the elves for interbreeding with their own stock. The Siyal Marrain are a formidable barrier to that objective, believing that such a thing happening would bring the greatest dishonor on them and the horses, whom they consider to be their brothers.

History
Pre-Galifar

The land on the southeast coast of Khorvaire, featuring both a wide desert and a jungle peninsula, was first visited by the Aerenal elves circa 10,000 BYK. Though initially successful, the colony eventually became embroiled in a war with the hobgoblin Dhakaani Empire, and the elves voluntarily withdrew back to Aerenal.

The humans of Valenar are believed to have descended from emigrants from the ancient Sarlonan nation of Khunan, which lay in what is now central Syrkarn.
Under Galifar Edit

The land became part of the kingdom of Cyre and remained uninhabited by the elves for millenia, until 914 YK and the outbreak of the Last War, in which a mercenary splinter of the Aerenal elves known as the Valaes Tairn found the opportunity they were looking for. An uncharacteristically fierce and warlike faction, the Valaes Tairn (sometimes called the Tairnadal elves) revel in battle, seeing it as both an art form and a way to honor their ancestors.

The Last War

These mercenary elves fought tirelessly for Cyre in the war until YK 956, in which War Leader Shaeras Vadallia shocked his Cyran employers by claiming the land now known as Valenar for himself and his mercenary people, and himself as high king of this new realm, citing the much earlier Aerenal habitation on that land and the blood that his people had shed in its defence in recent times as his justification.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2012, 01:29:57 AM »
Halflings of Eberron


The Halfling of Eberron varies from nomadic dinosaur riding barbarians to wily urban merchants and professionals. With the broad expanse of the Talenta Plains, the shelter of urban havens spread across Khorvaire and the potency of House Jorasco and House Ghallanda the halflings are as pervasive as any other racial group across Khorvaire.

Khorvaire Halfling

Some Halflings have traded the nomadic lifestyle of the Talenta Halfling for a more urban approach living in major cities across Khorvaire. While many of these halflings are associated with one of the two dragonmarked houses some are simply independent halflings wanting something different for their lives. Some urban halflings have never seen their native homeland, while others (mostly those associated with the dragonmarked houses) switch between city clothes and nomadic traditions depending on where they find themselves. There is a fine line between the halflings embracing their homeland and heritage and remaining truly neutral as all dragonmarked houses are charged to be.

Talenta Halfling


The halflings of the Talenta plains maintain the same traditions that their ancestors of old participated in including tribal masks and dinosaur mounts. Though physically the same as urban halflings the native Talenta's strike a much more imposing figure. Rarely in one place for long the nomadic tribes traverse the Talenta Plains moving with the herds they hunt for food. With only one permanent settlement in the whole of the Talenta Plains (Gatherhold) these nomadic bands live in temporary camps of tents that are easily set up and broken down. The Talenta halflings carry few possessions both as a function of their nomadic lifestyle and as a function of their beliefs. Their tents are brightly painted, usually with depictions that tell the story of their tribe's ancestors. Most important among the halfling's possessions are their hunt-masks and their dinosaur mounts.

The hunt-mask represents the identity of the halfling, and when donning the mask the halfling believes his spirit combines with his bonded dinosaur. The dinosaur is wrangled as a rite of passage by the young halfling and forever remains linked to that halfling forming a special bond between them.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2012, 01:34:27 AM »
Talenta

The Talenta Plains are a vast grassland stretching from the Blade Desert to the borders of Karrnath and the Mournland. It is the home of wandering herds of buffalo-sized dinosaurs and tribal halflings remaining true to their ancient nomadic way of life since the days before humans walked the lands of Khorvaire.

Location

The Plains stretch out across the mideast of Khorvaire stretching from the Endworld and Ironroot Mountains to the very border of the Dead Gray Mist on the fringe of the Mournland and encompassing Lake Cyre as part of their own territory. Their southern border with Valenar is tenuous cutting through the largest part of the Blade Desert; the border is less hotly contested than the one to the north with Karrnath which has no natural demarcation. Disputes over the precise location of the border have come up on numerous occasions and talk of constructing stone markers every five miles along the official border have been brought up.

Society

The wandering nomadic halflings form the overwhelming majority of the population in the Talenta Plains. With an obvious shortage of permanent settlements few of the other races find the restless wandering nature of the halflings as comfortable as they do. Tribes vary in size from less than a hundred to over a thousand. Each tribe has an appointed lath. The lath is determined through merit and not bloodline as many of Khorvaire's other leaders are. All members of the tribe are treated as equals but the lath determines the movements and settles disputes within the tribe. The lath remains in power until death or until something causes the tribe's confidence in their lath to change. At any time a lath can be replaced by someone else if a significant voice for change is stirred up.

Occasionally a lath is so charismatic they are able to attract multiple tribes beneath one banner. To these the title of Lathlon is bestowed. The most recent occurrence of this phenomenally rare event was when Lathlon Halpum stood as a representative for the many varied tribal interests of the Talenta Plains in the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold which recognized the Talenta Plains as a sovereign nation.

The tribal halflings exhibit traditional hunter-gatherer civilizations moving their herds across the plains in constant pursuit of food, water and better grazing. The halflings ride either clawfoot or fastieth dinosaur mounts across the plains, keeping their herds of cattle, tribex and herbivorous dinosaur in check as they go. There is a special bond between a halfling rider and their dinosaur mount that is formed when the rider captures and domesticates his own beast. In addition the halfling rider has a hunt-mask which further establishes their connection with their own unique mount.

However not every halfling you meet is a dinosaur-riding, restless nomadic hunter; there are those so-called civilized halflings who have grown up in the cities of Khorvaire. Descendants of halfling families that long ago broke from the traditions of the nomadic tribes, these halflings are as varied as the other civilized races. Holding little value in the ancient ways of their nomadic kin, they are more at home in the sprawling cities of the other nations than the open grasslands of their ancestors.

Still other halflings exist in both realms. Upon the open grassland they observe the ancient rituals and practices of their tribe, but they will often put that aside for periods of time to spend time in the cities. Typically these are members of the dragonmarked houses of the halflings.

The dragonmarked houses of the halfling race are House Jorasco and House Ghallanda. House Jorasco, the house of healing, has moved its base of operation to Karrnath to better serve all of Khorvaire. House Ghallanda, the House of Hospitality, has remained centered in the Talenta Plains in the single established settlement of the plains, Gatherhold. Though many of Ghallanda blood have spread out to provide their service to the other nations, the base of operations has remained in the Talenta Plains since its founding.

History

Though the origins of the halflings is not entirely known, it is certain that they rode the face of Khorvaire long before humans set foot on its soil. When humans arrived and spread across the face of Khorvaire they slowly pushed back the halfling dinosaur riders from all corners of the open expanse of terrain to the relatively smaller open grasslands of the Talenta Plains. As the Five Nations grew the tribes of the Talenta Plains had to resort to inter-racial skirmishes and battles for control over the finite space they had been allotted by the other nations.

Under Galifar

When King Galifar I united the Five Nations under one crown, the Talenta Plains were no exception. Originally the Talenta Plains were divided between ancient Cyre and Karrnath; the Talenta Halflings were allowed to roam freely over their "ancestral lands" so long as they paid tribute to the King.

The Last War

At the onset of the Last War both Karrnath and Cyre claimed ownership of the Talenta Plains. The invasion from two fronts prompted the many varied tribes of the Plains to join forces in a way they never had before. Using their superior knowledge and skills, the Talenta halflings managed to drive back the forces of Karrnath and Cyre simultaneously. However, as the war dragged on the open fields of the Talenta Plains became great staging areas for battles. As the landscape was torn apart by the machines of war, the Talenta halflings wisely withdrew from the conflict. At the Treaty of Thronehold the tribes presented a united front and were given their autonomy.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2012, 04:23:34 AM »
Half Orcs of Eberron


The half-orc are originally progeny of human and orc procreation though half-orcs can mate with either species and create half-orc children. Half-orcs occupy a border in society. Although orcs are recognized as a civilized race under the Galifar Code of Justice they are none-the-less looked down upon by the more civilized races and the half-orc inherits enough of their savagery to discomfort many by their sheer presence though the human ancestory in them craves social structure and comforts. Half-orcs are fairly rare in Eberron though the half-orcs of House Tharashk in The Shadow Marches have developed a society of their own fueled by their knack for tracking things down, most notably dragonshards.

EberronBruce

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2012, 04:27:45 AM »
Orcs of Eberron

Often depicted as savage brutes and ravaging barbarians the orcs of Eberron are in fact an incredibly diverse and deeply spiritual people. While it is true that some orcs are uncivilized and wild this stereotype does not reflect on the majority of orcs living in and around Khorvaire. The mighty House Tharashk is in fact made up mostly of half-orcs and many humans who can trace their heritage back to the orcs of the Shadow Marches and orcs of the Eldeen Reaches are some of the most closely connected to Eberron and the natural world. The orcs are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, race in all the world, dating their history back some thirty-thousand years. Orcs are a perfect study in nurture over nature as an orc's surrounding and history could mean the difference between a mad, wide-eyed, axe wielding barbarian and a humble, proud farmer who seeks to protect his family above all else.

Orcs of the Shadow Marches
Long isolated from the rest of the world (due largely to the fact that they are bordered by the Demon Wastes) the orcs of the Shadow Marches are a people divided. While some exist in a more primitive state forming loose "tribes" that shun humans and other races and see them as lesser beings who can never possibly understand their way of life. On the other side of this schism are the orc "clans" who allied with refugees from Sarlona over fifteen hundred years ago who see humans and other races as their relatives, albeit their smaller but still respectable relatives.

The tribes of the Shadow Marches are not by definition evil or savage (though some certainly are), they simply cling to an older tradition and dislike being disturbed or meddled with. Tribal orcs see no common ground between them and humans as orcs were the first creatures of the land, so only they can truly connect with Khorvaire. They find the concept of human and orc mating to be as revolting and aberrant as most civilized races in central Khorvaire do and so half-orcs are rare within the tribes.

The orc clans are far more accepting of other races and a share their land with the human refugees they have come to count as their own. Clan orcs are hard working and proud, standing beside their human counterparts without contempt or pity. While a small number of clans remain either completely human or fully orc the majority are a healthy combination of the two. Shadow March clan orcs and humans alike see no taboo about cross-breeding between the species, so half-orcs are common and celebrated. The Shadow March term for a half-orc is "Jhorgun'taal" which literally means "children of two bloods" and is a mark of pride, half-orc's see themselves as the literal proof that orc and human are one and they work hard to bridge the gap between the races in other lands and among the tribes.

All of the orcs of the Shadow Marches are very spiritual and once again the race is split, this time between two major religious groups, the tribal cultist of the Dragon Below and the nature worshiping clan orcs of the Gatekeepers. A touch of madness runs through the tribes, as they delve deeper into their worship of Xoriat and the Dragon Below, though most see these as flashes of the divine rather than serious mental illness. The Gatekeeper orcs of the clans are interesting in that most know nothing of the daelkyr or their ages old war, but still they feel a closeness with the land and believe it is their duty to protect it.

The Shadow Marches have never been accountable under the Code of Galifar and are a land rich with both treasures, from Khyber dragonshards to ancient ruins, as well as danger with strange aberrations and fanatical isolationist orcs liberally scattered about the land. Many fugitives from the law as well as glory seekers travel to the Marches in the hopes of a better life. The tribes and clans of the Shadow March orcs do share a common bond in that both are usually governed by a single sheriff who deals out justice as they see fit. Killing or even openly challenging a sheriff is a serious offense to all Shadow March orcs and is a crime that can only be paid for in blood.

Orcs of the Eldeen Reaches
The orcs of the Eldeen Reaches are an offshoot of the Marcher clan orcs, drawn to the Reaches by their close connection with nature. They are among the most civilized and peaceful of all the orcs and work closely with other druids in the great forests. The Gatekeeper faith is strongest here and a raging orc sees his fury as a manifestation of the land, the experience an almost spiritual one to true followers.

Orcs of The Demon Wastes
The Demon Wastes are perhaps the harshest lands in all of Eberron, with the possible exception of the Mournland. To survive here one must not only be strong of arm but strong of spirit as well, and no group better represents these traits than the Ghaash'kala. These militant and deeply spiritual orcs see the Demon Wastes as a tainted land and any who enter into it are forever stained with its touch, thus their sacred duty is to prevent anyone who has entered or is within the Wastes from leaving, one way or the other. Despite this fact the Ghaash'kala are often peaceful to those who come near the Wastes and are a proud and noble people, enemies of the ancient fiends and willing to accept those who have been tainted by the demonic nature of the land to join them rather than die by the axe.

The Ghaash'kala are divided into four similar yet distinct clans (though the term is not technically accurate as the "clans" are not based on familial ties) each with two leaders. The kizshmit is the military leader of the tribe while the sar'malaan guides the orcs along a spiritual path. The kizshmit governs most of the mundane orc activities as well but bows before the wisdom of the sar'malaan in all matters of a spiritual nature. The clans all work together, though they have different duties and geographical locations. The Jaasakar ("Deadly") clan rules the east, the Maruk ("Mighty") clan guards the central labryinth, the Kastar ("Swift") clan protect the west and the Vaanka ("Final") clan keeps watch over the northwestern labyrinth where the Demon Wastes connect with the rest of the lands.

All of the Ghaash'kala tribes worship Kalok Shash, the binding flame. Unlike the Silver Flame followers, who are mostly farmers and other simple folk who live peaceful lives, the Ghaash'kala are warriors and their existence is frought with constant danger. Kalok Shash is the burning beacon which calls warriors to their sacred duty and emboldens them to do battle with demons and monsters alike. The Ghaash'kala orcs commonly brand their own flesh with a symbol of Kalok Shash, though this symbol varies from tribe to tribe and even then is not universal among the clans warriors and priests.

Orcs of the World
Orcs are found in many other places across Khorvaire and receive a warmer welcome than many other less civilized races such as goblins and ogres. Some orcs make their homes in the monster ruled nation of Droaam and have degenerated to a state similar to their country monster cousins, enslaving weaker races like goblins and kobolds while living out short, brutal lives.

In the Mror Holds an ancient and savage horde of orcs known as the Jhorash'Tal (not to be mistaken with the half-orc Jhorgun'taal) wage constant and bloody war with the dwarves of the region for long ago wrongs commited against them. Unfortunately for all orcs the Jhorash'Tal are fairly typical examples of eastern orcs who still hold to their old ways and their violent and primitive nature are one of the main factors in the negative opinion many people have of orcs in Khorvaire.

All in all orcs are much more than the wild beasts that sophisticated cultures would make them out to be. Perhaps some have a difficult time accepting their antiquated beliefs, others have had bad experiences with aggressive orc tribes and still others may just cling to bigotry and hate for any who are different. Despite this the orcs live on, they were here at the beginning and intend to still be here at the end.

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Re: Eberron - Aundair
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2012, 11:05:40 AM »
Aundair



Government: Monarchy
Area:  560,000 square miles
Ruler:  Queen  Aurala  ir’Wynarn,  heir  to  Galifar and Regent of the Brightest Realm
Population: 2 million; humans 51%, half-elves 16%, elves 11%, gnomes 11%, halflings 5%, shifters 3%, changelings 2%, other races 1%
Capital: Fairhaven
Major Cities: Passage, Stormhome
Climate: temperate
Heraldry: The head and wings of a dragonhawk, on a field of blue, beneath the tome of knowledge and grains of unending wheat
Founder : Wrogar, fourth scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “What we sow in effort, we harvest in good fortune.”


Pre Last War Aundair

One of the Five Nations originally founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, Aundair has a rich tradition of cities dedicated  to  knowledge  and  education  while  the  areas outside the cities are known for agriculture. Rich farm-lands, pastoral forests, and excellent vineyards abound. Though the borders have changed many times over the centuries, the nation has carried the name of Aundair
since 32 YK.

When Galifar ir’Wynarn united the Five Nations and formed his kingdom, an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity began. He started the tradition of giving each of his eldest scions one of the Five Nations to govern.
His eldest daughter, Aundair, was given control of the nation that within a generation had adopted her name as its own (initially “Aundair’s realm” but soon shortened to just “Aundair”).

During the reign of Galifar’s last king, Wrogar governed the nation. King Jarot’s fourth child, Wrogar was a huge bear of a man who enjoyed the rugged lifestyle of Aundair’s coun-tryside as much as he loved poring through the libraries and other depositories for books of history and religion. When Jarot died, Wrogar initially supported his sister Mishann’s claim to the throne (Mishann ruled Cyre at the time), but that wasn’t enough to keep the kingdom together. Soon, the Last War touched even distant Aundair.

Post Last War Aundair
Aundair spent most of the Last War in battles against Karrnath and Thrane, and those nations remain rivals to this day. The Treaty of Thronehold established Scions Sound as the border between Aundair and Karrnath, and the two nations eye each other warily over coastlines that bristle with defenses. At any given time, most of the Aundairian Navy’s flotillas are patrolling Scions Sound and Eldeen Bay,  keeping a close eye on their Karrnathi counterparts.

Aundairians keenly feel the loss of the Thaliost region in the east, which wound up in Thrane’s hands after the Treaty of Thronehold. Many Aundairians mutter that Thaliost is “Aundair’s by heritage” and believe that Queen Aurala’s diplomats capitulated too easily. Other Aundairians point out that Thrane’s Army of the Northern Crusade was camped in Thaliost when the treaty was signed (and have been in control of the region, for the most part, since 977 Y K), so it’s not surprising that Thrane wound up with this chunk of land. Aundair would very much like to reclaim Thaliost—through either diplomatic or military means.

The loss of territory on the western border also continues to haunt Aundair and its leaders. Forty years ago, the nation lost two thirds of its land mass and a fifth of its people when the Eldeen Reaches declared independence. Periodic efforts during the Last War to reclaim “Western Aundair” met with bloody failure, and a low intensity guerrilla war still wages between the Aundair army’s border garrisons and the people of the Eldeen Reaches.

Despite the loss of territory, Aundair has strengths that match its strategic ambitions. Aundair’s army and navy are slowly rebuilding from their low point at the end of the war, and periodic saber rattling about “liberating Thaliost” ensures a steady stream of young recruits. The Arcane Congress provides the country with access to arcane magic that often exceeds that available anywhere outside the dragonmarked houses. More so than any other nation, Aundair integrates arcane magic into its military efforts—from the magic missile casting sorcerer attached to an infantry squad and the artificer built arcane weaponry, to the summoned creatures and earth shaking spells of mighty wizards. This arcane potency is enough to make any enemy think twice before clashing with Aundair.


Five things every Aundairian knows

1.)The names of fine wines and other liquors.
Not every Aundairian can afford Bluevine wine or something from the Mount and Moon cellars, but everyone can name his or her favorite labels and engage in animated conversations about the relative merits of each.

2.)Some  signature  dueling  moves.
 Aundairians  love the f lash of swordplay, and even the clumsiest citizen can slowly emulate the “twisting lunge” or “dragonhawk riposte” that he sees in the swordfighting demonstrations common in village square entertainment.

3.)A bit about horses
With its rolling verdant hills, Aundair is horse country second only to Valenar in Khorvaire.

4.) Several  “add-a-verse”  songs.
Popular as everything from children’s lullabies to drinking chanties, rhyming songs where a verse is added each time (such as “The House that Galifar Built” or “The 12 Days of End Year”) are an Aundairian tradition. Some run for nearly a hundred verses.

5.) The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant.
Popularized some forty years ago by Aundair’s bards, this tale takes about forty-five minutes to recite and most Aundairians have heard it so many times that they can recite it from memory. The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant describes the twin sieges of Tower Valiant and Tower Vigilant in 951 Y K, told from the perspective of two lovers, each trapped within one of the castles but believing the other to be safe.

Aundiarian words and phrases


  • “Chattering doesn’t roll the barrel.” Shut up and get to work, in other words.
  • “Dirty hands stroke a white beard.”  As you get older, you may have to compromise your youthful ideals. More generally used to mean “sometimes you have to compromise.”
  • “Have two strings for your bow.”  An expression of caution and preparation.
  • “ Without wine there is no conversation.”  Beyond  its obvious meaning, the phrase is spoken as a request for or promise of hospitality.
  • “Brightness be!” An expression of surprise.
  •   “Aundair dares! Aundair dares!”  A warcry and taunt popular among Aundairian soldiers during the Last War.

Life and Society

Aundair’s citizens consist mainly of farmers, scholars, and magewrights. Rural farmland covers much of the coun-tryside. Occasionally enough people gather in one place to form a town or village, but only a few cities disturb the tranquility of life throughout the nation.

The life of Aundair’s farmers hasn’t changed much over the centuries. They continue to use their sweat and magic to till the land, coaxing crops from ground rich in nutrients. Central Aundair, from Ghalt in the south to Wyr in the north, is wine country. Vineyards stretch in all directions, producing a variety of grapes used to make Aundair’s signature wines, many of which demand premium prices in markets as far away as Sharn and Vedykar.

Much of Aundair enjoys a temperate climate, punctuated by long, hot, fairly dry summers with generally mild winters. The upper reaches of Aundair, north of the Starpeaks, have longer, stormier winters and shorter, cooler summers. Storms regularly roll in from Eldeen Bay to pound northern Audair before sliding across Scions Sound and into eastern Khorvaire.

Two major centers of learning command respect and admiration within Aundair. The capital city of Fairhaven boasts the University of Wynarn, the first institution of higher learning ever established in the Five Nations. Today, the University of Wynarn isn’t as famous as Morgrave University, but it is more highly regarded, offering an excellent curriculum in both mundane and arcane studies. Libraries and book traders abound throughout Fairhaven, attracting collectors and scholars of all sorts to the city. Though not quite as impressive as the great Library of Korranberg, the Royal Collection of Aundair stacks up as the second-best repository of tomes and scrolls in all of Khorvaire.

The second center of learning is devoted to arcane studies. Arcanix overlooks Lake Galifar, in the southern reaches of the nation. Once, this ancient village was part of Thrane, but Aundair claimed the village and the land around it early in the Last War. The mentors of Arcanix don’t care who claims the village; they only want to continue their studies of the arcane arts and pass along their knowledge to the dozens of apprentices they accept into their floating towers each season.

Additionally, small monasteries dot the countryside, in which monks devoted to any number of gods or belief systems spend time in quiet meditation and study. The warrior-monks of the Monastery of Orla-un, located on the edge of the village of Wyr, for example, are as famed for the sweet, dark Orlaun wine as they are for their doctrine of strong minds and stronger bodies.

House  Orien  maintains  a  number  of  major  trade roads throughout Aundair, as well as lightning rail extensions that connect Fairhaven and Passage to Thrane and Breland. In addition, smaller roads and paths riddle the countryside, making travel throughout Aundair relatively smooth and easy.


Art

The people of Aundair tend to employ paint and rhyming verse when it comes to artistic expression. Fine art, in the form of oil paintings and watercolors, ranges from realistic renderings of  landscapes and people to the uniquely developed and increasingly popular Mage Aundist style. First seen in the markets of Arcanix, this form combines a highly stylized approach that uses mildly glamered, richly pigmented paints to create a type of expression that one Wynarn University provost called “life at its essence, as seen through an arcane haze.”  Compared to its fine art, Aundairian rhyming verse tends to be crude, boisterous, and relatively unsophisticated.

ARCHITECTURE

The people of Aundair prefer neat, orderly construction that stresses function above style or comfort. That isn’t to say that Aundairian architecture is neither stylish nor comfortable, just that utilitarian concerns are first and foremost in mind when a building is designed and constructed.

In Aundairian cities and towns, towers of magically worked stone form the central spoke from which the rest of the community grows. Most buildings tend to be made of brick or worked stone, though wood is used in portions of the construction. Everything has an elegant  look, light and airy, with ornate features that suggest the soaring spirit and outlook of the people of this nation.

Farms and villages promote a simple architectural style that one can fi nd throughout the rural regions of the Five Nations. A traveler can tell he’s visiting a farm in Aundair, however, due to the concave gables that adorn the roofs of the houses, barns, and outbuildings.Interior  design  throughout  the nation strives to create open, airy, well-lit rooms with high ceilings and few partitions separating one space from another.

Cuisine

Aundairian cuisine features a cacophony of ingredients that their classically trained chefs turn into a symphony of taste and texture. Aundairian meals consist of small portions presented in elegant fashion, each plate a beauty to behold and a wonder to savor. Sauces play a heavy role in any recipe, and the cuisine of this nation is considered to be exquisitely rich and suitable for special occasions.

Pan-seared rabbit with an Aundairian wood-nut sauce, gold pheasant stuffed with sparkle mushrooms and rice, and dragon salmon in butter and dark wine sauce are particular favorites that have begun appearing in House Ghallanda inns throughout the Five Nations.

This region also has a reputation for its premier vineyards, and the wines of Aundair are considered among the finest in all of Khorvaire. Some of the best recent vintages now being traded in markets across the land include fireburst wine from the vineyards of Arcanix, dark Orlaun wine known for its fruity sweetness, and Windshire rainbow wine, a type of mursi (red wine) that changes color and flavor as one consumes a glass.

Finally, Aundairian pastries and sweets reveal a level of artistic and culinary sophistication unmatched throughout the Five Nations. From tarts to cremfels (thin, fruit-and-cream-filled pancakes), the desserts that originated in this region combine elegance with artistry that reveals at least a portion of the Aundairian spirit.

Fashion

The Aundairian taste for elegance and sophistication extend to the fashions worn in cities such as Fairhaven and Passage, where frilled glimmersilk combines with ornately decorated cloaks and jackets to adorn the rich and powerful. Those of more modest means attempt to duplicate these styles as best they can, using spider-silk or some similarly less expensive fabric in place of glimmersilk. Men and women in the cities and larger towns wear elegant party gloves in public, a style that began as an accoutrement to fashions worn for a night on the town but have become the common practice. Many feel that they haven’t finished dressing if they haven’t donned their party gloves.

The simpler folk, including common laborers and farmers, wear simpler garb. Everyday clothes for both men and women include the bard-style tunic, a pull-over shirt with a V-cut neck and flared sleeves, durable cotton pants, and sturdy leather boots. Most men try to have at least one set of “best clothes,” an outfit suitable for wear to a town gathering, a special function, or holiday party. Women keep a simple dress and an elegant dress (made of glimmersilk or spidersilk if they can afford it) for the same purposes.

Religion
Most of the people of Aundair follow the teachings of the Silver Flame or worship the Sovereign Host, particularly the gods Arawai, Aureon, and Olladra. Sometimes a minor cult attains popularity for a brief time in Fairhaven, and churches devoted to other gods can be found there.

ROLEPLAYING AN AUNDAIRIAN
Many outsiders consider Aundairians to be fiercely competitive, almost arrogant in their willingness to display their verbal, martial, and intellectual skill. Arrogance is hardly a unique trait in the Five Nations, however. A clever commoner would instead say that an Aundairian learns from an early age to stand his ground. Those who grow up in the country with many brothers and sisters quickly learn to deal with competition. Any Aundairian who’s worked an
afternoon in a trading village’s marketplace knows that making a living depends on making your opinions well known.

This doesn’t mean that an Aundairian responds to any disagreement by being stubborn; quite the opposite. Aundairians know that if they can’t settle something with a quick test of wits, a simple duel to “first blood,” or a clever quip, their neighbors are “resolute” enough to hold a grudge for a long time. Bad feelings can easily escalate into a more dangerous conflict. An Aundairian is more likely to follow someone with a good plan or glib tongue than the largest or strongest warrior in the group. When bullied or coerced, an Aundairian patiently waits for a time when he can overcome his opponent with wits, not force of arms. This is as true for monks and bards as it is for well armed fighters. Aundairians who are unusually belligerent are more likely to embark on adventures in distant countries, since boorish or crass behavior isn’t tolerated in local trading villages and marketplaces.

Aundairians walk a careful balance between pragmatism and idealism. Even common folk feel a responsibility to stand up for what is right. When a hero makes a stand, an entire village steps forth to support him if he fights for what is right or mobilizes against him if they believe he is wrong. If  the world does not live up to an Aundairian’s ideals, he is patient enough to work throughout the year, or even a lifetime (in some cases), to make it right. Its citizens are ambitious without being foolhardy. They know that the nation has skilled fighters and wizards to resolve problems they cannot handle, but if no heroes are around to aid them, they will tackle the problem as best they can.

Names

Male:  Ari, Bokk, Breyten, Daen, Dover, Erben, Fluin, Gavrin, Hagro, Herschem, Huys, Jurian, Kamiel, Killian, Kleris, Reng, Retief, Riaan, Saal, Sarelo, Sithov, Tak, Tyman, Urik.

female: Aafki, Agate, Baltia, Batrax, Beleth, Chantal, Fientia, Flerentia, Gwen, Hjeltia, Juliona, Levini, Margana, Marloes, Sanne, Sien, Tanneken, Vilina.

surnames:  Aarland, Acker, Adriansen, Alyea, Arendt, Bacher, Banekert, Bartell, Bateu, Crudaker, Caldamus, Corleis, Dekker, Ennes, Gerlach, Haldron, Hugrin, Jurians, Karch, Kendig, Maartel, Mantanye, Merchiot, Nagel, Ostren, Petilom, Redeker, Rhuli, Romhaar, Serontain, Shreve, Sykes, Taumen, Thiel, Toriun, Tullier, Valleau, Veseur, Yanger, Zenden.

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Eberron - Breland
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2012, 12:16:26 PM »
Breland




Population : 3.7 million
Area: 1,800,000 square miles
Sovereign: Boranel ir’Wynarn
Capital: Wroat
Major Cities: Sharn, Starilaskur, Galethspyre, Xandrar
Climate: Temperate in the north, tropical in the south
Highest Point : Erix Peak in the Blackcaps Range, elevation 13,256
Heraldry: A roaring bear surrounded by gold wyverns on acrimson shield
Founder : Wroann, fifth scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “We gain what we give.”

Pre-war Breland

Breland, one of the original Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, mixes a proud agricultural tradition with a more urban and industrial outlook, especially in its massive cities. As with the other Five Nations, Breland’s borders have fluctuated over time. It was named for King Galifar I’s daughter, Brey, in the year 32 YK.

During the reign of Galifar’s last king, Wroann ir’Wynarn governed the nation. King Jarot’s youngest daughter, Wroann was the exact opposite of her twin brother, Wrogar of Aundair. She was thin and agile, serious, and a lover of the finer things in life. She also cherished freedom above all things, and promised to make Breland a place where people would be judged by word and deed instead of social class.

When Jarot died, Wroann broke with her twin regarding the line of succession. Instead of supporting Mishann of Cyre’s claim to the throne, Wroann gathered her vassals and declared her own intention to rule the kingdom. Ironically, the freedom-loving nation of Breland was one of the key instigators of the Last War, for her leader wanted to spread her ideas of liberty and increased democracy to all by force and sword.

Prior to the Last War, the nation of Breland covered all the land it holds today, as well as what is now Zilargo, Droaam, and the Shadow Marches. Currently, the kingdom consists of the land between the Graywall Mountains and the Howling Peaks, reaching as far north as the Black-caps and Lake Galifar, and as far south as the southern coast of the continent.

Post War Breland
Breland weathered the storm of the Last War amazingly well. The size of the nation, the strength and deter-mination of its people, and its abundance of resources gave it the ability to carry on when others fell back, to
choose its own course and not be dependent on allies of convenience. Breland did earn friends over those years,  and  ties between Breland and Zilargo  remain strong now that the war has ended.

  The  central  and  southern  regions  of  the  nation saw little if any direct conflict over the century of battle, but no one in Breland made it through without losing a friend or loved one to the war effort. While the farms north of Wroat and Galethspyre never suffered the indignity of invasion, it was the sons and daughters of the farmers who went off to fight for Brelish honor and glory. They fought at the borderlands, repelling invaders,  and  they  fought  across  the  borders,  taking the battle to whatever nation was considered an enemy that season.

  Today, the borderlands of Breland remain strong and on the alert, even as reconstruction takes place to repair the ravages of battle. In the west, Orcbone and Shadowlock Keep watch for any incursions from Droaam.  Drum  Keep,  in  the  north,  watches  the Eldeen  border,  where  so  many  on  both  sides  fell  in some of the worst battles of the Last War. Sword Keep and Brey Crossing protect the borders with Aundair and Thrane, while Sterngate keeps an eye on the passes into  Darguun.  Perhaps  the  most  active  post  in  the current day is Kennrun, where knights and warriors must constantly deal with threats emerging from the dead-gray mist surrounding the Mournland.

  Breland is a progressive nation that welcomes all who come in peace with open arms and the promise of honest wages for honest work. Its progressive nature, however, provides a home for those who wish to engage in less than honest work, especially in the larger cities.The nation works hard to maintain the Treaty of Thronehold, for King Boranel believes that peace is a better road to travel than war.

King  Boranel  is  well  and  truly  loved  by  the majority  of  the  Brelish  people.  Unfortunately, Boranel’s age is beginning to show, and none of his heirs have demonstrated even a modicum of his intelligence and charisma. Many believe that Breland’s strength relies on Boranel’s leadership, and many of his  enemies  beyond  the  borders  of  the  nation  can’t wait for him to fall. Will the hope of many who covet the Brelish countryside come to pass? W hen Boranel
falls, so falls Breland?

Five things Every Brelish knows

1. The Galifar Code of Justice.  Every citizen of Breland learns at least the basics of the Code of Justice, especially as it pertains to the rights afforded individuals in any situation. This knowledge boils down to the right to defend yourself, the right to confront your accuser, and the right to open debate. Of course, the code contains many additional rights and laws, but these tend to be the most important for the average Brelish citizen.
 
 2. That different is just different. Tolerant and accepting, the average Brelish believes that different isn’t better or worse, good or bad; it’s just different. Different races, different faiths, different cultures . . . the Brelish, on the whole, are the most accepting and unifying people in Khorvaire.
 
3. Something about the weather. Everyone in Breland has an opinion about the weather, and they love to discuss their views and share them with others. This is especially true in the southern portions of the country, where the weather seems to vary between two states—hot and wet, and hotter and wetter.

  4. The virtues of democracy. Unique among the Five Nations, Breland has long been experimenting with a new form of government. While the monarchy remains in place, many other duties of government, including  legislation,  falls  to  a  partially  elected body—the Brelish Parliament. Thanks to town meetings where all citizens have a voice and the right to vote for the elected members of the parliament, the Brelish understand the rights, responsibilities of democracy, as well as the great gift they have to live in such a progressive nation.

5.  The  wisdom  of  Beggar  Dane.  Out  of  the pages  of  the  Sharn  Inquisitive,  the  simple  lessons  for living  popularized by this anonymous street bard have become ingrained in the Brelish mindset. These include: “A copper  piece in the cup is a copper piece earned,” “Never borrow, never lend,” “The silent man has no one to blame but himself,” and “A mage wright in the town is worth an army in the wilderness.”


Brelish speach

  • “Ogre’s eyes!”  An expletive, similar to “drat!”
  • “Dagger take you.”  An expression of annoyance or anger, referring to the fast-moving currents of the Dagger River which quickly wash away whatever falls in it.
  • “Tower spit!”  An expression of discontent or an indication of nonsense, similar to “hogwash!” It refers to the  spray that falls from the towers of  Sharn  during and immediately after it rains.

Industries

reland’s agricultural output ranks it among the top crop-producing nations. It doesn’t export many of its crops, however; much of what it produces goes to feed its growing population. The northern half of the country consists of
rich farmland, while the southern climate is perfect for cultivating a diverse selection of tropical crops.

The rest of Khorvaire knows Breland for its manufactured goods and heavy industry. The smelts and forges of Sharn, for example, produce relatively inexpensive weapons and armor. While these aren’t as well made and ornate as those turned out by the Mror Holds or Karrnath, they work just fi ne and cost signifi cantly less. Sharn also turns ore and other raw materials into processed goods; House Cannith and the shipwrights of Zilargo purchase much of Sharn’s output for use in the construction of ships and vehicles. Other industrial centers can be found in Wroat, Galethspyre, and Starilaskur.

All of the dragonmarked houses maintain emporiums and outposts throughout Breland, and all of them have extensive operations in Sharn, the City of Towers. House Medani, House Phiarlan, and one branch of House Can-nith all maintain headquarters in Breland; House Vadalis has an important enclave here as well.

Life and society

Breland’s citizenry is divided almost equally between rural and urban communities. Along Breland’s northern expanse, farms and ranches stretch from the Graywall Mountains in the west to the Seawall Mountains in the east. Rich soil and moderate rainfall make the lives of the farmers relatively easy, and all but the farms nearest the Mournland have stayed prosperous through times of war and peace. The southern section of the nation, dominated by a number of
tropical forests including the great King’s Forest, houses plantations and hunting reserves.

Rural life resembles that in the other nations, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on personal freedom and a drive to succeed and improve one’s station in life. Much of Breland’s rural citizenry never experienced firsthand the
horrors of the Last War. Only the regions to the extreme northeast and those communities closest to Droaam ever participated in actual battles, and no foreign power ever penetrated very far into the nation. Every village and
town and city, however, sent soldiers to the front, and every family knows someone who never returned from the war. Memorial markers are found around every thorp and hamlet, and the great cities have extensive memorials
dedicated to those who perished defending Breland from its enemies.

What makes Breland different from most of the other nations is the number of urban centers that have grown up within its borders. Not only does it boast the largest metropolis in all of Khorvaire, Sharn, but even its smaller cities and towns have a cosmopolitan and worldly air to them. The Brelish attitude of acceptance and tolerance naturally attracts people of all races to its confines. Hence, the nation boasts large populations of most of the common races, as well as goblinoids, orcs, and a variety of intelligent monster races. This mix of people from different regions and of different cultures is much more dramatic in Breland’s urban centers, particularly in Sharn.

Northern Breland enjoys a mild climate. Wet springs give way to warm summers that blend into mild autumns and relatively temperate winters. The temperature rarely drops below freezing, even in the dead of winter, except
in the highlands around the Blackcaps. In the south, from Wroat to the Straits of Shargon, the weather ranges from hot and muggy to hot and rainy, with only occasional peri-ods of warm and dry.

The roads throughout Breland are well maintained and constantly patrolled. In addition to the House Orien trade roads, the crown maintains the original king’s roads that date back to ancient Galifar. Lightning rail lines connect Sharn and Wroat with Aundair, Thrane, and Zilargo, for those needing to travel at a faster pace.

Breland has welcomed a large contingent of Cyran refugees, providing them a place to call home since the destruction of Cyre and the creation of the Mournland. The Cyrans have set up their own town of New Cyre to the southeast of Starilaskur, where they hope eventually to gather as many of the survivors of their doomed nation as possible. Other Cyran communities can be found in Wroat, Sharn, Shavalant, and Ardev. Most of the Brelish feel obliged to make a place for the refugees, but there are factions within Breland whose members recall the bitter battles the two nations engaged in over the course of the war. For these factions, the doom that Cyre experienced was just punishment for the evil it had committed during the long years of war. They have no love to show the refugees, nor pity in their hearts; just a burning hatred and a desire to drive them from the nation—or, in some cases, to finish the job that Cyre itself started and wipe them from the face of Eberron.

Roleplaying a Brelish

Brelish tend to be loud, boisterous, and easygoing. They enjoy more personal rights and freedoms than seen any where else on the continent, and they carry an attitude that suggests they know this. They tend to  be  confident, liberal,  and  tolerant  of  others. Nothing seems to surprise or faze the Brelish. They love to engage in debate, especially regarding politics, though they enjoy conversations of all types. They have a rather special love of gossip, which is why the Sharn Inquisitive has such a strong readership throughout Breland, but usually fares  poorly beyond the Brelish borders, where it is seen as light and inconsequential.

  The  people  of  Breland  may  disagree  and  debate the merits of their leaders among themselves in town halls and taverns, but don’t let them hear an outsider disparage their nation or their king. They take great pride  in  their  country  and  its  accomplishments,  of its openness and tolerant views. Sure, things can be improved, but they will handle that themselves, thank you. Like the bear that serves as the symbol of their country, the Brelish can appear to be slow and sluggish one moment, but that appearance belies their power, ferocity, and ability to move quickly when the situation calls for it.

Religion  is  all  well  and  good,  and  the  Brelish have their share of priests and faithful. But religion is a private matter to most Brelish, not something to be shared or, worse, pushed  upon others. Though tolerant and understanding  of all things different, the Brelish have a tendency to show stronger emotions regarding king and country and other tangible things. “Gods and religion are all well and good,”  Beggar Dane has written,  “but get back to me when you see Dol Arrah walking the streets of Sharn.”

The  nation’s  heroes  stand  brave  and  ready  in battle, fighting strongly for the things they believe in. This belief doesn’t extend to issues of ultimate good or ultimate evil, but instead center on the down-to-earth matters of the rights and responsibilities of the individual. In many ways, the street sage Beggar Dane puts the ideals of the Brelish people into words: “Help those who need help,” and “Treat the beggar as you would treat the king.”


Art

The diverse nature of Breland’s people tends to create a  diverse  number  of  artistic  styles,  and  one  can  fi  nd almost  anything  if  one  looks  long  enough  and  hard enough. The Brelish spirit, however, is best demon-strated in the neo-Brelish renderings that advance the Galifaran form to a new level. Whereas traditional Galifaran paintings use a flat, shadeless, two-dimensional rendering style, the paintings of the neo-Brelish have depth and a more true to life depiction of what the artist sees. Much of this has been influenced by the artisans of House Phiarlan, but the Brelish have taken the style and made it their own.

  Brelish art tends to convey a sense of freedom and energy, no matter the subject matter. Artists often create  scenes  taken  from  life,  though  they  prefer to create portraits that place the subject within the grandeur of the Brelish countryside, as well as scenes of the fantastic wildlife that roams the land. The Brelish  also  have  a  fondness  for  battle  scenes,  and  while many  show  the  power  of  Breland  on  the  battlefield, some show the darker, less inspiring side of war. King Boranel,  in  particular,  used  images  of  the  dead  and dying, remarkably portrayed in the work of Saranven d’Phiarlan,  to  help  gain  support  for  his  role  in  the Treaty of Thronehold.

ARCHITECTURE

In  the  cities  of  Breland,  from  Starilaskur  to  Wroat to  Sharn  itself,  Galifarn-style  towers  scrape  the  sky and buildings of stone connect one to another. In the countryside, however, the heart of Brelish architecture can be seen in the rustic houses and common buildings made of heavy logs and bricks.

  Through the use of magic, Breland raises impossibly tall towers above its cities, reaching heights that are  rarely  seen  in  the  cities  of  the  other  nations. “For all the space they have horizontally,” Kothin of  the  Mror  Holds  once  commented,  “you have to wonder why the Brelish  like  to build vertically. It’s a mystery.”

Even within many of the towers and stone buildings in the cities, the Brelish tend to use elements of their rustic heritage. Large rooms decorated with natural tree trunks and logs give the stone interiors a sense of life and warmth. In the countryside, especially in the south-ern climes, buildings are designed to keep the coolness in and the heat out, and windows are plentiful.  In New Cyre, in eastern Breland, the Cyran refugees have begun to fashion a city that harkens back to the wonders of lost Cyre. This makes the small city very different in look and feel from similarly sized settlements in other parts of the country.

Cuisne

Brelish cooking utilizes meats, vegetables, and hearty sauces to create filling and comforting meals. Northern  Brelish  cuisine  tends  to  be  simpler  fare,  with  a sweet  and  savory  flavor.  This  is  the  food  of  farmers, designed  to  satisfy  even  the  most  ravenous  appetites before and after a day of work in the fields. Here one can find beef boranel, a favorite of the king, that features a bread and mushroom stuffing roasted inside a full side of beef. Other hearty meals from the northern  and  central  regions  of  Breland  include  farmer’s stew, thrice-poached eggs and sizzling pheasant, and kettle fried spider and redeye berries.

Southern  Brelish  cooking  is  more  adventurous, utilizing  the  spices  and  vegetables  that  grow  in  the more tropical clime. Food with a lot of heat dominates the menu, as do meals infl uenced by the diverse popu-lation of Sharn and then transported into the rest of the countryside.

Traditional  southern  Brelish cooking  is spicy and flavorful, and often too  hot  for those used to simpler fare. Fire wrapped golden fish, spiced pork and orange peppers, and hot-spiced chicken in panya leaves are considered high cuisine in the best inns and restaurants throughout Breland.

Sharn fusion, meanwhile, is a culinary experiment in  combining traditional Brelish cooking with the exotic cuisine of the diverse people that regularly pass through or settle in the City of Towers. Taking ingredients and cooking styles from all over Khorvaire, the master chefs of Sharn combine these exotic dishes with their native presentation to make a totally new form of cuisine. Bold and exciting, Sharn fusion isn’t for everyone. But for those willing to try something new and a little different, this exotic culinary experience is worth the effort and expense (Sharn fusion tends to cost more than a traditional Brelish meal)

Fashion

Brelish  fashions  tend  to  be  simple  and  comfortable. Because of the heat, the Brelish prefer lighter fabrics and open, airy designs in casual dress. It is quite rare for Brelish clothes to cover the shoulders, and women often wear detached sleeves to keep their shoulders bare. The  Brelish  hate  to  be  confined by rules,  and  aside from the demands of the weather, they follow few standards in dress. They do have one rule, however—cloth dyed with sayda. This rich sky-blue dye is made from shellfish found only in waters of the Dagger River near the Hilt. Sayda has become synonymous with Brelish national pride, making it more commonly known as “Brelish blue.” Natives of Breland traveling abroad make a point of always including at least a splash of Brelish blue in their clothes (unless traveling incognito).

When the Brelish dress up, they are as likely to wear more elaborate versions of their normal garb as to adopt styles from across Khorvaire; there have even been times when hobgoblin clothing has been in vogue in cosmopolitan Sharn. Jewelry is common, even among the lower classes, with copper wire being used for many everyday adornments. Anklets and particularly armbands are the most  common, although any sort of jewelry can be found among the wealthy.


Names

Male: Alain, Beren, Cord, Curlot, Destir, Duran, Erix, Jovi, Kaine, Kuven, Laren, Lis, Maal, Minyu, Nelt, Norn, Oarsen, Pater, Pol, Rand, Reesir, Saal, Stend, Tars, Teesen, Uthar, Verden, Vorj, Werem, Wrogarr, Yelfis.

female: Aanna, Alike, Beaf, Channa, Dabren, Delru, Elazti, Fromm, Gersi, Glenas, Habra, Heeson, Isti,  Itlani,  Joherra,  Ket,  Khaal,  Lorsanna,  Margu, Maril, Monesti, Narcy, Nebra, Penti, Riki, Soranda, Tabin, Tolri, Wroaan, Wroenna.

Surnames: Aggan, Bakker, Colworn, Devir, Ebinor,  Faldren, Graccen, Helmworth,  Jonz, Kemble, Lanner, Lonn, Makker, Morrus, Nelview, Perryn,  Riston, Roole,  Smyth, Snarik,  Thorn, Toppe, Wrighten.

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Eberron - Karrnath
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2012, 02:31:11 PM »
Karrnath


Population : 2.5 million
Area: 1,350,000 square miles
Sovereign: Kaius ir’Wynarn III
Capital: Korth
Major Cities: Karrlakton, Atur, Vedykar, Rekkenmark
Climate:  Temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; central to northern region has short, cool summers and long, harsh winters
Highest Point: Mount Tharzil in the Ashen Spires, elevation 9,925
Heraldry: A blood-red wolf head on a shield of silver and black
Founder : Kaius I, third scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “Death holds no terror.”

Pre-war Karrnath

Of the Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, Karrnath has the strongest military tradition. Famous as the birthplace of Galifar himself, the great king who unifi ed the Five Nations, the nation consists of lush
forests, fertile plains, and extensive waterways flowing from snow-covered mountaintops to the sea. Once, the borders of Karrnath included most of the land east of Scions Sound, covering what is now the Mror Holds, the Talenta Plains, Q’barra, and the Lhazaar Principalities.

Today, the nation stretches from Scions Sound and the Cyre River on the west to the Ironroot Mountains in the east, and from Karrn Bay in the north to the start of the Talenta Plains in the south. The nation’s name has not changed since the ancient days before the founding of the Five Nations, when Karrn the Conqueror not only established the country that still bears his name but also tried to conquer and unite all of Khorvaire under his rule. Centuries later it was another Karrn, one of King Galifar’s sons, who rededicated the nation to himself in 32 YK, the same year when the Five Nations officially adopted the names of Galifar’s five eldest children.

During the reign of Jarot, Galifar’s last king, Kaius I governed the nation. Third born of King Jarot’s children, Kaius was a tall, whip-thin man with intense eyes and a sharp mind. With the death of his father, Kaius joined his siblings Thalin of Thrane and Wroann of Breland in rejecting their eldest sister Mishann’s claim to the throne. The Last War began as a two-sided affair—Cyre and Aundair on one side, attempting to uphold the tenets of Galifar succession; Breland, Thrane, and Karrnath on the other, rejecting the crowning of Mishann but unsure how they wanted the question of succession to be settled. It wasn’t long before each scion decided that he or she was
meant to rule the kingdom, and the initial alliances collapsed in blood and fury.

Post War Karrnath

Karrnath spent more of the Last War in active warfare than any of the other four nations; it never left a war footing  and  never  had  long-term  ceasefires  with  its foes. Battles between Karrnath and Cyre were particularly  bloody,  especially  when  the  Valenar  elves became Cyran mercenaries. Karrnath and Aundair were  enemies  throughout  most  of  the  Last  War, although that front had long periods of stalemate and low-intensity battles of attrition. Thrane and Breland were either enemies or allies, depending on the war’s shifting fortunes.

Karrnathi  forces  had  seized  Cyran  territory  on  the Day of Mourning, preparing to use the area as a staging ground for a push into Breland. For this reason, tens of thousands of Karrns were among the dead on
the day Cyre became the Mournland.  Karrnath lost as many citizens to famine and dis-ease as it did to enemy action over the course of the war. Shortly after the war began, plague and wheat-blight savaged the nation, bringing low the Galifaran prov-ince known for its industry and military tradition. The combination of famine and disease was so devastating that King Kaius I, desperate to save his realm, turned to  the  Blood  of  Vol  for  aid—a  decision  that  forever changed Kaius and Karrnath as a whole.

When  Kaius  I  returned  to  power  in  the  guise  of Kaius III , he immediately  set  about  ending  the  war.  But  even  two years after the Treaty of Thronehold, Karrnath is still a militaristic society that’s reluctant to abandon its war footing.  The  warlords  remain  the  most  powerful  and influential of Kaius’s nobles. Most towns still have large standing militias, and service in the national army is compulsory.  Karrnathi  soldiers  still  engage  Valenar raiders to the southeast and battle strange horrors from the  Mournland,  and  every  skirmish  receives  a  lot  of attention in chronicles and talk within the taverns.

Karrnath also has the advantage of relatively secure borders. Scions Sound offers a measure of protection from Aundair and Thrane, and the northern waters keep  all  but  the  most  determined  Lhazaar  pirates  at
bay. Karrnath’s historic weakness, its southern border, is a lot safer now that Cyre is no longer around. Mon-sters periodically emerge from the Mournland, to be sure, but that’s a far cry from an invading Cyran army.
Garrisons in Lakeside and Irontown  remain  strong and alert, for Karrnath and the Mror Holds continue to dispute the border between the two nations, and many  Karrns  want  to  reclaim  the  dwarven  lands  as
their own.
 
While  Kaius  has officially  broken  ties  with  the Blood of Vol and declared it no longer the national religion, a significant portion of his citizenry continues to follow the tenets of blood as life and undeath as divinity.
The crown has gone so far as to ban the open worship of the Blood of Vol in Korth, but shrines still draw followers in the towns and villages, and the Crimson Monastery in Atur continues to hold open ceremonies to mostly packed audiences of the faithful.

Kaius has had better success in curtailing the influence of the Order of the Emerald Claw. In general, the nation has come to see this group of one-time patriots (at least that was how they were portrayed when the group was originally established) as violent extremists who no longer have the best interests of Karrnath at heart.(This doesn’t keep some warlords and nobles from working with them, however.)
 
The nation continues to utilize undead forces for defense, but the vast majority of Karrnath’s  undead troops have been hidden away in secret crypts for the day when they will again be needed. This huge force
of undead, with more being added every day under the orders of the Minister of the Dead, provides a ready-to-use army that can quickly bolster the living forces of the nation’s warlords—while also remaining mostly hidden from the rest of the nations of Khorvaire. Kaius knows what the Minister is up to, but he doesn’t realize the extent to which the undead buildup is continuing.

Magic and religion

While Karrnath originally put more stock in swords than in spells, this view quickly changed after the first few engagements of the Last War. Observing the war magic of Cyre and Aundair, Kaius I ordered all youths to
be tested for arcane aptitude at the enclave of the Twelve. Over the course of the Last War, Karrnath has made its own strides in the mystic arts. Its greatest  accomplishments have been in the arcane schools of evocation and necromancy. The country still lags behind the civic accomplishments of the wizards of Aundair, but they have become almost their equal in the art of war.
 
The worship of the Sovereign Host dominates the land of Karrnath, despite almost a hundred years in which the Blood of Vol was the national religion. Bol-drei, Dol Arrah, and Dol Dorn are seen as the patrons of the land, with a strong emphasis on the virtues of honor, strength in battle, and love of community. Divine spellcasters are rare, and most priests fall into the category of expert, aristocrat, or fighter.
 
 The Blood of Vol still has followers at all levels of society, because some have ignored Kaius III’s restrictions concerning the religion. It is important to understand  that  most  people—including members of the faithful—don’t realize there is a connection between the Blood of Vol and the Order of the Emerald Claw, and few even directly worship Vol herself. Many of the common folk who revere the Blood see life as a constant struggle against death, believing that undeath is one way to win the battle. They know little if anything about Vol or her plans, but they treat any of the higher forms of undead (vampires, liches) with reverence and great respect.

Roleplaying a Karrn

The people of Karrnath are grim folk, hardened by military service and the harshness of their land. Order and stability are considered to be vital to society, and the average Karrn tends to hold a lawful outlook.  A Karrn is expected to stand by his word and to protect those beneath his station. As a military dictatorship since the start of the Last War, the country has created a stoic, battle-hardened people. They are proud of their history and their military tradition, and they feel that every hardship they must endure simply makes them stronger.

While some objected to the Code of Kaius replacing the Code of Galifar as the country’s system of justice, today most of the population is content with the situation. The people would rather follow a leader who instills fear in subjects and enemies alike than bow to a soft diplomat. Few love Kaius III, but most believe in his strength and cunning—despite his continued efforts at maintaining the peace.

Most Karrns display their first and foremost loyalty to the land, not the king, however. If a warlord proved to be a more ruthless and effective leader than Kaius and could seize the throne with a minimum of
chaos, that warlord would theoretically win the support of much of the nation.

The Karrns have grudgingly accepted the use of skeletons and zombies as frontline troops because in many ways these creatures epitomize the ideals of the nation; they are strong, tireless warriors that serve
without fear or doubt. While others see Karrns as cold and  ruthless,  the  people  of  Karrnath  have  a  softer side that they conceal from all but their closest family and friends. When they gather around a roaring fire on  a  dark,  cold  evening,  tankards of Nightwood ale accompany laughter, tales of past glories, and songs that praise the heroes in their bloodlines.

Earn the friendship of a Karrn and he will stand with you against any foe. Cross a Karrn, however, and you gain an enemy who will battle you to the  death—and, perhaps, beyond.

Karrnath and undead

Early in the Last War, plague and  famine-ravaged Karrnath resorted to using undead soldiers in its army—a desperate decision that might have saved Karrnath from utter ruin. Even today, Karrnath keeps undead legions to defend its borders and to use in case hostilities resume.
 
Karrnath is not, however, a place where the undead are integrated into society. During the Last War, the undead formed separate military units from Karrnath’s living soldiers, and only rarely performed in joint operations. Today, the legions of undead remain hidden, both from the average citizen and the eyes of the other nations. A relative few Karrnathi skeleton and zombie troops patrol the borders and serve as special guards in Korth and Atur, usually at facilities tied to the crown.
 
The average Karrn finds the intelligent undead to be at best creepy and at worst completely terrifying. Karrnathi soldiers have better tolerance, but few want to socialize with the undead. Everyone appreciates the role that the undead play in defending Karrnath, however, and the typical soldier feels a sense of pride in knowing that he or she can continue to protect the nation even after death.

Art

Two subjects turn up consistently in Karrnathi art—war and religion. Images of grand battles in flat, two-dimensional  renderings  demonstrate an emotional connection to physical strength and perfection. For
religious subjects, the Sovereign Host provides most of the inspiration, and paintings proclaiming the faith fill private galleries and public museums alike. During the height of the Blood of Vol movement, a new form of disturbing yet fascinating art developed. Blood art, known for its striking use of crimson and actual blood to create scenes as though from a fevered dream, was extremely popular for a time and is still created by the
most faithful followers of the Blood

ARCHITECTURE

Karrnathi architecture tends to be heavy and symmetri-cal, with a militaristic uniformity and lots of decorative elements, such as monoliths and obelisks. In many ways, the typical Karrnathi city street resembles a museum, with heavy stone buildings, ornate sculptures, and free standing statues. Fountains get a lot of play in Karrnath as well, with many of these becoming frozen in the winter to form a different kind of sculpture.

Cusine

Karrnathi cuisine tends to be as heavy and complex as its architecture, with filling, multilayered casseroles one of the mainstays of the typical family meal. Karrns consider sausage- and cheesemaking to be art forms,
and all kinds and varieties of these foods can be found throughout the land.  Because of the harsh winters, stews and soups are a staple of Karrnathi cooking, and every hearth has a pot of something simmering over the fire throughout the long winter season.

Brewing, another popular Karrnathi pastime, has created some of the most flavorful and potent beers and ales in the Five Nations, and kegs of Karrnathi brews find their way to markets across the continent. Baking has also developed into a staple of Karr-nathi culinary art, and all kinds of pies and breads come out of the rich-smelling ovens throughout the land. One particularly popular loaf, called vedbread,
combines crusty bread with the fl avorfully sharp ved cheese. This is enjoyed warm as it emerges from the oven, or slathered with onion butter.

FASHION
Karrns favor plain, functional clothing, worn neat and immaculately clean. They generally wear dark colors. Since Karrnathi winters tend to be long and cold, thick cloaks are a common accompaniment to any outfit. While their clothing tends to be drab and unadorned, Karrns take great pride in their armor and weapons—which are some of the finest produced in all of Khorvaire. Armor is frequently worn on village
and city streets, and it is always carefully polished and ornately decorated

Five things every Karrn knows

1. How to play Conqueror.  This chesslike board game reputedly invented by Karrn the Conqueror is enjoyed  across  Khorvaire.  But  in  Karrnath,  it’s  the national pastime and a popular way to spend long, wintry nights.

  2. Their own family trees, going back at least four generations.  The Blood of Vol has encouraged interest in genealogy. Combined with a Karrn’s natural pride in heritage, it’s not surprising for everyone to know their families well. Two Karrns who meet in a tavern will often start a conversation by mentioning their ancestors, trying to find a common link.

  3.  A  bit  about  military  organization. Almost all Karrnathi adults spent some time in the military, so they know the difference between a sergeant major and a major, the proper way to salute superior officers, and what various uniform insignia mean.
 
 4. An appreciation for art. During the Last War, many of Karrnath’s artists painted colorful pro-paganda posters that adorned walls in major cities. Though the war is over, many Karrns have taken the posters into their homes, where they hang as decoration and a reminder of Karrnath’s military past.
 
 5.  A  keen  sense  of  the  weather.  Of  the  Five Nations, Karrnath gets by far the worst weather. Karrns love to talk (and complain) about the weather, and they’re adept at comparing one day’s snowfall to the next. They aren’t necessarily any better at predicting the weather, but they’re quite good at answering questions such as “How hot was it yesterday?” in detail.

Karrn words

  • “You can break a single arrow, but not ten in a bunch.”  Used to express how Karrns prefer to work together, finding strength in numbers. It’s also a subtle reminder to conform to the direction the other “arrows” (fellow citizens) are taking
  • “While the wolf drinks, the dog looks on.” A Karrnathi way of saying “rank has its privileges.”
  • “Edible birds don’t live long.” A Karrnathi warning not to make yourself a tempting target to your rivals; a way of saying “put your guard up.”
  • “There’s more to good ale than a silver flagon.”  A  Karrnathi proverb expressing a preference for substance over style.
  • “Blunted!”  An expression of dismay or failure.
  • “Khoot! Khoot! Karrnath!” A battle cheer common among rank-and-file Karrn troopers. The “oo” sounds are often drawn out into a howling wail


Names

Male:  Adalstan, Alarich, Arend, Berend, Brenius, Detlev, Drago, Evetius, Falko, Fraedus, Garrick, Geroldt,  Gertan,  Gustavus,  Halden,  Leonus,  Leo-degar,  Maenrad,  Rochus,  Rolund,  Sigor,  Theoban, Vedim, Vorik, Wultram.

Female: Adalgisa, Alinda, Asta, Bauin, Clotrila, Demuth,  Ebba,  Ermena,  Forsindh,  Gisaul,  Harika, Haedrun, Karola, Lorelea, Mauriana, Menelda, Oydelis, Renilda, Syardis, Syele, Theda, Valpaea, Vaunn.

Surnames: A ltaner,  A rgland,  Balich,  Bar-thus, Brand, Cerfas, Denka, Dorn, Erdei, Eschus, Furnau,  Gaebler,  Gergus,  Grogloth,  Hellekanus, Hintram,  Jaranus,  Karlach,  Kessler,  Kraal,  Las-sinus,  Losho,  Maerer,  Ochem,  Rangoth,  Roerith, Sattler, Senglin, Taggert, Thul, Trothut, Vanalan, Vedenin, Zecklin.

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Eberron - Sovereign Host
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2012, 01:39:30 AM »
More info on the Sovereign Hosts, see this post by eberronbruce for the main overview.

Doctrine

As is the world, so are the gods. As are the gods, so is the world.  
Essentially, this means that nothing exists in this world outside the attention of the gods. While the gods are divine beings unto themselves, they are also a part of a larger reality. They are both independent and part of a greater whole, separate yet joined, in a way few mortal minds can fully comprehend. They do not simply oversee the aspects of reality over which they hold dominion; they are part of them, omnipresent. A blacksmith praying for Onatar’s blessing on an undertaking is not seeking the attention of the god of the forge. The god is already there, present in every act of manual creation, every spark of the flame, every ring of the hammer. Rather, the smith prays to show faith, honoring and acknowledging the god’s presence, hoping that Onatar will bestow his favor upon the smith’s work and aid him in turning out a weapon or tool of exceptional quality.

The bedrock notion of the gods as both separate from the world, and yet a part of it, leads to the second of the Host’s primary doctrines. Called the Doctrine of the Divine Host, it states:
The Sovereign Host is one name, and speaks with one voice. The gods are the letters of that name, and the sounds of that voice.

Only a minority of Vassals focus on a single member of the Sovereign Host. The majority worship the pantheon in its entirety, calling upon whatever deity is most appropriate to their current circumstances. A Vassal might offer up paeans, or even burnt valuables, to Kol Korran when undertaking a mercantile endeavor. That same Vassal might, the very next day, participate in a consecration ceremony to Boldrei, to bless the new home on whose purchase he had asked Kol Korran’s aid. The faithful see no contradiction in this; they revere the Sovereign Host entire, placing none above the others. Ignoring any one of the gods would be foolish, akin to acknowledging the existence of trees and clouds but not mountains.


Minor rites

Minor rites are more involved than simple prayers but still not particularly complex. Although many Vassals seek out priests for aid, minor rituals do not require oversight. Rites involve prayer, but they are not limited to peaking or chanting. The most simple include hand gestures, often meant to emulate the Celestial Crown or the holy symbol of a specific deity. More elaborate minor rites use holy symbols, candles on an altar, specific garb or colors (whites, blacks, golds, and blues being the most common), and burnt sacrifices. Sacrifices to the Host almost never require blood, human or animal. Rather, the petitioner offers something of meaning to herself and to the gods she is petitioning. For instance, a Vassal seeking wealth might melt a few coins in honor of Kol Korran, in hope that the gift of valuables will earn her greater rewards in her next endeavor. A hunter might burn a freshly made arrow, offering up something valuable to both himself and Balinor. A warrior petitioning Dol Dorn’s aid in battle might inflict a small wound on himself, shedding a few drops of his own blood, to show that he is unafraid of pain and injury, and that he will honor the war god with his actions.
 
Minor rites are appropriate when a Vassal seeks the favor of the gods. Before embarking on a journey, setting plow to field, entering battle, or making a wagon, the faithful petition the Host for success. These rites also serve more general requests, such as good fortune or success in finding love, and prayers for aid, such as petitioning for the health of a sick relative.
  
Minor rites also give thanks for prior luck or success. In this regard they are much like prayers, but rites commemorate specific and personal events, rather than the more general aspects of life to which prayers are devoted. For instance, a Vassal might conduct a minor rite to Kol Korran after a successful day of sales, or to Olladra after surviving an assassination attempt, or to Boldrei when a beloved accepts a proposal of marriage.
  
Commonly, minor rites show gratitude for specific yet commonplace events such as meals. For instance, a Vassal might pour a libation of wine onto the ground before partaking of food, in thanks to the gods—Arawai and Olladra in particular—for their sustenance

Major rites

The greatest ceremonies of the Sovereign Host commemorate both holy days and particular events. They involve paeans and prayers, specific designs and gestures, proper garb (or at least colors), candles, and sacrifices of the same style offered in minor rites, but on a larger scale, involving numerous people. Major rites technically  require  the  participation of a recognized priest. Some particularly religious Vassals know enough of the liturgy to conduct the rites on their own—this happens  most  frequently  in  small  communities  that have no priest of their own, or in areas where worship of the Sovereign Host is discouraged or persecuted—but the larger councils often refuses to recognize the validity of such ceremonies. Festivals are major rites that sanctify occasions and changes in the lives of the Vassals. A very brief descrip-tion of the traditional ceremonies follows.

Birth:  When celebrating a birth, the priest and the child’s parents ceremonially march to the nearest altar (usually within a shrine or temple, but a personal altar will do). They travel through a crowd made up of friends, relatives, and other well-wishers, all of whom offer prayers and small items for sacrifice. At the altar, the priest beseeches the gods, individually and as a pantheon, to allow the child to grow up happy and healthy, and to pave for the child a path that will bring blessings on the community. The parents burn offerings as the priest prays. The ceremony as a whole, from the beginning of the march to the end of the prayers, lasts roughly an hour. Finally, the priest mixes the ashes of
the burnt offerings with wine or holy water, and uses the mixture to draw the Octogram on the child’s forehead or stomach.

Marriage: Marriage is one of the holiest sacraments of the Sovereign Host, though Vassals place no stigma on romantic relationships outside of marriage. Once two people are wed, however, they have committed to each other in the eyes of the world and the gods; as the Host are both nine and one, so have the couple become both two and one. Physical relations before marriage are no big deal, but adultery is an offense against the gods themselves, worthy of both scorn and ostracism from the community.

The wedding ceremony incorporates local traditions as well as religious mandates and thus varies widely from community to community. Some are somber affairs with much chanting; others are joyous, accompanied by dance and song. All Vassal weddings, however, contain certain activities. They require a priest to pray and conduct offerings for the couple’s future happiness, for their health and the health of their children to come, and for the gods to make their family a beacon among Vassals. The couple must exchange tokens during these blessings. Rings are traditional, but some couples prefer bracelets, necklaces, or other items. The only requirement is that the tokens be worn or carried at all times. During the ceremony, the guests burn offerings in small ceramic vessels etched with the Celestial Crown or the symbol of a specific god on the bottom.

Death:  Because Vassals do not believe in any afterlife other than eternity in Dolurrh, Sovereign Host funerals are truly somber. A funeral involves a procession, similar to that of the birth ritual. In this instance, however, the priest walks in the fore, followed by bearers carrying the deceased on a plank or in a coffin, depending on local custom. Prayers and rites offer thanks for the life of the deceased, the lives he touched, and the good he did. They only request that the survivors’ suffering be eased swiftly and that the deceased escape the clutches of the Keeper. It is traditional to bury a sacrifice with the deceased, in hope that the item will distract the greedy Keeper and allow the soul to slip past to Dolurrh. For a peasant this might be a single copper coin, but the wealthy are buried with fine jewels or other treasures—a possible lure for grave robbers or even adventurers, seeking the treasures of an ancient king

Prayers

The most minor form of ritual, prayer is a means to show appreciation for something important, wondrous, or beautiful. Specific instances of good fortune, successful endeavors, and similar benefits demand more appropriate acknowledgement, through minor rites. Prayers are offered in gratitude for agreeable weather, a beautiful vista, a pleasant visit with friends, and similar positive but mundane experiences. They also offer reverence and glory to the Host without focusing on any one aspect of the world. Many paeans and hymns fall into this category.

Prayers are purely verbal. Anything that involves gestures, accouterments, or sacrifices is a minor rite. Host tradition states that prayers should be uttered in a normal tone of voice, or in song; whispering or mumbling is disrespectful. Most prayers, even those intended to thank a specific deity, begin by honoring the pantheon as a whole. Common openings include “Oh, generous Host, we thank you . . .”

or

“Sovereigns of Eberron,
 Kings and Queens of life,
 receive the gratitude
 of your humblest servants.”
 
Only after addressing the pantheon as a whole does the Vassal go on to name a specific deity. For instance, a prayer regarding the beauty of the sunset might be addressed to Arawai. As usual, Disciples form an exception to this rule; they address all their worship to a chosen god.
 
Priests often lead their congregations in prayer, and some Vassals seek them out for aid in offering private prayers, but the participation of a priest is not neces-sary. According to doctrine, the Host will hear heartfelt prayers uttered by any Vassal, accompanied by a priest or not, inside a temple or out.

Offerings

Each of the Soveriegns has particularly things that are associated to them, that Vassals might offer up when praying or engage in any rites, be they minor rites or major rites.


:arrow: Arawai - Sacrifices to Arawai offer grains and other consumable plants and produce. Vassals request good harvests and live, healthy births from Arawai, as well as guidance in the wild.

:arrow: Aureon - Aureon’s rites are formal, with specific methods of offering thanks or requesting favors. Sacrifices can be almost anything, so long as they have value to the petitioner and represent a willingness to place material acquisition below the desire for understanding. Oaths to tell the truth, such as before a magistrate, are often taken in Aureon’s name.

:arrow: Balinor - Sacrifices to Balinor consist of animal flesh, which must come from a creature slain for food, fur, or tools; killing an animal only for sacrifice is an insult to the sovereign of the hunt. Tradition holds that the better the cut of meat, the more Balinor is inclined to hear the request.

:arrow: Boldrei -  Boldrei is invoked in prayers and rites celebrating marriages, coronations, and other civil ceremonies. Sacrifices usually consist of items representing the comforts of home, such as feather-down or foods cooked over the hearth.
 
:arrow: Dol Arrah - Dol Arrah does not require specific items for sacrifice, so long as they have true meaning to the petitioner

:arrow: Dol Dorn - Sacrifices to Dol Dorn often require petitioners to shed their own blood, proving their willingness to endure pain for what is right. Nearly all Vassals pray and sacrifice to Dol Dorn before going into battle or engaging in physical competition.

:arrow: Kol Korran - Most rites to Kol Korran require the supplicant to melt money or similar valuables, sacrificing a small amount of wealth in exchange for earning far greater.

:arrow: Olladra - Olladra accepts any valuables but looks more favorably on sacrifices of items acquired through luck, such as gambling winnings or “found money.”
 
:arrow: Onatar - Onatar prefers petitioners to make something, rather than sacrifice something, during their rites. Since this is not always practical, however, he accepts offerings of old tools and weapons that have served well.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 11:46:11 PM by herkles »

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Re: Eberron - Zilargo and gnomes
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2012, 03:45:54 PM »
Zilargo
   

History

The gnomes of Khorvaire have lived in the area known as Zilargo for thousands of years. Situated between the Howl-ing Peaks and the Seawall Mountains, the gnomes have thrived despite incursions by and conflicts with goblinoids, kobolds, and humans. They have always managed to maintain their independence, winning battles with words that they could never win with swords. A fter Galifar established his kingdom, he eventually set his sights on Zilargo. The gnomes met his forces in the valley north of Dragonroost and immediately surrendered. During the negotiations, the gnomes became an independent province within the kingdom. Galifar left in victory, and the gnomes secured a safe place in the new kingdom —all without spilling a drop of blood. Relying on wisdom and cunning, along with elemental-bound items and illusions, gnomes can be surprisingly dangerous opponents.

During the Last War, Zilargo spent part of the conflict as a neutral observer before aligning with Breland in 962 YK. From that point on, the gnomes provided intelligence and elemental-bound weapons to Breland while avoiding most combat. As a result, Zilargo emerged from the Last War stronger than ever, and Breland owes the gnomes a debt for the services they rendered.

The Zil gnomes have never sought to build empires; instead, they have always insinuated themselves into the nations of others. In the Mror Holds, the gnomes do much of the actual work of the banking industry. Gnome merchants and sailors have a strong foothold in the Lhazaar Principalities, and they live and work in coastal communities across Khorvaire. In Breland, gnome crafters and engineers labor closely with the centers of industry. In Aundair, Zil sages hold key posts in the Arcane Congress and the University of Wynarn. The message stations of House Sivis are the key to international communication, and the Korranberg Chronicle is the most trusted source of news on the continent. Gnomes are everywhere, and they are almost always overlooked. But few realize the tight bonds of family -- and this is what gives the gnomes their power.

Industries

For a small nation, Zilargo exports a large array of goods and services. The gnomes are known for diplomatic expertise, and the demand for gnomish translators, advocates, and mediators is high. House Sivis regulates these services, as well as main-tainin g a lock on communications in central Khorvaire. The gnomes’ talent for words extends beyond mediation and scribing. Gnome poets and orators are celebrated across Khorvaire, while Zil bards weave words and magic together to produce dazzling shows of illusion and song. In addition, the  Korranberg Chronicle,  full of news and stories, reaches common folk throughout the Five Nations. The Library of Korranberg and its associated colleges don’t quite measure up to the magical research and artificing techniques going on in Aundair, but it might possess the greatest source of general knowledge on the continent.The gnomes of Trolanport are among the greatest ship wrights and cartographers of Khorvaire, and even Lhazaar princes travel there to commission gnome-made vessels. Tremendous wealth pours from the jewel mines of Zalanberg, and the gnomes have discovered a method for binding elementals into vehicles, armor, and weapons.

Life and Soceity

Zilargo’s beautiful architecture fills the towns and cities of the gnome nation, and the streets vibrate with bright colors, song, and good cheer. Friendly, helpful inhabitants seem genuinely interested in talking with strangers, and
theft and violent crimes rarely occur.

In truth, while the average gnome always makes time to listen to a stranger, this behavior has more to do with the gnomes’ thirst for knowledge than with sympathy for outsiders. Gnomes believe that ever y piece of information, no matter how trivial, may someday have value. Zilargo society is bound together by a complex web of favors, secrets, and debts. For more than eight centuries, an invisible order of spies and assassins has been watching from the shadows, gathering information on all internal activities and using this knowledge to eliminate threats to society. Every citizen of Zilargo knows that anyone could be an agent of this secret order. Most gnomes actually are good-natured and cheerful, but there’s always the chance that a friendly face masks more clandestine activities.



Government

The Triumvirate rules Zilargo. This council, composed of a representative from each of the major cities of Korranberg, Trolanport, and Zalanberg, was founded as an oversight committee to monitor the behavior of students and patrons
of the Library of Korranberg. The powers and duties of the Triumvirate slowly expanded to cover the entire nation. Each of the three cities has its own Council of Nine, gnomes drawn from wealthy families who manage local civic concerns. In theory, the city’s representative to the Triumvirate is democratically selected from its council. In practice, the process is anything but democratic, as secret wars of words and blackmail determine power within each council.
The Trust, the secret order that protects Zil society, reports directly to the Triumvirate. It has a coordinator in each city who works with the local council. Few realize that the Triumvirate possesses an impressive vault of information concerning political, military, and economic activities that rivals that of the Library, thanks to the work of the Trust

The Trust

The Zil alliance did not erase the feuds of the past. The Triumvirate could not eradicate the competitive nature of the gnomes -- and in truth, the cutthroat cunning of the gnomes was a point of national pride. But since these feuds began to threaten the interests of the new nation, it became clear that something had to be done. Once more the nation looked to the Library for inspiration, drawing on the example of the syndicate established to enforce honesty among students. Each Triumvir was authorized to select agents from her own city to create a corps of secret police -- an elite force who could be relied upon to place the interests of the nation above all else. Over time, all matters of law enforcement and national security were placed in the hands of the Trust. In many nations, gnomes serve as barristers and advocates, but in Zilargo there is no court of law: the Trust punishes the guilty, and its justice is swift and merciless. It is invisible and omniscient, staffed with spies, diviners, and assassins. Any Zil citizen could be an agent of the Trust. This calling comes above friendship and family. Even when you are alone, you might be watched by an invisible spy or scrying eyes. The Zil gnomes see this as a virtue; while they have little privacy, they also have the lowest crime rate of any nation in Khorvaire. The Trust is there when it is needed and invisible when it is not; even the members of the organization know only a handful of other members. In the eyes of the typical gnome, a loss of privacy is a small price to pay for security.

The Trust acts only if something threatens society. The Zil gnomes constantly engage in blackmail and intrigue. This is a way of life in Zilargo, and the Trust acts only if the intrigues threaten the security of the nation or cause laws to be broken. For example, if a blackmailer forces jis victim to give him a lucrative shipping contract, no harm is done; the wealth still remains in the nation. On the other hand, if the blackmailer forces his victim to commit a murder, steal a rare book from the Library, or give secrets of elemental binding to House Cannith, the Trust intervenes quickly.

This raises the following issue: If the Trust is so powerful, how can adventurers get away with anything in Zilargo? First, the Trust does not interfere unless Zil citizens are threatened. If a party of adventurers is chasing a Brelish fugitive -- well, provided that the adventurers don't disrupt the lives of Zil citizens in their hunt, they are free to do as they will. Of course, if the fugitive finds refuge in the home of a doyen, the adventurers need to find a way to extract the target without harming the household. Second, as noted earlier, intrigue isn't necessarily a crime. And most importantly, the Trust is not as omniscient as it wants people to believe. Anyone could be an agent of the Trust -- but not everyone is. Careless criminals and adventurers who think that they are above the law may be cut down to size by the Trust. But if the party acts carefully and cautiously by planning out its steps and taking advantage of disguise and abjuration magic, they can escape even the eyes of the Trust. Adventurers still can accomplish their goals in Zilargo -- they just need to use their brains instead of relying on sword and fireball to solve all their problems

National character

Some have compared the Zil gnomes to social rodents. The gnomes are happiest in groups. They are energetic and highly industrious, and they prefer to avoid conflict with larger creatures. But like rats, gnomes are survivors. Stealth, deception, and pure tenacity are the tools of the gnome -- and when cornered, a gnome can be a surprisingly dangerous foe.

The streets of Zilargo are bright and cheerful. The gnomes are helpful, attentive, and usually willing to lend an ear to the troubles of a traveler and a hand to those in need. Sometimes this is just what it seems. But the Zil gnomes are schooled in deception from childhood, and, all too often, their good cheer and friendly demeanor is an illusion. The Zil character has a paranoid streak, and the helpful nature of the Zil gnomes is rarely altruistic. While the gnomes are curious by nature, that curiosity is often fueled by the desire to gain leverage over every possible enemy. If you tell a gnome your problems, he may or may not help you. If he does, you owe him a favor. If he doesn't, he has learned about your weaknesses -- and in the eyes of the Zil, all information has value.

It would be an exaggeration to say that every Zil gnome is a ruthless schemer. While cunning and cautious, the Zil are people like any other. While some are cold-blooded opportunists, others do enjoy helping others. But even a goodhearted gnome may rely on manipulation and deception to accomplish his goals.

While energetic and cheerful, the gnomes are not childish or foolish. They are masterful merchants and negotiators, and they are adept at setting others at ease and weaving words into a pleasing tapestry. The people of Zilargo see language as an art, so Zil gnomes are typically well-spoken and sophisticated. Even a gnome farmer or miner has training in conversation and debate. The typical gnome is not a clown or a source of comic relief -- unless it suits her purposes to have others see her that way.


Religion

The people of Zilargo are extremely broad-minded when it comes to religion. Most gnomes try a few religions before settling on a single patron deity. Some never make a final choice;  there  are  gnomes  who  attend  and  even  perform
services for both the Sovereign Host and the Silver Flame. Temples to virtually all religions can be found in the major cities of Zilargo. Korranberg even contains a temple dedi-cated to the Dragon Below, although the adherents are more philosophical and less disturbing than the fanatics of the Shadow Marches. Despite this seemingly cavalier attitude, most gnomes take religion very seriously; they simply don’t see a conflict in following more than one god.

Games of Wit and Wisdom

The Zil gnomes love games of strategy, but their favorite pastime is intrigue. The seemingly dull farmer could be involved in a dozen plots. Often these plots are tied to a local community: feuds to shift the balance of power between families, attempts to influence local romances, or economic schemes. Two gnomes may engage in a shadow war to acquire a certain rare book, not because either truly cares about the book, but as a game -- a test of cunning and wit. But beyond these innocent pastimes, the waiter at the bar could be working for the Trust, the Aurum, the Korranberg Chronicle, or any number of other cabals with international goals.

Beyond his personal schemes, every Zil gnome has a bond to his family and his clan, and each has its own economic and political goals. Business contracts, mining rights, government positions, influence within a trade guild -- in Zilargo, all of these things are determined by cunning and manipulation. As noted in Part One, the Trust intervenes only if the security of the land is threatened or if actual laws are broken. If the Lorridans and the Lyrrimans are feuding to see who will get the rights to Blackhowl Mine, the Trust doesn't care -- as long as no one is killed and the resources of the mine ultimately benefit gnomes. If the Lorridans started murdering the Lyrrimans, or the Lyrrimans made arrangements to sell the mine to House Cannith . . . that's when the Trust may get involved.

Family loyalty is immensely important in Zilargo. In a society that thrives on deception, the gnomes find it extremely important to have someone they can trust without reservation, and for the Zil this is the bond of blood. While families may fight one another for position within a clan, betrayal of a direct family member is almost unheard of and would call for bitter and vicious vengeance. Likewise, favors and debts are a serious matter in the Land of the Wise. A web of secrets, favors, and debts binds this nation together, and a gnome may be called on at any time to repay a personal favor or a debt owed by her family. Failure to comply with a reasonable request threatens the entire system and can have grave consequences. Of course, this is a two-way street; a gnome PC is expected to repay her debts, but she can also call in favors from the people she helps during her adventures.

Zil Style and Customs

Zil spellweavers bind illusion into cloth, and the finest glamerweave comes from this land. Some tailors specialize in hypnotic abstract patterns while others weave clear images into their outfits: an evening gown might hold a breathtaking rendition of a sunset over the Seawall Mountains. Magical or no, most Zil gnomes prefer bright colors and loose, flowing designs. Hats are also popular, and a typical Zil street has gnomes wearing a plethora of different styles of headgear. Jewelry bearing both precious and semiprecious stones accentuates clothing; a gnome who cannot afford gold and gemstones sees no shame in wearing finely crafted ornaments of copper and glass.

Zil architecture is as beautiful as the clothing of the gnomes. Multiple types of wood and stone blend together to form pleasing patterns. Even the smallest communities are lit with continual flame, and, in large cities and metropolises, bound elementals provide heat, light, and other amenities. The gnomes go to great lengths to make their homes accessible to foreigners; in cities and towns every building have doors and furniture sized for Medium creatures as well as Small ones, and even in the villages at least one building is designed to accommodate Medium visitors. Zil houses are often filled with trappings from foreign lands -- Aereni woodwork, Sarlonan tapestries, and exotic plants from Xen'drik or Q'barra. Traditionally a guest brings a small gift to repay a host for his hospitality, and this often becomes a form of competition. A wealthy gnome might send a party of adventurers to Xen'drik to recover a piece of art from the Age of Giants, purely because she wants to present it at a party.

Gnomes use prestidigitation to maintain their personal appearance and to keep property clean; as a result, the streets are unnaturally bright, colors remain remarkably vivid, and the gnomes themselves have impeccable hygiene. Even in filthy foreign cities, a gnome takes pains to maintain her appearance, and a dirty gnome probably isn't from Zilargo. Likewise, ragged adventurers may be barred from certain Zil establishments and events unless they are properly groomed and attired. Gnomes also have a keen sense of smell, and scent plays a significant role in Zil fashion; men and women alike make use of perfumes and oils, many so subtle that humans can't even smell them. A social "language of scent" allows a gnome to indicate her current status -- seeking companionship, conversation, solitude, help, and so on. A gnome can recognize the intent of a scent by making a DC 10 Wisdom check and a DC 15 Knowledge (local) check. Other creatures with enhanced senses -- such as a shifter with the Wildhunt ability -- can identify these scents, but unless raised among gnomes they cannot deduce the social meaning of the smell.

The gnomish sense of smell and talent for prestidigitation are also reflected in Zil cuisine. The Zil gnomes make use of a wide variety of subtle spices, including certain flavors that can be produced only through prestidigitation. One of the most common beverages in the land is maleko, which is chilled water infused with faint traces of flavor; visitors are often baffled by the gnome who passes up a tankard of ale to savor a glass of water.

Artifice, Alchemy, and the Arcane

Magic runs through the blood of the gnomes -- a faint gift of illusion that some attribute to the distant touch of Thelanis. Many gnomes develop this talent without formal training. Levels of bard or sorcerer reflect this, and the gnomes typically focus their studying on enchantment, illusion, and conjuration spells. The insatiable curiosity of the gnomes has led to the pursuit of artifice and arcane magic. Zil artificers are justly famed, but House Cannith possesses the most gifted artificers in Khorvaire, and Arcanix is still the greatest seat of wizardry. But Zil gnomes are unsurpassed in two fields: alchemy and elemental binding. Some say that the Zil wrested the secrets of elemental binding from the ruins of Xen'drik, and they jealously guard this secret. No rule in the Eberron Campaign Setting book stops a PC of any race from taking the Bind Elemental feat. However, a DM may require a PC to acquire this feat in Zilargo or Xen'drik. In addition, the Zil gnomes consider this knowledge to be a national resource. An adventurer producing an occasional suit of elemental-bound armor is left alone, but if a PC starts producing airships and thus threatening the Zil monopoly on the art, he may be targeted by agents of the Trust.

Questions to Ask

When you play a Zil gnome PC or NPC, consider the following:

  • What is your relationship with your family?
  • Are you involved in any long-term intrigues? Who are your enemies and rivals?
  • What form does your curiosity take? Are you trying to gain influence? Arcane knowledge? Or do you simply want to visit new lands and meet interesting people?
  • Conceal your feelings from all but your closest friends. Feign whatever emotions suit the needs of the moment -- but only your most trusted allies should ever see your true face.
  • A Zil gnome almost always seeks to avoid direct physical combat. Is there a way to resolve a conflict without resorting to violence? If not, how can you maximize your advantages against the enemy? To the Zilfolk, a fair fight is a fool's game.
  • Language is an art. Never use one word when you could use two, provided those two are clever and witty.

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Re: Eberron - Dwarves and the Mror Holds
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2015, 05:31:36 PM »
Mror Holds and Dwarves
 

History

For as long as anyone can remember, the dwarves of Khorvaire have been a race divided. Long before they came into their own as masters of the Mror Holds, the dwarves of the Ironroot Mountains were locked in bitter infighting. For some seven thousand years, clan fought against clan over disputed territory, mineral rights, and especially honor. Dwarven pride is strong even today, but in an older age of blood and steel, pride was a way of life—and death.

Though the origins of the dwarf kingdoms of Khorvaire are lost to history, it is known that a unified dwarf nation once spread deep beneath the Ironroot Mountains. Within this kingdom, it came to pass that twelve warriors were exiled for barbarism and unrest, forced to the surface along with their followers by Lord Kordran Mror. The gateways to the kingdom below were closed off by powerful magic, the dwarves told that they would remain in exile until they had found the honor that their barbarism prevented them from attaining. Alongside the exiles, a clan of wardens was sent to the lands above to watch over these gates—a clan by the name of Kundarak.

For thousands of years, the exile clans fought among themselves, both for dominance and for the right to return to the kingdom of stone. Even the appearance of the Mark of Warding among the Kundarak clan did nothing to stem the conflict; indeed, it fast became a source of bitterness and distrust among the other clans, who developed no such marks. When Prince Karrn annexed the lands around the mountains for his father King Galifar, the fractious clans were easily subdued.

The dwarves reluctantly acquiesced and became subjects of Karrnath, one of the Five Nations of Galifar. The clans ceased fighting among themselves and slowly began to build a civilization. With a vast fortune of mineral wealth and the discovery of the Mark of Warding among one of the dwarf clans, the clans became an economic force within the kingdom.

In 106 YK, House Kundarak was admitted into the exclusive membership of the dragonmarked houses, and by the end of the century it controlled banking and financial concerns across the continent. By the start of the Last War, the barbarians had transformed into thriving mercantile clans. The old feuds still simmer beneath the surface, but the clans recognize the value of peace and cooperation. The dwarf lords declared their independence from Karrnath at the first Iron Council in the year 914 YK. The gathered dwarf lords created a formal alliance of the dwarf clans and proclaimed the birth of a new nation, the Mror Holds.

Industries

The Ironroot Mountains hold some of the richest mineral deposits on Khorvaire, making the Mror Holds a primary source for iron, copper, and other vital ores. Over the centuries, the dwarves have uncovered veins of gold, platinum, and other rare and precious metals. The dwarves of House Kundarak combined this wealth with their dragonmark talents to become the bankers of the Five Nations, and Kundarakhold maintains the greatest vaults of the realm. Other clans use their wealth to gain influence abroad, acting as financiers and investors. A few of the clans have developed a reputation for smithing and forging, but as yet they can’t match the industrial might of Breland or the artistry of the elves.

Life and Society

The Ironroot Mountains are harsh and unforgiving. Nature can kill with ice or stone, and even when nature does not threaten, orcs, trolls, and other dangerous creatures lie in wait. The people of the Mror Holds tend to be grim folk, dedicated to their work and their clans. The cities and villages located on the mountainsides and in protected valleys combine form with function and style, but deep within the Ironroot Mountains lie hidden cities of majesty and beauty.

Government
The Mror Holds consist of a loose confederation of clans, each of which lays claim to a territory, or hold, within the Ironroot Mountains. Issues that concern the entire nation go before the conclave known as the Iron Council. Currently, Torlan Mroranon serves as the arbiter of the Iron Council, but each clan governs its own hold and forms its own alliances with the nations of Khorvaire.

Power Groups
The various dwarf clans have differing levels of influence in the Holds, and the dragonmarked House Kundarak wields more power than a neutral party has any right to. Here are some of the movers and shakers in the Holds.

 :arrow: House Kundarak - Once Clan Kundarak, the house of the Mark of Warding continues to operate from the vast estates of Kundarakhold. Some say the patriarch of House Kundarak, Morrikan d’Kundarak, pushed for the formation of the dwarf nation and controls it from the shadows. Be that as it may, outwardly at least Kundarak has no voice on the Iron Council, only observer status.
 :arrow: House Orien - House Orien maintains trade roads through the Ironroot Mountains, a business that requires a delicate balance of alliances with the different Holds. Some of Orien’s best diplomats start their careers here, learning the difficult art of negotiating a settlement that benefits all parties from the example of the clans’ master mediators.
 :arrow: House Sivis - House Sivis has strong ties to the banking business of House Kundarak, providing documentation of its many financial transactions.
 :arrow: Clan Mroranon - The mines of Mroranon produce the finest grade of iron in Khorvaire, and Clan Mroranon has converted this resource into a strong political tie with Breland, whose factories are always hungry for top-grade ore. One of the most influential clans in the Holds, Mroranon has long been agitating for the Iron Council to eliminate the Jhorash’tar orcs. Other members of the council have called for recognizing the orc clan as an official member of the Holds, a radical proposal that Mroranon seeks to bury before a vote is ever called.
 :arrow: Clan Soldorak - One of the wealthier clans of the Mror Holds, Soldorak has long envied the international power of House Kundarak. In the past, the lords of Clan Soldorak have attempted to discredit Kundarak and even directly attacked its holdings. Soldorak dwarves use their wealth to try to gain more influence, and Soldorak financiers and speculators abound in other realms.
 :arrow: The Aurum - Many of the founders of the Aurum were wealthy dwarves from the Mror Holds, and the cabal has strong support within the Ironroot Mountains.

Religion
Over the past millennium, the Sovereign Host has built up a strong presence within the Holds. Kol Koran, the Lord of World and Wealth, commands the most followers, but Boldren, Olladar, Onatar, and Dol Dorn also receive worship.
 
Roleplaying advice

Here are some tips and ideas to use when playing an Eberron dwarf. Feel free to incorporate any or all of these ideas into your character’s personality and mannerisms.

:arrow: Never accept an initial offer, regardless of the situation (trading, bargaining with an enemy, and so forth). There’s always room for negotiation.

:arrow: Keep a grim face while in public. Never reveal anything that could give anyone an advantage. When you are safely hidden with friends and family, you can let down your guard, relax, and enjoy yourself.

:arrow: Hard work and material wealth are both highly respected among dwarves. They enjoy fine things, though they usually keep their greatest treasures hidden from outsiders. Because of this, you should be thrifty. Always look for good deals, even on things you don’t need right now. Prepare for rainy days and winter. When hard times come, you will be ready for them.

:arrow: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Finely crafted weapons, jewelry, clothes—showing your wealth is a way of proving the success and power of your family to the world.

:arrow: The Mror Holds are a new nation, and the dwarves are touchy about their independence. Be proud of your race and your nation, and whatever you do, don’t let anyone insult your family.

Names
Dwarf names usually feature
heavy consonants and several syllables. Every dwarf has a given name, which is often the name of a grandparent or great-grandparent, and a clan name identifying his home holdfast. Sample given names are provided below.

 :arrow: Male Names - Bruennen, Durnnam, Greddark, Kellark, Turanank.
 :arrow: Female Names - Annaka, Gerthin, Karkanna, Menna, Zranakarak.
 :arrow: Clan Names - Kolkarun,  d’Kundarak,  Mroranon, Narathun, Soldorak.

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Re: Eberron - Dwarves and the Mror Holds part 2
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2015, 05:36:15 PM »
Mror Holds and Dwarves - Part 2
National Character

The Mror dwarves are a passionate people. They are driven by pride, clan loyalty, and a fierce love of life -- food, drink, battle, and all the myriad experiences the world has to offer. Among strangers, a Mror dwarf often hides his true thoughts and feelings behind a grim mask. But in the company of friends, dwarves embrace life with unparalleled zest.

The Mror dwarves are fierce negotiators, favoring intimidation over subtle diplomacy. Most hold honor in high regard, and the oath of a Mror lord is said to be as unbreakable as adamantine. Nothing is ever reliable in Eberron, however, and while the Mror may on the whole be more honorable than humanity, the word of an Aurum concordian is often worth little more than the wind.

The Mror dwarves have been merchants for centuries, but they have been warriors for millennia. Even when Karrn enforced the peace of Galifar, the dwarves continued to train their children in the art of war. While the Mror Holds were largely isolated from the Last War, the orc raiders of the Jhorash'tar remain a constant threat, and the crags and chasms are home to ogres, trolls, and far worse things. The greatest heroes of the Holds hunt in the depths of Khyber, stalking runehounds, umber hulks, and other aberrations in the shadows below the mountains. Some assume that because the Mror are wealthy, they are soft -- while in fact they are harder than stone and sharper than steel. Gold is a new weapon for the Mror dwarves; they have never forgotten the way of the axe.

While the Mror dwarves are proud of their young nation and the power that they wield, old feuds and rivalries still remain, and the dwarves are extremely competitive. Generally these conflicts are out in the open; two teamsters will race to reach a destination, two merchants will undercut one another; two nobles will back different hawks in a hunt. Members of the Aurum are known for pursuing secret vendettas with darker and deadlier consequences. Some say that the Aurum is a clan in its own right, that its power is greater than any of the families of old. Most of the honorable lords feel that the Aurum represents a corruption of clan virtues. They say that true Mror are iron and gold, but those who serve the Aurum are gold alone -- influential but soft and unreliable.

Mror Fashion

Humans often see the Mror dwarves as greedy and vain. The truth is more complicated. Most Mror dwarves appreciate fine workmanship in a way that few others can comprehend; the dwarves will literally fall in love with objects. Looking at a beautiful goblet, a dwarf sees the toast he will share with his wife (when he finds her). A Mror dwarf can tell stories about every valuable object he owns, either looking to the past he has shared with his treasure or the future he expects to have.

Beyond this, the Mror see personal appearance as far more than simple vanity. A dwarf's accoutrements reflect his wealth and thus, his power, but they also indicate his appreciation of beauty, his judgment, and his intelligence. A poorly dressed merchant has a hard time in business. If he cannot judge the worth of his own clothes, who will trust his merchandise? As a result, a Mror dwarf may spend more on his clothing, armor, jewelry, and weapons than on his home. The Mror are stoic and content to endure physical discomfort and hardship. Sleeping on stone is preferable to wearing drab clothing.

As a result of this, a troop of Mror soldiers are a colorful sight. Dwarven armor is typically coated with enamel or covered with complex engraving. Weapons are equally striking; in addition to colorful hafts and gilded blades, many are made in unusual designs personalized to the warrior. Jewelry is very important to the Mror and often carries special significance, indicating rank within a clan, military honor, or civic office. A Mror dwarf can recognize the significance of another dwarf's jewelry by making an Intelligence check (DC 5); any character can recognize the relevance of the jewels with a Knowledge (nobility) check (DC 20).

In contrast, Mror architecture is stark and functional. Possessing darkvision, dwarves have little need for windows, though most buildings are lit out of deference to gnome and human immigrants. The Mror dwarves derive pleasure from good company, fine food, strong drink, and physical activity. They rarely bother with soft cushions or similar comforts. A wealthy merchant is more likely to spend his profits on beautiful clothes or finely crafted weapons than on lush carpeting and feather comforters.

The Mror Dwarves in Battle

When Prince Karrn led his forces into the Ironroot Mountains, he found a culture engaged in constant warfare. The dwarves placed more value on weapons and armor than home and hearth, and the Mror villages were pale shadows of the cities of Galifar. This was but one of the factors that led Karrn to call the dwarves "barbarians." While the Mror find joy in battle, they are not raging berserkers. Most Mror soldiers have warrior levels, and there are many fighters among the Mror Holds. Other combat classes are uncommon, though Clan Droranath is noteworthy for having true barbarians.

Most Mror soldiers prefer heavy armor and close combat, and typically focus on Power Attack and its related feats. Mror warriors traditionally name weapons and shields. When a dwarf tells a story about one of his many battles, he will refer to his axe as if it were another warrior standing at his side. Battlecries are an important part of Mror culture. A dwarf may develop his own, or he may adopt the battle call of an honored ancestor. Dwarves wish to be remembered on the battlefield, and their colorful armor and mighty cries reflect this fact.

Elite Mror troops generally follow the path of the fighter. Because honor and military skill are both held in high regard by the dwarves, kensai and knight protectors can also be found in the service of the clan lords. Dwarven defenders guard the vaults of House Kundarak, and there are a few frenzied berserkers in Clan Droranath. The dwarf fighter substitution level presented in Races of Stone is appropriate for Mror characters.

While Mror smiths constantly improve their skills, they do not possess the uncanny skills of their ancestors. If you use Races of Stone, Mror dwarves do not have the ability to produce dwarfcraft items or dwarven armor, and they cannot create magic forges. Such items might be found as relics of the first age, however, and a DM could choose to introduce a smith who has mastered these ancient techniques and learned to produce improved armor or weaponry.

Magic among the Mror Dwarves
While priests of Kol Korran and Onatar have always had a place in the mountains, prior to Karrn's Conquest there was no tradition of arcane magic among the dwarves of the Ironroot Mountains. It is clear that the dwarves of the first kingdom possessed runesmiths and artificers of considerable skill, but this knowledge was lost when the clans were exiled from the depths. In recent centuries, the Mror dwarves have learned much from working with gnomish immigrants. Some clans are beginning to reclaim the secrets of the first age. Wizards are still uncommon, but a handful of artificers work in the depths, and most holdfasts contain magewright smiths and other simple spellworkers.

Mror Gnomes
Many outsiders have trouble with the image of dwarf bankers; they see dwarves as warriors, not bean-counters. In fact, the dwarves have little interest in book-keeping. The dwarves have the gold. They take pride in their ability to protect their vaults. They know how to drive a hard bargain. But the paperwork? That's where the gnomes come in.

When Karrn brought order to the Ironroot Mountains, he paved the way for a massive gnomish immigration. The gnomes of Zilargo were inquisitive, diplomatic, and skilled miners in their own right. Karrn initially brought gnomes to the mountains to serve as translators, mediators, and advisors. The dwarves were more comfortable dealing with gnomes than with humans, because clan lords disliked looking up at the invaders. For their part, the gnomes saw a tremendous amount of potential in the mountains, and many of the gnomish families sent envoys east. These immigrants played a major role in shaping the mercantile culture of the emerging nation. Most clans have a close relationship with one or more of the gnomish clans. House Sivis and House Kundarak have very strong ties. Sivis gnomes uncovered the full potential of the Mark of Warding and helped Clan Kundarak find its place among the dragonmark houses, and Sivis notaries and stonesenders play a crucial role in the Kundarak banking guild. Most gnomes in the Mror Holds maintain ties with their families in Zilargo, but a few have broken ties with the homeland and fully embraced Mror culture.

Because the dwarves place great importance on personal appearance, the number of gnome tailors and estheticians in the Mror Holds is growing. Gnome prestidigitation experts excel at keeping colors fresh, and wealthy Mror pay good platinum for the latest gnome glamerweave designs.

Questions to ask

When you play a Mror PC or NPC, consider the following

 :arrow: What is distinctive about your appearance? What image are you trying to project?

 :arrow: Are you pursuing a feud with a member of another clan? What wrong has been done to you? How serious is the conflict?

 :arrow: What is the name of your weapon? Do you have a personal battlecry?

 :arrow: Mror dwarves often collect a particular type of object: jewels, goblets, daggers, and so on. Do you follow this tradition? What do you collect?

 :arrow: If you are from the Mror Holds, there's probably a family business you could settle into. Why have you left the holds?

 :arrow: Will you try to keep your word? If so, be very careful about making promises. A known oathbreaker is held in low regard in the Mror Holds.

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Re: Eberron - Dragonmarks expanded
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2015, 11:11:58 PM »
expanded general information on the dragonmarked houses. This is information that applies to nearly all dragonmarked houses

Korth Edicts

In time, a new leader set out to unify Khorvaire, and it quickly became apparent to the patriarchs of the dragonmarked houses that Galifar I might well succeed where Karrn had failed. When house leaders met Galifar in the city of Korth at the height of his drive to unite the Five Nations, the would-be king swore to protect the houses, agreeing to a number of provisions that would ensure their continued economic strength. In return, the houses agreed to restrictions on their political power.

For a thousand years, the Korth Edicts prevented any member of a dragonmarked house from holding a grant of land and placed limits on the size of house enclaves and the armed forces garrisoned there. Special provisions were made for House Deneith, which retained the right to assemble military forces for mercenary service. The edicts further specified that no member of the aristocracy of Galifar could be bound to a member of a dragonmarked house in marriage without one of the two giving up all heritage and rights. Since the houses did not own land, the edicts dictated a system of rents to be paid to the crown in exchange for the territory the houses required for their needs.

With  the hounds of war baying and the dragonmarked houses ascending, the Korth Edicts were quietly set aside during the last war. Even now, many house enclaves maintain forces beyond those allowed by the edicts, and a number of houses have successfully claimed land and holdings of their own. One notable example is Stormhome in Aundair, which is for all intents and purposes a territory of House Lyrandar.

In the wake of the war, the status of the edicts remains uncertain. It remains to be seen whether the Thronehold nations can join together to enforce the terms of the edicts once more—or whether the growing economic and military power of the houses will allow them to dictate new terms to the nobility.

House Enclaves

In a small community, a dragonmarked house might be represented by a single business. A village might have a Jorasco healing house, a tiny Sivis message station, or a Gold Dragon Inn of House Ghallanda, all run by individuals. Large cities and metropolises have dozens of such house businesses, but they also have enclaves—the citadels of the dragonmarked houses.

A house enclave is a self-contained community where a member of a house can spend months without ever needing to leave. The center of the enclave includes production, training, and administration facilities, living quarters, and shops catering to the everyday needs of its inhabitants. This region of an enclave is reserved for the private business of the house, and strangers are allowed in only under special circumstances. As a result, wealthy heirs of the house often maintain secondary residences beyond an enclave for the purpose of entertaining. The center of an enclave is a private fortress. Depending on the house, security could be an internal affair. Alternatively, it might be undertaken by arrangement with House Deneith, House Medani, or House Kundarak.




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Re: Eberron - House Cannith Expanded
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2015, 12:04:24 AM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Cannith - Part 2


History

Since its incorporation prior to the War of the Mark, House Cannith has been a leader among the dragonmarked houses. It pioneered the marriage of magic to the needs of daily life, and members of the house are the foremost experts on the use of dragonshards. Along with the gnomes of Zilargo, the house created the elemental ships that cross the seas. In partnership with House Orien, it forged the lightning rail that once spanned Khorvaire.

 Cannith’s most indelible mark on history was made in 965 YK with the creation of the warforged. The mastermind behind the warforged was Merrix d’Cannith, who set out to create a sentient construct that could fight in place of living creatures. First commissioned by King Jarot, the last king of Galifar, the warforged instead went to battle on behalf of his children during the Last War. Merrix’s son Aarren gave sentience to these living constructs. For thirty years, the sale of warforged kept Cannith prosperous, with each of the Five Nations commissioning troops from Whitehearth, Cannith’s ancestral forgehold. The house seemed destined to prosper as the Last War dragged on. Then came the Day of Mourning.

On the Day of Mourning, a blast of arcane power obliterated Cyre, leaving empty wasteland. Most Cyrans perished that day, including the patriarch of House Cannith: Baron Starrin d’Cannith, known as “the Gorgon” for both his intimidating manner and the symbol of his house. What caused the Day of Mourning, none can say. It seems that of the cities of Cyre, Eston suffered the greatest damage. Whitehearth’s destruction claimed the life of not only the baron, but also many of the house’s prominent leaders and dragonmarked heirs.

Almost as great as the loss in blood was the loss of the forgehold itself. Whitehearth had been the center of Cannith ingenuity and invention for centuries. Only projects concurrently researched in Sharn by Merrix d’Cannith, grandson of the fi rst Merrix, survived. Whitehearth is never far from the minds of House Cannith’s leaders, with Merrix in particular striving for its recovery. Increasingly, though, the cost associated with that recovery effort has exacerbated the rift within the house. Some seek to resurrect Whitehearth one day; others wish to turn their backs on the tomb of the past and focus instead on the future.

Two years after the loss of Cyre, the Treaty of Thronehold was signed, putting an end to both the war and the nation of Galifar. No one profits during war like a weaponsmith, and no one suffers as much from war’s end. For House Cannith, the treaty brought more than the end of a profitable market: The signatory nations recognized the warforged as a free people, due the same rights as other sentient races. The treaty also forbade Cannith from creating more warforged, ensuring that the house’s crowning achievement would be remembered as little more than a bloody postscript to past glory.

Having no choice but to agree to the treaty’s terms, the heads of the fractured house returned to their respective homes, plotting in silence while they went through the motions of retooling House Cannith for peace. Merrix, however, never intended to let his grandfather’s legacy pass away. His stronghold in Sharn holds a secret creation forge, known only to the sworn heirs of his line.

Today, those who gain entry to the Sharn forgehold see significantly newer warforged. Unaware of their rights as sentient beings, these warforged serve the artificers, who seek the next evolution of design. This secret rebellion leads Cannith along a dangerous path. Should Merrix’s deception be discovered, Breland and the other nations will have to enforce the treaty—even if it means striking the blow that shatters House Cannith for all time.

The guilds
The roots of House Cannith are in its guilds, the historical face of the house and the most common Cannith presence outside its enclaves. The bulk of house business actually goes on outside the guilds, which are seen by house members as only training grounds or career footnotes.

Fabricators Guild

The Fabricators Guild is a mercantile branch of House Cannith, well known as a training ground for arcane spellcasters and dragonmarked heirs. Outside the house, the Fabricators Guild has a reputation for fine, reliable goods. Guild shops offer a complete range of mundane equipment, and some accept commissions for unusual nonmagical items. Though most guild members keep to cities, some heirs are commissioned to travel with caravans and ships, to create or repair equipment.

Tinkers Guild
The Tinkers Guild is a mercantile branch of House Cannith, and hearkens back to the origins of the house. Cannith was born from groups of human tinkers that moved from town to town, repairing broken items or making new ones to sell. The guild has a virtual monopoly on the repair of mundane objects, primarily by members with the least or lesser Marks of Making. Most Dragonmarked heirs of Cannith serve at least two years in the guild, acting as the public face of the house in Khorvaire. Those dragonmarked who decide that rank and power are not for them sometimes remain in the guild, balancing a lack of respect from others in the house with a life of relative freedom.

House Organization

When Starrin d’Cannith died, he left no direct heir or immediate relations, but it did not take long for claimants to the house leadership to appear. Typically, upon the death of the patriarch, the title goes to either his closest living relative or his named successor. Starrin’s named successor was his only son Norran, who died with his father in Cyre and left no children of his own. When succession becomes murky, the elders of the house  interpret the will of the former patriarch and choose a successor. However, with the ranks of the house leadership decimated, no effective or fair vote could be held. Cannith was paralyzed, with three heirs emerging to claim leadership:  Merrix  d’Cannith,  Jorlanna d’Cannith, and Zorlan d’Cannith. Though each had a valid claim to the patriarch’s seat, a more problematic set of candidates would be hard to find.

Merrix is the grandson of the first Merrix, the son of Aarren d’Cannith, and the former patriarch’s grandnephew. The youngest candidate, he was little more than a baby when the warforged were invented. His age and lack of political expertise give him the weakest claim, but his inheritance of Merrix’s legendary skills in research and innovation forces his relatives to take him seriously. He wishes only to pursue his secret experiments in peace, but knowing Jorlanna and Zorlan, he is convinced that a fi rm hand will be required to keep House Cannith on course—not necessarily his hand, but one of his choosing.
 
Jorlanna d’Cannith is a proud, attractive woman in her fifties. She is far closer to the age of a proper matriarch than Merrix. Her claim is stronger too, as the daughter of Starrin’s second wife, Elsabet. Regardless, Jorlanna is considered least likely to attain the title. She has a strong vision for a united house, allies among the Twelve, and the personal magnetism to lead, but the Cannith elders distrust her judgment. In her youth, Jorlanna engaged in a scandalous romance with an heir of House Deneith. Both families put a stop to it once they became aware of the relationship, and the lovers disappeared from public view for over a year. It was rumored that Jorlanna bore a child during her time away—product of a coupling forbidden after the War of the Mark. However, when she finally resumed public life, she did so alone. Today, whispered rumors of her indiscretion haunt her, and critics use them as proof of her lack of judgment where the good of the house is concerned.

Zorlan d’Cannith is a distinguished, shrewd scion of the house. His talent with fi nance and eye for profit made him a trusted advisor to the Gorgon, whose cousin, Xerith, was Zorlan’s mother. Zorlan’s gifts are countered by a cold, cruel personality that unnerves many within the house. His time in Karrnath is rumored to have drawn him into the customs of that land, including worship of the Blood of Vol. Some fear that Zorlan’s ambition could lead him to make pacts with dishonorable groups.

Merrix, Jorlanna, and Zorlan are each determined to become the next leader of House Cannith. Between them, they have divided the lords seneschal so evenly that a new patriarch will likely never be chosen. As it stands, the divided leadership makes it increasingly likely that only death or disaster will change the balance of power.

Cannith South

Under Merrix d’Cannith, Cannith South is considered by many to be the closest replacement for Whitehearth the house will ever see. With his enclave concealing the last  Cannith  creation forge, Merrix rules his house’s southern interests (including expeditions to Xen’drik and the Mournland) with an iron fist.

Cannit h South workshops and enclaves dot Breland, Zilargo, and even Darguun, making Merrix the most expansion-minded leader House Cannith has seen in an age. Some say he plans to open facilities in Xen’drik to support his expeditions and interests there. Though Cannith South denies these plans, house members regard such moves as all but certain. Merrix has already secured holdings to expand the enclave in Stormreach. Only Merrix himself knows that he plans not just a workshop, but a second Cannith creation forge—outside Khorvaire, where the Treaty of Thronehold has no sway.

The heirs of Cannith South are driven to achieve advancement is dependent on how closely one’s ideals and ambitions match those of Merrix. Worship of the Traveler in his artificer aspect has taken a slow hold among the members of Cannith South. This affiliation with one of the Dark Six troubles members of Cannith West in particular, but Merrix shows no sign of sharing their concern.

Cannith West

The relationship between Aundair and Cyre was close during the Last War. When Jorlanna d’Cannith was sent away in disgrace, she went to Aundair, living there in seclusion for a year. Even after her exile ended, she soon returned to hone her diplomatic talents. Jorlanna negotiated house access to the Eldeen Reaches through the Wardens of the Wood, allowing Cannith sages to study ruins and magical locales under the druids’ supervision.

Members of Cannith West are expected to be socially adept. In Aundair, they engage in scholarly pursuits, especially those connected to magical sites in western Khorvaire. They have more contact with other dragonmarked houses and local nobility than other Cannith branches do. Jorlanna plans to rebuild the goodwill of the Five Nations toward the house and make a greater investment in the Twelve, with hopes of seeing it regain its power. Since the Twelve is headquartered in Korth, it vexes Zorlan that Jorlanna’s status within the organization exceeds his.

Cannith East

Though Zorlan grew up in Cyre, he traveled to Karrnath as a house emissary along with the fi rst warforged ordered by that nation. He took up residence there, advising Kaius  II  and strengthening his house’s influence. He used profitable arrangements with the Mror Holds and the Lhazaar Principalities to fill his coffers and make himself an advisor to the Gorgon.

Where Cannith once had only an outpost in Karrnath, Zorlan’s leadership has seen the house’s wealth and prestige there grow. Before the Day of Mourning, many Cannith heirs were sent to Karrnath to study administration and diplomacy, and to receive martial instruction from Rekkenmark Academy. This training ended with the fracture of the Cannith leadership, but many heirs still proudly recall their “Karrnath years.” Though the steady stream of warforged into Karrnath has ceased, Cannith East still has expertise in siege warfare, and house members serve as advisors to Karrn generals.

The Karrnathi culture has left its mark on Cannith East. Members take a callous view of mortality, viewing the undead as little more than the necromantic equivalent of warforged. Though invention is Cannith East’s strength, clandestine research at its enclave seeks to create a new form of construct undead, animated with eldritch power and a bound, ghostly intelligence.

Living among the Karrns has led many of Cannith to worship the Blood of Vol. Though Cannith would never openly declare allegiance to any other power group, nearly half the members of the Karrnathi enclave are said to follow that faith. Zorlan is a devout member, even aspiring to a position in the cult’s lay clergy and personally conducting services for house members on special occasions

Playing a member of House Cannith
You are a proud member of the leader of  all dragonmarked houses and the creator of the wonders of modern Khorvaire. Your social standing is exceeded only by that of the nobles of the realm—and not always by them. You owe no allegiance to anyone outside the house, and it took all Five Nations together to put a leash on the Gorgon, the symbol of your line. Some might call you arrogant, but arrogance and self-assurance are often confused by the envious.

The wonders of Cannith are known throughout the world, and you feel responsible for continuing that legacy. Whether you have a dragonmark or not, you are expected to contribute to the success of your house through invention, scholarship, business, or diplomacy. Even more is expected of the dragonmarked heirs of Cannith, who serve apprenticeships in the guilds during their training, then move up into house business as their talents are honed.

However, beneath your pride lurks a lingering concern. No matter where your loyalty lies, you know a house divided against itself inevitably falls, and you cannot help but feel bitterness toward those who follow these pretenders to the seat of the Gorgon. When your chosen leader takes command of the house, supporters of the would-be usurpers will be dealt with. Until then, it is up to your side to keep Cannith’s glory from degenerating further.

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Re: Eberron - House Kundarak expanded
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2015, 12:30:37 AM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Kundarak - Part 2


History
see the history of the Mror Holds for more information on general history of the dwarves.

As it happened, the dwarves’ subjugation by Galifar was their salvation. Forced to set aside their violent ways, the exiles created a common culture and found the honor they had long sought. In the end, though, this understanding came too late. When the heirs of Kundarak opened the sealed gates, the kingdom of stone was gone, destroyed by the daelkyr while the twelve clans made war on each other. However, with their ancient duty to guard the entrances to the lands below discharged, the Kundarak were free to set their sights on greater tasks.

With the aid of the gnomes of Zilargo, the Kundarak clan began its transformation into House Kundarak, and it was formally inducted into the dragonmarked houses in 106 YK. By the close of that century, few banking and financial operations on Khorvaire were not under the control or infl uence of the dwarves of the Mark of Warding. For eight centuries, the once barbaric stonefolk of the mountains worked patiently to establish themselves among the other surface races. When the Last War erupted, the Mror clans declared their independence from Karrnath. Though House Kundarak has never held a seat on the Iron Council, its support was central to the political will that forged the dwarf nation.

Today, House Kundarak ’s affluence and the power of the Mark of Warding cause the house to be held in high esteem. Its clients depend on the house seal that endorses a Kundarak letter of credit as much as they depend on the power of the arcane lock that protects what that credit can buy. Like House Sivis, House Kundarak has a vested interest in remaining (or at least appearing to remain) neutral in its dealings with the other dragonmarked houses, as well as the rulers of the Five Nations. Were this public integrity to be compromised, Khorvaire’s entire financial system would suffer.

Guilds
If it’s worth stealing, chances are that one of House Kundarak’s two guilds can help keep it safe. Through its Banking Guild, Kundarak endorses loans (typically at 10% interest per year, plus a collateral requirement of the DM’s choice) and letters of credit, in addition to providing safekeeping for some of Khorvaire’s most valuable treasures. The Warding Guild boasts experts in defenses both magical and mundane.

The Banking Guild
The Banking Guild oversees all major banking and finance across civilized Khorvaire, particularly in the Five Nations and the Lhazaar Principalities. Professions related to these services are the purview of the guild, which licenses bankers, coinmakers, gemcutters, goldsmiths, jewelers, moneychangers, moneylenders, treasurers, and similar professionals. It also works closely with the other guilds (particularly those of Cannith) to ensure fair standardization and stable pricing on goods and services.

The Warding Guild
If the Banking Guild is the public face of Kundarak, then the Warding Guild is its quiet twin. The guild provides a wide array of services relating to security and protection, and shoulders the responsibility for licensing locksmiths, security guards, warders, and the like. The Golden Door is a division of the Warding Guild that designs and implements security protocols of every kind, from mundane doors and locks to the most complicated magic wards. Among the dragonmarked, House Kundarak is best known for the work of this division.

The Iron Gate is the sister sect to the Golden Door. When living bodies are necessary for the safeguarding of valuable sites or objects, the soldiers of the Iron Gate are called. The division’s leaders work closely with Deneith’s Defenders Guild, and often send business that way when the job turns more on protection of the living than their material wealth. The soldiers of the Iron Gate are just as capable as Deneith’s, but they try not to step on their human allies’ toes. However, they can and do serve dwarves who prefer the protection of their own kind.

Organization

The Kundarak dwarves hail from an ancient clan structure. As a result, House Kundarak is organized somewhat differently from the system of viceroys, ministers, and seneschals that has become the standard of dragonmarked hierarchy.

The current head of House Kundarak is Morrikan d’Kundarak ,referred to as baron by those outside the house and as lord by those within it. Titles and positions within the house are hereditary, and are always passed down from father to son (or, in rare cases, to nephew) within the Kundarak line. Lord Morrikan is a shrewd and patient patriarch who has ruled his house for over a century. When the Last War broke out, Morrikan’s voice from his observer’s seat at the Iron Council was said to be the first to whisper of independence.

Below the lord are two additional positions of authority. Chieftain is another hereditary title, borne by the ranking member of a non-Kundarak bloodline within the house. Six house chieftains rule at any given time. Because the bloodlines within the house operate primarily in their own geographic areas across Khorvaire, chieftains end up taking on the standard role of viceroys within House Kundarak. Lord Kundarak is the chieftain for his own bloodline, and thus acts as viceroy for the house in the Mror Holds.

In ancient times, the hearthwarden was responsible for “keeping the house” of the clan. Today, the title is held by the administrator of a House Kundarak enclave. The majority of hearthwardens are female, and most are spellcasters. Hearthwardens are elected from within the house, but must be approved by the house lord. House  Kundarak is composed of nine bloodlines, including the Kundarak, the Durbannek, the Ghedin, and the Tuvodni. All nine can trace their lineage back to the fi rst wardens who gained the surface world alongside the exiled clans.

In addition to the Warding Guild’s Iron Gate and Golden Door, the house maintains two lesser-known orders not affiliated with guilds. The Keyguard are often believed to be a subdivision of the Golden Door, and thus controlled by the Warding Guild. The truth is that one can obtain the services of the Keyguard only from the house. The missions of this elite corps of sneaks and security specialists are decided at the upper levels of the house hierarchy.

The Ghorad’din (“manticore’s tail”) is the secret paramilitary arm of House Kundarak. Outside the house, few have heard of it, and all but a small handful of those are dwarves of other clans. Called into service only rarely, the Ghorad’din is the closest that Kundarak has to a force of house assassins.

Playing a member of House Kundarak

All dwarves take great pride in their work and family, and as a member of House Kundarak, your honor is inextricably bound to both. You know the legends of your house and people as well as you know your own name, but threading through all those legends is the sense of worth that marks what it means to be a Kundarak. You are a role model among your people—a member of a clan that never claimed a crown yet has always managed to quietly lead.

Within the clans, some mistake your confidence for bravado, but you accept their jealousy for what it is. Outside the clans, you are typically shown the respect—or outright awe—that the position of your house demands. Though some speak in dark whispers of Kundarak as profiteers and hoarders of wealth, you dismiss them easily enough. For in the end, only those who have earned the respect of the Kundarak are worth your worry

Manticore Legend

The manticore that adorns the Kundarak seal is the symbol of an old legend. In the early days of the dwarves’ exile, the manticores of the Ironroot Mountains were dispassionate observers of the conflict between clans. Then, in early skirmishes between the clans and the Jhorash’tar orcs, the dwarves found themselves steadily pushed back under waves of orc infantry better suited to fighting on the steep mountain slopes. Faced with a real possibility that the clans might not survive a coming midwinter assault, the Kundarak set out to forge an alliance with the manticores. In exchange for magically warding their mountain lairs against the aberrations that hunted there, Kundarak got these creatures to agree to aid the dwarves’ cause.

When the Jhorash’tar assault came, it was met not only by dwarf axes on the ground but by manticores and their crossbow-wielding riders in the air. The orc threat was turned back, and the relationship between the dwarves and the Ironroot manticores has been strong ever since.




« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 11:30:45 AM by herkles »

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Re: Eberron - House Deneith expanded
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2015, 12:57:57 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Deneith - Part 2


Neutrality and the Law

Throughout the Last War, Deneith maintained a position of neutrality, serving the whole of Galifar rather than any of its fractured parts. Although this position caused unrest in the house’s home of Karrnath, the Deneith patriarch, Baron Breven d’Deneith, saw the need for a balance of idealism and practicality. Although Deneith’s military forces were nearly the equal of any kingdom, joining with one side (likely Karrnath) would have overwhelmed the house’s resources as it was targeted by the other nations.

As it happened, its neutral position served Deneith well. At the Treaty of Thronehold, the right of House Deneith to maintain a standing military force was recognized once more. Further, it was agreed to allow members of the house to travel unimpeded by national boundaries for the sake of defending the Five Nations against external threats. Before the war, Deneith bodyguards made up a significant portion of the royal retinues of Galifar, services that remained in demand both during the war and after.

The central philosophy of House Deneith is built upon fulfilling the letter of the law, with contracts and codes governing every action its members take. The Sentinel Marshals serve an ideal of justice, chasing down criminals no matter where they might hide. For the Defenders and Blademarks Guilds, the law of the land is not half as important as the law of their contract, wherein their services are pledged to a nation or individual under specific circumstances and for a specifi c length of time. No matter what side of the house one falls on, honor, ethics, and an adherence to oaths sworn form the bulk of a Deneith heir’s reputation. One who keeps his word and fulfi lls expectations is valued highly, whether his heart tends to good or evil. One who is unreliable or capricious, on the other hand, will find few friends within the house

Guilds

House Deneith is more than just the sum of its parts, but how much more is open to interpretation. The house administers two guilds—the Defenders Guild and the Blademarks Guild—as well as the order of the Sentinel Marshals. Active participation in one guild over the course of an individual’s career is mandatory; serving in both is commonplace. Deneith views the guilds as the cornerstone of its mission to protect Khorvaire from its enemies, both within and without.

the Blademarks Guild
The Blademarks Guild is a mercenary branch of House Deneith. It employs mercenaries from across Khorvaire (some associated with House Deneith; some independent contractors), and guarantees both a high level of professionalism and steady work for its hirelings.  Deneith’s leadership often arises from within the guild, and the Blademarks are considered the core of the house’s financial success.

The Defenders Guild
The Defenders Guild is a mercenary branch of House Deneith. It consists of veterans of the Blademarks Guild, most of whom have at least one year of successful service behind them. The Defenders Guild contains a far greater percentage of dragonmarked heirs than either the Blademarks or the Sentinel Marshals. Its members are well respected within the house, and considered to be a vital part of Deneith’s mission to defend Khorvaire.

Sentinel Marshals
The Sentinel Marshals are an elite law enforcement order administered by House Deneith since the rule of Galifar I and upheld as a multinatioanal force under the Treaty of Thronehold. Only the most trusted heirs of the house are honored with a position in the Sentinel Marshals, either after serving in both the Blademarks and the Defenders Guild, or by special dispensation of the house. The Sentinel Marshals are elite agents authorized to enforce the law across Khorvaire according to the needs of regional authorities, and they have permission to ignore borders in pursuit of fugitives. They are never authorized to break the law, but are held accountable only to the Five Nations as a whole.

Playing a member
As a member of House Deneith, you understand the importance of duty and honor, and of the laws used to govern and maintain those concepts. Deneith prizes tactical skill and an analytical mind, but also the importance of knowing what your word is worth—and it treats that word as though it was written in blood. Order and strategy govern all. Your house has taught you from a young age which rules can be bent and which cannot.


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Re: Eberron - House Ghallanda expanded
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2015, 01:19:16 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Ghallanda - Part 2


History

The Mark of Hospitality manifested among the nomadic halflings of the Talenta Plains approximately thirty two hundred years ago. For those accustomed to the hard life of the plains, the powers of the mark were a boon. The half lings knew nothing of the draconic Prophecy, concluding instead that the marks were a divine blessing, and that those so blessed were obliged to use this gift to help others in need. The majority of marked half lings chose to follow this call, coming together to form a new tribe. A number of ancient Talenta legends involved blink dogs helping stranded travelers, and the tribe drew on this tradition when they adopted the name of Ghallanda, a Halfling word that roughly translates as “helpful hound who appears where needed the most.”

For centuries, halflings of the Ghallanda  tribe roamed the Talenta Plains, offering food and shelter to the needy. They sponsored glorious feasts for the heroes of the plains, standing apart from feuds and tribal confl icts. The helpful hounds were welcome in every camp and assisted people of all tribes.

Karrn soldiers first explored the Talenta Plains when Karrn the Conqueror sought to spread his rule across all Khorvaire. The Talenta halflings were puzzled by these large and unwieldy creatures, but the Ghallanda tribe had vowed to help all who were in need. Soldiers returned with tales of little people using magical marks to conjure food and castles from the air. These tales intrigued the other dragonmarked families, and House Cannith and House Sivis organized a joint expedition that led them to discover both the Ghallanda and Jorasco dragonmarked.

Despite their altruistic traditions, the elders of the Ghallanda were no fools. Even those who desired to leave the plains and explore foreign lands did not intend to do so as servants. They agreed to work with the other houses, provided those houses would help them fi nd a foothold in their lands. After much negotiating, House Ghallanda was born.

It took some time for House Ghallanda to spread its roots. Many humans considered the halflings to be cousins to the goblins, who were largely oppressed and enslaved at the time. The Ghallanda halflings had often served as mediators in their homelands, and they used their skill and charm at every level of society as they carved out a niche in the young Five Nations. During the conflict of the War of the Mark, the Ghallanda halflings proved their worth by supplying and supporting dragonmarked forces in the field. This effort gained them the support of the other houses and secured their place among the Twelve.

Over the next thousand years, House Ghallanda spread across Khorvaire, and today it is one of the most trusted houses in the land. Though some claim that House Cannith caused the Day of Mourning, or blame House Deneith for the Darguun uprising, few people have harsh words for the halflings of Ghallanda—at least as long as the ale is flowing

House Organization

House Ghallanda is one of the most widespread dragonmarked houses. It maintains enclaves, but not on the scale of a massive Cannith forgehold or one of the Phiarlan demesnes. Instead, its families are spread across hundreds of inns and hostels, any of which can serve as a temporary shelter for a wandering heir. More than any other house, Ghallanda is a ubiquitous presence in the world. Even if a village doesn’t have a tavern run by an actual Ghallanda heir, there’s a decent chance it has a  Ghallanda-licensed  inn  or hostel, even in Darguun or Droaam. Adventurers who build a relationship with the house can find allies across  Khorvaire,  while those who offend an innkeeper do so at their peril. A Ghallanda bartender might not pose a physical threat, but the conversations he has heard and the friends he has made give him far more influence than an adventurer might expect.

When Ghallanda spread to civilized lands, it adopted the dragonmarked hierarchy established by House Sivis and House Cannith. Every region is governed by a council of viceroys, and Patriarch Yoren d’Ghallanda leads the house from Gatherhold in the Talenta Plains. One of the oddities of the house is that viceroys often maintain businesses of their own. Yoren himself is a master chef, and spends almost as much time in the kitchens of his great hall as he does in the council chambers. On the Plains, an older hierarchy endures in the form of the Wandering Inn. The Ghallanda half lings who make up this traveling fair follow the ways of their tribal ancestors, providing a nomadic place of refuge for the Talenta halfl ings living outside Gatherhold’s walls.

Though the Wandering Inn seldom leaves the plains, small splinter groups carrying on its traditions have been encountered in Q’barra and Valenar in recent years. Tales are even told of weary adventurers fleeing the Mournland who have stumbled upon a bright wagon of the Wandering Inn and the safety of the Mordenkainen’s magnifi cent mansion inside. The Wandering Inn is largely isolated from the main house. The halflings of the inn abhor the idea of settling in cities, while house heirs outside the plains often consider the life of the Inn to be rough and uncivilized. Young halflings are sometimes drawn to explore the path on the opposite side of the house, though, and these ambassadors keep the bonds between the Inn and the main house strong.

Ghallanda halfl ings have never bothered with family names. Though the original Ghallanda tribe was formed from dozens of different families, the names of these original tribes were abandoned within a generation of the Mark of Hospitality’s first appearance.

Guilds

The Ghallanda seal is a promise of quality, and guild inspectors ensure that licensed and bound businesses maintain the standards of the house

The Hostelers Guild

The Hostelers Guild encompasses all aspects of the hospitality industry, from food to lodging and legal gambling. In addition to those establishments owned by the house, the Hostelers Guild includes hundreds of licensed businesses, each independently owned. The Hostelers Guild has close ties with the Shadow Network of House Thuranni and the Entertainers and Artisans Guild of House Phiarlan, using these guilds to acquire entertainment for its businesses.

Playing a member

Your house has little tradition of adventure. You were raised to appreciate comfort, conversation, good drink, and hot food—not to wield a blade or smite enemies with force and fire. Do not make the easy mistake of assuming that all members of your house are good or altruistic, however. Social connections are valuable tools, and the man who is friends with the crime lord, the merchant, and the king has three powerful weapons for dealing with his enemies. You might be a charming and witty fellow who loves nothing more than a good chat—or you might be a calculating individual using your family’s reputation to help you win allies who will serve you one day.
 
As a member of House Ghallanda, you need to decide what has drawn you to adventure and away from the comforts of home. Perhaps the tales of the Wandering Inn fill you with a desire to escape the cities and test your skills in the wilds. Perhaps you intend to open an inn of your own and are adventuring to raise gold—though by the time you earn it, youmight find the life of the innkeeper too dull for your tastes. You could be an enthusiastic young cook on a quest to acquire the culinary secrets of other cultures and ages. Like many Ghallanda heirs, you might adventure simply to meet useful contacts, whether in the interests of the house or for your own personal gain.

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2015, 01:48:02 PM »
Expanded information from Eberronbruce's post here
House Ghallanda - Part 2


History

Like its sibling House Ghallanda, House Jorasco was born on the Talenta Plains. Unlike the Ghallanda halflings, House Jorasco long ago shifted its focus from the ways of tribal life to the cosmopolitan traditions of central Khorvaire. Today, Jorasco halfl ings have little or no connection to the ways of their nomadic ancestors, and are firmly entrenched in the lifestyle of the Five Nations.

House Jorasco has long been established as the preeminent source of healing in Khorvaire, having skillfully pushed the temples of the Sovereign Host and the Silver Flame out of the healing business centuries ago. The advent of the Last War saw Jorasco healers spread across the length and breadth of the continent. Remaining steadfastly neutral allowed the house to serve all sides in that confl ict, providing mundane care for soldiers and magical healing for the officers who directed the war. Jorasco healers assisted in important military operations and engaged in joint missions with House Ghallanda, offering respite and healing for the wounded—away from the front lines.

Even after the Last War’s end, Jorasco still reaps the benefits of that dark conflict. Those who were broken in battle require a lifetime’s care now that the war is over—and such care is House Jorasco’s specialty. Since the end of the war, the house has expanded the number of enclaves and healing houses it runs by nearly a third, including opening state-fi nanced centers for veterans of the Last War in each nation.

Guilds
While the Healers Guild and House Jorasco are technically separate entities, the house’s single-minded focus on healing makes it difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Healers Guild
The Healers Guild operates healing enclaves, hospitals, and way stops across Khorvaire and beyond. All members of the house, from fostered children to dragonmarked heirs, are taught the ways of healing. Herbalism, alchemy, and use of the Heal skill are the foundations of house life and learning, and house members are expected to serve in the guild throughout their careers. Even the house patriarch undertakes a token period of service in a guild hospital each year.

Organization

Inevitably, adventurers get hurt. When they do, they almost as inevitably seek a healer of House Jorasco. Even in a group that includes a cleric, PCs often come up against diseases, curses, and mortal wounds beyond the ability of low-level healers to remedy. In such situations, Jorasco is always waiting with open arms—and an eye to its purse. Officially, House Jorasco never accepts services in kind, but for adventurers who cannot afford to pay, the house will sometimes “loan” the required fee and set an exchange of services as repayment. Service to a Jorasco healer might involve retrieving a certain medicinal herb from the Shadow Marches, seeking out a beholder’s tongue for a rare alchemical cure, or helping to keep anyone from entering or leaving a quarantined village. In many cases, making good on their debt might well place the PCs in need of a healer again.

House Jorasco was originally a tribe of Talenta halflings renowned for its steadfast nature and healing gifts. With the appearance of the Mark of Healing (and the subsequent appearance of emissaries from House Cannith and House Sivis to explain its significance), the Jorasco halflings accepted that their fate was larger than the plains of their birth. When House Jorasco settled in Karrnath and the lands beyond, the halflings gave up their nomadic ways.

The legacy of the plains lives on only in the house’s leadership structure, which bears little more than a superficial resemblance to the other dragonmarked houses. Groups within the house remain structured along family lines. Ulara d’Jorasco rules the house as matriarch, but all house members hold the right to advise the leadership as they see fit. The matriarch is chosen by the house membership and directs the activities of the house until she dies or loses the respect and confi dence of the house. As a result, Jorasco changes leadership more often than any other house, but such changes have yet to disrupt the house’s operations. Ulara spends almost all her time at the Jorasco enclave in Vedykar, and is greatly beloved by her house.

Playing a member

As a member of House Jorasco, the duties of your birthright were impressed upon you early on—doubly so if you developed the Mark of Healing. Injury and illness are ghosts stalking the living, robbing them of health and youth. You have been given the ability to combat these scourges, and even to pull someone back from the brink of death. Jorasco trains you to use these skills in the service of others, but it also reminds you that everything has a price. As much as you might like to spread your healing prowess for free, you have a responsibility to keep your house healthy as well.

the Price of Healing

Initially, House Jorasco was the Jorasco tribe, a collection \of related family lines. Eschewing the battle-hardened traditions of the Talenta tribes, Jorasco halfl ings earned their keep through their skills at healing: from midwifery, to patching up wounded warriors, to helping ease the dying along their way. Their skill would be paid for by the recovering individual’s family or tribe, an exchange of gifts and services that was the expected convention of Talenta culture.

 When the tribe became a house, the dynamic changed. In founding the house and establishing its headquarters in Karrnath, Jorasco soon found itself in debt to House Cannith and House Sivis—debt that called for Jorasco’s services to be repaid in coin, not kind. In time, the healers of Jorasco were operating on a set schedule of fees and asking for payment in advance.

This initial fee schedule was designed to support the healers of Jorasco in return for the time they spent caring for others. As the house became more successful, however, payment became less about survival and more about profit. The Korth Edicts codified this situation in a way, preventing the houses from owning land and forcing them to focus their fortunes in gold alone. Since that time, Jorasco’s mission of healing has always been balanced by the house’s passion for profi t, a reality that angers those most in need of Jorasco’s gifts.

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2015, 05:38:12 PM »
Expanded information from Eberron Bruce's post here
House Lyrandar - Part 2


History

Though the origins of House Lyrandar remain shrouded in myth, a few solid facts are known. Some twenty-six hundred years ago, a significant number of elves migrated to Khorvaire in the wake of the civil war in Aerenal that destroyed the line of Vol. Where elf and human settlements came into close proximity, intermarriage became common. However, when the earliest generations of halfelves were born, a good number of the elf settlers rejected them, leaving a population of half-caste children spread across human lands. Over the next six hundred years, this population grew.

According to house doctrine, the founders of Lyrandar were chosen by the gods themselves. The half-elves Lyran and Selavash were the first to manifest the Mark of Storm, both claiming to have received their marks accompanied by visions of the sovereign lords Arawai and Kol Korran. The sovereigns hailed the duo as the true children of Khorvaire. The half-elves were a race made strong through their hybrid blood, and would wield power over both nature and commerce.

 In the decades that followed, Lyran and Selavash traveled across Khorvaire, preaching their vision to others of their kind. Tales of miracles performed by the pair are common, but all that can be said for certain is that both possessed an almost supernatural ability to inspire others of their race. The charismatic duo encouraged half-elves to form their own separate communities and to recognize themselves as a unique race—the Khoravar, or “Children of Khorvaire.” Their followers began to call Selavash and Lyran the Firstborn, naming themselves “children of Lyran,” or Lyrandar.

As proscribed marriage within the Khoravar community began to make Lyrandar a line of related families, the Mark of Storm spread through those families with great speed. Those  blessed by this magic soon became House Lyrandar, operating a small fleet of swift ships and providing fair weather to farmers in need. Long after Selavash and Lyran had passed away, legends of the Firstborn continued to spread. To this day, a good number of Lyrandar believe that the spirits of the founders still guide the house.
 
Like many dragonmarked houses, Lyrandar’s fortunes have shifted with the end of the Last War. The Korth Edicts placed limits on the houses owning land and maintaining military forces, but with the collapse of Galifar, Lyrandar has been able to circumvent both restrictions. The house owns a number of stormships, ostensibly to defend its fleets against piracy. The house has also developed extensive holdings in Valenar, and appears to have considerable influence there.

Guilds
The Windwrights Guild, with its dashing pilots and sleek elemental craft, is the public face of House Lyrandar for most Khorvairians. However, by virtue of its influence on agriculture, the smaller Raincallers Guild arguably has a larger impact on life in Khorvaire.

Guild

A character with the Mark of Storm can summon rain to save farmers from drought or keep a hurricane from devastating a coastal city. The Raincallers Guild has devoted centuries to the development of irrigation systems, dams, canals, levees, and reservoirs to help control the forces of nature. The unmarked members of the guild focus on these services. In addition, Raincallers often serve as traveling emissaries of House Lyrandar, and are trained in the arts of diplomacy. Large cities often have Raincaller outposts, but the guild also maintains a corps of wanderers who travel regular circuits throughout the agricultural regions of the Five Nations.

Guild

The Windwrights Guild dominates the shipping trade. The core fleet of the guild is made up of the elementalbound vessels and airships of House Lyrandar, crewed by heirs of the house and providing speedy transport by water or air. However, the vast majority of the guild is composed of independent captains who need not be heirs of the house, or even half-elves. To earn the flag of the Windwrights Guild, a captain must pass regular inspections and pay house dues. In exchange, the guild connects him with customs and cargo.

Common belief holds that captains who choose to work outside the guild are likely to suffer “accidents” ranging from deadly weather to sabotage or piracy. Regardless of whether Lyrandar truly engages in such sinister practices, the rumor alone is enough to convince prospective clients to rely on guild shipping, forcing most captains to work within the guild. The sailors of the Lhazaar Principalities are a notable exception to this rule, and there has long been tension between the Windwrights and the eastern sea lords.

Organization

Adventurers who travel by air or by sea do business with House Lyrandar on a regular basis. Yet the kraken lurks beneath even the fairest seas, and it is hard to see how far its tentacles reach. House heirs and half-elf adventurers might find House Lyrandar to be a valuable patron, but those who cross it find that the kraken is a deadly foe.

House Lyrandar uses the standard hierarchy of the dragonmarked houses. The house leader holds the title of matriarch or patriarch, but is often addressed as “firstborn” by members of the house who believe that Lyran and Selavash speak through her. The current matriarch is Esravash d’Lyrandar, one of the youngest matriarchs in the house’s history.

 In addition to the Raincallers Guild and the Windwrights Guild, House Lyrandar controls a number of smaller agencies and cabals. Sela’s Path is the priesthood of House Lyrandar. The cult reveres Arawai, Kol Korran, Lyran, and Selavash. Its adherents maintain that the souls of the firstborn serve as intermediaries between the Khoravar and the Sovereign Host, just as Tira Miron is said to speak for the Silver Flame.

Lyran’s Gift is the arcane research arm of the house. The Gift helps Lyrandar spellcasters hone their skills, and it works in concert with House Cannith and the Twelve to develop new forms of magic. The Storm Front is rumored to be a cult operating within House Lyrandar whose members believe that the Mark of Storm is not a gift of Arawai and Kol Korran but the mark of the Devourer. Cult members maintain that the greatest members of the house live on as krakens in the deep, and that these immortal elders guide the Storm Front through visions.

The Storm Front believes that the power of the Mark of Storm was meant to be used for destruction, and that the Khoravar  should  seize  dominion through  force,  not  wait  for their time to come. Darker tales suggest that Esravash is just a figure head or a dupe, and that the Storm Front is the true power guiding House Lyrandar. According to these rumors, the  cult  maintains  hidden  enclaves throughout  coastal  Khorvaire,  including Tlalusk Island off the Demon Wastes.

Playing a member

You take pride in your house, and with good reason. The wind is your ally, the sea your dominion. The Last War shattered Orien trade routes and devastated House Cannith, but your people are stronger than ever. With the development of the airship, you have risen from the seas to claim the sky. Racial identity is an important part of House Lyrandar. In a world where nationality and faith often take precedence over race, your family has woven all three together. You have been taught that the Khoravar are a blessed people with a grand future, and that House Lyrandar lies at the center of this destiny. Humans came from Sarlona, elves from Aerenal. Your kind are the true children of Khorvaire, and the world is yours. For those in the Windwrights Guild, the connection to the sea is always strong.

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Re: Eberron
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2015, 05:51:41 PM »
Expanded information from Eberron Bruce's post here
House Medani - Part 2


History

Though any number of organizations might claim a lock on the truth, House Medani can back that claim. Those who possess Medani’s mark can sense arcane and divine power, the taint of poison, unseen intruders, or magical observation from a world away. All Medani heirs train in the use of logic, perception, and techniques for assembling fragments of evidence into a recognizable whole. As allies, they are formidable; as enemies, even more so.

The Medani alliance existed before Galifar: a collection of families based in the former Medani provinces of what would one day become Breland. Already accustomed to blending into human or elf society, the half-elves of the Medani concealed their dragonmarks when they first appeared. A close-knit society, they were content to use the Mark of Detection quietly, building a reputation as bodyguards and scouts while attempting to avoid the growing conflicts of the other dragonmarked.

House Cannith discovered Medani partway through the War of the Mark. At first, it was thought that the Mark of Detection might simply be a prevalent aberrant dragonmark, but that conjecture was quickly discarded. Cannith finally tracked down the elders of the Medani families and convinced them (some say threatened) to take their place alongside the other dragon marked houses.

Even today, distaste for authority runs strong in Medani, giving rise to aloofness that many dragonmarked ascribe to the house. Medani is forthright in its views on house politics and is an active participant in the Twelve, but representatives of the other houses sometimes claim that House Medani works against their interests as often as it supports them.

Organization
The half-elf blood of Medani has a strong influence on the views of the house. Accustomed to walking between worlds, the house values the racial heritage  that  allows  its  members  to move in both elf and human society with ease. Unlike House Lyrandar, Medani favors occasional intermarriage to elves or humans, both as a  means  of  renewing  the  connection to its ancestral blood and to add to the house’s expansive social connections. Other races are not considered candidates for marriage, and such matches are actively frowned upon by house elders.

House Medani is not so particular when it comes to its hirelings. Any individual with the proper aptitude can apply to the Warning Guild, be granted certification, and work under the house banner, if not for the house itself. This is particularly true in Wroat and Sharn, but even in Medani’s smaller enclaves, the house typically hires individuals based on talent alone.

House Medani prizes critical thinkers of all types. Spellcasting ability is valued, but is not considered a replacement for an analytical mind and keen judgment. Members of the house gravitate toward the classes of expert, rogue, and bard.

Guilds

House Medani and the Warning Guild are synonymous in the minds of many Khorvairians, few of whom realize the degree of official separation that stands between them. Rather than a simple extension of the house, the Warning Guild has grown into an affiliated but largely independent entity. The Mark of Detection often leads to meddling in unpleasant affairs; offi cial separation keeps the house at a safe distance whenever the unpleasantness turns out to involve the nobility or the dragonmarked houses themselves.

While the Warning Guild provides valuable experience and training for its members, House Medani’s ministers realize that not everyone’s gifts are best suited to that path. Heirs and house members whose skills lie elsewhere are encouraged to pursue them, as long as those pursuits benefit the house eventually.

The Warning Guild

The Warning Guild is administered by members of House Medani, and it reports to the Medani patriarch and his council quarterly with financial reports and news of particular interest to the house leadership. Members of the Warning Guild do not gather information in the same manner as a Phiarlan agent, a Thuranni operative, or even a Ghallanda barkeep. Rather, they piece together a map of the subtle plots threading Khorvaire by keeping those plots from coming to pass. Only when Aurum agents are revealed within the Brelish court can the chain of orders and intrigue that brought them there be carefully unraveled. When an assassination attempt against a Cannith seneschal is prevented, it unlocks layers of scheming that would otherwise never come to light.

The Warning Guild provides certification and contract employment for bodyguards, inquisitives, and sentries across Khorvaire, though the bulk of its work is in the larger cities. Bodyguards in Khorvaire can be hired from any number of sources, but those of the Warning Guild are not hired primarily for their muscle or skill with a blade. Rather, House Medani specializes in anticipating attacks and preventing them before strength and steel are ever needed. The guild has enclaves throughout the Five Nations, but they are always small and unmarked. If a potential guild member can’t fi nd the place on her own, that doesn’t bode well for her future in that line of work.

Playing a member

As a member of House Medani, your life revolves around subterfuge—not  engaging in it, but preventing  others from doing so. You see the world around you as an intricate web of schemes, plots, and counterplots. Assessing the range of possibilities, you use instinct to predict and defend against those that threaten your clients, and do so well before threats can turn to danger. Defending against an assassin’s blade is a job that any Deneith sellsword or Tharashk enforcer can do well enough. Making sure that blade is never drawn is the Medani way.