(Note: For cosmology prior to Eberron fourth edition rules, please see: Eberron Cosmology.)
The 4th edition cosmology of the Eberron campaign setting is divided into three main parts.
Siberys - The Astral SeaEdit
Siberys consists of:
- Daanvi - Perfect Order
- Irian - Eternal Day
- Syrania - Azure Sky
- Lamannia - Twilight Forest
- Mabar - Endless Night
- Baator - Nine Hells
- Shavarath - Battleground
Eberron - The Mortal WorldEdit
Eberron is the main physical world. It has three Coils. Planes that exist alongside Eberron include:
Khyber - The Elemental ChaosEdit
(Note: Khyber also refers to the vast underworld of Eberron that exists below the seas and continents.)
- Fernia - Sea of Fire
- Risia - Plain of Ice
- Kythri - Churning Chaos
- The Abyss
Xoriat - The Far Realm of Madness, and InsanityEdit
Xoriat is a fourth anomalous plane existing beyond the known cosmology. It is ruled by the Dealkyr, creatures of immense power that created the Ithilids(Mind Flayers), Symbiont items(living breastplate, tentacle whip, and tongueworm), Dolgaunts, and Dolgrims(among others). Dealkyr are immortal.
The Mortal World of Eberron is made up of six continents surrounded by oceans and a vast underworld.
- Khyber - Underdark. Eberron underworld existing beneath the continents and oceans.
Adventure primarily takes place in the central region of Khorvaire known as the Five Nations.
- Aundair (Scholarly)
- Breland (Cosmopolitan)
- Karrnath (Militaristic)
- Thrane (Theocratic)
- Mournland (Formerly Cyre, but now an uninhabited haunted zone.)
Southeast is the small continent of Aerenal, ruled by elves. Due south is the jungle continent of Xen'drik, once ruled by an empire of giants that collapsed, now largely wilderness, with some areas under tribal dominion of the drow (with a polar continent to the south called Everice). Frostfell is an unexplored land of ice in the north. The other two main continents are Sarlona (a continent ruled by quori, creatures from the Region of Dreams) and Argonnessen (a continent inhabited by dragons). The world of Eberron has twelve moons; some sages believe there is a thirteenth moon that has vanished or is invisible to the naked eye.
"Eberron" is also referred to as the Dragon Between. Siberys, the Dragon Above, is the name given to the planetary rings which surround the planet. Khyber, the Dragon Below, is the name given to the underworld, and is similar to the Underdark in many other settings. According to the creation story, the world was formed when the progenitor wyrms changed their form into what they are now. Siberys created the dragons, Eberron created humanoids and other "lower races", and Khyber created the "demons" of the world. (The term "demons" is meant to use the common definition, not the D&D outsider.) According to Keith Baker, there is some significance to the fact that each name contains "ber", but he has not stated what this is.
The Dragonmarked HousesEdit
Main article: Dragonmarked houseThe Dragonmarked Houses are thirteen extended families which control most business throughout Khorvaire. Within the houses, only a small percentage of every generation manifest dragonmarks, which are marks on the body that grant spell-like abilities to those born with them. These dragonmarks are designated by taking the Least, Lesser or Greater Dragonmark feat or taking levels in the Dragonmark Heir prestige class. There used to be thirteen dragonmarks but only twelve remain. Each family possesses only one type of mark, and only one or two races can manifest a particular type of mark. Additionally, only races listed in the Player's Handbook can manifest a dragonmark at all - however, this was revised in the 4th Edition Eberron Player's Guide. With the exception of House Phiarlan and House Thuranni (which both possess the Mark of Shadow), each house exclusively has one type of dragonmark.
Dragonmarks come in five forms: aberrant, least, lesser, greater, and Siberys. Aberrant dragonmarks are deviations from normal marks and are not recognized by the dragonmarked houses. People who have aberrant dragonmarks are commonly believed to have been warped by Khyber, the Dragon Below. Least, lesser, and greater dragonmarks can be gained by taking the appropriate feats or taking levels in the Dragonmark Heir prestige class. These types of marks must be taken in order. The Siberys mark is the greatest mark, but someone cannot have both a least, lesser, or greater mark along with a Siberys mark. A Siberys mark is gained by taking the Heir of Siberys prestige class. In 4th edition, dragonmarks are gained by taking the feat associated with the mark, and its power can be increased by choosing the corresponding dragonmark paragon path.
Another family line known as Vol possessed an additional dragonmark known as the Mark of Death, but that line was mostly destroyed in a conflict between dragons and other elves. Only one heir remains today (named Erandis d'Vol), but because she is a lich she cannot use her dragonmark. However, she tries to gather information to restore the mark through the Order of the Emerald Claw and the religion known as the Blood of Vol.
The worst punishment for a member of a dragonmarked house is called excoriation. It is similar to excommunication in that the other members of the house are not allowed to have any contact with the excoriate under threat of severe punishment themselves. Excoriates may not even avail themselves of the publicly-available services their house provides. Excoriation is the punishment for only the worst offenses that dishonor the house. In prior times, the house would actually flay the dragonmark from the person's body. If the person survived excoriation, the missing dragonmark would regrow on a different part of the body and continue to function, but its use caused severe pain to the person.
Deities and Religious SystemsEdit
Religions of Eberron is based around the church and pantheons rather than a specific deity. A paladin might thus follow Dol Arrah first and foremost, but still be of the same faith (the Sovereign Host) as a wizard following Aureon. A paladin of the Silver Flame, on the other hand, belongs to a different religion and might have very different views on theological issues, although still devoted to the cause of law and good. Deities in Eberron are not in general specific to a race, although both elves and kalashtar have religions not commonly practiced by other races.
The number 13Edit
The number 13 plays an important role in Eberron, particularly in the form of "thirteen minus one", where a group of 13 lost one of its number, resulting in 12. Some examples are:
- There are 13 unique planes, but only 12 of them currently interact with Eberron on a regular basis.
- There are 13 different dragonmarks (not houses), but only 12 currently exist (all known bearers of the Mark of Death were destroyed). Similarly, there are 13 Dragonmarked Houses, but they only represent these twelve remaining Marks.
- There are currently 13 different nations, but one of those is a wasteland (the Mournland). Not all nations are "officially recognized."
- The ancient calendar of the giant empire is said to have 13 months, whereas the current calendar has 12.
- During the Age of Giants, legend says there were 13 moons, but currently there are 12 (one has vanished).
- In the dwarven Mror Holds, there were 13 clans, but one has been destroyed, leaving 12.
Dragonshards are rock or crystal fragments originating from the three legendary dragons of Eberron's creation myth. The three sections of Eberron's world, Siberys, Eberron and Khyber, each produce a distinct form of dragonshard, with a unique appearance and distinct magic affinity. Dragonshards are among Eberron's most important resources. Their scarcity makes them valuable and a frequent goal of quests.
Dragonshards are hard, translucent rock or crystal fragments with swirling, pulsating veins of color suspended within them. The veins have the appearance of dragonmarks. Although dragonshards are translucent, their glowing veins give them a distinctive color and make them look almost alive.
Siberys shards fall from the Ring of Siberys that encircles Eberron. They are usually found in equatorial regions such as Xen'drik. They contain a pulsating swirl of golden veins. Siberys shards are the rarest type of dragonshard, and the type most closely associated with the dragonmarked houses. Because of their scarcity and importance to powerful groups, a new find of Siberys shards is often the focus of intrigue or theft. They are sometimes called sunstones or starmotes, or simply dragonshards, because of their association with the dragonmarked houses. Siberys shard items focus or enhance the power of dragonmarked characters, and can enhance psionic powers. Dragonmarked houses are of central importance to the economy and society of Khorvaire, so their artificers have both the means and the need to develop methods to enhance the power of dragonshards. The resulting proliferation of Siberys shard items range from devices focused on enhancing the power of a specific mark to generalized tools that work for anyone who bears a dragonmark. Kalashtar psions and the Inspired lords of Riedra have found a way to harness the power of Siberys shards by undergoing a painful process that embeds a shard in their body, providing enhanced mental or physical abilities.
Khyber shards are found beneath the earth near layers of magma or sulfur vents, typically growing on volcanic cavern walls. They are found throughout Eberron but are particularly common in areas known for fiendish activity, such as the Demon Wastes. Khyber shards have a smoky appearance, with writhing midnight blue to oily black veins running through them. They are sometimes known as nightshards or demonstones. Khyber shard items have an affinity for binding magic. They are common components of binding diagrams, soul trapping spells and similar magic associated with binding creatures.
Eberron shards are found buried in shallow soil in clusters encased in geodes. They are found only in Khorvaire and Aerenal. Eberron shards have a pinkish appearance and churn with crimson blood-red swirls. They are commonly known as bloodstones. Eberron shard items store magical energy or psionic power as spellbooks, spell-storing items or psionic power stones. Intelligent magical items often incorporate Eberron shards. Their magical affinity is very broad compared to the specific powers of Siberys and Khyber shards. Spellcasters can attune Eberron shards to a specific spell, enhancing the power of that spell when it's cast on the shard, and they can encode their spells in shards instead of scribing them.
Dragonshards can be crafted to power magic items, artifacts and constructs, or to augment dragonmark abilities. Dragonshard items vary in power depending on the purity of the dragonshard used. They are rarely large enough to craft into items of significant size; most often, small dragonshards are formed into jewelry. Larger dragonshards, up to the size of a fist, can be crafted into larger focus items.
Dhakaan was an ancient goblinoid empire that dominated the continent of Khorvaire, until the coming of the extraplanar Daelkyr 16,000 years ago. The Dhakaani goblinoids could not stand against the might and madness of the alien invasion. By the time the Gatekeeper druids bound the Daelkyr and their servants in the depths of Khyber, the empire was a shadow of its former glory. Over the course of millennia it collapsed into savagery, and by the time humanity arrived on Khorvaire, all that was left of the empire was ruins and several clans trying to preserve the remains of the ancient lore and dreaming about the reestabilishment of the Empire.
Recently some of the Dhakaani clans have begun to vie for control of Darguun with another goblinoid clan that currently holds control of that territory, the Ghaal'dar clan, which have wrestled the territory of Darguun from Cyre during the Last War.
The Last WarEdit
The most recent significant event in the Eberron Campaign Setting is an event called the Last War, so-called because the people of Khorvaire believed that after the war was over everybody would grow tired of war (much as World War I was known as "the war to end all wars"). Coincidentally, the Last War ended on the 11th Day of Aryth (the equivalent to November 11, the day Germany signed the Armistice officially ending World War I). It refers to a series of conflicts in Khorvaire over 102 years that began with a dispute over the throne of the Kingdom of Galifar and the ruling of the Five Nations.
Two years prior to the end of the Last War, the nation of Cyre was destroyed in an incident known as the Day of Mourning. (The Eberron Campaign Setting does not give an official cause for this disaster, but it had a similar effect to the atomic bombings that ended World War II. Even a magical "radiation" mutates flora and fauna alike, similar to stereotypical but inaccurate depictions of the results of the nuclear radiation.) This event helped expedite the end of the Last War. Now, the region that was once Cyre is referred to as the Mournland and is the home of living spells, preserved dead bodies, and a militant sect of warforged (see Races) led by one called the Lord of Blades whose avowed goal is the total domination of the continent by the warforged at the expense of all "flesh and blood" humanoids. Those in the Mournland do not heal naturally, and magical healing has no effect. For all these reasons, few people enter the region.
The Last War officially ended two years prior to the start of the campaign, with the Treaty of Thronehold, as each of the Five Nations and most of the nations that broke off during the war officially became independent.
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting|
Lords of the plane of Xoriat, the Realm of Madness, daelkyr are immortal and immensely powerful, and have legions of monsters created by them (like beholders, mind flayers and other kinds of aberrations) at their command. They resemble handsome humans bearing armor and weapons made from chitin and raw muscle.
Like the quori before them, the daelkyr tried to invade Eberron, but ultimately the Gatekeepers, a druidic sect dedicated to protecting the world from aberrations and outsiders, were able to sever the connection between Xoriat and Eberron. A few daelkyr were trapped in Khyber after the invasion was repelled, and they have been trying to get Xoriat coterminous with the material plane ever since. The daelkyr invasion was the main cause of the fall of the Dhakaan empire.
There are believed to be at least six daelkyr trapped beneath Eberron in the depths of Khyber (Eberron's equivalent to the Underdark). Through the Cults of the Dragon Below, sages know the names of a few of these individual daelkyr.
According to Gatekeeper legend, Dyrrn the Corruptor is the mightiest daelkyr. Dyrrn is responsible for the creation of dolgaunts and dolgrims. Dyrrn is believed to be trapped beneath the Eldeen Reaches.
Also known as the Lord of Eyes, Belashyrra is said to have created beholders. It is said to have a chamber within its citadel covered in eyes, through which it can look through the eyes of any living creature.
Orlassk, the master of stone, is said to have made medusas, basilisks and other petrifying creatures. Orlassk's citadel is said to be a giant gargoyle formed from living rock that prowls the depths of Khyber.
Kyrzin is a prince of slime and ooze who lives beneath the Shadow Marches. Kyrzin has created numerous types of oozes, including parasitic oozes that may control their host or burst from their host's flesh.
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting|
Dolgaunts are sightless aberrations created by the daelkyr from captured hobgoblins. They sometimes work with the Cults of the Dragon Below and often command lesser aberrations, such as chokers and dolgrims. Dolgaunts train to become monks and rarely use weapons or armor.
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting|
Dolgrims are aberrations originally created by merging two goblins into one creature. They resemble a grey-colored Goblins with two mouths, one above the other, and four arms, and generally carry a large assortment of different weapons in these arms. Stupid and bred for obedience to superiors such as dolgaunts, they are the basic footsoldiers of the daelkyr forces. Occasionally they have been known to serve the Cults of the Dragon Below.
The Inspired are the psionically gifted rulers of Sarlona and willing hosts of their quori overlords. They are human-like in appearance, possessed of great physical beauty and were created over hundreds of years through the mixing of human stock with blood of demons and elves by the quori. As the ruling caste of the nations of Sarlona, the Inspired are loved and respected by the overwhelming majority of their subjects. To be selected as a host is a tremendous honor and the sole goal of virtually all Inspired.
Though they have recently acquired the ability to possess willing hosts of any type quori find the Inspired to be their preferred hosts; likewise an Inspired can never resist possession of the quori it was bred to host (in game terms Inspired are never allowed to make saving throws against possession attempts by their master). Over the decades that an Inspired is possessed, it develops a portion of the quori’s considerable psionic power (represented by gaining levels in psychic classes) even as its personality shifts to completely match that of its master[original research?].
While the recent trend in Dungeons & Dragons has been towards allowing players to play any race the Inspired are strongly discouraged as player characters, due to their utter domination by the near universally evil Quori. Players who wish to play a psionic race or focus on the quori/kalashtar conflict are encouraged to play kalashtar[vague].
|Source books||Eberron campaign setting|
The quori are nightmarish beings from the plane of Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams. The quori lifecycle is somehow connected to Eberron; specifically, each new Age on Eberron changes the nature of Dal Quor, causing the otherwise immortal Quori to die and be reborn into a form more fitting to the new age.
40,000 years prior to the end of the Last War, the quori of that age invaded Eberron in an attempt to prevent the dawning of a new age but were repelled by the giants of Xen'drik, who managed to sever all connections between Eberron and Dal Quor using immensely powerful magic.
The current quori are servants of a potent evil, called Il'Lashtavar or “the Dreaming Dark”, which dwells within the heart of Dal Quor. Though their power is unchallenged on their home plane, for thousands of years the quori were incapable of reaching beyond the plane of dreams and could only observe the wider world via the dreams of mortals. Possibly motivated by the escape of a rogue group of quori who opposed the Dreaming Dark to Eberron (which led to the creation of the Kalashtar); the quori were able to find a way to exert direct influence on Eberron and engineer the breeding of special human vessels, capable of being possessed by a Quori spirit, that would become the Inspired .
During a period of great upheaval several hundred years ago (presumably engineered by quori) the Inspired appeared among the nations of Sarlona, and presented themselves as ambassadors of powerful and beneficent gods. They quickly established order and dominated all of the continent under the nation of Riedra save Adar where the Kalashtar and their human associates resisted their advances from fortified monasteries high in the mountains.
Over the centuries, the Quori, in the guise of the Inspired, have supervised the building of great monoliths all over Sarlona, that somehow tap into the background psionic energy of the human population and use it to slowly draw Dal'Quor closer to Eberron. It is the influence of these monoliths that has recently allowed Quori to possess any willing human, as opposed to being restricted to Inspired hosts.
Present Day EberronEdit
The ultimate goal of the Quori is to prevent the dawning of another new age and the death of Il'Lastavar by "establishing a static world, in which nothing ever changes and there is no light to threaten the darkness." (extract taken from "The Shattered Land" by Keith Baker). In other words, to take over the world of Eberron and take control of the dreams of its people, in order to manipulate the dream-world of Dal'Quor.
In order to accomplish this the Quori are served by two primary organisations on Eberron, namely the government of Riedra and the secret organisation known as the Dreaming Dark.
As the divine rulers of Riedra, the Quori act openly, sending their supernaturally charming Inspired Ambassadors to the courts of Khorvaire and posing as benevolent allies. The Inspired offer a portion of their vast resources at generous prices to aid the war-torn continent. They act as impartial observers and mediators in negotiations between the nations, integrating themselves with Khorvaire's political elite. The precise purpose of the Inspired's political machinations is left deliberately vague, but as tools of the Quori their ultimate purpose is to subjugate Khorvaire much as they do Riedra either by covertly or through open alliance with one of the warring nations should the Last War resume. The Inspired also show an open interest in the continent of Xen'Drik, and have established numerous bases there, though likewise the precise goals of the Inspired there are left to the discretion of the DM.
Meanwhile the Dreaming Dark serve as the more direct arm of Dal'Quor, whose agents serve the Darkness directly rather than through the Inspired. A highly secretive organisation, kept entirely separate from Riedra (so as not to damage Riedra politically should the Dreaming Dark's numerous crimes be discovered) few people in Eberron other than the Kalashtar and the Inspired are aware of their existence.
While the Dreaming Dark is assigned to carry out any task advantageous to Il'Lashtavar that would be too impractical or politically damaging for Riedra, the Dreaming Dark's primary tasks are the hunting down of the Kalashtar all over the world (in order to harvest their Quori spirits and reincarnate them as servants of the darkness) and the domination of Khorvaire through covert means. The Dreaming Dark makes frequent use of 'Mind Seeds' people who have been subjected to powerful psionic techniques and had their minds wiped and replaced with personalities loyal to the Dreaming Dark. Using this technique they brainwash highly placed nobles, politicians, generals, merchants and other valuable pawns and use their influence to subvert the organisations under their command, in order to prepare for the domination of Khorvaire by either the Inspired or a new breed of Quori hosts.
Physical Description and Subspecies QuoriEdit
All Quori have bizarre forms that are a nightmarish cross between a worm, insect, crustacean and humanoid. Pincers or blades, and a red and black coloration seem to be among the common features. Of the Quori, 6 subspecies are known. The Tsucora is the most common, and is the only one presented in the basic Eberron Campaign Setting sourcebook. The Dream Master and Tsoreva feature in Magic of Eberron, whilst the Du'Lora, Hashalaq and Kalaraq appear in Dragon Magazine.
Snakelike creatures with four-armed humanoid torsos. Each arm ends in a pincer. A void of darkness sits where its head should be. The dream masters dedicate themselves to preparing for the return of Quori to the material world. To that end they visit many mortal dreams, planting the necessary dream seeds that will usher in a new age of Quori rule.
Du'Lora are a whirlwind of eyes, wings, and shadow wreathed in smoky shadows. They are spirits of rage, capable of driving mortals mad by their very presence. They act as guardians and sentinels of the Quori.
Hashalaq serve as loremasters of the Quori. They spend a great deal of time studying mortal worlds, magic, and psionic powers. They also serve as inquisitors. In its natural form they are composed of hundreds of translucent tendrils that surround a point of blue light.
Kalaraq are the brilliant and ruthless princes of nightmare who guide the quori race. They are masters of manipulation, capable of twisting the thoughts of mortals and spirits. They can consume and trap souls, preserving their knowledge in their essence.
Having a segmented, many-legged body which ends in a powerful scaled, headless torso that has two handless arms from which blades of energy erupt, these enforcers of Dal Quor are bred for battle. Like most quori, a tsoreva typically acts through its human host rather than by a physical presence of its own, though the tsoreva are very capable warriors in their own right.
Tsucoras are among the weakest and most numerous of the Quori. In their own world they appear as great red and black worms with two massive pincered arms and lots of smaller, useless arms beneath them, and chitinous armor plates.
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron, Monster Manual III|
Shifters, also known as the weretouched, are a fictional race in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game's Eberron campaign setting. They are an option Dungeons & Dragons players can choose when they make their game characters. This race is featured for their ability to act in a bestial or close to nature manner, doing such things as running on all fours, climbing trees, and fighting with bare claws or teeth. Their sense of smell is also heightened, when compared to humans, but they are suggested to have worse social manners, as a race,because they are used to living 'wild', outside of the villages most people settle in. In terms of genetic derivation, they are commonly thought to be the result of crossbreeding between humans and lycanthropes but have become a true-breeding race.
The trademark ability of the race is their ability to shift; that is, to bring their more animalistic talents to the fore, gaining some useful ability and a bonus to a single, usually physical, statistic for a short time. Most shifters can only use this ability once a day and for less than 30 seconds, but feats introduced in the Eberron Campaign Setting and Races of Eberron allow a player character to shift multiple times per day, and to maintain each shift for a minute or longer.
Beasthide shifters can increase their natural Armor Class, making them harder to damage, while gaining a bonus to Constitution and therefore extra Hit Points, making them harder to bring down.
Longtooth shifters can grow fangs and gain a natural bite attack, as well as an increase in Strength.
Cliffwalk shifters gain a bonus to Dexterity and much improved climbing ability.
Razorclaw shifters gain a claw attack and an increase in their Strength score.
Longstride shifters become fleeter of foot and gain an increase to their Dexterity score.
Wildhunt shifters gain the extraordinary ability to smell as well as a predatory animal, allowing them to track by scent, as well as a bonus to Constitution. Wildhunt shifters also gain a permanent bonus to their tracking ability even when not shifted, due to their residual ability to smell well at all times.
Dreamsight shifters are the rarest of all. While shifting, they gain a bonus to their Wisdom as well as the ability to speak with animals in a supernatural manner. Dreamsight shifters, like Wildhunt shifters, also have a permanent bonus to their skills, but in the case of Dreamsight shifters it is an increase in their ability to communicate with animals (reflected in the skill Handle Animal).
Gorebrute shifters gain a pair of horns which can thereafter be used in a natural charge attack, as well as a bonus to Strength.
Swiftwing shifters gain a bonus to their Dexterity scores while at the same time growing leathey flaps of skin similar to a bat's wings which allow him to fly at slightly less than walking pace.
Truedive shifters receive a bonus to their Constitution score, a bonus to their Swim skill, and an increase in their swimming speed while shifting. Even when not shifting, a Truedive shifter can hold their breath for amazing amounts of time.
The trademark ability of the race is their ability to shift; that is, to bring their more animalistic talents to the fore, gaining some useful abilities and a bonus to a single, usually physical, statistic for a short time. This ability is an encounter power under 4th Edition Rules. Currently, only two traits are given for Shifters, which were introduced in the Monster Manual I for 4th edition.
Longtooth shifters can gain slight regeneration and a bonus to damage.
Razorclaw shifters can gain a bonus to movement rate and armor class.
|Type||Construct (Living Construct)|
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting|
|First appearance||Eberron Campaign Setting|
|Based on||Golems, robots, androids|
The warforged are a race of living, sentient constructs, superficially similar to golems. Warforged are composed of a blend of materials: predominantly stone, wood, and some type of metal. In Eberron, they were created by House Cannith in magical 'creation forges' to fight in the Last War, based on technology recovered from Xen'drik. When the Last War ended, they were given their freedom at the Treaty of Thronehold. Though they have free will, whether they have a soul is not known with certainty; they can be resurrected by spells designed to restore human souls to life, but, unlike humans, never remember anything of their experience in the afterlife after such an event.
While they have no biological sex, warforged may adopt a gender role as part of their individual personality. They do not age as the other races do, and it is not known what effects time will have on them. It is generally assumed that, like all living creatures, their bodies must experience degradation over time. Like other races, warforged may take levels in any character class.
Racial qualities and adjustments of the warforged were published in the Eberron Campaign Setting and later reprinted in Monster Manual III. Warforged are produced with their own armor and have various immunities, including to poison and disease. Healing spells have reduced effect on warforged, but a series of repair spells work fully on them. Other published forms of warforged include:
- warforged charger (MM3) - warforged that are larger than standard designed for brute strength, but have little intelligence.
- warforged scout (MM3) - Smaller versions of the traditional warforged.
- warforged titan (ECS) - warforged that are larger and stronger than chargers, but are even less intelligent.
History of the warforgedEdit
Warforged in Xen'drikEdit
The origins of the warforged on Eberron are not clear. According to a "docent" (ancient and sentient memory-containing magic item) found in Secrets of Xen'drik, the very first warforged were created as "host bodies" for a group of Quori (which were very different from Quori of 998 YK). The giants of Xen'drik created their own versions for their wars against the Quori, because the warforged are immune to many Quori tactics. However, according to Tales of the Last War, the giants invented the warforged, after which the Quori stole the secrets of their creation from the dreams of giants and created their own.
Either way, the secrets of warforged creation seem to have originated on the continent of Xen'drik. The ability of ancient Xen'drik docents to meld with modern-day warforged supports this theory. The existence of Xulo, a huge and powerful warforged found in Xen'drik, also supports this theory.
Warforged in KhorvaireEdit
Near the halfway point of the Last War, Merrix d'Cannith, of the Dragonmarked House Cannith, was commissioned to build a great army of golems, to serve as untiring warriors. Not satisfied with the lifeless, unintelligent hulks his forges produced, nor with the prohibitively expensive process of creating golems one-by-one, Merrix began experimenting with magic to instill some spark of life in them that would enable them, like living things, to direct their own actions and to be grown by a self-sustaining process. After many unsuccessful attempts, Merrix's son, Aarren d'Cannith, finally invented the process used in the creation forges. The warforged that Aarren's creation forges created were fully sentient, with the ability to have emotions, relationships, even to experience death; each new generation increased in sophistication and intelligence, ranging from the barely-sentient titans to the youngest versions of warforged who were fully capable of achieving advanced education and ability in magic. However, Aarren and Merrix had a disagreement over their use. Aarren felt that House Cannith had created life, and refused to see his creations used as tools. Merrix ignored him, and Aarren, feeling powerless, left. Powerful divination magics used to this day have only been able to confirm that he is still alive, not where he is. At the end of the War, two important rulings regarding the warforged came down:
- All warforged were declared 'people', and not possessions.
- The House Cannith creation forges were to be shut down, never to produce any more of the living constructs.
Despite the rulings, many warforged are still regarded as outsiders, and many are still employed as indentured servants.
There are also rumours that Merrix d'Cannith, (the grandson of the original Merrix) still produces illegal warforged in a lost creation forge. Even more disturbing are the rumors that the Lord of Blades, a rogue warforged, has stumbled onto an undestroyed creation forge in the Mournland and has begun creating an army.
The Lord of Blades, a figure of near-messianic significance to the warforged, took advantage of the Day of Mourning to establish an independent warforged outpost within the Mournland; operating from a philosophy that the existence of organic life will always pose a threat that his people will be returned to servitude, he wages a guerrilla war with the eventual goal the elimination of human dominance in Khorvaire; his agents thus serve as reliable antagonists for many Eberron campaigns. One of the biggest mysteries in the setting is the nature of the Lord of Blades' identity and to what extent he actually exists or has been mythologized.
Races of Eberron, an extended reference guide for the campaign setting, has much more in-depth material on warforged variations and additional feats and abilities. As well, it mentions the beginnings of the construction of the Godforged, which could in fact be a warforged god.
Recently a new group of warforged calling themselves the "Psiforged" have begun appearing across Eberron. Able to use very powerful psionic abilities, their origins are as much a mystery as their motives. Some are said to originate from Mournland, while others appear from deep beneath the depth of Sharn. House Cannith denies any connection to the new design and has stated that they never pursued a psionically enhanced warforged model.
The warforged are very similar, in appearance, concept and history, to the War Golems of the comic Battle Chasers. The War Golems were also built to fight in a war and were also social outcasts after the conflict. Similarly, warforged bear many coincidental nuances in common with Nimblewrights, first mentioned in the Monster Manual II (MM2). Nimblewrights however, seem to not only possess self-awareness but also a larger majority of their initial construct designs, including many of immunities.
Warforged in Fourth EditionEdit
As of the release of the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual in June 2008, Warforged became an official part of the core Points of Light Campaign Setting, and by extension an encouraged part of all campaign settings (such as Greyhawk, the previous core campaign setting, and The Forgotten Realms).
The 4th Edition player's guide for Eberron also features a paragon path called the Self-Forged, which is for creatures that strive to make themselves like Warforged by replacing parts of their bodies with magical metal prosthetics, becoming fantasy-themed cyborgs.
The Eberron Campaign Setting introduced four new player races: the warforged, the shifters, the changelings and the kalashtar. Two other playable races were later added in the Magic of Eberron supplement: The Psiforged, and the Daelkyr Half-Blood.
Psiforged are a new breed of Warforged that can focus and channel psionic energy. Psionic crystals are imbedded within their bodies and can be seen beneath their exoskeletons. These crystals help focus the psionic energy that can be found in all living things. Although they are the same race as the Warforged, they have come to be set apart by being referred to as the "Psiforged."
Changelings developed through the breeding of humans and doppelgangers. While they do not have the full shapechanging and telepathic abilities of doppelgangers, they still have a minor change shape ability that allows them to take on other appearances at will. Changelings lack a distinct culture and history of their own, instead using their abilities to blend in to the societies they live in, in many cases keeping their true race a secret to all.
Daelkyr Half-Bloods, introduced in the supplement Magic of Eberron, are formed when the venomous spirit of a Daelkyr, sealed beneath the earth, leaks into the surrounding environment. Unborn children within this sphere of influence are born Daelkyr Half-Bloods.
Eneko, introduced in the supplement Secrets of Sarlona, are the descendants of half-giants and ogres, and are most common in the Sarlonan nation of Syrkarn. Half-giants themselves can be played as characters from Xen'drik or Sarlona
Finally, Eberron introduced the kalashtar — humans bound with a spiritual psychic connection to a quori, a creature originally from Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams. This bonding first happened thousands of years ago and resulted in a new and distinct race with minor physical differences from humans and significant mental ones; kalashtar have psionic abilities and some degree of shared memory due to the common spirit they share with their ancestors.
As for traditional races, elves are relative newcomers to the continent of Khorvaire. Originally the elves were slaves to a race of giants on the continent of Xen'drik. They escaped to and founded a nation on the smaller continent of Aerenal. Aerenal elves in Eberron practice a form of ancestor worship. On Aerenal, those elves deemed to be particularly beneficial to the race are magically revived as Undying. The lich-like beings are enchanted with positive energy instead of the negative energy that animates undead. The Undying act as counselors to the Aerenal elves. Elves have occupied parts of Khorvaire sporadically, only recently forming their own nation there known as Valenar. Valenar elves hold different traditions from Aerenal elves, and stress bringing glory to their Xen'drik ancestors through combat.
Dwarves, by legend, originated from the Arctic subcontinent of Frostfell and now live in a region called the Mror Holds. In addition to their traditional role as elite warriors, they also put much importance on wealth, and their dragonmarked house -- House Kundarak -- is used throughout Khorvaire for banking.
In the Eberron campaign setting, unlike other campaign settings, orcs are given to spirituality and nature-worship. They established successful societies, learning druidic secrets from the black dragon Vvaraak while the goblinoid races built a mighty empire, some 16,000 years ago. The orc societies took a massive blow during the daelkyr invasion 9,000 years ago, though it was the orcs now known as the Gatekeepers who were able to stop the invasion by sealing the daelkyr beneath Eberron and severing the link between Eberron and the daelkyr home plane of Xoriat. The Gatekeeper druidic sect remains a presence in Eberron, albeit one largely concerned with defending the world from outsiders, aberrations and other unnatural foes rather than politics.
Gnomes commonly live in their own country of Zilargo and are considered excellent shipwrights, the masters of elemental binding, information seekers, and social manipulators. Because of widespread immigration though, any race can be found anywhere on Khorvaire.
Other significant races and monsters to Eberron include goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) who had an empire which once dominated Khorvaire, but powerful magics unleashed during the daelkyr invasion led to a period of decline. The remnants of their empire were largely wiped by the humans when they immigrated from Sarlona; however the Last War weakened the Five Nations to a degree that the goblinoids were able to form a new nation in part of what was once Cyre. Drow, unlike the elves, remained in Xen'drik. They use scorpion imagery but they do not venerate scorpions as drow in Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms do for spiders. Rather than being a subrace of elves, Keith Baker considers drow their own distinctive race. A special warped race of drow called the Umbragen or the shadow elves also exists, with information on them revealed in Dragon magazine and the computer game Dragonshard.
Couatl — good creatures of positive energy — are responsible (with the aid of the dragons) for bringing an end to the Age of Demons 100,000 years before the campaign begins. Some believe that most couatl have bound themselves to the force known as the Silver Flame, which now has a church devoted to it.
Rakshasas are part of an evil organization called the Lords of Dust who scheme in Khorvaire to release their godlike masters from Khyber. These evil spirits are the undisputed masters of illusion, treachery, and subversion, and they have a hand in the politics of practically every nation of Khorvaire.
Daelkyr are extremely powerful, evil creatures from the plane of Xoriat, the Realm of Madness. Only a handful in number, several Daelkyr were trapped in Khyber by potent seals of magic that were established by the Gatekeepers thousands of years ago. Though each likely seeks to free itself from Khyber, return to Xoriat, or destroy Eberron, as a whole they seem content to remain in their subterranean prisons for now; their motives and intents inscrutable to even their most trusted lieutenants.
The Lord of BladesEdit
|Type||Construct (Living Construct)|
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting|
|First appearance||Eberron Campaign Setting|
|Based on||Golems, robots, androids|
The Warforged visionary known as The Lord of Blades has begun establishing a Warforged nation somewhere in the Mournland, it is rumoured. No one is sure where he came from, or where the Warforged-Mecca is. Some tales tell that he was a powerful warrior leading his construct companions into battle for Cyre, before the day of Mourning. Others maintain that he was the last Warforged to come out of the Creation Forges before they were destroyed, as per the orders of the Thronehold Accord. Yet another fearsome spin is that perhaps he was the one who caused the day of mourning, in order to have a clean slate to start his own nation; and maybe he plans to repeat the experience with all of Eberron.
The Lord of Blades has become a messiah for a noticeable number of his fellow Warforged, but the remainder consider him an abomination and a threat to their race.
Though none claim to have witnessed The Lord of the Blades for themselves, his possible appearance is as follows: Lord of the Blades Possible Appearance.
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.
Argonnessen is the continent of dragons, occupying the southeastern part of the world. Off of Argonnessen lies the island of Seren. Argonnessen (and Seren) are for the most part off limits to the "lesser races" (which includes almost everyone except a dragon). The continent and island are also inhabited by dragon-worshipping human barbarians. Many of the continent's dragons are members of a group known as the Chamber, which interprets the Draconic Prophecy and uses it to shape the world to the dragons' liking. Unlike most dragons in Dungeons & Dragons, there is no correspondence between a dragon of Argonessen's breed and its alignment. Thus, a silver dragon could be chaotic evil while a red dragon could be neutral good.
Sarlona is the ancient cradle of human civilization. Once home to many kingdoms, it is now dominated by the empire of Riedra, home to the Inspired. Other nations of Sarlona include the heavily fortified and isolated land of Adar (a refuge for those who oppose the Inspired), the frozen Tashana Tundra and the land of Syrkarn.
Manifest zones are regions of Eberron that demonstrate influence from the planes. For example, the Elden Reaches has a close connection to the astral dominion of Mabar. Sharn, the City of Towers in Breland, is situated within a manifest zone linked to the astral dominion of Syrania (pg52 of Eberron Campaign Guide 4E). Enhanced magic related to levitation in Sharn makes for magnificent archtecture such as the Skyway.
Daanvi's orbit brings it particularly close - coterminous - to the Material Plane in which the world of Eberron is located one century out of four, and takes it particularly remote from the Material Plane for an equal length of time starting one century after the end of a coterminous period.
When the mortal creatures of Eberron dream, they project their minds to Dal Quor. The outer edge of the plane is ringed with the "dreamscapes" where these night-time fantasies play out. Within this ring, nightmarish psionic beings known as quori dwell. Dal Quor (and the quori) is subject to a cycle of implosions and renewals. The plane is periodically destroyed along with all its inhabitants to emerge in a different state of being/age. Current age is an age of darkness due to the fall of the giant civilization. The whole quori/kalashtar war is about halting or furthering the cycle, as this renewal would destroy all the current quori.
Forty thousand years before the "present" of the Eberron setting, the quori attempted to invade and conquer the Material Plane. The giant civilizations of Xen'drik managed to repel the invasion; in the process, their powerful magics displaced Dal Quor from its metaphysical orbit, causing it to become permanently remote from Eberron. Current products suggest these past quori were in fact refugees from an unknown event in Dal Quor who were attacked by the giants, now all destroyed with the last shift of Dal Quor. Upon the discovery of the cycle by the quori, 2 factions emerged leading to the creation of the kalashtar and the the Inspired. As the link between Dal Quor and the material plane is severed, the quori were forced to find another path to power in the Material Plane, one which culminated in the establishment of their rule as the Inspired - believed by their subjects to be incarnate gods - over the empire of Riedra on the continent of Sarlona and the efforts to bring Eberron and Dal Quor coterminous again.
Beyond words or comprehension, Xoriat is aptly called the Realm of Madness. Not only do its alien geometry and unspeakable inhabitants seem like the product of a madman's nightmare, but any who visit Xoriat risk finding their minds shattered by the experience.
Xoriat has been likened to a stack of translucent parchment, an apparently infinite connection of layers and dimensions. Its inhabitants exist on multiple layers simultaneously. Massive, drifting entities too large to notice visitors to the plane; free-floating rivers of milk-white liquid; rains of blue globes falling from unseen heights, only to burst and release horse-sized ticks when they strike another object—such are the madness-inducing features of Xoriat. Gelatinous worms wriggle from layer to layer, wending through tentacled vegetation encrusted with orange moss, all suspended above an amoebic sea. Over this mad realm the daelkyr are absolute masters.
Xoriat's last period of being coterminous with the Material Plane was a disastrous period of warfare. Over seven thousand years ago, Xoriat became coterminous and the daelkyr sent their minions into Khorvaire to conquer it. Before the orc and hobgoblin druids known as the Gatekeepers managed to end the planes' alignment, the mind flayers and lesser minions of the daelkyr had decimated the hobgoblin empire of Dhakaan. The Gatekeepers' magic was less cataclysmic than the giants' attempt to close the connection to Dal Quor, however; Xoriat moved quickly out of alignment but is sure to return one day
- ^ Baker, Keith; Chris Perkins (2005-03-07). ""The Moons of Eberron"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20050307a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- ^ Eberron creator Keith Baker used this play on words when he created a page on his website entitled, "Baker's Dozen". This page dates back to at least fall of 2004. Baker, Keith (2006-09-14). "Baker's Dozen". Archived from the original on 2004-10-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20041010184303/http://bossythecow.com/bakersdozen.htm. Retrieved 2006-09-30.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-06-29). ""The Last War"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20040629a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-06-22). ""Eberron Campaign Setting"". http://www.amazon.com/Eberron-Campaign-Setting-Dungeons-Roleplaying/dp/0786932740. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-06-22). ""Eberron Campaign Setting"". http://www.amazon.com/Eberron-Campaign-Setting-Dungeons-Roleplaying/dp/0786932740. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2005-01-10). ""Blades of the Quori"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20050110a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2005-10-04). ""The Elves of Valenar, Part 1"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041004a. Retrieved 2006-04-09. Baker, Keith (2005-10-11). ""The Elves of Valenar, Part 2"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041011a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-11-01). ""Dwarves of the Mror Holds, Part 1"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041101a. Retrieved 2006-04-09. Baker, Keith (2004-11-08). ""Dwarves of the Mror Holds, Part 2"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041108a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-11-29). "The Gnomes of Zilargo, Part 1". Dragonshards. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041129a. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-12-06). "The Gnomes of Zilargo, Part 2". Dragonshards. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20041206a. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- ^ Baker, Keith (2004-08-16). ""Heirs of Dhakaan"". http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20040816a. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- Baker, Keith; Slavicsek, Bill; Wyatt, James (2004). Eberron Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast, Inc. ISBN 0-7869-3434-4
- Wyatt, James; Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Stan! (January 2006). Player's Guide to Eberron. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast. p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- Baker, Keith. Secrets of Xen'drik. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast, 2006. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8
- Burlew, Rich, et al.. Monster Manual III (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Polojac, John. "Arcane Upgrade: warforged Magic Items." Dragon #341 (Paizo, 2006).
- Sehestedt, Mark, ed. Tales of the Last War. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast, 2006. ISBN 0-7869-3986-9
- Wizards of the Coast - Dragonshards: The warforged, Part One
- Wizards of the Coast - Dragonshards: The warforged, Part Two
- Jhonen Olain's Eberron Journal - The World of Eberron: warforged
- The Reach of Riedra, Part One at Wizards.com website
- The Reach of Riedra, Part Two at Wizards.com website
- The Elves of Aerenal, Part One at Wizards.com website
- The Elves of Aerenal, Part Two at Wizards.com website
- "Heirs of Dhakaan" by Keith Baker, Wizards.com. URL accessed 2006-06-02.
- "Eberron Campaign Setting " by Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek and James Wyatt